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  -FF8 Main
  -Part 1 :: [02.13.02]
  -Part 2 :: [02.13.02]
  -Part 3 :: [04.08.02]
  -Part 4 :: [01.09.03]
  -Part 5 :: [08.17.03]
  -Part 6 :: [09.07.04]
  -Part 7 :: [12.11.04]
  -Part 8 :: [12.11.04]
  -Part 9 :: [07.04.05]
  -Part 10 :: [07.04.05]
  -Part 11 :: [01.28.09]


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"Since it has three heads and growls like a monstrous dog, I'm going to name it Fluffy. Yes, I'm stealing a nickname from Sam, but it's still more creative than calling it a 'Horror.' I guess the game designers forgot to smoke their pot the day they came up with that name."
     -Jeanne, Eternal Darkness Part 3




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Final Fantasy VIII : Part 3
By Jeanne
Posted 04.08.02
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
Previously on Final Fantasy VIII, our heroes had just received the order to withdraw after fighting a battle on top of the [Communication Tower] during the SeeD field exam. The 30 minute countdown began, and Biggs told something to go and destroy them. I don't know why I keep reminding you guys what just happened. Go read the damn Part 2 recap.

Outside the [Communication Tower], evil music begins playing, and the camera pans up to something very dinky and non-threatening hanging off the side of the tower. It jumps down, and suddenly it's a lot bigger and actually threatening. It's a giant spider robot, and its official name is some combination of letters and numbers that we don't care about. A quick scan of the players guide informs me that it's weak against lightning. That would be a lot cooler if I didn't have an almost dead lightning GF. Damn it. I guess it's time to use some spells. After losing a fair amount of HP, the spider robot collapses. As soon as Squally, Zell, and Selphie start running up the path, however, the robot gets up and starts chasing them. This is fucking great.

There are all sorts of tricky spots where if you don't know what you're doing, you have to fight the mofo again. Luckily, I have a combination of traits that help me to avoid this for the most part. The traits being "memories of playing the game a million times" and "a players guide right in front of me". Saving the dog in the village square is my downfall, unfortunately, and according to the players guide, I will lose points from my test score. Don't worry, I saved him. I was just too slow. Of course, I also lose points for not fighting 75-100 battles during the field exam. Screw that.

After the second battle with the spider robot, the game takes over. Squally, Zell, and Selphie run through the alley. Squally is buttass slow. He's way behind the other two. I guess it's hard to run with such a massive gunblade (even though it's nowhere to be seen). Or else the game designers just wanted to set us up with a nice and suspenseful FMV. Sure enough, the game goes into FMV mode long enough to show us the spider robot stepping on a car and crushing it. Wow, I'm sure glad they bothered to render that for two seconds. Running, running, running, and some other SeeD candidates withdraw from a building in the alleyway. What the hell were they waiting for? Squally falls way behind again, and it's time for a second FMV.

NOOOOO!!!!
 

Squally runs like the wind (or tries to) as the spider robot busts through the entrance to the town. He dives onto the beach, face-first, and we're all on the edge of our seats, wondering if Squally is going to make it or not (just play along here). Run, run, run, chase, chase, chase, and just as the spider robot locks on Squally as its target, Squally does this Hollywood slo-mo "NOOOOOOO!!!!!" jump and barely grabs onto the boat. Zell and Selphie are already there, Zell making "Hurry up, dumbass!" type motions.

 
The End.
Well, that's what it looks like anyway.

Cut to Quistis manning this big-ass machine gun and shooting the hell out of the spider robot. You go girl! The robot collapses, and the boat leaves the shore. Squally pulls himself up, feeling really stupid, as the boat sails off into the sunset. Whew, that was close. Okay, no it wasn't, but that's how we're supposed to feel.

On second thought, maybe they should have ended it with that last image...
 

After that big dramatic scene, with its movie-esque score and direction, it would make a lot of sense to just fade back in on Balamb town after the exam. For some reason, however, the game designers decided to fade in on the boat when it's still right outside Dollet -- in regular gameplay mode. Bad move. Sure, gameplay mode is a lot nicer than in Final Fantasy VII, but let's not push it. The crappy-looking boat sails crappily back to Balamb town, ruining the entire scene.

Squally, Zell, and Selphie stand around the dock as Seifer exits the boat. Fujin and Raijin run up and ask him how the field exam went. "Man...All they did was get in my way. Being a leader ain't easy," Seifer brags. He conveniently left out the part where the others fought all the tough boss battles as he stood around eating popcorn. Seifer, Fujin, and Raijin walk away, and Squally turns his head so he can check out Seifer's ass.

Quistis joins them on the dock, saying, "Good job!" She wonders where Seifer is. Squally points offscreen. He always knows where Seifer is. Quistis does this exasperated gesture and tells everyone that they need to be back to Garden before sundown. Unfortunately, they'll have to walk, because Seifer took the Garden vehicle and left without them. He was likely pissed off because he didn't get a chance to get it on with Squally, what with Zell hanging around ruining the mood.

 
Dude, it's just your room, not Jesus Christ.

Squally, Zell, and Selphie explore Balamb town. Zell's mom lives in one of the houses, but Zell won't let anyone go up to his room. He's probably embarrassed about his porn stash. That's about the only interesting thing happening in the whole damn town, so I'm not going to recap anything else that's there. Deal with it.

At the front gate of Garden, Zell and Selphie have some inane dialogue, and Selphie looks like she's checking her boots for dog shit. They take their leave of Squally until whenever the test results are announced. Squally goes inside and finds Quistis, Xu, and Headmaster Cid expositioning each other about the mission. "The Galbadian Army has agreed to withdraw as long as the communication tower is repaired and the uplink remains operational," Cid informs all of us. Quistis says that the results of the exam will be announced soon. Plus, there's some other dialogue where Quistis tells Xu that Squally is her best student but he's not very social. In case we didn't get that earlier. She talks about Squally in the third person, even though he's right there. Poor Quistis. She so obviously wants him, but is only setting herself up for disappointment. Because he's gay.

Speaking of which, Seifer is standing off to the side. Squally goes over to talk to him, and some ominous music begins playing. If I were the music director, I probably would have put something a bit more romantic in this scene. Seifer says, "We would've been heroes if it weren't for that withdraw order." "Seifer, I'm not interested in your withdrawal," Squally replies seductively in my imagination. Quistis and Xu approach and begin telling Seifer what's what. "You were only looking for a fight," Quistis says, jealous of the fact that Squally totally wants him. Seifer is all, "I'm so cool and you're not", and Xu is all, "You'll never be a SeeD", and Squally stands by, not even bothering to defend his man. Jerk. Seifer hangs his head, possibly crying.

Heh heh... Okay, I'm still pathetic.
 

Headmaster Cid shows up at that point, shooing Quistis away, and tells Seifer that he will be disciplined. Squally's ears perk up, hearing "Seifer" and "discipline" in the same sentence. Cid also tells Seifer that he wants students to be able to think for themselves, even though orders must be followed exactly. Just as he's about to say something more, a creepy-ass Garden Faculty guy shows up and interrupts Cid, saying he has business to take care of in his office. I think Cid should tell the guy to shut the hell up. That flat yellow hat scares me.

As Squally heads back to the main lobby, a little chime sounds, and a disembodied voice announces that the students who took the field exam need to report to the [2nd floor hallway]. Wow, thank goodness they put that in brackets, or I might have gotten lost. The elevator is a whole ten feet away from Squally's current position. The voice even repeats the directions in case we all have brain damage. Oh, and the faculty members block off pretty much all other possible routes, so you'd have to be extra stupid to get lost. And that's coming from me, the person who can usually manage to get lost.

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