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  -Part 1 :: [02.13.02]
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  -Part 3 :: [04.08.02]
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  -Part 5 :: [08.17.03]
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  -Part 7 :: [12.11.04]
  -Part 8 :: [12.11.04]
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  -Part 10 :: [07.04.05]
  -Part 11 :: [01.28.09]

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"Whilst trying to descend a staircase, I'm confronted by yet another dead McNeil, Galtel. He is - wait for it - a RED palette swap of the other ghosts! And to cap it off, he's just as easy to beat as his other family members. Words cannot describe how enthralling this game is at the mo-ZZZZZZZZZZZZ."
     -Ben, Breath of Fire III Part 2

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Final Fantasy VIII : Part 3
By Jeanne
Posted 04.08.02
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
A bunch of students are waiting in the [2nd floor hallway]. Fujin and Raijin are there as well, but Seifer is nowhere to be found. Everyone is nervous, except for Fujin and Raijin who didn't take the test. They just say some vaguely threatening stuff to Squally about how it'll all be his fault if Seifer doesn't become a SeeD. Well, I'm sure Seifer was pretty distracted by Squally during the exam, but all the stupid shit he did was his own damn fault.

I'm surprised no one beat him up for running like that.
The lame thing about this part is that I have to sit on my ass and wait. There's some internal timer or something in the game. Nothing in particular triggers the next scene. It's boring. Finally, a Garden faculty person shows up and calls Zell and Squally into Headmaster Cid's office. Zell prances offscreen in a very fruity fashion. The Garden faculty member dismisses everyone else. This would make you think that Zell and Squally were the only ones that made it, but as we find out in the next scene, Selphie and some random guy also became SeeDs. Yet they weren't in the [2nd floor hallway]. Whoops, game designers. A military-sounding remix of Liberi Fatali (the opening FMV music) plays in the background as Cid spouts some dialogue that is very close to being badly translated. He says that they'll be sent on missions around the world. "We are proud to introduce SeeD, Balamb Garden's mercenary soldiers. SeeD soldiers are combat specialists. BUT...That is only one aspect of SeeD. When the time comes..." Just as Cid is about to say something about SeeDs doubling as underage prostitutes, a nearby Garden faculty guy interrupts him again. Every time Cid's about to tell us something important, one of those bastards cuts him off. Square is pulling one of their "we'll reveal the big shocking truth later, but for now we won't tell you anything because we want you to be so intrigued that you'll keep playing" deals. Geez, it's annoying.

Cid likes the guys who know how to handle their gunblades.

The Garden faculty dude basically tells the new SeeDs not to make asses of themselves while on missions, and then Cid gives them their "SeeD rank reports". He whispers something to each of them, but, surprisingly, he doesn't say anything like "Meet me in my chambers after dark". That would have been more interesting. Disturbing, yes, but also interesting. I guess that scene was the "SeeD inauguration". Wow, what an exceedingly dull ceremony. At least it was short, unlike SOME graduations I could name. Zell runs back out in the same fruity manner as before. Squally stays behind to get a battle meter from Headmaster Cid. He also talks to the Garden faculty member, who tells him to ignore any GF criticism he may hear from other Gardens. Oh, now that's reassuring. They probably cause cancer.

Pervy old man.

Outside Cid's office, Zell, Selphie, and the other nameless dude are hanging around. Selphie is skipping around like she's eight years old, because she's the perky one. Zell is still running about gaily. The other random dude is Sekhmetting in the corner, announcing his plans to take over Garden someday, unaware that Squally can hear every word. Whoops. Zell informs Squally that the new SeeD members have to give a speech in front of their class and then go to a party. Wow, that would suck. Both the speech and the school party.

If you're that excited about joining SeeD, maybe you need to take a cold shower.

As the four new SeeD members return to the [2nd floor hallway] and the group of losers, they find Seifer there. Seifer approaches the new SeeDs and Zell gets ready for a fight. He's lucky that Seifer didn't see him prancing about earlier. Sure, Seifer's gay, but I'm sure he would still make fun of Zell for being fruity. Seifer starts clapping, because even though he didn't make it into SeeD, he's damn proud of his little man toy. Everyone joins in clapping, and Squally looks like he wants to rip Seifer's clothes off right then and there.

The camera fades out and then I get to see my depressingly crappy SeeD score. Wow, a SeeD rank of 7. It could have been higher if I had wasted my time for an hour fighting random battles. I consider that I am better off for not having done so, SeeD rank be damned. Squally will now start earning a salary that is dependent on his SeeD rank. Aw, crap. Minimum wage.

Squally returns to his dorm room to find Selphie -- in her new SeeD uniform -- waiting there. Selphie is a stalker. They don't seem to have locks on the doors. That would seriously suck. I guess they don't have the same problems with theft as they do in real life dorm rooms. Selphie shows off her SeeD uniform to Squally and he looks about as interested as he would if she were wearing baggy flannels. He's gay, Selphie, he doesn't want you. Although you'd think he'd at least offer some fashion advice. Selphie tells him to get changed. Oh, Jeebus cripes, there's no door on his bedroom! Why does Selphie have all the luck! Squally goes and changes into his SeeD uniform with as much concern as if he were changing in front of the family pet. Damn it, those bastards blacked out the screen again (although we get to hear the obligatory RPG costume change sounds so all is not lost....or something). Squally looks hot in his uniform and I drool until I realize that it is so very wrong.

Did she just tell him to hit a potty?

Selphie is all over Squally, who hasn't yet spoken a word to her in this entire scene. She apparently is too ditsy to take the hint. This is the first of many such events in this recap.

The way he's holding his glass? Gay.

The next scene takes place at the party. Squally stands against the wall, looking depressed because Seifer is nowhere nearby. Orchestral music plays in the background. Wow, at my high school all they had was a shitty DJ. Lucky Garden bastards. A waitress walks by with a tray of drinks, and Squally takes one. All they had at my high school was a shitty pop machine. Squally holds his glass in a gay manner because he's gay.

The way Zell's standing? Gay.

Zell walks up and tries to shake Squally's hand again. If you'll recall, Squally is an antisocial jerk who doesn't shake hands. Nothing has changed. Zell is disappointed because deep down, he wants to hold hands with Squally. Good thing Seifer isn't nearby.

Just as Zell runs off, Selphie approaches Squally and asks him to join the Garden Festival Committee. Even though I've tried to make Squally as much of an asshole as possible, I make him join the committee anyway. It's funnier that way. Selphie jumps up and down excitedly. Selphie fanboys everywhere become excited, too.

Selphie walks off and the game goes into FMV mode. Squally looks up to see a shooting star that makes a high-pitched sound. He can see it because, unlike my high school cafeteria where they held school dances, there is a glass dome in the ceiling. Squally notices a young dark-haired woman in a white dress who also saw the star. It's a moment of denial, a moment where Squally reads the script and says "Oh shit...." Yup, we've just met our leading lady. She points up at the sky and smiles. Squally contemplates suicide. The young woman doesn't take the hint, and instead walks over to him. Whoever did the animation here made sure to keep her boobs squarely in the center of the screen, even though the top of her head gets cut off.

A sharp wind could break those legs in half.

In regular gameplay mode, the girl's legs become as thin as toothpicks. "You're the best looking guy here," she says in the game designers' fantasies, and thus, in the game. Squally is not the least bit interested. He thinks that Seifer would be the hottest guy there. I think Squally is hotter, personally, but of course Squally wouldn't think so. Toothpick Legs asks Squally to dance, but he turns her down. Instead of taking the hint like most normal (read: non-stalker) women would, she gets all up in his face, twirling her finger around and saying "You're-going-to-like-me, you're-going-to-like-me". Christ in a cornfield, she's dumb. Squally turns her down again, but Toothpick Legs shows her true psycho nature by grabbing his hand and dragging him out onto the dance floor.

Or you could just wait somewhere other than the middle of the dance floor...

Luckily for Squally, he has a Magical Disappearing Drinkô. It's in his hand one second -- but as soon as the game changes to FMV mode, it's magically gone! Now we have our Important Moment of the game, the infamous ballroom scene. On one hand, it's very cute and I love the music. On the other hand, I feel so horrifically embarrassed for Squally that I just want to take him home with me and....I should just stop this right here, shouldn't I?

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