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"Standing below the banner is a tanned, muscular man in a tight white tank top. Helloooo, nurse. The banner has some golden writing on it which, for all I know, is Hylian for 'Skinny blond studs wanted, will do oral.'"
     -Sam, Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker Part 11

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Final Fantasy VIII : Part 10
By Jeanne
Posted 07.04.05
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4
And we're back to the beard crew! This constant change of action really makes this exciting, huh? This time, the game actually lets them through the hatch for some reason. That's very convenient for me. Although it would have been a lot more convenient if I could go through it earlier. But then the game would be several hours shorter. After traveling through more futuristic metal rooms that I won't bother to describe further, Squally, Rinhoa, and Zell reach the beautiful outdoors. Which in this case is a bridge over to another building.

No sooner does Zell have an all-caps jizz-a-thon over their supposed freedom than an alarm sounds and the disembodied intercom voice basically informs them that a boss battle will soon commence. Squally's heart sinks as he realizes that he's stuck with Rinhoa for the duration. He might as well fight alongside a soggy piece of moldy bread.

The boss(es) is nothing spectacular, which is a little bit disappointing after all the tedious, repetitive shit I just did. At least try to impress me, game designers. It's a clone of Biggs, creatively named "Elite Soldier" and two blue robots with metal wings and high heels. I'm not kidding. I don't see any gazongas, so they just must be crossdressers. Not in this game! The Elite Soldier powers up one of the robots, turning it a fabulous golden hue. This distracts Squally, making him weak. Speaking of weak, I totally forgot to junction Zell's abilities. The only excuse I have for this fudge-up is the fact that junctioning twenty thousand times in the space of an hour turns my brain to mush. And that's not even figuring in the detrimental effects of the monotonous prison trek. Oh, go ahead and laugh at how much I suck.

Squally is jealous.

A few minutes later, Zell and his Attack command are victorious. Squally thinks to himself that those "bosses" were about as hard as his dick when he's around Rinhoa. He's distracted from this sad contemplation by Irvine's voice through the intercom. He needs Squally to get him up. In the elevator arm, that is. Quistis is all, "Um, what if Squally's on his way to a male strip club even as we speak?" Wow, that was a great plan. Instead of heading up the extra two floors (7 to 13 instead of 7 to 3) to where they know the exit is, they thought it would be better to sit and wait inside the elevator arm for help that might not even be coming. Not that I wanted to do more running around the prison, but I'm just pointing out the dumbassery of this course of action.

But of course Squally is there to save the asses of the sexy cowboy and the two chicks who tagged along with him. In an astonishing moment of continuity, Zell takes over the arm control operation. Once he hits the button or switch or whatever, the trio figures they don't need to stick around to help their friends or anything -- they run out to the metal bridge. The camera dramatically swoops past them, stopping to show an endless vista of sand and brush as barren as my uterus. We also get a shot of the three prison towers, arranged in a triangle shape, with bridges connecting them. And then there's the coup de grace: the camera pulls waaaaaay back to show the full length of the three towers, which are giant, phallic drills. Squally gets a little bit turned on. If the game designers didn't suck so much sweaty ass, maybe Squally could've gotten drilled inside one of the drills, if you follow me.

D-District = boring. Better name for the prison?
Tri-Wang Prison
Anti-jizzin' Prison
Fanfiction Prison
Not So Much Pounding-Me-In-The-Ass Prison


Realizing that they are thirteen floors above solid ground, Zell's all, "Oh shit, we're fucked." If I have to go all the way back down the tower, I'm going to smash something. "No way...! When I came in earlier, it wasn't like this..." Rinhoa comments, trying to get herself out of trouble for pointlessly leading them up here. So the prison obviously can go in and out of the sand like a trio of giant corkscrew wangs, which would explain why the basement door opened underground. There must be some serious futuristic shock absorbers in the walls, since no one noticed the slightest hint of rumbling when the whole thing returned to the erect position. Squally, though intrigued by the concept of the phallic prison, decides that maybe the best course of action is to head to the penis across the bridge. Well, why not?

Sometime between the fade out and fade in, Zell and Rinhoa reach the second tower while Squally remains in the middle of the bridge. Obviously, the game designers didn't show us how this totally contrived and unrealistic situation came to be, but I can only assume that Squally randomly decided to stroll along at a snail's pace while the other two booked it across the bridge. We already know that Squally's slower than Selphie and Zell, but I refuse to believe that Rinhoa's stick legs can outrun him. The only reason the game designers arranged it this way was that it would be too anticlimactic just to have the group run across a bridge -- there has to be drama!

Case in point, the FMV bridge slats suddenly start to separate, causing Squally to run back to the previous tower to try to outrun the rapidly opening bridge. Then we get to see a close-up of the tower drill penetrating the ground, screwing it like the bitch it is. The tension mounts as Squally, now hanging by his hands from the side of the bridge, has to sidle his way over to Rinhoa and Zell before the prison fully buries itself. I think it's possible to die here (thus having to redo the boss battle and, more annoyingly, the ensuing cut scene), but since I am physically able to hold down the right directional key for thirty seconds, I don't have to find this out the hard way. I probably did at some point in the past, though, since I suck just that much.


This whole scene is completely pointless and silly, but I do have to admit that my twelve-year-old gay male self finds the background animation of the tower drilling into the desert pretty hilarious. Before the game designers have to animate Squally climbing back onto the walkway, the entire scene gets obscured by dust. Clever, guys.

We fade back in on the entire group of six standing at the top of a short ramp leading from the tower (now just a regular building) onto the ground. The soldiers apparently gave up when Squally defeated their high-heeled mascots and submerged the place so the group could escape easily. This would also explain why there are no monsters or guards in the immediate vicinity, for all that they were supposedly endless. After some completely pointless babbling, the group piles into the two vehicles conveniently located at the ramp. Selphie wants to take the yellow one, and Quistis and Rinhoa decide to follow her -- obviously a precursor to the lesbian trio fanboy fantasy of FFX-2. I'm not complaining -- for once, Rinhoa isn't trying to fellate Squally, and that can only be a good thing. Irvine tries to act all upset that he doesn't get to ride with the chicks, but you know that's not just a gun in his pocket -- he's very happy to see Squally.

That's what Irvine said.

Several moments of driving behind a black screen brings the group to yet another area of desert with some nifty saguaro cacti. One of them kind of looks like a hand with a middle finger, which might just be me projecting. The cars stop as everyone runs out. Selphie runs up on top of a random broken down truck, staring off into the distance. Squally's all "WTF?" "The sorceress is about to launch missiles at Garden!?" Quistis screeches. "That's what Rinhoa heard from Irvine!" Selphie replies. I guess Squally forgot to pass along that unimportant bit of information himself, still dwelling on the Seifer-related disappointment. Squally thinks that the best course of action is to return to Balamb Garden and order the students to duck and cover.

But Selphie isn't ready to get going just yet -- it turns out that Trabia Garden, her former school, is also on the sorceress's shit list. She has loftier goals than just giving a warning to her classmates -- she wants to stop the missile launch at the source. Squally takes a moment to draw some Aero magic from a nearby draw point, since they're not in a rush or anything, then confers with the freaked out Selphie. She begs Squally to choose who goes where before it's too late. But Squally is on his own schedule -- a schedule that involves a self-guilting monologue. "(It's easier said than done... What if something happens to the party members I choose...?)" he wanks. I can't really share his worries, since I don't think that would be a major loss. Seriously, would any of us mourn Rinhoa?

Speaking of that ditz, she puts the situation to a vote. For some reason, the others go along with this. Between them, they decide that Squally will return to Garden and choose all of the team members. Rinhoa includes herself in the pool of members...I wish I hadn't phrased it that way. But Squally thinks to himself that she's an annoying bitch who's just a wannabe Garden student. Or at least that's the basic gist of his thoughts.

While Squally wastes time internally whining about the others forcing him to be the leader, some missiles launch from the base off on the horizon. Irvine breaks the silence with, "I...heard they were hitting Trabia first, and then Balamb." Now that's tact. Ass. Thankfully, Selphie doesn't spend a whole lot of time wanksting. Probably because she's in denial that the things even hit. But whatever -- she's moving the plot along, and I can't argue with that, even if she is a headcase.

Everyone makes sure to rub it in that Squally is the leader and if he chooses wrong, he's responsible for fucking up the entire world as they know it. I think this annoying guilt trip serves to make him feel less bad about possibly sending people to their deaths, because he finally makes this crucial choice.

Which turns out to be a no-brainer. Selphie, Quistis, and Rinhoa are going to the missile base while Squally and the two buff males are going to return to Garden, where there are things like beds and showers. Aw yeah. I have one final chance to change my mind. Jesus, these characters are practically interchangeable in battle -- it's not like it's possible to screw myself over here. Stop trying to inject false drama into the situation, game designers. I may as well ask the sun to stop shining, or ask Tidus to stop being a wanker.

The six of them separate into teams, boys on one side, girls on the other. As it should be in this game. Squally wonders if Selphie has some brilliant plan. Obviously she doesn't, but she figures one of their stolen Galbadian trucks should at least get them in the place, since no one would bother to check for IDs or anything. Selphie blabs for a while, wasting yet more time, while Squally impatiently wonders why he even acted like he cared. Seriously, he could be away from all this estrogen by now, but nooooo.

Squally stands with his thumb up his ass while the girls climb into the vehicle. Selphie's all, "Hello, dipshit, might want to get moving." Cut to Squally's vehicle pulling up to a random train station in the middle of Bumfuck, Egypt. Which is also appropriate for this game.

As they approach the train's engine, a guy jumps out. Another guy, or possibly the same guy, starts chasing the train on foot after the Not-So-Ambiguously Gay Trio climbs in and starts pulling it out of the station. "Hey Squally. Your buddy's coming after us," Irvine points out. It's a Galbadian soldier, so Irvine's probably just assuming that Squally's screwed his way through the army. It's a logical conclusion. Cue a "hilarious" sequence where the soldier continues to chase the train until he falls on his face. We need humor in these dark times. Or something.


Back on the overworld map, I have control of the girls' vehicle. More importantly, in the foreground is the prison, once again aboveground and looking more penisy than ever. It's pretty much anatomically correct. I think that's a good place to end this, because we're going to have a high estrogen quotient in the next installment. Will the ladies make it in time to save Garden, or will they all die horribly? Pretend this answer isn't blindingly obvious. See you next time!

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