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"We start out with Adelbert wandering around what I think is the Business District of Lindblum bitching about how big everything is and how he's lost. He stops a female Red Mage who wastes no time in dissing Adelbert and turning him down for a date he never asked her out on. This tells me that Ms. Red Mage may have been wearing the Huge Ego+25 hat."
     -Kelly, Final Fantasy IX Part 5

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Final Fantasy VIII : Part 5
By Jeanne
Posted 08.17.03
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
Last time, Squally and the others received their first SeeD assignment. On the way to their destination, they had a fucked up dream with Deep Meaning that has no bearing on the current plot whatsoever. Also, we were officially introduced to Rinhoa, unfortunately.

Now that the trio has pulled off Rinhoa's zany presidential kidnapping plan, they are ready to confront the dickheaded prick President Deling in his train car. With all the warnings about being ready and the handy save point nearby, it almost seems like a boss battle is imminent. But no, that couldn't be.

Rinhoa stupidly leads the way into President Deling's car. "As long as you...don't resist, you won't get hurt..." she tells him convincingly. PD is about as scared as I am. He asks what she would do if he did resist. Rinhoa backs up, clearly not expecting him to not feel threatened by her. He brags that he isn't the REAL president, and then disses the Timberian resistance groups. "You pass along a little false information and they fall for it...How pathetic...Seems like there are only amateurs around here." You know, this guy isn't half bad. Anyone who rips on Rinhoa is okay in my book. "Ama...teurs...!?" Rinhoa stammers Shionically.

d00d, lIkE sQuAlL iS tOtAlLy NoT gAy!!!!!!!!!!11!!!

The Not!President Deling begins turning all creepy, accompanied by Crap! This Guy is the Next Boss music. He starts hunching over and talking with random capitals, like a teenybopper message board patron. Actually, I really am starting to get creeped out now. He lurches over to Rinhoa, who cowers like a fucking pussy. Gosh, I really hope I get her in my party soon.

The boss attacks. At first, he looks just like your average middle-aged president type guy. Well, except for when he randomly starts munching on people's heads. And the hunched-over posture and squishing sounds don't help much, either. Unsurprisingly, Rinhoa is nowhere to be found in this battle. Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

Partway through the battle, Creepy President Dude morphs into a big ugly zombie thing named Gerogero. Half of its body looks like a regular, everyday zombie, while the other half is grotesquely oversized. And it wears its internal organs on the outside. An interesting fact to note is that the disgusting veins and insides in the American version are colored blue, when in the Japanese version, they're red. I guess the censors thought the red coloring was just too gross or something. Yet they still let characters like Rinhoa into the game. Thanks, guys.

Why make Gerogero blue?
Because there's waaay too much red in the room already -- it needs an accent color.
Red innards are icky! Won't someone please think of the children?


Gerogero's hobbies include puking on my characters and giving them bad status ailments. However, the dumbass has Esuna available for the characters to draw. That wasn't such a smart move on Gerogero's part, was it? Maybe the Galbadian government should hire a more intelligent zombie for their next secret mission.


The strategy guide informs me that I can simply use a phoenix down to kill the boss. Great! Except for the fact that I didn't assign the item ability to anyone. The conclusion that anti-FF8 fanboys would draw (heh) from this is that FF8 is TEH SUX0RZ because you have to assign abilities. I'm willing to put the blame where it belongs, however: on my sorry ass.

After the crazy zombie finally dies and we are unfortunately subjected to a Selphie panty shot, the scene changes to the strategery room. Pregnant Guy and Rinhoa can't believe they were fooled so easily, but the rest of us aren't shocked. Marty runs in, wearing his Exposition Life Preserver. He's found out the true meaning for President Deling's arrival. PD is going to visit the [TV Station] in Timber. Selphie connects this to the communication tower incident, because anything that phallic must have Great Importance. PG is all, "What the...?" so Squally fills in as Expositioner. "Dollet has a communication tower that can transmit and receive radio waves," he informs me, the ignorant player. He explains what we already know about the Galbadian army reactivating the tower. We find out from PG that "The only TV station that can handle broadcasts over the air is in Timber." Apparently the entire world has gone to online broadcasts via cable. PD wants to broadcast via radio waves so he can reach regions without cable. There seems to be some logic missing there, as in why would people not have cable if they didn't broadcast via radio waves for the last umpteen years? I'm sure some fanboy will explain this to me in great detail, so I won't worry about it for now. The only thing we really learn from this scene is that President Deling has something important to say, and he wants to make damn sure everyone hears it.

I have seen Gerogero's ass. I might as well commit suicide now.

The group speculates as to what this important message could be. "Everybody! Love! And Peace!" Selphie contributes, sounding like she just took a hit off Wakka's blitzbong. This is supposed to be Really Funny, and everyone shakes their heads in unison at her bizarre behavior. Well, except for Squally, because he's lost in thought about loving a piece of Seifer. PG mentions that radio waves have been out of use for -- you'll never guess -- 17 years. "Wouldn't it be wonderful if the first broadcast could be the declaration of Timber's independence!?" Rinhoa gushes stupidly. Yes, I'm sure that's it -- evil dictators often randomly give up bits of their land. Rinhoa is dumb. Of course, this doesn't stop her friends from agreeing with her. God, how I wish someone would blow up the train.

Rinhoa excitedly calls for a planning session. In this completely inept resistance group, a "planning session" is equivalent to "squatting down on the floor and making up a retarded plan". Rinhoa's completely serious about it, though, asking the SeeDs to excuse them for a moment. Squally talks to his comrades, who just want to get the hell out of there and go home. Selphie suggests that Squally check Rinhoa's contract with Garden. Squally approaches Rinhoa reluctantly and asks for a copy of the contract. Rinhoa, giddy about coming up with another idiotic plan, obliges, pulling the paper out of her biker shorts.

Selphie and Zell crowd around Squally as he reads the contract. It's typical legalese bullshit, and Squally is confused. Rinhoa admits that she was confused by all those big words, too, so she asked Cid for a copy that she could understand. I'm guessing that the second contract she hands Squally is written in crayon on elementary school handwriting paper. The scene goes black and the text of the contract appears with Headmaster Cid walking spastically around in the background, to give us that extra Cid experience. Basically, the contract says that the three SeeDs are to help Rinhoa and her sorry group until Timber regains its independence. "Please make good use of each SeeD member," he urges. I think this is where the misinterpretation on Rinhoa's part happens.

Upon reading the contract, Squally doesn't say, "FUCK!!!!" but you know he's thinking it. How long is he to be away from his Seifer? The others are similarly pissed off. Rinhoa is all, "Hey, you're paid professionals. No complaining!" Yes, but they don't get paid enough to deal with the likes of her. When the subject of party formation comes up, Marty and PG once again bow out, making their usual excuses. See, it's supposed to be funny because they're incompetent and stuff! I get to choose three party members, and I'm all set to leave Rinhoa out. Unfortunately, the sly little game designers have thwarted me once again. I try three times to take her out of my party before finally facing the fact that I'm stuck with her. Why the fuck don't the game designers just decide my entire party while they're at it?

Yeah, you just stay there in your happy little place.

I take Zell along, because I figure poor Squally needs some male company. Before leaving the train, Squally talks to Marty, who offers some non-help. He says that the [TV Station] isn't too far by local train, but the trains aren't running. And Marty doesn't know where the [TV Station] is when traveling by foot. Great, that means more exploring for me.

The scene switches to a group of Galbadian soldiers. They're discussing a certain individual who was dressed like a cadet and asked them a lot of questions about President Deling. One of the soldiers mentions that the "cadet" also addressed everyone as "sir". We're supposed to feel all clever and stuff by figuring out that it's Marty. Another soldier somehow knows that Marty is "taking care of" three Balambian teenagers. He runs off to question every teenager in town, against his superior's wishes. A third soldier is outraged that anyone would try to kidnap the president, and he and the first soldier run off to kick some resistance group ass. The red-clad officer remains behind, ineffectually telling them not to be so damn hasty. See, it's funny because Galbadian soldiers are all dumb. I guess that explains why they missed the completely conspicuous resistance group train car towing the false president's train car. Oops.

Next we see the Forest Owls' train car pull into the station. This makes the previous scene even more nonsensical. If they knew that there had been a kidnapping attempt and stopped running the trains, wouldn't they be waiting for the conspirators to return? Yet no one seems to even notice the only operational train or the suspicious teenagers who disembark from it.

Marty spontaneously remembers the location of the [TV Station]. How convenient. It's located behind the [Timber Maniacs] building. Since I don't know where that building is, his advice is pretty much useless. After Marty imparts this information to the SeeDs and their useless tagalong, Pregnant Guy shrieks at him to get his ass back on the train because the soldiers are coming. I am confused for a moment, because there is no one else on the screen; hence my earlier statements regarding the lack of Galbadian action. But then I realize that the game designers were just lazy. There are Galbadian soldiers patrolling the area -- they're just invisible until Squally and company run across them later in random battles.

Marty shoots off at the mouth for so long that PG leaves without him. There's still no Galbadian attack, however. In yet another random and completely out-of-place comic relief sequence, Marty runs off after the moving train. Oh, those crazy Forest Owls! The soldiers catch up to him and strike him down. At least, that's what would happen if this scene made sense.

Squally heads to the pet shop to buy some magazines for Rinhoa. After all, if she doesn't teach her dog tricks, she's pretty much useless and should just die. Wait, that's true no matter what.

I may not have mentioned this earlier, but in Final Fantasy VIII, all three of the characters in the active party are visible in normal gameplay mode. That means that instead of being able to pretend that Rinhoa is somewhere else, preferably six feet under, I have to see her biker shorts-clad ass at all times. That sound you hear is me crying.

The group reaches a part of the street that overlooks the train tracks. Rinhoa pointlessly mentions that the trains aren't running right now. "Usually, the local trains would be running here. A lot of hustle and bustle..." she vapidly explains. And that's it for that cut scene. I think some of my brain cells just died in protest. As soon as Squally starts to leave the area, a group of invisible soldiers attacks. They must have been annoyed by Rinhoa as well.

It should be noted that the game designers pulled Rinhoa's weapon out of their asses. Basically, it's like a round boomerang (just stick with me here) that launches off her wrist band when she presses a button. Instead of missing the target completely and whizzing off into the distance, or bouncing off of the enemy and falling to the ground, it hits the target for some damage and then returns to Rinhoa . Oh, just give her a fucking staff already.

Tell a random stranger about it, I suppose.

Squally and company head past the Timber Junk Shop and into the hotel. A young woman stands in front of a model train set. Squally talks to her, and she gushes about how cool the set is. She asks Squally if he agrees, and I have the chance to once again insult Rinhoa's stupid train model. Of course I take this chance in a heartbeat. Rinhoa squats down on the ground, all, "You're so MEEEEEEEAN!!!!11!1!" and Squally says he's just kidding. God damn it. Luckily, the train set girl notes that people who say they're kidding are usually full of shit. I realize at this moment that it is my sworn duty to make Squally be as mean to Rinhoa as possible. No, it won't change the lame outcome of the game, but at least it will make Rinhoa seem even more pathetic when she continues to throw herself at him.

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