FFVIII gaming ramble

Saturday, 14 April 2007 09:21 pm
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
I was working on a story for [livejournal.com profile] chaosraven recently and I got to thinking about one particular group of characters. I really wanted to write them well and I was like, "well, I could just turn the game on and choose from one of my 34 save files!". So I went to turn it on and do so and I was foolish and weak and simply started a new game, as if I'm not 20 hours into Okami as it is as well as Final Fantasy III. Clearly my heart is not wise, but I figured it had been over a year, so...

I really love Final Fantasy VIII. I like other Final Fantasy games, too, but this one is just really dear to my heart. Which is weird, because I've always heard said the first Final Fantasy game someone plays is the one they have the most sentimental attachment to, but I didn't get that with Final Fantasy VII at all. Maybe it was the damn Chocobo breeding that killed my love for that game, I don't know.

I just remember the first few hours of VIII and how it was so intuitive to me, whereas the materia system in VII had confused me a lot (although on my second play through I came to appreciate it a lot more because of whole birthing new materia thing). That's pretty weird since people I talk to about it think the Junction system is harder or silly, but I like the concept a lot for the realism. It reminds me of FFXII in a way, where draw magic = monsters dropping only loot, not money. I guess the concept just appeals to me because of the characters and how no one is really superhuman, they just have the resources to be. The magic is there but it has to be channeled and it's limited, it's not, say, contained in a little ball of crystallized planet juice. Which isn't to say I don't like crystallized planet juice. XD

I'm not really sure why it was so easy for me to catch on, since before FFVIII my gaming had been mostly of the side-scrolling, plumber variety, but I play around with the system and dork out over what you can do with it and remember how much I love it all over again. ♥ I don't think that makes much sense but the Junction system is still my favorite battle system pretty much ever, unless we want to count Okami and I think Okami sort of stands on its own unique style. XD

The opening has always been gorgeous and will remain gorgeous even when Playstation 6 has come out and we're viewing games in 3D or via brain chip. It's the combination of the music and the scenes and how they're spliced together—it's just so effective in creating an awesome mood. I think it is my favorite movie scene from any game. It might be tied with the ending of FFX, but that's a big might.

gameplay bits:

- The reason I love the Junction system so hard might be because of what I can do with it within the first few hours of the game, although it's not really something that can just be known, I think I found it accidentally right before leaving for the Timber mission way back when. I had spent a lot of time using the neat refine abilities Quezacotl and Shiva had learned to create magic (anything that saves Draw time!), and then I saw Mid-Mag RF, and I was like, "oh my god, what?" So pretty much not even five hours into the game I have mid-level magic boosting my stats, and then I'm the low level stuff for offense. ♥ I went in to get Ifrit and sort of just laugh because Blizzara spells are insanely effective and make it so much easier for me to whittle down his HP and wait for the tail-end of battle to off him so my SeeD rank will benefit.

- I have a love/hate relationship with Boost. I'm glad it's there since the animations can't be skipped, so it at least feels like I'm doing something but akshdlhsaljshfa god do I ever hate it when I've boosted Shiva to like 140 (which is amazing for me) only to slightly touch the button when the red X is flashing and send it back to 75. OH MY GOD SO MUCH RAGE. And the X is just random or something, it never appears at the same time for me, just whenever it wants!

- Drawing magic is possibly the most mindless thing ever, which is why I have a rubber band and a quarter! I LOVE THIS TRICK. I seriously get sleepy and doing this make drawing go by super fast until I can get a junction open for all my characters and drive their magic stat up so they draw 9 of a spell every time. That's saved me from so many unwanted naps close to the beginning at the mind numbing repetition. Not even level grinding is that bad. GAMEPLAY WISE = NOT SUCH A GREAT IDEA? REALISM SCORE = A+? This is always worse for me early in the game. I'm wandering around East Academy now and it doesn't even faze me. Nothing sucks worse than drawing two spells for each round. Nine is so much better.

- LOVE FOR THE FASTITOCALON'S ON THE BEACH. 6AP per battle right off the bat = so, so many GF abilities learned. ♥ ♥ ♥ I pretty much have four GFs that are powerhouses right now and it's fabulous

- I had never done it so early in the game before, but unlocking and learning Str Bonus and equipping it on Zell before leaving for Timber...I've never had it on him before somewhere on disc two before, because I never really spend enough time at the beginning of the game to get the AP for the two abilities to unlock it. This time I did and um. I'm pretty sure this is going to equal Zell being my tank. ♥

- God, I forgot what a bitch Diablos was early in the game. I abuse Abilityx3, Mug and Enc-None, though, so I always want to get him as early as possible but geez. Also, apparently I suck at Squall's Limit Break now and excel at Selphie's and Zell's. A few months ago I couldn't do either of those without freaking out. I made it out with Diablos, but Zell died horribly under the stress of repeated physical attacks. Yeah, who was the genius was didn't learn HP-J before going to fight Diablos? Right.

- Right, the big machine thing that chases you out of Dollet? I hate it so much, I can never, ever avoid the damn thing so I fight it like every single instance. At least I remembered to save the dog. ._.

SeeD exam:

- Biggs and Wedge are great. Well, mostly Biggs. Squall and Biggs are amusing to me:

Squall: What do you think you're doing?
Biggs: Likewise, MISTER! What do you think you're doing?!

And then he uses the word "twerps" and I grin madly. It's like he's caught in a timewarp of dorky words and phrases used by haggard parents or schoolyard bullies. And then how he turns around and looks for Wedge and the timing of his "getaway". Then when Wedge shows up from doing his job Biggs is like "YOU GET NO MONIES!" I just—

- Xu is kind of a bitch! But Seifer is not Mr. Sunshine and Good Feelings, either. Following orders—this is why I think Seifer would make a good leader. He doesn't follow and he's not good at orders, because he's more proactive. I guess—if the Galadbia army hadn't been after the Communication Tower, Seifer would have passed his exam most likely. Did it make more sense for him to follow, leading his team members into an uncertain situation just because it was better than standing around and it looked like something they could prevent?

I find this very telling, because Cid says he'll be punished, but then says that he doesn't want them to stop thinking for themselves. Maybe...he didn't disagree with what Seifer did, taking action against something unexpected, but more disagreed with the action Seifer decided on. This kind of gets driven home for me when the Garden Faculty member totally interrupts Cid. I somehow wonder if Seifer's punishment was more for breaking the contract that Garden had with Dollet more than anything else—SeeD was to secure the city so the Dollet troops could retake it. Seifer took his team out of the boundaries and outside the contract. These kids are still hired and any work they do belongs to Garden. Like Cid says: a lot of issues.

- More proof that Fujin might be a biased minion: blaming Squall for Seifer's failure. Ah, minions.

- Zell when he gets accepted into SeeD = GREATEST REACTION EVER. God, I flail wildly every single time. ♥

- Reason #1 why Garden Faculty creeps me out: IGNORE ALL GF CRITICISM YOU HEAR FROM ANYONE ELSE. I like that they point out the military criticizes GF—when they clearly use it. Unless they were casting Fire at me using some other way to harness magic.

- Nida's dream of being the ruler of Balamb Garden! ♥ It's always the quiet ones. I also like how Seifer starts clapping first. Didn't make it, but not above congratulating those who did. This is why I love him. ♥

SeeD graduation:

- Everyone flails away from the Garden Festival committee. This is totally where my headcanon concerning how bad it's been under Donner comes from. XD

- God, Rinoa is so dorky. I mean, fake hypnotism and all. She is fabulous. ♥ Then she's like, "okay, whatever, subtle doesn't work, let's just force him!" And of course she's used to getting her way. XD Then she makes faces at the other dancers, too. Ha ha, I fangirl her so hard. ♥

- The scene with Quistis and Squall is just so sad to me. Like, her words are just painful and you can feel how frustrating it is to be dealing with someone whose attention you want, but they refuse to give you. First snide comment about Rinoa: check! She's just so awkward and knowing why she's laughing as she tells Squall to meet her makes the whole conversation click into place. D: God, the moment where Quistis just stands there and watches as Squall walks away from her. Ow. >>

- I love how some of the characterization is just..subtle. Like when Seifer calls Quistis mediocre, and Quistis jerks back, or Xu's brush off of Seifer's words render him speechless. Squall says "...", not Seifer. I sometimes wonder if it wasn't this moment that drove home to Seifer he was in the wrong place? Because later when he runs off, risking all sorts of consequences...maybe he had realized there was no future for him with SeeD?


- Zell bouncing on the train seats. ♥ I love how he's basically this well of information. Exposition Boy, I think [livejournal.com profile] chaosraven called him once. It made me laugh then but it's so true he just spits out all this information at you! I knew I didn't get that "Zell is smart" concept from thin air. I mean, even if it can be argued he's there to do the game's work on filling you in. STILL. Why not Selphie, if that's the case? kajsfhslkd Zell is smart. *sparkles* And when Squall is all sarcastic and calls Zell a Know-It-All and Zell totally misses the sarcasm AJKSHDLAKSHDAL ZELL I LOVE YOU. ♥ ♥

- And man, I always forget about the Laguna bits and how really freaking confused I was the first time I played the game. I mean, I had forgotten about the time on the train to Timber (it's been such a long time since I've played through to the Timber mission, gah!) that it came and I was like "♥!" because Laguna. Oh, man. Laguna. And Squall, Zell and Selphie in the background, absolutely confused (and then Selphie being like, "Laguna's pretty cute!" ahaha, that is awesome). I mean, the screen that popped up with the question marks, over and over. I mean, that's really effective story-telling, I thought.

- I love that Laguna is actually deserting in that scene. Ah, Laguna and your fear of commitment and love of shiny new things. ♥

totally in relation to how I can't play anything without perverting it, if Squall is Laguna, Zell is Ward, and Selphie is Kiros, and as it's obvious that the group is somehow aware of them being there (maybe not consciously), does that mean Kiros might be feeling very questionable feelings towards Laguna when Selphie decides that Laguna is cute? JESUS. BRAIN. PLEASE SHUT UP.

- When Laguna's leg cramps up, you can see Ward in the background laughing! HA. Then when Julia comes to speak to Laguna and she's like, "everyone's listening!" and it moves out so you can see EVERYONE IN THE ROOM huddled around them. It just gives it the feeling that this has been going on for ages and people are so ready to see them get together.

- The little exchange had me grinning, because just the thought of it being Squall who said it: "He talks to himself too much." IF THAT'S YOU SQUALL, I LOVE YOU. Way to call the kettle black, sweetheart. ♥ (If it's Zell, it's even funnier) I just love how awkward Laguna is, like when he sits on the bed, and there's a pause and then he gets up and walks noticeably to a chair. XD

- I dreamt I was a moron. ♥ ♥ ♥


- I just—there is simply no possible way for me to not love when Rinoa jumps off the bed and glomps Squall. It's the timing and how it goes from slow to FAST and she's spinning Squall around and doesn't care at all that he's like, "EW, COOTIES." And it's—if Seifer is the one who introduced Rinoa to Cid at Garden...Rinoa asks if he's with the SeeD team and then seems disappointed when Squall says no. I wonder if that means that Seifer didn't tell her he failed, or lied to her outright...

- I don't know, but Rinoa is so spoiled and it's so obvious. They can't afford SeeD because her room is pimped out! XD It's like, rich girl comes in and everyone foots to her and when she's not around they're like, "oh, you had to wake her up! I'm surprised you came out NOT BLEEDING!" Jesus, I wheezed. XD

- Selphie is amazing. "Blow it to smithereens!" she says, while Zone and Watts freak out. The difference between amateurs and trained killers, have to love it. ♥

- No, really; if the military is critical of GF use, why are they using magic?

- This exchange in Timber had me rolling:

NPC: I can't wait to find a guy I can scream at and hit!
Zell: That sounds really, really weird.


- I love all the small details I'm finding this time around, like the poor abused Galbadia solider that just wanted to ask his girl to marry him and Zone and Watts' back story. Either I didn't pay attention my last few times through or I forgot it, because man. :( I hate Deling with FIRE now.

television station and fallout:

- So...Seifer knew what Rinoa was planning to do, clearly, and rushed to, what, help? It kind of makes me wonder about his knowledge of all her business as compared to her knowledge of his (re: him not being SeeD). So basically Seifer breaks out, injures some people, attacks (possibly kills?) several Galbadia soldiers and then takes Vinzer Deling hostage. That sounds like burning bridges to me. >>

- And again with the characterization without any text at all. When Seifer tells Zell off, and he just starts shaking. Then he screams at Seifer (stupid idiot is so redundant XD). Although...funny. He's okay with sacrificing himself for some sort of cause, but gets angry when Zell accidentally sacrifices the entire Garden. Not made for it, but not dismissive of it, either...

- And oh, the thing I can never decide on—whether Ultimecia (as Edea) decided to play some mind games with Seifer to get him to come with her. It's such a quick scene, and it's so weird—Seifer demands she stay back, but then immediately follows her after she flashes some light and calls him a boy? I remain unconvinced Seifer is acting on completely his own volition. >> Then the others didn't see him walk out with her? What did she do to them?

- Then when they all get together in the house and talk, and Zell is all facing the wall, crouched down and he does the "...." thing I just want to HUG him because it's just—it's just logical; he screwed up in a huge way and he knows it and he can't do anything to fix and I love how they get that across with his silence, his stillness, when usually he's anything but. And it just keeps happening, like on the train to East Academy where his shoulders just droop asddfasd;. It's so heartbreaking.

- ...I'm the only one who wonders how Quistis might thank Zone for his generosity in giving her his ticket, aren't I? PLEASE DON'T GO THERE, BRAIN. PLEASE. >>


Date: Sunday, 15 April 2007 08:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lombax.livejournal.com
- LOL YES RINOA IS A DORK DX I love how she overlooks the fact that Squall did NOT want to dance but did it anyway to make her hopefully go away(lol ballroom dancing as a course WHAT). And the whole "YOU ARE GOING TO LIKE ME YOU ARE GOING TO LIKE ME" thing I think just gave him the impression of her that made him act all "... dfsdfsdf" towards her for the majority of the game.

- I kinda have to side with Squall on the whole discussion with Quistis; She might like him (or as she put it later, misplaced sisterly love or wtf ever), but she clearly didn't seem to understand that Squall was NOT the kind of person you talk to about those things; She saw how he spoke to people and thought (she finished his sentences, even if they were pretty predictable), so what made her think that bitching to him about her problems was going to make him any more willing to talk to her? He already wasn't keen on talking to her BEFORE that :x

- YES. YES YES YES YES. ZELL IS SMART. ♥♥♥♥ TYVM I LOVE YOU. Sometimes I say that Zell's a retardo or whatever, but he's not really :| He's just sort of inept at socializing 8D Not in the way Squall is, but takes words at face value and not for the context in which they're meant to mean :x Which leads me to believe that this is the reason he would keep pestering Seifer later on even if Seifer blows him off a million times over.
- Between you and me, I like that little Selphie-Kiros/Squall-Laguna idea you have there >:D ♥ Sounds pretty convincing to me, and when I go back to play (after I finish Suikoden III omg DX) I'll look around for any other evidence of this during the Laguna scenes :D

- I love fidgety!Laguna ;3; no further comments.

- In that scene where Rinoa asks if Seifer is with them, I think (if he did introduce her to Cid as a son would introduce his girlfriend to his Pops ololololol and manage to get her the contract) it was part of a plan for him to stick with her; even though they aren't together in the duration of the game that you play, I don't really remember any clear scene where they officially broke up 8O Bleh. It's all fuzzy to me. DX

- Maybe the military is already under the sorceress' power when you first see them using magic :x After all, when you first see them, they're going to the Dollet Communication Tower so they can make the announcement of Edea being the official blabbity-bloo-whatever-it-was to the president, which to me can only mean that the decision had already been made, and could give leeway to the Sorceress already having control over the army itself :x I don't doubt that a sorceress as powerful as Ultimecia could not only channel herself into the past and control one person, but also control an entire army and a rebellious brat of a knight with ease.

- I think Ultimecia was playing mind games with him in that little scene; also, I don't doubt that he probably rose to the challenge of her calling him a boy, combining it with a bit of mind control and pent-up anger and that whole part where "FUCK I JUST FAILED THE EXAM AGAIN" probably came to his mind too :x

- I teared up a bit at Zell being all droopy and sad :( I won't lie. ;.;

- ...ohmygod i might kill you for that disturbing thought



renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)