I went with this one because it was the first JRPG I really had any exposure to, the one I'm most nostalgic about. This is where the genre started for me.
Cryptic shots show a woman in blue standing in a field of flowers, while another in an elaborate dress looks sinister elsewhere, interwoven are scenes of a
I'd forgotten that even were any dialogue choices in the game, so I'm assuming that they're uncommon and mostly as pointless as this one is.
Quistis is his teacher, who for some reason I can't rename. She likes to follow Squall around and annoy the hell out of him by predicting what he's going to say next, despite the fact that the poor guy clearly doesn't want anything to do with her.
This is Garden, the school/military academy where Squall and the other students were trained since childhood to become mercenaries. I dunno, there's something about a school for orphans run by a PMC that seems kinda entirely immoral to me. But whatever.
I don't get why they couldn't have just asked 'Would you like to save? Yes/no.' Chances are that if I'm walking into a Save Point, then I probably DO want to save.
Whoa, this tutorial IS skippable. And if I later regret my decision to ignore crucial gameplay information, I can still access it at any time from the menu. So far FFVIII is being suspiciously nice to me.
The junction system is reasonably straightforward if I remember right. Assigning a Guardian Force (mythical creature that lives in their head) to a character allows me to boost a particular stat, such as strength or health points, by junctioning one type of magic to it. The more of that magic I have, the higher the stat increase, and the GFs learn how to boost additional stats as they gain AP from combat.
Basically I'm going to want to get a lot of magic, and never use it.
I'm supposed to be going to the Fire Caves though, which I guess would be that cave over there. Once there I have to go inside, then find and subdue the Guardian Force that lives inside. When I've done that I'll be allowed to take the final test to become a SeeD mercenary.
I can barely remember how to play the game, though I'm pretty sure that in FF8 killing enemies is not generally a good idea. The enemies level up as I do, so to maintain an advantage in combat it's smart to keep my level low and instead raise my stats by junctioning magic. And these guys have plenty of magic on them for me to draw out.
Fortunately although I haven't given my characters the ability to cast their own magic, they do have the ability to cast the enemy's magic. So I have infinite cure magic on hand to make sure that no matter how much damage I take, I can always recover.
Though I did notice that the timer continues to count down during conversations and inside the menu.
Ifrit is defeated with 5 minutes left on the clock, and agrees to join my fine collection of GFs. Assigning Ifrit to Squall gives me the ability to junction magic to his strength stat, which should be handy.
Well I suppose it's much better than having to go hunt down an NPC to talk to. At least there are signs pointing to the dormitory so I can find it.
We finally arrive at the docks... only to get onto a boat this time. The journey continues.
I have to admit I love the music in this cutscene. Plus I love the cutscene too, Squall climbs out the top hatch to see the town ahead hammered by explosions, with soldiers running around in the chaos. Then the Garden troop transports jump the defensive wall and ride in to the beach.
In another cool looking video to still background transition, the team disembark from the troop transport and race into battle. But they get distracted and stand around for a bit. And THEN race into battle.
Fortunately loaded with all my GFs and magic, Seifer is pretty much unstoppable in combat. Plus for some reason he keeps using his limit break, which is overkill against these goons.
I actually caught up to Seifer in the end, he should be standing over there on the right. But for some reason he can't be bothered helping out so I've drafted the messenger into the team instead
Though I found another GF on him when I tried to draw his magic, so that'll be useful.
This guy wouldn't be as annoying if he'd just stay dead when I defeat him. Whenever I knock him down, I only manage to run a screen or two before he's back. Well okay I know I CAN defeat him if I stick around and hit him for long enough, but I have a time limit here and I assumed it'd be faster to try to outrun him instead.
In despair after losing his best card, Squall ran away from Garden in shame, never knowing whether he passed the test or not. And without him around to defend humanity, the inevitable evil last boss eventually appears and conquers the world. Bad end.
Is Final Fantasy VIII as good as I remember? Pretty much yeah, actually. Okay it'd be fair to say that if I'm doing better by not levelling up, then there's something fundamentally screwed up with the game mechanics. Plus timed levels and multiple boss fights in a row are not my favourite things. But somehow I'm still enjoying it. The game has some incredible art and design work, the music is fantastic, the cutscenes are great... and after over two hours of play it's still entertaining me. I like the game.
Final Fantasy series:
1987 - Final Fantasy (NES)
1991 - Final Fantasy Adventure (Game Boy)
1991 - Final Fantasy IV (SNES)
1999 - Final Fantasy VIII (PSX)