FF8

Talking Final Fantasy 8 – The Story

Hey y’all. Zell here with some Final Fantasy 8 discussion. Personally, I loved Final Fantasy 8, despite what this article is about to entail. I feel though that there was something missing that would’ve put Final Fantasy 8 on par with 6 and 7. There are numerous things that I will discuss, however I had to start with an obvious issue I had; the plot. The plot was of a young taciturn mercenary and his quest to save the world, albeit not wanting to be that hero . Along the way, it becomes a global struggle involving sorceresses, time compression and space. Here are my thoughts on the plot.

OK peeps. I felt the game missed great opportunities to solidify story lines and make major impacts on me. I had no problem with the first disc as a whole, as I did enjoy the sense of realism within Balamb Garden and cities such as Timber, and becoming a Seed leading eventually to taking on Sorceress Edea.  I always wondered about one thing though.  When Edea loses the battle on top of the float, she throws a huge icicle through Squall’s chest/heart. Why is it that there is no scar or reason for it occurring? A moment missed to make an emphatic statement for certain. It ends up a cop-out, as it could have been Squall’s defining moment of survival and new-found heroism. That said, still a nice slow-paced, action filled beginning to this real world FF.

Disc 2 once again was quite OK. I rather enjoyed the Laguna sequences as a character build and mind screw. It left me wanting to know why and how come. There was one thing in this disc that bothered me to all means, and that is the reveal of the GFs costing the party their memories. It was a rather forgettable swerve to introduce everyone as former orphanage members and former best friends (with exceptions). That and nothing came of it regardless minus Seifer and Squall’s rivalry from childhood. I believe it was unnecessary. Having them simply know each other from the get go would have also been fine. I really shouldn’t babble on about this, could have been worse. FFXIII-2 worse…

Anyway, the battle between Galbadia and Balamb gardens was a great highlight, and beating Edea was satisfying. The movie scenes were great and the action was very intense. Her return to normal made me happy and filled in a lot of story, however when Rinoa went unconscious, it confused me. Not because it was random, but later in the game it states that “a sorceress can only transfer their power if they are about to die”. Edea was perfectly fine after the battle and was not close to dying at all. Matter of fact she was happy. Sad thing about this battle, Edea as the evil sorceress goes away and does not get suitably replaced with another.

Disc 3 is where the story takes a weird detour. Squall turns on a whim from a mean cruel prick, to a major “sook”. Rinoa loses consciousness and now Squall is a nice guy? Come on. Either way, we go to Esthar, Laguna is the president etc, before we travel to space. Final Fantasy: the Sci-Fi edition. Once again I am having no problem. Until it gets to the Lunatic Pandora, where things simply get funny. Odine and Laguna state that to beat Ultimecia (who no one knew nor cared about previously, much apart still don’t), you would have to compress time to defeat the chick wanting to compress time? O.K.  So we are achieving Ultimecia’s goal for her? Regardless, beating Adel would swap the powers around and jumble them up, then the world would poop itself, melt awkwardly, and you end up in the future after fighting 15 generic sorceresses. As a child, I remember being as confused as hell over this. Seifer was a solid bad guy, a true villain who I felt was undermined by this scenario. He was nowhere to be seen or heard in disc 4.

Speaking of which, disc 4 was very short. Travelling through time, everywhere is locked down (there is nothing worse than a FF game with no freedom), and it’s you travelling through a castle beating monsters that have your powers. Let me ask the obvious question, why should I care for Ultimecia? I didn’t hate her, she had done nothing to me directly for me to hate her at all. While in her castle, it wouldn’t hurt to take a page out of FF9’s book and have some story build up while going through her castle. Maybe some diaries, her talking out loud over the castle, anything really. I wanted a reason to want this villain dead. I wanted X-Death dead, I wanted Kefka dead, I wanted Sephiroth dead. Ultimecia was a pale response in my opinion to the previous FF final bosses.

Final Fantasy 8 missed a lot of chances to be a solid statement in the FF series. The story twisted and turned, yet never made a solid impact that you could feel. The basic story line of Seifer as your arch nemesis made sense. Perfect sense actually. It was the addition of time compression and random sorceresses all over the shop that really messed up the plot. Yes I know it’s Japan, and yes I know the game has been out for over 15 years now, yet I still feel passionate about this game and love to talk about it. If anyone has any questions or comments, leave them below. I can talk FF all day.

Until then, join us at PTVP for all things entertainment, including more Final Fantasy.

Regards,

Zell

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