The Return of Talking Time

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  #61  
Old 08-07-2015, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aturtledoesbite View Post

(I'm sorry, madhair, I know that's not actually what you were doing.)
(Don't sweat it, I doubt somehow that he's reading this thread)
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  #62  
Old 08-09-2015, 11:31 AM
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I've played the game enough times that junctioning is second nature. I don't remember how difficult it was the first time, but I feel I was always confused by how complicated people seemed to think it was.

Along those lines how difficult is it really to play the game "normally"? It always seemed like the people complaining about monster difficulty were the same people who didn't understand junctioning. If you don't do a low level run and junction properly does the difficulty really spike that much?
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  #63  
Old 08-09-2015, 02:23 PM
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It's not that the difficulty spikes, it's that lategame monsters have abilities that let them easily 9999 your whole party. A level 99 Red Dragon casts Meteor, and whooooosh back to the last save point.
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  #64  
Old 08-09-2015, 02:55 PM
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Well I was hoping that the next update could look nicer, but we're stuck with PS1-quality since Bizhawk has absolutely no support for the ePSXe shader pack. It's so incompatible that just trying to install it forced me to delete the configuration for the emulator. Actually, I can't get any shaders to work with Bizhawk PS1 emulation... So yeah, unless someone can provide me with a reliable emulator that can take screenshots properly (ie. not ePSXe) and that can use filters (ie. not Bizhawk), we're stuck with PlayStation-fugly for the time being. Maybe we're all okay with that, though. I mean I am, but that's no excuse not to ask!
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  #65  
Old 08-09-2015, 02:58 PM
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It's the authentic experience!
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  #66  
Old 08-09-2015, 03:36 PM
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I love playstation-ugly graphics, so I don't mind.
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  #67  
Old 08-09-2015, 03:41 PM
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It wouldn't be an FF8 LP without someone making fun of Squall for "being the nicest-looking guy at the dance" anyway.
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  #68  
Old 08-09-2015, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Sky Render View Post
Well I was hoping that the next update could look nicer, but we're stuck with PS1-quality since Bizhawk has absolutely no support for the ePSXe shader pack. It's so incompatible that just trying to install it forced me to delete the configuration for the emulator. Actually, I can't get any shaders to work with Bizhawk PS1 emulation... So yeah, unless someone can provide me with a reliable emulator that can take screenshots properly (ie. not ePSXe) and that can use filters (ie. not Bizhawk), we're stuck with PlayStation-fugly for the time being. Maybe we're all okay with that, though. I mean I am, but that's no excuse not to ask!
Retroarch, perhaps?
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  #69  
Old 08-14-2015, 01:41 PM
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Part II - In Dollet's Defense

When last we left our stoic protagonist and his tutorial-fetishist teacher, they'd just beaten up a fire demon. That's quite a final exam, I must say. I wonder if you can opt to fight the fire demon instead of sitting your calculus exam too? Anyway, Whateva has chosen a name for his new flaming buddy.



*KLAXON*



You're gonna tutorial me again, aren't you?

Quistis "Good, you got yourself a GF. If you junction that GF, you'll be able to use the Elem-J ability. Here's an explanation on Elements."



Holy crap woman! Stop getting your fetish all over me!



Quistis "You'll have an easier time with Fire elemental enemies."

Right, or, you know...



♪♪ Don't Be Afraid ♪♪

I can just keep running the fuck away from everything. That works too!



So yeah, I didn't really get to discuss GF growth last time. It's simple enough: you tell your GF what you want it to learn, and that's what it will learn as you gain AP in battle. Unfortunately, the game defaults to the awful awful terrible awful SumMag abilities first, then the fecking useless GF HP abilities, then Boost, THEN anything actually useful. So yeah, never let the game decide what to grow, or you will have useless GFs.



♪♪ Blue Fields ♪♪

Anyway, that was all quite tiring, so let's take a walk over to the nearby town of Balamb. Why not, right?



♪♪ Breezy ♪♪

Not far into Balamb, we encounter something that will pop up quite a bit from here on out: Draw Points. They're just spots where you can get a few free spells, and most of them refresh after a bit. Quistis got 10 Thunders from this one.



How would I know, lady? It's not like I know your son.



This would be much funnier if it weren't in the first town in a place that you're more likely to find before you even locate a single Timber Maniacs magazine. More on that latervery soon.



Man, who da hell's Zell? Let's just get outta here.



He's a Maniac!

We may as well do this while we're here. There's a book in the Balamb Hotel we definitely want to find.



It's Timber Maniacs! There's 12 issues of it around the world, and they give us some insight on the game's backstory. I'll cover the contents as we go, just for kicks. Unfortunately I can't do that just yet, as the character who actually cares about Timber Maniacs isn't even in the party yet. Oops!



Quistis "Alright... While we're at it, we can go over the test you flunked the other day."

Haha burn. Alright, guys, we're at the inevitable "mechanics" part of this update. It has to be talked about, as it's actually a pretty big part of FF8. It's time... to Triple Triad.



Some people love Triple Triad, others hate it, most are indifferent. I am in that third camp, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to abuse the hell out of it. Triple Triad playing leads to the best stuff very early on, and there is no way in hell I'm passing that up just because it's a flawed mini-game. Like everything else in FF8, Triple Triad can be broken.

Which brings us to this guy specifically. Lemme tell you about this guy. He's the Panic Button for Triple Triad. The developers realized at some point that it was entirely possible for every single region of the world to be set to use all possible rules, meaning you can never get rid of any rules as a result. Oops!



♪♪ Shuffle/Boogie ♪♪

Playing this guy at cards resets all of Balamb's rules. There's an interesting oversight in how the game was coded that causes it to also set your trading rule to Null if your first card game played is against him, as well. (Which is how I got this screenshot, naturally.) Most people don't even know that's how this "glitch" activates, let alone that it's not actually a "glitch" at all!

Back on subject, let's discuss the card game itself. The key to breaking it is making sure that the rules in an area are Open and nothing else (and that the trade rule is never, ever, EVER Direct; we'll talk about why very soon, rest assured). Balamb starts with Open, so this is no problem!



♪♪ Breezy ♪♪

A good point to start is Balamb Town. And the best person to start with, despite what her name suggests, is the Queen of Cards. This woman actually lets you buy rules for regions she's in, for 30,000 Gil a pop. This is only really useful if you want to get Open back into Balamb or into a region where you don't want to manipulate the rules to add it. It's never really a justified expense.



♪♪ Shuffle/Boogie ♪♪

Play the Queen of Cards and cancel repeatedly until she plays Diff or All (Diff is better since it degrades into One, whereas All degrades into awful awful terrible awful Direct). Once you've got the trade rule of choice, play that game with her.




♪♪ Victory Fanfare ♪♪

We'll start out by getting our card collection nice and healthy. With that Ifrit card, most card battles are cakewalks as long as you don't make any stupid moves. Only the first few games are rough, and then you start getting better cards and it's all a joke. With about an hour of card playing, thanks to Diff giving us a minimum of 2 (and potentially all 5) of our opponent's cards per game, we quickly amass a huge collection of decent cards. Make a particular point of gathering Fastitocalon and Thrustaevis cards.
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  #70  
Old 08-14-2015, 01:42 PM
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♪♪ Breezy ♪♪

You'll generally want to play the common fodder around Balamb Town to build up your early collection, then head for the Garden to get some specialty cards.



♪♪ Balamb Garden ♪♪

Speaking of Garden, Quistis has more encouraging words for us when we get back!

Quistis "Let's see... I thought there was something else I needed to go over with you before you take the SeeD exam... Oh yes! Taking care of your GF. This is something you have to watch out for."



Quistis, no. Stop fetishing on us. I already covered GF growth. It does not need a full tutorial. Just stop.



Yeah, that's gonna happen. Sure.



Now we get some rare cards. First up: Mini-Mog! The kid running the circuit of Balamb Garden has this, and he's a really bad player too.



♪♪ Victory Fanfare ♪♪

Easily yoinked!



Next up: Quistis! Go to the cafeteria and play cards with the far student. He's better than that kid, but still pretty awful. And you've got much better cards than he does anyway.



♪♪ Victory Fanfare ♪♪

Yoink 2: Son of Yoink!



Dr. Kadowaki is a decent source of higher-level (for this point) cards, if you're jonsin'. I suggest you take advantage of it and get a few more before the mission starts. Hint hint.

As for why we're getting all of these cards at this point, the answer is because they're there! Also, one of the rare cards we got will help us next update in breaking the game harder than I broke FF2 with Minwu's Teleport spell. Just think about that for a moment.



But first, we have a mission! Let's get changed.



Looking good, Whateva! If by "good" you mean "silly".



♪♪ SeeD ♪♪

Oh good, they didn't leave without us while Whateva was collecting cards.

Quistis "I'll be announcing the squad assignments for the exam now. Let's see... You'll be with... Zell Dincht. Quite a lively fellow."

I guess we're gonna find out who da hell Zell is now!



Whateva apparently knows the guy. Of course, it's just as likely that his opinion of everyone is "they're just loud". I mean he is Whateva.

Quistis "I'm afraid that's not possible. Over here, Zell!"



Quite an energetic entrance!



And apparently he likes Whateva. Possibly that way.



Look, Zell, Whateva doesn't do the whole "handshake" thing. Just stow it.
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  #71  
Old 08-14-2015, 01:43 PM
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Don't tell me you have a tutorial fetish too!? Is it just a "thing" to be obsessed with explaining things in a needlessly complex fashion? (No, I'm not being hypocritical at all!)



Well the guy did try to cut Whateva's face off. That generally doesn't indicate a healthy relationship.

Zell "Heard he whooped you pretty bad this morning."
Whateva "We weren't fighting. We were training."
Zell "I bet you he doesn't think so. Listen, Seifer's just being a pain in the ass. All you have to do is ignore him."


Zell, seriously, that's...



Goddamn it, Quistis.

Quistis "Ahem... Exuse me, but... That Seifer you're talking about... He's your squad leader.

Cue the fail trombone!



Zell is less than enthused by this revelation.

Quistis "It can't be changed. Seifer! Are you here?"



Wait, someone seriously gave that jerkhat a position of authority? Or is he just a rogue would-be goody-two-shoes? Either way, I don't like the implications.



Seifer "...Instructor. I hate it when people wish me luck. Save those words for a bad student who needs them, ok?"
Quistis "Ok then. Good luck, Seifer."


Somebody call the waahmbulance, 'cause Seifer just got burned!



Whateva (The list...? What is it?)

Oh you really don't want to know, Whateva. "Things" happen to people on "the list". "Bad" "things". Involving "quotation marks" and "implied unpleasantness". And possibly "whipped cream" too.



Quistis has clearly decided that Seifer's implied threats are not worthy of response. I'm thinking all he did was earned himself another write-up for misconduct.

Quistis "You're all assigned to Squad B. I'll be the instructor in charge. Teamwork is of the utmost importance. Let's get through this exam, everyone!"

There's no "I" in "team", remember that, Seifer!



Seifer "It's a Squad B rule. Don't you forget it!"

...Why the FUCK did they make Seifer a squad leader? This guy has less leadership skill than a rotting cantaloupe in a kabuto.



Looks like we found this game's Cid!



Some people say he looks like Robin Williams. Fair enough, I guess, though his concept art shows that his nose is far more hooked than the late great comedian's ever was.

Headmaster Cid "This exam will involve 12 members from Squads A through D... You will be proceeding to a real battlefield. Obviously, the battles are for real. *waves hands* Life and death, victory and defeat, honor and disgrace... Each of these go hand in hand. There's only one way or the other. *leans towards the camera* How 'bout it? Are you still up for it? *pulls back* You will be accompanied by 9 SeeD members. Should you fail, these members shall get the job done. They always do. *gestures with his right hand* Well, that's one less worry on your mind. *spreads his arms wide* The pride of Balamb Garden! The elite mercenary force, SeeD! Learn from them, obey their commands and accomplish the mission. *puts his arms down* Prove yourself worthy of becoming a member of SeeD. *gestures with his left arm* Best of luck."

He's not exactly Patton, is he?



Well, Whateva. To the Zellmobile!



Yes, that IS what the special forces use as transportation. And it's somehow less dignified than the 90s-era X-Men costumes. I didn't think that was even possible.



Off we go! Man I hope we don't have to ride in this thing all the way to wherever the hell we're going...



Pretty spacious inside, at least. Wait, if everyone's in back... who the hell is driving?

Whateva "........."
Zell "C'mon, man!"
Whateva "........."
Zell "Just a peek!"
Whateva "........."
Zell "Tch, fine... Yeah, yeah... Why you bein' so selfish!? Scrooooge!"
Whateva "........."
Zell "Say somethin', will ya!? W-What's on your mind?"


This guy just does not learn, does he?



Damn it, Quistis, that's not cute, that's annoying. Stop it.

Zell "........."

See? Even Zell realizes it.



Zell, thusly denied, decides that the best course of action is to punch the air while standing in a moving vehicle. This guy is not exactly A-list material, is he?



I agree.



Hooray for awkward translations!

Zell "WHAT DID YOU JUST CALL ME!?"
Seifer "Heheheheh..."


Zell's acting all mad, but he has no idea what that insult meant either.



Quistis suddenly remembers she's in charge here and deals with this bout of stupidity as an instructor should.

Last edited by Sky Render; 08-14-2015 at 09:33 PM.
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  #72  
Old 08-14-2015, 01:45 PM
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Whateva "Who was that girl in the infirmary this morning?"
Quistis *rubs her chin* "Was someone there? I didn't notice anybody. Is there a problem?"
Whateva *looks down* "No...Not really..."
Seifer "This is great... I have a Chicken-wuss and a guy who just reached puberty in my squad..."
*Zell rages silently*


Yep, this team's already off to a great start.



♪♪ Blue Fields ♪♪

And then, despite the fact that we appeared to be traveling the whole time, suddenly we're on the world map about 5 feet from the Garden. I guess the driver was doing donuts, and Quistis told him to get out so she could take over or something. Who knows?



Anyway, only one place we can go. Back to town!



The car proceeds to drive through town--what the FUCK!? Yeah, there's a known glitch in FF8 where, if you manipulate the analog sticks during a screen transition in this sequence, the car will suddenly be pointing in whatever direction it last detected input from you instead of straight forward. So the car is now doing an awesome powerslide down the road.



It corrects itself the very next screen, naturally.

Seifer "No turning back now. Huh? You scared, too?"
Garden Staff "Hey! You guys are the last! Hurry up and get in!"
Seifer "Don't disappoint me now."
Quistis "Come on, move it! Hurry, Whateva!"


Wait, if we're the last squad here, then where are the other APCs? Are you telling me Squads A, C, and D all walked to Balamb and got here before us despite that?



So yeah, here's a nice little dick move for you! If you talk to anyone during this sequence who is not Quistis, Seifer, or Zell, you get points deducted from your final score. You can only find this out by talking to one of the SeeDs here on the dock... and you get a deduction to your score by doing so. Game design!



Anyway, we're off! Our target seems to be off on the horizon now, on the end of that weird bird-shaped continent.



Quistis "Well, these are the members of Squad B."
*Zell and Whateva stand at attention; Seifer pointedly does not*
Zell "Nice to meet ya!"
Whateva "Nice to meet you..."
Xu "Seifer, how many times has it been now?"
Seifer "Oh, I just love exams..."
Xu "I'll explain the current situation and the mission."


Oh boy, exposition time!



♪♪ SeeD ♪♪

*Zell and presumably Whateva sit down*
Xu "Our client for this mission is the Dollet Dukedom Parliament. A request for Seed was made 18 hours ago."


Pretty good response time, then. Most private military organizations take at least 24 hours to send a team in.



The display there continues to update as the sequence goes on, mostly showing maps of troop movements. It's actually kind of boring.

Xu "48 hours into the battle, Dollet abandoned their position in the inner city. Currently, they have retreated into the nearby mountain and are reorganizing their troops. That's the current situation. Now onto the mission objective. According to our reports, the G-Army is mopping up the Dollet troops in the mountain region. We're to make a landing at Lapin Beach. We're to eliminate the remaining G-Army within the city and liberate it A.S.A.P. Afterwards, SeeD members all intercept any G-Army forces trying to make their way into the city from the mountain region."

The whole campaign is kind of boring, come to think of it.



The million-Gil question, that.

Xu "SeeD candidates are to eliminate the G-Army inside the city."
Zell "Sounds important!"
Seifer "Sounds boring. So what you're saying is, we do all the little, dirty work..."
Xu "........."


All the guts, none of the glory. Welcome to internship work. Sucks, don't it?



"Anyone caught playing Ride of the Valkyries while fighting will be given detention. That shit's not funny, guys."

Xu "The order to withdraw takes priority. Do not forget. We're almost there. We anticipate a battle as soon as we disembark. Just be prepared. That's all. Any questions, talk to Quistis."

Talk? You think Whateva is going to talk?



Whateva is not a man of many words.



Whateva "Alright."
Zell "Roger."
Seifer "Yeah, yeah... Well then, Whateva. Go see what's going on outside."


We're heading into a warzone and you want me to be the gopher?



Chain of command sucks.

Seifer "Good. Because it's MY order."

Do I sense a hint of insecurity from Seifer? Must be my imagination.



♪♪ Afternoon Delight ♪♪
♪♪ The Landing ♪♪

How artistic!



Finally, some alone time.
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  #73  
Old 08-14-2015, 01:46 PM
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Whateva contemplates the meaning of existence.



After checking the battle plan, he contemplates why the hell they didn't just print the instructions on one sheet of paper instead of a paper and an overhead transparency slide. What the hell, guys?



Well, that's a dramatic introduction to your mission. What are the odds of being exactly where the photo was taken when you look up from it?



The fight's already gotten started on the beach! Somehow! I thought the Dollet forces were stuck up in the mountains. We haven't even landed yet, so that's who these guys have to be.



Well, whateverWhateva. Gotta look angsty for the trailer!



Also gotta get the hell off the deck so no stray shots hit Whateva. Basic logic, that.



"Da-na-na-na-NA-NAAH da-na-na-na-NA-NAAH da-na-na-na-NA-NAAH da-na-na-na-NAAAAH!"
"Damn it Zell, what did I tell you about singing Ride of the Valkyries?"



I hope Dollet's footing the bill to fix that.



I'll see you on the beach!



Quistis "Be sure to equip your GF before you head into battle!"
Seifer "Let's move out."


Whoa whoa, hold up, Seif.




Gotta do this first. You can switch your equipped magic and GFs between party members from the Switch menu in every version of FF8 save the original Japanese release. It's amazingly convenient, and somewhat offensive that they didn't add it until the international releases. Why is basic functionality so often sacrificed in Squaresoft games like that?



Anyway, Seifer's kinda a kill-crazy bastard, so I'm giving him all the GFs and magic. He can handle this mess on his own if he thinks he's so much better than the rest of us.



Leveling is... not for Chumps?

For the first (and next-to-last) time in the game, we now actually have a good reason to gain levels. But here's the catch: only one character wants to be gaining levels here, and that character is Seifer. As you could probably guess, he's not a permanent party member. Hell, I'm amazed he hasn't staved in Whateva and Zell's heads with his gunblade already.



Oh look, he just did! Point is, his level will never, ever, ever matter anywhere in the entire game.



Continuing onward, more resistance! It doesn't last long against Seifer's raging Gunblade antics.



Mostly because Seifer got his limit break, Fire Cross/No Mercy.



Was it fire? Let me show you how!



Kamehame--

Last edited by Sky Render; 08-14-2015 at 10:12 PM.
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  #74  
Old 08-14-2015, 01:48 PM
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Hadouken! Seifer's limit break is a straight-up set-and-forget affair. There's no interaction with it. Some sources (incorrectly) claim that you can make it do extra damage by hitting R1 at the right moment. This is false. How do I know? No Mercy can land criitcal hits. The interactive part of Renzokuken cannot.



Seifer "Hey! All you Galbadian cowards out there! Come out'n show your faces! Don't leave me hangin' now!" *runs ahead*
Zell "...What an idiot."


I just wanted to say that that's a really nice car. Really nice.



There's a single soldier waiting for us in the Square. It doesn't end well for him.



Oh, before I forget, let's talk briefly about Draw. It steals magic from enemies and gives you copies of whatever spell you took from them! How many depends on your Mag stat versus their Spr stat. You can also Draw/Cast a spell, which causes the spell drawn to activate with 10 to 255% effectiveness. It's kinda useful early on, and never needed ever later on.



Seifer "All right, I want you guys to scout the area for enemies."

Just like him to send his two critically-wounded companions on that mission.



Another lone soldier!



You can imagine how that works out for him.



For now. There will be many more dead soldiers before this is over, though. MANY.



Seifer "Standby... How boring..."

Have I mentioned Seifer's a kill-crazy bastard? 'Cause Seifer's a kill-crazy bastard.



Suddenly distant gunfire!

Seifer "Bring it on."
*the dog nearby walks up to Seifer and rubs against him*
Seifer "Get outta here! Scram!" *swings at the dog with his gunblade*
*the dog backs off whining, unsurprisingly terrified*
Seifer "Hey, Galbadian soldiers! What are you waiting for!? Come show me what you got!"
*the dog barks at Seifer*


Well that was just silly.



Several hours later...

Seifer "Keeping us waiting...? That's it...! I can't take it anymore! What is this, some kind of dog training!?" *swings his gunblade spastically about*

This is a man who does not take waiting well.



For some reason, Seifer's antics make the nearby dog go a little nuts and it starts howling.



Which is the cue for some G-Army soldiers to run on up the street. Okay.



Zell "Where th hell they goin'?"

Let's find out!



He's referring to that structure off to the upper-left, not the clock tower. Just FYI.

Seifer "Our next destination."
Zell "But that's against orders!"
Seifer "Weren't you just saying how bored you were?"
{Actually, no he wasn't. Because Whateva didn't talk to Zell. Oops!}
Zell "Whateva!"
Whateva "I stand by the captain's decision."
Seifer "...Captain's decision? *walks up to Whateva and puts his hand on his shoulder* You jsut want to wreak some havoc too, don't you?"
Whateva *throws Seifer's hand off* "It's a good opportunity to test out my training. Thanks to you I feel like I can take on anyone. Even if they do fight dirty, like you."
Seifer "You'll thank me when the time comes."


Uh...



Yeah, that. Did Seifer and Whateva just have a moment?

Zell "I thought you guys didn't get along? You're like, all budddy-buddy now. Listen, this ain't no ordinary battle. It's an exam, an important one. I'm tellin' ya, we have to stick to orders."
Seifer "Then you stay here. I don't need any boy scouts."




Zell apparently hates being called a boy scout even more than a Chicken-wuss. Noted.

Whateva "Don't take him seriously, Zell. Seifer, if we're gonna go, let's hurry."
Seifer "The enemy is headed for the {facility}. We, Squad B, are to secure the summit. Move out!"
Whateva "Alright."
Zell *lowers his stance* "Tch... Fine."




And we're off! But not to the communications tower just yet. Now is the time for the promised leveling up for Seifer. Where you want to level is the path heading up to the communications tower, specifically on the bridge. As long as you gave Seifer all 3 GFs to date, and he won't have any problems. (Oh Seifer, you Lothario! Keeping 3 GFs around at one time...)



But before that, let's get a little more plot on us.

Whateva "Don't worry. We're SeeD candidates. We've been dispatched by Garden."
Seifer "So what's going on up there?"
Dollet Soldier "The Galbadian soldiers have entered the {Communication Tower}. On top of that...that place has always been a nesting ground for monsters. If you guys are goin' up, be caref..."

Last edited by Sky Render; 08-14-2015 at 09:12 PM.
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  #75  
Old 08-14-2015, 01:49 PM
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Suddenly the guy gets pulled behind the rocks nearby! I smell a fight!



♪♪ Don't Be Afraid ♪♪

With a giant snake! Why did it have to be snakes? It takes a few hits to take him down. We need better Junctions before we can really stand a chance on this path! That's why the bridge is better for grinding just yet (that, and you get better overall AP there).



Zell "That sucks."
Seifer "More fun for us. Come on..." *runs off ahead*
Zell "...Fun? Pu-lease..."


Seifer's still a kill-crazy bastard. I hope you're taking notes.

So this is the only time in FF8 (save one other time much later) that we will ever be level grinding. And it's actually pretty easy since Seifer is alone. Why does that matter, you ask? Because when a character is the only live member, they get their limit break ridiculously often. And as it is, Seifer already gets his limit break more often than most characters. This means you'll start getting his limit popping up even when you're at full HP.



♪♪ Victory Fanfare ♪♪

Our goal here: get madhair up to level 10. Yep, that's all. This gets you access to Ammo-RF, which has a whole school of breaking dedicated to it separate from what we're doing right now. You want Ammo-RF.

I was also going to go for 4 Dragon Skins, when I realized that 1.) the Anaconduars that drop them are about as common as an honest politiican, 2.) I'd have to get Seifer up to level 35 or so just to have a decent chance of any dropping, and 3.) that would literally take as long as it took to get madhair up to level 10 already. So yeah, screw that, on with the plot!



You'll want to have those GFs set to learn a few key skills, of course. PaulLeFou should go for Card, then Card Mod, then T Mag-RF, then ability junctions, then whatever's most interesting. Shivam would do well to learn her I Mag-RF, then ability junctions, then whatever. madhair's goals are F Mag-RF, ability junctions, Str+20%/40% and whatev. I hardly need remind you that you will never be summoning any of these things, so don't bother with the SumMag, GF HP, or Boost abilities ever.



Once you get Card Mod, it's time to mod some cards! Fastitocalon cards (and Fastitocalon-F cards, if you have 5+ of them) turn into Water Crystals, which give you 50 Waters if you refine them with I-Mag RF. Thrustaevis cards refine into Windmills, which turn into 20 Tornados each via T-Mag RF. These spells are a few steps ahead of the common fodder you can draw from enemies at this point, so it's worth the trouble.



Anyway, on with the plot!

Galbadian Soldier "No problems with the boosters!"
Seifer "...the hell they doing?"
Galbadian Soldier "Cable disconnect confirmed! Beginning exchange process!"
Galbadian Soldier "Roger."
Whateva "Repairs...?"


That is a bit unorthodox, invading a city to fix their satellite dish. I guess they just really wanted their Dish Network.



Whateva's starting to rub off on Seifer!

Seifer "This must be your first real battle. You scared?"
Whateva "...I don't know. I try not to think about it."
Seifer "I love battles. I fear nothing. The way I look at it, as long as you make it out of a battle alive, you're one step closer to fulfilling your dream."
Whateva "What!? Your dream?"
Seifer "You have one too, don't you?"
Whateva *turns away* "...Sorry, but I'm gonna pass on that subject."


Yeah, there's a good reason why he's doing that. It's because his dream is pretty pathetic. I'm not even kidding, we'll get to hear it (much) later.



Zell wants in on the frenemy relationship.

Seifer "Mind your own business."
Zell *starts punching the air again* "Frickin' hell..."
Seifer "What's the matter, Zell? Swatting flies?" *walks off before Zell can answer*
Zell *looking constipated* "Damn you...!" *punches the ground*


That was a weird scene.



Oh no, we've been found!



By a schoolgirl in a miniskirt armed with nunchaku! Run for your lives!



About 2/3rds of it, yeah.

"I'm...a messenger. Name's Selphie, from Squad A."

Oh yeah, you're the girl Whateva gave the cold shoulder this morning. Erm, the one in the hallway after class. Gotta be specific like that, she's hardly the only person he's done that to today.



Oh, you're gonna love this...



Have fun, lady.

Seifer "One of these days, I'm gonna tell ya 'bout my ROMANTIC dream!"

...SO don't want to know what he means by that.



It'd be less tough if you stopped trying to wallhack the level by jumping up the terrain. The developers didn't want you to go that way for a reason!



You did it again! Jeez, don't you know how video games work!?

Selphie "Captain! Wait up...!!! What are you waiting for!? Come on! Come on!"

In good time, genki girl. In good time. First...

Last edited by Sky Render; 08-14-2015 at 09:47 PM.
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  #76  
Old 08-14-2015, 01:50 PM
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Since Seifer ran off, Zell and Whateva got revived at 1 goddamn HP. Fortunately we have 90 Potions sitting around from Seifer's kill-crazy antics earlier (yes, really), so that's easily fixed.



This is how you're supposed to play the level. You're not a speedrunner, Selphie, stop pretending you are one.



I don't do seamwalking, okay?

Zell "...Much quicker? Pu-lease... ...You wouldn't normally jump off a cliff, OK!?"



Damn right, Zell. Wow, we actually agreed about something for a change!

Whateva "...Yeah, I guess so. You wouldn't normally jump that."
Selphie "Hmm...I don't know... Well, anyway. Well, let's get goin'. Has everyone equipped a GF? You haven't forgotten... Have you...?"


We already switched that out, no worries. Selphie comes with whatever magic you had on Seifer, so no worries if you forgot to swap his stuff off him before continuing. I went ahead and used it to make Whateva a heavy hitter, because why not?



No shit, Sherlock.

Selphie "Sure is big..."

Great. Whateva's stuck with the Captain Obvious Twins.



Galbadian Soldier "Ah...AHHHH!"

Looks like Seifer's been busy.



How dare you not want to die horribly!

Selphie "HEEEY!"
*Seifer walks back into the tower, supremely unconcerned*
Selphie "The captain's getting away!"


Jeez, that guy is nothing but trouble.



Inside, no sign of Seifer.

Selphie "Heeeey! Squad B captain!!!"

Selphie, meanwhile, is blind as a bat.



Selphie "Wanna go up?"
> Go on
Stay


Only one way we can go from here...



Zell "Don't get too excited, or you'll fall!"
Selphie "Like I'm really going to!"


Please let them both fall off...



Oh hey, series regular characters! Nice to see you again.

Wedge "There has been a report of a monster-shaped shadow on top of the tower."
*Biggs doesn't respond*
Wedge "Major Biggs!"
Biggs "Be quiet! I'm busy! This goes like this...and... Geez, what's with these crappy old tools? And...and... Why do I have to make all the repairs!? AHHH!!!"
Wedge "Sir, I'll check around while the repairs are being done." *walks off*
Biggs "Let's see... Hmmmm... Put this here...and..."




I sense dramatic timing coming in 3, 2, 1...



Bingo! Cue the FMV!



♪♪ Starting Up ♪♪

Aw man, those spanners are a pain to get ahold of these days...

Last edited by Sky Render; 08-14-2015 at 10:12 PM.
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  #77  
Old 08-14-2015, 01:51 PM
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I think it's booting up or something.



Uh, Whateva, behind you--



Yeah, that. (I have no clue what that text is supposed to say there.)



Well, I guess the villains succeeded in their plan to...! Um, repair a satellite broadcast dish. HORROR!



Biggs "Huhhhh? Likewise, MISTER! What do you think you're doing!? H-HEY! What happened to all the soldiers down below! WEDGE! Take care of these twerps!!!"

Oh you're in for a fun surprise, Biggs...



Nnnnnope.



Awkward!

Well...ah...I seem to be done here, so I'll just be on my..."



Hahaha what a coward.
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Old 08-14-2015, 01:53 PM
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Oh hey, there's Seifer! Where the hell were you before, buddy?



Certifiably!

Seifer "Just shut UP!"

Yeah, Whateva's really rubbing off on Seifer now.



♪♪ Force Your Way ♪♪

Oh I'm so scared.



Biggs has a decent draw on him in the form of Esuna. It's useful to have at least a few lying about, so we do some minor stocking up. Not a ton, just enough to tide us over for the next few bosses.



Biggs is not amused. He hits kinda weak.



Oh there's Wedge!

Wedge "Have you finished the repairs sir? What is the enemy doing here!?"
Biggs "WEDGE! Where were you!? No pay for you this month!"
Wedge *flinches* "...Should've stayed home!"


Ahahaha the G-Army are a bunch of corrupt dicks.



Anyway, yeah, Whateva hits like a truck right now, so the fight doesn't last much longer.



Wedge "Ahhhhhh!" *is also carried off by the tornado*

What shenanigans are these!?



We're being attacked by some sort of hellish hornet-thing! Badass.



Siren of the Seas

Elvorett here marks the first of several bosses in this game with Drawable GFs. He has a Siren on him, and we're totally gonna nab that babe.



Elvorett can be a problem since he has Storm Breath, which nails the whole party for 150-ish damage a pop. Poor Zell!



The freshly-revived Zell tries to duel with the boss! And fails miserably because the 360 controller's D-pad is about as slippery as a penguin coated in Vaseline. Yeah, you have to input Zell's deathblows one by one as you go. Easily exploited, which I'll explain in a later update.



But it hardly matters since Whateva still hits like a truck.



Just as the boss is defeated, Selphie gets her limit break! Her Slots roll up a random spell to be cast a random number of times. She has a few unique spells that only she can cast through this too, including the only one we can roll right now, Full-Cure. Don't get to show it off this time, obviously, since the boss is pretty busy dying there.



♪♪ Victory Fanfare ♪♪

No exp, lots of AP, and spoils of war as usual. Bosses are good for that.



Heyhey, we have another new summon! This lovely beast-lady of the sea also does not seem to understand "pants", and needs a name badly. What is her name that conveniently fits in 9 characters or less, Talking Tyrants?
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Old 08-14-2015, 01:54 PM
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Supplemental I - Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Triple Triad But Never Cared Enough to Ask

Now we get to discuss how this convoluted card game works. The base game is very, very simple. You place down cards with numbers on all four faces. When you place a card next to another card, a check is made: is the number on the side of your card facing the side of the other card bigger? If so, the other card flips. If not, nothing happens. But then there are the extended rules to consider...

Open - The only extended rule that's worth a damn, since the CPU always has this active whether you do or not. It lets you see what cards your opponent is using, thus you can avoid doing any stupid moves (or you can Batman Gambit your way to success; sometimes the AI is actually too stupid to fall for such gambits, amazingly.)

Same - Same causes cards to flip in the case that the card places matches at least two numbers of cards it's placed between. For example, let's say you place the card in the top-right:

.4. .9.
4-6 6-A
.5. .2.
.5. .2.
6-1 1-6
.2. .4.

Because the card to the left has a 6 on the same face as the 6 on your card, and the card below has a 2 in the same spot as the 2, you flip both cards. Now here's where it gets interesting: since the card in the bottom-left ALSO satisfies the Same rule, it gets flipped too! Same sucks if you're not careful, but the AI is also stupid and will purposely lure you into making moves that lets it use Same (and thus opens itself up to easy card captures). Always look before you lay with Same.

Plus - Oh fuck me I hate this rule. If all of the numbers on the placed card add up to the same value as all of the numbers on the card they're put next to, guess what? Flipperoo! And yes, this does in fact combo. Same AND Plus on at the same time is pretty much an invitation to disaster.

Elemental - Another annoying rule that only ever seems to work against you. Various tiles on the board are arbitrarily set to an element. If you place a card on that tile that does not match that element, all values on that card get dropped by 1. If the element somehow miraculously matches, that card's numbers are all boosted by 1. The game has an unhealthy fetish for putting down Holy tiles, even though there is exactly ONE holy-elemental card in the entire game. No joke.

Random - Fuck. No. Fuck Random. Fuck it in the ASS. It does exactly what it sounds like it does: it gives you a completely random hand out of your assembled cards. This can only ever work OUT of your favor, since the AI NEVER has to worry about it. I reiterate: Fuck Random.

Same Wall - You'll probably never see this rule actually apply, since not only does it require Same to be active, but it also requires an incredibly unlikely event to occur. If every single number on the outer edge of the board is the same number, all of those cards will flip when the last card in the sequence is put down. It's a lot like Shooting the Moon in Hearts, only that's more common.

And now we get to talk about trading rules! There's only 5 of them.

Null - Utterly worthless. All games you play are exhibition, nobody ever actually gains or loses any cards. All eventually degrades into this if you persistently keep getting the trading rules set to All. Many players never even discover this IS a trade rule that can happen, but it can.

One - Winner takes one card from loser. Standard, safe, boring. Never degrades, which is nice.

Diff - Winner takes the difference between how hard they spanked the other player (ie. difference between the winner's and loser's score). Can net you 2, 4, or all 5 of your opponent's cards. A great choice. Win too often in Diff and the rule degrades to One.

Direct - You get what you flip, and they get what they flip. If you're not cringing yet, you should be. Should you actually tolerate Direct long enough, it will "degrade" (read: improve) into Diff.

All - Winner takes all, no matter how big or small the margin. This is actually a terrible rule since it degrades into Direct (or None, if you abuse it too much).

And that's Triple Triad in a nutshell. It's mostly a game of math, with the only real "luck" involved being how good a hand your opponent decides to play with (and how hard they screw you over since the AI understands how to exploit the rules better than you ever can).
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky Render View Post
There's no "I" in "team", remember that, Seifer!
But there is one is Seifer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky Render View Post
That is a bit unorthodox, invading a city to fix their satellite dish. I guess they just really wanted their Dish Network.
*insert hacky joke about appointment windows*
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Old 08-15-2015, 01:48 AM
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Siren: SingStar
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Old 08-15-2015, 05:53 AM
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Is there a reason you put all GF's on Seifer? Wouldn't they get more experience one per person?

The only positive I have for the random rule is that it prevents me from simply grabbing the "best" cards with same/plus. That said I'll only accept that at one point in game where you don't have much choice, and only after saving.
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Old 08-15-2015, 07:47 AM
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You missed Squall's unique limit break On Elvorett!

/unsubscribe
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  #84  
Old 08-15-2015, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
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You missed Squall's unique limit break On Elvorett!

/unsubscribe
The funny thing is when I do a detailed analysis of Renzokuken next update and highlight how nearly every boss has its own unique sequence for it, including shots of Ifrit, Elvorett, and {REDACTED} as examples.
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Old 08-15-2015, 09:23 AM
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Is there a reason you put all GF's on Seifer? Wouldn't they get more experience one per person?

The only positive I have for the random rule is that it prevents me from simply grabbing the "best" cards with same/plus. That said I'll only accept that at one point in game where you don't have much choice, and only after saving.
Presumably, he puts them all on Seifer so he can get AP for them all. Without fighting any random battles, AP is a scarce commodity, and it can be difficult to get each GF's refinement options online.

Fortunately, now, we have (had) an EXP hole to dump all our unwanted EXP into while we grind that AP.
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by aturtledoesbite View Post
Presumably, he puts them all on Seifer so he can get AP for them all. Without fighting any random battles, AP is a scarce commodity, and it can be difficult to get each GF's refinement options online.

Fortunately, now, we have (had) an EXP hole to dump all our unwanted EXP into while we grind that AP.
Precisely. There are benefits to leveling up Shivam as well (Mad Rush isn't a great command, but I intend to have some fun with it even so). And you really want Card, Card Mod, and T-Mag RF as soon as possible.
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Old 08-16-2015, 12:45 AM
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I think my favorite part of FF8 is playing Triple Triad in the early parts of the game, before the combo rules ruin it.
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Old 08-16-2015, 04:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aturtledoesbite View Post
Presumably, he puts them all on Seifer so he can get AP for them all. Without fighting any random battles, AP is a scarce commodity, and it can be difficult to get each GF's refinement options online.

Fortunately, now, we have (had) an EXP hole to dump all our unwanted EXP into while we grind that AP.
But GF's gain AP and experience even on dead characters, right? I could have sworn that's how I've always done it, anyway.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:40 AM
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Hey I finally started reading this and I'm liking it a lot. Can't wait to get to the game-breaking.

As for Siren, well she's musically based (kinda????) and we do have a top poster with a musically-inspired name that should be staring all of you in the face.


That's right. We should name her Wolfgang.


(Because of Wolfgang van Halen.)
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Old 08-17-2015, 10:41 AM
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I'll second Wolfgang, sure.
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