Note: The following was originally posted on the old LordBlognStuff page on Saturday, May 15, 2010. You may read the original article here.
Today I attempt the SeeD exam. Or try to, anyway, if I can ever wrest myself away from duel monsters.
I haven’t played in almost a week so I don’t remember what to do at first and decide to explore. I head to the training room but the monsters there are pretty strong, so I leave before I get myself killed. I remember that I need my uniform, and head to change. On the way I stop to challenge a little boy to a children’s card game. It’s time to d-d-d-d-duel! I lose almost instantly. I have no idea how to play this game. An annoying girl (boy? I can never tell with Square’s characters, I was informed that the doctor I referred to as a “he” in the last post is actually a girl,) wants me to join her band but Squall has no musical talent that I know of so she gets blown off.
I’m going to learn how to play this card game so I’ll keep challenging people until I figure it out. The instructions in-game are useless. Time to look up the rules on the internet. Three games later I manage a draw. Woo? Five Ten Fifty games or so after that and I still can’t win. Draw seems to be the best I can get. Maybe my cards suck, they’ve almost all got a power level of 1 to 3. Oh well. Time to get to the exam.
Squall’s uniform looks almost identical to his normal clothes. What type of school is this, that the uniform is comprised of a white undershirt, a leather jacket and leather pants? Teacher is ready to announce the squad assignments. I’m with Zell Dincht. Life is perfect. Zell is a pretty cool guy who has a tattoo and doesn’t afraid of anything. Women want him, and men want to be him. He should probably be the main character, but for some reason he is not. He does some kung-fu and backflips over to Squall like a boss. Here’s a picture of his perfect, chiseled face:
The epitome of masculinity
Squall throws verbal abuse at Zell out of jealousy but to no avail: this David Bowie of the Final Fantasy universe is unfazed.
Just as it turns out that both Squall and Zell both dislike Seifer, loosening the tension and paving the way for a beautiful slashfic friendship, the teacher reveals that Seifer is the squad leader. If Alanis Morissette were here, she’d be able to write a song about the situation. Seifer has his peons Fujin and Raijin with him. Seifer acts like a blowhard. “Don’t wish me luck,” he tells the teacher. “Save it for a bad student who needs it.” Instructer Trepe replies. “Okay. Good luck, Seifer.” Sick burn!
Headmaster Cid shows his face. He looks old and weak but is probably able to obliterate everybody with his finger. He makes some jokes about death that baffle the kids, and probably scare them too. We leave in a car that looks like the cab from Crazy Taxi. Zell tries to lighten the mood but gets ignored by the rest of the group, who are all Negative Nancies. Seifer throws insults. Zell wants to see Squall’s gunblade but Squall says no:
Then I get to a driving minigame or something. For some reason on the overworld the car is green instead of yellow. It controls like the cab from Crazy Taxi.
We reach a city. Looks like this is the test.
We all get on a boat. Squall can’t believe that he’s on a boat. The mission is for Dollet Dukedom Parliament. They were attacked by some terrorist or something and have requested support. The mission is to liberate the city. I guess it makes sense that if dragons and stuff were real, terrorists would try and use them.
We storm the beaches like they’re some kind of sci-fi Normandy.
Just like World War II… in the future!
I’m told that the goal is to secure the Center Square. Finally, a save point. Enemy soldiers jump us but are super, super weak. Weaker than the giant insects. Huh. We reach the Square with barely a scratch.
The Square is almost empty and the only enemies are the same weak soldiers. They’re quickly cleared out and we’re put on standby duty. Seifer hears distant fighting and is restless. Squall and Seifer see some soldiers and decide to break orders to pursue. Zell, ever the valiant hero, wants to stay put as instructed but is outvoted. Ah well. You can’t win them all, Zell. To the Facility! Maybe if I’m lucky, I can find some remote mines. Those were always the key to victory.
Perhaps this will change, but I’ve noticed that FFVIII hasn’t fallen into one of the traps FFIII did: a random encounter rate that is set far too high. I can walk a good distance without being attacked in this game, as opposed to the every-other-step battles that plagued III. This is a point for VIII. Let’s see if it can keep the point.
The terrorists are trying to reactivate some sort of generator or something in the communications facility. We’re supposed to stop them for some reason, because presumably this is bad. The girl I showed around earlier appears. It turns out she’s named Selphie and wants to talk to Seifer, but he’s already charged into the building. I’m sure glad I played Kingdom Hearts or I’d have trouble keeping track of all these characters. She looks like this:
If you cover up her hair, she looks like a dude!
Selphie runs after Seifer and we pursue. Selphie decides to join my party. Hooray? I save inside the tower and quit.
This test is taking a while. Presumably this attack is going to lead to plot progression where we find out who the villain behind it is, and try to take him/her out, only for a Man Behind the Man reveal (possibly multiple times!) Only the future knows for sure.
Hey wait a minute, the future has no brain it can’t know anything!
“One of these days, I’m gonna tell ya ‘bout my ROMANTIC dream!”