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"Thonga lets Yuna know that there's still some fighting going on here between the Youth League and New Yevon, so she and her buddies had better stay away for now. One looted treasure chest later, we're back on El Celsioso and Rikku is whining that they were just kicked off the island. I'm sobbing with you, dear. I don't get to spend an hour navigating a glorified jungle gym. Woe."
     -Sam, Final Fantasy X-2 Part 7

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Final Fantasy Tactics : Part 3
By Ryan
Posted 10.10.04
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
The camera pans dramatically over to Heidi, who marvels at the Chocobo's current predicament, and Gaffy pipes up to add that it must be a pretty stupid Chocobo if it wandered into Goblin's forest without its posse. Heidi has a bleeding heart and Gaffy's is made of stone, in case you haven't gathered that by now. Cesario, the voice of reason between the two extremes, is given a choice between "We must leave now" and "Is he strong in a fight?"

"[The Dearly Departed] Delita said wild Chocobos are stronger than tame ones," Cesario decides. "I wonder if he's strong in a fight?" Then, so we can get another angle on Gaffy and Heidi's motivations, Gaffy comments that there's "no money in that," and Heidi postulates that the Chocobo "may help [them] save the Princess…" Ow. My skull. I'm surprised I can even type, it's been so thoroughly bludgeoned with the "Look At How We Develop Our Characters!!!1" bat.


So then. The Condition for Winning this battle is to "Save Chocobo." And I'm not going to lie to you, it's harder to save the little forker than the relatively non-threatening pack of Goblins would lead one to believe. For starters, the little shit has absolutely no sense of self-preservation. The first three times I tried to fight this battle, the stupid Chocobo rushed headfirst into the Pack o' Goblins and got his feathery ass stuffed and turned into a garment fit for Bjork before any of my useful non-Guest characters had even gotten a turn. But eventually, the stupid beast caught on and hid behind a tree, allowing the party to save him from certain Icelandic fashion suicide.

After the skirmish, the Chocobo greets Cesario with a friendly "W-Wark! Thanks for saving my skin, man! I'll be your personal bitch from now on!" and Cesario decides that the Chocobo "seems all right." Whether that's an appraisal of the Chocobo's fighting ability or other "talents" is anybody's guess. Gaffy must have some idea, though, because he turns to the Chocobo and advises that it start thinking of ways to "thank" Cesario. O-kay! The Recruitment Screen cascades onto the screen and Boco the Choco joins up. On the world map, for no reason whatsoever, Cesario robs Gaffy of all of his equipment.

At the next RED down the path, ZIREKILE FALLS, another round of Generic Square Dancing otherwise occupies the party as the camera reveals The Dearly Departed Delita and The Recently Revived Princess, now bereft of their Chocobo for some reason or another, perched on a bridge above the falls, fenced in by a two throngs of Hokuten Troops, who have somehow already sustained a significant number of casualties.

What caused the Hokuten Casualties?
Ophelia, after a visit from her Aunt Flo
They fell through plot holes and died
They committed ritual suicide. I mean, come on. They're Generics in FFT.


"It's over! Surrender!" a Hokuten Knight orders, "Turn the Princess over to us and we'll spare your life!" The Dearly Departed Delita retorts that W!LL really just wants to kill the Princess, so he's afraid he'll be holding on to her for a tad longer. The Knight asserts that the Hokuten came to help the Princess and that they can't let B!LL keep her. Ophelia somehow manages to wrench herself from The Dearly Departed Delita's grasp and backs up a few steps before the god-awful racket associated with Cesario's arrival on the scene stops her mid-escape.

Princess Ophelia and Heidi shout each other's names at each other, and the Hokuten Knight bitches that the whole affair is drawing a crowd. "[Gaffy]! Kill them!! And do it now!!" he orders. And, because he's evil, Gaffy obliges, silencing Heidi's accusations of betrayal by off-handedly commenting that "[his] job is to kidnap the Princess 'unharmed'," and no, I have no idea how he enunciated the air quotes without moving his arms. Gaffy has also committed A Standard Repertoire of Nefarious Acts, Vol. II to memory, apparently, because instead of killing the Party while he has the element of surprise, he decides to announce every aspect of the plan in detail:

"The job is to kill you all and keep things quiet! The Princess is in the way! The Prince should be next in line. If she's alive there'll be nothing but trouble!" As a point of clarification here, I'd like to remind everybody that, for most intents and purposes, W!LL supports the infantile Prince Orinas as heir to the throne because he thinks he's going to get the coveted Regency, so Ophelia's presence throws a monkey wrench in his plans. Really, that's all well and good, but if she's so important now, why the hell didn't Ophelia get any lip service during the now obsolete and still oft-referenced opening video? I hate this freaking game.

The Dearly Departed Delita jumps on one of Gaffy's moments of silence to edge toward the Princess and throw Cesario a sidelong glance. "Since you're going to die, I'll let you help me... If the Princess's kidnapped and killed by [B!LL], they'll be rid of her and his rivals. I'm sure that's how [W!LL] wrote the scenario." Then, as an afterthought, The Dearly Departed Delita adds, "no, [Foulfellow] probably wrote it. Don't you agree, Cesario?"

Partially understanding The Dearly Departed Delita's clever ploy to garner Cesario's support, Gaffy edges away from the Party and tries some garnering of his own. His words fall upon deaf ears, as Cesario bursts out that there won't be any more innocent victims like Rinoa. So, fittingly enough, the Condition for Winning, "Save Princess [Ophelia]!" appears and the dead Hokuten bodies inexplicably vanish from the screen. I mean, I guess that makes sense in-game, because we don't want them hogging up necessary standing room or, even worse, getting Phoenix Down'd by fellow enemies, but geez, that's gotta suck for their families:

Dear General and Ms. Baddie,
We regret to inform you that your son, Faceless Baddie, has fallen in battle. He wasn't even important enough to be killed on-screen. His body vaporized soon after he was pronounced dead, because something more important started to happen. You have our condolences.
Regretfully Yours,
The Hokuten Knights who lived a whopping ten minutes longer before getting murdered as well.


And, now that The Dearly Departed Delita has returned to fulfill his usual "Guest" role, he and Cesario decide that the heat of battle would be the perfect time to catch up on days gone by. "Delita! You're alive!" Cesario duhs, and Delita responds by asking whether or not Cesario's brothers still run his life. Cesario says he doesn't know because they never tell him anything. If you listen really closely, you can hear the Developers at Square shouting, "SEE? WE CAN BE WITTY, TOO!" Cesario also asks Delita if he's "party to [the Hokuten and Gaffy's] plot" and Cesario gets to wear a dunce cap for the rest of the battle because if Delita were in cahoots with Gaffy et. al., do you really think he'd be locked in mortal combat with W!LL's goons? Honestly.

Delita tells Cesario as much and adds that he really wants to save Ophelia from those who would exploit her. Gaffy is nonplussed; he figured Delita had been hired by a third party. "No, I'm not like you. It's not for the money!" Delita shoots Gaffy a stink face. Gaffy's all, "Oh Em Gee, some random kid heard about the plan and decided to save the Princess? How cliché!"

After everybody's said their bit, battle resumes. I laugh really hard when, after all the bravado, Cesario kills Gaffy with one attack, and Gaffy teleports away. I wish I could teleport away. Why do the people that don't join your party always get the cool abilities?

Speaking of cool abilities I'll never get to use, Ophelia's packing MBarrier, FFT's version of Mighty Guard, and uses it on herself to gain more Status bonuses than I even care to list. Then she heads for the hills while Cesario and company bend the remaining knights over their knee and have their way with them. After the last Hokuten knight hits the dirt, the camera pans out and fades to black in order to give the Recapper Generics time to clear out all the dead bodies. When the scene resumes Heidi and Ophelia and Cesario and Delita reunite. It's like the Real World reunion, and Ophelia is totally too punk rock for this shit.

They like nose candy?

Delita tells Cesario that he should "leave the Princess with [him because] it's better for her," but Cesario can't do it without knowing what Delita's intentions are. Instead of laying out his plan for Cesario, Delita counters with another question. Like, where does Cesario think he can take Ophelia after making enemies with the Hokuten? Apparently, Delita has some brilliant plan that will keep both Ophelia and Delita safe from danger, but Cesario and Heidi aren't having it. Delita warns Cesario that he can't go to W!LL because the Princess already knows that it's W!LL's plan to kill her, and they can't go to B!LL because he'd kill them "just to clear himself." Then, suddenly, Delita relents and tells Cesario that he can keep the Princess a little longer. Some weird dialogue about Rinoa saving Delita follows, and then Delita leaves.

As soon as Delita has left the frame, Heidi tells Cesario that they can ask Cardinal Draclau for help, and that it's okay for the recapper to call Cardinal Draclau Count Dracula. Heidi exposits further by saying that "Glabados church has jurisdiction over Lionel," and apparently that means something good because the Hokuten has to be careful what they do in Lionel. And just like that, it's decided that the Party will seek the aid of Count Dracula.

On the World Map, the path leading to the RED BETHLA GARRISON retracts and instead heads southward to RED ZALAND FORT CITY, then RED BARIAUS HILL, and then RED LIONEL CASTLE. Proceeding immediately south earns the Generics a Round of Square Dancing and the camera swoops into town just in time to see a ponytailed young man dash into the frame.

A Fencer and two Black Mages bust onto the scene and surround the Young Man, demanding that he give "it" to them if he wants to live to see another day. The Young Man plays dumb as two Archers walk on-screen as backup. The Fencer yells to "Mustadio" to give back the 'holy stone' if he ever wants to see his father again. After executing a flawless six foot vertical leap onto the wall on the edge of town and nailing the dismount, Mustadio tells the Fencer exactly where he can shove it as the clamoring of Birkenstocks off-screen heralds Cesario's arrival. The camera pans over to Heidi, who is, for some odd reason, sequestered by herself in a corner of the field, so she can duh that somebody is after the Young Man. Cesario, recognizing a kindred spirit in the ponytailed individual, is given a choice between not wanting to get involved and helping. I choose the first one because Cesario decides that we're gonna help anyway, but if we choose the second option and Mustadio dies, we lose. If we choose the first option, we don't. You do the math.

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