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  -Part 1 :: [03.13.04]
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"'That way leads down into the valley,' Lulu has to inform him. Wakka expresses surprise that Lulu knows her way around so well, never mind that her statement would be completely fucking obvious to anyone with half a brain....I guess I answered my own question there."
     -Jeanne, Final Fantasy X Part 17




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Final Fantasy Tactics : Part 3
By Ryan
Posted 10.10.04
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
"I don't want to get involved, but I can't just leave him!" Cesario moans, "I'll help him!" Then the Party is given the task of Defeating All Enemies and battle breaks out. Cesario and company start on one side of the wall, the enemies start on the other, and Mustadio starts on top of the wall, so the first several turns in battle involve moving characters all over creation to get them into useful battle positions. The benefit here is that from his vantage point on the wall, Mustadio can use his Gun to shoot baddies as they approach, which is kinda cool.

 
Check who's packing heat!

After the last of the enemies dies, due to a combination of poisoning and Kelly the Geomancer's sword to the head, Cesario turns to Mustadio to make sure he's all right. Mustiadio seems to think he's okay, which I would certainly hope is the case, considering he was perched on top of a building the whole battle shooting people and suffered not a single scratch. He thanks the party for their help and the screen makes a diagonal wipe to...

The interior of some ghetto house. Mustadio tells Heidi and Cesario that the people they just killed were "Troublemakers hired by Bart Company," and Heidi supplements that Bart Company deals in imports. Mustadio confesses that the Bart Company isn't just a group of traders, they're also "a criminal syndicate into everything from smuggling and [to] slavery."

So, naturally, Cesario wonders what's so special about Mustadio that the Big Bad Bart Co. would come after him. Like, is he some kind of sole heir to a race of magical creatures? And if so, can we borrow his Holy Materia before he gets kebabed by a whiney Bish?

Mustadio counters Cesario's question with a question of his own: "You know why they call us mechanics?" Cesario shakes his head and Heidi comments that she heard that a 'lost civilization' is hidden under Goug. According to Heidi, "when St. Ajora [Jesus] was alive, airships were in the sky, and human robots in town. But time passed, technology was lost, and no one knows if it ever really existed."

Mustadio tells Heidi that the civilization must have existed because parts from many airships and machines are buried under Goug. I guess nobody thought to consider that maybe Goug was just the global junkyard then, huh? All this lost civilization talk makes me think of Motel of the Mysteries for some reason. Anybody read it? Anyway, to bring the conversation full-circle, Mustadio the Grease Monkey exposits that "mechanics are the ones who restore the 'past legacies.'" Cesario wonders if "that weird thing" Grease Monkeyo used in battle was one of the ancient machine things, and Grease Monkeyo tells Cesario that it's called a 'gun,' and the one he has is the most simple of them all. Then, because this is a Final Fantasy game, Grease Monkeyo randomly adds that some people say that guns used to be able to shoot magic too. Cesario doesn't really get it. Get in line, pal.

Heidi finds this window into Grease Monkeyo's culture absolutely fascinating but she still demands to know why the Big Bad Bart Co. is after him. Again, Grease Monkeyo dodges her question by telling her that he wants to go with the party to see Count Dracula and, long, BORING! story short, he believes that Count Dracula will help the Princess, so if Grease Monkeyo tags along too, maybe Count Dracula will help him save his father as well. "The [Count is] the only one who can rescue him from Bart!" Grease Monkeyo cries out in exasperation. Yeah right. Fifty bucks says that we'll have to do it.

Heidi points out that they can't let Grease Monkeyo come along unless he tells them why the Big Bad Bart Co. is after him in the first place, but when Grease Monkeyo refuses, Princess Ophelia sashays into the room and tells Grease Monkeyo that he can come along anyway. Whatever.

Fanwank Time! Why did Ophelia let GM come along?
She loves him.
She has a secret grudge against Big Bad Bart Co.
So that we have another person to help out once she leaves the Party.
She wants to make a comeback in the sequel, wielding dual pistols and a hot new look, so she'd better immerse herself in the machina culture now.

 

Outside the ghetto house, Heidi tells Ophelia that Lionel Castle is just over the mountain, and soon, everything will be puppies and rainbows again. Ophelia wonders if Count Dracula will really help her, and Heidi comments that she "hear[s] the Cardinal is very loyal to the royal family." Well. I'm so glad this entire trek is based entirely on hearsay and conjecture. Freaking morons.

Heidi exposits that the Count is supposedly neutral between B!LL and W!LL, so he surely wouldn't "defeat justice by turning [the Princess] over to either one of them." Ophelia, placated, walks to one of the trees dotting the landscape, plucks a leaf, and tries to blow on it. Heidi clearly doesn't know what to do, so she just adds that the Count is "a man of popularity at Glabados Church," so they'll house the Princess if he asks them too.

"I wish I weren't a Princess," Ophelia whines, dropping the leaf to the ground. As Cesario sneaks into the back of the scene, somehow managing to keep those clogs of his quiet, Ophelia exposits that she "was always surrounded by the convent walls and [has] only seen the sky through them." ...What? Is she trying to work the caged bird metaphor? 'Cause she sucks at it.

Ophelia tells Heidi that she was at another Monastery before she got transferred to Bonneor. "Even after hearing about the adoption by the deceased king [Even after she found out that she was only the adopted daughter of King Omdoria,] [Ophelia] stayed there for a long time." But Ophelia maintains that she's not complaining. Yeah, right, sister. And I'm Wakka's twin brother that Rikku is destined to fall madly in love with and marry.

And the Princess!Wank keeps on coming! Ophelia says that it's so painful for her to know that people are dying because she's the Princess. Heidi's all, "Well, nothing you can do about it, whiner," as Ophelia continues to strip down the poor tree. What did the tree ever do to you, Missy?

 
'And I got a funny feeling down there.'

Ophelia tells Heidi that she met a girl at Bonneor Monastery, because she wants to make this scene last as long as is humanly possible. Heidi divines that the girl must have been none other than "Miss. [sic] Alma" Beoulve. I guess that, counting Rinoa, there were only three girls at the Monastery. More room for the altar boys, eh? Eh?! EH?! Oh yeah. I went there.

Jesus, this scene is still going. I think half my brain cells just died in protest. Grease Monkeyo shrieks his way into the frame, blowing Cesario's cover, but apparently nobody cares that Cesario was eavesdropping on the nuances of Heidi and Ophelia's relationship. Instead, Heidi and Grease Monkeyo chatter about how it appears the Hokuten haven't found their trail yet, and Cesario wanders over to Ophelia. The Princess whines that she can't remember how to play the reed flute just like Alma taught her. So, like, isn't it lucky that Cesario is there to properly instruct her? They tootle their flutes all the way back onto the World Map.

With Grease Monkeyo now in the fold, Cesario swipes his gun and shoves it into Jeanne the Mediator's arms. I mean, if the game designers don't seem to care that the fact that some jobs can use guns negates Grease Monkeyo's entire mechanical backstory, why should I?

After stocking up at ZALAND FORT CITY, Chibi!Cesario leads the party south to BARIAUS HILL, which, if we can take the previous conversation between Heidi and Ophelia seriously, is probably more like a mountain. And what mountain would be complete without a slew of foes lying in wait?

As the party climbs up the frame, a Rudvich (the leader of the Big Bad Bart Co.) Mercenary from the summit yells for them to leave "the boy" with them. Heidi tells him that they'll be doing no such thing, and suggests that the Mercenaries tell Rudvich that the party will fight anyone who uses war to sway the people. Which makes no sense in context, when you think about it, but just go with it. The point is that Heidi likes Grease Monkeyo now and is willing to fight to help him. Because she's a good person or something. Whatever.

And I will be the first to tell you, this battle is fucking hard. BARIAUS HILL is actually a peak sandwiched between two valleys, and two Knights and two Archers get the uphill advantage while two Summoners occupy the valleys. So, as the party rushes forward to overpower the fighters on the hill, the Summoners fry them with their enslaved magical creatures. Eventually, though, stupid me Cesario figures out that it would probably be a good idea to kill the Summoners first, so lots of my battle footage consists of Recapper Generics sneaking down around the mountain and ganging up on the Summoners. One of them dies quickly, and the other gets confused by some mystical Geomancer mojo and spends the rest of battle doing weird things like attacking nothing and wasting her MP. So, deeming her harmless, the party kills everybody else and does the Scoop Up the Treasure thing and it stretches the length of this battle to epic proportions. And that's not counting my first three attempts. Seriously.

But finally, the battle ends and Cesario turns to Grease Monkeyo's unconscious form to demand why he's being chased by the Big Bad Bart Co. Grease Monkeyo heaves himself upright as though he has just awakened from a nap instead of an unconscious stupor and whines that he still can't tell the party why. Next!

The camera cuts directly to the Office of Igros Castle, where Foulfellow -- hey, FF! -- instructs Gaffy to do anything it takes to get Ophelia. He also tells Gaffy to kill Heidi and the rest of the Generics. When Gaffy asks if the order includes Cesario, Foulfellow laboriously walks over to the wet bar, pours himself some wine, and enunciates, "He's a disgrace to the name Beoulve, and he's in our way. I left him alone because I thought he'd learn how harsh the real world is. I never thought he was that dense."

Gaffy innocently asks if Cesario's strong sense of justice came from the Late Balbanes, unknowingly pushing Foulfellow's "Daddy Issues" button. "My father spoiled him," FF snits in response. Then, to get back to the topic, he instructs Gaffy to let Cesario live if he obeys orders and kill him if he doesn't. Gaffy's all, "Wow, I can't believe you just said that," like we're supposed to believe that this joker suddenly has a conscience, and his commentary earns him a death threat from Foulfellow. Gaffy kisses FF's ass to apologize, and changes the subject to The Dearly Departed Delita. Apparently, neither Gaffy nor Foulfellow know the man in the Golden Armor's name, because they never use it in their conversation. Gaffy just asks Foulfellow who the other guy was, and Foulfellow responds by walking over to the window and murmuring that a group of his shady subordinates were found dead in the woods near the monastery. Foulfellow deduces that someone learned of the plan and is trying to stop it.

But apparently, that doesn't matter, because they change the topic back to Ophelia. According to Foulfellow, as long as Ophelia is with Heidi, there'll be plenty of chances to kidnap her. Gaffy agrees, and the camera makes its gloomy exit through the ceiling.

And on that lugubrious note, this recap draws to a close. Next time: More on the mystery surrounding Grease Monkeyo and a date with Count Dracula. In case the name hasn't clued you in already, he's totally evil. Whoops, spoiler!

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