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  -Part 1 :: [02.13.02]
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"The great news is that these Chams are located all over the world, and Timmy will start squeaking like a retarded mouse on speed every time I'm near one. This is me looking joyous and excited. At least it will become stronger the more it eats. And by 'stronger' I of course mean 'only sucking a fraction of the ass as previously.'"
     -Jeanne, Skies of Arcadia Part 5

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Final Fantasy VIII : Part 1
By Jeanne
Posted 02.13.02
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
Squally exits the classroom and ends up getting bumped into by a spastic girl who is late for class. She falls to the ground, and I have the choice to be nice or an asshole. I choose the asshole option. The girl gets up. She is wearing the Garden uniform and her hair is atrocious. I have to use a brush to curl my hair under every morning, because I specifically do not want my hair looking like hers - all flipped up at the bottom. It's really dorky. The spazzy girl asks if homeroom is over and then explains that she is a transfer student from another Garden. She wonders if Squally can give her a tour. I know that I've done a horrible misdeed as a recapper to miss this wonderful opportunity to give the full Garden tour. I'm so, so bad. But I wanted to make Squally a total asshole for the entire scene because it makes me giggle. So there.

I make Squally turn her down, because I imagine he's quite talented at turning down women, and take my own damn tour of the Garden. Squally picks up some cards for the horribly addictive minigame "Triple Triad" from a guy near the elevator. This is the very beginning of Squally's mad descent into card addiction. Consider yourself forewarned.

In the cafeteria, Squally finds the light of his life, Seifer, with two other people. One is a beefy-looking dark-skinned guy named Raijin, and the other is a gray-haired girl with an eyepatch named Fujin. The girl, not the eyepatch. The three of them make up the "disciplinary committee," which sounds quite naughty. I guess the two "friends" are supposed to be comic relief because Fujin speaks in single words in ALL CAPS (how does one sound when speaking in all caps, I wonder?) and Raijin ends all his sentences with "ya know".

Hehe... hehehe.... okay, I'm just pathetic.

I use this moment to make Squally stand gratuitously close to Seifer, just to amuse my sick sad self. My husband eggs me on, even though he's straight....yeah. Seifer tells Squally not to bother the disciplinary committee. Poor Squally, getting turned down by his man. I guess Seifer's still in the closet around his friends. But whatever. He still wants Squally.

Suddenly a young blond guy runs in, panting, and asks the cafeteria lady if there are any hotdogs left. Insert your own gay joke here. Squally, Seifer, Fujin, and Raijin all stare at him. Squally thinks about Seifer's hotdog. Okay, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I know that was bad.

The four of them turn in unison to watch as the blond guy leaves. Then Seifer says that the hotdog fanatic broke the "no speeding" rule and the disciplinary committee must "arrest him". Yeah, it sounds dirty. They run after him, and Squally is left all by his depressed and jealous lonesome. Seifer is the Garden ho.

I make Squally visit the rest of the Garden, but there's nothing major of note. So it's time to meet Quistis at the gate. She is wearing a pink skirt outfit that is just as weird as any of the other outfits in the game. I mean, sleeves that don't connect at the shoulders? And pants under a long skirt? I think character designers are all on drugs.

Where is it, again?

Quistis gives Squally a tutorial on how to junction a GF, because apparently they don't teach that stuff in class, they teach it in impromptu lessons at random points in time. Of course, I already junctioned, so the tutorial is pointless. I could make a crude comment regarding the words "Squally," "Seifer," and "junction," but I won't. Or maybe I just did.

Squally and Quistis head [east of here] to the fire cavern, fighting many monsters along the way. Oh dear, Quistis has a whip. I can hear the number of "naughty teacher" fanfictions increase across the land. I make sure to draw lots of Blizzard magic because for some reason, I suspect I'm going to a place called the [Fire Cavern], which may, by some random chance, be filled with [Fire] creatures and they'll be weak against ice magic.

I realize that I am different than 99% of the fanboys of the world, in that I actually like the Final Fantasy VIII battle system. I know, I know, you're thinking "What the hell is wrong with her? She actually likes that piece of shit battle system?" Yes. Yes I do. But you know what? I have saved many hours of my life by not having to bitch about how horrible this game is. And in those hours that I saved, I have had even more time to play games. Or, more importantly, I've had time to have a life. I suppose I've missed out on something magical by not whining and ranting about the horrible deed that Square committed by releasing this travesty, but I'm willing to live with the choice I've made.

There's not much else to note except that the overworld music is cool and Balamb is an island. Also, I like pulling the trigger on Squally's gunblade, except that my analog controller broke and I have to live without the vibration. I'm sure 99.9% of you just took that in a sick way. Just for that, you get an extra Squall and Seifer gay reference. Nyah.

That's what Seifer would like to know.

At the [Fire Cavern], Quistis gives Squally another impromptu lesson in junctioning magic. Plus, she asks Squally if he remembers how to use his gunblade. I have to wonder what the hell they frickin' teach them at Garden.

There are two faculty members at the entrance of the cave. They are wearing flat yellow hats that seem to cover their faces, and red skirts or something. They are very weird.

Squally's objective is to obtain a low level GF. GF is Guardian Force in case I didn't mention that. Quistis is his support. Squally and Quistis both do some sort of salute which looks like feet together, hand over face or something. Give me a break, the camera is behind them and I'm not magical.

I can choose a time limit of 10, 20, or 30 minutes. I want to turn the game off soon, so I choose 10 minutes. Of course, if I screw up and die because that's not enough time, I'll have to come back and choose a longer time limit, and that will take longer than if I just picked a longer time limit in the first place. These choices in life are so complicated.

Inside the [Fire Cavern] which is, unsurprisingly, [Red] and [Fiery] with lots of [Lava], Quistis says that her job is to support Squally in battle, but the rest is up to him. She also tries to make small talk, including a remark about how the guys usually choke on this test when she's with them, because her charm makes them nervous. "...Whatever," Squally thinks, because he is not in thrall to any sort of feminine charms whatsoever. Quistis says she was kidding, and was just trying to loosen him up. The sentence I originally had in place of this one has been deleted, and you may thank me for that.

Blah blah monsters, blah blah draw point, and Squally and Quistis reach the crater at the end of the pathway with 6 minutes and 15 seconds left.

"I guess I was right. You and Seifer are in a class of your own. You both have amazing strength and potential. And lots of unresolved sexual tension," Quistis says. Okay, I made up the last sentence of that quote. Squally ignores the comment, just like he has ignored every single comment Quistis has made thus far. I wonder why a woman such as herself would not take the hint. I sure would. Squally doesn't even reply when Quistis asks if he's ready, he just makes some gesture. What a prick.

The fiery pit begins to glow and Ifrit emerges. He looks like Ifrit in every other FF game, except better. I will sum up my entire battle strategy: Shiva and Blizzard magic. I note that the game designers are very enamored of their summon animations because they last about ten hours. Ifrit is surprised when he notices that Squally and Quistis have Shiva. I wonder just how plentiful GFs are. I mean, it's a frickin' small island, and there's just one cavern, and a GF can't be junctioned by more than one person at once, so how do all the SeeD candidates manage to get a GF? Do they just go traipsing all across the land? How did Squally get lucky enough to be the guy who gets to go to the [cavern] nearby? Is the [Fire Cavern] like some sort of GF pez dispenser, popping out random GFs whenever someone stops by? I'm confused.

Squally and Quistis defeat Ifrit, and he joins them. I junction him to Squally and let the Str-J goodness begin. After another boring tutorial from Quistis, the two of them head back to Garden. I remember that I promised another Squall and Seifer gay reference because of the way you sickly interpreted an innocent comment of mine. So -- Squall and Seifer are gay. There.

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