Final Fantasy X : Part 8
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There's an ancient machina elevator that brings Tightass and company up to the upper level, where the command center is located. Even Wakka rides it, instead of climbing up the cliff. Al Bhed machina cannons line the cliff on the upper level, and Wakka is pissed. He goes up to one of the metal contraptions and kicks it hard. Never mind that he's wearing open-toed sandals and ends up hurting himself...and making an ass out of himself. "He really hates them, huh?" Tightass speaks the obvious to Lulu. She dons her Exposition hat and explains, "Chappu...He left the sword Wakka gave him in Besaid. And he fought with an Al Bhed machina weapon instead." Wakka overhears this and denies that as his reason for hating machina. He says he hates machina because it's sacrilegious. Oh whatever, Wakka. Notice how he blames everyone but Chappu for his death, hating entire groups of people just because he can't deal with the fact that his brother was a wanker.
|No you won't.
Various Crusaders and Al Bhed are hanging around the upper area, fixing up cannons, giving pep talks to each other, and other such activities we don't really care about. A couple of people prod the red pill bug from earlier out of its cage and into a bigger, already occupied cage. It contains something ugly, but we can't quite see it. The screen shakes and people around the cage react to let us know that something happened. Did the big thing eat the pill bug?
Wakka is being a bastard. "It won't work anyway," he snipes. I mean, I've been saying the same thing, but I'm not actually there and I'm not making myself look like an asshole. Well, maybe I am, but pretend I'm not, okay? Yuna takes exception to Wakka's statement. "Don't say that. It might be a hopeless campaign, and it might mean defying Yevon...But the Crusaders and the Al Bhed -- they're doing their best to defeat Sin. They want to rid Spira of Sin forever. And that's just what we want, too, isn't it?" She turns to face Wakka, and repeats dramatically, "Isn't it?" Wakka's still not happy. He agrees to shut up about it, but he still doesn't agree with the use of machina. "They're forbidden for a reason!" he insists stupidly.
|To the right of Tightass we see the reason why Seymour is so interested in this mission.
Lucil shows up again and reminds them, again, to go to the command center. She says that someone named Maester Kinoc is there. Everyone except me and Tightass (ick!) seems to know who that is. I use my X-Treme Powers of Deduction to figure out that he's another of the maesters. Go me!
Finally, the party reaches the command center. It only took twenty-three minutes in game time. A random Crusader right outside the door offers all sorts of explanation about the cannons and other parts of the mission. It's nothing we haven't already learned or figured out ourselves, so I won't bother to recap it. The random dude seems to have quite a problem with the Al Bhed. God, this is as bad as Grandia II with the Geodudes.
Just inside the door to the command center (which is a giant tent-like enclosure), Gatta sullenly tells everyone to check their equipment. When Wakka asks if he's okay, Gatta starts whining to them about his orders. Gatta, shut the fuck up. Auron, already used to dealing with wankers, says, "If you want to prove yourself..." "Huh?" Gatta does his best Tightass imitation. "First you must complete the tasks you are given," Auron finishes. Translation: quit whining, you little thong-wearing wanker. These words, from the most legendary guardian himself, don't even seem to penetrate Gatta's thick loser skull. He just grunts and sulks. Tightass gives him his own brand of advice, contrary to Auron's. He tells Gatta he should be on the front lines. There, that should get rid of the little wanker. No, not Tightass. Sorry, guys.
Inside the command center, a pudgy little bald dude in an orange robe and cap walks over and hugs Auron. Auron just stands there. Oh, come on, did you really think he was touchy-feely enough to hug the guy back? I don't think so. "I'd heard from Seymour, but I didn't know if we'd actually meet," says the Auron-hugger. "Good to see you, Auron! Ten years, is it?" He chuckles. Lulu leans over to explain who the hell the guy is to Tightass. It's Wen Kinoc, one of the Four Maesters of Yevon. Score one for me for figuring out that Maester Kinoc was a maester! "He leads the warrior monks and also commands the Crusaders," Exposition!Lulu says. As to just how well Kinoc knows Auron...well, they never get into that.
Gatta runs in to tell Kinoc that the troops are ready. Once he's gone, Kinoc tries again to get some reaction from Auron. He asks the million dollar question -- where has Auron been for the last ten years? Auron doesn't want to get into it. Kinoc admits that he knows Operation Mi'ihen won't work. "We'll just let them dream a little longer," Kinoc finishes, not caring about the inevitable deaths nor about the excommunication of the Crusaders. I'm curious as to how they could all be excommunicated if half of the Maesters are supporting them. Plus, if Kinoc commands them, then isn't he responsible for this whole operation? Then why wasn't he excommunicated? Hello! Tightass tries to get all in Kinoc's face, but Seymour shows up at that moment. Kinoc tells him to proceed.
"That Kinoc...a maester?" Auron wonders skeptically. Kinoc isn't even out of earshot. That Auron, what a badass. "A lot has happened in the last ten years. What were you doing, and where?" Kinoc asks. "Sadly, I've been watching over a wanker and drinking a lot," is the translation of Auron's actual line. He says he's been fulfilling a promise to a friend, and he's continuing to do so. He doesn't sound too happy about that. Would you be? Kinoc asks if Auron has seen Zanarkand. Auron's "Hmph" communicates one thing -- "I have seen it, and it is a hellish place that has produced the biggest wanker of all time."
Yuna leans over to Tightass and says that she gets the feeling that they don't really belong there. I would have to agree, as long as the definition of where they don't belong includes the entire game. Well, I'm willing to give some leeway to Yuna, since she's actually important to the storyline, but Tightass should have been left on the Final Fantasy X brainstorm list. Or better yet, never been on the list at all.
Some Crusader guy shows up to lecture them on the danger of the situation. It's go time. As Maester Kinoc ascends the platform where he'll oversee the operation, Yuna wonders if Sin will even show up. Now that would be funny. All this preparation and the damn thing doesn't show. Auron insists that Sin will indeed make an appearance. This prompts some unusually ungodly Wankese. "I remembered Auron telling me. Sin is my old man. Sin is Jecht." Yes, that was pointless and redundant. We all remember that Sin is Jecht. Tightass is the only one who seems to have trouble with that concept.
The tense We're All Going to Get Killed Music plays as the cage with the sinspawn is subjected to what looks like electric shocks. They're trying to make the sinspawn attract Sin, but since Auron implied that Tightass's presence will do the trick, maybe they should put Tightass in the cage and electrocute him. Instead, what happens is that the sinspawn escapes and attacks Tightass and the others. Crap. No, I'm not concerned about Tightass, just the others. And not really concerned -- I just don't feel like fighting a battle.
The sinspawn is a giant centipede-like thing with two arms and a dead red pill bug for a head. Oh, so that's what happened to it. Um, ew. The battle is moderately difficult because I didn't get Lulu's second level spells. Hey, did you want me to recap or fight more random battles? Tightass does one thing in battle -- he casts Haste. Then, I send him away, because one extremely annoying monster on the screen at a time is enough.
Finally, I defeat the sinspawn. Or so it seems. As it lays twitching on the cliff, something black appears in the water behind it. Could it be Sin? Why, yes it could. And it is. The Al Bhed cannons are fired at Sin as it undulates in the water, but the wounds only produce more swimming sinspawn. It's gross. An FMV Lucil gives the command to attack, and the chocobo knights go forth. The spiffy FMV is marred by the fact that the action pauses before the fadeout. Whoops, game designers.