I finished up the Timber episode in Final Fantasy VIII the other day. There’s many interesting (and baffling) stuff going on in this section such as the introduction of both Vinzer Deling and Edea, the game’s primary villans (for a little while), Seifer’s betrayal of Balamb, and Squall’s reunion with Rinoa where he learns that she’s a ditzy liberal. It is also at this point in the game that we’re introduced to VIII’s BIG MYSTERY.
En route to Timber Squall and company inexplicitly fall asleep and share a vision. They dream they are Laguna, Kiros, and Ward, a trio of bumbling Galbadian soldiers who are fighting the in occupation of Timber some twenty odd years earlier. While it would have been super neato to see Laguna fighting against Tiber’s army-and a contrast to the modern resistance efforts that are coming up-we’re only given a few screens of forest in which Laguna battles mushrooms before they ship back to Galbadia proper.
Ward, in particular, is quite the character. He’s a giant of man, towering over Laguna and Kiros. His weapon of choice is a harpoon of all things. And it’s not a little whaling harpoon or anything. This one is so massive that is could take down a magic evil super whale that used to be his dad. And he tosses it around like it ain’t no thing. Impressive indeed.
After the group returns to Galbadia comes an embarrassing to watch scene where Laguna attempts to catch the eye of a lounge pianist he has a crush on. Inexplicably, his leg cramps up from nervousness and he limps all around her stage in a display so removed from how someone would really act you’ve got to wonder what the hell the scenario writers were thinking.
Somehow this endears the pianist, Julia, to him and she invites him to his room to “talk.” And talk he does. What follows is an evening filled with awkward silences and nervous dialogue. And, sadly, not even implied sex. Beyond all reason this inspires Julia to write an insipid love ballad that becomes the world’s most popular song (actually, that’s pretty close to reality).
The real mystery isn’t why Squall has these dreams (or bouts of actual time travel as Squall’s Guardian Forces get passed on to Laguna) but why Laguna’s bizarre antics would cause anyone to put up with him, let alone cause Selphie to exclaim upon waking “Sir Laguna is so cool!”
That’s putting it mildly, Kiros.