Crazy Winhill Days

Crazy boring that is. The Final Fantasy VIIIslump continues and I don’t remember when the game picks back up. I think it’s when you have to delve into Balamb’s greasy underbelly. But that’s still a ways off. So Squal could be dead for all we know. Last we saw he was pierced by Edea’s ice missile, the game fades to black (and after a disk swap) we’re back with Laguna in another flash-time-back-travel episode.

Laguna’s been resting in a small mountain village called Winhill, recuperating from the wounds he received in the Lunatic Pandora episode. He’s met the true love of his life, Raine. And instead of getting back to his life he’s been hanging around, bothering all the townspeople, and fighting monsters for lack of something better to do.

And that’s what this flashback is, running up and down the streets of Winhill, fighting weak mooks from the beginning of the game. All the while Fragments of Memories, VIII’s music box theme, plays. This gets old and fast. Why is it that every PSX RPG Square made had to include a music box theme? A friend told me that at least Xenogear’s was good but I think he’s suffering from Stockholm syndrome.

There are a few interesting things that come up in this otherwise dull interlude. We find out that Juila the Piano player has written “Eyes on Me” about a soldier she loved who went off to war and never comes back. This goes completely over Laguna’s head. She bounced back by marrying General Caraway which means that she’s Rinoa’s mom! Everything’s coming together. We also learn that Laguna and friends are aware of Squal and friends influence on their lives. “I think the fairies are back,” says Laguna. “I can’t wait to get into some battles,” responds Kiros, as if suddenly having the power to summon wildly distructive elemental forces is just something that happens from time to time. La-la-la Ifrit just burned down half the village yay fairies! I do think Square missed an opportunity by not having Squall’s spirit possessing his dad’s body during his own conception. Think of the fanart!

Winhall also marks the first time in the game that Laguna’s HP fell low enough that I could see his limit break.

Hahahaha! This looks especially ridiculous in Winhill where there’s nothing that Laguna can attach grapling hook onto. There’s just something about the way he lazily rocks back and forth firing. Allmost if he couldn’t care less that he’s hanging from a cloud spraying giant caterpillars with bullets. You know, being nonchalant doesn’t make you any more cool, Laguna.

I’m losing my motivation to continue any further in the game. I know this is a low point and things pick back up but I’m feeling burnt out. I’m fifteen hours in which at both feels like a long time and like I’ve barely scratched the surface of the game. I’m not quitting VIII, but I think it’s time for a change of pace.

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