Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Rooney McNibnug
Sep 2, 2008

"Life always hopes. When a definite object cannot be outlined, the indomitable spirit of hope still impels the living mass to move toward something--something that shall somehow be better."


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmE4fKHKXy8&hd=1

22 years ago, I opened the jewel case to the brand new copy of Final Fantasy VIII, inserted the disc into my original Playstation Entertainment System, selected "New Game" and watched the best introduction sequence to an RPG I have seen to this day (I may have restarted the game just to watch it again after the first time I saw it). 20-something years later and I am still in love with this beautiful and broken game.



wikipedia posted:

Final Fantasy VIII is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the PlayStation console. Released in 1999, it is the eighth main installment in the Final Fantasy series. Set on an unnamed fantasy world with science fiction elements, the game follows a group of young mercenaries, led by Squall Leonhart, as they are drawn into a conflict sparked by Ultimecia, a sorceress from the future who wishes to compress time. During the quest to defeat Ultimecia, Squall struggles with his role as leader and develops a romance with one of his comrades, Rinoa Heartilly.

Released after the acclaimed 7th chapter of the Final Fantasy series, it was destined to become somewhat of a shadow to its predecessor. But I assure you, this game has it all:

  • Teenage mercenaries-for-hire being trained by different "schools" possibly bent on global domination
  • Characters including a slightly dysfunctional protagonist, a spaz with a Mike Tyson Tattoo, Wakka's distant cousin, and of course Robin Williams
  • The greatest card-based RPG mini-game
  • Industrial sabotage
  • A cute dog being used as a projectile weapon
  • The ugliest train I have ever seen
  • Space Romance
  • Space Witchcraft
  • Time compression (whatever the gently caress that actually means)
  • Hot Dogs

The story follows Squall, a closed-off nihilistic-seeming student at Balamb Garden (School For Teenage Soldiers!), working his way towards become a member of the infamous SeeD force, who are dispatched on missions on behalf of the Garden's upper-echelon. Shortly after his initial acceptance into SeeD, Squall is ordered to lead a team in a handful of missions, the second of which he is sent to link up with a resistance group in a particularly small town close to full-blown occupation by an outside force. It is within this mission where he meets Rinoa, the love interest of the story. From here we wind into several other character reveals, plot revelations, as well as a number of daunting twists, and end up into a full-blow prophecy involving events as overwhelming as time/space-manipulation.



It often feels as if there isn't too wide of a spectrum beyond love/hate for this particular entry in the series, which I think has to do with the narrative structure as well as the deviation from certain elements of the earlier series. I do believe a lot of the frustration with the game can be traced back to an arguably poor English translation of the dialogue, but others will argue that this just encourages interesting theory and general thoughts on some of the ambiguity here (see later sections).



While the battles within FFVIII remain quite traditionally turn-based, the game presented players with a new character configuration system known as Junctioning. This involved using magic obtained (in one way or another) by a character to "junction" to different attributes, and eventually in a way where they could affect attack/defense.



This system can be busted in pretty glaring ways, leading to carrying you through parts of the game with ease, but it also offers a way to explore different configurations with the underlying elements and different challenges alternative to normal linear gameplay. Players can easily go down a very long and laborious rabbit hole of playing Triple Triad (FFVIII's Card mini-game) for hours upon hours in order to convert cards to powerful magic for junctioning purposes, for example.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3o5UEudTJ1U&hd=1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRujQkxQ4MM&hd=1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryjEzpIDyAE&hd=1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5OsMJUVXYA&hd=1



:siren:SPOILERS ABOUND:siren:


(Credit to forums user Electromax)





zedprime posted:

FF8 has a transoceanic rail line and a continent that was destroyed by the moon in the ancient prehistoric times of 50 years ago.



Barudak posted:

FFVIII has a closed time loop and conscious transitioning through time and space and villainesses plan to delete the parts of time she doesn't care for that has been ongoing before you find out she exists and the god of their setting got their rear end kicked by human beings and ran away.

FFVIII is exactly as wild as it should be.



https://twitter.com/RooneyMcNibNug/status/1407723367638130691


So go ahead, post what you love about FFVIII! Post what you hate about FFVIII! Post your arguably rational and/or absolutely-unhinged theories! Post music! Post videos! But please do use spoiler tags when necessary.

Rooney McNibnug fucked around with this message at 19:18 on Feb 16, 2022

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Rooney McNibnug
Sep 2, 2008

"Life always hopes. When a definite object cannot be outlined, the indomitable spirit of hope still impels the living mass to move toward something--something that shall somehow be better."
Also, please post memes.

SetsunaMeioh
Sep 28, 2007
Mistress of the Night
Final Fantasy VIII is one of my comfort games.

The game is piss easy once you know how to break the Junction system, but that also frees me up to absorb the atmosphere and the music. There's something of a loneliness and desolation to its environment that's weirdly comforting to me.

I've grown to like Squall a lot as an adult. When I first played the game in my early teens, he just kinda...existed. I didn't feel any real connection to him, but I also didn't realize the level of abandonment issues he has until I was an adult.

The mythology around the sorceress is sorely underutilized. I wish it was fleshed out more.

HD DAD
Jan 13, 2010

Generic white guy.

Toilet Rascal
FFVIII is just a series of ridiculous escalations, and just when you think it canít top itself, it keeps going until the universe loving implodes.

It is a good game.

Rooney McNibnug
Sep 2, 2008

"Life always hopes. When a definite object cannot be outlined, the indomitable spirit of hope still impels the living mass to move toward something--something that shall somehow be better."

SetsunaMeioh posted:

I've grown to like Squall a lot as an adult. When I first played the game in my early teens, he just kinda...existed. I didn't feel any real connection to him, but I also didn't realize the level of abandonment issues he has until I was an adult.

I feel this. I used to make fun of his character a bit, but it really sunk in during a replay just what makes someone get that way.

NikkolasKing
Apr 3, 2010





Also, be sure to check out FFVIII gameplay mods here:
https://forums.qhimm.com/index.php?board=87.0

I poo poo talk FFVIII a lot for many justified reasons I think but I've still played it many times and I'll play it again in the future. My anger at it is how it easily could have been so much better. It has a lot going for it that it squanders.

Still love Seifer. I think his and Squall's dynamic is an example of writing carried through to completion in the game ins a satisfying way. Except for Seifer not rejoining the party for a redemption arc at the end but eh.

Caidin
Oct 28, 2011
FFVIII-2 with Seifer as the lead when

Asterite34
May 19, 2009


FFVIII has the dubious distinction of being the Most Anime Final Fantasy Game, an already incredibly anime franchise in an anime-saturated genre

dreffen
Dec 3, 2005

MEDIOCRE, MORSOV!

FF8 is the best god drat Final Fantasy even after playing it too many times since getting it when it released in 1999. I've been playing it sporadically again on the Switch and it's great.

Wingnut Ninja
Jan 11, 2003

Mostly Harmless

NikkolasKing posted:

My anger at it is how it easily could have been so much better. It has a lot going for it that it squanders.

Yeah, it's really ambitious and tries a lot of interesting things. It mostly fails at them, but I have to respect their willingness to change things up. And some of the things, like the junction system, are really unique and fun to mess around with.

Rooney McNibnug posted:

I do believe a lot of the frustration with the game can be traced back to an arguably poor English translation of the dialogue,

My theory is that it's not just the translation, but the requirement for any text to be condensed to the absolute minimum in order to fit into the very limited display space in dialog windows. It's hard enough to explain the plot in huge, rambling FAQ documents, so trying to do it in a handful of short sentences is not going to go well, even if the translation is good. Some of the more nonsensical conversations feel like they might have made more sense with a little more nuance and detail, but when it has to be condensed to "Squall... you idiot!" it just comes across as people being irrational assholes.

Also I wish they had hired someone to stand behind the writer/translator and hit them with a rolled-up newspaper every time they tried to use an ellipsis.

X-Ray Pecs
May 11, 2008

New York
Ice Cream
TV
Travel
~Good Times~
I'm pretty new to Final Fantasy, I've played the three Playstation games since 2019, and while I think FFVII is the best of the three, I keep thinking about FFVIII because it's so drat weird. At one point, one Hogwarts for Child Soldiers attacks another Hogwarts for Child Soldiers by launching rocket-powered motorcycles off ramps. The man character's sword has a gun on it which translates to an easy button that lets you do extra damage. The main villain talks like she's from Mortal Kombat. It's bonkers as poo poo, while also making room for great character bits like Squall risking his life to save Rinoa while she's floating through space. Not to mention how busted the combat is if you do a little bit of reading.

X-Ray Pecs
May 11, 2008

New York
Ice Cream
TV
Travel
~Good Times~
also The Man with the Machine Gun deserves a post all to itself
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9-eJvYM4vc

NikkolasKing
Apr 3, 2010



Gonna say it here and now, the best final boss in VIII was Griever and the best final boss theme was The Legendary Beast. It always gets shortchanged compared to Maybe I'm A Lion and The Extreme but it's absolutely perfect
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmrUDOnbWNA

And Griever himself just looks like a really cool summon.

Randallteal
May 7, 2006

The tears of time
This game is dope. I even especially like the doofy romance.





Also the blending of real time and pre-rendered graphics is still impressive.

https://giant.gfycat.com/NegligibleQuickBackswimmer.mp4

NikkolasKing
Apr 3, 2010



Pictured: A random encounter in FFVIII.

Scan Info: A member of Galbadia Garden's demi-human ice-hockey club. Attacks with speed and team work.

Relax Or DIE
May 8, 2006

"My brain is amazing! It's full of wrinkles, and... Uh... Wait... What am I trying to say?"
final fantasy viii is good

SetsunaMeioh
Sep 28, 2007
Mistress of the Night
This game has my favorite FF OST bar none, but I never hear people talk about how great some of the groovier tracks are, like Martial Law or The Spy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qnv17FW31A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMu6ov0fxxI

Harrow
Jun 30, 2012

Is there a gameplay mod that takes the system that's already there and tweaks it so it's a little more balanced and/or less reliant on the (admittedly very good) card game for character progression? I know there's one that kinda overhauls the whole thing to have like pseudo character classes and stuff, but I'm looking for one that takes the junction system and just makes it a little less broken.

Golden Goat
Aug 2, 2012

Harrow posted:

Is there a gameplay mod that takes the system that's already there and tweaks it so it's a little more balanced and/or less reliant on the (admittedly very good) card game for character progression? I know there's one that kinda overhauls the whole thing to have like pseudo character classes and stuff, but I'm looking for one that takes the junction system and just makes it a little less broken.

Probably Ragnarok you're looking for
https://forums.qhimm.com/index.php?topic=18404.0

zakharov
Nov 30, 2002

:kimchi: Tater Love :kimchi:
FF7 had a simple, intuitive character building system. Materia were easy. A child could understand that each shiny rock lets you do something different. Even if you didn't put together ridiculous combos, you could have fun with it. Outstanding for an RPG that was many kids' first.

This was immediately followed by FF8 with a poorly explained mess of a system that required you to forget everything you learned about how Final Fantasy works. No equipment, leveling up is bad, and spells make you stronger somehow. And if you do figure it out, you can shatter the game.

And let's say you're an idiot like me who got through most of the game not really understanding junctions but relying on GF for damage. Surprise, here's a boss where using GF is a very bad idea! Yeah I got stuck there.

Lots of unrealized potential in this game.

ImpAtom
May 24, 2007

zakharov posted:

FF7 had a simple, intuitive character building system. Materia were easy. A child could understand that each shiny rock lets you do something different. Even if you didn't put together ridiculous combos, you could have fun with it. Outstanding for an RPG that was many kids' first.

This was immediately followed by FF8 with a poorly explained mess of a system that required you to forget everything you learned about how Final Fantasy works. No equipment, leveling up is bad, and spells make you stronger somehow. And if you do figure it out, you can shatter the game.

And let's say you're an idiot like me who got through most of the game not really understanding junctions but relying on GF for damage. Surprise, here's a boss where using GF is a very bad idea! Yeah I got stuck there.

Lots of unrealized potential in this game.

I like the concept of "Your magic fuels you so using it can leave you weaker" but Final Fantasy isn't the series to explore that. You need something a lot more focused and hardcore and catering to an audience who is okay with being weakened.

zakharov
Nov 30, 2002

:kimchi: Tater Love :kimchi:
Also read Cool Ghost's LP of the game, which explains the story better than the actual game. So much important info is missable if you want to have any idea of what's going on.

ApplesandOranges
Jun 22, 2012

He will know I am near when he hears the screams of my enemies.
I feel like the 'levelling up in FF8 is bad!' is overblown. Outside of a few enemies (T-Rexaurs, Wendigos, Ruby Dragons), enemies don't really scale up that badly as you level. Several of them get a few nastier moves, but none of them get oppressively more difficult, and things like Malboros will screw you up no matter what level you are.

You can avoid EXP if you want, but just killing things normally isn't a death sentence, and really, FF8 is one of the easiest ones regardless. Bosses like Adel which make you do something different are almost refreshing.

Elentor
Dec 14, 2004

FF8's first CD is my favorite Final Fantasy. I still like the rest of the game but considerably less, if the entire game followed the vibes of the first disc it'd be one of my favorite games of all time probably.

Blorange
Jan 31, 2007

A wizard did it

ImpAtom posted:

I like the concept of "Your magic fuels you so using it can leave you weaker" but Final Fantasy isn't the series to explore that. You need something a lot more focused and hardcore and catering to an audience who is okay with being weakened.

Golden Sun did a good job with that. Attaching Djinn to characters would raise their stats, but you could also use them to cast spells and perform summons instead.

I said come in!
Jun 22, 2004

One of my friends is going to be playing Final Fantasy VIII for the first time ever, and streaming it on Twitch https://twitch.tv/karkalla if anyone is interested in seeing someone play the original PS1 release completely blind. They stream every weekday at 10am pacific time, so will be live in the next hour.

TheGreatEvilKing
Mar 28, 2016





FF8 is good, I'm like one of five people who likes Squall as a kid in way over his head, and the soundtrack slaps.

Irvine sucks and Cid is a worthless coward tho.

Tiger Millionaire
Jan 25, 2014

He'll eat your kids and fire your parents!
Golden suns class system of equipping various combinations of djinn to get your various jobs and spells and as said using a summon could deactivate a djinn, change your combination and change your job mid battle. Very weird and very cool.

I also loved the junction system, I like it when jrpgs did something really weird with their character progression systems

zakharov
Nov 30, 2002

:kimchi: Tater Love :kimchi:

ApplesandOranges posted:

I feel like the 'levelling up in FF8 is bad!' is overblown. Outside of a few enemies (T-Rexaurs, Wendigos, Ruby Dragons), enemies don't really scale up that badly as you level. Several of them get a few nastier moves, but none of them get oppressively more difficult, and things like Malboros will screw you up no matter what level you are.

You can avoid EXP if you want, but just killing things normally isn't a death sentence, and really, FF8 is one of the easiest ones regardless. Bosses like Adel which make you do something different are almost refreshing.

I'll rephrase: relying on leveling up to get stronger is bad. You gotta junction.

The Adel fight coming so late in the game that you were probably permanently screwed if you hadn't been junctioning properly is a big part of what irked me.

ApplesandOranges
Jun 22, 2012

He will know I am near when he hears the screams of my enemies.
But you're not meant to level up to get stronger, nor are you expected to grind levels? And even if you don't break the game utterly via refines and just progress normally and kill things when you encounter them, it means enemies will steadily get better Draw lists. Inefficient, but you're not unable to complete the game by just... doing normal things like you would in any other FF.

Even in the Adel fight, Rinoa has Regen to Draw, so you can use them to prevent Adel from killing her while you wail away at her.

Rooney McNibnug
Sep 2, 2008

"Life always hopes. When a definite object cannot be outlined, the indomitable spirit of hope still impels the living mass to move toward something--something that shall somehow be better."

NikkolasKing posted:

Pictured: A random encounter in FFVIII.

Scan Info: A member of Galbadia Garden's demi-human ice-hockey club. Attacks with speed and team work.

Another thing I love about this game. You get goofy-rear end enemies like this, but at the same time you have, in my opinion, some of the scariest versions of classic FF enemies. Take FFVIII's Marlboro, for instance:





Huge. And smiling, because they know you are in as much trouble as you know you are in right now.

X-Ray Pecs
May 11, 2008

New York
Ice Cream
TV
Travel
~Good Times~

TheGreatEvilKing posted:

FF8 is good, I'm like one of five people who likes Squall as a kid in way over his head, and the soundtrack slaps.

Irvine sucks and Cid is a worthless coward tho.

I like Squall too, he feels like a mix of Shinji and Rei from Evangelion. Heís cold and aloof to people around him because he doesnít want to let anyone into his life in case they abandon him. But also he was raised for the sole purpose of battling a great evil that threatens not only the world, but the very fabric of reality.

NikkolasKing
Apr 3, 2010



The problem with FFVIII leveling is that it introduced level scaling in the one FF where levels don't matter. Junctioning and level scaling are two incompatible systems just shoved together and it's really dumb. It should have just been one or the other.


I said come in! posted:

One of my friends is going to be playing Final Fantasy VIII for the first time ever, and streaming it on Twitch https://twitch.tv/karkalla if anyone is interested in seeing someone play the original PS1 release completely blind. They stream every weekday at 10am pacific time, so will be live in the next hour.

I'm def interested in watching this, thanks for sharing

KOGAHAZAN!!
Apr 29, 2013

a miserable failure as a person

an incredible success as a magical murder spider

I said come in! posted:

One of my friends is going to be playing Final Fantasy VIII for the first time ever, and streaming it on Twitch https://twitch.tv/karkalla if anyone is interested in seeing someone play the original PS1 release completely blind. They stream every weekday at 10am pacific time, so will be live in the next hour.

She got through the fire cavern and immediately settled in for five hours of Triple Triad :allears:

NikkolasKing
Apr 3, 2010



KOGAHAZAN!! posted:

She got through the fire cavern and immediately settled in for five hours of Triple Triad :allears:

The mention of her blind playing Chrono Cross meant I had to go watch that instead. I'll continue watching FFVIII for story reactions and whatnot but CC with no prior knowledge was far too tempting to pass up in favor of TT grinding.

Gonna be very busy catching up with this.

EDIT:
I'm watching live right now though, here's hoping she runs into a T-Rexaur.

NikkolasKing fucked around with this message at 23:40 on Dec 10, 2021

Randallteal
May 7, 2006

The tears of time

KOGAHAZAN!! posted:

She got through the fire cavern and immediately settled in for five hours of Triple Triad :allears:

Ah, a power gamer.

Wingnut Ninja
Jan 11, 2003

Mostly Harmless

TheGreatEvilKing posted:

I'm like one of five people who likes Squall as a kid in way over his head

I wouldn't go as far as saying I like him, but he gets a lot more sympathetic when you realize he's an emotionally damaged child soldier with literal brain damage, as are all of his peers. Cid should have been tried for loving war crimes.

Tiger Millionaire posted:

Golden suns class system of equipping various combinations of djinn to get your various jobs and spells and as said using a summon could deactivate a djinn, change your combination and change your job mid battle. Very weird and very cool.

I also loved the junction system, I like it when jrpgs did something really weird with their character progression systems

:agreed: I had never really thought about the two games that way, but you're absolutely right. That was a really neat system.

Electromax
May 6, 2007
Gonna spam my FF8 stuff in here as well because I just did a big project about it recently and this thread didn't exist yet and I fully support it.

Gallery of main characters: https://www.deviantart.com/vgcartography/art/Final-Fantasy-VIII-Character-Reference-890393819
Big bestiary of all enemies: https://www.deviantart.com/vgcartography/art/Final-Fantasy-VIII-World-Bestiary-890393275
Gallery of all weapons: https://www.deviantart.com/vgcartography/art/Final-Fantasy-VIII-Weapon-Reference-894243170

...there was also a world map and timeline summary for a youtube video:
https://www.deviantart.com/vgcartography/art/Final-Fantasy-VIII-World-Map-Labeled-890355350

https://twitter.com/vgcartography/status/1454110449130164233?s=20

I emerged with a much bigger appreciation of what the game does well and much less concern for the clunky parts, because they don't really matter much overall. My biggest wish would be letting the past trio join up with your current party when you hit Esthar, age difference be damned.

I said come in!
Jun 22, 2004

KOGAHAZAN!! posted:

She got through the fire cavern and immediately settled in for five hours of Triple Triad :allears:

Yeah card mini-games are a weakness of hers. I think she went all in on the one for FF9 too.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

ApplesandOranges
Jun 22, 2012

He will know I am near when he hears the screams of my enemies.

I said come in! posted:

Yeah card mini-games are a weakness of hers. I think she went all in on the one for FF9 too.

I mean Triple Triad is understandable, but Tetra Master...

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply