I’ve been playing this game for the past hour, and I can confirm its greatness. It has one of the best blend of art and atmosphere to ever grace gaming, and a beautifully haunting soundtrack. The puzzles are very clever and quite, well, “puzzling” at times. Loving it a lot, and I highly recommend it to every person who appreciates good ol’ gaming.
Go and try it out right now.
No no, no. I’m not going to bitch about it. They responded, but hey, I deleted my fucking account already. But no, that isn’t the worst part. I MISS THE FUCKING TWITTERVERSE. I discovered that WHORING MYSELF IS A COOL THING. Where’s the scribble note when you need it! I want my fucking time machine! Shit.
Yesterday I had a great amount of fun with one of my cousins, and a particularly interested one: he and I always played games, while the others were hunting for soccer all day long. He plays soccer as well, so that makes me a bit of a loser, but let’s just ignore this in here. It’s undoubtedly sad how time strikes us lightning-fast these days. One moment we’re playing Final Fantasy 8, and the next: he’s married and well-settled with a beautiful child. I mean, I still remember the days in which we fought Ultimicia together. I still remember how we got every single card in the Triple Triad mini-game, and I’m sure as hell he’s not forgetting all the great fun we had while grinding at the backyard of Balamb Gardens, way before we knew the term “grinding” even existed.
So, why all our memories consists of Final Fantasy 8? It’s because we spent a whole freaking summer holiday playing nothing but that game. Yup, we kicked ass in the Resident Evil games, and we did wonders playing Red Alert 2 continuosly on LAN, but nothing will ever touch our fond memories of that summer holiday. And I’m not exaggerating in here, we literally spent almost four months playing the Japanese version of Final Fantasy 8, and guess what? We finished it. In a day where people were pussied to try out a new system in their RPGs, we loved the Junction system that was presented in FF8. We both hated Final Fantasy 7 with the obvious reason as you do; FF6 outshines that shit in every imaginable way. Back in the day, I wasn’t able yet to fully comprehend and finish an epic RPG game, but I remember setting closely to my cousin while he figures everything out. So it’s true, while I didn’t finish FF6, but mastered FF7, I prefered 6 at that time, and to this day. I loved how Kefka is purely evil for the sake of it, and not because of some loli-animu crap that was presented in FF7 and onwards. Saddam and Hitler weren’t “victims of life”, if you catch my drift. Evil people are often evil for the sake of it.
I’m sure we would have loved FF7 if it had the opening scene of FF8. I still remember the scene to this day; we just bought the game, and we kept pushing the reset button to watch the FMV sequence all over again. We spent over an hour just replaying that scene. We were kids, epic FMVs like that were enough to keep us all hyped and bombastic for the game, and we were like “this will kick the batshit that’s FF7 HELLZ YEA”. I remember commenting on FF6 as well but he gave me a strange look in which I knew how much he sacred that game. All this talk aside, I believe that FF8 was our first J-RPG in which we couldn’t wait for the NA release and we just wanted to PLAY. The game, played in Japanese with no prior knowledge of the language, was a test of shattering one’s mind in half. We were naming our characters with things like “ずずずず”. When I asked my cousin why, he told me “It would be easier to know if people are referring to us in the dialogs”. That, of course, doesn’t make any sense because we still wouldn’t understand what they’re telling us, but we were naive. Fun fact: ず was (and still) a personal favorite Japanese letter, I used to love it back in the days of Captain Tsubasa 2 on the NES, and I still, to this day, call the letter “Tornado”. It looks like one, don’t you think?
I know that people nowadays hate Squall for being a jerk whose words are either “…” or “Whatever”, but I thought he was really cool. I also loved the names of the characters, even thought we didn’t know them at the time we were playing the game. Quistis, Rinoa, Zell. I think those became classics just like Kefka and Terra. Walking around the university, dueling other students and winning their cards, hunting for new Guardian Forces, those were the true times in which I appreciated gaming, and if it wasn’t for that particular summer holiday, I don’t think I would have appreciated J-RPGs (and gaming in general) like the way I am doing today. We were the first in our family and friends in overcoming all the difficult passages in the game. If history was ever correct, we would be credited for inventing what people are calling today “grinding”. We used to play the game continuously and religiously for days. It’s this simple; I level up (read: grind) near the place where you first fought against T-Rex, and if I felt sleepy, I’d wake up my cousin (who is sleeping right beside me) and he will continue the journey while I take my fair share of sleep. We did this for days. We wanted not only powerful characters, but useful GF abilities (we didn’t know what these are, but we noticed that after couple of battles, we’d gain a new ability and that looked fun and intriguing). We ended up breaking the flow of the game, kicking pretty much all the asses in the game, even before getting to Irvine.
All the rambling above was me and my cousin trading memories over the course of eating Subway’s delicious grilled chicken parmesan and cookies. I then told him “Hey, my vacation starts on the 27th of this month and…” “Holy…! me too!” “Then, wanna replay FF8 one last time since that crazy summer?” And I got the sweetest reply ever; “YES!”.
This is the story of how me and my dear cousin decided to replay one of our favorite RPGs of all time. And even though The Cult of Kefka wasn’t originated from this idea (the hellish mind of NSider brought it to life); we are the cult that appreciates Kefka and all the great villains (and games and music and everything else) that are interesting with no dramatizing events leading to their creativeness. It was also loosely connected to my love affair for FF6 when I couldn’t figure out where to go after marching to the world map, which happened to have an outstanding score. Oh Uematsu, how much we miss you.