Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

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Brentai
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Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Brentai » Mon Jan 17, 2022 8:04 pm

You don't find that out about Tseng until much later though.
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Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Mon Jan 17, 2022 8:24 pm

Yeah, I guess you're right. I looked over his introduction in the original game and it's all "ha ha ha" and slapping Aeris. His introduction in the remake is actually probably more restrained; he gloats but doesn't slap anybody.

And the flashback where he first meets Elmyra and explains what the Ancients are is pretty much the same verbatim between the original game and the remake.

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Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Metal Slime » Mon Jan 24, 2022 10:22 pm


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Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Sun Jan 30, 2022 1:45 pm

Y'know, I'm enjoying the Shinra Tower infiltration quite a lot. Not so much the earlier part with Tifa climbing around on shit, but past that, once you get up to the higher floors. It's a whole lot of wandering around and having exposition delivered to you, but it's still a lot less tedious than the original game's "try to find some shit in one room and take it to another room while hitting a random encounter every three steps" version. At least, so far; I'm not done with it yet.

Also I fucking love the museum. First there's the President Shinra part and it's all environmental storytelling -- if there's any text describing what you're looking at, I missed it; it's just a bunch of out-of-context visuals, a photo of President Shinra in what appears to be some kind of military engineering unit, some inexplicable gee-gaw that he presumably worked on at the time. This kind of thing is fantastic; it gives you enough to infer a history in the broad strokes while still leaving most of it a mystery.

And then the next room explaining the different branches of Shinra -- first of all I think it's pretty fucking funny that they're explaining this stuff 40 hours in. But I also like the approach -- Heidegger and Scarlett straight don't give a fuck and weren't willing to participate; Hojo gives enough of a fuck to record a message telling museumgoers that they are stupid and he's too busy to talk to them. Reeve, as always, is the only one who comes across halfway decent, and it serves to highlight Shinra's priorities by demonstrating that he's the only exec who's actually trying to help people by making the city better, and clearly nobody else in the company is interested in that because, y'know, Midgar is a shithole.

My takeaway was that the exhibit was made by someone who hates Shinra. Like, they went ahead and used that recording of Hojo. And left Palmer's opener about "What's this? You want me to read from this piece of paper?" even though it would have been trivial to cut that part.

Maybe it was Reeve. Maybe Reeve was in the office and he's like "Hey I have this idea for improving the city" and Shinra's like "That's great Reeve, I'll be happy to listen to your idea, but there's something I want you to do first."

And then there's the planetarium, and I love that, too. I love that Midgar has its own evil mirror version of the Cosmo Canyon planetarium, that tells you Shinra's version of the history of the world.

Except then it malfunctions and shows Meteor hitting the city, and...look, I have questions about the mechanics of this. It's not Cloud having another vision, because Tifa sees it too. (Barret doesn't comment, so maybe it's just Cloud and Tifa having a shared hallucination. But it seems like if that were the case Barret would at least throw out a "What the hell you talkin' 'bout?") So...how does that work? I have this mental image of Sephiroth on his way to murder the president but first he takes several weeks painstakingly editing video and then uploading it to their computers. Or maybe, like, just having Jenova in close proximity to video equipment causes it to start malfunctioning and showing horrifying visions of the future? I want to know how this works.


And then you get past that, to the floors where there are actual people present, and they're just totally blase about how the three most wanted terrorists in the city just strolled in.

Like, Cloud I actually get. There's a SOLDIER training holodeck in the middle of the Shinra Corporation commissary; you just know there are pretty-boys with spiky hair, asymmetric outfits, too many belts, and ridiculously oversized swords walking in and out of this room all day long. Just this once, you're in a place where Cloud doesn't really stand out.

But Barret? There are people standing around a TV watching news coverage of the destruction of the Sector 7 pillar; Barret walks right past them and nobody reacts.

I guess that's why he wears sunglasses. They hide his identity.

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Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Brentai » Sun Jan 30, 2022 2:21 pm

The Shinra Building bit was a little uncomfortable to me because it's so clearly modeled after a typical Japanese zaibatsu but kinda especially the one I worked for (with the Founder being treated as this kind of messianic figure for inventing a bicycle light or whatever). A few of the rooms I walked into my immediate reaction was "I know this place..."
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Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Sun Jan 30, 2022 6:53 pm

Thad wrote:Reeve, as always, is the only one who comes across halfway decent, and it serves to highlight Shinra's priorities by demonstrating that he's the only exec who's actually trying to help people by making the city better, and clearly nobody else in the company is interested in that because, y'know, Midgar is a shithole.


TBF Reeve's ideas are terrible. "Let's build an expressway!" Yeah, that's what Midgar needs. Fucking freeway congestion. You've got a fucking citywide rail system, and it seems like it would work pretty well if the trains actually ran on time. How about you work on that? What kind of fascist government are you if you can't even get the trains to run on time?

Except then it malfunctions and shows Meteor hitting the city, and...look, I have questions about the mechanics of this. It's not Cloud having another vision, because Tifa sees it too. (Barret doesn't comment, so maybe it's just Cloud and Tifa having a shared hallucination. But it seems like if that were the case Barret would at least throw out a "What the hell you talkin' 'bout?") So...how does that work? I have this mental image of Sephiroth on his way to murder the president but first he takes several weeks painstakingly editing video and then uploading it to their computers. Or maybe, like, just having Jenova in close proximity to video equipment causes it to start malfunctioning and showing horrifying visions of the future? I want to know how this works.


I think my favorite interpretation of this is that Jenova is one of those eldritch horrors where even depicting it summons it. You made a video about Jenova? Your video is haunted by Jenova now. (I listened to a pretty good Doctor Who audio with this premise, The Red Lady.)

I also kinda like the idea that not everybody who watches the video sees the same thing Cloud, Tifa, and (possibly?) Barret see. Like there's a guy outside and he's like "Yeah, that video's been malfunctioning," and that's it. Like it kinda seems like if everybody who went into the booth saw a horrifying vision of the destruction of Midgar they'd hang an Out of Order sign on it or something.

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Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Brentai » Sun Jan 30, 2022 7:52 pm

It's happening because, like most Shinra tech, the whole holodeck-looking thing is all Lifestream magic that the development heads refuse to understand the nature of but are perfectly happy to adapt into what looks like functional machinery. They're trying to jerry-rig perfectly natural mystical visions into advertisements, and meanwhile the source of those visions knows exactly what's coming and is screaming for help at anybody it can get ahold of.

I assume Shinra doesn't shut it down because it's the only (public) holodeck they've got and you don't shut down the only holodeck you've got even when you have a bunch of Oculus Rifts that seem to have about the same effect. I mean hell, SeaWorld ran Submarine Quest for a year irl.
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Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Sun Jan 30, 2022 8:01 pm

I like mine better but yours is more consistent with all that stuff Barret's always yelling about.

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Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Sat Feb 05, 2022 6:49 pm

I've hit some kind of weirdness in Hojo's lab where the back channel of the audio's just not playing. Nothing coming out of the speakers. It's clearly trying to output surround because there's dialogue I can see onscreen but can't hear. Not a system config issue because when I drop to the PS4 menu the back channel works fine. I've gone to the sound settings, confirmed I've got it set to 5.1, not 7.1, and I've tried all three output encodings. Damnedest thing.

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Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Niku » Sun Feb 06, 2022 1:15 am

Thad wrote:I've hit some kind of weirdness in Hojo's lab where the back channel of the audio's just not playing. Nothing coming out of the speakers. It's clearly trying to output surround because there's dialogue I can see onscreen but can't hear. Not a system config issue because when I drop to the PS4 menu the back channel works fine. I've gone to the sound settings, confirmed I've got it set to 5.1, not 7.1, and I've tried all three output encodings. Damnedest thing.


pretty sure that's a problem with the game's sound encoding itself; i definitely ran into that issue at different points during the game
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Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Sun Feb 06, 2022 2:58 pm

Yeah, some kind of weird bug. Played a little longer and it stopped happening.

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Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Mon Feb 07, 2022 12:08 am

Man, this shit got meta. Turns out those Dementors are there to ensure that the remake doesn't deviate from the original game's plot. Barret's dying? Not so fast; that's not how it's supposed to happen. But then right after that they (apparently) kill Wedge, for no other reason than whoops, you were supposed to die all the way back at the pillar, buddy.

I feel like every time the game railroads you and forces you along the critical path one of those spectres should just hover there. "No. Stop trying to go left; we told you to go right and you'll do what we tell you. What do you think this is, a western RPG?"

To a certain extent I feel like looking at the plot in terms of "I liked this change, I didn't like that one," etc. almost misses the point. This doesn't feel like a retelling of the original story so much as a supplement to it. I'm sure there are people playing Remake who never played the original game, but the plot overwhelmingly seems to target people who did.

BTW two bosses in a row with different parties and no opportunity to adjust your buildout in-between is some fucking bullshit, game. "Well that's how it worked in 1997" is not a defense, it's a fucking indictment.

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Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Metal Slime » Mon Feb 07, 2022 12:42 am

Read after you finish the game, though you'll probably get the idea:

The "Remake" title is a lie to get you to think of the game as a remake in the way that is usually used in media. What they actually mean is you are remaking the story itself to for whatever reason go down a whole new timeline that deviates entirely from the original. This was never supposed to be played by anyone who never touched the original or knew the original's story in detail, but for marketing, they had to say people could.

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Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Niku » Mon Feb 07, 2022 8:26 pm

most importantly you have now passed the best fucking music track in the game

god the jenova cover rips
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Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Tue Feb 08, 2022 12:17 am

Metal Slime wrote:Read after you finish the game, though you'll probably get the idea:

The "Remake" title is a lie to get you to think of the game as a remake in the way that is usually used in media. What they actually mean is you are remaking the story itself to for whatever reason go down a whole new timeline that deviates entirely from the original. This was never supposed to be played by anyone who never touched the original or knew the original's story in detail, but for marketing, they had to say people could.

Not just that but Crisis Core too.

It's interesting how long they held off referencing it at all; I was kinda wondering if they'd work it in or if they'd keep the story focused on the original game. And then when there was the image of the falling feather I wondered if that was the extent of it. And then nope, you've got the entire last scene, but...not.

Fuck. I'm not going to have to play Dirge of Cerberus to follow the next game, am I?

Anyway, it's an interesting take. Ever since I heard this was expected to be a trilogy I've been wondering how they'll split the remaining ~85% of the original game across two parts. Obviously the answer that serves the narrative best is that you end part 2 with Aerith's death, but I feel like that doesn't really break the remaining story cleanly in half.

Course, now that they've made it clear the whole theme of this thing is changing fate, I'll be pretty surprised if Aerith still dies; that would tend to undercut the premise a bit. So maybe act 2 ends with her dramatically not dying. Or maybe she dies in act 2 but comes back in act 3?

Niku wrote:most importantly you have now passed the best fucking music track in the game

god the jenova cover rips


I was actually a little disappointed at the start -- more fool me. The game does a great job with changing tempo and instrumentation of the various themes, and the Jenova fight was a great example of a multi-form boss where the music starts out slow and creepy but gets fast and intense by the end.

I actually turned to my wife and said "god damn you gotta be good to play that fast. This was written for MIDI, not an orchestra."

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Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Tue Feb 08, 2022 1:06 am

Also curious how/if they'll handle progress from the first game in the sequels.

Easy guess is they'll do it like the Mass Effect sequels, let you import your save if you have one, and otherwise do a recap that summarizes the first game and let you make a few decisions along the way.

(Not like there were major decisions that changed the direction of the game or anything -- it is a JRPG and you're going to go right when they tell you to go right, god dammit -- but there were definitely a few dialogue options that felt like you were putting points toward who you were going to date at the Gold Saucer.)

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Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Blossom » Tue Feb 08, 2022 3:33 am

Thad wrote:Anyway, it's an interesting take. Ever since I heard this was expected to be a trilogy I've been wondering how they'll split the remaining ~85% of the original game across two parts. Obviously the answer that serves the narrative best is that you end part 2 with Aerith's death, but I feel like that doesn't really break the remaining story cleanly in half.

Course, now that they've made it clear the whole theme of this thing is changing fate, I'll be pretty surprised if Aerith still dies; that would tend to undercut the premise a bit. So maybe act 2 ends with her dramatically not dying. Or maybe she dies in act 2 but comes back in act 3?


I think the biggest swerve they could do here is to kill Cloud instead.
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Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Büge » Tue Feb 08, 2022 9:38 am

Hey, it worked in Chrono Trigger.
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Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby nosimpleway » Tue Feb 08, 2022 11:36 am

Blossom wrote:I think the biggest swerve they could do here is to kill Cloud instead.


Camera pans up, Sephiroth is in the middle of a Hell's Gate, drops from the ceiling katana first, and skewers General Leo

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Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Tue Feb 08, 2022 12:47 pm

Blossom wrote:
Thad wrote:Anyway, it's an interesting take. Ever since I heard this was expected to be a trilogy I've been wondering how they'll split the remaining ~85% of the original game across two parts. Obviously the answer that serves the narrative best is that you end part 2 with Aerith's death, but I feel like that doesn't really break the remaining story cleanly in half.

Course, now that they've made it clear the whole theme of this thing is changing fate, I'll be pretty surprised if Aerith still dies; that would tend to undercut the premise a bit. So maybe act 2 ends with her dramatically not dying. Or maybe she dies in act 2 but comes back in act 3?


I think the biggest swerve they could do here is to kill Cloud instead.

I could see that. There's all this "Cloud, join me and we can stop fate together" talk from Sephiroth; I could see Cloud agreeing to a devil's bargain to save Aerith.

OTOH that seems like it might be too disruptive. I wonder if there was any serious talk about having Barret die instead of Aerith or if that was always going to be a fakeout that got reversed five minutes later.

And I think that's kinda the tension the Remake faces in a nutshell. It's a tightrope; clearly the main appeal of the game is nostalgia, and people want to see the old locations and plot beats recreated, but on the other hand there's a different story they want to tell this time and that story is explicitly about things not going down the same way this time. I think they did an impressive job squaring the circle in the first game but it'll be interesting to see if they can keep it up as the plot develops further.

And then there are basic questions like how is the game world even going to work? How are you going to travel from point to point? An overworld seems too retro for what they're going for here. So do they go with FF10-style travel where you select a location from a menu? Or do they go in on the massive undertaking that would be recreating FF7's world, sizing it proportionally to Midgar, and giving you enough shit to do that it's not just giant empty fields between towns? I don't really see them going open-world given the first game's propensity to railroad you when you try to step off the beaten path, but OTOH it would be thematically appropriate for the sequels to progressively give you more freedom to go where you want instead of following a predetermined path.

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