The Comic Absurdity of 'Final Fantasy VIII' Is Partly Why It's So Special

Warning: There are lot of spoilers for Final Fantasy VIII below.

Squall Leonhart, a 17-year old loner, is on the cusp of becoming an official SeeD (a mercenary) at a military academy called Balamb Garden. His first mission sounds normal enough: secure the city center of Dollet from invading forces. Within less than a half hour, Squall and his party are fighting off a giant gargoyle that’s been terrorizing the official radio tower. After restoring radio communications for the first time in 17 years, everyone is chased by a mechanized spider. A heart-pounding CGI sequence shows Squall making a run for it while his teammates watch from inside the ship, which is already taking off. He takes a leap, but not before his instructor, Quistis Trepe, mounts a gatling gun and pumps the spider full of bullets. The door closes and they sail back, saying nothing about the robot spider.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Seeing it all written out like that just makes everything even better. OF COURSE THIS IS WRITTEN BY ASHLEY OH. God bless. What a good game.


Holy smokes. I knew there was a time witch in this game but this is wilder than I could ever imagine.


and squall spends the entire time going “urgh… what? what is this. who cares. leave me alone.” and I adore him for it

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Vice please hire Ashley to be your resident full-time FFVIII stan.


IX is my favorite PS1 FF. But VII and VIII are very close for me, constantly swapping spots in the short ranking list depending on the day. What I loved about VIII when I was in Jr. High was how it kept escalating.

I remember constantly trying to max out magic to make the stats go as high as possible which the steep escalation in the story is why I, someone who didn’t have the patience for the length of the GF animations, spent all that time drawing magic to make my party as powerful as possible. It felt necessary to prepare for what this world was going to undoubtedly throw at me.

Felt like I was breaking the rules about what was natural in this world. But this world kept breaking its rules in its fight against me, to the point it wants to swallow itself along with me to win.

FFVIII was the first game that made me craft some narrative justification for a game’s mechanics outside the narrative as stated. It brought me closer to this game and since has helped me more deeply enjoy many games since.


Waypoint 101 on Final Fantasy 8 with Ashley Oh, Patrick, and one unlucky staff member who has no interest in the game whom they explain the game to at length who am i kidding this is Rob. Ashley, Patrick, and recalcitrant Rob.


That’s a funny way to misspell “Lore Reasons”


You said the words “Rob” and “Ashley” right next to each other and now I’m sad that A Life Well Wasted is still over.