Friends don't let friends play FF9 on sleep-dep.
So Zidane is wandering through the woods outside Lindblum, since
he (I) has decided that aggressive level-uppage is the only way
to get enough money for the barrels full of supplies that he (I)
plans to cart out of Lindblum the next time all hell breaks loose.
The battle zoop wipes out the screen and I get dramatic shots of
the forest, but... no combat music. Instead, the game is playing
me a lullaby. And in the middle of the battlefield is a prancing
emcee from hell, with a big floating red O on one side and a big
floating blue X on the other.
The emcee announces that it's pop quiz time.
Bear in mind that Zidane, as an orphan privately educated by the
best minds in the Tantalus Theater Troupe, Bandits for Hire, has
no fricking idea what a "pop quiz" is. And it's the wee
hours of the morning, so I'm not so sure, either.
The emcee announces that O is for yes and X is for no. Then she/he/it
asks me whether Tantalus's ship was made in such and such a shipyard.
Okaaaay... I decide that the answer is X, and jab at the X button
on the pad. No dice, though--Zidane has to leap out and attack the
floating typographical symbol.
My brain hurts.
Zidane does 46 points of damage to the floating X.
Now, if I were an emcee and someone attacked my props with a butterfly
sword, I'd be annoyed. This emcee twirls its hands in the air, casts
a spell, and announces that Zidane is right! He's won 1000 gil!
Lights leap and dance and swirl around Zidane while petals blow
on the breeze.
Then the game drops Zidane back into the forest outside Lindblum.
And he and I both think: "Whoa... acid flashback."
Zidane resolves to find out what this "acid" thing is,
and sets off in search of another small fuzzy thing to kill. I resolve
to drop acid someday so that I have an explanation when things like
Postscript: Much monster wrongness
The prancing, lipheaded emcee from hell which traumatized me a
few days back is called Ragtime Mouse.
Let's ponder the horror of that for a few seconds, shall we?
It doesn't look vaguely like a mouse. It has a human body, clothes
that a colorblind Renaissance drag queen would have worn to go horseback
riding, and a head which is nothing but a vast pair of smiling red
lips. Occasionally it'll hold up a card to read, and an eye will
extrude from behind the lips on a tentacle. I've known mice to do
many strange things, but all of this is new to me.
Maybe this creature reflects the inner soul of mice? Inside a mouse's
fuzzy little grey hide beats the heart of a lipheaded Renaissance
drag queen? Mice are secretly dying to ask us questions, and that's
why they squeak so much at night?
maybe the Japanese writers meant "mouth"?
On to the Riverdancing