Comparing Zelda: The Ocarina of Time to Final Fantasy VIII

By Dustin Bell

Well howdy do, another editorial from yours truly, Dustin Bell. Well, around Christmas, I had proposed to my parents that if I sold my Super Nintendo that they would actually THINK about getting me a Sony Playstation. Heh, lucky they didn't know I had nearly all the games I ever liked on the Super Nintendo on emulator. (Shh! Don't tell anyone!) Well, anyway, they didn't get me a Playstation, but lucky for me, good 'ol Grandma and Grandpa came up from Connecticut (I live in Ontario) for the week, and they got me a Playstation! I was so happy. Well, anyway, the next morning my parents had to go to the local Canadian Tire, (Which for some odd reason sells Sony Playstation merchandise) so I went with them and purchased Final Fantasy VIII and a fifteen block Memory Card with some of my savings. Best ninety bucks I ever spent. I started playing as soon as I finished my breakfast when we got home, getting all the way to the Initiation Ceremony for SeeDs without saving once! That means I got far. Soon after, 114 hours and 37 minutes later to be precise, I beat the game for the first time ever! Wow…That was the only word I could say after viewing the ending. That…and beautiful. It was truly a great game, and ending. It was not the best in the Final Fantasy series, but it did blow that bombshell predecessor Final Fantasy VII away. The last three games released on the Sony Playstation revolving around the legacy of Final Fantasy (Excluding VIII of course.) have been bombshells in my opinion. Final Fantasy VII was terrible compared to its predecessor, Final Fantasy VI. Well, I guess I'll start with my newest editorial. A comparison between Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Final Fantasy VIII: The Technical Specs: Ocarina of Time: Zelda: Ocarina of Time was developed by Nintendo Inc. in 1998, released on a 256 megabyte cartridge on the Nintendo 64. Zelda: Ocarina of Time was a fully three-dimensional game, and I believe it was the third three dimensional platform game for the Nintendo 64. Following Super Mario 64, and Banjo Kazooie. It didn't feature an original game engine, or an original control system. Ocarina of Time was fairly advanced for its time, but not by much. Final Fantasy VIII: Final Fantasy VIII was developed by SquareSoft Electronic Entertainment in 1999, released on four Compact Disks. Final Fantasy VIII was a fully three-dimensional game with Full Motional Video (FMV) and Computer Generation (CG) capabilities. It used the same game-engine as its predecessor, Final Fantasy VII, but had an entirely different character design engine. SquareSoft chose to avoid the entire "sprite" character design, and went for a more realistic approach. SquareSoft hired actual actors and actresses to play the rolls for the main characters. Anyway, Final Fantasy VIII had some of the most advanced graphics the world had ever seen, truly advanced for its time. The Storyline: Ocarina of Time: Now, for Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the story line basically fell on Nintendo's lap, everyone knew how Ganondorf got the Triforce, all Nintendo had to do was make some dungeons, and give a more detailed explanation of how Ganondorf got the Sacred Relic. Okay, I'll start it off. Link is a Kokiri without a fairy. One day, the leader of the Kokiri, and the Guardian of Hyrule, The Deku Tree, tells Link that an evil man known as Ganondorf is going to try and get the Triforce and use its wish granting power to become to King of Evil. Link must stop him by getting the Triforce first. Link's plan fails, and Ganondorf gets the Triforce. Link is sealed by the legendary "Sage of Light" for seven years in order to become the "Hero of Time" who wields the Master Sword, (The Sword of Evil's Bane.) Link must find the other sages, in order to destroy Ganondorf, and once again, bring order to the world. Final Fantasy VIII: Final Fantasy VIII's storyline was rather poor I must say. I will start at the beginning; Squall Lionheart is a cadet at the military school of Garden, he is attempting to become a SeeD, Garden's "Combat Specialists Mercenary Force". Squall is one of the lucky four to be accepted into SeeD, along with Zell Dincht, Selphie Tilamitt and an unknown young woman named Nida. At the Initiation Party, Squall meets a free spirited young woman named Riona Heartilly. The next day the three SeeD cadets are sent on their first mission to a small country called Timber. They are to assist an anti-government faction that is trying to overtake the Galbadian army, which has taken Timber over. When they get to Timber, it appears as though Riona is the leader of the faction, and is overjoyed to see Squall and his fellow SeeDs. We later find out that Galbadia is associating with the feared Sorceress Edea. Squall and his fellow SeeDs, Riona and the group's Sniper, Irvine Kenneas are sent out to assassinate the Sorceress. The assassination attempt fails, and the SeeDs are put in jail for opposing the Sorceress. They break free and attempt to destroy the Sorceress once and for all. But the plot thickens, Sorceress Edea is not only the Headmaster of Garden's wife, but the Matron at Squall, Selphie, Irvine, Seifer, Zell and Quistis' childhood orphanage. The SeeDs later find out that Sorceress Edea was not evil, but she was possessed by a Sorceress from the future, Ultimecia, who was trying to compress time and gain the power of all the Sorceresses from the beginning of time to her era. The group attempts to travel to the future and destroy Ultimecia, so that the world can live in peace. Character Bios: Ocarina of Time: Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the playable characters. Link, a young Hylian, raised as a Kokiri and the "Hero of Time". A lot of characters here, eh? Final Fantasy VIII: Final Fantasy VIII has two major flaws, one; the storyline depth, and two; the lack of character development. Anyway, I'll get on with brief character bios. Squall Lionheart, the main character in the game. Starts out as a young man who is as anti-social you can get, but later learns to open up to other people when he meets Riona Heartilly. Riona Heartilly is a free spirited young woman, the daughter of General Caraway, she is the one who teaches Squall to open up to other people. Zell Dincht was a cadet at Garden since the age of seven, hoping to become a military hero like his Grandfather. Selphie Tilamitt was a transfer student from another Garden; she's a bit of a ditz. Quistis Trepe was a SeeD at the age of 15, and an Instructor at Garden at the age of 17, a truly remarkable student. Irvine Kenneas is a student from yet another Garden. He is as confident and cocky as you get, also has a soft spot for Selphie. Edea Krammer was formally a Sorceress until she passed her powers on to Riona. The wife of Headmaster Cid, and the Matron of the orphanage. Laguana Loire is the supposed father of Squall and President of Esthar. Kiros is a long time friend of Laguana and finally, Ward; also a long time friend of Laguana. Music: Ocarina of Time: Out of the Legend of Zelda series, this game has to have had the worst music of them all. Not even using the original classic Over-World theme. It didn't have very creepy music. The scariest music was probably the Forest Temple. And isn't Zelda all about mystery and creepiness? Some of the music did add to the atmosphere, (example: Bottom of the Well music.) Some music was misplaced greatly, (example: Gerudo Fortress music.) This game could have been drastically different if the classic over-world music was used in place of the Ocarina of Time music. I think the Ocarina of Time over-world music was just too cheery, obviously composed for little kids. The classic over-world theme was adventurous. It made you think you were on a quest, it gave you determination to finish the game, and vanquish Ganon to the great beyond. This new music gave you no determination at all, whatsoever. Final Fantasy VIII: Nobuo Uematsu is a complete genius. The music in Final Fantasy VIII is SPECTACULAR. It has four songs with complete lyrics, performed by the Japanese Symphony Orchestra and Faye Wong. The four complete songs; "Eyes on Me", "Liberi Fatali", "Ending Theme (No title)" and "Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec". There are also dozens of other great songs without lyrics. Including "Love Grows", "Breezy" and "Balamb Garden". This game had all the right music at all the right times. The weakest music scores were probably "Shuffle and Boogie" and "Cactus Jack". But even these were far from bad music scores. I will say it again, Nobuo Uematsu is a complete genius. The Ending: Ocarina of Time: Zelda and Link float in the sky, discussing how peace would soon return to Hyrule, but this era was not where Link belonged. She says as a sage she can return Link to his own time without the Temple of Time. She asks Link to give her the Ocarina of Time, this he does and she begins to play a tune, that will carry Link back to his own era. The credits start playing, as we see several areas of Hyrule appear and fade away, Zora's Domain apparently has been thawed out. We then see a party taking place at Lon Lon Ranch, where every species of Hyrule have gathered and are celebrating the vanquishing of Ganondorf. The six sages suddenly fly overhead towards Death Mountain, as the era ceases to exist because in the past Link has stopped Ganondorf. We then see Link walking away from the Pedestal of Time, Navi flies away into the window at the top of the temple, as Link begins to walk out of the building. We see Link walking up to Zelda in the courtyard, as the screen fades gold, and the words "The-End" appear. Not a very good ending at all in my opinion. Final Fantasy VIII: The heroes walk around in the void between time. Trying to find the right time portal to walk through to get back to their era. We suddenly see Riona, desperately wanting to meet at the place where Squall said he would be always. Next, we see Squall, who has suddenly appeared in the orphanage. A childhood Squall runs by, wanting to find 'sis', Edea runs after him. Stopping by the adult Squall, Edea asks if he has seen a young boy. Squall comforts her that he won't go anywhere, suddenly, Ultimecia, nearing death appears a few feet away. Edea accepts the Sorceress' powers, so that none of the children would become one. But there is too much power within Edea, as she collapses. Squall explains how he is from the future, from Garden, and a member of SeeD. Edea tells him that he must return home, and asks if he will be okay all alone. Squall confidently replies that he isn't alone, that he has his friends, and his true love. Squall appears in a giant arid desert, all alone, and begins to walk. After hours of walking, he collapses of exhaustion. He begins to hallucinate horrible things, such as Riona's spacesuit failing when he was attempting to seek medical help for her, and dying at the hands of the "Black Widow" back in Dollet. He suddenly passes out, as the camera turns to Riona. Riona is doing the same thing as Squall was, walking. Hoping to find each other, and even better, a way out. She soon comes upon the unconscious Squall, and begins crying, thinking he is dead. Suddenly, the sky splits and they are suddenly in a beautiful field of flowers with a bright blue sky. Squall suddenly comes to, as the screen fades and reappears at the familiar posse. Seifer is having bad luck fishing, as he turns to see Raijin has caught a fish, and is jumping up and down. Fuijin kicks Raijin into the water, and Seifer laughs. Garden flies overhead as the three remember their days in the school, along with all their friends. The screen fades away and reappears at Laguana, he is visiting the gravesite of his late wife, and remembering the night he proposed to her in that same spot. His adopted daughter walks down the hill and waves, accompanied by Laguana's long time friends, Kiros and Ward. Garden flies overhead with the flowers flying all about. The screen fades to a video camera view, as we see Selphie filming their graduation from Garden. Quistis walks over to Headmaster Cid and begins chatting when Edea joins in. Irvine goes over and bows to the couple as he walks over to the camera and begins filming. The camera turns to Zell, stuffing his face with hotdogs and nearly choking, Selphie and Quistis rush to help as Zell explodes in anger and chucks a hotdog at the camera. The camera turns to the balcony, where Riona is standing all alone, the "low battery" icon comes up and the screen goes blank. The credits start rolling. Soon after, we see a beautiful view of Garden, as it closes up to Riona on the balcony, looking up to the sky and the stars. A shooting star passes by, just like on the night she and Squall meet, she goes to point to it, exactly as she did that faithful night, then she turns to Squall, who smiles, takes her in his arms and begins to kiss her. The screen pulls away from Garden as the screen fades to black and the words "The-End" appear. End Boss: Ocarina of Time: Ocarina of Time had the classic Legend of Zelda end boss. Ganondorf Dragmire, the King of Evil, and holder of the Triforce of Power. Not a very difficult boss. Definitely not the hardest in the game. Hell, Phantom Ganon was harder than this guy! I think the reason Phantom Ganon was harder is because he would move all over the place, and his magic would move towards you faster. Ganondorf just stood in the same damn place and you had plenty of time to repel his magic back at him. I do agree, Ganon was rather hard. Especially when he gets ticked off and you either have to roll through his legs, or hit him with a Light Arrow. But the arena was scattered with hearts, fairies, bombs, magic, arrows, etc! This made the fight INCREDIBLY easy. Anyway, this boss was far from the hardest in the game, he was rather pathetic for the King of Evil. Final Fantasy VIII: Final Fantasy VIII had probably the second or third hardest boss in the game for the End Boss. Ultima and Omega Weapons were definitely harder. You will only see Ultimecia once before you actually fight her, and when you see her then, you only see her back. Her first form is incredibly easy, it is a great opportunity to cast Triple, Double, Shell and Protect on your characters. I beat her with one limit break after casting meltdown on her, she is rather easy. Her second form, Griever, is pretty easy for about the first 50, 000HP, but after that he starts using Shockwave Pulsar, an attack that will harm all your characters 3000HP with 200 vitality statistics. Her third form, Junction is probably the easiest of the four. It has no real harmful attacks, its only attack that may harm you is blowing off one of your magics that you have juntioned to a statistic. So if you had 100 Ultima junctioned to your HP and she blows of your Ultima, you'll have an HP drop of around 4500 HP. Her final form, True, is probably the hardest. It has an annoying attack called "Hell's Judgement" that knocks all your character's HP to 1. But a Megelixir helps that. Cast meltdown on her and use two or three Limit Breaks, and you've won. A pretty easy boss, but a long fight. Well, that about wraps up this editorial. I know, I know, I did just cut and paste some of the descriptions about Zelda: Ocarina of Time from my other editorial and pasted them here, but there wasn't much difference in what I was going to say. Besides, it was my editorial! Anyway, expect more non-Final Fantasy editorials in the future. I am sure I will have plenty to say when new "Mask of Mujala" information becomes available. Until next time! ~ Dustin Bell