traxits: A close up of Reno, from FF7: Advent Children Complete. (FF8 Carefree)
[personal profile] traxits posting in [community profile] boss_battle
So, I've figured out my plot for my Megaflare, and I was wondering how many of us were planning on writing post-Final Fantasy 8 fics. For those of us who are, how many have really given thought to the state of the world that the game leaves us in?

For the record, I'm really nervous being the first one aside from a mod to post here.  I feel like I'm doing something naughty. :X  Hopefully, this is what the mods intended for us to discuss and chat about here!  If not, forgive me, please. ^^;

Trabia Garden has been completely decimated, and we have no idea how many of the students and faculty actually survived. There's never any word on whether the headmaster survived or if they were killed in the missile attack.

Galbadia Garden has lost its headmaster, been used in an aerial battle against Balamb, and as such, is in only marginally better condition than Trabia. The best part it has going for it is the simple fact that it's in one piece. I mean, the place even had Cerberus rampaging in there. There's got to be a lot of damage.

Balamb Garden is floating, flying about and generally acting as the car for its new headmaster. What propels it? Does it cost a lot of money to keep it flying? Do they put it back on the Balamb continent? If they don't, what does that mean for Balamb (town)? Most of that town's traffic revolved around SeeDs coming and going. Without them as a means of income, does Balamb fall apart?

Does Esthar reveal itself to the rest of the world? They did to Squall and the party, but does that automatically mean that they drop their shield device and invite everyone in? Sharing their technology might be a good thing, but at the same time, there's bound to be problems as they try to "catch up" the rest of the world. Does that turn them into the new Galbadia, forcing their ways and devices onto the rest of the world as a means of "enlightening?"

And speaking of Galbadia as a nation, are they completely crippled? They lost numerous army units, first in their assault on Dollet, and then again with the assault on Balamb Garden. They've lost their president and their replacement, as I don't believe that Edea would be heading back to help them recover. Or would she? Could she somehow feel that it was her responsibility, even though she wasn't in control of her actions?

Finally, time for my own opinions about the characters themselves. I am an opinionated person, and I am well aware that not everyone will agree with me. This is good! We want to fost discussion and thought, not just blind agreement here.

Disclaimer: I'm not trying to pitch my opinions to you or sway you away from any of your own decisions. Rather, this is meant to spark other opinions, meant to serve as thinking material for your own stories. In the same hand, I find that it helps me to really commit to an idea (or reject it all together) once I write it out, and I wanted to try to offer a place where those of us who think that way to pitch and discuss various aspects of post-game scenarios.

Squall was sort of thrust into the headmaster situation. Now, I can see him staying there, as I don't believe Cid would return willingly to it. I am of the firm conviction that he did it as his duty to Edea, because she knew it was the right thing to do. He all but jumped at the first chance to hand it off, and to a new SeeD at that. I think though, that given some time, Squall will grow into the position. He doesn't like it, but he is good at leading (is that only because he's the main character, and thus required to be?), and now that the entire world has been turned upside down, his cool self-confidence might be exactly what the Garden needs to find its new niche.

Rinoa tends to give me trouble whenever I write post-game fics. Kind of sad, but true. I mean, she led the rebel faction in Timber, so would she go back there? She's not a SeeD, and being a SeeD is about a lot more than just being able to fight. Otherwise, there wouldn't be so many written tests. Theoretically, I suppose if she busted her bottom and studied, she could make SeeD before her 18th birthday, but I think that would be pressing it pretty hard, depending on when her birthday is. And since you have to pass your SeeD exam before your 18th...

I see her as being more of a political advisor than a SeeD member anyway. I can see her offering to serve as liaison between the newly liberated Timber and Galbadia, or even between Balamb Garden and the rest of the world. I mean, how much does everyone know anyway? They certainly don't know the truth about Edea and Ultimecia, and I'm certain that Balamb Garden stepped on more than just a few toes in their single-minded pursuit of Ultimecia.

I firmly believe that Selphie heads back to Trabia the moment Squall gives her the go-ahead. Trabia was her home, her Garden, and she would want to help with the restoration. Perhaps even in acting as a mediator between the (new?) headmaster and the rest of the students, given what they've been through. She's a bit young now, but I think in a few years, she'd make a fine headmaster (headmistress?) herself, particularly if she got to see first hand what administrative duties covered.

As for Quistis, I have a bit of an unusual opinion on her. I think that, armed with Xu and a good board of advisors, she'd make a good headmistress for Galbadia Garden. I know that she turns in her instructor's license at the beginning of the game, but I feel that after the entire adventure was over, she would be more mature, more confident in front of the classroom. I can't imagine it being much scarier than knowing that the fate of, well, everything is in your hands, and she's survived that. Galbadia needs a more level head running it, someone dedicated to the mission, and you don't get much more cooler than Quistis.

Zell is another tricky one for me, strange as that may be since he is one of my main characters for my megaflare. I think that he's a bit too energetic to really teach, especially given his age. Perhaps in a few years, he'll mellow out a little, and then he'll be that really awesome martial artist who is fully aware of just how cool he is. Until then, I see him picking back up being a SeeD, as though the whole Ultimecia thing was just another mission. Back to business!

Now, Irvine... I feel badly for Irvine, honestly. He's Galbadian at heart, given that it was where he was raised, but since he basically defected to Balamb Garden after he was assigned to snipe for them? I think that he would have a hard time back in Galbadia, and even in Trabia the moment anyone discovered that he had fought for Balamb over his own Garden. Gardens appear to have pretty fervent loyalty from their cadets, and since Irvine is a full SeeD, he must have gone back to Galbadia after his test in Balamb, right? (Or did I miss something? Can Galbadia Garden give SeeD exams?) So, I tend to keep him in Balamb, as I think he would have the least amount of trouble there. Might make for an interesting fic though, him going back to Galbadia and having to reintegrate into that society...

What about you? Don't feel like you have to spoil your piece or anything, just some general ideas to throw around and discuss. I love hearing about other post-game works, and I'm very interested in what's going through everyone's heads. ^^

Note: I wasn't sure about how to tag this, so I left those blank and thought I'd let the mods wrangle that one!  Thank you so much.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-20 12:26 pm (UTC)
regann: (Quistis [ragged edges])
From: [personal profile] regann
One of the ideas I was thinking about doing was a post-FF8 story, so I had been thinking about a lot of this myself. In fact, I'm about 3/4ths of my way through a series of ficlets exploring this idea ('what is everyone up to') that I was using to orient myself. I ended up going with a FF8 AU instead though.

Rinoa always gives me a hard time, too, because I don't think she's meant to be a SeeD or wants to be one, given her thoughts at the end of Disc 2 at Trabia Garden. Although she does have time to be one because students actually have until they are 21 to pass the exam, not 18. :) I've always imagined her doing something to embrace her destiny as a sorceress, even if I'm not sure what that would be!

Squall, Irvine, Zell - I see them as going back to SeeD mission work. Squall was only put in charge of the Garden's fight against the Sorceress, so he didn't really become the headmaster per se; that was more what Xu and Quistis did by splitting the other duties. And I think he's much too young to take over the whole thing. I imagined that Xu and/or Quistis continued in those supervisory roles and ended up running the Garden.

Selphie definitely heads back to Trabia! What else would she do, really? :)

As for the political side...I think both Esthar and Galbadia was pretty crippled post-game. Galbadia by a power vacuum and the lengthy in-fighting between factions that would happen in the absence of their dictator, and Esthar by the physical ramifications of the Lunar Cry. It was probably a great time for Timber to pull free from Galbadian control, but it's not like they're ready to take the world stage either. It's actually a very fragile world, IMO.

Something I had intended to touch on would be the (possible) lack of SeeDs after the end of the game. The bombing of Trabia left many dead, then there was the fight between the Galbadia and Balamb Gardens, which meant SeeD-on-SeeD violence. How many SeeDs or cadets were really left after that? Do they have enough to cover the jobs they get? Or can anyone even afford to pay them anymore?

I've also wondered if the Garden system goes through any sort of transformation afterward. They were ran like a strict mercenary force that seemed to take on jobs wherever and mostly for pay, but then Cid revealed their true mission was to protect the world against the Sorceress. I wonder if post-Ultimecia if they modify their operation logistics at all or go back to the purely mercenary style the game opened with.

Do I know the answers to these questions? Nooooooo....

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-21 08:26 pm (UTC)
regann: (Default)
From: [personal profile] regann
So, Squall's appointment really was temporary, right? That was the impression that I got from the game, but when I read fics, it seems like everyone leaves him as headmaster, so I thought maybe I just missed something in the game that everyone else was picking up on. Either way, he'd probably still be an exceptionally influential SeeD in Balamb. I like the idea of him returning to mission work, honestly.

I always thought so! It happens somewhere on Disc 2 and, iirc, it's very "I'm putting Squall in charge of our fight to save the world." Then Xu and Quistis divvy up the logistical tasks of running the Garden so Squall can focus on battle plans and where they need to go next -- Quistis has a line basically to that effect.

Cid put him in charge because of the whole 'SeeD destined to defeat Ulti' self-fulfilling prophecy/fate thing, right? Which to me does not say permanent.

Plus, I admit the older I get, the more improbable I find it that Cid would abdicate in favor of Squall forever anyway. 17-year-old loners aren't exactly ready to run the whole shebang, you know? LOL.

Why did it never occur to me to keep Quistis and Xu in charge of Balamb? O.o... I mean, I read that in your reply, and I was just... I don't know. It's brilliant, even if I am a bit intrigued by her running Galbadia. I might have to keep that in mind for my own fic.

I think Quistis and/or Xu could run any Garden, anywhere in the world! In a FF8 post-game RPG I modded once, we had Galbadia Garden moved to Esthar and put Xu in charge and let Quistis run Balamb. Because both of them are awesome like that. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-21 04:54 pm (UTC)
chaos_anomaly: (Default)
From: [personal profile] chaos_anomaly
Actually a small correction on your post? I haven't gotten to the point in FF8 in my Replay where I first arrived on Galbadia but according to the FFWiki, Galbadia Garden was the Galbadian's Military Academy.

The way I see it, is that they probably had to types of students, students who probably wanted to become SeeD (but will take the exam in Balamb) and those who merely enrolled to be part of the General Military. If they did become a SeeD, they probably were stationed in Balamb until given a mission, instead of returning back to Galbadia and reporting to then-Headmaster Martine.

So, the Battle of the Gardens was probably actually more between Galbadian Soldiers and that Garden's military Students than an actual SeeD vs SeeD battle.

Once more, this is all based on what I read in the FFWiki.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-21 05:58 pm (UTC)
chaos_anomaly: (Folklore ♞ Ellen; Enigma)
From: [personal profile] chaos_anomaly
I think Irvine was really never given actual SeeD status. I mean, before I was thinking he was might have been a student in the SeeD training program. However, after reviewing some of those facts from the FFWiki... He might have actually been in the Galbadian Military Training Program. All we know from his time in Galbadia Garden was that he was considered the "best Sniper in [that] Garden."

Regardless, of what the writer feels, Irvine we know for sure never took the SeeD Exam. Or at least it's not stated in game. I always felt that he wasn't. If you want him to be a SeeD in training (ala Selphie) or be a regular Soldier, go ahead.

Think of SeeD and Regular Military along the lines of FF7's SOLDIER and General Military. SeeD, in my opinion, is more of a specialized force. They might not be enhanced like SOLDIER but they do have a certain uniqueness to them. I think they would focus more toward Espionage, Bodyguard/Protection, etc. They're also mercenaries so they don't have any real "loyalty" to anyone but their employer.

As for the funding theory? I think for Galbadia Garden to be considered a Garden, they had to give the SeeD Training Program for those interested in becoming SeeD. That and they had to give certain information about Galbadia Military to the current Headmaster of Balamb (since Balamb was where it all started). I don't necessarily think they're taking in SeeD Dropouts but they might have other means in relation to Balamb to say in the "Garden System".

There has to be a contract of sorts between Garden System and the general Galbadia Military. But, that's vague enough that you can pretty much go in any direction on what sort of contract that was. (Another thing to note, is that the Galbadian country residents might have been taxed to fund this Garden because it is their Military Academy.)

For Edea? I don't think she had an active role in Garden other than giving the idea to Cid about Garden. She was a Sorceress, you have to remember that. Having 'created' SeeD that was supposed to destroy the Sorceress(es) and being in control of it would just be really wrong, you know? I don't think she was ever really affiliated to any of the Gardens once they were created. Hyne, no one knew that Cid was married during FF8! Much less to the Sorceress Edea!

In the Battle of the Gardens, most of the command force was under the control of Seifer. Edea was in the role of the President (at this time) but she made Seifer her Commander (like Cid made Squall, his commander). As for the enemies fought? Soldiers, monsters and possibly students from the Military Training Program. In the FFWiki's list of enemies for that battle, there's no listing of a SeeD enemy. Doesn't necessarily mean there isn't but I doubt it was SeeD vs SeeD. If you were a smart SeeD, would you follow the commands of a fellow SeeD cadet who DID NOT pass the exam? I don't think so.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-21 08:29 pm (UTC)
regann: (Default)
From: [personal profile] regann
The FFWiki contains this quote which it contributes to the FFVIII Info Corner (inside the Menu on the game) that defines Galbadia Garden as: "A Garden in the Galbadia Republic. It is the largest Garden of the three. Galbadia Garden's master, Martine, who is also the headmaster, has setup a program to recruit Balamb graduates into the Galbadian Army."

I assumed this operated more like a recruitment program that got him some nice kickback, one that especially targeted those who go through SeeD Training but don't pass the actual exam to become a full fledged SeeD. I could be wrong, but this is the way I always interpreted it, more like a backdoor deal than an official training place for the G-Army. Martine obviously wasn't thrilled with Galbadia wanting to have actual control over his Garden, hence the assassination attempt on Edea/Ulti, and the G-Soldiers we see in-game are very subpar if they were supposed to have had SeeD-style training.

Either way, the kids fighting each other in the Garden clash are all Garden cadets, or in the case of SeeDs, former cadets (they are all in Garden uniforms in the FMVs, none are dressed like G-soldiers) which, coupled with the loss of life in Trabia, makes me wonder how much of a force the Garden system altogether has left to leverage post-game and farther out. FFVIII never gave us much info on scale on this point.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-21 06:54 am (UTC)
chaos_anomaly: (Folklore ♞ Keats; Nosy)
From: [personal profile] chaos_anomaly
I'm almost positive I'm going with the second idea I listed in my first comment to this community, this post is a bit more in my alley. Especially since Politics will be a big part of that Plot. (It's the Inter-world plot with a Fem!Squall focusing on FF7 and FF8 with a healthy dose of Dissidia.)

A lot of these ideas I'm going to give are ones that I'm leaning toward using in my own fic but they could also be used as a general opinion on things that happened in Final Fantasy VIII.

G A R D E N S and C O N T I N E N T S


TRABIA
I think in any real post-FF8 fic, especially if it's immediately after the game, Trabia being rebuilt would be a major plot device. The fact that it is desecrated. That the entire Garden is still in pieces should be a good way to introduce plot. The Final Fantasy VIII world, along the same lines as a FF7 world, is about rebuilding. You had the Third Sorceress War (Possessed Edea and the Galbadia military) that more or less took out one of the main Gardens.

Yes, Trabia escaped total destruction but what we see in the game, they still managed to take a destroy parts of it. Casualties-wise, I wouldn't be surprised to see that maybe half of the population was gone. Maybe even three quarters. You have to remember, it did move away from its original location. Not far, mind you, but far enough that it's not completely destroyed and some parts of that Garden is still standing.

As for the Headmaster, you can really go either way. You can say that one of the casualties was the death of the Headmaster. Or you can say the Headmaster is still alive but injured (how severe, is up to the writer). Like all SeeDs (or my perception of SeeD), I think Trabia has that will of steel and determination to move forward. They are determined. I don't think a writer should be writing them like they've been KO'd completely. They're down but they're not out.

Most of SeeDs resources probably will be heading toward Trabia because it's the 'worse' off than the other two Gardens. So even if the focus is not on Trabia, Trabia should be mentioned, no matter what. Don't forget about this Garden, people. It was vital to Selphie's character and you really can use this Garden as a metaphor for SeeD in so many positive ways, in my opinion.

GALBADIA
Second on the list of priorities should be Galbadia. Yes, during the Sorceress War, this Garden was set up as an enemy base for Ultimecia!Edea and Seifer but it's still a Garden. But more than that, it's a Garden that serves the Galbadian Military. There are no SeeDs here. Instead it is a Galbadian Military Academy among other things. I stress on the word Military.

A Writer can easily wave off the reconstruction of Galbadia Garden as the pet project of the Galbadian Military, however, it would be more effective if that writer didn't. Even though the war was masterminded by Ultimecia, it was still under the control of Edea (and if memory serves, she took over the Military after the president was killed). In my opinion, Ultimecia would have, for the sheer purpose of destroying SeeD, used up all of the Galbadian Military's resources and funds in her pursuit to destroying SeeD in the past.

Whether this is true or not, is up to the individual writer. There might still be more money that Galbadia could have to actually use to rebuild their Garden. However, Galbadia as a whole country might in fact actually be fearful of SeeD because of the War.

We played FF8 through the eyes of Squall and company. We played FF8 as a SeeD. We know nothing about how the actaul Galbadian people thought about the war. For all we know, they could honestly think that it was SeeD who were the bad guys. Ultimecia!Edea and/or Seifer, among other powerful people, could have used propoganda to manipulate the Galbadian public into thinking that.

So maybe, just maybe Galbadia might be trying to take their Garden as their own and try to cut ties with the rest of SeeD and the other Gardens. That brings up the idea of Political intrigue here. If you take that into a story, do you allow Galbadia to keep G Garden as their own? If not, how do you convince them not to do that.

If you don't want to go with Galbadia rebuilding their Garden, then you can probably focus on looking for another Headmaster for that Garden. A Headmaster that the Orphanage Gang can trust. After Martine, how do you find such a person? Do you just plop say Quistis into that seat? I hope not. She might have gotten more confident post-game but I don't think anyone should put her in that seat of power just yet. Maybe in the future, like a few years after the Game ended.

BALAMB
I think, after the game was over, Balamb Garden probably actually landed back in its original spot. In that final FMV, they actually flew over the town of Balamb. Once that Garden probably landed, whatever fuel or power that was used to allow it to hover (or fly, whatever you want to call it) is probably depleted.

Yes, they went to the Shumi Village for a while but you can argue that there wasn't enough "time" for them to stick around and really learn what allows Balamb Garden to move. It was probably a long tedious process and most of that technology, outside of the Shumi is probably lost so relearning that would probably take a lot of time.

Leave it in Balamb Island, I say. Let it remain there. You have the Ragnarok for urgent travel and the trains and ships coming out of Balamb Island should remain. Balamb Town was inhabited by the Galbadian Military. It might not be destroyed but there could still be some problems lurking about, whether it be with actual money, buildings, or whatever. Also, having the Garden on that Island, you can create possible more revenue than what is just needed for Balamb Garden to be in top condition. The remaining profits could actually be placed toward the reconstruction of Trabia.

GALBADIA THE CONTINENT/COUNTRY
I wouldn't say it's completely crippled. It's morale might be down. There might be more fear in the streets because of the Sorceress War, probably toward SeeD and Sorceresses in general but even so. It's probably not completely falling apart. I can actually see Galbadia trying to rebuild itself and make itself become better than it was before. However, I also see Galbadia wanting a Speedy recovery more than anything else.

That said, I can actually see this country overlooking important things. The Presidency might be filled by someone that isn't the right person for the job. It could, in fact, be someone who might be a Hitler, or someone completely inadequate for the position. Depending on who that person is, how that person rallies his (or her) country is another thing you should ponder on.

Do they try to attack SeeD again because of the loss they had in the War? Do they try to rebuild? Do they act nice with SeeD and Esthar? Do they isolate themselves like Esthar once did? What happens?

For the first question, I want to point out, War equals Money. However, you take that is up to you. At least that's how I always seen it. If you want to point out otherwise, be my guest.

Also, in my fic, I actually see Galbadia employing SeeD as a sort of "you owe us" type thing because of all the devastation caused directly (and indirectly) by the War and SeeD.

ESTHAR
I think it's inevitable that Esthar would now be known to every part of the world, or at least be known to Galbadia. Lunatic Pandora was filled with Galbadian Soldiers (and Seifer) and it caused the Lunar Cry to happen. Something which if I assume right was impossible to occur if the Shields of Esther weren't damage though I could be wrong.

Plus, as a country overrun and damaged (possibly) severely by the Lunar Cry, Esthar would need a lot of reconstruction. Possibly more than Trabia though with maybe a lower casualty rate. Laguna never really struck me as too prideful that he wouldn't ask for help. He probably would, he probably would ask it from SeeD. In the worst case, he'll probably as Galbadia for help, or even Fisherman's horizon.

News of Esthar existing would have already spread to the other civilizations once Esthar was done rebuilding itself.

Possibly in exchange for aid, they would share some of their technology to the world but, you have to remember this is Laguna as President, he's not Ultimecia!Edea or even President Deling. He's different and his politics might actually be different. How different is up to the writer. Odine might be the one who would want to force their technology onto Galbadia and the others but I don't see Laguna doing that.

Laguna, after all, was a former Galbadian Soldier. In theory, he should still feel something toward his former country.

To Be Continued

I'm actually going to end this comment for now since it's rather late (for me). I should have my second comment up, hopefully, by tomorrow. :)

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