Thanks to WonderWaseda for the inspiration!
Ahh, the orphanage. Trabia Garden is gone, let’s all… remember that we know each other! Wow! How neat! The point of this moment is that we finally realize how detrimental GFs are. They forgot everything? Seriously? Is this normal for SeeDs? They don’t seem that shocked by it.
Type-0 explores this theme. Final Fantasy VIII started it…in Final Fantasy.
Maybe their lack of adequate surprise about them all being in an orphange is because this happens to SeeDs all the time. SeeDs can’t remember much. This is the harmful side of GF use. (Set aside the metaplaying aspect that this coincides with the point where you will start dying if you have only been summoning GFs and not using the Junction system properly).
Good point. Like Final Fantasy VII, the junction mechanics play directly into the story. Once again, Final Fantasy VIII is challenging how we use gameplay to understand the story. That is, gameplay is an active part of the lore.
The point of this moment is that someone (Cid), intentionally caused all of these characters to be in the same place. It isn’t a coincidence.
The developers actually did just this: they set up everything so that the characters all met at the same spot. So it might not be coincidence Cid is doing it.
To the player it seems as if these are characters who met randomly, but of course, they are on a military mission, assigned orders by superiors to be in particular places. Saying “how dumb that all the main characters happened to be in an orphanage together” is missing a level of complexity. Yes! Exactly how dumb! So dumb that it must not be a coincidence that these amnesiacs are all together in the same situation… and it isn’t. At all. It isn’t “a coincidence that the main characters, who met randomly, all were in the orphanage,” it’s “these main characters haven’t really met randomly have they?” Quistis and Seifer and Squall and Zell are all assigned by Balamb Garden to work together. Irvine is picked from Galbadia (it obviously isn’t for his marksmanship or professionalism) and they go to help Rinoa for a weird mission that doesn’t seem high on Balamb Garden’s priority list… It isn’t a coincidence. That is the point. The game is interacting with the player on a postmodern level, forcing you to question its assumptions.
And I think they succeed.