Thanks to Scott Baird of ScreentRants.com for the inspiration!
2. THE T-BOARD TEASE
The Final Fantasy series has featured several minigames that switch the genre into something else. Final Fantasy VII was notorious for this, as it included Mog House (feeding a Moogle the right amount of food so that he can get laid), the tower defense game that you play at Fort Condor, the submarine attack game, the snowboarding game, and the bike race.
Final Fantasy VIII teased an awesome minigame and then never followed up on the promise. Zell shows up to a mission briefing while racing around on a hoverboard, known as a T-Board. He suggests that they might come in useful during a mission… and we never see them again.
The introduction of the T-Board felt like it was building up towards some kind of racing minigame and then it drops the idea and never mentions it again. Why introduce such a great idea to the player and then never follow up on it?
Dazz316 expresses surprise:
You mean get to use it?
I don’t know if you remember the awesomeness of Zell’s flying entrance. It’s a ten-second in-game cutscene introduction. That’s it.
I can assume Scott Baird really wanted the T-Board to play an integral part in the story. It looks cool, in a Back to the Future sort of way. But I never felt the introduction to the T-Board was leading to anything. It was just to show how rad of a dude Zell was.
Zell was probably just pleading with the Garden Faculty to keep it. They didn’t listen and confiscated it for good. Nothing’s normal in Final Fantasy VIII. Maybe part of the joke was getting our hopes up and letting us down? Maybe it’s all apart of the story. We see just how strict Balamb Gardens can be. The Garden Faculty hates fun. Maybe it’s an inside joke the Snowboarding minigame from Final Fantasy VII. “We’ll have none of that, here.” No ill-timed, inappropriate mini-game sequence. We might never see this in the potential remake either.
The T-Board itself doesn’t really seem like a big deal to the overall story. Nor did it seem like any follow up was going to happen with it. That’s like wanting to cut Zell’s hot dog obsession. Did that have a potential to be a mini-game too? No, so I guess it has to go, right?
But instead of cutting the T-Board, why not add a minigame where Zell or Selphie use it? Scott thinks it’s a great idea, so then sure why not add it?
And why not go farther? Maybe we could use these in ‘SeeD’ Missions. These ‘SeeD’ Missions could be a collection of solo or team missions with every party member (minus Rinoa). Missions that would be action-RPG. The varieties could be fighting stages (i.e. solo Zell), shooters (i.e. solo Irvine), and platformers…including use of the T-Board?
Who knows if Square Enix will remake Final Fantasy VIII. If they do, I hope they follow up on this interesting concept.