SkullKast 104 - Ep 360 Review

Fancypantaloons

Trapped in time. Surrounded by evil. Low on gas.
Thanks for another one, guys!

I'm so happy I can play these podcasts with the music bots of Discord!
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
+FF7 Remake talk after the podcast credits.
Since we had to cut FF7 talk short I wanted to expound on a couple points at the end concerning the depth of the city and scope of the story.

Concerning the rendering, makeup and representation of Midgar, I'm not sure it gives me a satisfyingly more in-depth or superior experience. As a matter of fact, I found the areas less distinguishable from each other or their original counterparts. Part of the issue might be that I've been through lots of places like the remake's version of Midgar now, which to me feel like similar, relatively simple, actually pretty small, town environments or play zones with derivative quests; it's technically more, but it's all kind of perfunctory and less variety. It's bigger, but it doesn't feel bigger to me; to paraphrase and spin something Walter said, it felt like the original was really only showing you the surface, but to me it actually suggested something massive and incomprehensible underneath, whereas this is what you see is what you get. The original was a uniquely realized game environment and genuinely oppressive place where corporate technocracy openly ate the environment and the poor (this theme felt more relevant than ever at the start of remake, but has completely fallen by the wayside for typical good guys vs bad guys fare). This one might have more details and just more stuff, but it's also more generalized and not necessarily evocative of the cohesive, oppressive tone of the original. Everyone's actually kind of optimistic and even cheerful. Not many died when Sector 6 fell it's explained. Sector 7 survivors make the best of it too. Wall Market is a fun, high energy place rather than a dangerous dive. The original Midgar was kind of cool because without trying too hard to be horrifying or hardcore it was a captivating fantasy metropolis that was also a realistically shitty place to live.

As for the expanded, and potentially diluted, plot, I'm kind of going back and forth on the point depending on where I'm at in the story progression, or what I see as a lack thereof. Sometimes it feels like they're really going the extra mile, like all the added exposition concerning the Avalanche gang, other times it feels like they're just adding extra fat that blunts the story's urgency and momentum, like everything when you're headed to the sector 7 pillar, and then after going to Shinra Tower. Nothing is ever directly point A to point B, even when that's not only appropriate but completely called for, there's always multiple extra stops and diversions. I'm reserving judgement until the end of the game since I've been vacillating throughout depending on the segment, but considering I've enjoyed the added details of the recreated portions individually, overall is where I think all the extra plot may water things down, it has a good chance to win me over and even wow me at Shinra Tower, assuming they don't go totally off the rails...

Now all that sounds very critical, but I'm not saying it harshly and am overall enjoying the game, but in future installments I feel like it might definitely benefit from simplifying things and paring down some of the extra material, because this was already a huge, overwrought story to begin with. That, and how they handle continuity from one part to another, aka does any of the extra shit I'm doing matter in the next game, will determine how worthwhile I determine this project to be.
 
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Aazealh

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Since we had to cut FF7 talk short I wanted to expound on a couple points at the end concerning the depth of the city and scope of the story.
I'm at the same point you are in the story and I share your sentiment, down to not being sure yet whether I ultimately will see the endeavor as successful or not. I'm having a good time playing, and I like the side quests for what they are, but there's such a thing as integrating them in a timely and thoughtful manner into the plot, so that it doesn't just feel like a distraction from the real story.

It goes back to what I said at the very end of the podcast: the greatness of the original game lied in the fact Midgar was just a starting point. After you leave Midgar, you would have lots of free time to do side quests if they do a full world like in FFXII instead of an overview map. If they had done the full game instead of only a part of it, they would have had the opportunity to do things like that. Keep the Midgar scenario tight, with only a couple side things here and there (for example moving the graveyard section to another time and having that be a side adventure), and have a plethora of things to do after you open the world up. It's basically what the original game did too.
 
So, you guys were talking about the kid turning into Griffith while he's on the island, and of course that won't be a simple thing since we have always seen the kid leaving Guts and Casca's side before morning, which is probably either a subconscious thing, or the kid actually knows that Griffith would hurt them, or they'll hurt Griffith and by extension him.

What I think, is probably that the kid will be somehow forced to stay in the island until morning, where he'll turn into Griffith (and of course with that, his first duel with Guts that Miura was talking about will begin). Now, how/why he'll be forced to stay on the island probably has to do with the mages on the island or Danan. One of them will sense something malicious from deep within the boy and they'll "seal" or immobilize him to do some research on him (which Guts and Casca will most likely won't be happy about).
And while they're keeping him sealed, or locked up (if that's even possible), as the sun rises, his hair will slowly turn white and he'll turn into Griffith in a scene that looks kinda like Griffith's reincarnation in Volume 21, not saying that they are the same thing, of course they are completely different, but the scene might look similar.:shrug:

I now notice that my "theory" starts to sound like some bad fanfic, so I'm stopping right here. But what I'm basically trying to say is that there has to be a reason for the boy to stay in the island until he turns into Griffith. Also, what you guys didn't talk about is that Zodd is most likely following the kid, so that makes the situation even more complicated, because there's no way that the mages of Elfhelm won't sense an Apostle being in the island (or even near it). And finally, the whole time dilation thing will be an issue.

So, keeping all of this in mind, I'm very excited to see what Miura does with this complicated situation. :daiba:
 

Atocas

I don't remember the last time I didn't eat Pizza
Also, what you guys didn't talk about is that Zodd is most likely following the kid, so that makes the situation even more complicated, because there's no way that the mages of Elfhelm won't sense an Apostle being in the island (or even near it).
I don't think Zodd has been following the Moonlight boy when he appeared on the island of the Sea God, because the boy is now able to travel by himself using the branches from the world tree. Correct me if I'm wrong.
 

Walter

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Also, what you guys didn't talk about is that Zodd is most likely following the kid, so that makes the situation even more complicated, because there's no way that the mages of Elfhelm won't sense an Apostle being in the island (or even near it). And finally, the whole time dilation thing will be an issue.
We saw Zodd near the boy once, on Rocky cliffs near Vritannis beach. That was likely for transportation, since the boy returns to rocky cliffs as he departs. Since then, no Zodd. As said before, the boy could use the branches for transport as of vol 35, hence his appearance on the island.
 
I don't think Zodd has been following the Moonlight boy when he appeared on the island of the Sea God, because the boy is now able to travel by himself using the branches from the world tree. Correct me if I'm wrong.
We saw Zodd near the boy once, on Rocky cliffs near Vritannis beach. That was likely for transportation, since the boy returns to rocky cliffs as he departs. Since then, no Zodd. As said before, the boy could use the branches for transport as of vol 35, hence his appearance on the island.
You're right. I just thought that Zodd might still follow him either out of curiosity or just to make sure he's safe.
But yeah, the boy can easily go by himself, though I'm still curious about how they'll keep him on the island... Maybe if the mages won't do anything about it, Griffith will take control of the kid's body (like Walter said on the podcast) and force it to stay on the island till morning.
 

Aazealh

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What I think, is probably that the kid will be somehow forced to stay in the island until morning, where he'll turn into Griffith (and of course with that, his first duel with Guts that Miura was talking about will begin). Now, how/why he'll be forced to stay on the island probably has to do with the mages on the island or Danan. One of them will sense something malicious from deep within the boy and they'll "seal" or immobilize him to do some research on him (which Guts and Casca will most likely won't be happy about). And while they're keeping him sealed, or locked up (if that's even possible), as the sun rises, his hair will slowly turn white and he'll turn into Griffith
That's possible but it seems quite contrived. That implies they would sense something dangerous enough to "seal him" (how?) but without knowing what it is exactly, and that the boy wouldn't be able to break that seal but Griffith would. And meanwhile neither Guts nor Casca would do anything. The least far-fetched version of this scenario I can think of would be for Danan to just put him to sleep alongside his mother or something.

Griffith's reincarnation in Volume 21
Femto's incarnation.

And finally, the whole time dilation thing will be an issue.
It's not sure at all that it will be an issue for a stay of a single night or less.

You're right. I just thought that Zodd might still follow him either out of curiosity or just to make sure he's safe.
And how would Zodd do that exactly? He can't travel through the branches of the World Spiral Tree by himself, nor can he just fly to Elfhelm.
 
Always great to listen to a new podcast!

Personally i imagined that the main reason why Griffith would indirectly land in Elfhelm through the boy was related to the Cherry Blossom tree, especially after all the talk in episode 345. The destruction of presumably the biggest spirit tree would help the World Tree gain even more power, and the worlds to be merged even more, progressing their goal in potentially exterminating all astral creatures.

Then we have the last page of episode 357, where Sonia says ''Just leave it to me, Lord Griffith. I'll run to you anywhere in the world once you call me.''
This seemed like foreshadowing for a potential scenario of Griffith calling for her from Elfhelm, for which the sky path is very convenient for.

So i wonder if we will see Sonia arrive with the demon army, or get to Elfhelm by herself, but if she does come with the army, it could have potential for a great confrontation. Possibly Guts vs Grunbeld 2? It also makes me wonder how Sonia would react to the army fighting and maybe slaughtering the residents of Elfhelm, maybe leading to the first steps of her feeling conflicted towards Griffiths cause?

Obviously for all that to happen Griffith has to take over the body first and if it happens, to burn down the Cherry Blossom Tree in Elfhelm would be super hard, unless Femto and the demon army gets a lending hand from another God Hand member? So many possibilities.

As for when next episode could arrive, i also think it might be June, or the latest August. Duranki is nearing the completion of its first volume, and i assume Young Animal would release a Berserk episode to promote it.

Also it seems like the new assistant of Miura seems to be finally involved in the process of creating Berserk episodes

 
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Walter

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The destruction of presumably the biggest spirit tree would help the World Tree gain even more power, and the worlds to be merged even more, progressing their goal in potentially exterminating all astral creatures.
Would it, though? This idea has never resonated with me, because the world spiral tree has already manifested thanks to the destruction of several spiritual trees, and its manifestation successfully demolished the barriers between the worlds. Mission accomplished. What would destroying a few extra trees really achieve? There's been no inkling that the tree's reach is limited in any way, so the motivation would be conjecture, and it's just hard for me to get excited about that kind of speculation.
 
The least far-fetched version of this scenario I can think of would be for Danan to just put him to sleep alongside his mother or something.
I really don't know why my mind went straight to complicated magic that we haven't even seen instead of something that Danan even used in the latest episode :ganishka:.

Femto's incarnation.
Embarrassing mistake :magni:

And how would Zodd do that exactly? He can't travel through the branches of the World Spiral Tree by himself, nor can he just fly to Elfhelm.
Yeah, the more I was thinking about it, the less sense it made, so I guess just like in Volume 36, the kid will arrive by itself through the branches.

It's not sure at all that it will be an issue for a stay of a single night or less.
I wasn't sure if I should add that as an issue, but since we don't really know how big the time dilation is, so yeah you're right, we'll just have to wait and see, I'm sure Miura will explain it throughly in one of the next few episodes.
 
Would it, though? This idea has never resonated with me, because the world spiral tree has already manifested thanks to the destruction of several spiritual trees, and its manifestation successfully demolished the barriers between the worlds. Mission accomplished. What would destroying a few extra trees really achieve? There's been no inkling that the tree's reach is limited in any way, so the motivation would be conjecture, and it's just hard for me to get excited about that kind of speculation.
You know, thats actually a great point. I think i was too set on the idea, due to us not fully knowing the extent of the chaos that is lingering outside of Elfhelm and Falconia, although we can imagine it and saw some snippets as well. Gedflynn also says that the current power of the world tree has recalled the ancient chaos, so that's quite telling already.
 
"In Vritannis, he was a hot potato" :ganishka: I choked on my coffee.

Great insight everyone, thanks a lot Walt, Aaz, Griff and Grail for another gem of an episode. I would've also pronounced Daimon the same way Griffith said it ... *can feel Aaz's looming shadow behind my back* no more, no more!
 
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Walter

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You know, thats actually a great point. I think i was too set on the idea, due to us not fully knowing the extent of the chaos that is lingering outside of Elfhelm and Falconia, although we can imagine it and saw some snippets as well. Gedflynn also says that the current power of the world tree has recalled the ancient chaos, so that's quite telling already.
It could be that there's an incentive to demolish ALL the trees, but right now there's no established reason for Griffith to need to crush Elfhelm or its inhabitants. I know most people would point to how he treated Flora back in v26 as incentive, but that was before the World Spiral Tree manifested, AND before he held all of humanity in his hand. The emergence of those two things in recent months make it presumably far less vital to stomp out a place like Elfhelm and its inhabitants. Of course, that's primarily because of the distance between Falconia and Elfhelm. They aren't a threat because they're distant. That could change.
 
Thanks for the pod.

Ever since catching up and listening to the most recent podcasts a billion times, I've wondered how Miura would transition from Elfhelm to the final battle at Falconia. I had figured the most likely was a band of the hawk attack or the skull knight talking about how much time had been actually lost while in Elfhelm.

However, Aaz's comment on a Conrad encounter sounds intriguing. I had accepted that we might not get too much of the rest of the godhand other than femto, as the focus has been so heavily on guts and Griffith with only hints and teases of the other. I had always thought femto as of the best of godhand - meaning, the one who is most actively making the Idea of Evil's plans a reality. Also, each godhand is unbelievably strong, but Griffith has those powers as well as an entire nation behind him.

Im not sure how Conrad would fit, but how about Ubik? With Ubik's appearance in 306 (or around there), the location mirrored a famous painting of hell. Based on everything I've read and heard, Ubik's preferred sephira could be madness. Madness can appear in multiple ways - maybe this time he appears through the chaotic good in Elfhelm - elves or other creatures who have gone mad similar to how the orgies of the trolls drew Slan. Probably an area of Elfhelm we haven't yet seen before. As I understand it, the godhand are now in the real world, but why wouldn't they be drawn to a place similar to their own nature?
 
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Im expecting Daimons to be Miuras version of heroes who ascended into Valhalla, making them into somewhat the reverse of apostles.
Apostles, humans who used and external tool (power source) to sacrifice something besides themselves (still something that was important to them nonetheless) to achieve immediate satisfaction, their goal, in a way the easy way out.
Daimons, humans who sacrificed themselves for the better of others, people who became heroes by their on skills (the ubermensch, so to speak) in doing so, "they ascended into Valhalla".




P.S. Sorry, im going to be a bit of a dick here, i love Berserk and i love Miura but, in the subject of Skull Knights broken armor spike being some kind of foreshadowing, what was Miura foreshadowing when he forgot to finish Cascas hand in the previous episode?
 
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Walter

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Im expecting Daimons to be Miuras version of heroes who ascended into Valhalla, making them into somewhat the reverse of apostles.
Apostles, humans who used and external tool (power source) to sacrifice something besides themselves (still something that was important to them nonetheless) to achieve immediate satisfaction, their goal, in a way the easy way out.
Daimons, humans who sacrificed themselves for the better of others, people who became heroes by their on skills (the ubermensch, so to speak) in doing so, "they ascended into Valhalla".
That might not be a bad parallel either, at least thematically. But differences become apparent once you go further than that. Apostles are part human, part evil being. They straddle the corporeal and astral, like Guts. So, they aren't really like astral beings at all, definitely not ones that reside deep down. Also, there's a power differential to contest with. Apostles would be blown away by a standard astral spirit like the Blaze Wheel, and we saw how Grunbeld was stopped in his tracks by Flora (presumably as a "newborn" Daimon) at the end of the mansion attack. So to me the implication is that Daimons are far more powerful than a mere apostle.

P.S. Sorry, im going to be a bit of a dick here, i love Berserk and i love Miura but, in the subject of Skull Knights broken armor spike being some kind of foreshadowing, what was Miura foreshadowing when he forgot to finish Cascas hand in the previous chapter?
I think it is finished. The hatching marks are just unfortunately placed. It gives the illusion that her fingers are stubby, or there are weird, malformed nails. But we aren't seeing her nails or fingertips because they're curled under the sword. It's just hatching marks.

Now... are you trying to say that because of the above bad hatching marks that Miura isn't someone who is very careful about details (in particular, important ones like armor components)? Because this is a pretty bad example if you're trying to unravel that.
 
Sorry, im going to be a bit of a dick here, i love Berserk and i love Miura but, in the subject of Skull Knights broken armor spike being some kind of foreshadowing, what was Miura foreshadowing when he forgot to finish Cascas hand in the previous chapter?
Honestly those are two completely different things, Casca's hand was an obvious mistake, Skull Knight missing one of his spikes wasn't that Miura forgot to draw this specific spike, it's broken off like it was in Volume 26.
So unless Skull Knight has it back in the next episode or if he doesn't explain why it's missing, I doubt it's a mistake.
 

Aazealh

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Honestly those are two completely different things, Casca's hand was an obvious mistake
It's not a mistake, like Walter said, it's just the hatching that looks odd at this scale. But here's a trick: reduce the image size to just 50% and you'll find that suddenly it looks good. And guess what: in the printed volume, it'll look perfectly good as well. But you're right that it's not comparable in any case.
 
I hope im wrong, i just find it so God damn weird that its the exact same spike that Skull Knight is missing, is that is thing now, tearing of that one spike and throwing at his enemies?
 
It's not a mistake, like Walter said, it's just the hatching that looks odd at this scale. But here's a trick: reduce the image size to just 50% and you'll find that suddenly it looks good. And guess what: in the printed volume, it'll look perfectly good as well.
I see. Now that I'm thinking about it, it can't be her nails since she's gripping the scabbard of her sword. It makes sense now.

I hope im wrong, i just find it so God damn weird that its the exact same spike that Skull Knight is missing, is that is thing now, tearing of that one spike and throwing at his enemies?
I would guess that it's just the easiest one to grab.
 

Aazealh

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Staff member
I hope im wrong, i just find it so God damn weird that its the exact same spike that Skull Knight is missing, is that is thing now, tearing of that one spike and throwing at his enemies?
Which spike should he have used? One behind his head? Given the fact he's right-handed this is the most convenient spike to break off and throw if he needs to do such a thing. Obviously, it begs the question of what could possibly have necessitated him to throw a spike. That's undoubtedly what Miura intended for the readers to ask themselves.
 
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