A few days ago my friend Pete and I were playing Final Fantasy XIII-2 on my save. The atmosphere was jolly, the drinks flowed a little. We were hunting for some monsters that look a bit like shoe people only made out of flowers, as GameFAQs seemed sure that once we found one of them we could level it up and then eat it to learn the ‘Raise’ skill. We took a quick break from trying to find the shoe people to do some housework, eat some other monsters, level up this and that, redefine some paradigms based on the new upgrades and so forth.

As anyone who’s ever muddled through the insanity of a FFXIII-2 Optimised Levelling guide will tell you, there is a delicate and confusing art to upgrading main characters Serah and Noel in a correct fashion. After spending all of Serah’s points successfully we moved to Noel, whence there was some degree of debate over whether it was more appropriate to level up a small crystarium node with the Synergy or the Medic role.

Now I like to think of myself as a fair and just man, but that is my Noel. What I say goes. In my flat especially. Pete is an alright mate I suppose, or at least he was before any of this nonsense occurred, but frankly it is insubordinate of him to even question my authority. After I made him bagels. And gave him crackers. The good crackers with black pepper on, not the plain ones. But once it was clear we were at an impasse over the medic/synergist issue, Pete apparently went mad.

He assigned the small node to the Sentinel role.

SENTINEL?! WHERE THE FUCK DID THAT COME FROM? And then he just grinned at me like a big long stupid chicken, looming into my face, delighted with his betrayal, excited by my stunned silence. How dare he un-optimise my Noel? In my flat, with a stomach filled with my bagels? Okay, so the time I gave him the bagels was about a month previous, but still.

That is Pete on the right, making the same face he made when he stained my Noel.

He said he liked those bagels. He appeared grateful at the time. I didn’t detect anything sick in him; there was no soulless emptiness behind his eyes as you may have suspected from someone so readily corrosive. Yet one short month later, here he was defiling my Noel for his own sick fun – hardly the actions of a grateful man. Barely the actions of a human man, as you can see in the image above.

Noel has since moved on from his ordeal, but I haven’t. Every time I look at him, I know what was done to him. My Noel is no longer perfect, and a man I once trusted is now a stranger to me.

I write this post not to make Pete feel guilty, although he should certainly feel that. WE HADN’T SAVED IN ABOUT THREE HOURS, PETE. No, I write this post to preserve his foulness forever, and to pledge revenge.

If Final Fantasy games have taught me anything, it’s that if you believe in a dream it will come true. Well, I believe in the dream of revenge. One day Pete will have a Noel of his own. It might not be called Noel, and it might not look like a reject from a Kingdom Hearts game and be voiced by a small child hooked up to an overclocked ECG device, but I will identify it as a Noel. And when I do, I will introduce the tiniest, most annoying flaw into it and then I will laugh like a big stupid long chicken and see how he likes it.

All that remains now is waiting. Waiting and plotting, and eventually: striking.


15 responses to “Pete”

  1. @cs87 Avatar

    I don't even…


    1. ShaunCG Avatar

      This marks the beginning of a new era of incisive investigative journalism here at Arcadian Rhythms.

      Alternatively, it marks the continuation of Dylan being Dylan.

      Interesting Fact for Fact Fans: Pete was originally part of AR's team back when it was a pub discussion rather than a website, but he is very lazy and never wrote anything. He does however know all about Planescape: Torment, especially Cloudkill. Just ask him about Cloudkill. He'll go on about it for actual hours.

      1. Dylan Avatar

        There's a rumour going around that he might write about Quarrel for us. I hope so, cos Quarrel is beyond awesome but I have nothing to say about it. Also, I am pathetically bad at it despite having absolutely amazing scores, mostly because Pete plays it for me.

        1. @RobWadeVision Avatar

          I love Quarrel. When a game allows you to command a small army of Scottish people, and yelling the word "QUEERS" as loudly as possible allows you to WIN a round, it's a sure bet that the game's a good'un. Plus it's 400 MS points on XBL, which is bargaintacular.

  2. badgercommander Avatar

    Love that picture. On a side note. Quarrel sounds good, but the number of banned words that are enforced on the XLA version seems a little ridiculous. Also, welcome Snr Rob Wade.

    I want to read the parent article to this, I almost feel like cheating and going into the posts section. I will resist.

    1. @RobWadeVision Avatar

      Ta very much. Long time lurker, first time commenter!

      It´s funny you mention the banned words, because so far I´ve actually found the list quite lax. Letting through things like "Queers" and "Shits" is no good if they then ban words like "quimflap". Consistency, people!

      1. ShaunCG Avatar

        I agree that the limitations on online play in Quarrel are terrible – they are what have stopped me from buying the game – but "queers" and "shits" have been in almost every major dictionary for some time now, whereas "quimflap" hasn't. ;)

        Also, hi!

      2. Dylan Avatar

        That is because you are presumably playing single player? There is only one banned word in single player. There are many banned words in Multiplayer.

        1. @RobWadeVision Avatar

          This is possible. I can't recall a specific game against another human player, so maybe I never have. Out of interest, what's the banned word in SP?

          1. Dylan Avatar


          2. @RobWadeVision Avatar

            Jesus, I was only asking. #badoomtish

      3. @sw0llengoat Avatar

        For the record, we won a battle with the word 'quims' the other day, so even if quimflap isn't there, quim is at least. In a lot of cases, they will allow dodgy words but define it as something else if possible. The definition of 'wang' is something about the noise, and the second definition is as in 'I wanged the car'. No. It means cock.

  3. AlexP Avatar

    Sentinel sucks. And I've been enjoying FFXIII-2 much more than I'd care to admit to the general public.

    1. badgercommander Avatar

      Damnit, I generally hate Final Fantasy games… Do I have to play this one to find out whether I like it?

      1. AlexP Avatar

        I definitely don't think it's mandatory. I like it, but then I generally don't hate Final Fantasy games, though I was fairly underwhelmed by the last one. I think I've been enjoying XIII-2 partly because the last one set my expectations pretty low.

        And there's just something about that game. It's so…….bright and colorful. And the dialogue is so bad, it's sort of fun. There's time-travel and monster-taming. The whole vibe with the game is just weird. For me, it's a strangely endearing beast.