Session 5 brought us all-but to the end of the game, stopping part-way through the final dungeon (we estimated no more than two hours of content remaining, max). We were too tired to play the last few battles! And we probably would have been done if not for those meddling cards and their Queen, but more on that in a minute.
For now, it was time to actually attend to business in Esthar. It turns out our next destination wasn’t actually inside the massive city of Esthar, like we had assumed at the end of Session 4, but rather in the surrounding wilds. There were a whole set of locations inside the Estharan invisibility net, including the lab that Laguna escaped from during the last flashback (one which never becomes important again, despite other Laguna locations like that never appearing on the world the map). Also present was a “memorial” for the Sorceress Adel; a creepy location full of unpleasant statuary and known as “Tears’ Point,” which wasn’t explained in any way, but did have an item called the Solomon Ring; and finally, our destination, the Lunar Gate. While Kyle tracked down these landmarks, we also had our eyes on the local, wandering Malboros, hoping to get their tentacles for a new Blue Magic spell and also another reason we’ll discuss later. Since Malboros are especially dangerous in FFVIII (without proper prep), we were probably just going to Mug them and maybe even run, but Odin killed the only one we encountered!