In recent years Final Fantasy protagonists have been traveling down a path that can almost lead us to predict the exact personality of the main character in Final Fantasy XV. Before I share this conclusion with you, let me state that I am a huge Final Fantasy fan and pretty much love most aspects of every game ever since I put the original Final Fantasy cartridge in my old 8-bit Nintendo. They are an enjoyable escape into a color world of magic and turmoil with rich stories and characters.
Typical main characters have a personality that is rather reflective of a stereotypical teenager because in most instances they are in fact teenagers. They are angst ridden uncertain individuals who undergo a great change. Essentially we watch them grow from adolescence to adulthood through great struggle and personal reflection.
With Cloud Strife we saw someone lose all identity. He was a SOLDIER 1st Class who helped bring justice to the one responsible for the tragic events at Nibelheim. Through out his journey we find him wrestle with the facts that he isn’t who he believed himself to be. He was never a SOLDIER 1st Class, he was never a hero he believed himself to be, in fact he was really little more than grave robbing sword stealing materia junkie (and you thought Yuffie had a problem with materia).
Once he discovered that he was not a hero, could not even save a flower girl, and may in fact be a clone he pretty much lost all grip of who he was. He lost touch with himself, with his friendships, and almost helped in destroying the world. He became full of self doubt, self pitty, and self deprecation. My god he became annoying. Throughout the entire middle portion of the game you just wanted to take away his oversize sword with fear that he may cause oversize slits in his wrists.
Then we have Squall Leonhart who can best be summed up in one word: “Whatever.” The other party members even mock him in-game for this being his signature catch phrase. He never shows much emotion throughout the course of the game. He typifies Emo and gets to carry around a large sword attached to a revolver for a mercenary army. Apparently they don’t have mandatory psychological evaluations in the army.
Throughout his journey we come to learn that he’s an orphan who suffers from Guardian Force induced amnesia and is prone to narcolepsy . What makes it even more fun is that he has some form of super narcolepsy that causes those around him to fall asleep. In college we called it Economics. Perhaps I’m wrong and it wasn’t a contagious disease but merely his party members attempt to escape the ever vibrant personality that was Squall. When asked about this Squall responded with:
When we first see him (before we even get to take control of him) we see him get beaten by his rival Seifer Almasy who was a confident, gifted, natural leader that was not afraid to make tough decisions. He was charismatic, sure of himself, and would take on any challenge that came his way. He was a man with goals and with vision and, more importantly, the gumption to see it through to the end. All in all a much more interesting fit had he been chosen as the main character.
Zidane I’m going to skip over. I never really finished nine. Yes I know, Vivi was awesome but I just couldn’t handle the sickeningly cute money man with shirt cuffs with a sleeveless shirt. I still wonder why this fashion trend never caught on.
Tidus was a promising character. He was a popular athlete on a popular team. Sure blitzball was a strange game that left me wondering either 1.) where were their gills and 2.) how long could they hold their breath but it’s still a popular local sport so it gets credit. But then a few minutes into the game you come to find out that he has serious daddy issues. Yes Jecht was a horrible father who verbally abused his son and abandoned his family, but come on…he became a monster that tried to destroy the world. That’s gotta count for something right?
Now we have Vaan. A boy raised in the desert, who lost his parents to the plague and his brother to a war. By rights he has every reason to be upset, but instead of being all angsty and annoying we find him optimistic and full of hope…and annoying. I spent most of the game asking myself why the underage boy wouldn’t put a shirt on and wishing that he would. Thank you Square-Enix for adding Balthier because otherwise I may have stopped playing.
Vaan signature flaw is that he was very childish. He wanted to be a sky pirate (which he just wouldn’t shut up about) and live free and because of this he tended to distance himself from all attachment. He had a wonderful friend in Penelo who was willing to overlook his thievery and life of crime and befriend the person that was inside. She could see the dreams and the hope and she liked what she saw. Perhaps it was the fact that her other close connection in the game was the lizard man who gave them work and by comparison Vaan is a refreshing breath of fresh air, but she stuck by him though he attempted to isolate himself to a life of piracy.
Looking at the four characters we have mentioned we have very specific characteristics that bring us to the modern Final Fantasy Protagonists:
- Lost family on all four accounts
- General unpleasantness
- Fleeing some form of authority/army/group
- Are/were a soldier in an army
If we combine them we have:
Lighting is a culmination of Squall, Cloud, Tidus, and Vaan. On a side note – Square-Enix next time please make the adult female the one in the open vest, not the underage boy. I spend my time in this game hoping Snow and Fang come back soon. They are caring, thoughtful characters who have a clear goal and desire to help others. Lightning is an unpleasant bitch who tells Hope, a whiny weak recently orphaned child with what appears to be a rather substantial Oedipus Complex, that he’s a burden and she’s going to leave him.
Her sister (and last surviving family member) tells her “I’ve been chosen to be an L’Cie, oh yeah and I’m also engaged” and her response is essentially “If you have been chosen to be an L’Cie then I’m going to kill you”. She then choses to verbally and physically abuse her future brother in law for attempting to keep her sister alive and well. We see this all go down on Lighting’s birthday where her sister gives her a knife and she channels her inner Comic Book Guy and declares “Worst birthday ever”. I really hope she undergoes the signature Final Fantasy transformation into adulthood soon because she is really starting to get to me.
But where does this take us? Well Lightning is a little too abrasive. They attempted to combine aspects of all characters that they thought would work but they overdid it. They need to scale it back a bit for the next one. This can only lead us to one logical conclusion. The next main character in Final Fantasy (not Noctis) will be:
And for those keeping score, yes, I said that Kim Jong-il was a scaled back version of Lightning.
Let us know what you think the next Final Fantasy Character is going to be like. Bonus points to anyone who makes a Kim Jong-il character in the upcoming MMO Final Fantasy XIV
Prompted by the Squall’s Dead post, Wadoobie and I were discussing some of the characters and finer points in Final Fantasy VIII. Being that Dragon Age: Origins is one of our favorite games, we started comparing some of the features – let’s face it, we were talking about FF8’s lack of perving – and we stumbled upon an odd similarity involving two characters.
Make that multiple odd similarities.
Including being annoying, having face tattoos, being short, having blonde hair, orphans, names that start with ‘Z-E’…
We’re about 90% sure these guys are related. It’s kinda hard not to see the resemblance once you realize it. Just visualize with us for a minute:
Both of these slightly annoying, less than wonderful characters were orphaned. Zell was later adopted by dear Ma Dincht, while Zevran was plucked up by the Antivan Crows, a warm and fuzzy group of assassins. Coincidence? I think not. They share features, such as the blonde hair and face tattoo – and their tattoos are on the same side of their face. This also points to some sort of shared blood. Even their names are similar, starting with the same two letters.
You may be thinking, ‘This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard! Zell is human while Zevran is an elf. How can they be related?’
While that is a valid point, I would like to again highlight the fact that both characters are orphans. Therefore, we don’t really know what lies in their past. Perhaps Zevran and Zell are cousins, and their grandparents are humans, and one rebellious daughter decided to get freaky with an elf. Or, perhaps Zevran is Zell’s grandpa? With all the love children Zevran most likely created, it’s certainly possible. Maybe we just don’t know that Zell has a little bit o’ elf in him.
And the last bit of obvious evidence…? How about the fact that they both like hot dogs? One literally, and one a little more…figuratively?
Don’t groan. You know you think it’s hilarious.
Final Fantasy VIII (FF8) happens to be another one of my favorite games of all time. FF8 was my first introduction into the world of role playing games, and boy was that a wonderful experience. I know a lot of people have issues with FF8, that it tends to be very controversial, and well, I’d like to throw an extra wrench in it.
I stumbled upon a theory and possible interpretation of FF8 the other day, and at first when reading through it, I was furious. The idea is that Squall, the main character, essentially dies at the end of the first disc, when Sorceress Edea stabs him with the ice shard. What happens from then on is basically ‘life-flashing-before-your-eyes’, except with a twist. Instead of seeing what he’d already done, Squall sees the neat closure to the adventure and story they started in the beginning. Essentially, everything from Disc 2 on is all just a dream.
Again, when I first saw this link, I wanted to scream. I wanted to kick the computer. I wanted to pound on the keyboard and yell that it wasn’t true.
But the further I read, the more I started to see how it was plausible, if not necessarily likable.
It’s true that once out of Disc 1, the twists and surprises start rolling in. And, strangely enough, a lot of these twists connect the characters together. All the main characters, minus Rinoa, all grew up together. The Guardian Forces cause memory loss, which is why no one remembers each other. Edea is married to Headmaster Cid. Etc, Etc. It almost seems…too neat. Too tidy.
Even if I prefer the neat and tidy wrapping up of the story, with all characters happy, I have to admit that this theory made me think. Made me wonder. Is it possible…that everything was just a dream?
Check out the site and theory for yourself at SquallsDead.com. What do you think? Does the theory hold up?