Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – V The Hierophant

<–IV The Emperor                                                                                VI The Lovers–>

This is my current Final Fantasy Friday post where I’ll be discussing which characters I think exemplify each card of the Major Arcana.  If this is your first time here, please head over to my Final Fantasy Tarot page for explanation.  Now onto the next card!

V The Hierophant

the-hierophant-seymour

Seymour from Final Fantasy X was my original pick for this card, but I wavered quite a bit before my choice as there’s an alternate who’s just as good that I’ll discuss below.

The Hierophant is also known as The High Priest or even The Pope.  Seymour is essentially a high priest as a maester of Yevon.  He is (according the linked wiki) “the Minister of Temple Affairs, which maintains the temples’ rituals and teachings and oversees the summoners. This position allows one the authority to handle records of the sealed histories.”  He’s also a half human, half Guado hybrid, the latter race being responsible for Spira”s afterlife.  The Hierophant serves as the builder of the bridge between deity and humanity, thus a true “pontiff.”

Even though Seymour is obviously an antagonist, like many a Final Fantasy villain he has a tragic backstory involving his mother (god they really love that paradigm), nor does this status dismiss the fact that he was essentially a high priest of the faith.  Given our knowledge of corruption in religious institutions (which FFX wholly seeks to point out), the villainous aspect of his nature do not detract from him representing this card.


Alternates: Sephiroth (VII)

I very nearly picked my favorite fallen angel for a variety of reasons.  He, too, is a bridge between humanity and “deity” as a human-alien hybrid of sorts.  I wouldn’t say he’s half and half as both of his parents are human (though his father’s “humanity” is highly debatable for moral reasons…), but since he was infused with Jenova’s cells while in utero, that aspect of his makeup must be taken into account.  He also became its “messenger” in a way and then pretty much merged with it, a motif we see repeated in X with a summoner’s guardian becoming the new Sin.

Sephiroth would also be a counterpart to Aeris as The High Priestess, and the two pillars The Hierophant sits between was almost a tipping point especially when you consider they’re related to the Tree of Life, which is made up of the Holy Sephiroth.

Also, like the Hierophant, he loves holding up his right hand.

sephiroth-holding-up-right-hand

But Sephiroth is meant for another card.  Now I’ve given you a clue.  Use it wisely.

Seifer (VIII), Golbez (IV) – Both due to the “bridge between humanity and deity” description.  Seifer is obviously fully human, but his stint as the Sorceress’s Knight was considered.  Golbez is *spoiler* half-human, half-Lunarian and was under the thrall of Zemus for the majority of the game, a being seething deep in the Lunar core, so we have that hybrid doing a “higher” being’s work paradigm going on with him. *end spoiler.*


Nobody technically won this time; however, Mr. Panda did guess Sephiroth, and I was super close to picking him and would have if he wasn’t planned for a later card.

Next week is VI The Lovers, which will be the most solid if initially dichotomous canon ship, and one of my favorite ones at that!  Happy guessing 🙂

<–IV The Emperor                                                                                VI The Lovers–>

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The State of the Reader: 9/21/16

<–The State of the Reader: 9/14/16          The State of the Reader: 9/28/16–.

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Finished This Week: 1

Title: Sigil
Author: Aidan J. Reid
Date Added: June 9, 2016
Date Started: August 23, 2016
Date Finished: September 16, 2016

This is tough.  As you all know I usually review books on Goodreads and Amazon after I finish them. I want to do that with this one, but I had some major issues with it, and this is an indie author who could be really hurt by a bad review.  I know how tough the publishing world is since, well, I’m not even in it due to failure/rejection, and I don’t want to bring anyone else down, BUT I always want to give honest reviews.  If I can figure out a way to do this tactfully, I’ll definitely write one up.

For now I’ll tell you that I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads.  I think it’s a great portrayal of how small towns can hide huge secrets.  The main character is very likeable and admirable, and the book is $0.99 and fast paced.


Books Currently Reading: 4
Change from Last Week: +1

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 16%

I am well entrenched on the second branch of this book.  It’s a little bit more complex what with matrilineal kingship.  The first book was about the New Tribes that were more patriarchal whereas the Old Tribes follow a matriarchal line. There is a character named Bran though, which is something Martin borrowed from in his Song saga so I’m excited.

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Series Title: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Date Added: May 11, 2016
Date Started: August 24, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 81%

I’m really hoping this book doesn’t let me down with the ending.  I can see the direction it may be leading me into, and I’m hoping the author is clever enough to pull a bait and switch.  So far Mr. Riggs hasn’t let me down.

Title: The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones
Author: George R R Martin
Date Added: January 7, 2015
Date Started: February 8, 2015

Media: Hardback
Progress: 66%

Though this book is a new addition to this week, I was reading it before.  I took a hiatus, but picked it back up when I (finally) finished my last reference The Mystical Qabalah.  This compendium is the history of Westeros from GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire, my favorite (written) fantasy series and my second favorite story of all time.  If you’re a Song fan and you want to know more about the world of Westeros (and Essos and Sothoryos…collectively called Planetos in fan head canons), I highly recommend it.

I’m currently on the section about the Tyrells and before that Old Town, which was a bit chilling as the maester “writing” it mentions that ubiquitous black stone found all over the world.  There’s something very eerie about that black stone not the least of which is its connections with Lovecraftian horror.

TWOIAF only has around 330 pages, but it’s a large book nonetheless.

Title: Khalarea the Fallen
Series Title: Tales of Yagath
Author: Claus Augustus Corbett
Date Added: April 3, 2016
Date Started: September 19, 2016

Media: Kindle
Progress: 12%

I’m trying to remember who recommended this book to me, and I’m failing miserably.  It’s not on my “Blogger Recommendations” shelf, but someone I was talking to mentioned this author because they were willing to risk less sales in order to put a content warning on their work.  Dammit…I think it was someone on WP, but this was before I kept track of who recommended what.

Another draw was how the “Tales of Yagath” sound a bit Lovecraftian to me, too.  Yagath reminds me of shoggoth, but that could also just because I’m weird.  They both end with -th.  I really don’t know.  There is a trope about that though under Names to Run Away From (yes “Sephiroth” is there.  I can’t talk about sinister names that end in -th without mentioning my favorite fallen angel), and Lovecraft, er, loved using it.

This story is about a wandering bard looking for to recount what she knows of the Legend of Khalarea to her friend, but there may be even darker truths to reveal.  This is another book written by an indie author.  I’m trying to keep up my reading with one of those on my Kindle as I go along.  So far it’s a little muddled with tons of character and place names, but I’m hoping things will fall into place soon.  It’s not very long so I don’t envision me taking much more than a week to finish.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

In Progress Fanfictions Read: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 0

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 1

Title: Children of Light and Darkness
Author: Chibi Neko
Fandom: Vampire Hunter D
Pairing: N/A

Holy shit.  I’m reading a fanfiction that’s not only not Aeriseph but also not even Final Fantasy VII.  What the hell is going on?  Well first off I added this today after checking my email.  Chibi Neko, the author, had added my Northern Lights to their Favorite Stories list.  Whenever that occurs I always check out the person’s profile to see if they write my fandom and to see what other stories/authors they have as their favorite so I can potentially add more stories to my TBR list.  I didn’t find any fics that way, but I noticed the author has one story to their credit about Vampire Hunter D.

This is D. Yes, he's very beautiful.

This is D. Yes, he’s very beautiful.

I gave the prologue a read, and it’s interesting enough for me to delve into.  Plus pretty goth boys are my specialty whether they have black or silver hair.  There doesn’t seem to be a pairing marked in the story info, but it is designated a drama/romance.

Fanfiction.net doesn’t have a place for content warnings, and the author didn’t put any near the beginning, but if you decide to check the fic out, there’s rape/sexual assault in the prologue (not done by D, ugh, god no).  I’ll never forgot the one story I read by one of my favorite fanfiction authors where she shocked me with it.  It was absolutely harrowing, and I’m not typically triggered by rape/assault, but that particular story bothered me and still does today when I think about it 😦

Anyway, I think I’ll enjoy this.  Though FFVII is my favorite and really the only fanfic I read, there’s no harm branching out.


Books Added to Goodreads To Read List This Week: 8

Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Series Title: Chaos Walking
Author: Patrick Ness
Date Added: September 16, 2016

I have to thank the lovely Writing Hufflepuff for this addition, and for giving me another tag post to do (one day lol).  This series was ranked as the most amazing book that defies all other descriptions.  Of course I had to check it out, and the blurb instantly hooked me.  Silence in a world of endless thoughts, and a heart-stopping revelation.  I must know more.

Title: Crane
Series Title: The Legends Saga
Author: Stacey Rourke
Date Added: September 16, 2016

A terse and explosive review from Cupcake and Machetes made me add this one with the added bonus that the book is free on Kindle.  I love reworked fairy tales and folk legends, and this is an add just in time for Halloween.  Not that I’m going to even start it by then (it’s highly doubtful), but I can always load up my TBR list with spooky scribblings for scary soirees.

Title: A Tale of Two Airships
Series Title: Take to the Skies
Author: Katherine McIntyre
Date Added: September 16, 2016

I already owned this book, but hadn’t added it to my TBR list for some reason.  It’s the sequel to my friend and fellow writer’s novel An Airship Named Desire.  I still need to read the first Airship, which is conveniently on my Kindle.

Title: The Forgetting
Author: Sharon Cameron
Date Added: September 16, 2016

I was immediately interested when the first line of the blurb stated that the MC lived in the land of Canaan, which is often equated with the Promised Land so VII Sense tingling even though I know it’s just a shared reference.  I still like it. Then the “forgetting” thing happened.  Every 12 years all memories are forgotten and lost forever unless they’re written down.  Memory is a huge thing for me in stories (it also tingles my VII sense for various reasons, too), and only the main character Nadia retains hers in this strange land.  As the time of forgetting approaches, she has to stop an unseen enemy with an ally who will forget her if they don’t do it before that time comes.

Title: Wicked as They Come
Series Title: Blud
Author: Delilah S. Dawson
Date Added: September 17, 2016

I haven’t read a sexy vampire story since I was into Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake series before she went totally porno, and prior to that it was Anne Rice.  I don’t like Twilight for reasons beyond the writing style, and though I did enjoy Elizabeth Hunter’s Elemental Mysteries series, I haven’t had a chance to get back to it.

I have Cupcakes and Machetes to blame again for this addition.  Her review of it was all I really needed.  Not only is it about a sexy vampire, it also features another hidden world.  Those are kind of my favorite as I’ve been trying to get off this planet fervently for the past few years.  Also, the vampires aren’t the bad guys (so it would seem), and in fact may soon be the victims of genocide!  I love tales that mix up paradigms.

Title: The Wonder
Author: Emma Donoghue
Date Added: September 19, 2016

This addition came from a fantastic review of By Hook or By Book.  Emma Donoghue is also the author of RoomI’ve neither read this nor seen the movie, but I hear nothing but wonderful things about the prior mentioned and the author. This particular novel is about a girl who supposedly subsists on “manna from heaven.”  The phenomenon is not that uncommon dating back to Victorian times; however, it may be the precursor to what we know now of as anorexia.  I’m both fascinated by the possibility in the story itself and the sad origin.

Title: Halfway to the Grave
Series Title: Night Huntress
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Date Added: September 19, 2016

I can’t even really put a link since this was recommended to me in a comment by Cupcakes and Machetes.  It has a vampire bounty hunter (as in a bounty hunter who’s a vampire a la D from Vampire Hunter D), and I just can’t say no to a hot vampire dude.

Note: Hilariously, I added this prior to finding the Vampire Hunter D fanfiction above.  This is clearly a vampire week.

Title: The Complete Sherlock Holmes
Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
Date Added: September 20, 2016

I really can’t believe I didn’t already have this on my TBR list for classics.  I was scrolling through my Goodreads newsfeed, and someone had added The Sign of Fours, which made me check to see if I had Doyle’s famous detective on my reading list.  I thought I had it there and on my Kindle, but I was wrong on both accounts.  Well both wrongs have now been righted.  I purchased the complete works for a paltry $0.99.  I’m not sure what my next classic reading will be, but I’ll be sure to fit Sherlock in at some point.

Side note.  I sincerely doubt I’ll be able to read this without thinking of Benedict Cumberbatch’s beautiful rendition of Sherlock *swoon*

sherlock


Books Added to Goodreads To Reread List This Week: 0


Books Purchased This Week: 2

Title: Solid Ground
Author: Katherine McIntyre
Date Purchased: September 16, 2016

I actually read this prior to its release (I was a beta reader), but hadn’t purchased it yet, which I did today.  It’s a quick read at only 26 pages about best friends in love and the distant between stars that could divide them.

Title: Crane
Series Title: The Legends Saga
Author: Stacey Rourke
Date Purchased: September 16, 2016

As fore mentioned it was free on Kindle so I guess I didn’t purchase it per se, but it is now in my possession.


What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next?  What would you recommend based on my current and recently added?  As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

<–The State of the Reader: 9/14/16          The State of the Reader: 9/28/16–.

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The State of the Gamer: 9/20/16

The State of the Gamer: 9/27/16–>

A weekly post updated every Tuesday detailing my current gaming projects.  I have quite a backlog of games to either play or watch, and I’m hoping a weekly article will assist with my progress as my other accountable posts have done with reading and writing.
I have an account at Grouvee, which is a essentially Goodreads for gamers, so please feel free to friend me there!
Original source of the banner art is located here.

I’ve been thinking about doing a State of the Gamer weekly post for a while, but it was the latest article from my friend Lightning Night Nova over at her blog Conquering the Gaming Backlog that made me take action (I also have to give credit to Cheap Boss Attack.  His weekend gaming posts certainly gave me some impetus for this, too!).  At the end of her post, she discusses her game progress, and it solidified for me how much my other State posts have helped me make significant progress on various projects.  I have quite a gaming backlog myself, and I feel it’s the most neglected of my projects.  I do attempt to play on the weekends, but writing and reading take up most of my time.  In doing a weekly post, I’ll be held more accountable, and this will hopefully push me to making some progress with my gaming.

Games Finished Playing This Week: 0

Game Currently Playing

Title: Final Fantasy IV
Series: Final Fantasy
Genre: RPG – Fantasy
Developer: Square
Original Platform: SNES
Original Release Date: July 19, 1991
Date Started: Unknown

final-fantasy-iv

I’ve stated before I’ve undertaken my Great Final Fantasy Play/Replay Project where I intend to play all of them (up a particular point), after each writing up a review/analysis.  I’m currently on Final Fantasy IV, and not only that, I’m currently near the end of FFIV.  It’s only been over a year…but I am finally in the Lunar Core on my way to the final showdown.

lunar-core

I’m playing the original version of the game as made for the PS, and I’m playing it on a PS2.  It’s a bit confusing when you have these older games that have been reformatted for later systems, but still in their original versions.  I have played the PSP version, but not the DS one.  As I did with the earlier Final Fantasies I think I’m going to go through all of the original numbered ones first before going back to play other iterations.

I have currently defeated Plague (or Plague Horror.  Also known as Ahriman in the PSP version) followed by the two Lunasauruses in the Lunar Core to obtain Kain’s Holy Lance and two ribbons for Rosa and Rydia respectively.

plague

Plague is annoying because he casts Death on all of your characters at once, which starts a countdown to the inevitable, and I’m not fond of the strategy given in the GameFAQs guide I used though it has been mostly invaluable.  Apparently, if you just keep hitting “A,” your characters won’t die.  This wouldn’t work for me, so I thought of a better tactic.  You go into battle with one of your characters already fallen and have Rosa revive them using Life 2.  Once they’re revived, Plague will cast Death again on everyone, which restarts the timer.  You can just have Rosa revive characters as they fall, and Plague will dutifully recast Death and reset the death clock.  Your other characters can attack and send him to his much deserved demise.

lunasauruses

I kind of fudged the Lunasaurus (x 2) fight, but still managed to succeed.  According to the guide, you’re supposed to cast Wall (Reflect) on three characters.  That way when they cast Bad Breath, it bounces off and renders them helpless with the status affects meant for your.  Since Rosa is one of my slowest characters I only managed to cast Wall on her so only one Lunasaurus was affected.  If I’d gotten just one more spell off, I’m assuming it would’ve hit them both.  Either way, I still kicked ass.

Finally, I won the Ragnarok sword for Cecil after defeating Dark Bahamut who is surprisingly far easier to defeat than just plain old Bahamut.

dark-bahamut

The original summon king counts down from 5 before blasting your characters with Mega Flare for 4000-5000 points of damage.  D. Bahamut only attacks with Mega Flare at the start of the battle and won’t use it again unless you call on Bahamut for his Mega Flare attack.  For his regular attacks he casts reflect on himself and bounces (regular) Flare attacks off to hit one of your characters.  This is only terrible if you can’t heal yourself from his opening Mega Flare attack otherwise this fight is pretty easy.

The only thing I have left to do is the end so here’s to hoping I can accomplish that this weekend.  Afterwards is my intensive and extensive review/analysis of the game.  I’m debating whether or not I’ll start FFV while in the midst of that or stick to my rule of “doing my homework” before I continue to play.


Games Finished Watching This Week: 0

Game Currently Watching

Title: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
Series: The Legend of Zelda
Genre: Action/Adventure/Puzzle – Fantasy
Developer: Nintendo
Original Platform: Nintendo DS
Original Release Date: December 7, 2009
Let’s Player: Olizandri
Date Started: Unknown

legend-of-zelda-the-spirit-tracks

I first discovered the world of Let’s Plays when I went searching for one for FaxanaduPrior to this I’d only found a silent play through of Kid Icarus, and I purposely watched that since I detested the idea of listening to anyone talk while I immersed myself in the gaming action.  It turns out I just needed to find the right kind of person, and Odinspack33 was perfect for my first “talking” play through (I also later found a great one for Kid Icarus by NintendoCapriSun who’s still one of my favorite Let’s Players).  To date, I’m not sure how many LPs I’ve watched, but I can honestly say there’s only one person I stopped following for various reasons (no names here since I don’t want this to be anywhere near to a bashing blog though if you shoot me a message through my About page I’ll tell you who and why through email).

I loved watching people play video games growing up as much as I loved playing myself.  In fact some games I much prefer watching, and the Zelda series is one of them.  I’m okay at playing it, absolutely love A Link to the Past Ocarina of Time, and Majora’s Mask is my favorite of the series (it’s literally described on the wiki as the “oddest, darkest, and saddest”), but I’m much more of a strategist/puzzle solver.  This is the reason I much prefer turn based RPGs like Final Fantasy (…or what FF used to be.  Whatever, this isn’t supposed to be a rant post), but I greatly enjoy watching games like Zelda unfold.

So it was to my profound delight that I discovered Olizandri’s YouTube page only a couple of weeks ago, and I immediately dove into his Let’s Play of Phantom Hourglass, which I didn’t know came before Spirit Tracks, the game I’m currently on.

He’s a super, upbeat English guy (wasn’t I just talking about the English accent?) who’s pretty amazing at voice acting to boot.  I especially love his “old man” voice, but I also appreciate him reading all of the lines of dialogue.  Watching Let’s Players for so many years has made me want to try my hand at it, and viewing expert ones is guiding me to what I want to do with mine (if I ever get to it).  I already read the dialogue in Final Fantasy games, and I tend to do voices, too.  I definitely like when LPers read it, and I want to emulate that.  I think it makes the watcher far more engaged in the game, and one rule I’ve heard all LPers state is you always want to keep talking.

While I wouldn’t feel right fully rating a game I didn’t play at all myself, I can at least watch it for its story and take the Let’s Player’s point of view on the game play/mechanics into account.

Olizandri has also done Final Fantasy XIII, huzzah!  This means I may finally be able to watch that if I don’t have time to play it first.  I’m still strictly going in order with the FFs, and I’m only just about to finish IV, so it may be a long time until I get there, but it’s good to know I have options when I do.


What are you currently playing and/or watching? Is it something new or old?  Is it a first time run or a replay?  What’s the genre?  Would you recommend it?  What’s on your radar to play next?

I look forward to your comments!

The State of the Gamer: 9/27/16–>

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Question of the Week: 9/18/16

<–Question of the Week: 9/11/16          Question of the Week: 9/25/16–>

The Question of the Week is posted every Sunday and will consist of a question followed by my answer and explanation to the same.  Some questions will only require a simple answer that could potentially be followed by an explanation.  Many questions will be writer oriented, but not all.  Everyone is encouraged to answer in the comments and discussions/follow up questions are more than welcome!

What’s your favorite accent?

Unsurprising to no one who’s followed this blog for five seconds, my favorite accent is the English one, but saying something like that without qualifications is akin to saying “My favorite accent is the American one.”  There are numerous English accents.  I recently located a video that explained all of the different ones, which was invaluable to someone who was currently using British and English interchangeably. in all areas.

One day I’ll edit my videos or more like upgrade my blog so I can use audio, and you’ll all hear my “video recording” accent.  Since I’m from and live on the US east coast and Pennsylvania specifically, we have some very nasal vowels that are entirely not conducive to singing, which I used to do much more religiously until a little bit after college.  We were taught to round out our vowels and make them sound more Latin, but I discovered it was just much easier to sing with an English inflection.  There’s apparently a connection between musical inclination and the ability to emulate accents.  I think I’m okay at it, and unlike many people I actually like my speaking/recorded voice, which makes me worried I sound like a big snob or (wait for it) narcissist.

If I had to specify my favorite British accent, I think it would have to be Received Pronunciation.  During a wiki walk a while ago I stumbled upon the concept of the rhotic R, and everything about English accents just came together for me.  Knowing about that, I could also attempt to hone my emulation.

If anyone from the UK is reading this, please know I’m a total anglophile, and mimicry can be considered the sincerest form of flattery.  I don’t attempt this for mockery or the like, especially since I’ve experienced bullying and detest cruelty in all it’s forms.  I do love talking about accents though and what defines/differentiates them.


What’s your favorite accent?  It can be your own (no shame in liking who you are!).  What draws you to the accent?  Can you emulate it?

I look forward to your answers in the comments!

<–Question of the Week: 9/11/16          Question of the Week: 9/25/16–>

The State of the Writer: 9/17/16

<–The State of the Writer: 9/10/16          The State of the Writer: 9/24/16–>

A weekly post updated every Saturday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them.  This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.

Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 278,963
Prior Word Count: 277,651
Word Difference: +1312
Status: Editing
Progress: 1st Edit of Chapter 4

split-staircase

The picture is actually more connected to Chapter 3, but I really haven’t found much for Chapter 4 yet.  I’m still looking for an image for the chapter itself.  The stairs aren’t exactly as I envision them in my head either, but the fanciness and the chandelier are fairly equivalent.  In the story, the split happens after a single set of marble steps that lead to an opulent landing.  Pictures of that setup were sadly lacking though I found plenty of the opposite where two stairs converged into one.  I like the image above though as it fits with how I envision the second floor sort of balcony layout leading to more rooms and halls.  If I can’t afford opulence in my real life, I’ll damn sure write about it!

Last week Chapter 4 was in progress.  I manged to finish writing it and do the third edit of Chapter 3, which I stalled on in order to make sure it would flow nicely into 4.  I’m in the midst of Chapter 4’s edit right now.  I’m still hoping to finish that before the end of this weekend since Monday is when I return to work.

Quote: Sephiroth stopped before the set table.  Turned his head with tightly sealed eyes.  The general feared nothing except for his darkness, save corruption that lived in that light.  It could burn down the world and once nearly did, but now he was in control.  They could not be dormant, those alien cells.  They were part of him, bound to his blood.  That entity eldritch though no longer ruled.  Its destruction had been long assured.  The cells that existed no more felt the pull for there was no horror to draw them.  And yet the Great General never lost fear for in his heart now was dark fire.  To hear the last Ancient, the one he had killed, whose death would not cease from his soul, to hear her say men whom she’d died to save had done this turned him to a monster.  A nightmare to stalk those crumbling slums where laughter would drown in raw screams.


Project: Story
Title:
The Threads of Sorrow
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Retold Fairy Tale
Type: Original Short Story
Prior Word Count: 6787
Current Word Count: 6787
Word Difference: 0
Status: Critiques received
Progress: Need to review critiques

I looked over a few critiques in the beginning, but I can’t say I’ve made any progress on this story.  I’m hoping to get back in the swing of things soon.  The second edit still needs to happen with the critiques received in mind.  I really wanted to write the new Chapter 4.  I suppose it must be odd to people that I’d spend more time on a fanfiction that will get me nowhere rather than an original story that might, but I’ve never been one to only look at it like that.  While I obviously can’t do anything with the fanfiction in terms of “legitimate” publishing, that doesn’t mean the message in it isn’t important.  Plus it’s not like I’ve had much luck with “legitimate” publishing anyway.


Project: Vacation Essays
Genre: Various
Status: In Progress

Completed:

I attempted to work on my Half a Tragedy FFVII comparative post, but when I sat down to write it, I drew a complete blank on how to begin.  I worked on an outline yesterday though so hopefully in the coming weeks, I’ll have something to show for it.

I didn’t work on the “Wide Awake” slideshow.  I was just…too tired to try to look for images for the words.  I also kind of want to transition to making AMVs, which is another kind of challenge.

No character analyses happened either.  I really feel like this year I accomplished much less on vacation, but then again last year I only really worked on my Editing Notes posts.  This year I tried to get out a variety of articles, and I’m still dealing with this chronic fatigue and dizziness, which I’m attempting to define (we’re not going to get into my horrible endocrinologist appointment right now.  Maybe in another post).

Oh, and I managed to finish a decade long reading of The Mystical Qabalah and post a review.


What are you currently working on?  Is it a creative writing project, essay, review, or something else?  Have you just started something new or are you wrapping up a long term project?

<–The State of the Writer: 9/10/16          The State of the Writer: 9/24/16–>

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Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – IV The Emperor

<–III The Empress                                                                        V The Hierophant–>

This is my current Final Fantasy Friday post where I’ll be discussing which characters I think exemplify each card of the Major Arcana.  If this is your first time here, please head over to my Final Fantasy Tarot page for explanation.  Now onto the next card!

IV The Emperor

the-emperor-the-emperor-gestahl

Emperor Gestahl from Final Fantasy VI is my pick for The Emperor card.  So I was being a bit disingenuous last week, but I need to keep you on your toes!

Before I even say anything else, I think it’s a pretty safe assumption to believe SquareSoft (now Squeenix…unfortunately) took some inspiration for the Major Aracana card itself just from looking at the pictures side by side up.  Like wow…it’s pretty obvious (or a really convenient coincidence), and once I go into the card’s symbolism, it will make even more sense.

So despite the Emperor clearly being the Emperor (I’ll let you figure out which one is which *cackles*), I actually was a bit torn on which character would best fit the mold.

The Emperor sits on a ram-adorned throne, a symbol of Mars (mythology). He holds an Ankh scepter in his right hand, and a globe, symbol of domination, in his left. The Emperor sits atop a stark, barren mountain, a sign of “sterility of regulation, and unyielding power.”[1] He symbolizes the top of the secular hierarchy, the ultimate male ego. The Emperor is the absolute ruler of the world.
-From Wikipedia

The bolded words not only made me think of Gestahl from VI, but also President Shinra from VII; however, since they’re equivalent characters in numerous ways (greedy, power hungry despots killed by the the “villains” they helped create) and since I haven’t yet used FFVI, I decided to go with the eponymous emperor, though President Shinra is just as good of a fit.

I really don’t have to say much else.  The words in bold do it all for me.  Ego, greed, despotism, war, domination.  Gestahl and Shinra encompass them all, and they’re both cast down and destroyed by their own hubris/”creations.”  I do so love stories where avarice begets the authorship of destruction, and justice is meted out in the most karmic of ways.


Alternates: Baku (IX)

When I first conceived of this list I initially picked Baku, Zidane’s surrogate father and the leader of Tantalus Theater Troupe.  At the time I was only thinking about the Emperor as the quintessential father figure and didn’t consider the other aspects, which informed my better choice(s) above.  Baku doesn’t really fit this mold, which would equate more with Queen Brahne in this particular game anyway, though it could be argued that he is at the “top of a secular hierarchy.”


Well, well, Mr. Panda wins again in guessing a character from the same game as my pick! He went for Kefka, which in examining the descriptions of the Emperor isn’t a terrible choice, but it wobbles a bit at the “secular” bit.  Kefka actually achieved apotheosis!  That’s more than we can say for any Final Fantasy character even my beloved Sephiroth.

Next week is V The Hierophant, which is a bit of a counterpart to The High Priestess.  Is that a clue?  Find out next week 😉

<–III The Empress                                                                        V The Hierophant–>

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The Stringer Bell Paradox Test

Let me put this out there right away.  I’ve never seen The Wire.  It’s on my list, and I know it’s considered one of the best shows on television, but I’ve never seen it.  Second and more importantly, this test was created by D. F. Lovett, the writer of the blog What Would Bale Do. I asked him more than a year ago if he’d be okay with me using this, and I was happy to receive a yes 🙂

The link to the original article contains aggressive spoilers for both The Wire and Game of Thrones, so click at your own discreation.  I decided to let myself be spoiled for The Wire in order to read this, though I still intend to watch it at some point.  I’m caught up on GoT, which is the focus of the WWBD’s post in regards to the SBP Test.

The Stringer Bell Paradox Test is when one of your favorite characters kills another one of your favorites.  Can you guys guess where I’m going with this?

There are five questions to be answered and a bonus that doesn’t really figure in to the characters/fandom I’m going to use.  That fandom is obviously Final Fantasy VII and the major characters are Aeris and Sephiroth.

1. Did one major character kill another major character? – Most definitely yes.

2. Did the world they live in prevent any possibility of them both remaining alive? – Hm, this one is interesting.  Nojima says in the Reunion Files that “Since Sephiroth exists, Aerith must exists.”  In order for Jenova’s plan to come to fruition, Aeris would have to be out of the way, because the last Ancient was the only one who could stop it.  Since Jenova essentially took over Sephiroth (see here for the reasons why I think that.  It’s too much to go into on this brief post), its desires became his desires.  Aeris arguably had the ability to destroy Jenova with the power of Holy.  Maybe…seeing as Advent happened, this is up for debate.  The main portion of it was destroyed with only a few pieces left, but it’s such a virulent parasite that that was all that was needed.

I’m going to go with yes on this question.  Since Jenova and Sephiroth pretty much became the same entity and since Jenova’s modus operandi is to devour the life energy of planets thus destroying them before moving on, and since Aeris is the protector of the Planet, there’s no way they could survive together once that unholy merging occurred (poor Seph).

3. Did you like the character who did the killing? – Sephiroth is my favorite fictional character of all time.  Now if we go with the idea that Jenova killed Aeris in Sephiroth’s guise (which is apparently a big enough idea that it’s on some of the wikis), I fucking hate that eldritch abomination.  Since I generally go with Sephiroth was a part of the killing, I think I can still say yes.

4. Did you like the character who died? – Another yes.  Aeris is one of my favorite characters.  I love people who face their destinies undaunted.  My hatred of her in Crisis Core is due to her terrible voice actress and characterization.  She’s fantastic in the original and in Advent.  There’s a reason I pair her and Seph together 🙂

5. Was the character who died on a path toward redemption? – No, but she was certainly on an important mission that she still managed to accomplish after death.  I could argue that she might have been seeking redemption for herself because she felt like she needed to do something to prove she was worthy of being the last of her people and worthy of the White Materia her mother, the last full Ancient, bestowed upon her, but that would move this into the shaky condition of head canon and at best speculative interpretation.

6. Bonus: Did it occur during the penultimate episode of the season? – Aeris’s death occurs at the end of the first disk of the game, which is hardly penultimate.  It’s odd to think that a character who wasn’t even around for 2/3 of the story had such an effect.  I have quite a lot of feelings and thoughts about why that is, but this post is not the place for them.

I believe Aeris and Sephiroth fulfill many conditions of the Stringer Bell Paradox.  Questions 1, 3, and 4 are definite yeses, and question 2 is at least accurate up to 90% if you believe my arguments.  Even question 5 and the Bonus 6 are up for debate/interpretation.  If there’s any wiggle room, I think I can fit the puzzle pieces in.


Do any of your favorite narrative provide you with the ability to apply the SBP Test?  I think someone could definitely apply this to Harry Potter (you know the two).  Let me know in the comments!

Thank you again from the writer of WWBD!