Final Fantasy Friday: The Best and the Worst

A Final Fantasy (et al) post to welcome you to the glory of Friday (if you don’t have weekends off then may this hopefully brighten the midst of your work week) with more located here!

Is this a bonus round?  Or do I just feel like leveling up?  This is a two part and multifaceted question and one that’s going to require a bit of thought on my part (as I hope it does on yours).

Who is your favorite and least favorite character in each of the games you’ve played?

Well, I’ve played IV, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, and XII, so I’ll try to answer seven two part questions (really?  I’ve played 7 Final Fantasies?  Of course I have…well okay, if I only count the numbered ones).

Final Fantasy IV

My favorite character is Cecil, because he’s just an all around decent guy.  He’s willing to defy authority (the King of Baron) in order to protect the weak and innocent.  He’s forgiving.  He’s a loyal and true knight even before he became a paladin, and he’d never side with his alien half to go against the Blue Planet (sigh…).  Also he looks like this:

It’s hard to argue with such a beautiful face

My least favorite character in IV is without a doubt Edward.  Oh…my…god, he is so freaking useless (except for that one time in the Dark Elf’s cave).  He…edges out Edge in the annoying contest because at least the ninja prince is a decent fighter, but I can’t stand his overly cocky attitude.

Final Fantasy VI

Simple as an aria with the favorite character; that’s going to be Celes, former Imperial General and *spoiler* suicide attempt survivor *end spoiler*

Celes has such a wonderful character arc and growth both seen and speculated.  She was augmented with magic at a very young age and raised as a merely a tool for the Empire.  *spoiler* Later branded a traitor *end spoiler* with the help of her friends, she realizes there’s more to her than just her designed purpose, and she becomes integral in the fight to save the world.

The least favorite character is tough for me in VI, because there’s really no character I dislike, which is surprising as there are 14 possibly playable ones.  If I had to pick a least favorite it would have to be Gau, and that’s only because he was the character I used the least.  In terms of story, I didn’t find him annoying or really even useless.  He was the “blue mage” character since he had the ability to learn the attacks of monsters, and since you had to pick the particular monster in the menu, it was hard to tell what kind of attack would come out.  It was a bit random, so I rarely used that skill with him.

Final Fantasy VII

I’m sticking to main, “hero” characters (grumble, grumble…), but you all already know my favorite is Sephiroth, though I could make the case for the Great General being a/the main character.  It might not hold water, but I could do it.

My favorite character then is Vincent for reasons I explained here (with a kick ass picture) I’m a huge fan of the tragic back story, and his also has some Beauty and the Beast elements towards it along with vampiric lore, too.  I’m actually not sure who has the more tragic back story, Vincent or Sephiroth, and since their tales are intricately entwined, it makes it even harder to unravel.

My least favorite character in FFVII is Yuffie. Ugh, she’s so annoying.  I can’t stand the over hyper, teenage character who just seems to be a pest for the sake of being a pest.  While her back story about pretty much being Wutain royalty is interesting, that doesn’t really diminish my dislike of her as it just adds a “spoiled princess” layer to it.

The only situation where I liked Yuffie was in my favorite fanfiction Slumbering Mountains where her annoying traits are tempered, her and Sephiroth become (unlikely but close) friends, and she kicks his ass in cards.

Final Fantasy VIII

I like both Squall and Selphie, which seems so odd, because they’re total opposites lol.  I’m going to go with Squall being my favorite character, because he shows the most growth, and I also understand why he’s the way he is psychologically.  Abandonment issues will do a number on your psyche, and Squall comes off as a bit of a Taurus, and that’s how we react in that situation.  If we’re constantly abandoned, we learn not to latch onto anyone, because the best way to avoid being hurt is to avoid the situation that hurt you in the first place.

My least favorite character is Rinoa.  She’s pretty much just a plot device with no legitimate personality of her own (though there’s a really awesome theory as to why this may be), but if it’s not true, then Rinoa is just vacuous.

Final Fantasy IX

I really relate to Garnet/Dagger for reasons I don’t want to go into right now, but I think my favorite character is Freya Crescent (and not just because of her last name, but it is something of note).  Again with the tragic stories hehe.  Freya spends most of the game looking for her lost love Sir Fratley, but when she finally finds him *spoiler* he doesn’t remember who she is *end spoiler*  It’s the epitome of the fruitless quest, and yet she still selflessly stays by Zidane’s side in the midst of her despair, because that’s what a true knight does.

My least favorite character is going to sound so cliched, but it’s Quina, though I don’t hate them as much as the internet does.  Out of all of the character, they had the least reason to be there and just went on the quest for the hell of it.  Though I believe they were an integral part of the party despite their lackluster reasons.  Also their character design shows the varied and whimsical variety of people/species in the world.  Out of all of the Final Fantasies, I think IX has the most colorful and eclectic characters, and I love how the reasons for that were totally plot/narrative relevant.

Final Fantasy X

Auron the Cool Old Guy or, as I prefer, eternal bad ass is hands down my favorite character in FFX.  He has bitchin’ sunglasses, wields a sword that Cloud would be proud of, and carries around a huge jug of what’s obviously liquor.  His name is also a homophone of the magical symbol in The Neverending Story (the Auryn), and of course he *spoiler* is literally undead, but he refused to be sent so that he could protect his friend and the previous summoner’s daughter whose job is to send beings like him to the Farplane.  Auron is a ghost; Tidus is a dream, and I’m impressed.  *end spoiler*

My least favorite character is Tidus.  Holy fuck is his voice annoying.  Ughhh, talk about things that would sound so much better in Japanese.  I really wish they would make that an option in all remasters/remakes.  I don’t even care that he’s whiny and has “daddy issues” (which is a phrase I really don’t like, but I can’t think of anything better); I hate the way he’s voice acted.  This may be the main reason I find him so unpalatable.

Final Fantasy XII

I loved Fran and Balthier, and really, really wish the creators had centered them as the main characters instead of Va’an and Penelo who were really just along for the ride.  Since I have to pick one for each (by my own rules), that’s easy, too: Fran.

Like Freya (whom I think is a parallel, “archetypal” character), she’s a human/animal crossover, though I think Freya is more anthropomorphic whereas Fran looks more like a dark-skinned beauty with bunny ears.  Speaking of which yasssss, I kind of forget that Fran could be considered black/brown then I remember and I’m like 😀  Her voice is awesome, too.  She has an English accent, though her voice is kind of monotone, and I just love the way it sounds.  So unique.  Let’s also not forget that Fran is an amazing fighter and the viera are just a really interesting race.  This is making me want to replay FFXII and definitely get on reordering The Zodiac Age.

My least favorite character is Va’an, because he shouldn’t be the goddamn main character.  I’ve had some great discussions with people who suggest the reason he is is to draw in the younger crowd, but I still think it’s a bad move in terms of narrative.  Vaan and Penelo are bystanders to the great action, and that filters the story through their eyes, which double filters it because all stories are filtered through the reader/watcher/player by the very act of  consumption.  It’s like using a filter word in a narrative.  Instead of saying, “She felt the thief grab her purse,” you say “The thief snatched her purse” for a much stronger sentence.  You don’t need to filter the experience through a character, and really…this goes back to the difference between showing and telling.  In XII they try to tell the story through the eyes of a street urchin when it would’ve been so much stronger just to show it through much more interesting characters like…everyone else.

I don’t hate Va’an, I just think he would’ve been much better as a side character instead of the main protagonist, and Squeenix could’ve tapped into their love of Star Wars (which they show in damn near every game) since Baltheir is very Han Solo-esque, and though Fran is way better looking (and much more articulate) than Chewy, the dynamic is similar.  If they ever did a rewrite, that’s what I would suggest.

Long post is loooong, but hopefully it stirred up some thoughts/opinions of your own.  Let me know who you love and loathe in the Final Fantasy games you’ve played in the comments, but let’s try to be as nice as we can be in terms of the latter.  No “this person sucks.”  There needs to be a reason for your dislike.

P.S.  We all know who the most annoying character ever in any of the Final Fantasy games is…

Thank God for Japanese subtitles.



24 thoughts on “Final Fantasy Friday: The Best and the Worst

  1. I also think Balthier and Fran should have been the main characters of FFXII. They were so much more interesting than Vaan and that story had more potential. I think Squeenix likes their whiny/Tidus-y teenager main characters though ^_^;.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 100% agree with you, and I’m so happy I’m not the only one saying this. They carried the brunt of the narrative. It’s a classic case of making the wrong person/people the main character for the sake of continuing a pattern in who your MC is that could’ve easily been changed.

      Yuuuup, I couldn’t agree more!

      Liked by 1 person

    • She’s soooo much less annoying in Japanese, but still lol. She’s just overly, saccharine sweetly cute, and that’s the annoying kind of cute. Like kittens are cute in the “round face, big eyes, but I’m going to try to nibble your toes” kind of way. Tama is like too over the top, and the English voice is like chainsaw through the brain.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh boy, ok this is the big one. I’ll just name them for now, because I’d be here all day if I praised or had to complain about each character.

    I: Best – Black Mage, Worst – they’re all good. 😉
    II: Honestly couldn’t tell you what anyone’s names were besides Firion and Guy, so I’ll put them as my best and worst simultaneously.
    III: Same as I
    IV: Ok real characters here. Best – Cecil, Worst – Spoony Bard
    V: Best – Galuf, Worst – Krile
    VI: Best – Terra, Worst – Strago
    VII: Best – Tifa, Worst – Yeah, Yuffie’s my least too. That Wutai sidequest…
    VIII: Best – Laguna, Worst – the rest of the playable cast
    IX: Best – Vivi and Zidane – Sorry, I can’t choose. I love these two characters so much that I’ve cosplayed as them before. They’re the best characters from my favorite game, Worst – Quina (of course)
    X: Best – Auron – Actually hard to choose, because I love Wakka, Lulu, and Auron, but I just can’t get over how freaking cool Auron is, Worst – Kimahri – I don’t hate him, but the rest of the cast is just pretty good. I even like Tidus, sort of.
    XII: Best – Balthier (Han Solo), Worst – Va’an (#notmymaincharacter)
    XV: Best – Ignis, Worst – Prompto (a character I love, so really this cast is excellent)

    All-time Worst: The-Tama-The

    Liked by 1 person

    • I almost wonder if I should’ve broken it up into separate questions lol. I didn’t even bother with I-III for that very reason. There really weren’t characterizations until IV, but you could go with what characters were most useful.

      We completely agree on most of these! I love it 🙂 Edward was a waster of skin. I would’ve thrown him at the Dark Elf for a distraction and not lost a moment of sleep. Cecil on the other hand…he’s far to noble to do something that cruel.

      Did you dislike Strago because of his abilities? I’m trying to remember what kind of character he was. Gau was the Blue Mage type. I think Strago just learned things as he leveled. He did have that Grand Train attack that was pretty useful.

      Yuffie is nearly as annoying as Edward is useless. At least she was a decent character to have in a fight.

      I didn’t even think about Laguna, Kiros, and Ward! I’d have gone with Kiros or still maybe Squall. Kiros was so elegant. Lol, I remember how much you LOVE VIII :p

      IX was tough for me, because all of the characters are so good. Vivi broke my heart and Zidane was so refreshing as an MC since he wasn’t a brooding pessimist (at the start).

      Auron. Cool Old Guy wins again.

      Right with XII?? That annoys me so much. It’s because Squeenix wants to have that particular type of character as the main, but it really, really hurt XII’s narrative. They should let me rewrite it *grumble* and they should let me write dialogue for a DLC in the VII Remake that they should totally make because it would be amazing and heartbreaking, and I’m going to stop right now…

      I love that XV has all of the Latin names! I still need to pick that up and I need to pre-order The Zodiac Age.

      All awesome answers!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks! I’m glad a lot of our answers matched. Then again, we picked some pretty unpopular characters. Does anyone actually like Edward?! I dislike Strago just because I didn’t care about him. He and Relm came pretty late into the game and to me, did nothing to make themselves stand out. Actually, I always thought Strago was the Blue Mage and that Gao was like the Berserker or something? I distinctly remember liking playing as Strago (and Quina) but disliking their characters. I love Blue Mages in FF job systems. They always get the short end of the character stick though…

        If VIII were about Laguna (and if they overhauled all the gameplay), I might actually love it. But oh well, we got Squall. I’d play a Crisis Core like game where instead of following Zack, we got Laguna, at least. So I think you know what I think about VIII’s characters, but I find every one of them awkward. Like they don’t know how to handle themselves in social situations, yet here they are in the same party. Laguna’s also very awkward but in that lovable loser type way. He’s cool uncool, unlike all the regular cast trying to be cool. I love how he turns out too, and his love story is way more touching to me than space romance; seriously, I had heard Eyes on Me long before playing VIII. Never expected it to be an awkward scene in a spaceship. End VIII rant.

        Va’an’s (whoa, apostrophes) lack of character was why I didn’t like him. Basch was obviously the main, but heaven forbid we have a macho man lead. They could have solved this by just switching their characters around though? Was there no real solution to this? I’m somewhat glad he and Penelope are actually more developed in Revenant Wings, but it’s kind of too little, too late. I’m still getting Zodiac Age though! 😉

        I love XV’s cast, names, and everything about the characters. And my wife is obsessed with Noctis. A little too much perhaps… 😛

        Liked by 1 person

        • That is so weird about Blue Mage characters! I didn’t hate Quistis in VIII, but she’s not my favorite or a very popular character. It was hard for me to believe she was only 18. She seemed like she was in her 30s.

          I think Gau and Relm had similar abilities, but Gau could call up the attacks of any creature he’d jumped on whereas Relm could only draw the monsters in the battle at the time. I think Strago was a Blue Mage, but it’s been so long since I’ve played. They were introduced late, and by the time they were, so many other characters had already been in the mix. They were an important part of the narrative in terms of Thamasa being important, but I can definitely see what you mean.

          You know…a spinoff with Laguna, Kiros, and Ward would be hella awesome. It could be prequel like like Crisis Core showing the events around the war involving Esthar, ad yeah, Laguna was definitely that lovable loser who somehow succeeded despite utter idiocy. VIII is about awkward teenagers where the MC is thrust into a leadership role he never wanted. A lot of people hate how they all grew up in the same orphanage, but there’s the plot device of how the GF messed up their memories. I’ll admit that’s a stretch and I like VIII.

          I love how everyone agrees that Va’an as a main character was a terrible idea. He doesn’t even have any character growth! He’s just along for the ride because he wants to be a sky pirate. He should’ve been a side character. I should tweet Squeenix that…

          Nothing wrong with little fictional obsession 😀

          Liked by 1 person

          • I think Squeenix doesn’t think the concept of Blue Mages are popular, which is why they give that title to lame characters like Quina. If they would only make cool characters have that job, then people would respect it. Kimarhi is also half Blue Mage too, so I guess he’s cool even though I named him my worst.

            That plot device in VIII is a huge stretch to me, and was a big part of why I just couldn’t believe its story. I would have much preferred to play through Laguna’s life. I kind of wonder if it was Square’s original plan to have the game star Laguna, but then it decided that he wasn’t young and cool enough. Sort of like with XII and Basch. Speaking of which, I wish they would change the main character in Zodiac Age. The remastered port deserves it!

            Liked by 1 person

            • He is a cool character, but he’s not as prominent or popular. They seem to make Black Mages and White Mages the more popular characters. Lulu, Vivi, and of course the eponymous Black Mage for the first then Yuna, Garnet, Aeris, and Rosa for the second. Not only are they popular, they’re integral to the game’s plot, which helps boost their popularity. Kimarhi was one of Yuna’s guardians, but even though he had a back story, it wasn’t terribly interesting/exciting, not like the dynamic between Lula and Wakka in addition to Tidus looking like Wakka’s dead brother. Way more interesting stuff.

              Squeenix really should start shifting the MC roles to other types of characters. It’s not like they don’t already mix up paradigms. Why not that? To be honest (and it’s not like this is a huge surprise), I’ve actually thought about what FFVII would be like if Sephiroth and Cloud swapped appearances/places. So Seph is the main character/takes Cloud’s role and vice versa. I’d of course also 100% play a game from Sephiroth’s point of view, because I’m a crazy fan girl, and one of my “never going to happen” wishes is for them to put in a DLC where he meets his real mother, but I think that’s going to ever be relegated to the realm of fanfiction…though it’s not like they’ve never done the redemption thing with villains before hmph.

              Would love to play a FFXII remake with Balthier and Fran as the main character. The Star Wars comparisons alone would make it worth it.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Ooh, actually, I think it’d be pretty cool to play as Sephiroth. I’d even be fine with playing a game that follows his POV in VII. If we can have a game starring Yuna, then why not Sephiroth? And why not Balthier and Fran as main characters, or at least the true lead, Basch. FFIV: The After Years played around with having multiple playable characters having their own storylines. The game itself wasn’t that great, but why not extend that to other games in the series so we can follow their points of view and have unique stories to follow. FFXV is doing that with the DLC actually, which has led to some different gameplay styles that I’ve found fascinating so far.

                Liked by 1 person

  3. VI has 14 possible playable characters? Wow! This and reading your thoughts on Celes is making me want to play this game even more now. She sounds almost Lightning level awesome!

    For this FF noob:

    Favourite: Cecil. He’s a really respectable guy! I like how he cares about everyone and looked after Rydia near the beginning of the game.
    Least Favourite: The Mage Twins. I found them a tad annoying, and not very useful. I felt sorry for Edward, and Edge I agree is very cocky, haha.

    Favourite: Barret. I know the internet calls him a horrible stereotype, but I loved him. He made me laugh on many occasions, has a badass gun hand, and would do anything to protect his daughter/save his planet.
    Least Favourite: I loved all of VII’s characters (I never met Vincent or Yuffie though. Yuffie sounds like she would be mine too, but I can’t judge without knowing her in game, haha). If I had to pick, please don’t hurt me, I’ll say Aeris is the least awesome to me. Before you de-friend me, I by no means hated her and think the selfless Cetra is truly inspiring (especially after reading your fanfictions)! It’s just I knew what was going to happen to her before I played it, so I didn’t get too attached to her during the game (to save myself emotional pain I guess), if that makes sense, lol. We’re still cool right…? *flees from the wrath of the Shameful Narcissist*

    Favourite: Squall. Teenage me had a crush on him, he’s obviously an awesome INFJ, and wields a gunblade.
    Least Favourite: Zell. I found him too mouthy and overly energetic.

    Favourite: Balthier. He’s easy on the eyes, interesting, and should have be the damn main character.
    Least Favourite: Vann. I found him boring as a main character and never got into XII because of this.

    XIII Trilogy
    Favourite: Do I really have to say anything? 😉
    Least Favourite: Another FF universe where I loved all the characters. If I had to pick, the least awesome to me is Noel. I can’t explain anything due to spoilers, but I still think manly hunter man is a great character, just the least great, haha.

    I spent way too much time answering this, haha. Great question 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • VI has SO many characters, and yet enough story for them all. I have to give it top marks for that. I think you’ll really like Celes. She was the first character I wrote fanfictions about.

      I was okay with the girl mage twin, but the boy (I think it’s Palom) was so irritating. He’s even worse in the sequel when he’s older. I GUESS I can understand feeling sorry for pathetic Edward lol.

      Barrett needs some love! He’s so rarely anyone’s favorite character, and recognizing stereotypes doesn’t mean you can’t like the character! I’m really hoping they fix that in the Remake. He kind of had a Blade look in the preview I saw, and I’d be okay if they went with that. He was devoted to saving the planet, and his daughter was top priority, which makes him as stand up of a guy as Cecil.

      OMG WHAT????? I’m kidding :p Your reasons make perfect sense. You only have Aeris through the first disk so from that dynamic having her as your least favorite is sound. It’s how I rationalized my least favorite in VI. I just didn’t use him that much; it wasn’t a personality/narrative problem (in fact he has a really sad back story, too).

      Zell is the type of person I can deal with in small doses. They sap my social energy because they’re always ON. I did feel bad for him when he made that mistake telling the Galbadians that Seifer was from their Garden and he got depressed, but his ceaseless energy was definitely anathema to Squall, who is quite a hotty. He’s that broody-moody guy you want to make happy when you’re a teenager.

      Everyone seems to be on the same page with XII!

      You’re favorite in XIII is…HOPE! *runs away*

      Liked by 1 person

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