Final Fantasy Friday: Epic Employment

Final Fantasy Friday

A few months ago the Nerd Speaker posted a piece about class, and no I’m not talking about elitism or (the lack of) school on Saturday.  I thought this was a brilliant idea, and hope he doesn’t mind me riding his coattails a bit for this week’s question of…

What’s your favorite class?


Paladin.  You get the best of both worlds with a moderate healer and powerful warrior.

There’s also the White Knight thing, which, while wholly unwelcome in certain online entanglements, is always a relief to see in fantasies across all mediums.  I’m also probably biased since Cecil Harvey (see Exhibit A) is my favorite male MC, but I lean more towards the offensive classes than the defensive/curative ones anyway.  Screw that stereotypical female healer thing.  I want to make things bleed.  


So your homework for this week is to discuss your favorite job type in the comments below.  You can pick more than one, and using examples will earn you extra points.  Got that?  Okay, class dismissed!

Final Fantasy Friday: Character Crush

Final Fantasy Friday

One of the best things about being a fangirl or fanboy (though they apparently have nuanced differences beyond suspected gender, which I’ll explain momentarily) is our ability to crush on anyone (and sometimes anything).  Hell, the term “fangirl” is now a verb meaning (among other things) to flail wildly, crush, and/or obsess over a character, and this is one of the areas the two terms have slight differences.

While fanboy and fangirl should only denote the gender that the particular person identifies as, their meanings go a bit beyond.  Fanboys are usually the ones who nitpick, weed out, and formulate theories about their favorite works and characters.  They argue over what’s canon, what’s head canon, what’s non-canonical, and what’s just plain crackpottery/tinfoil.  Fangirls stereotypically freak out and flail over their crushes, write fanfiction, swoon over pictures, and create and disseminate gifs and fore mentioned pictures.  Both fanboys and fangirls cosplay, and fanboys seem to be more connected with fanart as fangirls are connected to fanfiction (this could also be why fanart is held in higher regard than fanfiction, something I continually critique and that you can read more about here).

By these definitions, I am both a fanboy and a fangirl.  The difference is pretty sexist if you ask me, where fanboys are implied to be more interested in the narrative, characters, and foundation whereas fangirls are portrayed as more vapid and insipid.  This is sadly common where things girls and even women like are viewed as less valuable (e.g. fanfiction, romance novels, boy bands, etc.), and they’re often mocked for it.  If they try to be more “fanboyish,” they’re accused of being “fake geek girls,” *rolls eyes* and the accusers will then force them to prove their devotion in ways that would never be demanded if they were male.

So…I got a little bit ranty and venty.

Enough venty to hold all the coffee

My point was being a fan of any type usually means you have at least one crush, and Final Fantasy plays host to so many beautiful people, you have the crème de la crème from which to choose.

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Final Fantasy Character Assessments: Cecil Harvey

Final Fantasy Character Assessments

Squall Leonhart–>

Name: Cecil Harvey
Game: Final Fantasy IV
Job: Dark Knight/Paladin
Age: 20

And where we had thought to find an abomination
we shall find a God.
And where we had thought to slay another
we shall slay ourselves.
Where we had thought to travel outwards
we shall come to the center of our own existence.
And where we had thought to be alone
we shall be with all the world.
-Joseph Campbell “The Hero With a Thousand Faces”

Major Arcana: Temperance – Cecil (whom I’ve written a full character analysis on before) is the perfect balance of two distinct worlds..  This revelation is foreshadowed in how he manages to reconcile his dark side and become a paladin even before he discovers the full truth of his origins.


Zodiac: Virgo with a Libra moon – Virgos are typically analytical, hardworking, kind, and practical.  They worry often, are shy, and don’t like being the center of attention.  They’re also modest, faithful, quiet, and persuasive with a good sense of reasoning and memory.

This sign seems to be the perfect fit for Cecil.  The eventual paladin is described as a quiet, young man of unsurpassed skill with the dark blade.  He never comes off as a braggart or someone who desires attention just for attention’s sake.  The opening FMV shows him in contemplation with Rosa, and we know from the game’s story that the Dark Knight feels unworthy of the White Mage’s love and worries he’ll never live up to what he thinks she deserves.  However, he’s utterly devoted to her, nor does he ever give up on Kain even when the dragoon knight turns against his best friend.  Cecil does break faith with the king of Baron, but only because he refuses to kill a child (Rydia of Mist) after (inadvertently) burning down her village and slaying her mother as the king’s pawn.  His reasoning remains sound to the point of overriding orders he finds morally repugnant.

The Libra moon adds another layer of rationality.  They tend to be peacemakers, and Cecil is literally the synthesis and the balance of two planets.  He’s the light side of the moon who remains steadfast even in the face of earth shattering revelations that could easily cause an existential crisis.


Alignment: Lawful Good – Up until the events of the game, particularly his mission to Mist, Cecil had no major issues following this path, though we do see him questioning the king on the opening flight back to Baron.  When his orders unequivocally demanded he kill a child, Cecil withstood the inner conflict to go against such an abhorrent act.


Myers-Briggs Personality Type: ISFJ (Introversion-Sensing-Feeling-Judging) – Cecil is definitely an introvert.  Final Fantasy has the distinctive trend of main characters that fit this trait, which is pretty awesome.  Since he’s captain of the Red Wing fleet, sensing seems more practical than intuition, and at one point he plans to go after the seven Crystals already stolen, while Golbez searches for the one he doesn’t yet have, a wholly sensible plan.

I went back and forth between F and T, but settled on the former, since Cecil’s first major decision was based on a personal value, the belief that killing children is wrong no matter what you’re ordered to do (take that “I was just following orders”).  He also adds the destruction of Mist and the death of Rydia’s mother to his growing cache of guilt.  His inability to give up on Kain showcases the trait of looking for the best in people, and he values forgiveness not only for his troubled adopted brother, but also seeks it himself.

Cecil isn’t wishy-washy, and being a captain/soldier, he’d have a sense of rules and deadlines with plans in place.  After Kain returns to his rightful self, the paladin forgives him immediately with no grudge left to hold.  This led me to pick judging for the final piece.

ISFJ is considered The Defender, which solidifies my decision to affix this personality type to Cecil .  People like this rarely sit idle while a worthy cause remains unfinished.  They don’t feel comfortable in the spotlight, but they’ll endure it to ensure what needs to be done is done.


Diagnosis: Cecil is pretty level headed, but it’s possible he’s dealing with some depression at the beginning of the game when he’s still a Dark Knight.  There are also some self-esteem issues, too, since he believes he doesn’t deserve Rosa, a White Mage, for this very same reason even though she obviously loves him.  He’s been forced to fit himself into the wrong role by his adopted father and king, and it’s causing a major identity crisis.  He’s not sure what he’s supposed to be, but he knows it’s not supposed to be that.  The majority of this is alleviated when he becomes a paladin and literally defeats his darker self.  However the identity crisis gains a new facet due the mirror’s light at the top of Mt. Ordeals calling him “son.”

Despite all of this, Cecil is still probably one of the most balanced characters and/or balanced main characters in Final Fantasy.  This could be due to the fact that he has an existential crisis to deal with from the get-go, so when the more prominent one occurs much later in the game, he’s better prepared.  His identity didn’t so much change from Dark Knight to Paladin as be revealed for the latter after the forced and false one was literally slain.


What do you think of my assessments of this character?  Do you agree?  Disagree?  Would you pick another Major Arcana, astrological sign, alignment, MBTI, and/or diagnosis?  Let’s discuss in the comments and let me know whom you want me to do next!

Squall Leonhart–>

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30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 18

Day 1

<–Day 17                                                                                                                 Day 19–>

Day 18: Favorite protagonist.


Why is this question harder than favorite antagonist?  Athena from AmbiGaming asks the same thing in her post to the same, so if you’re seeking some clues to the answer, I’d suggest you look there.

For Final Fantasy, it’s a toss up between Cecil Harvey from IV and Celes Chere from VI.  Cecil manages to fight and overcome the darkness that threatens to consume him and manages to consume *spoiler* his brother and his best friend *end spoiler* at least for a time, because Cecil is a literal white knight at heart.

Then there’s Celes who went from general to prisoner to rebel to depression/suicidal after she lost everything.  I never realized how deep that part of the game was until I was older, but if certain things go awry (even after the world ends), Celes throws herself into the sea.

For non-Final Fantasy Aurora from Child of Light is up there.  She’s brave, resourceful, and compassionate, much more mature than her years even in the beginning when she’s a little girl.  She’s the best fairy tale heroine I’ve ever come across, doesn’t  bleed “damsel in distress” in the least, even throughout all the trials and heartbreaking revelations in Lemuria.

Favorite protagonists are hard to pick.  I can’t pinpoint just one like I can with villains.  I think it’s because with villains we pick our favorites based on what qualities inspire the most sympathy and connection.  In a way we may fear falling as they did, so we might be more forgiving for our favorites because we see a reflection of ourselves.  There are many different ways to be a protagonist (not saying there aren’t many different ways to be a villain), and each one we find will have qualities we like and can look up to.  This may be why we’re more likely to like different types of protagonists, but generally prefer one type of villain.

Let’s hear your favorite protagonists in the comments!

<–Day 17                                                                                                                 Day 19–>

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30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 16

Day 1

<–Day 15                                                                                                                 Day 17–>

Game with the best cut scenes.


You all know I have to say Final Fantasy VII, though it’s obviously not the only game with great cut scenes.  I’m not going to post the most famous cut scene in the land since the Remake is coming out…eventually, and amazingly, that scene is now spoiler territory again for those who didn’t play the first time around, but it occurred 20 years ago, and is still counted amongst the best and most shocking scenes in video game history.

All of the Final Fantasies have amazing cut scenes to be honest, ever since they started them in FFVII and even the ones added to older FFs are stellar.  I’m particularly fond of the opening to Final Fantasy IV.

And this one for FFVI always gives me chills.

For non-Final Fantasy there are too many in Mass Effect to count, especially Mass Effect 2.  I’m trying to remember what the name of the green skinned asari was, but she had a thing for Shepherd, and the look on her face when she made a bit of a pass at her was heartbreaking and beautiful.

Then of course there’s the cut scene in Twilight Princess when the eponymous Midna’s true form is revealed.

I was just as speechless as Link.

What’s your favorite cut scene?  Let me know in the comments, and yes, I accept links 😉

<–Day 15                                                                                                                 Day 17–>

30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 7

Day 1

<–Day 6                                                                                                                    Day 8–>

Day 7: Favorite game couple.


I really love Ceil and Rosa from Final Fantasy IV. 

They’re probably my favorite canon couple though I don’t hate Dagger/Garnet and Zidane in the least; I just like the paladin and the white mage a little better.  Cecil starts out as a Dark Knight who believes he doesn’t deserve Rosa due to some of his heinous deeds (sounds like a paradigm I’m quite familiar with, doesn’t it?), but he learns to forgive himself as he continues along his life journey, and Rosa isn’t about to give up on him.

It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention Anju and Kafei from Majora’s Mask, because holy shit heartbreaking.  That picture of their faces as they wait for the world to end is so bittersweet.  If Link completes that quest at least they get to be together.

What’s the couple you love to love?  Let’s discuss in the comments!

<–Day 6                                                                                                                    Day 8–>

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30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 3

Day 1

<–Day 2                                                                                                                    Day 4–>

Day 3: A game that is underrated.


Final Fantasy IV.  FFVI introduced me to the series, and I didn’t play FFIV until many years after that.  IV is woefully left out in many Final Fantasy discussions, and it’s a masterpiece.  It’s the first game in the series to have an actual cohesive plot line and legitimate characters instead of stand ins.  The main character Cecil experiences character development along with his adoptive brother Kain (who is arguably the most screwed over person in the game).  The music is phenomenal and some of the fan art I’ve seen should be hung in museums.

I think the game is getting more play (heh) now because the internet exists and fans of it can extol its virtues, but it’s really a shame it was lost in the shuffle that included VI and VII when those remained popular even after more Final Fantasies were released.


I blanked a bit on what games are underrated, and I’ll probably think of more now that I’ve posted this, so any others you can think of for discussion would make the comment section much more lively!

<–Day 2                                                                                                                    Day 4–>

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Final Fantasy Friday: Fashionistas and Fancy Fellows

Final Fantasy Friday

A few days ago an article popped up in my Facebook memories, concerning the garb of a certain Final Fantasy hero and how utterly outlandish it was.  Regardless what you think of this character, it’s hard to argue with that logic, nor am I against calling out fashion faux pas wherever they might happen to fall.

Also, just to note, I’m extremely picky about my parody.  If you’re going to make fun of something, do it in a way that isn’t just bashing it.  Good parody will poke at the known ridiculous aspects of a work without vilifying the its value.  I’ve seen too many parody/satire sites that miss the mark and go overboard with it.  They’re not poking fun, they’re making fun, and while it can be nuanced, there is a difference.  The linked above does the former and is quite amusing.

Anyway, the article put me in the mind of a pair of questions, the first of which I’ll post this week, and the second, which will be posted next (you will never guess what the second question is…)


Who is best dressed Final Fantasy character?

I need to think about this one for a moment, because I don’t just want automatically go with my default

*checks Pinterest and the Google*

Alright, I have a winner, but there were more runners up than I’d thought, and like so many of my posts, this became far more involved than I’d planned it to be.

Final Fantasy IV

Rosa

She has spikes on her epaulets, which are usually reserved for villains, yet it doesn’t take away from her white mage aesthetic.  The one question/uncertainty I do have concerns whether or not that’s her underwear we’re seeing…

Rydia

She looks like a fairy princess and kind of is, considering the king and queen of the Feymarch pretty much adopted her.

Final Fantasy VI

Celes

Her general’s garb is so elegant, and yes, she could still lay you to waste and not muss her outfit for the evening.

Final Fantasy VII

Sephiroth

I’m a goth myself, so my hot general running around in leather bondage gear looking like a runway model is what my dreams are made of ♥♥♥  Plus, you just can’t go wrong with black and silver.

Final Fantasy VIII

Squall

A leather jacket lined in wolf’s (?) fur is never going to go out of style (so long as the fur is faux in real life).

Seifer

The long coat with the Templar crosses is some fashionable foreshadowing to his romantic dream of becoming the Sorceress’s Knight.

Final Fantasy IX

Beatrix

Everyone’s outfit in FFIX is pretty freaking ridiculous.  Zidane is wearing cuffs with no sleeves, Kuja is rocking a thong, I don’t know what the fuck Eiko is wearing, and we’re not even going to talk about Quina, but Beatrix once again shows that generals know how to dress.

Final Fantasy X

Lulu

Belts for a skirt in a fur lined dress paired with pale skin, that hair, purple lips, and the attitude make for one bad ass combination.

Yuna

Her outfit is almost the polar opposite of Lulu’s: modest where the mage is revealing, youthful where Lulu is mature.

Final Fantasy XII

Balthier

The most Han Solo character of the Final Fantasy universe, he’s kicking ass and taking names with that vest (the story should’ve focused on him and Fran, speaking of…)

Fran

Fran pretty much allowed us to see bunnies as sexy, though I suppose arguably Playboy did that already.  Fran did it better, and more literally.  Have  you fucking seen her shoes??

And the winner is…

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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.

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Cecil Harvey

These are intended to be brief analysis of characters from some of my favorite narratives, but as you all should know by know I can be quite long-winded or rather long-worded so I cannot guarantee a short read.  They will more than likely spoil whatever story/series they come from so be wary of that if you have not read, seen, or played whatever that might be.

Name: Cecil Harvey
Work(s): Final Fantasy IV, The Interlude, The After Years, Dissidia, Dissidia 012
Work Author/Creator: Hironobu Sakaguchi (Squaresoft/Square Enix)
Genre: Fantasy
Medium: Video Game

kluya-and-cecilia

KluYa and Cecilia

Cecil Harvey is the main protagonist of Final Fantasy IV, the fourth installation of the epic video game series.  His father KluYa was of alien origin from a lost world that dwelled between Mars and Jupiter.  KluYa, with the rest of his people, escaped their civilization’s collapse to create a second (and false) satellite of the Blue Planet.

During early forays there, KluYa met and fell in love with an earth woman Cecilia with whom he also fathered Cecil’s elder brother Theodore.  Tragically, both Cecil’s parents met untimely deaths.  His father was killed by the very villagers to whom he was attempted to teach the technology and magic of his home world, and Cecilia died in childbirth with Cecil.  KluYa’s demise was more than likely a factor in the Lunarians’ decision to put themselves into stasis until the people of the Blue Planet were more advanced and ready to accept them.

cecil-and-rosa-opening-sceneNot long after he was born, a grief-stricken Theodore abandoned his baby brother in the Kingdom of Baron where the infant was taken in and raised as the king’s own.  He excelled in swordsmanship and became the youngest captain of Baron’s elite airship fleet the Red Wings.  The king encouraged Cecil to take up the dark sword and

"We shall slay ourselves..."

become a Dark Knight.  This gave Cecil a bit of a melancholy, but not brooding, nature, as later in his journey, it’s revealed he was ever destined for the paladin’s path.  Defeating his dark side revealed both his true colors and physical appearance.  Cecil is a stunningly beautiful young man with shoulder length silvery-white hair, violet eyes, and a bluish tinge to his lips.  rosa-3He’s mutually enamored of the equally gorgeous Rosa, a white mage of endless devotion and grace who is also the unrequited love of Kain Highwind, the dragoon knight who’s Cecil’s adopted brother and brother-in-arms.

Raised together by the king of Baron, Kain trained to become a dragoon like his birth father as Cecil eventually took up the mantle of paladin like his own.  Unfortunately, like his blood brother, Cecil’s adopted

brother Kain betrays him under the latter’s influence as Theodore’s identity is hidden under the persona of Golbez who himself is being manipulated by Zemus, a Lunarian in the core of the moon who refused the others’ self-imposed stasis. Kidnapping Rosa is among one of their many crimes.

Cecil doesn’t discover the full truth of his origins until far later in his story when he journeys to the false moon and meets up with his uncle FuSoYa, the keeper of the Lunarians’ slumber and possibly the oldest character in the Final Fantasy franchise.

Brothers by blood

Brothers by blood

In this place of his (half) origin, the young knight discovers his antagonist is actually his blood brother and is forced to face the truth of that as he was forced to face his other brother’s betrayal.

Cecil rises to the occasion though despite misgivings.  Throughout the entire story, he is a loyal friend and companion even to those he’s just met, forgiving Kain before the dragon knight can even ask for it, against the mistrust of other party members.  The only time you see him hesitate is when the last battle is won and Golbez/Theodore and FuSoYa are preparing to depart presumably forever.  The paladin struggles to think of the man who was his enemy for so long as his brother, but he eventually does gift Golbez with that blessed name, turning him back to Theodore once again.

Cecil questioning motifs is nothing new.  The game begins with him doubting the mission he’s just returned from where he was ordered by Baron’s king to take the Mysidian’s Water Crystal.  He challenged the highest authority in the land and was punished for it, but it immediately showed the player that this was a character who wasn’t afraid to speak up when something wasn’t right.

After the engineered disaster in Mist, Cecil takes in and cares for Rydia

even though she rightfully abhors him at first for not only killing her mother, but destroying her village.

When later events lead him to wash up in Mysidia, the locale of his first war crime, the (currently still) dark knight undertakes the hitherto impossible task of becoming a paladin at the summit of Mt. Ordeals.  Despite the obstacles and enemies thrown in his way he succeeds, proving himself worthy of the mages’ trust in addition to fulfilling a destiny laid long ago that leads him from the center of his mother’s world to the center of his father’s and back again to take up his adopted father’s role of king.

Cecil’s story is one of origin and responsibility.  He takes up the mantles he must, but even in his dark beginning, he neither strays nor corrupts the light path of his destiny.  Narratives often give covered faces to both inconsequential enemies and Big Bads alike, so it is an interesting turn of trope that the main protagonist of Final Fantasy IV begins in such a way.  His face isn’t revealed until a third of the way through the game, but his nature is plain from the start.  Cecil may be forced to hide behind his armor, but he refuses to accept the role of faceless monster.  The atoner’s path leads to the paladin’s light and eventual truth of his origins as a reward.

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