Games Alive: 1980-2017

The Well-Red Mage asks: “What’s your favorite game every year you’ve been alive?”  I’m one of the last to answer, because I’m always late to these types of parties.  I’ve seen plenty of “Favorite Game” posts, but never one quite like this, and it was both challenging and enjoying to put together over the last two months.  I’m one of the oldest people to respond, meaning I have quite a lot of years to go through, so without further ado…


1980 – Pac-Man

This one was more difficult than I’d like to admit, but there weren’t too many games I could draw from at this point in time, which led me to this classic among classics.  I wasn’t very good at this game, but if you stick your finger in your ear and wiggle it around, I think you’ll hear something familiar 😀


1981 – Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong game coverBack when Mario was merely Jump Man and Pauline was a kidnapping victim, long before she was the mayor of New Donk City, there was this arcade classic.  I was better at this than Pac-Man; I’ve always been better at platforming than avoiding random enemies.

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Final Fantasy Friday: Creepy Caverns

Final Fantasy Friday

Hat trick of creep this week.  Bonus: it rhymes, too!  Also  reminder that this will be the last Final Fantasy Friday post until December.  I’m going to make an official announcement post about what’s going to be suspended throughout November, but I figured a reminder in the final one isn’t a bad notion either.

I’m currently recovering from anesthesia.  No, I didn’t get bionic limbs (though I did ask for them), just something weird but simple that required your favorite Narcissist to be knocked out.  Never fear, I woke up even more beautiful and amazing than ever, and when I returned home, there were offerings to my greatness at my door.  The peasants do love me ♥

I usually try to tie the week’s question with something going on, and I suppose waking up from brief, medically induced unconsciousness could be considered coming out of a dark cave so….

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Final Fantasy Friday: The Key of Creep

Final Fantasy Friday

In case you haven’t noticed, I am doing a sort of Halloween themed question series for the month of October, and quite a few motifs in Final Fantasy lend themselves to the frightening.  Per that vein we’re going to explicitly talk about musical motifs in asking…

What is the spookiest music?


Let me attempt to find the creepiest song in my most well known games.

Opening with Final Fantasy IV, I think “Golbez Clad in Dark” is a really safe bet.  I mean, it has both the villain’s name and dark in the title!

It goes along with the “Tower of Zot” music, too.  I have to give mention to some of the moon music: “Another Moon” and “The Lunarians.”  Anything (literally) otherworldly is a good bet for insta-eerie


For Final Fantasy VI I think it’s definitely the “Fanatics Tower.”  Discordant harmonies and regimented drumbeats are always good for a scare.

I’ll throw in “Omen” as an honorable mention, though it’s not particularly scary to me, it still follows a “horror” pattern.  Plus it sounds like gothic church music, which is also what I say about parts of “Dancing Mad,” making a nice musical bookend in VI to go along with VII’s visual and musical one.


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Final Fantasy Friday: Humanity Is Overrated

Final Fantasy Friday

Personally I prefer cats…or dogs…or rats…or a teakettle, but this post isn’t about my rampant and growing misanthropy, but rather…

Who is your favorite non-human/non-humanoid character?


I have to throw in the caveat of “non-humanoid,” since you sneaky Petes could easily throw in Fran as your favorite non-human character.

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Final Fantasy Friday: The Final Act

Final Fantasy Friday

Even the most epic stories must eventually come to an end.  Even The Neverending Story had a final page, and I suspect even the freemium Brave Exvius will eventually come to a halt.  Stories rely on their endings for resonance.  You can’t truly talk about them until you know where they end up and how all of those threads draw together.  So with that in mind…

What is your favorite Final Fantasy ending?


A story doesn’t have to have a happy ending in order to be satisfactory.  In fact sometimes a happy ending is woefully misplaced.  The ending should fit the narrative.

In light of that, this is a really .hard question for me to answer lol.  FFVI was the first Final Fantasy ending I ever saw, and I absolutely loved it.  It was so joyful, so full of hope, and I remembered being inspired by it for days afterwards.  It perfectly exemplified and  framed the theme of hope in the game and could very well be the reason my favorite stories are the kinds that are dark and sorrowful with a joyous conclusion.  This bleeds into writing, as well.  Oh, I’ll make my characters (often literally) crawl through hell before they can bask in the light.  They have to earn their happy ending.

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30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 19

Day 1

<–Day 18                                                                                                              Day–20–>

Day 19: Picture of a game setting you wish you lived in.


This is the final scene from Super Paper Mario.  I’d never leave that hill…but if I had to have a city to go back to I’d choose…

…the Lindblum Theatre District.  I like the arts, but if I was feeling more in the need of technological advancement, I’d have to go with…

…the Citadel from Mass Effect.  Yes, I’m aware some really bad things happen there (hell, bad things happen everywhere), but I’ve had ideas for a vast, technologically advanced city of the future for a long time, and the Citadel is literally a gigantic metropolis in space.

Where would you reside in video game land?

<–Day 18                                                                                                              Day–20–>

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30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 5

Day 1

<–Day 4                                                                                                                    Day 6–>

Day 5: Game character you feel you are most like (or wish you were)


I’ve answered this question before in my Final Fantasy Friday: To Thine Own Self Be True post.  It sums it up better than I could ever repeat.

Let’s discuss.  You can comment on this post or the FFF one.  Doesn’t matter to me 🙂

<–Day 4                                                                                                                    Day 6–>

Final Fantasy Friday: A Grand Introduction

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!

Last week I substituted a review for my typical post, which I’ll probably opt to do every now and then when I have a review prepared.  Now we’re back with a typical question and discussion, and this one was garnered from the extensive discussion on my Un-Final Fantasy post.  I’m sorry I don’t remember who mentioned it, but if you’re reading this, let me know in the comments so I can give credit where it’s due!


Which Final Fantasy would you recommend to a series newcomer?

I’d want them to start with either Final Fantasy IV or Final Fantasy VI like I did with the latter.  Now that I’ve played IV, which I like a little bit better, I’d want them to start with that one since it’s earlier and the first Final Fantasy with a cohesive story, deep plot, and well developed characters.  Final Fantasy VI has a simpler, more straightforward story line, but it’s a huge fan favorite and manages to have enough plot for all 14 possible characters.  This might also be a good reason to start a newbie there.  Some people argue that VI exemplifies the series, but I’d have to disagree a little bit since VI has a simpler plot than the rest with a more blatant and straightforwardly evil villain whereas other games go into more depth with motivation and background.  VI did set an example for the JRPG world, and there would be numerous attempts to duplicate the magic it created.

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Final Fantasy Friday: A Cid in Every Sequel

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!

Final Fantasy has quite a few universal themes running throughout the series, and it pretty plainly has character archetypes (I’ll have more to say on that in later essays), but it also has a recurring character who’s first appearance was in Final Fantasy II, though per the FF Wiki he was retconned to be in the original.  I’m talking about non other than the ubiquitous Cid.


Who is your favorite Cid?

My Cid.

Yes, I named my cat after the ubiquitous Final Fantasy character; fight me.  He’s my favorite real life Cid ♥

For Final Fantasy, hm, this is a tough question.  I don’t just want to pick Cid Highwind because he’s from VII, but I do love his crusty, brusque demeanor that’s hiding a true heart of gold.  No one in VII is one-dimensional, and I can understand Cid using that gruff exterior to cover up how much he truly cares.

I’m a little annoyed he doesn’t smoke anymore in Advent.  I mean of course smoking is bad for you, but it kind of reminded me of the Solid Snake in the Metal Gear loading screens, and it was Cid’s signature thing.. If I were going to pick a voice actor for Cid, it would probably be Hugh Laurie, but I don’t know if I’d want him to use his typical English accent or the American one he has for House.  I’m learning towards the latter though.

But…I also like Regent Cid Fabool from Final Fantasy IX. He’s kind of the Edgar/Edge archetype due his philandering and position of power.  I know what that sounds like, but surprisingly none of these characters are really assholes (even though I don’t like Edge very much).  They’d never abuse their position in order to get a woman into their bed; they’d just use their charms.

Also IX’s Cid certainly gets his comeuppance when his wife Lady Hildegarde finally tires of his lecherous ways and turns him into an oglop, a little bug-like creature.

He then winds up as a frog when he tries to reverse the spell, and it takes a kiss from Lady Hilda to return him to a man again.  It’s a cute little side story.

Despite his adulterous ways, I liked that Cid was the first person Garnet thought to turn to when her mother’s erratic behavior reached critical levels, and the princess was willing to do anything, even get herself “kidnapped” in order to reach Lindblum.  The fact that Garnet was willing to risk all said a lot for how much she trusted her uncle.  He was also integral to Zidane and company’s quest, and like most Cids, was mechanically minded and able to *spoiler* adapt to a world without Mist, their primary energy source.  Like VII, IX had the “runs on souls” paradigm, and *end spoiler* craft airships despite this.

Who’s your favorite Cid?  Let’s discuss in the comments!

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Final Fantasy Friday: To Thine Own Self Be True

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!

I was planning on posting the other “half” of last week’s best dressed question, but today is the Shameful Narcissist’s birthday, and she is going to be shamefully narcissistic and give you the chance to join in the (hopefully harmless) narcissism, too!  I figured it was appropriate to post a more introspective question on the day I celebrate my existence (So.  Much.  Cake.)


What character do you identify with most?

I’m going to try to keep this light, but Final Fantasy brings up some really deep and involved emotions with me.  There are two characters I most identify with in the FF universe, one more than the other.  Ironically, the character I most connect with is male and the other one is female, but the reason is similar.

Left picture is entitled “Lucrecia and Sephiroth…2″ by roman-ranman.  I’m hoping the picture of Garnet is accurate for my memory.  It’s supposed to be when she sees Bahamut attack Queen Brahne’s fleet.

With Seph I can 100% understand why he was pissed off and fucked up, because “mommy issues’ will do that to you (I really detest that phrase, but I can’t come up with a better one), especially when whom you think is your mother died in childbirth, but turns out not to be dead, but is instead hooked up to a reactor in the town your employer (whom you hate) sent you.  Yeah, that would ruin anyone’s day.

I never have simple emotions.  If I’m angry, I usually feel guilty about it, and if I’m sad/depressed, there’s almost always some anger beneath it.  The reason Sephiroth snapped makes perfect sense to me, because even the strongest person has their breaking point, and people who are really aloof and standoffish usually are for a reason.  They’ve more than likely been emotionally manipulated/abused and they’ve learned to contain their emotions because they’ve been used to hurt them before.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t really help you deal with them, it’s just a way to suppress/push them down, which means they’ll just ignite in a torrent later.  I know some people could say I’m reaching, but that’s what I took from that situation partnered with the fact that he thought his mother was an alien eldritch abomination that’s known for its manipulative abilities and mimicking loved ones.  Yeaaaaah, because my brain works the way it does, I’ve thought of scenarios and had lots of horrifying nightmares, but I still love VII, because it speaks to me on that desperate, despairing come wrathful level.

With Garnet, there’s, well I don’t want to say “not real mother” paradigm because if you adopt a child, you are their real parent.  I guess it’s more of the combination of her losing her birth mother and having her adoptive mother become a stranger to her.  Brahne was the only one she knew, and before she was influenced by Kuja, the assumption is that the queen was loving and responsive.  It’s…kind of the opposing situations to VII.  Brahne was the one that was influenced by an alien mind whereas Sephiroth was influenced by an alien mind he thought was his mother.

Either way when Garnet sees her mother die on the beach and is unable to speak for an undetermined amount of time after that, it really got me, because something similar happened to me.  Granted, my silence only lasted for about an hour, but I understand what it means to be too shattered to speak.  When I read reviews about IX castigating the character of Garnet for being “useless” during that time in the narrative, I knew it came from people who were more concerned with gamplay than what Final Fantasy is really about.  If I happened to use Garnet when she would often miss-cast a spell due to concentration issues (which I often have), I was never annoyed about it.  One, you can always use Eiko, and two, for fuck’s sake, she saw her mother die on a goddamn beach!

So hopefully my two most identifiable characters weren’t too much of a downer..  One who exemplifies rage, the other silence in revealing the mechanisms of despair.


Alright, I’m very curious which characters you most identify with and why.  Let’s discuss in the comments and you can go as deep or as shallow as you like!  If you identify with someone because they’re technically minded and you’re a techie, too, let’s hear about it!

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