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 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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Final Fantasy Friday: Traveling Music

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 going to just do a “What’s your favorite airship?” which is a perfectly adequate question that I intend to answer, too, but I also started pondering the airship music, and I think it’s a good addition to ask.

Favorite airship…well the Invincible from Final Fantasy IX is pretty bad ass, though there is that annoying detail about how it *spoiler* destroyed Dagger’s entire village and was partially responsible for her mother’s death. *end spoiler*  It also has that creepy eye that would be absolutely horrifying to see above you,

*shits self immediately*

but it is a technological marvel.  If I were going into battle, the Invincible is the ship I’d want.

Also the ship can travel between dimensions.

Hm.  I wonder if the red “eye” on the airship is somehow tied to the red light in Garland’s chest…

I had to listen to all of the airship themes, and I enjoyed many of them (including Final Fantasy VI’s “Searching for Friends,” the theme for the World of Ruin), but only one gave me chills, and that’s none other than Final Fantasy VII’s “Highwind Takes to the Skies.”  It’s a rehashing of Cloud’s Theme, which is also the Main Theme, and what better song for flying than one based on Cloud :p

What’s your favorite airship and airship theme?  Let’s discuss in the comments!

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Final Fantasy Friday: Time for a Random Battle

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 is world renown for its music, which I’ve covered here, here, here, and many other places.  The title is a bit misleading as this is open for both battle and boss music, but not final boss music (we’ve already discussed that in a prior post).

This is another tough one for me.  So tough that I need to abscond to YouTube to listen to a sample of each.

*listening*

I’m torn between IV and IX for the Battle Music.  They’re both so epic and reflect the more fantasy nature of their games.  I love that “uplifting” phrase in IV and the strings in IX (forgive me for my lack in music terms.  I’ve sung for many years, but was piss poor at theory).

I’m even more capricious on the Boss Battle Themes.  IV wins again though with the continuation of the fantasy theme in its music.

But I also love VII’s more rock/metal-esque sound, which fits perfectly with the game’s aesthetic.

It would seem this should be the end of the debate, bur Final Fantasy is always complicated and has more than just the standard Battle and Boss (and Final Boss).  It would be a travesty to leave them out as some of these selections are the best music the series has ever given us.  One of them is the music played during the battle with the Atma Weapon in Final Fantasy VI

…and the other is Jenova’s Theme.  I abhor and fear that abomination with a passion, but there’s no doubt its music is brilliant.  There are at least three melodies going on at once, and it twists your mind in knots trying to divine and unwind them.  Nobuo Uematsu is a master of the meta in music whether he realizes it or not.

If I ever listen to the above song while driving, I somehow find myself going at least 80 mph, as if I”m trying to outrun something…

Note: The same thing happens during One Winged Angel, especially the Advent version, but that’s because that song kicks ass.


So I suck at answering questions.  If I had to pick a Battle Theme, it would be Final Fantasy IV, and if I had to pick a (regular) Boss Theme, it would be have to be FFIV as well.  VII is a very close second.

Hopefully, you can be more…decisive than I am 😉

Final Fantasy Friday: The System Is Down

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!

The system isn’t really down, rather I want to know which system you’re down with.  Which Final Fantasy has your favorite magic/leveling/battle system?  Are you a Materia hunter?  Do you prefer to have a specific Job?  Or would you rather Junction your way through random battles?Since this is a bit of a three part question, a three part answer with potentially different games is more than acceptable.

Hm, well, it’s hard for me to separate the systems from the story.  FFIV’s job system fits with its story line (especially considering the main character’s job changes as part of the plot) just like FFVII’s Materia system fits with its.  I’m going to try to stay objective and look at the systems outside of their respective narratives.

For leveling, the only system I absolutely abhorred was Final Fantasy II’s.  Having to fight with a weapon, shield, or magic spell a hundred times in order to make progress was one of the worst decisions Square ever made, and I’m happy the company didn’t suffer for it.  All of the other Final Fantasies I’ve played level in the way the video game gods intended, and I’m perfectly fine with that.

To be honest, I like VIII’s Junction system.  I like the versatility of it.  I like how you can switch around GFs to make your characters tanks.  I like how you can add/take away abilities, and I think the system gets much more hate than it deserves.  When I first played the game, I didn’t quite understand how it worked, so I spent a lot of time summoning my GFs, but once I figured it out, it was a simple matter of drawing a hundred of applicable spells and junctioning them to the appropriate spots.  I also liked how you would make a specific salary depending on your sEED rank, not that I mind beating up monsters for gil.  FFVIII just had this organization to it (maybe because it was about a military organization that was trying to do good as opposed to VII’s…) that fit well with my Taurus mind.  It was a very well organized game in terms of its systems.

I know magic and battle systems are intertwined, but there are some slight nuances.  Going back to the Jobs systems, I like how IX handles it.  I could say similar things about VIII, but I feel like they updated where they were going in the prior game with IX.  I like that each character has a specialty, which is the opposite to VIII’s Junction system where anyone can be customized for anything, and then switched around at a moment’s notice (barring their Limit Breaks).  The only thing I don’t like about IX’s battle system is if you go into Trance at the end of a fight, you lose it regardless of if you use it.  I wish they’d kept the same system used in FFVII and revived in X where the Limit Break was available until you decided to unleash it.

I think Steiner’s was my favorite.  He looked like an actual knight instead of a grumpy, old man in rusty armor.

Let’s discuss favorite systems in the comments!

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Final Fantasy Friday: Favorite Main Character

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 posted a Final Fantasy poll, and it was a big hit.  It actually spawned at least one other post by my friend The Otaku Judge who decided to talk about his top three favorite Final Fantasies.  I replied with mine, which you can see if you check out the Judge’s post (which you should), and the results of my poll were pretty interesting.  There was a surprising tie between Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy IX.  The surprise comes because in my experience, Final Fantasy VI is usually my favorite VII’s main competitor.  I actually like IX better than VI (it’s my second favorite) so this was a happy surprise.  They both received five votes.

This week’s poll is for favorite main character.  Now the term “main character” can be argued with semantics thrown about here and there, but with the exception of FFVI (where they’ll be two options) we’re going to go with the face value, agreed upon main character.  I’m going to start with FFIV, since I don’t think the first three had what you could call a main character, but feel free to disagree with me on this.  We can also of course discuss more of this in the comments.

Forgive me.  I don’t know the main characters for FFXI or FFXIV so feel free to add them in as “Other” if they’re your favorite.

I look forward to your responses!

Final Fantasy Friday: A Final Fantasy Poll

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!

Today is a dreary day in the states, and even though Final Fantasy Tarot is over, I’m going to try to keep up the FF Friday posts until my next serial project.

Bad puns are all I have...

Bad puns are all I have…

I present to you a simple poll.

Feel free to comment your love, and keep it nice.  No bashing other Final Fantasies.  My regulars are always nice, so this is more for any newbies who happen to show up and welcome if you do 😉

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Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – XXI The World

<–XX Judgement

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!

The World

the-world-gaia

We finally come to the end after 22 wonderful weeks, though it feels odd to say that this is final, since Final Fantasy is never final.  It goes on and on ad infinitum, repeating the same elements in different ways.  Thus is The World card. While it does represent a pause in life, it also heralds the beginning of a new cycle with The Fool on another journey.  Like the game series, tarot is cyclical, which is one of the reasons I believe they line up so well.

I chose the Gaia from Final Fantasy IX because IX itself represents the end of a era.  It is the final (that isn’t) send off for the series on PlayStation.  The pause that reiterates before moving onto the next, and it’s fitting that the next, X, takes place in a world called Spira, the spiral.  IX also has the grand motif of the coming together of two different worlds, Terra to Gaia, earth to earth, into one.  This is the same motif presented in IV with the Lunarians and the people of the Blue Planet and in VII with Aeris as half-human, half-Cetra, and darker with Sephiroth as part alien.  The World is also said to represent the cosmic consciousness, which aligns well with VII’s spiritual flow of the Lifestream.

The four figures in the corners of The World card can represent either the Book of Revelations 4:7 where the throne of God is described (and I’m sure I could make a case for the Four Horsemen if I were so inclined to delve a bit) or the representatives of the natural world, the kingdom of beasts.  There is also an astrological connection.  The Lion is Leo, a fire sign; the Bull is Taurus (yasssss), an earth sign; the Man is Aquarius, an air sign; and the Eagle is Scorpio, a water sign (not sure where the Great Wiki is garnering that from, but okay).  Of course these four hold the balance of the world and the universe, and we have Final Fantasy’s ubiquitous Crystal(s) for parallel.  Though the four separate parts disappear after IV (or V, since I haven’t played that yet, I can’t speak to it), they still exist in some form in VI-VIII and return in IX spread out among Gaia’s kingdoms.

The World is both the end and the beginning, and Final Fantasy (ironically for its name) has no end, and as the first game is a time loop, a beginning is questionable as well.  While I used FFIX’s picture for Gaia, it is highly probably that all of the games take place in the same world, and all Gaias are the same Gaia, and there may just be one story told and retold infinite times as each cycle ends and begins again.


 Mr. Panda gets the final card with his Gaia guess!

Now it’s time to declare the winners of the game.  Seven of you played at various points in time: Mr. Panda, The Otaku Judge, LightningEllen, Carrie482, Hungrygoriya, iplayedthegame, and Athene|AmbiGaming, and I thank you all for participating whether you guessed one or 21 times!

Just to reiterate the scoring system, a correct answer would net you 5 points.  Guessing an alternate would give you 3, and picking a character from the same game as the right character earned you 1.  So without further ado…

In 3rd Place with 13 points we have Hungrygoriya!

final-fantasy-tarot-3rd-place-ribbon

2nd Place goes to LightningEllen with 36 points!

final-fantasy-tarot-2nd-place-ribbon

And at 51 points the 1st Place ribbon goes to Mr. Panda!

final-fantasy-tarot-1st-place-ribbon

I had so much more fun than I ever thought I would doing this for the past 22 weeks, and I hope you all did, too, whether you guessed or not.  Quite a few people expressed that they learned a lot about Final Fantasy and Tarot during this series, and I’m glad I was able to introduce deeper aspects of one or both.  I love Final Fantasy as you all know, and I’m obsessed with religious and esoteric symbolism, so this was a match made in heaven for me.

Thanks to everyone who participated either by guessing or just commenting to show your interest and support.  The general consensus has been on me doing a Final Fantasy Astrology series next, so I’m going to start preliminary research on that.  Until then, I’m not sure what (if anything) I’m going to do on Fridays.  I have some brief articles and lists I could regale you with (I seriously doubt I’ll be able to write an FF essay a week alas) or I might use the time to work on bigger projects.

Once again thank you all, and please feel free to display your ribbons on your sites if you so choose 🙂  If you’d like to know more details and/or your score, just let me know in the comments!

<–XX Judgement

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Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – XIX The Sun

<–XVIII The Moon                                                                                XX Judgment–>

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!

XIX The Sun

the-sun-eiko

Eiko artwork by Yoshitaka Amano

The Sun is a card of triumph, simple pleasures, and truth.  In opposition to the Moon, which symbolizes inspiration from dreams and otherwordly visions, the Sun is much more in your face and wide awake; intellect and youthful energy. I had quite a time figuring this one out.  Final Fantasy boasts many characters with this quality, but I knew I needed someone who was not only childlike, but also a child.

Eiko literally flips the meaning of the Moon in giving Dagger clarity and closure on the princess’s oldest dreams.  The little girl is the truth giver, revealing Garnet’s origins, welcoming her home, even as Eiko herself enjoys the pleasure of companionship in the breaking of solitude.  While the sun’s light may not always fall on the happiest memories, it will still always show it plain, lighting a clear path, and giving you the courage to forge ahead armed with new revelations.


Alternates: Porom (IV), Relm (VI), Selphie (VIII), Rikku (X)

I was very close to picking Porom, since intellect and youthful energy are major components of the Sun card.  Because he’s an irascible, five-year-old mage in training, I thought he would make a good match, but my own bias came into play.  I’m not overly fond of Porom’s character (I like him even less in The After Years), and besides that, I’d already used Rydia from IV in The Moon entry.  Not that I’m averse to using the same game twice in a row, but since I had another (and imo better) option, I figured I’d use it.

Relm from VI would certainly fit the artistic side of the card, along with the youthful energy, and she could arguably fulfill some of the truth aspect in reference to Shadow, but FFVI was very good at keeping that vague.  Eiko’s traits are far clearer.

Selphie and Rikku from VIII and X respectively have that bright, optimistic aspect, and Rikku certainly is responsible for revealing some truths (for both Tidus and about Yuna), but while they’re both childlike/innocent in their way, I wanted someone who was actually a child.


No one guessed the card this week, but everyone who ventured did guess something right!

LightningEllen and Mr. Panda both went with Rikku who’s an alternate; Hungrygoriya went with Selphie who’s the same; and The Otaku Judge guessed Amarant(h) who is from the same game as Eiko.  I like when everyone wins 🙂

Next week is Judgment, and I’m kicking myself a bit, because I totally could’ve used Gabranth for that instead of the Justice card…but I suppose he fits that Major Arcana, as well, and I’m never one to turn down an intellectual challenge.  I do have something else in my notes (notice I said something and not someone), but I’m not sure yet if I’m going to go that route.  What this means is Judgment could be a person/character or it could be a place/thing.  Oh, and Judgment’s alternative name is The Angel, but that ship’s kind of sailed now hasn’t it?

Happy guessing!

<–XVIII The Moon                                                                                XX Judgment–>

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Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – VII The Chariot

<–VI The Lovers                                                                                     VIII Strength–>

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!

VII The Chariot

the-chariot-kuja-and-silver-dragon

*The picture of Kuja is entitled Kuja Leaving Burmecia by Deviant Artist Grypwolf

This one was very difficult.  I initially planned to use one of the airships, and indeed I strongly considered FFIX’s Prima Vista, but the more I read into the card, the more I realized that it was  person I sought and not a conveyance (sorry Boco guessers hehe, though he is kind of both!).

I had to use another site besides The Great Wiki for insight, and once I did, I realized I required someone with regal bearing, and with Kuja we have both that and a conveyance (huh, he has silvery hair, deep blue eyes, and he rides a dragon.  Another secret Targaryen).  Add together the below descriptions, and my choice became clear:

“Your aim is victory, and to be victorious you must have unwavering confidence in your cause. Never question, never doubt what you’re trying to achieve. Never lose your focus or your motivation.”

“One thing more you should keep in mind…Victory is not the end, it is the beginning. Remember that before you decide to enter into any contest.”
-From Aclectic.net

The Chariot is about getting what you want regardless the costs and using any tools at your disposal in order to do so.  There seems to be a connection between this card and The Magician and not just because the characters are from the same game, since with the second major arcana, the means are gathered, and with The Chariot they’re used.  The fact that The Magician is Garland and I picked Kuja for The Chariot is curious though, since Garland gave Kuja the means to seek his desires, though that led to the old man’s grief.

Kuja has absolutely no problem kidnapping princesses, killing queens, leveling cities, and even destroying worlds in order to achieve his ends, though unfortunately, like most lost children, the core cause for his behavior is juvenile in addition to undeniably sad.  He was created for destruction and could never “override his programming.”  While his “brother” Zidane might be a good contender for The Fool, it is Kuja who is far more foolish, though his saving grace in the very end is he finally realizes that.


This was a tough one this week so nobody guessed either the person or the game, but there seems to be a lot of love for Bobby Corwen, so hopefully this won’t disappoint 😀

vivi-and-bobby

Next week is VIII Strength, and there is a huge clue in the card’s picture for whom I’ve picked.  Happy guessing!

<–VI The Lovers                                                                                     VIII Strength–>

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