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 – The Switch That Isn’t Nintendo

Final Fantasy Friday

It’s the last (Final Fantasy) Friday of the year, and whenever a new one is nigh, the trite “New Year, New You” is often thrust upon us.  I, for one, plan to remain the same awesome me, and any resolutions I have won’t be predicated upon the idea that there’s something “wrong” with my appearance that needs to change ere I be considered a worthwhile human.  While there are things I’d like to do, they fall more in the realm of “I want to be able to more kill a man with a kick to the throat if necessary” or “I think I need to be better equipped to outrun a zombie” than anything aesthetic.  BUT the hackneyed phrase has inspired this year’s final question…

Which (Final Fantasy) character would you trade lives with?

I suppose I could’ve worded this, “Who has the coolest life?” but I like invoking the “switch” (see pun in the title).

Hm.  This is another question for which I don’t have a preconceived answer, though I can safely say I wouldn’t trade lives with a single damn person in Final Fantasy VII.  That’s right out.  Final Fantasy VIII is too emo for my liking…and shit, neither FFIX nor FFX are much better for the trade off.  None of the FFs prior are much good either are they?  I haven’t finished V, but it still has all the telltale typical tragic Final Fantasy signs.  With all this in mind, I think I have my answer:


Sexy bunny, sky pirate with a cool accent?  Yes please.  The (much hotter) Chewie equivalent to Balthier’s Han (seriously, now that I’m more into Star Wars I’m seeing how much all of Final Fantasy is just filled with similar symbolism, geez), and (imo) the ones who should’ve been the main characters, though I suppose if we’re going to continue along the SW line, that wouldn’t be appropriate, would it?

What Final Fantasy character would you switch lives with?  It doesn’t have to be a main/playable character either.  As always if FF isn’t your thing, feel free to draw from any other video game world!

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: 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


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…


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


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


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


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).


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

Final Fantasy IX


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


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.


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

Final Fantasy XII


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 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: 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!

The State of the Gamer: 1/24/17

<–The State of the Gamer: 1/17/17          The State of the Gamer: 1/31/17–>

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

Title: Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls
Series: Final Fantasy
Genre: RPG – Fantasy
Developer: Square/Tose (GBA)
Original Platform: NES
Original Release Date: December 18, 1987
Current Platform: Gameboy Advance
Current Platform Release Date: July 29, 2004
Date Started: November 20, 2016


Maybe I should say that I’m putting this on hiatus until I finish WOFF, but I don’t want to say that.  I could play before bed, but before bed is Mass Effect (now 3) watching time.  It’s all so interconnected like a gigantic game web.

Title: Final Fantasy IV
Series: Final Fantasy
Genre: RPG – Fantasy
Developer: Square
Original Platform: SNES
Original Release Date: July 19, 1991
Current Platform: Game Boy Advance
Current Platform Release Date: December 12, 2005
Date Started: October 24. 2016


Same goes for FFIV.  You know what.  I’m going to put this on my to-do list right now.  Watch me.  Watch me do it.  Are you watching?







Alright, both this and DoS are on the schedule.  FFIV for Tuesdays and Fridays; DoS for Mondays and Thursdays; both potentially on the weekend.

Title: World of Final Fantasy
Series: Final Fantasy
Genre: RPG – Fantasy
Developer: Square Enix
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Date Bought: October 21, 2016
Date Started: November 5, 2016


I’m still on the final chapter with this.  I decided I wanted to level all my Mirages up to level 30 or until their original transfiguration board is filled, the latter taking precedence of the former.  This means if I reach level 30, but the original transfig board isn’t filled, I continue leveling until that happens; however, if I finish the board, but the Mirage isn’t at level 30 yet, I keep it until it is.  I figure it’s a pretty decent system.  After I’m done, I’ll update my Mirage spreadsheet…the one I said I was going to put on Google docs.  I’m not comfortable enough with it to do that yet, so I’m holding off.

I also fought quite a few Mirages that I don’t have the ability to catch yet.  They require you to take off a large amount of HP at once, and I’m just not powerful enough to do so yet.  I also cannot win this one mini-game in the Girl’s Tearoom, which means I can’t get the Maduin memento and consequently can’t get the transfiguration for Maduin.  I may have a solution for this though.  In searching for tips on how to win the mini-game, I came across a YouTuber who is willing to trade a Maduin for a Titan.  I have two Titans, and they’re easy to find and obtain.  She doesn’t have wifi until Thursday (and I think she’s in Australia), so I’m hoping I’ll be able to make the trade then.

Let’s Plays Finished This Week

Title: Mass Effect II
Series: Mass Effect
Genre: Action RPG – Sci-Fi
Developer: BioWare
Original Platform(s): Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3
Original Release Date: January 26, 2010
Let’s Player: Olizandri
Date Started: November 19, 2016


This end of this game lends credence to my assertion that whenever you see tubes in science fiction (and let’s be honest science fantasy, too), it rarely if ever leads to anything good.  Futurama may be the only exception to this rule.

I’m really hoping I look more favorably on the end of the third game now that I’ve seen the entirety of the first two.  I don’t want to continue hating it.  Okay, “hates” a strong word.  I don’t want to continue being disappointed by it.

Games Currently Watching

Title: Mass Effect III
Series: Mass Effect
Genre: Action RPG – Sci-Fi
Developer: BioWare
Original Platform(s): Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3
Original Release Date: March 6, 2012
Let’s Player: Olizandri
Date Started: January 23, 2017

I started the third installment in the illustrious Mass Effect series last night, and holy shit does it come out swinging.  The beginning is equal parts brutal and beautiful, leading me to totally devour three half hour episodes in one sitting.  Shepherd and crew are currently on Mars looking for ancient information on how to stop the Reapers.  I would’ve continued, because I’m dying to know what the Protheans found, but it was getting late.  Maybe tonight…although I don’t think watching ME is on the schedule for tonight.

Title: Miracle Warriors: Seal of the Dark Lord
Genre: RPG
Developer: Kogado Software Products
Original Platform(s): Sega
Original Release Date: October 18, 1987
Let’s Player: Hungry Goriya

I can’t wait to see more of this.  The Dark Lord will be sealed away.

Games Added to Playlist: 4

  1. Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People Episode 1: Homestar Ruiner – I never would’ve known this existed if I hadn’t caught Hungry Goriya’s Twitch stream of Miracle Warriors last weekend.  Strong Bad is a major staple of my college and early internet days.  I’ve been thinking about rewatching those email videos for over a year now (I know.  Why don’t I just do that.  Too many things on my to-do list), so when someone mentioned there was a game, I had to hop on that train.  Light switch raves for all!
  2. Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings – I had no clue there was an FFXII sequel.  FFXII wasn’t my favorite my a long shot, but it was still an enjoyable game.  I didn’t detest the gambit system as much as many.  To be honest, as long as an RPG is turn-based, I’m pretty much okay with any battle system they decide to throw at us.  Apparently this game focuses on Vaan and Penelo, and they’re actually the main characters as sky pirates.  I’m hoping it actually makes them useful as more than just windows to the narrative, which was my major complaint with the original XII’s story.
  3. New Super Mario Bros. 2 – a little bird told me that NSMB 2 was easier than the original, er, NSMB.  I don’t think DS games are that expensive any more, so I might pick this up next time I’m at Best Buy if it’s there.
  4. Skies of Arcadia – speaking of sky pirates, I haven’t thought of this game in years.  I forget what dredged it up  It might be that awesome Twitch stream, but although it was totally up my alley, I never played it when it first game out, even though I had access to it.  I watched my brother play a bit of it, but just never got into it.  I was probably being a Final Fantasy snob, and no other RPG would have my attention.  Hm, it looks like it’s still only for the Dreamcast (per Grouvee), but they may have limited console information.  I found Grandia II for the PlayStation II.  There’s always hope.

Games Bought This Week: 1

  1. Journey – the Well-Red Mage’s PSN recommendation post led me to this $5.00 beauty (I’d put the link, but I can’t find it!  I also think the sales therein ended yesterday).  I was going to pick up Limbo, too, but my husband informed me that he’d already purchased it.  He downloaded it to my sign on, so I technically got two games for the reduced price of one 🙂

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

<–The State of the Gamer: 1/17/17          The State of the Gamer: 1/31/17–>




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 😉


Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – XI Justice

<–X The Wheel of Fortune                                                   XII The Hanged Man–>

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!

XI Justice


It didn’t take much for me to pick Gabranth from FFXII as the representative of Justice for both surface and complexity reasons. They say justice is blind, and this is supposed to be good, but Gabranth is blind in a fell way.  He’s blinded with hatred for his twin brother Basch for abandoning him and their sickly mother to join the Dalamascan army.  On the surface the judge magister appears unaffected, but just as clean gloves hide dirty hands, dark armor can hide your true heart.

Justice as a concept is always purported to be simple, but it rarely is no matter how much we wish it to be.  While Gabranth appears to just be another faceless antagonist of the Empire, beneath lies a conflicted man.  In the end (which I won’t give away since I just skimmed it myself), he does figure out how to balance the scales, making peace with Basch and himself.

Alternates: Golbez (IV), Sephiroth (VII)

It’s hard not to think of Golbez alongside Gabranth since their stories are so similar.  The (initial) antagonist of FFIV abhors his brother (who doesn’t even remember him) for “killing” their mother during child birth, as Gabranth hates his for (essentially) killing her with his desertion (seriously…Final Fantasy plays that missing mother card in spades especially in VII and beyond).

With missing mothers and justice, I of course think of Sephiroth.  Though I didn’t pick him for this card, it’s hard to ignore that his mad quest for godhood was due to the belief of dispossession for himself and the eldritch abomination he believed was his mother.  When you realize he thought it was the true last Cetra and was trying to take the Planet back for it, the story becomes both ironic and tragic.

LightningEllen takes the gold this week with her guess of FFXII’s judge magister!

Halfway Scores

As promised I will now provide the scores thus far and my scoring methodology.  Guessing the exact character nets you 5 points, guessing an alternative is 3, and guessing a character from the game of the correct answer earns you 1 point.  So if you guessed Golbez for this card, you’d get 3 points because it’s one of my alt picks, but if you guessed Basch you’d get 1 since you at least were in the same game.

Mr. Panda: 29 points with 10 guesses – so far Mr. Panda is the only person to have guessed in all of the questions, and he has the most points.  Coincidence?  I think not 🙂

LightningEllen: 14 points with 6 guesses – coming in second place is LightningEllen (who isn’t doing nearly as bad as she thinks!).  Six questions answered nets a tidy sum.

Hungrygoriya: 5 points with 2 guesses – 5 points in this case means that one question was answered perfectly and that’s nothing to sneeze at!

The Otaku Judge: 1 point with 2 guesses – not bad for only two guesses.!

Carrie482: 0 points with 2 guesses – the more guesses the more chances!

If you haven’t guessed at all and you want to, please feel free to join the fun!  There’s no harm or shame in any guess 🙂

There are ten more major arcana cards, the next of which is The Hanged Man who is also called the traitor.

Good luck!

<–X The Wheel of Fortune                                                   XII The Hanged Man–>