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: 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 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: 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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