Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – XII The Hanged Man

<–XI Justice                                                                                                   XIII Death–>

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!

XII The Hanged Man

the-hanged-man-kain

It was a bit of a toss up this week, as I’ve said for a few other weeks.  I was so close to picking Seifer from FFVIII.  He was even my original choice, but as I’ve said before your guesses actually cause me to look more closely at what character best fits the card, and in this case I had to give The Hanged Man to Kain for a variety of reasons.

The Hanged Man represents another point of view, and Kain is the suitor who could’ve been.  While Final Fantasy IV presents the age old lovelorn best friend paradigm, it serves the particular purpose of subtext in the narrative for why Kain was able to fall under Golbez’s (and therefore Zemus’s) sway.  Even prior to this manipulation, his jealousy towards Cecil and Rosa forces and skews his point of view, and as The Hanged Man is also known as The Traitor (possibly due to criminals being hung for punishment), this solidifies the dragoon’s position even more.  His very name is telling, being a homophone of the biblical Cain who betrayed his brother Abel as Kain betrays his.  FFIV has a multilayered “brother” paradigm, as well, but I’ll talk about that much more in my review of it.


Alternates: Sephiroth (FFVII), Jecht (FFX), Golbez (FFIV), Celes (FFVI), Seifer (FFVIII)

All of these characters can be seen as traitors, and with the exception of Celes, they all switch to a darker, madder side.  Sephiroth and Jecht almost literally become monsters; Golbez could be considered more conflicted than a traitor (being of both the Red Moon and the Blue Planet…I could make a similar argument for Sephiroth); and Seifer is just a misguided and confused teenager.  The latter threw his lot in with the sorceress in order to fulfill his “romantic dream,” but Kain was much more of a traitor than him since Seifer and Squall were rivals from the get go.


We have two winners this week!  Both Mr. Panda and Hungrygoriya guessed Kain, making me reconsider him from alternate to legitimate.  So congratulations to them both 🙂

The next card is called simply and starkly Death who often shows up with a pale horse.

Good luck!

<–XI Justice                                                                                                   XIII Death–>

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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

justice-gabranth

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–>

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Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – VI The Lovers

<–V The Hierophant                                                                         VII The Chariot–>

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!

VI The Lovers

the-lovers-cecil-and-rose

*The picture of Cecil and Rosa is entitled Final Fantasy IV by Deviant Artist LaurenMontgomery

This was almost a freebie card as it really could’ve been any Final Fantasy lovers, but I went with my favorite Cecil and Rosa from Final Fantasy IV.  I love the dichotomy of light and darkness in all areas, but IV did it a little bit different in having Cecil be a legitimate and bonifide white knight for true.  While I hate the fact he thought he wasn’t good enough for Rosa as a dark knight, I have, er, aesthetic reasons for loving his paladin look.

The Lovers as a card is associated with relationships exactly as one would expect, its appearance in a spread meaning some decision about an existing relationship, a temptation of the heart, and/or a choice in potential partners is going to be presented.  This makes me lean towards Cecil, Rosa, and the mien of FFIV even more since the game presents a sort of a love triangle with Cecil’s best friend Kain, though there isn’t much evidence presented that Rosa has any feelings towards him at all, and Kain’s case is quite unrequited.  The card presents the dichotomy of one partner being chosen, while another is turned down, and that certainly fits FFIV to a tee.


Alternates: Celes & Locke (VI), Squall & Rinoa (VIII), Garnet/Dagger & Zidane (IX), Tidus & Yuna (X)

I used to love the Celes & Locke OTP, but now that I’m older I see it more like Leia and Han, and that relationship would not work out so well (as we saw in Episode VII).  Celes was the general of the Imperial army, and Locke is a treasure hunter.  She’s elite, near royalty, and he’s pretty much a thief.  As a teenager the idea of opposites attracting hadn’t yet been proven fallacious, plus I was way more into traditional Rescue Romances back then, but now as a crotchety old gamer, it’s kind of ludicrous that Celes would tolerate that for more than five minutes, and my fanfiction writer friend runicmagitek has well solidified my love for Celes & Setzer now.

I’m just not a huge fan of Squall & Rinoa for different reasons.  She has so little personality besides Manic Pixie Dream Girl and is more of a plot device than an actual character.  I guess they were going for “lighthearted girl brings brooding loner out of his shell,” but it didn’t seem wholly genuine.  Tbh I’d like Squall & Selphie more.  That little lady had spunk, and her super green eyes reminded me of Aeris.

Btw notice I didn’t mention FFVII, because I am not touching that love triangle, flame war starting nonsense with a seven foot pole.  The only “couple” that would have a ghost of a chance for me to pick would be Vincent & Lucrecia, especially considering “the dichotomy of one partner being chosen, while another is turned down.”  That decision most certainly led to woe and regret.


A round of applause for hungrygoriya for perfectly guessing the canon couple!

There were two guesses for Squall & Rinoa and one for Snow & Serah.  Alas, I have not played any games after FFXII.  This means I may have to revise this list after I get to later games, but the information at least rules some characters out.

Next week is VII The Chariot, a bit of a complex card that made me reconsider my prior choice.  I was going to pick one of the airships; however, at recent examination (and using this site for a better resource), there is a person I think fits the mold.  Happy guessing!

<–V The Hierophant                                                                         VII The Chariot–>

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The State of the Writer: 8/27/16

<–The State of the Writer: 8/20/16          The State of the Writer: 9/3/16–>

A weekly post updated every Saturday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them.  This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.

Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 272,761
Prior Word Count: 273,620
Word Difference: -852
Status: Editing
Progress: 2nd edit of Chapter 3

House By the Sea

I’m honestly can’t believe I haven’t used the above picture yet.  It’s almost exactly how I picture the house save for some minor details.  There’s no garage; it faces the sea; and the staircase is slightly different, being split at the top not at a lower landing, but the extensive veranda is dead on, and the luxury is exquisite, though I would not want to have Aeris’s history in this story in order to live here.

The little Cetra gets a brief glimpse of where she now resides, but there’s a much better one in Chapter 5 where she (and the readers) also find out the name of the estate.  When I do my (hopefully) light reedit of Northern Lights, I’m going to use the same name for their abode.  It’s…sad but fitting, and Sephiroth finds it achingly ironic.

I’m making good progress on the second edit.  I was worried it was going to be tedious and nitpicky as the first, but I only had some trouble with the initial paragraph or so.  I’ve mostly been doing a read through with minor edits, which is what I wish all editing could be.  Granted I haven’t yet reached the part where I’ve done extensive additions, so I’ll have to get back to you when I do.

This chapter amps up the sweetness even amongst the heartache.  At the end of it since Aeris is completely bereft of clothing, Sephiroth orders her a multitude of them in addition to jewelry and shoes.  I debated using a picture of the former, but there will be plenty of time for that when it arrives.

Quote: “Her coloring?  Fairer than the mist with the first blush of dawn on her cheeks.  She resembles a tiny porcelain doll with large, deep, summer blessed eyes.  Her hair is chestnut waves down to her knees with bangs similar to mine.  Yes, she’s lovely, beyond so.  Beautiful’s the word I would use.”


Project: Story
Title:
The Threads of Sorrow
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Retold Fairy Tale
Type: Original Short Story
Prior Word Count: 6887
Current Word Count: 6825
Word Difference: -42
Status: Editing
Progress: First Edit 5/6 Complete

I only edited one page last week, and I’m not sure I’m going to get to this tonight.  Since I went to my friend’s book signing, I’m exhausted as is the case whenever I do anything.  I’d need a nap before any editing took place, and I have so much still on my planner to accomplish.  I would love to finish the first edit this weekend, but it may have to happen during my two week vacation, which starts the first full week of September.

I’m also starting to get weird about submitting this for publishing.  That’s all I’m going to say about that for now :\

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Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – 0 The Fool

About a year and a half ago while I was editing Northern Lights, I started thinking about Final Fantasy Tarot.  I used to read the cards regularly, and people told me I was fairly decent at it.  It comes from the same place as stories (if that makes any sense), and in my strange experiences life does often mimic art at least symbolically.  I share the theory with wiser minds than I that everything is cyclical, and we’re all trapped in this never ending cycle of history’s constant repeat.  I ride the line between logic and the desire (if not the ability) to believe in some absolute, and while reading tarot accurately could very well be chalked up to just recognizing patterns and giving vague and general proclamations, it definitely does activate my “storytelling circuits,” and those circuits have an uncanny ability to predict future connections and events.

Quite a few artists have crafted beautiful tarot cards in the mien of Final Fantasy.

And while their loveliness cannot be denied, I disagree with the representation.  Tarot is about more than who or what fits on a surface level.  While Aeris did certainly die, she is far more aligned with The High Priestess or World card (the latter also far better than Sephiroth in his dark seraph form) than Death.

Due to these discrepancies (and also due to tarot being a bit subjective and not set in stone), I decided I’d lay out my own interpretation for the Major Arcana.  Though as fore mentioned, it has been few years since I seriously read, the last deck I purchased was the Tarot of the Sephiroth, and I hope my words still hold some sway.

I’m going to do one Major Arcana card a week every Friday.  Initially, I was planning on posting all of them at once, but as usual, I underestimated the enormity of this undertaking.  This week we start with the blank slate, the “zero” card…


0 The Fool

The Fool & Cloud

I’d initially considered Cloud (FFVII) for this one.  Of all of the main characters he definitely starts off as the most “blank slate” in need of molding due to his past being essentially wiped clean by horrible methods.  In a way his journey is more about re-finding himself than molding an identity anew.  He’s a bit of an uncanny fool as opposed to the happy-go-lucky fellow above, utterly sullen and uncaring at the start of his hero’s journey, but finds purpose along the way. The Fool is supposed to untapped potential and unlimited possibility.  With this archetype the choices have not yet been made, which can lead to the greatest peril.

The Fool is the perfect Major Arcana for quite wavering heroes who have not yet figured out where their footsteps should fall.

Alternates: Tidus (X), Vaan (XII)


Next week is I The Magician.  Leave guess for whom you think I might pick in the comments!

I The Magician–>

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The State of the Writer: 8/13/16

<–The State of the Writer: 8/6/16          The State of the Writer: 8/20/16–>

A weekly post updated every Saturday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them.  This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.

Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 273,244
Prior Word Count: 273, 963
Word Difference: -719
Status: Editing
Progress: 1st edit of Chapter 3

Ocean Sunrise

I just finished an editing session this morning, though I had to cut it short due to circumstances.  I’m plugging away at Chapter 3, still seeking a chapter picture, and struggling with what picture I’m even going to post on this update.  I have solid mental images in my head, but unfortunately they seem to be in short supply in the real world.

I decided on an ocean sunrise since I’m at the part where Sephiroth carries Aeris outside the next morning in order to take her to get help.  She’s been questioning the light that’s been spilling through her curtains, and now she gets to see it for true.  Again I don’t think this will be the chapter picture either, because the focus is more on her receiving much needed aid.  I’ll have to keep searching.

Quote: Softened hair spilled over her face as Aeris turned with a squint.  A little gasp escaped her throat to witness daylight again.  From a split in the curtains, a shaft sauntered forth, painting stark sun on the carpet.  She squeezed her eyes shut, now more terrified that all of this would just melt.  Without vision a low roar rolled through her ears like a giant, purring beast.  Patterned on top were higher soft cries.  Aeris covered her head as she trembled.

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