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: Over Tunes

Final Fantasy Friday

No Final Fantasy soundtrack is complete without a rousing overworld song.  With that in mind…

What’s your favorite overworld music?

I’ll answer this question in two parts.  First, my favorite music directly from the game as in unaltered from what you hear while you’re playing, and second, my favorite overworld theme orchestrated.

I have to go with Final Fantasy IV for my favorite theme in game.

FFIV was just ahead of its time and so proficient in numerous areas, not the least of which was music.  It boasts the greatest number of good songs in its soundtrack (based on my opinion of course) that is to say, I like the majority of songs on its OST.  While I might like the music from other games more, I like more of the music from Final Fantasy IV.

And Final Fantasy X takes the gold for my favorite orchestrated theme.  It more than occasionally brings the tears, so I have to declare it the winner.

What’s your favorite overworld theme?  As you can see mine doesn’t align with my favorite game (it actually took a bit for FFVII’s “Main Theme” to grow on me.  I like it now, but wasn’t that fond of it when I first heard it).  Does yours?  Discussion party in the comments!

Creative Christmas – New Year Swag

Tis the Christmas season (or Advent to be theologically accurate), and in the spirit of the season, the lovely blogger over at Later Levels has decided to celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas a few days earlier with 12 gaming related questions for all of us good, little gaming elves out there.  These are my responses.

👗   30 December 2017:   You’ve been invited to a swanky New Year’s Eve party but have nothing suitable to wear! Which video game character do you call to ask if you can borrow an outfit?

Luckily for me, I’ve already talked about this in my Fashionistas and Fancy Fellows post!  Of course they’re all from Final Fantasy, though I’ve noticed my favorite series either dresses its characters in the best get-ups…

Runway model quality

Picture Source: Sephiroth from FFVII by AHague

…and the worst…

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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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Final Fantasy Friday: Negative Traits

Final Fantasy Friday

Alright, it’s time to get nasty…

Who is your least favorite main character?

I’m sorry, but he’s annoying as fuck.  It’s not the stranger in a strange land motif, which is not only common, but often an integral part of the Monomyth/Hero’s Journey.  It’s also not the fact that he was sensitive as a child and had “daddy issues.”  I was and remain hypersensitive, and Tidus’s dad is a total douche nozzle.  My annoyance and dislike probably hinges on his voice/voice acting, and I know that’s incredibly shallow.

He’s also…kind of useless.  Okay, I concede that because he is a stranger in a strange land, he has no qualms about bucking tradition to question the faith (literally), because he *spoiler* falls in love with Yuna and doesn’t want her to die. *end spoiler*  Without his fresh insight, the cycle would’ve arguably continued as it always had, though as a counterpoint, there was Auron, *spoiler* the Unsent, *end spoiler* who knew the truth about Sin and that the summoner’s pilgrimage could have been avoided.  Then the narrative could’ve focused on Yuna (as it should have!) coming to realize the truth about Yevon and the Fayth without the shoehorned romance angle, since Auron already knew the truth.

Though without Tidus, we don’t have the time travel/time loop aspect, which is a throwback to the very first Final Fantasy.  Just…make Tidus a less annoying character.  At least he’s halfway decent in a fight *grumble*

What main character do you like the least?  Because this is a decidedly negative post, you must give some reasons for your dislike.  No just bashing characters and no flame wars.  There have to be reasons beyond “they suck!”  All of the regulars here are good, so I know you’ll present exemplary behavior for any noobies 😉


The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #4)

The Raven Cycle

<–Blue Lily, Lily Blue (TRC #3)                                                                                  Opal (TRC #4.5)–>

Title: The Raven King
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: April 4, 2017
Date Started: April 8, 2017
Date Finished: May 24, 2017
Reading Duration: 46 days
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal/Supernatural, Young Adult (YA), Romance

Pages: 448
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Media: eBook/Kindle

Shares Paradigms With: The Wizard in the Tree, Welsh Mythology, Final Fantasy X, Inception

The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death. She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

The finale of Maggie Stiefvater’s illustrious YA series (which I didn’t even realize was YA until I realized it was YA) has both the love and loss that’s expected of the genre without the cliche.  The reason for Noah’s existence and draw to Gansey’s court is made abundantly clear, and more than one relationship therein is resolved.  Ms. Stiefvater not only manages to introduce another member this late in the game, though he was mentioned/seen briefly before so not entirely novel, but she also gave us more unexpected relationships.  So unexpected I had to leave a potential genre out of my list as just the mention of such would be too much of a clue, and it is so uncontrived, perfect, and pure that giving it away would be a sin.  If you’ve read the final book or are curious, I’ll talk about it in the spoiler markers below.  It doesn’t give away the main plot, but it does give away one of the major relationships.

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