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 Creepiest

Final Fantasy Friday

We all know what time of the year it is, and as a bonus we get a Friday the 13th in October to make the spookiest season even spookier.

Now, I know this is the second weekend of October.  I never claimed to have a good sense of time, but for the rest of the month, I’ll gear my questions more towards the eerie and off settling aspects of my favorite franchise.  With that in mind…


What is the scariest monster/enemy?

Final Fantasy boasts quite a few creepy creatures in its extensive history.  There’s the Final Fantasy VIII’s Fake President (…I want to say something so badly) after he reveals his true form.

Also known as Gerogero, which I’m not even sure how to pronounce

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The Editing of Northern Lights – Chapter 8 and an Ocean Full of Sads

These are the Editing Notes for my FFVII fanfiction Northern Lights (which you can find at the end of that link).  I will be discussing a myriad of topics along with my frequently tangential and harried editing process.  You should be able to garner some enjoyment and insight from this without having read the story and/or without prior knowledge of the original game, but if you’re a fan of paranormal romance and/or dark fantasy, you may find it to your liking.  The story will be spoiled in this editing examination, though I will do my best to mark spoilers for any other narratives I mention.  Thanks for your interest and enjoy!

<–The Box Contains More Chapter 8                            Between the Seams of Chapter 8–>

Holy shit it’s been a while since I’ve updated this.  I have it on my schedule for every fourth Saturday or something like that.  I switch up what I work on on Saturday just because I have so much.  I’d like to say I’ll increase when I publish these, but I’m lucky to get to it when I do.  Just a reminder, I wrote these notes three years ago now while I was editing the fanfiction.  My writing has improved since then (at least I think so), and it’s a mix of then writing and now, though I don’t always indicate where that happens.  I try to remember to use italics when I’m inserting future me into a conversation, but I did some editing on this before like a few months back, so even though it’s future me, it’s not necessary now me lol.  Anyway, if you have any questions, you know where to find me!

10/22/14
Mmmm chocolate…oh wait, oh what?

Welcome back.  Chocolate is like God’s gift to your mouth.  One of the side effects of mostly eating healthy (or at least for me) is going through phases where you just want to eat ALL the food.  That’s happening to me right now.  I eat all the food; weigh myself; flip shit, and then go back on track the next week and hopefully undo the damage.  Tis a long journey, but it’s all about the climb, isn’t it?  No, fuck that…I want the goddamn results.

Ah yes, this is when I was overly concerned with reducing myself down to an impossible size hehe.  I was seriously and sadly obsessed with that…like so many other people.  I have a far different viewpoint on it now, especially since I can’t physically stand for more than ten minutes due to still unknown reasons.

So I asked what your favorite season one.  I’ll answer mine is a brief dialogue.

Random Person: Hey Adrienne, what’s your favorite season?
Me: Advent.

It counts!  It’s a “season;” it’s Christmas, and I love Christmas cause I’m a Christmas goth.  At least I finally found an Advent Calendar that I could get on board with.

♫Tis the season to be drunken♫

♫Tis the season to be drunken♫

I’d drink my Advent Wine on Advent Sunday while watching Advent Children.

I’m not even going to try to ease my way into this conversation to what my editing notes are.  There is no graceful segue.  You’ll have to be content with non sequitur.  At the time of this writing I was helping a friend by beta reading a sexy time part she had to add to a story, and this got me thinking about the line between romance sex and erotic sex.  Romance sex tends to focus on feelings whereas erotic sex focuses on the physical.  Now obviously you can weave physicality into romance sex and emotions into erotic sex, and frankly you have to.  You can’t just have all emotions and feels or fluids and flesh, but there’s a delicate balance between what’s expected in each genre.  She is more of an erotic sex writer where I tend to take the romantic path.  I can and have written erotica (nothing published) and I often push the envelope in the ideas process and then dial it back when it comes to the writing portion and pare it down even further when I edit.

No sexy time for a while yet with this story, though.  What did I say before?  You can’t marry (or fuck) the princess before you slay the dragon, and dear god is there a “dragon” to slay.  Hehe in trope land this is not really quite accurate, as the Dragon is more the Big Bad’s top enforcer.  TV Tropes doesn’t agree with my point of view on this having Jenova as the Dragon to Sephiroth on its page where I really see that as quite the opposite.  Jenova was the catalyst to his insanity, the start of his darkness.  It wormed its way into his head and gutted everything he ever was.  But for that incident (much like Isildur’s refusal to destroy Sauron’s ring), there would be no story.  I know I keep bringing this point up and driving it in (ughhhhhh), but it seems to be a bone of contention with so many people insisting that Sephiroth is just plain evil, but I think my interpretation is far more accurate and in a way darker.  Sephiroth is the Lucifer/Satan of the FFVII world, the fallen angel, the most beautiful and the best…but there’s something worse than he is.  Jenova is the dark source, the antitheses of the source, the distorted absolute.  I don’t know what the Unholy Sephiroth to Kether is (nor would I call or write its name), but that would be represented in Jenova.  I looked it up in my Dictionary of Angels, but I’m till not going to write it, and I talk more about the horrifying implications of Jenova further below in my discussion about war.

But for now we should move on to brighter and happier things, and as such is lacking we shall go to the editing of Northern Lights.

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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: Final Fantasy Tarot – XV The Devil

<–XIV Temperance                                                                            XVI The Tower–>

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!

XV The Devil

the-devil-jenova

I realize this is the third week in a row I’ve used someone (or something) from Final Fantasy VII, but I won’t apologize for that.  I will promise that next week will not be from that game…at least not the main answer.

The Devil is a being who only has the power you give him, and Jenova is a parasitic, alien, eldritch abomination horror the Cetra sealed away and humans unearthed to utilize for their own greedy purposes.  They used it to make more powerful soldiers/weapons, spreading its cells, virus, and influence into both those willing, unwilling and even unable to consent (pretty difficult to say yea or nay when you’re in utero).  People augmented with its cells could hear its “voice,” a literal devil whispering in your ear, binding you to its cause like the two people chained in the Marjor Arcana.

I’ve said a great deal about Jenova here, here, and here, so I won’t bother repeating.  It is the most terrifying enemy in the Final Fantasy repertoire.  An entity that that can invade your very thoughts and emotions to influence you until you don’t know where you end and it begins.  The indoctrination of the Reapers from Mass Effect puts me into the same mind, and the planet devouring brethren moons from Dead Space inspire a similar horror.

The Devil is supposed to be the utter antithesis of God, and Jenova is symbolically the “mother” of the antichrist in Sephiroth.  Now he also oscillates in the role of Lucifer/Satan, as well, but Jenova is the Bigger Bad of FFVII, because without Jenova, there is no Sephiroth, no conflict, and therefore no story.


Alternates: Zemus/Zeromus (IV), Kefka (VI), Ultimecia (VIII), Necron (IX)

Zemus or rather Zeromus was a really close second.  He or it only had power through peoples’ jealous/envy and other bad/exploitable traits.

The Kefka Devil connection isn’t out there, but as implied above, the devil usually works through an agent, and FFVI was very straightforward and uncomplicated with who its big bad was.

The futuristic sorceress Ultimecia of FFVIII was a consideration or even Adel, the sorceress from the past since they both used agents in the present (and past) to accomplish their goals.  I’m going to really have to sit down and figure out FFVIII’s wibley, wobbly, timey wimey shenanigans when I get to its replay.

A lot of my reasoning pushed me towards IX’s Necron, but Necron really pissed me off lol.  While all of the above (save Kefka) could be considered a diabolus ex nihilo, Necron also serves as a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere.  There was absolutely no precedence for it in the story.  It was just the eternal nothingness you had to fight because Kuja wasn’t that powerful of a final boss, and it lent more credence to *spoiler* his redemption (by death) at the end.  *end spoiler*


LightningEllen wins again with her guess of Jenova!

Next week’s card is The Tower, and not only is it definitely not from FFVII, it’s also a place rather than a person.  The Final Fantasy series is riddled with ominous towers.  You just need to guess which tower I picked as the paragon of the Major Arcana card!

<–XIV Temperance                                                                            XVI The Tower–>

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Stranger Things – Not Really a Review

This is less a review and more of what I hope will become an open discussion.  I had absolutely no idea that going into Stranger Things, I’d come out with so many other narratives on my mind, but it was not only chock full of 80s aesthetic without being the least bit campy, but it also reminded me of many other stores of not just that decade but others prior and since.

Stranger Things Cover

While this is not a review, it will still spoil the entirety of the first season, as I’ll be discussing all aspects of the show in regards to other stories, and the discussion will spoil those narratives as well.

All of the doors are about to be opened Dustin, don’t worry!  Also, I love Gaten Matarazzo.

***Spoilers for Stranger Things and every single narrative in bold.***


Stand by Me – We’ll get this one and The Goonies out of the way since Stranger Things was heralded as being reminiscent of the adaptation of Stephen King’s novel The Body and that classic 80s treasure hunt/coming of age tale, though ST was quite a bit darker and more horrifying than them both.  Also, oddly enough, in looking up the Wikipedia links for both movies, I discovered they both take place in small towns in Oregon.

E.T. There’s a picture of all of the kids on their bikes with Eleven in a hoodie with the hood up.  I can’t find it right now, but I recall the scene from one of the latter episodes.  If I knew exactly where it was (and I wasn’t being lazy), I’d screenshot it from my Netflix app, though…maybe it’s better I don’t since I don’t want to get in trouble.  Anyway, that was a definite visual reference to E.T., but just the idea of government officials hunting down a special entity set in the 80s, and the children the entity befriended trying to keep them safe has E.T. all over it.  Now El’s not an alien…or so it might seem, but the Demogorgon certainly is.  We’ll talk more about aliens and special children’s connections to them in a later entry.

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Question of the Week: 8/7/16

<–Question of the Week: 7/31/16          Question of the Week: 8/14/16–>

The Question of the Week is posted every Sunday and will consist of a question followed by my answer and explanation to the same.  Some questions will only require a simple answer that could potentially be followed by an explanation.  Many questions will be writer oriented, but not all.  Everyone is encouraged to answer in the comments and discussions/follow up questions are more than welcome!

What game scared/scares you and/or what’s the most frightening thing you’ve even seen in a video game?

I held off a bit on the video game questions because one of my favorite retro gaming blogs The Well-Red Mage (with accompanying mages) was doing a month long mage challenge in July, which I highly recommend you check out if you are of the gaming variety (the link goes to the first question), and I didn’t want to replicate any questions that might show up on that locale and/or be redundant here.  Plus I figured once July was done, I could tag an awesome blog in my next video game related question.  I’m sure people are still answering the older questions, and discourse is never wasted.

Then today while perusing my WordPress reader I came across a post by another of my beloved retro gaming blogs I ♥ Old Games about Metroid since the game’s birthday was yesterday, and I thought that was as good a sign as any.

Mother Brain in the Metroid series was probably the first thing I ever saw in a video game that scared me shitless.  I was always creeped out by brains and skulls (ironically I went to school for psychology much later) and to have an antagonist that was essentially an evil brain in the jar was too much for my fragile sensibilities to handle.  Fast forward to Super Metroid where “she” has that horrifying form and I was so terrified I couldn’t even close my eyes to blink.  Seriously guys, I had to avoid the commercials for that game because they’d show a clip of the fight, and you just see this shambling, one eyed horror coming towards you.  I won’t even post a picture of it here, because it still scares me that much.  You can easily find it if you google “mother brain.”  The thought that in this endless universe that kind of abomination could exist throws me into my own existential horror.  Lovecraft has nothing on Nintendo in this regard.

Fast forward (I think) a few years to the game Life Force where you literally fight an alien from the inside (apparently the game was called Life Force only in Japan, but I recall that was the version I saw).

The final boss of the game is the alien’s heart similar to what you have to fight in one of the Contra.  I think it’s the combination of destroying a heart and the alien thing that made me want to hide under my covers forever.  It should also be noted that the Heart exhibit at The Franklin Institute scared the crap out of me, too.  Ah that incessant beating D:  I would take to going upstairs to my room whenever my brother and/or cousin would play these games and of course any of the Metroids.

Fast forward again to 1997 and Final Fantasy VII, my favorite game.  Now if you’d told me twenty years prior that I’d fall in love with a game that featured alien mental manipulation and an eldritch abomination trapped in a “jar” with brain matter branching out, I would’ve laughed in your face then hid under the covers.  I love FFVII passionately, but Jenova freaks me the fuck out.  When you get deep into it, it’s arguably the most terrifying antagonist ever (or at least up there with Mother Brain…OH DEAR GOD), because like The Thing it was certainly inspired by, it could look like anyone.

Jenova in Crisis Core

It has the disembodied, beating heart motif, too.  It’s what you hear in the beginning of Advent’s “Beyond the Wasteland,” or at the very least the song is conjuring echoes of that horror.  The drums and the bells of “Those Chosen by the Planet” pierce the very heart of this paradigm.

Finally there’s Dead SpaceI watched enough of this game to give myself nightmares where I’d be chased by disembodied body parts and floating fetuses *shudders*  But they don’t even hold a candle to the Brethren Moons.

I would cry, but my tears would do nothing to forestall the inevitable.

An honorable mention goes to Earthbound and Giygas whom many believe is the paragon of the Fetus Terrible.

When your enemy is so horrifying you can only defeat him by going back in time to fight him before he’s born and it’s still a brutal battle where prayer is necessary to win, more than heaven help you.

I believe the binding tie with all of these is the Body Horror trope, which fits within or aligns with the idea of the Uncanny Valley.  There’s something not right about seeing interior parts either outside or for the protagonist to be forced within in order to deal with these sentient, dangerous, and horrifying viscera.


What video game or aspect of one terrified you as a child and/or terrifies you now?  Is it a game that’s classified as horror or is it a dark part of an otherwise non-horror based game?

I look forward to your answers in the comments!

<–Question of the Week: 7/31/16          Question of the Week: 8/14/16–>

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Mother Is the Name for God

Update: A very kind tumblr user Calamity’s Shattered Son reblogged this macro with the original pictures source.  I updated on tumblr and now I can update it here.


 

This phrase is the crux of my Defense of Sephiroth essay.  Though the words are spoken in The Crow, the quote is actually attributed to William Makepeace Thackery (at least according to the internet).

I did not realize a ghostly Lucrecia was behind him until I went to make this macro, and that made this picture infinitely sadder and more layered.

Mother is the Name for GodPicture Source

Quote Source – Source is stated above.