Final Fantasy Friday: The Opening Act

Final Fantasy Friday

As video games veered more towards the cinematic, how they began became bigger than merely introducing the character you’d control and their basic objective.  Nor is the film aspect just about the spectacle, though we could argue (especially in my particular choice) that it is a major aspect.  I may be in the minority when I say that FMVs enhance the gaming experience rather than diminish it, but then again, I tend to play narrative heavy games.  Sitting for a few minutes and watching a dramatic scene play out takes nothing away from my gaming experience, but that is part of my gaming experience.  Of course, lavish FMVs will not make up for a lackluster game, and I’ve given the same criticism to movies many times over.  You can’t just CGI up a flawed narrative and expect to have something artistically viable, despite its potential blockbuster status (i.e. Michael Bay’s Transformers), but in the right developer’s hands, an FMV will feel less like a break and more like a bridge, connecting one side of an active gaming experience to the other, where the landscape of where you’d been to where you stand is irrevocably and profoundly changed.

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Final Fantasy Friday: The Unplayable

Final Fantasy Friday

I started working on my next Final Fantasy Character Assessment, but it’s been a tiring week, and I decided to save it to draft.  For those of you who are fans of that feature, never fear; it will return.  The Shameful Narcissist doesn’t give up that easily 🙂

Today’s question was inspired by a post on LightningEllen’s Release, Question of the Month: Sept 2017 Edition.  The post itself comes from yet another blog called Later Levels that hosts the QOTM event.  All the information is in LightningEllen’s link, and I now follow the good folks at Later Levels, too.

While this is not an exact mimic of the question at hand, it did spur the thought.  So I’d like to know…

Who is your favorite Final Fantasy NPC?

I started with IV and worked my way through, but it wasn’t until I reached Final Fantasy VIII that I knew I had my unplayable person.

Ellone, a young woman with the mysterious time powers that were never explained in the story.  She wasn’t a sorceress, and (as far as we know) she wasn’t junctioning a GF.  Even if she was, none of your playable characters had that ability when they were.  Ellone could send peoples’ consciousness back into time by putting them into people from the past.  It’s eerily similar to Bran’s power in Game of Thrones and ASOIAF, though Ellone insists neither she nor anyone she sends back can change what they witness.

Due to this ability, Ellone is sought by both Adel and Ultimecia, the sorceresses from the past and future respectively.  According to the wiki, Ellone’s powers allowed Ultimecia to control Edea and then Rinoa in the past through the machine Dr. Odine invented “creatively” named Junction Machine Ellone.  So while Ellone herself could only connect consciousnesses across time in order to observe, the sorceress could control people and therefore change events.  FFVIII has a lot of wibbly wobbly timey wimey shenanigans to parse through.

Squall knew Ellone as “Sis,” and in some of his own flashbacks, it’s probably no coincidence that he constantly states, “I’m all alone,” as a sorrowful double entendre.

She is one of the most interesting characters in that her powers are paramount to the game’s narrative, since time travel is the major catalyst, and she alone has time travel powers.  Though her abilities are never explained, they still fit within the Final Fantasy VIII universe, and she, theoretically, could be considered akin to a Guardian Force (GF), since Ellone is necessary as an intermediary to connect one consciousness to another.  She’s like a fully sentient weirwood tree.

Who is your favorite NPC in the Final Fantasy universe?  If you haven’t really played Final Fantasy then what game/franchise contains your favorite NPC and who is it?


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: Final Fantasy Tarot – VIII Strength

<–VII The Chariot                                                                                IX The Hermit–>

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!

VIII Strength


The lion for me was the dead give away, since that’s a major Squall symbol.  It’s one of the few “regular” animals in FFVIII’s fantasy/sci-fi world although it is referred to as a monster interestingly enough.

The lion is of course the king of the beasts and thus is a symbol of strength.  Rinoa comments numerous times on Squall’s fortitude and military prowess, which brings up some interesting questions.  As stated in my post about The Lovers’ card, Squall and Rinoa are probably my least favorite canon couple, but there’s no doubt that eventually she “tames” him insofar as reaching through Squall’s sullen ennui so fueled by abandonment issues (I could write a decent length article about Squall whom many fans seem to detest for his moody-broodiness, but his behavior and mien make perfect sense based on his past experiences.  I’ll leave that for when I review/analyze Final Fantasy VIII though); therefore she could be represented by the woman holding closed the lion’s mouth.  Untempered strength is a dangerous thing, and the very least I can say about their relationship is it does in part fulfill the unity of opposites motif.

Alternates: Red XIII (FFVII)

I didn’t even consider him until Lightning Night Nova made that her guess in the comments.  I was quite close in consideration, but he would more align with the lion tamed, which is more subdued strength.  Granted, I did just make the same argument above with Squall.  The strength of the card isn’t really the lion; it’s the one who tames him for her own purposes…

Mr. Panda guesses correctly again!  I’m still not sure what I’m going to do for an award, but I’ll definitely be tallying up how many each person guessed correctly and do a top three at the end of the 22 weeks!

Next week is IX The Hermit, a card by many other names, which is my poor excuse for a clue 🙂

Happy guessing!

<–VII The Chariot                                                                                IX The Hermit–>