No More Heroes

20 Aug

By the title of this post you may think I’ll be tackling some classic subject at some intellectual angle or at least Suda51’s crazy cool Wii game, but you’d be wrong. This post is about boobs, both literally and figuratively.

By now, you should have realized that I’m referring to what the Final Fantasy series has become. I’ll be presenting you with the sketches for the heroes and heroines of Final Fantasies VII, VIII, X, & XII. XI is skipped because it’s not a Final Fantasy game despite what Square says, and IX has been omited because it pays its respects to a more modest time. For that reason, its heroes Zidane and Dagger will be doing a little bit of commentary for us.

Please try not to cry on your keyboards…

The Heroes

Ah, Cloud; the beginning of the end, the harbinger of doom, the guy with the hair and severe man-crush.

I’ve said this before: Final Fantasy VII is one of my favorite games ever. I’m not ashamed, and I’ll always defend my opinion, but I’m not so deluded by nostalgia that I’ll ignore what Cloud has done to to the FF series.

Cloud began the most dreaded of Final Fantasy trends: male heroes dressing like girls.

Sure, he wasn’t dressed that way the entire time, but while he was wearing his dress, lipstick, perfume, tiara, etc., Cloud came closer to gay sex than any other FF character ever has (though I’m sure we’ll see literally full-blown dude-love before FFXX). In between the squats in a gay gym full of buff bodybuilders, describing the texture of his dream dress to a drunk male seamstress, and spending the night in a love hotel (without so much as touching Aeris, I’d assume), you’d think Cloud would have taken his ridiculously huge (non-overcompensating) sword and just hacked Don Corneo’s mansion apart, but noooo…I suppose he justified it all by directing guys to Tifa’s rack.

Squall was a representation of the average FFFan: socially and stylishly inept.

If Cloud’s motto was “I don’t care”, Squall’s motto would be “…”

Maybe his silences were an homage to the mute protagonists of the earlier RPG years, where the player was supposed to connect with the main character and fill in the blanks with their own personality. If that’s the case, I’d imagine Squall’s dialog wouldn’t change much.

(Oh, no! That pretty, Asian girl is coming this way.)

Pretty, Asian Girl: Hey! Cool scar! Wanna’ dance?

Cool Scar Dude: (I’ll just give into peer pressure until I screw up then walk away only to get hit on by my hot professor who’s a year older than me, but she’s a nerdy four-eyes so I won’t respond to her advances either.)

There’s lots of stuff you can do with a main character who isn’t instantly appealing, but don’t remind us of how unlikeable we, the players, are, Square.

Hmm, maybe they were trying to make us feel better about ourselves by giving us control of a bigger loser. Nah, if that were the case, they would have made school even more boring than it already is, not set it on some flying cyber-campus where your final exam is fighting a real fucking war. (I wanna’ be a SEED… 😦 )

Say what you want about Final Fantasy VII, but I’m convinced that X marked the point of no return for the FF series’ heroes.

With the advent of voice-acting came the realization that our favorite badasses of FF past could very well sound like whiny douches. It doesn’t help that Square-Enix is hellbent on re-re-releasing the older games each year. Contrary to what Mitch Hedberg says, remixing a remix does not make it back to normal.

RPG heroes typically have a…unique sense of style, but Tidus began the colorful hobo fashion for the FF series. Not even Hot Topic sells clothes as impractical as Tidus’ get-up. Final Fantasy games must take place in a universe where measuring tape doesn’t exist and cows were made extinct by a meteor (thanks, Sephiroth) that flooded the world with random bits of leather.

Oddly enough, Square saw fit to still allow the player to name Tidus in FFX, a game where most cutscenes are fully voiced. The end result is a lot of dancing around a character’s name with the most creative pronoun uses ever written. I’ve read that Tidus’ name isn’t even mentioned in the direct sequel FFX-2 despite he, or his absense, being a major plot point.

This is actually what got me thinking about crappy Final Fantasy heroes to begin with. You see, I started playing Baten Kaitos again earlier today and got a major FFX vibe, not only from the graphics, but from the voice-acting, character design, and weird use of voice-acting while allowing the player to name a character.

At least FFX tried to avoid Tidus’ name. In Baten Kaitos, you’re asked to type in your name as you’re supposed to assume the role of an invisible guardian spirit who is occasionally addressed during voiced cutscenes. Even though your gender is asked, the game doesn’t fill in the dialog with pronouns. No, the voice actors actually pause when your name comes up in the dialog.

Namco probably just saw how much money Square made with an RPG starring a nameless hobo and followed suit.

While Final Fantasy and MMORPG fans alike were playing something other than Final Fantasy XI, Square was hard at work trying to top Tidus. The result was better voiced, less overly enthusiastic, and had an actual name, but he was also a pedophile’s dream come true. Just look at that picture…

Tidus’ get-up may have been impractical clown gear, but what the hell, Square? At least give the kid a shirt. Oh, right. We wouldn’t be able to see his glistening chest in the hot Ivalician sun if he had a shirt on. What was I thinking? Oh, yeah. He’s a child!

I gave FFXII a try a month or two ago, and while I enjoyed parts of it, I thought that Vaan’s role in the game was pretty unnecessary. He didn’t do anything, and from what I’ve read, he never does. Square took unlikeable down an entirely new road and made FFXII‘s main character unimportant.

So, even if he wasn’t a half naked, greased up child armed to the…knee (?), it wouldn’t matter because he’s completely overshadowed by a character who is at least somewhat likeable and actually does stuff: Balthier.

The Heroines

[“Final Fantasy heroine”…The series really has become something like heroine. Fans always need their fix, but I honestly doubt the hardcore guys can really feel good about themselves after an entire weekend of Final Fantasy.]

You know you messed up when your female lead’s (Aeris dies, get over it) most outstanding characteristic is her boobs. Tifa is to RPG heroines as Tidus is to RPG heroes. There’s nothing cooler than a dumb douche who has a busty broad wrapped around his finger. I’m really surprised there are no in-game mentions of Tifa’s rack (at least not that I’m aware of). Maybe everybody was too busy looking at Cloud’s hair…

I’m convinced that Capcom played Final Fantasy VII a whole lot when coming up with the concept for the Phoenix Wright games.

Capcom Guy 1: How can we make it so that the defendants know exactly what happened but justify not revealing that information until all kinds of shit goes down?

Capcom Guy 2: Hold it! Didn’t Tifa do just that in Final Fantasy VII?

Capcom Guy 1: Yeah, and they got super rich off that game!

Capcom Guy 2: Take that, Square!

Okay, so Renoa is very modest compared to the other FF heroines of the later generations. That’s to be expected. After all, Squall is more like us, so it only makes sense that the girl in the love story is more realistic than Tits McGee from VII. That’s not to say Square didn’t manipulate their fanboys with one of their most powerful vices: Asian chicks.

Yes, Final Fantasy VIII began the move towards a more Asian looking cast that even affected most of the FFVII cast in Advent Children. Nerds love Japan and, consequently, Japanese women.

Renoa was much more conservative to fit VIII‘s love story, but she and Tifa combined to form the basis for something far more powerful in Final Fantasy X.

With their first FF on the powerful Playstation 2, Square decided to show off what the machine could withBOOBS!!! But not just any boobs; boobs that jiggle when you win (it’s like winning twice)!

Yes, Yuna is the female lead of Final Fantasy X, but who can remember her when Lulu is taking her girls for a walk in that goth gear. Lulu wears a dress made of a million black, leather belts, but unlike Tidus, her outfit is actually practical. The girl needs support.

The goth thing makes her ring of Squall, but that only achieves the opposite effect by making her more likeable to the fanbase. She isn’t the happy, white mage female character you never use because you know she’ll die (for real). She’s the blunt, black mage female character who you always use because the camera zooms in on her when she scores the finishing blow.

Even without Lulu, there’s still Rikku, the less offensive (unless she really is as young as she looks) fetish among the hardcore FFX fans. I would have included her in the picture above, but I’d prefer nerds to read my blog, not stare at it with the door closed.

God-damned furries…How is it that a fetish for hairy, animal-like people formed, anyway?

Fran gets rid of the bust but keeps the impractical gear. High-heels and lingerie in the sewers? Really? What kind of pirate are you?

I personally hate Fran. She’s the only non-hume to join your party in FFXII. You can’t just give me Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, what with its cool new races, and then set a game in a similar world occupied by those races, then only make the one that will turn on your sick fans an actual party member. Where’s my grimy Bangaa warrior who curses like a sailor? Where’s my weasly Moogle with his strange gadgets? Where’s my dopey-looking yet infinitely wise Nu Mou? Where’s my reserved, mysterious Viera?

Oh, there she is…in her underwear.

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One Response to “No More Heroes”

  1. Marianela Lopresto March 13, 2010 at 2:23 AM #

    LOL — I had to read it a bunch of times, but I got the point :p

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