A little about me & my Final Fantasy experience
Masamune22 - "Please allow me to introduce myself; I am a man of wealth and taste."
TALK - Time is such a relative thing...
So far I've played all the mainstream Final Fantasies excluding II, III, and XI. My all time favorite game in the series is my first Final Fantasy: FFVII. This game has thus far vanquished every other installment in the series that it has come against (in my opinion). The worst Final Fantasy has, for me, been FFVIII. Why play a game that feels like work? And I really mean work, from the tedious, repetitive tasks to the coworkers so abrasive you would sell your soul for a chance to punch them in the face. As well as Final Fantasy, I'm a devout fan of the Metal Gear Solid series and any Marvel comic you can name.
My Favorites & Least Favorites (thus far)
Ranking of games played so far:
- Final Fantasy VII
- Final Fantasy VI
- Final Fantasy X
- Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-
- Final Fantasy IV
- Final Fantasy XII
- Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
- Final Fantasy IX
- Final Fantasy XIII
- Final Fantasy
- Final Fantasy V
- Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-
- Final Fantasy VIII
Top 10 Coolest Male Characters:
- Sephiroth "You are just a puppet...You have no heart...and cannot feel any pain." Ah, yes. My first FF villain. Dark, evil, powerful, just a little bit crazy. The ideal antagonist. After playing Crisis Core, he only got better. His friendship with Angeal, Genesis, and even Zack added an interesting dimension to his character.
- Zack: "Embrace your dreams...And never forget your SOLDIER honor." A cameo role at best in FFVII, he finally got his own game with Crisis Core. In my opinion, his character design was flawless. Which doesn't have to mean that his character is devoid of faults, just that he resonates emotionally with the audience. He was like a mix of Tidus, Cloud and Zidane without all the whining, posing, and overcompensating.
- Balthier "I am the leading man. Might need to do something heroic." He really should have been the leading man. So much better than Vaan. At the end, he didn't sacrifice himself, he just legitimately believed that he couldn't die. And then he didn't! By sheer force of kick-ass-ness, he survived a giant airship crash that could have wiped out a city.
- Setzer "My life is a chip in your pile." The badass gambler. His Slots got me through some hard times. Plus, when he decided to kidnap some opera-singer just because she was hot, he left a note explicitly stating when and where he would perform this abduction...and then succeeded.
- Auron "Now is the time to choose! Die and be free of pain, or live and fight your sorrow! Now is the time to shape your stories! Your fate is in your hands!" This guy is so cool, he died, then came back to life. Sure, so did Seymour; but did Seymour crawl all the way through Zanarkand and down Mt. Gagazet on his hands and knees after having sustained grievous injuries? No, no he didn't. And just look at him! The sunglasses, the bottle of booze, the big sword. Come on!
- Vincent "I don't care what you are doing, so much as the idiotic way that you are doing it." So maybe you noticed that I respect people that die and then bring themselves back to life as awesome-looking undead. If that's not enough, watch Advent Children. He saves Cloud's worthless butt twice.
- Shadow "The Reaper is always just a step behind me..." The Mysterious Ninja. He was in my party for the final battle, that alone makes him awesome. Add Interceptor and the clues to his ambiguous past into the mix and you have one heck of a cool character.
- Reddas "Illusions of the past. You think to have cast them off, only to find them years later, unwearying, unrelenting. The past can bind a man as surely as irons." He used to be a Judge (just like No.3 on the list), that alone makes him gangsta. After accidentally destroying Nabudis, Judge Zecht fled the Empire and hid in Balfonheim, creating the alter-ego Reddas. He then devoted his life to making sure nethicite was never used again...by killing anyone involved with nethicite production.
- Cid "Sit your ass down in that chair and drink your goddamn TEA!" Easily the most foul-mouthed character in the series, and a Dragoon to boot. He was also in my final party. His ultimate Limit Break was incredibly powerful, and his airship was invaluable. Plus, he's the first man in space!
- Basch "Let them watch. I know something of cages." After being framed for regicide by his twin brother, he was dangled over a giant pit in a cage for two years. And somehow after all that time, he never became bitter, and retained his skill with a sword. His strong moral values and sense of duty are what set him apart.
Top 10 Lamest Male Characters:
- The entire male cast of FFVIII Squall is one-dimensional and set a terrifying precedent for protagonists to come; Zell is borderline retarded; All I'll say about Irvine is that when you hand-pick a specialist for a specific job, you expect him to do it.
- Reeve/Cait Sith All right, I don't know where to start with this guy. How about the fact that you didn't want him in your party in the first place? He waltzes up to you and pretends to tell your fortune. After failing a number of times, he joins you with the memorable quote, "I'm coming with you no matter what you say!" Then he has the unmitigated gall to betray you and take a little girl hostage. When he died, I laughed maniacally, and I honestly believe that I would never have stopped laughing...but another Cait Sith doll waltzed in. And my laughs turned to tears.
- Tidus Whiny. Bitch. 'Nuff said.
- Vaan What is this, a new rule now? All male main characters have to be whiny dickheads? First Tidus, then this asshole. Will it never end?
- Wakka Stupid, racist, religious zealot, boring. For the whole game, Wakka seemed to never really know what was going on. My 11th grade history teacher had a great saying about Christianity in Medieval England that Wakka would agree whole-heartedly with: "Don't think, just believe." If you ask me, Wakka would fit right in in the age where, no joke, logic was forbidden by the Catholic church.
- Bartz Oooo. I hate him, I hate him, I hate him. I'm gonna dig around, see if I can find some of Bartz' quotes. Throughout FFV, I would occasionally stop and stare, with my mouth wide open and just marvel at the stupidity of Bartz. Just off the top of my head, when he's poking the most wise and old being in the worlds, he justifies himself by saying: "But it's fun."
- Edgar This guy was okay, until he started hitting on Relm. People celebrate these so-called "Ladies' men", but this guy is just a pedophile in denial. Hey, that rhymes. Oh, and if you explore Figaro Castle, you can find a little girl who claims that Edgar proposed to her. Yikes.
- Amarant Boring, clichéd, oafish, arrogant, and generally useless in battle. End of discussion.
- Kuja This cross-dressing sociopathic monkey was pretty badass until he repented. I mean, what main villain repents?
- Kefka Yeah, that's right. I went there. When I first heard about Kefka, I heard amazing things, things like "he's cooler that Jesus!". Okay, that's an exaggeration, but you get the point. When I finally played FFVI, my experience with the game in general and Kefka especially was, "Meh, it's okay." Okay, so the game gets better with age, (It's now one of my favorites), and the man's actually not that bad, but every time I talk with a Kefka fanboy, I hate him a little bit more. You happy now fanboys? You ruined Kefka!
Top 10 Coolest Female Characters:
- Celes People seem to be fond of saying that Celes is a poor man's Terra, but I believe that it's actually the other way around. Despite the mystery and wonder that surrounds Terra, there's something missing in her personality. The quality that is not present is humanity. Terra's emotional responses throughout the game are dulled or nonexistent due to her conditioning by Kefka. Celes also went through this conditioning, but still feels. Her despair at waking to find the world all but destroyed and her surrogate father dead, are enough to push her over the edge. Her attempted suicide made her one of the most emotionally resonant characters in the series.
- Tifa Before I descend into some kind of drooling hormonal reverie, I'll describe what makes Tifa awesome other than the Venus-like good looks that have become quite clear to me since watching Advent Children. I mean, even in the blocky graphics of FFVII I could tell she was hot, but the first time I watched that movie...Anyway, she's also awesome because she saved Cloud's soul. Cloud undivided was the only living person powerful enough to defeat Sephiroth's will and release Holy. Since she saved Cloud, by extension, she saved the world. The fight scene in the church in FFVII:AC was pretty badass, too.
- Aeris My first platonic love. She saved the world from beyond the grave. Three characters in this series have moved me to tears. Celes did it best, but Aeris did it first. I was quite satisfied with my relationship with FFVII, until Sephiroth came dropping from the heavens like the angel of Death. A friend and I were playing the game at the same pace, and when we saw each other the next day, we could only communicate through shouts of inarticulate rage and pain (much to the chagrin of those that surrounded us). But even though she was dead, her beliefs continued to motivate Cloud and the others, and she rallied the entire Lifestream to boost Holy enough to repel Meteor. She saved the world when everyone else in that game failed. I moved her up a notch after playing Crisis Core because the younger, more innocent Aeris just made Zack's tragedy that much worse.
- Beatrix The greatest knight in Gaia and probably Terra as well. She easily defeats your party not once, not twice, but three times! The times when she was in my party in FFIX were some of the most fun moments in that game. Few things are more satisfying than tearing through relatively tough enemies like they're tissue paper with a super-powered guest character. Plus, she showed some real character development. From blindly loyal to a tyrannical queen, to realizing that her duty was to her country, not the leader of said country. For the good of Alexandria, she fights to save Gaia.
- Lulu Pessimistic, sarcastic, and generally disgusted with the stupidity of everyone around her, Lulu calmly walked through hordes of enemies stopping only to torch one every now and then with Firaga. First glance says "emo", what with the belts, and the hair, and the purple lipstick, but she shows real sensitivity and a sisterly affection for Yuna. She is Yuna's second coolest guardian. Hey, I got through this whole piece without mentioning her giant...ego. What? What'd you think I was going to say?
- Yuna I am quite fond of Yuna. I always felt a kind of kinship with the polite and soft-spoken Yuna who, at times, showed intense willpower and fierce strength. Can you imagine being a fiend and seeing Yuna? You think, "Pshaw, she's a pushover!" But then she summons a freakin' Aeon on your ass. The scene where Tidus fades away made me weep. Not because I liked Tidus, but because Yuna did, and I felt sorry for her.
- Fran Her backstory would be cool, but about a million other Viera have the same one. But she's still pretty awesome as Balthier's partner in crime. She doesn't have quite the same knack for banter as Balthier or Basch, but she has a few good one-liners and she's one heck of a lot better than some of the other characters (Vann, Penelo, and Ashe, just to name a few).
- Freya "To be forgotten is worse than death." A striking quote, one that perfectly describes the irony that is Freya's life. She loses her home, her family, her people, and even her lover forgets everything about her. But she still fights, and she's incredibly useful in battle.
- Faris She's cool because she spent her whole life pretending to be a male pirate. Once she's outed, she still maintains the loyalty of her entire pirate crew. They must be pretty afraid to be tough and hardy pirates that still get pushed around by a princess.
- Terra Her past is a mystery. Not even she can remember it. But she's hugely powerful, and when she learns to feel emotion, she only becomes more so. She pales in comparison to Celes, but she's still pretty sweet.
Top 10 Lamest Female Characters:
- Krile She started the line of annoying, "strong-willed", female characters that make up at least half of this list. She replaced Galuf, so even if she was an OK character, I never noticed because nobody can take Galuf's place, least of all this little upstart. She was walking around with Exdeath embedded in her foot for days before he popped out to menace the world again. When that splinter came out, it was the size of my arm! How do you not notice when you have a freakin' branch sticking out of your foot? Stupid, childish, and generally useless.
- Selphie Another in the line of what I'll call "the Kriles". Loud, ditsy and annoying. Thank God I never played far enough into FFVIII that I would go insane from seeing her mindlessly inane lines over and over and kill everybody involved in FFVIII's production.
- Yuffie Another "Krile". She probably wouldn't be so bad since she had a nice theme and her Limit Breaks were decent. But then she jacked all my materia and ran to hide in her hometown. And she cried and cried about being airsick. Stupid, weak, immoral and obnoxious.
- Penelo Are you noticing a pattern yet? These "Kriles" annoy the living daylights out of me. She follows Vaan all over Ivalice practically begging for some action, but Vaan's too busy staring at Basch's thong to notice. Yeah, that's right. I went there.
- Rikku Christ, not another one! At least this one was decently hot. But her piercing, whiny voice got so irritating by the end of the game that I pulled the Audio jack out of the TV whenever she started talking. I didn't even do this with Tidus, which should tell you how much I hate Rikku. I never played FFX-2 and I probably never will, but from what I've heard, post-FFX Rikku just gets worse.
- Rinoa I had barely got her in my party when I stopped playing, but my initial impression was not good. At least she's not a "Krile", but she still seemed to establish the precedent of following the main character around like he's paying her for "escort services" by the minute, a law which Penelo would later follow.
- Relm Who the hell does she think she is, talking to her elders like that? If I talked that way when I was growing up, I got beat and my video games got thrown down the stairs (joke's on my parents, though, because I won't visit them in the old-folks home). But seriously, I detested Relm and only had her in my party because of her phenomenal magical prowess. Oh, did I say I had her in my party? What I meant was, I tried her ridiculous painting a couple times, then committed her to the obscure character selection screen with Strago and the freaking Yeti.
- Eiko Basically a Relm clone. Whiny, self-indulgent, and disrespectful, with not a backstory to her name and letting her betters do the fighting for her.
- Ashe Bitch, bitch, bitch. Oh so sure of herself, even when she's leading her companions straight into a trap. And she's always after revenge against random people who she blames for her own mistakes, rather like a Spider-Man villain, but not as cool.
- Lenna I'm getting tired, so I'm going to wrap this up by calling her a bland cardboard cut-out of a stereotypical princess. That's right, she's a stereotype of a stereotype. Her sister is way cooler.
Misc. Best & Worst
Leading Man (Or Woman) Best: Zack Fair
Big Bad Guy
Honorable Mention: FFVII, FFIV, FFIX
Best: Clash on the Big Bridge (FFV vs. Gilgamesh)
Worst: Battle Scene (FFI vs. normal enemy)
Honorable Mention: Force Your Way (FFVIII vs. boss), Dancing Mad (FFVI vs. Kefka), The Decisive Battle (FFVI vs. boss)
Best: Zanarkand (FFX)
Worst: Final Fantasy IV Main Theme