This is an archive of my monthly Featured section. The additional commentary was first introduced in the June 2009 update, so the comments shown below for April and May 2009 are brand new additions created exclusively for this archive.

Dec. '10/Jan. '11
Shantotto Shantotto (Final Fantasy XI character)
Selected by Jimcloud

Ah, Shantotto. I may despise the fact that the Mumorpugers are a part of the main series, but Shantotto is one of the few things I like about XI. I may not have played her game of origin, but judging by information on the wiki, as well as experience of her in Dissidia, I rather like her.

Very intelligent, and slightly annoying... no wonder I can relate to her! XD Speaking of which:
If, for some reason, you'd like to immerse yourself in my attempts to mimic her verse... of course, you are currently reading a sample, but this is far from being the only example. My IRC Quotage is one such display, and more will appear in my current roleplay! Ohohohoho!

chocobo breeding chocobo breeding (Final Fantasy VII minigame)
Selected by Jimcloud

I'm not entirely sure what Jimcloud thinks I might say about this, to be honest, but I'll roll with it. So, chocobo breeding... the process which lies at the heart of both Chocobo Racing and getting to the Materia Caves in FFVII. The latter, incidentally, is the precise namesake of the Golden Chocobo Principle :P

Chocobo breeding is, for the most part, not that bad. The most tiresome part is trying to get one green and one blue chocobo, of opposite genders, which can take an inordinate number of retries (unless you get lucky). The other irritation, of course, is having to do a huge number of races to reach S-class with the newborns, although this does at least coincide nicely with the requisite maturation period before they can breed. Plus the spoils don't hurt.

Let's just put it this way: There are worse minigames.

Pandemonium Warden Pandemonium Warden (Final Fantasy XI High Notorious monster)
Selected by Jimcloud

I don't know a lot about the Warden, other than that it is a High Notorious monster that apparently ranks almost as highly as the infamous Absolute Virtue, and that Biggs&Wedge have somehow contrived to recruit him to run their Pandemonium Colosseum. Oh, and that he's an ugly SoB :P

That reminds me, I'm due to fight the beast soon. To quote Auron, "I forsee no difficulty".

Distant Worlds Distant Worlds (Final Fantasy XI: Chains of Promathia ending theme)
Selected by Jimcloud

In all honesty, I can't say a lot about this. I haven't heard the original (although I daresay I will at some point), but I do love The Black Mages' cover of it. So, in the spirit of true laziness, rather than write about it here, I direct you to read my review of the TBM version >_>

November 2010
Vivi Vivi (Best character in the universe Final Fantasy IX character)
Selected by MirrorshardSceada

OMGIT'SVIVIAWWWW*glomps*
No, seriously, Vivi has turned out to be like a bizarre sort of litmus test for whether you are an emotionless, hollow shell of a person. If you hate Vivi, you are warped on the inside. If you merely dislike him, that's not as bad, but you still have some sort of... issues. Furthermore, Vivi is possibly the ultimate example of character growth. The insecure little mage, over the course of the game, grows into a deep, thoughtful and eventually pretty damn assertive and confident character. Most of the really existential stuff, of which IX has a lot, is down to Vivi... and then, just to top it off, he goes and dies stops at the end of the game. The adorable little guy who, largely thanks to Zidane, grew so much in power and confidence is, sadly, the only party member who is unable to see Zidane's return in the final scenes.

Of course, with MMII still a little way away from the Grand Final, it might have been more appropriate to feature Vivi next month, but then again... he might well be toppled from his throne, so perhaps it is better to celebrate him now, at a time when he is still known to reign supreme :P

Chocobo Hot and Cold Chocobo Hot and Cold (Final Fantasy IX minigame)
Selected coincidentally both by myself and Jimcloud

Definitely one of the most enjoyable minigames in IX, and indeed the entire series. Also frustrating, mind you, especially when you are playing round after round in search of a couple of elusive Chocographs. Still, it is an undeniable fact that a lot of the game's best items and secrets are found by playing it, whether directly from Chocograph treasures, or indirectly, as in the case of Ozma, Mognet Central and Chocobo's Paradise. To be honest, I wouldn't want to have it any other way. I love Chocobo Hot and Cold, frustration and all, because I think it is one of the most balanced minigames in terms of effort to rewards ratio, as well as the surprisingly long time taken before it even starts to get boring. The fact that the background music while playing it is Vamo' Alla Flamenco is a glorious bonus.

Black Waltzes Black Waltzes (Final Fantasy IX bosses)
Selected by Armageddon11

Ah, the Black Waltzes. Interesting enemies, if short-lived ones, and I must admit that I will mostly talk about Black Waltz No. 3 here. My own tongue-in-cheek "definition" of the Waltzes is "A failed attempt to make an eebul version of Vivi"; failed because even the most powerful, No. 3, is bested by the diminutive mage. Still, the three battles are reasonably interesting and marginally challenging in different ways, which was a nice touch. No. 1 is fought with Zidane alone, and has his companion Sealion. No. 2 is a "straightforward" battle, although with the nice gimmick that if Vivi attacks him with a spell, he taunts the little guy by retaliating with the corresponding second level spell. Also, he will never attack Garnet, but will end the battle by casting Sleep on her if the other party members have all fallen. I don't think any other FF has an instance of Game Over by Sleep status, ne?

In a typical playthrough, however, Black Waltz No. 3's first battle can be one of the first properly difficult bosses in the game, especially if the player is determined to steal the valuable items he holds. The best thing, though, is the epic FMV that follows the battle. In particular, No. 3 pulls one of the best "Oh, shit...!" faces I've ever seen... which, considering he basically just has eyes, is quite impressive. The second battle with him is impossible to lose unless the player attacks Garnet, but is rather different again, as the focus should be to have Marcus steal his weapons for Vivi. Overall, quite the variety in combat from this trio.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that the logo of The Black Mages is, of course, a Black Waltz.

Melodies of Life Melodies of Life (Final Fantasy IX theme song)
Selected by YamiMysteriaG

Melodies of Life is definitely one of the better vocal pieces in the series, in my opinion, and is also somewhat more integral to its game of origin than the nearest competitor, namely Eyes on Me. After all, Eyes is, in the end, less of a plot element and more of a theme, whereas Melodies is actually quite directly relevant to IX's story. I also find the lyrics for Melodies to be quite interesting, and I refer to both the English lyrics and the translated Japanese ones. Overall, while FFIX has a pretty diverse and enjoyable soundtrack, Melodies and its variants, such as the world map music, still manage to stand out as being among the best tracks.

October 2010
Kuja Kuja (Final Fantasy IX antagonist)
One of the most underrated and heavily-bashed villains in the series. Yes he wears a codpiece. Yes, he may seem effeminate. It takes a real man to pull that off without being embarassed! No, but seriously, Kuja is by far and away one of the best villains in the series. His character has real depth, undergoing a number of transitions throughout the game, and he also has a serious knack for devious schemes, unlike the crude betrayal and ascent to power as used by Kefka. Nor is he like Sephiroth, manipulating events while safely out of harm's way. No, Kuja puts himself on the front line of his own schemes more often than most villains, and while this would ordinarily be hazardous overconfidence, Kuja pulls it off, and does so with style.
Trance Trance (Final Fantasy IX limit break system)
Trance... always one of the most infuriating limit break systems, yet rather good nonetheless. It is rare that a gameplay mechanism is actually acknowledged or explained in the game (looking at you, DMW), but Trance actually has a given explanation. In fact, this explanation goes some way towards making the infuriating nature of Trance more acceptable, too. The greatest value that the explanation has, though, is its utility as a plot device.
Ozma Ozma (Final Fantasy IX superboss)
Ah yes, the superboss who is capable of attacking even when his ATB is not full. I have not actually defeated Ozma, although I can't honestly say I've ever made any properly serious attempt to do so, but it remains one of the more interesting enemies.

Plus I'm supporting Ozma for the wiki's November FA, so...
EDIT: Ozma was voted as the FA. Nice one.

Final Fantasy IX Final Fantasy IX (Video game for Sony PlayStation)
Let's be honest, Final Fantasy IX is probably a textbook example of "retro is good". It is still one of my favourite games in the main series, and is probably the one I've completed the most times. Somehow, despite its excellence, it remains a somewhat underrated game. What is up with that?

The story is engaging, the characters are interesting, the minigames are generally fun and often frustrating, and the music is, for the most part, extreme lubz. Also, it has Vivi, duh. If anyone actively dislikes this game, they have something wrong with them.

September 2010
Genesis Genesis (Crisis Core -FFVII- antagonist)
I just really want to make the point that I like Genesis. I don't see why so many people seem to hate him. I will admit that his constant recitals of LOVELESS get a little tiresome, but that's partly because it's short. Considering that it's supposed to be an "ancient epic", it's actually pretty insubstantial. Let's be fair here: if the text of the poem were longer, Genesis's lines would probably have been rather more interesting and varied.
Digital Mind Wave Digital Mind Wave (Crisis Core -FFVII- gameplay element)
I quite like the DMW. It's certainly innovative, although I agree with some of the flaws that people point out, such as it being somewhat overpowered. The best thing about it, however, has to be the way it is used to provoke an emotional response at the end of the game...

Ironically, this also happens to be the the Wiki's FA this month. I didn't find that out until I'd already picked it as mine :P

Sephiroth (Crisis Core) Sephiroth (Crisis Core) (Crisis Core -FFVII- boss)
Mainly because he's a tougher and more interesting opponent than Genesis Avatar. This was probably the most challenging mandatory battle (or rather, two battles) for me in Crisis Core... although let's be honest, that's not really saying much. Perhaps I should have a go at Hard Mode?

Of course, I haven't fought Minerva yet, either. That should be interesting.

Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- (Video game for PlayStation Portable)
Not a bad game. Yeah, it's a little bit too easy, but I enjoyed playing it. For a much more detailed review, see my blog
August 2010
Squall Squall (Final Fantasy VIII protagonist)
If Terra is my favourite character to use in Dissidia, Squall is probably a close second. He is actually one of my favourite protagonists, in some ways. It's certainly not his fault he ended up in that contrived excuse for a story that is Edea's Orphanage. No, it's his dad's fault for being embroiled in events in Esthar.
Time compression Time compression (Final Fantasy VIII plot element)
For my full musings on the lost potential of Time compression, refer to this.
Ultimecia's Final Form Ultimecia's Final Form (Final Fantasy VIII final boss)
I may not ever intend to feature Ultimecia as a character, but as a final boss, her "Extreme" form is actually pretty cool. It really is a shame that she was not given any proper character development, and I mean that quite sincerely.
Final Fantasy VIII Final Fantasy VIII (Video game for Sony PlayStation)
Since I'm making FFVIII my theme for the month, I think it's time that I make a stand against the bashing of it. I really don't think it's a bad game. Sure, the backstory of the main characters is horribly contrived, but the idea of GFs causing the amnesia is actually quite good. I've already mentioned Time compression in the Featured Concept. The Junction System is actually quite clever too, but character growth in FFVIII is horribly broken, not least because Junctioning is too powerful and characters need 1000 exp every level, so there's no experience curve. Nonetheless, it's a far better game than most people give it credit for. It has some absolutely excellent music, too. Liberi Fatali, The Man With the Machine Gun, The Extreme, Ride On, Movin', Under Her Control, The Landing, list goes on...
July 2010
Terra Terra (Final Fantasy VI protagonist)
Probably my favourite character to use in Dissidia, and also the protagonist in what is quite possibly the best game in the main series. Her sexiness helps too XD
Espers Espers (Final Fantasy VI race)
Well, while we're on the subject of Terra...
Tonberry Tonberry (Recurring enemy)
I can't believe I didn't do this back when I did Cactuar and Mimic. Still, it's never too late. Be sure to check out the next stage of Tonberrian evolution in my Talk Page archive box!
Dissidia Final FantasyDissidia Final Fantasy Dissidia Final Fantasy (Dissidia Final Fantasy music track)
Admittedly I actually prefer Cosmos and Chaos -Final Battle- to the actual full track The Messenger, but counting all three together, The Messenger is really the only way I can refer to all three at once...
June 2010
Lightning Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII protagonist)
Final Fantasy XIII is epic. Lightning is epic within the game. Ergo, Lightning is doubly-epic. Gunblade = win, and one that actually works as a gun is even cooler. While I can see where the comparison with Cloud comes from, I disagree that she's a female version of him. She's an awesome character in her own right, and a great protagonist.
l'Cie l'Cie (Fabula Nova Crystallis FFXIII concept)
Continuing the Final Fantasy XIII theme. Since I now have a few l'Cie of my own, I thought it would be appropriate to feature the concept.
Barthandelus Barthandelus (Final Fantasy XIII antagonist and recurring boss)
More XIIIism, and I decided that Barthandelus scores points for the sheer deviousness of his schemes. Yes, I know, that should technically be classed under character, not enemy, but screw you. Lightning is much too sexy and awesome to be ousted by Barthandelus!
Dissidia Final Fantasy Dissidia Final Fantasy (Video game for PlayStation Portable)
Just when I've decided that XIII is possibly my new favourite Final Fantasy, I go and get a PSP and Dissidia. OH MY GOD, this is such an awesome game! I haven't yet tried out the command-style battle setting, as I love the action aspect of battle in Dissidia. I can't think why anyone would want to ditch full control unless they really don't get the hang of the dynamics (which is fair enough), or pure nostalgia (of course).

EDIT: I have now tried Command Battle. I still prefer the full action by a mile :P

– W I K I B R E A K –
August 2009
Reno Reno (Compilation of FFVII character)
Well, for no particular reason I wanted to feature Axel, but since this is FFWiki not KHWiki, I've gone for the closest thing.
Crystals Crystals (Recurring element of gameworld mythology)
Well, I had to do it sooner or later, right? Come on, they're like the most central concept in the entire series.
Yiazmat Yiazmat (Final Fantasy XII Ultimate Mark)
What can I say? I can't resist emphasising the fact that I've felled the beast. Of course, as I've frequently said
myself, Yiazmat isn't difficult as such. He's just tiresome. That doesn't make me any less smug though.
Dancing Mad Dancing Mad (Final Fantasy VI music track)
Possibly the coolest final boss music in the series; it's certainly one of my personal favourites. While the entire thing is great, the fourth
movement in particular is awesome, being what I like to describe as a "hyper-remix of Kefka's Theme". Of course, it helps that it has a
Black Mages version that is pure epic win (the other track to hold this honour being Clash on the Big Bridge).
July 2009
Luso Clemens Luso Clemens (FFTA2: Grimoire of the Rift protagonist)
In the early hours of July 1st, I finally completed all 300 quests on FFTA2, so it could hardly be more
appropriate than to dedicate this month's Featured section to the game. I haven't completed the
Final Quest yet*, but then that's one difficult bitch to beat.

*Well, obviously I have, otherwise I couldn't have written the article for it could I?
But I haven't done it legitimately: I had to resort to using my Action Replay

The Gifted The Gifted (FFTA2: Grimoire of the Rift Concept)
There was no particular reason for choosing this, except that as concepts go it's one of the more interesting ones in the game. Besides, I was slightly torn between having Luso or Adelle as Featured Character, and this way lets me showcase both of them.
Neukhia Neukhia (FFTA2: Grimoire of the Rift enemy)
Well, it's the most important enemy, and a reasonably interesting one, even if it wasn't a particularly impressive final boss...
Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift (Video game for Nintendo DS)
Well, duh. If my entire Featured section for the month is dedicated to the game, then the game itself simply has to be Featured. Actually, that's not entirely true. I'd have Featured the Final Quest, but there aren't any pictures for that :S
June 2009
Cu Chaspel Cu Chaspel (FFCC: Ring of Fates antagonist)
I really seem to be forming a pattern here, but then I can't help it if most of my favourite (and most of the coolest) characters are antagonists can I? Anyway, the pattern will soon break. Ultimecia, for example, will never make it onto my featured character, unless I do it for one or more of the following six reasons: (1) because I run out of all other characters, (2) because hell freezes over, (3) because I'm really bored one month, (4) because I have a mental breakdown, (5) because I want to showcase her just so I can mock her, or (6) because Square make an alternate FFVIII in which she doesn't suck (yeah, right).
Airships Airships (Vehicle type)
Not much to say except that the Strahl rocks. I want it, and I wouldn't mind having a Gold Chocobo
(flying variety), the Highwind, the Hilda Garde III, the Invincible, the Ragnarok, the Fahrenheit,
the Celsius, the Galbana and the Sky Fortress Bahamut too.
Demonolith Demonolith (Final Fantasy X enemy)
Personally I rather dislike Demonoliths and their relatives, partly because Pharoah's Curse is a pain in the ass, but that doesn't stop me from admiring them from a design perspective. I'm featuring it not as an enemy I like (as a player), but as one I think is pretty cool (as a gamer). Does that player/gamer distinction even make sense? Ah, who cares...
The Black Mages The Black Mages (Final Fantasy-related musical group)
Their covers of Clash on the Big Bridge and Dancing Mad are pure epic win. If you don't like any of the Black Mages' tracks, you are defying Nobuo Uematsu himself, and must suffer. Not quite the same level of punishment you would get if you were to break the primary Great Law of Final Fantasy (which states that if you hate Vivi, you are a heathen and must die painfully), but failure to pay due respect to Nobuo Uematsu will still earn you seriously painful pwnage. You can read my review of their albums here.
May 2009
Kefka Palazzo Kefka Palazzo (Final Fantasy VI antagonist)
Who else could possibly follow Sephiroth?
Dungeons Dungeons (Gameplay element)
Again, just a random idea that once I came up with it, I loved.
Mimic Mimic (Recurring enemy)
I felt like having another recurring enemy, and Mimic was the first to come to mind.
Nibelheim Incident Nibelheim Incident (Final Fantasy VII plot element)
No particular reason why I chose this. I was simply going through the
images category for inspiration and decided on the Nibelheim Photo.
April 2009
Sephiroth Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII antagonist)
Oh, come on. Do I need to justify this?
Mist Mist (Gameworld mythology)
If I remember correctly, it was a discussion on the article in question
that made me think of doing a "Featured" in the first place.
Cactuar Cactuar (Recurring enemy)
Everyone's favourite walking cacti, with their token 1,000 Needles attack. How can you not love these guys?
Clash on the Big Bridge Clash on the Big Bridge (Final Fantasy V music track)
I thought I'd kick off the "Miscellaneous" category with one of the most popular musical pieces in the series. First
featured in Final Fantasy V, used again for Final Fantasy XII, and the basis for one of the two best tracks by
The Black Mages, there's probably no doubt that this is one of Nobuo Uematsu's greatest compositions.





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