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08 April 2007 @ 10:47 pm
Welcome to the University of Final Fantasy!

Please read the userinfo before posting to review the rules; remember that all posts are moderated and may take up to 48 hours to show up.

Feel free to post on any topic, not just this one. Remember to post spoiler warnings when necessary, and place everything after the first paragraph under an LJ-cut.


Did I lose my brilliant readers/writers? Assignment three is out there, hanging in the wind, waiting patiently for fandom to respond... My own response to A3 (and A2, even) are delayed until next week when I'm on school vacation - WHAT'S YOUR EXCUSE?

Let me make life easy by posting a topic that almost everyone can get behind. Explain your character preferences. Example: I hate Aeris with a blinding passion, and cheer Sephiroth on like mad in that Forgotten City scene. I love Basch in a manner bordering on obscene, and will click on any piece of fanwork with his name, regardless of whether or not I like the situation or the poster's other work. I could (and probably will) write serious, thesis-length explanations for both these preferences, neither of which are arbitrary. I'm asking you to do the same.

This has the potential to be controversial, so let me lay down a few extra rules.
1. BACK UP YOUR PREFERENCE WITH SOMETHING SUBSTANTIAL. I don't like the color pink, but that's hardly the basis of my aversion to Aeris.
2. RESPECT OTHER OPINIONS. Go ahead and tell me Basch sucks for reasons X, Y, and Z. Understand that you will not change my mind. I won't change yours. We'll discuss it like adults and agree to disagree.
3. IT'S OK TO BE (MILDLY) SNARKY, JUST FOLLOW THE OTHER RULES. We tease because we love. But I'm serious about respecting other people's opinions.

Also, I appreciate the tongue-in-cheek as much as the earnestly solemn, so go ahead and write that ode to Vaan's abs. You know you love them.

Discuss in new posts.

REMEMBER: it's just a game. This is for fun.
27 March 2007 @ 11:13 pm

Faint spoilers for FFVI, FVII, FFT, and FFXII. However, if you know who the "villains" are, you're probably in the clear.


Battle on the Big Bridge

Musical Period as Evocative of Historical Period and Conflict

Erica Kudisch


            Frequently, designers of RPGs, and in fact video games in general, will draw from historical periods and levels of technology in order to flesh out the new worlds they have built. In addition to the visual-aesthetics members of the creative team establishing a sense of authenticity through the character designs, clothing, and dialog, most game composers will go out of their way to bolster appropriate musical counterparts to the scenic element. Nobuo Uematsu and Hitoshi Sakimoto are no exceptions, but the nature of Final Fantasy worlds is one of conflict between historical periods and ways of life. Uematsu and Sakimoto have different means by which they accomplish musical elucidation of the worlds’ conflicts of interest.



Welcome to the University of Final Fantasy!

Please read the userinfo before posting to review the rules; remember that all posts are moderated and may take up to 48 hours to show up.

Feel free to post on any topic, not just this one. Remember to post spoiler warnings when necessary, and place everything after the first paragraph under an LJ-cut.


As suggested by the lovely and brilliant mithrigil.

It has been said that "the difference between fantasy and science-fiction is that in fantasy, dragons can hover, and in science-fiction they cannot". Final Fantasy, with its peculiar mix of magic and science, blurs the line between fantasy and sci-fi in an interesting and somehow believable manner. While earlier games seem more focused on a fantasy-oriented universe, they still include mechanical elements like airships. Later games, starting with FFVII, draw heavily on scientific explanations and technologies, but still retain sorcery and fantastical creatures. How is this blend achievable without breaking down belief in these created worlds?

Other ideas for discussion, by mithrigil: How realistic are the technologies of the Final Fantasy worlds? What are the physics of airships? How do these things correlate to the perceived historical periods of the various societies? What do the worlds' fantastical aesthetics tell us about the levels of technology? How quickly is information disseminated?

Discuss in new posts.

REMEMBER: it's just a game. This is for fun.
27 February 2007 @ 03:09 pm
Title: Final Fantasy IV and Why Edge/Rydia Simply Isn't Canon
Notes: I'm always the one to start controversial subjects, but here it is. And I am NOT, note, NOT saying that Edge/Rydia is not a valid pairing, I'm simply stating that it isn't CANON in Final Fantasy IV. Well, and maybe questioning why on earth it would ever happen, but more of that in the essay.
Essay:In a game where the developers gave us a love triangle so wrought with complexities and palpable sexual tension, there was more than enough time to create a realistic and believable budding romance between Edge and Rydia, only there was none- why? What the developers gave us instead was the classic case of an immature man infatuated with his strong, independent female comrade, who finds him to be little more than an annoyance. I’m not arguing against shipping Edge and Rydia, and I’m certainly not telling anyone what to think, but the point of the matter is that the relationship simply isn’t canon, and claiming that it is can be seen as a violation of the storyline that Square and the developers laid down in Final Fantasy IV.

Read moreCollapse )
mood: drained
Spoiler Warnings: Up through Giott's Castle for Final Fantasy IV; through the end of Disc 1 as well as Advent Children for Final Fantasy VII; all of Final Fantasy VIII, IX, and Final Fantasy X/X-2; and through the Leviathan in Final Fantasy XII.

The hero and heroine falling in love is a common trope in fantasy novels, which has extended itself into the realm of fantasy-based video games such as Final Fantasy. In many series with clumsy writing, the heroine has no purpose besides being a pretty arm-decoration for the big, strong hero, and acts as a plot goad either by getting her silly self kidnapped and requiring a rescue, or by being the one in whose name the hero accomplishes all of his epic deeds. On first glance, the heroines of the Final Fantasy series may seem to fall into the same category, but at a closer look, each of them has goals and deeds that reach far beyond their role in a contrived romantic subplot.

On the heroine and her role outside romanceCollapse )
24 February 2007 @ 07:27 pm

For Assignment #2.

A warning: I come from a musical angle. A lot. Spoilers for the endings of VIII, IX, X, X-2, and XII.


Layers of Harmony

the End Credits Idol Song as Apropos of the Heroine

Erica Kudisch


Following the advances in technology that allowed the implementation of vocal tracks within console games, Final Fantasy has capitalized on the use of a Hit Single to purportedly enhance the aesthetics of each individual story, and contribute to the development of the central romantic element. Every mainstream Final Fantasy title since VIII, with “Eyes On Me”, has appended this device, and in every incarnation the singer has been a young woman, and the question has been one of love in the face of adversity.


Though it can be said that all songs are songs of love, not all love is crosshaired on romance; however, the pop standards that have been woven into the framework of these games are often used as overt justification for the actions taken by the leading ladies, in the supposed name of love. Every song is implicitly, or explicitly, attached to an heroine. In most cases, it is intended to be indicative of her truest feelings. Through an analysis of the songs and their lyrics, I intend to elucidate some of these connections and why they are often problematic to the overarching message of the game, and to the role of the heroine in the narrative.



Final Fantasy VIII: Eyes on Me, Faye Wong




Final Fantasy IX: Melodies of Life, Emiko Shiratori




Final Fantasy X: Suteki da ne?, Rikki




Final Fantasy X-2: 1000 Words, Koda Kumi



Final Fantasy XII: Kiss Me Goodbye, Angela Aki


With the increased presence of the heroine as romantically distanced from the hero, the use of idol songs takes on a more sophisticated and pointed significance. Rinoa’s dimension as other than a plot device is hidden in the song’s connection to her mother. Garnet’s loss takes on a newer, and more moving, meaning when it is observed to be a person other than Zidane of whom she sings. In gauging the songs used to characterize Yuna, this shift is marked by the excision of all musical originality and lyrical subtlety. And the extraneous nature of Kiss Me Goodbye characterizes no one, for good or ill, subconsciously reasserting that the story was not about romance.


24 February 2007 @ 05:47 pm
[Note: Before I begin I need to apologize for my seeming fixation with Final Fantasy 7, but the simple fact is that I've played a grand total of 2 Final Fantasy games in my lifetime: 7 and 8. I played 8 more than 6 years ago and thus don't remember much of the plot or the intricacies of character interaction, though I did enjoy the game. I'm currently working on finishing 7 and am stuck at the end of disc 2 trying to breed chocobos, defeat Emerald Weapon, and get Omnislash, which are the main reasons I HAVEN'T finished it yet. So therefore 7 is the game freshest in my mind and that's what I'll be essaying on for the foreseeable future, at least until I get my Nintendo DS and can start FF6. Thanks! ^^;]

On to my thoughts on this newest prompt:

I think this assertion could be well applied to female leads in fantasy fiction in general, who 90% of the time seem to exist to fall in love with the male lead. Of course, one could also argue that it happens vice versa - the male and female lead either fall in love and end up together, or are involved in a love triangle. It's the dramatic aspect of the romance in fiction, and most authors tend to use it in one aspect or another to create tension and emotional development between characters. I can think of very VERY few examples in popular fiction (note: mostly referring to dramatic, quest-type stories like Final Fantasy, such as most fantasy/sci-fi stories, manga, anime, tv series, etc) where the female lead is not involved in one romance or another (let's not talk about Fushigi Yuugi). And when she isn't, fandom tends to pair her up with someone just so that fic can be written. As a mostly gen writer myself, I don't usually go that route, but I do admit that it can be a powerful plot device.

Aeris, Tifa, and Cloud: the not-love triangleCollapse )
Before we begin: I fully admit to a bias of liking, or wanting to like, female characters. Also, spoilers for FF 9, 10, 10-2, and 12.

That said, Final Fantasy has its share of ambitious female characters. What we must remember then, first that any ambition that is not romantic in nature is typically seen by our society as unfeminine, and that the Final Fantasy games are created by a male group of designers for a male audience, so that the female characters are part of the fantasy elment of the game instead of relatable characters. So in games, where the female is in power, or is the dominant force for change, her hopes and aspirations must be tempered, or else she risks either threatening the audience or becoming unfeminine, and therefore unappealing. Therefore, what we see in the Final Fantasy 9, 10, and 12 canons are the ways in which strong, or potentially strong, heroines are subverted into something that appeals to male players.

Massive amounts of tl;dr ahead and spoilers for FF9, 10, 10-2, and 12Collapse )
23 February 2007 @ 01:11 pm
Disclaimer: I haven't played 2, 3, 5, 12, or finished 9. Within my experience, then.

Female leads in Final Fantasy who fall in love, with a generous definition of both criteria, can be fairly limited to the following list: Rosa, Celes, Tifa, Aeris, Rinoa, Garnet, and Yuna. Out of these seven, Rosa and Tifa are the two ladies who function most as a loving attachment to their hero- and they held this devotion before the game began. The other five, while they did indeed fall in love, were also to varying degrees rather busy with a more important job. It was they who saved the world.

Rinoa in particular is generally misunderstood, because many people simply don't wish to think about her.Collapse )
23 February 2007 @ 10:28 am
I disagree more or less entirely with the esteemed moderator's assertion.

mood: surprised