Thanks to Jason_Wanderer for the inspiration!
Dedicated to guihcz!
In this post, I talked about this:
[Final Fantasy VIII] perfectly mirrors the hidden complexities within Squall himself. All the half-truths, ambiguity, vagueness…the plot is so awkward and weird because Squall feels awkward and weird. The plot goes in many directions because Squall is trying to figure himself out.
If Final Fantasy VIII were a personality, it’s personality would be Squall. The personality between game and main character match. And that’s why I think ALL Final Fantasy games roughly match the personality of their main character. Let’s go through the first ten:
Final Fantasy I – You’re the main character. Square Enix has retconned the first game so that Warrior of Light. But in the original game, there were four warriors of Light out of the possible six job classes.
The Four Warriors travel through time again and return to the world of their origin. As for the world, we expect the Four will return to its original form that they know.
Because, really, the one crossing over two thousand years and battling is you.
The game was an expansive adventure. It was heavily inspired by D&D, where you’re the main character. In this case, you project yourself onto the characters and the story. However you approached the game, the game was as light-hearted or dark as you imagined it to be.
Final Fantasy II – Firion, as the main character, tries to behave heroically. He strives to protect his country and the people he holds dear. The fate of the world rest in the hands of a couple of orphans. Nothing too introspective, pretty cliche, but still great for its time.
Final Fantasy III – Once again, you’re the main character. The retconned characters of Final Fantasy III are mostly one-dimensional. The story was again another expansive adventure.
Final Fantasy IV – Cecil, the main character, troubled by his involvement with Baron. He wants to make amends for his past sins. The story’s main theme is about redemption, and many of the characters search to redeem something. He has a compassionate relationship with his friends and a gentle heart, which the story itself manipulates by pretending to kill off playable characters you’ve invested in.
Final Fantasy V – This story captures the essence of a fun and light-hearted adventure. Bartz as the main character is playful and carefree, and a wanderer. Bartz travels throughout several different worlds. He starts his adventure with no further ambitions than exploration as that is what his father wanted. Like the breeze of the wind, Bartz and friends float between jobs (like drifters).
Final Fantasy VI – This story is just as somber as its main character. Terra is fearful, suspicious, and completely confused about herself. The World of Balance is mostly hostile which represents Terra’s peaceful outer self, but chaotic inner self. During the World of Ruin, the enemies are starving and desperate. That’s why they’re trying to drain you of your life force rather than outright kill you. The story makes it clear what Terra already knows: war is destructive and people suffer. And she does not want to see anyone suffer like she has. She yearns and starves desperately for the meaning behind life and love. The story makes it clear, hope still remains in the world. We can rebuild yourself into the best version that you can possibly be.
Final Fantasy VII – Most of FFVII is a false narrative, because Cloud Strife doesn’t really know who he is. The name “Cloud” represents his uncertainty, and “Strife” representing his internal struggle. The story has weird tonal shifts due to the concept. It shifts from Blade Runner action to Chocobo racing and dress-up. The real Cloud is the fun parts underneath all of the action and drama, like the game. His desire to be a hero. But at the end, he comes to accept who he is. Until Advent Children, when he falls into depression for not living up to his true potential.
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – The story is about self-realization, as Zack and the story are to made to become and live up to something greater than themselves. Zack has a dream to be a hero, and later to carry on a legacy. Crisis Core hands off to Final Fantasy VII, which does carry on the legacy in video game history. Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII – Forgiveness is the main theme of this story and Vincent Valentine still seeks it.
Final Fantasy VIII – Final Fantasy VIII expresses what Squall himself is, an awkward teen with anxiety. All the half-truths, ambiguity, the vagueness of the plot happen with Squall’s general aloofness. The plot is so awkward and weird because Squall feels awkward and weird. The story goes in many unresolved directions because Squall is still trying to figure himself out.
Final Fantasy IX – Yet another game that represents its character well. Zidane is overall laid-back and casual in his actions and speech. He’s generally cheerful, and the game itself takes on a whimsical nature. But Zidane also harbors insecurities about his past and concealed loneliness. Final Fantasy IX’s story harbors doubt about returning to a more classical style. He tries to keep his problems to himself and fight them alone. The game itself explores hidden realities; Terra absorbed into Gaia, the Mist-covered continent, untapped abilities and suppression of unconscious memories.
Final Fantasy X/X-2 – The main characters of both games are Tidus and Yuna. Tidus represents the sun and Yuna the moon. The game’s overall sunny nature has darker undertones as the story progresses. And the story is about going through meaningless cycles. Tidus and Yuna end the cycle, and FFX switches to FFX-2. The reason for the tonal shift is because the previous themes in the game has ended. Wanting X-2 to carry on the themes of X misses the point of what they were trying to do. Yuna eclipse Tidus, and her personality changes to a much more lively in memory of Tidus shining through…