When Aspilanti84 isn’t bashing Final Fantasy IX, they’re troubleshooting character development in other Final Fantasy games.
Take Final Fantasy VIII for example. Many fans notice that Final Fantasy VIII’s characters are a bit more shallow. They show very little to no depth as human beings. This may have been a conscious decision on the behalf of Kitase. He wrote a coming of age story revolving around Squall. The other characters were just supporting characters in his story. Yet who knows how involved they will be in a potential remake.
So this is why the characters are the way they are in Final Fantasy VIII, and what we see is what we get. What does Aspilanti84 want to see out of them?
Squall – As is. Whatever.
Ah. So essentially, Squall’s arc is perfect. Or this was a nice attempt at mimicking Squall.
Riona – I would have her GROW THE F UP and not be a whiny, self-absorbed 16 year old teenager struggling with first world problems and daddy issues.
First, it’s Rinoa – Re – no – ah.
Second, she does grow up throughout the course of the games. She starts to understand that some problems are a lot more complex than her idealism lead her to believe. We don’t really see the evolution of her development as it happens. She doesn’t have dialogue to express the progress of her arc. But it’s the way she talks and carries herself after Edea’s Parade…
Zell – I would have him control his anger (and stop being a chicken-wuss).
That’s it? Was anger even a big part of who he was as a person? Standing up to Seifer could have been an arc, but he’s Squall’s rival. Otherwise, I don’t know where else to go with Zell.
Quistis – As is, but with more maturity, a love interest for Seifer, and showing her competency as a leader.
A love interest for Seifer, eh? It’s better to leave that to the shippers. I would opt for a love triangle, or more jealously over Squall to Rinoa. But it was in Final Fantasy VII. After planning it for Final Fantasy IX, it was probably best to leave it out for Final Fantasy VIII.
Showing her as a competent leader would definitely be fresh, but keep in mind this is Squall’s story. Kitase is trying to build Squall into a competent leader. And without her incompetence, we wouldn’t have certain conflicts in the story. She’s definitely bossy. But being bossy isn’t the same as having the judgement of a leader. Quistis understands this throughout the course of the story.
Seifer – Finally realizing how much of a pawn he was, joining the team, becoming cool with Zell and giving Squall the credit he deserves. Time is too short to waste on pretty rivalry, you know? And dating Quistis. Teachers need love too.
I believe the story hints he lets go. But he doesn’t join the team. He does need to join the team. We have a gunblade specialist already. Even with a different weapon, it just wouldn’t seem right. And again, no dating Quistis.
Selphie – To come to terms with the hidden anger issues that she obviously has due to being an orphan. Her penchant for destruction and fire is her reaction to war. She’s a psychopath that loves to wet the bed and torture moombas. I think she’s one sick puppy.
Yeah OK. Read this. It’s all you need to know.
Irvine – Finally getting over his fear of performing when needed (especially if he’s going to date Selphie) and proving himself as a valuable member of the team. Also, jogging Squall’s memory of him. Maybe it’s revealed that he was afraid of women, and being a ladies’ man helped him cope with stage fright. Or else, wtf is he still really doing there?
We don’t have an arc where Irvine gets over his fears. He finally musters the courage to tells others about the orphanage. However, he doesn’t have an arc to overcome his anxiety. Jogging’s Squall’s memory of him could have potential, as a recurring joke. And being afraid of women would be ironic. Other than that, he’s a character, but just there.
Edea – Being more motherly. And secretly guilty, since she’s the reason they’re put in this mess in the first place.
Edea showing guilt might add extra dimension to her character. But could Kitase do it without giving away the ending of the story?
Raijin / Fujin – They’re fine as is, y’know?
Laguna – As is.
Ward / Kiros – Fine as is. Not much as to tell, unless Ward is Zell’s father…and Kiros is Selphie’s!!! Or maybe they’re Fujin and Raijin’s fathers respectively, y’know?
Since Final Fantasy stories are character driven anyways, this would have made the story much better, IMO.
Also, if three of your members died during Selphie’s missile base mission, that would’ve added untold depth to the story. Let’s do it.
It’s debatable how much these changes would actually improve the story.
Of course, killing characters off might be an interesting twist. For those who don’t know, Selphie tasked a three person team to re-route the missiles from hitting Balmb Garden. The mission resulted in failure, and the base exploded. Somehow, Selphie and her two friends survived. But what if they didn’t?
It would be interesting to play the game multiple times with a new character after that point. New party combinations could increase the play through. But the cons might outweigh the pros.
First, the story is mostly goofy and light-hearted. It was shocking enough to see the base explode and wonder if the characters died. Having them actually die would be too much. And besides, who would replace them? Seifer, Raijin and Fujin? Yeah right.
Second, losing characters might frustrated players. Remember Aerith? I don’t know if we could take another character death. But even then, it would start to get old. And who wants to replay the game over and over for multiple party combinations?
I don’t even think we’d see this in a remake. We’d have to face this is if we had the option to go back in time during “Time Compression”. But what would be the point? And that would really ruin the flow of the game.
So Aspilanti84 has made no significant changes that would improve Final Fantasy VIII. But this gave us all food for thought.