When I played the first Final Fantasy, I liked how I could choose the character I wanted. In Super Mario 3, I could be Mario or Luigi (in two player mode). I could be Donkey or Diddy in Donkey Kong. But in Final Fantasy, I could make a team of four from six characters. Along with customization, I felt close to them And plus, the ending…
The Warrior who broke the 2000 year Time Loop is truly a Light Warrior…
That Warrior is YOU!
Not only that, but they were me. Each of them, as if I could choose four people to represent aspects of myself. I could name any one of them too. I couldn’t do that in Final Fantasy II; each character had their own preset name for the story. But I could choose whatever armor and weapons for them to use. Along with their plight, customization helped me feel close to them. Same with choosing jobs in Final Fantasy III and V, or customizing characters in Final Fantasy VI, VII, and VIII.
I remember when jah05r wrote:
Final Fantasy is better when the characters have pre-defined jobs. Gives the characters a stronger identity.
Is Final Fantasy better with defined jobs? This is up to individual preferences. It does tend to give the character a stronger identity. Final Fantasy IV and IX were just as good as the rest of them. But I would have loved more freedom in choosing who to have in my party. You could do this with the updated versions of Final Fantasy IV. But that game and Final Fantasy IX were on rails when it came to customizing your characters. You could learn new skills, magic, and abilities. That’s mostly it.
But the real immersion came from naming. Why you might not look like any of the characters, you could project yourself unto them. Their problems became your problems, and that helped spur you on to fight. Tidus was the only character you could name in Final Fantasy X. With voice acting, that tradition of projecting yourself on the silent protagonist started to wane.
But with Final Fantasy XI, you could create a version of yourself in the game. The selection wasn’t very wide, but it helped you customize your look to the world. Here, you could literally attempt to create your face, or craft your character to embody traits you admire. Final Fantasy XIV only enhanced these features.
Video games are allowing for more immersion nowadays with the graphics. And I think Final Fantasy is taking notice. After Final Fantasy XV: Comrades, I had hope for Final Fantasy XVI. After playing the events of the game, your character could experience the events of Starscourage. And there was a reason for it too. Now it seemed like you shared the sense of urgency Noctis felt. That is if you made the character look like you.
How many of us would love to be apart of a Final Fantasy game? I personally want to feel as if I’m participating in an epic adventure. And maybe we’ll have that in Final Fantasy XVI? Sure, our protagonist might be the silent character unless they add voice and mic features. And it would be hard for our character to have an actual arc that fits what we all might want. Would our character be the main character or a tagalong? But if it progresses logically from the story, who would mind?
Still, it’s something I hope for in the upcoming game.