Thanks to Scott Baird of ScreentRants.com for the inspiration!
1. THE MOOMBAS
This might seem like an unusual complaint, considering Final Fantasy VIII is set in a world where people use giant yellow chickens as mounts, but there is no denying that the Moombas are the most distracting thing about Final Fantasy VIII‘s story.
When Squall and his friends are sent to prison after their assassination attempt fails, they encounter a race of dumb cat people who are used as slave labor. It is later revealed that these creatures are actually the final evolution of a highly advanced race called the Shumi, who turn into a Pokémon as they get older for some reason.
The presence of the Moombas within the story is so distracting because they play such a large role at certain points, yet their goofy cartoon aesthetic doesn’t gel with the realistic style that the rest of the game goes for. Final Fantasy VIII was an attempt at making the series more mature in terms of the tone of its story and its visuals, and the Moombas drag it right back down to the SNES era.
Not another fan favorite!
Thematically, Moombas look like lions, which refer to Squall “Leon”hart. Since Moombas identifying family members by licking their blood, we’re able to find out Squall and Laguna are related. Moogles have survived the SNES era, so why can’t Moombas?
What makes the Moombas so odd, is that we’ve had furry mascots before. Why not Moogles, that officially appeared in Final Fantasy III, V, VI, and VII? Why not the Hummingways, who’ve appeared in Final Fantasy IV and never made an appearance since? Well, Moogles are in the game, as cat-like beaver-hamster summons. But if you didn’t get the PocketStation, there was no way to get them in 1999.
Oh well. At least we still have Moombas. Their origin story is a bit out there too:
Moombas are a possible final stage in the evolving life cycle of a Shumi in Final Fantasy VIII. They are generally used as slaves or laborers and as such are treated poorly by their human masters; however, they are held high as an ideal by the Shumi in Shumi Village.
Unlike Moogles and Hummingways, Moombas are definitely pathetic. And this bumps up their annoying factor.
Should they stay, or should they go? Since they’re vital to the story and match the theme, I think the developers have no choice. But this wouldn’t be a concession to the story. Many Final Fantasy games have a quirky, goofy factor that tends to create large tonal shifts in the story. The inclusion of Moombas is no different.
As Dazz316 puts it:
Nothing wrong with the moombas. I liked the moombas part in the prison.