Thanks to Scott Baird of ScreentRants.com for the inspiration!
8. THE PLACEMENT OF THE SNOWBOARDING MINIGAME
The death of Aerith may be the most emotional moment in video game history. After witnessing one of his closest friends (and potential love interest) being murdered, Cloud Strife has to give her body to the water and watch as she descends into the depths. This scene is often cited as the moment when video games grew up and ascended as a medium.
So what do Cloud and his friends do to get over the death of their friend? They decide to do a 180 on the slope and shred some ice, dude!
After Aerith dies, the party needs to snowboard down a mountain in order the reach the Great Glacier. This minigame is actually fun, but it needs to be moved further away from the powerful and emotional scene of Aerith’s death.
The contrast between burying one of the most beloved characters in the game and Cloud performing tricks on a snowboard, as he tries to hit balloons that are floating in the air, is far to great.
The author has a point. A fun minigame right after one of the most heart-wrenching scenes in gaming history? It’s quite a large tonal shift.
But it’s a fun minigame, right? Probably not for your characters, who have to avoid trees on there way down a steep incline. But the game wants to have fun with the snowboarding minigame. I think this takes away from the former scene’s potency. The mood’s heavy, but there’s no need to break up the melancholy like this.
And the author’s right. Can video games really grow up when they do sick moves down a slope…a few hours after their friend died?
But something the author is missing…do they all ride snowboards down the slopes this way? What about Barrett, who’s big and clumsy with other one arm for balance (and another arm holding him back)? What about Red XIII who’s a four-legged animal? How about Cait Sith (OK, I suppose he’ll just sled down on his Moogle automatron).
The scene really doesn’t make too much sense. Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII made the same mistake. It has the same feel of an excited Yuffie skyboarding out of an exploding plane, killing the passengers. It’s jarring. Was the latter scene some sick homage to the snowboarding minigame?