If there’s one thing I can appreciate about Aspilanti84, it’s his almost weird propensity to make weird theories. Here’s one where s/he suggests that Final Fantasy IX’s fanbase came from…Tumblr.
Now, this might sound like an anachronism, but it’s not:
The fanbase for FFIX was never this large back in 2000. It had a modest following of fans who considered FFIX a fun, yet non-serious, title. A send off from the old to the new. The emergence of this current larger fanbase roughly correlates to 2007, nearly around the time of other internet phenomenon such as furries and SJWs. The current climate of the internet has trended towards “cuter” interests (which wasn’t present until the second half of the woeful Bush years) such as bronies (which is where we are with things nowadays).
Apparently, Final Fantasy IX is so popular because gamers “discovered” the game nearly a decade after its release. The claim that it had a “modest following of fans” isn’t accurate. It’s a Final Fantasy title, so of course it’s pretty popular.
Like most Final Fantasy games that come out, it had some detractors, but a lot of supporters. Try 3:1 ratio of likes to dislikes. And no one really hated Final Fantasy IX, at least not from what I saw.
But Aspilanti84 suggests Final Fantasy IX’s fanbase is large due to a culture shift in thinking. A strange Zeitgeist, if you will. Nostalgia might be real reason for the larger fanbase, but go on…
Why is this? Well, we live in a world of high unemployment, political instability, economic uncertainty, terrorism, war, political puppets, assassinations, etc. I often hear how fans of the series are “tired” of all these things in their games…and want to go back to the series’ “roots”. You know, back to a more “simpler time”. Final Fantasy IX, with its cute childlike graphics, was like a promise – a promise to escape from the harsh reality of this world. Sure it got “dark”, but in the end…we’re supposed to live happily ever after..
OK. So fans of Final Fantasy tire of the doom and gloom, do they? They want to return to “simpler times”, right? Well, wouldn’t World of Final Fantasy have reached record breaking sales by now? And aren’t many dark games often bestsellers?
Added to this fact are the characters who are an expression of the type of subcultures found lurking on Tumblr:
This is where Aspilanti84 makes their point that Final Fantasy IX would appeal to Tumblr users. Only, using the characters to contrast with certain stereotypes about Tumblr users:
- Zidane – Otherkin. Half furrie. Transgendered, in the sense that he was created to be genderless and then defined his own gender. Thief (read: parasite) who rarely works for a living. The hero of the game.
What? Oh…OK? This came out of left field. Let it set the tone for where Apsilanti84 is going.
According to Aspilanti84, is otherkins are people who “socially and spiritually identify as not entirely human”. In this sense, Zidane isn’t fully human; as a genome he’s humanoid. Also as a genome, he exists “in both male and female”. Yet he “still has sexual dimorphism to retain genetic variety” – making him “transgendered” (sp). And the fact that he has a tale makes him “half-furry”. Gotcha.
This isn’t how it works, by the way.
So far, Aspilanti84 is going for the base level slam against “SJWs” and “snowflakes”. So what do they think of Tumblr when they label Zidane as a “thief”. Are Tumblr users thieves? I guess the keyword is “parasites”. Tumblr users, in Aspilanti84’s mind, are useless, shiftless basement dwellers living off their mom. Or maybe there’s a hardline stance against Communism? I don’t know anymore…
And yes, Zidane is the hero of the game. I guess this really ticks them off, since they seem so judgemental, but sound like the villain in their life.
- Garnet – The girl-next-door type, who dons a short hair cut near the end of the game. In some sense meant to break away from traditional gender roles. In a relationship with a trans person.
So…I guess Garnet is to represent feminism? She cuts her hair to break away from traditional gender roles? Yet she’s an empowered queen. And she’s tolerant enough to be in a relationship with Zidane – an obvious transperson. Duh.
- Steiner – Clearly an white adult “cis-male”; the typical WASP. Obviously represents the patriarchy and is promptly made into a buffoon. (I always wondered why this was. Now I know…)
So since Steiner is the comedic relief, Final Fantasy IX is a statement against “white adult cis-males” and “typical WASPs”?
Someone’s just a bit touchy…
- Vivi – Cute, small and powerful. Like how a lot of tumblrinas see themselves. My friend said Vivi’s like a high-functioning autist due to his mannerisms and speech, but personally I don’t see it.
So I guess more Tumblr users see themselves as “cute, small and powerful”? Hmmm, I didn’t know that. I also don’t know what to say or expect at this point. Aspilanti84’s just reaching here.
And Vivi’s a “high-functioning autist”? Really? Apsilanti84’s “friend” told said this. Aspilanti84 has friends, everyone.
- Freya – Her story deals with the “extermination” (get it, because she’s a rat) of her people; non-surprising, this is the only way entitled can understand IRL racism – through the genocide of cartoon rats (“Oh yeah, I understand your plight; it reminds me of Burmecia…”). Also, a furrie.
Funny, that Vivi and Freta do seem to promote the idea of tolerance among those who are different from you. I don’t think it’s fair to say Tumblr users can’t understand racism through any other example other than anthropomorphic rats. But I guess s/he understands the so-called “liberal-racism” well.
Also, a furrie.
- Amarant – Represents the emo badass who gets beat by your average Tumblrina. Is taught a valuable lesson about friendship. A “rejection” of both the emo Cloud and Squall (No cloud, no Squall, shall hinder us…).
I get it. Aspilanti84 absolutely hates! a Tumblr user upstaging the alpha male.
- Quina – Are you serious? Non-threatening, goofy, safe.
Just the way Tumblr likes it, I guess?
- Eiko – A pedophile’s sick dream come true. shrudders
So…Tumblr users are pedophiles now?
- Kuja – A somewhat non-threatening villain no one really took seriously due to his dress and effeminate mannerism. Everything about Zidane applies, only darker.
So then, Kuja too is a otherkin, half-furrie, transgender thief-parasite, only this time is the villain of the game. And effeminate (i.e. gay). Would Tumblr make a gay villain? Would anymore take Aspilanti84 seriously at this point?
- Beatrix – A motherly figure, reminiscent of their dangerous, protective, awe-inspiring and tough mom. Not funny like this mom.
Beatrix is nothing like Nora, noted. And Beatrix reminds Tumblr users of their moms, because many of them must be “momma’s boys”. Sure. Whatever.
So, when you break it down, Aspilanti84 has played the game, at least I think. But they understands the real characters s/he’s lampooning. At least I think this is what’s going on. S/he’s just trolling at this point. This is satire where almost no one else is in on the joke. Or it could be that even Aspilanti84 isn’t joking, and is just crazy.
The Atmosphere: Very Disney-esque. Much like My Little Ponies. Bright, colorful, fun. Meant to get away.
Don’t take the bait, people. Just don’t.
Notable Tumblr scene: The Marriage. Quina (a he or she) marries Vivi. If you interpret Quina as male, it becomes a laughable (and that’s exactly what Japan was going for) parody on marriage equality.
Hate to say it, but Apsilanti84’s correct. That scene is a parody, but maybe not a critique on marriage equality. Maybe human marriage was a slippery slope to other forms of marriage…hence Quina and Vivi. But Zidane and Garnet led the way all marriage, so maybe the scene’s a lot more progressive than we realize? And Zidane isn’t exactly human. But he is “transgendered”, as Apsilanti84 explains.
The Verdict: A fun WRPG-like created by a Japanese company…who never would’ve imagined the intense fanbase surrounding this title.
Oh, an WRPG. And Sakaguchi would’ve never “imagined the intense fanbase surrounding this title”. The same Sakaguchi who said this was his favorite? The same Uematsu who said the soundtrack was his favorite? If anything, they were anticipating it.
OK. I bet the Tumblr world does like Final Fantasy IX. Why not? Final Fantasy IX is a good game.