Feral Phoenix (feral_phoenix) wrote,
Feral Phoenix

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On Paladins

I love getting my hands on pieces of gaming history. While a lot of series, including Final Fantasy, just get better with age, sometimes it's a true blessing to be able to go back and play through some of the games that made gaming so great. Back when FFIV was originally released, the current trend of FF heroes had not yet taken place.

What trend, you might ask? The one that gave birth to all our wonderful boys, such as Cloud, Squall, and Tidus. Okay, so I don't personally have anything against Cloud, Squall, and Tidus. They're great as heroes who eased into the roles instead of being heroes from the minute they walked onscreen. But they're also very, very, VERY unheroic in a society that might need a few real heroes these days. Let's face it, Tidus started out a whiny, selfish crybaby; Squall is so introverted and withdrawn, it's amazing he was even the leader of FFVIII's party; and much of Cloud's mental philosophy can be summed up simply with the word, "meh".

What makes FFIV's Cecil so outstanding is the simple fact that he's a nice guy. More than just nice... he found the courage to stand up and say to the world, "I can't just sit around and see bad things happen anymore. I might not be able to change things, but I'm going to do my best to stop all this." There are lots of people who WANT to do these things, but just can't seem to muster the emotional strength that would be needed. And that's why Cecil wins people over so easily. Sure, the other party members all have their own quirks that get them attention (who can resist a little kid as cute as Rydia, anyway??), but THEY ended up on the quest more or less because they too were charmed by Cecil's innate goodness.

It's not like he's overbearingly good, either, like one of the exceedingly cheesy old comic book heroes of America. Cecil is just a sweet person who really does want the best to happen (and it's not like he doesn't have his flaws; he can be adorably and probably lifesavingly thick about Kain's feelings for Rosa, and he had a heck of a time accepting Golbez as his brother even though he knew Golbez had been under Zemus' mind control), and there's just something highly refreshing about that in today's world. I can't even watch the news anymore, because I'm so sick of hearing about bad crap happening to innocent people.

Cecil is just one of those great leads you can't help but fall in love with--an honest and caring young man who's doing his best to do good in a world that's beginning to lose sight of what good is. Usually it takes a (long) while for me to feel affection for male heroes of games, because in some way or other they are usually hopelessly stupid (e.g. Link, Wain, Isaac, etc etc so on and so forth). Cecil won me over right off. He's trustworthy and kind, and I love that in men--plus he has long fluffy hair. I love long fluffy hair. (cuddles Rau-sama and plays with his)

I love FF games in general. FFI was astonishingly playable, considering that it has next to no character development. The last game I played that had no character development (Dragon Warrior III) ended up being chucked out the window (well not literally, but you know what I mean) because its minimal plot could not hold my interest. FFI was genuinely fun. FFII was also fun (although much more frustrating than the original because of the idiotic level-up system they had on it), partially because you could take the preset "annoying mage" (Maria) and make her a not-annoying asskicker (which I did... gave her two swords and let her hack away, hehehe). In FFIV, truly deep and complex characters were introduced, and the honesty of their still-fresh hearts is inspiring. I love RPGs, and I love Cecil and his dysfunctional little "family" of friends and supporters--Kain, Rosa, Rydia, Tellah, Edward, Yang, Palom, Porom, Cid, Edge, FuSoYa, and Golbez. Their vibrant souls have kept FFIV alive as a title worth coming back to again and again over the years, essentially making the FF series work... and making the FFIV Advance port so popular these days. ^_^

-Feral Phoenix
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