My Final Fantasy XII Journal

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My Final Fantasy XII Journal

#1

Post by ScottyMcGee » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:36 am

Recently I finished both Final Fantasy VII and VIII at the same time. I've been on a roll and on a quest to finish all the major Final Fantasy games (the goal is to finish them before XV comes out).

I sometimes notice how because I get sidetracked or put the game down for a while, I might not appreciate the story as a whole by the time I beat the final boss. Of course I cheer and go yay but also go "Yay we saved the world and. . stuff. . from the thing. . .that happened.. . ."

So when I decided to tackle XII, I thought "Why not write about my thoughts as an ongoing review AS I'm playing the game?" I've been writing all my thoughts on video games in a notebook and then went ahead with writing a journal every time I picked up XII.
It ended up being a lot more fun and I'll post it here too as I go along. I have had this game siince it came out and played it, then lost interest, then replayed it, and lost interest again. It was up and down. But now that I'm a growing conossieur of FF games (and RPGs in general as opposed to when I was a dumb 13 year old), I can appreciate things a lot more.

Maybe.

We'll see.

And of course, for those who haven't played the game, any big spoilers will be covered.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Day 1 - 18Feb15

-Cool opening but at the same time dumb. Why do soldiers fight with swords and bows if they can build airships and other technological nonsense?

-Vaan - ugh. Lame opening - killing rats in the sewer, what a loser. **** this kid. He makes Tidus from X look like Obi-wan Kenobi.

-Vaan steals fruit from some Imperials at a market. What is this, Aladdin?

-Migelo sounds like Nick Nolte
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-I really like the battle system - got this MMORPG feel. Maybe it was in XI? I wouldn't know since I never played any of the online FF games.

-Overall, meh opening. Nothing memorable other than the pre-title sequence. They do that weird history narration like you're reading a textbook. Ugh.

Day 2 - 21Feb15

-Rogue Tomato is so dumb.

-Seriously, if you can't do something about that thing with your caravan, I question your abilities as a human being.

-There's this fat pigman guy - a Seeq - who literally has a smiley face on his chest. I can't stop staring at it.

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(halp me i want to die)

-Ah, I think I know who the bad guy is. The hair gave it away.
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-Seriously. Never trust a politician with that kind of hair.

-Curtain of hair covering half his face. Symbolism much?

-I'm still hung up on the hair thing.

-You'd think getting into the palace wouldn't be this easy. Does nobody check Lowtown? I mean, it's right there.

-Enter Han and Chewie - er - I mean Balthier and Fran.

-This treasure statue thing reminds me of Ultimecia - eesh - bad idea.

-Musical score is so weak in cutscenes (other than the opening).

-Amalia's pink skirt is distracting.

-Seriously. It's the brightest thing anyone wears in this game. I don't mean distracting like sexually I mean like "Ahh, my eyes!" The rest of her outfit seems in tune but then the designers just had to add that touch of anime in the shorts.

-Oh my god are they really going to stop and pose for the camera and say congratulations every time you beat a boss? This is going to be a longer game than I thought.

-What's with all this RANDOM **** IN THE SEWERS? A FIRE HORSE IS ATTACKING ME WHY SOMEONE CALL THE MARIO BROS BECAUSE THEY REALLY NEED TO CLEAN THIS **** UP

-Vaan does this thing when he's talking to people where he puts his hands behind his hand and sort of leans his crotch forward like he just wants to stick his dick into something.

Day 3 - 22Feb15

-Judges are executioners? Hm. So. . .like Judge Dredd?

-All these characters look the same. . .

-Battery mimics - Jesus Christ I hated this part with a passion. Maybe my 13 year old self was right about this game.

-Oops. Sidetracked by sidequests.

Day 4 - 23 Feb15

-There was an Order? So like Jedi?

-"Then the war came. . ." You mean "Then the fire nation attacked."

-Balthier's ship is basically the Millennium Falcon if the Millennium Falcon weren't a piece of junk.

-Vaan's "What?" to Balthier accepting Lamont to tag along is actually a legit question. It's so random that Lamont just conveniently happened to be standing around and wanted to go to the same place we did.

-Balthier, Vaan's entire existence qualifies as a clamor.

-Okay, sure, good idea, that'll work. Let me just go into the street and shout "I AM BIN LADEN". That'll get me to meet the President. Nobody will think I'm crazy.

-DON'T
LISTEN
TO
ONDORE'S
LIES

(Thanks for coming to my TEDTalk)

-Oh God, I hate this Death Star/Leviathan Dreadnaught place. This is where I kept stopping every time as a kid.

Day 5 - 24Feb15

- Wait, so who's the bad guy now? I got lost with all the white people talking

-Oooh, Vaan's jealous of Balthier wooing Penelo

-Time to hunt - hunt goes horribly wrong - everyone dies - screw that, back to story

-Wait, why are we back to the guy who sent us to the--oooohhh, wait, I get it now.

-Seriously, everyone looks the same in this game.

-This is like Star Wars Episode 1 mixed with Episode 4.

-That's a bad thing. In case anyone was wondering.
Spoiler.
-Right when I said out loud to myself that Gabranth looks like Balthier, Gabranth's daddy mentions he has a brother. I wonder how many people took longer to figure it out.
-Cloaking device. How convenient. This really is better than the Millennium Falcon.

-How the **** did Vossler just pop up here? Seriously. Basch asked and he didn't give a straight answer. He pretty much came for the sake of helping the player through this brutal walk in the desert.

-Oh my God, Tusken Raiders? Seriously? Come on now.
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Last edited by ScottyMcGee on Sat Mar 02, 2019 3:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
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#2

Post by New! Tazy Ten » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:28 am

You might find a lot of characters end up ignoring Vaan, as he was added at the last second in a lot of cutscenes.

You may know this already.

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#3

Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:55 am

i dont much like your tone regarding tidus

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#4

Post by I am nobody » Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:13 am

I only got about halfway through the game before my definitely-not-emulator stopped reading the file, so maybe this changes, but I thought it was actually kind of impressive how little the game would change if Vaan just died after the first hour or so.

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#5

Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:21 pm

It's just a testament to how s****y Square got after X. Even their characters don't matter now. Good luck finding a main character in X who could simply "not exist." XII was definitely the series parting with quality, but it's leagues above XIII which I couldn't bring myself to play more than 5 minutes.

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#6

Post by ScottyMcGee » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:08 pm

Yeah, X was really the last great FF game. Also my favorite one. I really hope XV will turn the tide.
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#7

Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:59 pm

Well, I have no faith in FFXV. It's got more in common with Third Person Shooters and Hack & Slash than traditional Final Fantasy-style jRPGs, ironically. For example, even the developers said they took inspiration from TPS, and removed the vehicles from the upcoming demo since they were afraid old school FF fans would confuse it with a driving game, like GTA or something I guess, since it's also open-world. There's also a cover/regeneration system, and the company has been pretty open since FFXIII about not want FF to be an RPG series anymore. Why any FF fan liked FF XIII or has hope in FF XV (if they are in the "know" about the development and news) is beyond me. I mean, it wasn't even a mainline series, but a spin-off at first, which usually aren't quite up to par with the main series in the first place (though it's not always true).

I think they should stick to the tried-and-true formula for the main series, not TPS and MMO. That's what spin-offs are for, damn it.

That said, I think it will be a fun game but it's just parading around wearing the flesh of FF, masquerading as it. Final Fantasy is dead in my book. It's sad when Theatrythm has as much or more in common with tradition FF than FF XV does. I won't buy it new because I refuse to support the developer and send the wrong message. And I'm cheap, but mostly the former.

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#8

Post by ScottyMcGee » Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:21 pm

[QUOTE="I REALLY HATE POKEMON!, post: 1520242, member: 18119"]Well, I have no faith in FFXV. It's got more in common with Third Person Shooters and Hack & Slash than traditional Final Fantasy-style jRPGs, ironically. For example, even the developers said they took inspiration from TPS, and removed the vehicles from the upcoming demo since they were afraid old school FF fans would confuse it with a driving game, like GTA or something I guess, since it's also open-world. There's also a cover/regeneration system, and the company has been pretty open since FFXIII about not wanting FF to be an RPG series anymore.
[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE="I REALLY HATE POKEMON!, post: 1520242, member: 18119"][/QUOTE][QUOTE="I REALLY HATE POKEMON!, post: 1520242, member: 18119"]
and the company has been pretty open since FFXIII about not wanting FF to be an RPG series anymore. [/quote]
[QUOTE="I REALLY HATE POKEMON!, post: 1520242, member: 18119"][/QUOTE]
[QUOTE="I REALLY HATE POKEMON!, post: 1520242, member: 18119"]
and the company has been pretty open since FFXIII about not wanting FF to be an RPG series anymore. [/quote]
[QUOTE="I REALLY HATE POKEMON!, post: 1520242, member: 18119"][/QUOTE]
[QUOTE="I REALLY HATE POKEMON!, post: 1520242, member: 18119"]
not wanting FF to be an RPG series anymore. [/quote]
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#9

Post by I am nobody » Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:42 pm

[QUOTE="I REALLY HATE POKEMON!, post: 1520214, member: 18119"]It's just a testament to how s****y Square got after X. Even their characters don't matter now. Good luck finding a main character in X who could simply "not exist." XII was definitely the series parting with quality, but it's leagues above XIII which I couldn't bring myself to play more than 5 minutes.[/QUOTE]

I mean, the cutscenes of X would change if Tidus didn't exist, but I don't know that the overarching plot would be dramatically different. I'm not sure there's much he did that wouldn't have been mostly repeated by some combination of Rikku, Auron, and Yuna. He's certainly more important than Vaan, but I still think he's one of the rare instances in gaming where the player character isn't the protagonist.

I actually liked most of XII in spite of Vaan, honestly. The beginning of the end for me is X-2, when they took a fantastic game and then somehow ruined literally everything about it in the opening cutscene of its sequel.

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#10

Post by ScottyMcGee » Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:48 pm

Final Fantasy X-2: For Fangirls Who Couldn't Take the Ending to X
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#11

Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:04 pm

[QUOTE="ScottyMcGee, post: 1520270, member: 31048"]


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[/QUOTE]

Lol'd hard.

^^ Tidus was central to the plot of X. It's literally his story, he says it often enough.

^ Lol, basically, I guess. It was still cool. I cringe during certain scenes but overall I love it.

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#12

Post by I am nobody » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:14 pm

[spoiler="Minor to moderate FFX spoilers"]He says that a lot, yeah, but it really isn't. His major contributions - helping Yuna learn to value herself and having a connection to the previous cycle - are shared with Rikku and Auron respectively. The individual scenes would change dramatically without Tidus, but I don't think the overarching plot would end up significantly different. Not to the extent that it would if you deleted Auron (killing all the stuff with Yunalesca and half the reason anyone cares about the party), Rikku (the connection to the Al-Behd and the reason they obtain the highly-necessary airship) or Yuna, (durr) at any rate. He's less vital than what you typically see from RPG protagonists.

He seems like a player projection, honestly. That ends up being kind of fitting plot-wise.
[/spoiler]

All of that being said, I actually like the way he fits into everything. It's a natural role for the player character in this kind of game, and, unlike in XII, they managed it while still giving the PC a role.

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#13

Post by ScottyMcGee » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:20 pm

[SPOILER="Wait a minute, actually Tidus WAS central to X because. . ."]
. . . he left Dream Zanarkand and indirectly destroyed the cycle of Sin. Auron took him out with the help of Jecht/Sin. Jecht wanted Tidus to face him and be a man and all that. Without Tidus, Yuna would have gone through her pilgrimage as normal and died and the cycle would have continued. But Tidus fell in love with Yuna, prompting her to want to live. It's been a while since I played, but isn't that essentially what happened? Wasn't Tidus the one who said, "F*ck this" to the cycle of Sin and offer the idea to punch Lady Yunalesca in the face?

You could argue he wasn't exactly the MAIN character but not all main characters end up being crucial. Sometimes the side characters actually end up resolving the plot.
[/SPOILER]
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#14

Post by I am nobody » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:39 pm

[spoiler]
Yeah, but Auron could and would have done everything involving Zanarkand, and preventing summoners from dying was literally the only thing Rikku and the al-Behd were trying to do. My point isn't that Tidus didn't have an impact on the story, it's that, outside of the trippy pond scene, other characters would've combined to have exactly the same impact if he wasn't there. He contributes to the plot in ways that aren't unique to his character.
[/spoiler]

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#15

Post by X-3 » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:50 pm

FFXII had a pretty interesting development period. The original co-director, Matsuno, left the project in 2005. That departure has been often cited as a reason XII feels...weird and incomplete? I dunno, I never played the game.

I've read a good /v/ post that seemed to argue pretty well that Vaan was actually integral to the story in several ways. This talk about protagonist relevancy reminds me of around XIII's launch, when people often commented that Vanille and Fang were the real main characters of the game, not Lightning. How times change...

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#16

Post by I am nobody » Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:00 pm

^The Vanille and Fang argument hinged mostly on stuff they did before the story, if I'm remembering correctly. That game is a bit different in the sense that it would be better if you just deleted all of the characters, though. :p

And yeah, since I only made it halfway through and haven't played in 3 years, I could be totally wrong about Vaan. Square loves their late game twists.

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#17

Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:19 pm

Sure, Tidus isn't as important as Yuna, but if we're talking characters that are least important, Rikku and Kihmari top the list. I think they're all important but aside from Kihmari's one major scene involving Ronso bullies, he could not exist and it'd be fine-ish. Rikku is just a plot device attaching the party to the Al-Bhed. Tidus is connected to everything to some degree. He may not be central to any one aspect but he is sewn to the fabric of the series. Ripping him out would unfurl the whole thing, IMO. Now who is Yuna's love interest, why is Auron even on the team if not for his promise to you-know-who, and all that?

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#18

Post by I am nobody » Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:45 pm

I dunno, Lulu does basically nothing for the entire game. I had trouble justifying her beyond "we needed a black mage."

[spoiler]
Rikku's role is giving the al-Behd a reason to care, providing a second and directly related voice in favor of saving the summoners, and proving to the traditionalist Wakka that the Yevonite's teachings are wrong. A different character with similar traits might've filled the same role, yeah, but that's true of almost anyone.

There are definitely other characters my argument could apply to, as you pointed out, but it's kind of expected that some of the non-PC party members are going to be removable. Taking out Tidus *would* change the moment-to-moment story in very noticeable ways, but I think a few one-sentence changes here and there could largely erase his involvement in the overall plot without doing anything too dramatic. Maybe you'd add a whole somewhere (the promise bit especially - I'd forgotten that), but it's not the gaping void you'd get from removing most PCs.
[/spoiler]

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#19

Post by X-3 » Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:27 am

A lot of JRPGs have one or more playable characters who have smaller or minimal plot relevance. Usually it's in games with more than 4 playable characters, because as the numbers increase it gets increasingly harder to tie everyone in.

Not everybody's parents can be murdered by the main villain, or be the reincarnation of Not-Jesus. Someone has to compromise and avenge their dog's death at the hands of an unambiguously evil midboss. Then, hours after they get vengeance, they're helping fight against Dank Neo Bahamut III Entschuldigung for no reason. That's just how life works.

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#20

Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:03 am

[QUOTE="I am nobody, post: 1520299, member: 34539"]I dunno, Lulu does basically nothing for the entire game. I had trouble justifying her beyond "we needed a black mage."

[spoiler]
Rikku's role is giving the al-Behd a reason to care, providing a second and directly related voice in favor of saving the summoners, and proving to the traditionalist Wakka that the Yevonite's teachings are wrong. A different character with similar traits might've filled the same role, yeah, but that's true of almost anyone.

There are definitely other characters my argument could apply to, as you pointed out, but it's kind of expected that some of the non-PC party members are going to be removable. Taking out Tidus *would* change the moment-to-moment story in very noticeable ways, but I think a few one-sentence changes here and there could largely erase his involvement in the overall plot without doing anything too dramatic. Maybe you'd add a whole somewhere (the promise bit especially - I'd forgotten that), but it's not the gaping void you'd get from removing most PCs.
[/spoiler][/QUOTE]

Well, Lulu was basically there to flesh out Wakka's backstory and Yuna's circle, much like Kihmari was. Definitely above "here's a black mage" but not by a lot.

As for Tidus, I guess I can agree, but it sure would make [spoiler]Sin[/spoiler] disconnected from the group a bit.

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