“Who am I?”
Those are some famous words spoken by one Cloud Strife.
Love him or hate him, Cloud bears a name and face that many fans of the Final Fantasy series will know. The question of “Who am I?” is something Cloud will probably never have to worry about ever again, as his place in FF history as a recognizable character has been sealed.
With the re-release of Final Fantasy X in all its HD glory this day, many of us will be playing the 2001 game for the very first time or re-living the journey from Zarnarkand to Spira. There are lots of things to love about Final Fantasy X: the beautiful art, the wonderful story, the gorgeous soundtrack! Blitzball! Yevon! And then there’s the game’s protagonist, Tidus.
I’ve seen many Internet opinions labeling him as “whiny”. Hey, maybe he is! I don’t really recall disliking him but there’s that one thing he is infamously remembered for, and that is that strange laugh (in either Japanese or English). In that way, Tidus had something unforgettable! That’s to be applauded!
With Tidus, it’s less of a question for me as to who he is. I remember him—even without the horrid laughter.
But then there are those Final Fantasy characters that I have a difficult time remembering that they existed. In all fairness, as expansive as the cast of characters can get in any given Final Fantasy game, it would be hard for every single one of them to get their moment to shine. Some shine more than others. Not all personalities are going to be loved either (but that is not the heated discussion of personal favourites we will be having today).
In my perfect worlds of Final Fantasy, everyone would be decked out as odd and/or be wonderful—be it design, characteristics or personalities. They would also not be relegated at being [insert low level stats] because I had no inclination to include them in my group of fighters. In the adventure happening outside of the wagon (whoops, wrong series reference), they would all be cool enough to go exploring with me in my party (or at least in heavy rotation when given the choice).
Unfortunately, all cannot be memorable and loved. It’s a sad truth that often happens… but not today! Today, I will struggle to remember all of you lackluster characters and give you a moment of glory! ...In an article about how forgettable you were to me.
1. Vaan and Penelo, Final Fantasy XII
Oh boy. I’m sorry, and this is rather embarrassing but who are you two? It’s not that I have a dislike for either of you, per se. It’s just that there’s really nothing to dislike about you guys since you were non-entities to me. This game was clearly not about Vaan (and Penelo, to an extent) at all but rather followed the political razzamatazz involving Ashe, Basch, Gabranth, the annoyingly Rico Suave space pirate Balthier and the bunny girl that traveled with him. Those are characters that I remember. Vaan and Penelo? Not so much. Can anyone tell me what exactly it was Vaan did? Was he there to act as the players’ eyes? I guess that would make me very forgettable. I don’t like that. Give me a purpose other than an outsider looking in! Or at least better clothes. Sheesh.
Oh snap, wait. Did I just call the bunny girl, bunny girl? Looks like there’s someone else I forgot about too.
Fran, was it? At least I knew you were a bunny girl who was bad-assed! Don’t stress the small stuff, girl.
Let’s move on.
2. Amarant Coral, Final Fantasy IX
Confession time, everyone. I had to look up Amarant to make sure I was spelling his name correctly (spoiler: I did not. I initially called him “Amaranth”). What I remember about him was that he was a bounty hunter. Maybe. And that he had red locks. The sad part is that even after reading his wiki article, it did not jog any memories except for the fact that he had a conversation with Freya. Now Freya! I remember her. She was my favourite. The mystery under that hat. That dragoon pose.
Ehm. My apologies. I digress.
Now, if I could put Eiko on this list, I totally would. Not because I found her forgettable (which I kinda do), it’s more so that I want to forget her. What a brat! But this little blurb was not about her, it was about Amaranth.
3. Snow Villiers, Final Fantasy XIII
A boy with white hair, named Hope, had a grudge against someone. The guy Hope disliked was some brute in a bandana. The dude also had a light brown trench coat and was engaged to Lightning’s sister. What was the grudge about? Now I know the boy’s mother had been killed. So that’s probably the source of tension… but ugh, what a brute, one dimensional tough guy character that dude was.
Yes. That’s an inside scoop as to my thoughts. So truthfully, I have not really forgotten about Snow yet because Final Fantasy XIII was only released a few years ago. Then there’s the issue that I don’t like him, so he’s sticking out like a sore thumb right now. But Snow has all the right symptoms in appearance—bland. Meathead. Not a Fashionista—to be forgotten by me in the future*.
*It should be noted that I did not play FFXIII-2 and Lightning Returns yet though, so maybe there will be some Hope for Snow. Ignore the terrible (and nonsensical) attempt at a pun. Let us keep going.
4. Kimahri Ronso, Final Fantasy X
There was Wakka, the Besaid Island person whose English voice actor tried too hard to sound as though he was from ‘the islands’ (...tangent sidenote: Jamaica is not the only island in the Caribbean, even if Wakka was “representing” Hawaiian culture). There was Auron, the jug-carrying, shades wearing and sword wielding bad-ass. Lulu...she had a bad attitude, a revealing dress and walked around with a moogle. There was also Rikku, who was chirpy, had some thieving ways and was a mechanic whiz. Tidus and Yuna were the stars.
Finally, there was a Ronso. He was Yuna’s protector who looked like a lion. Oh! And he was blue! He also did not say much. Something about a tribe. A broken horn… Alright, so there’s actually a whole lot more to Kimahri’s story, the Ronsos, and Kimahri’s connection to Yuna but as far as party members went, he did not really have a place in mine. He certainly did not suffer from a design presence because his commanded attention with all that smurfiness. But then, I really enjoyed my little lion beast
on all fours in Red XIII of Final Fantasy VII better.
5. Selphie Tilmitt and Irvine Kinneas, Final Fantasy VIII
Ah, Final Fantasy VIII. The cast I wish I could forget. It even had a villain I’m not sure made any type of sense (but girl had style!). But not you, Zell. I could never forget you and your hot dog loving self! You were brilliant.
Oh okay, this is not the list of characters I dislike personally. This is that list of the less memorable characters. And as much as I would love to have words with Rinoa Heartilly had it been the former, I’ll stick to the plan! In that plan, Selphie and Irvine are sadly the scapegoats. They’re not terrible characters but in thinking on it, they also kinda/sorta feel like the prototypes for Rikku and Balthier, respectively.
Irvine, on his false exterior anyway, had that same sort of annoying ladies’ man charm ::yawn::. The cowboy hat worked though.
Selphie was a bundle of cheer whose characterization did not feel as though it went too much beyond that.
Much like this sorry excuse of a paragraph.
BONUS! Elena, Final Fantasy VII
Ha ha! This one is a bit of a joke (yeah, they all are) but bear with me. FFVII is my favourite in the series (BOO HISS, I can hear some of you crying) and as such, I have a better memory of and connection to the characters. I may not remember the name of every single general in Shinra or the division heads for each sector. But when it comes to generally thinking about AVALANCHE, the main group, the two hidden characters and The Turks, I remember the key players. Except for Elena. She’s not a playable character but again, she should be important enough for me to remember. And yet I feel a conversation like this is plausible for me to have...
“Hey! Who were the Turks?”
“EASY! Reno, Rude, Tseng and Rufus, the President!”
“Um, you’re forgetting Elena...”
Then a memory of a blonde girl rolling down a snowy hill comes back to me.
Soon thereafter, I quickly start finger-snapping as I recall the theme of The Turks and I promptly forget again about Elena—the Turks member who was less than cool and didn’t deserve that theme.
Oh who am I really kidding. Half of The Turks were a bunch of misfits. Lovable, but misfits nonetheless.
So that’s it from me for now. I’m sure I am forgetting lots of other forgettable characters from the very extensive world of Final Fantasy (of which, for disclosure, I’ve played FFIV through FFX, FFXII and FFXIII). I really exercised my brain there to bring back those memories of characters I met. And now back into the vault they go!
...Um...what were we talking about again?
Oh yeah, that’s right!
Now, let’s hear yours! Reach into the recesses of your minds and tell me all about the characters you “forgot” about (this is a not a catalyst for the ones you hated! Just the ones that didn’t do much to stand out for you to say, include in your party) from the worlds of Final Fantasy. You know, if you can remember them.
And one more thing. When you all start up your adventures in Final Fantasy X today for the first, second or X’th time, please say hello to the Ronso Kimahri for me. But don’t tell him about what we talked about today and my dirty little secret. I don’t want to be mauled, please. And thanks.
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