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The Heroes of Final Fantasy Week 3 [GO]
Aug 25th, 2010 by Dan

The Heroes of Final Fantasy Week 3

One of the first major features on this blog was a Villains of Final Fantasy series that ran for 13 weeks covering the main enemies of every numbered Final Fantasy game from I to XII including X-2. With Final Fantasy XIII launching in the states in just over a month, I figured it’s high time to give some recognition to the teams who are actually responsible for bringing those villains to justice and saving the world. I bring you the Heroes of Final Fantasy.

Week 1 – Final Fantasy
Week 2 – Final Fantasy II

FFIII-onionknight

Kinda chubby

The Onion Knights are actually a band of cipher protagonists with no real personalities or backstories. Later remakes of the game attempted to revise this and shoehorn in some identities and personalities to the characters, but the fact remains that the protagonists of FF III are nobodies in the same way that the cast of FF I are nobodies, only this time they have so many different class combinations that it would be prohibitively difficult (i.e., I don’t want to do it) for me to list and describe them all.

Coolness

Who are these four mysterious warriors and why do they fight? No one knows. Would I invite them over to my house to hang out? No way. Too boring.

1/10

Hero Quotient:

Killing Chaos or an inter-dimensional, trans-existential beings bent on destroying existence is kind of impressive, I guess, but that’s what everyone does in an FF game. Mastering a bunch of jobs and skills seems pretty hard, so I’ll give them a small boost for that.

4/10

Akihiko_Yoshida-FF3

Ok, these guys look kind of cool. Reminds me of Amano

The Heroes of Final Fantasy Week 2 [Game Overview]
Feb 11th, 2010 by Dan

One of the first major features on this blog was a Villains of Final Fantasy series that ran for 13 weeks covering the main enemies of every numbered Final Fantasy game from I to XII including X-2. With Final Fantasy XIII launching in the states in just over a month, I figured it’s high time to give some recognition to the teams who are actually responsible for bringing those villains to justice and saving the world. I bring you the Heroes of Final Fantasy.

Week 1 – Final Fantasy I

The first real Final Fantasy story features four main characters in your party of heroes.

Firion

Amano's artwork really is gorgeous. Nomura's got nothing on him.

After witnessing the murder of his adoptive parents by the ruthless Empire, Firion did what any kid in these games would do and headed to join the Wild Rose Rebellion where he was uncharacteristically turned away for being too young. After proving himself to be worthy by slaying some beast or another, Firion and his pals are finally allowed into the Rebellion. Despite being the main character and the party leader, this game is arguably more about Leon in the same way that the Star Wars movies were ultimately about Darth Vader and not Luke.

Maria

I have no idea how the gravity-defying left side of this outfit is supposed to stay on.

Leon’s sister whose parents were also murdered at the start of the game. Throughout the story Maria is teamed up with Guy and Firion searching for Leon and opposing the Empire. Not much else to say beyond that.

Guy/Gus

This guy is kind of pudgy and gross-looking. Makes sense for a guy raised in the wilderness.

With even less backstory than everyone else, Gus is kind of a mystery aside from the fact that he and Firion are close friends. Oh yeah, he can also talk to beavers. No joke.

No, seriously, he can talk to these guys. Makes no sense to me either.

Leon

Would you be able to take Darth Vader seriously if he had a face on his belt buckle? I didn't think so.


Despite spending most of the game as the Dark Knight and opposing the heroes, Leon is technically one of the good guys. When the Emperor is finally killed, Leon steps in to try and take over and he’s only stopped when the forces of hell depose him. Not too shabby.

Coolness:

Despite mostly being Star Wars ripoffs, these guys get points in my book for being cool enough to get invited into the Wild Rose Rebellion, which also has a pretty sweet name. Leon also has a Darth Vader thing going for most of the game, which is trite, but not too bad. Finally, Guy can talk to beavers. That’s worth at least 2 points there.

7/10

Hero Quotient:

Toppling an Empire is pretty big stuff, but that’s nothing compared to fighting said Emperor after he returns from Hell to destroy the world. Plus: what kind of hero team doesn’t talk to beavers? Still, it’s not too much beyond standard fare for these adventuring groups, so they only get average marks here.

6/10

Game Overview: The Villains of Final Fantasy Week 6
Oct 31st, 2008 by Dan

Insert another credit, because it’s time for your weekly video game news and you’ve just hit the Game Overview screen.

With every Final Fantasy game there exists great (and not so great) teams of heroes bent on saving the world from some sort of evil force. While we could take a look at those heroes, let’s instead take a look at the evils that motivate these heroes to do what they do.

It should be noted that this feature will be full of spoilers.

Week 1 – Garland
Week 2 – Emperor Mateus of Palamecia
Week 3 – The Cloud of Darkness
Week 4 – Zeromus
Week 5 – Exdeath

It’s no secret that I love everything about Final Fantasy VI. The game was my second best 16-bit game, if you remember that old feature. In fact, this feature was inspired almost completely by the antagonist of the greatest Final Fantasy villain to ever grace the screen: Kefka.

Heading away from the job system and small parties, Square did something they’d never done before by creating a large, mostly de-centralized cast of protagonists. The main character is, ostensibly, Terra, but pretty even attention is given to at least four or five other characters, you can spend quite a bit of time without Terra in your party, and you don’t even have to re-add her to your party once you’ve reached the World of Ruin.

Then we have the main evil man of the series, Kefka. Talk about an odd one. The guy looks like a clown, both in his sprite and his Amano-inspired portrait. It turns out (and I don’t think this was that clear in the original translation, the GBA one is clearer) that he is not a jester of any sort, he’s the court mage of the Empire and one of the Emperor’s big four general-types among Leo, Celes, and the magic soldier Terra.

So he’s an evil henchman, so what? I bet there’s some ancient evil that secretly steals the scene and becomes the true villain, right? No…not even close. Kefka is truly evil, and a nihilist to boot, with actions that are truly deplorable. Edgar and Figaro won’t cooperate and hand over Terra? He sets Castle Figaro on fire. Assault on Doma taking too long and Imperial losses getting to be too much? Poison the city’s water supply, murdering women, children, captured Imperial soldiers, and everyone else.

It gets even worse. He brutally massacres a bunch of espers, throws the balance of magic off in the entire world, and causes the apocalypse. After becoming a god, he brutally unleashes his wrath against people, seeking to end life on the planet, because he can. All this unparalleled evil, yet in most every battle with the player, Kefka just runs away at the completion.

Here’s to the most evil, human villain Final Fantasy has ever seen.

Evil Rating:

War criminal, bringer of the apocalypse, brutal murderer, slaver. An all around bastard embodying the worst of humanity. He also looks like a clown :shudder:

10/10

Cool Rating:

Pure evil, mage, jerk, first speaking part in a Final Fantasy game, but also has a penchant for running away from battles that he can’t win. He also looks like a clown.

8/10

Images:

Sprite
Amano Art
More Amano
Battle Sprite
Anthologies CGI
Final Boss
Kefka Godform
CGI Godform
Dissidia Kefka
Dissidia Concept Art
Kefka Figurine

Video:

Kefka Cosplay:

Kefka Battle:

Game Overview: The Villains of Final Fantasy Week 4
Oct 17th, 2008 by Dan

Insert another credit, because it’s time for your weekly video game news and you’ve just hit the Game Overview screen.

With every Final Fantasy game there exists great (and not so great) teams of heroes bent on saving the world from some sort of evil force. While we could take a look at those heroes, let’s instead take a look at the evils that motivate these heroes to do what they do.

It should be noted that this feature will be full of spoilers.

Week 1 – Garland
Week 2 – Emperor Mateus of Palamecia
Week 3 – The Cloud of Darkness

Final Fantasy IV was a masterpiece of soap operatic storytelling. Characters joined, left, fell in love, died, were amnesiacs, and were under mind control. It was a mess, but it was an entertaining tale of redemption for an evil man and his love for his woman.

Unfortunately we still had this very strange story anomaly where you’d play through about 90% of the game thinking one guy was your enemy (Golbez, in this case) only to find out that the real culprit was some other bloke (Zemus/Zeromus, in this case). While we can forgive the weak characterization in these early games, FF IV started to reach the saturation point for this nonsense. Sure, we love fighting evil, but wouldn’t it be nice to not just have a quick “Oh, this guy was mind controlling everyone” kind of thing be pulled on us?

So Zemus/Zeromus happens to be a Lunarian, or a dude from the moon, who’s decided that living on the moon blows. To fix this problem, he’s decided to kill everyone on the planet and take the planet for the Lunarians to live on. The other Lunarians are, surprisingly, not on board, so it’s up to the crew to take this sucker down.

Evil Rating:

He’s evil, but not evil enough to want to get his own hands dirty. 99% of the evil he causes is realized through his mind controlled puppets. I’ll give him points for wanting to kill everyone on the planet, but he’s gotta lose some for laziness. That and he totally gets owned by the heroes and has to let the embodiment of his hatred be the final boss.

7/10 (mostly because his evil intentions raze an entire town, kill multiple player characters, and are cool, but he loses points for the totally lame mind control plot)

Cool Rating:

Well he gets cool points for being from the moon. He’s also too cool for school, preferring to make others do his dirty work while he chills out on the moon. It doesn’t get much cooler than that, except that he gets owned pretty easily and has to unleash his hatred upon the world to actually be formidable.

7/10

Images:

Zemus (DS)
Zeromus (Amano Artwork)

Video:

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