Final Fantasy Series

Discussion in 'Video Games' started by yieldingmydestiny, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. SunDog

    SunDog KHAAAAAAAAN! Veteran

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    Yes! She is exactly what we are talking about with an interesting character. She has probably 3 minutes of screen time but standing up to Vayne made her so much more likeable than Ashe or Penelo. Not to mention we could have our strong female character trope if she somehow made it to the party.

    My overall point is look at Silence of the Lambs. Anthony Hopkins (hannibal) gets less than 17 minutes on screen. Yet he is what everyone remembers, not Jodie Foster. 
     
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  2. hian

    hian Biggest Boss Veteran

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    And as I said, I disagree. There is no "true" or "untrue" to that statement, as it's a statement of perspective.


    There is no one screen or two sentence expression of a fictional character that is ever going to get me to feel as if a character is interesting.


    What you're talking about here, sounds to me like bait, intrigue, or fascination - "wow, look at this guy/gal, something's going on here". But, don't you think that sounds kind of, I don't know, superficial? Would you use the same words when talking about how you describe actual human beings? do you think you can determine whether someone is actually interesting based on a glance, or 5 minutes of dialogue? Maybe you can. I definately can't.


    In either case, I find emotions of intrigue to be short lived, and to me (who recognizes how irrelevant that first emotional reaction is to how characters turn out in the end) it simply doesn't have much, if any, relevance at all to how I relate to the narrative.


    The point I was trying to make, if we look away from the word "stereotype", is that all characters are essentially made up of a premise, and a narrative, just like stories are.


    You have the premise, the broad strokes, of the character, and then you have what the character truly is - namely the sum of what the character says and does.


    The less a character says and does, the harder it will be to see that character as being a close approximation to a real human being. Consider that the average human probably has 50+ years of doing stuff and talking before they die.


    Most fictional characters don't even fill 1% of that. Now, is it possible to give small amounts of screen-time and still convey a lot of information if you know what you're doing? Yes.


    Still, that's a really a moot point, if you consider that if a person who's capable of doing the above spent even more time developing scenes for the characters, they'd be even deeper.


    Still, there is room for subjectivity. I prefer characters that seem human, and thus I prefer characters that are fleshed out. Some people just like characters that have sizz-bom-bah. I respect that, it's just that I find that boring.


    I believe that if the characters in FF12 had been given a proper script, that would have saved the story of the game.

    Interesting, I didn't even remember that character until you guys mentioned her...


    I disagree with your sentiment though.


    While Anthony is certainly emblematic of Silence of the Lambs, one has to remember that despite his lesser screen-time, Hannibal is the actual central character of the Hannibal series, not Clarice Starling.


    Hannibal persists in all the books, and all the movies - the agents he works with do not.


    This itself betrays a difference with which the narratives treats the characters.


    The narrative is about "Hannibal the Cannibal", and the entire franchise is set up around him.


    That people don't remember Jodie Foster however, is just absurd, unless by "people" you mean those who haven't actually seen the movie, or who only saw it once while not really paying all that much attention.


    The assmption that people remember Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal because Hannibal is an interesting character, is pretty shaky too, in my opinion.


    Hopkins portrayel of Hannibal, and the nature of Hannibal himself as a creepy Serial killer that eat humans, is pretty much what makes everything rememberable I.E Shock-value and acting skills.


    Can shock-value and acting skills I.E presentation make interesting characters?


    I suppose you can argue that it does, at least for some people. Not for me though.


    Personally, I found Clarice Starling to be a better character than Hannibal Lecter, in Silence of the Lambs.


    Secondly, as I said in the first part of my reply - imagine the difference then, if you give the character more exposure. What if Hannibal had more than 17 minutes?


    We see the answer to that now in the Hannibal series, and personally I think the character of Hannibal there is so much better than the one in the movies.
     
  3. Touchfuzzy

    Touchfuzzy Rantagonist Staff Member Lead Eagle

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    I'm a busy man, if you can't hook me on characters relatively quick, I probably won't stick with it. Its not that I'm impatient, its that there are 3 billion other games, books, tv shows, and movies out there for me to try, and I don't exactly have a ton of free time.

    Make a character that is worth paying attention to from the beginning, or don't bother.
     
  4. SunDog

    SunDog KHAAAAAAAAN! Veteran

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    There are plenty of examples of this idea

    Darth Vader needed no introduction. We all fell in love with Han Solo right after he shot Greedo (and he shot first). Everything else just made him more awesome. Luke is probably the least interesting person for at least the first Star Wars film.

    Look at LOTR. Frodo is the main and most important character. Yet just about everyone is more interesting than him. Especially Sam. And LOTR made over 20 characters interesting.

    Bring that back to Final Fantasy. Squall was very interesting and he changed over the course of the game. He went from a streaming water to someone who cared for others. I hated Titus, but at least I got to learn about his personality; and how his personality lead to breaking the Sin cycle because he didn't give 2 shits about tradition. Auron was his Hannibal. Just his appearance and demeanor let you know he was a stone cold bad ass. Then when you found out he was actually dead and trying to make up for his past regret, he only got cooler. Fran is the only character in FF12 who has that luxury. Let's look at the rest-

    Basch: Started off with a good piece of character development about being framed and imprisoned. Since then, I can't say much for him.

    Ashe: So she's the deposed princess who only has a personality when holding nethecite and having visions of her dead husband

    Balthier: He's a pirate who makes smart ass comments.

    I don't even know why Vaan and Penelo are along at this point.

    I only remember 2 scenes with Judge Drace. The first scene she was discussing current events with other judges; the other was when she got killed. In that short amount of time I got the human face of the empire, and found out a lot about her personality. That she takes her job seriously and actually believes in justice (in stark opposition to every other judge we have encountered to this point). I thank her that I'm still playing because other than the unique battle system and the fact that I paid $8 for this game, I was quickly losing reasons to give a sheep. 
     
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  5. SLEEP

    SLEEP grunge rock cloud strife Veteran

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    wow you guys are bad at picking and identifying tropes.
     
  6. Liak

    Liak Veteran Veteran

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    Errr, guys, I need your help. :D

    I am currently playing Final Fantasy III, the Steam version.

    After the water crystal, I got a few new classes. Since I want to try as many classes as possible, I figured: well, let's give everyone one of those new classes! I did that, then I went over to the weapon shop in Amur and sold the unneeded equipment.

    That seems to have been a huge mistake, lol. As far as I can tell, only for the Thief and the Viking class there's a weapon plus (some) armor sold at Amur. Is there any way to get hold of some additional equipment? It seems I can't leave Amur before finishing at least the next dungeon, but everyone without an armor dies. Do I really need to have a group of only Thieves/Vikings to get through there now? I'm so stupid! :D
     
  7. Omega Weapon

    Omega Weapon AKA Laura Veteran

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    FFIII is very unforgiving, so you've been stupid yes.

    If you want to get out, get at least one Viking and a White mage. Let that Viking provoke everything and hope you get through.
     
  8. Mouser

    Mouser Veteran Veteran

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    @ Liak - yep, you forgot the #1 rule of Final Fantasy: Never Sell Anything.

    @ Hian - we decide whether people are interesting or not in less than one minute (a lot less, in most cases). Judging by appearances isn't a bad thing, no matter what the politically correct would tell you: it's an essential skill to be able to survive in a world with far more people than you could ever hop to get to know.

    Occasionally our initial judgements are off - that's part of the learning process, and sometimes we still get it wrong. But by the time you're in your teens you've generally developed a 'sense' of pretty accurate generalizations.
     
  9. hian

    hian Biggest Boss Veteran

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    I think you guys are making a mistake though, because you're essentially making a subconscious false dichotomy that sets up characters as either being (hugely) interesting the first minute or so, as opposed to then being generally boring.


    Most characters, in my opinion, are not like that. They're ambiguous, and they should be, because that's what allows the narrative to throw around the readers expectations by exploiting a character's plasticity.

     
    Fine, but then it might be worth taking into account the subjectivity of what you find to be interesting in a character, but if we do that the argument boils down to one of taste, which most people on this forum seems very prone to not want to do, because it looses them the ability to make their value judgements seem like some sort of intellectual stance founded on objective standards for story-telling, and not just some knee-jerk reaction based on previously established emotional biases.


    Personally, I'd rather be bored by the 10 first minutes of 90+ minutes story which then evolves into something fantastic, than to be thrilled by the first 10 minutes of a story that then takes a massive dump all over the narrative by being boring as hell(FF12 certainly falls into that category for me) - and since both tend to be something that happen, I like to give most stories and characters a fair shot.

    Darth Vader and Han Solo, on the surface, are both horrible characters in my opinion though. When they're first introduced, they're both shallow, and seem to be designed with the worst stereotypes of "teh cool" in mind, in order to pander to easily impressionable people, and are great examples of characters I find very unlikable.


    Whatever depth Darth Vader has, requires the viewer to know his entire back-story, and if you don't take into account the prequels, you have to see him all the way to the last movie, before he has his first scene of actual character progression, and he subsequently dies. I mean, seriously...


    So, by that note, I'd say Darth Vader is a great example of how characters need to be given depth to be quality characters regardless of how shiny and cool they look at first glance.

    Again, not an example that will have much effect on my. Except for it's well-deserved status as a book of influence on the genre of fantasy, it's IMO a horrible book in terms of plot, and character-development.


    The pacing is terrible, and it reads more like a rewrite of old Norse legends, than a modern work of fiction. I can say with the hand on my heart that I didn't find a single character in that book interesting, and that probably has to do with the fact that Tolkien spent more pages on describing landscape than he did on actually driving the narrative, and the dialogue.


    Not to mention that the book managed to write a villain that was flatter than the the villain it was modeled after to begin with.

    Squall's first part was written so douchy it almost made me give up on him completely. It didn't help that the writers decided to add all this non-choices that made it look like you could pick more socially sane dialogue for him, only to have the game have Squall say something completely different than what you just picked for him.


    Squall did indeed have character development though, since he actually changed into something else entirely. The fact that they needed to write him all yin-yang though, pretty much damages the quality of his character IMO. He didn't need to be as douchy as he was in order to inspire players to relate when he changed due to the "power of love".


    That being said FF8 had Laguna, which is my favorite character out of all FF characters ever written, so there's that.

    You'll never find me saying that stereotyping is wrong. This has nothing to do with political correctness, this has to do with a discussion on how to judge a character as being poorly written or not, and on whether character quality has anything to do with the amount of narrative is spent developing a character.


    I'm simply arguing that you're not going to be making any good characters if you're not going to spend any time developing them.


    Does there exist stereotypes that attractive people faster than others on a general basis? Sure, but that's beside the point.


    We're talking about quality writing here.


    I was making the point that if FF12 had more time dedicated to fleshing out the characters, the game would be more interesting. Is there really any doubt about this?


    Take any quality character you like and imagine they only had half, or one third of the dialogue and emotional scenes they have, and tell me whether you'd find them just as good. I doubt that very much.
     

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