Opinion: Rinoa Should Have Been A Kingdom Hearts Princess!

Most of my friends from when I was in college would probably roll their eyes at this one… because I’ve said a lot about it. For everyone who’s played Kingdom Hearts, you know the basic gist of the game.

To beat the game and stop the darkness, you need the power of the 7 princesses… I know, I know, but trust me, it’s a lot more bad assed than it sounds. This isn’t My Little Pony Fanfic.

When you bring these princesses together, they use their combined power to put a stop to the enemy known as the Heartless… again, I SWEAR this isn’t MLP or Care Bears fan fic!!! Trust me, go play the game! It really is good!

Anyway… Let’s take a look at the 7 Princesses.

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As I said, there are seven of them. Six are Disney characters, one is an original character from the game’s own cast.

One thing I would to note, Kingdom Hearts is the marriage of Final Fantasy and Disney. There are several Final Fantasy characters (mostly from 7-10) in the game that play pretty major parts. They have their own worlds, though we only see one, as well as back stories as to how they got there. However none of them are among the princesses and that I do not agree with. If you wanted to go with seven princesses, I get why, and I think there was a space for one. One of the characters, in my opinion does not qualify as a princess. Let’s go through the seven one by one, shall we?

I’ll go through them in order of status, in other words the ones that most qualify as a princess vs. the ones that don’t.

Snow White: This one is a pretty obvious choice. She is a princess. Not only that, but she was the first of the Disney princesses. So I really don’t need to go into much here. She’s kind and innocent. So we’ll just leave it at that, an obvious choice.

Sleeping Beauty: Again, another obvious choice. She was an early princess in the Disney scope. She doesn’t really play that huge of a role I’d argue vs. the faeries and the prince, but that’s my opinion. She’s a princess, another beloved one in the realm of Disney, so no arguments here.

Jasmine: I was going to put her above Sleeping Beauty because honestly she’s a stronger character than Sleeping Beauty and honestly far more likable, but Sleeping Beauty is far more iconic and well-known, IMO. So take that as you will, maybe it’s a tie, maybe not, but that’s where we are, moving on.

Cinderella: Okay… I know she’s iconic, I know she’s beloved in Disney’s circles and her story is beyond legend, but she falls lower than White, Sleepy, and Jaz because well… she wasn’t a princess. I’m not kidding, at what point in the story was she a princess? We never see her get married in the movie, she’s nobility, but treated as a servant until the end of the movie. I guess she qualifies because the prince said he’d marry the owner of the slipper, so until the King dies, that makes her a princess by marriage, but that’s arguable.

Belle: Same as Cinderella, albeit arguably less so. She’s not a princess… heck she’s not even a daughter of nobility. She marries a prince by the end of the movie but… is he a prince? I mean we never see his parents, where are they? In another castle? (Insert Mario Joke) It’s never fully explored, so… I guess we’ll just take it on faith, maybe he’s not next in line to the throne. So again, princess by marriage.

Kairi: Honestly, we don’t know much about her in the first game. Is she a princess? It’s not really explored. However I guess it makes sense that she’s on there as it gives the main hero something to fight for.

Alice: I have no idea why they chose her. Why not Ariel from the Little Mermaid? That might have made more sense here. Though you could argue that she’s in Mermaid form in the game, but there are always ways around that. Alice is not a princess. She’s a girl who daydreams and goes to wonderland. So really… I don’t know why she’s counted as one of the princesses. She could have easily been switched out with literally any other Disney character… or perhaps a Final Fantasy princess?

Enter Rinoa… Now why do I say Rinoa over say… Garnet (Dagger), Tifa, Aeris, Yuna, etc.

Well… Garnet is a true princess, but to be honest… I never found her particularly likable. There really are no other FF9 characters in the first Kingdom Hearts, and honestly, she ends the game as the Queen.

Tifa and Aeris have no real connection to any form of nobility, it doesn’t even really exist in her world other than the nepotism within Shinra. Aeris is the last descendant of the Ancients, but… I mean she’s already a contributing character, so I think that really goes far enough.

So why Rinoa?

Well… Rinoa for one is a very well-liked character. She’s had her own following, multiple figures made, her friends call her a princess, and honestly, you could argue that she’s Gabaldian nobility, being the daughter of a well-respected, wealthy, general in the nation’s army. She’s not royalty, but honestly she fits in about as much as Belle or Cinderella when you think about it. Plus Squall is in the game. Cloud and Aeris are there, why not bring Rinoa in as well for Squall?

If it were me, I would have brought her in instead of Alice as I think she’s definitely a better choice than Alice. IMO it seems like Disney chose Alice because of a lack of princesses to choose from at that point that could fit into the game. However that is my opinion.

What does everyone think? Am I dead on? Not so much? Do you think Alice belongs there? Would you rather a different Final Fantasy character? Let me know.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

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Unpopular Opinion: Final Fantasy 7 isn’t as good as you remember

 

Oh I just know I’m going to piss off a lot of people with this one…

Keeping in mind, I’m just focusing on the main title, not the sequels or prequel here.

Final Fantasy 7 came out roughly a year after I got my first PlayStation. I was in either 6th or 7th grade at the time… I don’t really remember. The gamer magazines all gave it  outstanding reviews. Many said that the game was edgy in that it portrayed murder, rape, and prostitution among other themes in the story.

The public reception though… at the time and from my perspective, was mixed. A lot of people loved it, saying it had a great story, great graphics, and so on. Other balked at the turn-based system and how the game designers had seemingly focused on good graphics and offered little else. Keep in mind, I can’t gauge a universal fan response at the time. Public use of the internet was still in it’s infancy (You old 56K users know what I’m talking about), so the reception I speak of is strictly anecdotal. Take that as you will.

For years, I was in the first camp. I loved the game.

I saw a commercial for it and asked for the game for Christmas. Upon opening it and playing the first disc… I was hooked. I played the game straight through. I struggled through President Rufus’s inauguration scenes, I teared up when Aeris was stabbed through the back, my jaw dropped when Cloud was revealed to be a clone, and relieved when it turned out he wasn’t one, and chills ran down my spine as ‘One Winged Angel’ echoed through my ears during the final fight.

I cannot tell you how many hours I wasted on this game as I played through it several times. So when I heard that Final Fantasy 7 was being remade, like everyone else, I was excited. So much so that I downloaded the original on my handheld PlayStation to relive the glory days.

I kind of wish I hadn’t… The nostalgia goggles fooled me once again. It was like turning on Thunder Cats or the original Transformers and realizing that these shows were a lot cheesier then I remembered.

The graphics and, by today’s standard, laughable polygons didn’t bother me. I knew that was coming, so I give the game a pass on that. I am also aware of how endearing the turn based system is and how it’s come a long way. So again, not an issue.

So what’s the problem?

Well I think part of the problem is the gamer, yes the problem is us. You see, we’ve all grown and matured and as such, we can now see glaring issues with the game that we didn’t see, or didn’t care about when we were younger.

For starters, let’s look at Cloud. He’s moody, doesn’t talk much, doesn’t seem to care about anything or anyone, has a bit of a chip on his shoulder, and yet somehow people gravitate to him. Maybe it’s because of his supposed awesome power or something? I can’t really be certain. The thing is, there’s not much to him. He’s a moody character trope that seems to show up in most, if not all, modern Final Fantasies. Granted, not always the main character, but he’s in there somewhere.

Honestly, Final Fantasy 8’s main character was very similar, in fact I think Square was aware of this as they pared the two characters up and hand them basically taunting each other during the Battle of Hollow Bastion in Kingdom Hearts 2. However, Squall was slightly different. For him, there was a lot more reason given to his moodiness and quiet. He grew up in an orphanage, and the big sister he loved so much, eventually left him behind. Though his memory of all this was gone, the imprint remained, so it made sense.

With Cloud… he was a failure and didn’t want to deal with that or something? Granted the idea of a character concocting a lie about his past and having it consume him to the point where he believed it himself, only to have that backfire, is interesting enough… except there’s a bit of a problem there…

You have everyone’s favorite waifu, (Tifa) who was there for all of the previous events and can easily debunk everything! She doesn’t though because… she’s afraid of what it might do to Cloud? I don’t know, the reason isn’t very well given and honestly makes the whole plot line hard to believe. When Sephiroth reveals that Cloud’s past is a lie and due to his mental insecurities, is able to convince Cloud that he’s a clone because of it. The story started to fall apart, especially with Tifa knowing the truth.

But they explained that too! Sephiroth said that she also had her memory altered. 

Yeah I don’t know, that’s a bit of a stretch. She’s also a little too accepting of the idea. I mean maybe I could believe that Cloud’s true memories didn’t kick in because his mind was scrambled due to Mako exposure, but the rest is really pushing the suspension of disbelief.

Second issue with the story… Vincent. Vincent knows about Sephiroth. He knows about his past and where he comes from. So… why doesn’t he speak up? When Sephiroth is on screen spouting off about his destiny and his mother, why doesn’t Vincent tell him about Lucrecia? I mean yeah you could make the argument that Sephiroth probably wouldn’t believe him, but why wouldn’t you try? At the very least, it may give him pause.

Some people didn’t use Vincent. Others just didn’t have him in the party at the right time. 

True, but the official story has Vincent there so that doesn’t really hold water. Also, there are a few opportunities when the entire party is on screen where he could say something, despite not being in the party.

Third issue, the love interests. Tifa and Aeris (Aerith? Aeries? Aries??? WHATEVER!!)… what can I say about them?

Honestly, Tifa was the preferable character… and I’m not saying that because her cleavage was bigger than her head… no I’m not kidding…

11

 

(I hope Cloud knows a good chiropractor!)

She honestly, despite her flaws was a very energetic and loyal character. Even when Aeris came into the picture, she still stuck by Cloud. Despite everything, she was still there to care for him and comfort him when he needed it. However she did let her emotions run wild and honestly… well let’s just say I didn’t have her in the party all that much.

Then why is she the better of the two?

Because the other option is Aeris.

I actually liked this character when I was younger and now for the life of me, I can’t remember why. Take almost any of her lines of dialogue in the game and try saying those things to people in real life. ‘Hey that’s Cloud’s thing to say, blah, blah, blah.’
‘Let’s ride the airship together, promise? PROMISE ME!’

They’re either going to think you’re a little kid or have serious mental issues. Granted, she’s not the only character with this problem… “Dr. Hojo has named me Red XIII, call me whatever you wish.”

… or you could just tell us your damn name! We’re likely to find out sooner or later anyway! Seriously, what’s your problem?

This actually was revealed a lot more in the game Crisis Core where people started to theorize that Aeris may have had some kind of mental deficiency. I remember message boards going so far as to ask if she was mentally retarded. Granted her character wasn’t done any favors in Final Fantasy Crisis Core, but we’re not really addressing that game here.

On top of that, Aeris is just annoying. She constantly laughing about something or acting like a little kid. On top of all of that, she was kind of the White Mage of this Final Fantasy despite this game not really needing one. Not only that, but her character is really in question. She barely even addresses the nature of Cloud’s relationship with Tifa during her time with the party and at some points seems to either try to sneak around behind it. Even if Cloud expressly says that Tifa is his girlfriend.

Thankfully you have the option of not being nice to her, at which point Tifa shows up for your date at the Golden Saucer and you don’t really have to deal with Aeris past the first act. So that’s a plus.

Let’s move on to the story… I’ve already stated what I take issue with in terms of the main character, but let’s look at the side quests. First of all, too many of them go nowhere. Who is the Kalm Traveler? What was his mission? Who was the man in the pipe in Sector 6? What’s his backstory? What is Aeris doing back in the church after she dies, only to disappear when you turn your back? A lot of these things go nowhere and it feels like there is an incomplete chapter in the game that was supposed to tie these things together.

Also when you leave Cait Sith in the temple and he’s destroyed, it’s written in a way that makes it a sad scene. Cait Sith was a likable character… despite having a bit of a forced introduction. So saying goodbye to him was actually a moving scene… too bad it was ruined two seconds later by a second model showing up. Also not helping things is when Cloud gives the black material to Sephiroth while your party… just kind of stands there. Yeah, they don’t make any effort to stop him… only a spectral figure of Cloud as a child… again not really explained, makes any effort.

When the inevitable happens, Aeris tries to comfort Cloud, only to have him jump on her and start beating the crap out of her… our hero everyone. When he’s not lying about his past to hide the shame of his personal failures, he’s beating up on women.

This is the major problem with Final Fantasy 7. It is edgy and it’s plot lines are interesting, but it never seems to follow through on them. Too little is explained and is up to the audience to figure out, and the whole thing just kind of becomes a muddled mess.

I will say that I was not a fan of the ending, but that may be more because of my personal bias against open endings.

So that’s pretty much my feelings on Final Fantasy 7. The characters are incredibly flawed to the point of unbelievably, the story is a mess and… really that’s all I can say about it. However I am someone who was a much bigger fan of Final Fantasy 8, so take that as you will. Of the Final Fantasies, 6(US) and 8 were the two best in my opinion. I never played any after X-2 due to 11 being an MMO and as I got older, I really didn’t have the time to put into them. So if you’re going to judge my taste, judge it on that.

Wait, wait, why did you like Final Fantasy 8 better?

Well honestly because despite being rushed into production thanks to FF7’s success, Final Fantasy 8 had a much more dynamic story, even more impressive graphics, and several twists and turns that made the game far more addictive. The characters were still pretty childish, but I had an easier time believing that these were teenagers… immature teenagers in some cases, but teens never the less.

The only major complaint I had was that its left up to the audience to figure out, despite being fairly obvious, who Squall’s parents were. (Hint: He shows up on the Ragnarok at the end of the game.) Also, up until X-2 came out, it had the best ending out of any Final Fantasy.

You actually liked X-2?

Haha… not really. The characters were annoying and the job system was flawed at best. I actually had to use a gameshark to get the 100% ending, but honestly… if you combine X and X-2 as one long story… the complete ending is actually very satisfying and wonderful.

So take that as you will. Final Fantasys 6(US) and 8 are the superior titles. Final Fantasy 7 isn’t a bad game by any stretch of the imagination, I just don’t think it’s as good as anyone remembers. It has very serious flaws that stick out more and more with each replay and sadly… its a major detractor in my opinion.

Will I play the remake? If I have time,  yeah I’d love to give it a try. Hopefully some of these things will be fixed and it’s not just a re-textured redress of the original.

Please don’t kill me!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Moral Guardians, Why They Should Be Ignored

I don’t usually get involved in politics or social issues on here, save for the occasional effects it has on geek culture and for good reason. Most of us are looking for an escape from such issues. However, there has been a major trend recently where such issues have invaded nearly every facet of our existence, including unfortunately, our escapism. As such, it would appear that my participation in such topics is not optional, hence the title of this post.

In many previous advice posts, I have said that a writer should write stories that they want to read and enjoy, let the audience decide later if they want to read it. If the writer spends all of their time worrying about what their readers or viewers want to read/see, then the work will likely be a lot more lackluster and forced in many places. Not only that but no matter what you do, you will never be able to please everyone.

So let me start by posing the question; should fiction cover controversial issues? I think most people would agree that it absolutely should. However, there are some out there that disagree because covering such issues would be uncomfortable. Unfortunately, these people tend to rail against anything that lands outside their comfort zone like Christian purist from the 40s.

Now I think that the appropriateness of covering a controversial issue should be taken on a case by case basis, and even then will be in the eye of the beholder. When Mark Wahlberg put out a movie about the Boston Bombing, a lot of people thought it was in bad taste, especially because of the timing. Others thought that those people were being oversensitive. As someone who experienced the Boston Bombing first-hand in that I wasn’t far away from the area when it happened, I’m on the fence with this one. I’m no fan of Mark Wahlberg by any stretch and the fact that he’s become a local hero is disgraceful to Boston, IMO, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think this movie should have been made. Those that say otherwise are what I refer to as ‘moral guardians’. The fact is, no one has the right to tell a creator what they can and cannot create. The exceptions to this are, of course, deliberate slander, threats, and incitement of violence. Everything else resides in the purview of the creator’s morality. Creators should be able to tackle any topic they want in any way they want and then the audience can decide with their dollars if the creator went too far. Telling someone before-the-fact that they shouldn’t be able to experiment and try out something new or uncomfortable is counter-productive in the worlds of fiction and fantasy.

Pandering to Moral Guardians and/or Culture Warriors is never a good idea. For starters, because they’ll often go into writing, video games, and several other mediums that tackle controversial issues and instantly label them as bad without any context such as… actually reading or experiencing the full work. Like it or not, feminist frequency has done this on several occasions with their attacks on video games while bolstering really bad characters simply because of their appearances and genders.

Polygon in their article “Stop using extreme violence to sell your game

Heavily criticized the abuse of women that were put in, as they called it, extremely violent situations.
“The violence is particularly upsetting as it features the assault of women. Violent attacks on women, many times for perfunctory purposes, isn’t new. The Killing Joke saw the Joker torture Barbara Gordon in a statement that reinforced the notion that gender influences violence. The volatile imagery used in the trailer to underline the heinous acts being committed are familiar scenes to us. We’ve seen this play out in other TV shows or movies before, and in real life. 35 percent of women have experienced violence at the hands of another person in their lifetime, according to 2017 report from the United Nations.”

However, these are the same people that complained about the under-representation of female protagonists in these stories. The problem is that… you got what you wanted; more women in fiction. The problem is that fiction can in many cases be extremely violent and as such, the more you put women in the forefront of these stories, the more you’re going to expose them to these situations. It is not avoidable if they’re going to get the level of equality they want.

Simply put, there is no pleasing these people. No matter what you do or how much you try to cater to them, they will find something to complain or faux virtue signal about. There will always be something that they find offensive. They want fiction to tackle controversial topics and then get mad when it does.

Another example I want to tackle is an article by Eurogamer. This time dealing with the imminent release of a game that both I and my wife are really looking forward to; Detroit Become Human. This game looks like its going to be amazing! A narrative-driven story where the choices you make have major consequences on the plot, perma-deaths, etc. A creator’s dream!

Before reading on, I’d advise everyone to watch the most recent trailer for the game. NSFW just as a heads-up:

(I smell a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence if this game does well…)

So… as awesome as this is, of course there are going to be some detractors. Eurogamer does not disappoint me here:

David Cage on Detroit and its depiction of domestic violence

I want to explore a couple of the questions:
The concern I have is that it’s using something like domestic abuse and child abuse – which is a very real issue for unfortunately far too many people – and using it as window dressing rather than exploring the ramifications of those issues.”

Okay, one it’s a trailer. It doesn’t really give you a lot of time to explore the ramifications. Literally, it’s a three-minute taste of something that many writers would have trouble adequately explaining in a 500-page book. Trailers are meant to give you a sample of what you’re going to be experiencing. If something dealing with child abuse bothers you too much that you don’t think this is something you would enjoy, that’s fine. Don’t purchase the game. I have no issue with that, as a child rights advocate, I admit that this put me outside of my comfort zone.

That being said, right after that scene, there is one sentence in the video that makes me think this writer didn’t actually watch the trailer ‘Things could have been different.’ The trailer actually shows you how the decisions you make in the game can change the outcome of this situation for better or worse. The child doesn’t have to end up abused, you as the gamer have the opportunity to prevent it.

However, even if you didn’t… so what? Child abuse is a very real thing. As someone who has experienced it both first and second hand worked at a program for children taken out of their homes, etc. I can honestly say that what goes on in the trailer is not far from reality for too many children. It’s uncomfortable, but it is definitely not something that should be ignored. If fiction can help bring a light to the discussion on this topic, I applaud any attempt made to.

The other question the writer asked that irked me…
Finally – I know I need to wrap up – is nothing off-limits as far as you’re concerned as a writer?” 

I think David Cage answered this one perfectly. So I’ll add his response here:
“Off-limits? What is off-limits is what goes beyond the values I believe in. There are things I’d never do. I’d never do a racist game, or a misogynist game. These are the limits. When you feel okay with the content and the meaning when you know you have nothing to be ashamed of because it’s fair and it tells the right story and because it’s moving. There are no limits.

There’s been these discussion in literature for years and years and years – one of the most famous poets was called Baudelaire, this guy was sued because he was talking about things he should be ashamed of. Today he’s one of the most famous poets in French literature. I think it’s normal that we have this conversation in games now. It’s part of the process.
He is absolutely correct here. The only limits on creators should be those imposed by our own morals and values. The whims of the readers or critics should not be taken into account because it’s not their story. It’s our story that we put out there for them to enjoy. I’m not saying our readers and/or consumers aren’t important. Of course, they are and we want them to enjoy what we offer them. The problem is that our readers typically come from a diverse background and have different wants, desires, and expectations. You can’t pander to all of them and in choosing to pander to any, you run the risk of alienating the rest.
Even worse if you try to pander to the culture warrior or moral guardian crowd. This is something Marvel Comics has done and frankly… they’re hurting bad became of it as I’ve explored in many other topics. These people cannot be pleased and even if you can appease them for a short time, eventually you will put a pinkie toe out of line at which point they will eat you alive.

So while I’m sure to not get many brownie points for saying this… You cover child abuse, spousal abuse, murder, rape, prostitution, or bigotry. Tackle situations that will make some people cringe. Make people who are usually the moral right the bad guys! You put your companion character in a skimpy outfit while giving your own absurd muscle masses that even a WWE superstar would drool over. Fiction and fantasy are yours to enjoy, so make them good!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Fire Emblem: The Nowi Controversy

Oh God… he’s talking about Fire Emblem again!

Yes I am!

So ever since Fire Emblem Awakening came out, there has been some controversy over the characters. Though I tend to ignore these as there seems to be a controversy every time a FE comes out, I wanted to weigh in on this one…

For those of us who’ve played Awakening… we all know who Nowi is.

Nono_confession

Yup she’s the spunky dragon girl that people either really love… or really hate for some reason. Her stats are a little low and she is a pain in the ASS to level up, I will give you that, but her offspring is one of the most powerful Manaketes you can get, and the manakete class is powerful in and of itself.

Anyway, she drummed up some controversy a while back… which I still see debated on the forums every now and then because she can achieve an S-Class ranking with another character, aka marriage. The problem is that she looks like a 12… maybe 13 (AT BEST!) year old.

I’ll be honest, in my game, I usually pair her up with Gregor. In my opinion it’s the best story if you go that route.

Now some have said that this is promoting pedophilia because of how young Nowi is. The problem is that Nowi isn’t a 12 year old human being, by human standards in the game, she’s well over 1,000 years old, and while she has a rather energetic attitude, she does show a level of maturity that reflects that.

Gregor… I actually don’t know how old he is. However, near as I can tell, most of the Fire Emblem characters are between 16 and 45. Gregor strikes me as being on the older side, so maybe pushing 40?

Technically you could argue that Nowi is the one crib-robbing here, but that doesn’t make sense either.

A lot of people have said that it’s not the actual age that’s important (okay…) it’s that she looks like a 12 year old and that promotes pedophilia. To that argument, I cry foul. There are medically recognized conditions, albeit rare, where someone doesn’t age. In other cases, some more petite people just look younger as well. Heck I attended college with a girl who to this day looks like she’s 13. So what, do those people not deserve to be in love, have a relationship and a family? Will they have large societal hurdles to overcome? Unfortunately, yes… but that should not stop them.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not making a case for pedophilia or promoting it. I personally think that it’s a serious mental illness that is in dire need of proper treatment.
This isn’t a case of that at all. Nowi isn’t a human being, she’s a different species all together with different maturity and aging rates.

One could make the argument that by her own species’ standards, she’s just a child, but that would require us to know how they age, their culture and biological maturity… people, it’s a fantasy story. We’re not getting that deep into this! I know some people like to, but personally unless it’s somehow necessary to the plot, I’d rather spare the gory details.

In the end, I don’t believe that Nowi’s appearances poses any real problems. To the anti-child endangerment crowd, I’m with you guys 100% that no child should ever be hurt or abused, but you’re focusing on the wrong target here. The god-awful show ‘Stage Moms of LA’ would be a better place to direct your rage.

But maybe I’m wrong, maybe there’s something I’m missing here. Let’s open this up to discussion! Leave me a comment, I’d be happy to discuss this with you!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Fire Emblem: Tharja vs. Rhajat

Hello all!!

I know it’s been a while and yes, Raiya is coming along nicely. I’m hoping to get back to once-a-week pieces for now and become far more prolific again once Raiya is complete.

So this will be the first piece…

Tharja vs. Rhajat…

Let’s take a look at these two, shall we?

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Hey WTF!!!??? They’re just recycled characters! Same voices, same personalities, everything!

Okay… a little background; Tharja was a big fan favorite from Fire Emblem: Awakening. Most people said that she was likely the most lore-friendly person for the Avatar to marry because… Because insane darkness and a rather alarming obsession equals marriage material? To everyone who condemned their avatar to a life with her, don’t believe the suicide note when he’s found carved up in the ice box!

Yeesh…

Okay, look honestly she’s an entertaining character in her own right. She’s dark, gloomy, and pretty much what you would expect from someone who dabbles in the dark arts. So I can understand why she is so popular.

Then Fire Emblem Fates comes out… I highly recommend reading my review of the game. It was definitely one of the more interesting offerings from the Fire Emblem series.

As the game progresses, we start noticing some characters showing up that look suspiciously like characters from Awakening. Some are the guardians of the Noble Families while others are children born of the party. One character suspiciously stands out from the rest; Hayato’s daughter, Rhajat. I usually pair Hayato with Orochi one because its lore-friendly, and two because Rhajat gets a nice MAG modifier without taking much in the way of hits to her stats.

So let’ s address the elephant in the room… Yes, Rhajat is a recycled Tharja almost entirely. Heck, the name ‘Rhajat’ is simply Tharja with the ‘T’ and ‘r’ moved. She has the same voice actress, same overly obsessed personality with the avatar, same dark abilities and ideas, same love of curses… etc.

Understandably the reaction to this has ranged from ‘meh’ to ‘Rhajat sucks! She’s nowhere near as good as Tharja.’ It honestly does seem a little lazy, even if it is an homage to the previous game.

The being said, does Rhajat deserve all the scorn she’s been getting? Let’s look at the two characters.

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Tharja joins you in the ‘Mad King’ questline because… apparently she’s got nothing better to do and doesn’t like who she’s fighting for. There’s no real reason to it other than the fact that the Shepherds are willing to blindly trust her. After she joins the party, she quickly becomes obsessed with the avatar and proceeds to begin stalking him. She even refers to him as ‘my love’. Much to the annoyance and discomfort of the avatar, who proceeds to fake an illness to get away from her.

There are at least two more dialogues with Tharja, both of which are extremely uncomfortable. They include the avatar trying to get Tharja to stop acting weird and it completely backfiring on him. She begins trying to act ‘proper’ and ‘like a normal girl.’ She does eventually save him from a fever where he collapses… though I’m not convinced it wasn’t the result of a curse.

If you do go all the way to S class, she threatens to murder you in your sleep if you back out. Needless to say, I usually  marry her off to Libra. It’s far more entertaining.

She doesn’t really treat her daughter better either. The girl seems extremely timid most of the time, and schizophrenic the rest. She was apparently too wrapped up in her work to teach her daughter anything and only used her for experiments. Not exactly the most likable person. So why is she so popular?

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Okay, no! No no no no no no! We’re not going down that road again! It made a helluva lot more sense with Camillia. Tharja maybe be skimpily dressed, but this is not the main reason she’s popular. Give geeks a little more credit.

The truth is that she’s actually very powerful, and her dark persona is something that many geeks can honestly relate to. A lot of people find the way she talks and character reactions entertaining, which is why she’s gained a following.

So what about Rhajat? 

Oh God, she’s pretty much the same character, but a cheap imitation? Christ… this is going to be bad… let’s go through her character, shall we?

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Rhajat joins your party in Birthright and Revelations if you pair her father, Hayato with someone. Her hair color follows the mother. So for me, it’s usually purple. Following rescuing her in her paralogue, she joins the avatar’s army… and yes, you guessed it, she’s inexplicably obsessed with him. Inexplicably… at least at first.

She reveals that she’s watching over the avatar and, in a sense, protecting him because he saved her. The avatar replies that she would have done the same for him, assuming that her rescue in the paralogue is what she’s referring to. To this, she seems oddly disappointed. She hints towards their fates being intertwined and then leaves.

In her next dialogue, she reveals the real reason why she’s so obsessed with the avatar… Apparently the paralogue wasn’t the first time he saved her. They’d met before in the deeprealms when she was a little girl and the avatar caught her when she almost ran off a cliff… wait… we actually get a VALID explanation??? What the hell is this? It’s not just random obsession or anything like that. Rhajat actually has a decent and… almost justified reasoning for her creepy behavior.

In fact, when the avatar realizes how much of an impact he’s had on her life, he apologizes!

So if you go all the way to S class… Rhajat offers to cease her stalking and leave the avatar alone. She doesn’t want to be a nuisance and though it upsets her, she’s willing to make a break. At that point, she reveals that the avatar has been her hero the entire time for everything he’s done for her.

The avatar is taken aback… and reveals that he actually enjoys her attention to the point where he actually stalked her every now and then. They agree that they have a connection and that they love each other.

It’s not… a perfect match, but it’s as fluid a romance as you can get in Fire Emblem.

Okay… so after putting the two characters together… clearly they are not identical personality-wise. Rhajat’s reasoning is far more fleshed out, and she’s definitely the most dynamic character.

So why then is she the more hated of the two?

Well… in the current trend of story telling, people seem to gravitate more towards antiheroes and complex villains. Tharja can really fit either role. Her psychotic personality and devil may care attitude is definitely something that a lot of fantasy fans can get into.

Rhajat honestly comes off as more of an obsessed fangirl than anything evil that is simply part of an alliance of convenience. The big issue though is more likely the fact that she’s a recycled character, which many people object to because it’s lazy. (Especially when you typically shell out $40 for each title.)

So with all this in mind, which is the superior character?

Well bust out the pitchforks because honestly, it’s Rhajat. She’s more dynamic, less awkward, and honestly her story has a lot more charm to it than Tharja’s. Oh and in case your wondering, yes I do have her marry the Avatar. In fact, she is one of my top choices;

  1. Scarlet (Birthright only)
  2. Rhajat
  3. Elise (See her actions in Birthright to understand why.)
  4. Caeldori
  5. Azura

Anyway, let me know in the comments what you think. Tharja or Rhajat?



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

A Look Back: Airforce Delta Strike

I used to mention this game to people back in college and honestly… No one knew what I was talking about! I couldn’t believe it.

This game is nothing short of awesome.

Oh yeah, that brings back memories. This game was pretty much the perfect mesh of everything I loved:

Awesome story
Great Graphics
Dynamic Characters
Fantasy Universe
Full 3-D Freedom of Movement
Large landscapes
Multiple story-lines
Customization Aircraft
A Perfect combination of antique, modern, and futuristic craft.

Yeah you could fly anything from old WW2 prop planes all the way up to the most modern jets and even futuristic fighters… I’ll admit that I stayed away from the prop planes simply because they always seemed too slow to keep up with anything.

The story also tended to change and take shape around whatever pilots you chose to fly as. You can pretty much choose to fly as one the entire time, or choose between a few… personally I recommend sticking with two pilots where possible. If you change it up all the time and go to different squadrons… you wind up going from story to story and not really being able to keep track. Even so, the parts of the story you do get work pretty well.

So you’d fly multiple planetary missions that were awesome enough, but the game designers decided that everything they’d given you simply wasn’t enough… no no no!

Towards the end of the game, you wind up in space, fighting Endor-size missions against enemy fleets with your fighters modified to fly in orbit.

So what’s my overall rating?

I give this CLASSIC 9/10. It would get a perfect 10/10… however the story and the background strains my suspension of disbelief to the breaking point and your Commander Air Group is a bit of a wench, but its such a great game, that doesn’t bother me much.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Final Fantasy 7 Resurrect Aeris/Aerith Rumors

With the release of the new Final Fantasy 7 remastered coming down the pipe, I thought it’d be fun to talk about something that drove gamers INSANE for years… resurrecting Aeris after we all went through the heart-wrenching loss of her character in the City of the Ancients.

Disclaimer, I played the original playstation version that named her Aeris. I’m well aware of the controversy surrounding her name, but that is what I will be calling her. 

Yeah for weeks if not months after we played through the game, Lycos, Altavista, and Yahoo were awash in articles with wild theories, trolls, and people who seriously claimed to have been successful.

While obviously BS, I thought it’d be funny to run through a few. So let’s take a look…

  1. After defeating all of the weapons, go see the Kalm traveler, he will leave Kalm and head for Midgar. Go see the sick man in the pipe in Midgar. He will suddenly be talking again and will restore Aeris to you.

    Obviously this one assumes that most people don’t bother defeating all of the weapons. I on the other hand did so and I knew this was bogus because by the time this comes up, the man in the pipe is no longer there. 

  2. After acquiring the Underwater Material, take it to the City of the Ancients and go to the house where Aeris was killed. The Material will react to the fish and allow you to open the portal back to the temple and allow you to recover the White Material and restore Aeris.

    This one had the author openly admit that he wasn’t certain it would work, but he had convinced himself that it would because he couldn’t believe that the only use for the Underwater Materia was in facing down Emerald Weapon. 

  3. Make sure that Vincent is with you every time you meet with Hojo AND Sephiroth. Have him listen to Hojo’s confessions. In the end, Vincent will reveal the truth to Sephiroth who will then restore Aeris to you right before he dies at the end.

    This one actually exposes a bit of a plot hole in Final Fantasy 7. Vincent knew the truth about Sephiroth. So why didn’t he speak up in the scenes where he was present? Sephiroth goes on and on about being Jenova’s child… He could have revealed the truth. It might not have done any good, but it might have. In any case, again obviously bogus. 

  4. Use codes from a hack.

    That’s cheating and it breaks the game.

  5. After acquiring the Underwater materia, go to the church where Aeris’ ghost resides. Then go to the lake where you left her body… retrieve her body and move on to the Kalm traveler. In exchange for 9000 gil, he’ll give you a special materia to heal her with. Go to Midel after the eruption and this will trigger a cut where Aeris is resurrected.

    This one… I admit I actually tried. It seemed the most reasonable… but it didn’t work. What drove me crazy is that Aeris’s ghost is actually in the church in Midgar, which gave this one some credence. 

Anyway, let me know if you heard any other insane theories that you thought would work or heard would. How insane were they?

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim