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VeloZer0
05-31-2010, 11:34 PM
It's a topic that seems to come up a lot, but I haven't ever seen a thread devoted to it's discussion.

Do you think it would have made for a better story for the 'dead' characters to have stayed dead, or for them to all be recovered in time for the grand finale?

I'm bringing this discussion over from another thread, so thats why I have quotes in the OP.


It may seemed like that would be the way to go, but it wouldn't have fit FFIV's Theme of Redemption and making comebacks at all.
I always saw it as a theme of pressing on forward and overcoming obstacles. And sometimes to move forward you have to make sacrifices. I'm not English major, and I haven't dissected it, but that is always what I got out of it when I played.


Do you really think it would've improved the story if Edward died and didn't get to redeem himself by dispelling the Dark Elf's power?
I think dying as he gives up the last of his life force to dispel the Dark Elf's power would have given me way more respect for him. (Well, it did for a bit when I thought he did die)


And do you really think it's fair that Palom and Porom stayed petrified, when they were only children and had such a bright future ahead of them?
Absolutely not fair. And that was the point. War isn't fair. It takes things from us we will never get back again.

In the end it just felt like victory was so cheap, so to speak. All the deaths through the story made it feel like there was a real cost to all of your victories.

oddler
06-01-2010, 12:40 AM
In the end it just felt like victory was so cheap, so to speak. All the deaths through the story made it feel like there was a real cost to all of your victories.

I felt the same way. The scenes that play while you're fighting Zeromus, where all the allies' "spirits" come back to aid your party, really made the last battle an epic one. It feels like if they were actually still alive, then why didn't they all just gang up on Zeromus and beat him to a pulp together? :|

Roogle
06-03-2010, 09:00 PM
I thought it was a little unfair that Tellah was the only playable character to receive a permanent death throughout the entire story.

The storyline would need to have a bit of an overhaul, or at least more scenes, about the characters having to deal with constant death. If I recall correctly, Cid sees Cecil like a son, so this type of sacrifice should be more meaningful than, say, Yang, who the characters did not know previously.

Palom and Porom were turned to stone by their own will, but it does make sense that a powerful magic user like the Elder could break their curse regardless of how powerful it is.

Cid and Yang likely should have died during the story. I am not sure what happened to Edward other than the fact that he fell off the ship and he was cold beforehand. I would have felt very little if he gave up his life to dispel the Dark Elf because I was not sure what was wrong with him in the first place other than he got sick. I would have felt a stronger connection with him if he had joined the party for a longer time.

Edge7
06-04-2010, 01:30 AM
I'd have to say a permanent death would have helped with the theme of the game (which from the game's logos, I would say is betrayal and redemption). I'll probably edit this post to have a more in depth analysis later.

Evastio
06-04-2010, 11:13 PM
You know, by asking all the deaths to be permanent, you're basically taking away one of the main elements that separated FFIV from the rest of the FFs. Having all of the characters come back in good health to help fight the giant was quite a twist from the usual "people die and stay dead" tradition the other FFs had, especially FFII and FFV. Saying they should’ve changed it so everyone didn’t come back in the end, is like saying that FFII’s level up system should have experience points and levels, or that the playable characters in FFI should actually talk, and have at least a few lines. Even if something is unliked by most people because of how different it is from other games, it’d still be really ridiculous to change it just so others will like it more. You shouldn’t expect Final Fantasy games to be insanely similar every time. The different directions that other FF games take, even though they may not be generally liked, are what make them unique (besides, there will always be people that do like the different directions taken).



I always saw it as a theme of pressing on forward and overcoming obstacles. And sometimes to move forward you have to make sacrifices. I'm not English major, and I haven't dissected it, but that is always what I got out of it when I played.

Most Final Fantasy games have the theme of moving forward though, even after casualties, like the deaths of Josef, Minwu, and Ricard in FFII, Elia in FFIII, Galuf in FFV, etc. I find that the themes in the Final Fantasy games are the things that are emphasized more in that specific game than any other game. I mean, sure, there’s power hungry people in FFIV, but power and greed are themes that are revisited much more in FFVI, where people such as Terra, Shadow, and Leo are used as tools by the empire, simply because of their skill and power. In FFIV, there are much more instances of redemption than in any other Final Fantasy games, like Cecil fighting against Baron to make up for his evil actions, Cecil giving up his Dark Sword to become a paladin, Kain joining Cecil to make up for giving into Zemus’ mind control, Golbez defeating Zemus after breaking free from his mind control, etc. It is what’s most emphasized in that Final Fantasy that defines the theme for me.

(In response to what Edge7 said) Also, having Cecil and friends dealing with all the deaths after defeating Zeromus would’ve been a repeat of the FFII ending, with all the deaths weighing them down. I don’t see how that would help out with the theme of redemption (since to me, the uplifting and satisfying feeling of redemption, and the empty feeling in the sacrifical deaths, would be incompatible and clash too much). On the other hand, having Cecil being the leader of the evil done in the beginning, and having him defeat the evil forces once and for all in the end, giving the story a really happy ending in contrast to the dark beginning (compared to other FFs), helped emphasized the theme of redemption much more. Sure, I know it was unrealistic and sappy, but it gave a really beautiful ending that was never done before (and was never repeated in FF history. FFIII might compare if it wasn’t for the fact that FFIV’s introduction was much darker and that the playable characters weren’t fleshed out much)


I think dying as he gives up the last of his life force to dispel the Dark Elf's power would have given me way more respect for him. (Well, it did for a bit when I thought he did die)
I still think it's a rather weird idea to die a sacrificial death as a result of not being well though. Yang having a true death is reasonable, seeing how I can’t see someone surviving an up close cannon shot, though I’m glad that he survived (seeing how out of the characters that sacrificed themselves, he was with you the longest).



Absolutely not fair. And that was the point. War isn't fair. It takes things from us we will never get back again.

In the end it just felt like victory was so cheap, so to speak. All the deaths through the story made it feel like there was a real cost to all of your victories.

FFII and FFVI already emphasized that war is unfair and that victory always has its price, so having FFIV do that again is redundant.

Besides, do you really expect every game you play to have people dying sacrificial permanent deaths? You don’t always have to have people dying for good left and right to make a story good.


if they were actually still alive, then why didn't they all just gang up on Zeromus and beat him to a pulp together? :|
That'd be a bit on the cheap side, a 10 against one battle. Storywise, it would work, but they have to bring it down to a team of five for gameplay balancing purposes.

Edge7
06-05-2010, 05:44 AM
(In response to what Edge7 said) Also, having Cecil and friends dealing with all the deaths after defeating Zeromus would’ve been a repeat of the FFII ending, with all the deaths weighing them down.
I suppose when you put it like that, you do have a point. I just thought that Cecil's (and Kain's too) ability to push through their mistakes that potentially might have led to the doom of some of their friends (not saying any of their actions did, but they could partially feel responsible), and be able to beat Zeromus might have been a satisfying ending. I'm wishy-washy in my opinion of this topic. I half support it, half wanted the characters to die. I suppose if they were to die, the feeling would be like Tellah, struggling too hard for a victory that in the end wouldn't win anyone back.

In the end, I think I'd have to play FF4 again to be able to fully evaluate my opinion.

Also, I have yet to play FF2, but my bro seems to like it. I would need to see it for myself.

oddler
06-05-2010, 01:00 PM
if they were actually still alive, then why didn't they all just gang up on Zeromus and beat him to a pulp together? :|
That'd be a bit on the cheap side, a 10 against one battle. Storywise, it would work, but they have to bring it down to a team of five for gameplay balancing purposes.

It was a bit on the cheap side. "We are those that helped you on your quest up to this point but we can't be here because we're hurt... here's our power!"

...

"Just kidding, we're okay after all." :greenie:

Wolf Kanno
06-15-2010, 08:31 PM
Actually if you think about it, Yang, Edward, and Cid were all seriously injured from their ordeals and Cecil never wanted to have Palom and Porom in his party cause he has this thing about putting kids in danger so it kinda made sense (to me at least) that he didn't take anyone along.

I personally don't mind everyone coming back, hell except for Cid, I can see most of the characters coming back anyway cause most of their ordeals or their bad ass quotient makes it perfectly believable they could survive. Cid's kinda the only exception cause somehow falling a few miles with a bomb strapped to you that was strong enough to collapse a massive crater just doesn't sound like something you should come back from, let alone repair two different airships...

I actually like the appearance of everyone in the battle against the Giant of Babil cause it gave the story a better cohesion; actually seeing all the people who journeyed with you still trying to help and fight for the world despite being maimed and hurt.

Mercen-X
06-18-2010, 10:59 AM
Just goes to show everyone in the whole universe just how much Cid was underestimated in the realm of badassery. Coming back from such an insane ordeal was his "badass" redeeming factor.

Roogle
06-26-2010, 02:02 PM
I wish they would have elaborated on how he survived what he was seen doing, exactly. I agree with Wolf Kanno that falling from a large height with an explosive that can create a crater is not something that one can walk away from no matter how cool they are.

The fact that Cid returns in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years despite his advanced age and previous injuries calls into question what exactly he did. Did he have a parachute or something?

qwertysaur
06-28-2010, 11:27 PM
Perhaps Cid has some prosthetic parts.

LowCaloriePie
06-30-2010, 08:15 PM
The fact that Cid returns in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years despite his advanced age and previous injuries calls into question what exactly he did. Did he have a parachute or something?

A :bou::bou::bou::bou:-ton of elixers.

Kenshin IV
10-11-2010, 08:27 AM
There were a few that came back that made no sense. However, it worked for Palom and Porom. All's they's needed was a Soft.

Vyk
10-11-2010, 10:28 AM
From a dramatically artistic story standpoint I would have preferred them to remain dead. Even Palom and Porom. People who've sacrificed would have had more meaningful and profound sacrifices. And like Oddler pointed out, it completely negates the events in the end battle where you feel like your friends are supporting you and helping you with their last powers from beyond the grave. Their spirit is lending you one final effort to save the world, their final act to help the world they left behind before they move on. And nope. They're just in the background clapping their hands and siphoning energy to you, DBZ-style

As for it being like every other FF, I figure that's a good thing. Because not a lot of English-released JRPGs had much permanent deaths at the time. And the ones that did generally only did it to one playable character. Not half the cast. In fact, right now I can only think of games that did it to just one character. And in that regard I would have applauded the game for being so ballsy and different. Dark and mature. That's respecting your audience in my opinion. But with people coming back from the grave as if nothing happening is basically "Just kidding, Santa really does exist. Don't cry, Timmy."

Roogle
10-11-2010, 06:51 PM
The story would have been a lot darker if Cid and Yang gave up their lives during the course of the story.

The final events of Edward, Palom, and Porom seem less powerful to have them end on the same notes as Cid and Yang. Also, Palom and Porom are only 5 years old! It can be somewhat rare to see young children die in fiction.

Vyk
10-12-2010, 12:40 AM
Hm... admittedly, I didn't think they were that young. Though I never looked them up. I just took them at the ages they acted like. Something like 10 years old. Damn JRPGs misrepresenting childhood maturity levels. Though I don't think extra death really detracts from any one character's death. It may be a little redundant, but I still find it more profound. Especially with kids involved, as that is indeed extremely rare (and on that note it doesn't really surprise me that they would all come back at the end considering Nintendo's censorship on touchy subjects at the time)

To me its like if a whole town had to sacrifice to ensure Cecil could succeed. That'd be a terrible and powerful tragedy. Even more so if someone's girlfriend were in that town. The girlfriend dying would have a massive impact. The town dying would have a massive weight. I wouldn't feel that they'd cancel each other out. But maybe I have a darker literary palette

VeloZer0
10-12-2010, 03:04 AM
I just gloss over JRPG child ages as they are so ridiculously out of line. In my experience if you can get a 5 year old to walk in a straight line you are doing great. Something 10-12 would have been much better.

Interesting point about the small significant deaths vs large scale death. We could always be reflecting about the thousands and thousands of nameless casualties incurred over the course of the game ;)

Vyk
10-12-2010, 03:11 AM
I just gloss over JRPG child ages as they are so ridiculously out of line. In my experience if you can get a 5 year old to walk in a straight line you are doing great. Something 10-12 would have been much better.

Interesting point about the small significant deaths vs large scale death. We could always be reflecting about the thousands and thousands of nameless casualties incurred over the course of the game ;)

There's been a lot of jokes made about how Cloud is basically a disgruntled postal worker taking out all his ex-colleagues while bombing Shin-Ra reactors. When its monsters you're killing, we just shrug it off. But a definite case can be made on the ethics of killing random human enemies

And on that subject I did really appreciate the dramatic emphasis on the fight with .... someone's parents. Dear lord I can't remember who's parents you fight in this game. But they were effectively begging you to kill them while they were mutating into monsters or something

(Obviously its been a long time since I've actually played this game...)

Wolf Kanno
10-12-2010, 03:54 AM
They were Edge's parents. ;)

VeloZer0
10-12-2010, 04:37 AM
WK when I saw you posted in this I was excited to read some long ass thesis :(


When its monsters you're killing, we just shrug it off. But a definite case can be made on the ethics of killing random human enemies
I would be nice if the games could focus a little more one the mass devastation the events of the game cause than the emo goings on of the individual cast members, but from the looks of it SE wants to go in the completely other direction :cry:

Wolf Kanno
10-12-2010, 05:32 AM
Sorry to disappoint you but I'll see if I have time in the next few days to write a small novel on the topic. ;)

I feel part of the issue is that its just hard write a convincing story and more people are interested in personal drama, blame reality TV for changing taste in writing. I don't mind character driven stories, I just wish the characters weren't so badly written half the time.

Elskidor
11-10-2010, 05:04 AM
Shoulda stayed dead. It's really one of the only thing that hurts this game. For me a wonderful tragic tale can't keep it's magic when you scratch out the tragedies at the end. I find it better to pretend they died and create my own fairy tale ending.