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Wolf Kanno
03-03-2012, 09:15 PM
While most fans can agree FFV has some great gameplay, the one criticism the game has always had was with it's storyline, which is often considered the weakest of the 16-bit entries. What are your thoughts on this?

Flying Arrow
03-03-2012, 11:04 PM
It's just a fun excuse for a high adventure, really. It works for me because there is so much freedom in the mechanics and battles. I feel like anything more in-depth would cramp the colorful toy-ness about the game.

That said, the story's lightheartedness also kind of means that there's not much weight to it. For me, at least, the end areas feel more like the last levels of a good game than the climax of a memorable adventure. FFV is definitely my favourite 2D FF but sometimes I wish I'd feel a bit more satisfied from a story perspective when I finally get my party to the end to fight X-Death. On the other hand, the earliest game in the series that gives me that epic final dungeon feeling is VI, because of how detailed the characterization and world building is. IV is considered to have a "great" story but I still get nothing from the moon bits, so I can't really blame FFV for being weak in that regard. Square just had a few more steps to take before they got to crafting the really great game stories.

The Man
03-03-2012, 11:16 PM
It is the weakest of the 16-bit entries in terms of plot, but considering the other two are FFIV and FFVI, two of the best entries in the series overall in terms of the plot, that's not really saying much. FFV's story is a lot less serious than those two games', but it improves a lot on a replay and you notice a lot of nuances that don't really stick out to a first-time player (mostly because there is a ton of foreshadowing that you won't pick up on the first time, not to mention a ton of references to events that mostly seem silly or nonsensical the first time through). When you compare it to a lot of what Square Enix has put out more recently, FFV's story holds up quite well.

VeloZer0
03-04-2012, 03:35 AM
I never found the plot to be exceedingly engaging, which might be because I didn't become particularly attached to any of the characters. They could have all been Onion kids for all that mattered to me. In the other entries I felt like it was real people who were having these adventures, in FF5 they felt like sprites.

The story kept me interested, but it wasn't the main motivating factor that kept me interested.

Depression Moon
03-04-2012, 02:23 PM
Just beating this game last year I agree about the story of this game. I will compare it to XII. Great gameplay, but a lousy story. The music was mediocre for the most part as well. I only like Clash on the Big Bridge and Bal. I will put this game just a tad bit higher over XII though because the job system was better than what XII had. The original version of XII didn't seem to put much emphasis on it which made it harder to play to a specific role if you wanted because abilities from previous games were missing in order to recreate that job convincingly. A hunter should be something more than a bow user for instance and a monk should be more than simply an unarmed or pole user.

I just love the job system in V so much. They should remake the game and have a vs mode. Online for a game like that wouldn't be as much of an issue like it is with fighters considering the game would be turned based so lag wouldn't hinder you as much, well I guess it can if you're playing a active match versus a wait match. If there is one game I would definitely try my best to be a top player in is in a competitive Final Fantasy game.

The Man
03-04-2012, 06:05 PM
The music was not anywhere near mediocre. For one thing it's the first soundtrack where Uematsu had anything approaching adequate synth voices to work with (the FFIV voices are pretty bare-bones and it takes a toll on the complexity of the soundtrack) and he's gotten a lot more skilful at arrangements. The melodies are pretty top-notch as well.

Granted, it doesn't have the consistency of a soundtrack like FFVI's or FFIX's but it's still a solid soundtrack. Most of the tracks are quite good.

nik0tine
03-06-2012, 10:59 PM
Just beating this game last year I agree about the story of this game. I will compare it to XII. Great gameplay, but a lousy story. I take it you have only played FF12 once. I don't recall any foreshadowing in V, but in XII it was omnipresent. It's one of those games that has to be played twice to understand.


The music was mediocre for the most part as well.0_o

Jessweeee♪
03-06-2012, 11:03 PM
There were some really great tracks, a couple of awful ones, and the rest was kind of meh.

I like the plot enough to play the game twice. It's nowhere near my favorites in the series, but I liked it! Galuf is a pretty cool dude. My favorite part was when he solo'd Exdeath.

Depression Moon
03-09-2012, 02:41 AM
Just beating this game last year I agree about the story of this game. I will compare it to XII. Great gameplay, but a lousy story. I take it you have only played FF12 once. I don't recall any foreshadowing in V, but in XII it was omnipresent. It's one of those games that has to be played twice to understand.

I played XII twice though on my 2nd playthrough I think I payed even less attention to the story that time because I remember being so excited for it on my first playthrough and being disappointed that I didn't bother watching a lot of the cutscenes.

Sephex
03-10-2012, 11:21 PM
I think people in the thread already nailed it when it comes to the topic. FFV is more of an excuse plot that it supported by a very fun battle system. Though, I don't find myself playing the game too often.

Mirage
03-14-2012, 12:50 PM
FF5's got a pretty light-hearted story. As said before, it's more of an excuse to have a fantastic adventure, and what a fantastic adventure it is.

Loony BoB
03-14-2012, 02:47 PM
Like with FFXIII-2, there is a plot, perhaps it's not that great, but who cares? I could play the game over and over and still enjoy it, and that is more important to me than the plot. The plot in FFV isn't terrible, it's just fairly basic. This is emphasized by the comical nature of many of the characters, showing they weren't out there to make a dark epic. They could have made Galuf, for example, into a much more serious character but they chose not to, and rightly so. It's a colourful game, not a dark one.

Spooniest
05-07-2012, 12:19 AM
"Final Fantasy Lite"

Roogle
05-08-2012, 12:15 AM
You know, I think they were really going for more of a lighthearted adventure than its predecessors. That's the impression that I got based from its more recent translation on the Gameboy Advance, anyway.

Mirage
05-08-2012, 12:25 AM
Like with FFXIII-2, there is a plot, perhaps it's not that great, but who cares?
Comparing FF5s plot to FF13-2s seems kinda unfair. I mean, even if FF5s plot isn't the strongest feature of the game, the plot is straight forward, simple, funny, has a clear ending, and still good enough to give you a good excuse to crawl them dungeons and kill those bosses. FF13-2's on the other hand is 10 times more complex than it needed to be (and 5 times more complex than the writers had the capacity to handle), full of plot holes, lacks a real ending, but still sort of enough to drive the action forwards.

I know I'm repeating myself here, but FF5 does exactly what it says on the tin. It's a fun, adventurous adventure. It doesn't try to bite off more than it can swallow, it knows exactly what it is, and fills its position perfectly.

Bolivar
05-08-2012, 04:47 AM
FFV is my favorite 2d entry.

It is not a lighthearted game. It's tone is more versatile whereas FFIV &FFVI are more one-dimensional. Two of the characters' dead father visits them in a ship graveyard early on in the game. Shortly after that Galuf recalls how he sealed a dude away while he begged for his life, to the tune of X-Death's Theme, which is one of Uematsu's most haunting melodies. A character you spend 20+ hours with dies. Entire regions are ripped from the planet and Reina's backstory with her mother and her dragon is one of the darkest back stories in a FF game. But FFV also claims some of the funniest and most charming moments in the series and that's why I prefer it to the more popular games surrounding it that western gamers got to play during the impressionability of their youth. It also happens to be the only game in the series with balanced gameplay and properly progressing enemy challenge.

Every game in the series can have the merits of its plot knocked down fairly easily. FF has never been about the story per se, the themes a player is supposed to take away, rather FF is about the memorability of the moments. FFIV starts off with a bigger bang but it doesn't stay as enjoyable throughout. You meet a new character, someone they love dies, they help you get something, and you get betrayed for the item. FFV is more intricate. FFVI is another matter. It had the beginnings of a revolution in gaming glowing through the cracks but it doesn't have the balance FFV does or the versatile moods, which is why I prefer the games surrounding it over FFVI.

Wolf Kanno
05-30-2012, 08:39 PM
^ I love how your post is mostly a slam against VI.

I don't agree with your whole post, but I do agree that as lighthearted as FFV is, it does have its fair share of dark moments and its overall theme is quite ingenous for its time. Its theme of inheritance is probably one of the best implemented themes in the franchise simply because the game doesn't beat the concept over your head repeatably like it does in every other entry. It's just in the background subtly and only when someone points it out do you start noticing the pattern of its theme.

Still, I feel FFV's story is weakly told. It's not that the plot is bad or the cast isn't up to par. Faris and Galuf are still two of my favorite FF characters in the franchise. It's just that the story doesn't bother to carry the weight of the characters problems as well as FFIV and FFVI. The cast have some interesting backgrounds but they become irrelevant shortly after they are told. Bartz doesn't carry the legacy of his father like Cecil carries his sense of guilt throughout the game, Faris' childhood and sudden revelation of her true royal heritage is not important to her or the plot like it was for Terra when she learned she was a half esper. This happens time and again when you compare the two games to FFV. Even ExDeath's repeat of history of Enuo and the Void is not as striking as the parallels of the War of the Magi and the Ruined World of VI. FFV is basically a plot driven story with some good and likable characters. FFIV and VI are character driven entries where the intracasies of the plot are in the characters psychology and motivations.

The cast has some good backgrounds but it seems to exist simply to make them feel more colorful, its not very important to the overall plot. FFV gave us Gilgamesh who has been copied in almost every entry since (Ultros, Turks, Fuijin and Raijin, Zorn and Thorn, Seymour...) so it's not like I feel the other games did everything better.

I also disagree about memorable moments but that is more about subjective taste, so its not going to be constructive to discuss it any further than.

Depression Moon
05-31-2012, 08:34 PM
How are any of those guys copies of Gilgamesh; especially Seymour?

Wolf Kanno
06-01-2012, 09:39 AM
They are all recurring villains that are more comic relief than threat. :p

Clyde
06-01-2012, 08:11 PM
The plot is really bad, but the gameplay is awesome.

Roogle
06-01-2012, 11:58 PM
Still, I feel FFV's story is weakly told. It's not that the plot is bad or the cast isn't up to par. Faris and Galuf are still two of my favorite FF characters in the franchise. It's just that the story doesn't bother to carry the weight of the characters problems as well as FFIV and FFVI. The cast have some interesting backgrounds but they become irrelevant shortly after they are told. Bartz doesn't carry the legacy of his father like Cecil carries his sense of guilt throughout the game, Faris' childhood and sudden revelation of her true royal heritage is not important to her or the plot like it was for Terra when she learned she was a half esper. This happens time and again when you compare the two games to FFV. Even ExDeath's repeat of history of Enuo and the Void is not as striking as the parallels of the War of the Magi and the Ruined World of VI. FFV is basically a plot driven story with some good and likable characters. FFIV and VI are character driven entries where the intracasies of the plot are in the characters psychology and motivations.

Yes, I agree with you. I think that the story and its characters could have been better executed if that was what they were going for. I honestly feel like they were given a priority to really focus on the customization and the gameplay rather than the story, as Final Fantasy IV had been much more linear than Final Fantasy III, giving the player no freedom in customizing in his party or abilities. If you notice, Final Fantasy V has the notable aspect of being the only Final Fantasy game in the Super Nintendo era that has full customization of the characters like Final Fantasy III; Final Fantasy VI played around with customization and offered a hybrid model via the Esper and Magic system, but Final Fantasy V was the only one with true freedom of gameplay in its party customization.

Depression Moon
06-02-2012, 02:35 AM
They are all recurring villains that are more comic relief than threat. :p

Seymour is comic relief?

Wolf Kanno
06-02-2012, 05:56 AM
Well he did miss the fashion train, sounds like a young dude trying to do his best Steven Seagal impression, and is basically a walking zombie who keeps coming back to get his ass handed to him. He sure isn't a threat. :D

Bolivar
06-12-2012, 12:37 AM
Still, I feel FFV's story is weakly told. It's not that the plot is bad or the cast isn't up to par. Faris and Galuf are still two of my favorite FF characters in the franchise. It's just that the story doesn't bother to carry the weight of the characters problems as well as FFIV and FFVI. The cast have some interesting backgrounds but they become irrelevant shortly after they are told. Bartz doesn't carry the legacy of his father like Cecil carries his sense of guilt throughout the game, Faris' childhood and sudden revelation of her true royal heritage is not important to her or the plot like it was for Terra when she learned she was a half esper. This happens time and again when you compare the two games to FFV. Even ExDeath's repeat of history of Enuo and the Void is not as striking as the parallels of the War of the Magi and the Ruined World of VI. FFV is basically a plot driven story with some good and likable characters. FFIV and VI are character driven entries where the intracasies of the plot are in the characters psychology and motivations.

Yes, I agree with you. I think that the story and its characters could have been better executed if that was what they were going for. I honestly feel like they were given a priority to really focus on the customization and the gameplay rather than the story, as Final Fantasy IV had been much more linear than Final Fantasy III, giving the player no freedom in customizing in his party or abilities. If you notice, Final Fantasy V has the notable aspect of being the only Final Fantasy game in the Super Nintendo era that has full customization of the characters like Final Fantasy III; Final Fantasy VI played around with customization and offered a hybrid model via the Esper and Magic system, but Final Fantasy V was the only one with true freedom of gameplay in its party customization.

I actually agree as well, IV and VI certainly told their stories better, but that's because they spent more time on them. And Wolf, my argument was never that FFV has a better story or characterization, but that it's milieu is far more diverse and arguably goes to greater extremes than either game (that might not be entirely true, as FFVI is pretty dark).

But I think the increment of the better storytelling in FFIV and VI is almost negligible. After all, the first six games in the series hardly have any story at all. We could count the number of extra words spent carrying story in FFIV or VI on a couple of our hands. I know it's another topic, but this also goes to my "moments over story" belief about Final Fantasy. Critiquing the stories in these games is a little bit of a futile gesture - anyone who's taken a literature course has to admit that we need to suspend a little bit of our judgment if we're to put on our reviewer hats, for any video game really. But when you factor in charming or impressive artwork, the excellent scores of Uematsu and the depth of the character that also doubles as a gameplay piece.

Wolf Kanno
06-12-2012, 03:31 AM
I disagree that the first six games have little to no story, unless you are using some ass-backwards definition of what constitutes a story to back your argument. I also don't really subscribe to your idea of "moments over story" definition of FF. Because we continue to play for the story and gameplay, not for the moments. I think you're letting the PSX generation use of FMV cutscenes warp your brain on what constitutes as rewards in the FF experience.

Take FFIV for instance. All but the most die-hard fanboy/girl of this title will openly admit that FFIV's plot is pretty ridiculous and so fantastically over the top with some of it's drama that its more funny than serious (Cid's "sacrifice" is probably the most easy scene to see this in action) but I feel the story and narrative are kept fresh due to the writer's excellent crafting of Golbez in the scenario. IV's plot is about the war, not the individual battles (moments) that keep you playing. When Cecil becomes a Paladin, you don't keep playing because you hope to see a cool scene like that again, you keep playing because the writer has done a good job of making you dislike Golbez and hoping to to see him to injustice, with all the interactions you've had with him proceeding this moment. Moments are what us old players keep playing the older games for, so we can re-experience the joyful nostalgia of the first time we tried to devour the games narrative and contemplate the existence of it's rich cast of characters. Moments are simply the best part of the story that stick out to us old fogeys, and make us want to replay them, but I would argue that watching the scene on Youtube is not the same as actually playing through the game. Story, is why we first play the game in the first place. We wouldn't even pick up the title if we didn't know what the premise was, but it is also what binds us to the moment as the narrative builds and we experience the flow and pacing to the title that leads us to this defining moment.

Bringing this back to FFIV as example again, why is the Paladin transformation scene such a powerful moment for the player? Because of way the story has been building up to this moment. We witness Cecil's rebirth, not just just literally but figuratively as his new journey as a Paladin begins where players were first introduced to Cecil in the first place, through his connection to Mysidia. Cecil has come full circle by this point, and the player is happy to finally get a moment of triumph because up until this point, Cecil and the player has been experiencing nothing but failure and defeat through the hands of Golbez. The Paladin "moment" is only powerful because the good writing of the story actually makes us care.

My issue with your ideological premise is that it's completely backwards. Moments don't make the story, the story creates the moments, because what is a moment without context that is given by the story? Not much, so how can these define the greatness of a narrative if they can exist without context, subtext, and emotional investment from the person experiencing it?

The FF series is not exactly the most well written series but it doesn't mean the series overall has bad writing, and when something like FFIV can still be in the hearts of players long past an era with better production values and memory space to create greater context and better utilize subtext, then obviously the story must be doing something right to be so beloved.

Bolivar
06-12-2012, 06:02 AM
When I say little to no story, I'm talking about length. There's not really a whole lot spoken in these games if we add it all up. Text ate up a lot of those sparse few megabytes on each cartridge. Of course, that has no bearing on how powerful they can make those few little words, which I think is more of what you're getting at.

But once again, we have a misunderstanding. You seem to think I proposed, "moments are what makes people play these games on their initial playthrough." What I meant was that moments are what have made Final Fantasy such an enduring pillar of gaming culture, it's a combination of all of its artistic elements, which is also what makes video games such a unique medium.

I think we have a chicken-or-the-egg debate here, if the moments are only powerful because of the buildup with the story. I would definitely disagree. To go with your example, the build-up to Cecil becoming a Paladin is pretty poor. Why would someone pursue a dark path if he was going to be so conflicted about it? As a matter of fact, why would Cecil choose that route for his King if Baron truly was a good man? And if Cecil was raised by the man, how would he not be able to tell that it was Cagnazzo? Why do any of these things exist other than the fact that the game tells us that it should be so? We accept them because we didn't solely buy the game for a story, we bought it also for its gameplay, for its entertainment.

I'm not one of those peculiar fans who thinks that the stories in FF are bottom of the barrel. I love the stories in all the games and appreciate them for what they are, but especially for the whole that they contribute to. But for the first six games, there isn't much story to examine, and when placed under a microscope, the characters are molecule thin.

Roogle
06-12-2012, 11:47 PM
One of the differences between the methods of storytelling in Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy VI is the use of dynamic text. The World of Ruin segment of Final Fantasy VI has minimal unique dialogue compared to the other half of the game due to the nonlinear nature of the game.

Despite that, I still see Final Fantasy VI as having a more serious and developed story than Final Fantasy V because it deals with a larger cast and covers a more widened range of issues.

Wolf Kanno
06-13-2012, 01:43 AM
When I say little to no story, I'm talking about length. There's not really a whole lot spoken in these games if we add it all up. Text ate up a lot of those sparse few megabytes on each cartridge. Of course, that has no bearing on how powerful they can make those few little words, which I think is more of what you're getting at.

What are you, a middle school English professor? Since when does a good and thought provoking story have to have a word limit to even count as such? :p You don't need dialogue and text to have a well thought out story man, Ico and Shadow of the Colussus have very little to no dialogue(even what they have is unintelligible in Ico's case), probably not as much as the NES entries and they run about 5-7 hours in length, but not many people will argue that means the games have no story. You've been playing too much MGS, with its text dumps. that you've forgotten how easy it is to make a great story without a 10 page backstory interlaced with deep psychological and religious symbolism, details don't always mean the character has real depth. There's quite a bit of background info on Zell from FFVIII, but I would argue his character is just as flat and two-dimensional as some of the SNES entries B-Squad cast members like the Twins in FFIV or Strago from FFVI.Zell's got a far more detailed past than all three of the examples I listed but it doesn't change that he's written to be a hot head boy scout jock type character. Hell I could use the same description to describe Edge from FFIV. So sometimes, having a detailed past really doesn't amount to much, depending on who is writing.


But once again, we have a misunderstanding. You seem to think I proposed, "moments are what makes people play these games on their initial playthrough." What I meant was that moments are what have made Final Fantasy such an enduring pillar of gaming culture, it's a combination of all of its artistic elements, which is also what makes video games such a unique medium.

I don't necessarily disagree, but I'm sure that if you were to go into more detail, you and I would be at odds at what that statement really means.The power of video games as medium often means something different for each of us and I'm sure if we both gave an example and explained why, we would be more likely to be closer to understanding our own differences on such, rather than actually comming to an consensus on what the definition is of the true power of the video game medium.


I think we have a chicken-or-the-egg debate here, if the moments are only powerful because of the buildup with the story. I would definitely disagree. To go with your example, the build-up to Cecil becoming a Paladin is pretty poor.

I disagree completely, but that should come as no surprise. I'll explain what I mean below. ;)


Why would someone pursue a dark path if he was going to be so conflicted about it? As a matter of fact, why would Cecil choose that route for his King if Baron truly was a good man?

You could ask the same thing to the German people in the 1930s and 40s. ;) It is not a stretch at all to do the duty of a man you respect and trust, but actually raised you without too questioning going on. This wiki article could also give you a perfect explanation as well. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment) Suffice to say, Cecil is a soldier following orders, he doesn't really need to question what his superiors intentions are, military structure is all about following orders, I don't see how this rule doesn't imply in a military kingdom placed in a high fantasy setting should be different.

Cecil is simply the indebted adoptive son/vassal of his king, who is he to question him? A vassal and subject trust their good king to have their subjects best interest in mind when he makes decrees and since Baron was said to be a good king, why should anyone question him? They all just assume that there is a method to his madness. Leaders start wars with other states with the justification of it being in the countries best interest all the time. Considering Baron has an order of Dark Knights, Dragoons, and now the powerful Red Wings, I feel it's safe to say that Baron has always been a pretty militaristic power in the world of FFIV. So invading and neutralizing future threats, is not far fetched for a King to ask.


And if Cecil was raised by the man, how would he not be able to tell that it was Cagnazzo? He does recognize that something is off, in fact everyone in Baron who isn't a monster notices that Baron has changed in recent times. Yet, I would say that game never says one way or the other about Cecil's relationship with the King of Baron. While we know he was raised by the man along with Kain eventually, all of Cecil's interaction with both the real King and fake King are purely formal. Cecil never even calls him father, so I would argue this suggests that the king raised him informally, as in Cecil lived in the castle and the servants did all of the actually parenting. It's not a terrible stretch to believe a head of state would do that when that isn't far from historical accuracy of courtly affairs. I think you're thinking too much like a guy from the 20th Century.

This is all of course just ignoring the fact Cagnazzo just seems to be a shape-shifting water demon, so outside of some personality quirks, it's not like anyone is going to notice anything physically different about him. Still, talking to the other soldiers in Baron and the town people, it's likely Cagnazzo was going to be found out anyway eventually, Cecil is just the first person who actually spoke up about the King acting a bit funny, which is why Cagnazzo sent him away anyway.


Why do any of these things exist other than the fact that the game tells us that it should be so? We accept them because we didn't solely buy the game for a story, we bought it also for its gameplay, for its entertainment.

We can say that about most of the games, but as I've shown above, I don't feel any of it very far fetched, you would have done better discussing some of the actual bad writing in the game like Cid's "Sacrifice" instead of trying to pick apart the section of the game that is actually written pretty well.

Besides, the later entries don't quite escape the problem of the player having to accept a plothole because the author says it. While Holy is the perfect antithesis created by the Cetra to save the planet from Meteor, where does the Black Materia come from? All we know of VII's past is that the peaceful environmental friendly utopian society of the Cetra ruled the planet, and all materia comes from their condensed knowledge, so who the hell thought up a planet killing super spell? Time Compression in FFVIII is never properly explained, we don't know how it's cast, only that it has to be done in the past, why Ultimecia desired it, nd why she's the only person who can exist within it. In FFX, the dead have the power to make thought into reality, the living on the other hand have to fight monsters with weapons and low profile magic. The entire plot hinges on the dead being omnipotent beings, of which point, why don't they just create their own version of Sin to kick the crap out of Yevon's Sin, and then blink it out of existence when he tries to possess it and just repeat the process until every Aeon is gone and then Yevon will just cease to be and have to be Sent? FFXII's plot has mankind getting free from the domination of a near immortal godlike race by breaking their Crystal which said alien race simply used to manipulate Humes due to the Crystals power. It's not like the Occurians are killed or somehow separated from the world, it's not like when you visit them we didn't bear witness to a huge incredibly hi-tech civilization floating in orbit above the planet. So how did Vayne's plan work to help mankind again? FFXIII's climax hinges on two characters suddenly learning how to push their power to 11 and transform into Super Ragnarok to ease Cocoon's fall before transforming into mountain size crystal versions of themselves to stop it from landing. Not to mention when Orphan transforms most of the party into Cieth and then suddenly they are not after the long and distasteful torture scene, even if the transformation was an illusion, what the hell was the party doing all that time? Also all the characters got their l'Cie cursed removed with no explanation unless you read the Ultimania or play XIII-2 which basically hand waves the whole thing by saying a Goddess who is mentioned once in some background text did all of that.

So I wouldn't necessarily say that the advent of longer games and more text has somehow saved us from plotholes and inconsistencies. Of anything, with some of these games, it just allowed writers to do it more often. So I don't necessarily feel that writing has improved in the series due to the advent of better technology.


I'm not one of those peculiar fans who thinks that the stories in FF are bottom of the barrel. I love the stories in all the games and appreciate them for what they are, but especially for the whole that they contribute to.

I also like most of the plots. In fact I love the concept of every entry, it's just the execution of said concepts doesn't always work out the way I would have found enjoyable. It's just in my nature to deconstruct a game and talk about it's failings, because I often find flaws to be more interesting than what something did right.


But for the first six games, there isn't much story to examine, and when placed under a microscope, the characters are molecule thin.

I disagree, I just feel you take everything at face value and if the plot doesn't fulfill some arbitrary list of rules to be considered "deep" you don't bother observing any possible merit that might have been there. To bring this back to FFV as an example, I mentioned that one of the game's strengths was that it had an interesting theme of inheritance that is not really blatantly told to you like VII's environmental themes or FFX's Greek Tragedy, the theme can be seen by what actually happens in the course of the game. Ex-Death is born from mankind trying to seal away all of its troubles in the Forest of Moore, said evil is only defeated and sealed by the Dawn Warriors, and Ex-Death is only finally defeated by the youngest generation that is made up of the descendants of the Dawn Warriors. Each generation inherits the problems of the last generation, this doesn't even include the message about misusing resources that is the opening quest of the games, or the theme of the crystals representing the virtues of mankind. There is a lot of symbolic significance in the games story and plot. People don't discuss a lot of it anymore because many of these games 15-25 years old, and everything that can be discussed has been. It's like trying to ring out anything new out the original Star Wars trilogy. If you can't see the significance of the story and characters, I would say it's less about the games inefficiency and more of your own personal hang-ups as a consumer of story telling. :p I can't help you there, but I honestly feel you are missing out on what the FF experience can fully be by convincing yourself the first six games don't matter beyond some historical significance and not for their own merits. I do not believe the older games have insignificant stories or characters compared to the later games, cause otherwise, I wouldn't be posting in this forum and I probably would never played another entry after the SNES era. It's a bit presumptuous of you to basically say a whole section of the series is insignificant from a story and character perspective when you actually do have people still talking about Cecil and Terra, and games like FFIII and FFV still bring fans to forums like our own.

Bolivar
06-13-2012, 06:03 AM
What are you, a middle school English professor? Since when does a good and thought provoking story have to have a word limit to even count as such?

Wolf:


Of course, that has no bearing on how powerful they can make those few little words, which I think is more of what you're getting at.

I know you love to talk, but you could've saved yourself some few precious minutes by reading before you reply ;)
I agree that we, as anyone, would probably disagree about what gaming really means, and that's natural, and I respect that, especially in your case.


You could ask the same thing to the German people in the 1930s and 40s. ;) It is not a stretch at all to do the duty of a man you respect and trust, but actually raised you without too questioning going on. This wiki article could also give you a perfect explanation as well. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment) Suffice to say, Cecil is a soldier following orders, he doesn't really need to question what his superiors intentions are, military structure is all about following orders, I don't see how this rule doesn't imply in a military kingdom placed in a high fantasy setting should be different.

Cecil is simply the indebted adoptive son/vassal of his king, who is he to question him? A vassal and subject trust their good king to have their subjects best interest in mind when he makes decrees and since Baron was said to be a good king, why should anyone question him? They all just assume that there is a method to his madness. Leaders start wars with other states with the justification of it being in the countries best interest all the time. Considering Baron has an order of Dark Knights, Dragoons, and now the powerful Red Wings, I feel it's safe to say that Baron has always been a pretty militaristic power in the world of FFIV. So invading and neutralizing future threats, is not far fetched for a King to ask.

1) Don't give me that Milgram BS. I think it gets repeated so much because of how interesting it was rather than its scientific merits. That's for another thread, and I would almost love to debate it with you, but I'll just leave it that the findings of an experiment are pretty poor when you just reiterate the the most commonly given reason for the problem you were trying to understand in the first place.

2) The fact that you had to rationalize all of that about Cecil speaks to how little there is to it. There's just not a lot there, and it's up to the player to fill in the blanks. There's a virtue to that form of storytelling, to be sure. But the inconsistencies are louder than, say, the later games. I think you dance around the issue of Baron being acknowledged as a good man, a good knight, but why would he make his adoptive son become a dark knight in that case? And you pretty much wrote away the fact that Cecil says "Baron raised me" in order to rationalize the rest of the plot.


I disagree, I just feel you take everything at face value and if the plot doesn't fulfill some arbitrary list of rules to be considered "deep" you don't bother observing any possible merit that might have been there. To bring this back to FFV as an example, I mentioned that one of the game's strengths was that it had an interesting theme of inheritance that is not really blatantly told to you like VII's environmental themes or FFX's Greek Tragedy, the theme can be seen by what actually happens in the course of the game. Ex-Death is born from mankind trying to seal away all of its troubles in the Forest of Moore, said evil is only defeated and sealed by the Dawn Warriors, and Ex-Death is only finally defeated by the youngest generation that is made up of the descendants of the Dawn Warriors. Each generation inherits the problems of the last generation, this doesn't even include the message about misusing resources that is the opening quest of the games, or the theme of the crystals representing the virtues of mankind. There is a lot of symbolic significance in the games story and plot. People don't discuss a lot of it anymore because many of these games 15-25 years old, and everything that can be discussed has been. It's like trying to ring out anything new out the original Star Wars trilogy. If you can't see the significance of the story and characters, I would say it's less about the games inefficiency and more of your own personal hang-ups as a consumer of story telling. :p I can't help you there, but I honestly feel you are missing out on what the FF experience can fully be by convincing yourself the first six games don't matter beyond some historical significance and not for their own merits. I do not believe the older games have insignificant stories or characters compared to the later games, cause otherwise, I wouldn't be posting in this forum and I probably would never played another entry after the SNES era. It's a bit presumptuous of you to basically say a whole section of the series is insignificant from a story and character perspective when you actually do have people still talking about Cecil and Terra, and games like FFIII and FFV still bring fans to forums like our own.

This is the heart of the matter and it's maybe for another thread, but the FFV point is relevant so I'll speak a little towards it. I love FFV. Like I said, it's my favorite 2d entry in the series and definitely in my top 5 overall... well, definitely #6 at least. But there's a whole plethora of things the later games do that the earlier ones don't that justify what I'm getting at. I think you're just left with the argument that the earlier games, in their mastery of simplicity, are in no way any less credible than the later games, who stumbled in their complexity. That's a really big idea that deserves pages of posts and replies on its own, so maybe we'll get into it another day.

edit: I think I should clarify that I came into this thread to discredit the assertion that FFV is a light, happy, humorous game. I stand by my comments that it's not, it has a far greater range of tones than the games that surround it, it just so happens that it nails humor and happy feelings better than they did. Would you agree on that, Wolf?

Wolf Kanno
06-13-2012, 08:03 AM
^ Yes, I would agree on that point, I said as much in my original reply. It's a much darker story than it lets on. Much like FFIX, which often gets derided by fans for being too funny and silly over the darker PSX titles (which were not as dreary and much more campy than these same fans would often deny as well).

I'm not really going to reply to the rest, simply because I agree it's more suitable for another thread based around the topic at hand. Though I would say it's your turn to make the thread this time, I made the last couple when our discussions derailed other threads and besides, you haven't made a thread in the FF forums in what feels like ages. :p

Bolivar
06-30-2012, 05:05 AM
alright it's coming up...