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View Full Version : Explain the Balthier/Ashe thing to me.



Fynn
05-22-2013, 10:12 PM
I've noticed some interesting opinions lately when browsing the threads about shipping and official couples here on EoFF and I remembered Spoony once mentioned the same opinion in his FFX review. Apparently, a lot of people believe Balthier and Ashe were a romantic item.

I don't fucking get it.

I really don't. I played the game two times. It is easily my favorite FF. And this is not a case of me trying to push my OTP. I mean, I literally cannot remember any hint of the two being lovers. I mean, yeah, there was this promotional image:
43342

But the credits gave us this image:
43343

Honestly, the only person I saw Ashe getting a deeper attatchment to was Basch, but hey, that's just my speculation and I don't really think their couple is canon.

So yeah, what's the deal? I remind you, this is not me hating on the shippers on the two. Ship whoever the hell you want, I don't care. I just don't understand why people think this couple is canon.

Huckleberry Quin
05-23-2013, 06:57 AM
Ashe doesn't have any romantic interest in the game. She's jaded and driven as a person can be. She clearly holds deep respect for Balthier and Basch, especially, but its never felt romantic in any way to me.

Night Fury
05-23-2013, 01:48 PM
Yeah I haven't fully played this game, but I definitely think she was romantically closed off because of the death of her Husband.

Huckleberry Quin
05-23-2013, 03:21 PM
Maybe it's because they're both very attractive so they must be together?

Fynn
05-23-2013, 03:32 PM
That' kinda the impression I get of this opinion. Others say that Fran and Blathier cannot be together, because there is no sexual tension. I guess people got so used to the boy-meets-girl cliche that once we get a couple that seems to have gone through a lot of stuff together, they are not considered a romantic pairing. Ugh.

And yeah. Ashe's failure to accept Rassler's death is actually something the Occuria try to use against her. I had the impression she clung to his memory throughout the game. I don't get how you pair such a person with anybody in these circumstances.

Night Fury
05-23-2013, 03:42 PM
One thing I liked about 12 was the ambiguity in regards to Fran and Balthier. A couple doesn't have to be in your face about the fact they're a couple, but they quite clearly cared deeply for each other - and I always thought they were together.

Aulayna
05-23-2013, 03:52 PM
I don't even remember there being anything to really suggest Ashe and Balthier were romantically involved in anyway. She clearly had a respect for him but there was nothing to suggest that it was romantic - more a symbol that she acknowledged his cunning and tendency for bending the rules.

Quint pretty much nailed it.

Fynn
05-23-2013, 04:52 PM
One thing I liked about 12 was the ambiguity in regards to Fran and Balthier. A couple doesn't have to be in your face about the fact they're a couple, but they quite clearly cared deeply for each other - and I always thought they were together.

True. The subtlety of their relationship makes them my favorite videogame couple ever :)

The Summoner of Leviathan
05-23-2013, 08:33 PM
I think there could have been something between the two of them, especially given the English lyrics of Kiss Me Good-bye that played at the end. It seems that they were just going in different directions in life.

Also, I never saw Fran and Balthier as lovers. I think they are two people who care a lot about each other and who work well together but neither are the type to invest into such a romantic relationship. However, I would not be surprised if they ever slept together.

Fynn
05-23-2013, 08:53 PM
I think there could have been something between the two of them, especially given the English lyrics of Kiss Me Good-bye that played at the end. It seems that they were just going in different directions in life.

Also, I never saw Fran and Balthier as lovers. I think they are two people who care a lot about each other and who work well together but neither are the type to invest into such a romantic relationship. However, I would not be surprised if they ever slept together.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2SWYG48TbI
(skip to about 1:20)

I gues that gesture might have been platonic in nature... :|

The Summoner of Leviathan
05-23-2013, 09:14 PM
Fond, yes. I don't necessarily think it was a romantic one.

Fynn
05-24-2013, 03:14 PM
Well, even if you don't interpret this as a romantic gesture, at least here there is something that might be interpreted as such. I can't recall any scenes that would even remotely seem like a hint toward an Ashe/Balthier pairing.

Pumpkin
05-24-2013, 09:25 PM
I don't understand this either. One of the things I think this game did well was either not put in a love story or at the very least have one that isn't shoved in your face constantly. I think it was a nice change of pace.

Could it be that people are so used to always having a love story that if there isn't one blatantly presented they make one up?

Scotty_ffgamer
05-25-2013, 05:09 AM
I think you bring up a good point, shion. Any love story aspect seems outside of the focus of the game from what I remember. (Of course, I still have yet to ever beat the game). I think Vaan and Penelo may have had some love story elements maybe, but it wasn't really prevalent. I could be remembering that wrong.

Since it is what people are used to, people probably are just trying to create a love story that doesn't exist to fill that seeming void.

Shauna
05-25-2013, 11:30 AM
People enjoy shipping. It's prevalent all over fandom. A lot of people are only in it for the ships.

Sometimes it makes no sense, other times it is backed by canon. Fans probably enjoy the idea of Balthier/Ashe, because they look good together or maybe there was a feeling they got while playing the game.

Ship and let ship, I say.

Fynn
05-25-2013, 12:30 PM
People enjoy shipping. It's prevalent all over fandom. A lot of people are only in it for the ships.

Sometimes it makes no sense, other times it is backed by canon. Fans probably enjoy the idea of Balthier/Ashe, because they look good together or maybe there was a feeling they got while playing the game.

Ship and let ship, I say.

That's the thing. I have got absolutely nothing against shipping. It's just the fact that I see no evidence in the game even hinting toward it. Unless them both being very attractive is a hint...

Raistlin
05-25-2013, 02:37 PM
People enjoy shipping. It's prevalent all over fandom. A lot of people are only in it for the ships.

I think this hits the nail on the head. Balthier is the most popular FFXII male and Ashe is the most popular FFXII female; I don't think it involves anything more complicated than that. People like making up relationships for fictional characters, even when there's nothing in the story to support it, just because they like the idea in their imagination. This phenomenon is far from limited to Balthier and Ashe.

Shauna
05-25-2013, 07:45 PM
Unless them both being very attractive is a hint...

Yep. Some people ship solely on the "Wow these two are hot. It'd be awesome if they were hot together."

Just the way it goes.

Psychokitty
05-25-2013, 11:08 PM
Unless them both being very attractive is a hint...

Yep. Some people ship solely on the "Wow these two are hot. It'd be awesome if they were hot together."

Just the way it goes.

Kind of like...

RAISTLIN X TIKA!!!!!!!!!

Formalhaut
05-26-2013, 01:58 PM
Pretty much everything has been said and I agree with.

I think the pairing that got even close to a romantic pairing is Vaan and Penelo. And even then, in XII, it was clearly more like a childhood friendship going off exploring rather than a romantic thing. It's only in XII:RW that there's real hints of romance, and even then it's down to interpretation.

I quite like how XII handled relationships actually. It was very mature.

Raistlin
05-27-2013, 12:03 AM
Kind of like...

RAISTLIN X TIKA!!!!!!!!!

No.

Just... no. :nonono:

maybee
05-27-2013, 11:17 AM
Princess/ Rouge cliche couple. That's why.

Aulayna
05-27-2013, 12:49 PM
Women do love the colour rouge, I agree.

Jinx
05-27-2013, 05:02 PM
Pretty much everything has been said and I agree with.

I think the pairing that got even close to a romantic pairing is Vaan and Penelo. And even then, in XII, it was clearly more like a childhood friendship going off exploring rather than a romantic thing. It's only in XII:RW that there's real hints of romance, and even then it's down to interpretation.

I quite like how XII handled relationships actually. It was very mature.

Vaan and Penelo actually get together in the sequel, so I think it was more than hints. :)

Fynn
05-27-2013, 07:35 PM
Further supported in Tactics A2, where they're basically the new Balthier and Fran :)

Freya
05-30-2013, 07:27 PM
I think it's just a ship. People ship the most random people sometimes. Sometimes those ships make huge waves. I never get it though. I never saw those two romantically involved at all!

Jinx
05-31-2013, 05:05 AM
You will never make me stop shipping VincentxYuffie

maybee
05-31-2013, 10:46 AM
Women do love the colour rouge, I agree.

I meant rogue. Typo. :greenie:

Ouch!
06-01-2013, 09:30 PM
If you want to, there are many little things that you can read into. Ashe and Balthier are among the only characters who interact privately about personal discussions (Balthier revealing that his father is Doctor Cid at Phon shore, for instance). In the background of some scenes when either Reddas or Al-Cid flirt with Ashe, you can see Balthier reacting with grimaces and annoyed looks, which some people might interpret as jealousy. Additionally, Ashe is the one shown to have the most emotional reaction when Balthier stays behind to save Fran. Balthier returning Ashe's wedding ring and Ashe crying at the reveal that Balthier is still alive also gets pointed out.

Aside from the canonical pairing of Vaan and Penelo, the Ashe/Balthier has more "evidence" than most other pairings, but at best it's a subplot, and never a fully-realized one. They bicker in a way vaguely reminiscent of how children tease each other when they like one another, and there's some pretty good evidence for at least a mutual attraction, but pushing much further than that is strictly in the realm of fan fiction, I think.

Jinx
06-03-2013, 02:40 AM
If you want to, there are many little things that you can read into. Ashe and Balthier are among the only characters who interact privately about personal discussions (Balthier revealing that his father is Doctor Cid at Phon shore, for instance). In the background of some scenes when either Reddas or Al-Cid flirt with Ashe, you can see Balthier reacting with grimaces and annoyed looks, which some people might interpret as jealousy. Additionally, Ashe is the one shown to have the most emotional reaction when Balthier stays behind to save Fran. Balthier returning Ashe's wedding ring and Ashe crying at the reveal that Balthier is still alive also gets pointed out.

Aside from the canonical pairing of Vaan and Penelo, the Ashe/Balthier has more "evidence" than most other pairings, but at best it's a subplot, and never a fully-realized one. They bicker in a way vaguely reminiscent of how children tease each other when they like one another, and there's some pretty good evidence for at least a mutual attraction, but pushing much further than that is strictly in the realm of fan fiction, I think.

Vaan and Penelo got together in the sequel.

Fynn
06-03-2013, 06:50 AM
If you want to, there are many little things that you can read into. Ashe and Balthier are among the only characters who interact privately about personal discussions (Balthier revealing that his father is Doctor Cid at Phon shore, for instance). In the background of some scenes when either Reddas or Al-Cid flirt with Ashe, you can see Balthier reacting with grimaces and annoyed looks, which some people might interpret as jealousy. Additionally, Ashe is the one shown to have the most emotional reaction when Balthier stays behind to save Fran. Balthier returning Ashe's wedding ring and Ashe crying at the reveal that Balthier is still alive also gets pointed out.

Aside from the canonical pairing of Vaan and Penelo, the Ashe/Balthier has more "evidence" than most other pairings, but at best it's a subplot, and never a fully-realized one. They bicker in a way vaguely reminiscent of how children tease each other when they like one another, and there's some pretty good evidence for at least a mutual attraction, but pushing much further than that is strictly in the realm of fan fiction, I think.

While I see your point, I disagree. I believe that she may have just warmed up to him as a person, not necessarily a love interest, due to some common ground in their backstory. At best, she could have been attracted to him, but in an unrequited way. Remember how he gives her back the ring? He leaves it in a letter. After rewatching some of the scenes, I got the impression that the letter might be saying "Sorry, I'm just not that into you." However, during the ending, Penelo says Ashe misses Basch a lot, so... :D

Some scenes have also further reinforced Balthier/Fran for me. Besides the Pharos scene I put up earlier, there was the ending sequence and the scene right before entering Eruyt, where they do behave like a long-term couple. Also, whether we like it or not (and I know we mostly don't :( ), Revenant Wings is canon. I remember some NPC mentioning Balthier often takes Fran on the Strahl to go stargazing. Plus, there's the whole Feol Viera thing. I remember them being quite personal about it.

But again, RW aside, FFXII is subtle about its romance and while I still believe there is more evidence for Fran and Balthier, I can now see where the Balthier/Ashe thing comes from. Thanks, Ouch! :)

Huckleberry Quin
06-03-2013, 02:50 PM
In the background of some scenes when either Reddas or Al-Cid flirt with Ashe, you can see Balthier reacting with grimaces and annoyed looks, which some people might interpret as jealousy.

When people ask me why I think XII is one of the best games in the entire series', I will use this as a perfect example of the excellent character design, creation and development.

Ouch!
06-04-2013, 04:48 PM
Vaan and Penelo got together in the sequel.
I am aware. This is why I said "Aside from the canonical pairing of Vaan and Penelo...."


While I see your point, I disagree.
Yeah, I'm not entirely sold on it either, but I just wanted to point out that there is far more subtext to support a bubbling Ashe and Balthier pairing than is usually necessary to get people to start shipping.

I'm more inclined to just agree that it's all evidence that the character development in Final Fantasy XII isn't anywhere near as bad as people insist. Frankly, I'd argue that the development is far better than in most Final Fantasy titles (and really most JRPGs). Popular contemporary Japanese media (be it anime, video games, etc.) by in large tends to be pretty heavy-handed with its character "development" to the point where it bludgeons the viewer/player over the head with major turning points for characters. Final Fantasy XII is far more subtle (and consequently more realistic) in its handling of its characters. Nobody goes from being the cold loner who discovers friendship by the end of the game. Instead, the characters have nuanced interactions with one another and with the world around them. They might change, but not significantly. I think that FFXII is a better game for it.

Fynn
06-04-2013, 04:55 PM
I totally agree. Though I can also see how the target demographic didn't get it - considering how used to the processed pulp (see X) they are, the nuances here could have gone over their heads. I guess the reason this was so polarizing is because it should have been marketed to a different audience. Still, corny romance has its place, and so does subtle character development, I guess :) Both seem to be enough for shippers.

JudgeBr
02-15-2015, 01:18 AM
Forgive me if I cast magick arise upon this thread, can't help it, just lay my hands on this game (finally!)

I haven't finish the game yet, ex-judge magister Reddas just welcomed in the party and Genji Gloves still a fresh egg in my inventory. (it's because that trout Disma, I can't continue my pursue!)

So far, I don't really think that Ashe and Balthier have relationship. But about platonic romance, I can't really sure about it. I know people like Wizzard Fynn tend to believe what eyes can see, but these people sometimes missed many aspects in life, especially things that more than meet the eyes. These people are hard to convince because they tend to believe in their own perceptions, no matter how believable the reasoning. So, I won't even try to change or convince or debate your kind that there was really something with Balthier and Ashe. (meanwhile I don't really sure myself)

But if there's something why I agree that Balthier and Ashe are probably have romantic connection(not relationship), it's not because both are the most popular male and female role in the story. If you ask me which are the most good looking/interesting character in this game, I'd say it's Basch/Noah and Fran/the Vieras. Balthier is good looking because he's full of confident and well groomed. I'm pretty sure if Basch change his clothing and smile a little bit, girls will swooned over him and forget Balthier. therefore, if you think that I pair Balthier and Ashe because both are popular, you are wrong (at least in minor case, which is me).

About Balthier/Ashe,
1. Personality match
something fun about both are Balthier's sarcasm and Ashe's direct personality. Balthier is easy-going, Ashe is a very serious and dedicated. This contra-traits made them complete each others, because they get along well. I notice this especially in some little conversations between them, especially in Leviathan when Fran went berserk.

Balthier : I always knew Fran didn't take well to being tied up. I just never knew how much." (turns to Ashe) "How about you?"

it's a double meaning joke about sexual fetism, sign of attraction. (I won't joke like that to a girl who I don't find attractive, don't know about you). And Ashe's personality also describe well here by this short-innocent-reply "I like Fran's idea", she have no clue about the double meaning joke lol.
and sometimes Ashe says something double meaning too (unintentionally) like "you're a sky pirate, aren't you? then steal me" I know, she don't mean another thing than that, she's a very direct person like Vaan does, but still, that's something interesting that could leads into romantic issue (implicitly)

2. Balthier's nervousness
when Al-cid invite Ashe to Rozzaria, we can see Balthier looks nervous/upset. according to Fran, who call him "Mr Spotlight" in other games, that's probably because Al-cid stole his parts

3. Balthier in Bahamut
upon learning Balthier stays in Bahamut, Ashe took it personal. could be because he's her friend, could be because she has feeling. but whatever it is, it's definitely personal and she don't want to loose someone important.

4. No time for Sthrall's sunset
I watch a scene in youtube about RW, when Ashe and Balthier talk about her vissit to Rozzaria. she compares Rozzarian's sunset (which she really appreciate) and The Sthrall's sunset (which she have no time to appreciate). Could be sign of ending of both platonic relationship (she choose Al-cid), which indicates that there was something personal between them (in FFXII). but since I haven't play RW (and I don't think I will ever do), I won't talk much about this.

======================

that's all my points about Balthier-Ashe. If it will be dramatic like suddenly a lightning struck Balthier and he left his freedom to marry Ashe and be a king of Dalmasca (if this really happen, it will be very OOC), it's still good. I think Balthier and Ashe is cool. But to be honest, the perfect partner for Balthier is none other than Fran. they share a deep respect, same energy, same vibration, a very deep trust (remember when Balthier fearlessly jump out off bridge with Vaan, and Fran catch him safe and sound). They are a very mature couple I ever seen. And as implicit Balthier-Ashe's "hints", Balthier-Fran's hints also exist. even the forest jealous of a hume who took Fran away (probably refer to Balthier.

That's all my points about Balthier-Ashe. romance is always interesting, especially the implicit one.