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Pumpkin
06-03-2015, 05:30 AM
http://i.imgur.com/GmiVnZd.png


Welcome to the second edition of Never Forget Them! Today we're diving head first in to the world of Final Fantasy IX, so pull out your giant forks and get ready to cook you up some friendship soup, complete with Oglop found on the mountain path! Today we're looking at two summoners who can summon giant beasties to do their bidding in battle, but just can't sort out their love affairs. There just isn't a summon for that!

Love Rivals

The very first aspect of the relationship between Garnet and Eiko is that of love rivals. The party meets Eiko right after Zidane and Garnet get hitched in Conde Petie. They find the young food thief dangling from great heights, a situation which she manages to find herself in an unnatural amount, you'd think she enjoys it. Upon seeing Zidane she immediately develops a crush on him after her years of isolation.


http://i.imgur.com/g1J9BIz.png


Eiko doesn't take long to make her move, clearly conveying her feelings to Zidane. She tries cooking for him, she asks him what kind of girls he likes, she asks him to watch the creepy light with her in the Iifa Tree, and before too long she even has Dr. Tot write a love letter to give him. This makes the much older Zidane very aware and very uncomfortable given his feelings for Garnet, not to mention the ages of those involved (I'm assuming). I know that most sixteen year-old's would not be the happiest about being hit on by a little girl of eight.

Garnet and Zidane, meanwhile, have the unspoken feelings for each other, both knowing this but neither seriously expressing or acting on it. Aside from the occasional joke flirting on Zidane's part, they're mostly quiet about their feelings for each other, making Eiko's relentless pursuit a good source of contrast and a pleasant change of pace.



Eiko
"Will you help me write a letter?"

The love rivalry seems to be something that Eiko is fully aware of, while Garnet... not so much. Eiko knows fully well who Zidane's heart belongs to, and even though she has feelings for him, she still encourages the two to get together and tries to help them find a cure for their obliviousness, a deadly condition that leaves thousands without love. The fact that Eiko does this shows a maturity on her part. However, she still doesn't give up her own feelings and regards the love rivalry as an aspect to her and Garnet's friendship, as opposed to actually disliking her and being her enemy.

http://i.imgur.com/X4OfVPd.png


Last of Their Kind

Going to Madain Sari is an important part of Garnet's character, because it's where she finally learns who she is and where she came from. This is obviously vital in helping her understand more about herself and becoming the person she will be. It's also where the party meets Eiko, the young girl with the blue hair and the horn who uses summon magic like it's not big deal. To Garnet it is, of course, a pretty big deal.


http://i.imgur.com/ki5FIlH.png


We learn from Eiko that she's the last of her kind, the last summoner. Garnet had been brought to Alexandria a long time ago and raised as royalty, the horn pulled from her head and her summon magic never fully explored until exploited by Queen Brahne. Both of them felt alone with their summoning, so it easily forms a bond between the two when they find each other. Eiko takes Garnet to the Summon Wall, tells her about her village, teachers her about her history and her people.


Dagger
"I used to pray every day here, at the Eidolon Wall."
Eiko
"You, too?"

Their relationship as summoners comes to it's climax when Alexandria is under attack. Garnet has just taken the throne after her mother's death and Bahamut, under Kuja's control, starts attacking the Kingdom. After hearing of the danger, Zidane and his gang are slowly heading back via rickety airship. Hey, it's the best they could do, alright?! As they draw near, Eiko senses Garnet, and her jewels begin to glow. Having faith and understanding what's happening, Eiko leaps from the airship to get to Garnet before it's too late. Luckily for her, this does not result in a tragic suicide, but instead their jewels resonate with each other on top of Alexandria Castle and allow her safe landing. There, she instructs Garnet of the true purpose of the jewels and helps her to call forth the Holy Summon, Alexander.


http://i.imgur.com/Zo42Ca4.png


True Friends

With all of those elements brought together, we achieve the most important part of their relationship; their friendship. Through thick and thin, despite their love rivalry and in part thanks to their bond as summoners, the two become good friends. Eiko does her best to help Garnet and Zidane pursue their relationship in spite of her own feelings, and Garnet offers Eiko a close female friend like she's never had. The two even exchange their treasured jewels to show each other just how much they mean to the other.


http://i.imgur.com/rKV2XgA.png


I really enjoy this friendship because it brings together two people who are very similar in some regards and very different in others, and I was happy to see them grow to understand and care for each other the way that they did. Both felt very lonely in their own ways growing up and together they formed a powerful bond that they can keep close to their hearts.

http://i.imgur.com/OkdHx1d.jpg


Did you enjoy the relationship between these two White Mage/Summoners? What were some of your favourite moments? Who would you like to see featured? Let us know in the comments!

Colonel Angus
06-03-2015, 06:37 AM
Great article, Pumpkin!

Depression Moon
06-03-2015, 08:02 PM
Yeah, that was exceptionally well written. This game has some of the best characters in it and while Eiko like a lot of child characters in the series act unrealistically older than their age, she was pretty well done and I liked her relationship with the cast.

Omni-Odin
06-04-2015, 01:22 AM
Damn it ps4. Open a psone library. I'm dying to get in my time machine. Great article.

sharkythesharkdogg
06-04-2015, 09:57 PM
I really did like their dynamic. I poked fun at Eiko's free fall out of the airship, but it was still a good scene.

Another good article!

Sephex
06-08-2015, 07:24 AM
Yeah, I remember being irritated that people said Eiko was annoying and acted like a child when this game was new. It's like, well, why do you think that is, jerk holes!

But yeah, one of my favorite things about FFIX is the mysticism about the summoners, and bother Garnet and Eiko were good vehicles to explore that part of the story. That's not all the brought to the story, but still, favorite aspect for me!