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Favorite Game Characters: Aisha

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Pumpkin's Character Appreciation posts reminded me of the old 'Favorite Game Character' thread, which was a lot of fun, so I figured I'd follow in her footsteps. So . . . glory to the olden times and good ideas! Let's kick this off with probably the newest person I could put on this list:

Aisha (Romancing SaGa)

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In a way it is hard to pick a favorite character from the original Romancing SaGa, as the majority of the game's events that could be considered developmental aren't character specific and even each person's ultimate morality is up to the player to decide. This should, in theory, leave character preference entirely up to visual design (Sif actually wins that one for me) and what the player learns from each character's unique introduction sequences.

But that's only in theory. Because all characters can experience most of the events, all can be considered equally developmental to everyone, and although these events are shared, some characters do still have unique elements when viewing them; Aisha is one of these people. In fact, not only is she one of the few with unique story elements past her introduction, she is also the only one where I feel a sense of growth within the character and some attachment to because of these unique elements.

She begins the game as a carefree girl on the plains who is kidnapped by slave traders, but by the end she has (SPOILER)lost her family, found out she isn't human, and actually forsakes guaranteed safety from the coming war between the gods to fight for her friends. It's a question given no real time in the game, but it's a tough decision when considered from the perspective of Aisha herself, and it gives her prayer at Nisa's altar a weight no one else shares; when you are granted the Earth Sword to go forth and fight Saruin, only Aisha, one of Nisa's chosen people, really feels like it was intended for her. It's a small part of a much larger game, but it works so well that I can't help but appreciate it.

Probably the thing I like the most, however, aren't even the events in the Earth Cave themselves, but the way they interact with all of the other quests in the game. Unlike with other characters, all the good choices the player makes actually tend to make sense when played from her perspective, as every good deed and selfless act along the path actually fit to shape Aisha from the airy girl on the plains to the woman she has to become, logically, to give up guaranteed salvation from the end of the world to fight for people she cares about. It provides that sense of growth every other character lacks.

Of course, all of that may only be my reception of things and it may be that none of it was the intended message of the developer; perhaps the Aisha at the end of the story is the same Aisha that rode out on the horse at the start of the game, but that isn't what I choose to believe. The Aisha I know isn't the hapless victim on horse, but Dame of the Knights Dominion, Cleric of Amut, Paladin of Nisa, Chosen of Elore, defender of her friends and the slayer of evil gods, and for all of that she is my pick for favorite Romancing SaGa character.

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  1. Pumpkin's Avatar
    I am excited to try this series and I like her design a lot. The deciding your character's morality system seems pretty interesting :o
  2. Rez09's Avatar
    I don't know about the remake, but you sadly don't see it doing much in the original game other than determining the path you take at the end of the game, which is kind of sad. I did end up going to hell once, though.
  3. Pumpkin's Avatar
    Oh my. Still seems pretty interesting though