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Thread: Team Bonding Experiences in FFXII

  1. #1
    'Just Friends' Formalhaut's Avatar
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    Default Team Bonding Experiences in FFXII

    I briefly mentioned this in the thread about world maps, but one thing I did notice about FFXII's story, looking back, was the distinct lack of much bonding between the characters.

    There were definitely pairings. Balthier and Fran's partnering, the dynamic between Basch and Vaan. But besides these few pairings, I never really felt like the team was a cohesive unit.

    Compare with FFXIII, where (though the game did have flaws) it got the characters right. At least for me, I knew that these six characters spoke to each other, liked each other eventually and bonded through their mutual fate. This was helped by splitting the party off during the middle portion of the game so you could intimately get involved with their character development.

    Obviously, there is no focus to force the characters together in FFXII, but the party didn't really seem like a party. They sort of shuffled together more out of convenience than anything else.

    I can't really recall Balthier or Penelo actually ever talking. Fran didn't have much to say to Basch. Granted, Penelo didn't really have much in the role of the story in the first place, and neither did Fran. I might be overthinking it slightly, but I am slightly disappointed that there wasn't more opportunity to really get to *know* the characters.

    I know the story was very political and concerned more with the overall trajectory of the war, but it would have been nice to have the party... I don't know, sitting around a campfire. Talking. Playing cards, I don't know. It's not as if they didn't have much time, they spent the majority of the time travelling east, west, south and then north.

    What do you guys think? Am I overthinking it?


  2. #2
    Resident Critic Ayen's Avatar
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    I don't think it was a problem. The relationships we do get were fine. Vaan and Penelo, Balthier and Fran, Ashe and Basch. Not everyone in a single group are close.

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    There were some bonding moments between some characters though you are right about Penelo and Fran. Honestly, I kind of found it refreshing to have a party that was more business minded than "bestest best friends" we've been getting that for awhile. It was nice having a group you could tell didn't really respect Vaan, like during his embarrassing "How old are you?" scene but then later have them show astonishment with him when he's smart enough to use the voice changer to sound like Larsa and end the battle when Sky Bahamut was crashing.

    There were some really good bonding scenes but it was less "let's watch them talk and bond" and more about watching the subtle ways the characters change around each other. The party is pretty cold to each other in the beginning but by end game you can really see some significant changes to how they see each other by just watching carefully. It was more show than tell if you get what I mean.

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    Pinkasaurus Rex Cid's Knight Pumpkin's Avatar
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    Pumpkin Contrary (Sargatanas)

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    sharky and I are literally keeping track of how many times certain characters talk to each other because sometimes they almost never do. Like when Fran said something to Ashe we were like *GASP* because rarely does she do so. Penelo and Balthier is another good one.

    It is one of the faults, especially for someone like me who loves characters and seeing how they interact with each other. That's why I love the Tales series is because so far, every game I've played, each character has a relationship with each. A lot of RPG's have the main 2 or 3 and the other characters revolve around them, but largely ignore each other. Heck, Final Fantasy IX suffers from it. But I would say XII is worse than most.

  5. #5

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    there's more to it in the sequel revenant wings. but its there in the first game to...just harder to pick out.

    i dont hink balthier likes any body all that much apart from fran obviously. he comes off as the lovable jerk at times. he didnt want to rescue penelo...he snaps at vaan when they first meet. he & basch exchange some tiffs....dont even get me started on ashe. i mean he takes her ring & waits a whole year to give it back.

    fran is more caring...& her & penelo actually have some personal talk in revenant wings. girl to girl.

    ashe understandably is wounded & lashing out a lot at first...but mellows out near the end....& by the end they all seem to be friends...even balthier/ashe.

    but the best scene that shows them behaving as a group:

    ummm how old are you?

    "dead silence for like a minute as the camera pans over everyone"

    UGH NICE VAAN!!!!

    surprisingly rude!

    do try to grow up some time!

    balthier does speak to penelo near the beginning when he & vaan are arrested & she nearly caused a scene. he somehow calmed her down.

    in the end it seems more went on cuz he apparently showed vaan how to fly & fran seem to talk to penelo about flying the strahl. so it is there...just have to pay attention.

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