Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Mercy Side: Me and Wrestling

Hey everyone,

Welcome to my next article, I'm writing this more as a preview for my next listing, which is the Top 50 Greatest Wrestling Catchphrases. That will be up in around a weeks time. This article is merely stating my bond with this "sports entertainment", why I still watch it as an adult and father, and why it will probably never leave my life.

My interest started in the spring of 2001, I used to go to my friends house, his name was Matt (still good friends with him), he watched Smackdown! on a Saturday morning repeat. I told him I didn't like it, because it was fake, but he didn't care. As the weeks went by I got sucked into this world of wrestling and bad acting, sucked into the world where it was okay to put on baby oil and grapple men in their underwear. It was stupid but I loved it. I still do. I've got my fiancee into it, and my daughter likes it. I wrestle her, just like I also wrestled my siblings all those years ago, on my parents bed. The different between me wrestling and Matt wrestling is that I wasn't stiff, he used to beat me up, not that he hated me, he was just stiff. I remember one time he got me in a Walls of Jericho and he went further back than he anticipated, it felt like I had broken my back. I was obsessed with The Undertaker and Kane, The Brothers of Destruction, and always decided that if I were to be a wrestler I also would be a masked wrestler called Flesh, a crap ripoff of Kane.

My first ever PPV was WWF Invasion, but unlike everyone else, I watched this late, on S4C (the Welsh Channel 4), who played the PPV for free, just many weeks after it actually was on live. I remember hating Stone Cold for turning on the WWF and joining the Alliance. I remember thinking how hot Trish Stratus was, and how I hoped she would lose her match so I can see her in her bra and panties. But most surprisingly, I was hooked on Rob Van Dam vs Jeff Hardy for the Hardcore title, to this day one of my favourite matches. RVD hit a sick DDT on Jeff in that match, it was fantastic.

After that PPV I was hooked. I pleaded with my parents to get a Sky box, so I could watch it every week. It didn't take long for them to oblige, my mum is a softie, still is, but she wants what's best for her children even if it doesn't make financial sense. I love her eternally for that.

I didn't watch WCW, or ECW, I unfortunately started watching wrestling after they got bought by the WWF. But I did watch the end of the Attitude era, and I'm proud to say I experienced it first hand, many younger fans envy us for experiencing wrestling in its gimmick, shock value high. I was your typical casual fan for a few years, probably going up to the point where I started to read John Canton's articles, which was around 2 years later.

Eddie Guerrero was reincarnated around this time,he was in a great tag team with Chavo Guerrero, forming Los Guerreros. Unfortunately Chavo tore his biceps muscle right before the pay per view Judgement Day. Eddie needed a new partner. Around this time I discovered John Canton, an online freelance wrestling journalist and Rajah.com, a website that focuses on backstage rumours and notes. These two have since become staples in my wrestling interest even now. Rumours were abound about who Eddie Guerrero could tag with, with Tajiri's name being the focus. It turned out the rumours were true, and they won the tag titles together at the PPV. It was then that I discovered that wrestling had a real life edge to it, not that I didn't know before (I took the micky only two years ago that it was "fake"), but injuries are inevitable, and adjustments have to be made.

From that moment on I used Rajah.com, and was intrigued about how people formed their opinions wrestling. I found myself disagreeing with Canton a lot, because I liked the big guys like The Brothers of Destruction, but he taught me about kayfabe, about why wrestlers are as good as the are, and about "booking" a wrestler correctly. Slowly I started to understand. Wrestling isn't just about a moveset and a promo, it's also about backstage politics, it's about being "over" with the crowd, and being able to draw money for the wrestling company. I then started to appreciate the smaller wrestlers who had to pay their dues due to their size, the greats like Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit, and started to resent the bigger guys with no talent, like the A-Train, Heidenreich and Gene Snitzky. I had become a smark.

Now, nearly 10 years later, I still see wrestling in many ways. I try not to call myself a mark, a smark, or a casual fan. I try to see why wrestling is the way it is. Daniel Bryan won't become champion overnight, he may be the best wrestler in the US right now but he has a long way to go. Wade Barrett will become champion before him, because he can draw heat and because he is a big guy. Wrestling is about making money, not about pleasing the fans, that's a bonus. If you can't make the company money, you will be sent down the bathroom plug. Some wrestlers have to pay their dues for unfortunate reasons, life isn't fair and neither is the wrestling world. We learnt that with Chris Benoit, who took many a year to finally get a championship reign all the smarks said he deserved nearly 10 years before. Where as The Great Khali never should have been champion. But he is big, and is foreign, just because of what part of the world he came from he got immediate heat. Vince capitalised on that because it was easier. Wrestling can be simple sometimes.

My favourite wrestler now is Chris Jericho, and has been for sometime. Yes I still have a feeling for The Undertaker and Kane, I mean The Undertaker is great for how big a guy he is, but I appreciate everything about wrestling, and Jericho is the complete wrestler. He can be a face, he can be a heel, he is great on the mic, he is great in the ring, he can draw money. He is popular with the casual fans and the smarks. That is pretty much it about being the complete wrestler.
My favourite feud is Eddie Guerrero vs Rey Mysterio. Eddie Guerrero for me was the best heel I've ever seen, no matter how short his heel reign was. He was a sick bastard, and he knew how to draw that crowd against him. His feud was brilliant, when he suplexed Mysterio on the ring steps my heart came out of my mouth. When he did his disturbing promo with Rey's mask I cringed. It's a shame the matches weren't as good as they should have been.
Which brings me to my favourite match. The best match I have ever seen is probably Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 25. That was just a brilliant showcase between two great veterans. I also appreciated that match to its fullest as any type of wrestling fan, it was a great spectacle for anyone to watch. Their rematch this year was almost as good.
I just wanted to write this article just as an introduction for myself into writing about this thing called wrestling. I hope to write a good few articles about recent events from now on. But for now, get ready for my Top 50 Catchphrases next week.

As Foley would say, have a nice day!

Date: 30/11/10

Monday, November 29, 2010

This Weeks Posts

Hey people,

I'm going to try and post at least every two days, maybe every day, if I can. That doesn't mean an article a day but hopefully a few a week, that's for sure.

Just want to once again thank for the comments and interest in my Top 50 Favourite Final Fantasy Characters listing. It was a pleasure to write it and most of the feedback has been favourable. There's a poll to your right asking who your favourite in my Top 10 was. I love polls, just ask the guys on the Official Liverpool Football Club forums. I want to do listings semi regularly, and definitely in different media's.

Which brings me to my next listing. I've already compiled my Top 50 Greatest Wrestling Catchphrases, and just need to put it in an article form. Don't fret, this won't be a 52 day job, but a 3 day job. It's not the same, writing about catchphrases, as it is about FF characters. So I'll post the lower 25 in one day, then the next 15, then the top 10. The top 10 will have why each phrase was chosen in it's respective place.

But first, tomorrow I'm posting a quick article on my relationship with wrestling, just as a preview to the catchphrases listing. I'm talking about what got me into the "sports entertainment", and my favourite things. Should be an interesting read I hope.

I also have two reviews to put up, one on Left 4 Dead 2, and an album review, "Blood and Fire" by The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster. I hope you enjoy those too.

I also have a special article I wrote, it's 3000 words long. All I'll say is it's about music. That is all.

So, planned for you this week in order is:
  • The Mercy Side: Me and Wrestling
  • Left 4 Dead Review
  • My "music" article, that I refuse to tell you about
  • "Blood and Fire" by The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster
  • Top 50 Greatest Wrestling Catchphrases

I hope to maybe write one or two more articles, if ideas come around or things happen, wrestling or football wise. We'll see.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy at least one of the things I'm about to post, I am covering three different types of media! Take part in my poll if you wish, and I'll post soon! Have a good night!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Top 50 Final Fantasy Characters: The Winner (+ more)

Hey everyone,

We've finally arrived at the end, sorry if it took longer than you wanted it to! 52 days ago I started this (two days I couldn't post), and have been revealing one by one my favourite 50 characters in the amazing Final Fantasy series. Naturally I've been preferring the more recent games, I did start with Final Fantasy VII after all, but I have respected the earlier games by at least having one character from each game. Anyway, as a recap, here is the other 49 in reverse order:
  • #50 - Garland (FF1)
  • #49 - Doctor Tot (FF9)
  • #48 - Xande (FF3)
  • #47 - Cyan (FF4)
  • #46 - The Emperor (FF2)
  • #45 - Golbez (FF4)
  • #44 - Galuf (FF5)
  • #43 - Garland (FF9)
  • #42 - Kain (FF4)
  • #41 - Barret (FF7)
  • #40 - Leo (FF6)
  • #39 - Gilgamesh (FF9)
  • #38 - Reno (FF7)
  • #37 - The Nero Brothers (FF9)
  • #36 - Seifer (FF8)
  • #35 - Kimahri (FF10)
  • #34 - Ba'Gamnan (FF12)
  • #33 - Vincent (FF7)
  • #32 - Zorn and Thorn (FF9)
  • #31 - Squall (FF8)
  • #30 - Lulu (FF10)
  • #29 - Jenova (FF7)
  • #28 - Rikku (FF10)
  • #27 - Sabin (FF6)
  • #26 - Cid (FF9)
  • #25 - Bugenhagen (FF7)
  • #24 - Irvine (FF8)
  • #23 - Locke (FF6)
  • #22 - Brother (FF10)
  • #21 - Cloud (FF7)
  • #20 - Baku (FF9)
  • #19 - Shadow (FF6)
  • #18 - Jecht (FF10)
  • #17 - Quina (FF9)
  • #16 - Red XIII (FF7)
  • #15 - Steiner (FF9)
  • #14 - Ultros (FF6)
  • #13 - Laguna (FF8)
  • #12 - Seymour (FF10)
  • #11 - Hojo (FF7)
  • #10 - Edgar (FF6)
  • #9 - Beatrix (FF9)
  • #8 - Auron (FF10)
  • #7 - Kuja (FF9)
  • #6 - Cid (FF7)
  • #5 - Balthier (FF12)
  • #4 - Zidane (FF9)
  • #3 - Sephiroth (FF7)
  • #2 - Vivi (FF9)
Without further ado, here's my favourite character:

#1: Kefka

Full Name (to knowledge): Kefka Palazzo
Game: Final Fantasy VI
Role in Game: The Main Antagonist
Best Quote: "Life...dreams...hope...Where do they come from? And where do they go? Such meaningless things... I'll destroy them all!" 
I'd just like to say to a certain someone - no, it's not because I've just done an article on why I want a Final Fantasy VI remake.

Kefka is my number 1. It wasn't easy to make this decision, the Top 4 are really a big elite 4 in my eyes and there's little to seperate them in my heart. But I have chosen Kefka and I'm sticking to it.

Kefka or Sephiroth? Kefka, definitely. Why? There is one thing that Kefka does that no other character to my knowledge does. He actually becomes a god. So many tried, they all failed, but Kefka. Kefka becomes the lord of the world. He destroyed the world and reduced it to very little. No Sephiroth, no Kuja, no Sin, no one, was able to do this. (as I said I've not finished FF13 so if I'm wrong don't let me know!)

There are a few other things that I love about Kefka. That cackle, man, it's just brilliant. It's a shame that it can't work in a modern game, because it's truly a beautiful sound. You just want to kick his ass whenever he laughs, that laugh alone, nevermind what else he does.

And by what else he does I mean a lot. Yes he destroyed the world. But he did much more than that. He made Terra into a slave, he made her kill 50 of his own army. Why? As a test subject. That heartless bastard. You want more? He set fire to Edgar's castle, he almost succeeded if it wasn't for the fact that Edgar can make his castle burrow underground, getting rid of the flames. But the act that stands out for me, more than most acts, is him poisoning the castle of Doma. Everyone died of poison, bar Cyan and his sentry. What a sick, vile man. He does more here, nevermind destroying the world, than most villains do. And he wasn't even finished! He killed General Leo, not with magic, that weakened Leo. He stamped him to the ground, he used his own feet, the same ones that he demanded the Gestahlian army members to clean earlier in the game, to crush Leo into the ground. What a vile image, an image I desperately want redone in 3D. Then he killed his boss, and destroyed the world.

It's not just what he does though it's how he does it. It's his manic laugh, his brilliant quotes, he is flamboyant as well as destructive, how many people can pull that off. He's a fucking mad man! But he does it so much that you can't help but love him, but want him dead there and then. Kefka is a cold, heartless, evil clown, but he does it with such style such swagger that he is just that one thing better than anyone else. Kefka is my favourite character of all time, well, for the first twelve games anyway!
Note: Kefka is the eighth and final character from Final Fantasy VI in this list.


This trophy is for Kefka!
Thanks for reading my list, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it, I had a lot of fun. I just want to go through some consolation characters, that came close, but inevitably had to be dropped from the list. There in order of game, not in preference so don't read into why they are in the order they are in.

Chaos (FF1), Minwu (FF2), Doga (FF3), Cecil (FF4), Tellah (FF4), Cid (FF4), Cagnazzo (FF4), Rubicante (FF4), Bartz (FF5), Faris (FF5), Exdeath (FF5), Gilgamesh (FF5), Gau (FF6), Setzer (FF6), Mog (FF6), Banon (FF6), Cid (FF6), Interceptor (FF6), Tifa (FF7), Rude (FF7), Heidegger (FF7), Mayor Domino (FF7), Zack (FF7), Don Corneo (FF7), Selphie (FF8), Ward (FF8), Edea (FF8), Cid (FF8), Ellone (FF8), Dr. Kadowaki (FF8), Raijin (FF8), Wedge (FF8), Amarant (FF9), Stiltzkin (FF9), Yunalesca (FF10), Barthello (FF10), Cid (FF10), Maechen (FF10), O'aka XXIII (FF10), Rin (FF10), Fran (FF12), Basch (FF12), Vossler (FF12), and, Venat (FF12).

I already said before, but I haven't played FF13, but based on the two and a bit discs (XBox 360 version) I have played, three characters I really like are Sazh, Vanille and Barthandelus. So that's 47 characters, so you could make an arguement that it's my Top 97, in no particular order.

Some statistics. In the Top 50 list the most represented game is Final Fantasy 9, with 13 entries. If you include the other 47, then it's beat by Final Fantasy 7, with 16 entries (FF9 would have 15). It's no surprise, they are my two favourite games in the series. I could do more stats, but I don't know if I can be bothered at this moment of time.

Game (brackets are the other 47 as well):
FF1 1 (2) FF2 1 (2) FF3 1 (2) FF4 2 (7) FF5 1 (5) FF6 8 (14) FF7 10 (16) FF8 4 (12) FF9 13 (15) FF10 7 (13) FF12 2 (6) FF13 0 (3)

Based on each characters role in the game, the most popular role in the list is that of the Major Protagonist, which means the main characters in the game, but not the focal character.

Role (brackets are the 47 as well):
Main Protagonist 4 (6) Main Antagonist 4 (6) Major Protagonist 19 (33) Major Antagonist 12 (21) Minor Protagonist 7 (23) Antihero 4 (8)

I touched on it before, but I don't believe Squaresoft/Enix have put as much emphasis in their female cast as their male cast, so it's natural in my opinion that there are more men in the list than women.

Gender (brackets are the other 47 as well):
Male 44 (74) Female 3 (12) Other 3 (11)

Once again, thanks for reading my list and sharing your views. I don't mind if you agree or disagree, it's all part of the debate. I just wanted to go through my personal list, but I'm not ruling out doing an unbiased list (Top 50/100 most important/popular characters) some time in the future. I'll also be going into doing lists in other media too (I've finalised my Top 50 wrestling catchphrases, but it won't be a day to day job like this. That will be up in a week or so). So stay tuned! I'm hoping this is the beginning of something really big here at my site, I hope I can keep you all hooked with my views on different manners of media. Until next time, take care!

See other parts in the listing!
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | The Winner (+ more)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Top 50 Final Fantasy Characters: (Part 10)

Please note: This list will talk about spoilers. If you have not played the game that each character represents I'd avoid that entry.

#5: Balthier

Full Name (to knowledge): Ffamran mied Bunansa (nicknamed Balthier)
Game: Final Fantasy XII
Role in Game: Major Protagonist
Best Quote: “Princess! No need to worry. I hope you haven't forgotten my role in this little story. I'm the leading man. You know what they say about the leading man: he never dies.”
Man, if I were homosexual, I’d fancy Balthier. This man just oozes brilliance, he’s just so fucking cool, he’s just got everything that makes a great character; cool looks, awesome looking airship, fantastic voice actor and most importantly, he has the best lines. People who know me know that I’m not that big on FF12, but Balthier is so high, because it just feels like Square-Enix wanted to give Balthier ALL the good lines. They have spoiled us with one character, in honesty they should have balanced them out more, but hey ho. Balthier is one heck of a character, and it’s unusual for me to have a character so high on a game I’m not as fond of, but Balthier is just too good to be lower in this list. He kicks off my Top 5.

Note: Balthier is the second and final character from Final Fantasy XII in this list.

#4: Zidane

Full Name (to knowledge): Zidane Tribal
Game: Final Fantasy IX
Role in Game: The Main Protagonist
Best Quote: “Come on, Princess. Let's ditch Sir Rustalot and get outta here!” (talking to Dagger, about Steiner)

Some people thought Zidane would be my #1 because of the fact that I use his avatar and his quote (You don't need a reason to help people) a lot. Well, it was a debate for the #1 spot that’s for sure, as well as the other three characters. The Top 4 changed a few times but I’ve finalised them in this order. I’m a huge Zidane fan, the main reason being because I see myself in him a lot. He’s such a positive guy, very happy, but he burdens some thoughts, some feelings but for the most part keeps them to himself and gets on with his life. I see myself in him for those reasons, I’m also very sarcastic, I try to be funny, similar to him. Not talking about myself here, but I just think he’s a really nice guy, and not annoying like a lot of the other main characters, he’s himself. I suppose that’s why he’s this high in my list, it’s hard to explain really, I just like him a lot and think they should aim their main characters in this direction more often.

#3: Sephiroth

Full Name (to knowledge): Sephiroth
Game: Final Fantasy VII
Role in Game: The Main Antagonist
Best Quote: “Only death awaits you all, but do not fear. For it is through death that a new spirit energy is born. Soon, you will live again as a part of me.” (Sephiroth whilst he cripples Tseng in the Temple of the Ancients)

Sephiroth is the final character from FF7 in this list and you probably know who the last two characters are now if you know me well enough, and you rule out the rest of the games. If not, then that’s great for me. Anyway, Sephiroth would be a lot of people’s #1 and I’d not disagree with them for the most part, I mean he is just the complete badass to a lot of people. He looks the shiz, he has a horrible, fucked up background, he causes lots of pain and death in the game, has brilliant quotations, and much more. He is a phenomenal piece of character creation, but I just prefer, two more character to him, one a villain, and one a hero. So, that’s just the way I see it, I’d not argue with you though, Sephiroth is truly a magnificent character, and can I just say, much much better than Cloud!

Note: Sephiroth is the tenth and final character from Final Fantasy VII in this list.

#2: Vivi

Full Name (to knowledge): Vivi Orunitia
Game: Final Fantasy IX
Role in Game: Major Protagonist
Best Quote: “How do you prove that we exist? Maybe we don't exist...” (Vivi’s quote)
Vivi representing the final character from FF9 means there’s only one game that’s not been ruled out, if you’ve figured that much out you should now know who #1 is, if not, find out tomorrow. Vivi was marginally pushed away from the #1 spot, but it was really hard to do that, particularly on a personal level. Just in case you don’t know me well personally, I have a daughter; I’ve named her Vivi, inspired by this character’s name. I’ve chosen her name based on the name, and not the character and his traits, I don’t know if that would be right, based on the horrible misfortunes Vivi goes through.

I’ll go onto that now. Vivi is a phenomenal character, full of emotion, full of thought, full of questions and answers. Vivi is a great creation, one that Squaresoft should be proud of. In this little boy, are all of the above, and much more. A little boy of his age shouldn’t have had to go through what he does in the game, being subjected to questioning his own mortality and his “black mage” roots. He goes through more shit than most of the characters in the entire series does. But not only that, but this kid goes through the game’s events and hangs in there. He takes all the stuff on the chin, and has the character to persevere through the events. And he does it with infinite charm; you can’t help but love Vivi. You feel sorry for him, go through the game with him learning as you go along what he learns, and you love him from start to “finish”, if he does in fact “stop”. Vivi’s story, his personality, his appeal, his image, should never be forgotten about in the FF universe. It’s just a shame he is in an unpopular title in the series.

Note: Vivi is the thirteenth and final character from Final Fantasy IX in this list.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below.

See other parts in the listing!

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Top 50 Final Fantasy Characters (Parts 9)

Please note: This list will talk about spoilers. If you have not played the game that each character represents I'd avoid that entry.

#10: Edgar

Full Name (to knowledge): Edgar Roni Figaro
Game: Final Fantasy VI
Role in Game: Major Protagonist
Best Quote: “If something were to happen to me, all the world's women would grieve!”
Edgar just slips into the Top 10 of my favourite characters list, representing FF6. Edgar is the ultimate flirt of Final Fantasy, and he’s so funny when doing it. He flirts with all the women, to a better effect and charm than Irvine from FF8, he doesn’t care that he’s a king. That being said, he is a good king, and a respected one at that. He is also one of the better characters to use in battle with all his invented tools at his disposal. What I love about Edgar is that he is so humble; he’s so cool and funny. The scene when he’s pretending to be Gerad as well is fantastic. He’s just one of the best characters in Final Fantasy.

#9: Beatrix

Full Name (to knowledge): Beatrix
Game: Final Fantasy IX
Role in Game: Antihero
Best Quote: “Allow me to shatter your delusions of grandeur.”
Beatrix is the highest ranked female in this list, primarily because there are more men than women in the series, and my personal opinion is that Squaresoft/Square-Enix don’t develop their women as well as their men. But Beatrix is against this rule, she is absolutely brilliant. Man, I’d do anything for a Beatrix themed Final Fantasy IX prequel or sequel. Beatrix kicks your ass over and over again before realising she was fighting on the wrong side of the battle field. Just in case you didn’t know, yes, I do have a crush on Beatrix, she’s so strong and gorgeous (unless she has one eye…) and why the hell did she choose Steiner over me? WHY?! Not happy. I wish there were more characters like her in the FF series, she’s one of a kind, at least I think so.

#8: Auron

Full Name (to knowledge): Auron
Game: Final Fantasy X
Role in Game: Major Protagonist
Best Quote: “Now! This is it! Now is the time to choose! Die and be free of pain, or live and fight your sorrow! Now is the time to shape your stories! Your fate is in your hands!”
Auron is The Godfather of Final Fantasy, I don’t think anyone dislikes this man. It’s truly a sad scene when he gets sent, Spira lost a great man. So why do I like him? Well, he looks the shit, talks the shit; he is the strongest character (in the start) and has a dark secret. What more do I need to say? How about the fact that he rips into Tidus quite a lot? Surely that trumps everything?!

Note: Auron is the seventh and final character from Final Fantasy X in this list.

#7: Kuja

Full Name (to knowledge): Kuja
Game: Final Fantasy IX
Role in Game: Major Antagonist
Best Quote: "The Canary I have been after, she flew into my cage of her own free will." (Referring to Dagger coming home)

Kuja is an underrated villain in an underrated entry into the Final Fantasy series. Kuja is a brilliant bad guy, he manipulates an entire continental war, causing many lives to end and many cities to be rebuilt, one even completely destroyed permanently. He also destroys his own world. But what makes him so special is how he does it - with his poetic lines and his Shakesperean drama, he wants to end life like a play. And he almost does so, everything goes swimmingly until he reaches his Trance. Kuja is one of my favourite villains, and my seventh favourite Final Fantasy character.

#6: Cid

Full Name (to knowledge): Cid Highwind
Game: Final Fantasy VII
Role in Game: Major Protagonist
Best Quote: “Shut up! Sit your ass down in that chair and drink your goddamn TEA! Arggggggh! DAMN, I'm pissed!"

The above quote is one of the best quotes in FF history. FF7’s Cid is the highest up Cid, and rightfully so, he is just brilliant. He’s on a permanent period, lashing at people all the time, but it’s just because he’s so damn passionate about what he does. And he looks badass too, with that cigarette that only falls out once in the entire game. There hasn’t been a Cid before or after like this guy, I wish they would make a playable Cid again, because I really think he’s a recurring character name that everyone associates with Final Fantasy, and it would be great homage to a great series. Cid Highwind is just full of vinegar, full of fire, full of entertainment and that’s why he is this high in my list.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below.

See other parts in the listing!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Top 50 Final Fantasy Characters (Part 8)

Please note: This list will talk about spoilers. If you have not played the game that each character represents I'd avoid that entry.

#15: Steiner

Full Name (to knowledge): Adelbert Steiner
Game: Final Fantasy IX
Role in Game: Major Protagonist
Best Quote: “Bah! Only a flesh wound!”

Things are really heating up now that we’ve hit the Top 15. Steiner is the first of 15 characters that I absolutely adore. Steiner’s a troubled character. All he wants to do is protect the princess, and keep her safe in the castle. That’s all he wants to do and because of Zidane, because of Queen Brahne, because of Kuja, because of Garnet herself, he can’t do it. He is as loyal a knight can be, following Dagger everywhere she goes. In the meantime, he provides some fantastic comedy relief, most particularly in Disc 1. As the game goes on, he goes from absolutely hating Zidane because of his thief status, to considering him a true hero and fit to have romance with Dagger. Steiner is a humble and strong knight, and gets himself in too much trouble for our entertainment. He is truly a magnificent character, one that I hold a lot of love for.

#14: Ultros

Full Name (to knowledge): Ultros
Game: Final Fantasy VI
Role in Game: Major Antagonist
Best Quote: “I have more lives than I do arms!”

If I were to make a list of underused FF characters Ultros would probably near the top of it. Ultros has very little impact on the main storyline, but man, he’s so funny. He says some fantastic quotes when you battle him multiple times, and he just provides such awesome comic relief, which is unusual with villains. I’ve said in my “FF6 remake” article, but he really should be in the game more. I want more Ultros! He’s brilliant, so funny, and deserves much more time and effort into his character, he deserves to be remade or ported into a new FF game with more impact. I love Ultros.

#13: Laguna

Full Name (to knowledge): Laguna Loire
Game: Final Fantasy VIII
Role in Game: Major Protagonist
Best Quote: “Uh-oh... My leg's cramping up...! ...Argh...” (Laguna limping around Julia playing the piano)

Laguna’s leg cramping scene is possibly the funniest moment ever, it’s so ridiculously funny I’m almost laughing about it just thinking about it. Laguna is so entertaining as a character, whenever he is on screen you’re bound to have something silly or funny happen. But, as he says himself, he has a big heart, he’s full of love, he’s possibly the nicest guy in FF history as well. He really shouldn’t be fighting! Even when he does, his “Desperado” attack is pretty funny as well, just hanging in the air, unloading his machine gun over a period of time. Great stuff. I love Laguna to bits, he’s by far the best FF8 character, and is in at #13 in this list.

Note: Laguna is the fourth and final character from Final Fantasy VIII in this list.

#12: Seymour

Full Name (to knowledge): Seymour Guado
Game: Final Fantasy X
Role in Game: Major Antagonist
Best Quote: “Life is but a passing dream, but the death that follows is eternal.”
Seymour is a great villain, possibly underrated to an extent. Give him his due, to a certain extent; his warped philosophy on life actually makes sense. I consider him to be the true villain in FF10, even though there’s dispute that Jecht is. He does some pretty horrible things though to really emphasise his case as a great villain, he kills his own father and a more strongly, he causes a huge massacre in the Ronso tribe, leaving their species at potential extinction. Not only that, but he has the most badass Aeon in the game in Anima, and looks pretty cool as well. Seymour is underrated and a very good villain, one of the best.

#11: Hojo

Full Name (to knowledge): Hojo
Game: Final Fantasy VII
Role in Game: Major Antagonist
Best Quote: “I offered the woman with my child to Professor Gast's Jenova project. When Sephiroth was still in her womb, we infused him with Jenova's cells...”

Following Seymour , if there’s one villain that is better, it’s Hojo. The best way to describe Hojo is by using two words – fucked up. Hojo isn’t a genius scientist. The main difference between Hojo and Gast is that Gast was a technical scientific genius, where as Hojo just wanted to mix life with life and screw around with science in the hope he would make a groundbreaking event. Well that he did. He is responsible for Sephiroth’s birth, Hojo and Jenova combined made all the crap that infested the world of FF7, Jenova had the ammo, Hojo had the gun. Hojo is a wonderful villain, he plays the twisted doctor so well, and it’s a brilliant character in FF7, he just misses the Top 10.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below.

See other parts in the listing!

Friday, November 05, 2010

My Top 50 Final Fantasy Characters (Part 7)

Please note: This list will talk about spoilers. If you have not played the game that each character represents I'd avoid that entry.

#20: Baku

Full Name (to knowledge): Baku
Game: Final Fantasy IX
Role in Game: Minor Protagonist
Best Quote: Baku: “So, this Tootsie's gonna give us Supersoft?” Marcus: “It's Tot.” Baku: “ACHOO! Whatever. I can't believe Tantalus is at the mercy of some old man. Hmph. I guess we gotta keep babysittin' the princess.” Marcus: “Still?” Baku: “He ain't gonna give you the Supersoft unless you're with the princess. That's the deal, Princess. I'm askin' you to take Marcus to this Toot.” Marcus: "...It's Tot.” Garnet: “I was going to, anyway.” Baku: “Well, go get some rest before you go. I'm sure Ted needs time to prepare.” Marcus: “...It's Tot."
Baku is such a fantastic character. He’s the hard but caring father-like leader of Tantalus and really loves all his “boys” the hard way. He’s so funny though, with his constant sneazing, and him being responsible for the entirety of “Lovenote-gate” in Disc 3, he’s just brilliant. But his best scene, the scene that stands out most with Baku , is when he continuously gets Doctor Tot’s name wrong and Marcus keeps reminding him. Baku is comedy gold and such an awesome character, and yes, most certainly is a better character than Cloud if you ask me!

#19: Shadow

Full Name (to knowledge): Shadow
Game: Final Fantasy VI
Role in Game: Major Protagonist/Antihero
Best Quote: “Leave us. The dog eats strangers...”
When I played FF6 for the first time and saw Shadow, I thought about every other “darkside” character in FF games and in other games as well, and thought “here we go again”. But Shadow beats most, if not all of them. He is an absolute badass mercenary assassin, and tries his hardest to hide his feelings for the main cast, even though it’s obvious he cares. His connections with Relm and his vivid dreams also add that fantastic layer to his character. I just love him, he’s the epitome of the dark and reserved character in a video game, he and Interceptor, who believe it or not came close to reaching the Top 50, are awesome.

#18: Jecht

Full Name (to knowledge): Jecht
Game: Final Fantasy X
Role in Game: Major Antagonist/Antihero
Best Quote: “You’ll cry, you're gonna cry, you always cry. See? You're crying.” (to Tidus upon their reunion)
Jecht’s cool, in fact, he’s really cool. I have a lot of love for this man, because of the fact that he’s seen as this horrible bully according to Tidus, but in truth, he’s just a hard headed man that doesn’t show his feelings very well. He wanted Tidus to grow up to be a strong bloke, a similar man to himself, but because Tidus was a young boy, he cried, and saw his father as a big bully. Jecht was not the best father in the world, but he loved his son, and his wife/girlfriend. He cares so much for Tidus that he leaves spheres in Spira, hoping his son would find them one day. Jecht is a proper antihero, but it is debatable that he is the main antagonist of the game, being the penultimate boss. He is a big badass to look at as well.

#17: Quina

Full Name (to knowledge): Quina Quen
Game: Final Fantasy IX
Role in Game: Major Protagonist
Best Quote: “I...so happy.” (Quina when he/she “marries” Vivi)
Quina is one of the funniest characters in FF history. From the fantastic “Quina’s Theme” song, to her/his brilliant philosophy (world simple place, things you eat, and things you don’t eat), and her/his failed suicide mission (when she/he ends up at Lindblum’s shore and makes the guards shit themselves) just make her/him so brilliant. Someone made a good point in saying that Quina adds little to the plot, which is true, but some characters don’t have to, as long as most of them do, some can get by easily, as long as they provide the player with something, which Quina does. Quina is a phenomenal character, one of my FF9 favourites, and is my 17th favourite in the series.

#16: Red XIII

Full Name (to knowledge): Nanaki (Red XIII is his experiment name)
Game: Final Fantasy VII
Role in Game: Major Protagonist
Best Quote: “An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see.”
Yes I like Red more than Cloud. Red is an awesome character from FF7, he’s the last of his species (which is unnamed) and is a very courageous warrior, he is cool and composed, and says things the way they are. I don’t understand why he seems to be a relatively forgotten character in terms of FF7, so many other characters get much more time and development (he only has one line in the entirety of Advent Children) than him, which is unjustified. Red is as cool as a cucumber, and a character I think fondly of, so much that he’s my sixteenth favourite character.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below.

See other parts in the listing!