The Final Fantasy Awards: Best Cast – Riddles

FFVIIboxartRiddles’s Pick: Final Fantasy VII

I get the feeling that Final Fantasy VII might be winning a lot of the remaining awards for the week. Hrm. Oh well.

Final Fantasy VII’s cast of characters is still my favorite of any videogame I’ve ever played. Cloud, Tifa and the gang are all like old friends to me. Sure, a lot of it’s nostalgia, but the reason why Final Fantasy VII’s cast is so excellent is because of the complex relationships between the characters. Cloud’s connection to Sephiroth, for example, or the mysterious Vincent’s connection to Shinra’s Professor Hojo. Every character, even supporting characters like Reno and Rude of the Turks, plays a part in the game’s heavily character-driven story, and that’s what makes them all so very memorable.

My personal favorite scene from Final Fantasy VII is when a sick, wheelchair-bound cloud falls into the lifestream. There, with the help of his childhood friend Tifa, he attempts to piece together his shattered past, and finally determine who he really is. Powerfully character-driven sequences like this are what really sets this game apart from the crowd, even to this day. Or, at least, in my mind it does.

Runner Up: Final Fantasy VI

Final Fantasy VI has the largest cast ever featured in a Final Fantasy game. However, it’s not numbers alone that make this cast so good – aside from a few incidental additions to the party, every one of these characters manages to have a distinct, memorable personality, as well as a unique role in the game’s fantastic story. Truth be told, VI and VII are practically neck-to-neck in my book.

Dishonorable Mention: Final Fantasy X-2

When considering who to shame for this category, I considered games like Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy V, and even Final Fantasy XII. But the former two are much older games, so they’re easily forgiven. And Final Fantasy XII’s characters may be somewhat flat, but at least (for the most part) they have good personalities – which is more than I can say for X-2. Air-headed females, senseless villains, and random people from the past compose the players of Final Fantasy X-2. And it’s pretty much as a bad as it sounds.

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17 Responses to “The Final Fantasy Awards: Best Cast – Riddles”

  1. SiliconNooB says:

    -Yeah, I wasn’t a fan of the annoying lobotomy Yuna and Rikku received for X-2 … ok Rikku was already lobotomised in FFX, but the starring role gave her enough rope to hang herself. And Yuna was like an entirely different person, unpleasantly so …

    -That said, I’d have to give the title of ‘the most offensively bad cast’ to XIII’s party, they really contribute to making the game worse than it already is …

  2. Ethos says:

    You mean pleasantly so for Yuna!
    And V’s cast is great! Well, that’s not particularly true, but they were charming in their own stupid way. And yeah, XIII’s in the running for dishonourable for me. I should finish that now…

  3. Riddles says:

    Yuna was *far* more annoying in X-2 than she ever was in X.

    At least in X she was sincere.

    In X-2 she was a lobotomized airhead with no redeeming qualities.

    But hey, at least she’d gotten a shot of confidence that empowered her to act like a dimestore floozy. Right?

  4. SiliconNooB says:

    Much better in X than X-2, Ethan just can’t stand nice girls … (though there were some trouble with her VA direction making her sound too breathless at times).

  5. Ethos says:

    Yesyes, Riddles, you’re offended, we get it.
    Yuna from X wasn’t a nice girl. She was a selfish child. I like nice girls. I like Tifa and Dagger and what I’ve seen of Terra (she’s been nice so far).
    Oh, she was sincere in X-2, you need to play it again, Riddles. But yeah, she was annoying in that game too, just less so.
    And how was she a dimestore floozy? Yeah, the outfits were dumb, but you’re way too quick to call any woman a whore or a bitch when she’s not a quiet pushover.

  6. SiliconNooB says:

    -Yeah, Yuna’s so selfish she’s willing to martyr herself so that the people of Spira can live in peace, heaps selfish.

    -Dagger actually is quite self-centred on occasion, Yuna on the other hand is genuinely selfless. What is it about nice girls that you hate so much? Does every girl have to be a gaudy tart or a cold bitch to meet with your approval?

  7. Ethos says:

    Dagger can definitely be self-centered at times, but I wouldn’t call her a gaudy tart or a cold bitch.

    Yeah, martyrdom can be selfish, surprise!! Especially the way she handles it and lies to Tidus. It’s like “being nice” to your boyfriend or girlfriend by not breaking up with them when you actually don’t like them. THAT’S NOT BEING NICE!
    Yuna loves Tidus and so doesn’t tell him the truth? Selfish.

  8. DarthGibblet says:

    The way X-2 dropped X’s cast completely on the floor would probably earn it my dishonorable mention in this category. As much as I enjoy X-2’s battle system and the plot (once it gets going), there’s really no way that the Yuna from X would act anything like the Yuna from X-2. I agree about Rikku. She didn’t really change much, but she went from being the plucky background-ish character to lead role, and it didn’t suit her (and, again, I LIKE Rikku. She just doesn’t make a good main character. It would be like making a game starring Vanille……. oh god, now I want to vomit). But regardless of whether or not you like Yuna (in either incarnation), you can’t really argue she didn’t undergo some sort of dramatic personality rewrite between X and X-2. Granted, it may have been fairly plot justified (having basically found everything she believed was a sham in X), but still undesirable in my opinion.

  9. SiliconNooB says:

    @Ethan- Right … because it’s so easy to open up about your impending death to someone within several days of meeting them. Obviously Yuna’s conflicted, she’s like 15 or 16 years old, and as I recall the rest of the cast weren’t exactly forthcoming with details of her plight. Is there really any difference between Yuna keeping secrets and Auron keeping secrets? I mean Auron already knows basically every plot-twist which is coming their way, and still chooses to remain silent, Yuna on the other hand is completely understandable in keeping her secrets close to her chest.

  10. Ethos says:

    “she’s like 15 or 16 years old” Exactly, and she barely grows unlike characters in VII, IX, or even Tidus in X.
    I don’t mind her keeping it a secret initially, I just don’t buy her as a sympathetic character. I totally get why you and Riddles connect with her. I get it. I’m really not trying to take away from that or call you guys stupid for liking her. I’m just not into it.
    There are many other versions of “nice girls” that I’m into.

    And I don’t know. It could even just be the voice acting when it comes down to it, because Dagger is very similar in that she wanted to deal with things herself and didn’t want to show vulnerability. I suppose the difference is that Yuna was willing to drag Tidus further and further in, willing to kiss him, and not willing to tell him the true purpose.

    And yeah, I don’t forgive the other characters for not telling either. It’s so childish to me. Oooo, it’s a big secret and he can’t handle it. It’s really unfair to Tidus, and a huge fucking dick move.

  11. SiliconNooB says:

    It’s not that he can’t handle it, it’s that they can’t bring themselves to discuss it. It’s a very human avoidance trait (though I don’t think that this is Auron’s motivation for keeping quiet).

    I can totally get not liking Yuna’s VA direction, like I said before she sounds too breathless on occasion. I do however think you’re being WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY to hard on Yuna in terms of her actions however, she is a 100% sympathetic character.

    I certainly get her relationship with Tidus, in fact I think one of the things that really hooked me towards the latter portion of the game was the contradiction between a girl with no future putting down roots in the world she was leaving, which really introduced a tension between duty and desire. I mean do you expect a 15 year old girl to be entirely devoid of conflict when placed in a hopeless situation, and then told to ignore the biological imperatives inherent to a hormonal teenager?

  12. Ethos says:

    Nah, and you’re right. She just never connected with me at all, so I’ve always been apathetic toward her at best.

  13. Riddles says:

    I don’t have to say a thing. Noob nails it.

    Your complaints about Yuna sound more like rantings because you hate the character.

    She was perfectly justified in keeping her secrets from Tidus. Like Noob said, you’re being too hard on her.

  14. Ethos says:

    I’ve already admitted that, yo!
    Don’t shoot the man with the white flag!
    I still don’t agree with the decision, but I’ll agree that it’s justified in the way her (and many) mind(s) work(s).
    …Parenthesis…

  15. SiliconNooB says:

    I think Auron makes for a much more fruitful topic for a discussion on deceit. He was like a master manipulator, he knew about everything before hand, but kept quiet in order for it to cause the greatest amount of emotional dissonance on the party. Perhaps he figured that this was to only way to shock the rest of the party into rebelling against Spira’s orthodoxy? I mean if the party knew what else was coming, then they may have had time to come to terms of the extra impositions being asked of them … if Tidus knew that Yuna was going to die when meeting her, then he may have just accepted it, and stopped himself from becoming too attached to her … and so Auron just keeps quiet about everything …

  16. 7thcircle says:

    For me, the problem with X’s cast was the poor scripting and execution of the game’s plot. Everyone seems to be acting weird, and the game waits way too long before finally revealing why they all seem depressed. It hammers into your skull that everyone in the cast has a somber sense of duty sometimes veiled behind artificial cheerfulness without letting you know why. So Lulu seems too despondent. Wakka is too silly. Kimhari may as well be a statue. And Yuna is just damn weird acting. I found some of the characters interesting or entertaining, but I couldn’t identify with any of them on any level. Although late story arcs and plot twists do let you understand what’s up, even when I replayed X I couldn’t get into the characters because they act so strange.

    Auron is a dick, but I liked his character because of it. Not because I like dicks, but because it’s a great execution of the selfish/secretive mentor figure who sorta betrays you but then also sorta doesn’t, and his character made the most sense out of anyone else in the game.

    And bingo on X-2 being the worst. SE took everything complicated about Yuna’s character, ripped it out through her ass, and turned her into a ditzy emo pop princess. Then making Rikku a lead and Lulu an NPC automatically results in a cast that’s 500% worse than it was in X.

  17. Ethos says:

    We need Glenn to write a guest Soapbox.

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