Hello guys, Mateus again.
I was talking to another user about how they should play Final Fantasy IX. I loved the ending of that game, and it got me thinking about how much I cared for it. It was odd... for a video game, I was emotionally moved. Some people cry at the end of movies; for me, video games have a similar effect. Not all the time mind you. But I figured it would be a nice thing to share with you all.
Here's a list of the top three Final Fantasy moments which I consider the saddest:
I decided to choose this over the ending where Tidus vanishes because not only did I prefer Jecht as a character, but I also thought his love-hate relationship with his son made this particularly touching.
In Final Fantasy X, Tidus hates his father. Jecht was a harsh man who teased his young son often and never really showed and love or care for him. When Jecht suddenly left one day and never came back (which we later learn is because he was transported to Spira by Sin), Tidus's mother sort of loses her will to live so to speak and Tidus blames Jecht. The sad part is that Jecht actually deeply loved his son, he just never knew how to tell him nor did he get the chance. Tidus goes through most of the game with a deep hatred for his father, hoping to kill Jecht along with Sin.
When Tidus reaches Zanarkand, he finds a Sphere left by his father which is a diary of sorts telling how Jecht wants to get back home to see his son once more and how much he misses him and cares about him. Tidus continues on with mixed feelings, until just before the end of the game after the party has infiltrated Sin and come face-to-face with Jecht.
In the scene before the battle, Jecht talks about how how much his son has grown, and solemnly jokes about what he's become. Jecht's control over himself is slowly fading, as he claims he can no longer hear the Hymn of the Fayth. The scene that upset me was when Tidus tells Jecht that he hates him, and Jecht replies that he knows. It's apparent that he does love his son, but he doesn't know how to explain. Finally, he asks Tidus to kill him before becoming the Final Aeon.
After the battle, Jecht reverts to his human state and falls before Tidus. By this point, however, Tidus has come to realise how much his father cares for him, and rushes to cradle his dying father in his arms. One of the things Jecht always did was joke about how much of a crybaby Tidus is, and as he's dying, he jokingly taunts his son with the line "You're gonna cry. See? You're crying". The FMV shows of Tidus hugging his near-lifeless father, tears streaming down his face, and all he can muster is "I hate you, Dad". However, in the end, right before Jecht vanishes for good, Tidus tells him how proud he actually is to be his son.
This needs to be remade into a full CG cutscene or something, seriously. One of the best moments in the game.
I know, I know. It's corny. It has really cheesy J-Pop playing in the background. The dialogue is melodramatic, to the point where it's cringeworthy. It's really sappy and lame. So why in God's name is it so damn depressing?
Crisis Core is, in my opinion, an amazing game. It's the only game in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII that even barely holds a candle to the original. Sure, there were things that annoyed me - making Tseng the Turks seem like the good guys, portraying Sephiroth as a really friendly team-player, and even messing around with VII's backstory to make it seem as though everything was a result of Genesis's meddling. But otherwise, the base story of Zack, Aerith and Cloud was great. It really drags you in and you generally grow attached to Zack as a character.
Which is why the ending is so painful. Everyone who's played VII knew how it had to end - Zack is cornered by SOLDIER and shot dead. But there was something that made you forget that, which made you think that everything would turn out all right in the end. But even before that, the game set up for a soul-crushing finale.
For me, the point when it began to get sad was after you defeat Genesis and Zack sits with him, Lazard and Angeal's Copy as the three slowly die. After that unpleasantness, Zack and Cloud head off to escape SOLDIER and start a new life. Sitting in the back of the truck, Zack tells the near-comatose Cloud of how he'll start a new life with Aerith and all will be good. That is, until, they're caught by the Shin-Ra army who have been ordered to terminating the two, a plan by Shin-Ra executives to cover up the horrific experiments on Cloud and Zack that had taken place.
By this point, I peronally think Zack knows he's going to die, but continues on for Cloud's sake regardless. As you fight the multitudes of Shin-Ra soldiers, which seemingly never stop coming, it finally comes down to a scene where Zack, bloodied and struggling to stand, stands up against three SOLDIERs. It's impossible to win this battle, and Zack can hardly lift his sword to hit the enemies. Zack's memories begin to fade, symbolised by characters on the DMW wheel slowly disappearing. At the very end of the battle, Aerith is the last character left on the DMW, and as Zack is killed her image fades also. Which then cuts to the ending cutscene. I didn't like Aerith in the original Final Fantasy VII that much, but in Crisis Core I actually thought she was a sweet character. Her and Zack were so happy together.
It's peaceful for a second as Aerith looks up into the sky, when suddenly it zooms out to show Zack lying face-up in the mud and rain, bleeding to death and riddled with bullets. The surprisingly shocking image choked me up a bit, but it just gets worse from there on out. Zack asks Cloud to be his living legacy and passes on the Buster Sword before dying, in a similar fashion to Angeal earlier on in the story. As though this isn't traumatic enough, the corny lines are abnormally sad, with Zack joining his friend and mentor Angeal after death, and asking if he was a hero - the only thing he ever wanted. You think I'm a sap now, but go play the game from start to end and you'll shed a tear or two...
I love Final Fantasy IX. It's one of my favourite video games of all time, by far. And none can resist the adorable, yet complex and increasingly mature Vivi. His role in the ending is particularly memorable.
Vivi is a Black Mage, and a precursor to a series of mass-produced bio-weapons created by the villainous Kuja to be soulless, emotionless killing machines. But Vivi is unaware of this, and he lives his life as any normal ten year old boy would. Little Vivi is an adorable character in the beginning - he's innocent, naive and gets into mischief in humorous situations not of his accord. But when he learns of his existence as a creation designed to kill, Vivi goes through some serious (and brilliant) character development.
The little mage goes from being an innocent and carefree child to a boy who has to struggle with the existence that he, like all Black Mages, is going to come to the end of his rather short lifetime and just stop outright. He fears this harsh reality, and much like the other Black Mages, doesn't fully understand it (one heartbreaking scene shows a Black Mage standing at the grave of his best friend, desperately asking when he'll wake up).
By the end of the game, Vivi, in direct contrast to the villain Kuja, learns that life inevitably has to end and there's no stopping that. Life is lived in the present, and it's about what you do and the people you meet, not how long you live and not living in fear of the future. The ending sums this up perfectly. Years after the defeat of Kuja, when everyone has thought that Zidane died at the Iifa Tree, we're given a montage of the heroes in their triumphs (Freya and Fratley sitting together in the ruins of Burmecia, Beatrix resigning from the royal army, Lani and Amarant travelling once more etc). Over the top of the scenes, we get a narration from Vivi, with his last words:
"I always talked about you, Zidane. How you were a special person to us, because you taught us all how important life is. You taught me that life doesn’t last forever. That’s why we have to help each other and live life to the fullest. Even if you say goodbye, you’ll always be in our hearts. So, I know we’re not alone anymore. Why I was born... How I wanted to live... Thanks for giving me time to think. To keep doing what you set your heart on... it’s a very hard thing to do. We were all so courageous... What to do when I felt lonely... That was the only thing you couldn’t teach me. But we need to figure out the answer for ourselves... I’m so happy I met everyone... I wish we could’ve gone on more adventures. But I guess we all have to say goodbye someday. Everyone... Thank you. Farewell. My memories will be part of the sky..."
It's the most traumatic, beautiful, sentimental and somewhat... peaceful moment in Final Fantasy history. As I write this, I actually have to stop myself from watching the ending cutscene because I am literally about to cry. Not joking, I'm tearing up at the part where Freya says she just wants to cherish her time with Fratley. Dammit, Mateus, hold back the tears!
Anyway... sweet, innocent little Vivi bravely faces his fate with pride of his life, his friends his memories. Amazing ending. I even cried later on when Zidane revealed to Garnet he survived and the two embraced. Wow, I am such a sap. But it's honestly beautiful. I love that game so damn much, and I always will.
It's not opinion, it's fact - that game is amazing. Full stop.
That's all from me for now. I still have a Necron theory to debunk, but I'll be honest will you all - due to the lack of background for the character and the theory itself, it's proven more than difficult to get off the ground. It should be up sooner or later.
If you had your own sad moments that you wanted to share, post them in the comments below. If you think my moments aren't sad enough, go ahead and tell me about it. Most of all, have fun, everyone!
See ya next time!