My Final Fantasy: Day 2 with Tales of Vesperia

(I just realized that this post is scheduled to publish after the dreaded moment of 11:11 GMT. If these words never reach the eyes of any of those who lived in the age when I did, I hope they let the readers of the future know that I spent my last waking moments writing a pseudo-analysis of a video game. And, dear readers from the future, I implore you to rebuild from the ashes of our mistakes, and know that our biggest hubris involved underestimating the dangers of Michael Bay and reality TV.)tales cast

This is an experiment. Not only will it be a lesson for self-improvement, a way to prove that I can see a difficult, time-consuming task through to its end, but also, a way to see how I’ve changed. Are the same games, the same experiences, that I once loved and look back with nostalgic stupor what I still enjoy in my entertainment? This is a journey of self-fulfillment, enlightenment, and escapism. This is the climax of my coming-of-age tale. This is my Final Fantasy.

Day 2, Time played: 5 hours, 44 minutes

Yesterday, I commented on how each character seems to emphasize the importance of status in their society. When a game focuses on narrative, depth of characterization becomes increasingly important. I was introduced to a few new characters, today, and while I haven’t met the entire cast, I have noticed some positive trends.

character design document

A game that analyzes ideological issues?! What is this, Valkyria Chronicles?

So far, each character is actually well written. Sure, they can fit into particular archetypes: the lazy but well-intentioned vagabond, the heroic soldier, the noble who’s obviously a princess but refuses to admit it just yet… But the dialogue is actually interesting, and the character’s dominant traits are more varied than what’s expected from their stereotypes.

I’ve not only been pleasantly surprised the by the detail put into the members of the main cast, but even NPCs are characterized by their place in society. By inserting such detail, the game creates an incredibly believable world, where peoples’ “roles” realistically affect their personalities. The imperial knight will act chivalrous, whereas the guild member, who had to leave imperial society to join, is much more freethinking. I’d like to see these dominant traits brought out more as the story progresses. Will the duty-bound knight have to question his superiors at some point? Will the princess eventually go against her kingdom, as she learns more of the world? Will the freethinking guild member recognize the successes of a centralized government?

Also, I've yet to hear this line. That's a good thing.

Also, I’ve yet to hear this line. That’s a good thing.

That’s enough rambling for now. Hopefully, I’ll be back with another letter from the front lines after the weekend. If not, good luck in the zombie apocalypse. I plan to go out by being eaten whilst sitting in front of my tv playing this game, probably giving away my location to the undead predators by blasting Hare Hare Yukai and keeping it on repeat.

See ya, apocalypse survivors,

The Active-Time Blogger

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