Sunday, 3 June 2018

Final Fantasy XV

I was a hopeless Final Fantasy fanboy since 1998, when I first played FF VII, right up until FF XII in 2007. After that I had a bit of a problem with the franchise: Final Fantasy XII was too good. I simply didn’t care about the next one (and the reviews backed me up) nor the one after.

Final Fantasy XV brought me back into the fold. And how. Since its release in 2016, I’ve played little else since then. And it’s not just the main game, but also the downloadable content which has kept a hold on me and lead me to the unlikely event of being in a Final Fantasy game.

One of the DLCs for FFXV is the online version called Final Fantasy: Comrades. In this, you create a new avatar (I made one that kind of resembled me) and then you have a number of missions to complete to level up so you can complete more missions, etc. In order to make this endless grinding more enjoyable, I started inventing a storyline around the AI characters who accompanied me. In particular, a romance between me and a NPC called Jenica.

Despite the AI for these characters outside battle letting them do little more than jump up and down or walk with a pronounced limp, the relationship between us quickly grew quite a convoluted storyline.

Here we are, at a camp, looking longingly into each others eyes.

After a battle, I'd run over to her side.

But then I spoke to Iris.

And the next time I saw Jenica, she seemed angry for some reason.

She did her best to ignore me at camp.

And after battle, as well.

Did she prefer Kenny Crow after all? Was I yesterday's news?

But soon after that, we were back to normal.

Back together, as it should be.

A nice example of how you can put a narrative on otherwise random events. It all makes Final Fantasy: Comrades less of a chore, certainly.

But recently, as I played the main game through to completion for the first time since an update, I found some new storylines in Chapter 14 that included some of the AI characters from FF:Comrades. And then, to my surprise and unashamed delight, I found myself in one of the quests.

Look at me with all the cool guys!

Anyway, a twenty-year-old dream fulfilled. Now all I want to do is find Jenica in the main game. I can't tell, but I hope this isn't her...

A sad ending...

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