Final Fantasy Made Me a Bad Boyfriend

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Final Fantasy Made Me a Bad Boyfriend

Videogames aren't always the best place to find relationship advice.

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Great article, and I recognise a lot of myself in it. Sadly, this isn't an issue thats prevelant in just games. Nowadays it seems that in most media grand gestures are encouraged and there's rarely a content and happy couple.

I will admit when I first saw the title, I flashed back to an incident when I was chatting to a girl just after FF XII came out and I was trying to explain why, 2 days after its release, her boyfriend was more interested in playing that then spending time with her.

Excellent article.

In general I just find myself incapable of enjoying 'romance' in most media. Movies are the worst. Unless they are a couple who already had a pre-existing relationship (such as the leads in Carlito's Way) it always resonates as extremely fake with me. "Love at first sight" falls as flat to me as the notion of "all success is the product of hard work".

Article:
Not just the grandiose acts of passion, but the quiet moments of subtlety that color a relationship. I'd like to see more games that treat characters and relationships as complex, nuanced and imperfect. I'd like to see games that can help to give the impressionable the right impression.

But having good writing is hard!

Ah, I suddenly pine for those early days of romance...

My first touch with it came during Wing Commander 2 when Blair (My Character) makes out with Angel (His Commanding Officer). For those days when a few pixels and tinny sound effects could transport you to heaven...

Still, WC2 was an awesome game!

What an awesome and gorgeous article.

Strangely enough Final Fantasy 8 had the opposite effect on me in that it showed me what I was doing wrong. I saw myself in Squall and then thought 'WOW what an ass.' I started to appreciate it when my friends tried to cheer me up and tried to flirt with guys and get out more.

I love it when guys make grand gestures (because I'm a romantic ;p) but at the end of the day It's all about being able to put up with each others bullshit, like Nathan Drake and Elena.

To the author, playing FF doesn't make you a bad boyfriend, it makes you a bad person *drum rimshot*.

Heh heh, I kid, I kid. Anyways, I always did like love stories like the one presented in FF8 when I was growing up as well...mostly because, like you, I had many unrequited crushes that I just felt utterly unworthy of. Closest I ever got to telling one of my young love crushes my feelings was at a church youth group camp one summer...and the girl in question was already going out with someone...something that I was fully aware of.

As such since I seemed to be afraid of actual love stories I'd lose myself in the love stories that others had created...it was fun to think that one could act like a cold hearted hard-ass and still have the girl fawning over him.

Buuuuuuut then I grew up a bit, matured a bit, and started seeing Squall as the psychotic emo that he was. I mean that scene in Galbadia Garden (think that's what it was, it's the place where you pick up the Cerberus GF) when they're all in that waiting room and Squall just starts thinking to himself about a bunch of crap, working himself up more and more until he finally breaks the silence in the room by screaming: "YOU'RE NOT GONNA THINK OF ME IN THE PAST TENSE!!!" before running out the door and leaving everyone standing there like "......what...the fuck...was that?"

RJ 17:
snip

Squall is a really, really unlikable character. Why they based Lightning on him (and Cloud) for Final Fantasy 13 I'll never know. It's like basing a character on Jar Jar Binks.

You know, I used to wonder why the saying was "Love means never having to say you're sorry." considering all the times I ended up hurting the people I cared about. Eventually I realized, the truth is "Loves means never needing to say you're sorry" Even though you should, they'll know. And Stew...

Stew Shearer:

Videogames aren't always the best place to find relationship advice.

you should be grateful you went to the trouble of busting your CD right on your first fight. The fact that she replaced it for you proved she was a keeper.

This is literally my favorite part of the whole movie

xXxJessicaxXx:

RJ 17:
snip

Squall is a really, really unlikable character. Why they based Lightning on him (and Cloud) for Final Fantasy 13 I'll never know. It's like basing a character on Jar Jar Binks.

But what if I like Jar Jar!? D= I'm so confused...

As a romantic, I totally get where the author is coming from. The first time I went out with a girl, I kept making grand gestures (dropped $400 on a Lady Gaga concert of all things) trying to win her back when I could tell from the start she still loved her previous boyfriend because I actually believed that would work. With my current girlfriend, I've come to the same conclusion that it's all about the small stuff, with the occasional big thing when you get the time is right, and I'm all the better for it.

Great read :)

KaosuHamoni:

xXxJessicaxXx:

RJ 17:
snip

Squall is a really, really unlikable character. Why they based Lightning on him (and Cloud) for Final Fantasy 13 I'll never know. It's like basing a character on Jar Jar Binks.

But what if I like Jar Jar!? D= I'm so confused...

Why would you say that? WHY?

In all seriousness I had to watch that movie ten times in a month for a children's literacy course I was working on.

I hate that guy.

That was really great ... I need to stop waiting for the fireworks and birds singing on my shoulder.

Squall did not get Rinoa.
Squall died.

Just saying...

But it looks like that header image has FF7, not 8, at the corner despite it being a picture of Squall and Rinoa...

Anyways! Loved the article, though I must say you were crazy to snap that Metallica CD, I'm all for proving my love to someone and all that, but if there is one thing I wouldn't do, its snap a Metallica CD... or, Xenogears too...

Alright I admit it, I don't have it in me to wreck any of my things...
Well... if I owned Captcha, I'd totally wreck that...

Well, of course you shouldn't take relationship advice from a video game. Just like you shouldn't take relationship advice from a movie. Most movies suffer from the same things video games do. An unlikable man(or at least, unlikable to the woman) does absolutely nothing to gain the interest of a woman, then does some grand gesture to woo her, she falls head over heels, and they live happily ever after. It's hard to cram a believable relationship into a few hours of dialog. Books do it better, but still fall to the "Look How Much I Love You!!!" trope of grand gestures a lot of the time. In other words, taking relationship advice from your entertainment is bad.

I really want to disagree. But the first part is why I like those shitty books so much. It always ends perfectly or seems to do it anyway.

Also master of the puppets ? I fear for your soul ;)

The Dutchess:
That was really great ... I need to stop waiting for the fireworks and birds singing on my shoulder.

Nah you need to watch for an exclamation mark floating above the head ;) Those give everything away.

OniaPL:
Squall did not get Rinoa.
Squall died.

Oh god. This isnt the 'Squall died at the end of Disc 1!' theory is it?

I actually disagree with this article a bit (although I enjoyed reading it). While games like FF VIII don't accurately represent a relationship, they do represent how many of us feel when we are trying to get a girl during our teenage years. So I would say the article has cause and effect the wrong way round. FF VIII mirrored his emotional state at the time rather than forming it. Then he grew up and his views changed.

If FF VIII had been totally realistic you wouldn't resonate with it at the time. What is FF VIII's role? To provide you with a textbook as to how to live life, or to draw you into a fantasy world by resonating with your view of the world (or of how the world should be - you know where you can get the girl without actually having the courage to ask her out).

Anyway the article also totally missed the point. Squall didn't find love due to how he behaved, Squall had a GUNBLADE. That is a SWORD that is ALSO A GUN. *That* is how you get girls. Chicks don't really dig all that relationship stuff - cool weapons are where it's at.

...who owns cds anymore?

I hate this romantic notion of the shy guy doing everything for the girl but being afraid to tell her how he feels. Its damaging to young men to see this kind of romance fantasy because it validates their fear of approaching women.

Most women want a man who is confident. If you want her then go and get her.

xXxJessicaxXx:

KaosuHamoni:

xXxJessicaxXx:

Squall is a really, really unlikable character. Why they based Lightning on him (and Cloud) for Final Fantasy 13 I'll never know. It's like basing a character on Jar Jar Binks.

But what if I like Jar Jar!? D= I'm so confused...

Why would you say that? WHY?

In all seriousness I had to watch that movie ten times in a month for a children's literacy course I was working on.

I hate that guy.

He's just so lovable ^^

Huh. Quite frankly then I don't think you were really that deeply in love then.

My story mirrors the writers the same about how I acted throughout my teenage years up until when I met my girlfriend my first year in college. I had played some FF's before but not VIII and she told me how it was her favorite game of all time and how Squall was her favorite character. We fell in love and will get married someday because of the bond we share and we got very connected with how Squall and Rinoa fell in love and how it mirrored us.

Quite frankly when I met her my own attitude was a mirror of that of Squall, and still is today now that she plays my Rinoa. I never went through a period of being mostly apathetic for her though and went straight for the head over heels do anything for you part.

I can't go doing grand acts of valor and such to protect her but we both love to imagine as such and oftentimes role-play ourselves in those scenarios especially since our relationship has continued for a few years now long distance since I can't drop my college career here just for instant gratification.

I think the VIII relationship is deeper than you think, and the fiercest critics haven't experienced the love that would drive someone to really want to go towards those lengths.

True love IS cliche'd. People will rip on cliche's for love sometimes but that can be literally how things work. I can't go beating up giant robots and monsters for her but by god if I would I could for her. All and all if one would consider FFVIII as a very poor way to express relationships then you haven't been in a relationship like it.

Awexsome:
Huh. Quite frankly then I don't think you were really that deeply in love then.

My story mirrors the writers the same about how I acted throughout my teenage years up until when I met my girlfriend my first year in college. I had played some FF's before but not VIII and she told me how it was her favorite game of all time and how Squall was her favorite character. We fell in love and will get married someday because of the bond we share and we got very connected with how Squall and Rinoa fell in love and how it mirrored us.

Quite frankly when I met her my own attitude was a mirror of that of Squall, and still is today now that she plays my Rinoa. I never went through a period of being mostly apathetic for her though and went straight for the head over heels do anything for you part.

I can't go doing grand acts of valor and such to protect her but we both love to imagine as such and oftentimes role-play ourselves in those scenarios especially since our relationship has continued for a few years now long distance since I can't drop my college career here just for instant gratification.

I think the VIII relationship is deeper than you think, and the fiercest critics haven't experienced the love that would drive someone to really want to go towards those lengths.

True love IS cliche'd. People will rip on cliche's for love sometimes but that can be literally how things work. I can't go beating up giant robots and monsters for her but by god if I would I could for her.

Dude that's just plain creepy.

FinalFreak16:

OniaPL:
Squall did not get Rinoa.
Squall died.

Oh god. This isnt the 'Squall died at the end of Disc 1!' theory is it?

Hey, that theory is both awesome and a way to make me look at the game without indifference, so I decided to go with it. ^_^

secretsantaone:

Awexsome:
Huh. Quite frankly then I don't think you were really that deeply in love then.

My story mirrors the writers the same about how I acted throughout my teenage years up until when I met my girlfriend my first year in college. I had played some FF's before but not VIII and she told me how it was her favorite game of all time and how Squall was her favorite character. We fell in love and will get married someday because of the bond we share and we got very connected with how Squall and Rinoa fell in love and how it mirrored us.

Quite frankly when I met her my own attitude was a mirror of that of Squall, and still is today now that she plays my Rinoa. I never went through a period of being mostly apathetic for her though and went straight for the head over heels do anything for you part.

I can't go doing grand acts of valor and such to protect her but we both love to imagine as such and oftentimes role-play ourselves in those scenarios especially since our relationship has continued for a few years now long distance since I can't drop my college career here just for instant gratification.

I think the VIII relationship is deeper than you think, and the fiercest critics haven't experienced the love that would drive someone to really want to go towards those lengths.

True love IS cliche'd. People will rip on cliche's for love sometimes but that can be literally how things work. I can't go beating up giant robots and monsters for her but by god if I would I could for her.

Dude that's just plain creepy.

It may be creepy from the outside. But it doesn't matter when it comes to love. Creations that bring people together and share a special bond for them are looked back on in admiration for good reason.

great article it was a great read

Awesome Article....Relevant to my interests :p

Nice story. You are totally going to hell for breaking that CD though.

Not just the grandiose acts of passion, but the quiet moments of subtlety that color a relationship. I'd like to see more games that treat characters and relationships as complex, nuanced and imperfect. I'd like to see games that can help to give the impressionable the right impression.

This is why Katawa Shoujo really reached me. The writing of the characters and their interactions were quite realistic (if not a bit idealistic). If people are interested in more pedestrian portrayls of relationships I strongly recommend it.

Also, Stew Shearer for your frist article this was good! Looking forward to more.

That was something that always bothered me about Final Fantasy VIII; both Squall and Rinoa are portrayed as the two most childish individuals in the game, and their romance is painful to watch. Rinoa's attraction is a total enigma, since she seems taken with Squall from the moment they meet, even though he openly scorns her every chance he gets... until he does a complete 180 and starts trying to throw his life away every chance he gets for her.

They never develop any observable chemistry, and taking them seriously as a couple is next to impossible. If the game ever acknowledged that their relationship might be more than a little shallow, but ultimately workable with each helping the other to grow, that would be one thing; they're both young and have never had any real love life before, and it would be a refreshing and charming take on the concept. But no, the game seems to class Rinoa+Squall in the same fantastic category as every other Knight/Princess relationship.

Awesome read, mostly since you captured my life almost blow for blow.

It's a piece of advice that needs to be repeated more often...starting a relationship isn't this huge, dramatic life event. I spent almost all my teen years thinking that when "it" happened for me, it would be this perfect thing with the perfect person, and in reality that just isn't the case...no, what finally happened is I got the courage to ask someone out, we spent some time together, realized we were a good match, and now we're a thing. That's it.

You don't need to make a huge deal of it...you ask someone, and they might say yes, or they might say no. If it requires any more effort than that, you're doing it wrong.

You know, after reading this article, it really made me ponder relationships in games in a closer way. I had already grown to find that FFVIII was a bit off in that way, but when I come to think of it, small gestures and the way about a relationship are very important. It's like the saying "If you cannot live with yourself, how can you expect others to live with you."

If I had to prod at my favorite family/romancy/yet fun movie I've seen, it has to be either Grown Ups or Howl's Moving Castle, yeah the 2nd one is pretty overly grand and crazy/lovey, but inbetween theres some really interesting aspects when you've watched it over and over (gotta love demanding nieces).

Okay, i've no idea how this works, but i reading this article was made so much more epic by listening to this:

But otherwise, my kitteh and i agree.

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