Jimquisition: Crying Through The Laughs

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Sorry Jimmy my boy, but I must protest. Every Final Fantasy after and including 8 (possibly even 7) has been progressively shittier than the one before it. I see your point about the emotional state of games, but your argument falls flat due to too many references to an officially dead and failed franchise. "It's neither dead nor failed! They're still making games and they're awesome!" FFXIII 1 through 3 beg to differ. Yes, they're still making games, but blast a turkey with a shotgun and it'll keep running and flopping around for a bit...doesn't mean it'll be getting up and flying again any time soon.

The death of Final Fantasy occured when they decided to exchange CGI movies, better graphics in general, and voice acting for the good writing of the past (FF's 1 through 6 and including the original Tactics).

That said, if you play piano half as well as you can ride an exercise bike in your underwear, you could out-perform Elton John any day. :3

Xisin:

The Tall Nerd:
ehh, i find when people make this argument against characters like cloud or Leon, the expect them to be happy. why? clouds life is complete shite literally from sun up to down shite mentally scarred shite. why would they be happy, i understand tidus or zadane they never had to be a super soldier engineered for battle having to work for a company that is destroying the planet then having them lie to you and having your girlfriend killed, or under a beyond corrupt murderous government. oh im sorry should they smile should they be jokey, no one asks this of Bruce Wayne or wolverine.why not be happy though all that melancholy that they have the moral compass to do the right thing. and atleast those two dudes have something to do at the end of the day , alot of these characters are left as misplaced murderers in a world that doesn't need them anymore

I understand jims point lightning was a rather good one, but why expect happiness from character who's life is shit. If they do get a bit nicer,like for example wolverine, its nice but you don't expect it and nice but it aint necessarily going to happen to everyone, not everyone who goes though shite just gets happy or even gets better, thats life sometimes people just dont get better. i understand happier stories, but the final fantasy examples were kinda... eh. i could have though of better ones, ryu hayabusa, riku (in the begging of kingdom hearts) and many others.

People call these characters whiny but let me ask you lets take a notoriously dark back story, if you were made as a weapon of mass destruction, and your existence had gotten everyone you had grown to love killed, you were frozen and then revived decided to give everyone a benefit of the doubt and do the right thing for a world who dealt you a bad card, and then though the incompetence of another who is supposed to help you , you almost die and loose your memory just have it brought back by someone who had a hand in your creation showing you how vile your insides actually are, then finding out that being is basically your father, and then having to kill him.

no one, no effing one, would be smiling , his life is a pile of shite on shite wheat and to expect a happy moment is completely insane, showing your complete misunderstanding of the character. they don't have to be happy but learning to be better people is what is important, or descention into madness if that's your thing.

aside from all that jim has a point and the video was funny

I have to disagree with you. A person can not be sad without also, at one point, being happy. It is impossible to always be any one emotion, no matter that person's background.

i didn't say show one emotion , im saying mistaking someone having a life of shite, and being a serious and kinda pessimistic person because of it for being emo and having one emotion is bad.

also that pic doesn't make sense , you never EVER compare pain, no one wins. that pic isn't a justification for any argument

i know these are game characters we are talking about, but there are plenty of real life people, someone of which i know, would try and hurt you ( i don't condone violence because of words by the way) if you even suggested that they way they are now, because the horrible stuff they have been though, is some how wrong because there are people in Africa with no water.

mental scars run deep. not everyone gets better, not everything gets better and you showing people in Africa in another crappy situation in no way shape or form solves the problem.

i understand some of these game characters are whiny sure, that makes sense. the others if they don't wanna smile, fine i don't care , there lives suck, sucked, and for intensive purposes will continue to suck.

Why does "emotional" have to mean depressing? Is "happy" not an emotion anymore? Yes, like all of you, that bit from MGS3 with the Boss got me down, but that's to have me (the player) feel what Snake felt, and it was balanced out by the funny radio talks with SIGINT and Para-Medic, and the cheesy Bond-theme song. And I dare you NOT to feel anything at all from playing Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, especially the parts with Bumblebee and Metroplex.

I have a message to all the game devs who insist on making everything so grim 'n' gritty start to finish:
http://youtu.be/ly1al4K3u2M

Tidus' laugh in that bit does sound clumsy, and forced. But do you know why? Because it was, objectively, a clumsy and forced laugh. He wasn't laughing for ordinary reasons, he was trying to kill his dreary mood. To say it was a problem based on bad voice acting is to take the scene out of context.

Nice to see you showed Mother 3 as an example, that game does tragedy perfectly, you really do feel for the characters when something bad happens, and though some of it is kinda predictable the fact that most of the game is so happy, cheerful and full of bizarre humour makes the tragedy even more noticeable, not to mention the way the characters act feels so real, my mind was blown with the opening act, seriously that game is awesome.
[sopiler= BUT >Ending SPOILERS!!!!<]Does it only have 1 ending because the one I got was kinda depressing, pffft, everybody dies, and I replayed that battle a shit load of times and chose all the different answers I could and I still only got that ending.[/spoiler]

Also about Elton John, Why wasn't he at the olympics?
Seriously I was waiting for him to show up during the entirety of the opening and closing ceremonies.

that laughter is horrific!

Dammit, now I can't post the laugh thing anymore and giggle at all the responses going (OMG HOW HORRIBLE I FORGOT ABOUT THAT PART).

Now it won't be new and fresh anymore.

Thank god for jim :(

loved that last bit with with Elton john. awesome. have fun! don't cry too hard if he forgets to give you your rightful inheritance!

image

Quite possibly the best Jimquisition ever. Well done, sir. Well done. I never even liked Zidane much, but you're so right. He's much more interesting than Squall could ever dream of being.

I'm surprised no mention of Call of Duty.

The Modern Warfare franchise seems to be a great example of how to and how not to create an emotional scene.

The time in the first modern Warfare where the player climbs out of the downed helicopter after the nuke goes off was a moving scene because it ran counter to the all powerful super soldier fantasy the game had been building the entire time.

The subsequent versions show how the franchise stumbled upon the quality of that scene since they kept trying to recreate it, often through the exact same manner (i.e. killing the player.)

For the record for those who didn't play or just don't remember... Tidus' laugh was supposed to be that terrible. It was supposed to be forced, awkward and just... all around wtf.

There's your context for the scene, hopefully it helps it a little bit.

back to the topic, good episode jim. Emotional variance is the only real way to create a living, breathing character in a game.

portal_cat:
what about Mass Effect 3? It was really sad when Thane died (or at least it was for me).

I went there too...and my jubilation at getting to kill Kai Leng...that fucker had it coming.

I am still mad about ME3, but it certainly did some things so incredibly well!

This was a great episode. Normally, the style he uses (He acts like an overly confident, arrogant ass) makes it so that when I disagree with him, its grating and insufferable, and when I agree with him, it feels like a shallow, back slapping ego trip on my part. I know he is just playing a character, but the sense is still there. But this episode didn't seem to have that, and the point seems pretty much indisputable: I don't see many people disagreeing with the idea that you need to establish a baseline, happy status quo to appreciate a fall into tragedy. That's pretty straightforward character arc. So yes, this is a wonderful episode. Its a huge, glaring deficiency in game storytelling that fixing could improve tremendously.

Gizmo1990:
So glad you mentioned FF IX. It is easily my favorite FF game and one of my favorite games ever. After VII and VIII it was nice to have a main character who did not make me want to shout 'Cheer the fuck up!' at the screen after every sentance.

And I had forgoten how bad the laugh scene from FF X was. I love the game but that really is one of the worst things I have ever seen. Although it is still better than anything from FF Return of the Jedi XII or XIII.

It is intentionally bad, because of how forced it is in the story. Honestly, it is MUCH worse in Japanese.

templar1138a:
I'll take your word for it with the Final Fantasy games. I have zero interest in them.

Here's an example of a game I've played that supports your idea.

In my play through, Bethany died. It was one of the saddest things that has ever happened in any game I have played because I tried so damn hard to save her and I couldn't. It makes me sad just thinking about it.

On the other hand I didn't care much for Fenris' plight because he was always a mopy jerk, so there.

Now I remember why I loved DA2.

lets not forget final fantasy 6! no im not gonna spoil it go look it up! ....alright here's an example: cyan's family and the humor before it

I laughed my ass off the first time I saw Aerith die; never liked her or any of the other softhearted female protagonists from FF7 on up. Also laughed at the death scenes in Megaman X4 & Devil May Cry, but voice acting like that, who didn't?

Sir Jim Sterling John....Nah, Sir Jim John. That just rolls right off the tongue.

That laugh could replace waterboarding as a method of torture.

Well, I guess I know why FF9 is the only one Spoony hasn't taken a dump on.

Eh first Jim Sterling where I did not see his point, namely because I find most of the JRP dramedy he labels as example of the emotional investment done right to be poor, strained and unrealistic...I can't buy into it if its too ridiculously juvenile, fake or otherwise out there, which most JRPG storytelling is. On the other hand I was seriously saddened about Dom's storyline to contrast with GoW, his poster child for "one emotion"....but damnit, at least it does that one emotion Right. On the other hand there are plenty of other titles out there that do a bad job of this (i.e. Homefront); I just happen to think GoW is actually an example of one that does it well (for me, and other GoW fans, obvious YMMV).

I'll concede I was moved by poor Aerys dying in FFVII but lighting has not struck twice on any JRPG for me ever since, and probably because FFVII was relying on the player to fill in part of the voice and interaction, being mostly scripted text with no voice acting.

Might be a bit bias, as FF VIII is my favorite, but I disagree with the Squall comment. Yeah he's the classic 'loner' character (because of Ellone, etc) but to me he came across as more of a 'get the job done' sort of guy. He does actually have some great moments with his squad, not to mention his fairly significant attitude change during and after the space sequence. He's not miserable throughout the entire game, he's just a bit of an ass. What about Cloud and all his "I don't care about the planet" crap?
Also, I know it's at the very end but whatever, that final shot of Rinoa turning and Squall's smiling back at her gets me every time.

This^ It's actually kind of nice when you go to a thread and find out that people have already said most of what you're going to say.

People always hold the FF10 laughing scene up as a prime example of awful voice acting and terrible writing, when it's actually the direct opposite when viewed in context, an example of great writing with well done voice acting, because it's a fake sounding laugh in a situation that warrants it.

I actually like the fact that Cloud, Squall, and Lighting are cold and brooding, because they are not only soldiers, which you'd expect to be no nonsense types, but also go through one moment of tragedy after another, each worse than the last, the fact that they're not in fetal position crying their eyes out most of the game considering what they all go through and still hope to find some sort of happiness at the end of the road despite this is exactly what making them such strong and compelling characters. On top of that, these characters do gradually get less cold and brooding as their respective games goes on, and are fairly happy by the end because they actually have a reason to be, that's called CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, which is something people commonly overlook.

I don't know about everybody else, but I just HATE characters that are upbeat and optimistic without fail despite destiny sending them through the meatgrinder continuously without end. How can I or anyone identify with a character that doesn't at least constantly complain their lot in life if not sometimes break down completely despite endlessly going through things that would drive most real people on Planet Earth gibberingly insane?

I think a character is written best when a character is written either like Tidus was, having a pretty good life for the most part and thus is upbeat most of the time, but when they go through crap, they complain about it (whining would only be if someone complained constantly with no justification or long after the justification warrants it) and/or mope for a while until circumstances cause them to not have reason to, or being the opposite, having a constantly crappy life but being willing to be happy for at least a while in the rare moments things DO go well. In other words, for me characters are best when they act realistically, which since Tidus, Squall, Cloud, and pretty much all the main characters of FF13 do exactly that, and despite this are hated for it, I guess that's one of the deadly sins of gaming.

About the OT, that is technically true Jim, happy moments in games can make the otherwise extreme tragedy the protagonists go though all the more effective at drawing emotions out of us, but it isn't a requirement, it's just one possible way of achieving that feeling of connection. A game can be constantly gut wrenchingly depressing as well, it just needs the protagonist or protagonists to have a goal for them to a achieve, a hope spot, something that drives them, that will give them happiness or at least make things better than they are. Even if they never actually make it, if the protagonists have this and continue to strive for it despite the sadness of what's going on around them, then their determination causes us to become emotionally invested in it because we WANT to see succeed, and more than that, we make it happen. Then when something happens that makes it look like it will keep them from making it, it has a strong emotional impact on us, the players. A good example of this would be Shadow of the Colossus, a game that begins depressing and only becomes more and more so as we kill the innocent titular creatures, all to save a woman that the protagonist Wander loves, and he succeeds, but ends up paying a high price for it, so it even ends on a depressing note. Despite this, Shadow of the Colossus is considered a very emotionally moving game.

The real problem is not how much tragedy there is, but how well that tragedy is presented, and the gaming industry as a whole is doing a crappy job of making tragedy work.

My boss is going to that same concert. Its a small world

Entitled:
Sounds like Jim needs to try some Nakige visual novels. That is basically a whole genre based around that principle, with a light-herated, comedic first act, a heartwarming romantic second act, and a third act that will make you cry.

WARNING! IT'S NAKIGE, WITH AN "A". UNDER NO CONDITION SHOULD ANYONE TRY THE "NUKIGE VISUAL NOVEL" GENRE, WITH AN "U", OR DO AN IMAGE SEARCH FOR "NUKIGE".

I used Google image search. I regret nothing.

Catfood220:

Hey, thejackyl, are you named after the villain from the game?

Yeah, I've used this screen name since than. I was kind of disappointed when he finally appeared though. I was expecting something more out of him. Oh well, when you're 10 EVERYTHING sounds awesome. Even someone you only know by a 16-bit jackal head pinned to a wall.

The laughing at the end? What The Hell... was that?

I never played the game, so if someone could provide context; Was it supposed to be a sarcasm laugh or genuine laughter?

Possibly controversial addition: Zelda: Twilight Princess. At least for me.

I think people keep missing the forced laughing shit in Final Fantasy X.

Tidus and Yuna did it as an incredibly awkward attempt at cheering up despite the whole doomsday business with Sin and the Final Summoning and all that jazz. Then they started laughing for real and... No one mentions it again?

Why do people keep bringing up ff7 when talking about drama as if the death of aerith was the most sad thing they have ever seen?
is this really the pinnacle of tragedy in video games? Cause that would be rather pathetic imo.

anthony87:
Goddammit Jim! At least warn us before you put up that laugh so that we have a chance to brace ourselves or hit the mute button or something...

Bloomin' ninjas!

That laugh is just so forced it's kind of scary... It's more of a forced evil laugh than a forced happy laugh!

A shame he didn't mention Nier. It strikes every point he makes and ends up being the best game ever in terms of story.

I never liked Final Fantasy, it's too story based and offers very little player freedom.

In adventure games with heavy plots, yes emotion diversity makes a big difference, but gamers aren't sitting with their maw open, waiting on some emotion being fed to them by some videogame writer. These days gamers can feel a connection with the game they are playing, get that? - PLAYING! - We are playing the game, not the other way around. If some chick gets stabbed, I might feel bad for her, or I might laugh my ass off, I might even mock her a bit.

We have to be able to convey our own emotions before emotions implanted by whatever media. A good game can make you react emotionally, or it can inspire the player to form their own emotions - a good game does not need to shoe-horn emotion into the gaming experience. We make our own experiences in the games we play these days. Maybe you played DayZ and killed hundreds of zombs and saved survivors lives and helped people - then some greasy bandit snipes you in the face from a mile away... if that shit doesn't make you want to cry, Final Fantasy sure as hell wont. The denial of justice is one of the things that can adversely affect mood, that tends to be inflicted by ourselves, other people, random elements - not storyline. Maybe writers need to push the envelope, give characters more depth, give them defects and failures and even embarass them - make them more human... that could be something that M$, Apple, or Sony spend $50mil developing (HA!), or it might just be a character you think is your friend telling you to F-off. We don't think in straight lines, we think in tangents and branches and everything but a straight line.

I guess basicaly my point is that it takes more than some bint getting stabbed to conjure emotional response these days - Hell, we've played GTA4, someone get's whacked every other mission. It takes more than deciding between riches and a dead dog, or just a dog (damn you Molyneaux!). We have to be able to experience the emotions for ourselves, storyline can point us in the right direction, but gaming has evolved, and sandbox gaming especially has evolved exponentially outside the realm of normal boring old RPG's like FF Umpteen.

Jim,
I'm a hardened catholic.

And under no circumstance are you to stop the "thank God for me gimmick". It amuses me to no end. From the bottom of my heart and soul. Back on topic, you really do nail it some times.

I try explain this to War hammer fans who like doom and gloom, non fucking stop. The horrible problem with doom and gloom, if it's constant it's not despair. it just is.

The down side of your video? Crap, this feels like a rant that needs to be applied to alot more crap than just video games. It needs to be applied to anime, movies, and other forms of entertainment (if such exist yet escape my mind right now).

See, it's videos like these that make damn easy to fallow Jim blindly lol.

The Tall Nerd:

Xisin:

The Tall Nerd:
ehh, i find when people make this argument against characters like cloud or Leon, the expect them to be happy. why? clouds life is complete shite literally from sun up to down shite mentally scarred shite. why would they be happy, i understand tidus or zadane they never had to be a super soldier engineered for battle having to work for a company that is destroying the planet then having them lie to you and having your girlfriend killed, or under a beyond corrupt murderous government. oh im sorry should they smile should they be jokey, no one asks this of Bruce Wayne or wolverine.why not be happy though all that melancholy that they have the moral compass to do the right thing. and atleast those two dudes have something to do at the end of the day , alot of these characters are left as misplaced murderers in a world that doesn't need them anymore

I understand jims point lightning was a rather good one, but why expect happiness from character who's life is shit. If they do get a bit nicer,like for example wolverine, its nice but you don't expect it and nice but it aint necessarily going to happen to everyone, not everyone who goes though shite just gets happy or even gets better, thats life sometimes people just dont get better. i understand happier stories, but the final fantasy examples were kinda... eh. i could have though of better ones, ryu hayabusa, riku (in the begging of kingdom hearts) and many others.

People call these characters whiny but let me ask you lets take a notoriously dark back story, if you were made as a weapon of mass destruction, and your existence had gotten everyone you had grown to love killed, you were frozen and then revived decided to give everyone a benefit of the doubt and do the right thing for a world who dealt you a bad card, and then though the incompetence of another who is supposed to help you , you almost die and loose your memory just have it brought back by someone who had a hand in your creation showing you how vile your insides actually are, then finding out that being is basically your father, and then having to kill him.

no one, no effing one, would be smiling , his life is a pile of shite on shite wheat and to expect a happy moment is completely insane, showing your complete misunderstanding of the character. they don't have to be happy but learning to be better people is what is important, or descention into madness if that's your thing.

aside from all that jim has a point and the video was funny

I have to disagree with you. A person can not be sad without also, at one point, being happy. It is impossible to always be any one emotion, no matter that person's background.

i didn't say show one emotion , im saying mistaking someone having a life of shite, and being a serious and kinda pessimistic person because of it for being emo and having one emotion is bad.

also that pic doesn't make sense , you never EVER compare pain, no one wins. that pic isn't a justification for any argument

i know these are game characters we are talking about, but there are plenty of real life people, someone of which i know, would try and hurt you ( i don't condone violence because of words by the way) if you even suggested that they way they are now, because the horrible stuff they have been though, is some how wrong because there are people in Africa with no water.

mental scars run deep. not everyone gets better, not everything gets better and you showing people in Africa in another crappy situation in no way shape or form solves the problem.

i understand some of these game characters are whiny sure, that makes sense. the others if they don't wanna smile, fine i don't care , there lives suck, sucked, and for intensive purposes will continue to suck.

Wait...what? I don't recall comparing anyone's pain to each other.

All I said is that a person can not project just one emotion. That even though Cloud and Squall had terrible lives, that would not stop them from smiling sometimes. That's it.

The picture is of people smiling during a bad situation. It's not a Susan Sarandon ad. I don't think you should get that much connotation from any one picture and I'm sorry that you misconstrued it. I certainly am not implying that someone's pain is meaningless because someone else feels it also.

Just saying everyone smiles.

Yeah, that explains why everytime I come up to Zulf in the final part of Bastion it really fucks me up. Watching him on the ground, knowing why he did it, how he was before (a polite, young gentleman)... I never could leave him behind. I think I'll never play through that particular part because I'll never be able to leave him behind.

Xisin:

The Tall Nerd:

Xisin:

I have to disagree with you. A person can not be sad without also, at one point, being happy. It is impossible to always be any one emotion, no matter that person's background.

i didn't say show one emotion , im saying mistaking someone having a life of shite, and being a serious and kinda pessimistic person because of it for being emo and having one emotion is bad.

also that pic doesn't make sense , you never EVER compare pain, no one wins. that pic isn't a justification for any argument

i know these are game characters we are talking about, but there are plenty of real life people, someone of which i know, would try and hurt you ( i don't condone violence because of words by the way) if you even suggested that they way they are now, because the horrible stuff they have been though, is some how wrong because there are people in Africa with no water.

mental scars run deep. not everyone gets better, not everything gets better and you showing people in Africa in another crappy situation in no way shape or form solves the problem.

i understand some of these game characters are whiny sure, that makes sense. the others if they don't wanna smile, fine i don't care , there lives suck, sucked, and for intensive purposes will continue to suck.

Wait...what? I don't recall comparing anyone's pain to each other.

All I said is that a person can not project just one emotion. That even though Cloud and Squall had terrible lives, that would not stop them from smiling sometimes. That's it.

The picture is of people smiling during a bad situation. It's not a Susan Sarandon ad. I don't think you should get that much connotation from any one picture and I'm sorry that you misconstrued it. I certainly am not implying that someone's pain is meaningless because someone else feels it also.

Just saying everyone smiles.

that's kinda what the picture implies, that's another reason that pictures like that are bad for arguments, they are a very broad statements pictures say a thousand words a thousand is a lottta words and most of the time to much for what your trying to say, so unless the picture is exact, these types of situations can come up

on another note i see what your saying, but smiling isn't always a sign of happiness, cloud and Leon could be plenty happy, they could just no show it in their face, but in their actions, and thats where the emotion needs to me.

and sorry, alot of people use the "because your not starving in Africa everyone everywhere else isn't really sad, and needs to calm down" thing and it makes me wanna hit them, i don't because i'm lazy and as i said before i don't condone violence over words, but its mighty stupid

I agree but there is one example I can show that disproves this. Spec Ops: The Line is downright miserable from the very beginning but it still managed to poke an emotional reaction from me.

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