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BBBAAAAAWWWWW is the sound they make…. that's descriptive enough, right?

Sometimes it’s a good thing that pretty much no one reads this blog. It means I can leave certain favorites out of lists and no one gets upset about it, so I don’t have to qualify the obvious omissions of certain moody Final Fantasy characters.

However, this is still my blog, and I still want to defend myself, so I’m going to pretend that someone said: “Why didn’t you include [x-character]?! He’s the BESTEST GUY OMG!!!!!!!!!”

And I will answer you, voice in my head, oooh how will I answer you.

For the most part, I try and separate characters I enjoy looking at vs. characters I enjoy interacting with.  But I’m quite sure that there are people out that that don’t. And if they do, have some how justified to themselves that emotionally crippled adolescents would actually make good boyfriends.

So, this is a supplemental list and explanation of why such popular characters as “that guy from the game you like” were not on  my list of  Top 10 Males in Video Games I Would Totally Form a Co-Dependency With.

1.) Squall Leonhart from Final Fantasy VIII

I’m not sure there are many girls who think Squall’s a great catch, but that can really only be assumed from my group of friends who also see FFVIII as the complete pile of crap it is.

…On the other hand, it’s a small sample size, and it’s pretty obvious from just a brief glance through google tells me that, while me and my friends may not be the minority here…. we may very possible be in the minority.

The people that don’t like FFVIII have many valid reasons to not like it, among them being that the main character Squall, in an insufferable asshole.

Whether the reasons for his poor attitude is justified or not is up for debate, the fact is he has the personality of a 16 year old. Alright he’s 17, but still.

This is my problem with having teenagers be the main characters. Teenagers are not a likable group of people at the BEST of times. Squall is self-centered and cold. His cynicism isn’t even endearing.

And the thing is, it makes no sense. Squall, and practically all of his team there,  were raised together. Obviously, Rinoa didn’t, but Quistis, Zell, Irvine, Seifer, and Selphie did. They were all orphans raised by Cid and Edea. The flashbacks make it seem like they all had a pretty happy childhood together. So why the bitchiness Squall, why the bitchiness?

The game never divulges if Squall was adopted – we only know for sure that Zell was, and he had a pretty good life with the Dinchtes (consequently, despite his ridiculous tattoo and ADHD personality I think Zell is a MUCH better choice for a relationship). Seifer, Quistis, Irvine, and Selphie? We have no idea if they were adopted before entering Balamb, Galbadia, and Trabia Gardens, nor how they got there, but they all seem pretty emotionally with it.

So why is Squall such a dink?

The only argument that makes any sense to me, considering how much the game DOESN’T tell us, is that there’s a distinct nature vs. nurture thing going on here, in that the creators of Squall’s character clearly believe that nature is more important than nurture (which is something I could talk about for a long time in terms of JRPGs, but will not right now. Maybe some other time).

Since Squall conveniently doesn’t remember his relatively happy childhood, you could say that that’s caused him to be emotionally distant. Fine. I’ll buy that. It still doesn’t help his case any. Emotionally distant people don’t just “come around” when they meet the right person. Plus, that just rasies the question of:

“If Squall, et al. can’t remember their childhood, why don’t any of them question it?”

This is a pretty big deal. Because it applies to all of them.

If the orphanage was a bad time, if Cid and Edea beat them, or starved them, or didn’t buy them things so they could use the government money for themselves, that would be one thing. But from all the flashbacks we can see they’re having a pretty good time there. Everyone’s happy. Ellone disappeared, sure, but that’s no reason to get all mopey. That wasn’t very traumatic, compared to things actual children in orphanages and half-way homes, and some foster homes, actually go through.

If something traumatic did actually happen to them before leaving the orphanage, then it’s completely understandable that they, all, could have potentially repressed the memory.

The game hand-waves this with GF nonsense, but if it’s only because of the Guardian Forces destroying their memories, then Squall is a dink by nature.

Squall has issues, and I’m not in the habit of wanting to fix my men.

2.) Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII

Cloud is… well… he’s also messed up, no thanks to Tifa by the way (CloudxAeris/th 4 life!).  He’s also a bit moody and emo, having his memories (legitimately) fucked around with, and thinking he was someone else. The revelation about who and what he actually was was really well done. I don’t quite have the ire for Cloud that I do for Squall. Partly because I like FFVII, and party because he’s a better character overall.

However, between Tifa and Aeris, he has his hands full. This is not going to be a Tifa vs. Aeris debate. It’s simply this:

If he does end up with Tifa, she’s just sloppy seconds to Aeris, whose death he can’t get over.

Cloud may be quite attractive, but due to his past, he’s going to have a lot of issues going on for him.

In fact, it occurs to me, most of the guys I would not put on my list don’t make it because I think their issues are too severe. Sasha Nein being the exception, but his personality is also more developed than the typical JRPG hero.

Why, yes, that was a stab at JRPGs. They can do better than they’ve been doing, and that’s a fact. So why aren’t they?

Oh, right list…

3.) Vincent Valentine from Final Fantasy VII

More issues than Cloud, and they remain unresolved.

4.) Sephiroth from Final Fantay VII

SEVERE mom issues, definitely crazy, and a murderer. These are not endearing qualities. If you want to go date serial killers, that’s YOUR prerogative, but I’m not in the habit of dating known killers. I don’t intend to fix or change any of them. If you think you can, because all it takes is the “right woman” you’re delusional, and I hope you are the right woman, otherwise you’re going to end up dead, or abused.

Granted, there’s nothing misogynistic about Sephiroth’s killings – he may not have felt any remorse for Aeris’ death, but he didn’t mutilate her corpse, nor do I think he would, all it means is that he will kill anyone if he thinks he needs to.

5.) Link

Link is ineligible for my main list because we now nothing about him. Link is just an avatar for us (a really attractive one at that). He is as brave and clever as we make him. What does he really think of Zelda? Or any of the other girls in Hyrule? We don’t know, we only know what we think about them and attribute to him. We see little glimmers of personality in later games, with cut  scenes that can portray emotional reactions, but they are hardly a full personality.

Is he brave? Only if we tell him to go forward. Is he smart? Only if we solve the puzzles. Does he love Princess Zelda? Only if we prefer her to Midna, or Malon, or Saria, or Ruto, etc…

6.) Gordon Freeman

Very simply, I never played the half-life games. Sure, I’ve watched Freeman’s Mind. I know a few things about him, like… he’s a physicist…I think? But he is ineligible for my list SOLELY because I never played the game.

He also wasn’t on my top 10 hottest list, but he’d make the honorable mentions.

That’s all I can think of. If there were other characters you think should have been on my list and wonder why they weren’t then feel free to tell me, and I’ll tell you why.

Again, these are my opinions, and while I think they’re 100% right, you may disagree. And that’s cool.

Addendum:

It crossed my mind that there is at least one guy who should be on this list and isn’t:

7.) Darth Revan

There are many good points that count in Revan’s favor: he’s strong and brave and protective, able to make jokes to lighten even the darkest mood, and inspire confidence and loyalty.

But there are two reasons Darth Revan can never be n my list of eligible bachelors:

A.) Darth Revan’s actual personality isn’t really fleshed out until the comic books. This is the downside of being the main PC in a Bioware game. Their personality is entirely dependent on your choices. Is Revan nice or mean? Well, he turns back to the lightside if you follow the comics. But when I play he’s a complete dick. And since I can’t consider outside sources about their personalities, he can’t make the cut.

B.) As far as I’m concerned, Revan is a female. Oh sure, George Lucas may have decided Revan is male, and this it’s canon, but I don’t care. Female Revan’s story is more compelling, and Carth is a better love interest than Bastilla. I don’t say this as a girl, but as someone who appreciates good narrative. Revan’s gender is a matter of contention, to this day, among KotOR fans. Not that I wouldn’t play both sides for a female Revan, but my list was specifically for men.

I will get on a Revan rant some other day, but there ya’ go. Why Revan can never be on a list about males, as far as I’m concerned.

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