leasspell_dael: FF13's Serah Farron standing in profile (ff13 - serah - solitary)
[personal profile] leasspell_dael
So I recently posted a review of Final Fantasy XIII-2 (which should only be read if you've finished the game), and left a slew of topics at the end which I claimed I would discuss later.

game as fanfic, Chrono Trigger, Snow/Serah, Lightning's knowledge of the future, "hope", Noel's inexperience, Etro's successor, Yeul's connection to Caius, historia crux shape, fanworks

It is later. :)

I'm just going to kind-of ramble here, so feel free to skip to a topic that interests you!

The default shape of the Historia Crux menu: is it just me, or does it spell out "NORA" in game-script?

"Hope": Am I the only one completely paranoid about the use of this word, and whether or not it's supposed to refer to the emotional concept or the character whenever it's used? As in: "It's up to you to keep hope alive". Forget what the official subtitles say: should it have been capitalized?? They use the double-meaning so often I don't trust the word anymore. *sobs*

Game as fanfic: So I made the comment that I went into the game expecting fanfic, and got that, but good fanfic. What does that mean exactly?

Well, usually when I play games that don't belong to a pre-planned series, the sequels (or prequels) often play out as wish-fulfillment. This doesn't make them bad games or bad installments (yes I consider those to be two separate things), but it does make them harder to take seriously. Crisis Core was fanfic, FFX-2 was fanfic. I was never able to convince myself that their additions to their respective series were real. Interesting. Fun. Emotionally evocative. But not real. The same as I usually feel when I read fanfiction.

When I put in the disc for XIII-2, I read the "Beginners Primer" just to see what it considered necessary to summarize from the previous game. In the last section, it has the final line: "Or, at least it should have been..." or something to that effect. I burst out laughing, because AU! Awesome! Already fanfic! I already knew there was going to be a new male character introduced, and that Lightning and Serah had been given the obligatory fan-service costumes. I started playing.

Time-travel? Awesome. Another great trope, both in fanfic and original media. I kept playing. And, hey, Noel's actually a decent character. The more I played, the happier I was with his development. Serah's characterization was recognizable from the previous game, bonus! Then the story really caught my interest. The more I played, the more I liked. There were some serious moral quandaries explored.

It wasn't "just" fanfic, it was good fanfic, the kind of story that you read and don't care that OCs share top billing with old characters or that it's based off the idea that something different happened at the end of the game. It feels real.

I don't know if I've explained that well, but that's what I've got.

Noel's inexperience: He comes from a post-apocalyptic world where humanity is dying out. He's literally the last child that was born.

I'm dying for fanfic where he sees a baby for the first time.

There's all sorts of things he could be lacking experience or education in. Can he read/write? Can he digest plants? What are his immunities like? Did he ever learn about sex? Relationships?

He knows history from his grandmother, and fighting/hunting from Caius. He learned the value of life from his environment. He knows about Oracle Drives and time travel from Yeul. He recognizes a garden, even if he's never seen plants cultivated himself. Pretty much everything else is left up to interpretation. There is so much untapped potential here!

Chrono Trigger: Since "Final Fantasy XIII-2" is kind of a mouthful, I took to abbreviating it to "Chrono Trigger". Travelling through time to prevent the end of the world? Seeing how your decisions in one time-period affect the situation in another? Even the Era loading screen looks like an updated version of Gate-travel from CT. (We even have a cute girl with a special pendant!) The only thing it lacked was going into the past. I was really hoping to see Serah and Noel in pre-Fall Cocoon or Pulse!

Lightning's Knowledge of the Future: Okay, so we know that Lightning can see all of the timeline from Valhalla. Maybe I'm being overly suspicious, but did she know what would happen in the shadow of Bhunivelze? When Serah asked if they'd be together after they were done, Lightning answered with a very non-committal "One thing at a time, Serah". Did Lightning know the cost to her sister when she sent Noel out to fetch her? Did she learn only after the duo had started to change things? I personally hold the belief that neither Lightning nor Serah are truly out of the game yet, but sequels and/or DLC will have to see whether I'm right on that count. The point is, was Lightning willing to even temporarily sacrifice Serah for a greater cause? Or was the turbulence of the changing timestreams enough to cloud her sight on the matter?

Speaking of higher-causes, Etro's Successor: Despite the fact that Lightning is currently keeping Etro's throne warm for her, I don't think Lightning is going to be taking over the goddess' job. Assuming Etro herself isn't brought back, I think 500AF!Hope is going to be Etro's successor. So much emphasis is placed on how important he is, and yes the New Cocoon project is important, but added to my suspicions about the use of the word "hope"... He's spent so long working to preserve the human race, taking no credit when he can avoid it; he's pretty low-key like Etro was. If the team gets sent back to 3AF (or 1AF) at the final end, there'd be contemporary!Hope around still (maybe), so less desire to form a rescue (like for Vanille and Fang). I don't really have any hard "proof", just a gut feeling.

Yeul's Connection to Caius: Yes, he's her guardian. Yes, he became a guardian because he was a l'Cie with the Focus to protect the Seeress and was "blessed" by Etro when she saw his devotion to her. But what made his devotion so much greater than any other's? My personal head-canon is that he was the father of one of the Yeuls, maybe even the original. Imagine having to watch your daughter die endlessly throughout time, often watching her suffer because of what she Saw. I'd go around the bend too. That's my theory, anyway. It would also explain why Yeul doesn't actively oppose Caius' plan: leftover familial bonds.

Okay, getting wordy again. Going to leave the topic I wanted to talk about the most (Snow/Serah) for another day, and will shoe-horn in "fanworks" with it.
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