Yan (krzhang) wrote in dreamermaxi,

The Last Fantasy - On Final Fantasy Tactics Advance


McGregor, the double-wielding Ninja struck the final blow as the Il-grim fell. With it the boss died. Unlike other games, the boss is not a demon lord, a corrupt emperor, or the essence of chaos. The Il-grim is the beautiful shaper of wishes, the embodiment of dreams, the loving foster parent of a poor boy abused by bullies and tormented by a life without a mother. The moral ambiguity of the final act of slaying this combination of the dreams of an entire continent and the illusions of a world which struggled with our own is only magnified with its weapons, the opposites "Genesis" and "Wicca".

Yan, the leader of Clan MysticS, knew he was destroying dreams, dreams of a place where he had power and prestiege, to go back to a world where he was just the transfer kid, where his brother cannot walk, and where he has no aptitude with a sword. In return, he gets to touch, feel, taste, hear, and smell what is real. Even with the Matrix stealing the spotlight since the turn of the century, the power of this theme fuels the phlosophy behind the game. Here, it takes the meaning one step further, for even if the leader of the clan returned to Ivalice - the real Ivalice, without the tantalizing Vieras, the mischevious Moogles, or the studious Nu Mous - what can one say about the player on Earth with his fingers on the Game Boy Advance?

Intended or not, the irony is striking. The lesson FFTA teaches seems contrary to its existence - it teaches you to escape a dream world, even though it is wonderful. But it obviously wanted you to buy the cartridge, to return to the Pub for mission after mission, to visit the Monster Bank for the obligatory Pokemon status that all modern GBA games share, and to max-out the ability-stealing, double-Nosada wielding ninja?

I cannot explain this incongruence. I however fail to think of another game that had kept me up until 6:00 AM. It is not perfect at all, and contained many design flaws (cumbersome item selection, rushed plot for much of the game, . . .), though it far made up for it with innovation (player-controlled placement of new areas on a map, the idea of laws and antilaws during battle, weaving the previous idea seamlessly into the plot . . .).

It does, however, tell me to wake up and remind myself of the real world, carrying with myself the two valuable gems that I've gained from this dispatch: the above conflict between truth and reality applied one level higher than in the game, and the idea of laws - why we have them, why people fight against them, why people fight for them,and why they become what they are. Even in a game we have laws - though it might just be a game inside a game.

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic