Author Topic: What would make a good final fantasy story  (Read 809 times)

V_Translanka

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Re: What would make a good final fantasy story
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2007, 07:14:07 pm »
I'd like to see something more Eastern inclined...Samurai & Ninja haven't been getting much love in the series as of late (as far as I know). V_V

Daniel Krispin

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Re: What would make a good final fantasy story
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2007, 08:07:20 pm »
I do admit the comments I made regarding applying more aristocratic heroes were based on my own development as a writer. Ever since I noticed the trend in fantasy towards either the unknown champions or those with hidden worth, Iíve always preferred the aristocratic to the Ďunlikelyí or Ďchildí heroes. And by this I donít mean a hero that turns out to be someone special... I mean someone that is likely, that has all the gifts to start with. A brilliant Akhilleus or Alkibiades or something like that. Whether they succeed or fall from that point, well, remains to be seen. See, if you start with an unknown, they have the potential to remain in ignorance, or to rise (invariably if the story is being told about them, theyíll rise and be great, so the end is pretty predictable.) If you begin with someone aristocratic, though, they can either show fully of their worth, or come crashing down wondrously (because both the fall and the success of the great is a wondrous thing.) And we canít quite be sure which way things are going to go with them, but we know either way will be worth hearing about. Or thatís my theory on the matter.

Actually, really the distinction lies between heroic sagas and things more of a folk tale type. The unlikely hero is a more folk-tale archetype, especially when it includes finding miraculous weapons and all (say, like Perseus and his quest to kill the Gorgon.) However, even in these stories the hero is often of aristocratic blood, though in a bedraggled state. In contrast a heroic sort of story has things entirely more elevated, but understandably is more difficult to tell in an RPG. If... say FFVI was to have Celes as a main character, that would be rather more heroic: a great general who suffers loss and all that sort of thing; or else Edgar, or Cyan. Auron, being someone of fame and renown, would have made a heroic lead to FFX. It is, however, a difficult thing to tell. After all, when youíre at the top, so to speak, where is there to rise to in the context of the story? Itís not impossible by any stretch, but very difficult. That is why they are generally relegated to supporting characters.

Perhaps a very pertinent example of this might be Janus. He is probably one of the most heroic characters in RPGs... were a game to follow him, rather than Crono, it would have a markedly more Heroic rather than Folk Tale edge (because, really, Chrono Trigger follows more Folk-Tale motifs.) I think if a FF game were made that follows a sort of Janus it would be interesting. Or, if thatís beyond ability, at least someone who is expected to be great. And watch if they succeed or fail. Or better yet, allow the choices of the character determine it.

Thatís it. Iíve thought of a game that does just that, and I think for this reason I consider it amongst my very favorites in story: Knights of the Old Republic. (Donít read this if youíve not played the game and intend to some time) Okay, sure, for a time the character seems to be an unknown, but nevertheless, the heroic element exists... youíre just introduced at the downturn of the heroic fortunes. And the choice is given whether the hero rises or falls from the high station in which he exists... you are given a hero that is, really, about the Star Wars equivalent of Janus, and given the choice whether he can become the most brilliant hero in the Star Wars saga (I still maintain Revan to be the most powerful of all Star Wars hero, outmatching even the Skywalkers, simply for that his heroic nature seems to be of such high magnitude, and his strength and ambition minded so high, that no one else could match him) or fall into dismal darkness. The great lord Revan, who could command armies with such tact and strategic prowess that the Mandalorians were shaken... no matter which way you turn that character at the end, it canít help but be majestic. You control a character that shook the power of the entire galaxy, and now continues the fight for either his own ambitions or against his own armies... how much more heroic can you get? For that I think the Knights games have superior storylines to most of what we see in FF. Maybe thatís something that SE should look towards.

Daniel, didn't you write Twilight of Fate? Don't sell yourself short as a writer -- it reminded me of Tolkien, but that can only be a good thing. It rocks from what I've read of it so far.

ToF? Man, I thought that was dead and forgotten long ago. True, I wrote that, but Iím shuddering to recall. It was some years past, and the style (for the most) rather like a childís. At any rate, I wrote it before I ever touched the Classics (ie. Homer and Aeschylus and that breed), which have more than anything else driven the course of my writing. And in part it was easier to write, having that grounding in a pre-conceived story. Yes, it was rather Tolkienish, but for that Iíd read little else before then, and to my eyes Lavos was all too like a dark lord (and Iíd written long treatises on the matter, connecting the destruction of Zeal to that of Tolkienís Numenor.) Still, a great portion of it was inferior and practice only. And the few parts that I held for admissible Iíve carried on to later writing (even my thoughts upon the character of Janus couldnít be left only in ToF, and have been resurrected in the writing of new characters that have similar darkly heroic, or rather anti-heroic, tendencies.) But my writing now seems (at least to me) entirely distinct from what I did in ToF. More... heroic? Heh. Far too ponderous, thatís for certain. After all, who applies Homer-like epithets to characters? But thatís me.

Nevertheless... I suppose in trying to conceive something entirely of my own mind Iíve found that I am drawn more towards borrowing from existing writing, and have been rather dismayed by that at times... though maybe it is only time that is required before I can more purely mesh together what Iíve read and what I myself write. My comments were more directed towards what I write now, as I at times have had the lamentable habit of taking scenes that strike my fancy and adapting them, at times with such little skill that it appears to me too obvious. That is something that wasnít quite so evident in ToF because the story was more set from the start, and the myths couldnít apply as well in something that is separate from the myths (unlike my current writing which is written as though part of Greek mythology, or adding to it.) The worst is that few enough will see that for what it is, though it rankles me: for an example, the night sally of Diomedes and Odysseus. It struck me as so clever that I wrote my own variant upon it which, to my eyes now, appears all too near and will need much revision. Of course, no one unfamiliar with Homer would understand where it hearkens from, but nevertheless, it bothers me. Likewise an assault upon the ramparts of a fort by a certain enemy captain, the defense of which requires the aid of stronger heroes, all dealt with very much like when Sarpedon attacks the Akhaian gate in the Iliad, and those defending there call for help to Aias... even the phrasing of the lines becomes similar. It is a lamentable tendency which is born from being immersed in Classical literature. I only hope that eventually I can smooth over it all properly (and I should think I can adapt Greek myth to my own purposes better than most)... and thatís why I made a comment regarding things. I often have a lot of trouble coming up with original plots, especially when being so enthused about the Classical ones (to the point that I want to give up writing my own things and instead just write an adaption of the Seven Against Thebes.)