Author Topic: My thoughts on the baddest girl in Prehistory...  (Read 2547 times)

ChaosWolf

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My thoughts on the baddest girl in Prehistory...
« on: August 27, 2011, 11:42:49 pm »
I dunno why folks usually seem to dislike/ignore Ayla so much, if the usual comments in fandom-memes and "favorite character list" things are any clue - even Robo and Frog get more affection than her, who more often than not just gets a "meh, whatever".  I mean, she's a badass fighter, which was rare for female characters in those days, especially in RPGs.  She was to RPG's what Samus was to action games, in a way.

Plus, I mean, how can you not love someone who basically goes "Who needs weapons and magic? Imma beat your ass with my bare freaking hands!"  That takes balls beyond measure, especially when you're facing down monsters, mutants, and a cosmic horror intent on causing the Apocalypse, to say "I'm gonna punch that thing right in the face."

It always threw me, Ayla and Kino being a canonical couple, since judging from their official artwork, she looks to be around twenty, while he barely passes for fourteen or so. Guess the ladies liked boys young back then.  Seeing the two of them side-by-side, if I didn't know about their relationship ahead of time, I would've guess they were siblings, not romantically involved.

Explaining how Ayla has perfectly-smooth skin, shiny white teeth, and a salon-quality perm millions of years before the invention of razors and shampoo, however, is a puzzle I have yet to unravel.

Manly Man

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Re: My thoughts on the baddest girl in Prehistory...
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2011, 02:12:08 am »
Well, she's probably my favorite character to play as. Fastest out of everyone, the only one to have a higher critical rate is Crono, and that's because of Rainbow. Yes, her techs generally suck, but why bother when you're doing almost a thousand per round by the time you're level fifty?

As for her actual 'character,' I think she's interesting enough, but not exactly one that I'd write home about. I will admit that I've got an idea for a fanfiction between her and Flea, though. It's put off to the side, but only for now.

Lord J Esq

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Re: My thoughts on the baddest girl in Prehistory...
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2011, 04:39:43 am »
At first I couldn't get past the idiotic accent, but eventually she became my favorite CT playable character. Ayla's great. She's got the clearest and arguably best philosophy, she's the best physical fighter, and she pushed the boundaries for what female PCs in RPGs were allowed to do and what contexts they were allowed to do it in.

All around ace tops character.

ChaosWolf

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Re: My thoughts on the baddest girl in Prehistory...
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2011, 05:57:56 am »
As for her actual 'character,' I think she's interesting enough, but not exactly one that I'd write home about. I will admit that I've got an idea for a fanfiction between her and Flea, though. It's put off to the side, but only for now.

Do tell, do tell. Flea is my favorite NPC.

Jormungand

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Re: My thoughts on the baddest girl in Prehistory...
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2011, 10:51:34 am »
She's my favorite. And she's also unarguably the best fighter. No other character can regularly pump out 9999s without breaking a sweat. :)

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Re: My thoughts on the baddest girl in Prehistory...
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2011, 05:36:05 pm »
Are you kidding, man? XD She's the best I adore; my Number 1 SPRINGTIME OF YOUTH Idol! Even Crimson Echoes kept her in high regards. Hell, I even reference her and write about her in places. For instance:

http://www.chronocompendium.com/Forums/index.php/topic,9382.0.html
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‘Twas a time of omen when the children of cold blood fell to the might of a woman, who challenged them against all odds. She was the epitome of strength, courage, and -- above all else -- mercy. She was the prayer of the lands that sang the joys of livelihood, and she was the dream that awakened the hearts when the red fire burned the skies.

She was their Goddess. But with every light that captured hearts, she also awakened the darkness that lay dormant within them, those wicked shadows she fought her entire life. Her very nightmares.

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And in another bubble he saw innocence: children of tribes playing in the grass with a blonde woman, and her husband. Ayla, this beautiful, said the man; Kino wish beautiful last.  And as Adamus saw himself lifting the Frozen Flame, continents all across the planet burned for his own amusement.

Ah, so you like Flea? Haha, I once decided to make a fanfiction movie about the character's origins. But apparently, no one was interested... *dies*

ChaosWolf

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Re: My thoughts on the baddest girl in Prehistory...
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2011, 07:39:53 pm »
At first I couldn't get past the idiotic accent, but eventually she became my favorite CT playable character. Ayla's great. She's got the clearest and arguably best philosophy, she's the best physical fighter, and she pushed the boundaries for what female PCs in RPGs were allowed to do and what contexts they were allowed to do it in.

All around ace tops character.

Exactly.  Which is why the common fandom reaction of dislike at worst and indifference at best so baffles me.  Sure, the Hulk Speak was a bit odd compared to the others, but it fit her time-setting plausibly well - Frog was the only person in the game to talk like a reject from the Royal Shakespearian Theatre Company, and nobody seems to find that strange.

I dunno, maybe they just find her intimidating? I mean, considering that when the party first encounter her, she appears to shove Crono up against the wall and starts dryhumping him...

Lennis

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Re: My thoughts on the baddest girl in Prehistory...
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2011, 02:30:30 am »
I think contemporary fandom's indifferent reaction to Ayla stems from the fact that she isn't as well developed as the other main characters in canon.  An example of this is her unlikely relationship with the very young-looking Kino.  This is never really explained.  Maybe it can't be due to her simplistic dialect.  It also doesn't help that she joins the party for good very late in the game, limiting character development options.  Glenn also doesn't join permanently until the game's halfway point, but we at least see him as a playable character early on - plus we have to go on a lengthy fetch quest (the Masamune/Hero Medal) to get him to join.

Another thing against her is that she never really gets beat up outside the mechanics of the game.  In short, tragedy never seems to touch her.  We see Glenn witness Cyrus' death and be transformed into a frog.  We see Robo get beat up by fellow robots.  We see a haunted Lucca go back in time to prevent her mother's accident.  We see Marle go into a tantrum with her father.  We see young Janus lose his innocence and become lost in darkness.  We see Crono... die.  What happens to Ayla that is so terrible compared with what the other characters go through?  At worst, she seems to take a thoughtful attitude at the prospect of the Reptites' demise when Azala is defeated.  She also seems to lament the fact that the land is growing colder after Lavos' impact, though we see no visual evidence of this in the game.  It doesn't compare.  Average fans view of Ayla is a direct reflection of her limited development as a character as opposed to her ability to dish out huge damage in fights.

Its taken more dedicated fans to explore Ayla's character outside of canon to make her compelling.  We've seen that in this very thread, in fact.  I'm also developing Ayla well outside the bounds of established canon in my novel series, though that part is only in the early outlining stages at present.

ChaosWolf

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Re: My thoughts on the baddest girl in Prehistory...
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2011, 11:58:03 pm »
I think contemporary fandom's indifferent reaction to Ayla stems from the fact that she isn't as well developed as the other main characters in canon. Another thing against her is that she never really gets beat up outside the mechanics of the game.  In short, tragedy never seems to touch her. Average fans view of Ayla is a direct reflection of her limited development as a character as opposed to her ability to dish out huge damage in fights.

Its taken more dedicated fans to explore Ayla's character outside of canon to make her compelling.

Fair enough.  I guess, after seeing the CE walkthroughs and seeing how brilliantly they handled all the various characters getting their "time in the spotlight", I supposed I was kinda riding the high and suddenly seeing the apathy of the fanbase was a bit of a downer.

Ayla has so much potential left unexplored (and like most of the rest of the series, Squeenix's lawyers seem determined to keep it unexplored, but that's a rant for another time), so it's just disappointing to see Magus Fanfic #2375 or Marle Portrait #117 while others like Ayla and Robo and such get left behind...

Lord J Esq

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Re: My thoughts on the baddest girl in Prehistory...
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2011, 11:10:05 am »
Lennis, that was well-said.

maggiekarp

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Re: My thoughts on the baddest girl in Prehistory...
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2011, 12:43:32 pm »
If you go to Ayla's time as soon as it's available and talk to the people there, you find out Ayla found Kino on a mountain when he was a baby and raised him. Chanting/Singing Mountain in the Prerelease was obviously going to be Ayla's post-Crono resurrection sidequest that was canned.

Syna

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Re: My thoughts on the baddest girl in Prehistory...
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2011, 04:54:07 pm »
I agree with Lennis about Ayla's relative lack of conflict, too.

Robo's conflicts are less apparent than that of the rest of the crew, but he certainly has one, and his awesome role in CC makes him quite compelling. I wish CC had taken a similar route with Ayla; symbolically, she's a really interesting figure in the philosophy of the game as a whole.

My favorite interpretation of Ayla is in the "existential reading of Chrono Trigger" series, where she is very aptly linked to the Ubermensch:

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To begin with, Ayala's heroism is essentially generative. She's not out to sacrifice herself for anybody, nor is she primarily concerned with destroying the reptites who are competing with the humans to become the dominant species. Instead, Ayla is a fiercely creative force. She is the human race's first great leader and the biological ancestor of great leaders to come. She possesses the Dreamstone, which we will later learn to be the source of human love and hate; in this way she acts as the creator of the human value system. Ayla fights to protect her species, but is willing to severely punish other humans for violating her ethical code, to the point of beating her own boyfriend for stealing (note that this latter act makes the rest of the party uncomfortable because they come from a less primal ethical climate). Like Nietzsche's ubermensch, Ayla worships strength and will as the highest virtues; the game's spin on these values indicates a compromised liberal version of Nietzsche's philosophy, however.

ChaosWolf

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Re: My thoughts on the baddest girl in Prehistory...
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2011, 10:45:04 pm »
If you go to Ayla's time as soon as it's available and talk to the people there, you find out Ayla found Kino on a mountain when he was a baby and raised him. Chanting/Singing Mountain in the Prerelease was obviously going to be Ayla's post-Crono resurrection sidequest that was canned.

Ayla found Kino as a baby, raised him, then later married him...  I never knew that until now.  I thought she just had some kinda thing for young boys, not some kinda pseudo-incest thing with her adoptive son... :shock:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WifeHusbandry
Even though it's reversing the trope's typical genders, it's still kinda creepy.  I'm honestly not sure how to react to that particular revelation. :?

Switching rails here... Singing Mountain as Ayla's sidequest... yeah, that would've been awesome.  Wonder what might've occured there, and why they nixed it?

maggiekarp

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Re: My thoughts on the baddest girl in Prehistory...
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2011, 11:02:55 pm »
I like to think it was something to strengthen Kino and Ayla's relationship, maybe even to reveal that Ayla found Kino there instead of Mystic Mountain. Maybe even something to explain her Dino Tail tech as something like a summon.

Kodokami

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Re: My thoughts on the baddest girl in Prehistory...
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2011, 12:36:53 am »
Ayla would probably have a been a young child herself when she discovered Kino. I see no reason why a young girl could not take a motherly, or at least sisterly, responsibility for an even younger child. This does not, however, invoke an incestuous relationship. It is not uncommon for there to be a large age difference between lovers.