November 4th, 2006

dorky, wacky, weird, personified playground equipment, playful

FFXII: "Shut the Hell Up and Gimme Some Pants," or "Be Quiet. I Demand More Respectable Clothing."

Dear Square Enix,
I have some questions about FFXII, and I hope that you are able to answer them. They all concern your character design choices, an area in which you've had some noted successes and some terrible failures, but for which you are generally well-known and reasonably respected.

I've put a lot of time into understanding the function of the leather spines on Penelo's outfit, but their purpose still evades me. Does she use them to hang herself up in the closet at night? Does she keep her MP in one and her HP in the other? Please clarify their existence.

As for the lead female, Ashe, I appreciate her straight-forward attitude. Our heroines have been almost unfailingly gentle, self-sacrificing and somewhat retiring as of late, so it is refreshing to see one who has no problems with telling people to shut the hell up, albeit in more polite language. Yet, I cannot comprehend her outfit, no matter how hard I try. She dressed so prettily when she was a princess, so it comes as a shock to see her fearlessly sporting so little. Is it a disguise? It does not seem to be, for the townsfolk in Rabanastre do not dress as she does. Then again, perhaps this sudden change in attire should not surprise me at all, as you thought booty shorts were in character for FFX's Yuna.

Putting the strange mating of a sailor shirt and a decollete` neckline aside, let us focus on her black leather waist cincher. "If you've got it, flaunt it," the saying goes, and perhaps you designed her attire with it in mind. This particular piece, however, defies that principle. Her waist is not in need of the slimming effects of dark colors nor the physical reduction the tool could theoretically apply, so the cincher has no apparent reason for being. Does she have an outie belly button that she is ashamed of, and feels that she must hide?

Really, Square Enix, when you designed Ashe, what was so wrong with pants?

I must tell you that I feel very sorry for the poor Viera you burdened with the name "Fran." Why did you choose to make her wear her lingerie outdoors at all times? A black leather thong, sexy though it may appear, seems more appropriate for the bedroom than for wandering about in a desert clime. Did you think of the sand? Did you think of the sunburn? It seems you had other concerns of your own in mind. This strategy guide that I hold attempts to rationalize Fran's stiletto heels by saying that a Viera's arched foot makes them the most reasonable choice of footwear. I find this logic to be somewhat of the "shortbus" sort. Problems of sinking into sandy soils aside, why does a Viera need shoes period?

Thank you for your time. I hope you can bring the reasoning behind these choices to light, unless they are personal matters best kept behind closed doors.

Member of the Pants Promotion League

I can't be the only one who has noticed that there's something terribly odd about the way Square Enix rendered Vaan's six pack ... it's like they're indentations on his torso.

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I said to myself, "That's way too convenient." and Lo! Did the Flan come from the left, from the right, from the front, from the back, and from the above. Er, from above, that is.

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[Edit again: OMGWTF did I just find the FFXII equivalent of an NM? That bat's kicking my ass!]

[Edit again again: Yes. Yes I did. The "Aerieel" is four levels above me and I'm in that awkward trying to find a party that will work for me stage, so the asskicking is all on the bat's side, not mine.]
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