Mushroom Soup For The Pixelated Soul
The EE category was created for whenever I feel the need to post something insightful and enriching. Or to mercilessly bitch about the continued injustices of the gaming industry.
Today I’ll be using EE to continue my discussion from the Dissidia preview. As I mentioned before, there’s a lot of FF characters that would be perfect for a fighting game, along with some that should be included just for fun. With over 13 games (and counting) to choose from, Square Enix can keep digging from the Final Fantasy archives to fill up their rosters for future entries into the new Dissidia series.
That said, I’m sure many fans are disappointed by the lack of female characters included in the upcoming brawler, turning the heroes side into a venerable sausage fest, minus one. The women of the Final Fantasy series have proved to be just as popular as the males, if not more so; I’ve always found it much easier to sympathize with the female characters when the need for an emotional reaction is required. After all, it’s the hero’s job to protect the people he cherishes most, and our job to cheer him on when he beats the Big Bad and rides off with his lady love into the sunset as the credits roll, so it’s small wonder the heroines are as beloved as the protagonists. That’s especially true when the heroine is capable enough to protect her lover during the most trying scenarios.
Plus, who doesn’t enjoy watching hot girls beat the crap out of each other? This guy had the right idea, along with enough CG talent to pull off a cheesy but ultimately entertaining fan series.
Even though I find an FF/DOA pairing a little silly (although with Square continuing to try and buy off Tecmo, that could become a disturbing reality), the action is very impressive, plus he has Tifa use a Drunken stance midway through, so kudos to the guys responsible.
Anyway, I’m going to list my choices for characters that should be included in the Dissidia series, most of which are naturally women, but with a few guys included as well. I’ll also be listing characters that I would prefer don’t show up, for reasons that I’ll get into below.
For this article, I decided to be a bit unique and have all my pictures come from DeviantArt. For my preferred characters, I searched long and hard for fan-art that was actually decent and not eye-gougingly bad.
It was not an easy task. DeviantArt has some really terrible artwork. Like, really, really bad.
I think I’ve horrified you enough. Now let’s get started.
Characters who should be in Dissidia:
Tifa Lockhart: The biggest no-brainer on the list. It goes without saying that Tifa is one of the most popular characters in Final Fantasy history (even if many people take their devotion a little too far), but it’s only natural to want a character that specializes in martial arts to be included in a fighting game. Even though most of the other characters wield weapons, Tifa has proven to be adaptable against any opponent with her quick combos and inexplicable strength. When Kingdom Hearts 2 was nearing its Japanese release, every Disney and Final Fantasy character was already unveiled with the exception of Tifa; Square kept her role a secret until the game was released in stores, no doubt as a surprise for all her fans. Maybe history will repeat itself when Dissidia is released…
Celes Chere: As much as I love Terra’s inclusion in the game, if I had the chance to swap her with Celes, I wouldn’t hesitate to do so. Like Tifa, Celes is another beauty with severe emotional issues, but also a strong will to face any opponent to protect those important to her. Her Runic ability, which lets her absorb any magic cast, could be an interesting gameplay mechanic in Dissidia. Considering her near likeness to Terra (I’ve always had a theory on that…), it’s possible Celes could make the cut as an alternate skin for Terra, but I would much prefer that she have her own model, move list, and story.
Rydia: Since the current characters of Dissidia all have the ability to summon, Rydia’s defining ability may not be unique enough for Square to consider including her. However, there’s no doubt that Rydia is another one of FF’s more popular female characters, and her makeover for the DS version of FFIV has practically tripled the amount of fan-arts and cosplayers of her. Plus, like Cecil, it would be cool if she had the ability to switch between her child and adult forms, having different magic spells and Summons for each.
Rikku: I could just as easily recommend Yuffie instead to fulfill the role of a speedy, quick attacking female character, but to avoid cluttering the game with too many FFVII characters, I’ll nominate Rikku instead. Cute as a button and hyper as a kid getting an N64 on Christmas, Rikku would be another welcome addition to filling in the low list of female characters.
Relm Arrowny: Allow me to clarify a bit with this decision: I don’t think Relm has enough uniqueness to become a full fledged character for Dissidia, but I do like the idea of adding her as a support character. Much like the Assist Trophies in Super Smash Bros Brawl, or the support teammates from Marvel vs Capcom, support characters would appear onscreen, use a single assisting attack, then disappear. I think this would be a great way to toss in more lower tier FF characters. Relm here could use her Sketch ability to use one opponent’s signature attack against them.
Freya Crescent: If Square is eager to use non-human female characters, then why not include the underutilized cult favorite Freya? A full fledged Dragoon who could pull off some cool lance maneuvers, Freya’s inclusion would further flesh her out after taking a backseat midway in FFIX, and increase her popularity as well. Plus, I would love to see her perform a river-dance for her victory animation.
Prishe: Shantotto fans may have outvoted Prishe as the FFXI candidate for Dissidia, but that doesn’t mean Prishe should be forgotten either. My personal favorite character from FFXI, and the star of the best of the expansion packs (Chains of Promathia), Prishe is courageous, swears like a sailor, and successfully managed a Monk/White Mage combination, which would ordinarily guarantee no invitations to go level grinding in Valkurm Dunes.
Ark Angels: Since Shantotto is considered an Extra Character, she probably won’t get an opposing villain from FFXI. But when the day does come to consider an adversary from that game, the Ark Angels would be the perfect choice. This ghostly group, consisting of one of every race from FFXI, has driven many players mad with frustration, but also envious of their cool designs.
Ramza & Delita: I’ll confess: The only reason I’m mentioning Ramza is so Delita can be included as his opposition. Regardless, giving Ramza the ability to switch between any job at any time could make him a unique enough addition, or at least as a replacement for Bartz in the sequel.
Seifer: As I mentioned before, Square decided on including Jecht instead of Seymor because he would serve as a more emotional adversary for Tidus. With that said, I’m perplexed why Seifer wasn’t included as Squall’s enemy, as there’s more tension between the two than Ultimecia could ever manage. Plus, Seifer could work as another loose cannon villain along with Jecht and Sephiroth, too arrogant and proud to ally with anyone else.
Basch & Gabranth: I’m sure most FFXII fans would have voted for Balthier to be used in Dissidia, but I feel he’s gotten enough love; Time to make amends for wrestling the lead role from Basch and giving it to Vaan. Basch would bring some much needed manliness to the heroes roster, and Gabranth would serve as another heavily armored villain, although his armor is at least more proportionate than Golbez’.
Auron: It’s Auron. ‘Nuff said.
The Figaro Brothers: I couldn’t possibly choose between the two, so I’ll mention them both; Sabin is another character whose specialty is hand to hand fighting, so he’d be a natural fit for a fighting game, and Edgar must always follow along as balance with his nimbler frame and variety of tools. Plus, he would be good competition for Zidane over who can charm the most women.
Gilgamesh: I mentioned Gilgamesh before, but aside from his tremendous popularity (of which, for a time, perplexed me), Gilgamesh has become the one Final Fantasy character that has a legitimate excuse for popping up in every game; a dimension-hopping doofus that loves to boast, Gilgamesh will always be welcome as a bonus character no matter what game he’s in.
Laguna Loire: One of the first goofball FF characters to get quick recognition from fans, Laguna’s Forest Gump-like ability to achieve great success with great stupidity has made him one of the most endearing characters. And who doesn’t love his kickass theme song?
Zell Dincht: Rounding out the few fighting characters from the series, Zell should be another consideration in adding some lighthearted humor along with some quick combos. Plus, putting him and Tifa along with Cloud in the same game could play into the unconfirmed in-joke that Zell was designed as a what-if offspring of FFVII’s childhood lovers.
Vivi Orunitia: I guarantee most people would forget about Shantotto if another short, huggable Black Mage made an appearance. More Vivi is never a bad thing.
Wakka: Another character that probably doesn’t stand out enough as a full fledged character, but would be perfect as a supporting role.
Zack Fair: Of all the characters listed, Zack is probably the most likely to be included in the first Dissidia game (we’ll find out soon enough). The bad news is that like with Celes, Square could take the quick route and just make him an alternate skin for Cloud. They already pulled this trick once in Ehrgeiz, so I hope they get serious and give him his own moveset and voice.
Lightning: What better way to give people a sneak peek at Final Fantasy’s next main hero than by including her as a secret character to fight? Unfortunately, the chance of anyone from FFXIII being included has already been dispelled, since doing so would force Nomura to finalize their designs, no longer giving him the chance to make any further revisions. A bit late to be doing that anyway, isn’t it?
Noctis: Same as above, and he would have really worked as an opposing character to Lightning (even though they’ll probably never meet, he’s already been teased to be neither good nor evil, but someone dipped in gray). And in case you weren’t keeping track of FFXIII news, yes that is his official name.
Now to name characters I hope will not make an appearance in Dissidia. Keep in mind that I’m not listing the characters below because I dislike them (well, most of them anyway) but for different reasons that I’ll explain in detail with each person.
Also, I lied about not freaking you out with anymore horrible DeviantArt pics. Since this next list is the opposite of the one above, I figured I’d fill it with the worst DeviantArt pictures I could find that were Safe For Work. That wasn’t easy either, mind you.
Characters who shouldn’t be in Dissidia:
Aerith Gainsborough: She may make a great Kilik customization, but Aerith is not a fighter. I don’t need Square insulting my suspension of disbelief by making her able to beat the likes of Sephiroth in a fight.
Rinoa Heartily: Despite what that Dead Fantasy video may lead you to believe, Rinoa is as much a support character as Aerith. Her primary weapon is pretty silly (a pinwheel crossbow), and while it could prove amusing to see her launch her dog at Garland or Kuja, it isn’t enough to include her.
Genesis Rhapsodos: We already have to put up with Kuja-Lite, we don’t need Sephiroth-Lite too. He might end up cooler in the next FFVII sequel, but let’s wait for that before putting him in Dissidia.
Locke Cole: I know he’s got a lot of fans, but Locke just doesn’t stand out to me. We already have a quick Thief character, and that one doesn’t back-stab his love interest by believing the bad guy’s word over her. I don’t even want to imagine the possibility of Celes getting passed over so they could squeeze Locke in instead.
Palom & Porom: There’s plenty of better and cuter child characters to choose from then these Tarutaru/Human hybrids.
Vaan: Again, it’s bad enough he stole the main lead from Basch. Even so, I’m sure most people would prefer Balthier, Ashe, Fran, or anyone else besides Vaan.
Sora: For a time I was hoping Sora would be included in Dissidia, just to cement him as a master of crossovers. But with deep regret, I’ll have to pass on him, due to the possibility that Disney would try to shoehorn Donald and Goofy into the game as well, and ultimately change it from a Final Fantasy fighting game into a Kingdom Hearts one.
Anyone from Dragon Quest: Again, this is a Final Fantasy fighting game, so let’s keep other Square Enix properties out of it. Adding Dragon Quest to the mix will only make it more unlikely for third tier FF characters to show up.
Anyone from Final Fantasy Unlimited: I want no mention from this pre-kindergarten anime adaption, or the brain-dead bimbo they tacked on to get older viewers to watch.
Any Cid Besides The Ones from VII, XII, or Tactics: Anyone who wants to nominate Troll Cid from FFIV is free to do so. On their own blog.