I remember the store I bought the original in when I was 9 or 10 years old or so. Seeing that cover behind the glass and how realistic the characters were, I thought it was amazing -- ahead of its time. My mother didn't know what the T rating meant, so she bought it for me anyway. It's been my favorite mainline FF game ever since.
Do I even need to mention how stunning Edea is? All of her special sequences are pure beauty in mysticism. That first one with Quistis, as well, when she enters the infirmary and finds Squall, and she just sighs with a soft smile, and then the original PS1 disc works its ass off to steadily fade to black: unforgettable.
More than anything, the romantic themes in the story had a big influence on me. They're real, larger-than-life, and more meaningful than the usual petty drama.
Squall's quote in particular to Rinoa is a cornerstone:
"No matter what happens, even if you become the world's enemy, I'll be your knight."
I used to pretend that I had found something like that with others. I would convince myself that I had, just to stay with them. But then I would do and say things that proved the exact opposite. It seemed as if I never felt what I believed for anyone who was right in front of me, and I didn't know why. I eventually learned what the problem was -- that I hadn't yet seen the person's true face, even though their instability with me had usually brought it out. I wouldn't have seen it if things between us had been all right. I had always felt that that was a problem, because I need to see someone for who they are, completely, without censorship or them holding back. Otherwise, what's the point?
Final Fantasy VIII doesn't necessarily get this deep. It doesn't need to. The story is about seventeen and eighteen-year-olds in the military saving the world: there's bound to be some weirdness and immaturity at points. But the point is that it was the beginning and the foundation of how I see and write about romance.
If you want to know what I mean, then I suggest you play the game for yourself. It'll be out on PS4, Steam, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
AND Yakuza 3 Remastered is out today? Yakuza 4 and Yakuza 5 will be bundled with it for physical release in February. This is too much. I can't.
Yakuza 3 with a proper localization and all of the cut content from the original US version will be here?
I get to spend time with Kiryu and Haruka again. They really made this series for me.
All of my gaming plans are now canceled for this.