Umm, wow.

Yeah, that pretty much sums up Silverlocke980's thoughts on Final Fantasy Twelve. Gorgeous backdrops, story that goes BAM at the beginning and, though tapering off at certain times, never actually loses its power… and the character of the cities.

(I never thought the day would come when a non-human race was treated as totally normal- as human- in a game. FFXII does it to every races. And as an added bonus the two who get this treatment best are arguably the most absolutely non-human races in the game. Count the bangaa and the seeq on the roll of races that are personal favorites of mine- seeq especially.)

(That belly laugh just kills me.)

And you know what's wild? I just knew that I was gonna hate this game- that it'd be another turgid, "find myself" filled quest to save the world with Goths that look suspiciously like metrosexuals leading a stupid crusade to fill the world.

It ain't.

The game is crazy because there is no main character. I think you play Vaan for simplicity purposes in cities, because you can take him out and never use him if you feel like it. Vaan is awesome, because he's not the main character. It makes him so much more real- he ain't leading this team. He's there to support, and it makes his character so much greater. He feels real.

Basch, Ashe, heck, even Fran. Everybody's got development.

And the weapon system. Man. That's what this story is based on- what this whole series of stories will be based on, if I'm lucky. The reasons the characters pick the weapons they do.

And I'm not talking about Balthier waxing theatrical on his gun (heaven knows that would be sweet, but beyond the point). Since anyone can wield any weapon…

Side-story time. (grin)

That said… it's…

"SHOWTIME!"

My Choice

Part 1:

Lady of Knives

Penelo could not tell them, that first day, that she had no idea what to do in combat and the most she'd ever killed was the hyenas that roamed the Giza Plains in the wet and dry. She could not tell them that when she first entered combat with real monsters, with real people, ones with armor and swords and shouting words and screams and cries and bloodshed, that she was afraid she would crack.

But growing up on the streets of Rabanastre with no family

(And she'd seen the girls changed by it, the ones called prostitutes by scholars and girls of gil by others, and befriended them, because when you were poor you always try to make friends with those just as bad off as you)

Had hardened her, surprisingly, and when she first lashed out with a dagger, her first thought was not

(oh look at all the horrible blood spurting!)

But rather that it felt good, to strike back against the monsters who had ruined her life. And it felt good to fight the Imperials, to defend Queen Ashe, to help those who had helped themselves their whole lives and who had changed Vaan into more of a man than he'd ever been. And so she still goofed off with everyone, and she still had fun, and the most important thing to Penelo was that she was happier now.

And she owed it all to the little knife she kept with her, a dagger by any other name. And when they found another dagger, one with poison on it, she was the one who took it, handling it carefully

(Cutting oneself with poison was a bad idea this far away from a healer)

Because this was her weapon, this was her choice.

She was the lady of knives. And her smile would be the last thing the Imperials would ever see.

-R&R please!