Poll: After completing "Guilty Gear X", which of my old projects would you like to see complete? Vote Now!
Author has written 32 stories for Inuyasha, Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy X-overs, Misc. Books, Guilty Gear, Anime X-overs, Lunar: Silver Star, My Little Pony, Fairy Tales, Batman, StarTrek: The Next Generation, Rise of the Guardians, and Frozen.
UPDATE (1/23/2015): If you're looking for "Frozen: An Unofficial Novelization", I'm sad to say it was removed from the site on grounds of using song lyrics. Sorry.
I noticed that the link to the artwork on Deviant Art that inspired "Yuki No Megami" was incomplete. To make it more "clear", here it is again:
All credit to BlueStorm-Studio.
Hello! My name is Piccolo Sky. I'm a Christian, and an Anime, movie, and fantasy fan. I'm working on a fantasy series right now, but I also have some fanfiction that I've posted. I hope you enjoy it and don't find it too bloody or boring :(
I'm also on three forums that I recommend to those of you who like RPs (all under General Forums): Trespassers (a fantasy/modern day RP), The Otherworld Incident (a spin-off of the first), and Evolution: A Superhero RP (...Pretty much what it says :P).
Although historically I've done mostly Final Fantasy fanfiction with some other stuff put in for flavor, no doubt most of you have noticed my recent turn to start writing My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfiction. There are many reasons I decided to...none of which I feel the need to present in order to justify myself. Instead, I'll leave you with this...
A group of college students walk in on another college student in the dorm lounge watching "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic". Immediately, all of them look to the show and the watcher with expressions of disgust. One of them reaches out and points, making sure the viewer can hear him.
"What kind of sick freaks would watch that kind of show?"
Immediately, the one student turns and looks back to them plainatively, not upset or angry, and calmly responds.
"I'm watching a show about six friends who learn about friendship, overcoming one's own faults and pettiness, and how to appreciate everyone for their good aspects, not their shortcomings.
"People who watch Adult Swim think men who abuse and neglect their wives and families or who drug women and rape them is hilarious.
"People who watch most reality shows support the idea that the only thing you need to be happy and successful is be pretty and rich.
"People who watch AMC think its great to watch people sacrifice their morals to become corrupt, depraved, and insane when the going gets tough.
"People who watch Showtime embrace a serial killer as a protagonist.
"People who watch HBO love watching orgies of blood and sex.
"People who watch the big cable news stations support media types and pundits who literally thrive on making people hate and distrust their fellow man more and more and ignore any good that they do or try to find something alterior in it.
"And I'm the 'sick freak'?"
As a fanfiction writer, I find a very helpful tool is to have some music playing while I'm writing. I can do pretty well with a bit of DDR, Daft Punk, or my Encounter CD (put out by DC Talk, same guys who put out "Jesus Freaks"). However, I try often to match up my song with the mood of what I'm writing. If the song can put me in the mood of the setting or the characters, it often works as a sort of "score" for me. And for this, nothing beats some Nobuo (as in Nobuo Uetmatsu). So, for those of you who came all this way to read my profile, here are my favs, and hopefully they'll help you out if you decide to get them.
Honorable Mention: "Burmecian Kingdom" from Final Fantasy IX - Grim, gothic, sad and powerful, one can almost seem themselves walking through an old cathedral as the rain pours against the roof as this song plays. A good song for when heroes are intruding somewhere dark and foreboding...like they know something horrible will happen but fate is making them continue anyway. However, it doesn't make the top ten due to not really having anything "outstanding" in it. It's mostly just a rolling "chant".
10. "Battle, Scene II" from Final Fantasy II - This song isn't too incredible in its original version, and it's one of the few remixes the Black Mages have done that's even worse than the original. However, its more recent remixes, especially ones that really "blast it out", are pretty good. The original impact of the song is enhanced by it being the first final boss theme (or even boss theme) in a Final Fantasy game, even if it was against a rather bland Big Bad. If you can get it on a loop (because, like most Famicom/NES songs, it's short), it's good for an "intermediate Big Bad" fight.
9. "This is the Final Battle" from Final Fantasy III - This is one of my least favorite Final Fantasies, it's to a blah villain with even less personality than Emperor Mateus, and this song itself has way too long of an intro...but this is definitely the best song in the game. It's not necessarily "intimidating" and "fearsome" like other final boss themes, but it is fun and engaging. It's good to build up some excitement. The Black Mages version is also quite good too.
8. "Forever Rachel" from Final Fantasy VI - "Aerith's Theme" still brings tears to my eyes if I'm in the right frame of mind...but I cannot play through Final Fantasy VI without crying over Locke and Rachel's story. Having this history in the background makes the Locke/Celes relationship one of the most strained and ultimately satisfying ones in the series, yet still keeps it far more "believable" than ones in other games. Case in point...as Squall is far too moody, disinterested, and self-centered, not to mention he thinks she's annoying every five minutes, I never believed his relationship with Rinoa. People tend to think Tidus and Yuna are beautiful but...both of them seem too annoying to me and the relationship appears forced. Anyway...a great song for a sad moment.
7. "Battle with the Four Fiends" from Final Fantasy IV - I still remember the first time I heard this song bust through the speakers on my first playthough of Final Fantasy IV, and one thought ran through my young brain: "...I am going to have the *bleep* kicked out of me." Actually, I didn't... The time where this song would play AND I would get ripped a new one would be the "Battle Royale" against all Four Fiends of the Elements in the Giant of Bab-Il...unless, of course, we're talking about the FFIV DS version, in which case everything just kind of gang beats you for the entire game...but moving on. Both fearsome and nightmare-inducing plus a good clip to keep things moving, because you don't want these to go too slow or they lose the effect. (Great case in point..."Castle Pandemonium" is fantastic in the original Final Fantasy II, but Final Fantasy IX slowed down the remix so much you want to go to sleep.)
6. "Battle on the Big Bridge" from Final Fantasy V - Also known as "Fight with Gilgamesh", and one of the most redone songs in the series aside from the "Main Theme", the "Prelude", and the "Chocobo Theme". There's many versions of this and some are better than others, but my favorite is a toss up between the original and the DISSIDIA version, as that one kind of gives it an organ vibe like it's one of those 70s musicians going to town. Exciting and invigorating, it's a good minor battle song. Pretty fun to play on piano too.
5. "Fight with Seymour" from Final Fantasy X - I can literally count on one hand how many songs from Final Fantasy X I even like/remember, and that's from a guy who owns the entire soundtrack. The various Seymour Themes are just the same song over and over again with slightly different intros. This is one, though. I find Seymour to be one of the most annoying villains in Final Fantasy history for more than one reason, and his effeminate tone and foppish way of conducting himself and dressing makes me just want to stab out his eyes with sewing needles every time he comes on screen...but, I have to admit, he's a pretty powerful antagonist with an original motivation compared to other Final Fantasy villains, he's clearly bat-spit crazy as opposed to other villains who might just be straight up jerks (although he's one of those too...), and a lot of his lines are memorable. "So, you too seek freedom from this painful life?" The "techno" beat makes this an interesting slice of flavor for lots of scenes.
4. "You're Not Alone!" from Final Fantasy IX - The original song is good but not enough to quite make the list. However, I remix I have on Project Majestic Mix really emphasizes the guitar and really captures the whole essence. Even the sound of the artist playing gives the feeling of someone bloody, bruised and broken slowly dragging themselves to their feet and forcing themselves to keep going. That song is fantastic. Good for a scene where someone is steeling their resolve.
3. "Those Who Fight Further" from Final Fantasy VII - The problem with putting a Final Fantasy VII song on this list, or including it in any list for any category, to be honest, is that it's been so overdone that it's lost its effect. There was a time I thought "A One Winged Angel" was the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I've heard it so many times I actually like "Jenova Absolute" better than it now. It's hard to pick my favorite song now as there's a number of good ones and, depending on the remixes ("Opening Theme/Bombing Mission" at the Distant Worlds concert is EPIC) they're even better. I'll pick this one because even the remixes of it change very little. This song is just energetic and exciting any way you look at it.
2. "The Extreme" from Final Fantasy VIII - I'll admit, I lost a lot of respect for Final Fantasy VIII's music for a long time. And, to be honest, I don't think this song fits in very well with the final battle where you hear it. But as a stand-alone song, it's pretty good and intense. It curries feelings both of something big and monstrous coming as well as desperation to win...in other words, things that are "extreme". Works for a lot of big fight sequences.
Well...I managed to hit every one of the first ten games (when the music was still good...) except the first one. (I got ones I like from that too, by the way, just not enough to make the top ten.) Picking my favorite is pretty hard...and, in reality, a lot of these top ten songs are interchangeable. A lot more could have made this list if not for subtle nuances (such as "Suteki da ne"["Isn't it lovely?"] and "Dancing Mad"[I have to admit...after starting out big it gets progressively more mundane through the second and third movements...and only somewhat comes back in the fourth and fifth]). Still others have one fantastic version but otherwise aren't terribly great in all other incarnations (The "Final Fantasy: Pray" album does a rendition of "Tina(Terra)'s Theme" that makes me feel like I'm crossing Middle-Earth on an adventure, and "Spreading Great Wings" from Final Fantasy V is magic.) But, in the end, for number one, I choose...
1. "Memoro de la Stono" from Final Fantasy XI - Oho, an upset! I'm a sucker for opera-like songs. Actually, I'm a sucker for Latin, but even those this is Esperanzo (sp?), it's great. Although it's short, it's really powerful and moving. The vocals are what sell it better than any instrumentation. Even if you can't understand the words, the music itself tells you everything you need to know...a song of despair, defeat, death, and depression...but also one of hope, how there's still a light somewhere in the darkness that will one day dispel the time of gloom. It's like a song or opera version of that line from "The Dark Knight" by Harvey Dent: "It's always darkest before the dawn...and the dawn is coming." If you look for this online, I suggest the Distant Worlds version...but skip the actual second part of the song, because it's actually a fusion of "Memoro de la Stono" and "Distant Worlds" itself. No offense...but I think the singer for the "Distant Worlds" concerts is a tad too shrill and "nasal".
So long as I've got all of this lovely profile space to work with and I'm on the subject of Final Fantasy, how about another "nonsense" section? Consider this a brief guide for those of you not familiar with the Final Fantasy series...
Should Be Called: "Final Fantasy: A Cheap, Automatic, Dumbed-Down D&D"
Biggest WTF Moment: "Scooby Doo Reveal"
By that I mean the one and only twist to the entire game...that the first boss, Garland, ends up being the final boss as well after he was sent back in time and embued with the power of Chaos. And he would have gotten away with it too if it wasn't for you meddling kids.
"Final Fantasy II"
Should Be Called: "Final Fantasy vs. Jareth the Goblin King" OR "Final Fantasy Goes to Hell"
Biggest WTF Moment: "Is Big Bird Giving Me A Lift?"
At this point in the series, horses were still prevalent. Many of the weakling enemies ride horses. So, when you see a little tuft of forest in the middle of the Palamecian landscape and walk inside only to find an odd bird sprite that makes you get on it and plays a quirky tune as it allows you to run through the world...you may raise an eyebrow. However, you'll shortly realize that you aren't getting mutilated by the super-strong enemies all the way back to Fynn. Other than that, the first chocobo ever has no use or relevance whatsoever to the game and is effectively a "game secret", so it gets a WTF.
"Final Fantasy III"
Should Be Called: "Final Fantasy: 358/2 Days...of Leveling Up Your Characters"
Biggest WTF Moment: "Female Plot Armor - Negated"
While major NPCs had been getting the axe liberally ever since Final Fantasy II, it had been confined to the male gender. Both Hilda and Leila got through almost every city in the world getting smashed and literally Hell breaking out on Earth without a scratch. Elia wasn't so lucky. We hardly knew ye.
"Final Fantasy IV"
Should Be Called: "Final Fantasy: Twilight Edition"
Biggest WTF Moment: "I Am Your Father...Er, Brother"
This game actually had a couple of good WTF moments, considering it was the most plot-intensive game to date. Another good one would be "Deus Ex Rydia" ("...Did the first boss really just drop in to save my ass?") Yet I'll give it to this pseudo-Star-Wars-Original-Series knock off scene when Vader, I mean, Golbez drops the bomb on Cecil. Alright...so, ultimately, it was kind of a "more sophisticated" version of a similar sequence in Final Fantasy II...but no one likes Leon anyway. :P
"Final Fantasy V"
Should Be Called: "Final Fantasy: Legendary Old Guys of Awesome"
Biggest WTF Moment: "It's Only A Flesh Wound!"
I give credit to Galuf for going out like the biggest badass in the entire Final Fantasy series. For one time only in the whole series, you enter a fight where you are immortal. Even after Exdeath/XDeath/X-Death/Exodus/whatever reduces your HP to zero, Galuf continues to take piece after piece outta him until the boss croaks. Even Exdeath(there, I decided on one) is shocked at how he can't kill you, and is left vainly hitting you with powerful attack after powerful attack which does nothing since your HP is already 0. Makes sense why he can't be revived afterward...as he's gotten about "OVER 9000!!!" KOs at that point.
"Final Fantasy VI"
Should Be Called: "Final Fantasy Steampunk" OR "Final Fantasy vs. The Joker"
Biggest WTF Moment: "Kefka...'Nuff Said"
Seriously...the selling point for a good part of this game was a villain who blew away the mold of every previous Final Fantasy villain, who were all interested in boring, dumb things like world domination. Kefka's just out to see the world burn. His personality alone made it enough to have everyone hate him for poisoning Doma while, by comparison, people just fell asleep when Mateus destroyed one city and everyone in them after another. (Seriously, why do I keep comparing everything to Final Fantasy II?)
"Final Fantasy VII"
Should Be Called: "Final Fantasy Bishonen" OR "Final Fantasy Emo"
Biggest WTF Moment: "..." (Do I REALLY need to tell you which one it was?)
Yeah...you all know what was the biggest WTF moment, whether you thought it was great or thought it was pathetic because you hated the character (...BTW, you're a liar. You cried like a baby, didn't you?). So instead I'll give the runner up: "Faceless Stormtrooper Hero". I honestly didn't see that one coming and it was about as much a WTF as the one above...plus, it helped wrap up what the *bleep* was going on with Cloud.
"Final Fantasy VIII"
Should Be Called: "Final Fantasy Mindf*k"
Biggest WTF Moment: The Plot
Seriously...what the heck was going on? Starting with Final Fantasy VII, Squaresoft (and eventually Square Enix) decided to increase their replay value by making it so you couldn't fully understand the plot of any of their games unless you played them through more than once. But even this game was in a league of its own. The only more indecipherable plot done by the company was "Chrono Cross".
"Final Fantasy IX"
Should Be Called: "Retro Final Fantasy" OR "Final Fantasy Nostalgia"
Biggest WTF Moment: "Alexander vs. Bahamut"
After this scene, everything else in the game, even the White Dragon assault, was just kind of...empty. The two biggests summons/espers/GFs/eidolons/metaphors/half-kaiju/whatevers go against each other in the most beautiful FMV to date. After all, we had to have something artistic to look at in the game after the disproportionate characters and she-male Kuja. (On a side note, there was a lot of things the series could have done to make villains more appealing...and nowhere on that list do I think "make them androgynous" was on it.)
"Final Fantasy X"
Should Be Called: "Final Fantasy: Romance of the Annoying Whiners"
Biggest WTF Moment: "The Opening"
The writers of the plot for Final Fantasy X were presented with a simple task...create the most head-scratching, confusing opening sequence in history to make the audience have absolutely no idea what they're doing. Between the kindergarden-level cyberpunk city to the water-polo/team-handball-sequence to the sphere of water destroying everything to the mystery-one-armed-guy treating the whole thing as routine (Exactly why did Auron wait until after Tidus was sent to Spira to explain anything about what happened to Jecht again? And how did he age about 40 years in 10, especially since *spoiler alert* he was alerady dead and shouldn't have aged at all?) to the loss of the ATB battle system to everything going into white oblivion before getting stuck in the ocean...not to mention the fact the entire sequence is in a flashback from an equally confusing opening shot...the player's head falls off before you even reach your first "town".
"Final Fantasy XI"
Should Be Called: "Final Fantasy MMORPG...Sort Of...OK, So It's Not Half As Fun As WoW...Cut Us Some Slack, It Was Our First Time"
Biggest WTF Moment: "Pry Your Next Level Out Of Our Cold, Dead Fingers"
It's bad enough being dumb enough to pick a White Mage since, after years of playing FF, you know the healer is the single most important member of a group. Yet seeing as most FF players are used to playing solo for years they aren't very conducive to groups, so when you try doing some solo leveling-up you find that weakling enemies don't give you experience anymore while they're still able to kill you. That'd be bad enough if you had to get the same amount of experience each time, but since you also need more for each new level like in any other FF game, that's kind of a slap in the face if you're a White Mage. Worse yet, the game decides to mug you of your experience if you get killed and shove you back a level. Jerks... A close runner up is how ridiculously hard it is to revive in that game. Not only do you have to be at an insanely high level and have a friend who can do it for you (and you're screwed if that friend gets whacked), it takes about 10 full minutes...and you better hope no enemies decide to just come along and kill you while you're doing it.
"Final Fantasy X-2"
Should Be Called: "Final Fantasy Charlie's Angels"
Biggest WTF Moment: "Minus Infinite Respect Points"
Final Fantasy X was serious but lacked the "darkness" and "substance" of other dark entries in the series...choosing to rely on almost grotesque and improbable eye candy instead. So making a "lighter" version only really served to make Yuna and Rikku, who were already incredibly annoying, even more annoying...so much that they need Raven, I mean, Paine to level them out simply by reminding us all how stupid and annoying Yuna and Rikku are with her own unimpressed reactions. Did we really need Paine to tell us that?
"Final Fantasy XII"
Should Be Called: "Final Fantasy: We Just Don't Care Anymore" OR "Final Fantasy: The Phantom Menace"
Biggest WTF Moment: Absolutely nothing
This game was so bland, boring, colorless, mundane, and just plain not fun that it didn't even have anything that made anyone go WTF. The summons being former FF final bosses is almost noteworthy, but not quite. It's more indicative of how this game set out to find whatever was left in the series that initially attracted players in the first place and made sure to destroy it. Good job, Square Enix. :P
And...all games after this point, who really cares? :P
So long as I'm rambling about Final Fantasy stuff...how about another top ten list?
(My) Top Ten Best Side Characters in the Final Fantasy Series (I-XII)
NOTE: I'm confining my discussion to the time frame from Final Fantasy I-Final Fantasy XII. Also...every character is as they apply to in a game. For example, if I was to say Cecil, it would be concerning him in whatever game I put next to him, not him in both FFIV and FFIV: The After Years. Second...this is side characters. So no main protagonists or main antagonists.
10. Seymour (Final Fantasy X) - Technically, Sin/Jecht/the-whole-Yu-Yevon-system is the "main antagonist" in Final Fantasy X, so this guy counts. He annoys the Hell out of me and dresses funny, and his voice is enough to make you just want to choke him repeatedly. But he deserves credit for being probably the craziest villain since Kefka. Having gone completely insane and corrupt, he believes the only true state of life is death, and that he actually would do the world a favor by killing everyone. The fact that he just keeps coming back no matter how many times you kill him makes him also quite a bit nastier, as does the fact that we're treated to a brief scene in which he was once just a lonely, crying child, and that his mother's sacrifice was ironically what twisted him into a devil-in-the-flesh. Cautionary tale to all parents, maybe?
9. Rubicante (Final Fantasy IV) - Probably the first villain to ever "break the mold" in a Final Fantasy game. Although Rubicante is definitely a dyed-in-the-wool archfiend of evil, he's more honorable and chivalrous than many other "good guy" knights seen in the series. He's disgusted by the fact that Dr. Lugae didn't just let his former victims, the King and Queen of Eblan, rest in peace but reanimated them as monsters. When he sees a decent opponent, he spares them on the chance they'll get strong enough to give him a "decent challenge", and even heals up his enemies to full power before a battle so that both sides can go "all out". Unlike his master Zemes, he seems more interested in the perfect fight rather the destruction of the world, and doesn't even care if his side loses so long as he gets a good match out of it. He also dies gracefully, not hurling curses or begging his master for another chance. Why can't all villains be this affably evil?
8. Rydia (Final Fantasy IV) - Rydia has one of the most complicated and amazing back stories of any character in the series, and one you're privileged enough to see "unfold" before you. After her mom's death, she ends up paired with her inadvertant killer and develops a friendship with him, becoming a valuable staple both to Cecil's well being and safety as well as giving him a sense of what it means to fight for a "noble goal". Rydia may just be the individual who pushes Cecil to realize a knight is defined by what he does, not who he works under. After overcoming her personal demons to master her power, she ends up being the glue and "uplifting voice" in the group. Then, while trying to return to Baron by boat, Leviathan purposely wrecks the ship she's on and swallows her only to spit her out in the Illusionary World, where she's adopted by the King and Queen of Eidolons and trained for the equivalent of a few years to become one of the greatest black mages/summoners in the world, right before she's sent back to rescue Cecil and company from Golbez just in time. Tell me...what part of that story isn't bada*?
7. Faris Scherwiz/Sarisa Tycoon (Final Fantasy V) - Again, I'm kind of "cheating" with this one, but I'm going to consider that Butz/Bartz was the main character and the other new Dawn Warriors were side characters. While Galuf gets credit for "going out" in the most "manly" fashion ever done in a Final Fantasy game (kind of the movie equivalent of being stabbed through the heart, reaching out, grabbing the hilt, pushing himself the rest of the way onto the blade, and then, once close enough, reaching out to seize the head of his killer and snap his neck), Faris is the best of the group. Initially, she appears to simply be the toughest girl in the series to date, although she's similar to Leila (they're both pirate captains, even), with a sharp attitude and a never-say-mentality. What makes her even more amazing, however, is that in flashbacks it is revealed she has not only a soft side, but a warm and kind nature much like her younger sister. (I couldn't help but get a case of the Feels when she pushed her bed closer to Lenna's so she could sleep next to her...and they were kids so get your minds out of the gutter.) She clearly "love the animals" too, in a way, as evidenced by her relationship with Syldra. Being raised as a ruthless pirate, she has a free spirit that longs for the sea...but is also willing to put that aside (at least some of the time) when she realizes her sister and kingdom needs her.
6. Barret Wallace (Final Fantasy VII) - Final Fantasy VII gets a lot of Hell for being cliche and overdone, but a lot of people don't realize just how much is underlying the plot in that game, preferring to turn their attention spans off after Cloud, Aerith, and Sephiroth. Barret is one of many characters shoved off to one side as just some stereotype not to think too much about. What people forget a lot of, and should remember in the post-9/11 world, is that Barret, and AVALANCHE, is a mass-murdering terrorist. He killed thousands of people destroying Mako Reactor #1. He claims he did it for the Planet, but the fact of the matter is he wanted revenge on the Shinra Corporation for taking his hand, his wife, his friend, his town, and his livelihood. Over the course of the game, he, like many of the characters, is forced to gradually look in a mirror and see they aren't as righteous or saintly as they thought. The climax moment is on the Highwind before going into Midgar, when Cait Sith basically mocks his entire philosophy: "So long as Marlene is alright, who cares?" He exposes him as a hypocrite, placing his adoptive daughter's life and welfare above that of all the innocent people he murdered. It's really intense when you think about it, as is how the cast of Final Fantasy VII gradually evolves from being self-interested, amoral terrorists into "true heroes". It's too bad that angle was downplayed in the game.
5. Edgar Roni Figaro and Sabin Rene Figaro (Final Fantasy VI) - Again, a bit of a cheat. I'm considering the big three (Terra, Celes, and Locke) to be the "main characters" for this game...and I can't say any more about the Celes/Locke relationship that hasn't been said a million times before (they would be number 1 if I included them, though). This game is rife with side characters, but the ones who probably have the most intriguing story are these two. On the outside, Edgar appears to be a womanizer who can't take a hint and Sabin a somewhat dim-witted musclehead. Yet their story is pretty compelling, especially how it was resolved if you see all of the details. In spite of how confusing and emotional a time it was when their father died, both brothers ultimately acted in a way to "show their love" for each other. Sabin only partially left Figaro out of his desire to get revenge. It was also because he knew he would be an inferior king compared to Edgar and that he "deserved" to rule. Edgar, on his part, gave Sabin the illusion that he "won his freedom" in a perfectly fair manner when, in reality, he gave Sabin a bet that he made sure he would win, so he would get to choose his own path. There are lots of examples of brotherly love in the Final Fantasy series, but this gets the best relationship award to me...although Faris and Lenna are a close second.
4. Vivi Ornitier (Final Fantasy IX) - The greatest black mage ever. Essentially, he's a personification of what everyone in the game is trying for: a place where they belong. Created as a prototype for living biological weapons, literally scraped together from the refuse of extinguished souls and processed into a small humanoid child, Vivi's shy, quiet, and mild-mannered mannerisms belay his ability to annihilate those who p*ss him off with extreme magical prejudice. Even stubborn Steiner very quickly gravitates to him, adopting the more dignified title of "Master Vivi" to refer to him. The biggest factor, however, is that while Zidane and the others constantly try to comfort and encourage him, and Kuja mocks him for being a soulless puppet, the fact of the matter is both the group and Kuja himself could end up learning a lot from him. Vivi, who was nothing more than an attempt by Kuja to replicate the same process that created him, eventually proves himself to have far more of a soul and a meaningful life than Kuja ever would. What is ultimately the true difference between a "doll" and a person who "has a place where they belong"? A person finds their place within others.
3. Kain Highwind (Final Fantasy IV) - One of the most morally ambiguous characters in the entire Final Fantasy series, although I'll confine my discussion of him to the original Final Fantasy IV rather than The After Years. Much like his namesake, Kain was adopted alongside Cecil by the King of Baron and raised in his image. Yet in spite of reaching the same rank as his biological father and having the acclaim of his men, his people, and the kingdom itself...it wasn't enough. He coveted the special status Cecil had as well the fact that the noblewoman Rosa favored Cecil over him. Rather than profess his feelings, he nursed hatred for both of them while wearing the mask of being a friend and ally for years, until Golbez finally brought out the darkness in his heart. While other heroes can claim they were controlled or manipulated, Kain outright admits he didn't even try to fight Golbez's control over him, enjoying too much the fact that he could beat Cecil and that Rosa would always be at his side...whether she liked it or not. In some versions, he even asks for death as his "just punishment". He provides a foil for both Cecil and Rosa to show the strength of their own characters in forgiving him, and, once he's done his first of two Heel Turn Faces, his sardonic attitude and quips make for a fun character to boot. His voice actor in the DS version is far too "deep" and "serious" though...
2. Professor Hojo (Final Fantasy VII) - Screw Rufus. Screw Jenova. Screw Sephiroth. Hojo was the real villain of Final Fantasy VII. On that note, I'd be bold enough to say that Hojo is the greatest villain in the entire Final Fantasy series, including everyone in either version of Dissidia. Kefka was rendered insane by an experiment. Sephiroth was half-alien to begin with. Seymour was once an innocent child who was corrupted by his new power and living on a warped world. Hojo, however, has no "excuse" for his actions. He's simply a sadistic, pure evil monster who believes the whole purpose of anyone's life or existence is to further his scientific curiosity. He dismisses all other things besides him as trash and does so with a smug and confident air that no one will ever even try to lay a finger on him. He gets away with murder (literally) due to the Shinra Corporation needing him. In short, he represents the dark side of human scientific innovation...pure callousness and cruelty devoid of morality. How many other characters in the series can get you to hate them and want them dead so much? Not many.
1. Freya Crescent (Final Fantasy IX) - This should probably be Vivi, but...I just like her too much. And what's not to like? A strong, dignified, fierce noblewoman with priestess connections who fell for the greatest Dragoon in her kingdom, and, in a desire to be by his side, became a Dragoon herself. They win each other's hearts only for him to vanish in a mysterious disappearance for years and, on his return, it is revealed he has amnesia and no memory of her. It breaks her heart but, unlike many other Final Fantasy characters (*cough*Cloud*cough*Vincent*cough*Zidane*cough*), she remains as devoted and fierce as ever, even as she watched her own kingdom and Cleyra get annihilated and countless innocents die. She ends up having one of the best romantic "resolutions" in a Final Fantasy game ever when it's revealed that, although Sir Fratley never regains his memory, he falls in love with her a second time. Damn...why didn't they elaborate more on her plot?! Add to the fact she can hold her own in the ranks of General Beatrix and Captain Steiner, the fact that she gets her ultimate weapon earlier than anyone else, that she gets a combination of the strongest/cheapest move in using Dragon's Crest... Oh, and did I mention she's a giant, talking, white rat? Just talking about her makes me want to play her theme on the piano...
John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world, He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."