This blog is 5 months old!
During this whole quarantine, I sort of fell off writing for this blog. I was sick towards the end of February into March which happened to coincide with the U.S. falling apart because of the virus. On March 20th, Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out, and like many people I started to pour hours upon hours into the game.
I love Animal Crossing but a lot of things in this new installment frustrate me. This isn’t a ranting blog though so I won’t get into it too much. What I will get into is Final Fantasy 7, the original, not the remake.
FF7 came out in 1997, the year I was born. Subsequently, it is not surprising that I’ve never played the game until recently. We had a PlayStation growing up, but we never had a memory card. The only games I vaguely remember playing on that system was the Crash Bandicoot series, some Mickey Mouse baking game, some tetris-like Barbie game, and this dancing game I struggled to complete in its entirety.
When I was growing up, gaming companies were already working on the next generation of consoles, namely the PlayStation 2, the GameCube, and the Xbox. For Christmas I got the Nintendo GameCube with Animal Crossing if memory serves correct, and my brother the PlayStation 2. With what games I don’t remember. Since then we have stuck with our respective systems, even though in hindsight the PlayStation was way better, or had games that I might have really liked on it like the Final Fantasy series.
So playing FF7 now is really interesting. I unfortunately have a tendency to use guides when I’m trying out new games, and that sometimes takes the challenge and fun out of the experience. But even so, I have been enjoying the game a lot!
I really like the anti-capitalist and pro-environmental message the game has running throughout its narrative. You will be hard pressed to find a game so willing to stand up for what I believe is common sense, much less a message at all as the companies that make games today are so afraid to stand behind what their games are saying. But I wouldn’t stand with what these games are saying either because they are often pro-military and war without any meaningful substance. (I know some smaller publishers and a lot of indie games have compelling stories, but I’m just talking rather broadly about more major companies.) Not to mention numerous games outside of the mobile market are packed to the brim with microtransactions and other ways to make you pay even more money for an already expensive game that may not even be finished which is astounding.
So, it’s really refreshing to not only a) have a story in a game, but also b) one that has something thoughtful to say that makes the player think about the real world issues the game is tackling.
I also like the fantasy elements of the game. I sort of enjoy fantasy but not really? Literary fantasy is hard to get into, but fantasy in general has a white supremacy problem that really turns me off. I do not understand the point of exploring colonialism and racism through the eyes of fantasy people of color who are like purple or white characters, whether human, humanoid, or fantasy creature–sorry I just don’t get it. Cloud can be considered “white” I guess along with a lot of other characters but the narrative has not created this fantasy racism equivalent in order to make some very limp handed “commentary” on real world racism, however. It’s more anti-capitalist as I have mentioned.
The fantasy part only really applies to the use of magic, Cloud’s skinny arms holding up that big sword, Tifa having zero back problems, Sephiroth being able to fly, and like talking animals and machines. That’s it. And I am immensely grateful.
There’s an undercurrent of spirituality to the game that I am also really fond of. I like how Mako energy and the reactors the Shinra Electric Power Company build around the continent are tied to both the environment and the soul. I like how the game doesn’t go full sci-fi in this aspect where spirituality is presented in a very sterile lens that doesn’t incite awe and wonder.
I’m more than half way through the game now and I’m a bit sad about this. I want to go deeper into the story and world more because the PS1 version is a little linear and doesn’t allow the type of exploration and extrapolation that I’m seeking. Maybe this has changed in the remake. I know from watching my brother play the Kingdom Hearts series that Square Enix loves five hour cinematic scenes in between combat in its games, so I’m sure the story is not lacking by any means in this new and improved version that is out.
I sadly do not have a PlayStation still lol, but I got an Xbox One a few Christmases ago. So, if and when the remake comes out on the Game Pass, I will be sure to play it.
In any case, this is what I have been up to. I’ve looked up the birth charts of all the characters because I wanted to compare my assessments with what is official. From what I’ve found, all the characters have full birthdays! The world they live is fictional, however, so I set the birth place for them to be Tokyo. This is what I have found:
August 11, 1986
Leo Sun, Libra Moon
May 3, 1987
Taurus Sun, Gemini/Cancer Moon
December 15, 1972
Sagittarius Sun, Pisces/Aries Moon
Aeris (or Aerith) Gainsborough
February 7, 1985
Aquarius Sun, Leo/Virgo Moon
November 20, 1991
Scorpio Sun, Aries/Taurus Moon
October 13, 1950
Libra Sun, Libra/Scorpio Moon
February 22, 1975
Pisces Sun, Gemini/Cancer Moon
I’ve been playing around with the idea of doing natal chart readings on fictional characters but through their Sun sign as like a reflection of their character arc. So, if I was to read on Cloud, I would write about how him being a Leo Sun is showcased in his personal character arc throughout the narrative or something. Let me know what you all think about this and have a good summer!