Quina - successful comic relief?

Posted: 12th September 2016 15:29

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Even though I've replayed FF9 quite a few times, I still remember when I first played it. On that playthrough, I really did not like Quina. But ever since then, I find him/her extremely useful in combat, as well as one of the funniest parts of the plot. Seeing that giant blob try to eat moogles and repeatedly escape death through blind luck just constantly makes me laugh. I have a hard time with characters in other FF games who are there to mostly be comic relief - Zell and Yuffie (I guess) come to mind as characters who fell flat in their comic attempts, imo.

Is it just because FF9 is a more lighthearted game than the ones that came directly before it? Or is it because they actually did a good job with the character of Quina? I'm curious to know what other people think.

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Posted: 12th September 2016 17:24

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You know, I had that same experience with Quina - general apathy when I first played in 2001 or 2002, but in my most recent play I enjoyed the character much more both in and out of battle. I do think it has a great deal to do with the fact that FF9 is much more lighthearted than the other PSX-era games, but it also has to do with the fact that Quina is just that much more bizarre than really just about any other character in the series. It's just so over-the-top weird that it's a standout.

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Posted: 13th September 2016 01:31

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Quina is very useful in combat, especially since the frog minigame is not nearly as tedious as you first think it would be (and it's definitely not as tedious as the Chocobo minigame!). I felt similarly to you both about Quina. At first, I didn't dislike Quina, but I could do without him. Quina had some funny moments, but I was "eh.." about him. Now he's kind of grown on me, so it seems to be a trend.

My theory is that he is comic relief, but in a game filled with plenty of characters, heroes and villains, that are already funny. So, you question at first why a comic relief is really necessary when Zidane is always cracking jokes and bantering with Steiner. Add that to what is not only a bizarre character (perhaps the most bizarre in the entire series), but one that gets very little development (really only one small sidequest subplot). Most of the other characters are so dynamic and interesting that Quina can get lost in the shuffle.

But why do people seem to grow a fondness for Quina? Perhaps it's because there is something to be said about a character that pretty much remains true to what they are. Any development would've seemed forced and unecessary; Quina is interesting for what he is, his one motivation.

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Posted: 13th September 2016 02:46

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I always loved Quina, from my first playthrough and in all subsequent playthroughs. Funny, great in battle (FROG DROP FTW).

Then again, I also loved Cait Sith even in my first run through FF7, so I guess I like the oddball characters.

I also wouldn't call Zell or Yuffie comic relief, honestly. Cait Sith was always the comic relief in FF7 for me and to an extent, Barret, especially if you get the Gold Saucer date with him.

And Final Fantasy VIII, I'd say it was mostly Laguna as comic relief. Zell was silly, for sure but not intended to be funny.

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Posted: 13th September 2016 21:43

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Quote (Dynamic Threads @ 12th September 2016 22:46)
I also wouldn't call Zell or Yuffie comic relief, honestly.

And Final Fantasy VIII, I'd say it was mostly Laguna as comic relief. Zell was silly, for sure but not intended to be funny.

I agree; I don't think they're comic relief. But like Neal said, I think they were intended to be but just failed. As for Laguna, I don't know if he was comic relief, but the Laguna segments were really just relief for me! Those scenes were the best part of the game for me.

Cait Sith was an oddball, but he just seemed like a fun-loving character, a little unpredictable. But Quina is just off the spectrum. Cait Sith at times shows some concern, and has a little heart though he's mischievous. But Quina has literally a one-track mind, and you really don't know if he's engaged in the story of if he actually cares (sometimes it seems like he does, but you never know).

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Posted: 14th September 2016 02:04

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"World only have two things: Things you can eat and things you no can eat."

Yeah, that pretty much sums him/her up. I've always liked Quina, not always necessarily in battle (at least not when I didn't use him/her properly), but as a character I did. I know there's not a whole lot to that character, but sometimes the simplest characters can be be fun. I just liked the way he/she had a knack to obliviously avoid death and just said it as it was.

Re: Zell. I'm not sure I agree that he was meant to be seen as comic relief. Usually when they're trying to use a character as comic relief but fail, you can at least see where they've tried to be funny. I just see him more as a surfer dude sort of character rather than comic relief.
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Posted: 14th September 2016 20:18

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Quote (Cefca @ 13th September 2016 21:04)
"World only have two things: Things you can eat and things you no can eat."

Re: Zell. I'm not sure I agree that he was meant to be seen as comic relief. Usually when they're trying to use a character as comic relief but fail, you can at least see where they've tried to be funny. I just see him more as a surfer dude sort of character rather than comic relief.


This 100%. He's made fun of by Seifer, and I especially laughed out loud the first time I played and he calls him Chiken Wuss on the way to Dollet's SeeD test but Zell was not meant to be nor a failed attempt at comic relief.

Again, I'm going to have to say if anyone was comic relief in FF8, it was Laguna. He was an absolute doofus, albeit an endearing one but none the less, he was comic relief. I see this as very deliberate, too. FF8 is a very serious game that I would say takes itself too seriously if it weren't for the Laguna flashbacks ("I dreamt I was a moron"). In fact, if any of the main party were comic relief, it was Selphie and to an extent, Irvine.

Also, on Quina, absolutely it was a simple character but so charming and to the point, definitely funny with Vivi's Grandpa also having great moments of comic relief, especially the flashbacks on whether to cook and eat Vivi or not were hilarious.

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Posted: 14th September 2016 20:47

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A character doesn't have to be over the top or silly to be comic relief. Zell is a side character that is there solely to provide more flavor, so to speak. Of course, he fails, but suppose he hadn't; his job would be to provide "relief" from the main storyline. As a surfer dude, they were trying to make him like Sabin, but they failed.

Going back to Quina, just to add to Neal's point. Not only is Quina good comic relief, but their timing in using him is nearly perfect. Because by the point you get to him 1) there are some major plot points that need softening, and 2) Zidane and Steiner's stories become more serious by that point.

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Posted: 16th September 2016 03:35

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I actually used Quina a lot in the beginning. I've always had a thing for blue magic with the exceptions of VI (until recently) and X (Blue Magic as an overdrive was way too under powered considering what you could accomplish with other characters...) He gave me some memorable moments in discs 1-3 but barely has any good moments past when you get him/her back on disc 3. I've been shying away from using Quina a lot lately due to Quina's blue magic being under powered in comparison to how strong it was in previous games (V and VII come to mind) but still enjoy the comedy she brings to the party. I use a mix of Freya, Steiner, Dagger, Eiko, and Amarant usually now.

I enjoyed Zell as a character and I LOVE using his duel in battle. I personally don't really like Quistis (her love thing with Squall in the beginning was interesting but, after that, she just kinda drifts into the background for me. Her blue magic is good but it's not as engaging as some of the other characters limit breaks so I tend to shy away from her.

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Posted: 17th September 2016 00:46

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Quote (TrueBOSS @ 15th September 2016 23:35)
I actually used Quina a lot in the beginning. I've always had a thing for blue magic with the exceptions of VI (until recently) and X (Blue Magic as an overdrive was way too under powered considering what you could accomplish with other characters...) He gave me some memorable moments in discs 1-3 but barely has any good moments past when you get him/her back on disc 3. I've been shying away from using Quina a lot lately due to Quina's blue magic being under powered in comparison to how strong it was in previous games (V and VII come to mind) but still enjoy the comedy she brings to the party. I use a mix of Freya, Steiner, Dagger, Eiko, and Amarant usually now.

I enjoyed Zell as a character and I LOVE using his duel in battle. I personally don't really like Quistis (her love thing with Squall in the beginning was interesting but, after that, she just kinda drifts into the background for me. Her blue magic is good but it's not as engaging as some of the other characters limit breaks so I tend to shy away from her.

I've always been the opposite. I don't have the diligence for blue magic. Thankfully, the frog minigame makes obtaining blue magic superfluous for Quina!

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Posted: 26th September 2016 03:20

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I was quite annoyed with Quina the first time I played. And, heck, I didn't really get over that for a few years (it took making jokes about him/her/it on CoN for that to happen).

This doesn't surprise me, though: after all, the order in which I discovered the series was 10, 8, 7, 9. Now, 10 has a few jokes, but the governing atmosphere is a bit darker in general, I'd say; and 8 and 7 are both sparse on the humor (7 has the occasional aside, like the date scene, but these are really quite separated events; 8 has the occasional attempt at humor, but these are mostly not that successful [Zell likes hotdogs.... get it?]).

Periodic quips are one thing, but an entire main character was hard for me to appreciate in that context -- if one is coming to FF9 having played earlier titles like 4, 5, or even 6, Quina makes more sense.

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Posted: 26th September 2016 22:12

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Quote (Death Penalty @ 25th September 2016 22:20)
I was quite annoyed with Quina the first time I played. And, heck, I didn't really get over that for a few years (it took making jokes about him/her/it on CoN for that to happen).

This doesn't surprise me, though: after all, the order in which I discovered the series was 10, 8, 7, 9. Now, 10 has a few jokes, but the governing atmosphere is a bit darker in general, I'd say; and 8 and 7 are both sparse on the humor (7 has the occasional aside, like the date scene, but these are really quite separated events; 8 has the occasional attempt at humor, but these are mostly not that successful [Zell likes hotdogs.... get it?]).

Periodic quips are one thing, but an entire main character was hard for me to appreciate in that context -- if one is coming to FF9 having played earlier titles like 4, 5, or even 6, Quina makes more sense.

I honestly never made that association with Zell but then... there is THIS scene:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GCnXjgE0fk

NSFW

This post has been edited by Dynamic Threads on 26th September 2016 22:12

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Posted: 27th September 2016 17:29
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I get the impression she was less comic relief and more...commentary? Like, she's not funny, which is to say she herself does not exhibit a sense of humor...literally. Like, she doesn't seem to be aware of the concept of humor. Every act of hers is sincere and any humor is fundamentally at her expense. She'll never be 'in' on the joke because she doesn't know or care what jokes are.

So...commentary:

The big thing I took away from the character is that she's the ultimate ZFG. Throughout the entire game, she is steadfastly oblivious and/or indifferent to the narrative, regardless of stakes or drama. At no point does she ever become relevant to anything that's going on any more than she gets personally invested...which is none. And she's a main party member! I honestly can't recall another time where this occurred in the series. Regardless, I get the impression that the point of her character was to remind the players not to take the story too personally and to bring them back to the bright aesthetics that defined the game in the first place. So yeah, she's relief of a sort for when drama might get 'too heavy'.

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Posted: 27th September 2016 19:38

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I mostly was just bewildered by Quina. The game goes out of its way to weird you out with this character down to his/her appearance, and the ambiguity of his/her gender.

But one thing made me laugh out loud. When "Alleyway Jack" is trying to kidnap Eiko in an ATE in Treno, he lures her by talking about all the delicious food that is at their destination. Quina, however, is standing right behind him.

"YOU HAVE DELICIOUS FOOD???"

Alleyway Jack: "Uh..."

(runs away)

(Quina chases) GIVE DELICIOUS FOOD!!!

biggrin.gif

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Posted: 10th December 2016 12:46

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I find Quina fits right into a sweet spot to become likable without overstaying his/her welcome. I think the ATE system and the "having more characters than can fit in a single party" aspects of the game may contribute to that - you can get as much Quina as you want.
He/She is easily the least consequential character in the game and there isn't much to him/her, yet is quite memorable. Which really belies the strength of the writing of the game - Quina is an extremely simple character that still comes off as a strong character. Even as a "throwaway" comic relief character.

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Posted: 18th January 2017 11:43

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I love Quina, the comedy is just brilliant. FF9 definitely nails the funny bits and that's one of the reasons it's a strong contender for my favourite Final Fantasy game. Never used Quina in combat though, maybe in my next playthrough.

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Posted: 13th February 2017 20:22

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Quote (fatman @ 18th January 2017 06:43)
I love Quina, the comedy is just brilliant. FF9 definitely nails the funny bits and that's one of the reasons it's a strong contender for my favourite Final Fantasy game. Never used Quina in combat though, maybe in my next playthrough.

Oh my god, Quina is fantastic in combat, you're doing yourself a solid if you play through again and use her.

Blue Magic and Eat are incredible skills in FFIX. Especially FROG DROP.

You know that silly little frog catching mini-game? Well, catch enough frogs (I think it's something like 999 but I could be wrong here, it's been a while) and eat a frog enemy to gain the Blue Magic ability Frog Drop and you do a pretty much guaranteed 9999 damage to all enemies with the spell.

It's amazing.

It should be noted though that Quina is not a main character in the traditional sense, and perhaps the disconnect from the events of the story is because, IIRC, Quina is an optional character in Final Fantasy IX for most of the game. Unless you go out of your way to recruit Quina a few times, there's only a few story-related events where Quina shows up and then leaves again before you have to go back to Qu's Marsh and re-recruit her. So they wrote Quina's dialogue and impact to the story to be as ambiguous as possible.

I could be wrong about that. Again, it's been a while since I played through.

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Posted: 15th February 2017 15:26

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Quote (Dynamic Threads @ 13th February 2017 20:22)
You know that silly little frog catching mini-game? Well, catch enough frogs (I think it's something like 999 but I could be wrong here, it's been a while) and eat a frog enemy to gain the Blue Magic ability Frog Drop and you do a pretty much guaranteed 9999 damage to all enemies with the spell.

It depends on Quina's level (Quina's level x Frogs caught). So, at level 50 for example, catching 200 frogs would give you 9999 damage.
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