"Whatever" vs. "I'm sorry"

Posted: 13th February 2017 20:03

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I'll try to find the source later but I read this a while back and have kind of sat a gestated the idea since then.

So, we all know there's going to be translation issues any time a game is translated, be it from Japanese to English, English to French or otherwise.

Something I read a while ago was that in Final Fantasy VIII (btw, travesty it doesn't have it's own forum here, I get that it's a polarizing game but this is just a testament to it's impact, IMO, but I digress), there is a stark contrast between Squall's signature phrase.

In English-versions of the game, Squall frequently replies to his comrades and friends with the phrase "Whatever.". Which of course, makes him sound cold, like a jerk, unempathetic (that IS a word, btw) and emo.

Which is actually in and of itself, polarizing for the character, since his inner-monologue often expresses his empathy, self-awareness and compassion.

So, apparently, in the Japanese-version of the game, he utters a phrase that would have been better translated as "I'm sorry.".

Now, the casual gamer might just write this off and themselves actually say "Whatever.".

I, however, being very fond of and having delved hundreds upon hundreds of hours into the game, think that this translation 'error' is the cause of a lot of the discontent for Squall as a character by fans of the Final Fantasy series.

I don't think you can argue that Squall is one of the best developed characters, if not the best developed, in the entire series. And I think this minor detail may have completely changed how he was interpreted as a person or character.

'Whatever', as a response does sound cold and dick-ish. So it's no wonder Squall came across as such a jerk to some people. I saw through it then but this information was a revelation of sorts.

'I'm sorry', as a response, shows empathy, understanding and acknowledgement of one's inability to relate. Instead of sounding like a cold dick-head who didn't care about his companion's feelings, Squall may have sounded like a person who could genuinely express his inability to relate and his actual ability to admit to this. It implies that he truly does want to or is trying to relate to other people's feelings, despite his own introverted nature.

Just food for thought. I think it completely changes the dynamic of him as a character, and actually makes him seem a lot more like Laguna, his father, in that regard. Laguna expressed very openly how much he cared about his friends and family, wearing his heart on his sleeve, however dopey and goofy he was in doing so. Squall grew up in an orphanage and his closest sibling and "big sis" was taken away from him rather traumatically and suddenly.

Oh, your sister left when you were young? WHATEVER.

Oh, your sister left when you were young? I'm sorry.

You be the judge.

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Posted: 14th February 2017 05:28

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Well, to be fair, it's possible to say "I'm sorry" in a noticeably sarcastic tone, but yeah I get your point.

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Posted: 14th February 2017 14:17

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(btw, travesty it doesn't have it's own forum here, I get that it's a polarizing game but this is just a testament to it's impact, IMO, but I digress)
OK.

Anyway, that is interesting information if accurate, I wouldn't mind seeing screenshots that document it if you find them. It doesn't change the game for me, and I don't think it necessarily makes him a groundbreaking character, but translation mixups are always interesting, especially when they might change one of the things for which the game is best known.

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Posted: 14th February 2017 16:48

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Quote (Rangers51 @ 14th February 2017 09:17)
Quote
(btw, travesty it doesn't have it's own forum here, I get that it's a polarizing game but this is just a testament to it's impact, IMO, but I digress)
OK.

Anyway, that is interesting information if accurate, I wouldn't mind seeing screenshots that document it if you find them. It doesn't change the game for me, and I don't think it necessarily makes him a groundbreaking character, but translation mixups are always interesting, especially when they might change one of the things for which the game is best known.

http://fyeahffviii.tumblr.com/post/7267208...atever-leonhart

This one highlights it very well. It even goes into a lot of detail surrounding his dialogue across the 4 discs.


There's a nice post a few down from the top on this reddit discussion:

https://www.reddit.com/r/FinalFantasy/comme...er_so_whats_he/

I will quote the one I'm referring to:

Quote
In Japan you don't reply with 'whatever', its incredibly rude and offensive. In western culture, phrases that indicate 'I don't care' or 'I'm only interested in myself' aren't polite, but accepted. In Japan its not so much about the individual. Its a society based around the understanding of other people and not wanting to cause a rift in the fabric of the society.

Sorry is used in Japan to appologize for so many things. You bump into someone, you say sorry, you're late for work, sorry, someone helps you, you're sorry. Sorry goes from meaning 'I appologize for doing that' all the way through to 'I'm sorry you went out of your way to carry that bag for me' and even 'I'm sorry that you struggled to find the right change to pay me with'.

There are other examples of the differences, but I think this might be enough to explain what the previous user meant.



And this one:

Quote
It's amazing to think that the NA localization team ended up crafting a distinct and ultimately an entirely different persona and image of what Squall is as a person than what was intended by the creators. While it still fits, it seems that the JP option of dialog paints him as a somewhat more empathetic and self-concious person than apathetic and indifferent as we've interpreted all these years.


But now that I'm reading this, my argument is a little stronger, I think. It does change the character rather dynamically. And Western Culture vs. Eastern Culture is a very polarizing topic.

From the same reddit discussion:

Quote
It was made obvious in that scene [after Squall's dance with Rinoa at the SeeD graduation ball] that Quistis had feelings for Squall which got thrown back in her face in the English translation. "Sorry," implies he knows how she feels, but doesn't reciprocate and lets her down more gently.


This is a very stark contrast between cultures. In Western Culture, it's cool and desirable to be a "bad-ass" or to display a ""tough-guy" kind of IDGAF attitude and Western women respond to this, horrifyingly.

In Eastern Culture, you still respect the other person's feelings and go as far as to acknowledge them and at the very least, let the person know that you don't feel the same way, in the most respectable manner.

This absolutely changes his character, in my opinion. This may be a conscious choice by the translators, to make Squall more like a Western male to appeal to the Western mind-set and their image of what a male should be.

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Posted: 16th February 2017 02:43

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I'm not an FFVIII fan, and Squall's character didn't help. All the things you mentioned about him were reason for me. Would my opinion change about him (and also the game)? Probably not. Still, it would portray Squall in a more flattering light.

Also, FFVIII is my least favorite FF game but I use Rinoa as my avatar, lol.

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Posted: 18th February 2017 20:55

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Quote (Dynamic Threads @ 14th February 2017 17:48)

This absolutely changes his character, in my opinion. This may be a conscious choice by the translators, to make Squall more like a Western male to appeal to the Western mind-set and their image of what a male should be.

I agree that translation errors/changes are always interesting and curious. If the linked article and its Japanese translations are accurate (I have no ability to argue, but at the same time, no reason to believe it as gospel), then it's certainly interesting to see how the dialogue has changed, whether deliberately or by bad translation.

Also, I'm going to preface the following with the explanation that I like Squall's character in the English translation. I first came to FFVIII as a hormone-fuelled, sullen, puberty-wracked teenager - and as such, I identified pretty well with his sulky, awkward, I-don't-like-and-don't-understand-my-feelings-so-leave-me-alone attitude.


With those two statements made, I'm afraid I disagree with your interpretation, DT. Apologies for the long post, but here's why:

As GMH says, it's possible for "I'm sorry" to be said in an extremely sarcastic and insincere manner - which would be pretty interchangeable with saying "whatever" (or sometimes an even more obnoxious choice). As the Reddit post you quote explains that in Japanese, sorry gets used for a whole range of meanings, contexts and scenarios, seemingly much more so than in English, translating it to "I'm sorry" might well lose the real meaning - as we view the phrase in a narrower context. From that perspective, perhaps "whatever" is a suitable translation in many of the examples?

Heck, even the article you link to first says something pretty similar in its conclusion:

Quote
On an added interpretation note, I think that, when he says “warukatta,” he’s really not apologizing and it’s meant in a more colloquial sense.  We all know that Squall is rather…insolent.  He’s also quite aloof and tends to keep people at a distance.  Taking his personality, the preceding ellipses and the pairing with the ending “na,” it’s more likely that he’s responding with the colloquial English variant, “my bad.” I think that’s far more appropriate for Squall, considering that he is really just a seventeen-year-old kid.


So really, even with the translation changes, the opinion in the original article is not that his personality changes that much at all.

Even if my above paragraphs are inaccurate, and the distinction between "sorry" and "whatever" is as you have interpreted, I'm still not convinced that they are negative changes to the game, or even a real change to Squall's character. Looking at that original link, my take on the instances is as follows:

1. Yeah, English option loses some content here. It's just a disinterested dismissal, rather than an incredulous "what are you on about!?"
2. No real change.
3. I can't see the "sorry" here as being a sympathetic "sorry". I can only see it as a dismissive "sorry". It's a "leave me alone and go away" answer, In much the same way as "whatever". So to me, not much of a change. Yeah, it's inadvertently/inconsiderately dickish of Squall, but still.
4. I always interpreted this "whatever" as "do whatever you want" - so for me, this is just some sloppy translation/scriptwriting, and isn't really any change in Squall at all.
5. Again, I've always viewed this "whatever" as an irritated dismissal - exactly the same as the Japanese version seems to be.
6. Is there really a difference in sentiment here between the versions? Certainly not enough of one to indicate a difference in character.
7. In this example, I actually think "yeah, whatever" is a better fit than "sorry" would be. Just read the context. He starts comforting her, then gets teased for being unusually compassionate, so retreats back into his shell. It's the typical hurt dismissal of a shy, emotionally-stunted introvert once they become aware they've stepped way beyond their comfort zone.
8. I've gotta be honest, I'm not sure any of the possible phrases are great options here, whether "whatever" or otherwise.
9. There's definitely a change of context here, and the Japanese options have more depth, I agree. "Leave me alone" is more rude than "whatever", to my mind, but along similar lines in terms of what Squall really wants. "sorry" comes across as "sorry for being open, that's not what I'm supposed to do and I guess I must have done it wrong". I agree that both of these options would have given more depth to the script, but I don't think either of them shows a change in Squall's personality - an emotionally closed-off but deeply lonely, sullen introvert.
10. The article even agrees "whatever" is the better meaning here.
11. Similar to the above, there is no change here. "whatever" is easily interchangeable in this context for shaking your head, or saying "more importantly" - it's just a dismissal because something more important needs discussing.
12. To quote the article "I think that either response, English or Japanese, makes sense in the situation." - so it hardly changes Squall's personality.
13. "Whatever" is a dismissal again. As in, "whatever. Stop trying to make me get in touch with my emotions. I don't like it and don't want this conversation". I don't really think "sorry" works here.
14. Again, the two versions mean pretty much the same thing. "whatever" vs "nevermind that". Nothing there to really hang a personality change on.


TL;DR - I don't think the changes are as big as you do, and I definitely don't think it shows a drastic change in Squall's personality.

And for what it's worth, I think your sweeping generalisations about Western culture and Eastern culture are, well, just that - sweeping generalisations. As such, they're hardly substantiated and seem to be a bit of a deviation from the topic - so I'll simply say that I do not agree. Nor do I agree that Squall's character has ever been intended to be a "bad-ass" or "tough guy" - in any language.

This post has been edited by Stiltzkin on 19th February 2017 12:00

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Posted: 18th February 2017 22:57

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And for what it's worth, I think your sweeping generalisations about Western culture and Eastern culture are, well, just that - sweeping generalisations. As such, they're hardly substantiated and seem to be a bit of a deviation from the topic - so I'll simply say that I do not agree. Nor do I agree that Squall's character has ever been intended to be a "bad-ass" or "tough guy" - in any language.


Oh my god dude. Sweeping generalizations? Assuming I haven't read about Eastern Culture, interacted with people from these cultures or grown up in and experienced Western Culture in the very least is asinine.

Disagree all you want with the topic at hand but this personal shit with you needs to stop. Every time you answer to me on this forum you're making a gross and incompetent generalization about me as if I've put no additional research into a topic or thought process.

I think it makes the character slightly more human and down to earth; You don't. That's fine but seriously dude, these underhanded slights toward me aren't something I'm unaware of so either add to the discussion or stop attempting to attack my character. Pretty simple, dude. Throwing this judgement into every one of your responses directed at me is getting really old.

As far as Squall being a bad-ass or tough guy, I didn't say that nor was I suggesting he is. I said that Western Culture radiates toward males who display these character tropes.

READING COMPREHENSION. USE IT.

You want to discuss things, fine, that's the point of making a thread but I'm telling you to keep the personal attacks to yourself. FFS.

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Posted: 19th February 2017 10:59

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Quote (Dynamic Threads @ 18th February 2017 23:57)
Quote
And for what it's worth, I think your sweeping generalisations about Western culture and Eastern culture are, well, just that - sweeping generalisations. As such, they're hardly substantiated and seem to be a bit of a deviation from the topic - so I'll simply say that I do not agree. Nor do I agree that Squall's character has ever been intended to be a "bad-ass" or "tough guy" - in any language.


Oh my god dude. Sweeping generalizations? Assuming I haven't read about Eastern Culture, interacted with people from these cultures or grown up in and experienced Western Culture in the very least is asinine.

Disagree all you want with the topic at hand but this personal shit with you needs to stop. Every time you answer to me on this forum you're making a gross and incompetent generalization about me as if I've put no additional research into a topic or thought process.

I think it makes the character slightly more human and down to earth; You don't. That's fine but seriously dude, these underhanded slights toward me aren't something I'm unaware of so either add to the discussion or stop attempting to attack my character. Pretty simple, dude. Throwing this judgement into every one of your responses directed at me is getting really old.

As far as Squall being a bad-ass or tough guy, I didn't say that nor was I suggesting he is. I said that Western Culture radiates toward males who display these character tropes.

READING COMPREHENSION. USE IT.

You want to discuss things, fine, that's the point of making a thread but I'm telling you to keep the personal attacks to yourself. FFS.

*takes deep breath*

Okay. I'll respond to this once, but I'm not going to get into an ongoing argument that derails what I think is an interesting topic. I hope you do the same.

Firstly, I haven't previously, haven't here, and aren't going to make any personal attacks on you. I have disagreed with the words you have written and sentiments you have expressed. There is a considerable difference. And for the record, I'm fairly sure my above post was adding to the discussion. In short, please relax and stop acting like everybody who disagrees with you is hell-bent on your personal ridicule and destruction. It makes it very difficult to engage in any kind of discussion with you.

Secondly, as for sweeping generalisations, I stand by what I said. I can assure you that I made no assumptions about the extent of your knowledge of Western or Eastern culture. You could be extremely well-versed in both; it doesn't matter. Generalisations do not have to have any bearing on the extent of your knowledge - you can make them from positions of ignorance or great knowledge. It's when you ascribe one characteristic or preference of a partial demographic to an entire demographic. It's fallacious reasoning. Your statement is a sweeping generalisation. That's not a personal insult or attack on you, it's just a true comment on the sentences you have written.

Quote
Every time you answer to me on this forum you're making a gross and incompetent generalization about me as if I've put no additional research into a topic or thought process.


I'm sorry, but this sentence implies you have confused "generalisation" with "assumption". The two words mean very different things, and, ironically, you are making a very arrogant assumption here.

Finally, I'm perfectly capable of comprehending what I read, but thank you for capitalising the suggestion to help me. Your exact words were:

Quote
In Western Culture, it's cool and desirable to be a "bad-ass" or to display a ""tough-guy" kind of IDGAF attitude and Western women respond to this, horrifyingly.

In Eastern Culture, you still respect the other person's feelings and go as far as to acknowledge them and at the very least, let the person know that you don't feel the same way, in the most respectable manner.

This absolutely changes his character, in my opinion. This may be a conscious choice by the translators, to make Squall more like a Western male to appeal to the Western mind-set and their image of what a male should be.


You are right that you do not state the sentence "Squall is intended to be a tough guy/bad-ass". But then again, read my words carefully - I have not said that you did. In your own words, you said "this may be a conscious choice by the translators, to make Squall more like a Western male to appeal to the Western mind-set and their image of what a male should be." When this follows your previous sentences as quoted above, the only possible interpretation of your words is that you are suggesting the translators have possibly tried to make Squall be more like a tough guy/badass. This is what I comprehended, this is what I interpreted, and this is what I disagreed with. You have now said that this is not what you were suggesting - well, that's great! We no longer disagree on this. This is good. I am confused as to why you would randomly bring something unconnected up in relation to the conversation if you weren't trying to make suggestions, but let's leave that conversation for another time. I'm glad we no longer disagree.

This post has been edited by Stiltzkin on 19th February 2017 11:01

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Posted: 19th February 2017 22:25

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Quote (Stiltzkin @ 19th February 2017 05:59)
Quote (Dynamic Threads @ 18th February 2017 23:57)
Quote
And for what it's worth, I think your sweeping generalisations about Western culture and Eastern culture are, well, just that - sweeping generalisations. As such, they're hardly substantiated and seem to be a bit of a deviation from the topic - so I'll simply say that I do not agree. Nor do I agree that Squall's character has ever been intended to be a "bad-ass" or "tough guy" - in any language.


Oh my god dude. Sweeping generalizations? Assuming I haven't read about Eastern Culture, interacted with people from these cultures or grown up in and experienced Western Culture in the very least is asinine.

Disagree all you want with the topic at hand but this personal shit with you needs to stop. Every time you answer to me on this forum you're making a gross and incompetent generalization about me as if I've put no additional research into a topic or thought process.

I think it makes the character slightly more human and down to earth; You don't. That's fine but seriously dude, these underhanded slights toward me aren't something I'm unaware of so either add to the discussion or stop attempting to attack my character. Pretty simple, dude. Throwing this judgement into every one of your responses directed at me is getting really old.

As far as Squall being a bad-ass or tough guy, I didn't say that nor was I suggesting he is. I said that Western Culture radiates toward males who display these character tropes.

READING COMPREHENSION. USE IT.

You want to discuss things, fine, that's the point of making a thread but I'm telling you to keep the personal attacks to yourself. FFS.

*takes deep breath*

Okay. I'll respond to this once, but I'm not going to get into an ongoing argument that derails what I think is an interesting topic. I hope you do the same.

Firstly, I haven't previously, haven't here, and aren't going to make any personal attacks on you. I have disagreed with the words you have written and sentiments you have expressed. There is a considerable difference. And for the record, I'm fairly sure my above post was adding to the discussion. In short, please relax and stop acting like everybody who disagrees with you is hell-bent on your personal ridicule and destruction. It makes it very difficult to engage in any kind of discussion with you.

Secondly, as for sweeping generalisations, I stand by what I said. I can assure you that I made no assumptions about the extent of your knowledge of Western or Eastern culture. You could be extremely well-versed in both; it doesn't matter. Generalisations do not have to have any bearing on the extent of your knowledge - you can make them from positions of ignorance or great knowledge. It's when you ascribe one characteristic or preference of a partial demographic to an entire demographic. It's fallacious reasoning. Your statement is a sweeping generalisation. That's not a personal insult or attack on you, it's just a true comment on the sentences you have written.

Quote
Every time you answer to me on this forum you're making a gross and incompetent generalization about me as if I've put no additional research into a topic or thought process.


I'm sorry, but this sentence implies you have confused "generalisation" with "assumption". The two words mean very different things, and, ironically, you are making a very arrogant assumption here.

Finally, I'm perfectly capable of comprehending what I read, but thank you for capitalising the suggestion to help me. Your exact words were:

Quote
In Western Culture, it's cool and desirable to be a "bad-ass" or to display a ""tough-guy" kind of IDGAF attitude and Western women respond to this, horrifyingly.

In Eastern Culture, you still respect the other person's feelings and go as far as to acknowledge them and at the very least, let the person know that you don't feel the same way, in the most respectable manner.

This absolutely changes his character, in my opinion. This may be a conscious choice by the translators, to make Squall more like a Western male to appeal to the Western mind-set and their image of what a male should be.


You are right that you do not state the sentence "Squall is intended to be a tough guy/bad-ass". But then again, read my words carefully - I have not said that you did. In your own words, you said "this may be a conscious choice by the translators, to make Squall more like a Western male to appeal to the Western mind-set and their image of what a male should be." When this follows your previous sentences as quoted above, the only possible interpretation of your words is that you are suggesting the translators have possibly tried to make Squall be more like a tough guy/badass. This is what I comprehended, this is what I interpreted, and this is what I disagreed with. You have now said that this is not what you were suggesting - well, that's great! We no longer disagree on this. This is good. I am confused as to why you would randomly bring something unconnected up in relation to the conversation if you weren't trying to make suggestions, but let's leave that conversation for another time. I'm glad we no longer disagree.

TL;DR

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This post has been edited by Rangers51 on 20th February 2017 14:25

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Posted: 20th February 2017 19:04

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"Is that all you can do? Make excuses and apologize for everything?"


If all you say is "Sorry," then it's not always as empathetic as all that. If you stop doing the thing that you are saying you are sorry for, yeah, but if you just say an empty "sorry" and keep doing it, then people learn that you don't really mean you're sorry.

Anyhow, that unpleasantness aside, it is Squall's "curtness" that is the defining trait expressed by the phrase, rather than any sentiment that is present in the meaning of the words itself. See, Squall is very short with people because he is a total workaholic. He depends only on himself, by philosphy; he has chosen a career as a professional soldier in Balamb Garden's SeeD forces.

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"Do you have any dreams?"

Squall
"Sorry, I'm going to have to pass on that subject."


He does not like to speak about subjects that do not interest him; he is interested in his job alone.

Whether he's saying "Whatever" or "I'm sorry," whatever the cultural context of the denotative definition of the words, the point is that Squall doesn't waste time on emotional relationship bull.

...I think that's what I wanted to say?

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Posted: 21st February 2017 19:19

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Quote (Spooniest @ 20th February 2017 20:04)

If all you say is "Sorry," then it's not always as empathetic as all that. If you stop doing the thing that you are saying you are sorry for, yeah, but if you just say an empty "sorry" and keep doing it, then people learn that you don't really mean you're sorry.

That's another interesting point about the many ways to interpret the word "sorry"! I think it's very true, Spoony, and goes to show that there are definite contexts in which "sorry" can be interchangeable with "whatever".

Your interpretation of the reason behind Squall's curtness is not one I've come across before though. I've always interpreted his external actions as being the result of somebody who has not had the most emotionally healthy upbringing, and so really isn't comfortable with emotions, compassion, empathy, or intimacy (emotionally speaking) - both his own and that of others. He can't cope with those feelings, and so distances himself from them as best he can - by curtailing conversations or pushing people away. As a result, he comes across as cold, rude, and uncaring. As an aside, this is why I like the romance with Rinoa - she's his polar opposite, and teaches him how to open up.

I guess it just goes to show how easy it is to interpret things differently before you even get to the stage of linguistic translation!

This post has been edited by Stiltzkin on 21st February 2017 19:20

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Posted: 21st February 2017 21:30

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I think my main takeaway from the difference between Sorry and Whatever is that, like Spoony says, it would mean nothing if he just kept apologizing and never changed.

But I think we can all agree, Squall is one of the best developed characters in the series. He changes dramatically, albeit slowly, over the course of the game. Slowly opening up.

So while at first, sorry may be a smart-assed remark, as GMH suggests, I think the context of the word would change with his character. Whereas "whatever" starts to feel out of place at some point, especially the Ragnarok scene and thereafter.

The fact that 'sorry' as a response can be subjectively interpreted makes it a better contrast than 'whatever', which always sounds shove-offish.

If it weren't for Squall's inner-monologue I would completely agree that him saying sorry in place of whatever could be, again, as GMH suggests, sarcastic. But I think that you have to look across the entire game and consider this inner-monologue as proof that he just doesn't get emotions at first. And he's like what, 17 years old in the game? Think back to when you were that age and you said sorry, or whatever, and how it may have been misinterpreted. Half the time, I didn't even know how to speak, let alone say things in context or with the proper tone.

I think his inner-monologue makes it clear that he really isn't trying to be a dick, but saying "Whatever" all the time is a dick move and actually, kind of out of character for Squall if you take all of his thoughts and inner-monologue into account. Especially the scene on the train tracks from Fisherman's Horizon to Esthar when he stops to rest and talk to Rinoa, for the first time, completely open, even telling her not to tell anyone what he's said. He realizes that he's grown very fond of her and regrets not being open when she was conscious.

Only to then meet up with everyone and be all "Whatever" with them. Whereas "Sorry" in this case, would have finally started to gel his personality, IMO.


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Posted: 22nd February 2017 03:41

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Quote (Dynamic Threads @ 21st February 2017 16:30)
I think his inner-monologue makes it clear that he really isn't trying to be a dick, but saying "Whatever" all the time is a dick move and actually, kind of out of character for Squall if you take all of his thoughts and inner-monologue into account.

That part there, where you said "out of character..."

That is Squall's main problem.

Stiltzkin, you'd said something to the effect of "Unhealthy emotional development," and that's also cool.

I will now whip up a DJ mix of your two viewpoints which I find equally cool.

Squall's unhealhty and somewhat impoverished upbringing exacerbated by the lack of any parental guidance MAJOR FINAL FANTASY 8 SPOILER
Possible spoilers: highlight to view
(Laguna was off rescuing Ellone and then got made president of a Xenophobic country, and Raine died in childbirth before he got back)
...these things are what drive him to be a workaholic SeeD with no real ability to relate to his soldiers' morale or motivation to execute the plans they carry out on their missions: he really isn't as big a prick as his expressed words make him out to be; he is merely incapable of communicating to people how he feels, or dealing with them when they try to do it with him. Emotions are anathema to him. Thus, his actions seem out of character to people because they can't read his freaking mind. But his emotional barriers prevent him from expressing his character properly.

In short, this is Sqaull's only real failing; he is emotionally out of touch with not only everyone else, but himself as well. Squall has done what Shadow says people do in Final Fantasy VI's boat Scene before Crescent Island: he has killed his emotions.

...Rinoa, however, is someone who is just too plain stubborn to take no for an answer. A woman who grabs a man's hand as he walks embarrassed off a dance floor (he tripped over her foot) and pulls him back over and begs him to please come dance with her? That's the only way to get through to some lunk-heads; don't take no for an answer. Some guys really just want to be alone, beyond any other consideration...even if it isn't good for them or what they do for a living.

It's called being "shy and introverted." Strange isn't it? A shy soldier.

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My name's Johnny, and it might be a sin... B)
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