CoN 20th Anniversary: 1997-2017
No, Luke, Final Fantasy VI is your father

Posted: 17th April 2015 12:27

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This game sprang directly from the loins of Final Fantasy VI and a fever dream Hironobu Sakaguchi had about environmental collapse while making Final Fantasy VI.

The two are so close in theme and character that it's difficult to distinguish where one ends and the other begins...they are 'cut from the same cloth.'

I don't find this attitude prevalent among RPG types, for some reason. You can see the seeds of what would become FF7 in FF6: Limit Breaks, Summons that work the gfx engine, and the Merit Award, which is a poor man's Materia System.

What do you think of this idea, that the games are basically the same story told two different ways? Brother and sister, as it were?

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Posted: 17th April 2015 19:39

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It's a natural progression, at least in final Fantasy terms. The Espers become Materia, which become gfs, which eventually evolved into the grid from XII. As far as the stories being the same, I'll not 100% disagree, but they are by in large very disparate.

Things that are similar:

the Final Fantasy Tropes-

Drifter hero type.

Environmental message.

teenage action girl.

anti-religious stance.

Finally, an engineer by the name of Cid has to make an appearance.

The rest of the story and how it's told is very much different aside from that.

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Posted: 17th April 2015 20:03

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What anti-religious stance does FFVI take? What environmental message is there for that matter? I don't think either of those count as "Final Fantasy tropes" when they only appear in a couple games (and I'm having a hard time coming with another FF with an environmental message in it).

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Posted: 17th April 2015 21:53

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Final fantasy vi doesn't bother to comment on religion...I don't believe Final Fantasy VII comments on it either. Tactics, yeah, but that was kind of the start of the religious commentary in the ff series.

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Posted: 18th April 2015 08:56

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Wait...the villain becoming a god and subsequently killing him isn't an anti-religious message? To me that seems like the very definition of it.

Final Fantasy VII, Sephiroth is an angel, who also aspires to godhood. Final Fantasy X and a high priest being the villain? Let's not forget the fact that Sin is effectively what's being worshipped.

Environmental message? Any of the early Final Fantasy games involving the Crystals is a hidden environmental message. That's 1,2,3,4, and 5. Ultimately, the highly civilized and mechanized Vectorled by Gestahl is the villain, and the subsequent draining of the Espers' power definitely says environmental message. VII is more obvious about it, as is IX.



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Posted: 18th April 2015 18:36

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That's not an intrinsically environmental message, it only becomes one if you look into it that way. Sephiroth becoming "like a god" has nothing to do with religion, because there is no religion attached nor are there any religious undertones aside from some superficial ones thrown on for dramatic effect. FFX is the only game in the series with an anti-religious theme. FFXI and XIII are about fighting gods, but there are no religious overtones to it onesoever, just that the gods are evil. I don't think there's even any religion attached to them in-universe.

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I fear my heart and fear my soul
Life goes on, it surely will,
Without me and I wonder:
Will I ever see light again?

Life goes on...
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Posted: 18th April 2015 19:04

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So, what you're saying is that the presence of evil gods can be in no way whatsoever be interpreted as an anti religious message? Not even in the slightest?

Or, perhaps there might be a point of view different from yours. You can go ahead and lace personal attacks by calling me, or inferring that I'm an idiot, but it seems to me to be a very logical conclusion.

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Posted: 18th April 2015 23:14

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I wouldn't say that the Lifestream is a superficial element, because that's absolutely a religious theme. FFVI's story eventually has a nihilistic villain arguing that there is no meaning to life. FFVI's question is the same as what Netscape asked: is there any meaning in a world without God, or in FFVI's case, Goddesses?

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Posted: 18th April 2015 23:39

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That's a valid point, but not strictly "anti-religious" imo. It's a philosophical pondering and if you want to argue the deeper meanings behind the lifestream or villains assuming the mantles of gods or quoting Nietzschean philosophy then that brings up some interesting topics.
It really seems to stem from classic fantasy tropes though. There are evil or corrupt deities throughout many mythology and classic works of literature that are not anti-religious in the least. FFVI certainly upped the ante with the nihilistic undertones, but they run much deeper into themes of despair, desperation, and the human spirit. The usage of goddesses and overt religious symbolism is more of a device to help communicate these themes, not the focus in itself.

This post has been edited by Sherick on 18th April 2015 23:39

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I fear my heart and fear my soul
Life goes on, it surely will,
Without me and I wonder:
Will I ever see light again?

Life goes on...
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Posted: 19th April 2015 03:37

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That's true. I don't think that I necessarily agree with chevleclair that it's anti-religion. I don't think that the Lifestream is negative, and in the end FFVI'S is positive. They seem to be more negative about gods, and not religion itself.

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Posted: 19th April 2015 16:13

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLhiWw3pzQk

MatPat explains it better than I can.

But in essence, the anti-religion message is all over the game. You might be able to state that the necessity to destroy gods can be interpreted as a call to atheism.

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Posted: 19th April 2015 18:13

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If that were the case then every RPG could be considered anti-religious.

Here, I'm trying to explain this to you. FF has no religious subtext up to a certain point, even though there are religious figures in the game. The creators were obviously trying to come up with interesting references to mythology and religion rather than just coming up with monster names and designs on their own (which is hard). This is strictly "path-of-least-resistance" thinking. Marvel Comics did the same thing by introducing Thor as a character.

You see, religious figures are by nature public domain...you do not have to pay royalties for featuring them. The Ruby Weapon, yes, requires a licensing fee, but Shiva does not. Ramuh does not. These are uncopyrightable, so far as I know.

FF and other RPGs do not encourage atheism, they encourage mercantilism (don't get me started on the "collect all the imaginary stuff" rant). The question is: is one any better than the other?

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Posted: 19th April 2015 18:14

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Quote (chevleclair @ 19th April 2015 12:13)
But in essence, the anti-religion message is all over the game. You might be able to state that the necessity to destroy gods can be interpreted as a call to atheism.

That may be true, but you've got to remember that atheism is a religious belief. Atheism is a religion in the sense that it is a belief system that posits a spiritual belief about the world, and has a collected community with shared customs and practices. A call to atheism would not be a call against religion, that would be irreligion or secularism. You don't have to believe in God to be religious. Many traditions don't have a god or gods, and yet religious belief and/or practice is extremely important to them. Many Buddhists don't believe in a god, and there are also Christian atheists that treat God as a metaphor or simply follow some of the religious traditions in Christianity.

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Posted: 20th April 2015 11:50

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I think it's pretty difficult to put too much time into thinking that the game is anti-religion, simply because I don't think there are all that many parallels to what most of us see as religion in our daily lives. I think it's a bit of a leap to go from designs inspired by certain religious systems to an assumption that such symbols are an obvious subtext of anti-religion. What do I base that on? Mainly, in my honest opinion, that idea for most games fails Occam's Razor.

But that's just one small part of the topic that's taken over the topic, heh. Generally, I think it might be a bit of a reach to say that VI had any more influence over VII than any other possible combination. I'm sitting here, and I'm actually having issues coming up with good examples because it feels like you could make an argument for just about any narrative or gameplay feature you could pick.

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Posted: 20th April 2015 17:44

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Quote (Rangers51 @ 20th April 2015 07:50)
I think it's pretty difficult to put too much time into thinking that the game is anti-religion, simply because I don't think there are all that many parallels to what most of us see as religion in our daily lives. I think it's a bit of a leap to go from designs inspired by certain religious systems to an assumption that such symbols are an obvious subtext of anti-religion. What do I base that on? Mainly, in my honest opinion, that idea for most games fails Occam's Razor.

But that's just one small part of the topic that's taken over the topic, heh. Generally, I think it might be a bit of a reach to say that VI had any more influence over VII than any other possible combination. I'm sitting here, and I'm actually having issues coming up with good examples because it feels like you could make an argument for just about any narrative or gameplay feature you could pick.

Well, religion is such a diverse concept, that it's almost impossible to do anything without making some sort of allusion to it, even accidentally, within a story. I think that many of the games, especially FFX, are steeped in religious themes. And we also know that Sakaguchi lost his mother during the production of FFVII, and a lot of that game became a mirror of the soul searching he was doing personally.

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Posted: 20th April 2015 20:44

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Quote (BlitzSage @ 20th April 2015 12:44)
[QUOTE=Rangers51,20th April 2015 07:50]we also know that Sakaguchi lost his mother during the production of FFVII, and a lot of that game became a mirror of the soul searching he was doing personally.

I don't think that's entirely accurate, nor in and of itself a religious theme. It's true that almost all religions posit some theme of life after death, but the events of the game were not written by Sakaguchi. Gimme a moment and I'll look it up...

Wikipedia sez:

Writer(s)

Kazushige Nojima
Yoshinori Kitase

So...this is not a story he wrote, but merely one he produced.

Anyway, this is all highly divergent from the topic at hand.

Final Fantasy VI and VII, compare/contrast was what I was going for...I do not know how this became a discussion about religious symbolism...

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Posted: 20th April 2015 22:51

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Quote
Are there any new themes in Final Fantasy VII?

When we were creating Final Fantasy III, my mother passed away, and ever since I have been thinking about the theme "life". Life exists in many things, and I was curious about what would happen if I attempted to analyze life in a mathematical and logical way. Maybe this was my approach in overcoming the grief I was experiencing. This is the first time in the series that this particular theme actually appears in the game itself. See if you can spot it!


She died during FFVI's production, but the theme or the analysis of life and death carried into FFVII, whether he wrote it or not. Also, life and death are integral to every religious tradition.

... Okay, now I'm ready to move on.

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Posted: 24th April 2015 13:40

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Locke and Celes had a baby and they named him Cloud!

Why did they name him Cloud is the real question, but the important thing I'm attempting to get at is that FF6 and 7 are really not that different from each other. They even have the same exact magic spells in a lot of cases. I mean, you get to cast Meteor in random encounters in FF6, but only Sephiroth casts it in FF7.

The big difference between the two games is presentation: FF7 hasn't much more oomph in it than the previous game, but it just dresses it all up in fancy clothes.

Fancy clothes are nice, they make you feel good. But they aren't that different from a t-shirt and jeans, when you think about it...it's fabric that you're putting on.

They say clothes make the man. FFVII is dressed to the nines, but is it really all that much more than a game of FF6 with some new abilities?

It looks different, but is it, at its core, that divergent from 6? Not really, I don't think.

This post has been edited by Spooniest on 24th April 2015 13:45

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Posted: 24th April 2015 19:00

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Quote (Spooniest @ 24th April 2015 09:40)
Locke and Celes had a baby and they named him Cloud!

Why did they name him Cloud is the real question, but the important thing I'm attempting to get at is that FF6 and 7 are really not that different from each other. They even have the same exact magic spells in a lot of cases. I mean, you get to cast Meteor in random encounters in FF6, but only Sephiroth casts it in FF7.

The big difference between the two games is presentation: FF7 hasn't much more oomph in it than the previous game, but it just dresses it all up in fancy clothes.

Fancy clothes are nice, they make you feel good. But they aren't that different from a t-shirt and jeans, when you think about it...it's fabric that you're putting on.

They say clothes make the man. FFVII is dressed to the nines, but is it really all that much more than a game of FF6 with some new abilities?

It looks different, but is it, at its core, that divergent from 6? Not really, I don't think.

A couple of things. First, I don't know if this is consensus, but I know and have heard of a lot of people who have argued that SNES-era games have aged much better in terms of graphics than the PS1/N64/Dreamcast-era games. So I'm not sure that FFVII is all that much "fancier" than FFVI.

Second, like most Final Fantasies, they both share many common elements such as the spell Meteor, chocobos, summons, a rag-tag group of rebels, Cid, etc. But I think that it's overly simplistic to say that 7 is just a carbon copy of 6 with a few new bells and whistles. There is certainly continuity, I'll agree with you there, but there are quite a few key differences. Other than a few things, I think that, in fact, those games are as distinct from one another than any two games in the series. For instance, I think that FFIX has much more in common with FFVI than FFVII does.

I would also say that it's extremely unfair to FFVII to imply that it didn't innovate. FFVI is the best gaming has to offer, in my opinion. It's the pinnacle of RPGs and game storytelling. But I think the uniqueness of FFVII and some of the risky ideas that they pulled off shouldn't be discounted. The jump to 3D could have easily failed for them. There were a lot of untested variables, yet they didn't hold back. Meanwhile, with FFVI, they had FFIV and FFV and the middle period in the life of the SNES where they knew how to perfect their use of the hardware. They had to figure out how to even make the formula work in 3D, let aside the notion of perfecting it. So, I believe it deserves credit for that.

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