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Sub-Final Fantasy General discussion for non-numbered Final Fantasies, Final Fantasy-related games, broad Final Fantasy topics, and crossovers.

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Old 12/07/2017   #1
Flintlock
Default What do these characters have in common?

  • Luneth
  • Arc
  • Refia
  • Ingus
  • Yang
  • Galuf
  • Terra
  • Gau's father
  • Rachel
  • Cloud
  • Chocobo Sage
  • Squall
  • Quistis
  • Zell
  • Selphie
  • Zidane
  • Garnet
  • Fratley
  • Fang
  • Noel
  • Mog (XIII-2)
  • Alyssa
  • Cid (XIV)
Answer

I can't remember.

Actual answer, contains spoilers

They all suffer from some sort of amnesia (per the FF Wiki), making it one of the most used, and arguably the most overused, tropes in the Final Fantasy series.

It should go without saying that not all the cases listed above are the same. Cloud's memory loss, for example, is one of the key plot devices in VII, whereas Fratley's amnesia is largely inconsequential to the events of IX. I was debating whether to include Tellah on the list, even though he's not on the Wiki page I linked to, but I think he suffers from natural memory loss through old age rather than amnesia.

But anyway. How do you feel about amnesia as a recurring trope in the Final Fantasy series or in video games in general? Does it appear too often? When has it been used well, and when has it felt forced or awkward? And how do you feel about the accompanying trope, the friend who knows the truth but is keeping it to themselves? (Tifa, Irvine, Vanille and probably a couple of others.) Share your thoughts below.
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Old 12/07/2017   #2
Ryushikaze
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I'd argue with you and the Wiki that Luneth and the other kids not remembering isn't a case of amnesia, it's a case of them being very very small children and forgetting naturally. Desch, meanwhile, had legitimate 'missing something' amnesia of his past and heritage.

Likewise Garnet forgetting her early childhood as a half remembered dream.

Zidane arguably... had no early childhood. He was grown up to a certain physical point and implanted with some knowledge by Garland, and Kuja stole him before he was to awaken and dropped him on earth, I thought.

FFVIII's Amnesia was just some laser guided BS, but that whole chunk of the plot was handled incredibly poorly.
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Old 12/07/2017   #3
The Twilight Mexican
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Zidane had an (SPOILER) ordinary growth process. This is what set him apart from Kuja.
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Old 12/08/2017   #4
Obsidian Fire
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Yeah, the problem with FFVIII amnesia is that it sounded exactly like how conversations my parents have with their siblings about what happened when they were kids go. I never bought that as being something to be worried about.

FFXIV amnesia is a bit weird. For starters, everyone in Eorzea has laser-guided amnesia about who the last Warriors of Light were and what exactly happened at the Battle of Cartenau (if they were there). From a meta standpoint, this was done to give 2.0 a fresh start and everyone a reason to make their characters over again. From an in-game perspective, this was caused when the 1.0 Warriors of Light got flung forward in time while a ton of aether was being flung around while a calamity was happening. Cid gets amnesia at the same time everyone else does, but his is about everything, not just the laser-guided type everyone else gets. That said, the Warrior of Light somehow helps him remember everything via the Echo, so that's not that big a deal, well, except that he disappears for the timeskip...

Stormblood Spoilers What might end up being a more conventional trope use of amnesia is Yotsuyu. At the end of 4.1 she seemingly doesn't know where she is or who she is and one of the proposed explanations by the fandom is that she's got amnesia. That said, we'll need to wait for future patches to see if that's actually the case...
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Old 12/08/2017   #5
Howl
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Flintlock wrote: But anyway. How do you feel about amnesia as a recurring trope in the Final Fantasy series or in video games in general? Does it appear too often? When has it been used well, and when has it felt forced or awkward? And how do you feel about the accompanying trope, the friend who knows the truth but is keeping it to themselves? (Tifa, Irvine, Vanille and probably a couple of others.) Share your thoughts below.
TLDR thoughts about amnesia AND the timely reveal of information that was known all along: it's lazy writing. Same can be said of the whole 'everybody's an orphan' scenario (I feel like that one's pretty common as well).

There are enough qualified writers on earth with access to Wikipedia and/or Google who could easily comb through historical literature and create a wealth of "reinvented" scenarios. (Because let's be real, how many fictional stories are original anymore / they're mostly just new spins on classic ideas.

Inventing interesting plot devices should be a full time job at the developer level if it isn't already. Likewise, there shouldn't be one person designing characters and another person writing the script. Shouldn't the same person or team of people be doing both of these things?

I even came up with the ideal job description:
Come up with a bunch of interesting story lines for a living and earn a fair wage. Must be overly critical and pedantic. Must ensure plot holes do not exist. Will be terminated upon recommendation of boring scenarios or too many belts.
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Old 12/08/2017   #6
Flare
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Flintlock wrote: How do you feel about amnesia as a recurring trope in the Final Fantasy series or in video games in general? Does it appear too often? When has it been used well, and when has it felt forced or awkward? And how do you feel about the accompanying trope, the friend who knows the truth but is keeping it to themselves? (Tifa, Irvine, Vanille and probably a couple of others.) Share your thoughts below.
As a story idea, I think amnesia can be an interesting plot point. But FF games, and media in general, idk I feel like it's used more often than it should be. As Howl kinda said, there's a lot of ways to tell a good story and oftentimes when amnesia is used in one, it feels kinda lazy. Like they have a plot idea and they're trying to figure out how to make this and that work and just go "Eh screw it, the main character has amnesia! Done!"
I think having a friend who knows but keeps quiet is a bit more interesting. Has more conflict in their personality; why are they hiding the info? Is it selfish or selfless, because they have ulterior motives, or because they have a very positive way for doing so, etc?

Still don't get why Tifa kept quiet about Cloud, except that maybe she was really worried at his mental state already and didn't want to drive him over the edge

I've only played VI once but I feel like Terra's case worked well? Like it didn't feel cheap.

I also liked Fang and Alyssa's 'versions' of it. I feel like there was a good reason for their amnesia and it didn't feel like the writer's just slapped it on because cba. Imo anyways


Going forward, I'd like for FFXVI (whenever that happens) to try and not have a character with amnesia or orphaned protagonists. Use their collective brain muscles to come up with something more unique and less used. I'm not against seeing either again in the future of FF games, but just give it a break for a bit. XD
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Old 12/08/2017   #7
Minato
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Flare wrote: Still don't get why Tifa kept quiet about Cloud, except that maybe she was really worried at his mental state already and didn't want to drive him over the edge
Tifa didn't have anything helpful to say, she doesn't know how Cloud knows the exact contents of her bedroom, how the SOLDIERs resolved the problem they went to Nibelheim, what was found inside the Mako Reactor, why they stayed in Nibelheim for another week, why Sephiroth went nuts, whether Cloud's mom died, how or why Sephiroth disappeared, how Tifa herself survived or how she ended up in Midgar.

Against that, Sephiroth really is headed for the promised land like he was planning in private conversations between Cloud and Sephiroth that never could have happened if Tifa's memories are accurate. There really is a maternal connection between Jenova and Sephiroth, Vincent backs Cloud up on this, the secret catacombs under the Shinra mansion from Cloud's story exist, the sealed room in the Nibelheim reactor line up with Cloud's memories too. Sephiroth really was thought to be an Ancient.
The entire journey Tifa is hit with evidence that Cloud's story is real.
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Old 12/08/2017   #8
Flare
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I seem to have forgotten half of VII’s story carry on
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Old 12/08/2017   #9
Clement Rage
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Like everything, it depends. Tropes are not bad, and all that. It depends how justified it is.

Like Ryu said, Garnet and Zidane were just too young to remember much, or what they did remember didn't make sense (giant eye in a cloud?)
Fratley's probably just head trauma. Time travel shenanigans can and should mess with people's memories a lot.

Irvine is the diciest one for me.
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