Exploring the themes of World of Final Fantasy

Don’t worry, no spoilers! I want this game to be as fun for you as it was for me.

You may recall how excited I was about World of Final Fantasy a few weeks ago. It was my first Final Fantasy game, aside from roughly the first half hour of VII. That was just long enough to come up with creative little nicknames for the characters, but clearly not enough to get the full effect of the story.

It was very addictive. I am now obsessed with chocobos and moogles.

At this point, I’ve invested a solid 50 hours or so of my life in the game, and have gotten to the main story’s postscript. Yes, there is a postscript.

I’ve fallen absolutely in love with the game’s storytelling, and I’ve noticed a few recurring things.

A matter of time

When you start playing the game, you’ll notice pretty early on (read: in the first cutscene) that the game focuses heavily on the concept of time.

Lann and Reynn have been living in Nine Wood Hills, a place where “time works a little differently,” and the first mirage they meet (again, in the first cutscene), Tama, has a strange, unexplained ability to wind back time so even if you die in a battle, you don’t actually die.

As handy as this particular ability was, especially for a rookie like myself, I couldn’t help but feel that it served a higher purpose than saving my sorry butt.

From there, time turned into a real theme for the game.

The internal conflict

From what I know of the Final Fantasy series, this is the first game to use the idea of time as the basis of its story—and I think it did it very well.

The games like to focus on heavy topics that resonate with the audience, and usually this heavy topic centralizes around some kind of internal battle for the protagonist. Unlike many games, there’s no clear sense of right vs. wrong; everyone is both, and the game takes perspectives into account.

I loved the internal conflict in World of Final Fantasy because while it was a rather goofier-looking game than others in the franchise, it addressed something close to my heart.

Rather than pitting the protagonist against some external antagonist, it pitted them against themselves. It was this whole idea of past self vs. present self vs. future self, which is something that I think a lot of people in the age group that would have grown up with Final Fantasy, myself included, can relate to.

The Final Fantasy moment

One of the first things Shane warned me about before I got heavily involved in World of Final Fantasy was that the franchise loves to tug the heartstrings. I got a little taste of that watching him play Final Fantasy XV, but I don’t think that—or anything else—could have prepared me.

The thing about video games is that it’s one thing to watch someone play, but it’s entirely different when you’re the one holding the controller. You aren’t as emotionally invested unless it’s you who’s in charge. So while XV made me sad, World of Final Fantasy got me good.

I’m still not done the story, though, even though one tragic moment has passed. I have mild trust issues that the game won’t grab me by the feels again, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

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