Sorry, haha! This blog hasn’t been active in the nice, casual but reliable way that I’d hoped for. Life got in the way of blogging, and even more importantly, videogames. Last week, I became aware that Octopath Traveler was drawing close but I hadn’t finished The Alliance Alive yet – the game everyone said was so short and small, the game I thouht wouldn’t last me the entire time until Octo’s release. Turns out I am a very slow player, not because I’m dedicated to 100% runs and doing everything there is to do, but because I’m someone who plays for fun and distraction instead of results. The Alliance Alive rewards exploration and repeatedly talking to the same NPCs – exactly how I like it. It was easy to stall, run around the world map and do anything but proceed with the story! I played TAA for 70+ hours, no regrets.
But it also meant that yesterday, I took a dep breath and went past the point of no return, and rushed through the final section of the game in order to reach the end boss asap. It was a strange experience. I’ve never done it like this, I’ve never tried to finish a JRPG quickly, and I realised that I wasn’t actually ready to stop playing. I would have liked to update my equipment one last time, bring the last character to 500 HP and experiment some more with formations. Instead, I beat the end boss on my second attempt and then enjoyed the game’s cute but strangely slow-paced ending. The whole thing had taken me … two hours?
I am so excited for Octopath Traveler, though! I can spend the remaining time until it’s in my hand deciding which character I will choose as my protagonist. I haven’t played the recent demo – I didn’t want to start playing the game and then be forced to take a break from it until the full release!
But … I don’t know who to pick. :( I am still drawn to Primrose, but also find Cyrus really interesting.
But the past few weeks … months, really … following the news and witnessing the selfishness, the gleeful viciousness coming from politicians, the fearmongering and whining, the way that the simplest acts of kindness got reinterpreted into stupidity and dangers … Fuck this shit. I want to play as Alfyn now: the guy who was rescued by a stranger as a child, and who was inspired to travel the world to help people. Just help people.
When Final Fantasy IX came out, there was an ad poster or something that featured Zidane and his motto: You don’t need a reason to help people.
In videogames, the gritty and dark, the morally grey, the assholish characters get frequently praised as “complex” and “realistic”. But I’ve always had a fondness for characters who, even admidst the most complicated politics and difficult choices, don’t lose sight of the most important thing: kindness, and human dignity.
In the end, I’ll probably pick a character on a whim, though. I shouldn’t overthink the decision, but just go with whatever comes most natural in the moment. :)