As much as we wanted to herald the New Year 2018 with a jazzy super cool article, we felt it best to keep things simple and let fate decide on a title. Whether or not your holidays went well, whether or not you made interesting memories or decided to make them this year, you are always gonna be in for a treat at The Gamer where every article means something, especially between the lines. Take this particular one, for instance.
The Final Fantasy franchise has been heavily used, in that it has been trolled, memed, misused, misunderstood, and comically rendered, across a spectrum of explicit content. So it comes as no surprise to find that there could be inappropriate things going on in-game where the characters and storyline are concerned. While anyone with half a brain, and who has played these titles (all Final Fantasy's), will immediately recognize our top-20 points. Others might suddenly feel a burning desire to start playing these games. “How could we have not known, if it’s this ‘bad’, then it must be good.”
We’ll be referring to each main title as FF followed by the series number. Example: Final Fantasy IX will be written as FF-IX. The last thing we need is for readers (and Google, Gul’dan forbid) to label us spammers.
20 Balloons For The New Year
We’re off to FF-VI where you get to play Sabin. He later joins Gau and Cyan, who are quite the ‘pair contraire.' Some of you may remember arriving at Nikeah where a particularly curious bar grants you the opportunity to have a drink with a flirtatious dancer.
Cyan has been recently widowed, so it’s understandable when he refuses her advances. Not only does the dancer keep encouraging him to ‘have some fun,' she uses her Dev-given assets (Humpty and Dumpty) to get Cyan’s feathers in a twist. It looks like propriety has had quite the fall, in a game aimed at kids no less. The writers had Cyan scold the girl for her indecent proposal, but guess what we find in his luggage... A magazine ‘Bushido in the Bedroom’. It’s got nothing to do with Feng Shui, just a whole lot of inappropriateness in a child-centered game, courtesy the Final Fantasy franchise.
19 Eating Innocence
By the time the characters reach the FF-IX storyline, they have grown a lot and learned a lot more. Apparently, so have the developers/writers, particularly in their rendition of the character Vivi. Players come to learn that he was a prototype for living black mage dolls, whose sole purpose is to create an army. This ‘valuable cargo’ falls out of a ship, to be encountered by Quan (a Qu tribe member).
This old man raises Vivi as his own but dies early in-game, leaving this ‘prototype with a soul’ feeling especially dejected. Somewhere in the middle, the game opens you to the ‘Quan’s Dwelling’ plotline where you come across endearing height measurements on the walls; aw, how sweet of adoptive granddad. Then you come across an entry that goes, “Six months since I adopted Vivi. Still too small to eat.” That does it! Did he adopt the poor waif only to eat him later?
18 Truth Is Stranger...
Our hero in FF-V is Bartz, he goes through some crude moments in-game, like the time he teamed up with Lenna and Galuf, and were captured by Faris (the pirate lady). Here’s where the developers thought they’d like to twist their rating. When Faris Scherwiz discovers an identical necklace on Lenna that she herself had when she was adopted, pirate turns to friend and the team travel to a shore town.
Once they find suitable accommodations, Bartz ‘accidentally’ comes across a sleeping Faris and leaves the room looking shaken, in the heartburn sense. Galuf goes to see for himself and exits looking enamored. Obviously, Faris is attractive when she’s not all bossy pirate, but to instill the message ‘creep up on a girl while she’s sleeping’ makes us frown. The team was YET to realize that Faris was a woman; she was pretending to be a male pirate.
17 Princess Problems
FF-II’s Firion has seen no end of misadventures, like the time he said yes to joining the Rebel Army led by Princess Hilda. She’s kidnapped, he rescues her, and they return to base. The young brother-in-law worries for Hilda’s; she keeps laughing every time he speaks. These weird events lead to Hilda requesting one audience, namely Firion, whom she promptly leads to bed!
Sufficient beckoning takes place and Firion is shown proof that he is not in the presence of a princess but the Lamia Queen.
The rest of the team rush into the room; wonder whether they were ‘listening’ in. It’s inappropriate that a scene like this be added at all, more so because it has set Firion in a bad light. Take the line that Shiva repeats in Dissidia Final Fantasy, ‘Come, Firion, I don’t enjoy being teased.’ Hilda told him that! Looks like the writers took crudity to a new low, and made an otherwise beloved hero into a zero worth ridiculing.
16 A Starry Moment
Unnecessary AND inappropriate, FF-IX’s ‘male bonding’ moment takes you by surprise. We’re referring to the scene involving Zidane and Vivi after they’d reached the last summoner’s home in Madain Sari. Eiko Carol is a 6-year-old girl who seems unusually drawn to our hero; this in itself has problem points written all over it. She eavesdrops on a conversation between Zidane and Vivi, the latter of whom has lost sleep.
After a while spent by the monkey-tail humanoid to ease the black mage’s concerns, the former says, “You wanna know a trick to get your mind off things?” and continues by showing Vivi “an age-old ritual between male friends.” It’s not what you’re thinking, merely an outdoor urinating session between buddies, but for the fact that it’s terribly sub-textual and irrelevant. “Doesn’t it feel nice to let yourself go, under the stars?” Not really, Zidane, not really.
15 Rikku, Rigged
In FF-X1, Rikku Kilika is an underage character and she’s not that much older in X-2 (fifteen and seventeen, respectively). Her outfits and animation design are therefore atrociously inappropriate. Not only is it gender biased, it has been deliberately designed for ‘low’ appeal; this little girl deserves better. Compared to Paine (who played an important role in X-2) and Yuna (who turned out better in X-2 than earlier), Rikku seems to have pulled the short straw for girl/women empowerment.
We understand that plenty of people are culturally inclined toward young girls showing skin, but that’s called being a creep, someone who doesn’t care about minor issues that such games do their inadvertent part in encouraging. Deviants are anyway going to rely on the Internet to satisfy their urges, so we wonder why games are drawing attention to the same when they have the power to do better. Sorry for the hold up, Rikku, you can put some proper clothes on your back now; hopefully, maybe, perhaps, who knows.
14 Ultra Ridiculous
Who’d have thought a river rafting adventure could turn out so tentacular? FF-VI sees our heroes almost constantly encountering a creature by the name of Ultros. It has nothing to do with Marvel’s Ultron, but the fact that it is purple, has tentacles and fangs, and a penchant for shenanigans has given this creature a spot on our list. The inappropriateness comes in via Ultros’ unceasing habit to get gross around the female characters in-game.
Lines like “I’d love to get my tentacles around her...” should offer some hint of that.
The team’s 10-year-old (what is it with Final Fantasy and minors?), Relm, seems to have inadvertently grabbed Ultros’s attention. During her attempt to use her magic paintbrush to save the team, the tentacle monster casually remarks, “Uncle Ulty REALLY wants you to do his portrait.” And this character has been given guest appearance slots in other installments in the FF series. Pfft.
13 The Man’s A Menace!
One of the most gruesome characters in FF-VIII is the maniacal Professor Hojo (rhymes with Mojo Jojo). Much like his rhyming association, this mad scientist is notorious for all sorts of dark experiments in his evil labs. Not only does he experiment on himself, his encounter with the team has him showing an unhealthy interest in Aerith. The inappropriateness is taken to a whole new level, that of racial abuse.
Aerith is the last of her race, the Cetra, and Hojo seems intent on breeding her with Red XIII to birth a new racial sub-type! Even the canine beast originated in his dire labs. During his rescue attempt, Cloud learns that Red XIII is sentient and needs help from Hojo’s cruel plans for him. The scientist is no stranger to race-specific experimentations, like the time he impregnated an important character named Lucrecia to beget an ‘evolved’ child called simply the Sephiroth.
12 That’s Terrific... Not
Not to sound Last Jedi, but FF-VII has an interesting moment concerning a rebel group called ‘Avalanche.' In one of their military forays, Cloud is seen following Barret from one location to the next, blowing up energy reactors. These are not enemy hotspots but major energy hubs in important cities and the explosions are certain to have eliminated tens if not hundreds of innocents. This veritably makes Cloud and company an armed coalition of domestic terrorists! This is certainly far from their heroic image throughout Final Fantasy.
Back in 1997 when this title came out, terrorism was not as ‘huge’ as it has become since. Using such ‘justifiable’ means to dispense justice seems like an okay thing to do back then (thank you, Bruce Willis), but is terribly inappropriate in retrospect. Hopefully, future remakes might correct the glaring scenario that basically reads: ‘small bandit/assassin group targeting a rich westernized nation’. Enough said.
11 Doggy, Interrupted
We wanted to dedicate an entire point on our list to the canine experi-child of Hojo, namely Red XIII. Most players will recognize this character by its other name, Nanaki. The moniker has dire tones, seeing as how it was Red’s name back when he was in lab captivity. Several side games and movies based on Final Fantasy seem to have forgotten to use Red, most probably owing to how difficult fur animation was back then. In a way, this seems like a good thing because (as we grazed the topic earlier) Red XIII is introduced in a setting where he is about to physically assault Aerith, in a most inappropriate manner.
Not only is Aerith the last of her race, so is the dog-lion race that Red hails from.
Hojo’s plan was to breed the pair and beget something new. Genetic compatibility aside, the sick nature of this concept touches several different nerves, rendering it worthy of being on our FF improprieties list.
10 Whatever Happened To Class?
FF-XIV: Heavensward can be considered one of the franchise’s most debauched installments owing to its sheer number of abusive elements. From peeping toms and player seductions to courtesans and innuendos galore, this might sound like a dream come true for grown-up players but is definitely not appropriate for lesser age groups that also (strangely) come under Final Fantasy’s rating. There are plenty of dark themes in the game.
Take the sub-story quest which you will need a Ravaged Corpse to complete. The corpse tags along with a description that goes, ‘The body of this poor soul has been defiled in more ways than one.’ This itself spells inappropriate base humor. Inappropriate physical violence has been perpetrated by various parties in FF-XIV, including the Temple Knights of Ishgard, Thanalan bandits, Garleans, and Satasha pirates. The Trouble in Little Ala Mhigo questline carries on the shameful tradition.
9 The Big Bad Cid
Cid Highwind of FF-VII enjoys tough action hero appeal, and came this close to becoming a famous astronaut. But Cid’s dreams of going into space were shattered by capitalism and bureaucracy (our words; no surprise there) at which point he started to vent on everyone around him, especially his girlfriend Shera. It’s horrible how bad he gets with her, and she’s ever so clingy and understanding that it makes us weep for her situation. In fact, Cid was a jerk to her even before his outer space dreams were given a down-to-earth reality check.
He blames her for his failures, which in itself sends the worst message possible in today’s pseudo family society. In some scenes, he gets angry enough to make players wonder whether he’s going to harm her! Shera grows into a depressed shell of her former self. Sad AND inappropriate, as hero characterization goes. The way this chainsmoker treats Shera is an obvious shout out to the way millions of actual women are treated the world over.
8 Oh, The Agony!
There is real pain in this game, and we mean the heartfelt kind. Take Red XIII’s father, Seto, who supposedly fought against the raid on his hometown, which Red thought happened otherwise. Upon encountering his stonified body, the team observes tears still streaming from its face. It’s well known in FF-VII that you can revive such conditions using a Soft; costs a few Gil. But our team of intrepid do-gooders turn a blind eye to this problem, leaving such important characters as they were, to suffer the agony of being petrified.
The cruelty of such moments is enough to make players feel agonized themselves.
Game rating aside, it is not a lost fact that young players are being influenced by such content in titles as powerfully popular as Final Fantasy.
7 Save The Date
The theme park segment in FF-VII is seriously messy. Whoever you’ve spoken to up to that point in-game is used as a ‘tally’ to select a winner, who then gets to go on a date with (wait for it...) Barret Wallace! You get options to spend quality time with the ladies. Aerith is open, but if you want to spend time with Tifa you can snub A and move to T. Even the wild spirit Yuffie is available, but the creators seem to have opted for a sly twist.
For a late 90s game, the idea of using a same-gender dating theme can indeed be termed progressive, but to have it in a kids’ game? This isn’t even what we found genuinely inappropriate. Our issue is with the contest where a pair up with Aerith gets you ‘1000th couple of the night’ but with Barret only gets you dismissed. Anyway, Cloud’s ‘date’ is sour, because Barret feels our hero might get too close with his daughter Marlene, who’s very young...
FF-VI has its moments, like the time they programmed Celes to jump in the World of Ruin. Such moments are certainly expected in franchises dedicated solely to grown-ups. But to use such a powerful ‘blue whale’ (our words; this fish plagued us more recently) life-ending setting is not okay in our book. Gamers are often unaware that many in their community play to take their minds of real-world depressions and disappointments.
To be candid, it is really not that hard to be influenced, or rather pushed over the edge (if you’ll forgive the poor choice of words), by moments like this in a popular/favorite game title. With this particular line of thought in mind, we say it was highly inappropriate for the developers/writers to come up with the idea at all, namely that of sending Celes plummeting to a final and fantastic doom.
5 What’s Your Poison?
We touched upon World of Ruin earlier; let’s expand on it. It’s been one of the most surprising, and bewildering, things that’s happened in the Final Fantasy franchise. Kefka Palazzo veritably brainstorming an apocalypse that resulted in the creation of the World of Ruin makes for fine storytelling. But it’s the WAY this pseudo-Joker went about doing it that has us reaching for the critics’ pen. Not only does he treat Terra like a doll slave, he also invaded Narshe with his army in typical "US invades the Middle East" style. He’d also poisoned a major city’s water supply.
There’s a lot of destruction and assault of all kinds, and a glaring lack of concern for how the pieces fall. You can imagine how Kefka’s (leadership) popularity might end up inspiring all the wrong votes...again. We’re probably just being paranoid. But to be fair to this villain (Kefka, not Trump), he does fit the role of evil guy quite wholesomely.
4 It's Trouble
The classic versions of some games are often the go-to source for that game’s more innocent phase, when nostalgia felt great and memories were cleaner than in future installments. This is not the case with Final Fantasy, specifically FF-II, where the whole gender identity ‘which bathroom should I use’ memo got lost in the mail. Your character, in one of the game’s lesser-known moments, gets to pair up with a trans person in a bedroom setting.
We’re not implying anything other than how inappropriate this is for younger players, to say nothing of the ill light such scenarios have put actual trans people in. From shows and movies to full-scale awareness campaigns, there is a lot going on in the gender equality department than anyone would have thought possible, say, ten years ago. It is therefore genuinely inappropriate to give players the ‘chance’ to do something like this in FF-II, when the developers could just as easily have turned things around and made the trans ‘image’ a bit more empathetic.
3 School Of Hard Knocks
Before much time transpires in FF-VIII, we see Squall taking on the mantle of Commander of Balamb Garden. The place sounds kosher but for its real purpose, namely a school for mercenaries. Everything is well and good with this scene, don’t get us wrong. As a society, we all seem to have become immune to bombings and their traumatizing after-effects. But to showcase a full-fledged school attack (whatever kind of school, for that matter) and to have students fighting each other with melee weapons seems to us like the darkest version of a Harry Potter misadventure made manifest in Final Fantasy, the realm where inappropriateness has seemingly called home.
It’s bizarre enough that the leader and chief, Squall, seems more concerned about the hot dogs than the students under his purview.
What’s worse is that, in quite a Divergent fashion, two ‘schools’ are at war here, reflecting a rather gang-like battle scenario that seems to say to kids, ‘try this at school’.
2 Final Folly
FF-VIII has some interesting moments, like the time they threw Cloud into Sector 6, which contains an assortment of sleazy businesses and personalities, including Don Corneo. Before you go getting Godfather vibes, this is a whole different kind of daddy. A human trafficker, Corneo gets his hands on darling Tifa whom Cloud has to rescue. The disguise mission segment alone is unsettling: Cloud gathers items to dress himself into a femme fatale to attract Corneo’s grubby attentions.
A peek into one of the area's rooms shows a ritual in progress. We have Cloud making arriving at a peculiar room, which demands he wears something skimpy. In the Group Room, he gets bathed by nine half unclothed male customers looking to vent their kinks; Cloud’s reply options are frighteningly inappropriate. Individuals, male as well as female, and all sorts of low-down value in a game popular among teens and younger (despite the rating)... Fantastic!
1 Of Scented Oils & Rank Massages
They let you choose a massage spot, quite low too. Yuna is clad in a terribly inappropriate dress, and the top right of the screen has a ‘satisfaction meter’ with the player being challenged to raise it. Looks like Leblanc is in for the time of her life in FF-X2, a title that generally flopped. It does not help matters than in an earlier scene, Rikku compares bodies with the team; Paine and Yuna included.
There are all sorts of misdemeanors going on in FF-X2.
Yuna is disguised when she’s giving Leblanc a massage. Leblanc even moans! Don’t get us wrong, we’re not prudes at TheGamer, we don’t mind open-minded inclusions in games, but to have them in kid-targeted titles is crossing the line. Children can learn all this after they’ve grown up, not be confused at an early age. “I didn’t know there were things like this, daddy. May I try it when I grow up, mummy?”