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"Alex discovers a painting of a tall, phallic object. But this is no ordinary phallus. We find out from RETD that this is a phallus made of human bodies embedded in cement. 'Though disturbing, it is meticulously rendered down to the subtlest detail: the precise anatomy of fractured bones and the convolutions of spines and ribs entwine into a mesmerizing sight.' Cripes, RETD is starting to scare me a little. If he randomly shows up in my driveway, I'm going to shit myself."
     -Jeanne, Eternal Darkness Part 1




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08.14.02 :: Tidus: Not a wanker?

The opinions in this letters column aren't necessarily those of Jeanne Rubbo, owner of videogamerecaps.com. Even so, Jeanne owns *us* and has locked us in a dark closet with Tidus and Rinoa until we think of something funny. HELP! In the meantime, send in your comments, queries, whining, flames, spam, opinions, facts, opinions that you think are facts, and general idiocy to mailbag@videogamerecaps.com

As many of you know, this edition of the mailbag begs the question, "Why isn't Tidus a Wanker?" With bated breath, we eagerly awaited the Tidus fanfolk responses. Sadly, or happily, depending on your point of view, there wasn't a one to be had! Is it that our biting sarcasm has frightened them away, or is it that they just couldn't prove that he wasn't a wanker (Yevon knows we can't)? The world may never know. We were secretly hoping that JAT himself would step into the fray, but to no avail. However, we have received some great letters, and some fab fanart from our faithful readers, along with some off-topic missives to be saved for another day. So, without any further ado, we present to you the VGR Mailbag, the Tidus Special Edition. In Wanky Widescreen. Yee haw! Here we go!

Maybe Tidus is just a re-Jecht...
Well, we all know that Tidus is a wanker, right? However, there must be a reason for his wankyness. If his wankyness is not completely his fault?then, well he can be excused, sorta. Basically, the way I see it, Tidus? wankese springs from his rejection by his mother and his horrible relationship with his father. Now, Tidus couldn?t have been a wanker from the day he was born, as babies just aren?t able to be wankers. So, his parents obviously are to blame for things like his sensitive feelings, i.e., how he is a huge crybaby. His two horrible relationships with his parents and then his early fame in life (being a blitzball player) aren?t too good for a child?s emotional needs. Generally child stars are bratty and have serious personality problems?plus a lot of adolescent males say and do stupid things to impress girls (like when he told the two girls that after he scores the goal he?ll do some stupid hand sign, and they?ll know the goal was for them). His wankese is obviously the way that he expresses himself best, and were it not for Jecht and whatever his mother?s name is, the wankese wouldn?t exist. Or it would be less annoying. I mean, repeating everything we knew and stating facts that in general we didn?t care about, or didn?t make any sense (like when they were all laughing outside of Yevon-Djose Temple and he said that in retrospect he was the only one, who was laughing). So, to sum it all up?Tidus is a wanker, his wankyness is not all of his fault, someone should go back in time and give a pamphlet on contraception to Tidus? parents before Tidus is born, and failing that?explain how much of a wanker he?ll turn out to be.

-Eiko the White Mage

Eiko,

I must say that I'm very impressed with your defense of Tidus' personality flaws. Not everyone would look past the whining, posturing and all-around wank to see debatable good in the boy beneath. Well done. While part of me rejoices that our readership has such good sense, I also have to wonder -- just where ARE all the Tidus fanfolks? Surely they're out there, listening to their N'SYNC albums and screaming over any dewy-eyed boy with his shirt half-open. Hell, Ol' Tidus even had a Guido chain and medallion, and you can't tell me that won't attract a certain contingent of screaming pop fan. It's truly a point to ponder, though it really makes my head hurt.

-AG

Eiko, Darling,

I, too, admire your resolve in giving Tidus' behavior a logical face, without stooping to Tidus fangirl-ism. (Where are you, ladies? We know you exist.) I must, however, address a couple of your points. I can't prove this or anything, but it occurs to me that IF babies are, in fact, capable of being wankers, Baby Tidus would have been one. I suppose this is a nature versus nurture thing: is wank learned or innate? Certainly Jecht and Tidus-Mommy had a lot to do with it, but I can't picture Tidus as anything BUT a wanker, EVER. Thinking this way gave me a headache, until I remembered: this is a videogame character and he isn't real. Then I felt better.

But JAT is real.

*sob*

Secondly, while he is truly and unforgivably annoying, your letter made me realize that we could have gotten much worse than Tidus the Cocky Child Star. We could have gotten Tidus the Depressed, Annoying Loser Who Writes Shitty Poetry about Storm Clouds and Suicide. But, as I type this, I hope to Yevon none of Square's writers are reading this page, getting ideas for FFXII's protagonist. *shudder*

-LC

FFX Spoilers (try not to kill yourself)
Dear AG and Lita-chan,

Warning: This letter contains spoilers for FFX. That means that if the very thought of having this game spoiled for you sends you into spasms of terror and angst and you feel you will get zero enjoyment from the game and thus your very life may end, then don't read this letter. If you read this letter, you only have yourself to blame, and no matter how much you rant and whine and rant and whine, it's ALL YOUR FAULT.

Anyway...

I've decided to help you out here, since you've given out a topic to a group of people who are either non-existent (allowing me to sleep more easily at night), or, more likely, too scared to write in to face your wrath. I'm talking about Tidus fans. As a recapper who must often see into the darkest recesses of game designers' souls, I am accustomed to frightening tasks that would cause the average person to run away screaming. Because of this, I will now perform the scariest task of all -- trying to get inside a Tidus fan's mind and figuring out how in Yevon's name anyone can look at Tidus and see something other than a complete wanker.

1) "Cloud and Squall were so moody -- I'm glad we finally got a FF hero who's not a jerk."

Apparently we've all forgotten about Zidane and his predecessor, Locke, but whatever. There are so many levels between "moody yet somewhat intelligent" and "cheerful and friendly but a completely obnoxious crybaby idiot" that I can't understand why someone would settle for a character as annoying as Tidus, just because he's "nice." And that's a relative term, considering what a jerk he was to most of the characters at some point (see: Auron). Just because it's unintentional doesn't make it okay.

2) "He's soooooo hot."

I'm not going to be self-righteous here and say that I've never had a crush on someone lame. I've had boyfriends who turned out to be total Tiduses, after all. And it's obvious that Tidus was designed to be the pretty young teenybopper lust object character. There are just going to be people who fit into the demographic that would find that sort of character appealing, as difficult as that is for most of us to believe.

3) "I like it when the hero isn't the strongest character -- he's in a strange world trying to find his way and he's uncertain. I find that more interesting than a guy who can kick lots of ass."

I understand the merits of this argument. Not all RPG heroes have to be heartless ass-kickers. However, this argument becomes null and void, in my opinion, when the character in question is so highly annoying as to make you want to kill him rather than identify with him.

4) "I didn't find him that annoying."

I've actually seen this opinion quite a few times. I suppose if stupidity and annoying teenagers aren't two of your biggest pet peeves, then Tidus won't bother you all that much. I think everyone who knows me knows where I stand on these issues. Also, I've seen people praising Tidus who are very similar to Tidus in their behavior, so as scary as that is to contemplate, it's actually like a "Tidus on earth" effect. *shudder*

5) "His ending was so tragic."

Ah, the (WARNING! WARNING! BLINKING RED LIGHT! SIRENS! FINAL FANTASY VII SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!! STOP READING NOW, OR THOU SHALT BE SPOILED FOREVERMORE!!!!) Aeris effect. He died, so suddenly his worth as a character increases tenfold. Whereas technically he *does* become less annoying when he DIES, since he can't talk or be seen by us (until after the credits -- damn you, Square), that doesn't make his behavior in life less annoying. I think the fact that he didn't bother to tell Yuna that he was going to disappear, until right near the end, says a lot more about his worth as a character than his "tragic" death does.

So as you can see, there are a few reasons why some people think Tidus is the bee's knees, or at least why they think he's not a wanker. On one hand, I want to let these people enjoy their ignorant bliss, because what I wouldn't give to play FFX without screaming "WANKER!!!" at the screen every ten seconds. On the other hand, I've always felt that education is the best thing in the world, so I will continue to spread the word of Tidus's wankerhood. That just sounded kind of wrong. I apologize.

I truly hope you get some actual Tidus fans to write in because I would love to see your responses.

Jeanne

Jeanne,

What can I say? Fortune is a fickle mistress, and no gushing fanperson letters have appeared in the trusty mailbag to date. Shame, really. From an educational standpoint we have been robbed of the alternate view of Tidus. Apparently, some folks play the game and he doesn't get on their nerves, or prompt them to scream, "Drop him, Auron! DROP! HIM!" in the opening hour of the game. The contributions of such a person would have been immeasurable. And yet, we are also spared the whole "But...he's so cute! He's so lonely! I want to rub my hands over his girly chest!" treatment, and as I've just eaten a big meal, I thank Yevon for it. Just as a side note, I love the spoiler warnings in your letter. For you gentle readers out there who think that perhaps Mrs. Rubbo didn't go far enough in spoiler-awareness, please note that the next step is that I come over to your house with a foam bat and beat you about the head each time you read a spoiler while yelling "Spoiler!" at the top of my lungs. Don't put me to the test. Just. Don't.

-AG

Jeanne, Mistress of Sarcasm,

I really, really hate to rob you of precious hours of sleep, but I stumbled upon this site this afternoon and this one a while back. Good God, they're really out there. It gives me the chills.

As I'm sure you know, I wholeheartedly agree with each point in your letter, especially the bit about Tidus' physical appearance being marketed toward specific gamers. The bizarre overalls aside, Tidus just screams "I'm a fictional Backstreet Boy you can take home and claim as your own!" -- from his tousled blond hair to his Mr. Popularity attitude to his pufferfish face. Although...I have to wonder what the hell Square is thinking, marketing the main protagonist toward those types...last time I checked, BSB-loving teenyboppers kind of turned their noses up at videogames. Maybe I'm just behind the times. C'est la vie.

Oh, and as for the lack of letters defending our favorite Wonder Years ripoff, read on...

-LC

Just what does he mean by "team bitch"?
'Sup, ya?

Chances are, you ladies may have heard of me. I'm Datto, default right forward of the Besaid Aurochs.

From what I've heard, our new left forward has been gettin' some bad press over the Internet, ya? Something about him being a wanker, whatever that is. Well, tho' I've gotta admit that his holier-than-thou attitude can get irritating at times, I've taken it upon myself to step up to his defense in the name of the team.

While he isn't much different from Capn' Wakka as a blitzball player, it's thanks to him that we got a new coach to give us some ACTUAL STRATEGY (none of Wakka's "hit the bong and hump the others" tactics). Coach Auron, you rock.

The bleached one also doubles as team mascot: not only is his presence stimulating enough to make us realise that we need to quit the 'shrooms (only to find out that he's no hallucination), but he also distracts the opposing teams long enough for the rest of us to do our job.

Most importantly, as he's the new kid, he also gets the title of "Team Bitch." Seeing as how that was my former position, you may see why I'm so glad he's on the team, ya? No more uniform-washing, 'flour'-purchasing, stew-cooking, Wakka-appeasing, or any other disturbing chores for me anymore!

So you see, there's no need to be so mean about our star player, ya? If we can live with him, then so can you.

...What is it, Bitch? Are you done washing that leak you made on the sphere pool? Good, now get goin' with our uniforms, Bitch!

~Datto, ya?

Dear Das Butt,

Hey, is it okay if I call you that? I heard Wakka do it earlier, and you didn't seem to mind then. *snicker*

How nice to see an insider's *snicker again* perspective on the "real" Tidus. And you have my deepest sympathies for dealing with Wanky McWankerson for as long as you did. I definitely see the appeal, too, of making him team bitch, just so you can call him "bitch." Hee hee! Even though the thought of him being the entire team's bitch, as well as Wakka's, will no doubt give me some unholy nightmares tonight.

As will the concept of "Coach Auron." I watch football. Coaches do about as much ass grabbing and patting as the players themselves. Ew.

-LC

Ah, Datto my friend. Put the blitzbong down, dearheart. That's right?now step away from the table. Good! It's time for an intervention. As much as the thought of humiliating the Wanky One pleases me to no end, the fact of the matter remains that by your actions you are actually encouraging him in his chosen delusions of grandeur.

Even the mundane chores such as uniform-washing and Wakka-appeasing *snicker* only serve to enlarge his already overgrown boy-star ego and convince him that he's really worth something to the team. Honestly, when facing off with a team like the Goers, who apparently have a butt-cheek painting obsession, what can some little bleached-blond wanker do for you?

Oh, I'll admit that the Lady Goers have some kind of mental issue since they keep asking your bitch to "have some fun" with them, but it's only because Cap'n Wakka made them dinner with those shrooms he keeps feeding you guys. It'll wear off, and then what are you left with? A cocky, spindly little boy who can't shoot straight and spends all his time color commentating the game when it's over!

You must separate Cap'n Wakka from his boy-bitch and fast if you know what's good for you. Otherwise you'll be knee-deep in voiceover before you know it. It's enough to make ME want a hit off the old blitzbong, I tell you that!

Oh, and you can tell Coach Auron that he can come see me after the game. I've got a few new moves I'd like to show him.

-AG

A universal opinion
I think Tidus is cool because...
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I give up.

Catslave3

And that, dear readers, says it all.

- AG and LC


But that wasn't all from Catslave3--he also was kind enough to send us some primo fanart, one an alternate view of the FFIX cast, and one even more drop-dead hilarious Suikoden II comic. We wholeheartedly encourage art as well as letters, especially if it's stuff this funny. Big thanks to CS, even though the implications of the Suiko II one are pretty disturbing.

Editors' note on the artwork: To make sure all our readers would be able to, uh, read the captions, the text in the FFIX comic was retyped over the original image. But exactly as is, don't worry.

One more ed. note: As CS explained it to us, a "lolicon" is an anime, manga or videogame character that could be connected to a Lolita complex. That's all we'll say on the subject because, if you don't get what that means, you're lost on us, anyway.

Well, that was fun, kiddies. Although no Tidus fangirls "graced" the mailbag, we did get some interesting viewpoints on Tidus' character and overall wankiness.

There won't be a real mailbag next week, because I (Lita-chan) will be spending the entire week in lovely San Francisco, getting some needed R&R. BUT, Jeanne, AG and myself have cooked up a special treat for just such an occasion. Check out the mailbag next Wednesday for some laughs.

And so you can have two whole weeks to write in (you lazy bastards), we've still got a topic for you to ponder. I'm a pro wrestling fan, and AG is willing to indulge me on this topic, as it's still videogame-related: if you could pair up any two Final Fantasy characters in a tag team, which ones would you pick? Why those characters? How would they work well together? What would their finishing move be? How about some of their most memorable catchphrases? Figure it out, and send it in. We've decided to set up a date deadline for mailbag entries, so do get your letters in before Tuesday, August 27.

Wank on!

- AG and Lita-chan

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