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"She translates mohawk guy's words: Tightass can stay if he makes himself useful. Now I really hope to God he was talking about swimming. The alternative scares and disturbs me."
     -Jeanne, Final Fantasy X Part 1




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09.05.02 :: Overcoats are red, mages are blue

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

Hiya kiddies! It's time once again for a brand-new mailbag. This week, we wanted to know which Blue Mage rocks your socks and why. For a while, it looked like we were only going to have one vote in the whole damn show, but you've come through for us in fine style. (Well, mostly, but we'll get to that.) We've got some more off-topic stuff that just couldn't wait, so we'll deal with it first. Thought we had printed all the Tidus-ness we could stand? Think again!

Tidus -- the lesser of two evils?
I can respect your opinions on Tidus - hell, I even share them. But I have to say, he looks pretty damn good compared to Yuna.

That...THING...is the most horrible excuse for a heroine ever. She has to be the most naive person that ever existed on her miserable planet, ever. Because of this, she keeps getting herself into trouble, and Wanker and Company are forced to save her time and time again. And her voice acting...oh dear god. Okay, that has nothing to do with her character, but it's sure as hell annoying - you have to give me that. And she falls in love with Tidus almost instantly - that's one sick girl. And she's so PERFECT, and everyone LOVES her...it makes me want to be sick.

What happened to Terra? What happened to Garnet? What happened to Kid? What happened to likeable video game heroines?

Tidus may be a Wanker, but being Mrs. Wanker is ten times worse.

Dear Whoever-You-Are (sign your letters, people!),

Spoilers for FFX follow, in my response and AG's. So no bitching.

I need to get this out of the way: I can't say I disagree with your points on Yuna. Yes, she is na?ve and annoying. Yes, her voice acting raised -- or lowered -- the bar for how bad voice acting can be. (At least JAT sounded like a person, instead of a robot reading index cards, however wanky Tidus may sound.) Yes, sometimes I'd like to chuck Yuna AND Tidus off a cliff while playing FFX. "Wanna scream?" Damn right I do, if you're going to start THAT shit again, girl. AUG.

But...overall, I can't say she's more annoying than Tidus. Because Tidus is the culmination, the magnum opus, if you will, of everything in the universe that is annoying. And Yuna had a rough time, I think. Her father is dead. She knows, at least for quite a while, that she's facing imminent death. She's ultimately forced to kill all her beloved Aeons (I honest-to-God cried when Valefor died). And, believe me, it pains me to say this: as much as Tidus is a wanker, she loved him, and she had to watch him disappear. Girls generally don't like seeing their boyfriends die. It's not cool.

And besides...Terra, I can understand. But Garnet? Miss I-Hate-Being-Powerful-Wealthy-And-Beautiful? Her whole "I don't wanna talk anymore" thing just reeked of irritating melodrama. As for Kid, I have a hard time liking a girl who is clearly the love child of Rikku and Steve Irwin. Bugger!

So, uh, Yuna is pretty bad, but let's not go overboard, okay?

-LC

Dear Magical Mystery Girl,

I've got to lay off the mind-altering drugs. I thought I just read something saying that Tidus was cute and Princess Garnoa was likeable. Wait...I did. My faith in humanity is now in shambles. Be that as it may, I intend to answer this letter, painful though it may be. Consider yourself duly warned.

First of all, you score some points for the incredible stink-fest that is Yuna's voice acting. I've known nervous, incontinent three year olds in a pre-school play that deliver their lines with more conviction and feeling. But to say that she's more annoying that Junior McWankerson? That's not only pushing the envelope but disemboweling it with the Paper Knife of Doom. Yuna is soooo good, and soooo earnest, but have you ever seen a Final Fantasy heroine who isn't? Come to think of it, how many Final Fantasy heroines manage to make it through the game without having Mr. Super Stud Hero coming to their rescue after sticking their silly noses into some nefarious world-domination plan? She was only doing what the script required of her, and that included the disastrous "love" scene between her and Wanky Overalls. And, as LC said, she does have a heck of a time, what with her Dad essentially offing both himself and Tidus' Dad, driving his best buddy slightly insane long enough to send him on a revenge quest that failed miserably and *sniff* caused his death, and then letting the cycle start all over again. That's a lot of stress to put on a girl. It could be that she's taken one too many hits off the old Blitzbong, which explains a lot. How many stoners do YOU know who talk slowly with strange pauses, giggle a lot, and are slightly oblivious? Uh, huh. That's what I thought.

In short MMG, I give you an "A" for effort, but a "C" for comparative reasoning. Be glad I grade on a curve. Now, no whining, or I kick your arse so hard you'll kiss the moons, as it were. Oy!

-AG

This week's scary fanboy perspective
Who really cares which of those blue mages is supposedly the coolest? You see, the greatest game of all time, FF7, allowed anyone to be a blue mage by way of the Enemy Skill materia. Since all games should be exactly like FF7 because it was the greatest thing I've ever experienced or ever will experience (including sex, not that I would know), blue magery should not be restricted to just one character.

If I had to choose one it would have to be Quistis -- except for the fact that she was in Final Fantasy VIII, or as I call it, Satan. She is really hot, though, as wrong as it is to feel that way about someone who was in the Worst Game of All Time. I almost feel like I'm cheating on my beloved FF7 to say such a thing. I shall have to go do my 115th FF7 All Night Marathon just to make it up to it.

-Sephir0th69

PS--Quina is just a Cait Sith ripoff anyway. I said Final Fantasy games should be EXACTLY LIKE FF7, not RIPOFFS of FF7. Don't those game designers know the difference???

Sephy,

Dearie, you need to get out more. Come on, there?s a great big world out there, and it needs more rabid FFVII fanboys like you. Well, okay, so we mainly need you for mocking purposes, but it?s nice to be wanted for something, right? Who knows, you may even find a game you like *gasp* just as much as FFVII, considering the advances games have made in the past 6 years or so. I?m not saying you will, but it?s a remote possibility. And you may even find a rabid fangirl to call your own. You may even be able to overlook the fact that she doesn?t look exactly like Tifa. So take your shower, brush your hair and put on your best goth-boy outfit. Go out into the big Mako-run world and ? uh, wait a sec. Forget I said that.

-AG

Seph69 (I'm sure many a female FF7 fan would pay to see that),

I have to ask this of you: in your many, many midnight excursions into the world of FF7, do you mumble things like "My oooooonly...my precioussssssssssshhhh..."? Just curious.

-LC

Hock the Blue Mage (from Cat Slave)
What is he, a lugie? Or will the pawn shop give something good for him? I am ashamed to say that the only Final Fantasy Blue Mage I can recall is the Hock, the Blue Mage from the anime "Legend of the Crystals." He is a regular pill. He stands by the princess' side the whole time, bemoaning how terrible things are becoming and doing nothing helpful. He lets a pre-pubescent preistess named Linally of the Really Short Skirt and her faithful, horndog-like follower, Pretz of the Really Really Long Sword take on the bad guys by themselves. That's the same bad guy who evidently took out all the armies, sages and magik users of three other kingdoms previous to this. So the Blue Mage decides that the best course of action is to let a couple kids handle it all. Boy, what a winner! Almost as bad as the Authurian mage Merlin, who gives Uther Pendragon a mystic sword and then retires to watch the mayhem, appearing only to offer the occassional "I told you so...." when things go horribly wrong. If Hock the Blue Mage is representative of all the other Final Fantasy Blue Mages, it is no wonder I have forgotten the whole sorry lot. I was going to nominate Vivi as the best Blue Mage, but I guess he is really a Black Mage, which makes no sense because he wears blue. I'm so confused....

CS,

What?s with you, man? It?s obvious from your previous letter that you played through FFIX at least once, so surely the concept of a Blue Mage isn't completely foreign to you, huh? I mean, it?s labeled right there in Quina's action command box for the world to see. Be that as it may, I?ll assume that you were joking and let it slide. However, anyone named ?Hock? has more issues to deal with than just laziness or a Merlin complex. I?d say he had some residual hatred issues against his parents to deal with. If I?d been named Hock, I know I would. All in all, a valiant effort, even if the question ?What?s a Blue Mage?? hurt my head from me slamming it against my desk. If you value your life, CS, don?t do that to me ever, ever again.

-AG

I suppose one mark of good sarcasm is when idiotic peons like me can't distinguish it from the writer just being blindingly stupid. So, like AG, I have a bit of a headache from hitting my head against a blunt object (my monitor, you sickos!) in reaction to your letter. What are you trying to do, kill us?

-LC

Quina, everyone's favorite he-she
Greetings, coveters of the Red Overcoat.

Like many fellow letter writers of this fine Mailbag, I thought for long hours about who I should write for this "Blue Mage madness" themed week. Perhaps of the Light Warriors of FFV, since they introduced this oft overlooked class to the franchise? Or maybe about Gau, the Blue Mage Berserker?

Since the "token Blue Mages" need to be judged both by the worth of their characters and by their usefulness in battle, I narrowed it down to Quistis, Quina and Kimahri.

Quistis is out because (1) her Blue Magic is available only by way of irregular Limit Breaks, (2) she couldn't realize that her prize student didn't go her way (ifyaknowwhatImean), and (3) this really isn't the right place for a guy to go on about naughty fantasies with Bondage! Teacher.

Kimahri, cool cat that he is, is out, because (1) his Blue Magic is available only by way of Overdrive (though at least he can use one as soon as he learns a new one) and (2) he's the easiest character to screw up on the Sphere Grid. That said, he's more relevant to the story he's in than the other Blue Mages, and at least makes sure that every word coming out from him counts.

Quina, despite being mostly superfluous to the plot, is my...androgynous...gourmand, for many reasons: his/her Blue Magic, though a pain to acquire, can be cast on the fly, which makes up for it; s/he brings an actually well delivered sense of humor, not like Steiner, since Quina at least knows when to keep quiet, and knows better than to over-drag a scene. For example:

Random FFIX scene (with Steiner):
Zidane: Alright everyone, let's mosey!
Steiner: Don't think for a moment that I trust you, miscreant!
Zidane: ...right. Vivi, you go with Steiner. I'll..
Steiner: YOU stay away from the Princess!
Zidane: Oh, for..
*ad nauseam, until they get going*

Random FFIX scene (with Quina):
Zidane: Alright everyone, let's mosey!
Quina: Mosey taste good?
Zidane: ...right. Vivi, you go with Quina. I'll go with Dagger.
Quina: I go look for yummy-yummies!
Dagger: Please do so; we're fresh out of sleeping weed.
Zidane: ...*sighs*
*they get going*

See, one-track minds can work. It's just a matter of knowing when to shut up. Speaking of which, that's my cue to bid you farewell. I have to look for some yummy-yummies.

~Quartz Falcon

QF,

As always, you made your point very well. For the exact reasons you describe, I am a huge Quina fan. S/he's fun, s/he's often useful, and his/her dialogue helped me often forget what a terribly ridiculous melodrama FFIX could often be. And I don't know about you, but I just loved eating monsters. It was hilarious. However...I have to come to Kimahri's defense. I had no clue what I was doing with the bluest of the Blue Mages as far as the Sphere Grid went, and I still came out with a pretty bitchin' character. Most importantly, he had Hastega, which made it possible for me to rid my party of Tidus entirely. That's very, very good. And he's a powerful mo'fo', used properly. So don't write off the Ronso just because you made a few unlucky turns on the Sphere Grid. Besides, Yuna and I think broken horns are mad sexy.

-LC

Coveter of the red overcoat, am I QF? Honey, you?ve mistaken me. It?s not the overcoat I covet, but?well, never mind. *Ahem* Blue Mages, right. You make some very valid points for our favorite...er, whatever it is, especially the ability to cast Blue Magic on the fly, a very helpful thing indeed. The ?Eat? command had me snickering from time to time, but that?s just my sick, sad mind at work. In any case, you?ve done a fantastic job presenting your case, and another witty letter writer seconded your pick. Read on and see!

-AG

Another vote for Quina
As cool as Quistis is (despite the fact that she doesn't realize that Squally is gay), and as cool as it is to use Shockwave Pulsar on Griever (aka PUGGY!!! in my game) before he can use it on the party, I'm going to have to go with Quina for this one. Why? Apart from the obvious "available at all times" blue magic attacks, how can you go wrong with a hermaphroditic, huge-tongued, gramatically-challenged, frilly-chef-outfit-wearing compulsive eater who ended up married to Vivi? You just can't.

Jeanne

PS--Kimahri may have stood a fighting chance if I could shake that image of him grinning as he spied on Tidus and Yuna making out. The only proper reaction to a scene where Tidus is engaged in physical affection of any sort is vomiting and/or running away in fear.

That marriage scene in FFIX probably puts Quina over the top for very many fans. "I...so happy..." I can't imagine how little Vivi made it out of their honeymoon alive. Figuring out what gender his new bride was would have driven the best of us insane.

-LC

Jeanne,

If I vomit in fear at the memory of that image, will that help? In all truth, Kimahri deserves a sympathy vote for having to watch that horrible scene. Maybe it wasn?t a grin, but a grimace of terror. Okay, so I?m projecting here, I know that.

As for Quina, it seems that s/he?s our hands down winner in this Blue Mage contest, frog breath and all. You?ve made me want to play FFIX again, just for the sheer fun of watching Quina scarf down on my enemies. It?s just too bad that such a character doesn?t exist in real life, though I?d imagine that poor Quina would end up with magic like ?Gross Stupidity,? ?Whining,? ?Annoying Personal Habits? and ?Terrible Manners.? Not exactly the things to strike fear into the hearts of men. Give me a good ?Flare? every time.

-AG

We fangirls can dream...
Hi AG and Lita-chan!

I'm a new reader of this website, but I have a question for you. Do you think there's any chance Squall is bi? A threesome...

Ahem.

Regards,
Sailor Amalthea

We're glad to see new visitors to the site, and especially new contributors to our humble letters column! As for your question...we think the VGR Mailbag readership could do this question much more justice than we could alone. Lucky you wrote in, we needed a topic!

-AG and LC


Quina looks to be the winner in our Blue Mage popularity contest, but we haven't had our say! Since we know you care, here are our opinions:

AG's Blue Mage Pick: Quistis

Why? 'Cause she's a chick with a chainwhip, that's why! Putting aside some of her more obvious problems, such as the fact that she's woefully ignorant of Squally's true feelings for Seifer, or the rather chancy limit break, she's got the best collection of Blue Magic around. "Degenerator" saved Squally and Co's ill-prepared booties more times than once when facing off with a major monster in a random battle. What's not to love? On top of that, she's got groupies. Groupies! Hell, there's even some poor sap carrying her trading card around and you don't get much more obsessed than that. A pity that poor Quisty was barking up the wrong tree the whole damned game. She gets my vote for sheer perseverance.

LC's Blue Mage of Choice: Kimahri

Though I love Quina to pieces, two people have already cast their lot with him, so I've gotta stick up for the cuddly blue lion dude. Apparently, I'm the only person in the universe that managed to make Kimahri into a useful character via the Sphere Grid. With a good deal of Yuna's healing White Magic for emergencies, Tidus' Haste and Hastega, a number of Auron's and Wakka's attack abilities, and his own albeit rarely-used Blue Magic, not to mention his penchant for kicking ass and taking names without any of those bells and whistles, the Kimahri stored on MY memory card actually rivals Auron in badass-ness. Yes, you read that correctly. That issue aside, Kimahri as a personality is just cool. He hates Tidus for most of the game (big bonus points!) until the entire party, even Lulu, reaches the point where he's suddenly likable to them. Whatever. Kimahri's a, uh, Ronso of few words, but he seems to know what to say and exactly when to say it, putting him miles above the likes of Tidus and Wakka in the tact department. Finally, he's a Blue Mage WHO IS ACTUALLY BLUE. Quina's more of an aqua color, and where's Quistis' blue? I don't see it! Other than her being "blue" over the fact that Squall likes guys. But that's another topic for another mailbag...

The next mailbag, in fact!

Sailor Amalthea presents a topic worthy of our attention: there's no doubt (in our minds, at least) that Squall very much likes the company of men. But does he exclusively play for the home team? Is there any possibility that Quistis (or Rinoa, we suppose) could get lucky, under the right circumstances? And hey, how about Seifer? He, too, was snared by Rinoa at one point. So what's going on there? We want to hear from you by next Tuesday evening (9-10-02)...

Squall. Seifer. Gay? Bi? Discuss.

See you next week!

- AG and Lita-chan

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