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"But this is Xenosaga, so even something as mundane and simple as getting a cup of coffee has to be a big dramatic production."
     -Sam, Xenosaga Part 9




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09.11.02 :: Big Gay Squall's Big Gay Boat Ride

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

Welcome, dear readers to a very special presentation of the VGR Mailbag. This week, we were encouraged to address the burning question of our favorite glam-goth sexually ambiguous (to some of you, anyway) poster boy, Squally Leonhart-Almasy himself. We waited in evil anticipation for an angry, drooling fangirl letter defending His Prettiness, and praise be to Yevon, we got one! Finally, we get the chance to rip on -- er, respond to -- that gentle breed of Mary Sue-writing devotees! As an added bonus, we have some interesting theories, and a nicely inclusive scenario to please all you perv -- uh, I mean, devoted readers out there, so let's get it on!

It goes horribly wrong at the end
Well, to be honest, the game designers don't have S & S absolutely drooling over each other. It is obvious that they both want the other but neither are aware of their intense longings, and take it out in the physical abuse of the other with very phallic weapons. If you were to ask either one "straight" out they would deny being gay, and like some guys I know, who make a box of Froot Loops seem bland, they would both overreact and take every woman they can to bed to prove they aren't "queer." Then they would take out their feeling of self-disgust out on others by going to the gym or bars and using up an entire can of "whup-ass" and any openly gay men they meet. So you might say they are "bi" but they are not well-adjusted by any stretch of the imagination. They need therapy! Then they can openly admit their lust for the other, relieve their raging hormones, and quit ruining the lives of poor, braindead girls who are too stupid to realize that real men don't wear skin-tight pants, mascara, leather and feathers. (Quick....where did I put my flannel shirt, logging boots, and red suspenders???) Are Squall and Seifer straight? About as straight as a hog's tail. Are they gay? Please note the above mentioned dress code. Are they "bi"? That's a tough one. Let's just say that those two and Tidus in a hot tub together would make a perfect picture.

CS,

You?re a lumberjack and you?re okay? oh, sorry about that. I think it was the mental image of someone actually wearing a flannel shirt, logging boots and red suspenders. I can?t really fault your reasoning on this, considering the grief that Squally and Seifer give each other as their smoldering lust comes to a uh, climax in the game. But let?s leave Tidus McWankerson out of this lovely scene. The thought of him in a hot tub?s just ruined any pleasure I may have gotten from it. Shame on you.

-AG

Thank you so very much, CS, for about the worst mental image I've experienced in quite some time. I'll have to visit the porcelain god in a second here. And to the point: it would never happen, because Tidus is like a more in-depth version of Zell, and Squally and Seifie weren't exactly open to the idea of a soir?e with him. Poor, un-included Zell. Left to his hot dogs. And if anything, Tidus is much worse. Squall may not like hot chicks, but he does at least have good taste notwithstanding.

-LC

A match made in fanfic...somewhere
Hello again, lady answerers of our letters.

Before I present my scenario, I would like to point out that the first time through FF8, I shamefully (or naively) missed out on the romantic tension between Squall and Seifer. On a second playthrough, and taking a harder look at certain scenes, I see it now. The reason I didn't pick up on it is because Squall doesn't like to admit it, even in his own thoughts. He really does seem to be thinking about him a lot, maybe even trying to copy him (the way he wants to be Rinoa's "knight" just as Seifer was Ultimecia's "knight").

Anyways, here's the scenario: Cid holds an awards banquet (for what, I dunno; Golden Globes or some useless award show like that) but makes it as low budget as possible, but make the banquet afterwards the big shindig. Lots of mixed drinks being served as well, with more than a fair share of them being offered and obliged to Squall, Seifer, Rinoa and Quistis. After they are all sufficiently drunk, Selphie "helpfully" suggests that 1) Squall should try to sleep it off, 2) that Rinoa should "comfort" Squall, since he "obviously" "loves" her, 3) that Quistis be told that Squall is a prime target for her to act out her fantasies on right now, and 4) that Seifer be told that his "Snuggle-Pumpkin" needs some lovin' (all should be told separately). Dim the lights in his dorm, throw in some romantic music and see what inebriation can bring.

For an optional touch, Spanish Fly will be slipped into their drinks as well (probably by Irvine).

And there you have it! A perfectly bi foursome that still gives the fangirls an image to live with (Squall and Seifer still see some action). Now then, if you'll excuse me, I have some drinks to spike...

~Alex Magusaka

Lettermaster Alex,

AG's gonna cover the beauty of your scenario for me, so I can concentrate on other things. Ahem...

I am loath to admit this, but I was very much in the same boat as you until I discovered Jeanne's fabulous recaps. Not that I ever believed in the legitimacy of Squall and Rinoa knockin' boots...you know, since there is no legitimacy to it. In the immortal and often-quoted (by me) words of my boyfriend, "I hate her. I hate her. I hate her. I hate her so much that I just backhanded her. Oh, wait, it's disc 3. I love her." But the not-so-subtle longings between Seifer and Squall, somehow, completely escaped me in my first playthrough. But if that opening FMV doesn't just hit you over the head with it, nothing will. I can't believe I didn't see it before. As you said, the constant thinking of Seifer didn't make it any less obvious, either. "I'll be a Knight, too, and then Seifie will WUV ME!"

*cough*

Point is, you're not alone in your former na?vete, so don't worry. And "Snuggle-Pumpkin" is the best name for Squall, EVER.

-LC

Alex,

You naughty, naughty boy! Your scenario has doubtless caused many a fanperson reading this fine column to go have a lie-down until the waves of *ahem* excitement pass away. Honestly, who could turn down such a delicious m?nage-?-quatre? But while we?re on the subject of Spanish Fly, Auntie AG has a few words of wisdom for you younglings out there thinking of giving it a go. It really, really doesn?t work, unless it?s necrophilia you?re looking for. It?s used for breeding cattle, for goodness' sake! And speaking of cattle, read on!

-AG

Whips and gunblades
I've seen all of the questions. I've had enough! I'll tell you how it's going down.

Squall likes to play any game with balls in it, simply put. However, I think that he is a bisexual. He LIKES to get whipped. Seifer just can't give him that. Only Quistis can. She has a whip, and she's not afraid to "discipline" her students, especially Squall. Squall must feel like it's rapture, getting whipped while his hands rapidly polish his Gunblade. The only thing that would make it heaven for him are TWO Gunblades, with strokes in the heat of "battle." Seifer wouldn't mind, but the she-devil Rinoa has clouded his young bi-mind into thinking he's straight. Be free, Seifer! Free to join Squall and Quistis! Go my child! In my opinion, Rinoa should be getting hit on by Edgar! Down with that heifer Rinoa!

RPG2284 my boy, I think it?s time you took a cold shower. A REALLY cold shower. In Antarctica. And then pay a visit to your friendly neighborhood optometrist. Rinoa, a heifer? Please. A good wind would knock her right off her little toothpick legs. I?ve seen stick drawings with more meat on them. Silly, yes, blind to her boyfriend?s true nature, yes. But not deserving the moniker better suited a Wisconsin farm wife?s favorite pet. As for the rest of it, well, I really think you should go outside a little more. The last time I saw such slaveringly salacious fantasies written down was in the Malleus Malificarum.

-AG

While I admire your stab at explaining the bisexual possibility, I have to point out one logical hole: the assumption that Quistis is the only person in the universe who can give Squall a good leather thrashing. Simply not the case, as I'm sure Seifer could get his hands on a whip (*giggle*) if he really wanted to. Furthermore, it's not really about sex if Squally only wants a whipping. He would, by that logic, desire the whip more than Quistis herself, which just further proves that Squall is 100% gay. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not opposed to the (terribly sexy) idea of a Quisty/Squally/Seifie threesome. But she needs to bring more to the table than just her mega-hotness and her weapon, to get Squally in the sack.

-LC

Everyone wants everyone
Greetings, AG and LC.

I'll start off by admitting that, before being introduced to this fascinating corner of the web, I had only considered the Squall/Seifer pairing as a vague possibility, one limited to the minds of the shounen-ai lovin' fangirls. Then Jeanne's recaps made me realize that said pairing actually made more sense than Squall/Rinoa, even if the latter is canon.

Anyway, the topic at hand brought to my mind what I call the Main Character Empathy Rule, which states that the main character in RPGs (and in anime, of course) must deal with issues or behave in a way that makes the audience identify with him/her. Game designers often follow this rule by way of the Silent Protagonist crutch, in which the player pretty much chooses how his/her little avatar responds to the events of the game. For example, in Suikoden, depending on the player's beliefs, Gremio's and Ted's advances on McDohl are either rebuffed by McD's teasing, or mistaken as something else, maybe the notion that Gremio and Ted are (fruity) loopy. Which brings us to...

Corollary to the Main Character Empathy Rule: All main characters are bisexual. This way, the audience may identify with the lead _at least_ as far as the matter of sexual preference goes. Also:

- Any love interest of the main character also swings both ways, unless said love interest is doomed (read: Ted, Odessa).

- In the event that the main character is a "one-way street" (see: Takato of Digimon Tamers), the corollary will be applied to another character of importance (see: Rika, of the same show).

With this, I come to the conclusion that Squall, indeed, is bisexual. Were he to spend time with a woman who didn't throw herself at him every minute, he MIGHT eventually have some feelings for her. It may seem ridiculous, but this is the guy who became antisocial as a way to cope with the loss of his "Sis," after all.

Likewise, Seifer is bi. Aside from having once performed quite a number on Rinoa, he has this Touga-esque "I'm God's gift to men, women and androgynous people" vibe.

And Rinoa, too, is bi; she just doesn't know it yet, but her choice in men rather gives it away.

~Quartz Falcon

QF,

We?re happy to see yet another convert to the true faith of Seifer x Squally love-fest. It brings on a happy glow. I disagree that Rinoa is bi; she?s barely got the brain power to chase blindly after Squally. Most bi girls I know are pretty snappy chicks, mentally. I?ll give you points for Seifer, though. Yes, he does know that he?s the gift to all Garden hotties, no matter what team they play for. But, hey can you blame him? He even managed to live out his own prison fantasy with dear old Squally, and you don?t get much cooler than that. I can?t disagree with your rules, either, though I must admit that Squally brought on no empathy from me with his gloriously angsty moping. I was of the opinion that he needed desperately to reveal his feelings to Seifer and engage in a little lovin?, or failing that, he needed the freakin? crap beaten out of him and I didn?t really care which.

-AG

I'm glad you decided to bring it up, QF, because I wanted to go into the notion of "canon." Being canon does not make a relationship good or sensible by default. Squall and Rinoa are, of course, the perfect example, as you aptly show. How about Jowy and Jillia? I daresay his affections lie elsewhere, dear readers. Wakka and Lulu? UCK. Yet regardless of this, fangirls and fanboys everywhere (as we'll see in a minute) insist that Rinoa is Squall's dream come true because they're drawn together in the f**king logo. Give me a break, folks.

Back on topic, your comparison of Seifie to Touga is spot on, and I bow to your astute nature. Seifer would have a go at anything that moves, as long as it's pretty and he's horny. Thus his relationships with both Rinoa and Squall. A guy with the good fashion sense to wear that sexy gray overcoat can't help but be a sex machine, now can he?

-LC

Did you hear the news? He's gay!
did you guys NOT play the game???? um hello Squall ended up with Rinoa and they KISSED at the end(!!!!!!!!). and Siefer was his rival, they didn't even LIKE each other. Siefer isn't gay either because he was Rinoa's boyfriend in the past. i don't get how come people think that Squall can be gay. rinoa is his true love because he saved her from being sealed up and she saved him at the end when he got lost in that one place. i bet none of you ladies have ever had a boyfriend because you don't know what true love is all about.

Li0nheart69

I'm sure AG's husband and my boyfriend would love to testify as to how well-versed we are in the ways of true love, but that is squarely in the realm of Too Much Information, so let's not go there, shall we?

Otherwise, I have only this to say: if I were a doctor, I would write you a Ritalin prescription, straight away. (It's medicine that would make your brain -- that thing in your head -- feel all better.) But since I'm not a doctor, I'm reduced to bashing myself over the head with a lamp, because it makes my brain feel all better after reading your letter. C'est la vie.

-LC

Lenny,

Sweetheart, you're not related to Sephy from last week's column, are you? Imagine all that brilliance, all in the same family! It truly boggles the mind. And as for your reasons, well, another intrepid letter goddess has answered them all, much better than I ever could. Hang on, dearie, 'cause the Squally Enlightenment Doomtrain's comin' your way!

-AG

More flaming than a message board
Obviously Squall is not straight, and since all the reasons why are listed in my recaps, I won't repeat them all here. But is he bi? Let's look at what most people might use as proof of his love of women.

1) He and Rinoa got together in the script.

This is admittedly a huge obstacle for someone such as myself to surmount. No matter how much evidence I have to prove otherwise, someone can always use this as proof. Because apart from fanfiction, what do we really know about what happened after the game? (The answer is "nothing," just in case anyone isn't following.) Our final scene is the insipid and cliched image of Squall and Rinoa kissing on the balcony.

I will argue that this is not proof of Squall's heterosexuality. Why? Because I've known plenty of gay males who, for one reason or another, boffed a lot of chicks, particularly in high school and the early years of college. For some of them, it was simple denial. And this is exactly what I see happening with Squall. And that's why you can't use "But he kissed a girl when he was 17 and it's the greatest love story of all tiem!!!!!1111" to prove why he's not gay.

2) When she went into a coma, he was worried and did everything he could to save her.

That's because halfway through the game (namely, at the end of disc 2), Squaresoft fired all their writers and replaced them with TurtleNinja. What else would explain the coma, the bedside vigil, the villain suddenly turning good, the two lead males supposedly in love with the lead female, and the gaining of magical powers? Exactly.

So to sum up, I believe that if the storyline were to continue after the game with the non-TurtleNinja writing team, it would make the most sense for Squall to experiment briefly with Rinoa before he stopped fooling himself and went where his heart (and gunblade) led him. To Seifer, that is. Squall is pure gay.

Seifer, however, is the most likely of the two to be bi. He seems more like the type of guy who would screw anything. It doesn't really matter, though, because he loves Squally.

But for all of you Squall and Seifer fangirls out there, go ahead and write yourself into all the FF8 Mary Sue fanfiction epics your heart desires. The characters are fictional, it's not like you can actually get with them anyway. Sorry.

Jeanne

Editor's Note: TurtleNinja and Lenny up there should get together. The sheer unbridled fangirl lust would be enough to power New York, L.A. and Las Vegas for at least an hour or two. The sweetness of their stories would keep the dental profession in the black for a good ten generations. They owe it to humanity and 90% of the RPG gaming population to join forces for Ultimate Soppy Romantic RPG Love-Fest 10! For the rest of you with brains in your head, stick around VGR and hear the sordid truth behind these poor, fangirl-mobbed characters, as only Jeanne can tell it.

One More Editor's Note: Wait one second here...you mean they're NOT real? Oh Jesus God, whatever will we do now?! Our entire lives center around our passion for videogame characters and our desire to bear their children!

AG: You mean my wanton lust of Auron-sama is all for NAUGHT? NOOOOOO!!!

LC: I can't Marry Shu?! KILL ME NOW!!!


Through Jeanne's letter, and a clever pun on our part (try to find it!) we present you with a topic for next week: Mary Sue horror stories. Give us details on the worst videogame-related Mary Sue travesty you've ever read (and don't forget to provide a link). Ever written a Mary Sue yourself? If so, how many guys/girls did you boff in the span of the fanfic? How about your favorite Mary Sue clich?s? Want to write a short (500 words or less) VGR-style Mary Sue? Go for it! We're waiting to hear from you, and we'll wait until Tuesday, September 17.

Until our next meeting!

- AG and Lita-chan

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