Monday, October 13, 2014

This Too Shall Pass

I am one of five people who actually enjoyed Final Fantasy XIII and liked about 95% of Final Fantasy XIII-2. I completely understand when people say it didn't feel like a Final Fantasy game and in many ways, it wasn't. But I could not help but fall in love with the world and the world's rules. How the angelic figures were actually very robotic in nature -- inhuman. And I loved Gran Pulse when you finally could explore it in the sequel.

So beautiful -- So creepy -- So deadly

What I loved most about Gran Pulse was it was an entire world made up of abandoned cities and ruins. Part of what you had to figure out was what did this particular city mean? What happened there? And why was it abandoned? I felt particularly intrigued by the city of seers. In the past , the high seer saw the destruction of the world and from there, the city of seers split into two factions. One wanted to keep to their bylaws and just let fate carry itself out. The other wanted to stop the fate. They now knew what would happen so why couldn't they use that knowledge to prevent the world's destruction? The two factions warred over this and eventually destroyed each other.

Actually, it is that story in Final Fantasy XIII-2 that I felt best described Final Fantasy in general. There is a grim fate in store for the world. Do you just march to your end or do you stop it?

There is another part of FFXIII-2 that really kind of brought this idea home. It is a level called the Dying World. Everything is dark and the sun that warmed the world is giving out less and less energy. The world is empty and practically dust. This level made me feel very unsettled. Uncomfortable. Depressed. Because it was the extreme. There was nothing but darkness and monsters. Even the NPCs seemed distant. I knew this feeling and here I was playing a video game about it.

It was darker on my tv screen

Outside the video gaming world, I also have an odd fascination with ghost towns and abandoned places. I read every entry about ghost towns on wikipedia once. I'm a dork like that. But I think it is because, like how I grew fascinated by the city of the seers and the Dying World level of FFXIII-2, I wanted to know more about that abandoned place's hay day. Why did the people come? Why did the people flourish? Why did they move on/died? 

I like to think the reason why this draws me in is because I love history. I love to know what happened. I like to know how we got here so I can figure out and analyze where I'm going or we're going. But maybe, it is a bit more complex than that.

To pull out a cliche (sorry for the pretentiousness):

In Egypt's sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the Desert knows:—
"I am great OZYMANDIAS," saith the stone,
"The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
"The wonders of my hand."— The City's gone,—
Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose
The site of this forgotten Babylon.

We wonder,—and some Hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when thro' the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,
He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.

Perhaps my fascination has more to do with the fact that it is a reminder that nothing is permanent. Yeah, it does mean that even good times come to an end. But if the good times can end, so can the bad times. The bad times may seem neverending at the time but like all things, they will pass and soon will be a foundation or a weathered statue.
True, I say this now but I am sure when the black hole appears again, I will look at this entry and scoff. Maybe the logical part of myself will remind me this is just temporary but the emotional part will be in the Dying World. "Don't you see? The sun is dead. Everything is dust. Monsters are everywhere. The people I love are far away and unreachable!"

But things will get better because I have fought it off before and nothing lasts forever.

But like Sin from FFX and History, sometimes depression can inevitably repeat itself

**Note: This post was in no way to say I speak for all those who suffer from depression or that I even had a cure but these were just some free-flowing ideas -- some of which I intended to write about at some time using a different framing device. I also haven't slept in four days which may be the reason this jumps around a bit. Anyway, I did not mean for any offense or anything! 

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