nostalgia

Entonces yo era un tipo perseguido por las nostalgias. Siempre lo había sido y no sabía cómo desprenderme de las nostalgias para vivir tranquilamente. Aún no he aprendido. Y sospecho que nunca aprenderé. Pero al menos ya sé algo valioso: es imposible desprenderse de las nostalgias porque es imposible desprenderse de la memoria.
vine

DOUBLE TAP if you love Drake & Josh

2

Day 7 - How Tifa Became My Favorite Character

Gather round because I’m going to tell the story of how Tifa became my favorite character in all media.

To make a long story short, her theme music, her treatment of Marlene, and her initial interactions with Cloud completely blew my expectations away. Seriously, this shit blew my fucking mind back then because what I was expecting was antithetical to what I actually got.

The first time I heard about Tifa was when I read EGM’s 1998 Buyer’s Guide back in the day. They rated her as their “Hottest Game Babe” for 1997. They even compared her alongside Lara Croft. I have to admit this partially influenced my decision to play FFVII (the other part came from playing and liking Breath of Fire III). The hype for her got even higher when I saw the “Program Boy” advertisement in Wired magazine’s February 1997 issue (both of those magazines were in the gaming magazine archive in my high school).

What can you expect from a 14-year-old teenage boy in 1999, playing FFVII for the first time with endorsements like that? It was to the point that didn’t even remember that EGM spoiled a significant part of the game until I reread it literally YEARS later. I was simply going “OH SHIT TITTIES AND SEXY LEGS PANT PANT PANT” and “well-proportioned” and a viable alternative to Lara Croft? Oh yeah!“ Needless to say, when I finally got the game I looked forward to her introduction and had certain expectations of her. I was thinking she was going to be flirty, flighty, and flustering.

Instead we met a demure, mature, and down-to-earth woman.

I have to admit though that when I first played the game, I wasn’t impressed with the character model graphics. The opening FMV certainly impressed me but the squat looking chibi models with Popeye arms looked primitive compared to Legend of Legaia’s (another great RPG, by the way). I had thought that the character models would look more like the way they did within the instruction booklet. I didn’t give it much thought after that though because gameplay, music and art design tend to impress me more. Anyway, here I was going through this gritty, urban environment, apparently playing a terrorist. A terrorist! That shit also blew my mind back then since I was used to blowing up the terrorists and the like rather than being one.

And you know the rest: Guard Scorpion, big kaboom, big escape. I recall the first thing I thought when Cloud first met Aerith (which we knew back then as "Aeris” due to a combination of a translation error and a programming error): “Lady, I have no time for your cheap flowers; there’s all sorts of fire and explosions going on! Get the fuck out of here!” I also recall what I was thinking about Cloud’s attitude: “Man this guy’s badass! He doesn’t give a shit about stuff and he has that cool sword! This guy’s so cool!”

I recall running into Sector 7 for the first time and saw that they were heading for a bar. When I thought about the instruction manual and how Tifa ran one, I started going “The bar the bar where is the bar we’re going to meet the hot chick YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH there’s the bar time to go exploring AND THEN meet the sexy lady pant pant pant”.

When I finally actually got Cloud into the bar, my shit got ruined in the good way.

Now make note of the music. Up until Cloud entered the bar, the music had been energetic (Opening - Bombing Mission https://youtu.be/S8NGDsnv34M, Those Who Fight https://youtu.be/QY1Vetd7OCs), ominous (Mako Reactor https://youtu.be/nswfLcROs-0), or melancholy (Anxious Heart https://youtu.be/UMvHTlWyxH0). I was expecting a track that would have reminded me of cigarette butts and stale beer along with some saxophone for a bit of sleaze.

I got this instead: https://youtu.be/fbOqcR-BORo

I was greeted with what would become my favorite of the game’s character theme songs. Here was a warm and comfy tune that was accompanied by a woman who turned out to be a mother. Yeah. I thought Marlene was her daughter at first, and that she was married to Barret; at least until I recalled what I had read about them in the instruction manual. She was not at all like I expected–for awhile, I was nonplussed. After that, I got a bit bummed, because I recalled exactly what I first thought of her when they met: “This is EGM’s "Hottest Game Babe”? I don’t see what’s hot about her at all! Pfft, Lara Croft’s hotter!“ I was kind of hoping there’d be a cutscene like in the beginning showing off how hot she was after all.

Hype status: ruined.

Despite my intial disappointment, I continued on with the game. My opinion starting changing as she and Cloud talked with each other. I realized then that the music I was hearing wasn’t 7th Heaven’s theme music, it was Tifa’s; after all, this warm, friendly, and caring individual had a music track that matched her portrayal. As I looked back upon it, I realized that for me, Tifa’s introduction was fucking brilliant because it completely and utterly shattered any preconceptions I had about her. It was to the point that I didn’t think about EGM’s endorsement of her again until that infamous cutscene on the Highwind when the WEAPONs flew out. I have to admit that I started going "Oh yes, NOW I see why they crowned her with that!” after watching it, but I digress.

I especially liked the entirety of her interactions with Cloud in Mideel and within the Lifestream. I already wrote about this, but I’ll talk about it here again. The thing that especially stood out to me was their failed escape from Mideel. I recall thinking that it was entirely possible that she could have escaped were it not for the fact that she was lugging around what most people would consider nothing more than dead weight–namely a man crippled into a vegetative state by what is essentially massive radiation poisoning; a man whose mind was gone and most likely never going to return to normal. But she wasn’t lugging around that. She was trying her best to escape with a badly hurt man who was a dear friend to her and someone she loved very much. It was clear to me that she would have spent the rest of her life taking care of Cloud if that turned out to be the case.

Think of it this way. From her perspective the world was literally falling apart around them. But yet not once…NOT ONCE did she consider abandoning Cloud to save her own skin. It never occurred to her. Not once. Others may have done so without a second thought. Still others may have considered the moral implications of such a deed and acted pragmatically in either direction (I would likely do something like this). But her? Tifa ran off with Cloud without a second thought. At that moment I recall thinking to myself, “Tifa Lockhart is a very apt name for her. I’d argue that Tifa Sweetheart would be just as accurate.”

That moment made Tifa Lockhart into my absolute favorite character in any medium. The rest of the Lifestream sequence only served to further cement that opinion.

Tifa Lockhart, I have to thank you, your friends, and your creators for giving me a game I’ve been playing for 16 years now, with each playthrough maxing out the timer.

Happy 28th Birthday, Tifa Lockhart.

9

Because there’s been a lot of talk recently about Livejournal making a resurgence, I thought I’d help those who may not know why LJ meant so much to us understand one of the best things about it: LJ ICONS.

Not only could you comment - and have actual, meaningful conversations! - on people’s blogposts, but you could change your avatar every time, which not only helped mitigate some of the problems of non-face-to-face discussion, but was always a good excuse to show off what a nerd you are :D

So here are just a few of my favourite personal icons, which as you can see proves I am very silly indeed :)