Regarding your Seifer essay, I'd like to ask, what do you think was running through Seifer's head during his game ending scene? If you have explored it before, has your view on his thoughts during his fishing moment with Fujin and Raijin changed?
That scene is one of the huge mysteries of FFVIII, isn’t it? So many unanswered questions. How did Seifer, Fujin and Raijin get to FH? Why the hell is Seifer fishing? And that expression, when he sees Garden flying over them, passing him by…why does he smile? He just lost everything. What on earth could he be happy about?
My personal opinion on this scene hasn’t changed much. Whether we’re talking ‘my’ Seifer, or some other variety…I see pride in that smile. And you can assign ‘empathy’ to that, or not, it works either way. Pride in Squall (and, depending on the context, Rinoa as well), for what they endured. There’s no indication that he was ever told whether or not Squall & co survived their encounter with Ultimecia, so absent that information, I think his pride is reflective; look at all Squall overcame, just so he could accomplish his goal. So Garden could fly, and be a force in the world. I’m not sure Seifer is especially nostalgic for Garden itself, depending on how you see him, he might be, but I don’t think the smile is about that. I think it’s about…how to word this…
I’ve spoken before about how Seifer and Squall mutually use each other. Seifer is a monolith, a mountain Squall can constantly throw himself against in the name of self-improvement. And I think Seifer knows this, at least on a subconscious level. He knows that if he were not there, Squall maywould not, his mind, have become the fighter he is. Seifer feels a sense of connection–even my “psychopath” Seifer–with the idea that he unlocked Squall’s potential. Built him up. For the better part of Seifer’s life, Squall was sort of his “project.” Maybe it was secondary to his own ambitions, but it was inseparable from them, as well.
So, even though Seifer himself failed in his immediate ambitions…this other thing he was a part of, that was important to him/his personal epic, did not fail. Squall did not fail, and for Seifer, no matter how you cut it, that was a victory. And a reason to keep going, for that matter…because Seifer isn’t done, yet. As long as what he’s wrought has at least in some way succeeded, he can move forward.
And Seifer himself, still alive; just one more step closer to your dream, right? Failures along the way mean nothing, especially when accompanied by success. Those castles in the sky–hi Ashbear I’mma steal your metaphor for a sec–are still within his reach and you bet your ass he’s still going to pursue them.
So yeah, I think that smile was pride, and self-affirmation. That’s what was going through his head, that’s why it was a smile and not a smirk, and the exact details don’t matter to me as much as that overarching idea.
So I was reading about FF8 the other day still trying to understand the plot, when I decided to watch a let’s play of the final battle. Then I realised I should be practicing Japanese and found a JP version. Here’s Ultimecia’s first speech in the English version:
“…SeeD… SeeD……SeeD…… SeeD, SeeD, SeeD! Kurse all SeeDs. Swarming like lokusts akross generations. You disgust me. The world was on the brink of that ever-elusive ‘time kompression’. Insolent fools! Your vain krusade ends here, SeeDs. The price for your meddling is death beyond death. I shall send you to a dimension beyond your imagining. There, I will reign, and you will be my slaves for eternity. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Whom shall I exterminate first!? I’ll start with you three!”
Here’s roughly what she says in Japanese:
“…eeD… SeeD…SeeD… SeeD, SeeD, SeeD!! It displeases me… Why do you interfere with sorceresses!? Why won’t you let me be free!? In just a little longer, my perfect world of time compression would have been completed… I won’t allow you to interfere… Your very existences shall be absorbed by the algorithm of time compression!! You will feel agony as your thoughts are ripped apart and all your memories fade away to nothing. There won’t be a thing you can do, think or even feel! That’s the world I’m going to send you to! There will be absolutely nothing you can… …No, you’ll be able to worship me, the sole existence for all eternity!! So, who will come first!? Who will fight me!? Hmpf, it matters not, the end will be the same! I will choose!”
The gist is the same, but the extra details even in this little section make it a fair bit clearer what “time compression” involves and why she wants it. Ultimecia also has no accent in Japanese, and uses “omae” to refer to the main characters, which is arrogant and usually associated with male speech. She uses few feminine speech markers, which means she sounds rather like a male villain, though it could be seen as simply having no time for politeness or pleasantries.
Her description of time compression also describes quite well what Squall goes through in the ending FMV, which makes its omission regrettable.
Anyway, I then had a look at the rest of Ultimecia’s dialogue during the final battles. If the rest of this game is translated similarly, then I think I understand why so many people feel the plot is disjointed and uninspiring.
(1/2 there's a second part) Hey hey your wrong Snapchat au asked for us to put funny things in your inbox so I have a story for you! I've been into BTS for a while and my mom wanted to know who they were and stuff so I went on Google images and pulled up some pics, and a lot of the ones that came up we're Jikook-y and my mom just got quiet for a second and asked "are… are those two gay? They look like a couple"
(2/2 second part to the story) And so I said “Idk I mean they probably won’t come out bc homophobia” and my mom deadass searched up on Google “are BTS members gay” bc she was so convinced Jikook were dating. The best part- she accidentally ended up watching fanfic FMV’s on YouTube and thought they were real it was hilarious Anyways I just thought you’d like the story lol I hope it made you smile!!!
Omg that’s really hilarious hahaha one day, I spent like a few hours showing her pictures and videos of Jikook 😂😂 the story did make me smile!! Thank you ❤❤❤