Final Fantasy 9 always has a bit of a “surreal” quality to it when i think about it, probably because i never played enough of it, or saw my brother play much of it, or even heard or read much about how everything in the story panned out. Heck, I don’t even know about all the characters (though I’d recognize most of them as being from the game if I saw them). It was just some combination of bad timing and the fact that FFIX just didn’t have the same appeal as FFVII or FFVIII did. I mean I guess it was cool that it was returning to a medieval setting, but not -really- that cool. Something about the graphics wasn’t right, and there were no gunblade attacks, and in general things just didn’t feel =right=. Not to mention the infamous jumprope game that prevented my brother from advancing (haha, that’s another story). And even though the score is apparently Nobuo’s fave, I didn’t really appreciate it quite as much.
I do find Melodies of Life to be quite a sweet tune though, although not extravagantly so. And I think at some point the very song itself prompted me to at least think about poor old neglected FFIX. I really wasn’t drawn toward the characters too much, but I did kind of appreciate Zidane and Dagger getting together, just because their character designs seemed younger than Cloud/Aerith or Squall/Rinoa.
By far the most surreal gaming experience I’ve had is Terranigma. Now, I had played through Illusion of Gaia more than once and respect it is a great classic game, one of the SNES greats that you won’t ever forget and that every so often you find yourself humming tunes from. I hadn’t played through Soul Blazer, which was the spiritual predecessor of Illusion of Gaia, but I had seen my brother playing it, and I knew that Terranigma was the third in the series, so I figured I’d give it a shot.
Maybe it’s the fact that Terranigma sort of plunges you right into the story, but if you think about it a lot of games are like that. It’s very difficult to describe what exactly made Terranigma so “surreal”, especially not having played it for so long. A lot of the concepts seemed to be a lot more =foreign= than “cool”, like the inventory screen system, or the really WEIRD-looking overworld (granted this is in the beginning of the game where you’re in the “underworld” and everything looks dark and your village is the only one in the world, but hey, =I= didn’t know what was going on…). I was a little bit compelled by the fact that Ark had a sweetheart named Elle, who seemed to be a really sweet girl, but then of course she gets frozen with all the other villagers and you have to leave and go off on your quest (through the weiiirddd world). Man, I hate these things in games (remember when I talked about Teepo?). Part of it is just the “weird” concepts in the game. This exists in other games, like the whole “lifestream” deal in FFVII and things like that that leave you going “eh?”, but in this case it combines with all the other surreal elements and I just felt really really out of place. IIRC I got to the “real world” but stopped playing after that.
If I had a stronger sense of duty, I would force myself to play these games, if only to experience their storylines. Although there’s probably a bunch of stuff I’d tackle first before Terranigma, like finishing Earthbound. It’s funny how much storyline can actually mean to a game, really. I feel BAD for not having finished Earthbound, and thankful that I at least got to enjoy a good chunk of it. Then again, at the moment I’ve still got previous commitments to meet. As in, I’ve yet to finish Amazing Mirror OR Squeak Squad. Which really is pretty terrible.
Not many people game like I do. It’s part of my character–my past and present.
oh, and yes, I AM doing a super metroid speedrun.