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LONG BLOG

Final Fantasy 15 and its Ancient Kings

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Square Enix said Final Fantasy 15 was going to be about growing up and manhood, and indeed, the game feels like a statement about masculinity that probably has a deeper reading. Given that this is supposed to be the formative experience of Noctis' life, it's easy to interpret a lot of this game as symbolic and that's probably intentional. So I felt like diving in a bit cause I felt like it.

There are a lot of Final Fantasy stories about summoners: a sort of female-gendered, paganistic magic revolving around nature gods. The summoner in this game is Luna, who prepares the way for Noctis by talking to elemental gods.  It's a character and role that Final Fantasy has explored extensively in the past.

But FF15 is about Noctis, a different kind of summoner who calls on the kings of old in the form of their weapons: a masculine magic representing (metaphorically) the order and law of man. In the Western traditions of mythology, these forces (nature v. order) are often at odds, sometimes enemies. Humanity has to carve-out order and oppose/control nature. That is basically what we're seeing here. Nature is made to bend, sometimes by the force of the king and of his ancestors' weapons. It's the story of masculine/patriarchal magic. I know people hear the word patriarchy and assume a harsh criticism. But no, it just is-what-it-is in this case. It's a tale inside of the cultural mythology of ancient patriarchy.

If there's a point I'm here to make it's that we're now exploring another kind of magic in Final Fantasy 15, in the kings of old. And that excites me, because considering how many times Final Fantasy returns to the well of summoners, the kings of old are a concept they can resuse and explore in interesting ways. Imagine a game where the ancient kings still live in immortal exile, or even fight each other. What if the ancient kings openly fought the espers? Hell, imagine having to fight your own dead ancestors over politics. It's basically a new character/class archetype with strong story potential. This could just be a one-off thing, but it clearly doesn't have to be. Final Fantasy 15 is proof of this being a strong basis for a Final Fantasy story. What do you think?

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About siddartha85one of us since 1:07 PM on 07.18.2011