HUSBAND TIME: MINIATURES
When Jennifer started this blog out, she told me I’d eventually have to write a “guest post,” and it seems that time has come. She asked which piece of my rather extensive collection of miniatures I’d like to write about, and I basically pointed at the closest object at the time. I like to keep it simple.
Point is, as long as Jennifer remains “mad” about these American Girl dolls, it’s fully possible that this isn’t the last time I’ll be asked to do this… So you may as well get used to me. Hi, I’m Scott. Jennifer’s husband.
As far as my collection of miniatures goes, it’s about as far away from American Girl as it gets, as I collect mostly figures and collectibles from video games, with a strong focus on a particular series called “Final Fantasy.” Jennifer and I like Final Fantasy so much, we met dressed as two of its characters, and last year, I even went to work for the Japanese company that makes it, Square Enix. How’s that for dedication. In fact, it’s kind of hard to write “Final Fantasy” now, because officially, it’s FINAL FANTASY. We’re big fans of capital letters at Square. But this is a blog about dolls, so I’m gonna stay casual.
So let me get the quick introduction to this video game out of the way for those who for some reason are still reading but haven’t held a controller in their hands since Mario. The name Final Fantasy is a bit ironic, in that there are actually 14 games in what we’ll call the “main line,” and that doesn’t count all the side stories and spin-offs that have resulted from its success. Like, imagine Star Wars if it didn’t have those 20 year breaks between trilogies. Despite there being so many, each game is set in its own unique world, with its own cast of heroes that you the player must gather together to face the kind of villains who more often than not just want to watch the world burn. And within those stories of heroism, tragedy, and explorations of what it is to be human in times of crisis, we find the common threads that bind each game together. Shared themes, elements, monsters, what have you… Even though each story is different, there’s always something that tells you definitively, this is a Final Fantasy game.
Oh man this is getting wordy. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS when you get me talkin’ about Final Fantasy.
One such string that binds the series together is the “airship.” Part boat, part airplane, the “airship” appeared in the first Final Fantasy back in 1987 and has been in every main line game since. Here, the airship is a representation of freedom. The narrative and the actual mechanical function within the game go hand-in hand; in the game they are the only means to traverse the entire game world with ease, free of being interrupted by pesky monsters. In the narrative, they represent something bigger – often the freedom to choose your own path, the ability to go where you please, and ride the wind where it takes you. Nearly every Final Fantasy has a scene where an airship darts through the clouds, soaring through the lens flare in a beautiful blue sky. The even have their own musical themes. They’re a big deal.
FINAL FANTASY X MECHANICAL ARTS “FAHRENHEIT” |
This beast is the “Fahrenheit” from Final Fantasy X. I recently attended an art show event with the Art Director of the game, Yusuke Naora, and you want to know where he got the inspiration for that crazy color scheme? The Los Angeles Lakers. That blew my mind. The Fahrenheit’s big moment in the game is this scene where the protagonist and his crew fly over an altar where the heroine is being forced to marry the main bad guy. The airship shoots these giant chain links onto the ground and the heroes literally surf down the chains, jumping between them while dodging gun fire from the ground below. It’s a pretty sweet scene.
There’s also a battle with a dragon that takes place on the bridge, that little black area on the right.
Airship number two, below, is the Highwind, from Final Fantasy VII. One more really weird connection in Final Fantasy? The airship is almost always owned, piloted, or invented by a dude named Cid. In Final Fantasy X, Cid is a gruff, bald Texan, basically. In Final Fantasy VII, Cid is a gruff, spear-wielding, former astronaut. I can’t make this stuff up, dudes.
FINAL FANTASY VII MECHANICAL ARTS “HIGHWIND” |
The lady painted on the side is Cid’s “Lady Luck.”
From the best-selling Final Fantasy game of all time, this airship comes from a distinctly futuristic setting, as you’ll no doubt compare the two ships and find that this one has a lot less whimsy in its design. Sleek and metallic, Cid can even call it into battle with his final “Limit Break,” making it rain down missiles upon bad guys. I’ll let you look up for yourself it’s maximum occupancy, max speed knots, engine specs…. It’s all out there.
So those are two really sweet airships from a video game series you weren’t expecting to read about on a blog that has talked mostly dolls. You can blame Jennifer, though. I don’t know what I’m doing here, really. But she asked, and thus, she received.
-Scott (Because only Jennifer gets a crazy digital signature)