Dear Square: It’s Not Me, It’s You. (And I’m Leaving You For Skyrim) Janelle McKiernan November 15, 2011 Video Games Dear Square, I don’t know where to begin. We’ve been through so much together over the years – grown so much over time and platforms. I truly feel as though you are a part of me. That’s why it breaks my heart to tell you that I’m moving on. Oh, I know I’ve dabbled in the past, haven’t always been faithful… There was that winter years ago with Legaia 2: Duel Saga, Legend of Dragoon. Xenosaga, and of course Fable. But no matter what disc was in my slot, it was always you in my heart. How could you not be? You – with your rich world, cutting edge graphics, and endearing characters? Even though you’ve been fickle in your gameplay, I haven’t minded. Even when you changed your entire leveling system repeatedly (what’s the difference between a crystal and a sphere, GODDAMMIT!) I stuck by you. Even through that atrocious sequel where you mocked my femininity by having the characters use microphones as weapons and change outfits as a special ability, I understood that this was an awkward phase, and you had to muddle through the best you could. And when you came back to me with the wondrous Final Fantasy XII, with its Active Dimension Battle System, I wanted nothing more than to spend an eternity with that PS2 controller in my hand. Seriously, WTF? Cloud’s sword would OBLITERATE this bitch. Double Entendre? Never. You broke my heart two years ago. It was a subtle thing, and for most that don’t know you as well as I do, the affront wasn’t so bad. The graphics were flashy, the gameplay straight forward. But seriously? NO Airships? Complete linear gameplay? Shallow characters? Even when you made me play countless hours of Blitzball, I still loved you. But now, I don’t even feel like I know you anymore. I’ve heard the talk around town. You’re changing your ways, trying to be better than you were. Evolved Paradigm Shifts, more character development – you said it yourself, you’ll “exceed XIII in every way”. But will you? I don’t know if it’s enough… *sniffle* I don’t know if I my heart can bear any more disappointment. What if come January, we’re back to our same old roles? Me, grinding levels endlessly, waiting patiently for the time when I don’t have to hold back, can board my airship or ride my Chocobo into the sunset, searching for that elusive Ribbon. You, building the antagonist’s internal struggles with clever flashback fmvs, with the backdrop of soaring landscapes beyond imagination, and music so beautiful, it breaks your heart. I won’t even mind the Cheez-it crumbs on my lap, or the sticky film hours of gameplay and endless Coca-Cola leave on my teeth. I’ll look at you with a glazed expression of love (or is that sleep deprivation?) and you’ll hum your emotions in return as the cooling fans whirl desperately to combat the latest 14 hour marathon. Only to be utterly crestfallen. We’ve become strangers. Even casting Ultima has lost its joy. Not even seeing this can cure my husband’s impotence any longer. I should be the one to tell you this, before you hear it from others. I’ve started seeing someone else. We met two winters ago, shortly after the XIII debacle, and it was there for me in my time of need. It was a briefer romance than I wanted (damn my toddler to hell for scratching Oblivion to, well, oblivion) but I’ll never forget the way I felt. Endless open world gameplay! I felt like a child, playing The Legend of Zelda for the first time, mesmerized by the pixelated glory. I didn’t think anyone could make me feel that way again. Thankfully, we’ve moved past seeing *actual* pixels in our video games. I know what you’ll say. You’ll say, “well *I* have Massive Multiplayer Online worlds and games! You can’t do THAT in Tamriel!!” If I wanted to run amok with thousands of others, I’d just sell my soul to Blizzard. You should know me better than that by now. Keep your MMOs out of my RPGs, thankyouverymuch. They don’t know it yet, but Bethesda and I are about to go steady. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’ve seen what it can do. It knows how to treat a girl, with heart stopping vistas, customizable races, and the ability to summon dragons. DRAGONS! Sure, Shiva is a cool chick, but she’s no goddamned DRAGON!! Would it have killed you to think of MY needs, for once, and code me a fire-breathing pet to love and cherish? *deep breaths* I’m sorry it’s come to this. Please know that I’ll always hold you in my heart. And we had some good times, didn’t we? Like breeding the Black Chocobo? And synthing the Ultima weapon? I’ll never forget when Aeris died, how we cried together. I forgive you for that, you know, even though you devastated me. Every healthy relationship has a little emotional scarring. Right? Right?!? But it’s time to move on. Skyrim completes* me like no RPG has. I wish nothing but the best for you, and when its time, perhaps we can be friends? (that is, if you’ll ever get off your ass and make me a new Kingdom Hearts). We’ll always have Alexandria. Kupo, J. (*Author’s Note: Completion is a relative term, and is assumed based on the wealth of information her friends have shared with her concerning the ridiculous awesome that is this game, in conjunction with the wealth of information and video the web has to offer. To everyone currently playing, I hate you all. Die in a fire, with a bucket on your head.) Amanda I traded my copy of FF13 for a 7 dollar credit towards Skyrim. No regrets. Janelle McKiernan I’m surprised they gave you that much. ScreaminSauce Wow, that sure hit the mark. Great article! Final Fantasy games past XII? We don’t speak of them at the dinner table any longer. It was a hard breakup for me. The AntiStepford As a gal who still plans to get both a Moogle and Keyblade tattoo, and will forever have a crush on Sephiroth, this was a hard breakup indeed. But we all have to move on sometime, right?? Also, have you SEEN Skyrim?? I die. Iwilllie2u Right on the money. great article. As a Fan of the line up(whom has every final fantasy up to 10 bot only that but 5 new copy of FF7, 3 new copy of FF9 and 2 of FF3(FF6)) I dont even look at any game square comes up with. where are my RPGs??? Janelle McKiernan When was your breaking point, and why? Anonymous I <3 Skyrim so far Chica.. 'cept fo the giants and mammonths.. watch out for those these they will kill you.. badly… Janelle McKiernan that’s a death I will gladly suffer. I salivate for that death. No, really, I’m drooling on my keyboard… Amanda Dont fuck with a Giant’s mammoth. Lesson learned hard. Anonymous Yeah…. I am waiting to return to that quest… –Erica Your Pampered Chef Consultant Shop online http://www.pamperedchef.biz/ericaburns Sent from my phone. I’m on the go! —————————— Pingback: Back to Reality? One Woman's Skyrim Induced Hiatus | Adventures in Poor Taste!