10 Things You Should Never Say To A Final Fantasy Fan

10 Things You Should Never Say To A Final Fantasy Fan

Everyone in the Final Fantasy fandom has feelings about the long-running series that are as varied as its mainline entries. Over the course of the RPG series’ decades-spanning lifetime, plenty of pressure points have emerged that, if pushed, can lead to some heated, passionate…er, discussion with Final Fantasy fans. If you or a loved one is looking to chat with one of these people, here are a few key things you should never say to them.

“Why is it called Final Fantasy if they’re still making them?”

Screenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku

Jokes like this weren’t funny 30 years ago, and we are so many entries (numbered and spin-off) into the series now that it just makes you sound like a hater, and not a clever one.

“Can you tell me about the critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV? With an expanded free trial you can play through the entirety of A Realm Reborn and the award-winning Heavensward expansion up to level 60 for free with no restrictions on playtime?”

Image: Square Enix

How much time do you have? Do you not have enough time to play the critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV? Then you probably don’t have time to hear a big fan talk about why they love it so much.

“It’s Aeris.”

Image: Square Enix

To call the Aeris vs. Aerith argument a “debate” feels inaccurate. The…discussion…over whether the name Aeris was an error or just a natural result of the imperfect process of trying to take a made-up fantasy name from one language and replicate it in another may never end. But in any case, that was the name under which many players first met Final Fantasy VII’s beloved flower girl, and as such, some feel a deep attachment to the name. She’s pretty much always called Aerith in every game and extended media that followed, but folks are still sore about it.

“How many corners does a grape have?”

Image: Square Enix / X (Fair Use)

Reader, you might be thinking, “Grapes are round. They don’t have corners at all.” Well, tell that to Square Enix, who made low-poly bunches of grapes in Final Fantasy XIV that have become legendary in the community for their weird, blocky shape. It became so notorious that Square made merchandise of the fruit and gave it out as part of its Fan Fest goodie bags. But if you’re looking for actual information about grapes and their corners, don’t ask a Final Fantasy fan. They don’t know.

“This is the one with the Slimes, right?”

Image: Square Enix

People who don’t play Japanese role-playing games like to cast unfair complaints that they’re “all the same,” and a lot of those comparisons are directed at the big players like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Fantasy turn-based RPGs must all be the same, right? Dragon Quest’s iconic slime mascot will show up any second during Clive’s adventure, right? Shut up.

“Which game is Spirits Within based on?”

Image: Sony Pictures

Spirits Within, the first Final Fantasy movie, is a bit of a contentious moment in the franchise for some fans. It has a bit of a cult following, but was largely poorly received when it premiered in 2001. But for some, it feels like Square just slapped the franchise’s name on a big, expensive CGI movie without making it a meaningful part of the series’ anthology universe. Future movies, such as Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and Final Fantasy XV: Kingsglaive were at least extensions of their respective universes and were gorgeously animated, but Spirits Within? Not so much.

“How do you revive Aerith?”

Image: Square Enix

Aerith’s death in Final Fantasy VII is a legendary moment in the series’ history, but like all sad things that happen in video games, it inevitably leads to players looking for some way to game the system to revive her. No such thing exists in Final Fantasy VII, but that hasn’t stopped hoaxes from spreading over the years. Look, just accept that bad things happen to good people and we have to move forward. What is grief if not love persevering, or whatever the robot man said.

“It’s pronounced Tie-dus.”

Image: Square Enix

Tidus, the name of the protagonist of Final Fantasy X, is pronounced Tee-dus. This is canon, this is official, and if the game hadn’t, for some reason, let you name him and just had the name said in dialogue, we wouldn’t still be having this argument 20 years later.

“I’m glad they did away with turn-based combat, the new games are better.”

Image: Square Enix

Look, if you love Final Fantasy XVI more than Final Fantasy VII or VI, you are valid, and we love you here. But because the series’ anthology format has made each game significantly different from its predecessors, some folks have strong feelings about the direction the series has gone over the years, especially as the more recent games like XVI and XV have opted for action-oriented gameplay over the series’ turn-based roots. Say you don’t miss turn-based combat and Final Fantasy fans will take turns combatting your ass.

“I started with (game not from the SNES era).”

Image: Square Enix

The longer that video games are around and legacy series like Final Fantasy exist, the more gatekeeping we see as fans of the original games feel disenfranchised from newer ones, and younger fans join the community. Some folks will mean well and tell you that you should definitely at least dip your toe into the series’ rich history. Others will likely be less kind that your first Final Fantasy experience was with Yuna, Lightning, Clive, or maybe even your Warrior of Light in XIV. There’s an ongoing claim that most people’s first Final Fantasy is their favorite Final Fantasy, and while there may be some truth to that and it should serve as a reminder that the series’ long history is full of entry points, it’s often deployed in a dismissive, elitist way that suggests newcomers to the series just don’t know any better. Just save yourself the headache.

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