Editorial: Top 5 Silliest Final Fantasy Outfits
Part 1 - The Men.
Final Fantasy, frankly, has more than its fair share of silly outfits, and if we're being brutally honest, most of them can be traced back to one source - Tetsuya Nomura and the emulation thereof. I was inspired to do this two part series (yes, there will be a Part 2 - The Women. Final Fantasy has such a massive gender imbalance when it comes to ridiculous outfits that if I didn't divide this up by gender, it would just be a list of five female characters) after seeing screenshots from Mevius Final Fantasy.
You can take a look at those at Flashfly here, and they're just gloriously ridiculous. Truly, Final Fantasy, you have outdone yourself.
Also, for this list I haven't included characters whose designs, while ridiculous, are clearly in some fashion meant to be. Kuja's design is just plain silly, but it entirely fits his character as a flamboyant performer.
Anyway, let's move on to looking at the most ridiculous menswear clothes in the Final Fantasy series.
5. Squall Leonhart, Final Fantasy VIII.
This one is actually a bit of a fan favourite, albeit mostly amongst fourteen year old boys who would be more at home in the early nineties.
To be fair, you wouldn't think that a leather jacket, t-shirt, and leather trousers would be that bad, but the overall effect gives it what probably should be termed the Matrix Effect: The phenomenon of an outfit being designed with 'awesome badass' in mind that instead just comes off as silly and dated, because the idea of awesome badass being used was apparently plucked from the mind of a teenager from twenty years ago.
(I should note, at this point, that Final Fantasy VIII was actually released in the nineties, in all fairness to it.)
One of my learned colleagues does actually have some better costume designs for Squall over here.
4. Vincent Valentine, Final Fantasy VII.
Vincent has much the same problem as Squall: He was clearly designed to look awesome, to act as a power fantasy for players, but the idea of awesome at play here is a very immature and very dated one. Vincent, in this case, looks like the protagonist in an overwrought horror-themed shounen anime, and I'm not entirely okay with that.
It ties in to a general problem with both VII and VIII that they are often trying far, far too hard - whether it be with character designs or not - and it often shows to their detriment. While Nomura calms down a little later (some of the designs he produces, like the ubiquitous black coat that nearly everyone wears at some point in Kingdom Hearts, are exercises in subtlety), Vincent is the prime example of his try-hard tendencies, and the result is something that looked silly at the time and has not aged well.
3. Ashley Riot, Vagrant Story.
I didn't initially see what was so bad about Ashley's design. I mean, he's wearing a simple shirt and some shorts. It's a bit uninspired, but it's not terrible, right? Certainly, it's got potential, and - what do you mean, I need to see it from behind? I don't understand what you're getting a - ...
Oh, I, um. Arseless chaps. Gosh. Really. That's ... gosh. Is that uniform, or does he just like ... ? No, no, it's fine, it's um. It's fine. He does have an alternate costume apparently, so maybe that's - ...
And we're right back to try-hard, okay. Let's move on.
2. Nooj, Final Fantasy X-2.
Heh. Nooj. His name sounds funny. Nooj.
Anyway. I'm not sure what to make of really anything about Nooj's design. I mean, what would I even say, guys. Where would I start. The onesie? The random armour on one leg and one arm? The fur? The belts?
Every joke ever made about Tetsuya Nomura's designs is made manifest in Nooj. He is the ultimate Nomura character. He is their king.
1. Reks, Final Fantasy XII.
Reks doesn't show up for very long, and in all honesty, his design might not be worse than Nooj, if taken entirely on its own merits, divorced from context. No, what makes this design the worst of all is that Reks is meant to be a soldier on active duty, and this is his uniform.
His uniform, which leaves him unarmoured on his stomach, one arm, and thighs. I shudder to think how many of Dalmasca's soldiers have died of complications after taking an arrow to the gut, the place where you are probably most likely to get an infection if you're wounded.
No wonder they lost their war.