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Thursday, 5 February 2015

Editorial: Top 5 Silliest Final Fantasy Outfits (Part Two - The Women)

Editorial: Top 5 Silliest Final Fantasy Outfits
Part Two - The Women.

And now the thrilling conclusion of me getting annoyed at poor character design choices in Final Fantasy. You know, I'll say this for the series, its ridiculous outfit designs are much more gender balanced than some game franchises. Still not perfect, but - better than some. 

Most of these are from Tetsuya Nomura.

That shouldn't surprise anyone.

5. Tifa Lockhart, Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core.

Why a cowgirl? 

It's definitely not the worst choice on this list, but it is certainly the most confusing. The only thing I can think of is that it's because Tifa is meant to be a tour guide for Mount Nibel, the mountain near her town: But why, in this distinctly un-cowboyish town, doing tours of a mountain, would you dress as a cowgirl? It makes very little sense to me.

For that matter, if she's meant to be a tour guide on a mountain, why is she wearing high heels? That - that is the worst thing to wear on a mountain that we know to be treacherous, given that Tifa herself is injured while climbing it at one point.

4. Rikku, Final Fantasy X-2.

Rikku's design is just a mess of oversexualisation. Don't get me wrong, Rikku was always presented as a character who was comfortable wearing very little, and that's fine - but Final Fantasy X-2 seemed to have its increasingly absurd designs based on a rather skeevy principle of 'if we're making a game with an entirely female party, they need to titillate male gamers', and it's no more obviously manifested than in Rikku's outfit.

This outfit would be utterly gratuitous anyway, but the thing that pushes it really over the edge is the visible underwear line. Really, Square-Enix? You had to go that far? You would literally never have done this to a male character. I mean, Mevius Final Fantasy notwithstanding, where you - did pretty much do that, Square, didn't you.


3. Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca, Final Fantasy XII.

Ashe is like the perfect storm of everything Tetsuya Nomura does wrong in designing characters, which is weird because she is the only one on this list that wasn't designed by him. As far as we know, he had absolutely no involvement in her design at any stage.

But gosh, does she look like he did. The armour that for some reason only covers the legs, the weird pieces of exposed skin in odd places, the clothing that would be falling off if anyone was actually wearing it, belts, miniskirts. cut-outs, so on, so forth.

I've heard it said before that Ashe is meant to look regal and elegant. In this instance, that apparently means sunburn, arrows everywhere except her legs (which are well-protected), and a coat that comes in five pieces and probably takes thirty minutes to put on every morning.

2. Lulu, Final Fantasy X.

Four words: Skirt made of belts.

Apparently, Nomura designed this to give the animators 'a challenge', which is odd, given that their job is objectively more difficult than his. Either way, it raises a lot of questions: Does Lulu just wake up three hours before everyone else in the party and painstakingly put it on with the help of Wakka and Yuna? Do they lose hours of travelling time each day because they have to stop and take it off before its dark? Worse, does she just sleep in it and never remove it?

Who gave Lulu this idea? Is this fashionable where she's from? What made her think this was appropriate travelling attire? Why isn't it just falling apart? I have so many questions and nobody is answering them.

The rest of the costume is more or less fine, but the skirt made of belts puts this one in at number two all on its own.

1. Lightning, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.

'Oh, come on,' you might be saying. 'This can't be as bad as Lulu's beltskirt, right?'

Okay, you know, the design that inspired these posts was that of the main character in Mevius Final Fantasy, and Lightning is the absurd, overwrought female version of that. She is wearing: High leather boots, a pair of briefs, a pair of sideskirts attached with belts, a backless and sideless leather corset, shoulderpads, and a half-cape. 

That's a Lady Gaga costume. I love Lady Gaga, but she almost never goes into battle against monsters.

That's almost as bad as Lulu and Ashe for sheer, impractical complexity and silliness, and it's only worsened by the fact that Lightning is not meant to be an silly, impractical complexity sort of person - she's meant to be straightforward, efficient and pragmatic. In this instance, it is meant to be the divine garb of the gods, but nothing about it suggests that, so much as it suggests '80s rocker'. 

It's even more jarring when you consider that this is Lightning's second divine garb, and the first one was much more convincing - not any more practical, certainly, but the combination of silver and feathers made her look like a valkyrie, and would have been perfect for Lightning Returns. 

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