June 12th, 2008

ronin

Apt Quote for FFX

"The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater." -- Haldir in Tolkien's LOTR


I was misremembering that quote while commenting about FFX's delicious layers of irony and aptitude for presenting façades. I just had to look it up to see it says "love" not "joy". Both nuances work.

Sometimes the characters in FFX have such brave façades, symbolized to me by Yuna's smile and to a lesser extent by blitzball, which lets people forget about Sin and be ordinary. I like how much of the early stretches of FFX shows people in this world living ordinary lives, despite what's lurking beyond the horizon.

Sometimes the façades turn out to be hollow, like Yevon, or sinister, like Seymour's courtliness.

But mostly there's just a lot of unspoken secrets because people don't want to dwell on regrets, or are stubbornly determined to enjoy laughter, innocence, and beauty even if they're going to die tomorrow. A very Epicurean world, in the original sense.

And most of all, there is so much unspoken love in that game. It usually manifests as loyalty. In the Japanese version, Yuna never even says "I love you"; she says "thank you". The root motivation of every single member of her party is love, and not one of them ever says the word, except when Lulu's discussing marriage without love, and Auron tells Tidus, "Jecht loved you. He just didn't know how to say it." Jecht isn'the only one!