Helluin (auronlu) wrote,
Helluin
auronlu

BAHAMUT IS NOT YOUR FRIEND

I was just pondering Justira's Clarion yet again — mobile version looks lovely on iPad Kindle reader — and was once again struck by how much more unseelie, sinister, callous is her view of FFX's Bahamut  than my more naive view.

I fixed on Bahamut's "don't cry" and "I'm sorry" to Tidus at various moments in the story, making me see Bahamut as a gentle, tired, perpetual-divine-child figure who wants things to end but exhibits compassion for Tidus. But Justira is right too: Bahamut is a manipulator. He's dangerous. And FFX's Bahamut is about the most benevolent incarnation in the franchise.
  • FFVI...er... need to start over, I forget
  • FFVII... various scary-ass summons. Like Justira's Jecht says, B always seems to resemble a dragon that had an accident with an airship.
  • FFVII:AC... Bahamut summoned by villain to terrorize Midgar Edge.
  • FFVIII: Dangerous dungeon to reach it. This Bahamut seems a little more benevolent than usual, less scary than the often equally-scary-ass Odin (another figure from RW myth who has morphed into his own unique FF archetype.) Tellingly, VIII's Bahamut says, "Using my powers... It is you humans I fear." If that's Yoda word order, then this B is concerned about how his powers may be turned to evil.
  • FFIX: Originally Garnet's Eidolon, but Queen Brahne extracts him and uses him to wipe out the Great Tree. Then Kuja hijacks/rides Bahamut and uses him to wreck further havoc, threatening to destroy Alexandria.
  • FFX: Creepy kid. Manipulator. Aeon of BEVELLE, capital of lies, manipulation, and control under the guise of religion.
  • FFX-2: Dark Bahamut appears in a heartwrenching scene where Yuna has to fight an aeon. Real B. later apologizes to Yuna, revealing the aeons have been dragged into darkness by the Big Bad and are now "no better than fiends."
  • FFXII: Bahamut is an airship, but more than an airship: it feeds on Mist, is awakened by the terrible explosion at Pharos, is coopted by the Big Bad as a doomsday weapon, and nearly destroys Rabanastre.
  • FFXIII: Eidolon of Fang, who almost plays the usual role of Bahamut HERSELF.
  • FFXIII-2: Same Eidolon bound/fused with a Guardian who has gone so far towards the defender-of-his-summoner-seeress side of things that he's now a Big Bad. 

In sum, Bahamut usually seems to be a supremely powerful force gone rogue, often loosely on the side of good but coopted by the Big Bads for destruction. Usually targeting the Home the party is fighting to defend. 

I am vaguely reminded of Godzilla/Gojira in his less campy incarnation: a monster created by nuclear fallout, yet sometimes a defender of Tokyo, albeit a very destructive one. I can't quite put my finger on how Bahamut embodies Japan's ambivalent fear of nuclear energy, but I have a feeling Bahamut and flare are yet another manifestation of this common mythic theme in anime and Japanese video games.
This entry was originally posted at http://auronlu.dreamwidth.org/204883.html, where it has comment count unavailablecomments.
Tags: - f: ffx, stuff: game discussion, stuff: jung and myth
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