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Posted by Demoskinos (13906 posts) 10 months, 7 days ago

Favorite Lead Final Fantasy Character? (251 votes)

Warrior of Light (Final Fantasy) 1%
Firion (Final Fantasy II) 0%
Onion Knight (Final Fantasy III) 1%
Cecil Harvey (Final Fantasy IV) 12%
Bartz Klauser (Final Fantasy V) 2%
Terra Branford (Final Fantasy VI) 18%
Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII) 15%
Squal Leonheart (Final Fantasy VIII) 7%
Zidane Tribal (Final Fantasy IX) 24%
Tidus (Final Fantasy X) 8%
Yuna (Final Fantasy X2) 2%
Vaan (Final Fantasy XII) 1%
Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII & Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII) 10%
Serah Farron (Final Fantasy XIII-2) 1%

With there being a bunch of buzz about the upcoming Final Fantasy XV I thought it would be fun to take a look in the past at former characters in the lead roles of previous games. Who's your favorite? Mine is a toss up of Squall and Lightning. Which fun fact as far as I know she is the only character to get multiple lead roles in main line Final Fantasy games!

#1 Edited by Encephalon (1181 posts) -

No Ramza Beoulve. Your poll is invalid.

(Actually I thought Cloud was a pretty good subversion of the hero archetype, before self-doubt and amnesia became the new archetype in turn. Still, Ramza.)

#2 Posted by TheHT (10294 posts) -

Cecil.

#3 Posted by Ezakael (871 posts) -

Final Fantasy 9 is best Final Fantasy. So Zidane all the way. I almost chose Tidus though, I actually like him.

#4 Edited by Demoskinos (13906 posts) -
#5 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4658 posts) -

Cloud is my favorite final fantasy lead. Yuna and Zack are up there too.

#6 Edited by Hailinel (22737 posts) -

As much as I love Terra, her role as the game's lead isn't as prominent with the large cast and the extended periods of time she's not with the party. I'd say that at this point, my favorite Final Fantasy lead is Lightning. A great character and a perfect point of balance in the party.

#7 Posted by Levio (1781 posts) -

Onion knight. Where's the onion!?

#8 Edited by Ezakael (871 posts) -

@demoskinos: Eeeeerr....ye...yeah. I just try not to remember that.

#9 Edited by Epidehl (265 posts) -

Making me choose between Bartz and Zidane is ROUGH, though I went with Bartz because I know otherwise he'll get zero love. I vastly prefer the gung-ho goofy hero to the slightly more brooding guys any day.

And I guess I'm in a minority in having no real strong opinion on Lightning? I don't particularly dislike her but found her to not really have much of a personality to speak of as far as I remember.

@encephalon said:

No Ramza Beoulve. Your poll is invalid.

(Actually I thought Cloud was a pretty good subversion of the hero archetype, before self-doubt and amnesia became the new archetype in turn. Still, Ramza.)

Also this, Ramza is truly the best.

#10 Posted by Kaungo (39 posts) -

No Ramza Beoulve. Your poll is invalid.

(Actually I thought Cloud was a pretty good subversion of the hero archetype, before self-doubt and amnesia became the new archetype in turn. Still, Ramza.)

This. A lot of people tend to skip or forget about FFT. Granted it is not part of the numeral "main series" but the story and atmosphere of FFT is solid.

#11 Edited by believer258 (11057 posts) -

@hailinel said:

As much as I love Terra, her role as the game's lead isn't as prominent with the large cast and the extended periods of time she's not with the party. I'd say that at this point, my favorite Final Fantasy lead is Lightning. A great character and a perfect point of balance in the party.

I haven't actually played FFXIII or its spinoff, but I almost never see people complain about Lightning and, from what I've seen of the games, she seems like an all right character who happens to be surrounded by insufferable idiots. As opposed to the other way around, where an insufferable idiot is surrounded by all right characters, e.g. FFXII.

#12 Posted by Aronman789 (2674 posts) -

Cecil is the only one I felt actually went through a meaningful character arc where he grew as a person. The others tend to stay the exact same throughout the games, with maybe a big moment at the very end.

#13 Posted by Reisz (1365 posts) -

I don't care what you say about his emotional nature, Squall is just sensitive, you guys just don't understand him!

#14 Edited by JackSukeru (5819 posts) -

I like Zidane. He's pretty much Aladdin, a rogue with a heart of gold. If anything he feels a bit too altruistic at times.

I'm kinda curious about Noctis. He seems very much the brooding type so I hope he doesn't get completely stuck in that archetype for the entire game.

#15 Posted by pyromagnestir (3972 posts) -

Is Vaan really the main character of FFXII? I'd say that's a disputable claim.

#16 Edited by Animasta (14463 posts) -

Is Vaan really the main character of FFXII? I'd say that's a disputable claim.

if OP had put the real main character (Ashe), I would've picked that

#17 Posted by SpaceRunaway (809 posts) -

It's probably a tie between Terra and Locke, but since Locke's not in the poll, Terra gets the vote.

#18 Posted by Hunter5024 (5177 posts) -

I chose Squall. He's not very likable but I think he's a more human character than most of them.

Cecil is the only one I felt actually went through a meaningful character arc where he grew as a person. The others tend to stay the exact same throughout the games, with maybe a big moment at the very end.

How long has it been since you played FF4? I actually thought the very same thing, but when I replayed it in February I realized he really doesn't. He's a good guy from pretty much the moment you meet him. The very beginning of the game has him committing one awful deed, and then he instantly speaks out against his king for asking him to do that. The whole summoner village thing wasn't his fault at all, and it really only takes about 15-20 minutes into the game for Cecil to renounce Baron. The Paladin class change didn't really represent a change in attitude for him, it was just a cosmetic thing, and it also occurred relatively early in the game. So if he has a character arc it's a super short one.

#19 Posted by Taku128 (727 posts) -

Where's the option for "they all suck"?

#20 Posted by FunkyFox (62 posts) -

Cecil all the way.

#21 Posted by Aronman789 (2674 posts) -

@hunter5024: Hmm, it has been a while. It's still between him and Terra for me, though I remember how Squall ran out of the room after that one guy dies, screaming about how he doesn't want to be talked about in the past-tense, which was a good, realistic look into the character's thoughts.

#22 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2128 posts) -

Noctis. I am from the future.

#23 Posted by Hunter5024 (5177 posts) -

@aronman789: Indeed, although it's also a good example of why a lot of people don't like him. Kinda emo.

#24 Posted by Video_Game_King (34642 posts) -

@ezakael: Tidus?

Really? You had "I'm hungry" and daddy issues, but you chose the one scene that's completely misunderstood in the game?

#25 Posted by Aronman789 (2674 posts) -

@hunter5024: Oh yeah totally, I only appreciate it in retrospect, at the time I hated him with a passion.

#26 Posted by blackichigo (162 posts) -

I picked Zidane. He his basically perverted Goku. But if you replace Terra with Locke, I'd go with him.

#27 Posted by Hailinel (22737 posts) -

I'd like to know the reasoning behind the vote for the Warrior of Light.

#28 Posted by AZNflaco (4 posts) -

I'd say FFVI Terra, but then I didn't think she was the only lead character....I thought Celes was great...then I realized Locke was cool...my favorite is Edgar.

#29 Edited by StarvingGamer (7581 posts) -

I am incredibly surprised to realize that my answer is Lightning.

EDIT: But I am thrilled to see that Zidane is in the lead. FFIX 4lyfe!

#30 Posted by roninenix (117 posts) -

@aronman789: I thought Cloud, Squall AND Zidane went through a lot of character development. Cloud had to deal with his fake memories and coming to terms with who he really was. Squall the lonewolf had a change of heart. By the end, he could no longer stand being alone and wanted to be around Rinoa and the people that went with them on the adventure. And as for Zidane, he had to find out the hard way that he was a manufactured being for war. At least these are the things I remembered most about them

#31 Posted by Novis (90 posts) -

Holy shit, I wasn't expecting Zidane to be so popular. Sweet!

#32 Edited by Mento (2260 posts) -
  • Warrior of Light = Blank slate.
  • Firion = Non-entity that got stronger by hitting himself in the face. No idea why Dissidia turned him into Batman.
  • Onion Knight = Blank slate (but a well-dressed one).
  • Cecil = Dug the redemptive arc. Kain and Golbez were more interesting though.
  • Bartz = The ol' "legendary hero that doesn't realize his origins" bit. Kinda old even then. "Had a pet Chocobo" is the only thing I can say about Bartz that wouldn't apply to a thousand other JRPG heroes.
  • Terra = Most interesting of all the FF protagonists, definitely. Pity she vanishes so often.
  • Cloud = Groundbreaking at the time, often amusingly sardonic and cynical, but spoiled by fame and adaptations that didn't understand the character beyond "mopey".
  • Squall = Wettest of blankets. Going from petulant teen to adult was an interesting path for a JRPG protagonist considering how many of them are teenagers that don't act like regular teenagers.
  • Zidane = Zidane's cool, I guess. They did try to have their cake and eat it by making him a chipper 16-bit-styled JRPG hero until a moody mid-game turn, but it felt germane enough to the story.
  • Tidus = Lord no. Too much drownball and daddy issues. I have a horrible suspicion some of that will carry over to this new Noctis guy.
  • Yuna = Don't really understand Yuna's character development beyond FFX. She spent that entire game knowing she would die saving the world and didn't, so... what comes next? Dresspheres? Sure, let's do dresspheres. She's got time to burn now.
  • Vaan = Shoehorned in at the last second as desperate fan appeal, like Fake Lisa in that Simpsons Variety Show spoof. Had Matsuno had his way, I don't doubt it would've been the Basch and Ashe show (with a certain pair of sky pirates for color).
  • Lightning = Seemed like the worst excesses of Cloud and Squall. Then she... kind of got more relatable? Then she went back to being a stoic badass again. I give up.
  • Serah = Upbeat yet strangely aloof too. Like Yuna, in fact. Spend so long as an inanimate object and you're bound to get a little detached, I suppose.
  • Ramza Beoulve = (Not so) Secretly the best FF protagonist. Again, Matsuno at work. Goes through a hell of a lot, isn't the most powerful fighter ever, still manages to keep principles intact.
  • Benjamin = I'll just throw Benjamin in here for shits and giggles. Dude was not the sharpest tool in the shed. 2GP a month allowance?
Moderator
#33 Posted by byterunner (290 posts) -

@hailinel: Not the guy who voted for WoL. But I suppose self-insertion? I mean, WoL is just a base character that is open for interpretation. So maybe that, or someone just being a smart ass about the topic.

Typing this made me realize that I would really enjoy a serious retelling (reinterpreting) of the original game. (That one specifically, since you can argue that most of the other FF games are retellings of that game). Something a bit more serious, since there is already a comedic version of that game. (8-bit theater)

#34 Edited by Brackynews (3966 posts) -

The hardcore answer is Biggs and Wedge, but in their absence I chose Terra.

Why they have not become a Summon I will never understand...

#35 Posted by Demoskinos (13906 posts) -

The important thing here guys is that nobody has voted for Vaan.

#36 Edited by Encephalon (1181 posts) -
@mento said:
  • Ramza Beoulve = (Not so) Secretly the best FF protagonist. Again, Matsuno at work. Goes through a hell of a lot, isn't the most powerful fighter ever, still manages to keep principles intact.

Matsuno should write all FFs.

Except they should get someone else to write the third act because Matsuno always defaults back to magic demon stones to finish his stories. That's always sort of disappointing when JRPGs end with the typical "stop the resurrection of the dark god!" plot. That's bad Matsuno. But grisly power politics Matsuno, I like that Matsuno.

#37 Edited by Video_Game_King (34642 posts) -

Why they have not become a Summon I will never understand...

Because that only happens with Espers, and I don't think Tabernacle (or whatever his name was) can summon humans?

#38 Posted by Joeyoe31 (820 posts) -

Cecil, easily.

#39 Edited by crusader8463 (14326 posts) -

I have only enjoyed my time with Tactics Advanced and FFX but I found the leads pretty meh. Tidus was serviceable, but I never really cared for him. Yourself in Tactics Advance didn't have much of a story and his whole "You gotta get back to the real world because it's real!" really irked with me and made me hate him.

#40 Posted by Demoskinos (13906 posts) -

Okay, who did it. Who voted for Vaan.

#41 Posted by kerse (2041 posts) -

I have to go with Lightning, it was kind've a toss up between her Terra and Zidane.

#42 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11034 posts) -

I voted for Bartz because I really like Final Fantasy V. No, he's not an especially great or memorable protagonist in a game with 5(!) entirely forgettable protagonists, but I figured someone had to vote for him. Terra would be my second pick, but I'd dispute that Final Fantasy VI even has a main protagonist since its strength lies in its ensemble cast and you can beat the game without her.

So, the real answer is X-2 Yuna, clearly.

#43 Posted by Arkkazeal (107 posts) -

My real vote will always go out to Zack. He seemed like a nice guy even from just the short scenes in FF7 and furthers his ridiculousness in Crisis Core.

#44 Posted by Taku128 (727 posts) -

@hailinel said:

I'd like to know the reasoning behind the vote for the Warrior of Light.

I voted for Warrior of Light because it was the closest thing to "All these characters are terrible." The Warrior of Light is my favorite by virtue of not being a character.

#45 Posted by SuperWristBands (2265 posts) -

Okay, who did it. Who voted for Vaan.

I don't know who it was but that person is a monster.

#46 Posted by gogosox82 (413 posts) -
#47 Edited by Fredchuckdave (4493 posts) -

Celes and Delita, they're just as much main characters as the two ostensibly main characters (though in FFVI there isn't one rather blatantly). Delita's so awesome he sent the hero down a hole to die in obscurity whilst he conquered the earth; what a champ.

#48 Posted by thebunnyhunter (1216 posts) -

After carefully thinking it over i chose Titus, i liked his character arc more than the others (only played 4-13 though). The thing this poll points out is the party members are always way better characters. Vivi would win that poll

#49 Posted by awesomeusername (4059 posts) -

I chose Zidane because I only played FF9 and FF13. I got to disc 3 before my brother overwrote my save by accident so I'm waiting for him to get me to disc 3 again, but on my Vita. But I love FF9. I hate FF13 and Lightning is so dull & boring it's crazy. If you put Zack Fair from Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII though, I probably would've chose him over Zidane. I love that game to death and the ending almost made me cry. Almost because I'm cold hearted.

My real vote will always go out to Zack. He seemed like a nice guy even from just the short scenes in FF7 and furthers his ridiculousness in Crisis Core.

I almost forgot about Zack. Loved that dude but seeing this post made me rethink my post above.

#50 Posted by D_Bones (362 posts) -

It seems that for the more modern Final Fantasy's the main protagonists fall into 2 main categories of straight faced (Cloud, Squall, Lightning) versus happy go lucky (Zidane, Tidus, Vaan) . I think I fall into the liking of the happy go lucky protagonists more or rather I enjoy those games more for unrelated reasons giving those characters a more positive light. All I know is that XV looks pretty good and will feature another protagonist who seems to fall into the "straight faced" category so here's hoping Noctis is well written.