Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Great analysis video of FF4

I really enjoyed watching Mr Gentleman's New Video on Final Fantasy IV, it stands at about 90 mins in length but is very worth watching, the author points out a lot of Christian elements in the game, many of which I averted to in my review of the game.

What I really like is his deep analysis of Cecil's character- how he points out that his relationship with Rosa cannot solve all his problems while he is piled up in sin and evil, something that a lot of modern media ignores- suggesting that if you add romance to your life all your problems go, FFIV shows the truth of the genuine human condition.

Also clever was his discovery that the 4 fiends are the names of demons in Dante's Inferno.

he does an amazing job dissecting the game, well worth watching.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Final Fantasy XV- THE Catholic FF?

I recently came across a Youtube Channel by Ikkin which has some awesome videos on the how FFXV can be seen as supporting the Catholic Faith.

I really love her videos because she offers a sophisticated analysis of the game in the same way that I attempt to do through the reviews in this blog.

If you have played FFXV or if you don't mind massive spoilers, check out her videos, she has a 3 part series on FFXV.

I hadn't even touched FFXV prior to Ikkin's reviews, but now I am getting engrossed in it so hope do to some more posts on this game once I have completed it.

I love how in her first video on FFXV she makes a general analysis on how so many FFs are anti Catholic in story pointing out the 2 worst culprits FFX and Tactics, she does it in a really amusing style that is brutally true. As I said, watch the whole thing if you don't mind spoilers:

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Drugs, alcohol, women, impurity, crime.... and video games?

I've noticed on a few conversion stories and also some sermons that I have watched recently that there it's becoming more and more usual for 'gaming' to be grouped in with all the 'pre-conversion' vices.

Priests, preachers, converts, this isn't fair!

Imagine a conversion testimony or a powerful sermon which condemned "Drugs, alcohol, women, impurity, crime and ... books"

Everyone would think, "you what?" 

Sure there are trashy books out there, basically pornographic literature, seedy novels with racy titles and a women (or man) with very little clothing on the front of it.... 

But that doesn't mean "books" as a medium, as a type of entertainment, are a pre-conversion vice.

Maybe you could say someone addicted to gambling video games, sure, a pre-conversion vice.... maybe someone who played video games 8 hours every day and did nothing else, a pre-conversion vice...... maybe someone who deliberately played games with impurity and outrageous and gratuitous violence in them, games that probably account for about 5% of all those in the top 100 sales of last year in video games, maybe that would be a pre-conversion vice.

But gaming as a whole.... no way, its not a pre-conversion vice, its simply a form of 'play', of healthy distraction, just like reading or nature watching or watching a sports game, or playing snooker.....

So be careful, more specific if you want to list gaming as your pre-conversion vice.... playing Tetris on the bus to work is hardly confession matter.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Wolverine is a Christian?!

I was watching some old x-men cartoons and stumbled across a cool episode which presents the Catholic Faith in a pretty good light.... it was made in about 1993, when you watch this little youtube video of the best bits, you realise how society has changed for the worse. I can't see a cartoon these days having this kind of pro-Catholic message thrown in there... its all about being pro unnatural marriage, body mutilation, baby killing and indigenous pagan religions.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Wutai, FF7 and Religion

It looks like in the Remake version of ff7 Wutai is being depicted very differently, it is clearly being depicted as a serious military force, with which currently Shinra has a temporary ceasefire agreement. When the gang reach the Shinra HQ the explanation for as to why the place is so well defended is, again, put down to the threat from Wutai.

It looks like Wutai is being taken seriously.

So expect as the game continues more about Wutai, more development of its lore and a re-consideration of how it has been presented up to now.

For certain it will have to be treated as a genuine challenge to Shinra, we have got to be dealing with a huge city, capable not only of defensive viet-cong style resistance, but also of feesably crossing continents and mounting an assault on Midgar.

The original FF7 and Crisis Core Wutai certainly was not up to this, it was barely more threatening than Rocket Town, it had a very small number of residents and consisted of two screens worth of populated land.

That all has to change, we have got to be considering something more like Junon now.

What will be different with Wutai will presumably be that they are not using Mako to power their military industrial complex, I expect they are using good old oil, but possibly given the way things are nowadays I imagine Wutai will be depicted as powering everything from Wind farms.

This will probably be useful to the game as it essentially gives an answer to the frequent and obvious refrain made by those who wish to defend Shinra- it is either this or living without electricity, central heating, etc etc etc.

One thing I would love to see emphasises though, is a presentation of Wutai's religion. My recollection is that the people of Wutai worship the dragon god Leviathan. Clearly they are not planet worshippers and I would love to see that presented. I know FF7 is all about Gaia theory etc. etc. but it would be really interesting to see a civilisation which did not accept that, but rather, worshipped gods of their own and had views of the after-life tied up in their own gods, rather than the return to the Mako which is the main viewpoint.

Maybe we don't return to the Mako, maybe the planet's Mako is really just a subterranean liquid fossil fuel.

It was interesting reading on the planned history of Wutai:

"Wutai was much different from how it appeared in the final product: Wutai was to be a town built around the Temple for the "Wutaia faith", a religion dominated by female hierarchy that worshipped a female deity. The current hierarch was to be the young Sasame-no-Himemiko, the 89th in line. Due to Sasame being only 15 years old, the real leader would be the high priestess, Izayoi. Godo would not have been the leader, but rather the head of the Kisaragi family, the servants to the Wutaia leader."

I'd love to see a greater exploration of this rival religious system, that would mean that Wutai is no friend of Avalanche, nor of Shinra for that matter.

But, let us not forget, there is clearly a third religious system in FF7 world.... perhaps it has been long forgotten or abandoned, but at least at some point there was a 'Church'. Aeris, as we all know, seems to hang around there.

Maybe, just maybe, that Church is the true religion. Obviously Leviathan isn't the one true God as he is a summon, but how to explain away the Mako religion that has taken so much of Midgar by storm?

I'm not sure and I don't think the FF7 writers are interested in any way of exploring that possibility.

Just some thoughts.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Approaches to grieving (ffvii spoiler)

I have recently been replaying ffvii in preparation for the remake.

One feature I had failed to notice previously is the manner in which each of the party members react to the death of Aeris.

It is a really beautiful moment in which we see something of the depth of characterisation in the party members expressed as well as it could be given the playstation's graphical limitations.

Take a look at the video and see for yourself.

I particularly like Yuffi's scene which I think shows her offering some prayers for Aeris, she then tries to hold herself together before collapsing upon Cloud in tears. What I liked about this was 1) It disclosed her commitment to the religion of her ancestor's 'the dragon gods' of which we hear almost nothing about it the game, 2) it shows her deep affection and perhaps even crush towards Cloud (note how of all the dating scenes Yuffi is the only girl who actually chooses to kiss Cloud for herself) 3) It shows the softness of Yuffi and even the sensitivity underneath her tough exterior.

I could probably offer a similar analysis for each of the other characters in their specific manner of mourning the tragic death of Aeris, but I will leave you to do that.

What I will add is that the different reactions also parallel some of the common responses I often see towards death in my work as hospital chaplain. The game is pretty true to life in the different responses death can bring out in people. 

In fact I actually like Cait Sith's ultra weird response- for me this response is actually genuine and common, the person who tries to cheer up the situation in some way or is ridiculously jolly as their loved one is passing, but this is really just a mask for the underlying gnawing sense of grief. I think in Cait Sith's position that also is particularly appropriate given that his betrayal of the party can easily be seen as a cause in bringing about the death of Aeris through the handing over of the keystone... perhaps... I'm not so sure about that now, ... all the same laughter is often a cloak for tears deep down.

In this month of November, the month for remembering the Holy Souls in Purgatory it is salutary to call to mind the eternal truths- death, judgement, heaven and hell. Each one of us will die, each one of us will be judged... perhaps some will mourn our deaths for a little while, but then, ultimately we will all be forgotten. Our souls however will continue, either in heaven, or for the vast majority, in hell. 

Stay on the narrow road, in the One True Catholic Church and go to confession regularly.