Saturday, September 17, 2011

Final Fantasy X Remake Announced: I Slip into Nostalgia

Joystiq really tried to pull one over on me the other day. It was September 14th, a day like any other, where I practically did shots of Mountain Dew in order to stay awake at work, and decided to check up on gaming news. The high walls of my cube could do nothing to muffle the sound of my neighbor's slurping at her pop can, which happens each morning at precisely 9:30. But it just so happened that this was a good thing that day, because once I scrolled down to a certain news story, I sucked in a gasp at the very same time as a particularly loud slurp from my neighbor. I don't think anyone knew what to think, as nobody made a sound after that. But I saw it, and the gasp was out, and my hand was over my heart and for several minutes I was transported back ten years to the glorious summer I spent playing that game, my favorite game of all time. The headline read: "Square Enix announces Final Fantasy 10 remake for PS Vita - and PS3. And then I plummeted into nostalgia.

There are so, so many things that hold varying levels of nostalgia for me. I knowingly cling to things because they mean something to me. I'm twenty-something and have a great irrational fear that I am going to forget all of these countless memories that have been crammed into my short life and which seem to squabble for my attention. Look at me! How could you forget almost getting a speeding ticket on the way home from the midnight release of the seventh Harry Potter book? How the cop asked what you were doing out so late and you tearfully held up your fresh new book, cramming it against the side of your face and sobbing "I just really wanted to read! I'll never do it again!" And the cop laughed and sent you on your way? Or what about the way that kid in algebra told you that a plane had hit the World Trade Center, and you didn't believe him? How you visited the site a couple years later and gazed into that empty, mangled hole in the ground and for some reason couldn't get that video of the man falling 80+ stories out of your mind? Or when you went to Italy, and Rome wedged itself so deeply into your heart that it almost hurt when you had to leave?

Well there was this game. Yes, a videogame. I got Final Fantasy X at the beginning of a summer vacation when I was fourteen or something. I played it for hours and hours and hours. I adored it. I didn't care that my friends thought I was a loser, that was the best summer I'd ever had. Tidus was a whiny girly man, Auron was a badass with one good arm, Lulu had gigantic boobs, and Seymour had that awful blue...THING that I guess was his hair. And it had Chocobo Jam, which won't leave my mind for hours now that I've thought of it, and the Mt. Gagazet music, and To Zanarkand, and the story. It was so much of what I would want to write. Fantasy is what I love. It's so dynamic. The possibilities really are endless with what you can do with this world you're going to create. It could be virtually anything. I love the freedom, the quest, the heroes, setbacks, depth, betrayals--the sheer scale of what I can create.

Final Fantasy X was probably the very first time I'd encountered something that made me care so much for the characters and the world. For a lot of people, as far as games go, that honor may have gone to Final Fantasy VII, but I was without a PS2 at that point and didn't get to play it until after FFX. Perhaps things would have been different, but I doubt it. Around the same time FFX came out, I plucked a fantasy book called Rhapsody by Elizabeth Haydon off a bookstore shelf because the cover was great. This is probably the second half of my newfound "fantasy is my calling" revelation, and one of the main reasons why I've judged books by their covers ever since then, but I'll save that little story for another time.

I've literally heard nothing else about when this remake is going to come out, but as soon as I hear something I'll already be canceling any plans around that date so I'm not doing anything important. I've been wanting to play it again for years, and something tells me I'll be unreachable for awhile after it resurfaces. Especially because I'll probably spend most of my time trying to do that damn chocobo race where you have to finish with a time of "00:00" in order to get Tidus's ultimate weapon. It's possible. It has to be possible. Though I'll still probably never get it.

But you know what? That's perfectly fine.

As long as I can still give Sin a kick in the face without it.

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