Okay! As an avid Final Fantasy VIII fan I feel like I have to clear some of the douchified air surrounding the main protagonist: Squall Leonhart. I’m not about to go all “leeeavee Squall aloooooone” on you guys however….I feel like the hero of VIII just cops too much flack for the type of character he is, and we can probably blame how the media has shaped our current society for that.
Okay so anyway there’s no doubt in the mind of any Final Fantasy fan that Squall is a pretty popular fellow amongst male protagonists, people either love him or hate him. He’s that kind of character. Now for those people that have played FF:VIII to its entirety and legitimately dislike him for reasons other than “he’s an emooo! Hurr hurrrrr”, that’s fine…BUT I honestly cannot stand those
derps people that do not finish a game (or even half finish a game) yet rag on it like they have beaten the game thrice over. It is these types of people that label Squall an ‘emo‘ or a ‘jerk‘ (which is debatable) or an ‘asshole‘.
Now if you are one of these people (which seem to be pretty popular amongst VIII noobs), I’m going to assume any of the following statements:
1. You don’t know Squall’s back-story.
2. You haven’t gotten past the first disk in VIII (a lot fall into this category)
3. You don’t actually know what an ’emo’ is and associate anyone with black clothing to be ’emo’.
4. You assume that people/characters that aren’t initially cheerful are jerks.
5. You haven’t played many J/rpgs in general.
6. You are a blind Cloud fanboy who believes any Final fantasy that isn’t VII sucks (a.k.a you haven’t played any of them).
7. All of the above.
Thing thing is, people seem to immediately jump to the conclusion that Squall’s an emo simply based on the fact that he wears black and that he’s a rather serious/introverted/grumpy character (in the beginning of the game, anyway). But if you think that’s all there is to being an emo. You’re wrong. When used as an adjective the word emo is usually a slang made out to be derogative (duh). The insult insinuates that the person being called an emo is (most often) a depressed or a melodramatic teenager who finds grief or cries at the most trivial of problems or even assumes they are in a worse situation than they really are (mainly for attention). Typical “emo’s” of this fashion take part in self harm (like cutting of wrists or thighs) in order to express and temporarily relieve their inner turmoil. Now does any of this actually sound like Squall? Rather, Squall is actually the opposite of an emo if you think about it.
Note: I know this is not the true explanation of what emo really is (it was actually a hardcore genre of music that had a strong impact during youth movements in the 90’s) BUT I’m just explaining the stereotypical ‘meaning’ that emo is nowadays.
Now once again I’m going to clarify: if you dislike Squall for legitimate reasons (for example, his character is just not your cup of tea) then that’s A-OK! I’m just bagging out the people with silly reasons for disliking him or any final fantasy character in general.
In the beginning of the game, Squall appears to be an introverted, serious, angst-y 17yo who really doesn’t seem to give f*ck about anyone.
But internally he’s not really like that….
To put it briefly the main reason for Squall’s initial “douchiness” in the beginning was due to the fact that he had grown up in an orphanage; the most dear to him had disappeared abruptly out of his life, leaving him alone and afraid. This fear of feeling alone stemmed into a general distrust of people and morphed into a hedgehog persona of not letting people get too close. This is due to the fear that he would feel the same abandonment he had once felt take place again. The idea of not relying on anyone meant that if he ever screwed up it would be his fault and his burden to take, alone.
However, once you progress throughout the actual game Squall’s character and mindset gradually change.
He now values his comrades as his friends rather than annoyances and his love for Rinoa allows himself to delve into the person that he was initially too afraid to show anyone. He becomes a motivated and rather bright(ish) character. And of course there are also many scenes of him being a badass but we don’t need to get into that.
Anyway like him or dislike him, don’t be one of those people who jumps aboard the “emooooo” wagon just because a certain character doesn’t grin as often as you think they should whilst dressed in black attire. But if you do….
Authors note: I was sooo tired whilst writing this but I figured it’d be a good time to write this while I’m on my one week study week from uni. If there are spelling or grammatical errors, I’m sorry! I’m so busy with assignments I didn’t think I’d ever finish this, even though it’s only a small rant….sorry again @___@ Anway, I think there’s too many people out there that don’t really understand that’s Squall not really as much of an ass as he appears to be initially. I encourage anyone to play or replay FF VIII, it’s a great game.