Here’s an article I never thought I’d write. Recently it was announced that Claire “Lightning” Farron would become a spokesperson for the fashion brand Louis Vuitton, sparking exactly the kind of comments I’ve grown to expect by now. It’s no secret that Final Fantasy XIII is not widely popular, especially since nearly every recent article that even mentions Final Fantasy feels a need to restate that fact. Whether it’s coverage of Final Fantasy XV and the predictable use of “return to form” and related terms, or on the recent PC ports of the FFXIII trilogy where commentators openly ask what the point of them is. I’m being defensive, but it’s frustrating to see a series that means the world to me so often, and easily dismissed. However, this endorsement deal is actually pretty interesting, and here’s why: It makes a bizarre amount of sense.
Consider this a sequel to the article I wrote on how there’s no way Fang and Vanille are straight, and then speculated on Lightning’s sexuality. Now that Lightning Returns is out, it’s worth revisitng those as we have the whole picture. Then I’ll touch briefly on Fang/ Lightning. The rest of the article is dedicated to the things I wanted to write, but that didn’t fit into the first two parts. This is the last article I’ll be doing on the XIII… For at least a month. It was never my intent for this project to look like a fansite for XIII, the timings just worked out that way.
Lightning Returns is a brilliant story, often told poorly. In fact, that’s the XIII trilogy in a nutshell. The story has a core that is rock solid, but more layers than it should. XIII* is a love it/ hate it affair. Combine this with the poor direction of a pivotal cutscene, and you have a story which can be really obtuse. If the story speaks to you, and you’re willing to sift through a lot of unnecessary and/or strange concepts and ideas (much like you do reading this blog), then you’re going to have a great time (much like you do reading this blog… right?). If you just aren’t into it, then the layers are just going to obfuscate things further, and I totally understand if you leave the series frustrated.
It’s been almost a month since Lightning Returns was released and I’ve had time to process it. It should be obvious to anyone who reads this site, or knows me at all, that Final Fantasy XIII is my favourite game of all time. The trilogy is something I hold very close to my heart. It all wrapped up with Lightning Returns, and here’s my take on it.
Originally posted a couple weeks ago, I figured I’d get a better one once it healed.
Previously on Resonance Frequency: Social stigma, isolation, suicide rates, grief, and losing agency. Today on Resonance Frequency: Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers for Final Fantasy XIII, and potential spoilers for Final Fantasy XIII-2. There are no Lightning Returns spoilers. This article also talks about sex, and has links and images that are NSFW.
Final Fantasy XIII is among the media which changed my life, offering me a way to articulate parts of myself that I haven’t been able to before. More so, the more I think about it and the more I play, I’ve come to the realization that FFXIII is queer as hell. We can argue author intent vs ‘Death of the Author’ all we want, but even if it wasn’t Square-Enix’s attempt to produce a story that is one big queer metaphor they succeeded in doing so regardless. I think it’s worth discussing because this game draws some pretty striking parallels between what its characters experience, and what LGB and T persons do. To the point where I’ve come to view being l’Cie as an excellent example of what it is like to be Trans (tra’Ni?).