So I've been replaying Final Fantasy VIII to graph character personalities for Tempus Frangit - and this sort of thing is exactly why I don't often write fanfic, I'd guess, because I feel like I'd be doing it wrong if I didn't but it takes such effort - and it's been interesting. It's always a pleasant surprise to find out something isn't as bad as you thought it was, but I really never expected to feel that way about Final Fantasy VIII. Somehow, the magic system has gotten even more tedious with time, but wow, there is so much more to these characters than I first realized on my last play through. Which was six years ago.
There's a scene on the first disc shortly after Rinoa joins where the party is fleeing to Galbadia Garden due to some truly incredible cock-up. Zell - who, uh, not really less annoying, sadly - starts asking Squall how bad the situation is for them and their home, and Squall gives it to him straight - everything's up in the air, but it doesn't look good. Whereupon Rinoa proceeds to thoroughly bitch him out for not being more positive, and I always hated slogging through this scene, but it occurred to me on this run through that, dude, she's not nagging him. She might not even be seeing him while she's chewing him out - she's almost certainly drawn a parallel between either Squall and her father or Squall's actions and actions she herself has taken as a member of the Timber resistance and regretted. Despite what I'd always assumed, she probably does know what she's talking about, and after Squall passes out, she clearly realizes that, oh yeah, Squall probably knows, too, and it's about as easy for him as it is for Zell. That scene isn't just Rinoa being a nagging harpy, it's just her trying to make sense of Squall, who's very unlike anyone she's had to deal with in her life so far.
I actually really like Rinoa, which is...odd, considering how much I remember hating her. She's cute and funny and she genuinely wants to change the world for the better, and believes she can. Also, she shoves Squall off a ledge, which is super good for me. She's so much stronger and so much weaker than she thinks she is, and she has a clear, interesting character evolution. Which is good, because the writing and translation in this game is pretty wretched. WHO USES THE WORD MEANY AFTER GRADUATING KINDERGARTEN. WHO. IS LAGUNA AS PRESIDENT MEANT TO BE SATIRICAL? WHO EVEN IS ULTIMECIA? GOD.
I'm going to try for 3000 words by Monday. I've already got three times as much for the Novel Big Bang project, so I really should pick up the slack. Or make a time table, at the very least.