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Final Fantasy 9 teaches us about war and how times have changed

Square’s PS1 classic could only have been made in the year 2000.

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FallenAngel198439d ago

"In contrast to gung-ho militarism of a Call of Duty game"

Call of Duty has been sported a coat of anti-war paint with some of its quotes during loading screens. Ever knew how much a Tomahawk missile cost? War ain't cheap. Of course Call of Duty falls victim to the Do Not Do This Cool Thing trope since you play as a badass soldier who's protecting the free world, which is kind of hard to paint as a rigorous and stressful affair while still being appealing to play. Despite that, the soldiers you play as rarely survive to the end of the campaign. While the series may honor the sacrifices of the soldiers who fought, it treats the conflicts as somber affairs where the survival rate is extremely low.

The Modern Warfare trilogy in particular deconstructs the cavalier cowboy attitude of jingoistic military shooters and movies by showing the catastrophic destruction and death that result from them, and the nationalist propaganda that fuels it.

In comparison it's far easier for an RPG like Final Fantasy IX to depict a world at peace before everything goes to shit because of how its genre is mechanically handled in comparison to an FPS.

PhoenixUp39d ago

This is why I'll never understand people who say FFIX isn't as mature as FFVII & FFVIII just because of its aesthetics. Despite the art style, colourful settings and generally whimsical first disc, this game is rife with dark themes that make it a top contender for most depressing game in the series. The villains commit genocide with varying levels of success (the lowest level being "about half"), almost every kingdom you go to is either invaded, destroyed, or both, an entire planet is destroyed (and the other was pretty much its life support), the woobie-riffic characters experience existential angst that makes Cloud Strife look absolutely normal in comparison. Pretty much every city and location Zidane visits gets spectacularly trashed at some point, which is ironic considering what he was created for.

""In contrast to gung-ho militarism of a Call of Duty game"

The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare trilogy, despite what the misaimed fanbase will tell you, is a deconstruction of jingoistic military shooters:

The first game juxtaposes typical US government posturing about freedom/democracy/"restor ing stability to the region" with unsettling hints the Middle Eastern country was an oil-rich US puppet state, and contrasts the macho, cowboy attitude of the American grunts with a US Army tank named after a famous anti-war song, "War Pig", and levels named after anti-war movies like Apocalypse Now and Dr. Strangelove (which, like the American campaign, ends with massive nuclear devastation). While you're playing, the United States seems like a good guy championing peace and stability (obviously due to your player character being on their side), but the implication that to the other side it's an imperialist bully who can only be defeated by nuclear weapons remains. By the end, any player not under the sway of confirmation bias is left feeling like the game world is just a bunch of political structures throwing propaganda at each other to cover up the void where the truth should be. Sort of like real life.

The sequel goes even farther. It starts with a US task force performing three separate acts of unilateral action, but things sour when the Russian army invades the United States over a botched CIA operation that resulted in Russian civilians dead and an American soldier's finger on the trigger. But to the American grunts fending off the invasion, it's obvious they're the victims. The two sides, inflamed by nationalism, fight to avenge their countries with patriotic fervor unaware that that's exactly why a ranking American general purposefully botched the CIA op. In the game, the war is treated as a power fantasy between nationalists wearing the mask of righteousness. The human beings on the front lines, actually fighting for their country, are treated as disposable pawns by their leader.

The third and final game in the trilogy was made after Infinity Ward's founders were fired, taking on a more generic America saves the day tone, but doesn't betray the anti-nationalist attitude. The United States never actually wins the war, nor is Russia treated as an irredeemable enemy. Moderates on both sides just get tired of conflict, and the end comes when American special forces rescue the Russian president from Russian extremist nationalists so he can order the military to stand down.

Summons7538d ago

Yeah, when I hear "it must be for kids, looks so cartoony" I always facepalm. FFIX was pretty dark. Even TLOZ: Wind Waker was a super dark game despite the "cartoony" cel-shading, hell you STAB Ganon in the face to kill him. Call of Duty if you really dig has an anti-war message but it's pretty gung-ho about shooting everyone and everything even going as far as to say a mass shooting in an airport is perfectly okay. I wouldn't be surprised if in the next few years you start seeing them turn their eye from the middle east to an ever so slightly fictional North Korea simply that is what is in the news, it's what will stir controversy, and it will generate sales from the people who think it's okay to slaughter millions because of one man.

PhoenixUp38d ago

You don't have to dig a lot to see the blatant anti war messages in the games.

At no party point did the series state it was ok for soldiers to gun down civilians. You seem to misunderstand the entire point of No Russian since that event was orchestrated by the villains.

You seem to superficially believe that any game with violence and war in it is automatically a pro-war game. If that's the case then you're really ignorant of the messages these games present.