In story terms, my favorite is probably Fei/Elly
. It has natural and organic growth personalities that actually complement each other, and emotional maturity and openness, and it's completely integral to the story, rather than being tacked onto it. I take off points for Fei mysteriously knowing Elly's name when they first meet though, which was explicable by the end of the game, but clumsy and strictly unnecessary.
Because absolutely nobody asked for it, I'm going to provide my personal rankings for the couples of the Final Fantasy series, from IV to XII.
With all the couples who just gravitate to each over the course of their journeys, I have to hand the writers some credit for Zidane's consistent, long running, and ultimately fruitful attempts to win Garnet over. Overall, I think this relationship contributed the most fun to its associated game, and I consider it to have the best ending.
Although it's inevitable in gameplay terms, in terms of narrative, I think this one is improved by being far from a foregone conclusion. For all that Tifa is clearly attracted to Cloud, the more aggressive Aeris is a clear threat to her romantic prospects. Even so, she doesn't seem to bear Aeris any ill will. I've heard people complain that the writers deliberately offed the more romantically aggressive heroine to pair the hero up with the shy and reticent one
, and there may be something to that, but I can't fault them for the quality of their writing. Final Fantasy VII also got up to some interesting role reversals for its time, with the more reserved heroine being the bartender who beats enemies up with her bare hands, and the more forward one being the Staff Chick
flower girl, and for all that she's a very traditionally femine character, Tifa does more to save Cloud and protect him in his time of weakness than he does for her.
This one has a lot going for it in terms of believability. Tidus and Yuna have plenty of commonalities to draw them together, and as the only one who hasn't
knowingly signed up to accompany her to her death, Tidus is in a unique position with respect to Yuna when it comes to developing attachment and offering emotional support. For all that it bugs me when people bring up the laughing scene when it was supposed
to sound ridiculous though, I still have to count the quality of the voice acting as a point against this one. Giving this one a bittersweet ending was an interesting choice, which I'll give credit for novelty, although it wasn't exactly a mood lifter. X-2's attempt to give it a happy ending also robbed it of its dignity in the process.
I originally thought I'd be giving this one the third spot over Tidus/Yuna, but there's so much less of
it by comparison that I had to concede that it doesn't really add as much to its associated game. This one has only scraps of the story dedicated to it, but they're particularly choice ones. It's more interesting if you don't
manage to save Cid in the World of Ruin.
Yeah, Cecil/Rosa is the main couple of the game, but there's really not much to say about that one. It's there, it's unambiguous, and it moves the plot insofar as Cecil is motivated to rescue Rosa when she's kidnapped, but their interactions together really don't provide anything of interest. Edge and Rydia at least inject a bit of humor into the game.
It's barely a thing, but if the game can be said to have a couple, this◊
is probably it. Not actively obnoxious.
This one actively set out to be a love story, but you can count me among the people who aren't impressed with the results. I'm not going to say their romance came out of left field; it was foreshadowed, at least if you take Rinoa along with you to Garden. It's not incomprehensible, since Rinoa is the only one who really makes a concerted effort to get through Squall's emotional barriers and interrupt his self imposed solitude. But my god, even as a twelve year old I found their lack of emotional maturity wearing. I don't fault Rinoa for the various times she's in need of rescuing, she's not a trained soldier like the others, but I will fault her for a persistent and comprehensive lack of good sense. I have more tolerance for the infamously "whiny" Squall than most players (who's really not that whiny at all, since almost all of his complaining is in internal monologue, but he's a hell of a glass half empty guy,) but frankly he does next to nothing to endear himself to any of the other characters, so Rinoa's pursuit of him seems to be based entirely on the fact that he's hot and badass. This is a completely credible teenage motivation, but a stirring romance it does not make.
Oh, right, those two.
edited 24th Apr '12 1:39:34 PM by Desertopa
...eventually, we will reach a maximum entropy state where nobody has their own socks or underwear, or knows who to ask to get them back.