But seriously though, shouldn’t Seifer have gone to jail or something for his actions in FFVIIII?
I don’t know, I was under the impression that he was under Ultimecia’s influence.
Wait, didn’t Seifer say he joined Ultimecia willingly?
I don’t know, it seemed like manipulation to me:
Seifer: Stay away from me!
Edea: Such a confused little boy. Are you going to step forward? Retreat? You have to decide.
Seifer: Stay back!
Edea: The boy in you is telling you to come. The adult in you is telling you to back off. You can’t make up your mind. You don’t know the right answer. You want help, don’t you? You want to be saved from this predicament.
Seifer: Shut up!
Edea: Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Besides, you’re only a little boy.
Seifer: I’m not… Stop calling me a boy.
Edea: You don’t want to be a boy anymore?
Seifer: I am not a BOY!
Edea: Come with me to a place of no return. Bid farewell to your childhood.
I always thought he was, at least initially, joining her willingly. Confused, but willing. (Also, I assume he at least partially remembered Matron, and that added to the confusion.) The more he did, though, the more he came to be actually influenced and manipulated by Ultimecia. That’s why Fujin and Raijin eventually asked for help—because Seifer wasn’t following his own dream anymore, however misguided that dream might have been.
Can I just take a second to talk about FFVIII
For years I always played this game assuming Squall and Zell would be strongest because…
Actually, if we’re really being technical about this, the three women are the strongest characters in the game. Unjunctioned, after about level 20, Rinoa levels faster than any other character, and all of her stats except I think Vitality (not looking at a chart right now but I’m pretty sure that’s it) are the highest in the game at level 100—including above Squall’s.
And Selphie and Quistis both have limit breaks that can remove an enemy from battle in one attack regardless of their defenses, and Selphie can even take out bosses with her limit break in one hit. And while Rinoa’s limit break is… Well, annoying, and I say this as a great lover of Rinoa, if you junction her correctly and don’t mind her being berserked, Angel Wing can actually do some seriously intense damage. Wishing Star is not far behind Lionheart in terms of number of hits, and Invincible Moon is incredibly useful—especially if you don’t obtain/refine the Laguna card.
Squall’s regular attacks will always seem stronger because you are almost guaranteed to do a critical attack on every hit, and unless you’re being very purposeful, he will nearly always be at a higher level than the rest of your party simply because he is IN your party more, and by proxy of always dealing critical hits, I’ve found he has a higher likelihood of dealing the killing blow and therefore getting more EXP.
But if you strip away player preference and look solely at what the game allows each character to have without augments or strategy, Rinoa is strongest, and Selphie and Quistis have the most destructive limit breaks.
And all that aside, your two primary antagonists are both women, while the single primary male antagonist is a willing servant to them (well, one of them). All of the male characters act based on the women who are important to them—even at the beginning of the game, Squall is first acting under the tutelage of Quistis and command of Xu, and then under Rinoa’s contract before he falls in love with her, where her control over him is pretty obvious; this is on top of the fact that his entire life up to that point revolved around his assumed abandonment by Elle. Irvine admits that his actions since childhood have largely been centered around wanting to make Selphie happy and he continues to demonstrate this during the game—asking specifically for help at FH for something he knows she wants without even asking for credit for it, and cheering her on in the Ragnarok; and Zell, a previously established momma’s boy, is unwilling to leave Matron’s side until the final battle and seems to make it his personal mission to keep her safe. Laguna’s whole story is a result of his relationships with Julia, Raine, and Ellone, and it’s always seemed fairly implicated to me that the main reason Caraway and Rinoa’s relationship was strained is because he never stopped mourning his wife. Fujin is clearly in charge of the Fujin/Raijin dynamic, and to go back to Seifer, his life’s ambition was to be a Sorceress’ Knight—not world domination, not time compression, not even truly to become a SeeD—at his core, there was one thing he wanted to do with his life, and everything he did was in pursuit of that dream.
So really, the biggest message in FFVIII is fuck the patriarchy.
And this is why Joss Whedon needs to do something with it.