My Female Gaming Role Models: Rinoa Heartilly

Rinoa Heartilly as drawn by Ezrah

Rinoa Heartilly as drawn by Ezrah

Now, before you’re completely turned off because *insert prejudice against Rinoa here*, just hear me out. I know a lot of people didn’t like Rinoa, or Final Fantasy VIII for that matter, but I will tell you exactly why I have no idea… why. Ever since the opening scene of Final Fantasy VIII, I was in love. I remember getting home from the store, running into my bedroom with my sister, turning it on, and just being in sheer awe. I don’t know how many times mom called us to dinner. We couldn’t stop watching. “Hold on mom I have to save it!” I think this was my childhood catchphrase when Playstation came into the picture.

As I played through the game, I related to Rinoa more and more. From the first time I saw her until the end of the game, she spoke to me. She was my video game counterpart. My soul mate, if you will. I don’t know if you’ve ever had that one character that could have been you. More than any other character you ever encountered? Maybe it’s Lara, Quistis, Celeste, or Princess Peach. Whoever it happens to be, you understand what I’m trying to say. If not, I will do my best to explain.

The Dance

When I think of Rinoa, I think of persistence, free spirit, optimism. Her introduction was perfect. Walking up to Squall, telling him he will like her, dragging him onto the dance floor, and in record time, teaching him how to dance (I kid). This was the part of her that she wanted people to see, confidence.

We meet her again in the town of Timber. She is the princess of the resistance against the Galbadian army, and you find out her goal at the dance was to get to the headmaster. She wanted to hire SeeD forces to help liberate Timber. In her naive optimistic view, all they needed were some mercenaries to follow out their plans, and the rest would fall into place.  Her narrow view of how the world works, and her passion to save it, are only the surface of her, and stem greatly from her military brat upbringing and rebellion against her father. In changing her last name, moving away, and offering no connection to the Galbadian Army until absolutely necessary, she shows her feelings for her father in a very realistic way. Having come from a military family myself, this drew me to her.

My father was, and still is, your typical retired military man. As a teenager, he would protect me from the dangers of the world the only way he really knew how, by not letting me in it. It wasn’t until college when I had moved out of the house, that I was truly able to become my own person and find out who I truly am. Looking back I realize now that he was only doing what every parent does the best they know how: Protect their child, however his tactics and methods were firmly rooted in his military upbringing. Even in the face of danger, her passion for her friends, what she believes is “right”, and her defiance against her father, fuel her to try and help them defeat the sorceress (how she doesn’t run into Quistis’ team is beyond me).

In her quest to help, she comes to a very scary realization. She is not as strong as she believes herself to be. When she was attacked alone, she didn’t have the confidence to handle what was being thrown at her. This may seem weak to some people, but I saw this as a very real side of anybody, and a lesson to be learned about people. She gave off a sense of confidence, because with others around her, she was confident. When left alone to her own devices, she didn’t have another person to be confident with, therefore, the confidence was not there. Many times in life, we are most ourselves when we are alone. The person we show to people is the outside layer that we would like to be, or how we would like to be seen. This being true of Rinoa, she seemed to believe this to be true of Squall as well.

Even when faced with a cold and unemotional Squall, knowing her own feelings for the world, she refuses to believe someone can be this person that he puts off. Squall has an amazing ability to keep people at a distance, and guard his emotions. Coming from an orphanage, this must have been common practice his whole life. The people he relied on as a child are no longer available to him as a young adult, and he sees this as a sign that everyone will eventually be left alone. Refusing to believe that is all Squall has to offer, Rinoa does her best to break through his barrier, finally succeeding when he realizes he may never hear her again. Things that he found annoying, he missed, and in true Squall style, decides that he, alone, can save her… maybe. 

Even though her absorption of sorceress powers was an accident, she embraces it with dignity, volunteering to be cast away in fear that Ultimecia may strike again. Knowing this will forever keep her alone, she looks to Squall, who initially accepts her decision, but then chooses to save her, vowing to forever be her Knight. In the end, as he is overwhelmed by the time compression, she is the one that finds him. She doesn’t think of a time period, or a place to return to. She thinks of him. As they have grown individually, and together, throughout their journey, as long as they have each other that is all that matters.

Rinoa, to me, has always been an inspiration to face your fears head on, but hope for the best outcome. There is always another side to the story, and things always will work out in the end. Be confident in yourself, no matter what, and do not be afraid to look for help if you need it. These are the things she has taught me. 

Whether you love her or hate her (or somewhere inbetween) let’s open the discussion! What did you think about Final Fantasy VII, or Rinoa specifically? Has she inspired you in any way? Good or bad? Who is your video game soul mate? Is there a character that has spoken to you?

 

/bow

 

Why I refuse to stop gaming

“You’re going to have to stop playing video games.”

“Well, I  guess that’s the end of your gaming hobby.”

“You guys aren’t going to have time to play your games.”

It started when we learned of our incredible life change, pregnancy. As the pregnancy was coming to a close, it got worse. It seemed as if every time we stepped out of the house, someone would comment about how our gaming will somehow cease to exist because of this impending arrival. No more gaming…. What?

Asking me to drop gaming is the equivalent of asking me to stop eating Korean food, or better yet. Stop being Korean. Sure it’s only part of who I am, but if it was gone, there would still be a part of me missing. Why would I want to do that?

Gaming has been a significant part of my being. I’ve been doing it since I was 5. My childhood is Mario and Sonic, (and those damn pigs in Rocket Knight Adventures) My preteen years and teen angst years are Playstation. Halo was college. Halo 2 and FFXI were the beginning of Ezrah and I’s relationship. Our love grew over headshots and Maat fights. Final Fantasy XIV will be a new era for Final Fantasy MMOs along with the pregnancy and birth of our child. See gaming is more than just a hobby. I have been on countless adventures. Why would I give any of this up?

Have you ever heard someone say, “Oh well, now that you have a new arrival coming, you’re going to have to give up your favorite television shows!”

Neither have I.

There are so many ways your life changes when you become a parent. Why should your favorite hobbies, your core of who you truly are as a person, be different? Why should they change? Entering the world of parenthood doesn’t mean you have to shed your former self and jump into a new person. Mom is not something I became. I simply added Mom to my resume. I am still me. I still game. Ni No Kuni was my maternity leave. I plan on gaming with my son. I cannot wait for the many adventures that we will have together.

Don’t misunderstand me. I have changed. A lot. Life is about experiences. We need to take those experiences, learn from them, and grow.  There are things I find myself doing that I never thought would ever enter my mind. Apologizing to my mom, for one. I don’t smoke. I have wicked mom anxiety. We do laundry every week, clean the house almost everyday. I budget my money. I care about the things I never even questioned before. The amount of time I play each day has changed dramatically, and I can’t go buy any game I want, but I still game.

It is important to take time out to be yourself. The {insert adult mature task you “need” to do} can wait.

Yes those things are important. Yes , focusing on your child is important.

YOU are important.

 

 

 

Changing Discs

As per our usual routine, B decided to take a nap.

Usually when B decides to take a nap, I get excited. That is at least one hour of uninterrupted game play! This is when I sit in my chair, latch on my baby, and get ready for Titan spamming. Since I started thinking hardcore about my Rinoa post for My Female Gaming Role Models, I thought, I’m just going to play VIII again. We’re talking put my PS disc in my PS3.

So here I am, sitting in my chair. Check. Baby latched on. Check. Alright here we go.

About half way through nap time, I get a dreadful thought, as the parade for the sorceress comes to a close.

I’m going to have to change discs.

Wait.. What?

I’m trying to make the battle draw on, (heehee get it. DRAW. ok i’m done), but eventually Edea slings her silver tongued insult at me and the ice is flying.

I save my game. Slowly.

That oh so familiar screen comes onto the television. “Please insert Disk 2”. I look down at B, still all snuggly and asleep, and then at my playstation, on the other side of the room.

I’ll just move him a little, and then…. He begins to stir, and settles back into a less convenient position.

Titan it is…..

Blank Mind

My mind is a total blank right now. I’ve been staring at my computer screen trying to look for writing inspiration, and it is just not happening. Too many things to do around the house. That said, this is what you have to look forward too!

 

Sorting Inventory: The Bedroom

Right now there are piles of clothes on my floor that I have sorted, so soon this post will be finished!

My Female Gaming Role Models:

I am working on the next installment (I like big words, and I cannot lie) It is taking me longer than expected but please don’t think I have abandoned this. I have not.

Comics:

I got my hands on some new Locke & Key which means I can finish trade 5. Excitement.

Games:

Final Fantasy XIV: Still trying to kill Titan, I refuse to pay for a win. Still working on darklight pieces, although I only have a ring to get and then I’m done with that.

Final Fantasy VIII: Replaying for my Rinoa post. It’s coming, just hang tight.

Parenting:

B is growing so fast. I can’t keep up! He started standing on his own without support. It is a very exciting time for us!

These are some things to look forward to I geuss. Big things coming, Big things!^^

 

/bow 

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