Fantasy Finalist: Is That What I Sound Like?

Final Fantasy XII had the unenviable task of following up Final Fantasy X which, as we’ve already established, is the single greatest video game storyline of all time. I don’t care what an obnoxious shitbag Tidus was as a leading man, he was a goddamn hero, and I dare you to say otherwise.

So here comes Vaan, dressing like Tidus, loud like Tidus, wants to be a sky pirate, because I guess that’s kind of neat, but dear Lord if he isn’t the most annoying piece of shit I’ve ever had control of, I don’t know who is.

I’m going to give this a fair shout though. I’m going to sit here and try to come up with someone more annoying for a good 45 seconds, just to make sure I’m not unnecessarily slandering Vaan.

(45 seconds later)

Nope no one worse. Vaan is awful.

I started playing Final Fantasy XII when I was 16. High tide for puberty. And for saving the world, if you’re a half-shirted douchebag like Square Enix produces with remarkable consistency. For me, a burgeoning high schooler with severe identity issues, I turned to the fictional characters I knew best. Mostly, Indiana Jones, Johnny Cage, Dr. Grant. But they’re all old. And I didn’t want to be old. So I readjusted and idolized Tidus and Vyse and Kalas and definitely not Vaan because Vaan is the worst and made me an even worse 16-year-old than I already was.

I will forever have nightmares of going around town yelling, “I am Basch von Ronsenburg” in Vaan’s annoying fucking puberty-stricken voice. I gritted my teeth so much through the insufferable quest that it forever altered my gumline. I still need a gum graph to this day, I’m just scared to get one because Vaan isn’t paying for it.

Hearing Vaan’s voice made me even more self-conscious of my own cracking and deepening voice. I made a vow to talk less, to only speak when absolutely necessary, for fear that the words coming out of my mouth actually sounded like that abysmal repetition of “I am Basch von Ronsenburg.”

I hated talking so much I turned to writing. So maybe Vaan served his purpose, who fucking knows. 

Josh Sippie:  I’m the Director of Publishing Guidance at Gotham Writers. My work has appeared in McSweeney’s, I have an ongoing Fiction series (about Yoda!) at Hobart and a forthcoming humor column at Points in Case. 

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