Cultural Confessions #3

Now that I’m replaying Final Fantasy VII, I’ve been reminded of playing this vid con as a kid. of all the really disturbing imagery the game presents (Jenova, the reactor in Nibelheim, the pervasive feeling that underneath the shiny 3-d graphics, things are just not right), the one thing that got to me the most were the WEAPONs.

For the two people in first-world countries have not actually played FFVII: at the end of the first disc, bad things go down that more or less activate the planet’s self-defense system. this entails a bunch of large, angry, Evangelion-inspired monsters (called WEAPONs; capitalization as found) to emerge from the earth and start tearing shit up. one of these is a large purple dragon called Ultimate Weapon. As a kid, Ultimate Weapon scared the shit out of me. One of the reasons being that like a lot of vid cons of the era, its graphics were painted with especially broad strokes, which makes a lot of old titles look a bit more menacing than they really are (see example: all those ridiculous haunted Majora’s Mask cartridge stories out there). The other being this extremely loud cry it gives whenever you initiate combat with it (which will happen quite a bit).

A couple of years ago, when FFVII was re-released on the Playstation Store, I downloaded and played it for old times’ sake. when I got to Ultimate Weapon, I reminded myself, “Oh yeah! Didn’t I used to be afraid of this guy? Let’s see how much of a dumb kid I was!”

One primal yell that is louder than any other sound effect present in Final Fantasy VII later…

“Holy shit, no wonder I was so terrified!”

I beat it, of course. I won’t lie, though; I did feel a bit of dryness in my throat. A bit of caution and trepidation over a fucking monster in a decade old vid con. It’s embarrassing to admit in hindsight, but we all have our problems, right?

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