F is for Faris

FSo far with the A to Z Challenge, we’ve looked at some more recent or bigger named characters. But for the letter F, I wanted to dip a bit further back, with an older character that was brought back to my attention recently.

I love Final Fantasy V, though I somehow have never actually beaten it. I picked up the new iPad app version recently to try to finally reach that lofty goal. And it was there that I was reminded of the party member Faris. When you meet Faris, it is assumed that she’s a man – not so! This hydra-owning, pirate-ship-captaining, secret-princess is a great character, probably my favorite from the game!

Woman in a MAn’s World?

One of the interesting things with Faris is how she has been living effectively as a man. It’s hard to tell how much work has really gone into it – is she actively dressing in a masculine way? Hard to tell! It is 8-bit graphics, after all. Does she spend a lot of time in private? Sure, but she’s the Captain, she gets to do that!

Pirate Captain Farris

In some ways, it’s really just that she dresses like a pirate, and it seems assumed that all the pirates are men. The period of confusion, as the male characters see her and find her attractive, is goofy – but is also reminiscent of scenes you might see in something like a Shakespearean play. Mistaken identities and secret gender abound in a number of the bard’s plays, and Faris is a classic case of mistaken identities.

Pirate or Princess?

Because we also come to find that Faris is secretly the sister of the princess of Tycoon – who is also in your party. Secretly, and unbeknownst to either party – they have to figure it out with their matching family heirloom pendants.

Farris and the Pendant

And then Faris has to come to terms with her identity far more. Pirate or princess? The two are not commonly associated; one is a risky, and generally lawless life; the other is protected and lawful. One is usually thought of as masculine, the other is often considered more feminine.

Yet here we have Faris, trying to mesh the two, trying to be both. This leads to Faris having a fun journey throughout the game, as she and the rest of your small band save not only the kingdom where she came from, but the whole world, and another world besides. At least, I’m assuming that they save things. Like I said: haven’t beaten the game yet. But finishing out Faris’ story is definitely a good reason to do so.

Images found on http://lparchive.org/Final-Fantasy-V-Advance/Update%2003/ along with a lot of the early dialog from the game!

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4 responses to “F is for Faris

  1. I actually totally detest these old looking games. Unfortunately I am a graphics snob…that being said I love and adore the characters and plot created in these old games. One of my brothers exposes me to them all the time as he loves these old timey games and like you still seeks to completely beat all of his favorites. Cheers. 🙂

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    • One thing I’ve liked is playing the old games on handheld devices – Nintendo DS, PSP, or iOS. It is much harder to deal with these sorts of graphics on a full-sized screen, for sure. I think that might be what kept me from ever getting through these games on my PlayStation – I finally beat Final Fantasy VI on my DS, and got halfway through V before getting sidetracked. The other thing they’re doing is updating the graphics a bit, so they might be worth a second look!

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  2. Stephen Tremp

    I shamefully admit I have never played a video game outside of Super Mario Brothers. Why? No reason. Not enough time, I guess.

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