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Deborah Hawkins, penned Debra Renée Byrd, began writing after a blank book project in elementary school and never stopped, fashioning stories based on her favorite TV shows and movies before creating more original works. She studied at the University of the Arts and Florida State University before settling down and graduating from Temple University. She now resides in her hometown of Dover, DE, where she spends most of her time at work or at church. She loves fantasies, superheroes, is a trekkie and a brown coat. She loves television and lives for Final Fantasy video games, having collected most of them. She has read a myriad of authors, and her favorite authors change whenever she finds a new book that changes her life... "When you can't run, you crawl. When you can't crawl...well, you know the rest." -Tracey, Firefly, "The Message"

Saturday, April 30, 2016

A to Z Challenge: Zidane from Final Fantasy IX and Zack from Final Fantasy VII

Thank you, thank you, thank you so much, all of you who suffered through this 26-day geek-out for Final Fantasy characters! I'm so glad I got to do this, so I really hope you all enjoyed this and may have possibly found a game you want to play. There are way more FF games than the ones I have mentioned in this franchise, so feel free to explore! There are simpler RPG games, spin-offs, MMORPGs, whatever you may fancy!

So we come to two of my favorite gents in the entire franchise. They are by far the two most lively characters for Final Fantasy, and its their spirits that make me love them so much. Let's start with Final Fantasy IX's Zidane Tribal.

We meet this little guy (his face makes my sister laugh, first off lol) as he is staging a kidnapping of the Princess Garnet (see Dagger). Little does he know, she wants to be kidnapped. We go on a long journey, and honestly I don't think there's a purpose for it for a long time, but we learn a lot. For instance, Zidane is from another planet of Terrans (see K for Kuja, the failed prototype) who were supposed to be taking over the main planet Gaia, but things went south.

Through it all, Zidane has a huge heart, which is ultimately stolen by Dagger, and their love is just so adorable (probably also because of how they were drawn).

As FFIX was the last game on the original Playstation, I would like to think that Zidane embodied the spirit of our final character for this countdown: Final Fantasy VII and FFVII: Crisis Core's Zack Fair.

This tall, dark and handsome was anything but dark. Zack was a bright eyed, bushy tailed SOLDIER, First Class, that we only hear tell of in the original FFVII via Cloud's messed up memory. It's revealed through the game that Cloud wasn't who he thought he was, and that someone else was doing about 90% of what he said. In his defense, Zack told him to live for him, and live he did!

Zack broke himself and Cloud out of a research facility where they were trapped after Cloud wounded Sephiroth, who burned down his hometown. After tracking down a rogue Sephiroth protoype named Genesis and cutting him down, Zack gets Cloud out to a desert mountain range where he is gunned down mercilessly by SOLDIER operatives, leaving behind Cloud and his girlfriend Aeris.

Yep, Aeris all the way back in A. (This is the moment she realized something was wrong.)

Zack's death is extremely tragic because, even though as an FFVII fan you know about it, in FFVII: Crisis Core, you are forced to not only watch it happen but play it as it happens. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to sit through, and I sat through it on a van with a bunch of choir members, so I had to hold myself together. Of all the characters in Final Fantasy, Zack did not deserve to die. He was a hero's hero, and Square Enix might have to work really hard to make a better character than him.

And there you have it! My Final Fantasy Edition of the A to Z Challenge! I can't thank you guys enough for stopping by. Unless I have a psychotic break, I will probably take a break next year (haha). I leave you all with the only consolation I have for both Aeris AND Zack dying: they are reunited. The perfect bookends to this challenge.


  1. I know little about gaming, but I love the name Zidane. Wasn't there a pro soccer player named this? May have to borrow for a future story.