Creating a Good Original
FOR GREAT JUSTICE
Member No.: 4
Joined: September 11, 2004
So, you don't want to or cannot be a canon character for some reason, and you're not feeling very XIish or Crystal Chronicley either. No problem. But the Originals form says you have to somehow connect your character with Final Fantasy... which you're not sure how to do. Or maybe you've got a character of your own, from your own made-up story that you want to place in the FF universe, and you are likewise muddled by this "connection" business.
So, mister (or miz) I-Have-A-Cool-Person, what do you do? Why not just write up your profile and send it off to Faris? It might be just like this:
|QUOTE ("Someone please spare us from reading this.")|
Age: 527 (looks 18)
FF Origin: 7 (it's teh cool)
Weapon(s): Blade of Despair
Physical Description: Picture link with no written description
Personality: Altana is plagued by her past and her inherited demon powers. She kills if she has to but tries to avoid it. Altana is not afraid of anything except her past and the constant fear that she may be discovered.
History: Altana is a demoness born of a forbidden union between Methistophenes and his siser Lilith. She was branded as a bastard child and was forced into slavery by her wicked demon half-siblings. Eventually she killed them and her parents in a blind rage and was exiled from the Underworld. Now she wanders the Seventh World looking for acceptance and redemption.
Yes. Okay. That profile sucks. Let's go through and point out all the horribleness in the order that it appears.
- The race. Demon. What the freak. There are no DEMONS in Final Fantasy VII. NONE. It does not fit at all. As a matter of fact, there aren't demons in ANY Final Fantasy. Get out.
- The physical description. The form says "do NOT simply post a picture. WRITE
OUT A DESCRIPTION." Altana ignored that and just gave us a link to a picture. No.
- The personality. Granted, this doesn't have much to do with the FF connection, but you should still try to give your character a little more depth. Not just angsty guilt. It's sparse and clichéd.
- The history. This is the final nail in the coffin. Methistophenes? Lilith?! What the hell are they doing in FFVII?! They don't exist in the Final Fantasy universe. Religious/mythological figures do NOT belong in any FF character's past. AT. ALL. "She killed her siblings and her parents..." Can you say Mary Sue*?
This "character" is completely wretched. And you might think "man, nobody would submit anything that
awful." But they do. In fact, there was one particularly putrid profile involving the archangel Gabriel, Satan, and some other Christian religious figures posted a few months ago. It was so bad that we had to lock the originals topic and have all potential profiles reviewed beforehand.
If you want to connect a character to FF, you're going to have to use references to things that are actually in the game.
Altana is going in the trash bin. Let's pull up another profile that appears just for this tutorial.
*Mary Sue- a character who is overpowered, is usually clichéd, and has a tendency to be flawless and perfect at everything. Don't be a Mary Sue.
|QUOTE ("Exhibit B")|
Name: Tess Gannet
FF Origin: VII
Weight: 126 lbs
Personality: Tess is quiet and dark, and she doesn't seem to be a very friendly person. She feels guilty about her past with ShinRa and is trying to redeem herself.
History: Tess was born in Icicle Inn. Her mother and father were both killed at an early age, and she was kidnapped by ShinRa and trained to be a part of SOLDIER. She excelled at combat and magic training and quickly rose through the ranks to become a SOLDIER First Class. She went on many successful missions, and even fought side-by-side with Sephiroth.
Tess broke away from ShinRa after a mission with Sephiroth to Nibleheim, when Sephiroth destroyed the entire town. She fled to the mountains, and began questioning everything that she had learned from ShinRa. Now, she searches for clues to her past and hopes to find a future.
That definitely wasn't as bad as the first profile, but it's still unacceptable. Here's another dissection.
- The race again. In the game, Aerith was the last person with Cetra blood at all. There was not another one. Aerith did not have a secret sister, nor did Ifalna. The Cetra are extinct. They can only exist in plot-significant GM-controlled characters.
- The physical description is... better, but this is a profile, not a drivers' license. Try writing something more descriptive out.
- The personality is still too sparse. Add some depth or something.
- The history. It's definitely connected to FF7, but it is still ridiculously Sueish. First of all, her early childhood is pretty much a carbon copy of Aerith's. Second, it's highly unlikely that a half-Cetra would be enlisted in SOLDIER. "Excelled at magic and physical training. Many successful missions. Fought alongside Sephiroth." This says "Tess is teh uberness, she cannot be defeated, hahaha watch me godmode in every fight." Bad Tess. And the clincher is how she broke away. There were no other SOLDIERS with Sephiroth and Cloud at Nibelheim. You can't say that your character was interacting in major plot events when there were only a few very specific people there.
Sorry, Tess. You go in the bin as well.
Now let's look at a good profile.
Name: Liadel Fortunad
FF Origin: 7
Physical Description: Liadel is around halfway between five and six feet. She has a fairly slim build, bright violet eyes (thanks to contacts), and dyed green hair. Typically, Liadel is clothed in a sky-blue sleeveless tunic, dark brown-purple pants, and a brown belt with a butterfly-shaped buckle. Her boots are white and reach up to her thighs, and her gloves match in length and color, extending above her elbows. Liadel also wears a white enameled breastplate and pauldrons.
Personality: Liadel, as a general rule, is quiet and serious. She is rather introspective and has a tendency to avoid social situations. This is not out of shyness, but rather out of a general disinterest in the human race. Liadel finds herself much more inclined towards nature, and is an excellent ranger. She despises the technological horrors that ShinRa has inflicted upon the world, and is deeply concerned about the effects of Mako harvesting.
History: Liadel was raised in Lower Junon. At home, her parents constantly lamented the building of Upper Junon, which had destroyed the once-clear waters of the shoreline and blocked the sun. Liadel soon aquired the hatred of ShinRa that was shared by everyone else in the town.
But Liadel was not content to stay and be wistful. She wanted to do something. So, when she was seventeen, she decided to leave Junon, intending to go to Midgar. It took a year or two to prepare- supplies, weapons, Materia- but she finally left at age nineteen.
Before she reached Midgar, however, Liadel was set upon by several rather vicious monsters. She was unprepared and barely managed to escape with her life, much less her supplies or anything else but one or two Materia. Somehow, she managed to drag herself to the base of a nearby mountain and passed out.
When she awoke, she was inside the mountain. Her injuries had been treated, and the nurse explained that she was in Fort Condor. Curious, Liadel inquired about the fort and what it was there for, and learned of ShinRa's attempts to kill the Condor in order to get to the Mako reactor. Liadel quickly agreed to join the fight. She remained there for so long that she lost count of the months, but she truly felt like she was striking a blow against ShinRa.
After the final battle at Fort Condor, Liadel remained with the others to make sure that ShinRa did not attack again.
All right. This is a good profile. Let's dissect this one, too, so we can find out what this person did right
- Race. Human. Finally, something that makes sense for FF7.
- Appearance. So, we finally get a written description. Huzzah! There's still a picture link, but we still know what she looks like in case it doesn't work for some reason.
- Personality. Finally, some description of her motivations, mannerisms, and interests. It's hardly a novel, but we can still get a good idea of what she's like.
- History. There is a clear and realistic connection to the game: she was born in an FF7 town, traveled the FF7 world, and fought for an FF7 cause: Fort Condor, which was an actual event in the game. She didn't save the world, and she doesn't have super-awesome fighting skills or powers, but she was still there, and she's not a Sue.
Congratulations, Liadel, you have been approved.
See? It's not that hard to make a good, well-thought-out original character and connect him or her to Final Fantasy. If you want to see another example of a non-Sue original that fits very well into FF, look at the profiles for Megaera, Etoille, or Xander for more examples. (Which isn't to say that the other originals aren't good, but those are particularly good.)
If you are modifying a character you have already come up with for your own story/other RP site/etc.--it is your responsibility to make sure that their past and powers fit within the FF universe.
Yes, they're different, but this is a Final Fantasy
roleplaying board, not a board for your story, and the character must
have past and powers that fit within the game you have put them in.
Also, here is a Mary Sue Litmus Test
that you can use beforehand to minimize the likelihood of your character being rejected. Its questions mainly relate to fanfiction Sues, but it is also applicable to RP characters as well. This post has been edited by Faris on Dec 16, 2007 - 11:43 AM
FOR GREAT JUSTICE
Member No.: 4
Joined: September 11, 2004
| This is the post from last year's news announcement, edited slightly.Things to Remember
Mary Sue / Gary Stu Warning Flags
- Just because you put a lot of effort into your profile does not mean we will accept it. You might have worked on it for a month and it could still be unacceptable.
- Spelling and grammar DOES count. We can't accept your profile if we can't understand it.
- We don't care about who you showed your profile to or what other boards--FF or otherwise--you've used this character on without a problem. If we say you have to change x, then you have to change it. Period.
- Connecting your character to Final Fantasy means more than filling in the "FF Origin" slot. For that matter, it means more than just sticking "Andarra was born in Deling City" in the first sentence. There are plenty of ways you can tie FF concepts into your character, so please do.
- Saying "there was never proof that there wasn't this race/weapon/class in FFxyz" is a poor argument that won't change our minds. History books don't go out of their way to state that no half-demons were involved in the Battle of Trenton, but if someone tried to claim that there were it wouldn't even be dignified with a debate. Tolkien never said that fairies didn't exist in Middle-Earth, but as he never mentioned them it's safe to assume that there were none. It said nowhere in FFV that human-dragon hybrids didn't exist, but if you try to pass one off as legit it's going to be sent back pretty quickly.
- If you're using a character from your own thing or from another, non-FF board, you MUST connect them to Final Fantasy canon. Saying "well, of course they're not bound by canonical stuff, because it's from this story of mine" is complete smeg. This is a Final Fantasy board. That means the character must--and I know this is a bit of a radical concept--fit in with Final Fantasy.
- The more and the heavier the ties your character has to the main party or major canon events, the more likely they are to be rejected.
- Anyone whose parent or grandparent or distant ancestor is a demon or angel will be rejected at once.
- Please, for the love of all that is holy, NO STUPID RAPE ANGST. This includes, but is not limited to scenarois such as "Selena's mother was raped by a SOLDIER (or other FF uberclass) and so she has all the powers and strength of a soldier (and glittering topaz-colored eyes of Mako), but her mother hated her for looking like the man who raped her."
- Naturally outlandish hair/eye/skin color in games where they don't exist. A SeeD who dyes his hair blue is acceptable. An Al Bhed whose hair grows blue naturally is not.
- Outstanding prowess in battle (or other area) noted by canon characters.
- Extremely tragic pasts, especially those involving abuse and/or mysterious entities or organizations.
- An incident where the character gained a reputation and fame/infamy.
- Heavy connections to canon characters, especially the main party.
- An original character who was a part of the main party. (i.e. Andarra passed the SeeD exam with Squall, Selphie, Zell, and Nida, was part of the team sent to Timber, etcetera). This will result in instant rejection.
- Overwrought descriptions such as "Andarra's fire-red hair flows like molten magma to her shoulders. Her eyes are a deep chocolate brown flecked with amber. She is clad in a tunic that is a brilliant, eye-catching shade of cyan certain to catch anyone's attention, and reaches down to her knees. The tunic is zipped down the center--" etcetera.
- Uncanny similarities to canon characters, viz, "Storm is a quiet, moody SeeD at Balamb Garden, who avoids social contact...she wears all black, and has brown hair and icy blue eyes, and is one of the few people who can use a gunblade."
- A character that has been or is capable of travelling from world to world.
- Any heritage with a crucial canonical race--i.e., the Cetra, Espers, Lunarians.
- Previously-unknown powers or skills that are only unlocked under extreme duress
- Age not matching looks.
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