Freya COSMOS Burmecia Brigade “Fun Times Theater”

Hey everyone~! Welcome to Charlett’s Fun Times Theater, where I do fun things for myself and maybe you! Today we’re going to work with the “Burmecia Brigade” of Zidane, Vivi and Freya. Freya’s our leader today! (With a little help from a dispeller, thanks Balthier!) So my main reasoning for doing this was because Vivi was going to be pretty useless for a few months… …so I wanted to give him one last hurrah before his EX+ in like *six months*. I tried a Balthier, Cait Sith and Vivi run for Chaos and it’s doable but not fun, so we’re doing something short here! (It wasn’t until after I finished this run that I realized that Thancred could have been subbed for Zidane. Whoops!) (Maybe he’ll pop up with some FF14 characters later on despite the fact that he *still* doesn’t have his EX+ in JP?) Anyway! Freya and Vivi! Their relationship is a little nuanced, so I wanted to let Zidane take a back seat. (…Zidane please, no need to throw a tantrum about it!) So Freya is a strange one. She’s often seen as the one with the words of wisdom in the FF9 party… So I want to bring up just how childish she is at the beginning, before she grows and becomes the awesome dragoon we remember her as! (Look at me, not *one* vein burst over a Crushing Fangs. I’m at peace with myself now. Hommmmm…!) (…HOMMMMMMMMMM…!!!!!!!!) So Freya. Burmecian Dragoon. Overall badass. Rat lady. She was introduced in FF9 by telling Zidane off at a bar… …so people tended to latch on to her “brooks no argument” attitude and attribute that to her maturity. I feel that that does a disservice to her, however, as that implies that she’s always been mature and strong… …so she never changes over the course of the game. Which I feel is something that every main character does in FF9! (…Yes, even Quina and Amarant. Shocking, I know, but we’ll get to them later, if and when they’re released.) So I want to say that I feel that Freya actually begins the game as an immature, cocksure brat, similar to Zidane… (Yes, we were talking about you Zidane. No, you didn’t have to show off to remind us that you’re here.) …and that Freya’s insistence on distancing herself from *Zidane’s* brand of immaturity makes her seem more of an adult. This immaturity, I feel, is foreshadowed by her obsession with her loved one, Fratley, and her search for him. It takes up every moment of her life and she feels like she’s not even much of a person without him by her side. She senses things are going wrong in the world and instead of going to meet it head-on, she pines for her love and waits for *him* to lead her. A lot of fans dislike Fratley for this reason, as if *her* being an immature, love-struck fool is somehow *his* fault… …or blame the writers for making her a “bad” female character. The point is change, people! That’s what character arcs are for! (Or dragoon jumping arcs :3c) The saddest part about the Fratley love arc with Freya is when he *does* finally appear, it turns out he never returned… …because he actually got amnesia and forgot all about returning to her or their homeland. The only time he actually remembers and returns is to protect *Burmecia*, not because he remembered his lover. (AHAHAHAHAHA, suck it, dragon dude! Zidane ain’t got time for your shenanigans!!) …Anyway, this is another reason Fratley gets a lot of flak from Freya fans. “Obviously he never truly cared about Freya! He only cared about Burmecia!” What they don’t think about is that *Freya* dropped everything, even Fratley, to save Burmecia too! The moment Burmecia went to war and people started dying, Freya forgot instantly about finding Fratley… …and went straight to Burmecia to help with the war effort, supported by Zidane and Vivi. (Full disclaimer here I screw up a *lot* on this wave, so I might mention where I messed up and tell you how not to make my mistakes.) (For instance, this group isn’t well equipped to handle these enemies. I honestly just shoulda brought Ramuh, summoned, and killed them before they did anything.) Back to Freya! So she abandons her mission in order to save Burmecia, just like Fratley did. It’s not explicitly stated, but it’s very heavily implied that the two fell in love due to their mutual love of their homeland. The two have changed due to amnesia and loneliness, but they didn’t change at heart, and that’s why they still care about each other by the end. (…FreyaxFratley OTP fite me nerds.) When Freya realizes that the most important thing in her life is her people, however… …That’s when she can let go of her obsession and focus on what’s important: helping her friends and the world. She’s then able to use her experiences to help Beatrix, who’s going through the same dilemma she did. …and that’s when her character arc comes full circle and she truly matures as a person. She then goes on to spout all those words of wisdom and helps Beatrix and Amarant discover what’s truly important to them, as well. Freya wasn’t my favorite of the FF9 crew…
(sorry guys, *still* not a furry :V) …but I feel that her arc is a classic and an interesting one, and should be examined a little closer by fans. (…) (…I uh…) (I-I screwed up. That All Attack is going to kill Zidane most likely :V) (NOPE, didn’t unbreak A! Can’t keep Balthier from getting broken!! Red alert!!) (…Just bring Ramuh if you bring a comp like this. Save yourself the trouble you guys :V) So let’s talk about Vivi! He’s the other important guy in this scenario! Still droppin’ meteors like a boss too! Good on you little guy!! No matter how divisive FF9 was and how many people disliked the game… …I’ve yet to find someone who honestly disliked Vivi’s character and the circumstances of his birth. It’s always something like, “Oh yeah, Vivi’s really nice, but it’s not enough for me to want to play the game.” There’s just something amazing about an innocent murder child… …who is also not sure what he should do with his short lifespan. It was basically genius on Squaresoft’s part to make the mystery of the Black Mages come up so early in FF9. I don’t have to be a betting person to know that Vivi’s origins were a main reason most fans stayed as long as they did. What kills me the most is that Vivi never truly comes to terms with the nihilism he faces… …but the love of his friends enables him to not get frozen in fear and helps him move forward. Vivi is truly an inspiration for all of us, and there’s no question why some people name him their favorite FF character. Zidane and Vivi’s relationship is front and center in the game; there’s rarely a time they’re ever apart once they meet… …and Steiner and Vivi’s relationship is one of mentor and student… …with both Steiner and Vivi supporting each other over the course of the game. Compared to those two, Vivi’s relationship with Freya is much more nuanced, as mentioned before… …but one thing I loved the most was during Burmecia, when Freya is still fighting her own insecurities… …Vivi’s innocent, childlike honesty cuts through and shines on Freya, showing her what she needs to do. Freya is scared to death of returning to Burmecia. She abandoned it to find a man who was probably dead! All of the people who lie dead in the streets are a result of *her* cowardice at accepting his death. The three approach the gates to the palace, and she’s *scared* to see it. If the king was dead, it would be *her* fault. …but instead of admitting her fear, she tries to pin it on Vivi. Maybe *Vivi* is afraid to move ahead and find out more about himself. …and Vivi agrees. He admits that he’s scared to death of what he’s going to find, but that’s why he needs to keep going. …because not knowing is just as scary as facing one’s fears, and if they move on together, at least they have each other. Zidane admits that Vivi changed him for the better, and I think that line in Burmecia was what helped shaped Freya as well. They don’t interact much outside of that moment, not deeply, but that idea still affects me to this day. …it helps allow me to move on and become a better person, because at least it’ll be at the side of those I love. Final Fantasy 9 is probably one of my favorite games of all time for moments like this. FF7 deals with moments of understanding that your mind is probably the last thing you can trust… …and FF8 deals with the pain of loss and how even losing your memories doesn’t make you lose that feeling… …but none of the Final Fantasy games truly hit home with how *horrifying* the idea of nihilism can truly be. Freya said, “To be forgotten is worse than death”, and Vivi said, “Maybe we don’t exist [at all].” Zidane helped keep them grounded with “You don’t need a reason to help people”… …but Freya and Vivi are closer in aspect to each other… …and I feel that their relationship is one that should be considered in our minds. The world is a scary place, and deep down they all understand why Kuja did what he did. If the pain of a short life, of a failed legacy, of an uncaring world is too much to bear… …why not just let it all go? What does it truly mean to honestly live? It’s scary to think about, but it’s something we all have to answer ourselves someday… …hopefully with a friend by our sides. There’s not much more to say about these three aside from that. …so I’ll start wrapping up by saying that if any of this touched you at all, but you never enjoyed FF9 that much… …I suggest you give it one more go. Or even just replay it with these ideas in mind, if you’ve already beaten it once. This game isn’t all just heartfelt, cute faces and chibi Eiko being warm and fuzzy. …a more subtle look will find that there’s a lot more to be seen, which I feel is why it has stood the test of time. Try it out, pick up your old PS1 copy, or just find an LP somewhere… …because FF9 is here to serve you a cold punch to the gut, and tell you to keep on living despite it. …because sometimes the reason for living can be something as simple as just being. Thanks for the help there, Vivi. You’ll always be my favorite Black Mage. Thanks for hanging out everyone, and I hope you take some time to hang out with some of your best friends today. Ward off the loneliness with those you care about, and I’ll see you around until next time!

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