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A year later Answers seems to have even more meaning. Follow

#1 Oct 26 2011 at 4:49 PM Rating: Good
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Bored and wanting to listen to the opening song of the game again, I went and looked it up on Youtube complete with lyrics.

And reading it, I realized just how much more meaning the song has now than it did before. Not only is it a synopses of the plot itself, but also of the game's rocky history as it stands.


WARNING WALL OF TEXT BELOW AS I GO INTO DETAIL SKIP THE SPOILER IF YOU DON'T LIKE OVER-ANALYZING.
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The opening chorous is the voice of the players. Crying out for the ruin that was the game's first release. This theme sort of continues as you listen on. It really does represent the pain woe and anger of the base in summary by the first paragraph

'I close my eyes, tell us why must we suffer
(We the playerbase look away in shame, why was this done to us?)

Release your hands for your will runs asunder
(Let the game go[die] you won't be able to fix it.)

My legs long tired, tell us where must we wander
(We tired of the state of games, and hopping back and forth between games of the genre yet to find a home, where do we go now that we've suffered this dissapointment?)

How can we carry on with redemption beyond us'
(How can we keep hope in you (Square Enix)with this tragedy unforgivable?)



The second and third paragraphs is SE's initial response. An appeal form them to the players for hope.


'To all of my children in whom life flows abundant
To all of my children to whom death hath passed his judgment'

(To everyone, those who are still with us, and those who have moved on from the game.)

The soul yearns for honor and the flesh the hereafter
(We desire to make amens for the faith we have lost, even though we work to exhaustion.)

Look to those who walked before to lead those who walk after
(This can be taken multple ways, about the new design team being composed of members that have worked on multiple past projects, or to look towards that remember the difficulties FFXI had in the beginning.)


'Shining is the land's light of justice
Ever flows the land's well of purpose

(The cries have been heard, things will be set right.
This game means as much to us as it does to you [the players]. There's still reason to hold on.


Walk free, walk free, walk free, believe,
The land's alive, so believe'

Let go of the burdens and anger, and have faith once more.
The game, the world, is living and changing, so have faith it'll be set right.

The following section to me, is representative of the disjointed conversations between players and developers. That struggle we've been having to have a clear discourse between the two groups. Both groups are trying to say the same thing: We want the game to improve, and they can't leave things the way they are. Given how ambiguous this section of the song is, I'm not going to try to create a translation


'Suffer [feel] (me) Lonely [face] (me) Weakness [teach] (me) Evil [Fear] (me)
although[feel] (me) one must [face] (me) stumble [teach] (me) listen [speak] (me)
(Although we) [speak] we (might) [tell] them (we must) [tell] them (land of) [hope] hope
(Mother) [hope] hope (father) [wish] with (every) [wish] wish(has a) [roam] home
(we must go) [roam] go (listen) [roam] go (suffer) [roam] home (sanctum) [swim] leap
(And as) [speak] we (wander) [sleep] sleep (answer) [sleep on] sleep on (on)
'

Now this comes SE's ongoing message. Their perspective and truths, as well as their plea.

'Now open your eyes while our plight is repeated
(We're giving this another shot, please give us another chance)

Still deaf to our cries lost in hope we lie defeated
(It'll all mean nothing if you don't, and we'll be beaten even as we're hopful for the future)

Our souls have been torn and our bodies forsaken
Bearing sins of the past for our future is taken'

(We know this is an uphill battle, and we're working from a damaged relationship. We'll never be as successful as we could have been getting it done right the first time, we bear this constantly.)

'War, born of strife these trials dissuade us not
(Even so, we will not give up on trying to fulfill the promise we broke.)

Words without sound these lies betray our thoughts
(The constant internet buzz and rumor mill saying that this game is dead without recovery, though not true, reflect our fears)

Mired by your plague of doubtful and cheap lore
Judgment binds all we hold to a memory of scorn

(With our past burning us still, and the stories of our failure still circling around like buzzards it puts a dampening on everything we're trying to keep alive and improve.)

Tell us why, given life, we are meant to die? help us in our cry!'
But answer this? Why not turn it around? Why does a world with such potential have to be scrapped? Help us , we wish to fix this too.

The second chorus section is much more unified. To me, it's symbolic of the efforts of the player-base and developers finally working together, running more or less now on the same page. There still some disagreements and it's still faintly disjointed, but the message now is unified.

witness (we) suffer (we) grovel (we) reason
(we) follow (we) struggle (we) wander (we) listen
(we) whisper (we) shoulder (we) addle (we) weather
(please) answer (you) answer (me) answer together


The last paragraph is the answer, the conclusion from both SE and their supporters.

My life is a riddle to bear rapture and sorrow
To listen to suffer to entrust unto tomorrow
In one fleeting moment from the land doth life flow
Yet in one fleeting moment for the new leaf doth grow
In the same fleeting moment thou must live, die and know


(We are the ones to watch this ever present question, bearing both the good and the bad.
To watch and to strive on as we entrust the hope of this game to it's future.

The game's existence is but new, and it shows glimmers of it's potential.
But it has but little time left for it to turn over a new leaf and become what it was meant to be.
And in that time, we must decide is it worth it? Is it not? And to know our personal answer to the question this entire struggle has presented us. )



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(Boy that was long.)

Anyways, this opening song has taken on much more meaning for me than simply another epic track for a Square Enix game. It's become a chronicle for the struggles this game is trying to pull itself through.

The Development team has this one chance to turn this around, and if they succeed, this song will become an anthem of perhaps the best story of Redemption and comeback this genre has known, and be a memerable as a story as the song is itself.

But that future isn't here yet. It was stolen from us before and it can happen again, and as described in the song, it's now an uphill battle.

One way or another, the song was almost prophetic in how it's lyrics described this struggle before it even happened. Let's just hope this story has a good ending.





Edited, Nov 1st 2011 4:38pm by Hyrist
#2 Oct 28 2011 at 9:26 PM Rating: Good
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Nice on how it's linked :) Well done!
#3 Oct 29 2011 at 3:21 AM Rating: Default
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whats a "genera" ?
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#4 Oct 29 2011 at 5:09 AM Rating: Good
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Dictionary.com says:
genera [jen-er-uh]    Origin 
gen·er·a   [jen-er-uh]  
noun 
a plural of genus. 
Dictionary.com Unabridged 
ge·nus   [jee-nuhs]  
noun, plural gen·e·ra  [jen-er-uh]  , ge·nus·es. 
1. 
Biology. the usual major subdivision of a family or subfamily in the classification of organisms, usually consisting of more than one species. 
2. 
Logic. a class or group of individuals, or of species of individuals. 
3. 
a kind; sort; class.
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#5 Nov 01 2011 at 6:26 AM Rating: Good
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Llester wrote:
whats a "genera" ?

Should it be genre?
#6 Nov 01 2011 at 8:28 AM Rating: Default
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Probably a typo of "generation," but that seems unusually grandiose.

But the real reason I am here is to point out how, as with all lyrical introductions to Japanese entertainment fiction, the opening song has nothing to do with anything.

OP needs to read a book.

Edited, Nov 1st 2011 10:29am by Almalexia
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#7 Nov 01 2011 at 1:20 PM Rating: Decent
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I find the analysis interesting and a touch ironic. OP seems to have put a lot of thought and time into this, and draws an interesting parallel between the game's introduction song and the introduction of the game. I say well done and thank you.
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#8 Nov 01 2011 at 2:37 PM Rating: Good
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Dyrwydi wrote:
I find the analysis interesting and a touch ironic. OP seems to have put a lot of thought and time into this, and draws an interesting parallel between the game's introduction song and the introduction of the game. I say well done and thank you.



Glad someone appreciates it, instead of fixating on a typo.

Quote:
But the real reason I am here is to point out how, as with all lyrical introductions to Japanese entertainment fiction, the opening song has nothing to do with anything.


I'm sure you think Barthandelus's theme had no meaning either.

Or how the name Sephiroth was just something that sounded cool.

The theme of FFXIV is relevant to the game's plot. Those who actually PLAY the plot actually see the meaning of it hinted upon the main story line before it got side tracked by the Seventh Umbra Era story line we're going to be experiencing now.

Heck, the reason why I read so into this script is that I tend to read TOO much. Rather than not enough.

Edited, Nov 1st 2011 4:51pm by Hyrist
#9 Nov 01 2011 at 2:50 PM Rating: Decent
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Hyrist wrote:
Dyrwydi wrote:
I find the analysis interesting and a touch ironic. OP seems to have put a lot of thought and time into this, and draws an interesting parallel between the game's introduction song and the introduction of the game. I say well done and thank you.



Glad someone appreciates it, instead of fixating on a typo.


Disappointed children have a tendency to lash out blindly at anyone and everyone - it's the best way to garner attention for themselves. As gamers we should learn to appreciate the community around us and encourage such creative thought, it's the only way to stimulate an ever improving society, otherwise we devolve into animals ruled by those who are unwilling to stoop to our levels, but willing to garner the benefits of our malcontent - case in point - look at Wall Street today...
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#10 Nov 01 2011 at 2:58 PM Rating: Good
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And suddenly I like you a whole lot more.

Though, truth be told, the issue with Wall Street is nothing new. That's the cycle of a society that could be argue to be ingrained in our very genes, a competitiveness spirit that seeks to 'get ahead' of the pack and only bond together under the most necessary circumstances.

Intellect vs Instinct.

MMOs often tend to be micro-instances of this as well, FFXI and FFXIV are no different. Though I tend to take the stance behind more casual gaming, as it is merely entertainment.
#11 Nov 01 2011 at 3:10 PM Rating: Decent
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While I generally enjoy taking a casual approach to gaming as well, although interacting with the broader microcosm of the game through a more serious approach is often the entertainment that I am seeking - escapism, if you will, from from the grind of day-to-day work... which makes my choice to play a Final Fantasy MMO rather odd... considering the "grindy" aspect of the current system. A sort of swarm mentality - finding entertainment from the same things that cause me to seek entertainment in the first place... but alas we are now off-topic. My apologies.
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#12 Nov 01 2011 at 7:08 PM Rating: Default
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Hyrist wrote:
Quote:
But the real reason I am here is to point out how, as with all lyrical introductions to Japanese entertainment fiction, the opening song has nothing to do with anything.


I'm sure you think Barthandelus's theme had no meaning either.

Or how the name Sephiroth was just something that sounded cool.

The theme of FFXIV is relevant to the game's plot. Those who actually PLAY the plot actually see the meaning of it hinted upon the main story line before it got side tracked by the Seventh Umbra Era story line we're going to be experiencing now.

Heck, the reason why I read so into this script is that I tend to read TOO much. Rather than not enough.

I don't remember Barthandelus' battle being the theme song for FFXIII. Isn't it "My Hands?"

Furthermore, what is Sephiroth doing in here? For someone who reads TOO much, you certainly don't read very well.
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#13 Nov 01 2011 at 8:17 PM Rating: Decent
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Almalexia wrote:
Hyrist wrote:
Quote:
But the real reason I am here is to point out how, as with all lyrical introductions to Japanese entertainment fiction, the opening song has nothing to do with anything.


I'm sure you think Barthandelus's theme had no meaning either.

Or how the name Sephiroth was just something that sounded cool.

The theme of FFXIV is relevant to the game's plot. Those who actually PLAY the plot actually see the meaning of it hinted upon the main story line before it got side tracked by the Seventh Umbra Era story line we're going to be experiencing now.

Heck, the reason why I read so into this script is that I tend to read TOO much. Rather than not enough.

I don't remember Barthandelus' battle being the theme song for FFXIII. Isn't it "My Hands?"

Furthermore, what is Sephiroth doing in here? For someone who reads TOO much, you certainly don't read very well.


You don't click on links? Try it next time, may save you from a little of that "foot in mouth" syndrome.
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#14 Nov 01 2011 at 8:19 PM Rating: Decent
Edited by bsphil
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Dyrwydi wrote:
Almalexia wrote:
Hyrist wrote:
Quote:
But the real reason I am here is to point out how, as with all lyrical introductions to Japanese entertainment fiction, the opening song has nothing to do with anything.


I'm sure you think Barthandelus's theme had no meaning either.

Or how the name Sephiroth was just something that sounded cool.

The theme of FFXIV is relevant to the game's plot. Those who actually PLAY the plot actually see the meaning of it hinted upon the main story line before it got side tracked by the Seventh Umbra Era story line we're going to be experiencing now.

Heck, the reason why I read so into this script is that I tend to read TOO much. Rather than not enough.

I don't remember Barthandelus' battle being the theme song for FFXIII. Isn't it "My Hands?"

Furthermore, what is Sephiroth doing in here? For someone who reads TOO much, you certainly don't read very well.
You don't click on links? Try it next time, may save you from a little of that "foot in mouth" syndrome.
I believe this is what he's referring to:
Almalexia wrote:
as with all lyrical introductions to Japanese entertainment fiction, the opening song has nothing to do with anything.




Edited, Nov 1st 2011 9:20pm by bsphil
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#15 Nov 01 2011 at 8:30 PM Rating: Good
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Considering that the OP's point was that the opening song has an ironic twist due to the life-cycle of the game, from a human perspective. The initial assault and straw-grasping attempts to redeem the comment "as with all lyrical introductions to Japanese entertainment fiction, the opening song has nothing to do with anything." is comical, nonsensical and frankly a little bit sad. Detractors who post only to bring attention to themselves, bringing no valid point to the discussion (usually brought on by not reading a complete post), need to be pointed out occasionally, if only to help cull their numbers.
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#16 Nov 01 2011 at 8:50 PM Rating: Good
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Which is pointless, because he's generalizing twice over, first for Japaneese tenancies, and again for introduction songs.

Read the lyrics and compare it to 'The Echo' concept in FFXIV. It matches.

Another example: FFX-2's "Real Emotion."

I could list examples from Nana, Full Metal Alchemist and several other 'Japanese entertainment fictions' that are very relevant to the plot or portions of it. Especially when it refers to the emotions of specific characters.

You can debate what "My Hands" meant for FFXIII all you like. Same thing Kingdom Hearts series, honestly. But I was pointing out FFXIV. This stuff is to be handled on a case by case basis, not by brash generalization. Which is why I pulled from a larger pool.

Some things have more meaning to the subject matter than others. In this case. FFXIV's theme holds relevance in two ways, I pointed out the second because it was rather uncanny.

Edited, Nov 1st 2011 10:52pm by Hyrist
#17 Nov 02 2011 at 2:00 AM Rating: Default
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Quote:
You can debate what "My Hands" meant for FFXIII all you like.

I'd rather not. Truth is, I do not know what, officially, "My Hands" is supposed to be. Was it in the ending credits? If so, that would explain why I never heard it in-game.

Quote:
But I was pointing out FFXIV. This stuff is to be handled on a case by case basis, not by brash generalization.

OK, OK. Sorry if I offended your musical tastes with "brash generalizations." Let's focus on FFXIV then, if it pleases you.

The fact that you can, through creative liberties, align the future of FFXIV with its theme song demonstrates just how nebulous the lyrics are. I've gone through the FFXIV campaign as far as it goes, completed guild tasks and I even watched the intro sequence twice. "Answers" doesn't resonate with any of it, but it can simultaneously resonate with all of it. In this case, that's not a sign of sophistication and complexity. We aren't reading T.S. Eliot, here.

Let me explore the salient themes one by one. I will, of course, consider it from a Tanaka era FFXIV standpoint.

1. High adventure! - We are guild envoys and mercenaries the whole way through. The player never has a greater calling. When you reach the Hall of the First Step, you start to feel Jedi-special, but what comes of it? You do some failed diplomacy work with the beastmen, and then all the storyline NPCs appear to fight the one boss mob that might have proved an actual challenge.
2. The blight of war! - The player is far removed from the Garlean threat, which is nevertheless teased constantly. I think they were trying to pull another Tavnazia on us, but it's hard to feel the same way when you don't watch Ala Mhigo get sacked in the opening sequence.
3. The Echo concept! - It's not Chrono Trigger. It's not even Wings of the Goddess. The Echo lets you hop to some indeterminate point in the past to obtain a plot morsel that wasn't disclosed in the present. I wouldn't consider it thematic, anyway, since it's used so conservatively and doesn't reveal anything that couldn't have been shown through ordinary exposition.

The theme doesn't match the game. Is that the song's fault? Certainly not. Imagine if FFXIV had high adventure, an interesting war story, and an Echo concept that was worth a ****. Wow!

I am daring enough to put forward that the lyrics were made deliberately vague so that the game could go in other directions mid-development without thwarting the "themes." Or, to be even more daring, I will say that the lyrics are deliberately generic so that they could (in theory) sound cool enough to go with anything at all! And isn't the sound what really matters? Almnote: I dislike the vocalist in "Answers."

But you know what? More power to you. You made more sense out of SE's song than they did.
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#18 Nov 02 2011 at 6:09 AM Rating: Excellent
Reading a lot into something unrelated imo.
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