Final Fantasy VIII: A Role Model in My Childhood
The story of Squall coming out of his shell and making me realize my own personal walls.
I think back to when I first played Final Fantasy VIII. I played the game around 1999, still very young, but was able to play through it. After playing it a couple of more times I started to understand the story and also the love of Squall and Rinoa. As a kid I never knew how to make myself happy, I was quite dependent as a kid trying to find someone to make me happy. I didn’t have a perfect male role model throughout my life but I would try to find him through video games. There was Mario, Link, and even Fox Mccloud. I wanted to be them because they were noble, brave, and had a lot of peers look up to them. I wanted that feeling of being wanted, the kind of feeling I was giving my video game characters. The next male role model I had was Squall from Final Fantasy. Sure, I look back on it and realize how he was a douche to everyone, but I liked his attitude. He was quiet and didn’t give a shit. But what I also like you were given a whole another side to Squall which was his thoughts and you got to see how he really felt. He built walls around him and kept whoever tried to get close, away. I felt the same growing up. I was quiet and shy, but the only difference is I would pretend to be happy, that was my wall for keeping people out of my emotions. There were times I would pretend to be happy so no one would try to get close. That’s what I liked about Squall, in the end we are similar more ways than one.
Then there was Rinoa who came along. She tried to get close to Squall. The more she tried, the more he pushed her away. Then later in the game he would open up his emotions to her and how he felt instead of holding it all in. That’s when I now realized it’s not healthy to hold your emotions in. The more you hold them in the more likely your world will come down. That’s what I loved about Rinoa, she brought the worst and best out of Squall. He was open to express himself and she wouldn’t judge him for it. That’s when I figured I need to find my own Rinoa„ but alas that was not the case. I realized now I don’t need anyone to be honest with. The more important advice I learned is be true to yourself and others. Never keep emotions bottled up. If I found a Rinoa right now I’d quit everything in life and start a riot. But I know I don’t need that, just myself and my life. I hope to always to express myself freely.