An oddity I noticed playing through Final Fantasy 8; this scene in which you are kidnapping President Deling (youtube link), this particular Galbadian Soldier is worried about losing his paychecks because of the the President’s bad mood.
I found it a fascinating little element, at first appearing completely unnecessary. There are a few reasons for inclusion I have thought about, some more likely than others, and some just hopeful:
- They just put these tiny cut-scenes in to increase the length of the game. This means the dialogue is completely inconsequential, being just a random set piece that some writer added, allowing to write anything whimsically. This is an interesting thought and feels pretty neat.
- They wanted to help describe the state of Galbadia/the Galbadian army/President Deling. Narrative painting, dunno the term for it (not a writer) but is definitely a reasonable explanation, just not so interesting.
- They wanted to make you think about the consequences of your actions. Or even help evoke the amateur nature of the operation; specifically that the Timber Owls didn’t think about the possible consequences, especially the tiny things. This is a particularly interesting theory and gives a lot of credit to these cutscenes.
Tiny elements of people’s lives are something that has always fascinated me about RPGs, particularly the Pokémon games. NPCs scattered around town and even battlers you face will have rarely more than a sentence or two to say to you, but a huge amount of personality and character comes through. Animal Crossing gives me the same vibes in it’s writing, although it feels hugely more deliberate. This gives it the room to do really interesting things like this.
This has given me a lot of stuff to think about.