Not really a complaint today, just an observation of something strange. Did you ever notice how early Final Fantasies have an odd disconnect between the plot-important elements and the actually useable magical elements?
What I mean is...alright, see, for the first couple generations of Final Fantasy titles, the plot was pretty squarely centered around the four elemental crystals of Fire, Water, Wind, and Earth. The idea was that these all-important plot devices were what infused the elements of a living, functional, and magical world into the planet and nature, and without them, the elements would either fade out (FF5) or go out of control (FF Mystic Quest) and the world would be doomed. Pretty standard stuff all around, of course; the idea of super magical sparkly special plot item crystals performing essential, mystical maintenance for a world’s life force has been a part of fantasy- and anime-styled stories for ages, and the idea of Fire, Water, Wind, and Earth being the main 4 elements of all creation has been around for a bit longer. And by that, I mean thousands of years.
So you’ve got earlier Final Fantasy games--and maybe more recent ones; I haven’t played anything more recent than FF Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates, so I couldn’t say--having these mystical elemental crystals of Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire governing all the world’s magic and essential natural functions and life force and whatnot. Okay, cool. But then what’s up with the elemental magic system?
As far as the standardized black magic of the earlier Final Fantasy games goes, the all-important crystals are barely represented. Okay, sure, Fire spells are in abundance, as you’d expect, but the other elements with the highest number of spells, practicality, and plot focus are Ice/Blizzard and Bolt/Thunder spells. Yeah, you’ll get a token Earth spell, Water spell, and Wind spell, but of the 3 major magical elements of the game’s battle system, which again tend to be the most likely to get out-of-battle use during story events, only 1 actually has anything to do with the major all-important magical plot crystal elements.
And no, Ice/Blizzard spells do not count as representations of the Water Crystal. Water and Ice/Blizzard are considered 2 different elements in the typical FF magic system. And even if you do want to count it as related to the Water Crystal, you’re still missing strong representation from half of the sources of magic in the world, so it still doesn’t make much sense, at least not to me.
And yeah, sure, Wind spells had a little more early game exposure than I’m giving credit for, in that there were a couple for White magic in FF1 and a proper 3 levels of Aero spells for Blue Magic in FF5. I guess that counts for FF1 to an extent, since White Magic is as basic and inescapable a standard for Final Fantasy as Black Magic, but Blue Magic’s kind of its own thing, an odd-ball type that doesn’t really conform to the rest of a game’s magic systems, so I don’t reckon it really counts. That could just be me being picky, I suppose. Still, it’s kind of a shaky point for Wind magic to stand on regardless.
Wouldn’t you think the basic spells of the most basic magic type would correspond to the elements established by the plot to the be major and important ones, the source of all magic? Instead of Fire-Fira-Firaga, Blizzard-Blizzara-Blizzaga, and Thunder-Thundara-Thundaga, shouldn’t it really be Fire-Fira-Firaga, Water-Watera-Waterga, Aero-Aerora-Aeroga, and Stone-Stonera-Stonega? The series later brought Earth magic properly into the mix in FF7, and Water magic in FF10, but the crystals aren’t a part of those games anyway. For the games where they would make the most sense to be the most basic building blocks of magic, most of the crystal elements are represented as only individual spells achieved late in the game, or parts of odd side-magic systems, rather than as the iconic basic spells of the iconic basic magic style of the series.
Like I said, it’s not a big deal, or anything that actually bothers me. Just a little oddity I noticed, that’s all.