Who Doesn't Like a Good Battle Bikini?

Winds of Change, a FF6 fic by Shadow Hawk, is my offering for today.

This fic isn’t bad.

At first glance, anyway.

The author spell checked. Really, there are maybe two misspelled words in the whole piece. I left them alone – I prefer semantic riffs anyway. They may have read over it once or twice, too. Really, all in all, it wasn’t a bad effort.

So, what’s wrong?

I’ve wrestled with this, and I feel like I owe everyone an honest explanation as well as a MiSTing of this thing. When I first read it, I found myself instinctively making the comments that you’ll read Jeff, Eddie and Analyn make in a moment, but I wasn’t sure why. I think I might know now.

This piece is long. It’s longer then stuff I usually tackle, that’s for sure. But … it’s really too long for a short story. It feels stretched out, like the scope of the story is just too broad. But, it’s not big enough for a chapter story … you seriously couldn’t make two chapters out of this thing. It’s like the author has hit the perfect in-between, and it just feels awkward, and I don’t know exactly how they should fix it.

That’s kind of a metaphor for this whole fic. Whatever’s wrong is just wrong enough to be bad, but not quite so awful on its own that it will melt your brain. Let’s take the characters. Really, she starts with a fair enough premise. Celes, the blonde FF6 war general turned opera hero, finds herself longing for a little adventure. Sure, okay, I can dig. Locke, for no apparent reason, has married her and won’t touch her. That much is a stretch, but the author asserts that Celes would like a little attention from a man. Fine. That makes perfect sense too, girls like it when boys like them. Simple enough. The author, however, takes it one step too far, and turns Celes into a desperately horny, bloodthirsty savage who politely leaves Locke and tramps across a desert, killing whatever she finds on the way, so that she can go to Figaro Castle and have Edgar hit on her. No joke. Now, it’s not wrong wrong – Celes never once rips anyone’s clothes off and doggy-styles them in a fit of mind-blowing passion – but that’s enough to make you go, “Wait, what?!”

There’s more. There’s Lecherous Pervert Setzer, who never actually grabs or molests anyone, but asks a few mind-blowing questions. I think I mentioned Wishy Washy Woman-phobic Locke. It’s like the author took reality, then took one big step away from it. Just one, though, and not any more. You pepper this with a few fanfic clichés and veiled fangirl lust, throw in some fake-sounding metaphor crap, and THAT, good sirs, is enough to give you a craptastic piece of fiction.

Also, sometimes it’s just flat out goofy.

Wait, before I go, let's get some background information: FF6 is a SNES game. During the SNES era, your character models were limited. Therefore, if you were going to have a girl in a revealing outfit, you had to get creative. Square solved this problem with the invention of the battle bikini:

The one on the right is Celes, for reference. The battle bikini comes up several times today, so I figured I'd provide an image so no one was totally lost.