View Full Version : Vaan vs Tidus

3rd May 2014, 22:04
I've noticed over the years that Vaan has often been criticized as Main Character. The fact that he isn't the Main Character notwithstanding, why is he so oft ridiculed, while Tidus is so well received? Everything that was wrong with Vaan could just as easily be said of Tidus, Vaan just wasn't as annoying about it (just my opinion, obviously.) So, any thoughts?

4th May 2014, 14:22
I think there’s not only one answer to your question: the hate for Vaan has multiple reasons.

First, XII was a great departure from previous games and many fans of the series didn’t (and will never) accept the simple idea of change: some of them hated the game and everything in it, Vaan included, for this reason only.

Others, didn’t get the idea of a character who is not the center of the story, who is not an obnoxious angst ridden teen with spike hair and incongruous backstory filled with metaphysical mumbo jumbo.

Add the way the characters are portrayed, the absence of a love story and you got the idea.

I never saw Vaan as a useless character without a personality, who doesn’t deserve the role of protagonist.
The latter point has no sense because XII’s story is a collective story, it’s not centered around a single character, although Ashe story arc is what everything revolves around.

Vaan is an excellent way to start the story from the eyes of a person not initially in the know of all the intricacies of the world he lives in; he fulfill a classic fantasy archetype: the everyday person who gets to view and react to the scenario on behalf of the reader, the viewer, or in our case, the player.

He is not a two dimensional character: FFXII is a "coming of age" story for him. As Vaan sees the world, his perspective broadens.
And it’s wise not to show a change all of a sudden, it's just silly when a young immature boy becomes an altruistic hyper brave hero overnight.

But not only he develops, he is also the catalyst for many of the most important scenes revolving Ashe’s character development.
Ashe may make a number of the final decisions, but Vaan is the one who urges her on.

What many Final Fantasy fans fail to see is that the game tells a story using, albeit in a partially different way, the same mechanics of X: there, Tidus is the main character, but the story revolves around Yuna pilgrimage.

What Vaan (and the game itself) suffers from, it’s the way the story is shown to the player.

Now don't get me wrong, I do appreciate FFXII's more subtle storyline. I understand that Vaan does develop as a person and it's shown to us in a less flashy way than it would have been done in previous installments. But there is such a thing as being too subtle and I think this game suffers from that.

Game creators wanted to differentiate the way the story is told, but they went too far, they removed too much and gave, to players unaccustomed to all of this, the idea of a game with an almost nonexistent story and unrelatable characters.

5th May 2014, 12:43
Yep, pretty much my thoughts. I hadn't seen much activity for Final Fantasy Xii lately and was hoping to get something going here. Oh well.

5th May 2014, 13:25
XII was considered by some the black sheep, but thanks to XIII trilogy, people is starting to reevaluate the game.

Maybe fans don’t write because they feel that supporting this game is hopeless, that they are too few, but I can assure you that among my friends, fans outnumber haters by a wide margin.

And every time I asked people in comic conventions about their favorite FF game, XII was always in the top three, if not the first choice.

I hope that many other fans let their voice be heard loud and clear, it’s the only way to obtain something more than a simple remastered version of the game, at the most coupled with a DLC to be used to change Lightning clothes.

As I wrote in the thread about new content for XII, I’d like a remake/overhaul of the game, like the one it was done for Tactics Ogre.

And it won’t be an hopeless dream to have Matsuno working again on XII: when he made all those modifications on Tactics Ogre, he had already left Square and when he was hired again, he worked as a freelancer.

Final Fantasy XII practically SCREAMS to be completed.

5th May 2014, 19:19
There are different levels you can judge a character for. I dont personally prefer the level of protagonism, if it were like that Vaan would be a lost cause, Tidus is a little more centered. Something interesting is the evolution of the role of the lead character as the battle leader. For example, in VII and VIII both Cloud and Squall were the heavylifters, sometimes did more damage than the two other chars combined, in IX (one of the most overrated games ever) Yitan was so so. In X we started to see the fast damager type opposite to Auron who was the actual beast, but anyways both Tidus and Waka were good DPS as you might say. The problem with Vaan is exactly that not only was he mild in story but also only second to Fran in uselesness.

5th May 2014, 20:17
I agree about the different aspects of a character that can be observed and evaluated, but my previous concerns were for the story and character development only, because if the character is portrayed like Tidus, I find difficult, to say the least, to relate to him/her and this aspect has precedence over everything else for me.

Regarding the aspect of Vaan’s uselessness in battle, I have to disagree.

I found Vaan a strong character, at the same level of Basch: in fact, I always gave him the role of a tank.

According to the official guide, Vaan has the game's best overall stats.
At level 99 he has the highest strength tied with Basch, the third highest magical power, the highest vitality, and the second highest speed.

I generally used one tank, one fast damage dealer and a healer for medium difficulty enemies and two tank and a healer for the toughest battles.

Story aside, in this role Vaan never let me down, cracking skulls with the grace of a steam roller.

6th May 2014, 12:30
Of course you have to set Vaan as a tank, even from the beggining they practically put a shield in your hand. But you are indeed making my point. Thats what he is only good for. Try for a moment focusing battle from the point of view of a different char, if you have for example Vaan, Ashe and Balthier, and you handle Vaan, you will see the enemy going down very quiclky, on the contrary with the same party if you handle Ashe you will see her dead while Vaan runs around drawing no aggro and doing little to no damage at all. Now, whose fault is that. The point is that there is not an actual tank in FFXII, the closest thing you can find is Vaan with a shield, but you know that big bossess or tough hunts dont listen to small things like evade rate. Stats like vitality are useless in a game where you can have 9999HP early on with Bubble (and boss programers knew this). Summing up, I prefer a Basch with Bersek, Haste, Genji Gloves and Masamune in hand over a Vaan with Lure, Protect, Bubble and a shield, they both have a role to play but Vaan´s AI is lame and I like to see the blood flowing.

by the way, this line is actually worth quoting

XII was considered by some the black sheep, but thanks to XIII trilogy, people is starting to reevaluate the game.

6th May 2014, 18:31
I believe that much of the chagrin about Vaan is, other than what I wrote a couple of post above, because of the “problematic” genesis of the game.

We will never know neither at what point in development Matsuno left, nor how much the final game is different from his original vision, but I feel that with him in charge until the very end, Vaan would have been developed differently.

I like to believe he would have added more cutscenes, making him more involved and having him do something that significantly affects the plot, having an impact related to who he is (in the widest sense of the word: something connected with his story, his personality, his ability) to make him feel relevant to the player.

I wrote “feel” instead of “be”, because Vaan does develops and affects the behavior of the other characters (Ashe above all) but the subtlety of the story is his doom.

And that applies to all of the other playable characters, mainly Penelo and Basch.

To better understand what I’m saying, try to read the unofficial English translations of FFXII manga, you’ll find that not only the characters are better portrayed, but the story is expanded, showing Ashe’s backstory, explaining better the hate Gabranth feels toward Basch and revealing what brings Vossler to betray Ashe.

7th May 2014, 02:46
Where might one find one of the "Unofficial Manga?"

7th May 2014, 11:12
It’s not an unofficial manga, it’s Square original material.

The official manga adaptation never left Japanese shores.

It was first printed on a magazine called GanGan Powered then, as is customary in Japan, the comic was collected in a series of books.

The story spans from before Ashe and Rasler marriage up to the destruction of Ghis’ fleet.

This means about one third of the main story line.

The books are long out of print, but you can easily buy them on Ebay or similar sites, if you can read Japanese (or for collecting reasons only), or you can read and download the unofficial translation on the web.

The translation is completely free and it’s about a product never officially sold outside Japan, so there is no copyright infringement.

Many sites offer this service, but all of them draw the translated material from this site:

If you need more information about the manga, feel free to ask.

8th May 2014, 04:17
Thanks! I'll definitely have to look into these.

8th May 2014, 13:08
Be warned that, for reasons unknown, the first chapter starts directly with the events in Raithwall's tomb.

After that chapter, the story follows the usual chronology, starting with the arrival of Rasler in Rabanastre.

The story, however, had been stopped with the end of the fifth book.

Considering that the last book was published in 2009 and that the manga official page had been shut down, I fear the hiatus will be permanent.

I don’t see the chance for an official translation of the manga: who would spend money for an incomplete work?

Unless Square decides to continue the story to support the future, potential, HD remaster or remake (but I won’t believe it until I see it with my own eyes).

12th May 2014, 02:49
When I played FF12 for the 1st time, I thought Vaan was a better-developed character than Tidus. I still think he is. I had a big problem with Tidus' voice. It just sounded horrible at times, and I didn't think it fit well with his character design and his position in the story. I found myself cringing quite often after some scenes involving Tidus. Didn't do that once with Vaan.

12th May 2014, 20:22
Yeah, if you're going to have voice acting, it needs to be done well. Final Fantasy X did not do it well.

12th May 2014, 20:46
Sub-par quality level of Final Fantasy X voice acting is the reason we had such a valuable team of voice actors for XII, so, in a sense, X did us a favor.

This is, of course, a personal opinion.

30th May 2014, 12:38
Thanks! I'll definitely have to look into these.

Hi Leon_Beoulve,
how are you?

Have you read the manga?

What do you think of it?

31st May 2014, 01:16
I have not, actually. It's still on my to do list, but I just recently began a New Game + on Persona 4 Golden, and started Final Fantasy Tactics: Journey of the Five. One of these days, though, I swear!

8th Oct 2014, 21:37
I really don't understand all the hate that goes into a character when a game comes out. Personally, Tidus is my favorite FF character. I like vann from 12 and Vanille from 13. I just don't get it.

8th Oct 2014, 21:53
I couldn't have put it better myself, Blitzace10. ;)

11th Oct 2014, 17:37
I like Tidus, I do not have a strong opinion of Vaan either way to be honest, but Vanille's voice and personality (sometimes) were just over the top and cringe-worthy in my opinion.

12th Oct 2014, 00:38
Every time I think of Tidus, I'm immediately reminded of "Shaggy" from "Scooby Doo". lol It's his voice. I know he doesn't sound 'exactly' like "Shaggy", but that's who I picture in my mind when I see or hear Tidus.

I had no problem with Vaan. His character fit perfectly into FF12.

Vanille was just up and down. I understood why she acted that way, but some of her lines could've been written better and placed a little better.

12th Oct 2014, 17:37
Every time I think of Tidus, I'm immediately reminded of "Shaggy" from "Scooby Doo". lol It's his voice. I know he doesn't sound 'exactly' like "Shaggy", but that's who I picture in my mind when I see or hear Tidus.

...You are completely right about that.

12th Oct 2014, 21:28
Every time I think of Tidus, I'm immediately reminded of "Shaggy" from "Scooby Doo". lol It's his voice. I know he doesn't sound 'exactly' like "Shaggy", but that's who I picture in my mind when I see or hear Tidus.

I had no problem with Vaan. His character fit perfectly into FF12.

Vanille was just up and down. I understood why she acted that way, but some of her lines could've been written better and placed a little better.

Vaan fits the story so well also because he is at the service of the story, not the opposite.

FFX story is centered on Tidus and if you don’t have a valid protagonist the game will suffer, as X did.

Vanille? Well…

Vanille is the worst excuse for a human being.

When I saw her lack of cohesive thought I was shocked: I felt that the simple idea that a respected company (since then not so respected anymore) could give the player such a brainless, poorly acted, futile and annoying person was worse than an offense.

She is the sum, to the highest degree, of the cliché of the hyper energetic, chaotic, troublemaker young girl, an incredible backward step after the savvy (even if incongruous for most of the time) Penelo.

She should definitely marry Snow, so at least there will be half a brain in the family.

14th Oct 2014, 01:58
Tidus: "It's like... What do we do NOW, Scoob!?"
Scooby: "I ron't knrow Ridrus!"

I'm sorry. lol

I noticed "Penelo" was mentioned above. She was probably the most down-to-earth and NORMAL character I'd seen in a while back then. Very well done.

14th Oct 2014, 14:13
Aw, I miss Penelo.

14th Oct 2014, 19:00
I feel that Penelo wasn’t well received not so much for the lack of sufficient screen time or the very few connections with the plot, but for her being real, a capital offence for all the fanatics who won’t accept neither changes nor other people’s different opinions.

Penelo is a real person who needs only a better screenplay.

Vanille is only a bad joke at best, a failed attempt to make fun of women at worst.