Part of the fun of Ivalice is all the stuff we don't actually get to see - I think the fact that some of the largest events in this world take place between its stories makes it more believable, somehow. It's a world with a living, malleable history that changes through the ages, but leaves us just enough clues to see the trajectory. Wars, magic, barriers, languages, cataclysms, migrations, tools - they're all there, and they all change with the world as a whole.
And, of course, the mythos! I admit that I love the flavor text of these games, I really do. They're just little nuggets, but somehow they manage to be incredibly interesting, even at their most succinct. I see potential for whole stories in them - and on that note, this little pet theory of mine:
I think there was a war fought in ancient times between humans and some demonic race (involving Ogres) that stormed Ivalice. There are some things in the game's mythology that, if not outright trying to imply a connection, match up pretty damn well, and I'm interested enough to share.
Won't you join me on a journey for the truth? Well, more of a walk to the fridge, but still.Vagrant StoryOgre
- "Demons that fought humans in mythic times. Extremely agile and strong."
This was the one that piqued my interest to begin with. For those who haven't played Vagrant Story, Ogres are notoriously tough bosses - bigger than you, stronger than you, and amazingly, faster than you. They are also exceptionally keen on chain attacks, which are Ashley's main means of doing damage. And it may just be my bad luck, but they turn out criticals like party favors, and it gets better when you run into the ones that can cast magic
. Yikes! But keep in mind their size for the third point of this little list.Final Fantasy XIIAncient Bone
(loot) - "These battle-scarred bones belonged to a race of humanoids who warred in ancient times, though no one knows who they fought, or why."
Imagine my surprise years later, when this little tidbit came up! Remnants of "humanoids" who warred in ancient times, huh? Assuming this is connected to the above description, these may well be bones left over from the war the Ogres participated in. "Battle-scarred" certainly fits all the fights I've had with them on the first run. (And even if it's just coincidental, I like the idea that what's "ancient" in FFXII becomes "mythic" by Vagrant Story's era.)Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the RiftGreataxe
- "Demons once stormed Ivalice wielding these giant axes. Had they been larger still, it is like that men could not have used them to drive the demons back."
Ho! This is the one that made me think there was some stronger connection to be made here, since it evokes some of the same language as the first two. And Vagrant Story's Ogres are usually seen wielding greatswords, heavy maces, or- yup- greataxes. They're certainly of a stature to wield them in one hand; Ashley has to hold his in two. Funnily enough, this weapon teaches Doublehand in FFTA2.
Now, this may all just happen to run in the same vein, and it's worth noting that the first and third descriptions are a little more exact than the second (which may not even be referring to the Ogres in particular). And of course, it's certainly true that this stuff is
flavor text when you get right down to it, and flavor text in three games can definitely overlap.
But I like the idea that there was a significant war in Ivalice's antiquity that's left traces of itself throughout these various times and places in the games. Especially if it involved humans and ogres whomping the crap out of each other. ^_-
That's my little post on the matter - hope you guys enjoyed it, and I'd love to know your thoughts or anything else you've noticed to support/refute this pet theory of mine. Thanks for reading!