Those dolls they were making underground… Did you think they look like me?
Final Fantasy IX was such a great game for me for many different reasons. One of those being that I really enjoyed the characters of the game. I wrote about Garnet and received a request to write about Vivi, which I gladly agreed to do. It has been a while since I have played the game and while I planned on replaying it before writing this I did not get the chance to do so. Please bear with me and forgive me if I miss any key parts. Feel free to remind me in the comments section of anything I overlooked that is important to you. I love discussing characters and seeing your reactions to them as well.
SPOILER ALERT: The following will contain spoilers about Final Fantasy IX. As always I’ll keep the spoilers to a minimum, but sometimes you can’t delve into who a character is without discussing things that happen in the game.
For those who don’t know, Vivi is a prototype black mage. He escaped a cargo ship and was then fished out of the Mist Ocean by a Quan, who Vivi thought of as his grandfather. We’re introduced to Vivi after his “grandfather” has died. He journeyed to Alexandria and is trying to get a part in a play called I Want to be Your Canary. Vivi is a cute little thing who might look like your typical black mage on the outside with his pointy hat and staff, but don’t cast him into that box and overlook just how deep he is.
This little guy has to deal with a lot; more than most people ever have to, thankfully. This is one of my favorite Vivi quotes: How do you prove that you exist? Maybe we don’t exist… Yep, he questions his existence, which is something some of us can relate to a little bit, but probably not on the level that Vivi is dealing with.
He stumbles across an area where black mages are being mass produced. Someone thinks he has escaped so they stick him in with the others. His friends rescue him, but the damage has already been done at this point. Vivi sees that something very wrong is taking place, and that his race is being used for terrible things. He begins to question everything about himself. Who can blame him?
Everyone that he meets who looks like him seem to be cut from the same cloth. They don’t have normal conversations, and they seem to be here only to carry out the evil wishes of their master. Vivi is a shy little thing who doesn’t wish harm on anyone and needs to find out why the other black mages are acting the way they are. If they are acting like that… could he be evil, too?
The people of the world certainly seem to think so. Everywhere he goes he is met with people calling him a demon and running away scared. Those who don’t run away make sure that they tell him how terrible he is and accuse him of killing off their family members. Vivi is innocent! The only thing he has done wrong is to look like the other black mages, and freely roam around. He tries to tell everyone that he did nothing wrong, but sadly few people believe him.
He wants to get to the bottom of what the hell is going on with the other black mages so desperately that he continues on with Zidane and company as they uncover the truth of what is happening, despite how he is treated by those who don’t know him. Throughout this journey Vivi helps save his friends and plenty of townspeople along the way. With each positive step he takes he becomes stronger and shows what a good person he is. His actions should help him feel better about himself, but while it might help a little bit it’s hard to compete with the amount of people telling him he is evil. Seeing the horrible acts that the other black mages are carrying out is doing him no favors either.
In a world where sometimes I fear that I am the only sane one, or perhaps I have gone too crazy for the rest of the world, I could relate to Vivi. He makes me remember that sometimes a little good can make a big difference. Next time you aren’t sure exactly who you are or where you fit into this world think of Vivi. Think of some of the things he has said. “Those black mages and I. Are we… the same?” Remember the great lengths he went to in order to find out who he was, where he was from, if he existed or not. Think of the dignity with which he did this, and how much he tried to help the other black mages out. Next time the human race seems to be so much like the evil black mages that were mass produced only to create chaos and bring about death remember that sometimes it only takes one person to make a difference.