#2 – Zack Fair
When I try to think of an example of the perfect hero, Zack Fair immediately comes to mind. Zack is one of the most powerful characters in the Final Fantasy series, and also has an equally strong personality. Unlike Cloud, Zack is energetic and caring; two things that every hero should be. His likeable personality and his great strength easily makes him my favorite character in the FFVII series.
Zack is basically a combination of Cloud from FFVII and Tidus from FFX, but without each character’s bad qualities. He isn’t the strongest person at the beginning of Crisis Core, but he can still hold his own in a fight. We connect with Zack because he is already someone we look up to at the beginning of the game, but we also experience his growth along with him. He transforms from an above average soldier into one of the greatest, and we are there along side him for the ride. He is also easygoing, despite the terrible and dangerous situations he is often placed in. He remains cheery by constantly cracking small jokes to the other characters around him. All of this makes Zack one of the most inspirational characters I have ever seen.
What makes Zack’s story in Crisis Core so poignant is the fact that we already know what is going to happen to him. If you’ve already played Final Fantasy VII, you already know that Zack is killed by an army of Shinra troops. We form a strong connection with Zack, knowing full well that it is going to come to a heartbreaking end. Zack’s death scene at the end of Crisis Core is one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever experienced in all of my years of playing video games. Even though I knew it was going to happen, it still managed to take me by surprise. The music, the presentation, the voice acting, everything is executed to perfection. This is probably the most moving moment in the entire Final Fantasy series, and that is saying a lot.
“My honor.. My dreams.. They’re yours now. You’ll be.. My living legacy. “
Manly tears? Hell no, I am bawling like a friggin’ baby ;_;
Every time I watch Zack’s death scene, I can’t help but think that he deserves the number one spot. To be honest, I can’t give a solid reason why he doesn’t. He represents everything I like in a video game protagonist, and has no notable flaws that I can think of. His personality is devoid of typical Final Fantasy cliches, and he still manages to hold a level of “bad ass-ness” that exceeds Cloud and Squall’s. Zack Fair is the person we should all strive to be: strong in both body and mind. Zack is a hero in every sense of the word, and is fully deserving of the #2 spot on this list.
And with that, all that remains is #1…