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Note: You need some knowledge of the Lufia series to read this ed, but you can try reading it regardless, although some things might not make sense.
I've always been one heck of a Lufia follower. Admittedly, sometimes in this job it feels like I'm the only one in the sea of RPGamers, with everyone juming over Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Chrono Cross and other RPGs. But maybe, just maybe there's one character which, at least for me, would prove to be the best character in the life of RPG history.
Who is this?
Lufia. She is also Erin, the Sinstral of Death, and Iris.
Admittedly, I'm very much in the minority, we all know that many have a Final Fantasy or maybe a Square game as their favourite, possibly SoA, could be VP. But well... how about you hear me out for just a second?
What is it that draws me to her? What is it that gives me an... affinity to her that no other RPG character in history has ever given me? It's really hard to describe really, but maybe, just maybe she reflects more about me [and many of us] than anyone out there by one simple factor: she is her own worst enemy. She herself is the one she dispises the most, and she will work to get herself out of who she inherently is.
Both Lufia 1 and 2 have the same theme, of Lufia and how she struggles to make that choice, and how she makes the mistakes along the way. Don't believe it's the story of how the hero and Maxim go out there and save the world... it is really about Lufia, someone who was never quite in the spotlight, but somehow always is.
You see her struggle to find identity, you see her suffer through rumour, you see her friends doubt her, you see her hide secrets. She is both the saviour of the world as well as its doom. She is life and death itself. She may not be a realistic character as we view RPG characters today, but yet what she suffers is so... human.
She does not know what the future holds for her, and she's rightfully scared. She eventually finds out that she is the Sinstral of Death. By fate, all the terror that had plagued the world was kept around due to her existence. Her heritage calls her one way, the way that she was, the way she was supposed to be, yet her mind and heart go the other... towards something that she was never supposed to do, something that the group she belongs to is inherently opposed to.
You see her make choices that constantly flip from side to side. Sometimes she has to be who she inherently is, sometimes she feels that since no one trusts her, that it might be justified. Sometimes she breaks the mould that is around her and does what she feels to be what should be done.
As Iris, she knew that she was fulfilling prophecy, she also knew that she was going to work towards her own demise. But she did it. For what reasons my be argued forever and a day, but even as she lay there, defeated in Lufia 2, she made that subconscious choice to break everything she stood for as the Sinstral of Death and tell Maxim how to divert the crashing island away from civilisation, and Maxim saw her as Iris. She also chose to use Iris as her humane side, the side which she wanted to be.
Yet this character you never REALLY follow. In the original, she was a supporting character, with the hero being the main character. In the second, she was just... Iris. You never really met her, but you knew her from the meetings you did have. But even in the second, it wasn't just about the Sinstrals getting defeated as you saw in the prequel, it was mainly about Iris the mysterious woman, who is the the Sinstral of Death, who was Lufia.
You may remember the mirror: the mirror which reflects the truth. You may remember what Iris looked like when she was next to the mirror. You may remember in Lufia when the party walked up to the statues of the Sinstrals and saw Lufia as one of the four. Even though she could and often broke away from her fate, the cruel reality that she had that membership hanging over her: the reminder to what she was born with, as a constant reminder as to what she should do, as according to the tradition she was born into... absolute power, destruction and death.
Did she ever break from her fate? We're never quite sure. Although in Lufia 1 we know that Lufia apparently forgets everything about her experiences, we never know if her fate is truly broken, or if it truly is just repeating history. and her fate to be the Sinstral of Death will forever remain a fact just like her death in Lufia 2. We know that she paid the price to do what she wasn't ever supposed to do... but we never know if she ever achieved her goal.
But why do I admire her, revere her and respect her more than any one single RPG character in history?
That answer for me is simple. She was everything I am now, and what I will be in the future. I am bound to the fate of society as it is, unaccepting of many things I do. Try as I must, sometimes society dictates what I have to do, betraying what I stand for. But I don't want to walk the path that society has dictated to me, I would rather find my own way. I don't believe that who I am now is who I should be.
But she did one thing I might be too scared to do. To break the ranks and chase my dream, and take the consequences. She did what I don't know if I could do. She attempted to break what seemed to be the one fixture in her life which was intergral to her existence because she truly did not believe in it, to chase her dreams, her hopes, her goals. She did it not knowing if she would succeed or not, even with her abilities to forsee part of the future.
And maybe that's the clincher in all of this. No one ever knows if she succeeded. And taking that step into the unknown after sacrificing everything you were is something that I find admirable.
Perhaps one day we'll see which side of the unknown chasm I'm looking at. Maybe, just maybe I'll see it from Lufia's side. Maybe it's all a sham and that fate will hold me back. Maybe there isn't another side and fate binds us all to whatever we were born to do. Maybe the cost for me will be too great for me to go through with it. Maybe it's not worth it.
Maybe... just maybe. Well, we'll see. After all, it's the great unknown.
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