Sunday, August 20, 2006

Acknowledging religious symbolism

There are plenty of recent games and movies that have obvious religious symbolism. Ultra Violet, for one. (Definitely not a great film, but I liked it. Seems like I understood it better than Curtis or Cristie when we all saw it for the first time.) But there was a ton of symbolism: the city had that huge cross-shaped building or whatever, and her white outfit turned blood-red starting with her bleeding hand (anyone else think stigmata?). I picked up religious imagery from V for Vendetta, too.

Halo had the whole religious connotations to it, especially in the names (Covenant, Halo, etc.). That theme became blatant in the sequel, as the Covenant Heretic/Arbiter co-starred as a playable character.

The Final Fantasy series has a history of depicting the nonphysical and spiritual. FF7 had the Lifestream, The Spirits Within had the Gaia theory, FFX and X-2 had the Farplane.... Maybe that's why I like FF8 so much; it didn't hit you over the head with a preachy, Captain Planet-ish message. It just had time compression and megalomaniacs with magic powers. (I do admit that I agree with the environmental messages, but I think they should have been depicted more subtly.)

Anyway, the reason this topic came up was that I came across a link to an old VG Cats comic that mocked the religious symbolism in FF7. (VG Cats #202: The Word) A "Jenova's Witness" and the "Church of the One-Winged Angel of Latter Day Summons" ...classic!

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