After seven years, I finally got the chance to play my favorite video game ever — Final Fantasy VIII! 🙂 I was fortunate that my boardmates installed a PS emulator in my laptop, and that my 4 discs of FF8 are still working. I was ecstatic, I was happy, I was all over the place when the epic opening sequence of FF8 appeared on my screen. Oh how I missed this game. FF changed my life, really.
I can still remember how addicted I was when I was in 5th or 6th grade. The addiction began in 2002 or 2003 when some Final Fantasy AMVs were being played in TV chatrooms in cabled channels. I was drawn to the graphics of every game that was featured, as well as to the engaging soundtracks. I kept watching those vids, not sleeping even, even if I have class the following day.
It was FF8 that kept my attention the most. I found Squall the hottest among the FF characters shown on that channel, and Rinoa being the most beautiful. I found them well-drawn and created. Moreover, the song “Eyes On Me” that accompanied those videos kept me glued to the screen. It didn’t take long ’til I asked my relatives to buy me that game, and luckily on Christmas day of 2003, my aunt and uncle gave me those 4 discs.
I played FF8 for three straight days and nights without sleeping. It was addictive. And that was it. I tried other FF games after, like FF7 and Tactics, but nothing matched FF8. Well, at least for me. I began to collect FF merchandise, such as necklaces, photocards, button pins, etc. etc. etc. I even traded FF picture messages way back when cellphones do not have MMS yet. I even met fellow FF fan friends in chat rooms. FF was the center of my everything.
FF was life-changing. It made me love Japan more, and fully converted me to a fangirl. I thought that ME as an anime fan is already enough. But, no. It was FF that gave me the love for everything. Without FF in my life, I wouldn’t have been the Lara that I am today. FF was one of the best things that came into my life.
Not fully contended that FF8 ended, I sought stories about Squall and Rinoa online. And then I stumbled on this fanfic site “Icy Brian.” Ah, it turned my world upside down a bit more. From then on, my fanfic addiction began. I visited more FF sites and fanfiction sites before settling on Fanfiction.net. I got addicted with fanfictions so much that I immediately read stories the moment I got home from school. I would arrive at about 6pm and then read stories until 11pm. When 11pm strikes, that’s the only time when I would change from my school uniform and do my homeworks.
I befriended the active readers and writers in the FF8 fanfiction world at that time, and I was fortunate enough to know them when FF8 writing was at its peak. With their stories and encouragements, I eventually tried writing my own fics. I had a lot of reviews, but still, I felt that I still lack the skills to write a story effectively. I can’t even bear to read my first two stories. >_<
But now, I’m back! 🙂 After spending some years with East Asian Pop Music, I’ve decided to return to my early loves — but I’m not leaving the Music fandom! I’m now playing FF8 again and I’m continuing my fanfiction. It’s just a bit sad that the people who used to be active in the fanfiction fandom are not active anymore. It felt like we have all moved on from FF8 fanfictions, and I’m not the only who had returned. >_<
But still, I’m happy right now. 🙂 First love never dies. 🙂