Of Life’s Main Quest   1 comment

lets_play_final_fantasy_10_part_1_2

I timed my jumps within milliseconds after the flash of light brightened the area. A bolt of lightning hit the ground shortly, followed by the deafening sound of thunder. That was my 100th consecutive time dodging lightning in the Thunder Plains. I found the perfect area between two iron rods jutting out of the ground to the constant storm in the sky. I could get between 8-10 lightning strikes to the ground before I’ve dodged myself out safely under one of those iron rods. It takes less than a second before lightning strike follows the flash of light. I needed to do this 100 more times in row without getting hit by lightning. Otherwise, I start over again. Getting 200 lightning dodges in a row unlocks the Venus Sigil, which can be used with the Venus Crest to fully upgrade Lulu’s Onion Knight doll and haveĀ Break Damage Limit, Triple Overdrive, Magic Booster and One MP Cost.

I never got around to fully upgrading the Onion Knight doll. I only managed to get the Venus Crest, which allowed Shiva, one of Yuna’s Aeons, to break the damage limit. There were 7 Celestial weapons for each character in Final Fantasy X. It’s been more than a decade since I played this game, but I probably only fully upgraded 5 of them. I put most of my effort to completing other side quests for powerful Overdrives, abilities, accessories and other items to prepare myself for the end game. This also includes collecting more gil, the currency in most Final Fantasy games, and grinding my characters to exhaustive random battles to get them as close, if they were not already, at max level.

This was, or is, the tactic I used since I played my first role-playing game with Final Fantasy VII. I’m sure many other gamers did the same, with or without strategy guides. I always felt that I was getting my money’s worth if I did most, if not all, of what the game has to offer. Mind you, this was before they rewarded gamers with XBox achievements and PlayStation trophies. I took these as personal goals. Getting to know the background stories of the characters in the game through side quests was a good bonus as well. I wish I could say the same for me in real life.

I saw a Facebook post with a link to what I think was a picture or just a comic, comparing life to a game. Basically, we do side quests and other unimportant things because we don’t want to do the main quest. This hit too close for me. In most of my games, there is a point where I would know most of the story. Before moving on to the next area, I’m given an option to explore. I knew I could go ahead and end the game, but I chose to do side quests. Yes, I’m preparing for the final battle. More often than not, though, I’m always over-prepared.

Take Final Fantasy VII as an example. I didn’t need the Knights of the Round summon to defeat Sephiroth for the final battle. I didn’t need to get my characters up to level 99. Were the side quests worth it? Of course they were. Spending 30+ hours grinding all my characters close to max level inside the Crashed Gelnika was not worth it. That includes me accidentally overwriting the save file with 30+ hours worth of leveling. I knew I could handle the last battle. That’s the difference between these games and real life.

Right now, I’m at the point where I’ll have to take the next step. So far, going to work is a chore for me. I don’t see myself getting promoted any time soon since I’m only a contractor. I chose to isolate myself from most co-workers. I have nothing in common with them. They’re older, married and have kids. The office setting at work just doesn’t lend itself to lots of socializing. It’s a much different environment from when I worked at my first job. It’s been almost a year working for my company and not even once did we do some sort of community service or an end of the year company gathering. Even my mom’s job, which is much smaller than my company, have a company outing and retreat every year. It’s not like I need it or anything. At least something to keep myself invested.

With friends, it comes and goes. I don’t hang out with friends in college as much as I used to. I don’t have that many close friends near me. I feel more close to the friends I met online. I have friends from the mall I met through playing Pump it Up over the years. It’s a different kind of friendship. They are just as important.

Love life is non-existent. I don’t really consider casual flings a love life, but I’ve been in numerous “flings” just this year alone. The no strings attached arrangement and not seeing each other after is nice, but not what I’d consider always doing in the long run. I want something more concrete. But I’ve overly digressed.

The point is, unlike a game, I don’t know what the next step is. There is no official strategy guide for what I’m about to face. Heck, as a contractor I don’t even know if I’ll still have a job in two months. I don’t know if I’ll meet the woman of my life any time soon. I don’t know if I’ll be reunited with old friends, lose friends or gain new friends. That’s why I’m stuck doing side quests. I don’t know if I’m overly prepared or just not ready.

The main quest is a scary beast. Conan said it best: “Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you are kind, amazing things will happen.” We don’t really know what the future has in store for us. Things just happen. The best thing you can do (and something I’ll do) is to live life to the fullest and being okay with the uncertainty. Also, “the best course of action is to tread lightly.”

I’m done.

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Posted September 28, 2013 by StupidSystemus in Musings, Personal

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One response to “Of Life’s Main Quest

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  1. same boat, same sails.

    l’m not really sure what I’m supposed to do next either.

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