Ace of Swords: Celes Chere (Final Fantasy VI
Maranda doesn't bother her. It's only that her cell is freezing, so it's natural to remember the town she burned.
She didn't act like a monster. She gave them a chance to escape. Her soldiers did not bayonet refugees.
It was not like Kefka's proposed poison. She was right to resist his massacre. Just as she was right to torch rebellious Maranda. She performed justice.
Celes straightens as far as her manacles allow. She doesn't want to think about anything -- not her bruises nor her sentence nor tomorrow -- but she keeps remembering fire.
Maranda doesn't bother her. Yet.
Two of Swords: Lucrecia Crescent (Final Fantasy VII)
There is nothing wrong.
She craves mangos. Her ankles are swollen. Both symptoms are normal in the third trimester, according to her college textbooks.
She is typing her notes on Project G and preparing a bibliography for the unpublished report.
Hojo comes twice a week to take blood. Otherwise, she does not see him. She does not think about what is happening in his laboratory.
She does not sleep as much as she should. When she does, she dreams of terrible things.
There is nothing wrong.
Her belly is stretched tight as a drum. Inside her, something feverish is knocking.
Three of Swords: Wiegraf Folles (Final Fantasy Tactics)
"I used to dream about the king when we were kids, you know. He always ended up looking like God...or did God look like him?"
Miluda ignored him as she cut away his sodden tunic.
"Anyway, I would always find his missing thimble or rescue his pet dragon, and then he would invite me to have tea and eat as many sweet buns as I liked." He sighed. "Maybe life was easier when I believed in a sweet-bun God."
"Hold still," Miluda growled. She pulled out the arrow with one brutal motion, and despite his best intentions, Wiegraf fainted.
Four of Swords: FuSoYa (Final Fantasy IV)
"You pour the hot water on the leaves, and then you pour it out quickly. This opens up the flavor without destroying it."
"Ah," Cecil said. Around them, the engine room of the Lunar Whale rattled furiously, but FuSoYa was serene as he strained boiling water into a discarded shaft cap. Proper materials for the ceremony had proven difficult to find but easy to improvise.
"After the water drops to an appropriate temperature, you may steep the leaves." FuSoYa said.
"I see," Cecil said.
"I have long believed," FuSoYa said, "that every man is judged through his mastery of tea."
Five of Swords: Garland (Final Fantasy I)
It wasn't supposed to go like this.
"Garland, honey bun, could you fix the roof today? I think another gargoyle fell through, and it's going to cause a dreadful draft."
Disgraced knight? Check. Thirst for revenge? Check. Evil laugh? Check. Plans of conquest? Check. Dark contract with chuckling demons? Check. Kidnapped princess? Check.
"And the moat, Garland. Can you please see about the moat? I've been asking for a week."
Bending those around him to his iron will? Not so much.
"Garland! Are you listening to me?"
He is looking forward to her rescue.
Six of Swords: Edward Chris von Muir (Final Fantasy IV)
"And I call it 'The Red King Dreams of a Moonlight Noose.'"
"Oh," Rosa said. "Well. It sounded really pretty."
Edward smiled shyly. "Thank you. It's going to be the first in a ten-song cycle. I hope to finish it in time for your wedding."
There was an implied question there, and Rosa immediately rose to the occasion. "That would be splendid, Edward. Cecil and I can't wait to hear you play it at our wedding. Cecil, especially."
"Good," Edward sighed. "The next song will be called 'The Lost Princess and her Bombazine Shroud.'"
Seven of Swords: Ultimecia (Final Fantasy VIII)
At the end of time, the last sorceress plays chess against herself.
She does not use kings. She forgets where she dropped the dark one, but she threw his pale brother into the heart of an exploding sun.
In her garden, Time drips across her sundials like a runny egg. Sometimes she switches sides, but the game's ultimate, predestined outcome never changes.
Beside her, Griever whimpers softly as he chases unicorns in his sleep.
Even when she breaks the rules, the black knight keeps checking her white queen.
At the end of time, the last sorceress is losing to herself.
Eight of Swords: Rosa Farrell (Final Fantasy IV)
The worst part is not when they talk to her, although that is terrible and agonizing enough. No, the worst part is when they ignore her, as if she were a piece of furniture that just happened to be gagged and blindfolded in the corner of the room.
"That's some weather we've been having, huh?"
"Indeed, there's been some interesting meteorological activity."
With each passing second of disregard, she feels herself disintegrating. Her identity unravels. She is unimportant. Soon, she will no longer exist.
She's almost relieved when Kain starts to threaten her again.
At least he uses her name.
Nine of Swords: Vincent Valentine (Final Fantasy VII)
Despair was not just the coffin, the cape, or the steel-tipped claw. It was not the props.
During his long sleep, he had sometimes dreamed he was carrying a wolf. The wolf was enormous, soft, and smelly. He held the wolf in his arms, like a child, and the wolf breathed noxiously into his ear. Eventually, the wolf bit off his head.
He had not asked for rebirth. Or the coffin, the cape, and the steel-tipped claw. He had not asked for the guilt.
She did not ask, either. But he would carry it -- all of it -- just the same.
Ten of Swords: Ovelia Atkascha (Final Fantasy Tactics)
At least they were gone now.
Her prison cell was dark and damp. When she did not touch the stale bread by the door, bright-eyed rats crept forward to feast.
She was not the woman she believed, they had told her. She was no princess; she was no Ovelia. Some of them wanted to kill her. Others would simply use her.
She had been forgotten, hunted, and kidnapped by turns. She had nearly been executed.
They were gone now. But they might be back at any moment.
At least, she thought, this is as bad as it can possibly get.
Page of Swords: Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII)
"You don't have to say that," Cloud said. "My self-esteem won't take a hit if you take it back."
"No, no," Tifa said. "You did. You looked good in that dress."
Cloud propped his feet against the dashboard. "You guys have thing for guys in drag, don't you?"
"We're just open-minded," Tifa said, tapping the steering wheel. "And c'mon. Maybe you need to embrace some hard home truths. Maybe you liked it; maybe you just can't admit it. Know thyself, sir! We won't judge you. Hell, we'll share clothes with you!"
In the backseat, Aeris gave a gurgle of laughter.
Knight of Swords: Squall Leonhart (Final Fantasy VIII)
"How can you be so calm about this?"
"About this mission, dammit! About Edea! She raised us, man!"
"I don't think she's acting like our mother anymore, Zell."
"See, that! That! How do you do that?"
"...Have you seen the headmaster recently?"
"Um. Sure. He was in the nurse's office. He looked like he'd been crying."
"He refuses to lead the Garden. Why aren't you asking him how he can abandon us now?"
"But she's his wife, man!"
"And he wants us to kill her. And she wants to destroy us. We need somebody to be calm here."
Queen of Swords: Quistis Trepe (Final Fantasy VIII)
She was always severe and demanding, but everyone agreed her knives had really come out on their mid-term essays.
"Man, she corrected my grammar. And said my thesis statement was 'insipid.'"
"I heard half the class just flunked it. And there were only two A's. What about you, Seifer?"
"Mmm? Oh, she's just a bitch," Seifer said, laughing. "I don't pay attention to anything she says."
And he rolled up his paper, obscuring the red-inked words that said, "This shows great promise" and "I expect more participation in our class discussions; you're certainly capable of insightful points, Almasy."
King of Swords: Beatrix (Final Fantasy IX)
Beatrix fought her first duel as Garnet's champion when the princess was twelve years old.
One night, a young nobleman drunkenly toasted a local legend: the princess was actually a goblin changeling.
"But a damn comely goblin," he shouted, to the delight of the tavern.
The next morning, he woke with a splitting headache and a card demanding satisfaction.
He tried to flee, but Beatrix was waiting for him. The nobleman was renowned for his fencing -- but Beatrix was better.
For the rest of his life, he walked with a limp, but he became one of the princess' staunchest defenders.