Prompted by a Fandom Secret argument in which apparently a load of Final Fantasy fans hate Rinoa from Final Fantasy 8.
It makes me roll my eyes when people get so het up about video game characters. With a few exceptions most video game characters are completely two dimensional. Most of the emphasis is on gameplay, graphics and story. Characterisation in most cases is secondary.
I'll accept that since the Final Fantasy games are more story led than most video games their characters do have a little more depth. But also I have to point out that EVERY Final Fantasy game since FF6 up until FF12 has formulaic characters. Particularly the female characters. In EVERY game since FF6 up until FF12 the playable female character types are thus:1. Lead Female: The Princess Type/Sweet-but-just-feisty-enough-to-not-quite-be-a-doormat/Love Interest/Willing to Sacrifice Herself To Save The World/Gets Kidnapped Or Needs To Be Rescued/Tends to wear more Clothing/Is the Last of Her Kind or Something Special to do with Magic:
FF10-2 Yuna2. The Tough Chick: Not As Emotional/Misunderstood/Usually Dresses Sexily/A Little Cold-but-still-compassionate-so-the-boys-still-fancy-her:
FF10-2 Paine3. The Cute One: Hyperactive/Younger/Irritating/Cocky-but-not too-much-or-the-boys-won't-fancy-her/Optimistic/Childish
FF12 only just fails to fall into this because while Penelo is blatantly the Cute/Optimistic one and Fran the Tough/Sexy one, Ashe the Princess is a little more hardcore than the other characters in category one. She's an Actual Princess and Tough Chick combined being a competent soldier, unlike Rinoa.
FF13 for all it's faults, turns the formula on it's head by having Lightening as the main character instead of a man. The Lead Female becomes The Main Character and a soldier instead of a princessy type. She has general Tough Chick personality. Vanille is The Cute Irritating One but again there's Fang as another Tough Chick.
So anyway, Rinoa in the context of the other 5 popular FF games, 6,7,8,9 and 10. I don't actually get why she is hated so much more than Dagger. Yeah she needs rescuing. But so do Terra, Aeris, Dagger and Yuna.
She's a rich kid - Yeah, so are Dagger and Ashe. Dagger and Ashe are Royalty and it shows.
Apparently she is spoilt and rude - True. But Dagger also has these moments, even if Rinoa's stand out more to some people. Being rich kid princessy types, it actually makes them more believable than it would if they were SO NICE to everyone like Yuna and Aeris. Being rich kid princessy only child types I'd actually find it hard to believe if they weren't spoilt and a bit rude. Also, NEGATIVE CHARACTER TRAITS are usually a good thing when creating a beautiful perfect girl character. Stops them being too fucking bland.
Her Rebel Group are full of fail - That may be. But she's a rich kid princessy type that bothers to actually set up a Rebel faction to fight for what she believes in. I think that says a lot about her personality even if her plans aren't that great.
She's mean to Squall that one time - Oh fuck off. He's a big boy, I'm sure he can handle one immature argument from a spoilt rich girl.
She was Ultimacia the Evil Sorceress - Uh no. She got taken over by her. I'm pretty sure that wasn't her fault.
She's gullible - No more than Dagger. Or Terra. Even Yuna to a degree. She has a reason to be gullible. Unlike the other five characters in FF8 Rinoa wasn't trained as a soldier at school so will be the one that makes mistakes and is crap at soldier stuff.
Personally I always found Dagger more annoying. She never tried to give her life to save the world like Yuna and Aeris. She didn't start a rebel faction because she believed in something like Rinoa. Dagger spent a good part of the game moping about and being sad about the death of her evil mum, spoiling battles by being unable to fucking cast spells when I needed her to and generally just being a dull whiner. Dagger ran off with Zidane because she wanted to find her Uncle to advise her about her mum, which is fair enough but not as interesting as founding a rebel faction of freedom fighters. That said Dagger played her part in the game and contributed to the story in her own boring way. No point in hating on her. She had a few good points, I think. Female Final Fantasy characters are hardly the well rounded female icons some people want them to be.
And lets not forget. Due to the two dimensionality of video game characters. And particularly since FF's 6,7, 8, and 9 don't have any voice acting, only text in speech bubbles. It's very easy to project a personality onto a character. It's easy to misinterpret the intention of a character in a videogame when there is little body language and no tone of voice with just a little collection of polygons to represent her.
That said. I don't really give a damn about Rinoa. Selphie was my fave girl in FF8. She was weak as fuck physically but she had NUNCHUCKS.
What it boils down to is this. Rinoa, Dagger, and all characters like them, suck.