This is part of the Blaugust series!
In yesterday’s post, I wrote about my teenage discovery of JRPGs through the SNES version of Final Fantasy II/IV. So, what’s a creative kid-turned-FFIV-fan to do back at a time when there were no smartphones, no tablets, not a single computer in the house, before Windows 95 existed, and the Internet wasn’t even something I could have imagined?
Well, write fan fiction before I ever knew that something called “fanfic” existed!
I was caught up on the ending of FFIV, really torn at the thought that these two brothers who had fought against each other, and found each other, were now going to be separated for good.
No! I thought, like so many future fanfiction writers of any fandom. This was not the way the story should end!
So, I sat down and put my pencil to many loose-leaf pieces of wide rule notebook paper and started writing a sequel! Yes. I wrote my first fan fiction long-hand, and I actually still have that draft in a folder in a box under my bed.
There was no Internet to look up game information, fan art, other stories… or blogs to share this creation in. I was just a silly kid who collected what little I could get my hands on about my favorite game, the pictured Nintendo Power Magazine issue included.
There was also no outside influence on the story and the characters I began to develop, some who I began to expand upon from what little I saw of them in the game. While FFIV was awesome for its time, it has nothing on newer JRPGs in the way of deep character development. However, it was this very thing that provided a canvas for young fans like myself to come in and make our own explorations of: What happened next? Who exactly is this character when they take off their armor? How do they fit into the world of the Blue Planet? And what happened to those Lunars and their flying whales anyhow?
It wasn’t until many years later, when I went to college and discovered the Internet for the first time (1997?) that I realized there was something called “fanfic” and I wasn’t the only one who wrote such things. However, during that time, there was no Fanfiction.net or Archive of Our Own. But there was a thing called Geocities…
-To Be Continued-
I remember this issue! Oh, the memories. 🙂
I’d have to dig it out, but I still have it somewhere! 🙂
Oh ho, fanfiction! I still remember the first proper one I ever put up on FanFiction.Net – a Dynasty Warriors piece, in… 2004? How about that? You’re seven years ahead of me again!
It’s great to hear you still have the very first draft of the very first fanfiction you wrote. I do as well – I think it’s really important for us creative types to hold on to our roots, no matter how silly, childish, or insipid they seem to us now.
I have a hard time throwing things away. I have all kinds of old artwork from back in my teen years, right along with those drafts of stories that I wrote out by hand. I also put a date on everything because I like knowing when I drew or wrote something.
Just folders and folders of stuff. I should probably clean some of it out, but it’s difficult for me to do!
xD If it helps, you’re not alone. My first (and only) facfic was written longhand, before it was big online, and I still have all 3 drafts. *snorts* It was for the Xfiles though, not gaming. ^^ I also keep a lot of my old creative work, looking through it sometimes cheers me up if I’m having trouble writing.
What I DID do with FFII (IV) and FFIII (VI) was incorporate the characters into the “Pretend Life” my little brother and I used to play. Our pretend world was always gaming based, but before that it was mostly Mario games. (Mario was the bad guy because I like Bowser).
Hey, making up adventures during “Pretend Life” totally counts! I know my sister and I did the same thing. 🙂
EDIT: The point I was trying to make is that even though I didn’t write the stories down, the Pretend-Life thing also kept the characters alive for us and allowed us to fill in the gaps about who these characters were. 🙂
Oh Geocities <3
Yes, Geocities! 😀
I actually wrote some Starcraft Fanfic for a school assignment in highschool. Of course the internet was around and all that, but it was still fun to imagine what would happen next after the end of Brood War.
I also remember reading a lot of fantasy novels back then and then having to do oral presentation book reports on them, and getting nothing but blank stares from my classmates as I had to explain what Elves and Orcs were. Sigh. How much it sucked to be a nerd back then.
You had way more guts than I did, then. I kept all my nerd stuff secret. I actually still do.
Man, so many fond memories of that game. Really interested to read more about your experiences as they seem very different than mine; given I seem at least a few years older than you. The desire to rewrite the ending is really interesting! Being the game developer in pupal stage I was, I dug into the game mechanics as best I could understand. It’s interesting to read more in-depth analyses that have happened since then.
Anyway, carry on fellow Blaugust adventurer! 🙂
If you haven’t yet shared that fanfiction, you completely should! It’s so neat to hear how you’ve gotten into gaming and writing and how they’ve pretty much gone hand-in-hand for you! 🙂
Absolutely! I wrote about it and shared it in today’s post! 😀
Beware old writing, though.
Man, I remember FF2 as well. I loved the original game to death, and was super-excited for the next version.
I love reading about your experiences, as they’re so similar and so different than mine. Being a game developer in the pupal stage, I was more into the mechanics than the writing and story, so I wanted to figure out other interesting gameplay options.
I remember being blown away when I learned that there were little secrets like being able to save that one character. Or that in the Japanese “hard” version you could save those other two characters later; my friend and I always wondered why you could open up an item menu when you couldn’t save them in the U.S. version!
Yeah, it’s still odd to me that there was a Japanese “hard” version of the game and that they went through so much trouble to make it easier for US players. I guess they thought that we’d never really seen anything like this before, so better make the barrier of entry as low as could be! 🙂