@[livejournal.com profile] ff_press: [FFVI] [personal profile] justira: Sabin portrait (G)

Daily Doodle: Something of a given, considering yesterday's subject. I only got about two hours of sleep last night (straight to bed from here, tonight), so I'm pretty tired and muzzy and couldn't really get this where I wanted it. But I hope I managed to achieve both family resemblance and individuality.
Time: 30 mins?

Daily Doodle: FFVI - Sabin )
@[livejournal.com profile] ff_press: [FFVI] [personal profile] justira: Edgar portrait (G)

Daily Doodle: Thank you all for your awesome feedback on Larsa! Really helping me figure this likeness business out =D

Today! Today I decided to torture myself. I am actually really, really terrible at getting an exact likeness out of my head and into a drawing (read: look forward to more attempts). And I don't think I've ever before attempted a realistic-ish version of an established character that doesn't already have a realistic-ish render or something like. So this was an adventure. This doesn't really look like I imagine him in my head, but I'm hoping it's at least identifiable.

I'm putting up both versions, just for fun. Please feel free to share your own interpretations and/or make suggestions! =D Thanks to [personal profile] lassarina for catching a problem and for suggestions after my first version!
Time: ~30 mins for the first version, then about 3-4 mins of adjustments

Daily Doodle: FFVI - Edgar )
@[livejournal.com profile] ff_press: [Recs] [personal profile] justira: 5 fics, 1 illustrated fic, 1 comic, 1 art (FFVI, FFVIII, FFX, FFXII)

Wow! That weekend sucked! I don't know why I'm having such a terrible year! This reccing thing is fast becoming some kind of Dealing Mechanism. Well! Last call for DOINK! Final Fantasy exchange signups -- they're closing!

This appears to be my self-indulgence installment. One such indulgence is apparently Ashe? It's funny, she's not my favourite character in FFXII (I don't dislike her, I do find her interesting, but there are definitely others I like much more) and yet I apparently get the hugest kick out of a well-done Ashe in fic. Huh.

[Art] FFVI - SAND IN MY BOOT (Kefka) by [livejournal.com profile] muura
Rating | Warnings: G, no warnings
Notes: FFEX 2007 Chocobo Down — Kefka

Squee: A classic line/scene in an awesome style! I adore this artist's bright colours and unique look — both look awesome on Kefka, and there's something about they way this is drawn that brings Amano's design to vibrant, vibrant life. Kefka's expression and petulance are perfect.

[Illustrated Fic] FFVI - Spaces (Celes/Locke) by [personal profile] seventhe and [livejournal.com profile] safety_caesars
Rating | Warnings: PG13, spoilers through the end of the game.
Notes: FFEX 2007 Gift for [personal profile] lassarinaLocke/Celes. I would prefer a romantic relationship (explicit content utterly optional), although it's up to you whether it's an established relationship or one that is in the process of growing. I'd really love to see something about how they negotiate the rough spots that are part of any relationship, given all his scars and her general lack of ability to deal with emotions and things that cannot be categorized. Meta is always a plus. 4,700 words + 3 illustrations
Summary: A moment between Locke and Celes, as they try to fit their relationship into and around the holes in their lives.

Squee: There's something very fleshed-out and full about the feel of this story, especially with the pictures interleavened — all the little details, weaving together post-game meta and Celes's feelings and hints of a wider plot into something that really feels like a slice of life: four-dimensional and quietly vivid. The illustrations match the mood perfectly and are well-executed and lovely in their own right. I love how magic is presented as a lost sense to Celes; how the characters — the world — deal with that loss. Both Celes and Locke are great here, but Celes as the POV character really shines. Their dynamic is excellent, the way they dance around each other and are still so honest and direct.

[Comic] FFVIII - On The Run (Zell, Selphie, Irvine, some surprises) by [livejournal.com profile] darthneko
Rating | Warnings: PG13 (minor swearing), spoilers through Galbadia sort of
Notes: FFEX 2009 Gift for [livejournal.com profile] wallwalkerZell, Selphie and Irvine. Laying low during a mission gone horribly wrong, licking their wounds (so to speak) and making plans to get out of trouble. 4 pages

Squee: Oh my god, oh my god, the last page. The tension builds so excellently through the first pages, and then the last page is— man, I am not going to spoil it. It's just worth it. What I really love about this little comic is how it gives such an intense slice of an alternate reality — the minute I saw this I immediately could imagine all sorts of things to fill in the before and after the story — or, better yet, what this awesome artist would come up with. It's amazing how much storytelling and worldbuilding this artist manages to pack into so few pages, and layout-wise I love the first and last pages especially, how they mirror each other.

[Fic] FFVIII - Gefälschte (Squall/Laguna) by [livejournal.com profile] sumthinlikhuman
Rating | Warnings: NC17 like woah, hinty spoilers for their relationship
Notes: FFEX 2007 Chocobo Down — Squall and Laguna. Gen or Slash, any rating. 1,648 words
Summary: He looks like her. I shouldn't be thinking like this.

Squee: This story is ugly in the best way. It's harsh and sharp and unlovely and — for this ship? — perfect. The relationship is broken and dysfunctional and strangely intense, all of which exactly hits the spot for my Squall/Laguna. This take on Laguna is very conflicted and bitter, which is different from most of the Laguna I've read before — and I like it. There's something showcasing his weaknesses here that strikes me as just right; and the way those echo off Squall. It's wrong all over, and I love it.

[Fic] FFVIII - The Worth of Memory (Quistis/Rinoa, Xu, Squall, Kadowaki) by [personal profile] seventhe
Rating | Warnings:
Notes: FFEX 2009 Gift for [livejournal.com profile] aesriellaQuistis, with Xu, Rinoa, Seifer or Irvine, recovering from, working through or living the immediate aftermath of a difficult or draining experience with a GF, be it junctioning, withdrawal, an experiment or otherwise. Quiet, gentle romance, please. Additional prompts: Hands, farsighted, double vision (figurative or literal), sun on the water, understanding. 3,400 words
Summary: The Guardian Forces take memories as currency, but some ask for more than others.

Squee: OKAY so it's really hard to rec this properly qithout spoiling it? There's an excellent Quistis, there's gut-punching Quistis/Rinoa (you'll know it when you see it), there's GF and memory and Sorceress/Knight meta, there's hinty-hinty FFVI tidbits — really, I love it. The way Quistis's memory fragments is so excellently handled, and I love how differently various characters respond to it. The payoff is great; I reread this thing several times to make sure I got everything ♥

[Fic] FFX - On the Precipice of the World (Yuna, Rikku, Tidus, Cast) by [livejournal.com profile] cyrnelle
Rating | Warnings: PG. Explicit spoilers through Gagazet, vague for everything after.
Notes: FFEX 2009 Gift for [livejournal.com profile] xianghuaI think the culture of the summoners is fascinating. Why do some summoners have tons of guardians and others one or none? What makes someone decide to become a summoner — and how does the church of the summoners keep it from being suicide by giant monster for every emo idiot who comes along? My favourite characters are Yuna and Tidus, and I think the way that their relationship echoes, in some ways, the relationships of their fathers throughout X is really interesting. 6,400 words
Summary: The closer they get to Zanarkand, the harder it gets to let go.

Squee: This piece is very quiet and introspective — which, considering the POV characters are Rikku and Tidus, is quite a neat trick to pull off so well. As suggested by the prompt, this discusses Spira and summoning culture — I particularly like a scene near the beginning with Rikku running after a minor character — it's unique and insightful. Overall this story is a lovely little breather, with great voices for all the characters. It's touching and poignant without being overwhelming — it feels like the worried, anxious calm before the storm.

[Fic] FFXII - By Halves (Ashe/Rasler) by [livejournal.com profile] mithrigil
Rating | Warnings: PG13, very very vague spoilers so not really?
Notes: FFEX 2009 Gift for [livejournal.com profile] churchedAshe/Rasler, their last night together. Max rating, R. 1,000 words
Summary: On traps, and relics, and things neither will say.

Squee: This story has a kind of stark sensuality that's absolutely lovely. It's the starkness that gets me, how real and immediate this feels, unadorned but beautiful. Ashe is perfect here, as is the mood, taut and slightly sullen and quietly desperate and fierce. I love the unresolved feeling at the end, perfectly suited to the piece. If I had to pick one word? Effective. So very effective.

[Fic] FFXII - Political Considerations (Ashe/Balthier) by [livejournal.com profile] owlmoose
Rating | Warnings: PG13, spoilers for Balthier's backstory and vague for the end of the game
Notes: FFEX 2009 Gift for [personal profile] lassarinaBalthier/Ashe. Romantic relationship preferred, explicit content optional. A big caveat to start this request: I hate submissive Ashe with the fire of a thousand suns, and I very much dislike it when a fic hand-waves away issues that prevent them from living Happily Ever After OMG (things like her throne, and his refusal to be chained down.) Things I dislike out of the way, let's talk about what I do like: I love them snarking. I love them being bittersweet. I love Balthier's performative aspects, and Ashe's need for personal control (because she doesn't get to control much else...) I'd really like to see something that focused on these - maybe a hunt, or perhaps they get separated from the party, or even (post-game-end) he comes by to visit her through some clever ploy or ruse that is unnecessarily elaborate. Or you could go the route where he's been captured for piracy within the bounds of Dalmasca and Ashe metes out an appropriate punishment. :) 5,018 words
Summary: A year after Ashe's coronation, she faces up to some realities of her position.

Squee: Another piece with an awesome Ashe. I love her here: strong and practical, direct in her desires and her politicking, independent and demanding. This story addresses the realities of this ship with grace and care and realism — I particularly love the political conversation Ashe and Balthier have on the Coast. So very satisfying a read!

@[livejournal.com profile] ff_press: [Recs] [personal profile] justira: 5 fics, 2 arts (FFI, FFIV, FFVI, FFVIII, FFX-2, FFXII)

I'm having a terrible week and DOINK! signups are on! SO what time is it? That's right! FFEX reccing time! Behold the amazing things FFEX has brought forth! DOES IT MAKE YOU WANT TO JOIN THE PARTY OR WHAT. You can learn about the exchange at [community profile] ff_exchange or [livejournal.com profile] ff_exchange /shameless plug

But seriously, I never cease to be delighted by the amazing things people have made. Have some recs =)

[Art] FFI - Sunset hobbies (Red Mage, Black Mage, White Mage) by [livejournal.com profile] tlc010
Rating | Warnings: G, no warnings
Notes: FFEX 2007 Gift for [livejournal.com profile] admiral_jRed Mage/Black Mage/White Mage. Mixed genders, please, and avoid 8-Bit Theater as inspiration. Beyond that, go nuts

Squee: Straight up: One of my favourite pieces of FF art EVER. And it's for an early, underloved game, no less! This thing has probably been recced all over the place and seen by everyone but I DON'T CARE because it deserves the attention and if anyone missed it they need to see it immediately. Besides the incredible quality of the art, I love that the artist flipped the usual genders for white and black mages — male white mage! female black mage! LITTLE BABY CHICOBO. The costume designs are excellent; they really feel like something people might actually wear and travel and go adventuring in. The lighting is amazing, and I adore the red mage doing his wood-carvy thing in the background. Not enough hearts in the world.

[Fic] FFIV - Under Fire (Rydia) by [livejournal.com profile] stealth_noodle
Rating | Warnings: PG, spoilers through the Feymarch
Notes: FFEX 2009 Gift for [livejournal.com profile] sister_coyoteRydia. Rydia delights me with her strength, her courage and her spirit. Anything that highlights her personality would make me very happy, whether it was Rydia on an adventure or just a slice-of-life piece. I'm a sucker for Rydia/Edge, but pairing is not necessary; gen would also be fine, or friendship-fic with just about anyone. 6,940 words
Summary: With the aid of her Eidolons, Rydia makes a perilous journey across the Underworld to reunite with her friends.

Squee: This is all Rydia, Rydia and eidolons, and the Rydia is perfect; exactly as I could imagine her being at this point in her life. Young but full of arcane knowledge, a little uncertain but endlessly brave, stubborn and smart and surer of the eidolons than she is of people. The prose here rolls comfortably along with a great voice and really amazing little pearls of simile and imagery; there are individual personalities and quirks for each of the eidolons; and as a bonus there is even some meta! But mostly it is the story of Rydia re-emerging, and it is wonderful.

[Fic] FFVI - Dissolution (Edgar/Sabin) by [personal profile] seventhe
Rating | Warnings: NC17. Spoilers for Figaro and twin storyline. Twincest, questionable consent, sex between minors (they're 17). As the aithor says, this story rolled in a pile of wrong. And it's glorious.
Notes: FFEX 2009 Gift for [livejournal.com profile] wounded_melodyEdgar x Sabin; first time, perhaps a bit of dub con or very heavy persuasion. 27,000 words
Summary: The death of a king, the future of a country, and the bond between two brothers: the story of how Edgar let Sabin go.

Squee: Okay, uh. I am pretty much guaranteed to re-rec this thing a million times because it's JUST THAT AWESOME. The author has done an AMAZING job fleshing out these characters and their history. This is undoubtedly a shipping story, but it's also a story about grief, and growing up, and it's one of those rare shiptastic stories that I'd happily push on anyone (who's not squicked by the warnings) because it stands on its own as an amazing story, period. Both Edgar and Sabin are handled excellently here, complex and whole and so painfully young and angry. They both feel real and three-dimensional and complicated — and funny. Watching Edgar try to logic his way out of the mess is... kind of heartbreaking and hilarious at once. The various warned-for things are handled so well, too — the twincest is some of the finest I've read, ever, with all the wrong wrong wrong intact and delicious. The punch at the end is satisfying and sad and a perfect ending-that's-also-a-beginning.

[Art] FFVIII - Sunset (Quistis) by [livejournal.com profile] darthneko
Rating | Warnings: G, no warnings or spoilers.
Notes: FFEX 2009 Chocobo Down — FFVIII: Quistis, and the ocean, with her feet in the sand. Happy, calm and still, with or without company (Xu, Seifer, Irvine or, perhaps, Rinoa) in the background. Either alone or being watched, from her perspective or the watcher's. Additional Prompts: Coral shells, homecoming, wind in her hair, seeing the dawn and/or seeing sunsets (figurative or literal in either case).
Summary: Surf, sand, wind and the scent of home

Squee: There are so many things I love about this! The mood, atmosphere, colours — peaceful without being delicate; serene and lovely and strong. The strength is really what gets me here — Quistis looks tough and competent just standing there; I love her powerful shoulders and the gently emphasized musculature — she's a soldier and it shows. And yet there's something slightly vulnerable and far-away in her stance, her face. I love it.

[Fic] FFVIII - Colour Coded (Ellone/Quistis, Ellone/Rinoa) by [personal profile] temples
Rating | Warnings: PG for dark imagery, spoilers through late in the game
Notes: FFEX 2009 Moogle Fluff — FFVIII, Ellone, Rinoa, and/or Quistis, meta about magic, blue magic, and their connection to each other in the grand scheme. 670 words
Summary: She'd never admit it, but darkness calls louder than light.

Squee: I love the quiet intensity here, the strength of the imagery and how much comes across in such a short piece. It's dark and I love it, how Quistis and Rinoa's magics are presented differently, how each is viewed through the lens of Ellone's own abilities. The meta here is great, too, without overwhelming Ellone's presence. And, of course, I will love a story if it's Bechdel Central. This is rich without being overpowering, short but substantial.

[Fic] FFX-2 - Persistence of Memory (Paine/Nooj) by [personal profile] renay
Rating | Warnings: G, spoilers left right and centre
Notes: FFEX 2009 Gift for [livejournal.com profile] owlmoosePaine/Nooj, their first kiss. Funny and awkward, or thoughtful and angsty, or leaping on each other like crazed voles, or a little bit of all three: it's all good. 24,000 words
Summary: Paine and Nooj went their separate ways, but when a mutual friend and shared industry bring them back together, they must work side by side and face their respective truths of an unfriendly parting.

Squee: Okay so, I don't really care if you like the main pairing (Paine/Nooj) at all — this needs to be read for the meta alone. Spheres! Spheres spheres spheres, pyrefly meta everywhere. This is possibly the most unique take on spheres I've yet seen. Well, okay, I lied earlier — there is also excellently drawn-out UST, and politics— politics aplenty. I really love Paine here, prickly but vulnerable, smart and capable and slowly opening up. I love how everyone was affected by Shuyin, what traces that leaves for all of them, how Nooj deals with it, how Paine deals with Nooj dealing with it. And man, when all of it comes to a head in the end, Paine and Nooj's conversation/encounter just kind of took my breath away. Hearts.

[Fic] FFXII - Necrohol (Basch, Fran) by [livejournal.com profile] alimond
Rating | Warnings: G, many many spoilers
Notes: FFEX 2009 Gift for [livejournal.com profile] gunshouFran and Basch. Outsiders, running away, sibling issues. Maybe awkward campfire conversations - both tend to be silent if not spoken to or offering guidance. Definitely a fascination with physical appearance. 1,181 words
Summary: We all carry secrets in our hearts. In some cases, those secrets are other people.

Squee: I love this series of short vignettes — the imagery here, the writing is powerful without being flowery or overwhelming. It's a kind of very direct and unadorned poetry; there are a number of phrases here that just punched me right in the gut. Simple but so, so effective. I love the insights into Fran and Basch here, their similarities, their differences. The mention of Fran and consumption versus discovery hit me especially hard, but I love all such moments in this story. Possibly one of my favourite takes on the two of them together.


@[livejournal.com profile] ff_press: [Recs] [personal profile] justira: 3 fic recs, 2 art recs (FFVI, FFVIII, FFIX, FFX, FFT)

Okay guys! There has been a LOT of woe in my journal lately! Sorry about that. I try not to leak all over the place. To offset all of the woe-ing, here are happy things!

DOINK! Final Fantasy Exchange is finally gearing up, and signups are open! WOOOO! Read all about the goings-on at one of our news comms, [community profile] ff_exchange or [livejournal.com profile] ff_exchange. FFEX has been lucky enough to have some amazing people producing incredible gifts under its aegis. SO. Time for a long-overdue mini rec-post!

[Art] FFVI - Gotta make a good impression! (Gau, Sabin, Terra) by [livejournal.com profile] safety_caesars
Rating | Warnings: G, spoilers for an optional mini-scene in the game
Notes: FFEX 2009 Phoenix Down — Gau and Sabin brotherly love, Terra should be there too!

Squee: The expressions. THE EXPRESSIONS. Are perfect. I just. I have no other words for them. This artist also has a knack for making Amano's costumes actually look like people could live in them; in this particular case, Sabin's rather blingy and delicate tank top actually looks manly. Also amazing: Sabin actually looks like his brother here; I flailed about that so hard in my comment. Terra looks so sweet and young in just the right way, and Gau, beyond having an absolutely priceless expression, somehow looks hot. WHAT.

[Fic] FFVIII - Small Things (Squall/Rinoa) by [livejournal.com profile] invocations
Rating | Warnings: G, no spoilers
Notes: FFEX 2007 Moogle Fluff — ...Squall/Rinoa romance. >.> 670 words
Summary: Just a small moment in which Squall takes itty-bitty steps forward.

Squee: The characterization here is just so spot on! It's short and sweet and the narration so fittingly, amazingly Squall. This strikes just the right note of Squall/Rinoa for me: sweet in a rounabout kind of way, Squall taking small steps outside himself, imperfect and grumpy and just right.

[Art] FFIX - Pub Night (Zidane, Freya, Blank, Steiner, Beatrix) by [livejournal.com profile] sonopants
Rating | Warnings: G, possibly super minor spoilers but not really?
Notes: FFEX 2009 Gift for [livejournal.com profile] roughhandssAnything from IX. Zidane, mm. Freya, mm. Blank!!!mm. Steiner/Beatrix is hot too.

Squee: This is in watercolours. Amazing, vibrant watercolours! Everyone's expressions are so awesome here, and this artist's style together with the watercolours feels so right for FFIX. Everyone looks lively and full of (fun) emotion. The interactions between all the characters is just great, too, and I will never, ever stop laughing at how badly Zidane is losing here. Hearts forever and a half.

[Fic] FFX - Shades of Red (Braska, Auron) by [livejournal.com profile] marmaladecat
Rating | Warnings: PG, some spoilers for the game's backstory
Notes: FFEX 2007 Gift for [livejournal.com profile] owlmooseAuron with Braska and/or Kinoc, pre-pilgrimage. Gen preferred, subtext okay. 1,029 words
Summary: It's the strangest things that stand out.

Squee: Oh, oh gosh, this fic is just so beautifully sad. I love the relationships here, Auron's protectiveness. The red theme is wonderfully worked in, and just, everything about this story is so effective and lovely. So few words, so much feeling and affect; scenes and moments chosen so well. It's short, but it's heartbreaking, and it hits my FFX backstory buttons so, so hard.

[Fic] FFT - Antipyretic (Agrias, Ramza, Mustadio, Beowulf, Alma, Reis, Lavian. Beowulf/Reis) by [livejournal.com profile] ovo_lexa
Rating | Warnings: PG13, party spoilers plus vague general spoilers
Notes: FFEX 2009 Gift for [livejournal.com profile] mithrigil"Fear and loathing with job classes." Take that as you will. 2,266 words
Summary: There are two ways of getting ahead: the slow, safe way that takes a lifetime to master and the fast, dangerous way that takes others’ lives.

Squee: My meta-loving heart just about died when I read this. Job class/crystal meta! In FFT! I AM NOT SURE I COULD BE MORE THRILLED. This also hits my "voices in your head" kink so hard (one of the reasons I love summons and summoning meta so much). Basically I could roll in the meta here all day. The punchline is heartbreaking and amazing, the disoriented and desperate air so good. Deliciously, deliciously creepy.

BASICALLY everyone should come play so amazing work like this keeps happening! SO MUCH LOVE TO ALL OF YOU! <3
@[livejournal.com profile] ff_press: [FFVI] [livejournal.com profile] justira: Calm Before... (Cyan) (G)

Daily Doodle: Guys, I like this one enough that I not only gave it a NAME but I am also posting a CLOSE-UP of my favourite part as the preview.


It's still totally a doodle and very rough, but I actually really like how his face especially came out. I seem to be kicking off another potential theme week -- something about underloved characters or old dudes or something. I was looking at various katana-related pose refs and there were plenty with more movement but this pose caught my eye -- I felt like it could fit Cyan, in a moment of just calm determination. I really like Cyan, and I wanted to show him... ready but still.

I still can't draw katanas (or weapons in general) for balls, though.

Anyway, my favourite part is definitely his face. I made up his armour (I am told this is just what one DOES with older, Amano-only FFs). And um. That's that? Crit's always welcome, I promise I'm working on my replies!
Time: lost track -- 1 hour maybe? less, I think. Call it 45 mins.

Daily Doodle: FFVI - Calm Before... (Cyan) (G) )




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