It’s amazing how you can feel so at home in a room full of strangers.
The Final Fantasy community in the UK is nothing short of fantastic – I’ve never met so many kind, welcoming people in one place. You go out of there with more friends than you had on the way in, that’s for sure. The wonderful people over at Final Fantasy Union, and the mods of Final Fantasy UK fans put together the third in what is hopefully of many fan gatherings last week, and I had a wonderful time. Team Commander Shepherd lives on…
I was lucky enough to be Team Ambassador from what shall be henceforth known as Team Prompto-Shepherd, which was great, since I got to boss everyone around during the pub quiz. We kicked off with that, and, as usual, I didn’t know half of it, because I’m a bad fan and only played from X onwards (I tried playing the first one. The key word being tried) but to my astonishment, my wonderful team pulled through.
We were in the top four, I think? And let me tell you, that’s a miracle for any team I’m usually in – the last social I went to was all XIV related, where I promptly claimed myself team mascot and nothing else. Team Prompto-Shepherd, however, had a wonderful collection of Final Fantasy fans who knew all sorts of tiny bits of trivia, and most importantly, had played more than about five games in the entire franchise. We prospered, and it was beautiful. Team Prompto-Shepherd forever. Long may we reign.
Some of the guys bought (obviously Final Fantasy themed) shots to celebrate, and let me tell you, those things were lethal, and I only had two of them! Very nice, admittedly, but definitely lethal before midday. So on that slightly tipsy note, we were on to the Kingsglaive Q and A session, and the signing.
It was so cool getting to hear about how the guys had worked on Kingsglaive, and genuinely, how much they enjoyed it. It was very obviously a labour of love for all those involved, especially for the ones who said how much they adored the franchise and how thrilled they’d been to be working on it. Kingsglaive was truly a unique opportunity for not only the actors, but the filmmakers themselves, and I can’t help but hope this sets a new precedence for the video game industry. There’s so much story to be told, and not all of it can necessarily be done via an interactive medium; with so much lore just kicking about behind the scenes (Yes, FNC mythos, I’m looking at you) it seems such a shame to waste it.
After that was the signing – I took along the promo poster I’d picked up from work, as well as my Kingsglaive ticket, forever autographed in pretty silver and gold pen. Combined with the lovely Abbey Road poster I was given on the way out, it’s starting to become a rather lovely collection that definitely isn’t bordering on obsession at all. I should probably get them framed or something. I also got a selfie with the cast, and it’s a photo I can be proud of:
After that, we all descended into chill out time, which had a few things going on in the background – the FF XIV challenge, which I was nowhere near skilled enough to partake in, the demos of FF XV and World of Final Fantasy, which I unfortunately didn’t get to have a go on, and wandering around the vendors and all their lovely wares.
We had Fozziecraft, with all their lovely badges, as well as the ever present ChocoPom Creations, where I practised incredible restraint and did not spend inordinate amounts on that beautiful Leviathan pom. It was a lovely, chilled out atmosphere; like I said before, no one is a stranger in this community. You make so many friends and connect with people you don’t really know by face. I ran into a lot of people from the Facebook group, which is always funny when you realise exactly who they are. You see a lot of fan communities that get a really bad rep, but the Final Fantasy one is genuinely very sweet and kind – I’m proud to be a part of it.
Then came the raffle. In case you don’t know, I have an obscene amount of luck when it comes to these draws, and I only bought ten tickets. We had three draws this time – one for a very rare, gorgeous, Dissidia ring, one for a Cloud Strife PAK, and the third for a bunch of misc items. I went five for five with the ring and the misc bunch, and I didn’t get the ring. Instead, I managed to win a very interesting CD sampler, and twice on the same item – a Theatrhythm CD. Needless to say, that found a new home pretty quickly, and all was well in the world. After that, it was home time, which felt like it came around all too quickly, but to lessen the blow, we got the awesome Abbey Road poster:
It’s huge and probably won’t fit on my wall, but none of that matters. This event was originally earmarked to celebrate the release of XV in a couple of weeks, but obviously, that didn’t go according to plan. That being said, the community took it very well, and I couldn’t be more proud of them; no matter how long the delay, none of that will phase us. We’re a great bunch of friends, and I can’t wait until Final Fantasy brings us together again.