Human Grace

Title: Human Grace
Subject: Kain Highwind of Final Fantasy IV
Owner: Emma of Rydia.nu
URL: http://kain.rydia.nu

What makes this shrine amazing: When Samantha and I were discussing which shrine we each wanted to feature here first, mine was an easy choice. Human Grace contains all of the things I love in shrines: a clear and engaging introduction to the game, personal experience and perception, thought-provoking analysis and opinions, and evident passion for the game and character.

Emma clearly loves Kain and Final Fantasy IV, and presents them both in a way that old and new fans of the game alike can understand and appreciate. Her introduction to Final Fantasy IV details not only the history of this 20+ year-old game, but discusses its various ports, and the pros and cons of each from her personal experience playing them. If you have never heard of or played Final Fantasy IV, Human Grace’s Introduction is a great guide for deciding which version of the game to pick up.

The entire shrine is written in a very conversational tone, which works very well for this particular game. Final Fantasy IV can be unintentionally hilarious, and Emma doesn’t miss a beat. Emma’s personal insight into things like Dragoon Pigeons, Carnelian Stones, and …ellipses are absolute treats to be found within her articles.

And then, of course, there is the way Emma presents Kain. Kain is not the hero of Final Fantasy IV, and he is not dashing or upstanding in the choices he makes. He is flawed, heavily flawed, and Emma accepts and stresses this fact. She took a look at the choices he made, and explored them from his point of view. She didn’t try to justify his actions, but explained why he might have made the decisions he made, looking at his relationships, his past, and his actions in the game. She stressed what was human about Kain, and she gave me a newfound appreciation for his character.

Human Grace is a shrine everyone should visit, whether you have played Final Fantasy IV or not. Emma introduces the game incredibly well to new fans, and her passion for it is contagious; you’ll probably walk away from this shrine wanting to play it. Old and current fans of the game will find a good bit to enjoy as well, like Emma’s unique view of Kain, and the connections Emma drew between Kain and mythology. Human Grace has been up in various forms for years, and I consider it a staple in the Final Fantasy shrine community. I hope it’s up for years to come.

One Response to Human Grace

  • Samantha says:

    I knew nothing about Kain other than his appearance in one of the few times I played Final Fantasy 012 Dissidia. Emma does a great job of not only introducing both the game and Kain himself, but also exploring his inner workings and relationships with others. I especially enjoyed the symbols and mythology, and the betrayal and honor pages. Congratulations, Emma!

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