Last night, Nintendo announced that just about all of the main Final Fantasy games from the PlayStation and PS2 eras were coming to their Switch console—except one. Missing from the line-up, despite the presence of Final Fantasy VII, IX, X, X-goddamn-2, and XII, was 1999's Final Fantasy VIII, a hilarious slight to a video game that even its rights holders know probably kind of deserves it.
The internet, much like someone learning the ropes of FFVIII’s time-wasting battle system or absorbing its immensely dopey plot twists, was taken aback by the sheer gall on display. The best among the tweets that followed used the game’s protagonist—the brooding sad-sack and early adoptee of Canada Goose jackets, Squall Leonhart—to describe a business decision impossible not to read as a bizarre insult.
Others, saddened that they’ve been denied an opportunity to relive the magical adventure of paramilitary high-schoolers, space witches, and the most potent romance to ever try to recreate Titanic wholesale, made their feelings known, too.
There are solid defenses to make for playing FFVIII, of course, but they will now recede into memory like the storyline of a game that seems to have been written by a deeply emotional, but sadly malfunctioning robot. Exiled from the Final Fantasy family, newer generations may never understand the joys of having to use the “Draw” command on every new monster for hours on end or the raw charisma of characters like “energetic boy in jean shorts,” “energetic girl with improbable hair,” or “cowboy who always hits on women.” Instead, it’s sad to say, the venerable role-playing series will have to live on through the games its creators are more proud of, like the upcoming remaster, Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon: Everybuddy!
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