FF Double Feature: Chocobo and the Airship + Traces of Two Pasts — Birds, debts, and flowers

I get a lot of books from SquareEnix, mostly related to the Final Fantasy franchise. Unfortunately, I don’t always have time to fully read and review them in a way that would do the work justice. I really love covering these, so rather than waiting months until my schedule clears up and another undetermined amount of time for me to actually get through a novel, I present to you the Final Fantasy Double Feature. Today we’ll be looking at the children’s book Chocobo and the Airship as well as Final Fantasy VII Remake: Traces of Two Pasts, a novel in two parts following Tifa and Aerith respectively.

Chocobo and the Airship depicts Chocobo and Cid as they build an airship to save their hometown from the Djin and his army of monsters. The two set off in search of a float stone to complete their creation, and are joined by a party of adventurers along the way. Based on the original Final Fantasy designs, these are a Warrior, Red Mage, Black Mage, and White Mage. It’s a cute adventure that, while not particularly substantive or novel, presents some gorgeous watercolor art. Written by Kazuhiko Aoki and illustrated by Toshiyuki Itahana, this is a fun book kids will enjoy and collectors will like to have on their bookshelves. That said though, despite some cute moments it’s pretty average for a picture book and doesn’t feel terribly “Final Fantasy.”

Traces of Two Pasts takes place in the FF7 Remake timeline, framed as stories Tifa and Aerith tell as the party travels from Kalm to the Chocobo Ranch and on the ferry. I read the entirety of Tifa’s story and the first few sections of Aerith’s. I didn’t actually mean to read that much, which speaks to how interesting these stories are. Tifa’s early life and years starting off in Midgar do come off as a bit too miserable at times, but it’s interesting to see more of beloved characters like Barret and Jesse as well as less prominent characters like her martial arts master Zangan. There are no chapters besides the two halves the book is divided into, so the prose flows very nicely and makes it hard to put down. It does have quite a few sentences or paragraphs that you can tell were difficult to translate from Japanese, but if you’re a fan of these two characters and have a high tolerance for translation-isms you’ll find something to enjoy here.

I may come back to these later, especially since I’ll probably keep reading Traces of Two pasts at my own pace, so keep an eye on Gaming Trend for future reviews and coverage of all things Final Fantasy.

David is the kind of person to wear his heart on his sleeve. He can find positives in anything, like this is a person who loved Star Fox Zero to death. You’ll see him playing all kinds of games: AAAs, Indies, game jam games, games of all genres, and writing about them! Here. On this website. When not writing or playing games, you can find David making music, games, or enjoying a good book.
David’s favorite games include NieR: Automata, Mother 3, and Gravity Rush.

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