299: Aeris Dies
Title text: It's bad enough that all the families in your Sims are just you and Maggie recreated over and over.
From the looks of this comic, there is a friend here who had a loved one (named 'Maggie') who died. Cueball tries to help him by comparing his plight to a significant plot point in the popular game Final Fantasy VII for the PlayStation 1 in 1997, the plot point being the permanent death of Aerith Gainsborough (originally translated as "Aeris"), the last of a race called 'the Ancients' and a potential love interest of the main character of the game. Although technically being a spoiler due to its significance and dissonance to the plot, Aerith's death became one of the most iconic video game scenes of all time, leading to its referencing and even parodies throughout the game community (some even depicting her revenge on Sephiroth, the main antagonist of the game and her murderer).
The word 'permanent' was not meant for redundancy in the last paragraph; the developers wanted to symbolize how death is unexpected, leaving you with an empty feeling, filled only by regret. Therefore, when they received word about how much people wanted Aerith to be brought back to life, they felt that they succeeded with evoking the right feelings with her death. Even so, due to all the significance her death brought, the developers refused to officially resuscitate her.
That did not stop other people from modifying the game in order to unofficially resuscitate her, though. Cueball feels really troubled that his friend would take such a course of action (especially with a fictional character, admittedly) instead of dealing with her death. His friend takes this to more disturbing levels, wanting to 'mod' Cueball with Maggie's clothes, turning Cueball into a 'substitute Maggie.'
The title text references The Sims, a series of life simulation games where you can create virtual people (the aforementioned Sims), set their appearances, and essentially mess around with their lives. Cueball notes that his friend already attempted to 'recreate' Maggie and him (repeatedly at that) using the simulation abilities in the games of his The Sims series.
- [Two men are talking. The second man is sitting on the ground, hugging his knees to his chest.]
- Cueball: Maggie's gone. You can't bring her back.
- Friend: But I have to, she's a part of my life.
- Cueball: *sigh*
- Cueball: Okay, let me put this in your terms.
- Cueball: Remember when Aeris died in FFVII? It was sad, but you had to keep playing.
- Friend: Actually, I downloaded a mod to add her back to my party. It changed other character's appearances and dialogue to hers so you didn't have to lose her.
- Friend: Lots of gamers did it.
- [Cueball puts his hand on his chin.]
- Cueball: That is troubling on several levels.
- Friend: I wonder if Maggie's old dresses would fit you.
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