When I started writing The Crystal Bearer way back in 2004 (goodness grief), I was in the middle of playing Final Fantasy IX for the first time. I absolutely adore that game, might play it for a third time. I moved onto X shortly after, and I noticed recurring themes that often took place in these games, some of which I incorporated into my story.
Orphans - I feel like only one game explained why there are so many orphans in the games, and that was FFVIII. The Sorceress War took out several parents. Many moms died during childbirth. Sadly, both happen in real life.
Separation - Whether in the beginning or somewhere in the middle of the story, in many of the FF games, all of the characters get separated somehow. Whether it be Cloud falling into the Lifestream or Yuna's guardians being jailed in a maze-like prison, and you have to find each other to get out alive, FF characters aren't allowed to remain together 100% of the time.
Airships - Though I've always seen them as more steampunk, only one of the FF games had a steampunk feel in the technology of its world, and that was FFIX. Medieval royalty with steam-powered machines and vehicles made for whimsical scenery. Many of the games were more fantasy, and sci-fi only came into play a little more once FFVII was released. Be that as it may, all of the games have airships in them, either the traditional design or more modern/futuristic ones.
Fantastical creatures - Chocobos, moogles, very memorable creatures that can get you from one place to another safely. They also come with fun sounds. Kupo! The monsters the FF characters come across on a regular basis also ranged from the normal to the bizarre. A green seal with glowing eyes and a butcher knife? RUN. A floating ball of fire? Kill it before it explodes! As there are a million games, these creatures have evolved over the years and remain fan favorites.
Unrequited love - Someone's almost always already dead before a character can tell them they're in love with them. In FFVI, Locke's girlfriend was in a coma and preserved for eternity by a crazy scientist (might I also add that crazy scientists are a recurring theme, too). Let's not forget Cloud and Aeris in FFVII *sniff*.
Actually, I don't think that's one of themes I use, but it's still a given in FF games.
Last but not least, epic battles before the epic battle - There was almost always a hard boss to fight before the final boss. Sometimes, like with Ultima Weapon in FFVIII and Ozma in FFIX, they're optional and harder to fight than the final boss, so you have to decide if you're going to be that fan. With VIII, I was. With IX, I didn't care anymore.
Writers: do you have themes you like to incorporate into your writing?
Readers/gamers: what have been your favorite themes in books or video games?
Have a good weekend!