I dreamt I was a moron

So, from what we know about Squall so far, he's an antisocial kid and kind of a jerk. (Okay, make that more than kind of.) At this point, one would have to assume that he had a messed up childhood — and, well, he did, but that doesn't come up until later. What's made clear much earlier on in the game is the kind of adult role models Squall's had, and how he doesn't want to be anything like them.

Much like Seifer, Squall is in the teenage rebel phase of his life. Unlike Seifer, though, he doesn't buck authority; on the contrary, he's quite obedient to his superiors. Sure, he went a little off task in Dollet, but Squall wasn't in charge — Seifer was. When Squall's the one getting the orders, he follows them to the letter.

So it's not authority Squall dislikes. It's the attitudes he sees around him. And this is never more obvious than in the first dream sequence with Laguna.

...and, well, you can't really blame him. Don't get me wrong, I love Laguna — he's my favorite character in the game (which begs the question why I'm writing all this crap about Squall, but whatever) — but the guy doesn't exactly cut an impressive figure here. Let's review everything Laguna manages to accomplish in his first appearance.

  1. Abandon his post on the battlefield
  2. Head back home with the express purpose of going to a bar
  3. Sit around drinking with his buddies
  4. Try to approach the girl he likes in the middle of her performance only to get a leg cramp and hobble away instead (see above), rating a -3 on the manliness scale
  5. Somehow get invited up to her hotel room despite #4
  6. Either talk too much or fall asleep on her bed because he drank too much, depending on whether or not Squall has read a certain magazine

Is it any wonder that all Squall can think when he wakes up is that he dreamt he was a moron? Yeah, I didn't think so. Laguna is literally everything Squall can't stand. He ignores orders. He screws around instead of doing what he's supposed to. He talks to himself too much — honestly, Squall, you have no room to talk in that regard, you spend this entire damn game talking to yourself. The point is, dream or no, Laguna isn't the kind of person Squall would give any respect.

Squall doesn't dwell on the dream, mostly because how the hell do you make sense of something like that, but soon afterwards he can have a conversation with an NPC that I find illuminating.

This is an entirely optional conversation with the editor of the Timber Maniacs, but I think it says a lot about Squall's mindset. What Squall hates is the idea of growing up and becoming anything like the adults he sees around him. All of the conversations he can have with this guy have the same theme — the guy goes on about how things were so much better in The Good Old Days, and all Squall sees is someone who's past his prime and can't let go.

The thing about Squall is that, as a 17-year-old on the cusp of adulthood (albeit one tied to SeeD), he has his whole life ahead of him. And one of the few things he is adamant about is that he doesn't want to be anything like the adult role models he's had. He's disgusted by them, and wants to be better than them. Of course, that meeting the editor and Laguna are recent experiences for Squall. But considering how strongly he reacts to both of them, I think it speaks quite strongly to his mentality.

(If you'd like more of my thoughts on Laguna, I've covered him in depth on a separate fansite, Drafted.)

four: so this is what death is all about

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