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Lulu (Final Fantasy)

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Lulu
200px
Lulu artwork from Final Fantasy X
First game Final Fantasy X
Designed by Tetsuya Nomura
Voiced by (English) Paula Tiso
Voiced by (Japanese) Rio Natsuki
Motion capture actor(s) Yoko Yoshida
Fictional information
Weapon Dolls
Home Besaid

Lulu (ルールー Rūrū?) is a fictional twenty-two-year-old black magic user in the Final Fantasy series, and one of the main characters in Final Fantasy X. She was designed by Tetsuya Nomura, and voiced by Paula Tiso and Rio Natsuki in the English and Japanese versions respectively. She appears as the guardian to the lead female protagonist, Yuna, and is in a relationship with Wakka in Final Fantasy X-2. She appears in a reduced role for Final Fantasy X-2, where she has a child with Wakka named Vidina.

She was designed by Tetsuya Nomura, a regular character designer in the Final Fantasy series, with the intent of combining the look of a fashion model with a Black Mage design, which typically features robes, a floppy hat, and an obscured face that shows only two glowing eyes. She has received positive reception for her role in Final Fantasy X, including being ranked the best character in the game by IGN as well as the 27th hottest video game female by UGO Networks.

Concept and creation

She was designed by Tetsuya Nomura for Final Fantasy X. He has expressed that he wanted her character design to resemble a cross between a fashion model and Black Mage to break the connotation in players' minds of the traditional Final Fantasy Black Mage. This was achieved through – in Nomura's words – Lulu's "eccentric" hair and dress. Lulu therefore deviates from the traditional Black Mage look. She is instead dressed in an outlandish, low-cut, fur-lined, dark grey and black dress that displays her ample cleavage. He has also mentioned that as technology advances, the Final Fantasy games allow for a greater level of detail to be incorporated into characters' outfits, and that he makes a point of challenging the game's visual programmers with his designs. In Final Fantasy X, this challenge came in the form of the interlocking series of belts on the front of Lulu's dress. Nomura said that this design has a specific order to the belts and that each buckles in a specific manner. His challenge to the game's design team was for them to recognize the belts' pattern and keep it consistent throughout the game, from the beginning to end.[1] Because of this, Nomura referenced Lulu's dress as taking a lot of hard work.[2] Another key design aspect of her dress was that it still show an "appropriate" amount of skin for the character, which most notably translated to her cleavage and shoulders being mostly uncovered. She is voiced by Paula Tiso in the English version of Final Fantasy X and by Rio Natsuki in the Japanese version.[citation needed] Lulu sends dolls—including cactuars, moogles, and other Final Fantasy creature types—to attack enemies by proxy. Lulu's Celestial Weapon is the Onion Knight, a homage to Final Fantasy III.

Appearances

Born on the island of Besaid, where she grew up with Wakka, Yuna, and Wakka's younger brother, Chappu, Lulu is often stern and scathing (particularly to Wakka). However, she is nonetheless caring toward others. Lulu was particularly harsh towards Tidus when they first met, but her opinion of him slowly changed for the better as the story progressed. She is also highly intelligent, one of the few Yevonites who easily questions the Yevon religion on objective terms, and is far more accepting of Rikku's Al Bhed nature than Wakka initially was. Before becoming a guardian to Yuna, Lulu guarded two previous summoners whose pilgrimages abruptly ended. Her second pilgrimage, that of Father Zuke, ended in the Calm Lands (a common decision among summoners).[3][4][5] The pilgrimage of the first summoner Lulu guarded, Lady Ginnem, was cut short by her death in the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth.[6][7] This event still troubles Lulu's memories, but when Yuna and company detour to the valley where the cave is located, Lulu decides to face her painful memories. At the back of the cave, the group meets the unsent bodily shell of Lady Ginnem.[8] Lulu felt that she must fulfill a last duty to Ginnem as a guardian in ensuring that her spirit would depart to rest peacefully on the Farplane. After fighting and defeating Yojimbo – the aeon having been summoned by Ginnem – Ginnem's spirit departs for the Farplane. Lulu had been romantically involved with Wakka's younger brother, Chappu, and his death at the hands of Sin affected Lulu greatly. However, Wakka and Lulu fall in love and marry six months after Final Fantasy X.[9] In Final Fantasy X-2, Lulu gives birth to Wakka's child, Vidina, a name that translates as "future" in the Al Bhed language. She mothers Yuna and Rikku at points throughout the game and, although she does it more subtly, Tidus also.

Reception

Lulu has received mostly positive reception for her appearance in Final Fantasy X. Lulu ranked eighth on IGN's top 25 best Final Fantasy characters list, the highest ranked character from Final Fantasy X on the list. The editors commented on artist Tetsuya Nomura being famous for over-accessorizing his characters, she was "over-accessorized enough", citing her "floor-length skirt, elaborately-pinned hair, and collection of super-cute mascot dolls" as why she's the coolest looking character Nomura has ever drawn.[10] Armchair Empire editor Mr. Nash states that Lulu adds a moodier counterbalance to more relaxed characters, adding that she accomplishes this with her "generally negative attitude" and "genuinely being in a foul mood, which later turns into a general unwillingness to put up with crap".[11] Dawn Johnson and Scott Jelinek, editors for Just Adventure, both praised Lulu. Dawn states that Lulu's cynical nature "kept you on track for what you needed to do", while Scott called her his personal favourite, citing her sexual appeal.[12] Gamasutra editor Kurt Kalata described Nomura's character designs as "outlandish", calling Lulu more like a "fetish object" than an inhabitant of Final Fantasy X's world.[13] Paula Tiso's portrayal of Lulu has received positive reception, garnering praise as being amongst the best voice acting in Final Fantasy X.[14][15][16][17] GameDaily listed her 13th on the top 50 hottest video game women list, describing her as both sexy and dangerous.[18] UGO.com editor Locke Webster ranked Lulu the 27th hottest video game girl, stating that Nomura's attempt to create a cross between a fashion model and a black mage character was a success.[19] GamesRadar editor was named "Miss 2001" in their article on the sexiest new characters of the decade, calling her the "first officially sexy Final Fantasy girl", stating that Tifa Lockhart from Final Fantasy VII had the potential to be sexy, but was too pixelated to pull it off. He added that it was not just her looks but her attitude that made her sexy.[20] However, they also called the couple between Lulu and Wakka as the worst Final Fantasy couple, commenting that whiletheir pairing appealed to the concept of "opposites attract", the pairing of a goth and a jock is the source of the "She married him??!! And they've got a kid??" ads.[21]

References

  1. Khosla, Sheila (2003). Tetsuya Nomura 20s. FLAREgamer. Retrieved on 13 April 2006.
  2. Final Fantasy X - The Interview. RTÉ (2002-06-05). Retrieved on 2009-12-24.
  3. Studio BentStuff, ed (2001) (in Japanese). Final Fantasy X Ultimania Ω. DigiCube/Square Enix. p. 81. ISBN 4-88787-021-3. 
  4. Lulu: "The Calm Lands. Long ago, the high summoners fought Sin here. The road ends here. Beyond, there's no towns, no villages. Only endless plains." / Auron: "Many summoners stray from their path and lose their way here."(Final Fantasy X)
  5. Tidus: "Who was that?" / Lulu: "Until half a year ago, he was a summoner. Wakka and I were his guardians." / Wakka: "It was kind of a short pilgrimage." / Lulu: "He gave up halfway. Here, on this plain. Now, he is a monk at the Bevelle temple. This is my third pilgrimage as a guardian."(Final Fantasy X)
  6. Studio BentStuff, ed (2001) (in Japanese). Final Fantasy X Ultimania Ω. DigiCube/Square Enix. p. 81. ISBN 4-88787-021-3. 
  7. Wakka: "Hey. This where...?" / Tidus: "Where what?" / Lulu: "The summoner I guarded on my first pilgrimage... died here."(Final Fantasy X)
  8. Lulu: "It is...It's you, is it not, Lady Ginnem? Forgive me. I was too young. There is no human left in you now, is there? Very well, then. Allow me to perform my last duty to you. My last as your guardian."(Final Fantasy X)
  9. Studio BentStuff, ed (2004) (in Japanese). Final Fantasy X-2: International+Last Mission Ultimania. DigiCube/Square Enix. p. 583. ISBN 4-7575-1163-9. 
  10. Smith, Dave (2008-05-15). Top 25 Final Fantasy characters - Day IV. IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved on 2009-12-23.
  11. PlayStation 2 (PS2) Reviews: Final Fantasy X. Armchair Empire (2002-01-20). Retrieved on 2009-12-24.
  12. Final Fantasy X 10 - Just Adventure + Review. Just Adventure (2002-02-11). Retrieved on 2009-12-24.
  13. A Japanese RPG Primer: The Essential 20. Gamasutra (2008-03-19). Retrieved on 2009-12-24.
  14. Final Fantasy X Updated Preview. GameSpot (2001-11-02). Retrieved on 2009-12-24.
  15. Final Fantasy X Gets It Together. Game Industry. Retrieved on 2009-12-24.
  16. Final Fantasy X review (PlayStation 2). Honest Gamers (2002-07-12). Retrieved on 2009-12-24.
  17. Final Fantasy X - PlayStation 2 Review. Total PlayStation (2002-01-02). Retrieved on 2009-12-24.
  18. http://www.gamedaily.com/articles/galleries/top-25-hottest-game-babes?page=39&cp=4
  19. http://www.ugo.com/games/video-game-hotties/?cur=lulu-p&morepics=17
  20. The sexiest new characters of the decade. GamesRadar (2009-12-30). Retrieved on 2010-01-04.
  21. http://www.gamesradar.com/retro/f/the-5-worst-final-fantasy-couples/a-20080215111350467076/g-2005120714155951528930/p-5

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