It's hard for me to explain why I love Locke. It isn't just that I think he's cute, or that I want to be old school, or any reason easy to articulate. Final Fantasy VI is the first game I can remember obsessing about, it was the first RPG that I played, the first game with a plot that really touched me. I played it shortly after it came out in 1994, at my grandmother's house. I was eight years old then, and I only played little bits at a time, my whole family took turns with the controller. But Locke was my favorite character then, and no other video game has ever been able to touch that first bit of magic, maybe because I was so young and impressionable or maybe because it truly is better than everything else out there.
Locke is not only my favorite hero, he is my first hero, he is everything I think a hero should be. My love for certain characters, from the Three Musketeers to Briar Moss to Don Quixote, all can be traced back to my fondness for some pixelated Lancelot. When I play the game, I use him when clearly other characters are better for the job, I will give him the best weapons and the best espers. I never take him out of the party. When the game is done Locke has on average 15 more levels than anyone else. I make excuses for him, celebrate his birthday. Clearly, I'm more than a little crazy. But I honestly can say I would not be the same person without having played that video game when I was eight years old and fallen in love with the idea of heroes.
Of course, recent replays and further ruminations have led me to see the danger of that particular idealism, and the need not to take it too very for. Locke, of course, stands with me on this. His is a dangerous chivarly. The idea that his heroics are his downfall is undeniably romantic for me, and thus impossible for me to resist. All the heroes of Final Fantasy have their qualities, but Locke is special to me for his determination, his optimism, and his downfall.
As soon as I became involved in webdesign and discovered the concept of shrines, I knew I had to make one for Locke. I just knew. It's taken me a long time to collect data and ideas, and the motivation to write everything I have in my head down, but I have done it. And hopefully someone will see what I have here and decide they might like the damn treasure hunter too.