Pick an entry in the series to read your favorite character’s essay:

Gaming Inspirations I: Personal Party Composition
Gaming Inspirations II: Character Profile: Adelbert Steiner Gaming Inspirations III: Character Profile: Vivi Orunitia Gaming Inspirations IV: Character Profile: Amarant Coral
Gaming Inspirations V: Interview with Joe Zieja
Gaming Inspirations VI: Character Profile: Garnet til Alexandros XVII
Gaming Inspirations VII: Character Profile: Eiko Carol
Gaming Inspirations VIII: Character Profile: Quina Quen
Gaming Inspirations IX: Character Profile: Freya Crescent
Gaming Inspirations IX: Character Profile: Zidane Tribal

Check out more awesome art by MisterStrum at misterstrum.deviantart.com!

Hello, friends, and welcome to the sixth Character Profile of the Gaming Inspirations series! “Gaming Inspirations” is a series of blog posts that puts into words how gaming has inspired me to shed my anxiety and its negative effects on my life. Final Fantasy IX has provided incredible amounts of inspiration (probably because it’s the greatest game of all time), so I’m creating a profile for each of the main characters. Each profile will examine their unique qualities and I will detail how, through physical action, I’m going to help myself lead the life I want to lead by incorporating those qualities.

Today, I give some love to the character who I believe is the most underrated in the series: Quina Quen.

(Quick note: I use the “S/he” pronoun because that’s what they use in the game, and Quina doesn’t seem to mind. Sorry if it offends anyone, I swear I didn’t mean to hurt ya <3)


Quina is a Qu, a race of creatures who are apparently genderless, enjoy living in swamps, and love eating frogs (to be fair, frogs are delicious). Quina speaks in broken English, haphazardly talking about how damn much s/he loves food and how her final goal is to be a gourmand. S/he is sent on a quest by her master, Quale, to go around the world and taste all of the foods s/he can (I wish my boss would do that…)


Simple Wisdom

As I said above, I think Quina is the most underrated main character in Final Fantasy IX. While others may look more badass and be less… goofy, Quina has a special place in my heart because of the simple, happy wisdom that s/he embodies.

“Why you care about small things? World very simple place. World only have two things: Things you can eat and things you no can eat.”

“Good food not only delicious! Good food made with heart! This very important when cooking for friends!”

Through only thinking about food, Quina develops a positive philosophy that helps teach others to appreciate the little things and prioritize happiness, even when all seems lost. Hell, she even picks Zidane up when he’s at his lowest: convinced he is nothing more than a shell, a puppet, an Angel of Death, Quina rolls up and lays down some wisdom:

“My master tell me somebody give you tasties, you give them tasties, too. Is good manners!”
“I still not cook you succulent frog yet, Zidane.”

Is good manners indeed, Quina.


Quina’s got one thing on the mind, and one thing only: delicious, delicious food.

Obligatory Homer Simpson gif

S/he loves food. S/he’s obsessed with it. S/he needs to travel the world and find more dank deliciousness. S/he’s compelled to do so because she knows what she loves, and she won’t let anything get in the way of obtaining it.


Simplify, Dammit!

Today, I’ve probably checked my email about 50 times. Checked the ol’ Facebook about the same amount. Checked my phone… probably somewhere in the triple digits. Reddit, Twitter, NFL.com, texts: all wonderful, glorious sources of information that I am very happy exist.


When I consume too much of this information, I tend to get a strange feeling of hopeless lethargy mixed with a strange sort of frantic, jittery anxiety: there’s so much to do, there’s so much to see to consume to readtoupdateupdateupdateoohcoolpictureahhcuteanimalvideohahahilarious

All of a sudden, it’s 1 AM and I gotta get up in a few hours. Shit.

Once in a while, you have to breathe. Step back. Prioritize.

Personally, I’ve been meditating – just five to ten minutes each day. I sit down cross-legged on the floor, and I focus on my breath. Not a laser-like, intense focus; just a passive mindfulness of the breath going in and out. Other thoughts come into my head, and I let them, but I don’t hold on to them; I try to allow them to pass through my mind and continue on. I’ve been doing this for a week or so consistently, and every time I feel relaxed, energized, and supremely un-zombified.

You don’t have to meditate, but try doing something that will get you to sit still – prayer, meditation… hell, even just resisting the urge to check your phone when there’s nothing there to see. See how it feels at the end of the day when you haven’t had one eye on email or Facebook or what-have-you.

Just for you guys, I’m gonna take this a step further – starting tomorrow (Monday, 9/26), I’m going to go a week without Reddit, Facebook, or (non-work-related) emails or texts. I’ll still have my phone on me for emergencies, but it’s high time I took a break from all this technology stuff. Something tells me it’ll give me plenty more time to write the penultimate Character Profile!

I’ll get back to you on how it felt to go a week without (most) technology… If I don’t go insane first.

The one place I will check is here! Join me, and tell me how you’re doing in the comments! Start meditating! Start stretching! Do it big!

Gaming Inspirations IX: Freya Crescent