The most notable thing about Final Fantasy XIII-2 is that the characters are less irritatingly extreme. No sullen mopey emo types. And no hyperactive upbeat idiots sapping your fun by having it all themselves. Even the fan service cameos have been toned down and made excellent.
So... what's with the Moogle, Square? Let's briefly celebrate 25 years of annoying, awful or just downright crap characters in the Final Fantasy universe. Beware spoilers.
1. Everyone - FF1 and FF2
After getting into Final Fantasy games because of their brilliant flair for story, it was disheartening to discover that the first game didn't really have one. Sure, after about 10 hours of grinding through lengthy dungeons it eventually turned out that there was a time-travelling sort-of plot beyond 'You-four-adventurers! Go-save-the-world!' But it wasn't much fun with a cast so empty that they didn't even bother giving them names. How do you get attached to a character that's simply known as 'White Mage'?
2. Prince Edward - FF4
Being the first game in the series to allow for five members in a party at once, Final Fantasy IV had the chance to flirt heavily with pure support classes. Hence, Bards. Anyone who's read about Matt's self-inflicted Skyrim quest will be aware of how we feel about Bards, and lute-strumming Edward was no exception. Playing songs to help the party in battle? Get the hell out, Ed.
3. Gau - FF6
We probably would have been kinder to Gau if he hadn't caused so much damage to the plot. One minute you're fighting a ghost train with a ninja, and the next you're stranded in the middle of a wasteland, dossing about with a mental child. We're supposed to be overthrowing an empire, guys - can't we tell this kid to naff off and get on with the rest of the brilliant story?
4. Kefka - FF6
We're not sure 'annoying' is the best term to use for a character that murders entire towns just for the giggles, but Kefka's clowning was definitely irritating. In this case though, it was definitely brilliant - Final Fantasy VI was one of the last games in the series that had a villain who was genuinely awful. Forget about grey morality and understandable motives - Kefka was a bouncing bundle of highly-refined evil.
5. Cait Sith - FF7
Cait Sith. The character Ant & Dec were referring to in their hit song "Oh, you crazy cats". Oh, you - riding your stuffed Moogle, with your unpredictable Limit Breaks. And no - we're not using the plural incorrectly, there. Cait Sith had clones. So when he made that amazing suicidal self-sacrifice in the Temple of the Ancients, and you were thinking "oh my God, I'm not over Aerith yet, I couldn't "... it's OK, he's behind you!
6. Aerith - FF7
The real reason people cried? Because we'd all spent so long levelling her up. Every moment we had you in our team, those XP could have been going to someone who wasn't going to get speared in a cutscene. Now that's tragedy.
7. Squall Leonhart - FF8
Hats off to FF8 - they made the protagonist so stubbornly unlikeable that you were rooting for evil to win. Hot tip to Square: having a lead character who responds to everything with an ellipsis isn't building a character. It's making the player roll his eyes and think "I'm giving up days of my life pretending to be this rude douche." And the worst thing? His mates put up with it. Quistis - classic enabler.