Picking Winners

I’ve grown convinced that Ashe, the displaced princess of Final Fantasy XII, will be one of my favorite game characters ever. Why? Unlike the tiresome, idealized archetypes that often pass for women in video games, Ashe isn't afraid to engage in potentially awkward behavior such as picking her nose.

Yes, there’s the possibility that Square was trying to depict her in the middle of a cute nose-tapping mannerism, similar to what Rinoa often did in Final Fantasy VIII. But I don’t buy that. If Ashe was supposed to appear the adorable flirt, she’d be smiling. She isn’t. Instead, she wears a look of absentminded disdain, as though she realizes that she’s about to inadvertently root around in one or both nostrils, and she just doesn’t care. She’s royalty, after all, and if she wants to pick her nose, she’ll pick her nose, you plebeian twits.