Everyone has a personal opinion on the canon characters in Final Fantasy VII (and if you don't, you're telling a huge fib!). I've been thinking recently about one of my favorite characters, Zachary Fair.
What is it about Zack? To those of us who like/love him, Zack is just a great character in so many ways. And there are so many different sides of him that we see both in canon and more so in fan fiction.
I was thinking most recently about "my" take on Zack Fair and why he's one of my favorite characters.
There's the 'hero' part of him that's so lovable, so fierce and battle-ready, so strong and brave. And when we lost him it was a heavy blow to us all yet he still lives on in our hearts (and will forever).
There's the 'friend' part of him that almost everyone knows so well. The guy who would take on the world to save a friend, who would risk it all to protect one. And that's what we see so often when people write about him in canon type fiction.
There's the silly part of him, the goofball who's always in some sort of trouble (or starting some) and who would stand on his head to get someone to smile or laugh. That's the guy you'd want to be the first to arrive at a party, the one who could keep things going, the one who everyone would know and love despite his frequent slides into near obnoxiousness...but who we'd never forget to invite nonetheless.
There's the sweet side of Zack that we see most often depicted with the flower girl, Aerith (Aeris). That's the guy who gets embarrassed by his stumbles over words or his inexperience in spite of his bravado and tendency to brag. That's the guy who smiles often and blushes too but wouldn't admit it to anyone (and would argue that he never blushes!). He's the sweet one, the one who would build a wagon just for his girl so she could sell flowers and not think twice about it. The one who would buy her a ribbon for her hair and tell her it looked absolutely great on her even if it was a bit too large.
And then there's the serious side to Zack Fair. The one who knows what it means to be someone people look up to, the kind of guy who is aware that there are those who watch him and take their cues from him even though he doesn't see them all the time. This is the guy who believes in truth and justice, the one who cares what happens to the world and the people in it...the one who would give all he had just to see to it that one person lived through a holocaust.
And there's the SOLDIER part of Zack, the intricate part which has yet to be completely or fully explored. The part we see snippets of during his training and how abruptly it was ended even though he wasn't at the top of that ladder quite yet. That's the part people talk about the most, the strong SOLDIER, the man who gets things done, the guy who's got answers to questions he isn't even aware of - the one we remember most.
In searching for pictures of Zack to add to my collection of desktop art, I came across one which hit me in the heart so hard that it took my breath away. Of course art is a subjective thing and not everyone will appreciate or like what I like...but I thought I'd share a picture which, to me, means a lot.
This picture is one which struck me as Zack from the instant I caught sight of it (a happenstance I am grateful for). And for more than a few days I simply looked at it on my desktop and tried to figure out just -what- it was about this picture that means so much to me, that stands out over all the others I've seen.
In looking it over from top to bottom, each and every line and stroke, I came to the conclusion (quite surprisingly) that it's not the perfect picture of the hero as we so often see Zack. And in my humble opinion, he seems so very much "Zack" that it's uncanny. Here, in this picture, we see the happy Zack. The one who is just an ordinary guy. Not a SOLDIER, or a hero, or even a warrior...but rather simply a guy who is happy and smiling (and it's not a fake smile). There's something about the way he's smiling. Perhaps his eyes? Or his lips? Or those adorable dimples? Or just the fact he appears so very happy, as if someone's told him a joke or made a comment that's made him smile...as if he's about to begin laughing at any moment. That's what hit me I think. The fact he seems totally human and real, and very, very much Zack Fair.
I don't know the artist, haven't had the pleasure, but I know that I absolutely love this picture of Zack simply because it seems so much like my 'head-canon' of Zack is that it's unbelievable. He's simply a guy. A happy guy. Not silly or stupid, or even goofy...not the 'puppy' we hear so much about, or the SOLDIER the games/stories speak so highly of. THIS Zack is just a guy who, deep in his heart loves life with all its weird, crazy twists and turns and who enjoys every moment as it passes - and doesn't regret any of it. In -my- head-canon, Zack never once regretted his life, or the direction it took. He didn't regret helping those he helped, fighting the evils he came across and he never regretted giving his life to save a friend. That's the Zack in my head, and that's the Zack I can see in this picture...
Thank you, Insant
, for drawing such a beautiful rendition of 'my' Zachary Fair. For making me smile repeatedly in the past week or so. And for sharing with those of us here on dA your wonderful gifts. Thank you so very much.