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Ritz Malheur
Sprite(s)
Japanese リッツ・マルール
Romaji Rittsu Marūru
Age About 60-70 (deceased)
Tribe Hume
Job Class Model
Final Fantasy Tactics A3 Character


Ritz Malheur was the female protagonist of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. A childhood friend of Marche Radiuju and Mewt Randell, she was headstrong and confident though sensitive about her albinism. Ritz lived in France and had a son, Aristide.

LifeEdit

Ritz was originally born in St. Ivalice to French parents. Albinic from birth, she was accepted by her peers in early childhood but rejected by them at school-age, beginning her habit of dying it red. This left her mother no end of grief, as she simply wanted to see her daughter be herself and not what social pressures dictated. This pressured reinvention covered more than just hair; Ritz adopted a bossy, argumentative, highly self-righteous alter-ego around the schoolyard, ensuring that all her classmates knew that she was not a girl with which to be messed. While certainly difficult to deal with, Ritz did have a strong sense of morality and always stood up for the underlings around the schoolyard, particularly Mewt Randell. Provided a person met certain standards, she could also make fast friendships, such as that which she had with Marche Radiuju.

Final Fantasy Tactics AdvanceEdit

Ritz was one of the people accidentally whisked away to the illusory Ivalice by Mewt using the Gran Grimore. There, Ritz's hair was naturally red, giving Ritz a significant vested interest in the preservation of Ivalice, which she realized was based on the video game Final Fantasy. Although she helped Marche on a number of occasions, as soon as he made significant progress toward reverting the world to normal she confronted him unsuccessfully. She thereupon agreed not to interfere in Marche's attempts to convince Mewt to let go of Ivalice, saying "a game has its end". Just before the world reverted, her Viera comrade Shara told her that white hair is considered a blessing by the Viera, which encouraged Ritz to accept and embrace it. Upon returning, Ritz was seen to have done so at least enough to stop hiding behind hair dye, although she toyed with the notion of doing something extravagant with it such as dying it green.

The problems with FFTA's endingEdit

The events of Ritz's life as portrayed in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance paint a fairly optimistic picture of Ritz's fate, and the player has no reason to suspect there is any further significant conflict in her life. Unfortunately, the ending of FFTA is quite ambiguous and fleeting on a number of points, not least of which are whether the protagonists remember anything of being in Ivalice (later confirmed by FFTA2). As such, some deeper conjecture is required to read from the game what may actually have transpired.

Let us first consider the canon pairing of MarchexRitz. The romantic involvement between Marche and Ritz is hinted at various junctures throughout the game, most prominently in a post-game cutscene wherein Ritz asks Shara if she thinks she is 'cute.' While Marche and Ritz are seen to share a clan in the postgame, it is important to note that the events of the postgame are not compatible with the events of the actual plot, as that would imply Marche and his friends are simultaneously in Ivalice and St. Ivalice - an impossible situation given certain assumptions about the nature of FFTA's Ivalice. The events of the actual plot terminate with everyone returning to St. Ivalice, preceeding and hence precluding any significant exposition of a relationship between them. Further, Marche has, in his own single-minded self-righteousness, taken Shara from Ritz, who was probably the most trusted and treasured associate she ever had. As such, rather than considering Marche and Ritz a couple, it is entirely conceivable that she does not want anything more to do with him ever again, and this is the position taken by FFTA3.

To hate an ahogeEdit

After the events of FFTA, Marche Radiuju was a name one could use for effect if one wished to deliberately unsettle Ritz to no end, for that name carried for her the memories of loss, helplessness and hatred that the boy behind them had put her through. She felt loss, not only of what Ivalice could give her but of people she knew she would never see again. She felt helpless because this happened despite her most violent protestations, which never seemed to be enough. And she felt a seething hatred, for always there was that blonde idiot gawking about with his compensatingly large sword, preaching that escapist fantasy wasn't real and reality needed to be restored without once considering the feelings of those around him. Most repugnant of all to her was the fact that she knew that he would never understand that some people would rather choose to dream when waking left them nothing but grief and misery. By association, she considered everything about him to be equally repugnant - including the town he lived in, and accordingly Ritz left the town she herself had spent her entire life to go and live in France once old enough to do so, never to look back.

Haute coutureEdit

It very quickly became apparent to Ritz that just having a French background counted for nothing in France. She entered the country on a short-term general purpose visa for the purpose of applying for citizenship. However, her application was denied on various grounds, including insuffucient command of the French language, failure to secure a long-term visa, lack of significant qualifications or employment prospects (her proposition to join the Olympic fencing team was scoffed at), among others. Facing deportation and ruination, Ritz proceeded to the bridge at Pont de l'Alma, intending to drown in the Seine. She was accosted by members of the police nationale and asked for her papers, which she of course did not have. A passing woman delivered her, and Ritz would later learn that she had claimed Ritz to be her addled mother, which the policemen were prepared to believe on account of her white hair. Surrendering custody of Ritz to this stranger, the policemen left her with a caution.

The woman was in fact a seamstress for a haute couture fashion house by the name of Lara Ausreisser, who would later have a similarly-named granddaughter. She had delivered Ritz on the basis of not wanting to see an old woman bullied by the law, but was shocked to discover that Ritz was almost a full decade younger than her. Enchanted by her features, she took up dressing Ritz as a challenge, trying to find a way to flatter her looks, and particularly her hair. Neither of them communicated very well; Ritz only knew a smattering of French and Lara spoke little English, and it followed that neither of them had any real idea what the nature of their most peculiar relationship was as yet, or even why Lara was permitting Ritz, a complete stranger to her, to live in her house and try on expensive dresses all day. For Lara's part, her little 'project' gradually accepted her role as a private model, having literally nothing else to live for. Bits of French filtered through to Ritz, and over the course of a few weeks it seemed that she and Lara developed a certain unspoken understanding which fostered their relationship.


Le malheurs de Ritz MalheurEdit

Still going... Beacon515L 02:56, October 18, 2011 (UTC)


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