Honestly, trying to choose a favorite video game character is…difficult. I’ve been playing games my entire life, and trying to narrow it down to One Single Favorite Of All Time is daunting. I finally just reached out to my brother and asked him what I should choose, and without hesitation, he said, “Mint.” Well, buckle up because I’m about to take you down a nostalgic road, my friend.
Threads of Fate is a JRPG released in North America in July of 2000 but released in Japan under the name Dewprism in October 1999. The original Playstation was the console that first made me aware of JRPGs as a genre since I didn’t entirely understand the concept during the Nintendo era of Final Fantasy games. At a mere 11 years old, tiny DW was shown a new game by her brother, and from then on, Threads of Fate has been in the top slot tied with Final Fantasy Tactics as My Favorite Video Game Ever. I’ve met very few people in my life who have played Threads of Fate, but those who have generally tend to feel similarly about it being a wonderful but incredibly underrated game. Unfortunately, Threads of Fate was released when JRPGs were flooding the market in North America. Everyone had Final Fantasy Fever after the release of the hugely popular Final Fantasy VII. Due to this, the game has flown under the radar for the last 22 years and has been all but forgotten by the majority of gamers.
Threads of Fate is a game with two protagonists, Rue and Mint, and the player chooses between the two depending on their choice, and the stories play out differently for each of them. The two intersect and overlap once you get far enough into the game. But for the most part, you are choosing between two different perspectives and stories. In true JRPG fashion, one main character’s story is tragic and depressing; the honors go to Rue in this instance. Mint, on the other hand, is also a trope that, for whatever reason, I always love: the bratty, selfish, privileged girl gets knocked down a peg and grows up. Mint only kind of learns her lesson, which honestly makes me love her that much more.
When we first meet Mint, she’s carelessly eating the royal dinner before she is supposed to while she is repeatedly told not to by an elder. She goes on and on about how she is going to rule the kingdom soon anyway, so who cares and, of course, gets handed a giant serving of humble pie when it is revealed that, actually, her sister will be ascending to the throne. Mint is then promptly exiled from the kingdom by the increasingly spiteful Maya. I can’t quite articulate what it is about Mint that has made me so in love with her for the last two decades, but I can tell you that my eBay account is nearly a decade and a half old and has had Mint as the profile photo since its inception.
The first San Diego Comic-Con I ever went to in 2008, I somehow happened upon a girl cosplaying Mint, and I did the unthinkable: I approached a cosplayer who was clearly resting/eating. As a cosplayer, I know that is a huge faux pas, but I simply had to say something in case I never saw her again. I went up to her very apologetically and told her I loved her costume, and I swear the two of us were near tears. We were just so excited that someone else liked the game and couldn’t believe the whole situation was real. I guess I don’t have a deeply personal specific attachment to Mint as I do to other characters, but I love her all the same. Something about her just latched on to all my “violently protective of my favorite characters” emotions and hasn’t let go in two decades. One day I truly hope to do my love of her justice by making my own cosplay, but it’s definitely something I keep as a dream project because I want it to be absolutely perfect. After all, Mint is just that special to me.