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Dion Makes Final Fantasy 16 a Surprise Gift for Pride Month – TheFantasyTimes

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By Nikita Gambhir

Dion Makes Final Fantasy 16 a Surprise Gift for Pride Month



The latest entry in the popular Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy 16, has made a huge stride towards a more inclusive gaming culture by introducing the first canon LGBTQIA+ character in the franchise. Imperial Prince Dion Lesage is a shining knight/dragoon who breaks the mold in a significant way that is also tactful and not strictly tied to the overall plot. Dion is a unique character in the Final Fantasy series as he is the first character that isn’t just coded as queer, but is also a canonically gay character without any outdated humor or coding. This is a huge step forward for representation, especially considering that in past games, any form of representation was used more as a joke rather than an honest attempt at inclusion.

While Final Fantasy has had queer-coded characters like Fang and Vanille, who were considered to be in a same-sex romantic relationship, Dion is undoubtedly a hero and not just another queer-coded character. With or without his presence as positive representation, Dion is already one of the best characters in Final Fantasy 16 for being one of Square Enix’s beloved best boys. Sacrificing nothing for his convictions and dedicating himself to the people of Sanbreque in a way that his father, the tyrant Emperor Sylvestre Lesage, fails to do, Dion is the best option for an ally among the Empire.

However, while the inclusion of Dion Lesage in FF16 and his LGBTQIA+ status is great, the limited scope of his relationship with his partner Terence is such that it doesn’t mean much to the story. This is a common critique against the overall representation of queer characters in many other games and media, where the moments of representation are often so few and far between that they could be edited out of the story without losing anything of substance. Considering that Dion and Terence’s other scenes outside of their introduction kiss would still work somewhat as intended without that one kiss scene being included, this appears to also be the case for Final Fantasy 16. So, while Dion is a great step forward for inclusion in mainstream gaming, it is only a baby step in that direction.

Final Fantasy 16 is now available for PS5, and it’s a great choice to play for Pride Month. The inclusion of Dion Lesage as a canonically gay character without any outdated humor or coding is a huge step forward for representation in mainstream gaming. While his relationship with Terence is not given much focus, Dion is still a unique hero in the Final Fantasy series who is a great ally among the Empire. Overall, Final Fantasy 16 is a fantastic addition to the long-running series, and fans of the franchise will not be disappointed.

The introduction of the very first canon LGBTQIA+ character in Final Fantasy 16 makes the newest entry in the long-running series a great choice to play for Pride Month. However, as wonderful as it is to see this type of representation expressed as open canon in one of the best RPG series of all time, this specific example of gay representation is a step towards a more inclusive gaming culture.



While LGBTQIA+ content is nothing new from the last few years in more independent games or even titles published by Square Enix like Life is Strangeinclusion in a flagship franchise like Final Fantasy 16 is still important to note. Imperial Prince Dion Lesage in Final Fantasy 16 dramatically shakes things up for the franchise, and that’s by breaking the mold in a meaningful way that is also tactful and not strictly tied to the overall plot.

RELATED: How Final Fantasy 16 Responds to FF15’s Biggest Criticism

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Dion’s Representation in a Sea of Final Fantasy’s Queer-Coded Characters

Cloud and Andrea dance in Final Fantasy 7 Remake

What makes Dion such a unique character in the Final Fantasy series is that this is the first time that the games have gone further than simply coding a character as queer. For example, Fang and Vanille are often considered to be among the first characters to have been shown to be in a same-sex romantic relationship all the way back in Final Fantasy 13‘s first foray into action for the series. However, these two characters are more often to be considered coded as gay, since their relationship is never officially stated to be purely romantic throughout the game or from any official material surrounding it.

Aside from LGBTQIA+ coding like Fang and Vanille, any form of representation in past games has usually been used more as a joke, rather than an honest attempt at representation or inclusion. This is what makes the inclusion of Dion as a canonically gay character without any coding or outdated humor such a standout among the Final Fantasy series. It is a huge step forward for representation, especially considering that Dion himself takes on the archetypal shining knight/dragoon role, which is a staple for Final Fantasy heroes.

Considering that the majority of the queer-coded characters across the Final Fantasy series that weren’t heroes were often villains, it is great to have one who is undoubtedly a hero. With or without his presence as positive representation, Dion is already one of the best characters in Final Fantasy 16 for being one of Square Enix’s much beloved best boys. Sacrificing nothing for his convictions and dedicating himself to the people of Sanbreque in a way that his father, the tyrant Emperor Sylvestre Lesage, fails to do, Dion is the best option for an ally among the Empire.

Final Fantasy 16’s LGBTQIA+ Representation Boils Down to a Kiss

final fantasy 16 dion kiss

While the inclusion of Dion Lesage in FF16 and his LGBTQIA+ status is great, the limited scope of his relationship with his partner Terence is such that it doesn’t mean much to the story. This is a common critique against the overall representation of queer characters in many other games and media, where the moments of representation are often so few and far between that one could edit them out of the story without losing anything of substance.

Considering that Dion and Terence’s other scenes outside of their introduction kiss would still work somewhat as intended without that one kiss scene being included, this appears to also be the case for Final Fantasy 16. So, while Dion is a great step forward for inclusion in mainstream gaming, it is only a baby step in that direction. However, given that Final Fantasy 16 struggled to establish Jill and Clive’s romance, this lack of focus for Dion and Terence could be seen as par for the course.

Final Fantasy 16 is available now for PS5.

MORE: How Final Fantasy 16’s Valisthea Compares to FF10’s Spira

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