Naoko Kyuudou

Freedom's Summoner

Description:

Height: 5’2"
Weight: 105 lbs
Age: 19
Born: Telos 22nd, 95 AE
Home: Ad Astra
Weapon: Tonfas, Fists
Theme: Ryoshima Plains I & II (original mix), Hiroshi Yamaguchi
Class: Battle Summoner

Appearance

Despite her vertical shortcomings, Naoko Kyuudou is a presence that is hard to overlook. Nature provided her with almond-shaped violet eyes, a boyish figure, and pretty if unremarkable features. Naoko has made her own adjustments with hair dye, tattoo ink, and copious amounts of eyeliner. She typically wears her straight, shoulder-skimming hair in a lazy ponytail, with bangs that are perpetually a little bit too long. After a brief spell of leaving it undyed, she is back to augmenting her jet-black tresses with thick, hot-pink streaks. Her only makeup is on her eyes, but she makes up for its lack everywhere else here: a typical day’s application involves emerald green or deep purple shadow, black eyeliner, and no shortage of mascara, though in recent months she hasn’t been applying the cosmetics as heavily.

Naoko’s usual outfit consists of a white close-fitting T-shirt that’s open in the back, khaki shorts, and a white half-skirt printed with a stained-glass pink flower that drapes over her left leg and is held in place by a brown leather belt. Her shoes are tan sandals with straps that circle up her calves. In a nod to her previous zipper-wrapped stiletto boots, the straps are decorated with non-functioning zippers. The soles of the sandals are modified hiking-boot treads: Naoko has had far too many instances of having to run in footwear that wasn’t designed for it. Diamond Belt, her prize from the defeat of Diamond Weapon, sits around her waist: it has been designed as a utility belt, with holsters for multiple potion bottles. More recently, slots to hold her tonfas have been added at the sides. Around her neck is the necklace holding the Soul gems: the Summoner’s, Aeon’s, and Guardian’s Souls. Her only ornamental jewelry is a delicate silver bracelet with the Old World script for “faith” carved in it: a posthumous gift from her mother. Naoko used to wear multiple silver rings on her fingers, but has since found that they interfered with all the punching she has to do.

Since the recent trauma in her life, her everyday appearance has shifted to a much simpler outfit of tshirt, hoodie, jeans, and boots, and more often than not she isn’t wearing any makeup. Her necklaces, bracelet, and Diamond Belt remain. Her roots also appear to be growing out, something she normally doesn’t let happen. All this points to a potential apathetic state of mind, though after her return to Madain Sari her mood seems to be at least somewhat improving.

Tattoos

Perhaps the most noticeable thing about Naoko’s appearance is that she is covered in tattoos. Inked designs adorn her neck, collarbone, upper arm, wrists, calves, and back. Her attire was chosen in no small part to show these off. A full list of her tattoos follows:

  • Collarbone: Naoko’s first tattoo, done on her 18th birthday, is a black-ink tribal design that was initially chosen simply because it looked cool. She has since had it updated to work her aunt and uncle’s names into the design.
  • Back: Begun shortly after the first tattoo was completed, Naoko’s lower back sports a large tattoo of Tomogara in battlecat form. Shortly before the Garamonde tournament, Naoko added an image of Madain rising behind Tomogara with hands folded and wings spread. The tattoo now takes up her entire back.
  • Calves: Circling up Naoko’s calves are small tattoos, each roughly the size of a quarter, that represent her individual Aeons.
  • Right Leg:
    Cat’s paw print tipped with flames (Tomogara)
    Winged halberd (Kimahri)
    Diamond with hanging icicles (Shiva)
    Ronin Edge surrouned by pyreflies (Auron)
    Ruby with green bunny ears (Carbuncle)
    Griever symbol (Squall)
    Wooden castle topped with leaves (Golem)
    Pocketwatch with an hourglass in the face of it (Yuna)
    Heart held in a fist (Tifa)
  • Left Leg:
    Pair of red and gold wings (Valefor)
    Thundercloud with unicorn spike (Ixion)
    Cactus (Cactuar)
    Gold cat’s paw print with rune-covered wings (Madain)
    Musketeer’s hat with pompom (Mog)
    Shield and rosary (Shiranui)
    Roman numeral 13 ending in a flame-tipped tail (Nanaki)
    Horned helmet (Odin)
  • Right Wrist: This tattoo marks Naoko’s first-ever ink removal, done to alter an existing design. Her right wrist once had her mother’s name, Maya, while her left wrist had the name of her father. Since returning from her pocket dimension, she has removed the ink from her left wrist, and changed her right to read “Maya & Tetsuya”. Beginning immediately below their names is a tattoo of a white ribbon that wraps around her forearm three times. The significance of this was not shared for a long while, but is now known to be in tribute to her three siblings from the Ordeal: Rika, Seiji, and Shiori.
  • Right Upper Arm: A bronze shield with a runic design may have seemed an odd choice, but thanks to the rest of the party having eyes and Mist being a blabbermouth, it is now common knowledge that this tattoo has Naoko’s and Champ’s initials worked into it. Naoko obtained the tattoo around the time of Garamonde 113, and at one point asked Champ not to make her regret it, as tattoo removal “hurts like a motherfucker”. She realizes that she has a decision to make about this tattoo now, but hasn’t been willing to think about it yet.
  • Back of Neck: Although normally covered by her hair, it was important to Naoko to get a tattoo that commemorated the restoration of Paradise even if it wouldn’t normally be seen. The design she chose was a stylized orange sun.

Personality

Contrary to popular belief, Naoko does not have the shortest fuse of the group—but the resulting explosions are the biggest, loudest, and most profane. She may be relatively quick to anger, but she’s quick to almost every other emotion as well: after being an outcast from her peers as a child, she is now fiercely protective of her friends, Aeons, and allies. Her initial brattiness has been tamed by time and responsibility, and has matured into an impatient force of will, which is probably the same thing but is tolerated in adults. Her romance with Champ and greater understanding of the sacrifices her aunt and uncle made for her have probably done the most to soften the rough edges of her personality and help her grow.

Naoko’s “mother tiger” approach to looking out for her friends, and her Aeons in particular, has had both good and bad consequences. On one hand, it makes her an effective leader of both SeeD’s Squad A and Paradise. She did not actively seek out those positions, and in the case of Paraside even tried to refuse it, but her dedication to the roles has been unquestionable. On the other hand, her desire to protect the others combined with her own stubbornness has led her to try to solve a number of problems, both external and internal, on her own. While her successes have outnumbered her failures so far, the results of her lone-wolf approach have occasionally led to disaster—most notably when her body was taken over by Caelis and used to fight the party, a fight that resulted in the (temporary) death of Darien.

Her recent experiences in her pocket dimension have left Naoko shell-shocked; the party knows she had been in a world where her parents were alive, and she even had younger siblings. Champ, Aidan, Romaji, and Kanji know more details, including the names of her siblings and other events within the Ordeal; however, Naoko has remained closed off about her experiences to most people. She will answer questions when asked, but doesn’t volunteer information as a rule. The recent theory that the different dimensions could still exist and even be traveled to has been met by fierce resistance from Naoko: though the others are excited about the prospect, she staunchly maintains that such a thing is utterly impossible. She is refusing to entertain the possibility because she’s afraid of what would happen if she gets her hopes up, and is let down.

Bio:

Early Life

Naoko’s life got off to a dramatic start: her parents lived on Madain Sari before it was raided, and during her mother’s pregnancy a prophecy surfaced that Maya’s child would be the legendary Summoner Without Stones. Maya and Tetsuya had no interest in their daughter being groomed to be anyone’s symbol, and a few days after Naoko was born the family left the island under cover of night and made their home in Ad Astra. It would be 18 years before Naoko would learn the circumstances of her birth.

The first few years were uneventful. The Kyuudous doted on their firstborn, and she was a happy child. But this peace was shattered when Naoko was four years old: Maya and Tetsuya dropped her off at her aunt and uncle’s house while they went out for the evening, and never returned. A car accident claimed both their lives. Romaji and Kanji, Naoko’s aunt and uncle, raised her from that day forward.

At age eleven, the course of Naoko’s life was altered once again: she became a summoner, calling Tomogara into Damocles. Most summoners gain the ability to call Aeons in late adolescence; Naoko’s young age and ability to summon without materia made her an outcast among her peers. She responded by becoming a combative loner. Her take-no-shit attitude settled in quickly and resulted in more than a few schoolyard scuffles, most notably when she kicked Orlando Madge in the groin for making fun of her. Neither of them have forgotten it.

Naoko’s teen years did nothing to temper her general surliness, but her relationship with her aunt and uncle remained close.

SeeD

After graduating high school, Naoko was taking a year off before starting college. Where college was going to be hadn’t been determined yet, but SeeD made a compelling impression when Commander Canute showed up at her house to personally recruit her. Naoko agreed to a campus visit, where her decision was further helped by her first meeting with Champ Justice. His undeniable charisma, to her chagrin, did far more to sell her on the idea of joining SeeD than anything that had been said so far. After weighing her options and realizing this was her best opportunity to put her summoning ability to good use, she joined and was immediately placed in Squad A.

Her missions were completed admirably, and when Champ was put in a temporary command position, Naoko was the natural choice to step in as Captain of Squad A. These positions became permanent with the death of Canute, though Champ is planning to step down when the threat of EDEN has been eliminated. Naoko, to her own surprise, did not join SeeD in her pocket dimension, opting instead to pursue an art degree at Thamasa University. It is unknown if she plans to also step down from SeeD in the near future.

Paradise

The realm of the Aeons was a place that the party originally knew as the Far Realm: a bleak landscape dotted with crystals suspended in the sky, each containing an Aeon, all watched over by the massive form of the Destroyer, Angra Mainyu. Through various interventions with the powers of the Far Realm, the land was eventually restored to its original glory: a lush, peaceful place known as Paradise. The Aeons now lived free of crystals, responding to their summoners’ calls through gateways but otherwise free to exist as they wished. The connection between Damocles and Paradise was solidified with the construction and opening of the Gates, a feat pulled off by some very determined tonberries.

Bahamut was the self-styled King of the Aeons, but shortly after the restoration of Paradise the other Aeons raised concerns about his ability to lead. A contingent of these Aeons voiced their concerns to Kogel and Champ, and charged them with deciding if Bahamut should stay on as ruler, or if a new Aeon should be chosen to lead. Surprisingly, Kogel and Champ sided with Bahamut’s detractors, asking him to step down. Even more surprisingly, he agreed. The final surprise was the selection of a new ruler: Kogel and Champ chose not another Aeon, but Naoko.

Despite the Aeons’ unanimous approval of the choice, Naoko herself was initially unwilling, feeling overwhelmed by the idea of taking command of so much at such a young age. This was, after all, the exact thing she had tried to rescue Champ from. The votes of confidence and her own love for the Aeons were too much to resist, however, and she took on the title of Queen of Paradise. She made her role known in Damocles at a meeting with the Garamonde Council. The effects of declaring her title have not yet been seen.

Current Endeavors

Naoko’s life has changed drastically in two ways since leaving the Ordeal. First, she froze up during the later rounds of the No Limits tournament at Garamonde, unable to finish her match against Trey Margrace because she was reminded, in vivid detail, of Lord Hades’ death at her hands. Initially chalking up the event to stress, she later found herself unable to fight in a simple sparring match against Aidan. The trauma of actually ending a human life, without even a weapon in her hands, has effectively prevented Naoko from joining any more battles; fortunately, Sari and Squall were able to come up with an alternate solution: she could use Bahamut’s relic to monitor and effect battles from a distance, letting her aid her allies without the strain of melee combat.

The second profound change is the end of her nearly two-year relationship with Champ. Unable to cope with his increased emotional withdrawal and his varying degrees of mistreatment of almost everyone else, Naoko broke up with him. The party has worked a mission together so far with both of them present – the conversation with Dante Zaldivar – and while awkward, nothing broke. How they will work together as Commander and Squad A Captain remains to be seen.

In good news, Naoko has expanded her role as Queen of Paradise. No longer content to simply watch her realm exist, she has formed a cabinet of advisors (Squall, Yuna, Auron, Mog, Sephiroth, and Sari) and charged them with various areas of responsibility around the land.

Aeons

While Naoko is the Queen of Paradise, she cannot summon every Aeon. She summons without materia: if she uses a materia orb, the orb itself breaks, and the Aeon it was tied to now answers exclusively to her call. Her current list of Aeons is:

Fighting Style

Naoko’s fighting began with schoolyard brawls, and has maintained the same flavor ever since. Primarily an unarmed fighter, she refined her style into a gambit system, allowing her to chain basic attacks like punches, kicks, magic, and tonfa strikes together to open up powerful finishing moves. She started carrying tonfas shortly after her return from the Ordeal, reasoning that they are like punching, only moreso.

The death of Lord Hades at her hands has rattled Naoko to such a great extent that she is no longer able to fight in melee combat. Instead, she is using a combination of her existing abilities and a relic of Paradise to oversee battles from a distance and aid her allies

Naoko Kyuudou

Final Fantasy Omega MattBowyer MeghanB