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Moogle Mayhem

Moogle Mayhem

by shadowlugia249

 

I am a big Final Fantasy nut. There hasn't been one Final Fantasy game to date that I haven't played and/or conquered in one way or another. I own the GameBoy titles, I have played the original NES and SNES games and every PlayStation version has fallen victim to my mastery. I was literally unbeatable when it came to Final Fantasy!

Not only have I played the games, but I have all the music from the original games and the unreleased Japanese versions. It's amazing what you can find on the Internet nowadays. I also have all the rare Final Fantasy paraphernalia – T-shirts, movies, player's guides, demo disks and promotional giveaways. Final Fantasy is my life!

But out of all the different Final Fantasy versions, I would have to say that the GameBoy Advance title, “Final Fantasy Tactics Advance” is my all-time favorite. Why? Easy, my friend: the Moogles!

FFTA's Moogles are the most unique out of all the different versions of the game. Next to my main character and my Moogle sidekick, my whole clan is nothing but Moogles. I can't help it – they're so cute!

What are Moogles, you might ask? Well, in most versions of Final Fantasy, they look like tiny teddy bears with white fur, slanted eyes and little a red pompom on their heads. However, FFTA's Moogles look more like little mice than anything else. They have long, pointed ears, long, thin whiskers, tiny bat-like wings on their backs, little, humanoid bodies and the classic red pompom that dangles at the end of a long, thin antenna-like hair poking out of the back of their heads.

What really bothers me is that the creators of Final Fantasy only used this version of Moogles in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and no other game. I guess they didn't like to deviate from their original design. If I had had my say in the matter, I would keep FFTA's model in circulation instead of the teddy bear-like model in the other games.

Oh, well... what can I do about it anyway?

 

Why am I getting so worked up over the Moogle issue in the first place? Well, it's really a funny story on what happened after I started college. I had a little encounter with a... Wait a minute! I'm getting ahead of myself and haven't even introduced myself!

Hello, my name is Skyle Kelvin. I know it's a strange name, but my parents wanted to give their child a unique name. I never found out what “Skyle” meant even after spending ages on the Internet looking.

The only thing that I ever found was while I was playing Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. On a random encounter with a Moogle joining my clan, I was shocked to learn that he had been named “Skyle” as a default name. If no one had ever heard of the name “Skyle”, why did it appear in a game, much less the name of a Moogle? I eventually settled with the fact that it was just a coincidence because some of the names of party members were pretty bizarre like “Gelato”, “Bjorn” and “Tetra”.

But enough about me now; I need to get to how Moogles affected my life today. It all started when I decided to take my ATV out into the country one day...

 

I had borrowed my Dad's four-wheeler for the weekend to go out for a drive in the countryside. I didn't have a car and I had to take my bicycle to get around town. While I was at my dad's farm, I borrowed the four-wheeler to take it for a spin in the fields below the hill.

I was having a decent time of it while roaring down the paths in the corn fields, but there was a stretch of land some ways away that I was dying to get at. I motored down the road and headed in the direction of Regal, a small community with a long stretch of road that went by a field of trees planted for harvesting lumber.

I roared down the road and headed for the trees. There were some off-road trails that I was just itching to ride, and giving in to my instinct, I took a right and drove down the rough road through the trees. I was having the time of my life and nothing was going to stop me...!

...except that! Holy S@%$!!! I took a hard left and nearly avoided hitting it, but I drove off the path and down a small hill where I crashed into one of many trees.

What the hell was that?! It looked like an animal that had been hit and was lying dead in the path. I couldn't tell from down here, so I took off my helmet and got off the ATV. Walking up the hill, I examined the body of the animal that I had nearly hit.

It was hard to tell what it was because it had either been dead for some time or it had been gored after getting run over. All I knew was that it was less than three feet long and had creamy-brown fur. It looked like someone had hit a cat or something. It smelled pretty bad, so it was probably fresh.

But that wasn't all. There was something down the hill wrapped in blankets. I scooted down the hill and examined it.

Oh... my... God! This was not happening! It couldn't be true! They don't exist!

It was a baby Moogle! I could tell that it was because it had a tiny, orange pompom dangling in front of it. The Moogle was wrapped up in small blankets, currently asleep. It had a cute, mouse-like face with long, pointed ears tipped with brown fur. It also had pale-orange fur just like the Moogle sidekick from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. It was only about eight inches in height to boot.

I didn't know what to do. I had in my arms a creature that wasn't supposed to exist. What's more, it was just a baby and I couldn't just leave it here! It's parent (I guessed that's what the dead “cat” was) was dead and it would never survive in the growing cold.

Against all better judgment, I decided to take it in as my own. I had never had a pet—wait a minute! Pet?! I shouldn't jump to conclusions so fast! In the games, Moogles might be mischievous, but they were just as intelligent as humans and were natural mechanics when they grew up. How dare I consider calling it a pet!

Let me try again – I had never had a child before and I had never even had a girlfriend. My parents didn't think that I was responsible enough to raise a child, so I was determined to prove my worth.

I was in the process of getting my four-wheeler out of the dirt when I noticed something else. There was a small, green-leather-bound book lying in the dirt on the side of the hill. It was about as big as a regular book, but I picked it up and opened it anyway.

On the inside cover of the book was a spidery handwriting that read: “This book belongs to Montblanc.” Nothing out of the ordinary... Except for the fact that “Montblanc” was the name of the hero's Moogle partner in FFTA. This was just too weird!

Leafing through the book, I noticed that the hand-written text on the pages was not written in English nor in any language that I recognized. I recognized the word, “Moogle”, but the rest of the text was all jumbled up.

For example, one sentence read: “Edo nxe bdenj Moogle muwas bdenj mudo joshokj ev cavo.” I had no idea what it meant, but I decided to study it later. All that mattered right now was getting this Moogle to safety. I pocketed the book and took the four-wheeler back home.

 

Have you ever tried to explain the concept of a video game to your parents before? It's not very easy to do. It was going to be difficult to explain that I had found a video game creature lying around in the countryside. Instead, I did my best to tell them that I had found a kitten in the woods. I wanted to prove to them that I was responsible enough to have a “pet”, so I argued the point until they finally gave in.

By this time, the Moogle had woken up and was crawling around my shoulders while I talked to them. It was giving out a little squeak every so often that sounded like, “Kupo!” My parents hadn't heard of a cat that sounded like that and were even more suspicious when they saw the pompom dangling from its head.

However, they didn't ask too many questions about it and I was soon granted custody of the infantile Moogle.

 

I took the Moogle back to my house. I decided to name him “Montblanc” after the Moogle partner in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and the name in the Moogle's book. I started my care for Montblanc by finding him something to eat.

Moogles usually eat Kupo Nuts in the games, but since they didn't exist in the real world, I decided to try some regular nuts. I had a collection of nuts and a nutcracker next to my fireplace, so I decided to start with the closest thing to a Kupo Nut that I had – walnuts.

It took a while, but I finally cracked the nut open and offered it to Montblanc... but he was gone!

“Montblanc?” I asked worriedly. “Where are you?”

I heard a muffled “kupo” in response, telling me that Montblanc had crawled under my couch. I thought it would be rather difficult to get him out, but when I called for him, he crawled out from under the couch and walked over to me. I noted that he was already walking and he was nothing but fur. He wasn't wearing any clothes, but I easily remedied that. I still had some old clothes of mine from when I was a kid, but I decided to wait until Montblanc was fed before I went to find them.

I took the tiny Moogle in my arms and offered him the cracked walnut pieces. He sniffed the nuts... and chirped, “Kupopo!” He took the nuts and wolfed them down like he hadn't eaten in days. When he was finished, he looked up at me with those adorable eyes of his and squeaked loudly.

“Are you still hungry?” I asked the Moogle.

He didn't answer, but his tiny tummy growled loud enough for me to laugh. “Alright, I'll get you another one.”

I set him down on the floor to let him explore some more while I chose another nut – a chestnut this time – and cracked it open.

 

“Let's see what we can find for you,” I said to Montblanc, setting him down on a box in my attic. I had to search for a while before I found a box labeled, “Skyle: Age 2.” My mom never threw anything away and she insisted that I keep my old things somewhere safe when I moved out.

Montblanc, meanwhile, had climbed down from the box behind my back and was wandering through the attic.

“Ah, here we go!” I pulled out a small, blue coat and a pair of gray shorts in Montblanc's size. “What do you think, Montblanc? Montblanc?”

The Moogle had disappeared from view. It took a while, but I found him looking in an old box of rare rocks in a corner.

“What're you up to, little guy?”

“Kupo!” he chirped, holding up a small, red orb.

“What's that you got there?” I took the rock from him and looked at it. I had found this strange, red globe when I was a teenager in my dad's fields. I had never seen a rock as round and as red as this certain one before. I supposed it wouldn't hurt to let Montblanc play with it.

“Hey, Montblanc, come over here. I need to get you into some clothes.”

“Kupo?” He walked over to me and I dressed him up. He looked rather cute despite the fact that he was a Moogle.

“Kupopo!” He was rather happy to have some clothes on and started jumping up and down with his arms up for me to hold him. I picked him up and tickled his tummy.

This was the start of a wonderful relationship between Montblanc and me.

 

Montblanc grew rather quickly. Within six months of me finding him, he had reached about 30 inches – 36 if you include his ears. His intelligence was alarming. He learned to speak naturally about three months after I found him, though like many Moogles, he still said “kupo” like clockwork.

However, like his species, Montblanc was becoming very mischievous. I would come home from college to find things missing, mud tracked all over the house, writing on the walls (I don't know how he learned to write) and many other things.

But like the forgiving parent that I am, I couldn't bring myself to lay a hand on him and all I did was lock him in his room for a few hours as punishment. Montblanc, like most toddlers, was just going through a phase.

“I'm a Moogle, kupo!” he would say in his defense. “It's in my blood!”

“That may be, but my house still has rules – even if you are a Moogle.”

“Kupo... I wish I could do magic while you're gone. That way I can clean up before you got home.”

“If only it were that simple,” I sighed.

It was this conversation that jogged something in my memory. It reminded me of that book that I had found the day that I found Montblanc. I had set it aside in my bookcase and had left it be until now. I told Montblanc to stay in his room for 30 minutes as punishment and went to my own to check out that book. Pulling out the green-leather book, I sat down on my bed and opened it.

The language was just as jumbled as ever, but for the first time, I noticed that there were pictures of various things that made some sense as to what the text says. For instance, there was a sketch of a Moogle holding a minute magic rod and casting fire on a pile of wood. It read: “Vcumo.

There were more pictures of Moogles doing various spells and tasks like nothing at all. I still couldn't make out any of the words... until I reached a page that had a drawing of a full-grown human standing next to a Moogle with a big question mark in-between them.

The “spell”, as I supposed it was called, read: “Ke ro u Moogle mouds A xulo sedgiohot oeih cavo uj u Human. A xohoro jushavaso mo Human cavo ko calo keo nuo ev keo Moogle.

This spell obviously had something to do with Humans and Moogles, but I couldn't make heads or tails of it. I just wished that I could understand this book!

Regardless, I put away the book and went to go check on Montblanc. It was a little more difficult than normal because my head was spinning and I felt a little warm all of a sudden. I think I was coming down with something.

“Montblanc?” I asked the Moogle, opening the door slightly.

“Kupo?” Montblanc was playing with the red rock that I had given him and a small, wooden rod.

“What are you up to?”

“I'm trying to make a magic rod to play with, kupo. You didn't say that I couldn't do that while I was in here.”

I guess I didn't. “Oh... well, it looks like you need something to hold it together. Need some glue or something?”

Montblanc shook his head. “Kupopo... You never use glue on magic rods. It retards the magic.”

“Oh...” I decided to play along. “What do you need? Fun-tac? Tape?”

He shook his head again. “Nope, kupo. The only thing that works is hot resin. It's the only thing that holds it together properly.”

I didn't have any resin, but I didn't want to dampen his spirits. “We can go down to the hardware store to get some later.”

“Kupo! Thanks, Skyle!” Yep, he calls me Skyle. “Say... are you feeling alright? You're sweating a lot, kupo.”

I did feel a little funny. My brow was drenched with sweat and I felt extremely hot. Along with that, I had a really bad itch.

“I think I'm catching something. I need to go lie down.”

“Kupo...”

My head was spinning so badly that I collapsed on my bed as soon as I reached my bedroom. I was panting heavily and sweating up a storm. I figured that a good sleep was all I needed to shrug this off.

 

One of the good things about your dreams: nothing that happens in the real world can interfere in the dream... except waking up. Even if I could wake up, I don't think this dream would allow that this time.

I was standing in a clouded, white void with absolutely nothing around me. I was all alone...

...except for him. I could sense him like he was my twin brother. He was there... but I couldn't see him clearly.

“Hello there,” I said reassuringly, squatting down and calling him like a pet. “I haven't seen you before.”

But he seemed a little shy. “It's okay. I won't hurt you. You can trust me, kupo.”

What the heck?! Why did I just say that? I wasn't a Moogle... was I? In dreams, your body could be anything.

Nevertheless, he came closer, but I still couldn't see him.

“You're the newbie, aren't you?” he said to me. “You're kind of cute even by Moogle standards.”

“I'm... a Moogle, kupo?” There! I did it again! Why was I saying “kupo”?

“You are indeed. If I were you, I would get used to it.”

“Huh?!”

“You gave your word that you would learn the way of the Moogle. You're in this for good now.”

Oh no. “But I don't wanna be a Moogle, kupo! Wait,  kupo... AAAARGH!!! I'm just going to shut up now, kupo!”

He came even closer now and I was able to see him much clearer. He was not a Moogle. In fact, he looked more like a dog than anything else. He had pale-gray fur and sparkling-blue eyes. His nose was roughly the size and shape of an over-sized grape. He wore a heavy gray-and-blue-robe. In his hand was a large, pointed mace with a large, round, spiked head. I couldn't see his feet because his robe reached down to the ground, but I could see a long, dragging, orange-fur-covered tail behind him. He also had long, drooping, dangling ears with a hole in each one and a gold earring in the right one.

This was a Nu Mou from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. They were a peaceful species that dealt mostly in magic. I know I had seen this Nu Mou before in the game, but I couldn't think of where.

“Who... who are you, kupo?” I asked, ignoring my vow of silence.

“My name is not important right now. I'll be seeing you and your partner soon. Right now, you need to be ready for your transformation.”

“What?”

He explained. “When you read that spell in Montblanc's book, you chose to become a Moogle. Since you probably will be ashamed to go out into the world after this, I suggest you read the spell on page 68. You should be able to figure out the rest.”

The dream started to fade.

“Wait, kupo! What's going on?! I need to know...!”

Too late. He was gone.

 

I woke up with Montblanc on my chest, dabbing my forehead with a rag. I was still hot and sweaty and I still itched like crazy.

“Montblanc?”

“Hi, Skyle. You're finally awake, kupo. You had me worried.”

“Wha... what's going on? I still don't feel well.”

“Kupopo... if you want to know, lift up your shirt.” I blinked, sat up and did what he said.

I blinked again. Was that what I thought it was? That had to be the oddest thing I had ever seen on my chest before.

I was looking at a crop of pale, creamy-brown fur! It was similar to a Moogle's fur in every way. That creature was right – I was turning into a Moogle!

I looked at Montblanc, who simply sat down on my bed and watched the process. This was the start of a long and unusual transformation.

To start, two strange lumps had started growing from my back and were getting bigger and bigger and longer by the second. It wasn't long until a loud rrrrip could be heard and the two lumps had torn through the back of my shirt, forming two holes in the cloth. I was getting uncomfortable and had to lean forward to allow them to keep growing until they were six or seven inches in length. They then cracked with a curve up in the center of the long flesh. The long, thin skin slowly formed themselves into wings. I now had two long, fleshy wings on my back, but not for long. Red fur slowly sprouted from each wing where they met my back and ended at the long, pointed tip at the end. Each wing looked a little like a dragon's wing. with a thin, furry membrane between the narrow bones in it. I now looked like a human devil with the long, bat-like wings. The red fur then turned a light, creamy-brown where it started spreading down my back where the wings joined.

My hands had now started to change. First, they slowly started shrinking and sprouting fur from them. The creamy-brown fur spread up my arms with a tingling feeling. But hat didn't last long. My muscles started aching in my arms and my hands started to rip and reform. The tips of my fingers felt like something was pushing out from underneath them. As the nails cracked and fell off, they were slowly replaced with small, sharp claws that you normally found on a Moogle. The fingers on my hands fattened slightly, making them less nimble than before and less round at the tips. The bones in my hands quickly started reforming to suit my new hands. Every single joint and bone snapped, cracked, reformed and repositioned inside my hands, making them smaller than before. My upper and lower arms now started to change and slowly shorten and lose mass. They made distinctive crunching and snapping noises while the bones reformed and my arms shortened as well. Suddenly, they tensed up and stopped shortening. The fur on my back then progressed down my arms, across my shoulders, slightly up my neck and around my shoulders and chest.

My chest was slowly consumed with the light, cream-colored fur. After it was fully covered, I held my tiny arms to my torso as it made several cracking and squishing sounds. My ribs were slowly shrinking and reforming with my chest and my organs were shifting by the second. After a moment, it stopped shrinking and I gained a little more mass. My lower torso then started to push up, making my torso a lot shorter than before while making me look a little fat. Thankfully, the mass was depleted a little, making me a little less chubby. My entire body started to shrink, making my clothes baggier than before. By now, I was only three or four feet tall and looked really strange at this point in the transformation. The fur resumed its journey from my chest down to my belly and to my upper legs.

All the while, Montblanc and I said nothing. This was just too strange and bizarre for words to tell.

The next thing to change was my legs. My thighs started to fatten, making a cracking sound as my bones also reformed, shrinking them. At the same time, my lower legs went through the same process. The fur progressed down them and halted at my ankles. I swung my legs around and my shorts slipped off onto the floor.

My feet crunched and shrunk to become more animal-like. The small-and-ring toes combined together along with the middle two toes so that I only had three on each foot. The nails cracked and fell off, revealing small, pointed claws. The fur then continued to the edge of my toes and stopped at that point. The fur underneath my feet turned a dark-brown color as hard, tiny, black pads formed under them.

At last, the fur began working its way up my neck and face. It crossed my cheeks and grew off my face, causing it to gradually form into a tuft of fur. It had a few long strands of fur that made it look like a triangle from and angle. Two long whiskers popped out of the sides of my face and soon grew to about four inches in length. I could feel my lower and upper jaws being pulled out where they formed a muzzle. My nose began moving in an awkward position and I could distinctly hear them snap and break. it grew out a little to complete the Moogle muzzle. It then started to flatten an stretch, becoming wider and thinner on my face. It soon just became just two small nostrils and it finished off my upper jaw. My mouth had changed to more of a “U” shape in the classic Moogle smile.

The fur soon reached my hair. It didn't change its natural brown color or even disappear, but it seemed to thicken out. Now that my ears had been fully covered in fur, they took their turn and moved to the top of my head where they lengthened and stretched to add another six inches to my diminutive size. The fur turned a dark-brown color on the tips and frayed a little on the ends.

All that was missing now was... yep, right on schedule. The hair on the back of my head started to push up and stick outwards as a lump of red fur started to form, getting bigger and bigger until it was the size of a softball. A long, thick, black hair pushed out of the back of my skull and dangled the pompom in front of my forehead. It was about 18 inches long and the red pompom grew a little more fur on the bottom of it, giving it a spiked look.

At long last, my transformation was complete.

 

Montblanc and I looked at each other. I looked a little strange in my big, baggy, tattered shirt.

“That was... strange, kupo,” said Montblanc in awe.

“Kupopo!” I agreed. My voice was higher than normal, but I still recognized it as my own. “I've never felt stranger than this before. I hope it's all over now.”

“Say, how did you turn into a Moogle in the first place, kupo?”

I blinked and thought back a ways. “Oh! I read a spell in a magic book that I found when I found you, kupo.”

“Huh?” kupoed Montblanc.

“I never told you, kupo?” I was surprised. “It should still be there. It's on the... top shelf. Kupo...”

The top of my bookcase was much higher than I could now reach. If we were going to get that book down, we needed to improvise. I hopped down off my bed and walked over to the bookcase. I reached about a third of the way up to the top now and it wasn't stable enough to try climbing it.

“Any ideas, kupo?” I told Montblanc.

We thought about this for a moment. Thankfully, Montblanc came up with an idea first, because I was drawing a blank.

“I weigh less than you, kupo. You could toss me up there and I could get the book from there.”

“Nice,” I kupoed.

I climbed back on the bed and cupped my paws in front of me facing the bookcase. Montblanc put one foot in my paws and his paws on my shoulders. We both nodded and counted down.

“Three... two... one... kupo!” I flipped him into the air and he did a full backflip before coming to rest on the top of the bookcase. I had to admit, Moogles were pretty strong for their petite frames.

Montblanc landed neatly on his feet at the top of the bookcase. He then climbed down one level and browsed the line of books.

“What does it look like, kupo?”

“It has green leather, kupo, and doesn't have any writing on it. See it?”

“Yep. Heads up!” He withdrew the book and tossed it onto the bed. I managed to catch it and set it down on the bed. Montblanc then jumped down to join me.

The text in the book was just as jumbled as ever, but for some reason, I could now understand it. I flipped to the page where I had read the spell that had turned me into a Moogle. In the common tongue, it read: “To be a Moogle means I have conquered life as a Human. I hereby sacrifice my Human life to live the way of the Moogle.” Oh, kupo! I knew that I shouldn't have read it out loud.

But then I got to thinking... Was life as a Moogle really all that bad? I mean, sure I have a size disadvantage and I say “kupo” all the time, but I had a feeling that life as a Moogle would get better over time. Besides, I was just too cute to ignore and all this fur was rather cozy.

“I could use these spells with my magic rod to do some kupo handiwork,” said Montblanc, scanning the pages with interest. “If I could get my rod to work.”

I heard him loud and clear, but I wanted to check something. The Nu Mou in my dream had said to read the spell on page 68 after my transformation. Flipping through the book, I finally found the right page and looked at the page.

There was a sketch of a world map with no landmarks or anything else on it. It looked like a continent with several islands and peninsulas on it. The spell underneath was translated to read: “To those who have nothing, a new world will not be concealed. Read these words and the portal will soon be revealed.” I made sure not to read these words out loud this time and consulted Montblanc before I did.

“What do you think, Montblanc?” I asked him.

“Kupo... I've heard of this world. It was where the Moogles once came from a long time ago. Kupopo. I wouldn't mind returning to our homeland.”

I was against this, though. “If we do go there, how will we get back?”

Montblanc looked at me seriously. “Skyle, you're a Moogle now, kupo. You told me yourself that Moogles don't belong in this world. Ask yourself the obvious question: “Am I ready to face the world like this?”“

I never though of it that way. I had gotten into this and now I had to deal with the consequences. “Kupopo... you're right. There's no place in this world for us now. I guess we can move on. After all, how bad could it be?”

“Kupo! I knew you would think so! So, what do you say? Want to start over in our homeland?”

I smiled. “Sure! Let's give it a try!”

Montblanc suddenly realized something. “But before we go, I think you need to do something about... ahem, kupo...”

I looked down at myself. I was covered in fur but still naked nonetheless. “Good point, kupo. I'd better get some clothes on.”

 

Before Montblanc and I decided to depart for this new world, I had a few things left to do. First off, I found some new clothes from Montblanc's wardrobe. Next, we packed a few things for our new life. I packed a picture of my family, some clothes and a diary that I had never used along with some writing materials. I had a feeling that I would be doing a lot pf writing in this new world.

Also, I wrote a good-bye letter to my friends and family. I didn't know if I would ever return, but I left my things and all my games to my younger brother. He would know what to do with them better than my sisters would. I did not mention Montblanc or my transformation in any way. I didn't want them to panic if they found out that I had turned into a Moogle.

When the two of us had done all we could to prepare, we went back into the bedroom and opened the spellbook. The spell recommended that we stand in front of a mirror when we cast it, and I had a full-body one on the door to my closet. We both shouldered our things and I spoke the incantation to our reflections.

“To those who have nothing, a new world will not be concealed. Read these words and a portal will soon be revealed.” Thankfully, I didn't say “kupo” through the whole thing.

Right away, the mirror turned completely dark and black. For a while, nothing happened. And then a portal appeared in the glass. It showed a busy community with odd creatures going about their daily routines. Montblanc and I gathered up our courage and stepped through it.

We were sucked into a vortex of swirling light and we were completely weightless in the portal. Lights, color and stars wheeled overhead as we passed onto the next world. This was the start of a new life for Montblanc and myself. When we arrived, we planned to live out our new life to the fullest.

To be continued...?