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Is Gogo... Adlai Stevenson?

There is a rumor floating around the Internet that alleges a mystery character from a popular video game was in reality an American politician from the 1950s. The rumor is in the form of FIVE QUOTES by a politician named Adlai Stevenson.
 
The quotes are rather bizarre, and appear to be describing parts of a video game called Final Fantasy 3. Each of the quotes seems to suggest that a mystery character from this video game, known only as Gogo, was secretly meant to be Adlai Stevenson.
 
The quotes are referenced, making them somewhat easy to verify.
 
After examining the references, I was UNABLE to find ANY of the five quotes. The Gogo/Adlai Quotes are in fact a CLEVER HOAX, likely created by a 15-YEAR-OLD who was doing a research paper on Adlai Stevenson way back in the year 2000.
 

What is Final Fantasy 3? Who is Gogo?

Final Fantasy 3 is a complicated game. Take the name itself: Final Fantasy 3. Seems simple enough, until you realize that Final Fantasy 3 is the sixth game in the Final Fantasy series. So technically it should be called Final Fantasy 6. Suffice to say it was released in the United States as Final Fantasy 3 (FF3).
 
The game is classified as a "role-playing game" (RPG). In other words it's like an interactive novel with an array of characters, a plot and an ending. The characters in particular are fleshed out. Each has a back-story, a personality, friends, enemies... Well, except for Gogo.
 
The enigmatic (and asexually dressed) Gogo has NO back-story, NO personality and very little dialogue. He is also what you would call a "secret" character, since meeting him in the game is entirely optional (and difficult). Those who do meet him are curious just who or what he/she/it is.
 
There are some who believe Gogo has a "true" identity, and generally these people have one thing in common: They either believe he/she/it is another character from FF3 in disguise, or they believe he/she/it is a character from a previous Final Fantasy game.
 
The Gogo/Adlai Rumor is different because it claims that Gogo is a real person named Adlai Stevenson.
 
A picture of
Gogo BACK

Who is Adlai Stevenson?

Stevenson, also known as "the Egghead", was from the United States. He had an arts degree from Princeton and a law degree from Northwestern University. He is most often remembered as a Governor of Illinois and as a presidential candidate for the Democrats (one of the two main political parties in the United States).
 
Although he never did become president of the United States, he did eventually become the US ambassador to the United Nations. There he played a role in handling the Cuban Missile Crisis of the early sixties. He died in 1965.
 
A picture of Adlai
Stevenson BACK

Finding the person who started this rumor

There are many places throughout the Internet that mention the Gogo/Adlai Quotes. Only a few of these websites go on to explain where the quotes came from and/or who wrote them. This information is often inconsistent.
 
In spite of this, I believe the person who originally posted the Gogo/Adlai Quotes had the username Claudius Aquilla. His original posts were made late 2000 on the Final Fantasy Online (FFO) forums.
 
The next logical question is: How do I know for sure? I got LUCKY.
 
I happened to come across a very old post from January 2001 that mentions the Gogo/Adlai Quotes (thank you assassin17). The author of the post is a user named Otik2, and in it he claims "a friend" of his "made that up."
 
I was able to correspond with Otik2 through email, for a time. I also interviewed him in a chat room on his role in starting the rumor. The following is Otik2's version of events: In the interest of presenting a complete set of facts I will also mention that Otik2 changed his version of events a number of times. He seemed annoyed by my questions and by this website.
 
According to an active member of the FF3 community at the time the rumor first surfaced: "... I went by Purgatory for a bit on a few FF boards, but Spatvark's the nick I use everywhere, including FFO, though that wasn't where I first heard the rumour. That was on Eyes on Final Fantasy, from one of two fellows: BOU (Big Ogre Umaro) or Kawaii Ryûkishii, neither of whom I think are Claudius Aquilla."
 
Food for thought.
 
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Who is Claudius Aquilla?

Claudius Aquilla is an American from Washington State. At the time of the original post (late 2000) he was fifteen years old. He may or may not have posted under different usernames on boards other than FFO.
 
I was also able to correspond with Claudius Aquilla through email.
 
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Quote authenticity

(Follow this link to skip to the conclusion.)
 
The following is a list of references mentioned in the Gogo/Adlai Quotes:
  1. "What I Think" -Adlai Stevenson
  2. A comment to an NBC reporter, 1952
  3. An interview, 1952
  4. "Friends and Enemies" -Adlai Stevenson
  5. A speech at Charlottesville, 1960
  6. "The Egghead and I" -Ellen Borden
  7. A campaign slogan, 1952
  8. The Stevenson-Wydler Act
The books that I personally signed out of a library and examined were: When seeking to prove or disprove a quote, I tried to be as objective as possible. I used these three criteria to determine whether a quote or claim was true:
  1. Is the quote there? If not...
  2. ...does the quote fit with the rest of the reference? Does it seem like something Adlai would say?
  3. A fifteen-year-old doing a research paper found the quotes. Is it likely such a person would find (and remember) a quote like this?
Quote 1: I am always amazed by the resistance offered to progress, even the most inocous [sic] progress. Imagine, if you will, jumping from one rickety bridge to another, with blind men running back and forth trying to push you off, and you will have some idea what legislating progress is like. The good news is that if you're pushed off, you can always climb back up and try again. - from his book ''What I Think''
 
I did not find this quotation within "What I Think." Admittedly I had to skim through most of it. The book is 240 pages with small text, so actually reading it would be too boring and take too long. (Skimming through a book for words like "blind", "progress" and "bridge" is in my opinion 80% as effective as actually reading it.)
 
What Claudius Aquilla says: "I don't know why you can't find [Quote 1], but [it is] there."
 
Quote 2: I suppose I could wear a hat, but them [sic] my teeth would fall out to spite me. I could get false ones, but doubtless then I would get fat just to prove my teeth work. The easiest course is to drape my whole body in robes and shawls and hope no one recognizes my eyes. - Commenting about his baldness to an NBC reporter in 1952.
 
Not only is this quote nearly impossible to verify, but it also contains zero names or places to put it into context. How could a fifteen-year-old obtain a quotation like this?
 
What Claudius Aquilla says: "I don't know why you can't find [Quote 2], but [it is] there."
 
Quote 3: President Eisenhower continues to amaze me. He appears to be an ungainly and graceless man, but when [senator Robert] Taft makes a move, no matter how ridiculous, Eisenhower copies it with the skill of [French mime] Marcel Merceau. I haven't achieved such levels of mimicry with my own party, but I'm working on it. - 1952 interview
 
If you look at the description of "What I think", you'll see that it says: "Selected speeches and articles written ... since the presidential campaign of 1952." Therefore Quote 3 may be found within "What I think." And if it were not there, it would most likely be somewhere in "The papers of Adlai E. Stevenson."
 
What's more, Quote 3 contains a reference to an obscure name: Marcel Merceau. A quick search for Marcel Merceau in the index should reveal the quotation.
 
But Marcel Merceau doesn't show up in the index of "What I think." Neither does he appear in the index of ANY of the FIVE GIANT VOLUMES that are "The papers of Adlai E. Stevenson."
 
What Claudius Aquilla says: "...the date is wrong on the 'mime' quote (it was said in 1954, not '52, when Truman was president."
 
Quote 4: The legislature is a frightening thing. To this day the state capitol building seems to me a beast ready to swallow me up; the very walls and cielings [sic] seem to crush you as you walk through it. - from his book ''Friends and Enemies''
 
I read this book cover to cover, but did not find any quotation like that. The quote does not even fit with the writing style of "Friends and Enemies", which is about a diplomatic trip to Russia by Stevenson during the cold war. Furthermore Russia does not have states; it has provinces. Hence NO State capitol building.
 
What Claudius Aquilla says: "I don't know why you can't find [Quote 4], but [it is] there."
 
Quote 5: Today we are plunged into a battle that is familliar [sic] to us. the [sic] enemies and the problems are the same. But the terrain is different. The world around us has changed and shifted so much we no longer recognize it. - Giving a speech at Charlottesville, 1960
 
Similar to quote 3. All you have to do is look through the index of either "What I Think" or "The papers of Adlai E. Stevenson" for Charlottesville. It doesn't come up.
 
What Claudius Aquilla says: "Quote 5~I found in a book called "The Wit and Wisdom of Adlai Stevenson'."
 
Added paragraph 1: Read the quote in my sig. Stevenson's ex-wife once wrote a book about him called The Egghead and I. In 1952, one of his campaign slogans was "Stevenson - The Experienced Candidate."
 
Ellen Borden did not write a book called "The Egghead and I." I also doubt that Adlai would use a campaign slogan like "Stevenson - The Experienced Candidate." To me that just pokes fun at the fact that he was never elected president and is therefore an experienced candidate.
 
However, I did find THIS in "What I Think." (PNG image, 35KB) COINCIDENCE? Hint: yes.
 
What Claudius Aquilla says: "Stevenon's [sic] ex-wife never wrote 'The Egghead and I', but she threatened to.~ In any case the 'egghead' connection is still there from Steevnson's [sic] quote 'Eggheads of the world, unite!~ We have nothing to lose but our yokes.'"
 
Added paragraph 2: When you first meet Gogo, he says "I have been idle for too long." Possibly reffering [sic] to the fact that Stevenson had been dead for 30 years when FF6 came out.
 
This paragraph is technically true, but without the original five quotes to back it up it's just a coincidence.
 
What Claudius Aquilla says: "In any case, there's still the 'I have been idle too long' thing..."
 
Added paragraph 3: A number of years ago a bill was passed regarding the transfer of funds among government-owned, government-operated (GOGO) laboratories. What was the name of this bill? The STEVENSON-Wydler Act, of course.
 
This paragraph is, amazingly, true! (Do an Internet search using "gogo" and "stevenson wydler act.") But again, without the original five quotes to back it up it's just another coincidence.
 
What Claudius Aquilla says: "... and, (best of all)~ The Stevenson-Wydler GOGO act."
 
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Conclusion

At best, the Gogo/Adlai Quotes were real quotes that were heavily modified to support this rumor. At worst, they are a complete fabrication. Considering the unrealistic nature of the quotes, the falsified and obscure references and the fact that Claudius Aquilla (the most likely original author) himself has said: "...it's just a joke to begin with.~ Calm down", I would favor the latter possibility.
 
The lesson is don't believe everything you read on the Internet. Gogo is just a mystery character and nothing more. The producers of Final Fantasy 3 were ADULTS; they didn't care who or what Gogo was. It was just a cool idea for a character some poor Japanese guy thought up.
 
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About the author

My name is WebGraphics, and I created this website.
 
About myself--I'm a tall Canadian who used to play a lot of hockey. I enjoy the outdoors and philosophy, though I can't say much on life. Not enough experience I suppose.
 
My plans for the future--I see myself running a variety of companies and accumulating a vast fortune. There may be room for a wife and kids, but at this moment it's up in the air.
 
About the website--I created it for a deficiency of a reason not to. If you have any comments, suggestions for improvement or new information, do not hesitate to contact me.
 
My email address is: webgraphics2004@yahoo.ca
 
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Acknowledgments

assassin17 - A very knowledgeable guy on everything about Final Fantasy 3. assassin17 showed me the original Otik2 post. His website is all about hacking Final Fantasy 3. If you're into that sort of thing it's right up your alley. assassin17's FF3 hacking site #1. assassin17's FF3 hacking site #2.
 
Warteen - This guy let me in on a little secret (Adlai's nickname). He's the webmaster of http://www.finalfantasyiii.com/, a FF3 website he's put a great deal of effort (and content) into. Well worth a visit or two, if only for the nostalgic value. Warteen's Final Fantasy III Page.
 
Otik2 - Thank you Otik2 for responding to my emails and allowing me to interview you.
 
Claudius Aquilla - It was nice of you to email me. Please do so again sometime.
 
Anonymous Tipster - Sent me personal info on Claudius Aquilla. A little creepy but thanks!
 
Spatvark (aka Purgatory) - Spatty clarified a misconception I had that he was just another name Claudius Aquilla sometimes used. Suffice to say he isn't. A big thank you for the other info he sent me too.
 
Free Spirit (FFO) - For pointing out the Final Fantasy 3/6 ambiguity to me.
 
Iggy (FFO) - For pointing out an error on this website. Thanks!
 
Brinkster.com - For providing me with free hosting. You ROCK! Brinkster's website.
 
GeoCities - Ditto. GeoCities' website.
 
Thank you to everyone else from the GameFAQs FF3 board who pointed out useful information.
 
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