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
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.
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
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
The Gogo/Adlai Rumor is different because
it claims that Gogo is a real person named 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.
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.
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:
Note that Otik2 is not, I repeat: NOT, the creator of the
The creator of the quotes originally posted them on the Final
Fantasy Online forums under the username Claudius Aquilla.
Claudius Aquilla added three new paragraphs to the original five
quotes sometime between January and September 2001.
Claudius Aquilla posted on a number of different boards using
Otik2 knows Claudius Aquilla in real life.
[Otik2 claims that] Claudius Aquilla found the quotes while doing a
research paper on Adlai Stevenson.
In the words of Otik2: "... [Claudius Aquilla]
intented [sic] this as a joke. He was not being
serious when he posted it. Neither he (I believe) nor I believe that the
creators of the game intended Gogo to be Adlai Stevenson."
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
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.
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:
Is the quote there? If not...
...does the quote fit with the rest of the reference? Does it seem
like something Adlai would say?
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
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
What Claudius Aquilla says: "I don't know why you can't find [Quote 1], but [it is]
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?
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
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."
more, Quote 3 contains a reference to an obscure name: Marcel Merceau. A
quick search for Marcel Merceau in the index should reveal the
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
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
What Claudius Aquilla says: "I don't know why you can't find [Quote 4], but [it is]
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
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
What Claudius Aquilla says: "Quote 5~I found in a book called "The Wit and Wisdom of
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
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.'"
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.
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.
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.
Aquilla says: "... and, (best of all)~ The
Stevenson-Wydler GOGO act."
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.
Otik2 - Thank you Otik2 for responding to my
emails and allowing me to interview you.
- 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!
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.
Spirit (FFO) - For pointing out the Final Fantasy 3/6 ambiguity to
Iggy (FFO) - For pointing out an error on this