Not long prior to this blog, I wrote another about the difference between being Strong and Op, and as this is a Ultraman Fan Fiction Wiki (the only one that I know off), the topic of Super Ultras came up. While I made a comment about how almost every Ultra created on this Wiki has a Final Form (A Super Ultra mode), it was another user's comment that reminded me that the opposite was true in the main series (at this time at least), more than half of all the Ultra that are canon, don't have a 'final form'. So I ask, the title of this blog but in different words, do we always need a final form?
In case you didn't know the definition (and because I like to talk) a Super Ultra is an Ultra who has gone beyond the limits of a normal Ultra. this could be like characters such as Ultraman King, King, Father Lugeno, but it can also be when characters enter a Final Form.
What is a Final Form?
A final form is a mode a character enters wherein theoretically they should be unbeatable. They may not be a 'true' super Ultra, but they basically are.
My concern is not with characters that are just Super Ultras, the True Super Ultras, my question is with giving a character a Final Form, often times before a final battle.
Do we need it
A final form doesn't have to be a bad thing, there is no law that says you can't use one, but the question is it really needed? All the Showa Ultras finished without a final form, or any alternate form. In Ultraman Orion (Spoilers if you haven't read it yet), the form the Orion gains at the end, is not his 'Final Form'. As powerful as it is, Priest Mode has limits, Orion is untouchable, so long as he doesn't get into a contenst of strength. Yes, he is a skilled fighter, but against opponents that demand that forms use, getting into an arm lock will spell defeat for him. It is thus, not a final form.
Now the difference between Fiction and Fan Fiction, is that with Fan Fiction, you are creating a work of art based on someone else's franchise. With Ultraman, the series is such that we can create entirely new continuums without cause for contradiction. The same with Transformers, there is precedence.
This means that the same rule applies for both Fiction and Fan Fiction, story is king. Story basically equats to Characters + Journey. Journey is simple, the episodes your write, but characters?
How do they change, how do they grow. A final form, is pointless when it doesn't feed into the story. A Final Form could be used to mark character growth, a physical manifestation of that (Okay, but again, Strong VS Overpowered). Cosmos' Future Mode, in my opinion, represented the cojoined hope felt by Cosmos, Musashi and his friends, who did not give up.
Orion's final form, Priest Mode, represented him finally moving away from his past, he stopped being define by history of his home world and started fighting because he loved the people of Earth. Likewise at the end when he was overusing Berserk mode, he was again letting his past, his fear control his actions, because people do relapse. Priest Mode represented his inner peace, Berserk Mode represented his Passion and was thus why he feared it. Zen Mode, represented him finding peace with these two extremes of his character, yet it doesn't appear in the series.
In Dimensional Clash, all three main Ultras get their final modes due to personal revelations and some help from the beyond. From the description of the modes, Zen mode should've appeared in the Series proper, and to be honest, I did think about, but in the end I decided, no. One revelation doesn't mean he's suddenly perfect. Zen Mode is about balance, Orion overcame his one major issue that doesn't mean he didn't have room to grow.
An Upgrade form is different, like Mebius Burning Brave ( let's be honest Brave was just to sell toys), Gaia, Agul Version 2, Cosmos Eclipse. Upgrades represented a new stage in their growth, but they were not all power Final Forms. (Note to self; do an Editorial on Alternate Modes). But, in the series they now seem standard if only to sell toys. Now I complain about that, but please remember toy sales are how most tokusatsu franchises survive. I'm not upset they are tryign to make money, I'm upset that at times it seems so transparent.
Final Modes, likewise, nowawdays seem to have less to do with character growth or a character's personal journey and more about selling toys.
To answer the Question
No, I don't think every series needs to end with a Final Form, or alternate forms for that matter. However, that doesn't mean they can't be used. It's your story, do what you want, granted people will critic it, but that's utlimately what you signed up for when you decided to post anything on the internet.
However, alternate forms, Upgrade forms, and Final Forms, can all be done well, they can all be made to better drive home the story. They can add depth instead of being just stacked on. So go out and create and enjoy your works of genius