This started out cute, but now you're just being demanding.
Come on old bean, I'm just joshin' :(
Although this is a discussion that needs to be had, and it's not a matter of convincing someone else of one's opinion but rather of analysis which is FAR more important anyway.
So just consider me more as a foil here and less of an argumenter.
The inner-struggle is a method by which to examine the man.
See, that's the thing. What WAS Squall's inner-struggle? He was quiet and not exceedingly friendly, but he wasn't really mean or rude to anyone (except Zell). He was shut off, and had troubles understanding human empathy, but HOW was this affecting his ability to function, or even be happy -- and admittedly, he's not SHOWN as being exceedingly happy, really, but he doesn't seem upset, and especially not upset enough to really want to change. I don't remember him ever seeming really *dissatisfied* with his life, I guess.
I'm not saying there's anything unrealistic or illogical about what he does, in regards to his personality as presented, but the formation of that personality, or well...
You and Dincrest both said it -- Squall reminds people of themselves, and I think everyone, whether they admit it or not, went through a Squall stage. And I guess that's one of the realism issues I have here, maybe. Rinoa is a change agent but what necessitates that change agent? The Squall stage is something from highschool that you just grow out of as soon as you get a bit older and make more connections*. It's a very gradual process. There aren't really any big events. And what I take issue with in your assessment is that you describe Squall's transformation as being gradual. Compared to other RPG storylines, maybe, but compared to how people really are?
And I don't think they ever really explained WHY he ended up so isolated anyway, so the best I can do is blame it on teenager cynicism -- you know just enough about the world to think everything's crap. Also hormones. So again -- why is the change agent necessary? Honest to god though this might just be my memory failing me on this game, though, so if you have anything to add, I'm all ears.
Square was certainly trying to show Squall's personality, and I guess I can say they did a good job of that. But in a very broad sense. It is not clear to me what SPECIFIC thing they trying to show about his personality, or why, or what theme to... use as a lens into his mind, if you will.
I guess, in short, I got the theme they were working towards, but what was the thesis statement?
The things at the top of the list they nailed... as the importance of the items drop, the weaker they did on them. That's kind of understandable, don't you think?
Well... no, honestly. This actually kind of goes back to my thoughts on Isaac Asimov and... Bethesda, honestly enough. Asimov's famous for his ideas but I find his writing to be incredibly *bad* from a grammatical, structural, and expositionitorial standpoint. If I'm constantly stopping and re-reading a sentence because the structure on it fuddles its meaning, I'd say that's a big issue.
In regards to... game design, (or any artistic endeavors, really, but let's focus on games design) I believe that consistency is everything. If you really want to develop one feature/mechanic/story element to the point where you're doing it at the expense of other aspects of the game, then by God, don't DO it! I'd say.
Why even have Irvine, Selphie, and Zell if they're so extraneous? If they really AREN'T that important, remove them as playable characters; if they ARE that important, then develop them more! Why have a plot about time travel instead of one actually catered to the central theme of Squall's personality?
In other words? If you draw a really awesome picture of a car and put it on the most horrifically god awful background you can imagine, it's not the car everyone's going to be looking at.
Alternatively, if you draw a really awesome picture of a car on a background consisting of seemingly random pictures of food and pinecones, everyone is going to be very confused.
Alternatively, if you draw three pictures of a car and one is really good, and the other two are progressively worse... well, you get what I'm saying.
Anyway, your points on Quistis are certainly interesting, and I'd forgotten much of it, but how much was done with her character after Disc 1?
* Unless you live in Ohio. Then you just get even more depressed and isolated because you literally are isolated in the sense that every town is a ghost town.