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  1. #30 Colm Ten characters are already removed and few characters with many negative points remain. Colm is another cheeky and impudent character that likes to tease others, but unlike Ewan, his behavior has a reasonable background. Orphaned by the war, his village was burned down and he has to survive and care for himself and Neimi. It is understandable why one would resorts to thievery to survive. Colm has a slight antagonistic role in chapter 2-3, stealing the precious bracelet of Eirika and thus setting events in motion for the detour to the bandit hideout. Thievery is a lesser crime and merely the first step of the criminal path. It may start with stealing belongings that the victims may not need, like Eirikas bracelet. But to survive, food and important goods have to be stolen. It will be more profitable to be more reckless with it by hurting others during plundering. If the robbed victims fight back, hurting and killing them may also occur. Many criminals start with simpler crimes like thievery and it can escalate quickly. Colm may truly become a murdering bandit like the ones in chapter 2-3, if he stayed on that path, even if he had understandable reasons first. But due to the efforts of his close friend Neimi, he is saved by her and Seth chastises him. By the end of the chapter, Colm joins them with the motivation to change his ways. He sort of has fulfilled his role and character arc already. For the rest of the game, he stays as the slightly dubious, but overall well meaning thief that tries to help. He still strays from the path of righteousness, as shown in his supports with Moulder. He's making fun of him and his teachings and is only partly taking his redemption seriously. Colm is someone that won't be convinced by nice words and good faith like Moulder and Neimi try to, he listens far more to strict authority. He shows much more respect for Seth and Kyle. With the latter, he is quite eager to learn from him and to please him. Since he is scared of the silent, serious Marisa, he isn't making fun of her either, though the support is mostly about her. The support between Colm and Rennac is a typical thief vs thief support, with them trying to outperform each other. The support also shows their contrasting backgrounds. Rennac comes from a wealthy merchant family, Colm is a country bumpkin with no connections. His romance with his childhood friend isn’t exactly optional, even in other supports and her epilogue it implies that Neimi ends up with him, They don’t have any other romantic choices (unlike the following recruitable pairs Lute/Artur and Joshua/Natasha) and the C support is even forced in Easy mode. While the romance can be depicted as a sweet childhood romance, it isn’t well executed. Colm is rather mean and constantly belittling and insulting her. I get that „I’m the only one allowed to make you cry“ is meant to be adorable and wholesome, laying the rose tinted glasses off implicates a unhealthy relationship that isn't too far from abusiveness. Conclusion Colm has his charms and a decent first appearance with a serviceable conflict and character arc. But there isn’t too much to his character and he isn’t contributing too much in supports, at times he is even a nuisance for the other characters. Current Tier List This leaves Franz, Vanessa, Marisa, Saleh, Rennac and Selena for the next character to be cut. Which one will be next? And which two characters survive this round? And was Colm rated fairly? Thanks for reading and feel free to comment.
  2. #31 Moulder Moulder joins in chapter 2 as a priest who served Frelia for decades. He has a fountain of live experience and is always available to give his younger comrades advice. Aside from some polite words before and at the beginning of chapter 2, he doesn’t have any more scenes, not even recruit scenes with Tana, Innes and Syrene. The Priest/Wrys archetype is fairly high represented in the series, though younger cute clerics/Lena's replace them occasionally. Religion is always present to some extent in the mythical settings, always linked with (light and staff) magic. Some characters manage to use their faith to establish their personalities and motivations. When confronted with less faithful, controversial and educational conversations can follow to flesh out each characters world view. FE6 Saul in particular is a priest whose gimmick clashes with his profession, though he manages to make it part of his social gatherings. He discusses gods potential vindication with the incredulous Igrene, his master Yodel discusses multiple religions with Dayan, a follower of a different religion. Moulder... doesn't do any of this. He seems to be faithful and the other characters in this setting also seem to , but the religion in Magvell isn't fleshed out at all, we don' know anything about the gods that are mentioned by people here and there. Do they have a connection with the dragons and the demons? How exactly did they bless the five legendary warriors with the sacred stones and sacred weapons, in particular Saint Latona and his light tome and staff? Religion in FE8 is something vague and may or may not resemble our religions. And whether the writers or translators wanted to elaborate on religious topics or purposely left them vague, in the end, L'Arachel, Natasha and Moulder are supposed to be followers of faith, but their faith isn't build upon an elaborated background and they rarely talk about religious controversies like theodicy or polytheism. As for his supports, I already mentioned two of Moulders four supports. There is the infamous bad, superfluous support with Gilliam in which they talk about almost nothing. And the one with Syrene, where their consider themselves the more experienced persons in the army and talk about that exciting topic. With Vanessa, Moudler gives the young knight advice in in all matters, especially love. It is a one-sided advice, Vanessa doesn't ask Moulder anything about his problems (at least Syrene did that). The B Support is especially outstanding, as it isn’t even about them and instead of Innes. Moulder's remark that Vanessa reminds him of himself could open some speculations. Was he also in love but was it one sided or did he chose to be celibate? The support with Colm is also mostly about him. Moulder chastises him for his antics. It is a repetition of Colms character scenes in chapter 3, in which he considered leaving his criminal ways. Now, it is Moulder instead of Seth who berates him. Conclusion Yeah, I got nothing. Whenever people talk about Moulder, they don’t address anything of his character or his motivations and desires, mostly because he doesn’t have any. Instead, they focus on the Moulder The Boulder meme and how he has allegedly so much more HP and Def than the other mages. Or that the root of his strength lies in his mustache. I like older characters if they have an agency. Like Boran politically making the miscalculation of marrying Nyna with Hardin and dying for it. Or Wendel worrying about the rivalry of his two pupils and him taking Elrean back to the light. Moulder doesn't expands on his faith or his wisdom. He wasn't cut the first round and almost survived this round. I suspected that the other rankers didn't want to cut him, just because it is so boring to write about him. I had to convince the last player to cut Moulder at the end of this round, he shouldn't stay any longer. Current Tier List Round 3 Player 4 (that was me) nominated Marisa and Vanessa Player 3 nominated Selena and Duessel Player 5 nominated Saleh and Seth Player 1 nominated Colm and Rennac Player 2 nominated Lute and Franz The popularity poll for this round: Seth 14 votes Duessel 10 Lute 6 Marisa 5 Selena 5 Vanessa 4 Colm 4 Franz 3 Saleh 3 Rennac 3 Seth, Duessel and Lute were saved and won't be cut this round. 7 characters are left and 5 of them will be cut this round: Franz, Vanessa, Colm, Marisa, Saleh, Rennac and Selena. 2 Characters will survive this round as well, but who will it be? And who is going to be the first to be cut next time? And was Moulder's placement fair or should he have been cut one round earlier or even later? Thanks for reading and feel free to comment.
  3. I kept that in mind and elaborated a bit on the issue of humor. I don't mind funny characters, but they really need something additional beyond just being silly. #32 Dozla Dozla is the subordinate of Princess L’Arachel and always accompanying her whenever she appears prior their recruitment. This is in chapter 4 and 9 or 10. In contrast to Rennac, Dozla is loyal to L’Arachel and worships her and never questions her decisions. Why the Berserker has such a loyalty for L’Arachel isn’t explained. Their support is solely about self centered princess and them planning to further put her at the center by giving her a fancier title and similar nonsense. It solidifies his role as a subordinate who doesn’t have an agency on his own and just serves someone else. While this makes him stand out compared to Gilliam (who doesn’t have a personal relationship to Tana or Innes or Hayden or… pretty to much anyone), nothing about his loyalty is explained. Why is he treating L’Arachel almost like a daughter? Was he already a loyal knight to her parents and does he consider it his duty to keep serving them through her? Did he had a family and lost it and is now using L’Arachel as some sort of a daughter replacement? There is some potential for his over-protectiveness, as his loyalty for her is quite extreme. In their ending he ends up crying like a baby at her wedding, it is the fulfillment of his dream he also shared with his next support partner, Rennac. The support with Rennac shows the juxtaposition between the willingly, loyal, joyous and content Dozla and the unwillingly, not loyal, bitter and frustrated Rennac. Rennac uses dry, sarcastic remarks, Dozla dismisses every concern with a hearty laugh. In the A Support Dozla asks Rennac to keep watching over L’Arachel should he die, so even that level of trust Dozla is willing to share with Rennac is still about her and only partly about Dozla himself. Like in his support with L’Arachel it can be considered a touching moment, but there is still nothing based on his devotion for her that could be explored beyond his observation that she is charismatic. The support with Garcia was censored afaik. In the japanese version they drank alcohol, in the other versions they goof around and hurt each other trying to use magic and bows (excuse me, warrior Garcia can use bows!), it is a fairly silly support about two old men being grumpy about the young ones. In the support with Ewan, Dozla is again taking a fatherly role just like he did with L’Arachel, but he can't contribute to Ewans curiosity and creativity beyond being simple being impressed. Just like Rennac, Dozlas interaction with Myrrh are unintentionally hilarious on his part, as she feels mistreated. Still, at the end approves of his honesty and simple nature. Dozla also can’t stop being a simpleminded for L’Arachel, though his remark that Myrrh must be in love with L’Arachel misses the mark, as Myrrh does worry about love, it's just with Ephraim instead and she is jealous of L'Arachel. Overall, Dozla is underdeveloped with no backstory explaining why he is a joyous L‘Arachel follower. He confronts all of his support partners with hit dumbness and silliness, who either go along with it like L’Arachel and Garcia, or have trouble with it like Rennac and Myrrh. Also, he has a unique design, being a small but boisterous man with a glorious beard, enhancing his joyous nature. It resembles dwarfs and I quickly compare him to Gimli of LotR, who is also serving as comic relief for most parts (but Gimli actually has his share of grim and somber moments, particular in Moria). It seems to be just an unique character design, no one comments how weird Dozla looks. And this would almost be the end of this cut, but I elaborate a bit further on his gimmick of being a goofy comic relief and whether this improves or worsens his character. Humor is different to rate and even more subjective than this character rating already is. Some may crack up at Dozlas jokes and consider him the best character in the franchise. Some considers his joke distasteful in light of the plot and tone of sacred stones. War and monsters engulf the continent, the countries try to fight, prevent and stop the death of their citizens. And yet, L’Arachel and their merry gang is lollygagging around the continent and while they are also contributing in a positive manner, they treat the threat as some game, the whole affair is deemed as some magical girl episode with some evil cartoon villains to slay. Whether their role is appropriate and enhancing or damaging the plot is one matter, the next one is the form of humor and if Dozla is convincingly funny. This has issues on its own, as talking about jokes and explaining them is often missing the point. Humor is something unexplained, usually the creator and recipient of the joke are aware why it is funny. Linguist can even go deeper in this complex matter, I just wanted to address why I’m not starting quoting everyone of Dozla's joke and discuss whether their are funny or not. I'm restricting myself at two points, why I think that they aren't funny and contributing to his character. A character making many jokes and exploring their funny sidet on its own is okay, if not positive characterization. Every character has some sort of wit and can express it. Even strict or melancholic characters can have their moments and it may enhance them. The issue only appears if jokes are the only thing the character has. If a character has nothing to contribute but being funny, it is unnatural and forced. An extreme example is Oliver in FE10. He is effectively there because he is a popular character and a meme. The characters have no reason to accept a corrupt criminal and murderous slave trader in their ranks. The finale of the game is all about the mad, stubborn, broken antagonists that threaten to destroy or reshape the world. And yet, Oliver can even interact with them and everyone just shrugs at him and accepts that he is around. As I said, the game also never told us what Dozla drives and motivates beyond his fanatic loyalty to L'Arachel, which makes him shallow. Humor differs in quality. This goes in the subjective area I addressed earlier. Dozlas humor is silly, plump and obvious, which is why I'm not laughing much about it. It tries too hard to be funny and lacks wit. By comparison, Rennac has dry, sarcastic remarks, lamenting his poor fate that often he has brought upon himself. Those jokes tend to be better, because they address real issues and partly make one sympathize with him and partly pity him. Dozla's jokes on their own don't deliver anything subtle that explore his character. At best, other characters like Rennac and Myrrh bring out some of his strengths and worries out of him, when they react to his foolish behavior. Conclusion Dozla hardly has an own character and is more like and extension of L’Arachels ego. His own backstory and character isn't explored and for a character that is all about being funny...he isn't that great. He isn’t totally boring and made me chuckle once or twice, so at least no one chose to cut him in the first round (40-36). But I nominated him for this round and was pleased that one of the other players I did the rankdown with removed him. Current Tier List This leaves Moulder, Garcia and Marisa for the next character to be cut. Which one will be next? And which two characters survive this round? And is Dozla funny or not? And how relevant is it for rating his character? Thanks for reading and feel free to comment.
  4. It isn't the hardest difficulty, but it's not easy either. Around FE6 HM, FE11 H5, FE12 H2 and Conquest HM. Early game is difficult, because all units except Titania are weak and frail. The quicker you can train your units to reach certain stats to be able to ORKO and take some hits, the easier the game gets. The Midgame should go fairly smooth then. The endgame throws some nasty stuff like long range magic and status staves at you, the better your team is optimized the easier it is. Forging is essential, almost every chapter a weapon should be bought to ORKO stuff. Reyson and mounted units with axes and lances are still recommended to clear the enemies in the player phase, infantry units have trouble keeping up (except a good Boyd).
  5. #33 Ross Ross character and motivation is appropriately shown in his joining chapter. Afterwards, he fades in the background like most characters. Chapter 2 shows how the war isn't only affecting the nobles, the common folk is also suffering under it. Ross and his father are in danger. The knights can’t protect the country anymore, bandits loot and use the opportunity to attack their village. Garcia's past a a warrior catches up to him and once again he is forced to leave his live of peace behind to take on arms. He is forced to do what he can do best and may be destined for. Was it unavoidable, his true nature? Ross doesn’t have this dilemma, he is at the beginning of his life and hasn't decided on his path. He knows peace, but now he wants to be a great warrior, just like his father. It sounds pretty and is even more understandable for gameplay related reasons, as he needs much more experience than the other units and has a few more options to grow and promote. But plot wise I’m not entirely convinced why he wants to go on a journey and travel the world. Was his peaceful live in a the village boring? Why isn’t he taking the same path as is father and becomes a knight? Doesn’t he want to imitate him? Inheriting and solving the parents grief and regrets is important for some key characters of FE8, especially the royal heirs Lyon, Joshua and the siblings of Renais and Frelia. But unlike them, Ross doesn’t have a pressing need to follow his father. Character wise, Ross is inexperienced and is immediately contrasted with the experienced Garcia. Ross freaks out when they are confronted with the bandits and panics when saved by Vanessa who tries to rescue him. Garcia keeps his cool and puts his faith in the pegasus knight. Ross is typical hot headed and a bit of a simpleton. Though he never goes in the stereotype of the dumb muscle, which happens to quite a few axe fighters in the series. Much of his naivety has to do with his age, he is the typical annoying child soldier who shouldn’t really accompany them. His supports can be sorted in two groups. In one group he interacts with characters roughly his age and in the ones with Garcia and Gerik he learns from the veterans, who teach him. Lute and Ewan mostly make fun for him being a simpleton, who can’t catch up with their intellectual and rhetoric musings. Ross isn’t really dumb, he is more likely to have street smarts. At least Ross can build a slight friendship with those two bearing, ungrateful and pedantic persons, Ross is the sympathetic one by comparison. With Amelia it is a honest, warm, plausible friendship between the two scrubs, though Ross boasting to be the bigger brother and becoming embarrassed when Amelia is teasing him is too silly and anime-like for me. The support with Gerik is informative, they play the part of wise mentor and eager student well. The one with Garcia has heart, but is fairly predictable and self explaining. Both supports lack tension. There is no scolding and arguing, no clash of different views and possible conflicts between mentor and student or father and son. Instead, Ross is polite and compliant, if a bit overeager. Conclusion Ross isn’t as annoying and boring as prior characters, but beyond his vague „I want to travel the world to become a great warrior like my father“ he has nothing else to offer and he doesn't grow and change. Neither the plot nor the supports question, enhance and develop his character. Which is a bit ironic, considering that his class is all about development and improvement. But the 10/20/20 Ross in the epilogue behaves just as eager, naive and inexperienced as the level 1 scrub in the beginning. Current Tier List This leaves Moulder, Garcia, Marisa and Dozla for the next two characters to be cut. Which one will be next? And which two characters survive this round? And was Ross placed fairly? Thanks for reading and feel free to comment.
  6. C-Support: "Knoll: There are as many truths out there as there are people to tell them. Perhaps it’s best simply to choose the truth with which you are most comfortable. Natasha: ……" Natasha: You’re wrong… My mentor wasn’t like that at all! And isn’t this war the direct result of all your dark magic research? Knoll: …… Natasha: …… A Support Knoll: …Within five years, half of Grado will be destroyed. Natasha: Destroyed? Knoll: In the southern half of the continent, there will be a terrible quake. The ground will shake violently. The earth will crack open wide. Cities will fall. Fields will burn in the earth’s hot blood. Few will survive. This is what we have foreseen. Natasha: How– How can this– Perhaps you might allow me to join you when the time comes… Natasha: Master Knoll? Not that I complain about the support itself, it is my favorite one, but Natasha mostly takes the less interesting role of interviewing Knoll and pressing him. He has all the cards and is the interesting part in this. Correct, almost none of the supports are about her, they are usually about the men and their issues. They can use a flat character like Natasha who occasionally asks the right questions and makes the right deductions... about them. The support with Franz is exclusively about his issues. Natasha is so selfless and caring, that she never forces herself in the center to show some agency. Her support partners open herself up to her, while she is all to willing to talk about them rather than her. Like with Ewan, this behavior may be realistic and understandable for their characters, but it isn't pleasant to read. And being annoying/flat on purpose is still annoying/flat. The way she treats him compared with Seth and Joshua is patronizing. Franz is happy about it, talking about his fears and weaknesses. He gives her his mothers comb and talks about both of them. Interesting to read about Natasha in a positively light, I found her to be one of the blandest females in FE8. At least she had enough stuff to not be cut in the first round (40-36), she isn't that terrible.
  7. Probably, but whether she's a Gotoh or a Midia/high-ranking mid game general arcetype, she is a disappointing, not fleshed out example for both archetypes. Yeah, Moulder's end draws near. Frelian's are really boring, their country doesn't even have a nice thematic background. At least there is still their royalty. Only one of Dozla and Garcia will survive. Realistically/purposely being annoying is still annoying. But reddit voted the Ewan post down, so he has some fans. It boils down to annoying vs boring. Syrene also hypes Innes in their recruit conversation. I disagree with Kyle being an interesting cavalier. That would be Forde. #34 Natasha Natasha is introduced in chapter 5 and as the first unit of the enemy country to join Eirika, she is quite symbolic for the thematic background this chapter provides. It plays in the city of Serafew which shows the current distorted relationship between Grado and Renais. Eirika remembers the past and her friend Lyon, who is assumed to be her enemy now. While Grado is currently evil, not all Grado people are or were so. Natasha is one of the first examples. She is clearly of good intent and her circumstances of being hunted down by her own people is another display of the current corruption and madness that reigns her country. Religion always leaves the intriguing question open if it’s about the message or the medium/messenger. In her backstory she tells how her mentor father MacGregor was watching the events of Grado, the countries decline and the mad acts of Vigarde and Lyon. He spoke against his emperor and prince and died for it. To be frank, him taking a stand and finding out their heretic acts is much more intriguing and would be much more exciting to see than the brief summary that Natasha provides. Her only purpose is to deliver his vague message: Vigarde is mad and tries to destroy the other Sacred Stones, an act that is somehow bad. She doesn’t know anything about it, it is poor determination and faith that lets her risk her live. This is a huge contrast to the scholar Knoll, who knows about the experiments and when they lead to Grados ruin. But he is actually unable to act. He has the knowledge, but lacks the spirit to do anything but lament. Natasha has the spirit…but simply doesn’t have any knowledge what' the danger is actually about. In the end, this is fairly vague foreshadowing and mostly for the players benefit. Eirika doesn’t really act on it and the Sacred Stones of Frelia and Jehanna get destroyed soon afterwards. Only until Ephram meets Knoll, who actually witnessed the events and provides some sort of insight in Lyon and the Demon King schemes, do they keep an effort to protect the stones of Renais and Rausten. Natasha's contributions were well meaning, but useless. What's even more cynical about her existence is, that she may as well die in chapter 5 and her role doesn’t change one bit. There is an optional dialogue if she is slain there. She does deliver the words with her last breath at the end of the chapter then. If she lives, she is just accompanying them and doesn’t do anything anyways. Still, her character can be explored in supports with five different characters. Joshua This is one of the better known supports, mostly because of the quite famous recruitment scene that serves as the introduction to their growing relationship and romance. Joshua is the first enemy unit, though he is just a mercenary on payroll rather than a psychotic murder machine like Navarre and Rutger. His mindset for letting himself recruited by the flip of the coin that he may have rigged (or not) is a remarkable introduction of his nonchalant character, though Natasha has to endure his antics as a passive bystander and gets spared because she got lucky or because Joshua is "noble". This relationship continues to grow in the supports the same way. He plays and teases her and she obediently endures it. In the end, he is rewarded for his tenacity and Natasha falls in love with him, because he is a good person deep down (whether he actually is shall be discussed in his cut) . Seth She has more pleasant conversations with him. They are both complimenting each other through the supports and in the end Seth confesses his love to her. She is as eager to accept to the chivalrous Seth as she did with he sly Joshua. There isn't a distinction or clarification, why she falls in love with either off them. Franz He is deemed too young to be a potential partner, so instead he is allowed to be mothered her. Cormag Surprisingly enough, they only start at the B support talking about their troubles of fighting their home country. The C support spends time with an injured animal, because it has to be shown that Cormag is really kind, I guess. Knoll It is my favorite support in the game, but not because of Natasha, who mostly reacts to Knolls fountain of information. She is repeating words to ask him to be more specific or interrupts his dialogues with “…”. Natasha serves as a self-insert of the player towards the new information he offers and she is as helpless as we are, when Knoll confronts her with the destruction of Grado he foresaw and how or if there is anything to do about it. Natasha's kind, meek demeanor with all of her support partners makes her rather passive. Usually she merely reacts, agrees and is letting them take the lead. She doesn’t questions her convictions and stays as the gentle selfless healer without having any agency (beyond what she did in her recruitment). Conclusion All of the Grado units in the party have some neat internal struggle going on and Natasha has a fairly memorable introduction going for her: She is being hunted down by her own people and her recruitment with Joshua is quite iconic. But beyond that, most of her background of serving Grado is unused potential. Natasha doesn’t really have any agency after she delayed her message. In the supports, she is compliant to a fault (except with Knoll). At least she is an improvement over FE6 Ellen, who is also a cleric of the enemy nation (though it only matters in her support with Chad). Current Tier List This leaves Moulder, Ross, Garcia, Marisa and Dozla for the next three characters to be cut. Which one will be next? And which two characters survive this round? And was Natasha placed fairly? Thanks for reading and feel free to comment.
  8. #35 Kyle Kyle is introduced in 5x as one of the members of Ephraim's small group of knights. They are notable in fewer numbers but more experienced than many of the younger members in Eirika's group. While this suggests his competence, he is easily the least interesting member of the group. Ephraim is the fearless leader with a daring plan, Forde the laid back person of the group, not shy with dry remarks and the quit Orson is the more or less suspicious Seth equivalent and upcoming traitor. Kyle doesn’t strike out with charisma or personality. This is even more apparent in chapter 8, when they join with Eirika's group. While Ephraim and Ford embrace and encourage their siblings, Kyle has a brief talk with Seth. They regret the loss of Orson, though they aren’t even showing any signs of betrayal, it is a dry procedure. Just like with Gilliam and Syrene, this speaks of his competence, but it makes him shallow. Kyle continues serving his lords and doesn’t have a larger role in the plot, but he still has plenty of supports. Unlike the last two knights, he has chaotic, energetic and tiring partners that compliment his stiff and strict attitude well. Occasionally, the player can even sympathize with his demeanor, considering that he has to use it to keep his stubborn comrades in check. I don’t have anything new to add to the support with Syrene. Ephraim Since Kyle was at Ephraim's side for a long time, his loyalty isn't limited by just being a knight assigned to his lord. They consider each other brothers in arms. That conclusion is reached by running through the support with a common pattern in Fire Emblem: A knight tries to prevent a noble from going at the front and wants them to be less reckless. Over the course of the support, the lords rescues the knight, proving that they are capable if not necessary at the front. Kyle hesitantly acknowledged that Ephraim has to lead them. Colm The common thief and the knight Kyle are acting weirdly familiar. Colm is overly eager to help Kyle, who isn’t questioning him and grateful for the help. Kyle being willing to cooperating everyone who is willing despite his strict demeanor is also shown in the next support. Lute The both have a peculiar dynamic going on. Kyle request the help of the eccentric mage. He is disregarding her quirks and attitude and grateful for her help. Lute in turn is pleased being helpful. While most support partners of Lute are struggling with her eccentrics, Kyle is the sole exception that flat out ignores it. He is completely straight towards her. In the A support, their teamwork leads to a romance and their marriage in the ending. It is anything but romantic and quite awkward. Kyle doesn't even know what he finds interesting about her and Lute obediently agrees to live with him without any considerations. Forde The two cavaliers with opposing personality compliment each other quite well. Kyle is chastising the lax Forde, who in return teases Kyle for being to strict. Kyle shows slight sides of frustration and jealousy over the lazy knight who bested him in sword combat, but is humbled when Forde reveals that he respects him and was even inspired by Kyle attitude. While Kyle is in many ways the better knight, Forde shows him that there is more to it than just fulfilling your duty and in many ways Forde is the better man. Ultimately, both consider each other their greatest inspiration. Conclusion Kyle support partners challenge him much more than the ones that Gilliam and Syrene have. He shows more personality because of it, but he isn't exciting either. Current Tier List This leaves Moulder, Ross, Garcia, Natasha, Marisa and Dozla for the next four characters to be cut. Which one will be next? And which two characters survive this round? And was Kyle placed fairly? Thanks for reading and feel free to comment.
  9. #36 Syrene Syrene the Falcon Knight is the latest character to join the party, having only around five chapters of availability. While this is mostly a gameplay issue, there is less opportunity for her to grow build up her supports and she was absent from the story until now. Similar characters who join late are often referred to being part of the Gotoh archetype. They can be introduced earlier, are hyped as some savior of legendary proportions and when they finally join, it can be quite rewarding to have the team blessed with their presence. Syrene doesn’t fulfill this. She is said to be an extremely capable flightleader, likely one of the higher ranking generals of the Frelia army and yet, she doesn’t do anything notable. Her squadron gets slaughtered by the enemy army upon her introduction. While she is cool headed enough to keep the civilians in check, she needs to be rescued and is taking the role of a damsel in distress. She can't ward off the enemies and needs to be saved by the player and his army. Vanessa and Tana have caught up with her and probably even better now. To give an example of a better executed character like her, I gush a bit over her FE9 equivalent, Tanith. Tanith was introduced a few chapter before her recruitment as a capable commander and in a few scenes she was warding of the ravens. Later on she accompanies Ike and Elincia to Sanaki, serving as some kind of mediator and supporting character together with Sigrun in the foreign Begnion. When she is finally recruited in chapter 18, having this known and established character is a proper reward and part of the number of the rewards the player gets at this part of the game. (Chapter 18 is the start of the endgame and many factors establish this to differentiate itself from the mid game: Ike's promotion, many BEXP points from the long chapter 17, the recruitment of the useful characters Tanith and Reyson.) In FE8, the player is actually around this point in time in the game as well, just like in FE9: Eirika and Ephraim just got promoted and got their personal S-Weapons, they got their Manakete and they liberated their homeland and are taking on the endgame. But Syrene is just a disappointing reward, because she wasn't introduced earlier. Syrene could have been introduced earlier, perhaps being one of the reasons why the Frelian forces were able to withstand Grado. In the story, this was due the efforts of Innes, who managed to do that due to his skill and spy network. Introducing Syrene earlier and giving her a few scenes to display her skill and competence could have made her late appearance rewarding. Why couldn't she rescue our heroes at one time, perhaps how Cecilia and Percival did in FE6? Or serve as a mediator to the foreign Frelia, like it was done with Tanith in FE9? With that said, her personality isn’t excelling either. She is a competent loyal knight, a role model for the less experienced knights like Vanessa. Overall, she matches the Palla archetype, being a bit motherly or like an older sister to her comrades and being humble. Like Gilliam, her choices of support partners are even more restricted to native characters she already knows and doesn’t have anything new to say. Gilliam The support points out how similar those characters are in their behavior and specifically how they are regarded by others as older role-models. Syrene likes to keep that responsibility and Gilliam isn't questioning it either. The closest thing that shook the support is that Syrene suspects that Gilliam is probing her for her problems, bu Gilliam just refutes it and Syrene doesn't press this. It could change their relationship, implying that Gilliam is too overprotective, but the support just doesn't try anything remotely interesting. Moulder Just like in Gilliam's support, in each conversation a potential problem is tackled at the start (Syrene doesn't have familiar faces around her, she isn't aware about the current situation), but Syrene just states her competence and how the matter is already solved. In the A support she is complimenting Moulder and surprising him with his own birthday he forgot. Vanessa The sisters are opposites in some way, which does play out a bit more entertaining compared to Moulder and Gilliam. Vanessa is overly formal, less confident, stiff, easily flustered and Syrene manages to bring out her strengths. It a decent display how a "Palla" and "Catria" usually work, if going by archetypes. She teases Vanessa about her secret love, but it isn't really going anywhere. They reveal each other to be their respective inspiration: Vanessa admires her skill and beauty while Syrene compliments her levelheadedness. Her anecdote of how Vanessa kept her cool during their fathers sudden collapse, while everyone else freaked out, is one of the strongest moments... for Vanessa's character. While Vanessa is usually regarded as mediocre and this anecdote made her shine, Syrene is usually described as being amazing, without having really flaws. By comparison, Forde is also an older sibling and sort of role model for his younger brother Franz, but Forde actually has flaws and issues that are shown. Tana This is a Tana-centric support and Syrene isn't even revealing anything controversial. Mostly it shows how Tana is sheltered and protected by anyone and in the end, Syrene admits how she grow up became more in-dependable. Once again, we are told that Syrene is this amazing aspiring role model, but there isn't a direct example of her actions why she is supposed to be so grand. Kyle An actual romance with a bit more going on, comparing the one with Gilliam. Both knew each other from a meeting years ago. She manages to get the stiff Kyle to open up. In the A-Support Kyle manages to point out how her pegasus is injured, which she oversaw because her animal hid the injury from her. It seems like an attempt to put on a character flaw on Syrene, though I'm not convinced by it. She considers Kyle being her savior because of it and he just gushes how she rescued his life years ago. So much for a character flaw for her, when all it does is lead to a character strength. She rescued him from some bandits and also inspired him to collect wooden figures. Conclusion Of the ensemble of boring dutiful knights, Syrene isn't well developed and her personality excels rarely beyond being an amazing pegasus knight who is supposed to be so much better than anyone else. She has a bit more to offer in her supports than Gilliam, especially with her sister and her romance with Kyle has more going agency than hers with Gilliam. I easily consider her the least interesting woman in the army. Current Tier List Bottom Tier is complete. I use one tier for each round for an overview. Round 2 First, we had to nominate the characters that will be ranked #35 to #31. Player 1 nominated Ross and Kyle Player 2 nominated Saleh and Marisa Player 3 nominated Cormag and Valter Player 4 nominated Moulder and Dozla Player 5 nominated Garcia and Natasha The popularity poll for this round: Cormag: 12 votes Saleh: 9 Valter: 7 Moulder: 5 Ross: 5 Marisa: 5 Natasha: 4 Garcia: 3 Kyle: 3 Dozla: 3 Cormag, Saleh and Valter were saved and won't be cut this round. 7 characters are left and 5 of them will be cut this round: Moulder, Ross, Garcia, Natasha, Kyle, Marisa and Dozla. 2 Characters will survive this round as well, but who will it be? And who is going to be the first to be cut next time? And was Syrene's placement fair? Thanks for reading and feel free to comment.
  10. #37 Gilliam Gilliam is the dependable knight we get in the early-game. He doesn’t have a negative character, not even an annoying gimmick. In fact, he is more realistic than the many child soldiers and Shounen protagonists. He is a middle-aged knight who is doing his job, competently. During the events of chapter 1, he is confronted with the young, slightly overwhelmed cavalier Franz and Gilliam takes matters in his own hands. Together with Franz they both try to rescue the ones they are sworn to serve, their respective princess of their countries, Tana and Eirika. The more experienced Gilliam is cool headed, gets a quick grasp of the situation and goes at the front, asking Franz to cover for him. After saving Tana, she thanks Gilliam, though he refuses to be thanked in any personal matter. After all, he was just fulfilling his duty. A bit later, his king orders him to accompany the foreign princess on her risky mission. He comments on the mission, but doesn’t complain, it's his duty, after all. He does his job without any complain. In chapter 7, Eirika summons her army around the fortress Rigwall that they are trying to seize. All characters affirm their fervor, Gilliam doesn’t have to. "There is nothing to discuss. We will fight." His last two lines of dialog are in the final chapter and in the epilogue. “We can’t let our guard down.” “Exactly.“ …Exactly! His ending points out that he keeps serving Frelia as a loyal knight. It even mentions his characteristic of being a strict commander who chastises defiant recruits. Loyal knights are among my favorite characters in the franchise, as they have a chivalry and code to follow. A code and mindset that can clash with the complex reality and outbreak of war, often resulting in conflicts and dilemma’s, who to serve and to protect. Knights and soldiers are some sort of necessities you wouldn’t have in an utopia. They do the less pleasant work, are partly respected and partly envied, have a certain degree of authority and power, but are also asked to be totally loyal. If their lords become tyrants or powerless, it extends to their underlings and many knights question their loyalty. We don’t have to use the traitorous Orson as an example, even the loyal Forde prefers painting over killing. The young knights Franz and Amelia aren't in for slaughtering their enemies either, but they want to serve their country and considering their orphaned state, they have additional reasons to go for this stable and honorable position. Gilliam doesn’t seem to have any of these worries. He is either well situated and if he isn’t, then the game doesn’t tell us anything about his background or family. He has a just king who is lucky enough to not have his land be seized or corrupted (an exception in this game). Whenever Frelia's heirs of the throne need to be rescued, Gilliam has no opportunity to comment on that. A character like him wouldn’t despair anyway, instead he would follow the will of his lord unshakable. There wouldn’t be the dilemma of leaving Ephraim to save Prince Innes. He may have saved Tana a second time and the game wouldn’t comment on that. So, even what little we have of Gilliam, his servitude to his king and country, is something that isn't further elaborated on to enhance his character. Gilliam has still some opportunities to prove his worth, five supports are waiting. Though the choice of his partners is as predictable as Gilliam himself. They include two of his comrades in Frelia as well as three sociable characters of the neighbor country Renais. All of them are or were part of the army, excluding Neimi. Franz Both characters aren’t too familiar with each other, coming from different countries and cultures. A potential for a rising conflict? Gilliam is having none of any exciting development. While he does scoff Franz once, Franz isn’t a fool, keeps his act together and trains on Gilliam's orders. Both lean different training methods, both are slightly surprised by each other’s conviction and willingness to learn about the other one, but it’s not like they disliked each other earlier. In the end, both connect by their love for their respective country. To be blunt, their interaction with chapter 1 already showed as much chemistry as in those three supports together, they don’t offer anything new. Both were thrown in a conflict, had similar goals and acted on them while trusting each other. Next. Moulder An infamously bad support in the entire series, it is almost unintentionally funny in its meaninglessness. In case you haven’t had the luxury to read it yourself: In C, Moulder hears a melody. In B, he hears it again. Only the A support gives us some scraps to learn something new. Moulder was nervous during a crowning ceremony and Gilliam was chastising him. That way, both of them met for the first time. They consider themselves good friends and don’t have to to talk to each other much because of it. That may be true, good friends don’t necessarily have to teach each other new stuff, but they can still argue. Perhaps Gilliam grew cold because of his duty as a knight and the peaceful priest tries to ease his struggles, remembering him of his humanity? Kyle and Forde questioned their duty an path in live, rather than just being content with being best buddies. Garcia Both tough veterans’ are kindred spirits and they have an arm-wrestling. The support gets even more exciting when they note during the B support, that one of them didn’t use his strongest arm. Yikes. The A support takes a step in the right direction. Garcia is only a former knight who left his duties and spend time with his wife and child. Gilliam is forced to reconsider his future path, if he really wants to keep being a dutiful knight or if he want so find some happiness of his own. But for now, they are at war and he doesn’t have an opportunity to reflect and change. Neimi The grim man has to deal with a sweet young girl, surely his heart will melt just a bit? Well, he scars her and almost brings her to tears. She impresses him with her bow skills and in the end, Gilliam has the epiphany, that everyone should focus on their own unique strengths. The support also points out that Gilliam has a scary face and that Wyvern riders like Cormag are scared of bows. Maybe the writers were left of ideas? The support with Moulder suggest that. By comparison, Neimis support with the similar gruff Garcia is much better executed, as Garcia actually opens up to hear and gives her the hair comb of his late wife. He moves on while encouraging Neimi to lead a fulfilling live. She isn't getting nearly as much out of Gilliam, though. Syrene After all those four early game characters, late in the game we met Gilliam's potential wife! Gilliam can flirt and marry, certainly there is some development to be found! He actually is nervous, but deals with it by being level-headed and collected, rather than making a fool out of himself. It is a quite practical and sensible approach, but we spectators want just a bit of drama, a back and forth, teasing, flirting and sweet-talk. Syrene accuses Gilliam of using psychology, which is a psychological move in itself. It may be the best moment in this boring romance. Or the highlight is Gilliam’s absolutely dry proposal/order/ to marry her. It might as well be the least spectacular pairing in the game, even their shared ending doesn’t mention anything interesting, not even a special child. Conclusion While my nomination of Ewan shows that I’m not a fan of gimmicky overbearing characters, even the silent and reserved characters should have opportunities to show their depth. With Gilliam, not one of those chances is used. He is almost stubbornly one-dimensional. A video game is mostly about entertainment and Gilliam is the exact opposite of being entertaining, he is b-o-r-i-n-g. Current Tier List The next entry is the last of this first round. One of Colm, Amelia, Dozla and Syrene will get cut, the other three characters survive this round and new characters will be nominated in the following round. The three left characters can be nominated again, but not necessarily. You can speculate for now who will be the next cut. And is Gilliam being boring that much of an issue, or should he be higher? Thanks for reading and feel free to comment.
  11. @ping: I'm curious how your list turns out. The Rankdown list won't end up being my list by any means, occasionally I will point out if a character should get be significantly lower or higher. #38 Ewan I nominated him in this first round of this Rankdown and after the two disappointing antagonists were cut, he was picked up to be the worst of the controllable FE8 characters. Is he truly that bad? Let’s take a closer look. Ewan doesn’t have a large role in the plot of FE8 on his own, he joins Eirika/Ephraim by being connected to two other characters, who have a much larger agency to join them. He is the younger brother of Tethys, who is part of a mercenary group that joins the protagonist army either way. He is also the student of the traveling mage Saleh, though Saleh is too busy to teach him when the conflict starts. Ewan still leads Eirika to Saleh on her route. On Ephraims route, Ewan merely says farewell to his teacher, who only joins at the end of the route with Eirika and Innes. Ewan keeps accompanying them, even though they voiced their concerns of tagging along a child, but it would be too dangerous to let him stay or something like that. Children characters are always a mixed bag. They are even less grown than the already young teenage knights and lords, who the franchise deemed fit to lead through a war in each game. They are often too carefree and consider the war as a game and the battlefield a place to play around. Ewan fits this type and he is characterized as fairly cheeky and impertinent. To his defense I point out that he can lay off and be quite kind and charming. Though whether he decides to delight or annoy his comrades depends on his whims. The support with his older sister Tethys shows him pretty straight as the younger annoying brother. He is trying to impress her, pouts for being chastised and denies that he is jealous of the other men around her. According to him, they don't deserve her attention so he plays tricks of them to ward them off. He shows a bit of growth in the last support. One can argue that Ewan will indeed grow out of this phase and become a decent human being, but that is the problem: We read and watch how Ewan behaves presently and he is pretty much the embodiment of an annoying brat. The other kids like Ross and Neimi are more polite, if not reserved, but Ewan lacks this or, to be more specific, he doesn't care that he is a pest to others. Another character that irritates most of her comrades is Lute, but allow me to hold off that can of worms for now. The support with Ross isn’t showing a sympathetic Ewan either. He insults and makes fun of the slower thinking Ross. Ewan mocks how Ross has trouble solving a puzzle (neat brainteaser I guess) before Ewan explains it. He also brags about having a bunch of girlfriends, teasing the insecure Ross. Ross is kind enough to let those insults slide and Ewan isn’t cruel by any means, but he can be quite grating. With Amelia, it is mostly about cheering up and teasing the girl that shares his age. He charms her with magic, but is also scarring her, teasing her and making fun of outfit. Like with Ross, she lets some of them slide and Ewan isn’t a total douche and means well, but half of his attempts to impress her have the opposite result. The support with Dozla is mainly about Ewan musing about different possible inventions. Dozla is astonished by the child’s imagination, curiosity and knowledge. Since Dozla is fairly simple minded, he is easy to impress and Ewan likes the attention. At the very least Ewan isn’t too rude and making fun of the old oaf. As for his last supports with his teacher, Saleh, the writers reuse bits of the teacher student relationship back in FE7 between Athos-Pent-Erk. Ewan is overeager to learn while Saleh berates him of the dangers of magic. This theme will continue in FE9 with Calill and Tormod, who inherits some of the looks and attitude of Ewan, though Tormod has a unique role as being part of a resistance. A lost opportunity to let Ewan show humility and gratefulness how his life turned out, is the fact that he is an orphan of a poor country. Tethys got a decent scene when she was describing her sad childhood to Gerik and how she escaped starvation. Apparently, Ewan was too young to notice anything about it and seems totally carefree, as if he never had a rough life. He got quite lucky in his life, having a sister and a teacher that enable a promising future for him, yet he still pesters them. Saleh complains about the many times Ewan screwed things up, mentioning a story where Ewan was carelessly stealing a tome and letting it fall in the water, making it worthless. Even now, Ewan doesn’t even feel truly sorry about it. Like in the other supports, this is meant to be comedic and funny, I merely notice how Ewan gets away with his behavior and isn't reflecting on it. At the very least, the last support suggest that Ewan becomes his equal. Conclusion Ewan CAN be charming and reasonable. But despite of his strengths and the fact that he is aware of his flaws, he decides to keeps being a brat, making him even more infuriating and less respectable. He may grow out of it and get better in the future. Presently in-game he seems to be at his worst and is FE8s embodiment of the annoying child soldier that shouldn’t be send into the war. Current Tier List The next entry will belong to one of Gilliam, Colm, Amelia, Dozla or Syrene. But who? You can speculate for now. Was Ewan’s placement justified or was I too harsh with him? Thanks for reading and feel free to comment.
  12. A small hint: One of them is going to be cut this current round (#40 to #36) Indeed, occasionally there were lot of questionable decisions. Polarizing characters went down too quickly or too late, there was even a bit of scheming, forcing the other player to cut their favorite characters and so on. #39 Riev One of the main antagonists with plenty of scenes and opportunities to prove his worth, but Riev fails to deliver. On the positive side, this wretched old creep behaves and looks just like one expects him to. Cackling, taking pleasure in the suffering of others, his character design perfectly conveys the image of a fallen priest. Having the bishop class and using light magic rather than the class of a dark magic wielding foe is a welcome change in the formula and adds to his corruption and fall. He still uses light magic with the utmost faith of his god, this one just isn't a benevolent one. Riev is essentially a servant of the Demon King and by extension of Lyon, the possessed prince of Grado. When recruited and installed as one of the new generals to keep the war going and to destroy the other countries stones to release the Demon King, Riev is the only other person aware of this plan. He is only pretending to be loyal to Grado and Vigarde, his true master is the Demon King. Riev's performance is… shaky. Rather than a physical imposing general like most of Grado's top, he takes more of a strategic role, having fairly high information across the continent and prefers working as a tactician behind the scenes, rather than engaging in battle at the front. His underling Novala preferred blackmail as well and Riev was attacking Rausten at night at surprise. He does know that one of Eirikas guardians survived Valters attack when talking about her army in chapter 6, further hinting to be well informed. No one likes to work with the old man. His subordinate intends to betray him and to steal his position, even Valter and Caellach are disgusted. Valter even refuses his help, which may or may not result in his defeat. Riev is able to control and lead the army of monsters. He blocks the shipping routes of the continent and has a phantom ship of monsters roaming the ocean, which is a rather neat example of warfare, considering that trade and control of trade routes is important for the countries survival. FE8 does have some slight mentions of the ramifications of economy (especially Grado and Jehanna get the short stick compared to the rich Frelia, Renais, Rausten and the growing mercantile republic Carcino). Still, the chapters often start with him cackling maniacally about the protagonists incoming doom, just to have his plans be crossed and him disappearing for the next time. FE8 is no exception of having plot convenience and cut scene incompetence to keep the villains and heroes alive. A personal goal of him is to take revenge on Rausten and its ruler Mansel, as he was exiled for his heresy. He is ordered with the task to conquer the country fairly early, but it isn’t mention for a long time in the game and only within the last chapters, he tries a coup, but it simply fails. He retreats in the Darkwoods, where is is unceremoniously encountered and killed for good. Or he is simply ignored, as he isn’t even a main boss anymore. Even his one special battle conversation with L’Arachel doesn’t really have much of an impact and she cares about him as much as we do. If he would be responsible for her parents death and made up to be the big counterpart of Rausten, it may have a stronger impact, but in in the end, he is little more than a glorified evil priest with little personality and agency. While his strengths and intellect appear to be high, all of it is to serve pure evil. He mocks everyone around him, gloats about death, compliments the cruel Valter and tricks and mocks the mad Orson. There may be a slight build up to his convictions that humanity at its worst evolves in true power and evil, but the end goal is merely the revival of a big bad demon king. Whose motivation aren't explored beyond "humans are my enemies, I’m evil." Rievs long term goal and his musings over the weakness of humanity (that he somehow isn’t part of anymore) comes off flat. It is entirely possible that the Demon King would just squash him seconds after he was revived, as Riev is just a pesky human. I question this with other worshipers of dark creators in the series like the Grima cult. At least the Lopto sect builds a culture and leadership among it's followers to raise a new society they rule over. There is a certain hierarchy, assignment of roles and political connections to the ruler of the countries. There is even rivalry along the high ranking priests, shown with Manfroy and Veldt, making this sect much more plausible. We don’t get this with Riev, him worshiping the demon king is the culmination of his stupid evilness. Maybe the Demon King could accept humans along his reign and give them positions of powers, so Rievs devotion would actually pay off, but this is also a huge speculation, we have no indicators to believe that. Ultimately, I consider Riev to be the culmination of the worst aspects of the Gharnef archetype. He is an insane, over the top evil madman that no ones likes and who is working towards his own destruction. He shares none of the good aspects of the Gharnef archetype: Being a manipulating, resourceful schemer who revives the dark creature for his own benefits, who even temps the protagonist and other country's ruler to do his bidding like Gharnef, Manfroy and even Sephiran. Gharnef has even made precautions against Medius like the Falchion, Elice and her ability to revive someone with Aum (maybe a potential user of the Falchion he also has against Medeus), has his own spell book that makes him nearly invincible and he also has blackmail against Camus. At first Riev may appear to be this sort of scheming manipulative person, being able to corrupt and control the prince of the empire, but it is revealed that Lyon or to be more precise the Demon King is in control and Riev is just content tagging along and taking orders. In the end, he is little more than a good little lamb for his new god, pretty much as weak-willed as the people of his old religion he so despises. Conclusion Good antagonist have certain roles to fulfill and standards to met and Riev has - beyond his good evil looks and behavior- neither the competence nor the charisma to make a large impact. All of his scheming and manipulative behavior doesn’t reaches any depth or brilliance that change or move along the plot significantly. He could easily be replaced by random evil sorcerers. Being so absurdly loyal, almost dependent to the Demon King also means that he lacks a personal agency, everything potential interesting about him could be attributed to the Demon King instead. So he gets the #39 spot as one of the worst and disappointing villains in the game. Current Tier List (Give it some time to grow!) The next entry will belong to one of Gilliam, Colm, Amelia, Dozla, Ewan or Syrene. But who? You can speculate for now. And is there anything to add about Riev? Is his placement reasonable or is there more to him? Was he even rated too low? Thanks for reading and feel free to comment.
  13. This new series is about character discussions and ratings of the FE8 cast. Mainly about their supports, personalities, importance in the plot and so on. There is almost no gameplay discussion. Introduction A few months ago, I made a Rankdown with four other guys on a german forum. What is a Rankdown? Essentially, we nominate each round a couple of characters, then take turns and everyone removes a character that another player nominated. We justify each of our cuts with a lengthy post, arguing why the character should be removed. We go from worst to best. There was also a popularity poll each round and the 1-3 characters with the most votes were saved and couldn’t get cut that round. We also had a number of limited skills to force other players to nominate or cut characters according to our own wish. And we had the ability to remove two characters at once. Most importantly, each player could revive one single cut character in the Rankdown, so that the character could get cut later to get a better ranking score and/or a better written cut. Because of the many rules, restrictions, skills and popularity polls, a Rankdown isn’t about rating all characters objectively, like a Tier List would. There is huge amount of randomness and favoritism. Still, it is difficult to force one’s own preference. The ratings were a reflection of how the five players agreed and disagreed with each other’s nominations, often we could argue, convince each other and form a consensus. Of course, judging the personality of a character can be much vaguer than rating their gameplay performance. It may be much more subjectively, and there are less facts and no numbers to have clear proof that Character A is better than Character B. Choosing the characters We didn’t rank all FE8 characters, we only chose the ones that we felt are relevant discussing. Since we were five players, we wanted an even number like 35, 40 or 45. The main cast includes 33 characters. Additional characters that have a certain impact and role in the story were the antagonists Orson, Selena, Caellach, Valter, Riev and Lyon. With a total of 39 characters, we either had to add one or six additional characters. While there are many NPCs like Glen, Hayden, Vigarde, Ismaire, Fado, Morva and so on with a slight role in the plot, they didn’t contribute too much. Even the main antagonist, the Demon King, doesn’t have too much of a personality to write and judge about! Even then, the Demon King and characters like Glen could be seen as additions to other characters like Lyon and Cormag. In the end, I added Carlyle as the fortieth character to get an even number. He may not deserve it, but we found ourselves short of one worthy character and just dealt with it. The 40 characters we rated were: Eirika Seth Franz Gilliam Vanessa Moulder Ross Garcia Neimi Colm Artur Lute Natasha Joshua Ephraim Forde Kyle Orson Tana Amelia Innes Gerik Tethys Marisa L’Arachel Dozla Saleh Ewan Cormag Rennac Duessel Knoll Myrrh Syrene Selena Carlyle Caellach Valter Riev Lyon So without further due, let's begin with #40. Round 1 First we had to nominate the characters that will be ranked #40 to #36. Player 4 nominated Riev and Ewan Player 3 nominated Colm and Joshua Player 1 nominated Gilliam and Dozla Player 5 nominated Lute and Amelia Player 2 nominated Syrene and Carlyle The player order is irrelevant in the nominations, but is used when cutting characters. Each round, the order went up and the first player became the last player. I’m player 4, so I'm expected to cut #37, #33, #29 and so on. The popularity poll for this round: Joshua: 12 votes Lute: 11 Colm: 6 Amelia: 6 Ewan: 4 Syrene: 4 Gilliam: 3 Dozla: 3 Carlyle: 1 Riev: 1 This meant that Joshua and Lute were saved this round and couldn’t be cut. Now each of the five players cut one of the eight left characters, though a player couldn’t cut the characters they nominated themself. So, five characters out of the eight characters (Gilliam, Colm, Amelia, Dozla, Ewan, Syrene, Carlyle, Riev) were cut and took rank #40 to #36, but three survived this round and don’t necessarily had to be nominated and cut in the next round either! #40 Carlyle As it was said earlier, Carlyle isn’t a full-fledged character of the main FE8 cast. There is room for discussion if characters like Glen or Hayden or other villains like Tirado or Pablo are more important and memorable than him. But we had to pick one extra character to get an even number, so one player just had to be generous and write a few words about a less known character. Carlyle serves as the final antagonist in the Eirika route before the two lords and their armies merge. He seizes Jehanna castle, making him the equivalent of Emperor Vigarde in the Ephraim route. There is a bit of melodrama around him and queen Ismaire, that is hinted in the Ephraim route by Caellach. Though with just one chapter of exposure, this subplot won’t take too much interest for the player. If anything, Carlyle strengthens the characters of other already well-established characters like Joshua and Caellach (who plays him like a fiddle) through his actions, rather than making a huge impact on his own. Jehanna is ruled by Queen Ismaire and she always had trouble ruling the poor desert country, even more so with her husband death and her son missing for years. Her general Carlyle has a hidden love for her that he kept secret. In the end, he succumbs to his desires and helps Grado seizing the castle in exchange for the queen. The outcome of his plan is already nonsensical, as his beloved queen wouldn’t return his feelings in any way, considering he just surrendered her country to the enemy. And if he didn’t mind spending the rest of his days with an unwilling woman and was just after her body, he just loses whatever is left to feel pity for his mad love. A shame, as his desperation is fairly decently executed. The chapter starts with him seemingly being victorious, just to get rejected by his love. It further escalates with Caellach taking Ismaire hostage and leaving Carlyle to the incoming army that is about to retake the castle. The sad somber sound of the Eirikas Route leitmotiv takes it course, while the player progresses forward the castle. Carlyle with his grim portrait is in the center of it, lonely waiting on his throne for his doom. Optionally he has a last, awkward meeting with his student Joshua, who may or may not be just like a son to him in the distant past. Though currently, it is Carlyle who gambled poorly, risked everything and is about to lose all of it. In contrast to Ephraim marching straight towards the evil empire to conquer it, the Eirika route always had the character drama, betrayal and intrigue at its focus. Not unlike Lyon and Orson, Carlyle cared a little too obsessively and couldn’t give up on his feelings for his beloved, instead succumbing to despair and selling his soul to the devil. A meager comparison for sure, as the former two had to deal with the death of their loved ones, while Carlyle was merely so pathetic to not accept a no for an answer. And this concludes the introduction to the FE8 Rankdown and the #40 rank. Next time, I get to the actual cast of characters that have much more presence in the game. But who? Well, it will be one of the seven remaining nominated characters in the current round: Gilliam, Colm, Amelia, Dozla, Ewan, Syrene or Riev. Post your guess and speculate about the further progress of this Rankdown. Who will get in the Top 5? Is there anything further to add to the character of Carlyle? I see you next time with character #39.
  14. #24 Chrom/Cordelia S-Support Art
  15. The game is slow but it isn't easy if you play on Maniac difficulty. Because it is Japanese only, it requires something like patching to play it and far less people can or want to do that.
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