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  1. There is no worst meritocracy of history because there is no pure meritocracy in history. And BL not ends up in absolute monarchy but a pseudo-democratic monarchy, a new form of government (I don't buy it as well as the meritocracy in BE route but it exists). And, I don't want to get too much into the terminology here, but the idea of supreme power of the monarch with 'heavy religious influence' is tricky. Religion and church can support the monarch's power, but church can also compete the power with the monarch and try to limit the monarch's influence. To be honest, I feel the empire Edel built in the ending of BE route is the most despotic and authoritarian of three although added a flavour of 'meritocracy', because all the efforts Edel puts in to eliminate the aristocrats who are against her. And what is "heavy religious influence", exactly? If a state whose majority are believers and participates actively in religious activities, but it has the separation of the churches and states, and it is based on secularism, does it has heavy religious influence or not? And what count as heavy religious influence and what count as the light? Claude is talking about his ambition to change the world (not only Fodlan) all the time in GD route. Edel is the one who starts the war. And other routes are not achieve ”as good as BE” routes. The game tells us that each route (at least three lord routes) makes "progress” in totally different directions. You might say that they achieve different kinds of "good" in the ending, and which one is the best depends on what player thinks is the most important. For example in BE route there is no mention of the pseudo-welfare system in BL route and the pseudo-globalization in GD route. (you get the pseudo-communism instead) (I am just kidding don't be serious of last sentence)
  2. I don't think you understand my main argument and I am sorry if I explain it badly. 1, Her ideal, if it is really what people sum up above (”to create a horizontal meritocratic society without class, religion and aristocracy”) is naive, unrealistic and a fantasy in a medieval world and has little if not zero chance to succeed because it doesn't cater with the social development. What's matter is not what a political ideal is progressive or not but the actual methods and boring practical detail and 'minor' things. Could someone explain how Edel makes her majority population, i.e. the peasants to 'rise up according to their merits'. Please inform me if there any MERITOCRATIC society on a certain scale without religion, aristocracy and any social distinction and stratification in the medieval world which is created through a 5-years war(or the later reformation which the game literally skip in one line and provide no information on how she actually does her reformation) . And she called her behaviour ”free human beings from oppression”…which is good propaganda if you ask me. So if you disagree me on that point, you could persuade me that her ideal is practical or realistic. However, I might sum up her aim wrongly. Maybe she just wants to weak the power of aristocrats and church within the empire, promote public education, reform bureaucratic system, make laws which enable class mobility more. I have no question to these aim, but still the fact that she talks about "freeing human beings" "let the strong rise" and meritocracy all the time is confusing. And how she found that eliminating church and annexing two other countries is the easiest approach to achieve her aim is beyond my understanding. And what exactly is the 'class reformation' she is doing at her end? Confiscating all autocrats' land and giving them off to people averagely? Confiscating all the autocratic's and merchant's wealth and arranging an exam, distributing these according to people's score in the exam? For your last argument, I am arguing that 'Empire will dissolve and a civil government will replace it' has no evidence in the game to back it up. I am not trying to prove what will happen after Edel ends her reign. No one knows what will happen in the future because information people need to make a solid prediction lacks in the game. I am definitely not trying to discuss whether Edel's successor choice is wise or not, because we don't even know that person's name, not to mention the specific social environment and foreign relations of the empire at that time.
  3. Because there is no pure meritocracy on the earth, now and ever. None of today's society is a meritocracy. Therefore her ideal is just too naive to be treated seriously. Increasing class mobility, social equality and promoting the education is good; trying to create a utopia which never exist in human history is lunatic. Trying to create a utopia where 'class does not exist, no aristocracy, no religion, one powerful leader who passes her position to the person she believes is worthy' is terrible and I can't help but find it is unnervingly dangerous and horrible. I hope it can remind people of some familiar examples in the history. And, in reality, let's just assume that you have as much power as Edel's, you cannot pick up the most 'progressive' form of government and most attractive political ideal (”based on their merits!”) you have listened then decided to imposing them on the land you ruled and ”giving” your people the best form of government, and enforcing them on other states as well by invading your neighbours. It won't work and it will never work because political and social structures are complicated. Again, does that sound familiar? In politics, 'How to achieve it' is a way more important question than what is the best, and we never know how Edel achieve a utopian society which does not exist in human history when the society is based in the medieval world and the economics relies on agriculture and land, about 80% population are peasants, extremely low literacy rate, no modern technology, no modern transport methods, no modern trading system and business group. Smart Reforming policy and proper investment and encouragement on society is appreciated and welcomed; an emperor who thought she can change that situation once and for all through war is not. And a little detail from GD route: a merchant will tell you that they are happy under the alliance's reign rather than empire because alliance has a more open and free policy on trade and business. So yes I think Edel means well but she is absolutely wrong and can cause huge disaster in reality if someone like her helds power. And, despite everything, the nobility does NOT disappear in Edel's ending. 'When Bernadetta inherited House Varley from her father,' in Bernadetta's paired ending with her 'Edelgard, the new Adrestian emperor, appointed Caspar as her Minister of Military Affairs' 'Hubert and Ferdinand became the left and right hands of Emperor Edelgard,' 'Minister of the Imperial Household, ....and the prime minister' So seems like the important roles in the government is happened to be taken by those who comes from the former powerful houses, who are also Edel's classmates, and help her to win the war. That's absolutely what a meritocracy should like, right? The emperor even married her prime minister Ferdinand 'who had assumed his inherited position as Duke Aegir' in their paired ending. It is cute, but it is also just tell you that all the reformation thing is more or less a joke and the writer does not put some serious thinking into it. Yeah she does not pass it to her children but passes it to a 'worthy' successor (based on her judgment obviously). And the whole “empire is dissolved” thing... I am sorry there is no evidence in the game indicating that. I can as well as imagine that after she dies everything ends up in disaster. Although I don't buy any of these three individual endings and find all of them quite absurd, I think it might be helpful to people who want to discuss which is the best or 'progress ive' future for Fodlan. So I post them here. ”As the new Adrestian emperor, Edelgard dedicated her life to reshaping the delicate political structure of Fódlan.With tireless work and great sacrifice, she reformed the class system to ensure a free and independent society for all. In her later years, she entrusted her life's work to a worthy successor before finally vanishing from the public eye. After his coronation, Dimitri spent his life reforming and ruling justly over Fódlan. He focused particularly on improving living situations for orphans and improving foreign relations. He was known for listening intently to the voices of all, and for instituting a new form of government in which the people were free to be active participants. He lived for his people and alongside them, and was thusly dubbed the Savior King. Claude returned to his homeland of Almyra and assumed the role of a politically active prince. After inheriting the throne, he worked to improve relations with Fódlan. In addition to establishing new trade routes, he fostered trust by sending reinforcements into Fódlan to help quell revolts by the remnants of the Imperial loyalists. Under his guidance, the peoples of Fódlan and Almyra were finally able to set aside age-old prejudices, and over time, the fallacies of old were all but forgotten."
  4. Also, I think I have mentioned the potential persecution Edelgard might have on Seiros believer. So it is zero religious tolerance and freedom under her rule as well. She seems no better than the church in this matter. I highly doubt that Edelgard will allow Seiros believer to work in her government, right?
  5. I understand you dislike for the church of seiros, but I think you really exaggerate its bad aspect here. The church of seiros was probably doing better than the real church in history- less wealth, far less political influence( especially in the empire), acting more as the meditator rather than positively pursue to expand its influence. The church literally has very little influence in the domestic affair of the empire after the south church staff, and they never care about who would be the next emperor as long as it is not someone who wants to distinguish the whole church with a war. And, Rhea in some endings is very willing to step down and hand over the power to someone else. Church of seiros, after all, has limited power, while the empire under Edelgard's rule really is too powerful to be good. Besides, many unbelievers and foreigners works in the church as well- Shamir as an example. Church of seiros even welcome scholar like Hanneman to work here and study the nature of Crest as well (who, ironically, is escaping from And I think you are argue against yourself here. If, exposing the true nature of the church, can effectively reduce church's influence in a far more peaceful way, Edelgard's war seems less justified and stupid. Many things you said about the church can be applied to the empire as well. Might be even better if it is applied to the empire. How come a centrist authorative empire which has a ruler like Edelgard( I have listed all my reasons above why she lacks quality of being a good ruler above) is better than a authoritative religious institution? From what I see in the game, the empire is more dangerous simply because its ruler has more power centralized on herself. Yes, she has supports from some noble house, but what about those who are opposing her? Is there anyone in the empire could stop Edelgard making some policies if they think it is a bad idea? Seems like she really has the power on literally everything and can do literally everything if she wants at the end of the game.( The only obstacle is... TWSITD) (Well she can listen to others advice but that's it. I highly doubt that Ferdinand can really be an obstacle to her if he disagree with her sometimes) And, in the s support, the last word she says to Byleth is something like ”let us become the new light shine upon the land of Fodlan”. For me it just confirms the belief that she is an authorative secular leader who is no better than religous one. Also, Edelagrd's rule is based on misinformation and propaganda as well, making her no better than the church. She believes the 'Nemesis is hero' kind of history and misinformation and probably would spread it as the 'correct' version of history. And can Edelgard still gain support from common people if the public know everything she did? (Cooperating with TWISTD which nuked the whole city but then say it is the church who are doing that is one of the worst. If the public know the truth they probably would lost the faith in her completely.) (Judging by the endgame narration, everyone is pretty alright, even Rhea. I really think it is a bad writing and not convincing at all but I see no point to argue anymore.)
  6. @matchalatte And seems like I have to say something about all the historical comparisons you make although I really don't want to. These topics are highly controversial for a reason. Just a kind reminder: She is the one who starts the war she wants to achieve her own aim and invades other two countries while the three states has no wars at each other for over 300 years and the other two states shows neither intention of invading nor posing actual threat to the empire. So if you want to find some relevant history counterpart,please consider the above fact, otherwise the discussion is pointless.
  7. Well, but from a pure medieval ethical ground... Attacking the church (which is actually a better church compared to the reality), killing the 'saint', blaspheming the Holy Tomb, starting a war against other 'non-heretic' states, cooperating with people who hold the demonic cult, would be considered as evil by the standards of most common medieval people. Actually it is modern ethical standard (from yourself and many others) found her redeemable and willing to take a more flexibale and utilitarianism perspective on her. That's to say, personally I am not concerned so much about her morality. She might be the morally best character among others depend on which standard you are using. What fails me the most is that she shows no political talents and essential skills and abilities to rule the whole continent in the actual presentation of the narrative except the game told you so. Yes, there is a political reformation blabla, but the game really not demonstrates any details and the gradual process, instead we only saw her using violence to gain everything without consider all the possible alternatives at first. Is that a quality of a capable political reformer? I doubt so. She also has serious issues to compromise with people who have different ideology with her. And She really lacks any ability to communicate with people who can be her potential allies. Besides, even her ability of plotting against others is very questionable- at the beginning of the story, what happened if byleth did not save her? She died because of the bandits she hired herself? What a talent plan with political wisdom... Even her mental stability seems not suitable for a future ruler, although she is not the worst. She is willingly to make herself a monster at the end of BL route and she seems lost the last bit of sanity at that point. In addition, you example of her cooperation with TWSITD as the evidence of her diplomatic ability just the opposite to me. I found it is hard to understand her diplomatic choice. At best she might be forced to cooperate with TWSITD. Another problem is, she seems very easy to be misguided. I believe that what Rhea told us is the truth or the most closest to truth (you can argue it is not). It seems to me that her ideology and action is based on the false information and she is misguided while she don't realize that. She just believes that the empire version of history is right and never bothers to seek any concrete evidence or doubt that just like church the empire can also change the history to its need therefore she should take with the information with a skeptical eye. Like I said before, the main problem I am with the BE route, is that the good ending is so unrealistic and unconvincing to me. To me, Edelgard shows no personal ability of ruling a country in the game narrative, and I found it is hard to believe that she will become a capable and good ruler. (The same with other two lords though) But I do agree that she is a much nuanced character than a simple morally corrupted villain. I generally like all her supports and finds that it really adds layer to her personality. And yes, she might be a better (or less worse, imo) ruler than Dimitri, but better than a mentally unstable man does not makes one a good and capable ruler. I personally think Claude can be the best ruler out of three- at least the game shows us that he has the ability to seek cooperation, maintain a divided union by political wisdom, much more reasonable diplomatic choice, and some strategy to fight back the most powerful states with a divided and weaker union. Plus he is mentally more stable, and actually discovers the whole truth about the history while Edelgard is ignorant of the truth and be misguided throughout the game. But I don't want to drag into any stan vs stan fight so I have to say even you think she is a better ruler than Claude it does not make her automatic a good and capable ruler. Just the least worst one perhaps. To sum up: The game really not convinces me that Edelgard could be a capable ruler of the whole continent although it told us so in the ending. For those who think the ending is convincing and think she can be a capable ruler, I can understand why they found her 'good'.
  8. There are some major differences between those two, though. Most importantly, Dimitri did not do it and he is unaware of it till the last moment. Dedue gave those soldiers Crest stones. And it is clearly states that soldiers are voluntarily to turn themselves into the beast because they believe that's the only way (not to say it is a good thing). If they lose this battle, the empire are going to succeed in invading the capital of Kingdom and the Kingdom will be wiped out from the history (as in BE ending shows). So what those soldiers do are more out of desperation and in the belief that they are sacrificing themselves in an honourable way (not to say it is good, again). While for Edelgard, the game does not inform us where these beasts in her army come from. They might be volunteers, maybe not. But considered the length they existed in her army, she must acknowledge it and allow it. And she directly attack the monastery with it( in other routes), benefiting from the fact that it is a powerful weapon against Rhea. And she as the Flame emperor goes to the Holy Tomb and commanding her soilders to grab the Crest stone. I also don't think Dimitri is intentional to 'defend an outdated corrupt system'. Dimitri get his own problems, but he and church is more like cooperators with a mutual enemy rather than one defending the other. His main aim here is defending the Kingdom which does give him a little bit of legitimacy. And I think 'they were at war with each other' is not a very accurate description. More like 'She is claiming the war on two other countries and the church'. And you are right, war is ugly. But that's why other lords at least have moral high ground on this issue (Though I do think on other issues she might be morally better). They are not the one who starts an unnecessary war, she is.
  9. I don't want to say too much about the history, but... An interesting fact is that the gatekeeper will flee off the empire in the BE route because he is a pious believer. In other routes, a monk will come and thank you for restoring the monastery and letting her being able to return to it. She also tells you that in these five years she needs to hide from the imperial army and lives a underground life. So it seems that Edelgard has some persecution policy based on religious identity( tbf she might be okay with those who believe in the goddess but against the church, but she seems completely intolerant toward any church member) . In her ending, the game clearly states that the church of seiros disappeared forever. Although it is very vague, I highly doubt that one can make the major religion disappear just by killing the archbishop and telling all the member of churches ”don't believe it” and they all willingly give up their beliefs peacefully. Also, she is cooperating with people who are doing human experiments, and benefits a lot from their research results by having an army including the Crest beasts (As far as I know, the game never tell us that whether those Crest beasts in her army are soldiers or villagers/common people, and whether they are willing to be turned into the beasts or not. But judging from the fact she is cooperating with TWSITD, it looks very suspicious. ) In other routes she directly commands the Crest beast army to attack the monastery. So she is starting a war with an army including human beings being turned into irreparable beasts alive as a weapon to fight, which could be closed to the level of some of the war crimes against humanity, if those are really common people and they are unwillingly turned into the beast.
  10. As a character, I found her personality adorable and interesting. But overall I think BE route is written poorly and both the ending and her ideology is weak and flawed.
  11. Thank you for this review and I really like it. If you have time and would like to, please update the review when you finished the BL routes and the other two maybe. Looking forward to your review on the rest of game.
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