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  1. Y’know I’ve been replaying Heartgold and Soulsilver recently and can we just talk about how the generation 2 pokemon games center around the theme of “the passage of time”. Think about it. The primary conflict in the game is that you’re trying to stop Team Rocket from regaining their former glory from the past. They’re trying to reclaim the past even though they should’ve moved on after they disbanded three years prior. Not only that but the post game allows you to revisit Kanto which allows you see how much it has changed in the three years since you left it. You get to see how the passage has effected it. The final boss of the game is also you from generation 1. The final test against yourself to see how much you’ve improved since the past game. Hell if you wanna zoom in even more on the game’s mechanics. GSC were also the first games to introduce a day/night cycle as well as daily/weekly events where the player has to wait for time to pass in order for certain events to occur. You can even see this with stuff like Kurt’s poke balls where you give him a apricorn and you have to wait for time to pass in order for stuff like berries to respawn. Everything in this game centers around how the passage of time affects the people and world around. It’s food for thought at least.
  2. I've made my distaste of SoV's story no secret on this forum and after two and a half playthroughs of the game that opinion has yet to change. The reason for that is the titular protagonist, Alm. What bothers me about Alm(and I should stress this issue only applies to his SoV incarnation) is that he doesn't at all fit the story that he is a part of. Say what you will about Corrin, Chrom, Edelgard, Byleth, Ephriam, Ike, or any of the other lords but at least their character arcs and characterization fit the themes and ideas their stories set out to explore. Alm doesn't in a lot of ways. LIke he's a fine enough character in vacuum but he just doesn't work for this story specifically. SoV is a story about how strength and kindness and strength on their when taken to extremes will ultimately lead to a kingdom's ruin which are shown in the degenerating gods duma and mila. It is only in the marriage of those two philosophies that a kingdom can truly prosper. This theme is shown in a lot of ways but the primary way is with the protagonists Alm and Celica who are supposed to represent Duma's and Mila's ideals respectively. Their character arcs are supposed to be reflective of the story's themes of seemingly conflicting yet complimentary ideals which is why the romance between the two is pushed so heavily. The two are supposed to take these ideals of strength and kindness to the extreme and realize they need pieces of the other within themselves to overcome their struggles. Celica represents Mila's ideals just fine and is narratively punished for lacking the strength needed to protect herself or her overly kind nature which gets taken advantage of. The problem lies with Alm. He's too soft and kind and too much of a nice guy. He's not very ruthless or if he was the story never really puts much emphasis on it. Like he's more representative of Mila's ideals than Duma's. Him killing his father is supposed to be the climax of his arc where, in a lust for power and justice, ultimately ends accidentally killing his only remaining family but it doesn't really come off that way because he was never shown to be power hungry or ruthless. He never showed hostility towards Rudolf to my memory except maybe in Celica's dream sequence which never really came to pass. He was shown to be a protector of the weak, that aspect of his character remains consistent. Like in the early stages of the story it's actually quite good where he recklessly charges in on a bandit hideout to save silque or his steadfast determination to march on Rigel. However, those are really the two instances of this happening at least to my recollection. He's never really shown to question his actions nor are his actions portrayed in any negative light except killing his own dad. Like I said, Alm is way too soft here. He's too much of a nice guy light novel protagonist for this story to really work the way it wants to. It's strange because Gaiden, the awakening DLC, and even the manga characterize him just fine with all his ruthlessness intact. I wonder what happened here. Anyway, sorry for the rant I just needed to get that off my chest.
  3. I wanted to start this conversation because I find that many people dislike these types of builds while I'm personally a fan of them, depending on the character. So I wanted to go through what I think makes a good crit build and why, and hopefully convince more people to give them a chance. In the end crits come down to chance, and I think that's why many people avoid them because they prefer 'more reliable' builds like brave attacks with enough Mt to ORKO. While I agree that a guaranteed kill is always favorable over something that is chance-based, not many characters can actually pull that off. This leads to players doing what I call the Juggernaut approach: "who should I recruit for X route?" The answer always falls down to Sylvain, Leonie, Lysithea, Ferdinand, Felix, Shamir, Cyril etc., basically anyone who can pull off brave skills pretty well (Swift Strikes, Hunter's Volley, Point-Blank-Volley, Fierce-Iron-Fists, etc.). Then comes, "what should I do with Ashe/Ingrid/Ignatz/Bernie" and any other poor shmuck who was designed with high speed/dex but low str and the standard answer usually lies between an evade tank incapable of anything else (poor Ingrid) or Sniper for Hunter's Volley, if not recruit someone else to use entirely. Don't get me wrong, all the above is sound and good advice because it works. Especially the Hunter's Volley approach for the bow boon characters, but I wanted to take a look at the mechanics (and numbers) behind crits and hopefully shed a light on how to maximize them. At the same time I'll look at the value of the Dex (and Lck by analogy) for such builds. Okay so to start off, Crit = (Dex + Lck) / 2. Which as many point out, means you only add 0.5% chance to crit with each Dex point and from that many conclude that Dex sucks. The thing is, with these types of things you want to maximize your chance to crit and there's two ways to do so: 1) Increase your crit chance via Dex, Lck, and Crit from abilities/weapons. 2) Increase you chance of landing a crit by actually hitting more frequently. If you've ever played Rogue type classes in MMORPGs or other games you might recall those crit-relying units always having higher attack speed or what comes down to more hits in the same amount of time. The reason here being that the more attempts you can make "per turn", the more you're likely to crit, and this goes up in a non-linear fashion. Take a look at the graph below which shows your chance of triggering at least 1 crit out of the number of hits you make in 1 action: Edit: I made reference plots of effective crits from some of these cases taking into account hit as well. They are posted further down in this thread. [Apologies for any color-blind people seeing this, higher hit goes up in the curves, sequentially]. So while the battle predictor tells you your "Crit chance per hit", the above plot is the actual "Effective Crit" for the entire attack. While yes, "a point in Dex only adds 0.5% chance to crit", that's only true for single hits. If you are getting more hits, then you can actually get more than 1% chance to crit per point of Dex (and Lck), depending on how high your crit already is. At lower values, each point of Dex (and Lck) contributes more towards your chance. The next plot might be a little more confusing, it shows how much each added point of Dex (or Lck) adds to your chance to crit. Meaning if you're at 21 Dex for example, the y-axis value is how much Crit you'd gain going from 20 Dex to 21 Dex, etc. Okay so what does all this mean? Well it means that the first plot is the "effective" Crit you're getting depending on how many hits you land. Clearly, it's a lot easier to land "at least 1 crit" the more chances you can attack, and often times this is all you need for these lower str characters to get a ORKO. Not on the toughest enemies like armored units, grapplers, warriors and war masters, but most anyone else (like mages, archers, thieves, and when using effective weapons). It also means that the value of Dex can be higher than 0.5% chance to crit if you make more attempts. For example, Dedue or Alois using One-Two Punch with only a 20 displayed crit chance, is actually a 60% of getting a crit (or roughly 35% chance of getting a crit in the first round of double punches). This is why for example using Hunter's Volley is such a great strategy for some of these characters. It not only guarantees 2 hits, but also adds 10 to Crit. On top of that Snipers tend to have high dex/lck stats making it fairly easy to land at least 1 crit with Hunter's Volley, especially with a crit bow. This also explains why Felix wielding gauntlets can land at least 1 crit with nearly every attack as you get close to the end game, because he has high Dex, and Spd allowing him to frequently get x4 hits with a good base crit chance. It also means, that you can land a stupid amount of crits using Astra combined with high crit chance. This is the real reason why Astra costs so much durability, not the mediocre 1.5x base damage which would suck if that was all. Finally I wanted to look at another interesting skill and how it looks under this type of analysis: Lethality. So Lethality triggers as Dex/4, which sucks, unless? Well here's the graph: Suddenly it doesn't look too bad for an insta-kill ability if you combine it with Astra. Wait, what? I can use an unlimited Rusted Sword to get kills with 1/4 to 1/3 chance? (Okay maybe don't since they weigh 20, ruining your avoid, but a cheap Training Sword works too). At 22-23 Dex you get a 1/4 chance of Lethality using Astra, while you need a 31 Dex for a 1/3 chance (using Astra). That's sounds pretty amazing to me (and like a lot of fun). Low str characters, can typically easily evade axe wielding enemies but deal little to no damage to them, why not take that chance if they have nothing better to do on that turn? Admittedly, I don't know if Lethality can trigger if you're only doing 0 damage. The only reason I say this is because I noticed monster barriers don't get hurt if you do 0 damage, so idk. So ultimately, should you go with str or dex? Well you want a balance of both since even if you crit you'll only be dealing 3x damage and if that damage is only 10 you're not getting a ORKO either way. That said, if you're at this junction of needing "at least 1 crit to ORKO" then you want to maximize Dex/Lck as well as "No. of Hits". Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that usually, these low str characters are in this situation of needing at least 1 crit, unless they have Death Blow and using Hunter's Volley against a flier. And Deathblow can be quite out of the way for some of them (and unnecessary if you build crits). From my experience though, honestly anything above 70 Crit (as displayed in the battle-prediction) seems to land almost every single time. And as low as 30 Crit triggers more often than I expect it to. I don't know if the double rng is used for crits or not. If anything crits feel skewed towards triggering but that's just a feeling, and feelings are not only subjective, they also depend on expectations and mine are usually low, so don't take my word for it. The last thing I want to say is that while any % Chance should on average yield that chance, these things are ultimately binary in this system. You roll a number, if it's less than or equal to your crit it lands. Say your crit is 30 and you rolled a 31, no crit. But had you just one more crit then it would've landed. It's not like crit damage scales with your chance, it's either x3 damage or it isn't. So that's why for me, every single point of Dex/Lck matters. Again, on average you expect to get the same % of crits as your crit value but that's only true for a very large number of trials. Anyone who's played around with rng's before knows the results can be very skewed in the short term (in either direction). As an example, take a look at the coin toss simulation on the wikipedia page of the Gambler's Fallacy (not that the gambler's fallacy is relevant here). Watch it restart say 5-10 times, and see how often one side gets favored over the other in that limited number of trials. Usually by a small amount, but this is why I say every point matters. To conclude, obviously if you have a guaranteed route to ORKO then go for it, but for characters who can't achieve that, consider a crit build that maximizes both Crit and No. of Hits. Edit: See further discussion/analysis of Astra's effective crit chance of getting at least X crits out of the 5 hits, below. Edit: Another analysis comparing Astra and double hits, here.
  4. Fire Emblem Fates, what else needs to be said? This game’s story has been critically panned by virtually everyone in the fire emblem community. From its characters acting like idiots and out of character, to its lack of world building, to it’s very lackluster villains, and to its many plot holes. But is the story really that bad? Do the things people criticize this story for hold any weight? Well that’s what I’m here to answer. Is fates’s story good? Does this story explore the themes and ideas it wants to explore in a clear competent and nuanced manner without contradicting itself? Well, to that I’d say yes, it sort of does, and I’m here to explain why. Fates is a story about being able to look beyond the surface deception of black and white in order to find the truth in the gray hidden beneath. A couple notes before we begin. In regards to lost in thoughts all alone I will be looking primarily at the official english Lyrics. I will, however, bring up the literal japanese translation and even Amanda Lee's version when relevant. Also for the sake of convenience, I will hereby be referring to Corrin as a ‘she’ throughout this analysis. Everything I say can also apply to Male Corrin. Also like my awakening analysis, this one will be broken into parts that I will update over the coming weeks because I need to finish playing through all three games. For now though here is my analysis of Birthright. Prologue(chapters 1-6): Part 1: Birthright Part 2: Conquest Part 3: Building trust Part 4: Trust and Betrayal
  5. Hello Serenes Forum, I am a french videomaker-wannabe who recently produced a lenghty analysis of the game design of FE7, with extension to the whole series. Having browsed this forum for years for interesting discussions, I know this place has the best concentration of Fire Emblem enthusiasts on the net, probably including french ones, so I humbly submit this video to their attention. https://youtu.be/UMXy5Rh416U
  6. I have been working on a builds 'optimizer' type calculator that can systematically and automatically suggest the best class for each character. It started as I was planning my team for a NG Maddening run, found myself kind of enjoying the process until I ended up where I am, with this calculator lol. So I thought I'd share some of the results to get some feedback and thoughts on my calculator. I don't know if something like this already exists so if you know of one please do let me know! MINOR SPOILER ALERT: All non-dlc classes are listed, including unique story-related classes that only get revealed as the story progresses. Let me start by explaining what this calculator does (or at least tries to do) and how it works. First it looks at the growth stats of a character and adds them to the growth stat of each class. In the sample images below, these are the values in the main part of the table listed under the stats. For each level of classes (Beginner, Intermediate, etc.) it highlights in yellow which class results in the highest growth for each particular stat, just an interesting visual aid. So far, this is purely raw data: char growth (stat) + class growth (stat) Next, I assign a rating for each class for that character. Here I've come up with a rating made up of two parts: It evaluates how closely the growths for a class align with the character's natural growths. This part takes into consideration that some characters can be more flexible than others. A value is also given to the character's strengths / weaknesses in skills that are certification requirements for each class. The two parts are combined to gain the final Class Rating. Without getting into the specifics of how the metric is calculated, it can be thought of as: [class-char fit] + [skills value] = [Class Rating] Obviously this method will not be perfect. Firstly it is based almost entirely on stats. Meaning it ignores valuable non-stat considerations such as potential hero's relics, character unique abilities, crests, etc. It also does not take into consideration the base stats of a character. One nice thing about including a value for strength/weakness in skills however is that when a character is strong in a particular skill it usually means they will also unlock useful unique abilities down that skill line, or that there might be a useful relic they will be able to use. So I like to think that some 'wisdom' finds its way into the [skills value] part of the Class Rating. That's about it. Below are some sample results from each house. If this calculator does its job well, then the higher Class Rating value, the better that class should be (theoretically) for the character. The way to understand the class rating is not that it is finding the best class for that character. Rather it is trying to identify the class that best 'fits' the character's strong suits. This is done by considering the organically strong stat growths a character has as well as the skills they are strong in or have a budding talent in. It says nothing however about how good the class itself is, what benefits outside of growth stats it might bring, or how the class might fit in a builds progression for the character. Inevitably there will be a few eye-brow raising results. I don't think a calculator can ever supersede common sense and experience, but I think it does a not so terrible job as it stands. Oh I should also add that Class Rating values don't compare across characters. Meaning if one character has a higher rating for a specific class than another character, it doesn't necessarily mean they are better in that class. It could mean they are a better "fit" for the class, but not necessarily that they will perform better. Thoughts in general? Any suggestions? Feedback? Do you know of a similar calculator / optimizer out there already? Is there an interest towards getting an improved version of something like this? One thing I think can improve in the Class Rating is to include consideration for base stats as well, just haven't figured out yet how to best incorporate that. I think that alone would fix some of the oddities. Thank you for your time. Clarifications: 1. This calculator does not consider the progression path of the character. Masters classes won't consider what you chose for the Advanced or previous classes, etc. Another area where common sense is needed. 2. Comparisons of classes are done only within the same class level. So the rating of say, a Paladin, is not compared to say a Wyvern Lord. Each class level's ratings are ranked separately. This is another area where common sense has to intervene. If you want to CTRL+F jump to a character's results, here's the list in this sample: Byleth, Edelgard, Hubert, Caspar, Ferdinand, Petra, Bernadetta, Dimitri, Sylvain, Felix, Annette, Claude, Lorenz, Raphael, Ignatz, Lysithea, Marianne, Hilda, Leonie. Byleth: Edelgard: Hubert: Ferdinand: Caspar: Petra: Bernadetta: Dimitri: Sylvain: Felix: Annette: Claude: Lorenz: Raphael: Ignatz: Lysithea: Marianne: Hilda: Leonie:
  7. Here I’ll be saying stats of certain units in fe heroes and talking about how good they are. Azura: Vallite songstress Introduction: Daughter of Arete and the former king of Valla. Gripped by an unkind fate, she strives to lead both Hoshido and Nohr to the truth. Appears in Fire emblem fates. Azura: Vallite songstress is a mounted flying unit that uses Blue tomes. When you get her she comes with prayer wheel- Mt 14 rng 2 grants speed +3. If a skill like sing or dance is used, grants bonus to targets Ark/Spd/Def/Res= highest bonus on target ally for 1 turn. Sing- rng 1 grants another action to targeted ally( can’t use on units that have sing or dance)Water blessing. Skill availability; Gray waves: Same affect as Sing, if targeted ally is a infantry or flying ally, target can move 1 extra space. B duel flying: Grants hp +3. If unit is 5 stars and level 40 and units stats total less than 160. Treats units stats as 160 in modes like arena. Aerobatics: if units hp is 100% unit can move to a space adjacent to an infantry, Armored, Cavalry ally within two spaces. Atk tactic: At the start of the turn, grants Atk +2 to allies within two spaces for 1 turn. Granted only if number of that allies movement on current team is greater than or equal to 2. Thoughts: I say Azura: Vallite songstress is a good unit for support, especially on an all mounted team( due to all of the skills and weapons she can gain) Recommend teams: Camilla: light of Nohr- can help Camilla get around to heal allies Aversa or Palla( depends if you want a magical or physical unit) can help them deal more damage to the enemy. An axe or lance unit that are mounted- For more damage and I mostly recommend Camilla( basic) it sully for extra damage. ( these are only recommended units, you decide who you want on the team)
  8. Something I've been thinking about a lot these past couple of years. Is there a way to truly define an objectively good story? Now obviously when it comes to narrative critique and analysis there is a huge subjective component as what one values in a story varies from person to person. Though with some stories we can indeed see some kind of general consensus that a story is "bad" or "good". Why is that I wonder? Is there really a way to truly objectively judge the quality of a piece of fiction? Like what makes a plot good? what makes a character good? is there really a way to tell? I'm just really curious. Personally I like to focus on the themes and ideas behind the story to gauge it's quality because those are the things of which everything else a story is built on when you think about it. I mean what makes a character relatable are the things about them that allow us to understand them. Likewise stories I find to be very similar in that a story is only able to invoke emotions within us is because it conveys values that we can understand. This is a topic I've been chewing on for some time now and I've yet to truly find a definitive answer. So what do you all think?
  9. Here's something I've been thinking about recently. Does plot contrivance really matter in regards to objective narrative critique or analysis. Cause when you think about it, stories are inherently contrived. To be contrived means for an event to not happen naturally or organically. With that definition, One could make the argument that stories are inherently contrived because every event within the story does not happen organically or naturally as everything is pre-ordained by the author in order to sell a narrative or idea. Every plot point in almost any story can be considered contrived to some degree. Like to take echoes as an example. What are the odds that Slayde would just so happen to walk around Ram village which just so happens to be where Celica(the princess he failed to kill) was hiding and Slayde just so happens to be spotted by Tobin which just so happens to spiral into the conflict that gets Celica revealed to him forcing her to flee to the monastery. What are the odds of that happening? not likely I assume but that doesn't matter because we are already invested into the emotional conflict of the story's narrative. Without this contrived moment, the story would not have played out as it did and story would not be able to explore the ideas it wants to in the way it wants to. I bring this up because you can find contrivances like this in every story good or bad and imo it overall doesn't matter because it doesn't really take away from the conflict at hand. The emotional investment is still there regardless of the contrivance. It does not take away from the themes or ideas that the story is opt to explore. Plot contrivance relies heavily on the breaking of suspension of disbelief which is subjective. What may shatter one person's suspension of disbelief will not shatter another's and that's totally okay. It's just that in regards to objective narrative critique or analysis subjective claims like that hold very little weight if you ask me because it cannot be proven. It's all down to personal preference at that point which is fine but it shouldn't make a story better or worse. Though that's just my take what you all think? does plot contrivance truly matter?
  10. So I've been playing through awakening again and I've been really digging into it's plot this time around and overall it's pretty good. I feel awakening's story is better than what people give it credit for. Awakening is a story about failure and working to overcome it. It's a story about being pushed past the point of despair that follows a trail of failure and being able to pick yourself back up and move forward. A simplistic theme but I feel it executes on it well and no where is that more prominent than in it's main antagonist Grima. Grima is a force of nature villain. He is a physical manifestation of failure and the despair that results from it. When you fall, when you stumble, when you fail, you always tell yourself "one more time" "I'll get it this time" in order to stay positive and try again. However for every time you decide to roll there's always this lingering voice in the back of your head telling you to just give up. It asks "what's the point?" or "If the end result is just gonna be the same, then why try at all?". Grima is a manifestation of that voice. Grima is what happens when you take those feelings of despair and give it physical form. He's arrogant and powerful. He's constantly saying stuff like "you can't save your future" or "you can't defy fate" why? because you've failed to do it before so what makes this time any different. Robin failed to make any meaningful connections which lead to him being unable to defy his fate. The consequences of which created Lucina's future which she to failed to save. It's these failures that fuel Grima. It gives him something to exploit. He has succeeded before so he's going to succeed again. Failure should be a teacher. Failure can be a good thing so long as you learn from it. What makes Grima so arrogant is that he believes humans can't learn from their mistakes. Time and time again have humans fought pointless self-destructive wars that do nothing but halt progression. They learn nothing from these wars as the new conflicts that arise show. So if humans can't learn from their mistakes and grow then why not destroy it? If you can't seem to succeed no matter how hard you try, why not just end it all? Again that is what Grima represents. He is a physical and constant reminder of all the failures you've had up till this point. He is that voice telling you "you can't do this". It's easy to give up and just end it all. It's easy to succumb to those self-destructive thoughts but you don't. You face those feelings head on and push forward and that is how you conquer those feelings. Grima's representation of failure can also be seen in the idea that he can never be truly killed unless by his own hand. You can always try and conquer this voice and those feelings with the help of others but they're always going to come back because whether you like it or not those feelings are a part of you so the only way to truly get rid of them is to accept and face them outright. accept that they are a part of you and face them alone.
  11. So after some debate on this thread about the themes of awakening and how they're handled, I thought I should make a thread discussing the themes of fates and how well it handles them. The themes of a story and how well they're executed, to me at least, are by far the most important aspects of the story because the themes of the story tie into everything else from the world to the characters. So let's discuss this shall we? Maybe I'll make one for other games but I've really only fully completed the 3ds titles and like half of sacred stones and shadow dragon so if you wanna make those threads go ahead.
  12. Just a more on topic thread to continue the discussion found here. Let's discuss the in depth themes and messages of awakening and how it goes about conveying those things
  13. so after seeing ghasts little post on twitter where he says that he actually likes surtr I've been thinking. Is surtr a bad villain? It's a question that's plagued me for while and I think I finally have an answer. Yes, he is a good villain though he just does not work with the "world" he is placed in. Let me explain. I think the main problem with people criticizing surtr as a poorly written villain is that they are criticizing him as a narrative villain. and well as a narrative villain, yeah he's very poorly written in that regard but he's not a narrative villain. He is a force of nature villain more along the lines of the joker or for another FE example Grima. Both types of villains fill the same role in that they move the story forward, but they do it in different ways. A narrative villain, in essence, is just another character with their own goals, motivations, backstory, etc. and it is those things that make up their character which drives the plot forward through trying to act on their innate human desires. A force of nature on the other hand isn't a character but rather they're more so a representation of some primal aspect of reality. They don't need a backstory, or motivation, or logical justification for what they do because that's not the point. The point of a force of nature is that their mere existence creates conflict and it's through that conflict that authors are able to explore different aspects of the world, characters, ideas, and themes of the narrative. Now if we look at surtr through this lens, then things start to make way more sense. Surtr is a physical representation of the ferocity and destructive force of fire. From his personality, goals, abilities, etc. all those things link back to that core idea. So if that's what IS was trying to do, then they succeeded. Hell his sort of "immortality" plays into this as well cause no matter how many times you extinguish a flame, it'll always come back so long as there is fuel to burn. It's actually quite neat to see how much thought went into writing him. Surtr on his own is not a bad villain if anything he's actually a pretty good one. However the reason he doesn't work is because well the main characters lack any kind of depth. Force of nature villains only work because of what they allow us to explore about the other ACTUAL characters in the story. The joker for example allows to really explore the idea of order outside the law and if that is truly orderly and just and that works because of how deep and a complex a character bruce wayne is. The askr trio and nifl siblings on the other hand. Yeah there's not much to explore there. Really the only one out of that group to get any sort of development is alfonse which is by far one of the best moments within book 2 because of how it shows what he's willing to sacrifice in order to stop the greater threat. That is where force of nature villains truly shine best in allowing us to develop and explore the other characters. Why else do you think helbindi and laegjarn are so well liked because they are perfect examples of what happens when Surtr's role in the story is actually done properly. Again Surtr in it of himself isn't a bad villain. He's just not utilized properly because of how flat the other characters are.
  14. I know that a lot of people want a Jugdral games remake, well it looks like Three Houses is actually partly hinting at the Jugdral games. Just look at the map, and the three main characters's first names. It's really hard to see and you need a bit of knowledge too... Also, another tought, the game might have multiple endings, but I don't mean 3. It could be 6 or more, and I don't mean for it to be like in Fates, where the endgames are radically different. Just an unpopular thought.
  15. Exactly what the title says. How do you fellow authors establish the way reality works in the fictional universe(s) you set your stories in? For example, if magic exists, how exactly does it work? What about the mythos, gods, and afterlife of the characters? I try to flesh out the metaphysics of my fanfics as much as possible. For example, here is an excerpt from the chapter I'm currently working on. In this fanfic, which is a crossover between Pokémon and a certain five-book series, a character, who is a mage, tries to explain magic in scientific terms. (In the backstory of the fic, there used to be human mages and wizards in the past of the Pokémon world, but as time passed and technology progressed, magic became a forgotten art.) Later on, he theorizes the differences of the Pokémon world's pantheon and the other world's pantheons, and it goes somewhat like this: In other words, the concept is something similar to the "Towers" concept in the Elder Scrolls series, but in this case, each Legendary Pokémon binds a fragment of metaphysics (which they control) to reality to hold everything together. Another example: When Rayquaza was created, the atmosphere formed. Each Legendary is the "cause", their 'sphere' is the "effect". In the other universe, it's implied that nature came first ("cause"), and the gods came to being because of those aspects of nature ("effect"). As for the afterlife, the other universe already has an Underworld. All we need now is a Pokémon universe equivalent. I've decided that all the bad ones are sent to prisons in the Distortion World, where Giratina (who also guards the DW as a cosmic gateway between realms) monitors them. I haven't decided where all the good guys go. Neutral/good beings also have a choice to stay as ghosts, because ghosts are a thing in Pokémon. So, how do you guys do these sort of thing? Or do writers tend to ignore topics such as these? To the mods: If I posted this in the wrong category, then I deeply apologize. Feel free to move this topic as you see fit.
  16. NOTE: I will post the builds at a later time. for now, I have stats and a long description. Siegbert: Future King Siegbert has managed to extract himself from his Father's shadow and stand on his own 4 legs, trading away the defensive, Distant Counter Siegfriedfor an offensive, Swift Sparrow 2 Dark Greatsword. Compared to his father Xander has slightly lower defense and Resistance, and significantly reduced health, but slightly increases his Attack and shoots his speed through the roof, being the fastest cavalier to date. His massive power lets him break through and kill nearly every Red unit lacking Wary Fighter, whereas a special proc from Draconic Aura or Dragon Fang let him bust through a significant portion of blue units. With Swift Sparrow 2 in his A slot, he reaches 58/43 Atk/Spd offenses at neutral, allowing him to double any unit with less than 38 base speed. Most importantly however, he is mounted, capable of initating with the range of an infantry mage/archer to improve his offensive niche, and grabbing Hone Cavalry for a mind-blowing 64/49 initiation offense, allowing him to kill just about anyone who isn't wielding Swordbreaker/Wary Fighter, or an incredibly bulky blue. He pays for it however with painfully mediocre HP for a melee unit, and an utterly destructive resistance stat, with only Fredrick's 14 losing to his 15. His mediocre health may let him easily activate Desperation, but his awful Res results in a magic user needing a mere 34 magic to 2HKO him, or 43 for Green mages, a stat every single optimized magic tome reaches. This makes it dangerous for him to rest in the range of any Blade-Tome user when in Desperation range, and the range of Blue Mages, Blue and even Red Dragons are simply off limits to him at all times as he can never reliably take hits from any of them except an unbuffed Blarblade Odin, and he cannot kill either Adult nor Young Tiki on initiation without dying to Quick Riposte. Siegbert is only summonable at 5-stars. However, he has a boosted BST that brings his stats to the level of a lower-BST Infantry unit. Similarly to Sigurd, this gives him a boost in Arena, as he has both that and an exclusive weapon to boost his weighting to that of any usual legendary infantry such as Lucina or Seliph. Overall Pros/Cons Base Kit Builds (Heavily WIP) Legend Bold = Reccomended for build Italics = Distinctly Suboptimal yet possible for build Underlined Bold = Necessary for build Desperate Move (General Offense) Usage: General-Use, Deadly Initiator (Aim to initiate combat, risking life for more likely kills), Endurance(Becomes significantly more capable of killing as time goes on) Our Other Boy (Galeforce Offense) Usage: Arena Offense(Excelling either at point score or at killing meta units) , Safe Initiator (Aim to initiate combat, surviving the fallout almost assuredly alive), Penny Pincher (Budget Offense) Usage: Extremely Cheap (3-4* inherits only, <= 3 inherited units) Deadly Initiator (Aim to initiate combat, risking life for more likely kills)
  17. Yo so I've been asking @eclipse for a while now if it'd be cool if I made a single thread to keep track of members' various character build analyses for Fire Emblem Heroes (since there are a lot of good ones that just get posted in the Skill Inheritance thread which are neither easy to find nor access), in the interest of having an easily-accessible archive of our best build suggestions a la Smogon pokemon analyses and such. Eclipse in turn suggested that a subforum for analyses would be much easier for both keeping track of and logging new builds and analyses, so I wanted to put in a request for that to add my voice to hers, as yes, I think this is a good idea and we should definitely do it, and it would be a valuable resource for the internet at large as it relates to strategy for this game.
  18. So please note, I am by no means analyzing movesets and whatnot. This is mostly stuff that caught my attention in the trailer. If there is a post already like this then mods feel free to lock/delete as needed. So a brief terminology explanation Musou- This is what I'm calling the focus spirit mechanic that Hyrule Warriors had, there is two versions, time and cancel (one you time out of the gauge the other is the manual cancel attack) Special- The other type of special attack, it's built up through attacking enemies and is basically that characters signature super attack The video in question is here https://youtu.be/G6p7iR5fWds Anyways, the analysis will be broken down into three sections; Characters, AI/Enemy related, and Locations/Maps Characters Male Robin appears to focus mostly on lightning and possibly light magic in his moveset (with the beams of light at the end, though it could still be lightning) Female Robin appears to focus on Fire and Dark magic moreso then lightning, though it's still not confirmed Possible way to show she could represent Grima in the campaign? Lucina's special (as I think it is) has a few noticeable moves in it, after the bow part, Lucina jumps into her boxart pose, before doing a Dolphin Slash from Smash Bros (her and Marth's up B in that game) and finishing with what appears to be Chrom's boxart pose before thrusting the Falchion into the ground Cordelia uses both hands to wield her lance, mostly right handed in gameplay though in her appearance cutscene she appears capable of using her left as well Both Robin's appearance cutscene of them pulling the hood off their head could be a reference to either Grima in awakening in one scene or Robin's first scene in their Smash Bros trailer Fredericks horse skid is amazing AI/Enemy related As seen in both Roin's combo scenes, mages are among the group of enemies now, though a little hard to see with how fast they get melted into the other enemies, don't know if they've been confirmed before but something I noticed When Chrom activates his Special, we see a grunt bent over behind him During Cordelia's combo, before she thrusts her lance into the ground from above, we see a grunt start to turn and run away, so both of these two could relate to enemy AI being slightly advanced beyond move here and attack or just be random coincidences Enemies in the forest/village stage wear green instead of red, possibly signifying soldier camo to the environment or represent a third party such as yellow did in hyrule warriors Locations Forest/village - I'm speculating early game fight against bandits, which could be wearing green to blend in to the environment, the location itself could be brand new or I'm thinking possibly Donnel's village, as that area did have some forts alongside trees and though we never saw the houses, it'd be a better fit then Southtown would (given we also don't see a river or market, both of which southtown has) Grima's Table - We see this in both Robin's gameplay, and has been confirmed to appear in history mode due to the Valibar screenshot Desert area - During Cordelia's gameplay we see her in a desert area with forts, I'm thinking either her joining level in Awakening, though I saw little trees and that map has a decent amount of trees plus I think I saw different leveled terrain, so I'm moreso thinking the Ylissean border with Plegia where Cordelia was stationed with her squad, fits better in terms of map design and introduces us to Gangrel, so possible plot moment Arena Ferox - Prett much instantly recognizable from Lucina's part, I'm speculating possible a 1-on-1 duel with her here to represent Chrom's duel with "Marth" Anyways that's all I've found, feel free to comment on what you guys saw/think and I may do this if when Fates gets it own trailer like this Still hoping we get a major shadow dragon announcement before though
  19. Hello and welcome all to the Unit Evaluation Thread. The game having arrived a little more than a week ago, I thought it would be appropriate to gauge the usefulness of all the units presented to us thus far. Due to how early I'm making this thread, it should be treated more as a rough draft on what a unit is capable of rather than a completely strict tiering system. It's worth also only to see where the community stands on these guys. This evaluation will strictly be on their contributions in gameplay and not on personality. A discussion on their worth as characters should probably be made into a separate thread for the sake simplicity. I won't add a poll system for ranking unless requested since I'm not entirely sure of their efficacy. The characters will be presented in pairs for a duration of two days until the next batch is selected. Excluding these first two units, everyone will be done in order of recruitment which means that after Alm and Celica, the next group will be Lukas and Gray and so forth until the end of chapter 1 where we switch to Mae and Boey. Lastly, spoilers are allowed to avoid vagueness in what maps they hold a specific advantage. Furthermore, the units in question will be more closely evaluated against their more immediate competition. For example, Lukas' direct competition would be Forsyth and while Valbar can be mentioned, the units only ever join in post-game at a point where Thabes is the only thing left so it doesn't add much to the discussion. For mercenaries in particular, looping will be counted as a boon of theirs but it will not heavily influence their usefulness. Evaluate the units based on the people in their respective routes. Without further ado... Our hero from Ram Village sporting high base stats, one of the highest growth rates in the game, a large pool of support bonuses from his pals and the ability to wield the mighty Royal Sword and Falchion. Needless to say Alm is an investment well worth putting levels in especially for when he goes solo to gain the Falchion. One of the best units in his side of the story, his contributions get better as you move along with his promotion making him gain access to bows even if they might not see much use. Lastly he is able to swiftly change his weapon due to having access to the convoy in battle means he can eat or switch weapons on the fly for whatever situation. Our heroine from Novis, a princess in search for the Earth Mother while fighting against pirates and the Duma Faithful. Like Alm, she sports decently high base stats, some of the highest growths in the game, a good number of supports and access to the convoy. That said, she contributes slightly less than Alm mostly due to how good most of the characters in Celica's group are and the fact that due to her primary weapon being a sword, she cannot counter from two spaces away like Boey or mage Mae. She is however a blessing due to learning Seraphim early to deal with the necro dragons, being able to heal if Genny has used her turn and the fact that she can gain her personal weapon the Beloved Zofia first by upgrading the golden dagger with your first gold mark. Now discuss, agree, disagree and lay out your opinions for me SF. Edit 1: Added some clarification. Edit 2: Only minimal grinding is factored in the evaluation of these units, and looping will not be heavily counted in their evaluation when applicable.
  20. Hello people, and welcome! To a “Kipor Analyzes Stuff in Fates”. I’m your host, Kipor, and today we shall begin the analysis! ... Did that sound like a youtuber intro? Yes? Woohoo, success! So, now in all seriousness, welcome everyone. This little topic right here is one in which I... well, analyze stuff. But! That doesn’t give you a really good idea on what I’ll be doing here, right? Well, allow me to try and explain myself. Now, as some of you may know... Fates gets a lot of shit. Let me repeat that, slowly: a LOT of shit. Now, it isn’t as if that’s undeserved per se: the story has some pretty considerable faults and, well, let’s say it’s not exactly what most people were looking for and leave it at that, hm? But, thing is! One of the things I noticed, and some may have noticed as well, is that many of the points raised against Fates seem to come from... misunderstanding, so to say. It may seem weird to say that, but characters and events in Fates sometimes are a lot more complex that they may seem at first. What is deliberately shown to us is, many times, no half of what is really going on. You need to analyze something so that you can truly understand what is going on and why is it going on, why things are that way. Want a example? When, exactly, is it explicitly said that Anankos possessed Takumi in Conquest? Now, to explain a little more in what I’m going to do... it’s pretty simple, truth be told. I will try to analyze things. Characters, events, you name it. Tell me something you would like to hear an analyses on and, well, I’ll try to do it. I’ll try to explain what happened, I will try to explain the motivations and reasoning behind some actions. “Try” being the keyword here, folks. Keep in mind, the point of this is to discuss said things and to make the story better for everyone in a way or another. Also keep in mind that this is my explanation, based on how I interpreted things. And, this may seem hard to believe, but I’m not the “Lord of Truth”. What I say isn’t necessarily right and you don’t need to agree with it, and that’s fine, I won’t push it down your throat. What I’m offering here is no more than a point of view, a way to look at things, a different perspective. If you agree or disagree with that, or if you want to discuss something… well, that’s up to you. Also, I feel I must put this here before anything else: not a native English speaker! I’m born and raised in Brazil, buddies, and I’ve had no formal training in English besides verb to be. So, if things are a little hard to understand, well, my apologies in advance! Now, with that said, let us proceed to the very first thing I want to analyze… CROWN PRINCE XANDER OF NOHR Now, this guy is hated, I must tell you that. At least in what pertains to the story itself; seems like people like him a lot more in supports. But, what I’m going to get into is story. So, ahem, let’s go! The oldest of the Nohr siblings, Xander is – and correct me if I’m wrong since I’m not checking this particular piece of information – the firstborn son of Garon, before all the others born to his other wives and mistresses. One thing that is a pretty big part about the character of Xander is that, unlike everyone else (including us), he saw and lived with the actual Garon. Not the goo monster that twirls his mustache while training his evil speeches, but the actual, living and (supposedly) good Garon. Now, we don’t know really that much about this Garon since we ever saw it, but no-one can deny that he was very important to Xander. Described as a intimidating – but nevertheless kind – father, Garon was a very important piece in shaping who Xander is. Throughout the story, it’s made pretty clear that Xander had a lot of love, respect and admiration for the man that Garon was. Fast forward a couple years and we have a Garon that is not exactly that lovable. I mean, if you don’t enjoy guys who eat kitten-soup, then I guess you won’t be a fan of Garon. But, as far as Xander knows, that evil Garon was the same Garon he loved. And, as we can see, he thinks he is sick. Not, I can’t remember if this was during Birthright, Conquest or Revelations, but one specific scene shows that: one where Xander is speaking to Leo and talks about how their father is sick and how he would get better after Hoshido is conquered. Now – is it just me, or do we have here one of the main motivations for Xander during the war? But, let us establish somethings now. Let us talk about loyalties, hm? As with the rest of the siblings, Xander displays a strong sense of loyalty towards his siblings. He loves them, after all, but, unlike the rest of the siblings, he doesn’t love them above all else. In fact, as much as Xander cares about them, there are two things that he loves above them: his father – for the reasons stated before – and his home: the Kingdom of Nohr. If we were to organize things, we could say his loyalties and priorities are the following: FIRST – THE KINGDOM OF NOHR SECOND – HIS FATHER, GARON THIRD – HIS SIBLINGS (CAMILLA, LEO, ELISE AND THE AVATAR) Now, let’s take a moment to analyze this, shall we? Let’s consider these priorities and think about how they relate to the story. During the Birthright campaign, Xander displays a lot of hatred towards the Avatar. Well, maybe “hatred” is kind of a strong word, but he is definetly angry at the Avatar, and this is because of the betrayal. By siding with Hoshido, the Avatar betrayed both his family, his family (well, Xander’s father at any rate) and the kingdom of Nohr in Xander’s eyes, which motivates that hate. Xander consistently shows himself determined to follow the orders of his father – even if that puts him at odds with his siblings. That is something that makes sense for his character, not only because his loyalty towards his father is greater than the loyalty he feels towards his siblings, but also because he truly believes (or deludes himself to believe) that his father have the best interests of Nohr at heart, what makes him think that whatever his father orders is for the greater good of Nohr. During the end of Conquest, Xander threatens to kill the Avatar after he tells the siblings about goo-Garon if his claims are proven false. Again, that is in character with Xander; he loves Avatar and is loyal to him, but if what he’s saying is a lie, then he is trying to incite the siblings to rebel against Garon – which would be an act of treachery both to his father and the kingdom of Nohr. At the same time, during the end of Conquest, Xander is the first of the siblings to take up arms to fight against Garon after seeing the truth in what the Avatar says. That is because at that point he realized that he was never following his real father during this time and that whatever that thing was, it was manipulating and sabotaging Nohr for it’s own ideals. That makes goo-Garon an enemy to Xander, since that means he goes against the three things Xander holds dearest. During Revelations, Xander eventually betrays Garon. That is the only route in which this happens, and that is motivated by one thing: he hear Garon talk about how he wished to destroy Nohr. This, at the same time, made Xander realize that this Garon was not the same Garon he knew and triggered his buttons by going against his kingdom. And now, now we’ve reached the juicy part: Elise’s death in Birthright. One of the biggest things that make people hate Xander is how he insisted on fighting the Avatar, even after killing his own sister by accident during said fight. A lot of people wanted Xander to stop fighting at that point, to realize the mistake he was making and to turn against Garon… but it’s simply not that easy. Remember the priorities of Xander? Nohr, father, siblings. Nohr, father, siblings. Even if Garon was a cruel tyrant who killed people on a whim and declared a invasion upon Hoshido, Xander still saw the man he admired and loved. He thought that Garon was sick, he thought the war was for the good of Nohr, and he was loyal to the bone to this cause: Hans himself praises his loyalty to Nohr in Revelations. Turning against his father or simply doing nothing would both be a betrayal to the two things he loved the most: his country and father. Does that mean he didn’t love Elise? That he didn’t care about her death? No, not at all. Xander loved her a lot, he loved all his siblings. His anger toward the Avatar is built both upon his feelings of betrayal and on the love he had for the sibling that turned against the things he holds dearest. When Elise was killed by his blade, Xander broke: it really is as simple as that. He was sad, he was depressed, and he wanted to die. But still, he felt like he had to defend the things he cared about. It was not a matter of simply ignoring the dying wish of his sister, but a matter of Xander not being able to follow that wish: to stand down would mean that he would let the forces of Hoshido reach (and as far as he knows, kill) his father while, at the same time, mean that he would let Nohr, the country that he loves, lose the war. He would let the two things he held dearest to his heart down if he were to follow his sister wishes, and that is something that he was unwilling to do. During the story, Xander is repeatedly described and brave and noble. And, at the end of the day, he was. He never feared any enemy or any situation, always charging into the thick of battle regardless of the odds (as shown during Conquest, when he fights the Faceless while the Avatar makes his/her escape). And he was noble; that was shown in his sense of chivalry (ordering Peri and Laslow to not interfere in the duel against the Avatar), in the regal and imposing way he carried himself (very much what one would expect for a king or prince) and in his sense of duty towards the crown and king, carrying his missions in the best way possible (while at the same time trying to damage-control his father “madness”, as Leo says in Conquest by pointing out how the Nohrian siblings try to deal with Garon’s orders, as well as shown in the prologue with sparing Rinkah and Kaze). In the end, the conclusion I reach upon trying to analyze Xander’s character is basically this: he is very complex. He is a man with a great sense of honor and a strong code of morals, but with misguided loyalties that lead him to do things he would otherwise not do. He isn’t blind to how evil Garon is, but he can’t bring himself to go against the father he loved and admired so much in the past, nor against the nation he was born into. His sense of duty to father and nation guide his actions and hand, but he is not without his own way of thinking; while he tends to avoid going openly against his father wishes, he has no qualms against acting on his own at times when he feels so is needed. And, despite being very loyal to his father, Xander’s ultimate loyalty is to his country; if his country is on the line, he would go even against his father, and if he feels that something his father orders is not in the interest of Nohr and said thing goes against something Xander himself holds dear, then he is willing to challenge his own father for it (as shown in Conquest when he refuses to kill Corrin for no good reason). … So, uh… I hope this is legible? And I hope this was actually enjoyable. So, um, that said, I… well, that’s basically it I had in mind for now so, uh… be sure to… y’know… recommend a character or… stuff… you would like me to analyze! Yeah! That would be cool, I guess… I mean, at least reasonably cool as far as things go and… well, like I said, I hope this can be fun for you guys since it’s definitely been a lot of fun for me and, I, well, hope I’m not doing anything wrong with this and all, so I, uh, I hope to… ... Y’know what? I’m just gonna shut up now. See ya.
  21. So, after announcing the game about a year ago and showing off some gameplay at Magfest a few weeks ago, Gunvolt 2 was officially revealed to the public via yesterday's Nintendo Direct and trailer. Considering I'm a big fan of the first one (and as a way to channel my hype and demonstrate my member title), I've decided to make a thread to give my thoughts on what we've seen so far as well as analyze it. Be warned, there will be spoilers for the first game. Also, I won't go over anything that the trailer or Inti Creates themselves have already covered in detail. Now that's out of the way, let's begin. Gunvolt's New Design This was first seen at Magfest, but there were no high-quality uploads of the artwork until yesterday. As you may see, there's some obvious differences: -Outfit is navy blue mixed with black compared to the solid blues and teals of his original design. -Midriff is still there (the US release of the first game covered it and suggested he was wearing a skintight black bodysuit underneath), but toned down. -His braid transitions from blonde to violet to blue; whether this is an effect of Joule now residing within him or it's just part of aging for Azure Strikers (Asimov, the only other known one, had fully blue hair- though it was an icy teal) is unknown. Copen's New Design (yes, it's my forum avatar) -His shield is completely absent (due to Asimov damaging it in this short story from Dengeki Nintendo: http://skybanesgunvault.blogspot.com/2015/12/acuras-story-from-dengeki-nintendo.html) -He has ditched his revolver with Carrera's powers for a lazer pistol (may have also been damaged in fight with Asimov). -His design in general is more sleek and aerodynamic- fitting with his more aerial playstyle. -Has an AI-controlled drone named "LoLo" (can be seen floating around by him in the picture). Gameplay: Gunvolt -Judging from the press kit (can be downloaded at the bottom of this page: http://inticreates.com/azure-striker-gunvolt-2-summer-2016-3ds/),"Sub-skills" are a new gameplay addition. -The one demonstrated in the kit was shown in the off-screen Magfest footage (many thought it was just a normal offensive skill and that they simply hadn't had time to add the cut-in); GV summons a large lightning ball, and it stays in place for several seconds. -Sub-skills do not seem to use up SP; judging from the Magfest footage, they appear to simply have a cool-down of some sort -Spark Calibur/Luxcalibur is back, with an edgier design (literally); the cut-in image appears to be the exact same from the first game (uses original design), and not final. Copen -Can air-dash for some distance in various directions. -Can hover in-place and slow his descent while still being able to attack (not unlike Model H from the Mega Man ZX games). -At 1:10 in the trailer, his drone fires a large energy wave diagonally downwards; I believe that may be on of Copen's sub-skills. -Blaster appears to do significantly more damage when a target is locked on to; the press kit shows an energy beam curve and widen towards it's target in the image "Copen Marking (4)", while the image right afterwards is entitled "Copen Normal Shot", and is much less impressive. -He can use both Flashfield and Prevasion, though the former will likely only function as an AOE-DOT attack due to Copen lacking's GV's darts (it was revealed in text in the Japanese version and subsequently shown off in concept art included in the press kit that the darts fired by GV's guns contain strands of his hair, allowing him to zap enemies from a distance) Bosses -Two bosses have been shown. -The first is female, and uses her hair to attack; she appeared in the Magfest footage, and has a cut-in shown in both the Magfest footage and official trailer. -Copen also uses her an ability based off her in the trailer; two spikes- one on each side -that can either be aimed upwards, to the side, or downward (launching Copen into the air) -The second is male, and appears to be a puppeteer of some sort (can be seen most clearly at 1:32 in the trailer) Miscellaneous: -The gunship shown throughout the trailer appeared in the booklet included with the OST release as concept art along with the other three mini-bosses from the 1st game (it had no orange on it and was an overall darker blue, but nearly identical besides that). -Looking at 0:54 in the trailer, mid-stage dialogue will not be cut from the localized release; LoLo converses with Copen about the gunship as it chases after them. -The kudos counter is less intrusive; slightly smaller numbers, and it's spaced so that it no longer effectively blocks off the whole upper-left corner of the screen alongside the player health bar. "Cover"/Promotional Art -Both GV and Copen are shown. -Joule's new design is clearly shown; looks like her original one cosplaying as Lumen and is very adorable. -Ouka and an unnamed blue-haired boy are shown to the right. -To the right, three unidentified female characters are shown. -The maid is likely to be Nuwa (Copen's family's head maid/his assistant, who appeared in the Dengeki Nintendo story). -The young blonde-haired girl is likely Copen's younger sister (mentioned in passing in the same Dengeki Nintendo story, no name given). -And rounding out the trio is... who? Seems to have Joule's face and hair, but a more developed body and different colored eyes (purple), as well as orange butterfly wings; due to being on what's seemingly Copen's side of the art and having seemingly mechanical parts (wings, headband), the prevailing theory is that it's LoLo projecting a physical avatar. Bosses shown: -All seven bosses and some one else are shown at the top. -The upper-left side shows puppeteer dude and his golemn, while the upper-right side shows hairwoman. -Below hairwoman, there's a blue/purple enemy with spiked knees and a facial structure similiar to Viper; my guess is his powers involve super speed. -To speed demon's right, there's a green boss who has a crown with spikes, and a vine-like protuberance on his back; I believe he will have plant-like powers. -Moving on, there's a light-blue enemy with two robot arms on top of his shoulders, with giant spikes on the end; can't guess what his power may be, though the look of determination on his face makes me wager that he'll be the closest thing to a leader within the seven. -To his left, there's an androgynous figure that is covered quite a bit by the other thing in the art; I'll wager that it's "Darkness" or something similiar. -And lastly, we have Splashman. Fins? Check. Trident? Check. Angular design and fish-like helmet? Check and check. -Lastly, "Mysterious Feminine Face". They're at the very top and literally nothing else can be gleaned about them except that they have purple eyes and very feminine facial features. Whew. That's a lot. I'm definitely excited for this game and very interested in seeing how many of my predictions turn out true. Thoughts?
  22. Fire Emblem Fates Plot Analysis UPDATE: 4/3/16 Disclaimer Please note that this thread will discuss the plots of the three Fire Emblem Fates campaigns: Birthright, Conquest, and Revelation. There will be spoilers in my analysis, so read it at your own risk. To my fellow members: please put all spoilers in spoiler tags. Also, I want to make it clear that I do not dislike this game. The gameplay is, by far, the best in the series. The music is almost euphoric, and the visuals are gorgeous. It is, objectively, Intelligent System's best Fire Emblem game to date (strictly from a gameplay perspective, of course). I only have problems with parts of the story. My analysis will go in the order that I played the game: Birthright first, Conquest second, and Revelation last. I did not have a clear picture of the Fates universe and lore when I began Birthright. On another note, I want to point out that character supports will not be apart of my analysis/review. I will refer to the writing team behind this game, excluding Shin Kibayashi, as "Intelligent Systems." Without further ado, I'll begin my analysis. Beware of the wall of texts in the spoilers below. Moderators, if this plot analysis and discussion belongs in Written Works, feel free to move this thread. ========================================================================================== Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright [spoiler=Lord Corrin the Crybaby and the Mystery of the Exploding Crystals] Introduction: Fire Emblem Cliches Past Fire Emblem titles have a strange obsession with, what I like to call, "the underdog verses evil empire tale." Whether it be the Grannvale, Grado, or Bern empire, previous Fire Emblem games almost always follow a young lord, determined to end the tyrannical reign of an evil despot. Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright, falls under a similar trope. We are thrust into the shoes of Lord Corrin, a sheltered, dragon boy youth who, after uncovering the truth about the atrocities that King Garon has committed towards the Eastern Kingdom of Hoshido, decides to side with his Hoshidian blood "relatives" (?) to put an end to the evil Nohrian kingdom. From there, Lord Corrin takes on a military campaign, full of death, drama, betrayal, and, strangely, utter hilarity. Despite his hardships, Corrin ultimately triumphs against the evil gorilla King Garon and helps his elder brother, Ryoma, ultimately restore peace between Nohr and Hoshido. Part 1: Politics? To begin, the words "brainwashed" and "deceive" stood out to me while I squashed the Nohrian armies in Birthright. These are terms that often come up when the Hoshidan protagonists come into contact with their Nohrian counterparts. Whether it be Prince Ryoma accusing Prince Xander of deceiving Lord Corrin, or Prince Leo warning his sister, Camilla, of Corrin's supposed attempt to delude her during Chapter 13, the two warring kingdoms do their best to demonize each other. During a few the chapter battles, some of the Nohrian royals' retainers even call the Hoshidans "fiends." Where did this tension occur between the two kingdoms? Was it simply the death of King Sumeragi at Garon's hands, the kidnapping of Azura and Corrin, and Garon's general aggression towards Hoshido that led to this divide? There is more to the story, of course, but Intelligent Systems should have, at least, put in more information regarding how the Hoshidian and Nohrian conflict arose in the first place. It’s treated simply as a given: Nohrians and Hoshidans hate each other. Period. Prince Ryoma says something that struck me as odd during Chapter 23. He states that he had no idea Nohr was a destitute kingdom with limited resources. He then makes an interesting remark; he plans on extending a helping hand towards Nohr by offering them a share of their bountiful resources once the war is over. Was Ryoma as sheltered at Corrin? This was, again, a failure on Intelligent Systems’s part to address this issue even more; the political tension between the two countries was reduced as a mere side note. The lack of resources in Nohr could have been the primary reason why the partially demented Garon sought to invade Hoshido. Is this why the Nohrians refer to the Hoshidans as fiends and/or deceivers? Are they pointing out the duplicitous nature of the Hoshidans? If they are such a peaceful kingdom, why haven't they helped Nohr in the past? Are they isolationists? These are questions that desperately needed answering in this campaign.The Hoshidians were portrayed at goody-two-shoes; there was nothing about the Hoshidans that would make Corrin regret his decision siding with them. Intelligent Systems and Kibayashi could have done something with the Mokushu, but, sadly, their leader was only an egotistical, megalomaniac that simply wanted to be king of Hoshido. Whoopdeedoo. The only instances of true gray morality in this plot was Corrin's decision to side with Hoshido. Adding more political drama to the story could have afforded Intelligent Systems the opportunity to add morally questionable situations. I understand that this campaign only tells a fraction of the overall plot, but I believe that it would have been better if Intelligent Systems focused more on the politics rather than Iago's booby traps and disappearing acts, Garon's evil schemes, and the mysterious invisible warriors. This issue partly stems from Garon's poorly constructed character. He is just a big old bully who got all sad (and possibly possessed?) when his wife died. If Garon were more calculating, emotionally manipulative, two-faced, and sly, he would have worked as a better antagonist. Kozaki should have designed him so he didn’t look so evil from the get go too. Part 2: Lord Corrin likes to Cry Corrin is more interesting as a lord than his predecessor, Chrom. Unlike Chrom, Corrin has a real dilemma to overcome--choosing Nohr or siding with Hoshido. Unfortunately, after Lord Corrin decides to side with Hoshido in Birthright, he seems to forget about his Nohrian siblings entirely. Save for the casual mention of his childhood here and there, Corrin hardly sheds a tear for abandoning the family he spent his whole life with. If he doesn't run into his Nohrian adoptive siblings on the battlefield, he doesn't express any doubts about his choice. All Intelligent Systems needed to do was add one cutscene (NOT a throwaway support conversation), perhaps with Azura, where he expresses his sadness about abandoning his adoptive siblings. That hypothetical cutscene would have made Corrin just a tad more of a three-dimensional character. Granted he does get distraught when he runs into Camilla and Leo, but he merely tries to win them over to his side. He doesn’t really empathize with them. If there were more cutscenes devoted to his regrets, Corrin would have been more of a real human being than an idealist. After the deaths of his comrades and two of his Nohrian siblings in the last chapters of Birthright, Corrin gets reduced to a crybaby. Corrin’s sadness wasn’t earned, however. Birthright makes the player feel that they made the right choice from the beginning, because Hoshido does absolutely nothing wrong other than be racist towards Nohrians. All his sadness anger is shifted towards King Garon and his kingdom. For a game that started off with an amazing premise, it was reduced to good versus evil, black versus white. The story is written in a way to make the reader/player despise Garon. The plot's conflicts were all Garon's doing. Everything boils down to him, so his death absolves Corrin of his misdeeds he committed during his campaign, such as the slaughtering of the Wolfskins in Chapter 15 and the Wind Tribe villagers in Chapter 8 (conflicts started by Iago, Garon’s subordinate). I think Corrin's sadness is fine and justified for this kind of plot, it simply was not done well. It would have been earned if there were more instances of grey morality where the player questioned their choice. Part 3: Death by Fire and Exploding Crystals I applaud Intelligent system's attempt to create tragedy in Lord Corrin's adventure. Despite their valiant efforts, the deaths of Lilith, Elise, Xander, Flora, and (potentially) Kaze were utterly botched in execution (no pun intended), save for Elise’s, maybe. Let's start with the silliest death, Flora's. Because she betrayed her former retainer's trust after an unsuccessful attempt to kill him, Flora, overcome with guilt, LIGHTS HERSELF ON FIRE. No only that, but she also does this in front of Lord Corrin, Jakob the butler, and her TWIN SISTER. What an incredibly melodramatic and selfish act on her part. Perhaps a simple knife to the throat maneuver would have been better. I had no idea that members of the Ice Tribe could spontaneously combust. Her death could have been more effective if she stabs herself when Corrin, Jakob and Felicia leave the Ice Tribe's village. Kate's potential self-sacrifice was also incredibly silly as well considering that Hinoka has a FLYING PEGASUS. Should the player have an A-support rank with Kaze, the ninja will notice a random crystal that explodes upon contact with a throwing knife. Who would have known that. I appreciate intelligent systems attempting to incorporate supports into the campaign's story, however, it could have been done in a more meaningful, less ridiculous manner. You have to step up your game, Intelligent Systems. Sadly, there isn't much to say about the purpose of Lilith's death aside from being a cheap attempt at a tear-jerking scene. We saw her for a bit in the prologue, then she disappears entirely as soon as Corrin chooses to side with Hoshido. She is reduced to something to pet and feed in the game's My Castle section. There's no character to her; she's one-dimensional, unfortunately. Now, I have more to talk about regarding Elise's and Xander’s death. It was, by far, the best out of the others. However, it still failed to deliver any emotional impact, simply because Xander IGNORES Elise’s dying words entirely. I know Corrin has to fight Xander for gameplay reasons, but I think that Xander should have learned from what his sister said. Perhaps Xander desired Corrin to put him out of his misery? Even though Elise’s death tugged at my heartstrings (just a little), I think Elise should have been slain by a Hoshidan. This would have better illustrated the horrors of war. This would have given Hoshido just the right amount of darkness that would prove that the kingdom is just as capable of committing atrocities as Nohr. I think it would have evoked more of an emotional response from the player that way, especially since Iago kept foreshadowing that there was a traitor in Corrin’s army (sadly, possessed Takumi was not impactful enough for me). Unfortunately, Nohr and its inhabitants were treated as pure embodiments of evil. There were hardly and redeeming qualities to the kingdom. I’m not referring to Nohrian characters; I’m referring to Nohr as an entity. Hoshido is a peace-seeking entity where Nohr is the opposite. There needed to be more time devoted to showing good things about the country. Showcasing a few good Nohrians, like Silas, Elise, Scarlet, as well as others simply doesn’t cut it. What humanitarian efforts has Nohr done? Since Garon is such a crappy character, he takes away any potential depth to the kingdom. He just orders everything and everyone to die. Elise’s death at the hands of a Hoshidan would have been more emotionally impactful and would have given Xander a reason to kill Corrin and, ultimately, himself. Final Thoughts: You're a Wizard Lord Corrin The final chapter pits Lord Corrin against the evil Garon. Garon, in his dragon form, presumably slays Corrin after slamming his wing on the lord, breaking his Yato blade and presumably every single bone in the young lord’s body. Corrin wakes up in the afterlife(?) where he meets the ghosts of Lilith, Elise, Flora, and Xander. I take issue with this scene because it is almost identical to Harry Potter reuniting with Dumbledore in limbo King’s Cross station in The Deathly Hallows, down to the point where the ghosts tell Corrin that he has the choice to return to life, it could have ended with a heroic sacrifice, like Awakening’s ending did (Robin’s sacrifice was the ONLY thing I really liked about Awakening’s plot). Unfortunately, that honorific was passed to Azura. Even though Corrin was revived, I’m surprised he could walk, talk, and look pretty as ever despite JUST being squished. Aside from the occasional hilarious moment, like the one just mentioned, I’ll give Birthright credit; it flattens Awakening’s pathetic excuse of a plot. However, it’s no masterpiece. We needed better antagonists. This would also give the Nohrian siblings a legitimate reason to be loyal Garon. Xander seems to be blindly following a CLEARLY demented king purely for loyalty’s sake. Had we had antagonists who were human beings instead of character tropes, the player would have questioned their choice to side with Hoshido more. Birthright’s (as well as the other routes) primary theme is about choices and their repercussions afterall. The Nohrians were demonized to a point where the player had no choice but to dislike them. Birthright needed to have Hoshido do some terrible things to make the player question if they made the right choice. Birthright’s only consequences were the deaths of Lilith, Xander, Elise, and Flora (and potentially Kaze too). That’s it. Even Camilla and Leo seem to get over the deaths of Elise and Xander a bit TOO quickly. That’s all I have for Birthright. Let me know what you think. I’ll admit that it’s harder for me to write academically when I do not have the entire script available for me to reference. Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest [spoiler=Lady Corrin Wishes King Garon Senpai Were a More Compelling Character] Introduction: Law and Chaos in Conquest The juxtaposition of order (law) and disorder (chaos) often emerges in many forms of artistic media, ranging from films to artwork. Piet Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie (1942-43), is the pièce de résistance of the blend between order and chaos. At a cursory glance, the arrangement of the blue, red, and yellow rectangles appear to have no rhyme or reason. Upon closer examination, however, they are all unified by thick yellow lines that crisscross and intersect, similar to the streets in a metropolitan city. It is an incredible piece that not only reflects the hustle and bustle of city life, but also the unification of order and chaos. Though many continue to debate whether or not video games can be considered art (I’d argue that they are), the dynamic between lawfulness and disorder often appear in the gameplay and narratives in various video games. Perhaps, I should define lawfulness as going with the flow (in other words, submitting to authority) and chaos as standing against the current (making choices that are not in accordance with said authority). Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest’s narrative is no exception. This campaign in the Fire Emblem Fates universe places Corrin (now Lady Corrin, [i made Corrin female in this play through to match the game’s box artwork]) in the same, heart-breaking predicament as the male Corrin faced in Birthright: will she choose to fight with the Kingdom of Nohr or will she defend Hoshido? Unlike her Birthright counterpart, Lady Corrin decides to side with her heart and stand with the Nohrians. When the princess mentions that she had followed as her heart commanded, I began to question whether or not Lady Corrin was making a chaotic or lawful choice. Upon further examination, I believe that she made a chaotic one. It was her birthright to side with Hoshido, in other words, it was by order of her blood to be a part of the Hoshidan royal family. In Conquest, Lady Corrin rejects her birthright and stands against the Hoshidan royal family, who are, in all honesty, perfect strangers to her. The princess’s choice can be considered “chaotic” because she refuses to bend to the authority of her Hoshidan birthright and, instead, follows her feelings, not her mind. The narrative that follows in Conquest does display a unique blend of order and chaos that was not present in Birthright; everything that Lord Corrin did in Birthright can be considered “lawful”. He submitted himself under the Hoshidan, “peace-seeking” way, suffered the losses of Lilith, Flora, Xander and Elise and committed genocide on the Wolfskin. Lady Corrin wrestles with both law and chaos in Conquest. She simply follows Garon’s orders for the first few chapters, then, upon Azura’s shocking revelation regarding the king’s true identify, makes the conscious choice to deceive and, ultimately, backstab the king when having him sit on the Throne of Truth, a chaotic mindset. It adds depth to Lady Corrin that is not present in Lord Corrin. Though not free of absolute stupidity, I believe that Conquest’s story was more enjoyable than Birthright’s. Part 1: Silly King Garon, You Shot Yourself in the Foot I will begin this analysis by discussing the stupidity (for lack of a better term) present in this narrative. I believe it is better to start with the negative and end with the positive. After Lady Corrin reunites with her Norhian, adoptive family, she is immediately accused of treason by the nefarious Iago. If it were not for the whims of the childish King Garon, she would have been, most likely, executed on the spot. The King decides, by divine decree of the divine (most likely VERY evil) dragon Anankos, to send Lady Corrin down to the Ice Tribe to quell their rebellion, alone. Though Lady Corrin manages to peacefully resolve the Ice Tribe’s rebellion with the help of her friends, she almost suffered a terrible death at the hands of Iago’s Faceless. This, unfortunately isn’t the only time where King Garon and Iago try to make Lady Corrin’s life utterly miserable. Similar instances occur, again, through out the story, such as Iago’s attack in the Eternal Stairway. Garon and Iago’s attempts to end Lady Corrin’s life do not make sense. Why would Iago and Garon want to kill the princess when she has not only proven her loyalty, but also been assisting Nohr’s conquest against Hoshido? In fact, she is the REASON why Nohr prevailed against Hoshido in the end. Garon attempts to hand wave this nonsense by claiming that making Lady Corrin suffer would only allow her to become an adequate sacrifice for Anankos. What purpose (other than seemingly pleasing Anankos) would the princess’s sacrifice serve for King Garon? It is, unfortunately, never addressed. This is, yet again, Intelligent System’s failure to adequately explain Garon’s reasoning behind this. I understand that all of this will (hopefully) get answered in the final campaign, Revelation, but as a standalone story, Conquest’s loose ends desperately needed to be tied. Part 2: Failing IQ Tests The problems with Conquest stem from the shoddily-written character that is King Garon. Iago and Hans are, like Izuka from Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, rather meaningless in the overall scope of the plot. If I wrote this game’s narrative, I would have had King Garon fulfill a “Prince Lyon”, “King Pelleas”, or “Emperor Arvis” archetype, so to speak. These antagonists were better developed characters and were, somewhat, relatable human beings (what a shock). Iago could have, perhaps, fulfilled the same role that his Shakespearian counterpart did in Othello. Had King Garon at least pretended to be a caring, compassionate individual like his Hoshidian foil, Queen Mikoto, Lady Corrin and her sibling’s loyalty to him would have made more sense. Not only that, but the revelation of Garon’s true identity as melty-face abomination at the end of Chapter 15 (if I am not mistaken), would have been more of a shocking plot twist. The weak-willed façade Garon could have used would have made it seem like Iago was the reason behind Nohr’s corruption, when it was, in fact, King Garon all along. This way Xander and Leo’s allegiance to Garon would be justified, since they could have been emotionally manipulated all along. Consequently, their behavior in Birthright would make sense as well. Many individuals who have played this campaign of game complain that Lady Corrin is stupid. I would not go so far to say that she is stupid, I would say that Garon’s poorly defined character spread to the other protagonists like a disease. I see what Intelligent Systems was trying to do. They wanted to have Lady Corrin feel so strongly for her Nohrian adoptive family, that she would turn against her (supposed) blood relatives, fight in the name of a corrupt king, and commit atrocities, all to bring the Nohrian kingdom back from the ashes. This is a similar character arc to “Law Route” Denam Pavel from Tactics Orge: Let Us Cling Together. Denam, when deciding to partake in the massacre of Balmamusa, knows that he is committing a terrible crime. However, much to the chagrin of Ravness and Vyce, he believes that the horrible means will justify a better future for the Walister. This is what Lady Corrin believes; by siding with the Nohrians, she can end the war through through the reformation of a corrupt kingdom, even if it meant rejecting her birthright. As controversial as this sounds, Conquest’s premise is just fine. It’s amazing in all actuality. Since when did a Fire Emblem lord have to lie, deceive, and fight for the “evil’ empire? I loved that Lady Corrin was not a goody-two-shoes. The only thing that needed to be changed was King Garon’s character. Should King Garon have acted and, perhaps, looked a bit more like Prince Pelleas (an older version, at least), he could have successfully pulled off being a horrible monster disguised as a weak-willed king. He could have used his weakness to manipulate the Nohrian siblings to do his bidding. He would guise his selfish motivations as for the betterment, NOT GLORY, of their country. Despite the fact that Nohr’s destitute condition was established in Birthright, it is hardly brought up, if at all, in Conquest. Why did Garon never bring up Nohr’s lack of natural resources? I would assume a good half of the Nohrians would be starving to death, unlike their Hoshidan counterparts. Imagine King Garon commanding Xander to lead the charge against the Hoshidans for the survival of their people. That would have been more of a compelling motivation than simply “for the glory of Nohr”. What a missed opportunity. Rewriting Garon’s character would have made this campaign the best plot in the entire series. All the plot inconsistencies and the stupid decisions, made by the protagonists, stem from Garon’s horrid character. It’s as simple as that. Imagine if Prince Pelleas acted like King Garon in Radiant Dawn. I think the Dawn Brigade would have received a lot more hate had that been the case. Part 3: The Butcher of Nohr The most poignant moments in the entire Fire Emblem franchise came from both Lady Corrin’s entrance into the Hoshidian Capital with the Nohrian Army, and her mental breakdown after Ryoma’s seppuku. These moments actually made me shed a few manly tears. They were the very culmination of Lady Corrin’s struggles in the campaign. They signified the terrible price she she had to pay to remedy Nohr’s corruption. She was called a demon by the Hoshidans as she marched into the capital. There were also moments, where the Hoshidans questioned the reason why the Yato chose her, going as far to say that she did not even deserve the blade. In addition to this, Lady Corrin’s reaction to Ryoma’s death showed the depths of her despair. She went as far to call herself a cold-hearted murderer. That line of dialogue revealed all the pain she had to endure. As veterans of the Fire Emblem series, we’ve NEVER seen anything like this. All the Fire Emblem lords never had to shoulder the enmity of the supposed “good guys”. Not only that, but we’ve never seen a lord lie about killing someone, like what Lady Corrin did to Ryoma regarding Hinoka. This is what real conflict is about. Fire Emblem is notorious for oversimplifying and hand-waving the absolute hell on earth that is war. Conquest had other great moments, such as the revelation that Takumi ended up getting possessed exactly like Garon did. I did not see that coming. In addition to that, Chapter 8 gave us a better glimpse of Nohr’s political climate. There were also decent interactions between the Nohrian siblings, especially when it came to Leo and Lady Corrin, but the aforementioned moments from Chapter 24 really stood out for me as the brief glimpse into what Conquest’s plot could have been. I applaud Intelligent System’s attempt to break the mold with Conquest, however, they went about it in a horribly misguided way. They seemed to focus too much on building up Revelation. If only I had been there to share these thoughts with the writers, we could have had a, potentially, more engaging plot. It had all the right set-ups, it just did not deliver. Conclusion: Tactics Ogre Fire Emblem: Let Us Rewrite This, Please The plot behind Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest is the semi-spiritual successor to Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together. It came so close to capturing the moral greyness of human conflict and war, in addition to blending aspects of law and chaos. Sadly, it was muddled by the horrendous monstrosity that is King Garon. Garon somehow made all the protagonists seem like stupid devotees, blindly following his bloodthirsty whims. King Garon needed a SERIOUS makeover. From what I discussed previously, had he been written differently, I speculate that many of the problems with Conquest’s plot would have been remedied. I thoroughly enjoyed this plot more so than Birthright and, perhaps, other Fire Emblem plots too. I do not deny that it is flawed; it was simply misguided. I think I am fond of the potential that it had to be a great story. Overall, Conquest is truly bittersweet. Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation [spoiler=Lord Leif's Gay, Melodramatic Adventure in Invisible Land] Introduction: The Importance of World Building Every story requires a sophisticated description of its setting in order to help immerse the reader in a fictitious world. There is, however, a certain “je ne sais quoi” that authors must reach when they are building their respective settings. Authors not only have to detail their world enough in order to ground the reader in their world, but also avoid over-saturating their audience with too much information (take Moby Dick for instance). They run the risk of alienating readers. This crucible, if created masterfully, can enhance the interactions with the author’s characters. For example, one of the biggest reasons why J.K. Rowling found success with Harry Potter was due to her talent of building a memorable world of witches and wizards. Though the overarching narrative of Harry Potter was somewhat cliché, it was the believability of her world that made readers feel as if they were attending classes with Hermione Granger or thwarting Lord Voldemort’s nefarious plans with Potter. Though there are countless literary masterpieces that achieve the same effect, such as Pride and Prejudice and To Kill a Mockingbird, no other novel series, to my knowledge, has spawned eight blockbuster films and an amusement part. That is the power of Rowling’s world, not necessarily her plot or her characters. Now the big question is: “What does this have to do with Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation?” My answer is this: “nothing, other than to reveal how poorly Revelation set up it’s setting.” The world of Fire Emblem Fates is, unfortunately, almost non-existent; we know next to nothing about Nohr’s, Hoshido’s and Valla’s history. Also, the continent, where Hoshido and Nohr reside, is not even named. That has NEVER happened in a Fire Emblem game. Even though aspects about the respective countries are told through character support conversations, they are almost never brought up during the actual story. It is unfortunate that Intelligent Systems focused too much on character melodrama, because if they had put more effort in creating a more believable setting, the story would have made more sense, such as Nohr’s reason to invade Hoshido, etc. This, along with the characterization of King Garon, is one of the many major problems that lead to Fates’s mediocre plot. These issues all come together and rear their ugly heads in the final campaign of this Fire Emblem game. As a consequence, they create the weakest plot out of the three campaigns. In this final campaign has Corrin the avatar (now named Lord Leif because he is my shameless self-insert), refuse to choose Hoshido and Nohr, only to make his own army to fight the evil Anankos. What could possibly go wrong? Part 1: Where in the World is the Silent Dragon? As I mentioned in the introduction, Fire Emblem Fates would have had a stronger plot had we been given more information about the kingdoms’ histories. All we know about Hoshido from Birthright is that it is a bountiful, isolated, peace-seeking kingdom that merely reacts to Nohr’s invasion with a devastating counter attack. We learn that Nohr is a desolate, impoverished, corrupt kingdom (thanks to Garon) in Conquest. Finally, all the information we receive about Valla is that the Silent Dragon, Anankos lost his mind and ravaged the kingdom, destroying almost all life in the land. Of course we get the occasional mention about the past rulers of each kingdom, but even with all that information, one can hardly ground themselves in Fates’s world. Why does Valla have floating continents in the first place? Why is Valla separate from Hoshido and Nohr? Why does Castle Valla resemble a Hindu temply when this kingdom was, clearly, inspired from Norse mythology? Why is Anthony still around when everyone else is dead? Why would he EVEN serve Anankos after the dragon destroyed everything? Why was Anankos such a prick in the first place (we learn why in Hidden Truths, which angers me a bit)? We never learn anything about this world. My questions were never answered. This is because Intelligent Systems focused too much on the melodrama between zombie parents and the main cast. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to critique about the setting, because there is hardly anything to talk about in the first place! This really is a tragedy because the art book that came with my special edition of the game had some impressive illustrations of the setting. I am very disappointed in you, Intelligent Systems. Part 2: The Return of Evil Zombie Relatives This is the real meat of Revelation’s plot and the source of its biggest weakness. Half of the plot is spent recruiting allies for the Avatar’s cause, and the other half is exterminating zombie Arete, Mikoto, Scarlet, Sumeragi, a possessed Gunter (kudos to Intelligent Systems for making a twist that genuinely surprised me), and a megalomaniacal Anankos. The Avatar looks like a raving lunatic attempting to recruit two warring nations against a single enemy he is not allowed to even name. How he got the two sides together is mind boggling. As mentioned before, we learn almost nothing interesting about Valla, other than some exposition to give our heroes a motivation to overthrow Anankos in the first place. All that there is to talk about is the unfortunate reunions that take place between the royals and their respective parents. The evil Anankos resurrected these individuals as ghostly puppets to work for him. Sadly, these reunions were about as emotionally impactful as spilling a glass of milk on yourself or accidentally stepping on a snail. The reason why these interactions fail to deliver any sort of emotional response to the audience is due to the fact that we never get to know any of these characters. We only spend five seconds with Mikoto before she is blown to bits, see Sumeragi’s backside in a cutscene, and hear about Arete once in Birthright. We don’t even know what Arete even looks like until we see her in Revelation. Clearly, the protagonists are upset about this, but we are not given any reason to feel anything other than superficial sympathy for Azura, Ryoma, Corrin, etc. In all honesty, these resurrected invidiuals were simply there to be bosses for their respective chapters, nothing else. There is also unintentional hilarity with their deaths. We witness the cliché “as I lay dying” scene THREE times in a row (almost) towards the end of Revelation’s campaign. How many times must we witness the avatar and the gang bent over the corpse of a reanimated parent? At least Gunter’s “death” did something a bit different, though I didn't expect him to survive Anankos's mind control. Izana's death was rather hilarious since he seemed to be totally fine with it. Overall, the character interactions and drama in the last few chapters can be accurately summarized by these clips: and Scarlet's death was the most effective out of all the unfortunate souls simply due to the fact that her passing deeply wounds the stiff and rather stoic Ryoma. This is especially tragic since Scarlet and Ryoma display a chemistry that is much more enjoyable than the majority of his potential wives. Revelation frustrates me, not only for being more barebones than Birthright (and also reducing the significance of the previous campaigns), but also failing to take advantage of a unique plot premise. Once again, Intelligent Systems focused too much on characters we could care less about, and not enough on plot points that desperately needed attention. I have nothing much to say about Anankos’s final battle other than the fact that I was very disappointed to have to purchase DLC to learn more about him. Why they could not AT LEAST hit at his relation to the avatar is beyond me. Also, Lilith seemingly vanished from the plot entirely since Hans wasn't there to squash her, which very peculiar considering her relationship to the Avatar. In the end, once Lord Leif, my avatar, overthrew Anankos, he and his husband Niles became the new kings of Valla. I wonder if, by Niles’s royal decree, he forced the people of New Valla to speak in nothing but double entendres? Part 3: Come Together, Right Now Nohr and Hoshido joining forces was the only good part of Revelation’s plot. It was nice, for once, not having Xander and Ryoma at each other’s throats, Takumi being a whiny little brat, Sakura and Elise being very sad, or Camilla being overtly crazy about the avatar's betrayal. I’m a sucker for long-time enemies becoming allies to fight against a common cause, due to the potential of interesting interactions. While we do get some comical and somewhat heart-warming interactions between the royals, the melodrama (discussed in the previous section) detracts from this dynamic. I would have rather seen cutscenes involving the royals sharing a meal or pep-talking each other than to witness the deaths of characters I did not care foe. Much like Iago and Garon staining the Conquest plot, it was Mikoto, Sumeragi, Anankos, and Arete that squandered any potential in this story. Not only did they take much needed cutscene time away from the royals, but also the development of the setting. Even the campaign maps, though gorgeous to look at, were very tedious and boring. Many of the issues with Fates’s plot have already been discussed already in the previous sections, so I will not waste my breath. Revelation, unfortunately, did not really bring anything new to the table for me to discuss, which is really disappointing. Conclusion: The Future of Fire Emblem I wonder where Intelligent Systems will go from here? Fates is essentially THREE Awakenings in one. Not only that, but the scale of the game is much grander than any of the previous titles. It was almost as if Fates was written to be the swan song of the series. Awakening, despite all the nods to past titles, felt more like a franchise reboot (which is ironic considering that it WAS thought to be the last game, but ended up revitalizing the series anyway). I am curious to see where Intelligent Systems will go from here. Will we finally have our space odyssey that will take place on the planet Mars? Regardless of what comes next, I will forever be a loyal Fire Emblem fan and will continually support the beloved series. I just hope that Intelligent Systems will spend more money hiring writers, who have experience writing for video games, because the series's gameplay is quite amazing. I suggest that the writer base the next Fire Emblem story off of real historical events, like the fall of the Roman Empire. ================================================================================================ Xenologues Before Awakening Hidden Truths ================================================================================================ Post Scriptum - Miscellaneous Things about Fates [spoiler=Gays and Lesbians in Flaming Emblem] This kind of analysis most definitely belongs in something other than my plot analysis, but I could not keep it in the closet anymore. To put it simply, I am not too pleased with how gay marriage was handled in this game. First of all, I should make it clear that, overall, I am happy that Fire Emblem is Nintendo’s first game (to my knowledge) to include same sex marriage. It’s a huge accomplishment on their part. However, even though I am blessed to have the option to make video game males marry another men, the options are, sadly, limited to one man and the (potentially gay) character in question is, Niles, the suave, yet creepy outlaw. Lesbians do not have it much better, unfortunately; they are only afforded the opportunity to court a woman, Rhajat, who is a stalker at heart. To begin, the way the game set Niles up bothers me quite a bit. It’s not necessarily Niles himself (though some of the stuff he says to both Arthur and Mozu is VERY questionable), but, simply, the fact that he IS the only gay option. Why did Intelligent Systems decide to make a sexual deviant (in terms of his addiction to sadism) our option for marriage when other characters, like Silas for example, could have been better fits. In many forms of entertainment media, gays are portrayed with flamboyant qualities (most likely for comedic relief) and/or have villainous qualities (see Scar from Disney’s The Lion King and the two hitchhikers from Vanishing Point (1971)). Unfortunately, Niles fits into this category, based on his dialogue and support conversations. Though some of his conversations with a few of the characters can be sweet, such as his discussions with Elise, his primary gimmick is to be a flirtatious, sexually aggressive man. Not all gay men are this way, and it is unfortunate that Intelligent Systems limited our options to him. This choice also has negative effects on gameplay. By making Niles the gay option, the gaymer misses out on not only Kana, but also Nina. This is especially detrimental in Conquest where experience is limited and the paralogues offer the opportunity to train your units even more. Beyond the detriments to the gameplay, the implication of Fates’s new DLC, Recollection of Bubbles[?], seem to point to the fact that all the second generation characters are, indeed, canon, similarly to how Awakening’s second generation units were confirmed to be canon in Future Past. [Please note that I only read the summary of the new DLC because I didn’t want to spoil myself on plot points. I only read that the DLC revolves around the children characters, so I am assuming that Nina and Kana are in it.] Should this be true, I can logically deduce that Niles ending up with a woman is canon in the Fates universe. This is a tad frustrating since this implies that gay marriage was nothing more than an afterthought on the writer’s part. It was almost as if they programmed that option at the last moment to prevent another “Tomodachi life” controversy and fill some form of a politically correct quota. I know this is simply a game with fictitious characters and, in the grand scheme of things, I really do not care that Niles is supposed to end up with a woman, if that is to be what the developers wanted. I guess I am just miffed that a game, designed to have players pair characters together, handled gay marriage so poorly. Japan is not at the level of social progressiveness that the United States is at, and I know that I should not hold them to that standard. Another other strange thing is, is that Treehouse absolutely neutered the S-supports with both Rhajat AND Niles. In the Japanese version of the supports, both Corrins bring up their genders when they hear Rhajat and Niles confess their feelings to them (respectively). In the American translation, it’s only Niles who implies that he knew that male Corrin was gay all along when he says “Ah, I knew I was right about you. How splendid!”. ​However, Niles S support conversation is virtually identical to his S support with female Corrin (since he says the same exact thing), which really is a shame. Though others may disagree, I think removing Corrin bringing up his gender with Niles (or Rhajat if female) removed depth from the characters. Consider the day and age in the Fates universe. It’s medieval/feudal Japan high-fantasy; I do not believe homosexuals were all too common especially in royal families where bloodline were SUPER important. I think it would be fair to bring up the fact that people (and even their own army allies) may not react all to favorably. All that was needed was perhaps a few lines of dialogue that addressed the issue, perhaps something along the lines like… “But you know that I’m a man, right?” “Yes, but who cares what other people think about our relationship!” This would have made Niles and Rhajat, more three-dimensional in my book. But, the characters simply stuck to their gimmicks, which is really unfortunate. It was another missed opportunity. I am surprised that the Japanese characterized Niles and Rhajat better than the American version did, which is contrary to what I said about Japan earlier. I propose two alternative ways Intelligent Systems could have better implemented gay marriage. Let’s start with the one they wouldn’t have ever dreamed of: REMOVE THE CHILDREN. As we know, children were shoehorned into the Fates story utilizing a more ridiculous plot device than time travel: pocket dimensions. Honestly, the parents abandoned their children by doing this. I am surprised that not all the children were furious with their parents. Nina, Shiro, Hisame, and Percy had legitimate reasons to be angry that their parents since they left them on their own to grow up for most of their lives. I think their parents are perfect strangers to them. I think those twenty-some paralogues could have been used to develop the universe more or better develop the first generation cast. We have just under seventy playable characters. That’s way too many. Had I had my way with the development of this game, I would have axed all the children. Unfortunately, IS included them again, simply because they believed that's what made Awakening sell so well. It was a business decision only. Here is the other method: change the gay options to Shiro and Soleil. Soleil would have been the obvious and better lesbian option than Rhajat, because her whole character revolves around her flirting with other women! I don't know how IS screwed that up. Now, you may be thinking, “why Shiro”? he’s easy on the eyes Well, this way, a male avatar won’t miss out on another child aside from Kana and counter balance the Nohrian (Soleil) gay option I suggested. This would be similar to they did with Niles and Rhajat (one Hoshidan and Nohrian option respectively). Shiro takes somewhat of an interest in Nina’s male-on-male pairing fantasies in their support when the two go to various plays. However, should Shiro have been the option for the gay support, his character would have to be rewritten to an extent. Perhaps he could have been more of a free spirit? I still stand by the fact that Silas makes the better gay pairing for males (due to the fact that is entire character revolves around Corrin), but, like Niles, the player would miss out on both Sophie and Kana. Since children are tied to the fathers (save Azura) in this game, lesbians don’t have the issue of missing two children. Having a gay male second generation character would not have been as detrimental to the gameplay for those interested in having two men reach an S support. Forgive this not-so-academic rant. I wanted to get this off my chest and hear what others thought about this. I really am thankful that Nintendo is just starting to become more inclusive in their games. Fates was a decent start, but Nintendo and Intelligent Systems need to step up their game to get with the times. As a gay man myself, I long to see the day where Nintendo will make a canonically gay male or female who is not defined by their sexuality. For now, I will settle for the table scraps that have been given to me and will proudly display my Niles badge in the hopes that in future Fire Emblem games and Nintendo games as a whole, we will have better handled gay pairings.
  23. So, as some of you may or may not have realized, a lot of Corrin's animations in Smash Bros. are directly pulled from this game. I've been putting together a list since the game came out in the US, and now I think I've gotten everything covered. I'm choosing to post it in this subforum due to a more in-depth look at Corrin in this game alongside their Smash Bros. appearance. That said, if it's deemed a flimsy enough excuse, have at it and move the thread, mods. Anyway, let's begin. Neutral Special: Is clearly derived from the final hit of the proc skill Dragon Fang, when Corrin morphs one arm into a spikey mouth claw of death ad fires a projectile from it. Side Special: Is derived from the animation when Dragon Fang activates and then criticals; the second hit has Corrin jump in the air and shoot a lance-like appendage downard, momentarily impaling the opponent. The kicks aren't entirely made up either; they come from female Nohr Noble's critical animation, which has the unit strike the enemy with a forward kick virtually identical to the one in Smash Bros. Side Smash/Forward Throw/Back Throw: Is clearly derived from the second hit of Dragon Fang, where Corrin morphs the lower part of their free hand into a lance-like appendage. Their side smash is the clearest example, though their forward and back-throws follow similiar concepts. Down Special: Minus the face transformation, it uses the same pose Corrin strikes when activating a critical hit/skill in either of their promoted classes. Dash Attack: Uses the Nohr Prince/Princess animation for a follow-up attack that doesn't kill, as well as when Lethality is activated. Forward Air: Uses the end of the animation when either of Corrin's promoted classes activates certain proc skills (Rend Heaven and Luna are where I've seen it). Crouching: Can be briefly seen at the start of the Nohr Prince/Princess critical hit animation. Backwards Roll: Is their animation for dodging an attack. Jump: The jump from their Nohr Prince/Princess critical hit animation is carried over as their first jump in Smash. Run: Uses the exact pose same pose in both games. That's about it. At first I thought their up-throw looked like their Dragonstone animation when finishing off an opponent, but that appears to not be the case upon closer inspection. However, there are a couple moves that Corrin shares with other characters in Smash. These are: Up Air: Is the same as Marcina's and Roy's. At risk of sounding like TrailerDrake (whose Smash History episode on Corrin I just recently watched; however, I'd planned to make this post for a while), I think the Nohr Prince/Princess's attack animation for doubling and finishing off the opponent would look neater here. Side Tilt: Carried over from the Mii Swordfighter, oddly. Down Tilt: Damn near every swordy besides Cloud has it; a swift downward strike in front of them that launches foes upwards. So, overall, that's it. In the face of some... whinier comments from people circa their reveal, Corrin actually carries over quite a bit from Fates into Smash Bros.; moreso than any other FE character, in fact. This speaks just as much to Sakurai's previous design philosophy of putting game balance before character faithfulness (Ike had a shockwave attack in Brawl's Beta, but that was deemed "gamebreaking" and replaced with Eruption; despite that, Cloud is rocking Blade Beam as a neutral special in the most recent installment) as it does to the lack of source material for most previous lords. In general, due to possessing three different unique classes and Fates' returning to GBA-style, over-the-top animations, Corrin had more to pull from than Ike, Marth, and Roy put together. Here's to hoping that, say, Marth gets the Shield of Seals in Smash 5 or Ike/Roy gets an actual projectile... .
  24. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoCc_MAI87M So after my first video, I decided to make a follow up to address new information discovered! Again, I'm looking for critique as well thoughts on the video, as well as starting discussion :) Enjoy.
  25. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LD-d8AArOb0 Been working on this non-stop since the trailer was released! Please leave feedback on my idea as well as production and enjoy the video!
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