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So a common complaint I've heard against Ricken is that the majority of his character revolved around being annoyed that people were treating him as a kid. While not my favorite character, I was surprised to hear that this sentiment was so common, especially when his "war is hell" supports personally tended to come to mind firs. Out of curiosity, I decided to read Ricken's supports to find out how much of them focus on this supposed "gimmick". Note that I won't be covering the child characters, given how those only have minor differences between the fathers, and I'm taking the S-supports with a grain of salt since those vary wildly in quality for every character. Robin: Ricken is struggling with something to write to his parents, and is adamant towards Robins suggestions to write about his close brushes with death or exaggerating how he tore Risen apart limb to limb. Ricken mentions that won't go home until he restores his family name as a war hero in their B support. Ricken finally writes the letter in the A support telling his parents he misses them and hopes to see them again, with no mention of honor or glamour. He does angrily tell Robin not to treat him as a kid, but this is understandable after Robin just gave him a noggie right after telling him they gave a mature and thoughtful response. The S-support does largely joke about him being treated as a child, after Robin worries for him after Ricken went to the Ghouls teeth (Shadow Dragon reference!) to get them a precious stone as a proposal gift. Lissa: Lissa thinks that Ricken looks sick before being told that he's not fighting at 100%. When she suggest practicing to get past the block, Ricken snaps about how their enemies are out to kill them, and they survive by killing them first, although he apologizes for the outburst. In the B support, Lissa takes up combat training. Ricken lightly protests, but drops it quickly. At the A support, Ricken reveals he hopes to be an advisor for Chrom someday and explains why the lord is his hero; Chrom fended off kids who were bullying Ricken. While Ricken initially though there was a catch and Chrom was only doing it to show off, his attitude changed when Chrom fended off a wolf attack twice. He was barely able to stand by the end of it, showing that he was still human, making his bravery more admirable. S-support has Lissa complimenting Ricken for his bravery and saving her neck several times, to which Ricken proposes. Sully: Sully talks Ricken out of using a potion to age faster by telling him it takes time and effort to grow strong. In the next support, Ricken offers Sully a potion that could turn a woman into a man, while Sully tells him she hates people who are small minded about her abilities because she's a woman, not that she wants to become a man. Ricken apologizes, and Sully knows he means well, while mentioning if anyone else had offered her that potion, she would have made them eat their own guts. A support states that Ricken is done with potions and has a joke about him growing taller. Their S-support has Sully states that Ricken is a full-fledged shepherd, Ricken proposes, mentioning that he's a grown man once, and Sully accepts because she trusts him. Miriel: First two supports have Miriel doing experiments while Ricken watches the first time and helps with the second. Ricken asks both times if Miriel's experiments have a practical application, to which she says there is none. Another experiment in their A support, with Miriel mentioning that her researched is based primarily on the observations of her mother, and Ricken brings up that his family has fallen on hard times and he's planning on becoming a war hero to rebuild their reputation. He states that they aren't that different, as they both fight for their families in a sense (Miriel's mother was thought to be a madwoman by some). S-support has Ricken proposing to Miriel so they can keep working on experiments together. Maribelle: Maribelle thanks Ricken for rescuing her during Chapter 5. Ricken is surprised to hear Maribelle call him a peer, since his house is dead broke. Maribelle states that a persons character is more important than their purse, so to her, their houses are of equal standing. Their B support has a nice back and forth, with Maribelle noticing an injury Ricken was hiding. While Ricken tries to pass it off as a "flesh wound", Maribelle chastises him for taking unnecessary risks and wonders if she should talk Chrom into finding a way to spare Ricken from combat. Ricken shuts that idea down pretty quickly, stating that he is not a boy, he can handle himself in a fight, and he won't sit by while his friends, his family, and his countrymen are in danger. Maribelle accepts his decision while also telling him not to hide his wounds, so that she can use her abilities as well. The A support has Maribelle apologizing to Ricken for her what she said in the previous conversation, and Ricken acknowledges that she was right about him being young and how he hid an injury. Their S support has them humorously realize that they planned on proposing to each other, with Maribelle hoping to help restore Rickens family honor while also marrying for love. Panne: Ricken tries to ask Panne questions, while the latter is trying to ignore him and transforms into a beast to get him to go away. Their next conversation, has Panne try to dissuade Ricken from following her by telling him that humans change when the latter tried to ask to be her friend. Ricken talks about how he was bullied after his house fell on hard times, yet his father told him to keep his pride or else the bullies win, while acknowledging the taguel had it worse than he ever did. Panne allows him to follow her around, but quietly, to which Ricken jumps right into asking questions. Ricken asks if taguel could transform into other beasts in their A support. Panne tells him that she's met taguel who could transform into lions or wolves, and that her mother told her of a tribal leader back when the taguel ruled the world lived in an earthly paradise before their way of life was wiped out. Ricken cries upon hearing this, surprising Panne, who had never seen a human cry for their sake. Panne calls Ricken by his name for the first time in their S-support, and tells him that they should stop spending time together, as one day he would loose his innocence, and one of them may get hurt when that time comes (she calls him a young man here. She called him a whelp twice in earlier supports, but Ricken didn't seem to notice). Ricken then proposes marriage, saying they'll be friends forever, to which Panne accepts. Cordelia: Probably the one that has the most mentions about Ricken being a child. Their first support has Cordelia worrying about Ricken being tired from all the marching, to which Ricken replies that he's not a child and that Cordelia isn't tired. Cordelia replies that it would take a lot more to wear her out, and that his legs are quivering. She orders him to get some rest, and under protest Ricken obeys. Their next support starts with Ricken thanking Cordelia for the break after realizing he was being stubborn earlier. Cordelia reveals that she used to try to do too much at once and got in trouble for it, before Chrom stepped in to help her out. Ricken takes her "older and wiser" statement to apply to himself, and believes it is now his responsibility to tell people to stop being pigheaded, before Cordelia shuts that down. Their A support has Cordelia compliment Ricken on working hard and becoming a reliable young man. Ricken notes that this is the first time she's called him a man, and correctly guesses that she's flattering him. Cordelia regardless tells him that respect is earned and that his determination to improve is half the battle. The S-support has Ricken propose to Cordelia. He mentions that he knows that Cordelia is smitten with Chrom, and but that he loves her more. Cordelia says that she sees Ricken as more of a kid brother, to which Ricken replies that he is a grown man that is in love with her. Cordelia sees a young man now, and an equal in the future, so she accepts, but states that there will be no ceremony until he has come of age. Unfortunate implications galore! and I am not a fan of this support chain. Gregor: Ricken asks Gregor what happened during the last battle, since he was in the back and didn't see what happened on the front lines. Gregor correctly guesses that Ricken is recording the battles, but when he is about to explain what he did, Ricken interrupts by stating he's only recording what he and Chrom did. Ricken believes that if he keeps track of what the two of them did on the battlefield, Chrom will start treating him like a full fledged Shephard instead of a child, to Gregors disappointment. Ricken takes an interest in Gregor after seeing the "old man" fight. Gregor mentions "enjoying brutal honesty of small children..." at the last statement, prompting Ricken to quickly state that he's a grown man before getting back on topic. Ricken is compiling the book in their A support, aiming to become Chrom's right hand man, and noticed that he's starting to get a better idea of what goes on in the front lines, which Gregor compliments him for. Nowi: Ricken covers for Nowi burning down some tents in their C support, as the latter fell asleep while holding a dragonstone. In the B support, Ricken lost his temper at some townspeople sometime earlier, as they were saying bad things about Chrom. Nowi says that they're similar in how they want to protect people, and now they both have a secret to keep. At the A support, they get back from a wedding, which was busy enough that Ricken compared it to a harvest festival. Nowi reveals that she loves festivals, and when she was really young, she was so lonely she thought she was the only person in the world at points. She tries to join every party that she can, and while she loves the Shephards company, they'll all go their separate ways at some point, leaving her alone again. Upon hearing this, Ricken offers that, after the war is over, they'll tour around the world to visit every festival they can. In their S-support, Ricken plays a guessing game with Nowi by asking her what's in a bag that she's allowed to put her hand inside but can't peek in. Her third guess is a wedding ring, and asks if he wants to marry her. When asked about how she'll age slower, Ricken replies that looks don't matter and that it's what's in their hearts that counts. Tharja: Ricken tries to ask Tharja to teach him hexes, but she refuses, saying it's not a simple matter. It turns out that Ricken studies fencing, wyvern riding and butter sculpting, and he never gives up. Tharja tells Ricken that she can't teach him yet because she's still learning about hexes in their B support, although she likes Ricken's idea to just do something and see what happens instead of being cautious with her curses. In their A support Ricken casts his first curse on Tharja, who was close by and willing to be a test subject. It turns out that he cursed her with a happiness-contagion hex. Ricken is pleasantly surprised that there are nice curses, though Tharja warns that curses are like dreams, and whether they are joyful or horrific depends on the victim. Ricken says that Tharja is nicer than she looks, while Thaja requests that Ricken to keep this meeting a secret. They work together to get stronger at casting hexes in their S Support, when Ricken proposes to Tharja, who never actually directly says yes. Olivia: Olivia is interested in a book Ricken is reading, and after scaring him when he was so engrossed in the book, they decide to read together. When reading a scary story in their B support, Ricken is frightened while Olvia is bored (side note, Shanty Pete left his hook on the side of a carriage, which is oft overlooked lore). While Olivia loves reading, she says it's impractical to carry them around when she travels a lot, so she remembers spoken tales. This impresses Ricken, who walks right into getting her to tell him the scariest story she knows, which leads to the A support, where she shows that she's a pretty good performer and storyteller. Predictably, he proposes after she is done telling a story in their S-support, finding her cute, funny, and a great storyteller, while Olivia accepts because Ricken enjoys her stories and screams like a little girl. I wish I was making that up. Cherche: Ricken asks Cherche if he is allowed to pet Minerva in their A support. Calling himself a "monster-whisperer" due to how animals love him, Ricken believes he has the markings of a wyvern rider(Cherche private reply is " ah, the arrogance at youth..."). While it seems to be that Minerva and Ricken become fast friends at the start of the B support, it turns out that the only reason Ricken is still alive is because Cherche was there. When asked why he wants to become a wyvern rider, Ricken responds that he feels useless as a mage. Cherche tells him that, because he loves studying magic, he should put his focus on becoming the greatest mage he can be. In their A support Ricken become friends with Minerva, haven taken Cherche's advice. Ricken mentions his goal to become Chrom's right-hand man and that his family has fallen on hard times financially. Their S support starts with Cherche giving him a hat, after which Ricken proposes, mentioning that he knows he'll have to help take care of Minerva. Cherche takes the proposal seriously and accepts, mentioning that Ricken has grown into a fine young man. Henry: The support starts with Ricken thanking Henry for rescuing him in the previous battle, who mentioned they were previously part of the Plegian army but never went into battle due to Grangrel's defeat. Henry is curious what a battle against the Shepherds would have turned out like, much to Ricken's distress. Their B support is pretty well-known, with Ricken asking Henry about some of the people he served under, thus giving us some tidbits about several of the bosses fought in the first part of the game, ending with Ricken being reminded that his enemies have friends and families and aren't just faceless blobs. In their final support, Ricken asks Henry if he resents the Shepherds for cutting down his comrades, to which Henry replies no, but if Ricken were cut down, Henry would seek vengence, since he considers Ricken a friend. After reading through these... quite honestly, I'd say that Ricken's family is a more prominent point of discussion that him being treated as a child. Even then, his supposed "gimmick" is really only the focus in his support with Cordelia. Every other time, it is either not brought up at all, only mentioned as a quick joke, or relevant to the conversation to ranging degrees. I still think Ricken is an average character, but like most of Awakenings cast, I did gain a new appreciation when I started to see more sides of him. Also, Ricken has some really short S-Supports. I know they're infamous in general for happening really quickly, and I could be mis-remembering how long most of them are, but still. It's very noticeable with this guy. These are summaries, of course, so some details may have been missed or glossed over. I also haven't looked at any barrack quotes or level up dialogue or anything like that yet, but I've spent enough time on the topic as is. Formatting suggestions are welcome, since I admit this is a bit crunched. I'll fix any spelling errors later and maybe add some more thoughts later, since I got tired near the end.
I have a number of supports from Awakening you guys don't have and I'll post as much as I can: #1: Male Avatar and Ricken C Support Ricken: Hrmmm... Avatar: Still writing that letter? You've been staring at a blank page for an hour. Was it bad news? Nothing serious, I hope. Ricken: No, just an average letter from my parents. "Hope you're well," and all that. Avatar: Then why are you so strapped for a reply? Ricken: It's... tricky. I just don't know what to say. Avatar: There are plenty of things you could write about! Especially after that last battle. Tell them about how you dodged one brush with death after the next! Impress them! Ricken: Are you insane?! The object is to make them worry about me LESS! Avatar: Oh. Right. Well, why not tell them about that fight against the Risen? Talk about how you tore them limb from limb and flung the pieces to the winds! Ricken: But I did no such thing! Besides, that would have them worried about me in a whole other way... See the problem? I can't LIE, but if I write about how things really are, they'll worry. And if I write about how much I miss them, that only makes it worse... Avatar: How about just a few words to let them know you're all right? Ricken: ...I don't know. Maybe I'll just hold off until I do something that makes them proud. Avatar: Well, if they could've heard you just now, they already would be. B Support Ricken: Hmm... Avatar: Still haven't written a reply to your parents, have you? Ricken: Yep. Stuck again. I can't think of the right words to say. Avatar: You could always just head back. Ricken: Head back where? Home? Avatar: Why not? Stop by for a quick visit. Spend some time with your family. I'm not saying to drop everything and go tomorrow, but once things settle down. Ricken: ...No. I can't go back yet. Avatar: Why not? Ricken: I don't know how much you know about me, but I come from and old, respected house. And lately, my family home--and name--has fallen into serious disrepair. So this war is about more that saving the world, at least for me. It's about restoring my family name. And I can't go home until I've done it. Avatar: That's a lot to put on yourself, Ricken. Your parents are lucky to have you. Hard to imagine such a model son running around dismembering Risen and flinging-- Ricken: Stop with the dismembering already! What kind of monster do you think I am? Avatar: Ha ha, I'm just teasing. Seriously, though, if you won't visit, you should write. Sparing your parents from worry is part of being a good son, after all. Ricken: Yeah, I know you're right... Okay, I'll keep it real basic. "Dear Mom and Dad, I hope you're well." Avatar: "Today I saved the life of my beloved, and the field ran red with the blood of my foes!" Ricken: "Today I saved the..." ARRRGH! Will you NOT do that?! Avatar: I'm helping. Ricken: YOU ARE NOT! A Support Ricken: Hey, Avatar. Would you mind sending this out with the other deliveries? Avatar: Letter to the family, eh? So did you finally figure out what to write? Ricken: I just wrote the truth: that I miss them and hope to see them again soon. Avatar: No tales of glory? No brave words? ...No dismemberment? Ricken: Hah! Not this time. I guess restoring the family name will have to wait a bit longer. I simply wrote that I've come a long way, but there's still more to be done. Not the greatest news in the world, but better than silence, I guess. Avatar: But it IS great news! I'm sure it'll put their minds at ease. Ricken: By telling them how weak I still am? Avatar: No, by telling them you know your limits and you're working to overcome them. That's a very mature way of thinking. I'm sure they'll be proud. Ricken: Heh heh! You really think so? Avatar: I guarantee it! You did great, Ricken. Now get over here! Ricken: EWWW! Leggo! No noogies! Stop treating me like a kid! Didn't you JUST finish saying how mature I was?! Avatar: Ha ha! Sorry, it's just that hat and those cute wittle cheeks just begging to be pinc-- Ricken: Come on, knock it off! There you go! I'll do more at a latter date.