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"When video games make mistakes; if you want to have fun, you should accept them rather than demand their reconciliation."

This is the kind of thinking that keeps video games in the dark ages. The idea that there's a certain kind of "storytelling" (usually associated with Shakespeare and Dickens), and that video games are "too different" from it, rather than accepting that video game writing itself is a perfectly valid form of storytelling.

You can do a damn near unlimited amount of things to contradict the story just by doing things in gameplay. Shinon attacked from a million miles away, but he can't do that ingame, Ike literally carries Lucia, Soren blows people away with magic, Titania moves while attacking, nobody takes turns and this is all just one scene. Sometimes you just have to go "It's for the sake of fun" and roll with it.

Also, considering the writing ability of the FE staff, gameplay inconsistency is the least of their problems.

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No, there is literally an infinite number of ways to beat almost any video game, except when you have a time limit, in which case the number of ways to beat the game is so large as to be practically infinite; e.g., there are more ways to play it than could be explored in the lifetime of one (or many) people, and each person is highly unlikely to beat the same game in the exact same way more than once (unless specifically following a turn-by-turn strategy with the intention of replicating results).

No matter how many different choices you have in a choose your own adventure book, you can never approach that level of infinitum, or even anything remotely close to it. You would need a book multiple times larger than the largest book in existence (which is, as far as I know, still War & Peace).

Furthermore, as to your Dante's Inferno example (er... Devil May Cry), I'm not claiming that the story should be changed retroactively to explain discrepancies between "author-guided" segments and "player-guided" segments, simply that in doing so, the game squanders the storytelling potential of video games in favor of imitated other media (movies and books, for example). Many, many video games are guilty of this on some degree, and some do it to a higher degree than others. Suspension of disbelief comes into account here. If we as players don't notice that Shinon shooting further than he can in Ch 2 is a discrepancy, then no harm, no foul. However, what you and other people in this thread have insinuated (and correct me if I am wrong here) is that when we as players DO notice these discrepancies, then we should simply ignore them as "inevitable byproducts of the medium" because of the "rule" of "gameplay and story segregation" rather than acknowledging them as the mistakes they are. If we as players do notice that Dante can take more damage in cutscenes than he should be able to, that is ruining our suspension of disbelief. Any storytelling medium is illusion, and when the game calls attention to the fact that yes, this is a story, then it is not doing its job correctly--unless of course it is specifically attempting to be self-reflective in some kind of post-modern edgy way.

Barring those few postmodern works, however, a story is supposed to convince us, at least on some level, that what is happening is real. We're supposed to identify Dante as a person rather than a series of polygons meshed together under the accordance of several lines of coding. We're supposed to think Billy Pilgrim is a person, not a few black lines on a page. We're supposed to think that "The Treachery of Images" is a Pipe, until Magritte helpfully reminds us that it is not a pipe at all, but rather a few blobs of paint meant to resemble a pipe.

A discrepancy between "gameplay" and "story" as you call it (and of course this overshadows games that strive a great deal to stop those two aspects from becoming distinct, such as most Valve games and most early Zeldas) is akin to writing "This is not a pipe" at the bottom of a painting of a pipe. For anyone trying to create a legitimate story, this is contrary to their purposes and should at all levels be avoided. I'm not saying that we should limit the creator of Dante's Inferno Devil May Cry's artistic freedom, but rather that the artistic freedom they chose to convey in their work is BAD. When characters get "cutscene power", that is BAD. Many of my favorite games do succumb to this at times (Sabin leaps from train car to train car!), and when I notice them, I should understand them as errors rather than apologizing for them (oh, it's okay, it's just gameplay and story segregation).

And again, don't try to tell me it's impossible to avoid this, because it's not. The original Legend of Zelda has no cutscenes (save the final one, where all Link does is walk into a room), and thus no contradictions. Most Valve games have cutscenes during gameplay segments, and thus Gordon Freeman or whoever isn't able to do anything he couldn't already do in the gameplay. The cutscenes in Pikmin, while "separate" from the "gameplay" as you might say, do not have Olimar doing anything he couldn't already do in game (most of them just involve him walking by a strange object and discovering it, or simply flying his spaceship). There are many other examples. This isn't an unavoidable part of the video game medium any more than it's an thing one should ignore.

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All I'm saying is it's impossible to have the story exactly like the gameplay while having them both at a certain quality. Zelda has almost no story, HL2's cutscenes are terrible and make the game unplayable after you beat it once. Never played Pikmin so idk.

Big differences between the story and gameplay should obviously be avoided most of the time (unless you really want to see traveling large distances or something) but small and medium ones are going to happen all the time.

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I already said things like the amount of time your take sitting around don't mean shit because it's no different than me rereading the same sentence or staring blankly at the page. If you ignore that, there are a finite number of ways. I already told you that it's no practical but entirely theoretically possible for a book to do the same. Also, multiple is a massive understatement to the sizes of the theoretical book.

The problem with the two games you mentioned is that the protagonis is the player. The protagonist is defined entirely bythe player. I'm saying that as such, there are limits to the story telling potential of this style. As such, they are no different than a game like dungeons and dragons. VGs allow the creator and participant to have some say in the character, which is why they're different, in addition to the visual elements. As such, the author can make certain choices to develop the character beyond what they player can control. Sometimes this causes issues. Its no different than someone trying to portray thoughts before stream of consciousness writing or how characters can't talk over one another in a book. Both have issues which result in the story feeling artificial. Now we can criticize them and say we should stick to methods of telling stories in these media that don't cause these issues (entirely player defined characters, not going into characters' thoughts, or just having situations where characters don't talk over eachother), what you want, or we can experiment with the media and figure out ways to resolve these issues and accept them as an unfortunate consequence of the specific medium not being perfect for now. The only difference between books and VGs is VGs haven't been around as long so their issues haven't had as much time to be worked out resulting in them bein more glaring.

Sorry about the large paragraphs, on my phone.

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Sorry for the double post, can't edit.

One last thing, expanding on the stream of consciousness thing, this is still far from perfected as well. It comes nowhere near close to recreating the though process perfectly, just does a pretty good job. To truly replicate the though process would render the book unreadable beyond being next to impossible. Books sacrifice certain things to tell a story how the author wishes to and to allow more creative freedom, but we are willing to accept these things. Some examples in video games are more glaring, but why shouldn't video games be afforded the same courtesy while the kinks are being worked out?

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Seven bloody hells, guys. Can we get back to the Ike/character development discussion? zomg.

Sothe, while nothing major, developed in the way where he permitted Micaiah to act as her own free agent, rather than an individual who needed his constant protection. it wasn't like woah, look out, this character has developed tons, but throughout the course of the game he learned that Micaiah didn't need his constant protection, because yes she can fend for herself. like you said, it's not very significant because the writing wasn't particularly excellent, but it's there.

I...guess? I must have missed it...because really, ive played that game a ton of times and i never felt Sothe do...anything really. The only change i see is "Well if you think it necessary..." and umm that happens kinda early on. Its so minor, it might as well not exist.

her main character arc was about her fears versus her sense of duty.

Like a really badly written Daenerys Targaryen. :P:

Its a shame really...Because it was so badly done...

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All I'm saying is it's impossible to have the story exactly like the gameplay while having them both at a certain quality. Zelda has almost no story, HL2's cutscenes are terrible and make the game unplayable after you beat it once. Never played Pikmin so idk.

Big differences between the story and gameplay should obviously be avoided most of the time (unless you really want to see traveling large distances or something) but small and medium ones are going to happen all the time.

I'd say that Zelda has an excellent story, as has Half-Life (1; haven't played too much of 2). And again, please stop referring to story and gameplay as two separate entities. They're not.

I'm saying that as such, there are limits to the story telling potential of this style.

Silly, it's the opposite.

Other than that, it's the inevitable point in the argument where everyone is just saying the same shit over and over again without anyone coming to any conclusions.

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FE9 makes no case of this whatsoever, neither does FE10. Ike is nowhere near perfect in FE9. He can't make tactical decisions on his own, made bad decisions that almost cost Rolf's life in Chapter 2, as well as the entire GMs in Chapter 7, and almost outright got overwhelmed and killed off in Chapter 8. He gets roflstomped by the Black Knight and has to run from him in a chapter or two, and he even dislikes nobles in a vacuum unless it's Elincia or (eventually) Sanaki.

Not sure anyone was arguing FE9 Ike was a Sue or not. "Disliking nobles" isn't a fault by the way, particularly if said nobles "deserve" it. Since the Begnion senators are portrayed as jerks it just serves to make Ike look good.

Lets not forget even gameplay-wise, Ike isn't even the best character in the game. Hell, he's your worst character at the very beginning, and even at his very best (obtaining Ragnell) it's widely regarded to not be the best and he's not guaranteed to defeat the Black Knight (especially without Mist).

I don't think gameplay performance is really relevant to whether the character is considered a Mary Sue or not, and if it is than Micaiah *definitely* isn't one.

FE10 Ike isn't even a Mary Sue by this definition either. He's not even mentioned in the plot until Part II where it's stated that he left his job as an Crimean Noble because he couldn't stand it.

Again, scorning the nobility (who are portrayed in a very negative light) doesn't even come close to a flaw. He is mentioned in Part I by the way (father of Sothe's children etc.), though it's admittedly small.

He left Elincia in an extreme time of need as her Kingdom began to fall apart, and she almost lost her best friend in public execution, though admittedly he makes up for it by saving her and isn't blamed for it (and why should he be?).

So he shows up in time to save the day...this makes him not a Sue how?

Then in Part III he becomes the main character until his screen time is plucked away to further the Dawn Brigade's plot, and this happens continuously until ENDGAME, where the plot begins to shift on Ike's past and the Ike/BK battle, and with Ike delivering the final blow on Ashera. And even then you can't even claim he's a Mary Sue because that's only 2 out of the 5 chapters where he's completely focused, 3 if you're doing a second playthrough and Lehran has his vision about Ike's past. Is he a highly regarded character in FE10 due to his awesomeness? Yes, and he totally deserves it. He's the Hero of the Mad King's War after all.

Chapters Focused on Ike:

3-P to 3-5, 3-8, 3-10, 4-1, 4-4- 10

Chapters Focused on Micaiah:

1-P to 1-E, 3-6, 4-P, 4-3 - 14

Chapters with Both:

3,7, 3-11, 3-12, 3-13, 3-E, 4-E

Other chapters don't involve either.

Even then, BK exists to show that he isn't perfect, and he actually gets bested by the Dawn Brigade in that one shitty chapter (Part III - Chapter 12).

No, Ike actually curbstomps General Maiel's army offscreen before showing up. That's not getting 'bested' by the Dawn Brigade at all.

Micaiah is actually a far stronger case of a Mary Sue than Ike will ever be. She's praised by many Daein citizens, went from Rags To Riches, called the Dawn Maiden when not even 1/4th of the way through the game, has undying support from everyone in Daein except already-developed characters (Zihark and Jill. Tauroneo as well but he's practically bounded by oath), and becomes the mother fucking voice of the goddess because she's truly the Princess of Begnion.

And Ike has support from Crimea, the Laguz Alliance and everyone loyal to Sanaki. He also kills a goddess.

She is also 80-85% relevant to the plot (Elincia's plot and a teeny tiny bit of the GM plot), and no one jumps her ass for essentially killing many soldiers with "dirty" tactics all because of a(rather laughable) plot device that she failed to tell anyone. However, she doesn't make the cut as a Mary sue either because of (ironically) Ike and Elincia having their own character arcs.

80-85% is a pretty big exaggeration, she's only around for a little over half. I also don't understand how it's 'ironic' in Micaiah's case, but not for Ike's?

The only thing you blame Ike for being is Overpowered, and that's because he has defeated literally every type of unit you can think possible, and I don't think anything can chalk higher than a Goddess.

Easily defeating all challenges in your way is more of a Sue trait than anything else IMO. While he does struggle in FE9, nothing can stand in his way in FE10- not even the BK or Ashera. He does technically fail to defeat the Begnion army, but the game makes it clear that this is entirely Skirmir's fault. Micaiah on the other hand, is routinely getting captured, falling unconscious, loses to Ike in battle on several occasions etc. In terms of Sue power overwhelming the plot, Ike is the clear winner. Heck you can defeat him in combat in 3-13 and the game still acts like he won >_<

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So the inability to give the character any but the most general implications of traits that the player doesn't bring isn't a limitation? Would you care to explain how Ike could be developed as he is without "story" outside the "gameplay"? You can give some implications about what kind of person the character is by how people react to him/her but you can't go into the characters past or personal life or anything else without things outside the player. Even the suggestions of the personality would potentially cause inconsistencies. For example, if Link is a dick and steals things from people, like items out of their houses (which people seem to be oddly okay with) or attack pets it has no bearing on the popular perception of him. To negate things like this you would need no personal interaction involving the character. Now Shadow of the Colossus did this, and brilliantly, but every game can't/shouldn't be like that. It would get incredibly boring. Another possibility is something like Infamous where people react to you differently based on your actions, but I recall you saying that was merely a fancier version of Mass Effect's pigeonholed story options which you aren't a fan of. Are you really going to say those aren't limitations?

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I touched on this before.

Link goes into a dungeon. Sees a giant dragon. What is Link's reaction? Is Link afraid or confident or angry or annoyed? You say he has no reaction. I say he has an infinite number of reactions, because his reaction is the player's reaction.

(Also, in Link's Awakening, my personal favorite Zelda, if you steal an item, your name changes to Thief and every person you talk to will refer to you by that name. Also if you attack a dog while Marin is nearby, she scolds you for it. So the populace does view you differently, in that instance.)

As for Infamous and every other game with a binary karma system, that's once again taking away an infinite amount of options and instead replacing them with just two: angel or asshole. It's the three-choices-Mass-Effect thing yet again.

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So he shows up in time to save the day...this makes him not a Sue how?

Because he was justified by the plot. He was actually around for a while; Bastian ordered Ike to stay hidden until the last moment so that Ludveck would make his move.

And Ike has support from Crimea, the Laguz Alliance and everyone loyal to Sanaki. He also killed a Goddess.

The difference is that Ike earned it, being a war hero and all.

Using a sword empowered with both Goddess' blessings.

Easily defeating all challenges in your way is more of a Sue trait than anything else IMO. While he does struggle in FE9, nothing can stand in his way in FE10- not even the BK or Ashera. He does technically fail to defeat the Begnion army, but the game makes it clear that this is entirely Skirmir's fault.

Zelgius gets no credit? I do agree Ike has a tremendous winning streak, but it falls on the badass side than the Stu side, because his wins were never too unrealistic. (for Tellius)

Micaiah on the other hand, is routinely getting captured, falling unconscious, loses to Ike in battle on several occasions etc. In terms of Sue power overwhelming the plot,

Nobody's arguing Micaiah is a Sue because of her perfect record. It's more to do with the fact she holds no hatred for Laguz despite being a Branded in Daein, has a super-special unique healing ability, becomes the figurehead of a revolution and is beloved by all in Daein, eventually becomes the queen of Daein and is the Actual True Princess of Begnion.

Ike is the clear winner. Heck you can defeat him in combat in 3-13 and the game still acts like he won >_<

That was to show how outmatched Daein were without restricting gameplay, and to let Kurth make his big entrance.

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The difference is that Ike earned it, being a war hero and all.

Micaiah is also a war hero, she emancipates the people of Daein from an oppressive occupation. Naturally the people of Daein do praise her for this, though I'll agree it gets a bit over the top sometimes.

Using a sword empowered with both Goddess' blessings.

Why does it have to be Ike that uses the sword? There's no plot explanation of why I can't have Zihark or whoever cut down Ashera instead, only Ike can do it because he's...special?

Zelgius gets no credit? I do agree Ike has a tremendous winning streak, but it falls on the badass side than the Stu side, because his wins were never too unrealistic. (for Tellius)

The point is that no blame falls on Ike, Ike maintains perfection throughout all of FE10. I'm not sure what qualifies the difference between "badass" and Stu, because being a Stu if often just an author's attempt at making a badass.

Nobody's arguing Micaiah is a Sue because of her perfect record. It's more to do with the fact she holds no hatred for Laguz despite being a Branded in Daein,

It's not like all Branded or people in Daein hate the laguz so Micaiah's hardly alone in this.

has a super-special unique healing ability,

Which she uses like once to save some kid. People often list off Micaiah's unique traits like her silver hair and ability to see the future as Sue traits, but in reality they have little effect on the plot. Despite these "gifts", Micaiah actually struggles and makes mistakes, unlike Ike.

becomes the figurehead of a revolution and is beloved by all in Daein, eventually becomes the queen of Daein and is the Actual True Princess of Begnion

Admittedly someone who looks like a 16 year old leading an army is a little farfetched, but no more so than Ike doing so back in PoR. Never understood how being a princess was a Sue trait- some people are born princesses.

That was to show how outmatched Daein were without restricting gameplay, and to let Kurth make his big entrance.

Outmatched because Ike isn't allowed to lose (probably the biggest Stu trait of them all). That's the key here, Micaiah has more "traits" that would theoretically allow her to defeat all obstacles, but it's Ike that is flawless once he starts leading the Greil Mercenaries. Ultimately I think how a character impacts plot is more important than any special powers they might have- the powers are only relevant within the context of the plot and Micaiah's are really not that useful overall.

Edited by -Cynthia-

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I touched on this before.

Link goes into a dungeon. Sees a giant dragon. What is Link's reaction? Is Link afraid or confident or angry or annoyed? You say he has no reaction. I say he has an infinite number of reactions, because his reaction is the player's reaction.

That doesn't answer my question in the slightest. Is restricting the designer to only allowing reactions based off the player with no input of his own other than generalizations a limitation? I already addressed this as well. You're basically saying all video games should stick to the same method that was developed a long time ago. What you want doesn't allow for any experimentation in characterization, as if I were to say all novels must be first person limited narration. It's always player=protagonist. If anything, I'd say you're the one who wants to keep video games in "the dark ages."

Also, I didn't say he had no reaction. I said his reaction is dependent entirely upon the player.

(Also, in Link's Awakening, my personal favorite Zelda, if you steal an item, your name changes to Thief and every person you talk to will refer to you by that name. Also if you attack a dog while Marin is nearby, she scolds you for it. So the populace does view you differently, in that instance.)

Do they actually treat you different or just refer to you by the name Thief? Like do they stop trusting you or not let you in their houses? If they don't do anything more than call you Thief it's nothing more than a gimmick as it has no effect on the actual story other than a one off thing. If you repeatedly attack the animals does Marin get more and more fed up with your actions to the point where she won't let you near them? I'm guessing not. Again, it's a one off thing that never changes. If anything, I'd say the way the animals react in OoT and WW is better. They'll attack you until you are either dead or leave the place they are. Not only does it have an actual effect on gameplay, albeit a slight one (though still more major than your example), and it's more realistic because animals tend to forgive people. Now it has it's flaws too, like the animals never change although even animals will stop forgiving people after enough abuses.

As for Infamous and every other game with a binary karma system, that's once again taking away an infinite amount of options and instead replacing them with just two: angel or asshole. It's the three-choices-Mass-Effect thing yet again.

LoZ doesn't allow for an infinite number of options. Your thief example is just a more simplistic version of the karma system. You do something bad and people refer to you by a bad name, nothing more. They don't treat you any differently. Nothing past the bad name. Marin also yells at you the same way every time. No change the more you abuse her animals. In Infamous, if you're a dick people start to not trust you. If you're nice people start to like you more and more. If you're fairly neutral people don't care. LoZ allows for one thing, being the hero everyone loves, despite little gimmicks like calling you Thief.

Edited by bottlegnomes

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Not to mention, the thief-bit has an even smaller impact on the story than nuances like Mass Effect's or KotoR's dialogue systems. It's quartered to only a specific room, essentially, of direct effect, and the rest of it simply changes a name that was user-chosen in the first place. As far as Link is concerned, he has no reaction, and the denizens of the game, a minimal, faux retaliation.

The rupee/antique lady in Skyward Sword delivers more of a narrative than this thief example :/ In fact, almost every NPC of Skyloft has more narrative punch than this thief event. Because they work to affect the player's view, not Link's.

(I wanna jump in but the extremely linear viewpoint of Banzai makes it rather pointless to do so)

Edited by Celice

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Well I'd LIKE to bring in Pikmin 2 as an example of a game that has expanded upon and experimented with the style, but you haven't played it, so anything I say about it would go nowhere. Furthermore, I would argue that the Thief example is far more affecting to the player than the Infamous karma system BECAUSE it changes a name that was user-chosen. It erases your mark on the game, and the (unintentionally) surreal experience of Marin saying something nice and helpful to a guy she calls Thief is disconcerting beyond anything else. There is an actual punishment given to you for your crimes; one of your freedoms as the player (the freedom to name yourself) is wrenched away from you, permanently. Nothing of the sort happens in Infamous; in fact, oftentimes in karma system games, you're simply given a different flavor of power than you would have had if you were a good guy (and sometimes the dark power is even stronger than the nice guy power).

In effect, renaming you (YOU) "Thief" is an anti-existential denial of self-determinization. Every game has things that the player can do and things the player cannot do; things in the player's control and things in the author's control. The Thief trick in effect is the author scolding the player for being a bad boy and saying they can't go outside to play anymore. It is an actual punishment. And of course you'll say "but it doesn't matter, nothing in the game is affected, etc" but you're missing the point. Celice in his infinite wisdom of course comes in here and says I have the linear viewpoint (we've had this entire conversation keeping everything civil, and then you come in and spew out some pointless insults? Real high class bub), but it's truly the other way around. You're the one coming in saying that in order for something to be an important change to the gameplay it has to follow ____, ____, and ____ criteria. You believe it has to impact the game from the game's side, when I'm trying to say that you can impact the game from the other side, from beyond the fourth wall, and that THAT impact is the kind of impact that truly counts, because that's YOUR impact.

The modernist project by the early 20th century (some flashes of this before then, markedly in Rodin and Cezanne) had begun experimenting with the phenomenological experience of art. Basically, they would make one static, unmoving painting or sculpture but design it in such a way that meaning was derived from the viewer, not from the piece itself. Whether the Walking Man stands straight and upright or tilts precariously depended on who was looking at the work and from what angle they looked at the work. What I'm trying to say here is that video games are capable of exploring this concept far more than those artists could have ever imagined. Meaning in a video game is not derived from the authorial influence as much as it is derived from the player's influence. A literary character is sad or mad or glad and my only response is to empathize with them or not, but when Link is sad or mad or glad it's because I am sad or mad or glad. Later Zeldas in which Link's status as a silent protagonist is basically name only because his facial expressions dictate his emotions detract from this experience. Link becomes separate from the player.

I'll leave this off with a footnote. Celice, if you're going to come in here and insult me, then just fucking leave.

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It was a statement of fact, not an insult. Alongside your one-track viewpoint, you also keep resorting to I-You language. In fact, in using the I-You, you're no longer even helping a conversation along, but directing it by supplying this "you" with arguments that haven't really been said.

You may as well be speaking to yourself :/ Your continually regression into your own confirmations support it. As well as your sudden, somewhat unsupported defensive burst.

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People calling Ike a Mary Sue should look up what it means again.

Mary Sue/Gary Stu characters are widely regarded as an inserted character in a work of fiction, where the character is essentially so perfect that he has no faults, and the story only exists to further his/her development, at the cost of developing other characters.

FE9 makes no case of this whatsoever, neither does FE10. Ike is nowhere near perfect in FE9. He can't make tactical decisions on his own, made bad decisions that almost cost Rolf's life in Chapter 2, as well as the entire GMs in Chapter 7, and almost outright got overwhelmed and killed off in Chapter 8. He gets roflstomped by the Black Knight and has to run from him in a chapter or two, and he even dislikes nobles in a vacuum unless it's Elincia or (eventually) Sanaki. Lets not forget even gameplay-wise, Ike isn't even the best character in the game. Hell, he's your worst character at the very beginning, and even at his very best (obtaining Ragnell) it's widely regarded to not be the best and he's not guaranteed to defeat the Black Knight (especially without Mist). Everyone in the plot gets their share of development, especially ones closest to Ike (which by definition should be the ones with the least development), particularly Soren, Mist/Boyd, and Titania. Jill even gets a fucking chapter dedicated to herself and she's completely optional in it. So obviously, FE9 Ike is not a Mary Sue, he's just the main protagonist, and it's completely fine for a protagonist to be the central part of the plot.

FE10 Ike isn't even a Mary Sue by this definition either. He's not even mentioned in the plot until Part II where it's stated that he left his job as an Crimean Noble because he couldn't stand it. He left Elincia in an extreme time of need as her Kingdom began to fall apart, and she almost lost her best friend in public execution, though admittedly he makes up for it by saving her and isn't blamed for it (and why should he be?). Then in Part III he becomes the main character until his screen time is plucked away to further the Dawn Brigade's plot, and this happens continuously until ENDGAME, where the plot begins to shift on Ike's past and the Ike/BK battle, and with Ike delivering the final blow on Ashera. And even then you can't even claim he's a Mary Sue because that's only 2 out of the 5 chapters where he's completely focused, 3 if you're doing a second playthrough and Lehran has his vision about Ike's past. Is he a highly regarded character in FE10 due to his awesomeness? Yes, and he totally deserves it. He's the Hero of the Mad King's War after all. Even then, BK exists to show that he isn't perfect, and he actually gets bested by the Dawn Brigade in that one shitty chapter (Part III - Chapter 12).

Micaiah is actually a far stronger case of a Mary Sue than Ike will ever be. She's praised by many Daein citizens, went from Rags To Riches, called the Dawn Maiden when not even 1/4th of the way through the game, has undying support from everyone in Daein except already-developed characters (Zihark and Jill. Tauroneo as well but he's practically bounded by oath), and becomes the mother fucking voice of the goddess because she's truly the Princess of Begnion. She is also 80-85% relevant to the plot (Elincia's plot and a teeny tiny bit of the GM plot), and no one jumps her ass for essentially killing many soldiers with "dirty" tactics all because of a(rather laughable) plot device that she failed to tell anyone. However, she doesn't make the cut as a Mary sue either because of (ironically) Ike and Elincia having their own character arcs. Micaiah is just a case of a character full of potential turning into a terribly written and bland character who happens to be hot.

The only thing you blame Ike for being is Overpowered, and that's because he has defeated literally every type of unit you can think possible, and I don't think anything can chalk higher than a Goddess.

To be honest, this whole thing sounds really misogynistic. Ike does a bunch of awesome shit (and, as Cynthia pointed out, pretty much easily and without fault) and is a badass who deserves the praise he gets. But when Micaiah does similar things (the similarity of part 1 RD to PoR is even referenced in RD) and even makes mistakes along the way, she's a Mary Sue. If Micaiah were male, had her dialogue edited such that it sounded more "badass," and perhaps even used a physical weapon, but otherwise has the same effect on the plot...would people have any problem with this character?

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To be honest, this whole thing sounds really misogynistic. Ike does a bunch of awesome shit (and, as Cynthia pointed out, pretty much easily and without fault) and is a badass who deserves the praise he gets. But when Micaiah does similar things (the similarity of part 1 RD to PoR is even referenced in RD) and even makes mistakes along the way, she's a Mary Sue. If Micaiah were male, had her dialogue edited such that it sounded more "badass," and perhaps even used a physical weapon, but otherwise has the same effect on the plot...would people have any problem with this character?

I imagine it would be the same as Ike, largely loved but with topics like this. It's why I try not to be as hard on her. She's badly written, but so is literally every other lord. Unlike most of them though, Micky at least had the potential to be good (doing literally anything for Daein, even if people see her as evil) but they ended up doing nothing with it.

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So he shows up in time to save the day...this makes him not a Sue how?

... With the help of the Greil Mercenaries.

No, Ike actually curbstomps General Maiel's army offscreen before showing up. That's not getting 'bested' by the Dawn Brigade at all.

That's to be expected, since Ike's army had backup from Crimea, Gallia and Phoenicis (along with Tibarn himself). Micaiah's army was much smaller and it was split.

And Ike has support from Crimea, the Laguz Alliance and everyone loyal to Sanaki. He also kills a goddess.

That's expected since he liberated Crimea and he helped Sanaki on PoR. He gives the finishing blow to a goddess.

Easily defeating all challenges in your way is more of a Sue trait than anything else IMO. While he does struggle in FE9, nothing can stand in his way in FE10- not even the BK or Ashera. He does technically fail to defeat the Begnion army, but the game makes it clear that this is entirely Skirmir's fault. Micaiah on the other hand, is routinely getting captured, falling unconscious, loses to Ike in battle on several occasions etc. In terms of Sue power overwhelming the plot, Ike is the clear winner. Heck you can defeat him in combat in 3-13 and the game still acts like he won >_<

The BK fight is actually hard if you don't use a Hammer. Try using Ragnell only. Also, he fought agaisnt unexperienced commanders/generals while having Galia as backup (before facing Zelgius) so I didn't expect anything less.

About 3-13, it was pretty obvious that he was going to win. His army was split, trying to open through Daein's defenses. And that's exactly what happens, regardless if Ike wins or not. I didn't expect her to pull a LOTR2 on Ike.

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About 3-13, it was pretty obvious that he was going to win. His army was split, trying to open through Daein's defenses. And that's exactly what happens, regardless if Ike wins or not. I didn't expect her to pull a LOTR2 on Ike.

I always had the assumption that Ike was using the diversion tactic like what had been shown repeatedly during both games to be his trademark tactic. Ike and his core group (usually controlled by the player) are sent in first to either act as a diversion or to accomplish a particular goal while the main force is used to accomplish the majority of the battle. Ike used a similar tactic during the endgame for FE9: PoR and during the swamp chapter of FE10. It would make sense that the GM versus Daien battle was just to kill some time for the main forces to overrun the defenders, which happens either way. While it doesn't make Ike seem any less impressive for being scripted to win the battle, it does make it where at least it doesn't seem like the plot itself is claiming that Ike (and his badass mercenaries) are expected to mow down the entire Daien army by themselves. They are just keeping our attention while the NPCs do the hard work off screen.

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To be honest, this whole thing sounds really misogynistic. Ike does a bunch of awesome shit (and, as Cynthia pointed out, pretty much easily and without fault) and is a badass who deserves the praise he gets. But when Micaiah does similar things (the similarity of part 1 RD to PoR is even referenced in RD) and even makes mistakes along the way, she's a Mary Sue. If Micaiah were male, had her dialogue edited such that it sounded more "badass," and perhaps even used a physical weapon, but otherwise has the same effect on the plot...would people have any problem with this character?

I've called out male characters on being Gary Stus before (although admittedly mostly in fanfic or other non-canon stories), and if Micaiah was a male character whose dialogue sounded more "badass" and used a physical weapon ... I'd still call him a Stu if pretty much nothing else was changed about him. The thing about Micaiah in part 1 of RD sometimes make it sound like no one else is allowed to shine. For example, who tells Izuka that attacking Talrega is a bad idea? Micaiah. Not Jill, the girl who lives there, but Micaiah. Who is worshipped by the country that she is saving, despite no other lord ever being "worshipped" the same way? That's right, Micaiah. Who boots Sanaki as the "true" apostle? You guessed it again.

Even if Micaiah were a male who sounded "badass", I'd still call him a Sue with his "unique healing-with-a-touch" powers, if Daein worshipped him to the point of ridiculousness (come on, no other FE lord got THIS much love from the people they were saving. NONE.), if he still didn't hate laguz despite being Branded and from Daein, if everyone in the Dawn Brigade was still like, "oh, Micaiah said it so it must be true" ... yeah. Again, I think the thing on Micaiah is not so much her abilities, but poor writing. I feel as if the writers didn't go in-depth about her enough, making her seem more like a Sue instead of a well-rounded character.

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Yeah, I was under the impression that a lot of FE10 was the Greil Mercenaries being effectively a Vanguard while the laguz army did their stuff. If it was all Ike, then Skrimir would be a playable character before Part 4.

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The thing is, Celice is kind of right. The main point I've been trying to make is isn't requiring the developers to make games in which the protagonist is nothing more than the player a restriction of artistic freedom? You've decided to ignore answering that and instead talk about how you think video games should be used and focus on the more minor points of my arguments. I'm not saying any of this to be insulting, just to point out that you are being a bit one track minded.

As for the more minor points.

I haven't played Pikmin 2, but I have played 1. Unless they're drastically different, I think I have a general idea of what you mean. Olimar is developed generally through his journal, and some past is established by the intro. However, during the game, Olimar is nothing more than the player. The development of Olimar is also general enough that nothing the player does will cause a contradiction. The problem is there are no other people. This puts Pikmin in the same situation as Shadow of the Colossus. Now I know there's some sort of companion in 2, but unless she remains largely silent on your actions towards the Pikmin, she'd probably fall into the karma system you dislike. You could also discuss it even though I haven't played it. I doubt it's so complex that I couldn't understand it without having played it.

As for LoZ, IIRC there was a place where you could rename yourself, so not too big a deal actually. Second, most people found people helping you while calling you Thief amusing, not disconcerting, and the whole self determination thing, ugh, so I think this is appropriate here. I know, I know, any meaning the observer derives is just as valid as the meaning the author intended. That said, stealing is clearly wrong, so how is the decision to steal and suffer a minor consequence any less black and while than the karma systems you dislike? As for those karma systems, why can't an in game consequence not have a personal consequence? Wouldn't seeing how people run from you or attack you have an effect? Perhaps the player would realize he or she doesn't like it and start to follow the good route. Perhaps he or she is exhilarated by the sadism and follows that route more strongly. On the flip side, maybe the player likes seeing how people are happy to see you and willing to help and is motivated to continue the path of good more strongly. Or perhaps the player is largely apathetic and decides to stop caring about being good and just decides to use the path that is easiest, which could result in any of the paths.

I'm not even sure why you brought up the artists. I never said video games couldn't do that. In fact, I brought up an example of doing exactly what you want and doing so brilliantly, Shadow of the Colossus. Anyway, just as Cezanne and Matisse were trying to do something different than Michelangelo and Vermeer, others, like Picasso and Braque were trying to do something different than both. They weren't trying to do the same thing. Cezanne didn't want to be Michelangelo any more than Michelangelo would have wanted to be him. Picasso and Cezanne didn't want to be each other, either. They all wanted to do different things. Heck, artists change dramatically during their lives. Picasso went through at least four artistic phases in his life. Artists today want to do different things. This is where I take issue with what you're saying. You're essentially saying that everyone should follow the example set by LoZ and Shadow of the Colossus, simply trying to improve on it. Rather, I'm saying they should be allowed to experiment with different things. Were it not for this experimentation, the whole idea you're arguing for wouldn't exist. Experimentation is what pushes everything forward. It doesn't always start well. Most of the time these issues are forgotten. But since video games are so new, they still have these issues, inconsistencies in the story as a result of gameplay. As I said, other media still have issues. Authors still haven't figured out how to display people speaking at once in text. Books and especially movies still haven't figured out how to truly replicate the thought process. The only difference is that video games' problems are a little more obvious. As I said before, you can either complain and say that they should stick to what they can do or you can accept them until you or someone else figures out a way to overcome this issue.

Edited by bottlegnomes

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Guys, are we seriously discussing whether or not Ike is a Gary Stu? Let me quote here:

In days long past, a young man

strode the lands of Tellius.

He was simple yet true, his deeds

brave and noble. He reunited two

races long at war,

and healed the heart of a goddess

long gone mad.

Ask any you meet be they young or

old, beorc or laguz,

of a hero named Ike and you'll receive

a warm smile

and a tale or two of faith, courage,

and honesty.

The game basically puts a flashy sign on Ike and calls him a Gary Stu.

Note: This doesn't make Ike a bad character nor is it a reason to dislike Ike's character. I don't really think you can argue against his Gary Stu-ness after that though.

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That means she knew Pelleas but not Micaiah. After they met, she became instantly loyal to her.

Also, about your latest comment about Ike, how can you be confident if you don't know a lot of things and you even realize you're incompetent? Remember that everyone was going to die if not for Lethe and Mordecai's intervention.

Where does Ike say he's incompetent? Hmm?

Exactly this, Ike and co were going to DIE unless they got help, doesn't that show just how his green commanding skills were in the beginning more then anything else?

Where is it said in the script that it's because he's a green commander? The impression the script gives is that Ike and co are hopelessly outnumbered and trapped:

"Soren

We're in trouble. They have us completely surrounded. We cannot escape

Titania

So many of them...and so few of us...It doesn't look good, does it"

In fact, the script complements him on how well he does in the situation!

"Kamura

You took on the Daein army with meager numbers, and you've fought well. My compliments. However, it ends now. Prepare to die!"

"Daein Soldier

So few soldiers, and yet you managed to defeat our general? You have fought well. But it all ends here. Prepare to die!"

So much for being "green". Micaiah gets bailed out by the Black Knight and Nailah and Kurth throughout the game! So she can't be a Mary Sue?

People calling Ike a Mary Sue should look up what it means again.

Mary Sue/Gary Stu characters are widely regarded as an inserted character in a work of fiction, where the character is essentially so perfect that he has no faults, and the story only exists to further his/her development, at the cost of developing other characters.

FE9 makes no case of this whatsoever, neither does FE10. Ike is nowhere near perfect in FE9. He can't make tactical decisions on his own, made bad decisions that almost cost Rolf's life in Chapter 2, as well as the entire GMs in Chapter 7, and almost outright got overwhelmed and killed off in Chapter 8.

And how are these things Ike's fault? It's not like Soren or Titania warned him not to enter the castle in Chapter 7. How is Chapter 8 his fault? Greil picked that castle to stay in: not Ike.

And it's not like Micaiah doesn't make bad decisions. She uses Sacrifice in public in Chapter 1, in Chapter 2 gets captured, in Chapter 9 almost gets killed by Jarod, and loses several important battles to Ike. Her decision to have mercy on Jarod is particularly disastrous. Why is there one standard for Ike and another for Micaiah? Why do Ike's mistakes show that he's "flawed" and "complex" but Micaiah's mistakes don't?

He gets roflstomped by the Black Knight and has to run from him in a chapter or two, and he even dislikes nobles in a vacuum unless it's Elincia or (eventually) Sanaki.

And Micaiah dislikes Ike & co.

Lets not forget even gameplay-wise, Ike isn't even the best character in the game.

Then what the fuck is Micaiah, who's perhaps the second worst lord character in the history of FE and usually ends playthroughs at level 6/5/2?

Hell, he's your worst character at the very beginning,

As is Micaiah.

and even at his very best (obtaining Ragnell) it's widely regarded to not be the best and he's not guaranteed to defeat the Black Knight (especially without Mist).

Good luck pitting Micaiah against any lategame boss.

Everyone in the plot gets their share of development, especially ones closest to Ike (which by definition should be the ones with the least development), particularly Soren, Mist/Boyd, and Titania. Jill even gets a fucking chapter dedicated to herself and she's completely optional in it.

What does that have to do with anything?

FE10 Ike isn't even a Mary Sue by this definition either. He's not even mentioned in the plot until Part II where it's stated that he left his job as an Crimean Noble because he couldn't stand it. He left Elincia in an extreme time of need as her Kingdom began to fall apart, and she almost lost her best friend in public execution, though admittedly he makes up for it by saving her and isn't blamed for it (and why should he be?). Then in Part III he becomes the main character until his screen time is plucked away to further the Dawn Brigade's plot, and this happens continuously until ENDGAME, where the plot begins to shift on Ike's past and the Ike/BK battle, and with Ike delivering the final blow on Ashera. And even then you can't even claim he's a Mary Sue because that's only 2 out of the 5 chapters where he's completely focused, 3 if you're doing a second playthrough and Lehran has his vision about Ike's past. Is he a highly regarded character in FE10 due to his awesomeness? Yes, and he totally deserves it. He's the Hero of the Mad King's War after all. Even then, BK exists to show that he isn't perfect, and he actually gets bested by the Dawn Brigade in that one shitty chapter (Part III - Chapter 12).

Oh no, how dare your idol Ike get beaten by Micaiah once out of five times. Except that Ike wasn't even leading that portion of the army.

Micaiah is actually a far stronger case of a Mary Sue than Ike will ever be. She's praised by many Daein citizens,

So is Ike. Ike is praised by people even in the country he invaded.

went from Rags To Riches,

So did Ike.

called the Dawn Maiden when not even 1/4th of the way through the game, has undying support from everyone in Daein except already-developed characters (Zihark and Jill.

So did Ike. Everyone in Crimea loooooves Ike, except the token Shinon.

Tauroneo as well but he's practically bounded by oath), and becomes the mother fucking voice of the goddess because she's truly the Princess of Begnion.

As opposed to Ike who kills a Goddess, not because he has special powers but because he's *just that awesome*.

She is also 80-85% relevant to the plot (Elincia's plot and a teeny tiny bit of the GM plot), and no one jumps her ass for essentially killing many soldiers with "dirty" tactics all because of a(rather laughable) plot device that she failed to tell anyone.

While you might get a big stiffy at the thought of Micaiah getting killed, I imagine that Sanaki and co. would forgive her under the circumstances.

However, she doesn't make the cut as a Mary sue either because of (ironically) Ike and Elincia having their own character arcs. Micaiah is just a case of a character full of potential turning into a terribly written and bland character who happens to be hot.

It's fine if you don't like Micaiah, but in four years of endless arguments I have yet to see anyone actually prove she's as terribly written or bland as everyone claims.

People calling Ike a Mary Sue should look up what it means again.

Mary Sue/Gary Stu characters are widely regarded as an inserted character in a work of fiction, where the character is essentially so perfect that he has no faults, and the story only exists to further his/her development, at the cost of developing other characters.

FE9 makes no case of this whatsoever, neither does FE10. Ike is nowhere near perfect in FE9. He can't make tactical decisions on his own, made bad decisions that almost cost Rolf's life in Chapter 2, as well as the entire GMs in Chapter 7, and almost outright got overwhelmed and killed off in Chapter 8.

And how are these things Ike's fault? It's not like Soren or Titania warned him not to enter the castle in Chapter 7. How is Chapter 8 his fault? Greil picked that castle to stay in: not Ike.

And it's not like Micaiah doesn't make bad decisions. She uses Sacrifice in public in Chapter 1, in Chapter 2 gets captured, in Chapter 9 almost gets killed by Jarod, and loses several important battles to Ike. Her decision to have mercy on Jarod is particularly disastrous. Why is there one standard for Ike and another for Micaiah? Why do Ike's mistakes show that he's "flawed" and "complex" but Micaiah's mistakes don't?

He gets roflstomped by the Black Knight and has to run from him in a chapter or two, and he even dislikes nobles in a vacuum unless it's Elincia or (eventually) Sanaki.

And Micaiah dislikes Ike & co.

Lets not forget even gameplay-wise, Ike isn't even the best character in the game.

Then what the fuck is Micaiah, who's perhaps the second worst lord character in the history of FE and usually ends playthroughs at level 6/5/2?

Hell, he's your worst character at the very beginning,

As is Micaiah.

and even at his very best (obtaining Ragnell) it's widely regarded to not be the best and he's not guaranteed to defeat the Black Knight (especially without Mist).

Good luck pitting Micaiah against any lategame boss.

Everyone in the plot gets their share of development, especially ones closest to Ike (which by definition should be the ones with the least development), particularly Soren, Mist/Boyd, and Titania. Jill even gets a fucking chapter dedicated to herself and she's completely optional in it.

What does that have to do with anything?

FE10 Ike isn't even a Mary Sue by this definition either. He's not even mentioned in the plot until Part II where it's stated that he left his job as an Crimean Noble because he couldn't stand it. He left Elincia in an extreme time of need as her Kingdom began to fall apart, and she almost lost her best friend in public execution, though admittedly he makes up for it by saving her and isn't blamed for it (and why should he be?). Then in Part III he becomes the main character until his screen time is plucked away to further the Dawn Brigade's plot, and this happens continuously until ENDGAME, where the plot begins to shift on Ike's past and the Ike/BK battle, and with Ike delivering the final blow on Ashera. And even then you can't even claim he's a Mary Sue because that's only 2 out of the 5 chapters where he's completely focused, 3 if you're doing a second playthrough and Lehran has his vision about Ike's past. Is he a highly regarded character in FE10 due to his awesomeness? Yes, and he totally deserves it. He's the Hero of the Mad King's War after all. Even then, BK exists to show that he isn't perfect, and he actually gets bested by the Dawn Brigade in that one shitty chapter (Part III - Chapter 12).

Oh no, how dare your idol Ike get beaten by Micaiah once out of five times. Except that Ike wasn't even leading that portion of the army.

Micaiah is actually a far stronger case of a Mary Sue than Ike will ever be. She's praised by many Daein citizens,

So is Ike. Ike is praised by people even in the country he invaded.

went from Rags To Riches,

So did Ike.

called the Dawn Maiden when not even 1/4th of the way through the game, has undying support from everyone in Daein except already-developed characters (Zihark and Jill.

So did Ike. Everyone in Crimea loooooves Ike, except the token Shinon. Except that Ike is also universally adored by everyone in every other country, unless they're evil (like the senators).

Tauroneo as well but he's practically bounded by oath), and becomes the mother fucking voice of the goddess because she's truly the Princess of Begnion.

As opposed to Ike who kills a Goddess, not because he has special powers but because he's *just that awesome*. Or how he's the Only One that gets respect from both beorc and laguz.

She is also 80-85% relevant to the plot (Elincia's plot and a teeny tiny bit of the GM plot), and no one jumps her ass for essentially killing many soldiers with "dirty" tactics all because of a(rather laughable) plot device that she failed to tell anyone.

While you might get a big stiffy at the thought of Micaiah getting killed, I imagine that Sanaki and co. would forgive her under the circumstances.

However, she doesn't make the cut as a Mary sue either because of (ironically) Ike and Elincia having their own character arcs. Micaiah is just a case of a character full of potential turning into a terribly written and bland character who happens to be hot.

It's fine if you don't like Micaiah, but in four years of endless arguments I have yet to see anyone actually prove she's as terribly written or bland as everyone claims.

To be honest, this whole thing sounds really misogynistic. Ike does a bunch of awesome shit (and, as Cynthia pointed out, pretty much easily and without fault) and is a badass who deserves the praise he gets. But when Micaiah does similar things (the similarity of part 1 RD to PoR is even referenced in RD) and even makes mistakes along the way, she's a Mary Sue. If Micaiah were male, had her dialogue edited such that it sounded more "badass," and perhaps even used a physical weapon, but otherwise has the same effect on the plot...would people have any problem with this character?

I don't know if it's necessarily to do with her being female, but I think one contributing factor (and a contributing factor in general towards popularity) is that she sucks at combat.

Edited by Anouleth

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