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Fixing Fates story issues (spoilers)

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The premise and setting of Fates have wonderful potential (which is why I'm having fun with it as my current sandbox). And I really like most of the cast!

It's just... the game itself wastes a lot, ex: hyperbolic time chamber kids, instead of family time- purely a mechanical descision to previde more "battle with child characters aside parents" fanservice. Doesn't make a lick of story sense.

IS: "See all those pretty people? You can bone EVERYONE!"

Costumer: "Hot diggity! Even my siblings?"

IS: "ESPECIALLY your siblings!"

tumblr_nqujyp5SlY1r4k8lno1_r1_500.jpg

Being able to marry your siblings is a big part of the "tried to please everyone" thing, but I also think that if Kamui wasn't a self-insert and just a standard lord the game would be less afraid to call them out on their shit. In a way, I feel that Kamui limited the game's potential because IS didn't want to accidentally offend the players by making people not like Kamui or by making him not seem "good" or whatever.

I definitely think the game's narrative would've been improved it Kamui wasn't a self-insert to be catered to. I really miss having some characters in the army HATE the lord, ex: Raven with Hector and Shinon with Ike. It feels like we'll never see that again, let alone the random recruits that join the army with no connection to the lord's motivations. Instead Kamui can do no wrong and the entire Nohr route is about Gooran wanting them to cry.

Course I think all the IK characters are too special snowflake, but that's why I'm just ignoring them.

Edited by Damosel

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I doubt we'll ever not only see a post-Radiant Dawn Fire Emblem featuring a character like Thracia 766's August, but see him treated with a passable level of respect.

Anyway, Kamui is too poor of a character to focus a game on him.

Edited by Alazen

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Since we're linking things for people... A friend of mine is translating the Nohr plotline + Gaidens (as in word for word dialogue) for non-Japanese readers and posting them on wordpress. Someone else is doing the Hoshido route, too. They've even kept the Japanese right there so you can translate yourself and/or double check them (though she's a fab translator. You're in good hands!) if you want. Reading the main plot (if you haven't already) I'm sure will help too.

Like the person who posted the route summaries just said, I, too, enjoyed FE14 more than anything else in the series, though I also have a lower standard for FE plots as well.

Edit: Thinking on it, there were only a handful of moments that struck me as overtly poor writing, and overall I thought the game had a serviceable storyline, at the very least. More emotionally compelling than previous FE installments. It seemed like there was more wasted potential than anything else.

Oi, thanks for pimping us out! I'm Deirdre, the person who works on almost all of the translations on the site (we also have a tumblr where we post more lowkey stuff, like in-battle lines and generic my castle lines, as well as some supports. I also have a tumblr with a url that isn't appropriate where I ramble about the things I'm translating - sometimes it's quality mini-analysis, sometimes it's me complaining about how late it is. *shrugs* but I won't link to that because it's my personal blog and kind of a mess)

Well, I saw some'd linked back to the site, so I suppose I'm dropping by to address any questions, since it might be worthwhile to actually ask a translator? I'll try to keep tabs on this since I did offer, but please forgive me if my replies are slow.

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There's something I've been thinking about the correlation between the narrative and the gameplay aspects of Fates. Does anyone else think they're sacrificing too much plot potentials for gameplay purposes? FE's a game first and foremost, and the story would always need to be the one to compromise in the end should the need arises, even though the two factors don't always have to be mutually exclusive.

However, while I admit that I haven't played all FE games, but for the ones that I have, even if I heavily criticized some's plots (FE10, FE13), I can still feel that they're mostly basing the gameplay designs on the narrative (the latter was established first, then the former was built on that ground). But whenever I watch a FE14 playthrough, I feel like it's the other way around. There's a general storyline, but then a lot of things were forced into the plot because the gameplay needs their existence. However, the narrative fails to logically address why things worked out like that, at least not in a way that can be easily digested by the players. I can give some examples:

- The war. Every game about war needs one so we can have all the fun battles! Except there is no reason to push the war from the Nohrian's part. Nohrian civilians suffer on all routes, and it's not like the Hoshidan royalties aren't willing to provide resource assistance (well, it's not like there's any proper diplomatic negotiation anyway). Justification? Make all Nohrian leaders completely evil and sadistic for the sake of being evil, with the king being a slime monster that only wants to destroy the world. There, you have someone continuing the war for you. Have fun playing all the pointless battles and watching all the pointless deaths. Conveniently, no one among the Nohrian leadership is opposing them (do such a person or authority even exist?), even when what they're doing are clearly not to the kingdom's or anyone's benefit.

- The recruitments in this game make absolutely no sense. From a gameplay perspective you might need those extra units that you gained via My Castle. What's not justifiable are the requirements. Why would we need to upgrade those furniture to get them? If they're determined to join us, why don't they just pop up in MC and wait for Kamui to return? By the way, I'm not even sure if making them joining via My Castle is a good idea to start, since most of these characters are plot-relevant and have lots of potentials. FE10 was infamous for a few extremely convoluted requirements to recruit some characters, but at least those makes more sense comparing to FE14's. Also, some people's motivations for joining you like Suzukaze's also makes little sense in the narrative, and it seems the only reason he even existed in Conquest in the first place was because you need an extra lock picker, and fast units are extremely useful on that route (since most tend to be strong but slow). Before someone brings up his attraction and loyalty to Kamui, it takes a whooping 15 chapters (or 3 support conversations) in Birthright for such a relationship development to be fully established, where it feels much more natural because the two have much more time to bond and understand one another better. Hell, even in Conquest or IK you still need to activate the A support for him to become your retainer. Sure, he had some "life debts" to Kamui, but there are other ways to repay those without actively joining the enemy side during a war and actively assist them conquering your own country later on. FE10, again, for all of its flaws, actually addressed this issue much better by simply making certain characters not attack someone during battles, or by making an enemy only recruitable if they have established a strong bond with a player character (like Jill). Suzukaze hardly knows anything about Kamui in Conquest. Speaking of Invisible Kingdom, you're basically flooded with playable characters on the first half of the story, leading to some very awkward pacing.

- The second gen and hyperbolic time chambers: This is self-explanatory....

- The need for Kamui to S-support everyone, including siblings: This has also been discussed to death. Just look at the big mess that is the family tree...

Of course, I'm only talking about my personal impressions here, because there's no way to know the exact process in Fates' development.

Edited by Ryo

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There's something I've been thinking about the correlation between the narrative and the gameplay aspects of Fates. Does anyone else think they're sacrificing too much plot potentials for gameplay purposes? FE's a game first and foremost, and the story would always need to be the one to compromise in the end should the need arises, even though the two factors don't always have to be mutually exclusive.

However, while I admit that I haven't played all FE games, but for the ones that I have, even if I heavily criticized some's plots (FE10, FE13), I can still feel that they're mostly basing the gameplay designs on the narrative (the latter was established first, then the former was built on that ground). But whenever I watch a FE14 playthrough, I feel like it's the other way around. There's a general storyline, but then a lot of things were forced into the plot because the gameplay needs their existence. However, the narrative fails to logically address why things worked out like that, at least not in a way that can be easily digested by the players. I can give some examples:

- The war. Every game about war needs one so we can have all the fun battles! Except there is no reason to push the war from the Nohrian's part. Nohrian civilians suffer on all routes, and it's not like the Hoshidan royalties aren't willing to provide resource assistance (well, it's not like there's any proper diplomatic negotiation anyway). Justification? Make all Nohrian leaders completely evil and sadistic for the sake of being evil, with the king being a slime monster that only wants to destroy the world. There, you have someone continuing the war for you. Have fun playing all the pointless battles and watching all the pointless deaths. Conveniently, no one among the Nohrian leadership is opposing them (do such a person or authority even exist?), even when what they're doing are clearly not to the kingdom's or anyone's benefit.

- The recruitments in this game make absolutely no sense. From a gameplay perspective you might need those extra units that you gained via My Castle. What's not justifiable are the requirements. Why would we need to upgrade those furniture to get them? If they're determined to join us, why don't they just pop up in MC and wait for Kamui to return? By the way, I'm not even sure if making them joining via My Castle is a good idea to start, since most of these characters are plot-relevant and have lots of potentials. FE10 was infamous for a few extremely convoluted requirements to recruit some characters, but at least those makes more sense comparing to FE14's. Also, some people's motivations for joining you like Suzukaze's also makes little sense in the narrative, and it seems the only reason he even existed in Conquest in the first place was because you need an extra lock picker, and fast units are extremely useful on that route (since most tend to be strong but slow). Before someone brings up his attraction and loyalty to Kamui, it takes a whooping 15 chapters (or 3 support conversations) in Birthright for such a relationship development to be fully established, where it feels much more natural because the two have much more time to bond and understand one another better. Hell, even in Conquest or IK you still need to activate the A support for him to become your retainer. Sure, he had some "life debts" to Kamui, but there are other ways to repay those without actively joining the enemy side during a war and actively assist them conquering your own country later on. Speaking of Invisible Kingdom, you're basically flooded with playable characters on the first half of the story, leading to some very awkward pacing.

- The second gen and hyperbolic time chambers: This is self-explanatory....

- The need for Kamui to S-support everyone, including siblings: This has also been discussed to death. Just look at the big mess that is the family tree...

Of course, I'm only talking about my personal impressions here, because there's no way to know the exact process in Fates' development.

With Radiant Dawn, you have the extremely contrived Blood Pacts which force Daein to keep fighting in a war it has no part in. The plot had to lobotomize itself to justify an ongoing war. I wouldn't describe Fates plot being ruined by it's gameplay direction because many of the problems could be fixed with tweaking and dialogue changes. Suzukaze's recruitment, for example, could be justified by saying that Suzukaze always had problems with living in Hoshido and only stayed there (in the Hoshido route) for you. Alternatively, they could have just given you another rogue ninja like Kotarou if you need that ninja quota filled. Likewise, the reason behind the war can easily be attributed to Nohr's lack of resources. The only "fucking over the story for gameplay" that I see is the children, and even then, you could implement a skill/class sharing system without resorting to a 2nd generation. Almost everything in Fates in the result of dumb and lazy writing.

Since we're linking things for people... A friend of mine is translating the Nohr plotline + Gaidens (as in word for word dialogue) for non-Japanese readers and posting them on wordpress. Someone else is doing the Hoshido route, too. They've even kept the Japanese right there so you can translate yourself and/or double check them (though she's a fab translator. You're in good hands!) if you want. Reading the main plot (if you haven't already) I'm sure will help too.

Like the person who posted the route summaries just said, I, too, enjoyed FE14 more than anything else in the series, though I also have a lower standard for FE plots as well.

Edit: Thinking on it, there were only a handful of moments that struck me as overtly poor writing, and overall I thought the game had a serviceable storyline, at the very least. More emotionally compelling than previous FE installments. It seemed like there was more wasted potential than anything else.

That's the heart of the problem though; there was so very much potential and it's depressing to see how much they hamstrung their own efforts at every step. They talked a big game and didn't deliver. I'd describe Fates as having the potential to be the best Fire Emblem story, and by its own ambition, the most botched story of the entire series.

Edited by NekoKnight

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- The war. Every game about war needs one so we can have all the fun battles! Except there is no reason to push the war from the Nohrian's part. Nohrian civilians suffer on all routes, and it's not like the Hoshidan royalties aren't willing to provide resource assistance (well, it's not like there's any proper diplomatic negotiation anyway). Justification? Make all Nohrian leaders completely evil and sadistic for the sake of being evil, with the king being a slime monster that only wants to destroy the world. There, you have someone continuing the war for you. Have fun playing all the pointless battles and watching all the pointless deaths. Conveniently, no one among the Nohrian leadership is opposing them (do such a person or authority even exist?), even when what they're doing are clearly not to the kingdom's or anyone's benefit.

I honestly wouldn't only call that an example of game design shaping the narrative in a shoddy way. I would also call that an example of a problematic approach to narrative independent of strictly game design.

Fake Garon, Ganz, and Macbeth all being cartoon villains not only helps make the war between the kingdoms noticeably less muddy, but also to make sure Kamui isn't vilified. Everyone in Nohr's leadership who never sides with Kamui is a dastardly bad man. Its not like say, the French Revolution where neither King Louis XVI or Queen Marie Antoinettte were baby eaters who apparently had nothing better to do than make their adopted child cry.

Awakening wasn't much better in its portrayal of Ylisse's enemies. All considered, I would call this a shift in narrative approach since Gaiden and Thracia 776 both had muddier wars than Fates.

Edited by Alazen

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I definitely think the game's narrative would've been improved it Kamui wasn't a self-insert to be catered to. I really miss having some characters in the army HATE the lord, ex: Raven with Hector and Shinon with Ike. It feels like we'll never see that again, let alone the random recruits that join the army with no connection to the lord's motivations. Instead Kamui can do no wrong and the entire Nohr route is about Gooran wanting them to cry.

Nohr!Takumi was close, and he had very good reason to hate Kamui on that path too. And he was denied his justifiable dislike for Kamui by the end of it. If anyone who hates the self-insert is just going to have what happened to Takumi happen to them, it might be less rage-inducing for the players if they don't try to make a token "this person doesn't like the lord" guy.

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I'm convinced post-Radiant Dawn FE will never feature a character who plays a role like August from Thracia 776 while also treating said character with a passable level of respect.

August makes it a point to tell Leif when he's being a dope (see Leif on Thracian banditry) or when he's screwing up (and boy does Leif screw up). He never takes it back, he's not acting from a grudge against Leif or what should be called a personal problem, and while Dorias does clash with him he does so over more than how he acts towards Leif (and even Dorias opposes attacking Alster).

Edited by Alazen

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That's the heart of the problem though; there was so very much potential and it's depressing to see how much they hamstrung their own efforts at every step. They talked a big game and didn't deliver. I'd describe Fates as having the potential to be the best Fire Emblem story, and by its own ambition, the most botched story of the entire series.

I guess I just didn't let that ruin the narrative for me then. Even in its canon form the story didn't strike me as bad. Fates is the only series installment to get me emotional which more than makes up for the plot contrivances for me. It's not like FE hasn't had exposition dumping characters, silly plot moments, and wasted potential before. This time they just did a much better job pulling at your heartstrings, and that easily bumps FE14 above the other FE games I've played.

Edit: And since we're talking about Suzukaze... I dunno, I'd say wanting to repay the debt of being 'responsible' for her kidnapping and her father's death seems decent justification for serving her. It's clearly a big deal for the guy.

Edited by artishe

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I guess I just didn't let that ruin the narrative for me then. Even in its canon form the story didn't strike me as bad. Fates is the only series installment to get me emotional which more than makes up for the plot contrivances for me. It's not like FE hasn't had exposition dumping characters, silly plot moments, and wasted potential before. This time they just did a much better job pulling at your heartstrings, and that easily bumps FE14 above the other FE games I've played.

Edit: And since we're talking about Suzukaze... I dunno, I'd say wanting to repay the debt of being 'responsible' for her kidnapping and her father's death seems decent justification for serving her. It's clearly a big deal for the guy.

I can give them credit for *trying* to tug at the heart strings but they just ended up missing the mark. Character deaths like Suzukaze and Lilith, for example don't have much of an impact because the characters sit in the background until it's time for them to sacrifice themselves. Even for a major character like Marx, I can't feel too sorry for because it seems like he is the author of his own tragedy. The only characters I felt bad about were Lazwald and Pieri (Hoshido route) because they died for their loyalty. There could have been more drama for fighting your siblings but the human element was undermined but everyone forgiving Kamui, no matter what he did.

As for Suzukaze following Kamui, I can understand wanting to repay a debt but going as far as to assist in an invasion of your own country and killing your own countrymen is really stretching the limits of believability.

At least IS gave us the foundation of a good story so fanfiction writers can give us something better.

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Edit: And since we're talking about Suzukaze... I dunno, I'd say wanting to repay the debt of being 'responsible' for her kidnapping and her father's death seems decent justification for serving her. It's clearly a big deal for the guy.

But like I said, there's no need to leave your whole country, family and friends behind just because you feel responsible. Even if he wants to follow Kamui that much, he can just wait until the war is over. Like, that's what I would do if I want to reunite with a dear friend from a country currently at war with my own. And shouldn't he also need to be responsible for Sumeragi (and by extension, Hoshido's well-being) as well, since by his logic his mistake did lead to the king's death after all? So why only obsessed with Kamui? I'm also sure that nowhere in the storyline did Suzukaze explain why exactly he thought that assisting Kamui during such situation would be a good idea (trust me, I've actively tried to look for something like that in the script, but alas). He only emphasized that was his "resolution" at various points, and the actual motivations are left to the players' interpretation.

Furthermore, the main problem doesn't only lie on the time of defection, but what happens after that. Suzukaze has no on-screen objection when Kamui decided to go with Garon's plan (invading Hoshido), which is the complete opposite of Kamui's initial promise (to avoid as much Hoshidan and civilian casualties as possible). This is because he pretty much disappeared from the story entirely after joining you (with the exception of chapter 17 with the Kotarou plot, which is filler). The story also botched the possible drama with Saizou. The only time they had a major argument was not about his betrayal, but Kotarou, who they'd all team up to eliminate anyway. In the final battle between the two, they have no dialogue or whatever, which is a sharp contrast with Felicia/Flora on Birthright.

Many of the characters who follow you no matter what also suffer from this problem, but they have more solid moral ground thanks to the black-and-white nature of the story (Garon and his subordinates are evil bastards, there's no wrong in betraying them whatsoever).

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The story also botched the possible drama with Saizou. The only time they had a major argument was not about his betrayal, but Kotarou, who they'd all team up to eliminate anyway. In the final battle between the two, they have no dialogue or whatever, which is a sharp contrast with Felicia/Flora on Birthright.

WHAT

ARE YOU SERIOUS ;/

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WHAT

ARE YOU SERIOUS ;/

Check the text dump of that chapter where you fight Ryoma and his retainers for the final time, they have NO dialogue! Everyone is really to kill each other! >:o

Edited by Ryo

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Check the text dump of that chapter where you fight Ryoma and his retainers for the final time, they have NO dialogue!

asdfghjkgvhajguihafaiofsdhfa

That does it. This game is WAY too Kamui-obsessed, I swear. Actions have consequences that affect more people than just one and do not solely revolve around one person. If Felicia and Flora get a conversation in Hoshido, then Saizou and Suzukaze should have gotten one in Nohr as well. Fuck Kamui.

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That does it. This game is WAY too Kamui-obsessed, I swear. Actions have consequences that affect more people than just one and do not solely revolve around one person. If Felicia and Flora get a conversation in Hoshido, then Saizou and Suzukaze should have gotten one in Nohr as well. Fuck Kamui.

Suzukaze and Saizou have pre-battle dialogue during chapter 12, but not having pre-battle dialogue in chapter 25 is a major oversight.

I can give them credit for *trying* to tug at the heart strings but they just ended up missing the mark. Character deaths like Suzukaze and Lilith, for example don't have much of an impact because the characters sit in the background until it's time for them to sacrifice themselves. Even for a major character like Marx, I can't feel too sorry for because it seems like he is the author of his own tragedy. The only characters I felt bad about were Lazwald and Pieri (Hoshido route) because they died for their loyalty. There could have been more drama for fighting your siblings but the human element was undermined but everyone forgiving Kamui, no matter what he did.

Just gonna pop in and say that Marx's stubborn attitude is due to his upbringing by Not!Garon, and it's mentioned in a few of his supports. I can't exactly remember all of them off the top of my head, but his support with Kamui mentions his feelings on when Garon's orders conflict with what he thinks is best for the country, and in their A support he says:

" I'm always thinking about putting the country first before everything else, but I also consider Father's orders as absolute. But, that father, when he gives orders that don't take into account the country's best interests... And when I just can't, for the life of me, agree with these orders... In these moments, indeed, my sword may be rather violent."

Edited by Monado Boy

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… Why did that last quote get attributed to me? O_o

I dunno, I edited the header on it, but it didn't stick, as I thought using the quote box would look better than just pasting the text. Oh well, changed it now.

Edited by Monado Boy

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A game in a series like Fire Emblem shouldn't be so fixated on the Lord or My Unit character unless he or she is treated like say, Leif.

Edited by Alazen

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asdfghjkgvhajguihafaiofsdhfa

That does it. This game is WAY too Kamui-obsessed, I swear. Actions have consequences that affect more people than just one and do not solely revolve around one person. If Felicia and Flora get a conversation in Hoshido, then Saizou and Suzukaze should have gotten one in Nohr as well. Fuck Kamui.

Well, they did have a brief battle conversation in chapter 12, where Saizou expressed his disappointment while Suzukaze insisted that he's made up his mind to follow Kamui... for some reasons. It led to nowhere and didn't reveal anything special. The next conversation's in chapter 17, but it's more Saizou pissed at Kamui/Suzukaze for protecting Kotarou against his plan (while also feeding you some backstory about their father's death) and barely touched upon Suzukaze's defection and how that affected their relationship etc., unless I've heavily misinterpreted something (I actually hope that I'm wrong here lol). The game made it look like they both have "moved on" after that battle, which is a major wtf.

Edited by Ryo

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Just gonna pop in and say that Marx's stubborn attitude is due to his upbringing by Not!Garon, and it's mentioned in a few of his supports. I can't exactly remember all of them off the top of my head, but his support with Kamui mentions his feelings on when Garon's orders conflict with what he thinks is best for the country, and in their A support he says:

" I'm always thinking about putting the country first before everything else, but I also consider Father's orders as absolute. But, that father, when he gives orders that don't take into account the country's best interests... And when I just can't, for the life of me, agree with these orders... In these moments, indeed, my sword may be rather violent."

Perhaps they should have mentioned his feelings in the route where you oppose him. It's hinted that he is conflicted but you don't really hear about his reasoning for supporting Garon. It might be reasonable if Garon wasn't such a card-carrying villain, laughing insanely and openly talking about how he wants to make Kamui suffer.

You can't put all the motivations of major characters in optional conversations.

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Well, they did have a brief battle conversation in chapter 12, where Saizou expressed his disappointment while Suzukaze insisted that he's made up his mind to follow Kamui... for some reasons. It led to nowhere and didn't reveal anything special. The next conversation's in chapter 17, but it's more Saizou pissed at Kamui/Suzukaze for protecting Kotarou against his plan (while also feeding you some backstory about their father's death) and barely touched upon Suzukaze's defection and how that affected their relationship etc., unless I've heavily misinterpreted something (I actually hope that I'm wrong here lol). The game made it look like they both have "moved on" after that battle, which is a major wtf.

Well, okay, they have some interaction in the story then. But still, you'd think that they'd have SOME conversation in the last chapter where they ever face each other! Especially since this time they're going against Saizou's master himself, whom Saizou is fanatical about protecting. Even if it were Suzukaze trying to talk to Saizou and Saizou ignoring it, or Suzukaze (if alive) briefly mourning his brother, we should've gotten SOMETHING.

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It might be reasonable if Garon wasn't such a card-carrying villain, laughing insanely and openly talking about how he wants to make Kamui suffer.

So, who at IS thought it would be a good idea to make every member of Nohr's leadership who never sides with Kamui a mustache twirler? It's worse when you consider that what we know about the actual Garon doesn't paint him as sympathetic as Mikoto. Actual Garon doesn't even get a last meeting with his birth children in Invisible Kingdom.

Edited by Alazen

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Well, okay, they have some interaction in the story then. But still, you'd think that they'd have SOME conversation in the last chapter where they ever face each other! Especially since this time they're going against Saizou's master himself, whom Saizou is fanatical about protecting. Even if it were Suzukaze trying to talk to Saizou and Saizou ignoring it, or Suzukaze (if alive) briefly mourning his brother, we should've gotten SOMETHING.

Probably because unlike Flora, who's a boss, killing Saizou/Kagerou is actually optional supposing that Kamui's powerful enough to finish Ryoma first. *shrug*

On the topic of the narrative's obsession with the protagonist/avatar/player, I'm actually quite disturbed by the sheer amount of people who are more than willing to die or even commit suicide for/because of Kamui in this game, especially for some that's their only purpose of existing in the story (Lilith). A simple list: Mikoto (died protecting Kamui), Suzukaze (died saving Kamui), Lilith (died protecting Kamui twice), Elise (died protecting Kamui), Ryoma (offs himself so Kamui don't have to do that), Flora (burns herself alive because to her betraying Kamui is an "unforgivable sin"), Izana (dies to deliver a prophecy, also to make Takumi believes in Kamui), Rainbow Sage (dies to forge Kamui's sword), Crimson (also died to protect Kamui IIRC).

I know the devs are trying to make us "feel bad", but this is way too over-the-top. Some death scenes aren't even properly executed.

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