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warchiefwilliams

Grey morality in Fates and where/how to insert/enhance it. (possible spoilers)

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I have to disagree about the whole racism thing making Hoshido "not so perfect." It is a negative trait, but when you think about it, does it really have that major of an effect on how the story (and by extension, the reader) perceives Hoshido? Aqua does get chased out, but it's not really given too much weight other then getting her on your side and it doesn't negate how Aqua feels towards Hoshido, there are no major villainous characters that exhibit that trait for us to place a face on, and it's barely touched upon if you don't read supports (and even then, I don't recall it showing up that much there either). The racism aspect is something that really doesn't get a lot of attention as it's not developed properly, so it's not as much of a blight on them for the reader as it should be.

Not only that, but Mikoto was supposedly just assassinated by a Nohrian agent so an emotional backlash of hatred towards that event is easy to understand. Strangely, I don't think the threats against Aqua are even brought up if you play Hoshido.

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And they all match Ganz with Macbeth? While also being active members of Hoshido's military?

That wouldn't make much sense. The only reason two characters like that could have the prominence they have is because Nohr having a King like Garon would allow people like them to succeed.

It'd feel very forced if Hoshido are "peace loving" with a ruler like Mikoto allowing an equivalent of Macbeth and Ganz are running about visibly as advisors and active members of the army. As some other people have mentioned in thread maybe Hoshido could have been causing some indirect evil or taking advantage of the situation they have over the Nohr but giving them the same kind of negatives Nohr has wouldn't make much sense.

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That wouldn't make much sense. The only reason two characters like that could have the prominence they have is because Nohr having a King like Garon would allow people like them to succeed.

It'd feel very forced if Hoshido are "peace loving" with a ruler like Mikoto allowing an equivalent of Macbeth and Ganz are running about visibly as advisors and active members of the army. As some other people have mentioned in thread maybe Hoshido could have been causing some indirect evil or taking advantage of the situation they have over the Nohr but giving them the same kind of negatives Nohr has wouldn't make much sense.

Feudal Lords who have taken advantage of Mikoto's death could of worked.

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Ganz and Macbeth are over-the-top in their dastardly antics. Hoshido not having any characters even close to matching them is another example of how this game didn't really try to avoid one side being far sunnier over the other one.

Considering how past FEs have done a better job at presenting warring nations as all having their shares of shadiness, Fates is another step backwards. Hell, even Gaiden (a NES game mind you) had Zofia break into a civil war and later be pointed out as having fallen into a corrupt decadenence thanks to Mila.

Edited by Alazen

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Ganz and Macbeth are over-the-top in their dastardly antics. Hoshido not having any characters even close to matching them is another example of how this game didn't really try to avoid one side being far sunnier over the other one.

Considering how past FEs have done a better job at presenting warring nations as all having their shares of shadiness, Fates is another step backwards. Hell, even Gaiden (a NES game mind you) had Zofia break into a civil war and later be pointed out as having fallen into a corrupt decadenence thanks to Mila.

Why does it need to have characters to match? What purpose will they services? To make audience sympathy for Garon and his subordinates?

I don't think you guys understand what grey-grey morality is, "current" Garon and his subordinates is not meant for audience to gain sympathy for and to relate to. That job goes to the Nohrian's royal siblings, Garon is designed to be that evil asshole that we should hate. At most it will be a black-grey morality, but it won't changed the fact that Garon and others are still more evil.

Edited by Awakener_

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Here was the list.

Oboro hates Nohrians? Oh, that's because her parents were killed by them.

Kumagara has human skulls on his belt and looks as menacing as, well, an oni? Nah, he just wants to kill Garon.

And then there's the whole Kamui-starts-regretting-siding-with-Nohr-as-soon-as-the-end-of-chapter-6 deal.

Basically even minor Hoshidan bosses were sympathetic.

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Oboro hates Nohrians? Oh, that's because her parents were killed by them.

Kumagara has human skulls on his belt and looks as menacing as, well, an oni? Nah, he just wants to kill Garon.

And then there's the whole Kamui-starts-regretting-siding-with-Nohr-as-soon-as-the-end-of-chapter-6 deal.

Basically even minor Hoshidan bosses were sympathetic.

I think it's perfectly okay for Oboro to have a good reason to hate Nohrians.

If Kumagara was a mercenary that was paid to kill Garon and anyone who tried to stop him could make him less "moraly correct".

That's just a lot of BS. Really just BS. Taking that BS out would make it a lot better.

And I have to agree that even Hoshidan minor bosses are sympathetic. This is making me not want to play Nohr more and more... It's so full of BS! And I mean Nohr's story is full of BS.

Edited by Yari

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Here was the list.

Oboro hates Nohrians? Oh, that's because her parents were killed by them.

Kumagara has human skulls on his belt and looks as menacing as, well, an oni? Nah, he just wants to kill Garon.

And then there's the whole Kamui-starts-regretting-siding-with-Nohr-as-soon-as-the-end-of-chapter-6 deal.

Basically even minor Hoshidan bosses were sympathetic.

...I made that list, didn't I?

Anyway, I wasn't saying Oboro had an illegitimate reason to hate Nohrians; it's perfectly legit. The thing is that she seems to be the exception with Hoshidans, as in she harbors hate towards them at all; if Hoshido was at least heavily prejudiced, it would have been better.

I'm desperately hoping Kumagara ends up changed in the localization; with something like this, I'd almost prefer 8-4's way of doing things.

I want a lot of the Hoshido bias to be removed in localization, but that's unlikely.

The series' storytelling has regressed when an NES game does better at conveying moral greyness and complexity.

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You did indeed.

Hope you didn't mind me using it.

It's fine; I'm just more informed now, and would have fleshed it out more.

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I've been thinking about the Nohr-Hoshido war, and doesn't it basically boil down to this?

-For whatever reason, Garon traps Sumeragi in Chavelier and kills him. Afterwards, he kidnaps the young Corrin.

-At some point, Queen Mikoto puts up the barrier that keeps people from remaining hostile towards Hoshido within its borders. This effectively stops the probably-impeding Nohrian invasion.

-Aqua is kidnapped as a bargaining chip to trade for Corrin.

-Unfortunately, shortly after Aqua's kidnapping (or perhaps even right before) Garon is replaced with Hydra's minion. The minion could give less of a damn about about Aqua, and so the trade never goes through.

-After fake Garon takes the throne, Faceless start attacking Hoshido, being able to bypass the barrier. Hoshido blames the Faceless on 'Nohr witchery,' and presumably retaliates by attacking Nohr. However, *and please correct if I'm wrong because this was the impression I got,* Nohr was not responsible for the Faceless at all. They're minions of Hydra.

-Of course, Hoshido's attack creates the perfect excuse for fake Garon to formally declare war on Hoshido, and the main bulk of the fighting takes place outside of Hoshido's borders.

This comes with the caveat that we don't know when Mikoto put up the barrier. But if I'm interpreting this chain of events correctly, from Nohr's perspective Hoshido struck first, while from Hoshido's perspective Nohr struck first through the Faceless. The Hoshido falsely equivalate the Faceless attacks with Nohrian attacks, which feeds into their continued aggression. Nohr, meanwhile, is pretty much stuck in a defensive position because of the barrier. Once the barrier falls, they naturally surge to finally get on the offense, and at this point the conflict is being pretty much self-sustained by the countries involved.

That's the critical thing I need to ask here. Was Nohr *really* responsible for the Faceless? If not, and my interpretation above it true, then the war is probably more grey then we give it credit for, as the Hoshido were provoked into attacking by Hydra. And from Nohr's perspective the attack was almost entirely unprovoked, and combined with the discussion of crop problems in Corrin's support their reasons for invading become a lot more justified and understandable.

If nothing else, its a mess with Hydra behind it all cackling to himself. Jeeze...

EDIT: And while Garon himself is obviously evil, my point is that the rest of Nohr as a whole is more grey. If I'm right in Hoshido being tricked into striking first, then they likely would have gone to war even *without* Garon on the throne. Fake Garon's main role then was to fan the flames and direct Nohr into becoming more and more aggressive.

Edited by Alisa180

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Why does it need to have characters to match? What purpose will they services? To make audience sympathy for Garon and his subordinates?

To show actual shadiness in Hoshido as opposed to the Show Don't Tell "bigotry".

I don't think you guys understand what grey-grey morality is, "current" Garon and his subordinates is not meant for audience to gain sympathy for and to relate to.

And yet Hoshido's ruler is portrayed as a shining paragon. Even Ashnard had more going for him than Fake Garon.

By the way, the Fake Garon twist was damn shoddy all considered.

That job goes to the Nohrian's royal siblings, Garon is designed to be that evil asshole that we should hate. At most it will be a black-grey morality, but it won't changed the fact that Garon and others are still more evil.

Making the royals who side with Kamui not dastardly mustache twirlers doesn't really help you here since it speaks of Fates' player worshiping.

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That's the critical thing I need to ask here. Was Nohr *really* responsible for the Faceless? If not, and my interpretation above it true, then the war is probably more grey then we give it credit for, as the Hoshido were provoked into attacking by Hydra. And from Nohr's perspective the attack was almost entirely unprovoked, and combined with the discussion of crop problems in Corrin's support their reasons for invading become a lot more justified and understandable.

Here is where the "Hoshido struck first" argument falls apart. Nohr (Garon) assassinated the sovereign of Hoshido and then kidnapped their prince. That by itself is a perfectly valid reason to go to war, and yet they were such a peaceful lot they STILL didn't go to war until ANOTHER of their leaders was assassinated. Garon is bad, Macbeth is bad, Ganz is bad and you could even say Marx is bad for being 100% behind the invasion, even after Kamui tells him about some of the heinous things Garon did. When the leadership of one country is mostly evil and the leadership of the other country only attack in retaliation for their belligerence, there is no moral greyness.

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Get George R R Martin to write the script.

What's funny is how poor this games writing is even compared to Awakening, which is God awful when compared to what we're used to getting. And, on average, main plots are only good, not great. 15 year old me could out write this game. Here's hoping FE15 is done right.

Edited by Xylaugheon Daily

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Wait, why did Garon kidnap Kamui anyway?

Like, does it ever get explained? It's not Slime!Garon either who did it IIRC and I thought the real Garon was supposed to be a decent man so what the hell?

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Or for that matter, if he was planning on having Kamui killed, why did he let Kamui live for as long as he did?

Edited by NekoKnight

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Wait, why did Garon kidnap Kamui anyway?

Like, does it ever get explained? It's not Slime!Garon either who did it IIRC and I thought the real Garon was supposed to be a decent man so what the hell?

According to Kirokan and Thane, it is not explained at all. Well, I think Kirokan said that the only reason that was given was "to kill Mikoto", but there are so many other ways that are less stupid and convoluted to do that I can't quite believe that's the reason he would kidnap Kamui.

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I'll chock up any claims of the actual Garon being a "decent man" as Show Don't Tell if not fibbing.

Honestly, Show Don't Tell sums up the issue of uneven shadiness. We're told Hoshido apparently has a bigotry problem, and yet Hoshido's seen leadership at large doesn't really show much of one. The one playable Hoshidan unit who does have bigotry against Nohrians as a major trait is revealed to be acting from a personal grudge.

Contrast Oboro with Jill. Jill is a young woman who has open bigotry against Laguz as a major trait. Now, Jill is from a kingdom noted for being so bigoted against Laguz that hunts for them are arranged. Jill's bigotry speaks more of Daein's treatment of Laguz than Jill herself. Jill's own father rejects the kingdom's bigotry against Laguz. And there's how Jill can support Lethe, a Cat Laguz who herself is bigoted against Beorc.

Oboro's bigotry is too personalized to really serve as an indictment of Hoshido.

Edited by Alazen

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Or for that matter, if he was planning on having Kamui killed, why did he let Kamui live for as long as he did?

...maybe that was slimeGaron's idea?

I mean...for all we know, Garon wanted to use Kamui as a weapon of war or something...

...they really didn't explain anything at all did they?

I get the feeling the story will become a more fill in the blanks then anything else...

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I'll chock up any claims of the actual Garon being a "decent man" as Show Don't Tell if not fibbing.

Honestly, Show Don't Tell sums up the issue of uneven shadiness. We're told Hoshido apparently has a bigotry problem, and yet Hoshido's seen leadership at large doesn't really show much of one. The one playable Hoshidan unit who does have bigotry against Nohrians as a major trait is revealed to be acting from a personal grudge.

Contrast Oboro with Jill. Jill is a young woman who has open bigotry against Laguz as a major trait. Now, Jill is from a kingdom noted for being so bigoted against Laguz that hunts for them are arranged. Jill's bigotry speaks more of Daein's treatment of Laguz than Jill herself. Jill's own father rejects the kingdom's bigotry against Laguz. And there's how Jill can support Lethe, a Cat Laguz who herself is bigoted against Beorc.

Oboro's bigotry is too personalized to really serve as an indictment of Hoshido.

You can't even call Oboro's hatred bigotry. She has a personal grudge and instinctively dislikes Nohrians but she's aware that this prejudice is unfair and does her best to contain her feelings when dealing with Nohrians in your army,

...maybe that was slimeGaron's idea?

I mean...for all we know, Garon wanted to use Kamui as a weapon of war or something...

...they really didn't explain anything at all did they?

I get the feeling the story will become a more fill in the blanks then anything else...

It's just really confusing, especially since it's not really clear when slimeGaron took over, Before the kidnapping? In that case, why was Kamui spared in the first place. After the kidnapping? Why didn't Garon just kill Kamui himself if the big bad wanted him dead? What's with this roundabout "suicide mission" business?

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Your questioning of the Garons' actions just highlights how shoddy and unnecessary the Fake Garon twist is. I find it telling that the closest character to an analogue of Trabant gets hijacked by a slimeman without the game ever really getting into his views or policies.

Edited by Alazen

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I'll chock up any claims of the actual Garon being a "decent man" as Show Don't Tell if not fibbing.

Honestly, Show Don't Tell sums up the issue of uneven shadiness. We're told Hoshido apparently has a bigotry problem, and yet Hoshido's seen leadership at large doesn't really show much of one. The one playable Hoshidan unit who does have bigotry against Nohrians as a major trait is revealed to be acting from a personal grudge.

Contrast Oboro with Jill. Jill is a young woman who has open bigotry against Laguz as a major trait. Now, Jill is from a kingdom noted for being so bigoted against Laguz that hunts for them are arranged. Jill's bigotry speaks more of Daein's treatment of Laguz than Jill herself. Jill's own father rejects the kingdom's bigotry against Laguz. And there's how Jill can support Lethe, a Cat Laguz who herself is bigoted against Beorc.

Oboro's bigotry is too personalized to really serve as an indictment of Hoshido.

The racist nature is shown by them talking about how barbaric and savage Nohrians typically is, right down to how barbaric it is of them to send monsters they can't magically influence through Mikotos barrier that removes aggression towards Hoshido. If I recall right Hinoka even comments how the barbaric Nohr hadn't changed Kamui after being defeated in her boss chapter near the end of Conquest/Nohr.

But it's okay when Hoshido is racist because they're saints!

The fake Garon does explain why he's not really the father they remember though. At least towards his kids and maybe Aqua. Their memories of those times are why they will not outright oppose Garon's actions even if it leads to their deaths like with Marx. Elise was the only one who never saw that side of him and she quickly leaves the war effort to go live amongst the Nohr Civillians on Hoshido. Kantopia's Nohr summary has a guy even comments that he's happy that one of Aquas kidnappers is brought to justice when Asura is not spared.

Aqua at least had a problem with the concubines and some of his soldiers, which is why she was happier to be in Hoshido after the hostage trade fell through, though the war apparently got worse after she was kidnapped.

@Garon and the switch: Since we really don't know when it happens, I can say I recall him visiting the Rainbow Sage at one point. Him, Sumeragi, and a knight had all visited the Sage at some point in their life. It's possible Garon kidnapped Kamui because of something he heard from the Sage.

Edited by JupiterKnight

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I never said it did. But slurs are still signs that the country is racist to some degree.

That said the chapter where Aqua joins in Nohr she was forced out of Hoshido for being Nohrian and one Hoshidan family tries to have her assassinated in the Subaki support. In fact the family has wanted her dead for years and got the chance to try to kill her now that Mikoto is gone.

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The whole incident where Aqua gets shoved out of Hoshido for her heritage comes off as an excuse to have Aqua hang around Kamui in the Nohr Path. The assassination attempt is brushed off to a support conversation.

Edited by Alazen

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