Jump to content
HTakara82

Do you hate Avatar character(s)? If so, why?

Do you hate Avatar Character(s)?  

209 members have voted

  1. 1. If Yes, Why?

    • Yes
      47
    • No
      99
    • Indifferent
      63


Recommended Posts

That's pretty much a subset of the fact that the characters in Awakening are supposed to be easily identifiable because they predominately exist to entertain and cater to the player's preferences as opposed to existing within the world for their own sake. The same idea continues in Fates. I've actually written at length about this in previous topics; it's part of an overall trend that the Avatar player worship and groping minigame is very much connected to, and even arguably introduction of things like Phoenix Mode.

Note this isn't an attempt to say earlier characters are more realistic, deeper, or that there was no intent to create entertaining characters in earlier games (but I'd say that was generally secondary except for some gag characters like Serra). It's simply that making characters larger than life and identifiable makes it much easier for the player to distinguish which characters they want to use and pair up and which ones they don't, decide which ones to marry and which ones to bench, etc.

I don't know... that seems like a bit of a stretch for the sake of yet another jab at the recent FE games. I'd probably need to see your full argument to make a final call though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kamui may be what some of us secretly wish to be (loved, worshipped, always right, charismatic, etc.) but no one can actually relate to.

Yeah. Theres characters in fiction that fit the Escapist Character bill that are relatable. Like Harry Potter or Daenerys Targaryen. The former is a little boy who grew up in a shitty household, but finds out hes famous for something he has no memory of. And hes almost universally loved by most characters when his story begins. But hes not flawless and people do tend to react to his actions in not so positive ways. He may save Hogwarts on a yearly basis, but hes his own character with flaws and thoughts that a lot of kids end up having. Therefore making him relatable. The latter is a lost princess in a very brutal world, who literally gets sold to a barbarian. Her story is about growing to understand agency and the self and how to proceed while still working toward her ultimate goal. There are many characters who love her, but perhaps even more who dont. Daenerys, despite her heroism, is deeply flawed and even relatable at times. Both characters exist in different universes, but feel similar in their journeys. People love the Hero's Journey story. I think this is why Ike (in fe9 in particular) was a really popular lord in the fandom for a while. His was also a Hero's Journey.

Kamui feels like Bella Swan. The Black Hole that devours everything and creates an impossible orbit. I couldnt relate to Bella. I dont think i can relate to Kamui. Theres characters who will love another character despite their flaws, but do not excuse that character from consequence. (example: Thor still loves Loki as a brother despite everything. But Thor will stand in Loki's way despite everything. Vice versa is also true) Kamui has every bad thing he/she does excused by other characters. (just like Bella!) Kamui is coddled and told they never do wrong. This is a beef i had with Robin, because people didnt call him/her out on their shit either. But it seems Kamui is this up to eleven. ;/ It creates a character that, despite being blank, seems wholly impossible to connect with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The avatar/player characters in the EO series do the self-insert thing better than Kamui. They have no background or set gender or even default names or name suggestions! There are even a few dialogue options. And they're badass labyrinth explorers to boot, too! Who needs Kamui? :P:

But in all seriousness, Kamui does kind of feel like Bella in a way. They're both supposed to a "stand in" for the player/reader, but they have a predetermined background and personality, and do things that are really hard to relate to. For all we like to complain that Bella has no personality, what she does show of herself (needy, dependent, manipulative, terrible friend and daughter) are not things we'd like to think that we ourselves are, after all. Like how we don't want to believe we're as naive and stupid as Kamui.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The avatar/player characters in the EO series do the self-insert thing better than Kamui. They have no background or set gender or even default names or name suggestions! There are even a few dialogue options. And they're badass labyrinth explorers to boot, too! Who needs Kamui? :P:

But in all seriousness, Kamui does kind of feel like Bella in a way. They're both supposed to a "stand in" for the player/reader, but they have a predetermined background and personality, and do things that are really hard to relate to. For all we like to complain that Bella has no personality, what she does show of herself (needy, dependent, manipulative, terrible friend and daughter) are not things we'd like to think that we ourselves are, after all. Like how we don't want to believe we're as naive and stupid as Kamui.

I still need to play Etrian Odyssey.

Yeah. When a self-insert displays an actual personality, and its something we cannot or do not want to relate to. Or worse, gets praised for this attribute, it creates this huge rift between that character and the reader/player. Thus contradicting the very concept of self-insert, and causing huge problems with characterization of the other characters/narrative. Bella gets praised and loved for being manipulative and selfish. Kamui gets praised for being woefully naive and destructive. The supporting characters of each universe suffer as a result in the eyes of the reader/player.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The avatar/player characters in the EO series do the self-insert thing better than Kamui. They have no background or set gender or even default names or name suggestions! There are even a few dialogue options. And they're badass labyrinth explorers to boot, too! Who needs Kamui? :P:

Or as I pointed out earlier, Denim from Tactics Ogre also does a better job being a self-insert than the avatars because you can name him, alter his statistics, and choose what he says or what path he takes. Which is especially funny when you realize that Denim is not supposed to be a self-insert at all.

Which just goes to show both the incompetence with how the avatar is handled and the uselessness of the feature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some Mass Effect/Bioware-esque dialogue options for Kamui would've gone a long way towards making them more tolerable.

"Side with us, Kamui!" "No, side with us!"

"I should go."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Robin and Kamui fall into an awkward in-between; they're not true self inserts, but what's there is an overall sucky character. They've either got to be dialed back to a silent protagonist or taken forward and made complete characters; I hope IS does one or the other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I brought this up in the thread for fixing Fates' narrative, but Kamui could have surely been framed as a more shady character. We're talking about a royal who was taken from another land and raised in what is apparently a kingdom going imperialist. You could make him an enthusiastic conqueror. You could play up a quest for validation from Garon and maybe Marx that could drive him to shed Hoshidan blood. And all while not going out of your way to excuse Kamui's actions or otherwise avoid vilifying him.

Like I said in that same thread, we're apparently supposed to see Kamui as this magically charismatic paragon but in practice Fates does a clumsy job at depicting him that way.

Edited by Alazen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I brought this up in the thread for fixing Fates' narrative, but Kamui could have surely been framed as a more shady character. We're talking about a royal who was taken from another land and raised in what is apparently a kingdom going imperialist. You could make him an enthusiastic conqueror. You could play up a quest for validation from Garon and maybe Marx that could drive him to shed Hoshidan blood.

This is precisely how im headcanoning my Nohr run tbh. (save for the Marx egging him on. Cuz that just doesnt jibe with Marx's whole angle) The rubbish part about it is, that im going to have to write this myself. : (

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't take any issue with a playable, customizable MU.

But an "avatar" character, a stand-in for the player? Unless we're talking Mark from FE7, too much fan service for me. Also, I don't like the nasty effect an Avatar has on the fan community. The shipping wars and character-hating was/is pretty intense among Fates players, speaking as someone who participated in both...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like them when they're done well, and dislike them when they're done poorly. I feel like FE's been mostly the latter lately: cringe-inducing self-inserts with one-of-a-kind powers whom almost everyone unconditionally loves (with those who don't being portrayed as inherently villainous regardless of their justifications). I also take umbrage with the cardboard personalities avatar characters tend to have, but there's not much one can reasonably do about that without defeating the purpose (or drastically increasing the amount of dialogue).

That said, FE hasn't consistently done protagonists very well in the first place - a lot of the problems above can and do plague traditional protagonists as well. idk I guess better writing in general would be nice

also Etrian Odyssey is indeed great

Edited by Twylis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like them when they're done well, and dislike them when they're done poorly. I feel like FE's been mostly the latter lately: cringe-inducing self-inserts with one-of-a-kind powers whom almost everyone unconditionally loves (with those who don't being portrayed as inherently villainous regardless of their justifications). I also take umbrage with the cardboard personalities avatar characters tend to have, but there's not much one can reasonably do about that without defeating the purpose (or drastically increasing the amount of dialogue).

That said, FE hasn't consistently done protagonists very well in the first place - a lot of the problems above can and do plague traditional protagonists as well. idk I guess better writing in general would be nice

also Etrian Odyssey is indeed great

You expressed my thoughts much better than I did in my post, thank you. Also, great point--the issues that affect Kamui and Robin affect FE's traditional protagonists as well, though in my opinion not to the same extent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like them when they're done well, and dislike them when they're done poorly. I feel like FE's been mostly the latter lately: cringe-inducing self-inserts with one-of-a-kind powers whom almost everyone unconditionally loves (with those who don't being portrayed as inherently villainous regardless of their justifications). I also take umbrage with the cardboard personalities avatar characters tend to have, but there's not much one can reasonably do about that without defeating the purpose (or drastically increasing the amount of dialogue).

That said, FE hasn't consistently done protagonists very well in the first place - a lot of the problems above can and do plague traditional protagonists as well. idk I guess better writing in general would be nice

also Etrian Odyssey is indeed great

You just described a Mary Sue.

IMO a full silent protagonist in Fates probably would've been better, complete with different responses to certain situations. However, that approach is extremely text-heavy if done right, and I'm not sure if that's what IS wanted. While the Etrian Odyssey Untold series has a lot of issues, I think Untold 2 showed that a full silent protagonist with decent response options can work, and I think Kamui would've been better-received if he/she was written like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well (and I'm aware that both you and I are pretty deep in the EO series), I think the biggest difference between EO and FE when it comes to characters is that EO has never had anything like a support system. Hell, until EO:U all of the characters were blank slates and only the NPCs ever got actual dialogue and character development. Even in EO4, which had the three recruitable NPC characters, you never see them interact with each other and other playable characters to the degree FE has. And in the Untold games you don't get to "support" two characters and decide who hooks up with who or anything like that, the relationships are already predetermined and relatively static.

A silent protagonist avatar in Fates would work, but I think that the avatar character should be barred from S-supporting anyone. (And since they can reclass with an A-support with anyone it wouldn't even lock them out of a lot in the first place.) It's not the marriage system I have a problem with. I think what I have a problem with when the waifu/husbando thing gets to the point of obsession so that it's the most important thing to people when it comes to the game (compromising more interesting themes such as family and loyalty just to make a love story between the avatar and their spouse).

I'm especially upset at Fates for promising us a better story and then compromising the story's theme of family to make all of the siblings marriageable. And before anyone says "it's a video game, you don't play video games for the story", let me just say that it was IS themselves who promised us a better story. I wouldn't be making such a big deal over it if they hadn't told us that the story was going to be good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"it's a video game, you don't play video games for the story"

I swear to god if anyone actually says this I will fucking strangle them.

I play games for story first and gameplay second, so yeah, when IS promised us a good story and then made it objectively WORSE than awakening's, you bet I'm going to be pissed off.

...I still think MU's should go the "Mercenary" route. It feels like it'll just cover up most of the issues by itself. And, seriously; if you wanna ship them with someone then go ahead. If IS finally kicks the BS children mechanic, then it's just a matter of not S-Supporting the character you want to "marry" with anyone, and then there you go. Let your headcanon do the rest.

...People... Still can do that, right? Or am I expecting too much of this generation, who need everything spelled out for them? o.e

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard the argument "who plays video games for the story" before, on this very site even. So yeah, there are people who do actually say that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't be surprised if more people play Fire Emblem for its narrative elements over its gameplay at this point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't be surprised if more people play Fire Emblem for its narrative elements over its gameplay at this point.

That's what Phoenix mode is for. Evidently, IS believes that the non-strategy elements are enough to carry the game, for some people at least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard the argument "who plays video games for the story" before, on this very site even. So yeah, there are people who do actually say that.

I do, to some extent. But the story has to be really BAD before this crosses my mind. It's why I think there's just enough info on the characters to give them a meaningful personality, but not so much that I can't have a little fun with it.

Full silent protagonist supports would be. . .interesting. I don't mind if the protagonist gets married, though. . .if that's what makes some people happy, that's fine.

EO and FE's protagonists can't really be fully compared, but I think the other character's reactions to the protagonist can. IMO, EO is moving in the right direction, even if it's hardly perfect. FE's going the wrong way - like, if you're going to give me a choice, at least make sure there's some consequences to those choices.

[spoiler=EO:U and EO:U2 stuff]At least one of the choices in each of these games affects how a boss battle goes. Even if the boss battles themselves aren't stupidly important to the plot, it gives some weight to your answers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do, to some extent. But the story has to be really BAD before this crosses my mind. It's why I think there's just enough info on the characters to give them a meaningful personality, but not so much that I can't have a little fun with it.

Full silent protagonist supports would be. . .interesting. I don't mind if the protagonist gets married, though. . .if that's what makes some people happy, that's fine.

EO and FE's protagonists can't really be fully compared, but I think the other character's reactions to the protagonist can. IMO, EO is moving in the right direction, even if it's hardly perfect. FE's going the wrong way - like, if you're going to give me a choice, at least make sure there's some consequences to those choices.

[spoiler=EO:U and EO:U2 stuff]At least one of the choices in each of these games affects how a boss battle goes. Even if the boss battles themselves aren't stupidly important to the plot, it gives some weight to your answers!

If I remember correcly, I think Awakening in the Japenese version had a silent protagonist but it got remove by the localization team.

Edited by Nym

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I remember correcly, I think Awakening in the Japenese version had a silent protagonist but it got remove by the localization team.

I still don't know why...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still don't know why...

My guess : they were lazy XD (Too many texts, I guess).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like them but I also wouldn't care if I couldn't use one. Im not one to care much about personalities or flaws, I just wanna play the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I do not. However, I am of the opinion that self-inserts are far harder to write than proper characters, seeing as the writers need to either incorporate a far wider array of conversation/personality options, make the character thoroughly bland, or silent in order to make sure every player can "become" the avatar. A series like Fire Emblem, which more often than not has below average writing, is not the place for avatars.

A game like Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, did the self-insert character better than any other game I've ever played. Decisions carried weight, not only for the future but also for how you reflect over a VERY interesting and well-written past.

Not every game can pull that off. My second favorite video game of all time in terms of story, Persona 4, a game which is beautifully written and incredibly clever whenever it doesn't try to be a shonen anime, suffers from everyone in town worshiping the ground the main character walks on. The game more or less encourages you to get several girlfriends, and the romance parts are so painfully bad that it makes me wonder if they were written by a completely different writer; for instance, when a certain girl confesses her love for the player, she hugs him and...the avatar just stands there, doing and saying nothing.

Why am I bringing that up? Because if even a fantastically written game can fail at making a self-insert protagonist, then Fire Emblem stands very little chance of succeeding. Fire Emblem: Fates is the single worst game I've ever played in terms of story. It did everything wrong, from characters to characterization to worldbuilding; a large contributing factor to this is undoubtedly Kamui. I'm of the firm opinion that if Kamui had been a regular, uncustomizable lord, then the writers wouldn't have been scared shitless of potentially making the player actually feel something. As it stands now, Kamui's shortcomings are always excused while more than a few characters - main characters as well - exist only as their peripheral. When the entire story warps around the protagonist, and the avatar is praised for nothing in particular, then it stops even being pandering, and instead comes across as complete condescension.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...