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Do you like the story telling in the Akaneia games?

Story telling, world building, and character development in the Akaneia saga  

76 members have voted

  1. 1. Was it any good?

    • Yes
      50
    • Somewhat
      16
    • No
      10


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I just remembered something: This person called FEPlus said that FE3 used "all the dialogue it needed" to characterize its relevant characters, using Elrean in Chapter 10 as an example; and I'm inclined to agree with that viewpoint.

And personally, it's easier to create your own personalities for characters by how they perform for you than it is to suffer through anime pratfalls and TVTropes article padding.

Edited by Alandrage

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I just remembered something: This person called FEPlus said that FE3 used "all the dialogue it needed" to characterize its relevant characters, using Elrean in Chapter 10 as an example; and I'm inclined to agree with that viewpoint.

And personally, it's easier to create your own personalities for characters by how they perform for you than it is to suffer through anime pratfalls and TVTropes article padding.

oh man, TV tropes articular padding is the worst, they can't just say "this character uses a spear" it has to be like "weapon of choice, blade on a stick" and like 2 other variations of the same damn thing on a character page.

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No.

The game featured a gaggle of flat characters devoid of development (I killed them off to get sideqests, something I could never do in most other games of the series). It also featured weak world-building and generally failed to engage me about its events and why I should care. This isn't even getting into how laughable the idea of resurrecting literally every important villain from the first game to use them again in the second is.


Shadow Dragon is the least popular English-released FE by a ways and I think the writing is the biggest reason. The gameplay is simplistic but functional, just the writing isn't worth caring about.

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Characters being zero dimensional (IE not having almost any dialogue or personality) isn't really better than the one dimensional nature that Awakening/Fates characters frequently get accused of. Even Hardin, who's the main villain in the next game and a source of great drama and whatnot, gets like 5 lines in Shadow Dragon. The best thing I can say about it is that it's serviceable and doesn't distract from the gameplay or whatever, but that doesn't make me think it's actually good.

What I love about Shadow Dragon's plot is that it's to the point and simplistic, even with the characters. I don't see them as flat, per say, but the all get the characterisation that they need to be seen as an individual. However, with Awakening, what I dislike about the characters is that they don't get any real characterisation, but end up becoming overplayed "in your face" character archetypes with no real appeal.

Shadow Dragon's characters are likeable to me because of the simplicity of who they are.You get to know them just well enough that you can picture who they are. It leaves a lot to the imagination, and that's nice.

Fire Emblem isn't necessarily about having a giant cast of super strongly written characters. It's about war. It's about the people affected by the war, and the world it takes place in. I feel that overall, the new series writers are trying to push to have everybody "super fleshed out and important," but in reality its just making them no more than an overly saturated trope with no depth.

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I'm not a fan of the Akaneia games when it comes to their story. All successors have already surpassed that continent in all relevant story areas, whether its characters, world building or villains. The remakes were a chance to adres that but they didn't and for that I don't hold the continent in very high esteem. Its a bit hard to care when everyone except Marth, his love interest and Hardin barely have a personality.

A common sentiment I hear from those who like the Akaneia games is that its nice and simple. Its a traditional story that's told decently and because its so simple it doesn't screw up. I don't quite agree.

Akaneia takes being simple to the extend that it just becomes very bare bones. Games like Blazing sword and Path of Radiance fit the ideal of ''nice and simple'' much better. They too are very traditional stories that manage to keep on the right track by sticking to a known formula. But those games manage to give something Akaneia doesn't in terms of world building and villains. Lycia and Sacaea are clearly different places in both their aesthetics and society, all nations on Tellius are shown as different in their culture while the three evil countries in Akaneia can be summed up as evil country with knights , evil country with flyers, and evil dragon country with suspiciously few dragons in it. The only country I can think of that gets some detail is the country of Akaneia.

The villains are also kind of meh. Medeus never leaves his castle and both games he only appears in the final chapter so he gives the player nothing.

Gharnef is a villain we see more often but I don't find him very good at filling the void left by Medeus. Being a generic dark mage is something I can forgive because Gharnef was the first. The big problem I have with Gharnef is that he and Marth don't have any sort of personal enmity towards each other. Despite Gharnef killing Marth's father and holding his sister hostage for years their relation is a very impersonal one. Marth is the hero, Gharnef is the villain and that is where their relation begins and ends. This is contrasted by Nergal who spends most of his screentime being an utterly generic evil sorceror(And finding out he's more than that is completely optional) but his frequent interactions with the heroes leave no question that both parties know the other and that they hate each other very much.

And michalis is just a bit of a tool.

I do like Hardin though, for what its worth

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The Archanea games are more or less your bog-standard fantasy story. Good guy, naive and pure hero journeys to get magical weapon blessed by gods to slay evil resurrected dragon. It's not extremely original, and a lot of the characters are good 'ol fantasy cliches.

Kind, self-sacrificing healer woman? Check.
Cackling sorcerer who wants the whole world underneath his thumb? Check.
Wise old mentor who gives the teenage protagonist advice? Check.

Now, that's simplifying it a bit, I understand. The story has more twists and turns than that, but at the end of the day, it's a straightforward, what you see is what you get affair. Good vs. evil.

Now, I'm never gonna hold that against them, considering they were written pre-1990 for a system with a fraction's fraction's fraction of memory in comparison to the games we have in the modern era.

I'll always prefer a more complex story like the ones that the Tellius and Jugdral games have to offer, simply because I love deep stories. But Archanea's comparative simplicity doesn't make it any inferior...just...simple and on the nose.

Edited by Extrasolar

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Well, a decent chunk of the population will always fall into the "Dark Souls has no story" pitfall. So there's that. But the sad part is that some of them do that simply because they're unaware that such an approach is a thing in the first place.

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It has a bittersweet story which is complicated to explain, and a more interesting story than Awakening/Fates. We had so many distinct nations, then Awakening screwed it up by simplifying it into three countries. In Archanea, we had, Mage Desert (Khaiden), The Big Country (Archanea), The Dragon Nation (Dolhr), The Dragon Rider Country (Macedon), and a bunch of other ones. In Awakening, it became Snow Land run by warrior guys (Ferox), The Good Guy Land (Ylisse) and Desert Bad Guy Land (Plegia).

Even if most characters had little to no personality, sometimes they were more interesting to me than Awakening/Fates characters.

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I really like Shadow Dragon, there was something so pure about it. I didn't mind the lack of characters, it felt like a tale rather than a story. And the few characters it did try to develop worked well. My only complaint is how useless Medeus actually is to the plot.

 New Mystery felt like a rehash. I know that it developed the setting's backstory a lot more and the stuff that was left unexplored in the north was great but at the core it just feels like Marth doing the same old stuff seeing the same old characters. Hardin's tragic turn to darkness just didn't effect all that much. Maybe if he was given some more focus in Shadow Dragon (which they really should have done come remake time).

On 8/23/2016 at 3:25 AM, Etrurian emperor said:

Gharnef is a villain we see more often but I don't find him very good at filling the void left by Medeus. Being a generic dark mage is something I can forgive because Gharnef was the first. The big problem I have with Gharnef is that he and Marth don't have any sort of personal enmity towards each other. Despite Gharnef killing Marth's father and holding his sister hostage for years their relation is a very impersonal one. Marth is the hero, Gharnef is the villain and that is where their relation begins and ends. This is contrasted by Nergal who spends most of his screentime being an utterly generic evil sorceror(And finding out he's more than that is completely optional) but his frequent interactions with the heroes leave no question that both parties know the other and that they hate each other very much.

I don't agree that Marth and Gharnef don't have personal enmity. As you mentioned Gharnef has done stuff to Marth specifically and Marth knows it. Gharnef also feels the need to taunt Marth on several occasions. Just before you fight Ghaernef for the final time Marth says something along the lines of "The world was brighter before he painted it red". Sure, it's not the amped up revenge tale that Ike vs the Black Knight is but you're not going to get that in Shadow Dragon because of it's story telling. It's not a personal focused story so a close personal conflict is not going to be depicted. It's more like a chronicle or history. Almost half the game's dialogue is told in opening chapter narrations. The personal enmity is definitely there, it's just not what the story is about (although I wouldn't have objected to a few Battle Convos with Marth, Linde and Tiki).

Edited by Jotari

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8 hours ago, Jotari said:

I don't agree that Marth and Gharnef don't have personal enmity. As you mentioned Gharnef has done stuff to Marth specifically and Marth knows it. Gharnef also feels the need to taunt Marth on several occasions. Just before you fight Ghaernef for the final time Marth says something along the lines of "The world was brighter before he painted it red". Sure, it's not the amped up revenge tale that Ike vs the Black Knight is but you're not going to get that in Shadow Dragon because of it's story telling. It's not a personal focused story so a close personal conflict is not going to be depicted. It's more like a chronicle or history. Almost half the game's dialogue is told in opening chapter narrations. The personal enmity is definitely there, it's just not what the story is about (although I wouldn't have objected to a few Battle Convos with Marth, Linde and Tiki).

Looking through why people like Marth in the general discussion topic on favorite lords, I was reminded that Marth for some reason doesn't click so much for me. And I think some of the blame belongs on the narration of SD clinging very much to the format used in FE1. Much of the conversation is very formal, and not infrequently Marth is being lectured to, with minimal responses from him, and oftentimes they're just resolute statements. 

This said, I did have to redact some of my criticism reading the script. Marth does have emotions, his dialogue does expose them (particularly after Chapter 17), though they don't come gushing out. Marth is more a traditional aristocratic prince who tends towards subduing his emotions- he bears the manners suitable for a somber, disaffected, impartial and rational ruler.

It's pretty clear how this relates to Gharnef. In addition, Marth departs from Gra to Khadein and passes by Altea in the process to get the Falchion from Gharnef. The official excuse is Falchion is essential to slaying Medeus, but I think there was a little impulsiveness not directly stated involved. And let us not forget, Marth can't harm Gharnef, so there is no point in building up all tension in the world between the two, if Marth can't climatically kill Gharnef. It's worth noting that Camus, though I don't think he was actually at the death of Cornelius Marth's father, says he is party to the murder of him, in an attempt partly to channel some of the anti-Gharnef sentiments to the original knight of black- because Marth can actually kill him.

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On 2/23/2017 at 10:37 PM, Extrasolar said:

The Archanea games are more or less your bog-standard fantasy story. Good guy, naive and pure hero journeys to get magical weapon blessed by gods to slay evil resurrected dragon. It's not extremely original, and a lot of the characters are good 'ol fantasy cliches.

Kind, self-sacrificing healer woman? Check.
Cackling sorcerer who wants the whole world underneath his thumb? Check.
Wise old mentor who gives the teenage protagonist advice? Check.

Now, that's simplifying it a bit, I understand. The story has more twists and turns than that, but at the end of the day, it's a straightforward, what you see is what you get affair. Good vs. evil.

Now, I'm never gonna hold that against them, considering they were written pre-1990 for a system with a fraction's fraction's fraction of memory in comparison to the games we have in the modern era.

I'll always prefer a more complex story like the ones that the Tellius and Jugdral games have to offer, simply because I love deep stories. But Archanea's comparative simplicity doesn't make it any inferior...just...simple and on the nose.

I think thats the most important thing to realize.  Marth's first game was on the NES and to be honest it was good for its time given the limited hardware and everything else around it.  I mean I can't really think of too many games of that era that had much in the way of story or world building I mean Mario ran in one direction, Link was told its dangerous to go alone take this, and most people didn't even know Samus was a chick...

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