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Dinar87

Character development/engaging moments in the radiance series SPOILERS!!

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Hi guys! It's been a VERY long time since I've been to serenes forest and I've recently played both tellius games again. As a result, I've been able to pinpoint exactly what made the previous games so great from a story-standpoint...character development. Bare in mind these are just my opinions as I'm not claiming they're objectively good or even better than modern fire emblem...these are just my opinions.

WARNING! I HAVEN'T YET PLAYED FATES (though I've seen a lot of it) SO THIS REALLY ONLY APPLIES TO AWAKENING!

Elincia-in path of radiance she eventually gains the courage to fight on the battlefield and lead her country. In RD she is a first a weak and naive ruler who can't keep order as she's too caring for her own citizens. She learns the hard way through Ludveck that sometimes you have to sacrifice your own citizens to benefit the overall population (spend lives in order to avoid a bloody civil war). She becomes stronger in this way as a character.

Shiharam-not only do I believe he's the best Camus in the franchise but the fact that they show you what the villagers and his own soldiers think of him makes his battle a very emotional one (as he was a valuable asset and a good friend to many people). I found that Mustafa in awakening pales by comparison as we don't get nearly as much information about him. Overall, while Shiharam didn't really get any development, I still cared a lot about him and was legitimately saddened when I had to kill him in PoR. The fact that you can have his own daughter kill him is pretty gruesome and the fact that the game takes the time to flesh out his death makes it FAR more interesting than any Mustafa or Camus I've ever encountered

Skrimir-what starts off as another hot-headed, arrogant commander turns out to actually get some interesting development. After he loses to general Zelgius he's forced to reconsider his attitude towards strength and his overall confidence in his ability. He essentially finally sees the strength in planning and intelligence rather than brute force only and I found this pretty interesting to watch him grow as a character like this.

Jill-this character is probably my favorite in the entire series. She starts off as another glory-seeking soldier who wants nothing more than to bring fame to her family's name. After defending Ike from the laguz pirates out of her hatred for the laguz she sticks around for a while and, slowly but surely, overcomes her racism towards the laguz. She even becomes so loyal to Ike's cause that she can (if you make her) kill her own father because he was in the way. And the way she reacts was heart breaking seeing her cry like that. The fact that she can potentially even join her father's side only adds more depth to her as a character.


Ultimately, THIS is why I prefer the older games' stories to the modern ones as they actually had meaningful character development. Sure the tellius series had fan service and one note characters as well but it certainly was no where near as bad as awakening. Characters like Owain or Inigo, while they have "depth" (mainly tragic excuses for their annoying behavior), aren't nearly as interesting to me as some of the older characters. Sadly, not many people still care about great characters or interesting stories in games as, as long as MUH GAMEPLAY is handled correctly, nobody gives a shit anymore.

As for that competitor to fire emblem I was working on...it's canceled (for now). While I do want to play a fire emblem game with good stories again I don't have the skills necessary to make such a thing. Because, if fates doesn't have a good story and the future games don't have good stories or characters either...

*stares at noose*

It's time....










Edited by Dinar87

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Tellius indeed had the best character development in the series. It helps that they had two games to expand on the same cast.

Tormod and Sothe get some nice development too. Their support line in POR is deemed cannon in the sequel where they shown to have grown to be the best of friends. That Sothe admits that openly is a nice touch considering he spend the entire support giving Tormod the cold shoulder.

The same goes for Lethe who's development mirrors that of Jill. If you make them fight Lethe tells her they are friends and that no war between their races will ever change that.

I'm not entirely convinced about Shiharam though. I think his effectiveness is hindered by Petrine making it crystal clear that Daien holds not a single bit of kinship for his and his men. If Petrine told him that then it shouldn't be a hard choice for Shiharam when it comes to ruining the homes of people who make it very clear the adore him or disappointing people who admitted they don't care for him and will never do so. Maybe it would have worked better if Petrine exploited his desire to be seen as a full member of Daein society.

Edited by Etrurian emperor

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I would talk about Elincia and Jill too, but you've already covered them, so I'll go to other topics. :P

I loved how the three brothers, Oscar, Boyd, and Rolf were written. They feel so much like real siblings, and you gotta love Oscar for how he took care of his brothers all by himself after their dad died. And Boyd and Rolf bicker a lot because sibling rivalry stuff and all that, which is entirely natural! And so funny. lol And then in RD, you can run into Rolf's mom in Begnion and learn more about how troubling the brothers' lives had been before Greil let them join the GMs. Rolf is also such an awesome kid here, he chooses his brothers over his mom because he doesn't know her! She left when he was a little kid and doesn't want to bother to get to know her because the only parents he ever knew were his two big brothers. So naturally, he wants to stay with them and this also shows how much Boyd and Rolf really care about each other despite all their fighting. Rolf even says so. And Boyd goes "you little idiot, of course you're staying!" XD

I also really liked PoR's final cutscene. It was a very nice closure to the game and showed how close Ike and Elincia had become too. Close friends, that is...I suppose. :( (though it was the main thing that made me fall in love with them as a couple) It also implied that Ike has somewhat changed his views on nobles and royals. When he met Sigrun and was surprised at how she behaved towards laguz and all, he said he thought all nobles were *insert insulting words that I don't remember here*. He learned that some are actually pretty cool people, like Sigrun and Elincia. He told Elincia that she did an amazing job so far. And then he said "and I think you...always will." That pause man, it got me going. I first thought he was going to say "And I think you...are pretty." XD And maybe he almost did. lol I also thought they were about to kiss when Elincia took his hand and held it close...just oh my gosh I thought the whole thing was adorable.

Edited by Anacybele

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At the very least I'm glad I'm not the only one who loves the tellius series from a story-standpoint. Do any of you know if the characters get better in fates as I've become disappointed with the characters in awakening as most of them seem pretty one-note compared to previous installments (I wonder which games I could be referring to/sarcasm)?

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At the very least I'm glad I'm not the only one who loves the tellius series from a story-standpoint. Do any of you know if the characters get better in fates as I've become disappointed with the characters in awakening as most of them seem pretty one-note compared to previous installments (I wonder which games I could be referring to/sarcasm)?

In general, I found the Fates characters to be written better than Awakening. They do still have their gimmicks (Charlotte is a money-whore, Takumi is insecure, Oboro likes clothes) but there seems to be more to them than just their gimmicks. However, when Fates does a character wrong, they are worse than anything Awakening could conjure. In particular, the main protagonists (Corrin and Azura) are especially offensive from a character perspective (not to offend those who like them, mind).

They are not as good as Tellius (in fact, they are far from it) but they are not the worst cast Fire Emblem has ever had.

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In general, I found the Fates characters to be written better than Awakening. They do still have their gimmicks (Charlotte is a money-whore, Takumi is insecure, Oboro likes clothes) but there seems to be more to them than just their gimmicks. However, when Fates does a character wrong, they are worse than anything Awakening could conjure. In particular, the main protagonists (Corrin and Azura) are especially offensive from a character perspective (not to offend those who like them, mind).

They are not as good as Tellius (in fact, they are far from it) but they are not the worst cast Fire Emblem has ever had.

That's good that things are getting better. I just hope IS gets over their whole "give the players as many options as possible" schtick and starts making games like 9 again. If they weren't so concerned with letting players marry, have children and play as every character they'd have a lot more freedom to go wild and make fire emblem great again. We need to build a wall to keep out waifu-lovers damn it kappa!

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We will build a wall, and make waifu-lovers and shippers pay for it!

I love Tellius characters as well as the story. I've got my gripes, as I do with any game's story, but it really is my favorite cast of characters and story in Fire Emblem.

I wouldn't say I hate the games that came after, but I've been wishing every game after that the quality would return to PoR. Quality based on my personal preference of course.

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We will build a wall, and make waifu-lovers and shippers pay for it!

I love Tellius characters as well as the story. I've got my gripes, as I do with any game's story, but it really is my favorite cast of characters and story in Fire Emblem.

I wouldn't say I hate the games that came after, but I've been wishing every game after that the quality would return to PoR. Quality based on my personal preference of course.

Don't forget to keep the husbando lovers out and make them pay for it!

And as you all can tell, the tellius series is my favorite out of all the fire emblem games...but I still don't HATE the modern games but it's true they're somewhat disappointing in some areas.

Edited by Dinar87

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I agree with everything the OP said. At first I was skeptical to the 3D FE titles for no good reason titles after having played the GBA titles several times, but I was surprised to see they were actually very good. Not only in terms of character development and dialogue (I guess it helps to be in a more powerful platform) but also because the way it dealt with topics like racism, prejudice and social class issues.

Also, as others have said, the Tellius games felt more down-to-earth in their display of political and military struggles, with the apocalyptic save-the-world plot mainly as background (at least until RD Part 4). I've seen that many complained about lack of character development in RD, but considering it has over 60 characters and a much more story-focused map progression and a larger scale plot, I think you can't have it all. But, yes, I've found the support conversations in RD very cheesy.

All in all, I enjoyed very much the writing in both games, even in the most WTF moments like Micaiah not having to be accountable for her attacks on the laguz alliance (it is very strange they all forgot about it and were all very friendly), and the fact that she and Sanaki get along so well given the fact that Micaiah tried to set her on fire...

On a last note, the aspect I really disliked is the blood pact bullshit. I would have prefered to have a more Joan of Arc like situation in which Pelleas were just a weak and corrupt ruler trying to consolidate his position and get rid of Micaiah once he doesn't need her anymore. In such case Micaiah could have felt betrayed and have to be rescued by the good guys. But well, the game needed his two protagonists to be in opposite sides of the same war (which I thought it was great and never done before in the series to my recollection) and have them both to be morally correct, but there had to be a better way to pull it off than a magical genocide blackmailing plot device out of nowhere.

Just my thoughts...

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One character who hasn't benefited from being in two games would be the Black knight. Rather then being developed his personality was altered which resulted in a character who wasn't very consistent.

While his goals were always a mystery the Black Knight does indicate he has a grudge towards Greil. If not he wouldn't view ''eradicating the family at the roots'' to be a good opportunity when fighting Ike and Mist. Greil also says he's the one who made BK this way before dying.

This is dropped in Radiant Dawn and replaced with the anime motivation of just wanting to fight a strong opponent. This was likely done to make him more sympathetic but it achieves the opposite. Now he just murders someone for no other reason then seeing if he could. I find that more evil than settling an old score.

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One character who hasn't benefited from being in two games would be the Black knight. Rather then being developed his personality was altered which resulted in a character who wasn't very consistent.

While his goals were always a mystery the Black Knight does indicate he has a grudge towards Greil. If not he wouldn't view ''eradicating the family at the roots'' to be a good opportunity when fighting Ike and Mist. Greil also says he's the one who made BK this way before dying.

This is dropped in Radiant Dawn and replaced with the anime motivation of just wanting to fight a strong opponent. This was likely done to make him more sympathetic but it achieves the opposite. Now he just murders someone for no other reason then seeing if he could. I find that more evil than settling an old score.

Exactly. I appreciate what they tried to do with the character but I have a hard time assimilating it. The Zelgius and Black Knight characters are too incompatible to be the same character in a coherent way. All his noble ideals of not wanting to take a life if he doesn't have to clash horribly with his quest for being the best swordsman and wanting to defeat his master. If one attributes all his deeds as the Black Knight to being under Sephiran orders (which didn't include killing Greil), then it makes his loyalty a questionable thing, which is never fully explained in-game. Did he gave his life to Sephiran just because he was nice to him even knowing he was branded? Did he feel abandoned by Greil when he left Daein? Who is the real character, Zelgius or the Black Knight? And the whole "you were my last teacher" thing was very weird too, after everything he has done. These things make Zelgius either bipolar or a loyalty-blind fool. Well, Micaiah could also be a loyalty-blind fool too.

I enjoyed Radiant Dawn story very much until halfway of Part 3, when the blood pact is introduced and everything started going downhill from there. It didn't bother me that much and the gameplay was still good, but I was hoping the whole thing would get better, which unfortunately didn't happen. The more I think about it the more problems I find with the story after that point.

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Who is the real character, Zelgius or the Black Knight?

I think its the black knight who is the real character and that Zelgius is just the disguise he wears when in Begnion. Whenever a conflict between the identities arises its always the Black Knight who's stance is taken.

Zelgius claims he will never take a life if he can avoid it but the Black Knight murdered Greil despite it not being part of the plan at all. Zelgius also tells Levail that a soldier should keep his reservations to himself and follow his appointed commander. A little while later Zelgius starts to strangle his appointed commander for insulting the master the black knight chose for himself.

One thing that I do think was a nice touch in RD was his relation with Michaiah. He seems to have a soft spot for her and its probably genuine on his part. Her being a relative of his master may be the cause of that. It also doesn't contrasts anything we've seen of him before.

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Or maybe both of them are masks? General Zelgius and the Black Knight are both roles he plays to support Sephiran. As a Branded, he knew he couldn't keep the role as the honorable General Zelgius for his whole life, thanks to his slow aging process. And the BK was primarily used to infiltrate Daein and influence Ashnard (PoR) and create another party in the conflicts taking place during RD's story. He might just have used it for his personal agenda (fighting Greil) because that way he could do so with no or very little (thanks, Ranulf! ;)) risk of being discovered and maybe because he thought at that point that the BK persona might not be needed for that much longer.

I might be forgetting things, but we don't get to see that much of Zelgius' character when he doesn't have to be either honorable or menacing. We do have some scenes where he interacts with only Sephiran and iirc he's portraited rather empathetic when meeting young Ike and Mist. But other than that, I think his only clear character trait is his strong loyalty towards Sephiran.

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Or maybe both of them are masks?

I believe so, yes. To some extent, I'm not sure Zelgius himself knows who he is, in term of personality. He's so wrapped up in playing roles and fulfilling's Sephiran will. I believe that's why he was so fixated on fighting Greil and Ike. His valor as a warrior became a core lynch point to his eroded sense of self.

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yeah he had potential to be a great character. zelgius was likable throughout the begnion-laguz war to where you want to feel something when he dies at the end and ike is making peace, but i can't because his character motivations are really weak.

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You are all making good points. Zelgius losing his self and defining his whole existence by being an instrument on Sephiran's plan is an interesting idea, but I wish it had be better explained in the game instead of being rushed in the endgame. Just little scenes, clues, flashbacks or something that could build suspense for the reveal. The endgame itself is pretty heavy on exposition of important plot-related stuff that could have been explained better in my opinion. But yes, Zelgius' instability and double-standards as a character and stepping outside of his role to settle a score with Greil seem more of an afterthought from the writers than good writing.

About his relationship to Micaiah, I'm not entirely sure if it is due to some sense of loyalty to Daein because of his youth, or it was all a part of Sephiran's plan. Even if the latter seems more plausible to me, I don't like that the answer to every question about him is "because Sephiran told him to do so". I never understood exactly why the relationship between the two is so strong that Zelgius would blindly follow his orders and give him his life unquestionably. Well, maybe the same thing could be said of Levail/Zelgius or even Micaiah/Pelleas. Undying loyalty (even if misplaced) seems to be a common trope in this game.

But if everything was Sephiran's plan (to hide Micaiah in Daein to protect her from the senators, to send the Black Knight to protect Micaiah because she could sing the Galdr of Release) then why he speaks to her as if he doesn't know her?:

Micaiah: You… I’ve heard about you. Have we… met before?
Sephiran: The Silver-Haired Maiden. It’s taken so long to finally meet you. If I had known you still lived, I.. I… No, it’s too late. This changes nothing. I cannot falter.
Micaiah: What is the matter with you?
Sephiran: I’m just overly sensitive. Don’t feign concern over me.

I don't know, maybe I'm mixing up stuff and/or reading it from unreliable sources.

I have much more questions about Radiant Dawn's plot, but I don't know if this is the right thread to ask them.

Edited by geraq

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I don't think Michaiah was part from Sephiran's plans from the start. He said himself that didn't know she was alive so I'm guessing she was smuggled away by someone other than Sephiran. She mentions an old woman at one point. Sephiran might have found out about her survival later. Sending the black knight to protect her might also been because Sephiran feels an emotional connection to Michiah. He seemed on pretty good terms with her grandmother and she is his descendant as well. Even after she sang the galdr he still prefers for her to come to the tower with the black knight.

I think the memory scene about the first meeting between Sephiran and Zelgius was meant to show that Zelgius was loyal because Sephiran was willing to take him in when no one else would. The relation with Greil didn't seem to have been close enough for Zelgius to trust he would be allowed to stay if him being a branded was discovered.

Edited by Etrurian emperor

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But if everything was Sephiran's plan (to hide Micaiah in Daein to protect her from the senators, to send the Black Knight to protect Micaiah because she could sing the Galdr of Release) then why he speaks to her as if he doesn't know her?:

I assume Sephiran knows about her by the time she gets famous, with the Dawn Brigade springing to the political stage, and figures out who she was only then. But by that time, he had already set his plan in motion. So he means if: at the time before he decided on that plan (sometime between right after the Serenes Massacre and when, as prime minister to Begnion, he realized how corrupt all the Senators were) he had known Misaha's heir had survived, he might have put his hope on her instead of resolving to have Ashera judge and end the world.

We don't know how Micaiah was saved and sent to Daein. But it dpesn't seem to have involved Sephiran and Zelgius.

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Thanks for the explanation, that was puzzling me a lot. I had thought it had to do with his Grand Scheme, but I guess the "emotional" link with her works too.

Maybe I didn't put enough attention, but I understood that when the senators killed apostle Misaha, Micaiah had to be hidden because she was next in the line and Sanaki was so young that she wasn't a liability to them. But then the people of Begnion revolted so they were forced to appoint Sanaki as the apostle. Maybe I'm not remembering it correctly and should check the game script again.

One thing I find amusing is that even if Sephiran's plan to make a world war through Ashnard failed, such plan inadvertently succeded due to the actions of the senators while he was in prison. Please don't tell me the senators were under his influence and being in prison was also part of his plan...

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Thanks for the explanation, that was puzzling me a lot. I had thought it had to do with his Grand Scheme, but I guess the "emotional" link with her works too.

Maybe I didn't put enough attention, but I understood that when the senators killed apostle Misaha, Micaiah had to be hidden because she was next in the line and Sanaki was so young that she wasn't a liability to them. But then the people of Begnion revolted so they were forced to appoint Sanaki as the apostle. Maybe I'm not remembering it correctly and should check the game script again.

More like Sanaki wasn't born yet.

One thing I find amusing is that even if Sephiran's plan to make a world war through Ashnard failed, such plan inadvertently succeded due to the actions of the senators while he was in prison. Please don't tell me the senators were under his influence and being in prison was also part of his plan...

Possibly but not necessarily.

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playing all three fates made me appreciate these games even more. which is kind of annoying, because the tellius games are really flawed and radiant dawn's story is really messy despite all the stuff it does really well, and i'm not giving a free pass to things like the blood pact. but it feels like the future fe games have gone the opposite direction from learning those mistakes. conquest and revelations are like radiant dawn done wrong.

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playing all three fates made me appreciate these games even more. which is kind of annoying, because the tellius games are really flawed and radiant dawn's story is really messy despite all the stuff it does really well, and i'm not giving a free pass to things like the blood pact. but it feels like the future fe games have gone the opposite direction from learning those mistakes. conquest and revelations are like radiant dawn done wrong.

Good to know, thanks for the heads up if I get to play them someday. I enjoyed most of FE stories, even if I know they are not great, because I'm accustomed to "Our princess is in another castle", "it was Dr Wily's plan all along", or "Dracula resurrects once every 100 years". Don't get me wrong, I love each one of those games, but from time to time I like to see a little more of a good story. I agree that gameplay is more important than story, but it's so sad that the writers couldn't make it work in this case.

As someone else has said, there could have been budget/deadline issues that prevented the game to be as good as it could have been, so they had to rush it. But still the gameplay is still is top-notch for me, so I will just have to rewrite in my head the parts of the plot that I don't like.

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Tellius indeed had the best character development in the series.

If you were one of the characters that debuted in PoR, sure. I didn't see any of the lesser RD characters (such as Meg, Aran or Fiona) get much character to start with (let alone any actual "character development"). So saying that "Tellius had the best character development in the series" sounds ludicrous to me.

Edited by NinjaMonkey

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