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FE and Protagonist Age

Fire Emblem Protagonist Age  

31 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you think a Fire Emblem game with an older (age-wise, not older as in from an older game) protagonist could work?

    • Yes
      28
    • No
      3


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In every FE game, the protagonists, specifically the lord characters, are always young; specifically between early teens and... however old Micaiah actually is. And so FE games usually have a element of coming of age in the story: Marth having to deal with becoming ruler of Altea, Roy leading his people while Eliwood's health fails, Ike inheriting the mercenary company much earlier than anyone in the story expected, etc.

Quite recently I was thinking about notable older protagonists (by this I mean at least middle-aged), such as Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Agent Gibbs from NCIS, Eddard Stark from season 1 of GoT, etc. That got me thinking; could an older protagonist work in an FE storyline? This is something I mentioned in a reply to a forum topic but then decided it was worth making a topic on. Do you think such a character could work in an FE game, and Why or why not?

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I'd be down for that. I think more important that the topic of age is how established the person is in life. Rather than have a lord's son, have the protagonist be a king or lord of a territory. Rather than be a common soldier, have them be a established general or tactician. It's not like the majority of Fire Emblem's themes are exclusive to the young.

In general though, I think Japan much prefers youngsters in coming-of-age stories than they do grizzled veterans. To give one example, Final Fantasy 12 marketed a teenager as its protagonist even though he is insignificant to the plot and the real players are in their late 20s or 30s. I doubt we'll ever have an older Fire Emblem protagonist, especially in this age of self-inserts.

Edited by NekoKnight

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Just going to quote myself on this matter.

 

On 2/11/2017 at 3:54 PM, Jotari said:

I'd like to see an older character acting as lord. Who's the oldest lord we've had so far? Sigurd? Chrom? I don't think we've managed to get past 26 in that regard either way. I get that having a young lord means they can meet more new people and the player can witness them establishing themselves in the world but there's advantages of having an older more experienced character too.

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Well, I'd say it would depend on how old we're talking, but I do think it can work.

Even someone in their twenties can be a fresh change of pace from all the mid-to-late teen lords around (Micaiah kinda doesn't count due to Branded status, but who knows). Although, I think Sigurd was actually in his early twenties. Then again, his adventure happens over three years, so I'd think he was definitely over 20 at least by Chapter 5.

Edited by Acacia Sgt

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Theoretically, it could work, and I personally wouldn't object to that. However, I don't see it happening any time soon, if ever. The oldest age range (in appearance) I can imagine is between 25 to 35, but even then the protagonist would still have to look attractive, which is apparently an important factor in the developer's view judging from the established pattern of the series (not just the recent titles).

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I'd really like to have an older lord someday, yeah, a good 25-28 age range would be nice. Also, it'd be nice to start with a lord who's married prior to the start of the game, and his/her spouse is a playable character alongside the lord, and if the lord had to have a child how about a kid who's like 1-5 years old who doesn't grow up and/or travel through time and stays an NPC? I mean, marriage and kids doesn't have to be just a fanservice thing, it could really be a part of the character's personality and who they are.

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Hmm, I think the vague ~17 year old protagonists are more a staple of japanese fictional media rather than just a Fire Emblem thing. And for a game that's a free for all in shipping, it makes sense to write characters nowhere past 24 so that they can get with the 12 year old looking characters like Elise, Ricken, Nowi, etc. It will look acceptable by somebody's standards. Plus the old characters don't tend to be all that old, I wouldn't be surprised if an interview surfaces where Gunter's age is revealed to be 38.

Pretty much every time real characters' ages are revealed, I didn't enjoy the truth. Roy should not be garnering any respect at his age, I don't care who his father is. And Lyn being 15 makes me hope she got a formal education once she became a noble. In any fire emblem game, I don't want to be using units at such a young age to fight. Child soldiers are not something to be romanticized. I can just imagine these lords growing up to be Andrew Jackson, a child soldier and scariest president you'd ever read about as an adult. 

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3 hours ago, Vaximillian said:

I thought Sigurd was 22 at the beginning of his story.

I get that impression too but he's not listed on the sites age list 

https://serenesforest.net/general/character-ages/

so it's probably more from the character's appearance and personality. 22-25 is still pretty young too though so I don't think it's what we're generally talking about here. 

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As much as I love the idea, Japan has a fetish for young and attractive characters in video games. Anyone is older than 22 might as well consider themselves middle-aged. >< Sigurd will remain the oldest lord in the series ( he died at age 25 iirc according to the unofficial manga ). He also felt like an adult since he was married and had a kid. Same with Cuan.

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"Could work"? Sure, why not? Hell I think it would be a breath of fresh air; having an older, more experienced and established character as protagonist could do wonders to the kinds of stories they could tell. 

Do I believe it'll happen? No, Japan loves its teenagers.

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2 hours ago, Gustavos said:

Hmm, I think the vague ~17 year old protagonists are more a staple of japanese fictional media rather than just a Fire Emblem thing. And for a game that's a free for all in shipping, it makes sense to write characters nowhere past 24 so that they can get with the 12 year old looking characters like Elise, Ricken, Nowi, etc.

Dev 1: Would it be less weird for a 24 year old to court a 12 year old than it would be for a 35 year old to do so?
Dev 2: ...Yes, comparatively.

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Can it work?  Yeah, sure.  Sigurd may have led his army to the grill but him being a slightly older protagonist is a nice change of pace, taking that a bit farther shouldn't be a huge deal.

Will IS do that?  I don't think they'll get any older than Chrom/Sigurd, tbh.  

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I don't think we will be seeing an older lord any time soon. Even in its earliest days Fire emblem has always taken inspiration from anime and main characters from that genre are almost always teenagers. It may also be easier to write character development for a younger character because they need to grow up.

I have a feeling that IS is very aware of younger characters being much more marketable. If parents from the last two games aren't even allowed to grow any older despite having grown up children then I think an older main characters would definitely be considered to big of a gamble. 

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I thought Sigurd was the oldest protagonist to exist and that he was in his twenties. Oh well.

 

6 hours ago, Gustavos said:

Roy should not be garnering any respect at his age, I don't care who his father is. And Lyn being 15 makes me hope she got a formal education once she became a noble

Well, Roy is a noble, so he will be respected, regardless of age.

 

Also I prefer the age change of Lyn in the localization- that is, her being 18. Because really she looks more 18 than 15. So therefore she's an adult for me.

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12 hours ago, Etrurian emperor said:

I don't think we will be seeing an older lord any time soon. Even in its earliest days Fire emblem has always taken inspiration from anime and main characters from that genre are almost always teenagers. It may also be easier to write character development for a younger character because they need to grow up.

I have a feeling that IS is very aware of younger characters being much more marketable. If parents from the last two games aren't even allowed to grow any older despite having grown up children then I think an older main characters would definitely be considered to big of a gamble. 

 

This. It's much easier for the target audience of FE (generally older teenagers and young adults) to get behind and identify with a late teenage protagonist than one past the big 25 mark. That's why you see the Hero's Journey so often with a teenage protagonist, simply because not only are teenagers impressionable, energetic and wide-eyed (at least, they're portrayed as so in fantasy land), but they also have a lot of growing up to do on the way to figuring out their identities.

35+ year-olds are mostly set in their ways by the time they reach that age. That's not to say they're done learning or exploring, but they're as a whole less malleable than their teenage counterparts. And in fiction, it's all about malleability and character development.

And considering back in the pseudo-medieval times that FE likes to take place in, 35 was effectively middle-aged, it's even more extreme than is normal in the present day.

Marth being the naive, but good-hearted sod that he is is not only more believable because he's 16 at the start of his journey, but it's more tragic due to him losing all of his loved ones save Elice, and how much responsibility he has to take on at such a young age. If he had been 35, the impact would have been lessened considerably.

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