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mikethepokemaster

The Avatar Mechanic Is Not That Bad

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I personally feel the MU or Avatar Mechanic is not bad at all just IS haven't gotten it completely correct I think something like Robin as the MU is a great start to the mechanic. While he is the 2nd protagonist after Chrome he doesn't take his spotlight that much IMO. The end with Grima make sense because well Robin is Grima and I think it better for Robin to off his self instead of Chrome just putting Grima to sleep. Corrin needs some work he a bad example of avatar unit he doesn't get accounted for his actions like at all or he doesn't grow as much like Robin does but I think that has to do more with IS to experiment with the mechanic. Kris I never got the hte for him he seem pretty small over the course of FE12 to me he just seem like a close to friend and confidant to Marth and that it. I guess his implied romance with Katarina adds character to him too, overall I think the mechanic isn't to bad a few bugs but what doesn't have bugs. What are your opinions on it.

 

Edited by mikethepokemaster

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I'd say that the idea of a custom main character actually isn't a bad one, I just personally think that they kinda need to go all-in and make the Avatar either a silent protagonist or give you dialogue options fairly frequently to kinda let you decide their personality. As it is now, the Avatar function is really just letting you customize the cosmetic attributes and stat distribution of a character who's just as predefined as any other in the context of the narrative.

From a gameplay perspective, it's certainly very cool and fun, although I'd love to see a return of getting to choose your starting class, like with Kris, but story-wise it's nowhere remotely close to what it could be.

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2 minutes ago, Topaz Light said:

I'd say that the idea of a custom main character actually isn't a bad one, I just personally think that they kinda need to go all-in and make the Avatar either a silent protagonist or give you dialogue options fairly frequently to kinda let you decide their personality. As it is now, the Avatar function is really just letting you customize the cosmetic attributes and stat distribution of a character who's just as predefined as any other in the context of the narrative.

From a gameplay perspective, it's certainly very cool and fun, although I'd love to see a return of getting to choose your starting class, like with Kris, but story-wise it's nowhere remotely close to what it could be.

Yeah I agree with everything you said the Avatar function is fun for me because I like to customize characters. I think something persona series avatar could work for the series overall. If they don't bring the Avatar back for the FE Switch I will be pretty bummed out but I have played the GBA games and they were just fine without the Avatar.

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2 minutes ago, mikethepokemaster said:

Yeah I agree with everything you said the Avatar function is fun for me because I like to customize characters. I think something persona series avatar could work for the series overall. If they don't bring the Avatar back for the FE Switch I will be pretty bummed out but I have played the GBA games and they were just fine without the Avatar.

I adore getting to customize characters, too, hehe... I just wish IS would allow us to actually customize the character somewhat, too; not just the unit.

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11 minutes ago, Topaz Light said:

I adore getting to customize characters, too, hehe... I just wish IS would allow us to actually customize the character somewhat, too; not just the unit.

Yeah I wouldn't mind being able to choose the personality , the stats, the background of the character, being able to choose the character reactions, but like I said it still has bugs that needs to fix. If they remade any more old fire emblem games #7 would be my ideal remake because that game can have the Avatar function in it since it was the first to use it not to the extent of #13 and #14 though.

Edited by mikethepokemaster

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Avatars shouldn't be a/the main character. Since the avatar represents the player, there is pressure to write them as the ultimate life form. Has a unique class, unique skills, can become any class, wield any weapon, gains the trust of every character, has no flaws, perfect manners when a misunderstanding arises, can date anybody, and has the only means of defeating the final boss. By putting these traits onto the main character, there's no character arcs to explore. No enemies that legitimately hate the player for reasons other than mind control. In other words, you'd have to be possessed by the Devil in order to dislike the Avatar. Keep in mind this isn't exclusive to Corrin, Robin is as much a Lord as Chrom is. They both cause a game over when they die on casual or classic mode, and Robin's place in the story is a played straight second coming of Christ analogue. However, I generally think Robin is the best avatar in terms of narrative. I don't know much of Kris firsthand, but Robin earns his title as a tactician with some brilliant plans like destroying the Valmese fleet. If they want to keep doing Avatars and still write a competent story, the Avatar either has to have near to zero place in the story, or they have to be willing to create meaningful choices and consequences that would shape your full experience. And that would take a lot more work than if there was just a normal protagonist with a single story.

In terms of gameplay, creating a unit definitely felt like a natural step for the series to take. Even now when we have games focused on reclassing as a means of character progression, losing the Avatar in such a game would still feel like a loss.

 

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4 minutes ago, Gustavos said:

Avatars shouldn't be a/the main character. Since the avatar represents the player, there is pressure to write them as the ultimate life form. Has a unique class, unique skills, can become any class, wield any weapon, gains the trust of every character, has no flaws, perfect manners when a misunderstanding arises, can date anybody, and has the only means of defeating the final boss. By putting these traits onto the main character, there's no character arcs to explore. No enemies that legitimately hate the player for reasons other than mind control. In other words, you'd have to be possessed by the Devil in order to dislike the Avatar. Keep in mind this isn't exclusive to Corrin, Robin is as much a Lord as Chrom is. They both cause a game over when they die on casual or classic mode, and Robin's place in the story is a played straight second coming of Christ analogue. However, I generally think Robin is the best avatar in terms of narrative. I don't know much of Kris firsthand, but Robin earns his title as a tactician with some brilliant plans like destroying the Valmese fleet. If they want to keep doing Avatars and still write a competent story, the Avatar either has to have near to zero place in the story, or they have to be willing to create meaningful choices and consequences that would shape your full experience. And that would take a lot more work than if there was just a normal protagonist with a single story.

In terms of gameplay, creating a unit definitely felt like a natural step for the series to take. Even now when we have games focused on reclassing as a means of character progression, losing the Avatar in such a game would still feel like a loss.

 

You bring up some good point in the overall avatar discussion but to say the Avatar can't be the lead in a game, I think is personally wrong look at persona series, SMT series or any game that have an avatar as the main lead those games balance the story and the MU pretty good. Fire emblem just needs to change it up a bit with the Avatar. If they do reduce the overall role of the MU I wouldn't mind actually but I would still want to play with a MU character.

 

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I didn't really hate either Robin or Corrin myself. In fact I actually kinda like them. But Kris is, IMO, the worst example of that kind of character. Writing them into a story that they were originally never a part of to begin with, and making them "the true, awesome hero that Marth wouldn't have been anything without!" is just silly IMO. Who knows, I could be remembering that part wrong (been a couple years since I played through FE12 admittedly) 

But yeah, between Robin and Corrin however? I like Corrin a bit more tbh. 

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Some games work fine with an avatar system. Some games actually work better with an avatar system.

Fire Emblem is not one of those games, at least in my opinion. Yeah, it's fun to customize an avatar. But I'm not sure if they work very well in the narrative. No, I'm not referring to the missteps they made in characterizing Kris, Robin, and Corrin; the need to pander to the player and make the player feel worshipped. FE worked best with a detached form of storytelling, where you were not an entity in the universe the story takes place in, but an observer. You are able to see things more objectively if you don't feel like you have a personal stake in it, and to see things beyond how they revolve around you. On the contrary, Fates sort of proved that if you try to write a world where the player is made to feel a personal stake in the conflict (the Nohrian and Hoshidan families fighting over you), it gets really ugly and people will make up all sorts of bullshit and outright lie about shit to make their side look better.

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i actually think the avatar works better as at least a plot important character, as long as they're not a character that's supposed to represent the player.  Kris was exactly this and well, nobody likes Kris.

If Fates plot worked out to be a little less of a mess I think Corrin would have been implemented well.  I don't think it was ever by design for them to represent the player, I think they were just supposed to just be another main character in the story with their own character and personality, like any other lord in the older games.

That being said, i'm pretty indifferent on the avatar system as a whole.  I kind of don't like how strong the avatar characters start off though, Lords were almost never your best character almost immediately in any other game (FE4 asides), but it works there), but Corrin, Robin and Kris all become your best or top 1-3 units almost instantly which is kind of a drag, especially since they have the best longterm potential too.

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I don't like the system, IS seems to feel they have some sort of contractual obligation to worship them, to the point I've given up hope on it.

Back before New Mystery came out, I was interested in the system, the idea of a customized unit sounded neat.  

But they're all made really powerful, it kinda throws the game balance.  Then there's the issue in the story, where Chrom is basically hijacked by Robin and Kris gets more credit than needed in FE12's intro and stuff like that.

So yeah, don't trust IS with the mechanic, so I don't like it.

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Being an Avatar doesn't necessitate all the things people have hated about the last 3 Avatars. Had Corrin had every trait and decision predetermined, they would still be a lousy character. There are a lot of ways that an Avatar can be written to make them balanced and interesting, if the writers want to put in the effort. Unfortunately, IS has the terrible tendency to write what will appeal to the highest number of people instead of a genuinely good character, and the game suffers heavily for it. As Gustavos said:

5 hours ago, Gustavos said:

Since the avatar represents the player, there is pressure to write them as the ultimate life form.

IS can't be trusted to write a main character well so if the Avatar is to return (and I hope they do in this capacity), they should be a minor character with little influence on the plot. At their greatest influence, they should be the Soren of the group.

Edited by NekoKnight

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I have to concur that IS has handled them very poorly in particular I would fault their decision to allow the main character to have billions of classes and skills in addition to quite OP abilities to start with(cough free paragon for all intents an purposes... Innate Paragon on units should be for a unit like Astrid that is otherwise sub par to their counter parts) Otherwise Paragon should be a limited skill given by scrolls T.B.H. Allowing the avatar character to have this in addition to the customization is what allowed them to become basically map soloing gods as they out level everyone else. 

I would even be willing to argue that reclassing could be balanced so long as the Avatar can't get any more options for reclassing than anyone else though part of that is probably because I like the skill heavy decision making(For both players and enemies, Fates convinced me of that through using pre positioned enemies with properly chosen skills not the random ******** of FE 13...) Personally I feel all units should have been given a cap of number of classes available at once(at the expense of DLC classes existing) the avatar and enemies(on higher difficulties) included  The other alternative would be a scroll based system or something because a bunch of the skills are pure fluff that could be heavily reduced so the useful skills could be made more prominent... 

 

Now from the story side IS needs to lay off on them because they can't seem to make a character that isn't umm yeah... Corrin is a huge mess... player characters shouldn't have a major role in the story. Now they would be a good choice for multiplayer if IS decides to continue with that...

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I don't particularly mind an Avatar, but I do agree with others that they should be relegated to a customizable side/supporting character in Fire Emblem. The only way it would work as a main character, in my opinion, is if there were branching paths, endings and dialogue choices―which would probably be much more work than IS may be willing to provide.

To be honest, the Persona franchise isn't that much better. The only reason they work is because of the genre of games. Really, I think Fire Emblem took a page from Atlus' book as their main characters are incredibly similar: the MC is incredibly talented in all that they do, regardless of experience in that given situation; everyone loves the MC no matter what they do (except enemies, of course); they are able to support everyone on their team (except the Male MC of Persona 3); their choices matter little in the long run of the main narrative, outside of endings (P4 was somewhat better in that it gave, like, 3 or 4 endings) or romance choices; and, they end up being the "key" to saving the world (which is a trope and cliche, so I suppose it really doesn't count).

Like, SMT is slightly better in that they really don't have any personality, and, while their choices seem insignificant, they at least alter their overall alignment, which dictates the demons they can recruit, the people they have to fight and sometimes their endings.

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I love avatars in terms of how you have the ability to create your own character; as one who likes character customization in games, I want this to stay.

However, I don't think they should take up a significant part of the spotlight anymore. Robin was fine, but people had issues with how Corrin was handled. Not only that, but the prior avatars save (to some extent) Kris had their own deep backstories, making them seem less like avatars and more like defined characters you're modifying visually and statistically.

I want custom characters to return with more visual options, but simply make them an option to be created, and have them without any rich backstory so we can fill it in with our minds while not interfering with the plot.

Edited by NoirCore
That dang extra parenthesis...

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I feel the need to refer to an interview with Kaga way back in the day, when I believe someone brought up the question whether FE would ever have a customizable protagonist; Kaga said that the stories of FE are about the already-existing main character, rather than the player themselves or an in-game avatar of them.

The irony is pretty astounding.

FE 12 Avatar is the worst in my opinion, as the plot of FE 3 was already solid, and didn't need an extra intrusion drawing away the spotlight from the actual characters of the story. A case of don't fix it if it isn't broken.

Personally, I'm neutral on the Avatars of Awakening and Fates. They're done better than Kris, seeing as the games were written involving the mechanic instead of it being kind of hamfistedly added in in FE 12's case, but Robin and Corrin could just have easily worked as non-customizable characters. I can't deny there was a fun in changing them up to match my tastes, and for the most part, I think they were handled well.

That said, I think the Avatar's creation for the FE series was FE taking a page out of western RPGs like Skyrim as opposed to the eastern ones, which more often than not feature a player-created character as the focus of the story, while eastern RPGs most often have an already-created cast and follows their story. Was this an appeal to try and sell more games in the west? Very possibly.

And considering the much higher sales of Awakening and Fates, their idea seems to have worked.

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I like the avatar system, but I definitely don't care for the writing to tell me what my character is like-- either go minimalistic with their involvement like in Blazing Sword so characters can imagine their own responses, or give me detailed dialogue options that let players characterize the PC further on their own. 

Hell, while Fire Emblem is still a dating sim, why not go all out and have player x other character supports have multi-dialogue options like a dating game? I know people will probably hate this suggestion, but I wouldn't mind being able to be more involved with the player/character interactions lol. Part of the reason Robin/Corrin's supports are so bad in general is how safe and generic they are overall. 

Edited by BANRYU

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