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Valmese Soldier

Fire Emblem Fates Theory: Every “Path” is an Illusion

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Fire Emblem Fates is a game that takes place in a fantasy world, but not in a fantasy like we'd expect it to: The three “paths” Corrin can choose from are meaningless, for every one of those alleged “paths” are just merely illusions-they’ve never happened; post-chapter 2, every new character you met, every battle, every victory, every fond memories with other characters, and every relationship or marriage doesn’t exist outside of Corrin’s tragically damaged mind; however, this theory posits that they all “took place” in the same timeline. 

What do we really know about Corrin? Corrin is a person who is part of the Norian Royal Family who was isolated from everyone, even their own siblings, Corrin’s family. Corrin receives little to no attention or affection from other human beings at all. In fact during chapter 2, as further proof of Corrin's not only lack of affection, but domestic abuse, Corrin's big brother, Xander, even strikes Corrin with the Siegfried when Corrin refuses to carry out Garon's orders to execute some criminals. More on this later.

Any human being, even those who are naturally sane, who are isolated for long periods of time have a tendency to eventually go mad. Combine this with the fact that Corrin was isolated from their Royal Siblings, which suggests that despite their healthy physical body, there was something about Corrin which was “defective” to King Garon that wasn’t do to with any their physical body’s ability: it was Corrin's mind that was defective; to be specific, schizophrenia. The player is later told that Corrin was actually born in Hoshido to Queen Mikoto, and was kidnapped as a child by King Garon, and that Corrin has dreams of their “previous siblings.” However these “dreams” are nothing more than the product of a troubled schizophrenic mind trying to escape reality.

In chapter 2, King Garon tries to give his mentally defective child a chance to be like their siblings by giving Corrin a simple task to execute some troublemakers, 2 of which includes Kaze and Rinka. For all we know, they could indeed be cruel savage criminals and they rightfully deserve their executions; however, since we are playing from Corrin’s perspective, we see through Corrin’s point of view, where Kaze and Rinkah are innocent people; Corrin felt like a prisoner their whole life, so maybe felt a little of their own self in them. Kaze only said he knew Corrin because Kaze is a very intelligent and professional con man who has a lot of experience in taking advantage over others before, and he could tell by Corrin's body language that Corrin was a mentally/emotionally weak person, and tried taking them as a way for self-preservation.

The last true thing to occur in Fates was Corrin’s failure to execute the prisoners. However, this is when the fantasy begins: while we see Leo step in and “save” Kaze and Rinkah, that incident was, in actuality, a shield put up by Corrin’s mentally ill mind; in truth, Leo executed both of them. What actually happened at that moment was that Corrin had a nervous breakdown and was finally isolated for good in a secure room in the Nohrian Castle. During/After this breakdown, the rest of “Fates” occurs.

Now, about Corrin’s “retainers.” Throughout Fates, we are told that the role of retainers was to protect their master with their life. Every Royal is assigned two retainers. However, for apparently no reason given, Corrin is given 4 retainers. Not only that, but they were people who were not ideal for combat: an old man far past his prime, a butler, and some maids (one of which could also be a hallucination), instead of typical warriors or bodyguards. In Fates, Maids and Butlers are not just people who help clean and cook meals, but they are also healers, thus they also take the role as nurses. Retainers are again, assigned with protecting their master’s life: now consider this: what if the job of Corrin’s retainers wasn’t protecting Corrin from outside threats, but rather from Corrin's own self, such as mental breakdowns and mad episodes? Now, try to remember the first cutscene after the prologue after one of Corrin’s dreams: Corrin wakes in a bed surrounded by people taking the role of nurses; if that doesn’t say mental illness, then I don’t know what does. 

Back in a dark room in a castle tower where Corrin is kept for the rest of their life, Corrin descends into madness and imagines the rest of Fates. The battles Corrin wins, the people Corrin meets, the relationships Corrin and their compatriots forge, everything is just in Corrin's mind as a way to keep their own sanity and as a coping mechanism. Corrin's schizophrenic mind came up with the idea that they weren’t born in Nohr stemming from their desire that they wish they were born to their father's enemies as a resentment from being isolated their whole life. The memory of being kidnapped was created out of Corrin’s hatred for their father. Every character besides those Corrin previously met before the end of chapter two don’t exist and were made in Corrin’s mind as parts of Corrin's own self. Corrin’s emotional turmoil is so great that Corrin actually feels as if they turn into a dragon when they have a mental/emotional breakdown. Valla does not exist, it is another fantasy created in Corrin’s mind to appease their fantasy family with Corrin’s real Nohrian family. The kindness that Corrin's siblings showed Corrin stemmed from Corrin's inner desire to be loved by their own siblings. Every battle Corrin fought in was an inner battle, a battle with their inner pain. Every character, hero, villain, and anything in between met post chapter 2 represents a separate part of Corrin’s mind. Every heroic moment and triumph was meant for Corrin to give themselves a sense of self-importance and heroism instead of their stark reality of not being a "chosen one," but the opposite; being born mentally impaired. Outside of Corrin’s damaged, mentally ill mad delusions, Corrin is all alone in a dark room with no social interactions at all aside from being fed bread and water a couple times every day. Unless you count the occasional rats that comes to eat some of the crumbs from Corrin's bread, Corrin has made no friends whatsoever. 

What comes after Corrin's Revelations delusion, you may ask? Quite simply, more delusions for Corrin's coping mechanism: should that fail, then without any help or any social interactions besides rats, Corrin may terminate their self from a self-inflicted injury or injuries.

In short, Fire Emblem Fates (insert path here) has a profound storyline which explores the delusional world of an emotionally and mentally abused socially isolated schizophrenic who was lucky enough to be born into royalty but not lucky enough to be born into a civilization with a better understanding and treatment of mental illnesses. 

Edited by Valmese Soldier

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Ha! What an entertaining suggestion. I also posit other aspects of the paths that make sense in Corrin's head sooner than reality. That there is a beautiful girl in Hoshido captured like he was but also loved by the people there. That every person Corrin meets could only hate him if there was some unseen force brainwashing them. And that same unseen force is the true cause for good people to fight each other, since Corrin is incapable of understanding why nations fight or even why people might disagree with each other when he's met very few in his life. That if he doesn't execute Shura, he'll join Corrin's cause without any thoughts of betrayal. And finally, the existence of Deeprealms, since Corrin doesn't know where babies come from.

Edited by Gustavos

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Wow, good theory! Much better explanation than the actual story.

It does actually fit in- all the fanservice toward Corrin and his "Mary Sue" aspects all show that he only perfect in his false reality. However, if it's all fake, then that would imply that his siblings' retainers are made up as well. So, who's to say that, in reality, they aren't actually butlers and maids?

Nevertheless, it's a nice, solid theory, and I'm willing to accept it.

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Am I the only one who half-expected this post to end with, "...but that's just a theory; a Game Theory!"?

Anyway, I wonder if this helps explain the rather one-dimensional characters, as Corrin's just not terribly creative when it comes to world-building.

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Points for trying to make us laugh. Fan psychological theories are as overdone as anything with games perhaps (Majora's Mask), but this was good. IS in all calmness, sadly would deny that this was what they were going for.

Yet you left one looming question of vital importance unanswered:

Are Camilla's based on reality, or wholly reflective of an unconscious desire in Corrin?

That was a joke.

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13 hours ago, joshcja said:

Are we really recycling #squallisdead now?

The "the entire plot is the main character dreaming/halucinating" theory comes up a LOT, see also ff8 (squall gets killed at the end of disc 1), Majora's Mask (link gets killed in the opening cutscene), and the pokemon anime (ash gets shocked into a coma during the first episode). In every case exept for Majora's mask, that theory exists entirely to explain away bad writing, (ff8's nonsensical and rushed second disc, the fact that ash is still 10) with no or almost no additional evidence. Majoras mask has actual evidence (such as the fact that the line that the traveling mask salesman says when you first meet him is EXACTLY the same as what he says when you game over by letting the moon crash), which makes me more likely to belive it. WHen it's just bad writing, i perfer to accept that bad writing is bad and move on. my rule of thumb is "never put much more thought into something than the authors did." For majora's mask, i can easily belive that the authors put that much though into it. For fates. i can not.

Edited by sirmola

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That was kinda the point yes. Squallisdead gets slapped onto a lot of shit.

Majora's Mask is just link playing a round of call of cthulu.

Edited by joshcja

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Mmmmmm.... 

 

Honestly, if this is what they were intending, we'd see flashes of clarity, or other moments of the fantasy breaking. Like, a maid performing a nursing task that seems a tad too detailed to just be a maid.

Even the Squall is Dead theory notes that kind of thing in that he just deteriotes in his final moments, post time compression and boss, since he can't keep the illusion going, because he's, you know, dying.

Although, I've not put much stock in that theory, despite being an interesting take on a game I enjoy, since much of the wild fantasy stuff WAS in disc one, so it always felt like you were just being more entrenched into it as the powers that be abused magic and child soldiers. At least it feels more intentional than Squall going insane and trying to give himself a happy, power fantasy in his dying moments.

 

Also, were Gunther and Lilith actually retainers? I mean, Lilith worked the stables and Gunther was Corrin's trainer. Silas most certainly isn't one, and Kaze only becomes one under specific circumstances. So, that's Jacob and the twins.

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13 hours ago, JJ48 said:

Am I the only one who half-expected this post to end with, "...but that's just a theory; a Game Theory!"?

Not at all. I got very heavy "Mario is Mental" flashbacks myself. 

I'll admit, I did once put forth the theory that Corrin had a psychotic break in Conquest and was just being manipulated by Azura into killing Garon as a poorly-thought out powerplay on her part, but that was a joke theory. Theories like this can be fun to explore on a "hey, what if this was true" level, but treating it as fact when there's zero evidence to support it is where problems come in.

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4 hours ago, Altrosa said:

Mmmmmm.... 

 

Honestly, if this is what they were intending, we'd see flashes of clarity, or other moments of the fantasy breaking. Like, a maid performing a nursing task that seems a tad too detailed to just be a maid.

Even the Squall is Dead theory notes that kind of thing in that he just deteriotes in his final moments, post time compression and boss, since he can't keep the illusion going, because he's, you know, dying.

Yeah. The writer would never write a story with a twist like this and then leave absolutely no evidence other than things being too perfect.

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On 3/20/2017 at 7:36 PM, Altrosa said:

Mmmmmm.... 

 

Honestly, if this is what they were intending, we'd see flashes of clarity, or other moments of the fantasy breaking. Like, a maid performing a nursing task that seems a tad too detailed to just be a maid.

Even the Squall is Dead theory notes that kind of thing in that he just deteriotes in his final moments, post time compression and boss, since he can't keep the illusion going, because he's, you know, dying.

Although, I've not put much stock in that theory, despite being an interesting take on a game I enjoy, since much of the wild fantasy stuff WAS in disc one, so it always felt like you were just being more entrenched into it as the powers that be abused magic and child soldiers. At least it feels more intentional than Squall going insane and trying to give himself a happy, power fantasy in his dying moments.

 

Also, were Gunther and Lilith actually retainers? I mean, Lilith worked the stables and Gunther was Corrin's trainer. Silas most certainly isn't one, and Kaze only becomes one under specific circumstances. So, that's Jacob and the twins.

Gunter is confirmed to be a retainer, as is Jakob, by Fire Emblem Heroes (see pictures)

I don't know if Felicia is a retainer or not. Her description in heroes may say so but I don't have her as a unit. I don't think Flora is a retainer either, considering she just kinda runs away.

Lilith isn't because obvious

IMG_3509.PNG

IMG_3510.PNG

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On 3/26/2017 at 11:42 AM, Big Smoke said:

I don't know if Felicia is a retainer or not.

Felicia's descriptions is:
"A maid of Nohr who's eager to do good work yet often bungles.  One of Corrin's retainers.  Appears in Fire Emblem Fates."

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As much as I like to think Fates could only come from the mind of a crazy person, these "it was all a dream" theories can be applied to literally anything. Rather than explain away bad writing with "it's all a warped perception of reality" it would be more reasonable to find evidence that there is a real world to contrast the world we see.

But don't mind me. Serenes Forest isn't real and I'm just talking to myself; clacking away on a computer that doesn't exist.

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I chose to view fates story as a cliche written by a YA comics writer featuring my half dragon stripper self insert.

Is this but a dream within a dream?

Edited by joshcja

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I really enjoyed this, and is it alright if I write a couple of chapters based on this theory? (just the prolouge and maybe various other chapters). Also, what would inspire Valla and Anthony? 

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On 3/19/2017 at 9:54 PM, Valmese Soldier said:

an old man far past his prime, a butler, and some maids (one of which could also be a hallucination)

Is this one hallucination of a maid that you are referring to, Flora or Felicia or is it the butler Jakob? I ask this because I find Jakob to be one of the weirdest anomalies in Birthright.

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Good Theory. It makes sense even though I think that the only canon is Revelations, and any plotholes are just because science doesn't apply to Hoshido/Nohr/Valla because WOO! MORE MONEY FOR IS!

 

 

On ‎3‎/‎30‎/‎2017 at 5:59 PM, Hero_Lucina said:

I really enjoyed this, and is it alright if I write a couple of chapters based on this theory? (just the prolouge and maybe various other chapters). Also, what would inspire Valla and Anthony? 

 

Corrin had a lot of free time, so maybe he read the stories about Marth, Chrom, Lucina, and Robin and about how they defeated a dragon, so he created his own dragon. This is also how they come to his world and become his friends, or in Chrom's case he goes to Chrom's world.

 

 

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On 4/4/2017 at 1:17 PM, BlueBloodEmblazer said:

Good Theory. It makes sense even though I think that the only canon is Revelations, and any plotholes are just because science doesn't apply to Hoshido/Nohr/Valla because WOO! MORE MONEY FOR IS!

 

 

 

Corrin had a lot of free time, so maybe he read the stories about Marth, Chrom, Lucina, and Robin and about how they defeated a dragon, so he created his own dragon. This is also how they come to his world and become his friends, or in Chrom's case he goes to Chrom's world.

 

 

Good Point, and that's probably how the amiibo units came about

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