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Do you want Fire Emblem to be mature and realistic?

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A vocal portion of the fanbase is dissapointed about how Awakening and Fates have strayed from the "mature" tone of the series.

 

Not to mention how they rant how "unrealistic" the series is from the character designs to how they are still using cliched "tropes".

What do you think?

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I think the series has definitely gone in a more cartoony, shonen direction with the new installments. 

And I get the sense its going to stay that way, because thats where the bigger market is and where IS is going to make its $$$--the shonen anime fandom. 

Bu yeah-- I personally would like to see a more adult-oriented, gritty, "realistic" setting. Where themes like violence, religion, palace drama, sex, intoxication, and betrayal are handled more in the vein of "The Walking Dead" or "Game of Thrones" or "Warhammer Fantasy / Warhammer 40k."

Warhammer Fantasy is sorta the prototypical template for a sword-and-sorcery fantasy RPGverse that I feel handles adult themes and fantasy-with-a-splash-of-gritty-realism just right. 

Obviously Fire Emblem is never going to go full "Game of Thrones," and give us something that pushes the boundaries of the franchise into M-Rated territory.

But I do feel like a Warhammer Fantasy level of grit and adult themes would be entirely doable at [Rated T]. 

And thats definitely something  I would at some point like to see them try. (although I don't think they ever will. Again--the issue is that there's just too much money in the shonen fandom market. Its the safe play. Video game companies are always gonna follow the money.)   

Edited by Shoblongoo

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Realism is something most people play video games to get away from and I think I speak for all of us when I say we shouldn't get rid of our blue haired boys anytime soon.

But in terms of maturity, I think people feel the more goofy characters and provocative character designs of more recent entries clashed a bit too much with what had come before. I can handle the lighter tone, in fact at times I like it more, but in older games there was a level of respect for the humanity of the characters to the point where sometimes almost all characters had elements of their character or background that felt believable, even the comedic ones! I think in general what the general fandom wants is more games where each support offers something new to the characters as opposed to Awakening and Fates where you haft to sift through dozens of samey conversations in order to find that tasty ingot of character depth. 

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37 minutes ago, PeaceRibbon said:

Realism is something most people play video games to get away from and I think I speak for all of us when I say we shouldn't get rid of our blue haired boys anytime soon.

But in terms of maturity, I think people feel the more goofy characters and provocative character designs of more recent entries clashed a bit too much with what had come before. I can handle the lighter tone, in fact at times I like it more, but in older games there was a level of respect for the humanity of the characters to the point where sometimes almost all characters had elements of their character or background that felt believable, even the comedic ones! I think in general what the general fandom wants is more games where each support offers something new to the characters as opposed to Awakening and Fates where you haft to sift through dozens of samey conversations in order to find that tasty ingot of character depth. 

So basically what the fanbase want is for Fire Emblem to have a consistent tone and good writing in it's story?

That is basically what Awakening and Fates lack, the ability to properly balance comedy and seriousness very well.

On the topic at hand, people want Fire Emblem to have "mature" storytelling but what is "mature"?

Fans praise the Jugdral and the Tellus series for it's dark storytelling and wish the other Fire Emblem would follow suit.

Does that mean that the Elibe series or Sacred Stones are inferior in-terms of storytelling because they aren't as "mature" as the above? What of the Archanea series? Their stories aren't exactly complicated as the above so basically theh shouldn't be taken seriously?

Does the Fire Emblem series need a "mature" tone and story to make it great?

 

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When talking about such subjects I make a difference between stories written for adults and stories with mature themes. 

Fire Emblem has never had a story written for adults (the closest is probably fe5). Even some of the most serious stories had quirky characters. The reason why I dislike the writing in Fates and Awakening is not because it isn't mature or realistic but because it's badly written and the serious moments don't leave an impact on me.

Most fire emblem games have a simple story that from time to time touch subjects like war, death and friendship. While the stories aren't anything groundbreaking or revolutionary they had enough substance to not become generic or boring (most of the time) and I think that most people where fine with it this way. But ever since Game of Thrones became popular people started to act like Fire Emblem should be this way because of some similarities they had and became even more frustrated when awakening & fates weren't that way.

 Short answer. No, I don't want Fire Emblem to become more mature and realistic, I just want it to be better written and have the mature themes be a part but not the focus.

Edited by LJwalhout

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I think the series could go for a 'Game of Thrones lite' direction. All the politics, complex characters and developed setting, but they can leave the darkest elements up to implication. What I want is a world I can get immersed in and characters that feel grounded in reality. Out of place levity/fanservice can really take me out of a story. Maybe I'm just a grumpy, old man that wants anime to get off my lawn, but I could do without some of the shonen tropes used lately (ex. the protagonist 'died' but his nakama wished really hard and brought his spirit back)

A good story will balance it's serious and comedic elements well. As long as the story doesn't compromise its serious scenes and themes, I can be happy with it.

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I hope the series goes away from Awakening and fates cause they were the worse fire emblems so far. Its still Fire emblem so i will still play it but i hope we can go back to like Tellius era. That was literally a masterpiece, so much detail. you can tell they really gave a lot of effort and time into it. While fates is super silly.

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2 hours ago, Spatha said:

A vocal portion of the fanbase is dissapointed about how Awakening and Fates have strayed from the "mature" tone of the series.

 

Not to mention how they rant how "unrealistic" the series is from the character designs to how they are still using cliched "tropes".

What do you think?

i think Awakening was/is still somewhat alright character design-wise. even if there are some flaws here and there, it has mantained a sort of "medieval-fantasy" feel to it.

Fates just went full anime. that by itself can be either quite entertaining at times, or plain disappointing depending on the point of view you have about japanese culture in general( or fanservice in case we want to be more specific ).

Echoes managed to get back on the right track with another medieval-fantasy theme wich involved nobility too, however there was way less classes, character builds and customizations compared to Fates, but that was to be expected since it is a remake of a way older title.

we'll see how Three Houses will be. so far it looks fine, let's hope it will deliver.

 

in any case, i have yet to see a story with the magnitude of Final Fantasy Tactics. that game still holds one of the best JRPGs stories i've ever seen to this day.

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1 hour ago, Spatha said:

Fans praise the Jugdral and the Tellus series for it's dark storytelling and wish the other Fire Emblem would follow suit.

Fe4, while having more mature tones, also has silly things like; Arden, Dew, Johan and a few other conversations. Sure it it had some serious moments and chapter 5 still makes me sad but I wouldn't call it dark.

Fe5 is a lot more serious then fe4 and goes more into detail into the practices of the Lopto church. Probably the most serious story in the series. The only joke character I can think of is Marty.

Haven't played tellius but tbh from what I've read those games also aren't super serious (or are you telling me that people take Mia, Ilyana & Nephenee serious?). 

Sure, these games depict their serious themes more clearly but there are more then enough silly moments. The reason why these stories work is not because they're serious but because these games know how to balance out the serious and funny moments in a way that that they don't clash with each other while still being able to make you involved in the story when the tragic parts happen. It's kind of like Harry Potter, there are a lot of silly moments but also a lot of serious moments.

If we talk about the story in fates in a general consensus then it's quite serious (the reason why so many people where hyped about the game is because the seemed very serious in the trailers). You side with one family and are forced to kill the other while noticing  the flaws in the country you sided with. When I replayed conquest there where parts that tried to be very serious and dark. The reason why the story failed wasn't because the story wasn't serious enough or to serious but because they weren't able to write a good story and I wasn't involved in the story. If they took out all the fan-service/silly parts it would still be a bad story.

Of course this is just my opinion.

Edited by LJwalhout

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1 hour ago, NekoKnight said:

 What I want is a world I can get immersed in and characters that feel grounded in reality.

^^^
This.
 

1 hour ago, LJwalhout said:

Most fire emblem games have a simple story that from time to time touch subjects like war, death and friendship.

No one's asking them to r reinvent the wheel here.

A simple story executed at a high level, with dialogue that makes the characters pop and a well-fleshed out world for them to quest through. Tellius and Elibe did it right. 

 

2 hours ago, Spatha said:

Does that mean that the Elibe series or Sacred Stones are inferior in-terms of storytelling because they aren't as "mature" as the above? What of the Archanea series? Their stories aren't exactly complicated as the above so basically theh shouldn't be taken seriously?

Sacred Stones was inferior because we have no worldbuilding for Magvel or investment in the setting beyond "Once there was a giant fuck-off demon. It got banished with some McGuffins. Here's a continent with 6 named countries--go find the McGuffins and kill the demon." 

The history, culture, economy, and political state of the setting--everything that made Tellius and Elibe feel real and made the characters interacting with that setting feel real--we don't get any of that. 
_________________________

Top 3 scenes in the history of the franchise that solidly hit me in the gut and got me emotionally invested in the setting and actually made me feel feelings:

1)   Ninian's death scene in FE7 

2)   The scene at the end of Path of Radiance where Tibarn, Ranulf, and Naesala discover Izuka's laguz torture dungeon

3)  The scene in Path of Radiance where Ike confronts Sanaki over the findings of his expose-laguz-slavery-and-senate-corruption mission, Sanaki tells Ike about the Serenes Massacre, and Ike tells Sanaki that a Heron Royal survived. (I think we got more history, politics, and, worldbuilding in that one scene than we got in the entirety of Sacred Stones)

****

It doesn't have to be blood and swearing and tits all over the place, and it doesn't have to be the most original thing in the world.

It just has to be good storytelling done right.   

   

Edited by Shoblongoo

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I feel there's somewhat of a sliding scale for this series, and each game falls into its own place in the scale of seriousness and humor. Jugdral and Fateswakening are definitely the extreme ends. I haven't played enough of the series yet, but I'd say that some games fall closer to one side than the other but Fire Emblem has never always been entirely serious throughout. Echoes I'd say is smack in the middle for example. Blazing is just a bit to the side of Echoes in the scale, on one side or the other.

Edited by Arcphoenix

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Seriousness and silliness are not mutually exclusive, and every game in the series has both these moments; it's a matter of knowing how to use them in tandem. Sometimes they can overlap, other times they need to be separated, and you need to know how to segue between the two. The issue is that this understanding is lost (at least some of the time) in the writing of Awakening and Fates.

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33 minutes ago, X-Naut said:

Seriousness and silliness are not mutually exclusive, and every game in the series has both these moments; it's a matter of knowing how to use them in tandem.

I think this is very important. I love the original Ace Attorney trilogy quite a bit because of its ability to throw you on a rollercoaster of emotions without it ever feeling jarring (if you can excuse some serious video game logic). Just like in real life, you have people who are sleazebags and people who aren't able to stay serious even in the most dire of situations. Both are a part of life, and it's how you choose to present it and when in fiction that ultimately determines the mood and believability of your work.

Discussing "maturity" like this is a bit weird. I think a lot of people have different interpretations of what exactly that means. What's more, at least since Binding Blade, Fire Emblem has been pretty heavy on silliness, so are we even sure Intelligent Systems are capable of tackling this properly? I mean I want a change of the usual premise and the typical lords and main villains of the series but I don't think Intelligent Systems can simply decide to suddenly tackle Outer Rim trade route debates and make it super appealing. 

I agree with keeping characters grounded in reality and not have them interact in an unnatural way with each other just because that's what the developers need to tell a story, but that logic applies to every piece of fiction that tries to tell a proper story, regardless of tone. Fire Emblem hasn't suddenly delved off into absurd comedy territory just yet.

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Realistic, no. But I want there to be more weight and tact put into the writing. I'm not opposed to silly moments, but I really don't like that the games are like 60-70% silly moments right now.

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I love Awakening and everything about it. Even if I know the flaws in the story, I still love it for what it's worth. 

However, I don't know what to say about the case of "realism." What is "realism" to you guys? Is it the dark, moody, and gritty things? No thanks, because that isn't realism. That kind of thought process is literally what the DC films have become right now. 

In my opinion, all that is needed from the games is just a way to make the story feel more flowing. Awakening's case is that it's too rushed. Everything about what it had is actually VERY compelling and interesting, but it tries to move things along that you just rush through things. You don't get any chances to really build the world of Awakening up so much that everything forces you to just go along with it, which I admit was annoying. Fates issue is that it tries to be too serious in cases, but the story just falls flat on its face. It had a very strong premise in all honesty, and I think almost anyone can agree to that.

Jugdral gets praise, but honestly, FE4 was just annoying for me, because of how compelling the game tries to be, it relies solely on "tell, don't show" in regards to what everything was supposed to be about. I had similar issues with Tellius in regards to how there's such a moral high ground of the laguz in the prejudice, and the Branded never have their persecution ever shown at all. And Radiant Dawn was basically the same issues with Awakening. Rushed a lot of stuff and forced the plot forward in a certain way, even if it meant creating silly plot devices. However, I do feel that at the very least, these games had the characters feel much more involved in the story, and not have to just get to know them in supports.

For me, the more ideal thing would be to balance things out.

  • Show, don't tell.
  • Pace things more to allow us to better digest things. 
  • Allow characters to feel more involved in stories so we can get to know them in the story, not just supports. 
  • Actually build on the world so that we know what is going on. 

On the last one, from my experience in playing Utna Heroes... please don't be like Kaga and rely on so much freaking exposition dumps. God, that might have been perhaps the most annoying thing in TRS for me.

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I wouldn't necessarily call Awakening (can't comment on Fates) less mature, more that it's story didn't take advantage of certain moments. The game doesn't so much shy away from things such as the Taguel genocide or burning several soldiers to death as much as fail to expand upon the former and forget the consequences of the latter. This really only applies for the story, though. Support-wise, tragic backstories are treated respectfully, the child characters having gone through hell isn't played for laughs, and there are some underappreciated "war is hell" supports.

Fire Emblem is already one Nintendo's darker franchises, and I have mixed feelings on giving it an even more mature tone. On the one hand, I love Star Wars: Republic Commando and KOTOR 2 for taking a serious analysis of a different aspect of the franchise, with Republic Commando being the first Star Wars game with blood and showing how hellish being even an elite grunt would be, while KOTOR 2 takes place after a war, shows that conflict still arises, and pulls no punches with how the force operates. I think that the Fire Emblem series could do well with another round of deconstruction and analysis of its tropes and stories.

On the other hand, I could either see them going overboard with a darker setting and story and loose its charm in the progress, or have the opposite problem and have those aspects be negligible. There are too many examples to count for the former, while Halo and XCOM come to mind for the latter, where simply reducing the blood and swearing was enough to get them from an M to a T rating. While I doubt Fire Emblem will ever get an M rating, (nowadays, anyway. If you really think about it, if Fates were released a decade or two earlier, it probably would have been rated Mature) I could see their attempts easily falling into either camp (or maybe even both).

I'll gladly take more realism in the costumes, animation, and world, though. I love Shadows of Valentias combat animations, and if they had real life techniques behind them, I would squee. Realistic armor is more interesting than any fanservicy outfit they could come up with, and a more grounded world would almost automatically make the conflict more human without having to necessarily make it dark.

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20 minutes ago, Hawkwing said:

I wouldn't necessarily call Awakening (can't comment on Fates) less mature.

I call it "more cartoony."

And thats really the best descriptor I can think of for how the tone of Awakening and Fates differs from the rest of the series.
 

49 minutes ago, Thane said:

 are we even sure Intelligent Systems are capable of tackling this properly? 

They did a fine enough job of it with Tellius.

I think they've been adverse to going in that direction again because of how poorly the Tellius series sold compared to the GBA and DS installments; they took away the wrong lesson from it.

That was a don't give us games that aren't playable on handheld, ya ding-dongs.

Not a don't give us games where you put actual effort into setting, story, and dialogue.
 

1 hour ago, X-Naut said:

Seriousness and silliness are not mutually exclusive; it's a matter of knowing how to use them in tandem. 

Yepppppppppp.

Image result for sothe ike's children

^^^
Of course--again--that actually requires putting some modicum of thought and finesse into your writing, rather than just slathering it on as an afterthought.


 

Edited by Shoblongoo

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Having recently read Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian" and "No Country For Old Men", as well as watching the Coen Brothers' adaptation of the latter, I can't help but wonder how a McCarthy-esque Fire Emblem installment would turn out. Everything from the story, archetypes, and characters would be significantly changed in the bleak, brutal setting and characterizations that Cormac is often known for. 

That said, while I personally want to see a very dark and mature installment, I am not sure everyone would be on board. 

 

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35 minutes ago, Hawkwing said:

I wouldn't necessarily call Awakening (can't comment on Fates) less mature, more that it's story didn't take advantage of certain moments. The game doesn't so much shy away from things such as the Taguel genocide or burning several soldiers to death as much as fail to expand upon the former and forget the consequences of the latter. This really only applies for the story, though. Support-wise, tragic backstories are treated respectfully, the child characters having gone through hell isn't played for laughs, and there are some underappreciated "war is hell" supports.

I think Awakening's flaws get focused on more than a lot of earlier entries'. Yes, they're there, but like you say, they don't shy away from touching upon some really horrible stuff. There are gimmicky supports and characters, a lot of which definitely don't hit their marks, but that is not a new thing. Lowen, Serra, Sain, and Farina in Blazing Blade all have incredibly samey and non-serious supports. Awakening has Tharja, who people shouldn't be okay with because she's an asshole, but Blazing Blade also has Karel, who's a complete psychopath and (at that point in time) an unrepentant serial killer.

21 minutes ago, Shoblongoo said:

They did a fine enough job of it with Tellius.

I think they've been adverse to going in that direction again because of how poorly the Tellius series sold compared to the GBA and DS installments; they took away the wrong lesson from it.

I agree with you, but frankly speaking I'm kind of afraid that Intelligent Systems did whatever the writing equivalent of lucking out is. No GBA game had a particularly good story, and after Tellius came Shadow Dragon, Fates, and Echoes. I don't think it's a simple matter of Intelligent Systems just going back to writing stories like they used to, because a) I don't think they can, and b) I highly doubt they'd be of Tellius quality.

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Mature and realistic to me is somebody asking "hey, why'd you have kids in the middle of a freaking war and then dump them in an alternate dimension that has been proven time and again to not be safe from raiders? Also they're aging up so fast that you're not there for most of their formative years so no wonder they feel abandoned and unloved".

I know "realistic" tends to have a negative connotation in most video games. But the absence of realism and maturity just leads to the rut we were in a couple games ago. When you write a story in which nobody cares about the stakes, then you have no stakes, and what you're left with is a quirky comedy where the world almost ends and each character briefly steps OUT of character to acknowledge it. That's why I feel too little realism is as much a potential detriment to the story as too much. It also doesn't help that your plot and support conversations/miscellaneous dialogue are being written by two separate teams. 

Edited by Glennstavos

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12 minutes ago, Thane said:

Awakening has Tharja, who people shouldn't be okay with because she's an asshole, but Blazing Blade also has Karel, who's a complete psychopath and (at that point in time) an unrepentant serial killer.

Here's a big difference between Tharja and Karel:

There's no indication that Karel is actively harming anybody on the army while he's part of it, and his violent nature isn't played for laughs or brushed over.

I think these two points, the last one especially, are pretty indicative of why Awakening gets focused on instead of other games in this regard.

Edited by Slumber

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1 hour ago, omegaxis1 said:

Jugdral gets praise, but honestly, FE4 was just annoying for me, because of how compelling the game tries to be, it relies solely on "tell, don't show" in regards to what everything was supposed to be about.

It does, and that holds the game back from its full potential. But I don't really think the game could have done anything else. The technology just wasn't there yet. I recall Seliph and Levin commenting at a town in Miletos being completely depopulated after Hilda was done to the place and it didn't have any effect on me because its just the two talking about it. But I also can't think of any way they could have properly communicated that with the technical limitations of the SNES and the cutscene format the FE games used at the time.  

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Realistic and mature can mean different things. I think you can handle very mature themes in worlds that avoid the grimdarkness of things that claim to be "realistic". Look at Gurren Laggan or Fullmetal Alchemist--anime nonsense abounds, but the writing is there to keep things grounded. They deal with loss, trauma, ect. "realistically" and that's why it's good and mature storytelling. But it's not like those are gritty and realistic in the HBO sense. I wouldn't hate more of that sort of realism in Fire Emblem as long as the writing kept up, and they don't just dump in violence for violence's sake.

Also in general I personally prefer my fantasy to be a little more lighthearted which is why I am not a Game of Thrones fan, and I would be kind of sad if FE went that way but like, I get it, as long as the writing is still good I guess it's fine.......

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1 minute ago, Slumber said:

Here's a big difference between Tharja and Karel:

There's no indication that Karel is actively harming anybody on the army while he's part of it, and his violent nature isn't played for laughs or brushed over.

These two points are pretty indicative of why Awakening gets focused on instead of other games in this regard.

Funny, I've heard the exact opposite. I've heard that Karel is great because he's impossible to take seriously and is therefore brilliant. 

Karel was intent on killing Karla, but didn't. That is the same as saying as it's okay that Peri is messed up because she didn't actually succeed in harming someone of the cast.

Karel is also very clear in that he is waiting for the trio - whoever recruits him - that he is waiting for them to get strong so that he can then kill them. 

Quote

Karel: Someday you will be a renowned swordfighter. Losing you here would be a waste. I must see you... stronger. I will wait for that time with much anticipation.

 

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