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What would you say are the big issue Fire Emblem's writing has always stuggled with?

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Just now, Von Ithipathachai said:

Indeed, I wasn't looking for an excuse for Shadows of Valentia's writing issues.  I was simply trying to explain why I thought they happened.

yeah I know and I'm sorry that was something I needed to get off my chest and your post gave me that excuse to talk about it. Again I apologize.

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1 minute ago, Otts486 said:

yeah I know and I'm sorry that was something I needed to get off my chest and your post gave me that excuse to talk about it. Again I apologize.

All good.  As long as we understand each other that's all that matters at the end of the day.

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30 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

I'll agree that the male lords are usually fairly bland. To add to that; the funny thing is, they also tend to fail at being paragons. A paragon hero is a hero who does good when they see good needing to be done, and they inspire others and act as a catalyst for character development in other characters. Most of the bland, generic FE lords fail at being an inspiration or a catalyst for character development. 

Ike is probably- no, definitely, the best paragon hero in Fire Emblem. Apart from his vendetta with the Black Knight, everything he does is out of a desire to do good where he sees good needing to be done, and he is quite noticeably an inspiration and catalyst for character development in others; particularly Elincia and Soren. The game manages to effectively show this without having to say it, and, when it is pointed out, it's usually after the fact:

Black Knight
Though his skill with the blade is rough, there is something...uncanny about him. People seem drawn to him. And not just Begnion's apostle, either. He's also gained the trust of the Serenes survivors...and of King Phoenicis as well.

I disagree. I think out of everyone, Marth is the best paragon lord in Fire Emblem, not only being able to see his own weaknesses, he accepts them and understands how he cannot handle everything alone more than anyone.

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2 hours ago, omegaxis1 said:

I disagree. I think out of everyone, Marth is the best paragon lord in Fire Emblem, not only being able to see his own weaknesses, he accepts them and understands how he cannot handle everything alone more than anyone.

Ike does that as well: 

(Chapter 8: Despair and Hope)

Ike: It’s not your fault, Titania. They did what they felt they had to do. They didn’t want to lose their lives to an inexperienced commander.

Titania: Ike! Don’t talk about yourself like that.

Ike: I’m not saying that to gain anyone’s pity. It’s the truth. But even so,  I have no intention of giving up command of this company.

(Later that same chapter)

Ike: I know I said tell me everything, but... this is too much. I can’t keep up. Maybe I shouldn’t learn everything in one sitting.

(Chapter 22: Solo. Talking to Zelgius)

Ike: I’m just not used to moving around with such a large group.

And there are several other examples I could show. But that’s beside the point. When I said Ike is the best paragon hero in FE, I simply meant in terms of the criteria of being a paragon character that I listed: that they do good where they see good needing to be done, and they inspire and act as a catalyst for character development in other characters. 

Perhaps it’s mainly to do with the barebones plot in Shadow Dragon, but I just don’t think Marth effectively fulfills that second criteria. If anything, Caeda is the inspiring character for much of the game.

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5 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

Ike does that as well: 

(Chapter 8: Despair and Hope)

Ike: It’s not your fault, Titania. They did what they felt they had to do. They didn’t want to lose their lives to an inexperienced commander.

Titania: Ike! Don’t talk about yourself like that.

Ike: I’m not saying that to gain anyone’s pity. It’s the truth. But even so,  I have no intention of giving up command of this company.

(Later that same chapter)

Ike: I know I said tell me everything, but... this is too much. I can’t keep up. Maybe I shouldn’t learn everything in one sitting.

(Chapter 22: Solo. Talking to Zelgius)

Ike: I’m just not used to moving around with such a large group.

And there are several other examples I could show. But that’s beside the point. When I said Ike is the best paragon hero in FE, I simply meant in terms of the criteria of being a paragon character that I listed: that they do good where they see good needing to be done, and they inspire and act as a catalyst for character development in other characters. 

Perhaps it’s mainly to do with the barebones plot in Shadow Dragon, but I just don’t think Marth effectively fulfills that second criteria. If anything, Caeda is the inspiring character for much of the game.

I would list examples on how Marth does meet the criterias and how he works out. Ike is okay, but I do not feel he holds the same amount of what Marth has that I felt made Marth a better paragon. 

We may have to agree to disagree. Least we can agree that both do serve well as paragons.

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11 hours ago, Otts486 said:

@NekoKnight Also can I just say I hate the term "flawed character" when it comes to critique. The reason being is it's a term not unlike "mary sue" where it's constant misuse has lead it to be a boogeyman buzzword than anything substantial. Every character has "flaws" per say even mary sues. The problem isn't that the character isn't "flawed" it's that they don't struggle or have any conflict which leads to an empty boring story. This is why I prefer terms "character conflict" or "character struggle" cause to me those phrases actually get to the heart of the matter.

I wouldn't go as far as saying 'flawed' is a meaningless buzzword but 'character struggle' is indeed more precise.

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16 hours ago, Etrurian emperor said:

They aren't just evil but gleefully and sadistically so in a way Sephiran really isn't. He does evil acts but doesn't enjoy any of them and they seem to weigh pretty heavily on him. Unlike any Gharnef Sephiran is also capable of doing good deeds for no other reason than because he likes helping others. Things like him healing Brom or curing Ike's trauma served no further scheme other than a desire to help others. 

Putting him and Izuka next to each other makes it pretty clear who should be sorted with Gharnef and who shouldn't. Izuka has all the Gharnef traits aside from a lower position on the villain totem pole than usual while Sephiran is often the polar opposite of these traits. 

Gharnefs want to resurrect the "evil dragon". Izuka does not. 

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On ‎2018‎-‎12‎-‎20 at 5:15 PM, Etrurian emperor said:

I don't really see Sephiran as a Gharnef. If he has any connection to the archtype its as a foil rather than an example of it. Sure he's a schemer who's pulling the strings from the shadows but he lacks all other traits. He's not selfish nor cruel, he's not butt ugly and obsessed with darkness and he's not particularly loyal to the ancient evil since his schemes stem from his personal disillusionment as opposed to Dheginsea who's more loyal to Ashera and their bargain. 

I see Izuka as the Gharnef of Tellius and Sephiran as a different beast entirely. Izuka fits right next to the likes of Riev or Gharnef. 

On ‎2018‎-‎12‎-‎21 at 5:13 AM, Etrurian emperor said:

They aren't just evil but gleefully and sadistically so in a way Sephiran really isn't. He does evil acts but doesn't enjoy any of them and they seem to weigh pretty heavily on him. Unlike any Gharnef Sephiran is also capable of doing good deeds for no other reason than because he likes helping others. Things like him healing Brom or curing Ike's trauma served no further scheme other than a desire to help others. 

Putting him and Izuka next to each other makes it pretty clear who should be sorted with Gharnef and who shouldn't. Izuka has all the Gharnef traits aside from a lower position on the villain totem pole than usual while Sephiran is often the polar opposite of these traits. 

So wait; first you said that the problem with the Gharnef archetype is that they're all not different enough and don't stand out on their own. Then, when we point out Sephiran, you say he doesn't count because he's different and stands out on his own?

Sephiran is a Gharnef: he's a behind-the-scenes manipulator who orchestrated a lot of the significant events in order to bring about his evil goal: omnicide which is far more horrific an end-goal than the other Gharnefs. 

Izuka isn't plotting to wake up the game's final boss. Waking up the final boss is a key part of the Gharnef archetype: Gharnef -> Medeus, Jedah -> Duma, Manfroy -> Loptyr, Lyon -> (I can't remember his name; someone help me out here; the monster guy from Sacred Stones), Validar -> Grima, etc. Izuka isn't plotting anything on that scale or anything like that. Whereas Sephiran has this dynamic: Sephiran -> Ashera. 

The only thing Izuka orchestrated was Pelleas signing the Blood Pact, and that was at the behest of others; namely Sephiran. He has no connection to key event's like Lehran's Medallion or Ashera waking up. Sephiran does. 

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8 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

Lyon -> (I can't remember his name; someone help me out here; the monster guy from Sacred Stones)

Fomortiis. Though IIRC, Lyon wasn't TRYING to summon Fomortiis, it just kinda happened. 

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3 minutes ago, Slumber said:

Fomortiis. Though IIRC, Lyon wasn't TRYING to summon Fomortiis, it just kinda happened. 

Thank you. My point still stands that the Gharnef's plot is tied to the final boss. 

I just realized, this even applies to Nergal: Nergal -> random Fire Dragon. 

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8 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

Thank you. My point still stands that the Gharnef's plot is tied to the final boss. 

I just realized, this even applies to Nergal: Nergal -> random Fire Dragon. 

I don't know why, but the way that's phrased is so funny to me. :lol:

I think it would be best if future FE games strayed away from the whole "Big Bad Dragon Seeks to Take a Dump on Mankind For The lols" shtick the series has had, and focused more on human drama.

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4 minutes ago, Roland said:

I don't know why, but the way that's phrased is so funny to me. :lol:

I think it would be best if future FE games strayed away from the whole "Big Bad Dragon Seeks to Take a Dump on Mankind For The lols" shtick the series has had, and focused more on human drama.

I'll be honest; it was meant to be funny. I'm glad it got a laugh.

Agreed; I think I would prefer if it focused more on the human drama. I think that's one massive strength of Path of Radiance: the final boss being the human evil emperor helped enable them to focus more on the human conflict and on the war itself. 

If the big bad has to be a dragon, then at least make it a dragon emperor like Medeus so that the conflict is still "the human drama" in a way; it's still a war with kingdoms, politics, battlefields and all that. 

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5 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

I'll be honest; it was meant to be funny. I'm glad it got a laugh.

Agreed; I think I would prefer if it focused more on the human drama. I think that's one massive strength of Path of Radiance: the final boss being the human evil emperor helped enable them to focus more on the human conflict and on the war itself. 

If the big bad has to be a dragon, then at least make it a dragon emperor like Medeus so that the conflict is still "the human drama" in a way; it's still a war with kingdoms, politics, battlefields and all that. 

I'd say have Yasumi Matsuno of Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre write for Fire Emblem, but that's a looooongshot.

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11 minutes ago, Roland said:

I don't know why, but the way that's phrased is so funny to me. :lol:

I think it would be best if future FE games strayed away from the whole "Big Bad Dragon Seeks to Take a Dump on Mankind For The lols" shtick the series has had, and focused more on human drama.

 

3 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

I'll be honest; it was meant to be funny. I'm glad it got a laugh.

Agreed; I think I would prefer if it focused more on the human drama. I think that's one massive strength of Path of Radiance: the final boss being the human evil emperor helped enable them to focus more on the human conflict and on the war itself. 

If the big bad has to be a dragon, then at least make it a dragon emperor like Medeus so that the conflict is still "the human drama" in a way; it's still a war with kingdoms, politics, battlefields and all that. 

The thing though is that Fire Emblem has always been regarding the fight not against simply against a human, but against the larger than life threat, ie. dragons, gods, dragon gods, etc. It's always a case where humanity struggles to rise above that threat in the long run. 

Even Ashnard in Path of Radiance may have been a human, but Radiant Dawn ultimately revealed that he was nothing more than just a puppet that Sephiran had been manipulating the entire time. 

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8 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

 

The thing though is that Fire Emblem has always been regarding the fight not against simply against a human, but against the larger than life threat, ie. dragons, gods, dragon gods, etc. It's always a case where humanity struggles to rise above that threat in the long run. 

Even Ashnard in Path of Radiance may have been a human, but Radiant Dawn ultimately revealed that he was nothing more than just a puppet that Sephiran had been manipulating the entire time. 

Yeah, Path of Radiance is basically the Grust or the Bern arc of Tellius. Sephiran's involvement really means you have to take FE9's and FE10's stories as one big whole story. 

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40 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

So wait; first you said that the problem with the Gharnef archetype is that they're all not different enough and don't stand out on their own. Then, when we point out Sephiran, you say he doesn't count because he's different and stands out on his own?

Look at it like this. Azel, Merric and Lugh have their differences but they all share enough traits to be part of the Merric archtype. Marcus and Gunther also have their difference while existing in the general frame of the archtype. 

But with Sephiran I don't acknowledged him sharing any traits with the Gharnef aside from being a schemer. And he's not merely different from them but also the exact opposite in many areas. My issue isn't just about being different but differentiating yourself within the boundaries of the archtype, and I don't view Sephiran as existing within those boundaries. 

13 hours ago, Icelerate said:

Gharnefs want to resurrect the "evil dragon". Izuka does not. 

This probably sounds fairly nitpicky but by that qualification most Gharnefs aren't Gharnefs. Riev doesn't want to revive a dragon per se, Jedah's dragon isn't dead and Nergal's dragons are in another world rather than being deceased. But I get what you mean, they have deep ties with the dragon/ancient evil. 

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6 minutes ago, Slumber said:

Yeah, Path of Radiance is basically the Grust or the Bern arc of Tellius. Sephiran's involvement really means you have to take FE9's and FE10's stories as one big whole story. 

Not the first time this happened. FE3 was basically FE1 that was reconfigured as Book I, and then added Book II. FE4 had one game, but then FE5 was something like a midquel. FE6 and FE7 sort of avoids this because of the 20 year gap, though things from FE7 came back to FE6, like Hector's death in battle. Awakening could have been like this had the three arcs been separated into three separate stories. 

3 minutes ago, Etrurian emperor said:

Look at it like this. Azel, Merric and Lugh have their differences but they all share enough traits to be part of the Merric archtype. Marcus and Gunther also have their difference while existing in the general frame of the archtype. 

But with Sephiran I don't acknowledged him sharing any traits with the Gharnef aside from being a schemer. And he's not merely different from them but also the exact opposite in many areas. My issue isn't just about being different but differentiating yourself within the boundaries of the archtype, and I don't view Sephiran as existing within those boundaries. 

This probably sounds fairly nitpicky but by that qualification most Gharnefs aren't Gharnefs. Riev doesn't want to revive a dragon per se, Jedah's dragon isn't dead and Nergal's dragons are in another world rather than being deceased. But I get what you mean, they have deep ties with the dragon/ancient evil. 

You're looking too much on personality traits being different, but you're ignoring the story role that Sephiran plays, which is precisely what Gharnef archetypes do. They are the mastermind of the entire conflict, and they want to revive or bring out this ancient entity at the end. Everything that happened in both Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn are all part of Sephiran's plot to revive Ashera to bring Judgment onto the continent.

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3 hours ago, Etrurian emperor said:

Look at it like this. Azel, Merric and Lugh have their differences but they all share enough traits to be part of the Merric archtype. Marcus and Gunther also have their difference while existing in the general frame of the archtype. 

But with Sephiran I don't acknowledged him sharing any traits with the Gharnef aside from being a schemer. And he's not merely different from them but also the exact opposite in many areas. My issue isn't just about being different but differentiating yourself within the boundaries of the archtype, and I don't view Sephiran as existing within those boundaries. 

I find it funny how you say this after quoting me, and left out the part where I mentioned how Sephiran fits within the boundaries perfectly while Izuka, the one you said was the real Gharnef, doesn't at all.

 

3 hours ago, omegaxis1 said:

You're looking too much on personality traits being different, but you're ignoring the story role that Sephiran plays, which is precisely what Gharnef archetypes do. They are the mastermind of the entire conflict, and they want to revive or bring out this ancient entity at the end. Everything that happened in both Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn are all part of Sephiran's plot to revive Ashera to bring Judgment onto the continent.

Thank you. 

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For me it's explanations found elsewhere. I don't want to go to another source and understand what made Camilla the way she is. Or why does Azelle barly talking with Arvis considering they're brothers? 

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15 minutes ago, Jingle Bells said:

For me it's explanations found elsewhere. I don't want to go to another source and understand what made Camilla the way she is. Or why does Azelle barly talking with Arvis considering they're brothers? 

Ooh that's a good one. I admit that having to discover lore through other sources is really bad. Like, all this info about the Valentian Revelations about Duma, Mila, Naga, and Thabes is so amazing that it should have had been included into the story somehow, but nope. 

Or the background about Deen. Like, really? I know nothing about him in the actual game, and then learn what happened in the Valentian Accordion.

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5 hours ago, Icelerate said:

I'd say that most FE games fail at developing parents. It's funny how Gustav of all parents is more developed than parents from most of the mainline FE games. 

Well, gotta add a point to Tellius in how Greil was devloped for a while and still held influence in the story. 

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12 hours ago, Icelerate said:

I'd say that most FE games fail at developing parents. It's funny how Gustav of all parents is more developed than parents from most of the mainline FE games. 

6 hours ago, omegaxis1 said:

Well, gotta add a point to Tellius in how Greil was devloped for a while and still held influence in the story. 

This. As I pointed out earlier, the mom and dad are usually dead before the story even begins and are rarely if ever even mentioned outside the opening premise. Greil and... I think Ike's mom was named Elena or something like that (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) were fully fleshed out as characters.

When they finally had a clever change up of the formula, where the protagonist's dad was the evil emperor, they failed to really flesh out the character and make the character believable. They were going for, "Bad character with good intentions" but the way he was written led to him coming off as "secret good guy with a really stupid plan". And the mother was never even mentioned. 

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4 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

This. As I pointed out earlier, the mom and dad are usually dead before the story even begins and are rarely if ever even mentioned outside the opening premise. Greil and... I think Ike's mom was named Elena or something like that (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) were fully fleshed out as characters.

 

No, Greil was a fleshed out character. The mom was just there in memory and such but wasn't really a character.

4 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

When they finally had a clever change up of the formula, where the protagonist's dad was the evil emperor, they failed to really flesh out the character and make the character believable. They were going for, "Bad character with good intentions" but the way he was written led to him coming off as "secret good guy with a really stupid plan". And the mother was never even mentioned. 

You are referring to Rudolf, right? 

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Fire Emblem has a villain problem as well. Usually they are absent and are just represented by their incompetent minions and they themselves only exist as a vague threat. And if they appear, they fail or are incompetent, because they aren't allow to beat the heroes. It's why I can't take Berkut seriously. He fails in every moment he is on-screen. It's also the reason why Alvis and the Black Knight are the few villains whose deeds and crimes made an impact. The former has screen time and is competent in every scene, the latter wins and kills the heroes. I hope they give the villains more screen time AND make them more successfull.

 

I also consider Sephiran a spin of the Gharnef archetype in the regard that he tries the whole game summoning the evil god. But that what it is: A spin. And the Gharnef archetype isn't exactly well defined. Is Lyon the Gharnef? Is Riev the Garnef?

 

Finally, I don't think the series is too formulaic. The Heroes Journey is simple and works well, if they put effort fleshing out the world and making the protagonist relatable. FE9 shows this. Doing a confusing and ambitious plot like in Radiant Dawn or Fates is much more difficult and with a videogame that is about building your army to conquer countries an driving of the evil empire making things too grey is is just an obstacle.

Edited by Aircalipoor

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