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What are the themes of fates?

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So after some debate on this thread about the themes of awakening and how they're handled, I thought I should make a thread discussing the themes of fates and how well it handles them. The themes of a story and how well they're executed, to me at least, are by far the most important aspects of the story because the themes of the story tie into everything else from the world to the characters. So let's discuss this shall we?

Maybe I'll make one for other games but I've really only fully completed the 3ds titles and like half of sacred stones and shadow dragon so if you wanna make those threads go ahead. 

Edited by Otts486

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The themes of Fates:

Corrin is glorious 

Corrin is always right

War is awful except the one Corrin wages

Siblings are there to be romanced

 

There are more serious answers but Fates really dropped the ball on them. An actual theme would be the value of family and what makes a family, blood or a shared upbringing but Fates cheerfully drops that theme by ensuring Corrin's siblings turn out not to be his siblings after all. 

Edited by Etrurian emperor

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in theory its about whether blood ties trump familial ones or not, but in reality i would say the closest thing the game has to a unifying theme and message is the same one awakening had and that was 'love each other aight?" which always seemed a bit incongruous on the non revelation routes considering all the bodies.

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28 minutes ago, NobodiePichu said:

awakening had and that was 'love each other aight?"

actually awakening has two core themes that relate to each other fairly well actually. 

1. We are allowed to decide our own fate and are not forced to walk a predetermined path

2. The future is built upon the past. The failings of the former generation will have consequences on future generations. You know stuff like passing the passing the torch, inheriting your predecessor's burdens, trusting in the new generation, etc.

but this thread isn't about awakening. Though one theme I think fates at least did ok at is "the consequences of one's choice". I mean it's not perfect and still kind of bad but you know it's handled ok-ish.

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9 minutes ago, Otts486 said:

actually awakening has two core themes that relate to each other fairly well actually. 

1. We are allowed to decide our own fate and are not forced to walk a predetermined path

2. The future is built upon the past. The failings of the former generation will have consequences on future generations. You know stuff like passing the passing the torch, inheriting your predecessor's burdens, trusting in the new generation, etc.

but this thread isn't about awakening. Though one theme I think fates at least did ok at is "the consequences of one's choice". I mean it's not perfect and still kind of bad but you know it's handled ok-ish.

i was being hyperbolic but to be a bit more serious here, neither of those were particularly well handled.

as for fates 'consequences of ones choices', no it did not particularly handle that well either, in fact its main promise falls flat on its fuckin face considering theres very little in the way of actual choices corrin or the player has to make in the game and they in fact mostly spend both stories following around others unquestioningly like a doofus.

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36 minutes ago, NobodiePichu said:

how the fuck would that even work.

Either time travel, or he got with his mother, who either divorced him or died, had a child with her that was his half-sister and daughter, and ended up with her. The cousin bit would presumably mean that his mother and father were siblings, thus making any child of his mother his cousin to the part of him that is his father's son.
Or the guy who wrote the comic was just being over-the-top ridiculous with a scenario never intended to make sense.

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13 minutes ago, Mad-manakete said:

Either time travel, or he got with his mother, who either divorced him or died, had a child with her that was his half-sister and daughter, and ended up with her. The cousin bit would presumably mean that his mother and father were siblings, thus making any child of his mother his cousin to the part of him that is his father's son.
Or the guy who wrote the comic was just being over-the-top ridiculous with a scenario never intended to make sense.

quite the convoluted family tree nonetheless

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28 minutes ago, NobodiePichu said:

as for fates 'consequences of ones choices', no it did not particularly handle that well either, in fact its main promise falls flat on its fuckin face considering theres very little in the way of actual choices corrin or the player has to make in the game and they in fact mostly spend both stories following around others unquestioningly like a doofus.

Nah I'd say it's handled pretty ok. The whole premise of the each game(barring revelations) relies on the 'choice' corrin makes in chapter 6. Depending on that choice corrin will follow a different path with different events and experiences. It is in those different that the theme is somewhat realized. The best way to explain what I mean is with Takumi. In birthright while bitter and prickly at times does(in true tsundere fashion) warm up to corrin and through reading his supports you're supposed to sort of grow attached to him. You learn to like him and learn of his insecurities and struggles of feeling inferior to his other siblings and corrin. You grow attatched(at least you're supposed to anyway). So then you finish birthright and decide to go the conquest route. In that route you see takumi gradually give into his more feral and negative emotions. You see him struggle with his insecurities every time you face him until endgame where he fully succumbs to those emotions to the point where he's not even human anymore. He's an empty husk no more than a lifeless sack of flesh being puppeteer-ed by some vile thing. As cringey as the whole "I am betrayal" thing is, it does a decent job of showing you what would happen to takumi if you chose to side with nohr rather than hoshido and in all honestly it's sad and disturbing. It shows the consequences of siding with nohr. If corrin had sided with hoshido, then perhaps this could've prevented and that's the point. You're supposed to be thinking that. Now most of the time when the game tries to pull something like this, it kind of fails because it doesn't know how to write a proper death scene but I think it works with takumi. The reason for that is because Takumi is an actually good character whose descent into madness makes sense with his character.

Edited by Otts486

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6 minutes ago, Otts486 said:

Nah I'd say it's handled pretty ok. The whole premise of the each game(barring revelations) relies on the 'choice' corrin makes in chapter 6. Depending on that choice corrin will follow a different path with different events and experiences. It is in those different that the theme is somewhat realized. The best way to explain what I mean is with Takumi. In birthright while bitter and prickly at times does(in true tsundere fashion) warm up to corrin and through reading his supports you're supposed to sort of grow attached to him. You learn to like him and learn of his insecurities and struggles of feeling inferior to his other siblings and corrin. You grow attatched(at least you're supposed to anyway). So then you finish birthright and decide to go the conquest route. In that route you see takumi gradually give into his more feral and negative emotions. You see him struggle with his insecurities every time you face him until endgame where he fully succumbs to those emotions to the point where he's not even human anymore. He's an empty husk no more than a lifeless sack of flesh being puppeteer-ed by some vile thing. As cringey as the whole "I am betrayal" thing is, it does a decent job of showing you what would to takumi if you chose to side with nohr rather than hoshido and in all honestly it's sad and disturbing. It shows the consequences of siding with nohr. If corrin had sided with hoshido, then perhaps this could've prevented and that's the point. You're supposed to be thinking that. Now most of the time when the game tries to pull something like this, it kind of fails because it doesn't know how to write a proper death scene but I think it works with takumi. The reason for that is because Takumi is an actually good character whose decent into madness makes sense with his character.

not it doesn't. it still doesnt mean choice factors much if at all into the thematic core of the three stories fates present us. the idea of the story being about choices falls flat on its face because the three stories are independent of each other not dependent on each other. its not a game about branching interconnecting narrative its a game about narrative. takumi doesn't go crazy because of my choices in a narrative context, he goes crazy because i in the real world picked one game over the other. hell, its not even because of corrins choices within conquest that takumi goes insane, its because anakos forces him to go insane and that speaks more to predetermination then choice.

the story fails on a thematic level about being about choice because corrin and the player have little agency within the story itself to make choices.

takumis a git anyways, never felt sorry for the bastard.

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10 hours ago, Otts486 said:

Nah I'd say it's handled pretty ok. The whole premise of the each game(barring revelations) relies on the 'choice' corrin makes in chapter 6. Depending on that choice corrin will follow a different path with different events and experiences. It is in those different that the theme is somewhat realized. The best way to explain what I mean is with Takumi. In birthright while bitter and prickly at times does(in true tsundere fashion) warm up to corrin and through reading his supports you're supposed to sort of grow attached to him. You learn to like him and learn of his insecurities and struggles of feeling inferior to his other siblings and corrin. You grow attatched(at least you're supposed to anyway). So then you finish birthright and decide to go the conquest route. In that route you see takumi gradually give into his more feral and negative emotions. You see him struggle with his insecurities every time you face him until endgame where he fully succumbs to those emotions to the point where he's not even human anymore. He's an empty husk no more than a lifeless sack of flesh being puppeteer-ed by some vile thing. As cringey as the whole "I am betrayal" thing is, it does a decent job of showing you what would happen to takumi if you chose to side with nohr rather than hoshido and in all honestly it's sad and disturbing. It shows the consequences of siding with nohr. If corrin had sided with hoshido, then perhaps this could've prevented and that's the point. You're supposed to be thinking that. Now most of the time when the game tries to pull something like this, it kind of fails because it doesn't know how to write a proper death scene but I think it works with takumi. The reason for that is because Takumi is an actually good character whose descent into madness makes sense with his character.

I've got to say, the problem I have is that if the game had some consistency about the same events happening for the characters regardless of the path taken, I'd be fine, but it doesn't. Key example, it seems very off that Gunter arbitrarily gets possessed instead of Takumi in the revelations route. It just seems background things that shouldn't be affected by Corrin's choice inevitably are. Much of it could be butterfly effect, but at least some of it just feels like neglect of the plot-threads. I feel less like I'm looking at three scenarios that diverge based on Corrin's choices and more like I'm kind of just watching three similar but inexplicably different timelines. What I would have liked is if there were definite points where you saw what went differently for characters if that makes sense. Kind of get the why of things instead of having to imagine the divergences. After all, Gunter returns near the start of revelations and is already possessed, but in Conquest he's apparently not despite joining later... because Takumi is instead. That bugs me.

11 hours ago, NobodiePichu said:

quite the convoluted family tree nonetheless

You ain't seen nothing yet.

 

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1 hour ago, Mad-manakete said:

I've got to say, the problem I have is that if the game had some consistency about the same events happening for the characters regardless of the path taken, I'd be fine, but it doesn't. Key example, it seems very off that Gunter arbitrarily gets possessed instead of Takumi in the revelations route. It just seems background things that shouldn't be affected by Corrin's choice inevitably are. Much of it could be butterfly effect, but at least some of it just feels like neglect of the plot-threads. I feel less like I'm looking at three scenarios that diverge based on Corrin's choices and more like I'm kind of just watching three similar but inexplicably different timelines. What I would have liked is if there were definite points where you saw what went differently for characters if that makes sense. Kind of get the why of things instead of having to imagine the divergences. After all, Gunter returns near the start of revelations and is already possessed, but in Conquest he's apparently not despite joining later... because Takumi is instead. That bugs me.

no i totally get what your saying and I agree. Takumi is the best example of fates showcasing this theme and even then it isn't the best. 

11 hours ago, NobodiePichu said:

not it doesn't. it still doesnt mean choice factors much if at all into the thematic core of the three stories fates present us. the idea of the story being about choices falls flat on its face because the three stories are independent of each other not dependent on each other. its not a game about branching interconnecting narrative its a game about narrative. takumi doesn't go crazy because of my choices in a narrative context, he goes crazy because i in the real world picked one game over the other. hell, its not even because of corrins choices within conquest that takumi goes insane, its because anakos forces him to go insane and that speaks more to predetermination then choice.

the story fails on a thematic level about being about choice because corrin and the player have little agency within the story itself to make choices.

takumis a git anyways, never felt sorry for the bastard.

not saying it's handled perfectly or anything. Just saying this particular instance is handled the best. I mean it's still not that good but its better than the other instances of the theme being showcased. Also it's funny you bring up the lack of "agency" here cause you know that gets me thinking that might actually be the whole point. I mean if Robin and Corrin's support from warriors is anything to go by but eh I might have to chew on that some more.

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The ultimate problem with Betray!Takumi is that he's just an excuse for Corrin to face one of the Hoshidan royals as CQ's final boss without becoming unsympathetic. Except he gets a forced "fall from grace" arc that fails to have him do anything remotely as heinous Corrin's posse does. When I face Takumi, I fail to buy him as the next great threat when I've been playing as the likes Xander, Peri, Niles, all easily just as vile as Betray!Takumi is (at best). For this scenario to be close to working properly, Betray!Takumi needs to actually do heinous acts. Otherwise he is forced.

Edited by Eryon

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8 hours ago, Eryon said:

When I face Takumi, I fail to buy him as the next great threat when I've been playing as the likes Xander, Peri, Niles, all easily just as vile as Betray!Takumi is (at best). For this scenario to be close to working properly, Betray!Takumi needs to actually do heinous acts. Otherwise he is forced.

Not to mention the fact Camilla blantantly would be doing the wrong thing and slaughtering innocents if Corrin gave the go-ahead, as she makes so very clear. Mind you, I think this is actually a good thing just because it means Camilla, unlike when other royals do bad, is shown consistently as a psychopath instead of being portrayed as a paragon of virtue in supports and an asshole in the story (Xander being the absolute worst example). But point is, Peri, Niles, Camilla, Xander (except in supports), and even Keaton to an extent (He eats people. I find it hard to consider him a good guy under those circumstances even if he's not strictly human and his crimes are for "survival") all come off as threats to humanity. Peri's serial killer antics being perhaps the worst.

Takumi's role as a final boss does suffer when you consider, that rather than showing you he's pure evil at this point, they tell you. The "show don't tell rule" is breached pretty hard. With Garon in birthright you had all game to see the atrocities he was responsible for. But Takumi's descent into evil unfortunately didn't come with a moment of sin. Sure he tries to kill you, but so would anyone else trying to prevent the fall of their kingdom. This is where killing someone innocent off (like say a certain dragon that got killed off in a stupid manner) would have worked much better. He shows up with her... already dead. It would be obvious killing her wasn't just a defensive thing. She wasn't in the kingdom. He'd have had to go out of his way to do it. The death would have had much, much more impact then some random faceless killing her in an attack that probably wouldn't have harmed her in gameplay, and cemented, without a word of dialogue, that Takumi was gone. Replaced with something foul.

At least, that's how I would have done it. Not sure how it would have went over, but to me it makes more sense.

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Keep in consideration that this bounces back onto the problem where the devs try too hard to establish Hoshido as peace-loving victims with royalty who adore Corrin so hard they all more or less accept what kind of dragon he/she is. To the point only Takumi and that one boss making a beeline for Garon  are like the only Hoshidans acting like they're in a state of war with Corrin as an agent of the imperialist power trying to steal their land.

There would have been no need for the ridiculous throne plan if the devs just established Hoshido as more open to wreaking righteous vengeance on Nohr (if only under Takumi, possibly after Ryoma is killed earlier in the story). Corrin would invade Hoshido not out of some silly plan to somehow save the world but since Nohr is his/her home and he/she won't let Hoshido/Takumi smash it up.

Edited by Eryon

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