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Do you think Byleth being a silent protagonist will be a good thing or a bad thing?

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Though it's still a bit early to tell since we've still only seen glimpses of the story, all signs are pointing to Byleth being a silent protagonist. A common criticism of the previous avatars was that they weren't avatars. They were simply characters with determined personalities and backstory that just so happened to be visually and mechanically customizable. So, perhaps as a response to that criticism, Three Houses' avatar, Byleth, is silent, only speaking in the gameplay and having some dialogue options and, due to actually appearing in cutscenes with a full, non-shrouded appearance, Byleth appears to be visually non-customizable aside from gender (similar to Persona 5's Joke).

But do you think this is a good solution? Do you think Byleth can break free of the FE avatar curse or do you think him being silent doesn't necessarily make him better than the previous avatars?

While it's still too early to tell, i personally think having Byleth be a silent protagonist is for the best. Though his appearance seems to be static, he doesn't appear to have a pre-determined personality or backstory other than being the son of Jeralt so he fits the bill of an avatar character more than Kris, Robin and Corrin ever did imo.

Edited by Armagon

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It is a BIT too early to tell, though I agree the signs definitely point toward him being a silent protagonist. Which I'm not a HUGE fan of.

Don't get me wrong I did like Joker, and the generally well-written 3-4 dialogue options I could choose from. But personally I HATE when they're not voiced, because it just feels so weird. Like I love Dragon Age Inquisition because all the options you could choose were voiced and so it really really felt like the Inquisitor was ME in that game because he said what I wanted had my sarcasm.

Reminds me of Ludger from Tales of Xillia 2 who I wish was voiced (and was technically in New Game+ if you chose the option), and that personally made the replay 10x better. But I guess my issue with silent protags is the fact the options are usually 5-6 words versus full lines like the other characters get which make the personality a bit too static for my taste.

All this being said, I'd personally prefer an "avatar" character with their own personality and lines versus the silent thing. I personally loved Robin from Awakening, because he was custom, I liked his personality and he was fun. And I hated Corrin from Fates because his personality was everything I hate in hero characters. But silent protags I generally just am neutral for. And I'd rather really dislike or really like a character than just be neutral because then I don't care about them.

At least in Fates I could root AGAINST Corrin and be happy when things went wrong. And Robin I could cheer FOR him because I wanted him to succeed. Joker/Ludger I didn't care about, I just cared about their friends.

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 Well, as far as I’m concerned, Byleth is already the best avatar character in FE purely because they’re first avatars to shut their mouths for the whole game.

I am convinced Fire Emblem cannot handle avatar characters with a personality to them, so them going the silent route with dialogue choices is A-OK with me.

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I enjoyed all the previous avatars (I like Corrin, i think im not alone given their popularity in Japan) so Byleth being a silent protag is just a new take on it which i appreciate. I love silent protagonists the most since im a huge fan of ATLUS games so to me Byleth is probably one of my favorite avatars yet.

One of the things i like about them is that it allows the rest of the cast to get the spotlight, most protagonists in japanese media are usually the most boring of the cast and people usually only remember them because they get the most screentime and being the protagonist, FE is not exception, so Byleth beibg silent will give the house leaders a better chance to shine.

As long as Byleth is silent im sure i will like them, Adol Christin doesnt get too much choices but him being silent is enough for me to like him. On the other hand Growlanser Wayfarer of Time Crevaniel gets lots of choices that let me decide his personality (Even his status portrait will change based on the personality he develops) so really there is no way for IS to fuck it up for me.

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Personally I prefer it this way. If a character is supposed to represent me in a game, I would prefer they don't speak or have a personality so I can project myself into the game. Obviously we are gonna need choices because there will be times where Byleth needs to speak (ala the Rhea teaser) so hopefully they are varied enough and actually have consequence.

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I think it could be a good thing. But it really all depends on how things are handled. An important thing to note is that the Main Character doesn't necessarily have to be the Protagonist of the story.

With the Three Lords being positioned as quite important I think it could work out very well if they function as the Protagonist of the story. We'll see and experience the game from the POV of Byleth, but whichever Lord we choose to teach could be the main focal point and driver of the plot. Byleth's connection to Sothis pretty much ensures they'll have a key role in the story somehow, but that doesn't mean all the events and actions within the story must come from Byleth. Seeing as the Three Lords are the future leaders of their respective nations it makes sense that they'll have an active and vested interest in any events that will affect them both on personal level as well as a sense of duty. As such they are in a prime position to provide that emotional investment as well as show a proper character arc and growth as the story advances.

Where Byleth being Silent could falter is if they are treated as the Protagonist and both the story and how events are driven completely revolves around and is born from them. It can really undermine your story when the most important person in the story that everything is focused around isn't really capable of growth or emotional investment in events as they unfold. 

Edited by Enduin

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Honestly, i usually hate silent MCs, with one big Exception: Adol Chrisitn, whose Adventure i have been following for 7 games, and thus, while being silent, there's a Character to him due to his actions, his Interactions with the World and the Characters

Will Byleth be like that? Dunno, we will have to see. I just hope we don't get blank face during emotional moments ala Pokemon Sun & Moon. That was pretty damn annoying.

Atleast he won't be Corrin 2.0 that way.

Edited by Shrimperor

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My main concern with Byleth being a silent protagonist is that he’s already too important to have no determined backstory. The fact that he’s the only person in the cast that Sothis can communicate with already suggests that he has an important backstory waiting to be explored. The second direct also showed a scene where purple shadows were coming at him. I fear that making Byleth a silent protagonist will just make him a boring and bland character that is still more important than the rest of the cast.

Edited by zuibangde

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12 minutes ago, Armagon said:

it's still too early to tell

That is my opinion, ultimately.

Though if I may be totally honest, Robin is my favorite avatar in the series, not Mark.

I have enough outlets as-is to make a self-insert; FE doesn't necessarily need to be that for me because I enjoy it more for the tactics and lovable characters than I do for it enabling a self-insert fantasy.

If there is something I have issue with in regards to avatars, it's when they take on too big a role.  Robin was good and Mark wasn't bad because they were relegated more to support roles for the actual main leaders.  Corrin, imo, failed because he/she was suddenly the center of the entire story, and everything hinged on the decisions this naive prince/princess made.  And as for Kris, the narrative diminished Marth's role to stroke the player's ego, which is immensely annoying and is something Robin and Mark don't really do to their own respective lords.

What'll make or break Byleth for me is how their role in the story is handled.  I'm mostly in the boat that @Enduin is in, currently.

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I dunno, as you say, it's too early to tell since we saw Byleth and Bylese with voices in the cutscene where they shield Edelgard from an attack.

Byleth only applies to the male, by the way. Translations of those Famitsu scans showed that the female is called Bylese. I'd say because Byleth doesn't sound feminine enough, but that never stopped them from naming Robin's kid Mark regardless of gender, so...

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3 minutes ago, Anacybele said:

I dunno, as you say, it's too early to tell since we saw Byleth and Bylese with voices in the cutscene where they shield Edelgard from an attack.

Byleth only applies to the male, by the way. Translations of those Famitsu scans showed that the female is called Bylese. I'd say because Byleth doesn't sound feminine enough, but that never stopped them from naming Robin's kid Mark regardless of gender, so...

Silent Protagonists can have grunts or one liners in battle. They dont talk in that part.

And yeah but i would wait a little since other sources says Beleth/Belese.

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4 minutes ago, kratoscar2008 said:

Silent Protagonists can have grunts or one liners in battle. They dont talk in that part.

I know that, but it still doesn't mean that they don't have any actual shown speaking lines at all either. We still have to wait and see.

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I don't like both, and I don't hate avatars either, IDK think of FInal Fantasy V's Bartz, you can change his name to yours like I did and he isn't much like me 100% 

Like one who just talks and talks when he doesn't need to to develop his character sucks but silent ones like pokemon I prob hate more because usual conversation goes

"Hey you like Pokemon? Huh? what was that (I HATE THIS PART)? You do like pokemon? YAY!

Ah well lol I atleast hope they don't do that with Byleth.

~Kek

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28 minutes ago, zuibangde said:

My main concern with Byleth being a silent protagonist is that he’s already too important to have no determined backstory. The fact that he’s the only person in the cast that Sothis can communicate with already suggests that he has an important backstory waiting to be explored. The second direct also showed a scene where purple shadows were coming at him. I fear that making Byleth a silent protagonist will just make him a boring and bland character that is still more important than the rest of the cast.

That's definitely a concern and there's also the fact that his sword seems to be pretty special whereas the three house leaders seem to have regular weapons though there's a possible chance that this is just on the same level as Link's several backstories in The Legend of Zelda games. Basically, one part of his backstory is important but the rest is up to you.

 

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Do you think Byleth being a silent protagonist will be a good thing or a bad thing?

  • It's a great move.
  • This is a bad decision.
  • *Quietly stare into Armagon's soul*

 

5 minutes ago, kratoscar2008 said:

Silent Protagonists can have grunts or one liners in battle. They dont talk in that part.

 

They really can indeed.

 

2 minutes ago, This boi uses Nino said:

I don't like both, and I don't hate avatars either, IDK think of FInal Fantasy V's Bartz, you can change his name to yours like I did and he isn't much like me 100% 

To be fair, you can do that with everyone in FFIV and VI, it's just an odd thing they allowed. And continued to allow with the main character up to and including Tidus, which I found awkward for the VA'ed script of X.

 

 

 

Spoiler

To be serious, silence worries me a bit with this game. I'm afraid it's for reasons of player self-gratification by seducing whomever they desire within bounds. 

Nonetheless, I'll hope for the best.

 

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I'm very pleased, and think it'll be a good thing if pulled off well. I enjoy avatars for the customizability they afford the player, but there's a couple potential problems with them from a story perspective, which being silent could mitigate:

  • If the avatar is a defined character with a set personality — Robin, Corrin, Kris — then there can be a degree of cognitive dissonance for the player when their "avatar" is making decisions they disagree with. This becomes more and more problematic as their role in the story increases, as seen egregiously through Corrin. 
  • The more defined the avatar is, and the more story important they are, the greater the chance they subsume the lord's role in the story (see: Chrom's character arc and relevance waning as Robin took center stage in Awakening's second half; Kris taking from Marth and others' role; all of Fates' royals existing chiefly to revolve around Corrin).

Making the avatar mute is a deft way to ensure the lords maintain prominence, while also giving the player some potentially enjoyable role-playability befitting a true avatar. Even if the dialogue options don't greatly affect the story, being able to define your personality and making others respond dynamically to that is valuable enough. 

Edited by Disclaimer

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Can't say, after giving some thought I don't hate Byleth but honestly I'm just waiting for the day where we go back to having distinct characters as MCs instead of whatever they're going for here. 

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20 minutes ago, Anacybele said:

I know that, but it still doesn't mean that they don't have any actual shown speaking lines at all either. We still have to wait and see.

I cant think of any Silent Protagonist who doesnt talk in some scenes and does in others, the only times i have seen that is in time travel stories or a change in PoV (Like in Dragon Quest V where when you play as a kid your older self talks and when you become an adult its the younger self who talks).

If it happens in here that would be a first.

Edited by kratoscar2008

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Silent protag male Byleth looks like a badass honestly, his stare could kill.

 

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16 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Do you think Byleth being a silent protagonist will be a good thing or a bad thing?

  • It's a great move.
  • This is a bad decision.
  • *Quietly stare into Armagon's soul*

 

They really can indeed.

 

To be fair, you can do that with everyone in FFIV and VI, it's just an odd thing they allowed. And continued to allow with the main character up to and including Tidus, which I found awkward for the VA'ed script of X.

 

 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

To be serious, silence worries me a bit with this game. I'm afraid it's for reasons of player self-gratification by seducing whomever they desire within bounds. 

Nonetheless, I'll hope for the best.

 

Thats like a one liner. Its like Mario who can say a lot of phrases like Mamma Mia or Persona 2 Tatsuya who can say a lot of things when conversing with demons. Im saying dont expect him/her to drive a conversation.

 

 

Edited by kratoscar2008

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10 minutes ago, kratoscar2008 said:

I cant think of any Silent Protagonist who doesnt talk in some scenes and does in others, the only times i have seen that is in time travel stories or a change in PoV (Like in Dragon Quest V where when you play as a kid your older self talks and when you become an adult its the younger self who talks).

If it happens in here that would be a first.

Just curious as to whether you consider support conversations as ‘scenes’ even though they’re usually not relevant to the storyline. If you do, how should support conversations be achieved with a silent protagonist without jeopardizing Byleth’s characterization? 

Edited by zuibangde

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It works really well in other JRPG games like Ys, DQ, SMT, Pokemon and stronger comparison being Persona which I'm sure IS has taken massive influence from after their collaboration together with Atlus(Male Byleth even looks like a Persona Protagonist!). They're very well known for their popular Silent Protagonists if they make character interaction between Byleth and other characters just as good like in the Persona games storywise, supports(pretty much now the social links of the new FE games) this will be a great change for FE Avatars although I love Robin and Corrin I'll love Byleth as well!

Edited by Regal Edelgard Axe Master

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According to IMDB, both genders do have voice actors: https://www.behindthevoiceactors.com/video-games/Fire-Emblem-Three-Houses/Byleth-Male/

https://www.behindthevoiceactors.com/video-games/Fire-Emblem-Three-Houses/Byleth-Female/

So there's going to be some voices for them, even if they aren't fully voiced. 

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2 minutes ago, zuibangde said:

Just curious as to whether you consider support conversations as ‘scenes’ even though they’re usually not relevant to the storyline. If you do, how should support conversations be achieved with a silent protagonist? 

Any Support with Byleth/Bylese would simply be a largely one sided affair like Confidants/Social Links in Persona. They do all the talking and we get a few minor dialogue options to choose from to provide out "input" into the conversation. Works pretty well for the most part, even with romances.

1 minute ago, ZeManaphy said:

According to IMDB, both genders do have voice actors: https://www.behindthevoiceactors.com/video-games/Fire-Emblem-Three-Houses/Byleth-Male/

https://www.behindthevoiceactors.com/video-games/Fire-Emblem-Three-Houses/Byleth-Female/

So there's going to be some voices for them, even if they aren't fully voiced. 

Which is not uncommon for Silent Characters, while they may not actually talk in conversations they still make noises, mostly in combat and in some case even say a couple words as bark during attacks, which I believe we've already seen be the case in that one JP bus commercial. 

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If Byleth is a silent protagonist then I wonder what that will mean for supports. I doubt that supports will be taken away entirely(it seems to be a popular feature),  but I do think that we will see a change in how they are handled. If not I imagine supports with a silent protagonist being rather one sided if they do stick to the old way.

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