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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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12 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 without jeopardizing Byleth’s characterization? 

With dialogue choices. As the user above mentioned its usually the character talking at a point the character will ask for your imput. Its usually how that works as it how it works in Growlanser series barring 2. We already have images of Byleth being asked questions by both Edelgard and Caspar.

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4 minutes ago, grin_fish said:

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.

It'll likely be how social links work in the Persona games whether they'll get more support ranks because of this is still currently unknown but it overall will be the same but with choices while maybe different options will likely still go a clear direction in the supports.

Edited by Regal Edelgard Axe Master

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4 minutes ago, grin_fish said:

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.

Thats how it is usually and has worked well so far. Its funny if indeed ATLUS had an influence in 3 Houses as #FE failed to capture ATLUS atmosphere while a mainline FE manages to.

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8 minutes ago, Regal Edelgard Axe Master said:

It'll likely be how social links work in the Persona games whether they'll get more support ranks because of this is still currently unknown but it overall will be the same but with choices while maybe different options will likely still go a clear direction in the supports.

Ooh! Having text choices for supports could be an added bonus when doing replays of the game. I kinda hope that FE Three Houses will move away from the portrait supports and have more action oriented scenes instead. Like, it would be neat to see the character models actually train together instead of just seeing talking heads and reading text.

7 minutes ago, kratoscar2008 said:

Thats how it is usually and has worked well so far. Its funny if indeed ATLUS had an influence in 3 Houses as #FE failed to capture ATLUS atmosphere while a mainline FE manages to.

I agree, with the ability to walk around the monastery and talk to characters, the art style, and the silent protagonist FE Three Houses really seems to be taking pointers from ATLUS.

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They went from one end of not having avatars to the other end of not having avatars. An empty husk as an "avatar" in world full of colorful characters is practically insulting. Never got into Persona for that reason because it feels like every character is talking to a mirror. We've talked about this issue to death in every game where so-called avatars have been featured.

- Visually customizable pre-defined character, with no meaningful choices peppered throughout the story? Not an avatar.

- Cardboard box that we can't visually customize and just listens to others? Not an avatar.

Intelligent Systems keeps taking out player agency. Go full on choice-based, customizable avatars (Pillars of Eternity, especially Tyranny, come to mind), or just give us some characters with pre-defined personalities and call them for what they are. Corrin and Robin (and I presume Mark) are in no way different than any other Fire Emblem character, aside from being able to paint them the color of your choice.

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1 hour ago, grin_fish said:

Ooh! Having text choices for supports could be an added bonus when doing replays of the game. I kinda hope that FE Three Houses will move away from the portrait supports and have more action oriented scenes instead. Like, it would be neat to see the character models actually train together instead of just seeing talking heads and reading text.

I agree, with the ability to walk around the monastery and talk to characters, the art style, and the silent protagonist FE Three Houses really seems to be taking pointers from ATLUS.

I full heartily agree I really hope the side by side portrait supports are really done with this would be an amazing evolution from it!

Edited by Regal Edelgard Axe Master

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Silent avatars aren't an improvement, in my opinion. Byleth is doubtlessly going to be very important in the plot but if his personality is just a void to self-insert into, that will be dreadfully bland and detract from the actual developed characters. I can relate more to Robin despite his predetermined personality than I could say, the protagonist of a Golden Sun game that is just a big ball of nothing.

The only way to have a proper avatar is to have a lot of dialogue options that affect the conversation (so, getting the options "Yes" or "Yes" in a conversation is not what I'd call a meaningful choice that makes the avatar "me") such as Dragon Age.

Edited by NekoKnight

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This isn't quite as unprecedented as most make it sound. Robin actually had a "silent" voice option in the Japanese version of Awakening that changed the entire script so that they never said a word, including support conversations. So you'd see stuff like:

"I love you."  "I'm so happy, I love you too."

become stuff like

"..."   "You love me? I'm so happy, I love you too."

Example: https://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm17705644

In that sense, they actually have a little more to work with for Byleth since they at least get dialogue options instead of strings of ellipses. Granted, I'd assume they'll stick with Persona-style text snippets and stay away from that fill-in-the-blanks approach Awakening took, but it's an interesting comparison that shows conversations could theoretically be however in-depth they're willing to take them.

For my part, I'm open to a silent avatar provided they at least have (the potential for) some personality. I want a character that can, for example, laugh at jokes and groan at bad attempts at them. As long as they feel like a human being I don't care if they do it with one sentence or one hundred.

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20 minutes ago, NekoKnight said:

I can relate more to Robin despite his predetermined personality than I could say, the protagonist of a Golden Sun game that is just a big ball of nothing.

Not like any of character in those games had that much in personality or development, it was mostly charm. And technically Issac and Felix were never silent, they only were while they were the main character, when they weren't, they could speak. Matthew is :[ with how they chose to limit his "speaking" to four emoticons though, a bad move.

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5 minutes ago, egobarrier said:

This isn't quite as unprecedented as most make it sound. Robin actually had a "silent" voice option in the Japanese version of Awakening that changed the entire script so that they never said a word, including support conversations.

I completely forgot about this and to be fair, most of us didn't play the Japanese version so we often forget that there was a silent avatar option. FE is no stranger to Japanese exclusive content but the only time it became common knowledge was with Fates' skinship minigame which......was received horribly.

 

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1 hour ago, Slyfox said:

They went from one end of not having avatars to the other end of not having avatars. An empty husk as an "avatar" in world full of colorful characters is practically insulting. Never got into Persona for that reason because it feels like every character is talking to a mirror. We've talked about this issue to death in every game where so-called avatars have been featured.

- Visually customizable pre-defined character, with no meaningful choices peppered throughout the story? Not an avatar.

- Cardboard box that we can't visually customize and just listens to others? Not an avatar.

Intelligent Systems keeps taking out player agency. Go full on choice-based, customizable avatars (Pillars of Eternity, especially Tyranny, come to mind), or just give us some characters with pre-defined personalities and call them for what they are. Corrin and Robin (and I presume Mark) are in no way different than any other Fire Emblem character, aside from being able to paint them the color of your choice.

They are both avatars. Both approachs are used to let the player have some semblance of role in the story.

You might not consider them avatars but they are textbook definition of one. I would rather they attempt it rather than not, in the end how much the self insert character works will depend on whats your preference in a game.

There is a reason why most protagonist are bland and are defined basically by kind and strong sense of justice.

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I love how Byleth is both a silent protag and a teacher. I just can't help but imagine him beaming knowledge directly into the students brains like he's in a 80's sci-fi film.

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4 minutes ago, Onestep said:

I love how Byleth is both a silent protag and a teacher. I just can't help but imagine him beaming knowledge directly into the students brains like he's in a 80's sci-fi film.

He stares the knowledge into them. 

Bylethmale.jpg

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1 minute ago, Bloom said:

He stares the knowledge into them. 

Bylethmale.jpg

He could pull off a great Kubrick Stare.

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9 minutes ago, Onestep said:

I love how Byleth is both a silent protag and a teacher. I just can't help but imagine him beaming knowledge directly into the students brains like he's in a 80's sci-fi film.

 

4 minutes ago, Bloom said:

He stares the knowledge into them.

The idea that he'd be mute in-universe is scaring me for a different reason.

Fates: "All hail our lord and savior Corrin, the center of our universe!"

Three Houses: "All hail our lord and savior Byleth, the center of our universe! We are not worthy to hear his words!"

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25 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Matthew is :[ with how they chose to limit his "speaking" to four emoticons though, a bad move.

Don't forget the Symbol Swearing late in the game.

Anyway, I can't help but think that they might not be a silent protagonist.

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I'm going to go with a bad thing. 

I can think of one good silent protagonist in an RPG-like setting and that's the Exile from Knighs of the Old Republic II. Their past actions are set in stone and what you choose to flesh out for yourself is how they feel about it. It's done really well. 

Silent avatars usually make scenes far more awkward than they have any right to be. One of my go-to examples is when Rise confesses to the avatar in Persona 4, and the latter just stands silent and unmoving as she hugs him and pours her heart out for him. Byleth also has something in common with Persona protagonists already, if you draw a parallel between Sothis and the Velvet Room. 

I don't think Byleth being a silent protagonist will reduce player worship on its own. Byleth will still get a special sword, has a special power, and some snippets of dialogue we've seen from the early parts of the game shows that people already respect them quite a lot. I don't doubt praise will keep getting heaped upon them. 

To be frank I'm not entirely sure what the benefits of Byleth being a silent protagonist are. I don't like it in Persona, and it's not unreasonable to assume Three Houses has been inspired by the massive success of Persona 5, and I can't really think of any silent protagonist beyond the aforementioned one that I actively enjoyed. 

If they're silent to make more room for the lordlings, then I would be more positive about it, but they keep pointing out the importance of Byleth and calling this "your story", so that seems unlikely. 

Edited by Thane

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55 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Matthew is :[ with how they chose to limit his "speaking" to four emoticons though, a bad move.

Beyond the silliness of Isaac making faces at people to communicate his complex feelings on matters, I hope they don't make choices utterly irrelevant to how conversations go.

"Byleth, we need to save the world!"

Yes

>No

"Stop fooling around Byleth, we need to save the world!"

>Yes

No

"Good, I'm glad you agree!"

38 minutes ago, egobarrier said:

Fates: "All hail our lord and savior Corrin, the center of our universe!"

Three Houses: "All hail our lord and savior Byleth, the center of our universe! We are not worthy to hear his words!"

Silent Avatars...Fire Emblem... dragons... A silent... dragon!?

Byleth = Anankos! WAKE UP SHEEPLE! THE SIGNS WERE THERE ALL ALONG! Sothis is Byleth's mom and Byleth is Corrin's dad!

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5 minutes ago, Thane said:

I'm going to go with no. 

I can think of one good silent protagonist in an RPG-like setting and that's the Exile from Knighs of the Old Republic II. Their past actions are set in stone and what you choose to flesh out for yourself is how they feel about it. It's done really well. 

Silent avatars usually make scenes far more awkward than they have any right to be. One of my go-to examples is when Rise confesses to the avatar in Persona 4, and the latter just stands silent and unmoving as she hugs him and pours her heart out for him. Byleth also has something in common with Persona protagonists already, if you draw a parallel between Sothis and the Velvet Room. 

I don't think Byleth being a silent protagonist will reduce player worship on its own. Byleth will still get a special sword, has a special power, and some snippets of dialogue we've seen from the early parts of the game shows that people already respect them quite a lot. I don't doubt praise will keep getting heaped upon them. 

To be frank I'm not entirely sure what the benefits of Byleth being a silent protagonist are. I don't like it in Persona, and it's not unreasonable to assume Three Houses has been inspired by the massive success of Persona 5, and I can't really think of any silent protagonist beyond the aforementioned one that I actively enjoyed. 

If they're silent to make more room for the lordlings, then I would be more positive about it, but they keep pointing out the importance of Byleth and calling this "your story", so that seems unlikely. 

The Exile isn't a silent protagonist. They simply aren't voiced. That's like saying the Nameless One (Probably the best protagonist in Video Game history, in my own opinion) is silent.

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5 hours ago, Kiran_ said:

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.

Spoiler

At least Ludger had a point!

Like everything else, I'll pass judgment when I see it.  Though I hope the dialogue options have more weight than just "change the conversation a little".

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1 hour ago, Onestep said:

The Exile isn't a silent protagonist. They simply aren't voiced. That's like saying the Nameless One (Probably the best protagonist in Video Game history, in my own opinion) is silent.

Agreed.

Also, Thane does have a point about Knights of the Old Republic II, where the protagonist was very much set in his/her actions, yet you get decide the "why" of it all. Side note, that game was made by Obsidian Entertainment, the same developers as the two games I mentioned in my previous post.

2 hours ago, kratoscar2008 said:

They are both avatars. Both approachs are used to let the player have some semblance of role in the story.

You might not consider them avatars but they are textbook definition of one. I would rather they attempt it rather than not, in the end how much the self insert character works will depend on whats your preference in a game.

There is a reason why most protagonist are bland and are defined basically by kind and strong sense of justice.

Key words: semblance of a role.

I feel like that's being invited to a very important meeting where they promised you could say your piece, but in fact are allowed only to watch and listen.

You are probably right that the two kinds in question are avatars. However, like you just said, I simply do not consider them to be such, from a personal viewpoint. Perhaps from a factual or textbook perspective I am wrong, but ultimately I'm going with what I believe should be the case. I can be stubborn!

 

Edit: Basically, to sum up what I'm all about. I love avatars, I love being a part of the game, shaping it. I really am a sucker for that stuff.

But either do it right or don't do it at all.

Edited by Slyfox

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Personally, I hate silent avatars/self-inserts. I'm reading the story for the story, and if one of the major characters has no on-screen dialogue, that's a big problem. Its unnatural to make secondary characters repeat what you literally just said every time you say it. It can work in games like Pokemon, where the story isn't actually a super important part of the game because its just the same thing rehashed over and over again(start in a small town, go get all 8 badgers, fight the elite four mushrooms, beat an ebil team), but even then it has problems when every character you meet has to do the "What was that? You said/think _? Wow, me too".

IMO, silent characters only really work if they're one of two formats: 1) They're truly, legitimately silent, like Sikalog from the SRW series. Of course, he's more or less played for laughs, so that doesn't really work for a main character in a serious game. 2) You're playing something like Bastion. You never hear the main character speak; you only ever hear the narrator telling a story about his actions. Of course, there's not much need for conversation in the game either, and when there is, its usually the narrator again, relating how the conversation went. It would hardly work in an FE game.

But though silent avatars are evil, characters you can only recolor aren't avatars. Robin is a character in themself. Our changing their hairstyle, height, or voice doesn't change who they are. We have no influence on their actual personality outside of a handful of choices that make no real difference overall.

The only way to properly do an avatar is to do a game with VN style choices and a protagonist with actual dialog to accompany those choices. You can (usually) shape the MC's personality based on your choices, but they are fixed enough choices that the developers can still actually use the MC in the story.

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I don't think it matters so long as they're well written. That being said, my definition is pretty different from the fanbase at large from what I've seen as I don't think Corrin is badly written, at least in Birthright as I haven't played Conquest or Revelation. I'll wait and see how the game handles things before passing judgement.

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10 hours ago, Armagon said:

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.

that's exactly how i think of robin and corrin, and that's why i think they're bad at their job, which should be projecting and representing the player into the game he/she's playing

byleth, on the other hand, doesnt look customizable, yet he's silent (except for some battle quotes)... and that's why i think this is as bad as robin/corrin

 

robin and corrin are specific characters with specific backgrounds and specific(ally bland) personality, yet they're customizable, while byleth is silent in order to make the player feel as if he/she's actually inside the game through byleth, who isn't customizable as its role would demand

so yeah, i don't have great expectations for byleth, and i just hope they can dump avatars for FE17, since i think none of the previous ones were actually well realized

sure, it's too soon to properly judge byleth, so i'll just have to wait i guess

Edited by Yexin

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