Jump to content
Corrobin

Do evil dragons and demons have 'no place' in Fire Emblem?

Recommended Posts

Storywise it doesn't matter if the main villain is a dragon/demon/deity/alien/human or a kitty. They just need to make sense and to be well implemented in the story.

From what I have seen, people dislike TWSITD because like Anankos they are pretty much responsible for most of (if not all)  the bad things that happened in 3H despite their little amount of screentime and not being interesting personality wise. They are not even monsters, they are humans. Meanwhile 

Spoiler

Rhea who is a dragon,

seems to be better liked than them.

Dragons and even demons have their place in FE. FE just needs better writing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The complaints, I feel, stem from the fact that Fire Emblem has done differently, or at least ventured to do something different.  When Fire Emblem started out with Shadow Dragon, your main villain was Mr. Evil Dragon who hates humans.  But in Gaiden, one of the arcs' main villains was actually trying to set the stage for the protagonist to defeat the true big bad, and the true big bad has a more sympathetic plight than the previous game's evil dragon.  Then in Mystery of the Emblem Book 2, one of the protagonist's closest friends succumbs to darkness, unleashing his darkest thoughts upon his dear friend.  And then in Genealogy of the Holy War, you had Alvis, who is probably one of the most complicated villains in the series yet, and he was for the most part just a human with special blood.  When you have villain variety like that, you can expect that people will want more than the same, especially if "the same" is generic evil dragons and dudes in dark robes.

In my personal opinion, it isn't beastly/demonic creatures, possessed humans, or big bad cults that are the problem - I think those such as the Immaculate One, Nergal, or Lyon prove as much.  It's that in these big worlds with sometimes complicated morality, you'll sometimes have villains that are about as complex and in-depth as a Saturday morning cartoon villain.  Fates is probably the worst case scenario of this, where you have a game that pretends to be morally grey yet the people who are potentially giving you orders revel in being villains.  Some would say the series should be "fun" instead of well written, but I don't subscribe to the idea that it has to be one or the other (and I think those who do feel that way have a skewed view of reality in this regard).  We see quality writing even in the "funnest" FE games - at the very least, we see it in the characters.

I also feel they've often made final boss fights too easy in the past.  Just a few quick swipes with the ultimate legendary weapon, and down goes the beast.  In that case, it feels like the destination is so much duller than the journey, when it really doesn't have to be.  Say what you will about the final chapter of Crimson Flower/Silver Snow in FE:TH, the Immaculate One is a final boss that is fittingly difficult to take down.  You can't even gambit her to death, you at some point will have to risk tanking hits from her powerful attacks in order to defeat her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone who knows anything about Ace Combat games knows it has a political, and grey moraled story through the majority of the game, only to end with the player having to single handily take down a crazy super weapon or nuclear facility flying through really tight spaces and underground caverns. They like to end on the power fantasy where the player sits back at the end and thinks "that was epic".

I feel the same design was used to design most of the FE's, and often they feel really out of place or shoehorned because they wanted to replicate the success of the original game, yet it seems they often forget what made Medeus good in the first place.

Atleast I can agree that some of FE's attempts have come closer, but the most successful ones imo are the ones that try something something different. The themes of a lot of FE games really don't have the time or proper pacing for power fantasies at the end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, JimmyBeans said:

Anyone who knows anything about Ace Combat games knows it has a political, and grey moraled story through the majority of the game, only to end with the player having to single handily take down a crazy super weapon or nuclear facility flying through really tight spaces and underground caverns. They like to end on the power fantasy where the player sits back at the end and thinks "that was epic".

I love the death star segments of Ace Combat games where you take down weapons that shoot down asteroids from the sky and whatnot.

Actually, speaking of shooting down asteroids, the final mission in AC4 reminds me of the Fire Dragon fight in Blazing Sword in a way.  Like, you just come fresh off of taking down the main antagonist and what you assumed to be the biggest threat to mankind, but then suddenly you get thrown this curveball and there's more fighting to be done with a potentially bigger threat to peace.  Fire Dragon isn't quite as impressive as the Megalith battle - you don't have a massive swarm of elite fighter pilots duking it out or humongous hallways and tunnels that house oversized generators and missile silos - but it feels as if it were in the same sort of spirit, if you get what I'm saying.

I think perhaps with technology the way it is now enabling IS to do things like what they've done with Three Houses, it could make it easier for them to emulate the power fantasy endings that AC has nailed down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on the set up of how the evil dragon/demon is introduced, the scale of the threat it has on the continent/world, and how well it was executed. The only reason why people get tired of it is because it's used in almost every FE game, but if the world building behind it and the writing are good, it's not bad. In fact, I think it's a part of the FE experience.

One of my favorite examples of dragon integration is FE4. The preview of the game gives you the backstory of the original holy way between the Crusaders of Light versus the dark dragon of Loptous. Loptous was sentient enough to rule over an empire with an iron fist until he was defeated. His followers were ostracized and they plotted their revenge in order to regain their former power. We learn early enough of the game that this cult is around and they're not happy. We're introduced to notable members early enough to know they're bad, but their exact motives aren't clear yet. In the second Gen., when the spirit of Loptous has taken over Julius, he is sentient and reacts to things (like Julia's Naga tome IIRC). 

The writing can be hit or miss at times, but I think fun has to be taken into consideration. The Immaculate One, Dheginsea (sp?), and Duma were all fun to battle against IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It wouldn't be Fire Emblem without dragons now, wouldn't it? This series does take place in a fantasy medieval setting. So I would say dragons are very much welcomed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be a little silly to argue dragons have no place in Fire Emblem. Dragons have always been a part of Fire Emblem in some form or another so they have a very defined place in Fire Emblem. Whether that's a good thing or not is subjective but they are a core aspect of Fire Emblem's identity. I never found dragons very problematic since they are used with some variety to avoid things getting samey. The Fire Dragon is basically feral, Medeus is a generic evil overlord who just happens to be a dragon, Loptyr is Satan, Grima is dragon Cthulhu and Rhea is a vengeful pope who just happens to be a dragon. 

Demons are a bit trickier. Dragons being so prominent does make their presence less normal than it would be in most medieval settings. Dragons usually end up being the gods of Fire Emblem so satanic demons don't have much of a place. Still we have Fortimis in Sacred Stones and the Medusa spell is implied to come from a demonic pact so there is room for them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll just echo it's all about execution.

 

But, would I be fine with the removal of dragons altogether, with no major use of monsters replacing them. Franchises shouldn't be stuck on "traditions", see Final Fantasy and the franchise's Crystals & Summons obsessions, from which only II and VIII more or less escape (although I'm not sure of IX or the MMOs). I can't quite say I like that of FF, nor can I say dragon obsession benefits FE.

 

On Dragon/Demon Execution:

  • Tellius (Dragons at their most earthly, but they could be even more so.)
  • Archanea
  • TearRing Saga
  • Jugdral (the subtlety is appreciated after FE3)

-Significant Gulf in Quality

  • Magvel
  • Elibe

-N/A for me:

  • Fates
  • 3H
  • Valentia
Edited by Interdimensional Observer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its more about how they execute it rather then what the actual villian is. I'm down with either of those and we already have had them in multiple fire emblem games so clearly its not a bad thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, DragonFlames said:

Bold parts: Oh so much this.
Add Deghinsea to that tally, too.

I love dragons, so I'm probably biased to hell and back, but hey.
While there are games that did the whole dragon-thing better than some Fire Emblem games (7th Dragon III comes to mind), I think they have a place in the series.
Besides, if Ganondorf and Bowser are supposedly "iconic" and thus have to be major or main antagonists in their respective game franchises, why can't dragons?
 

  Reveal hidden contents

Though to be fair, no FE dragon boss will ever be as badass as these three:


thunderDragon.pngfireDragon.png
gEDl40e.png

 

Spoiler

Shining Resonance Refrain dragons right?

About your spoiler.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really think that Dragons are really that important in FE. Their inclusion in many games seems incredibly vestigial at times, having no place in a the narrative. An animalistic beast or demon has no real place in a game where the conflict is mostly between humans and their respective causes. Take the Fire Dragon, for example. FE7 doesn't exactly have masterclass villains, but the Four Fangs at the very least feel like people with their own values and lives to live. The Fire Dragon really only exists as a random obstacle for the player to fight because "The final boss has to be big!". It has very little presence in the story and doesn't have a character by nature of being a crazy beastie. Not only that, but the times that FE does have a good Dragon character, they're basically cheating because they are mostly portrayed similar to humans who can simply transform into dragons to fight. I love characters like Dheginsea and Tiki, but they're really just guys who can turn into Dragon in terms of the narrative.

So Dragons are kinda dumb, I guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, LucarioGamer812 said:
  Reveal hidden contents

Shining Resonance Refrain dragons right?

About your spoiler.....

Yup, the Dracomachina. Fighting them was a lot of fun and their designs are just awesome. I'm honestly surprised (positively, mind you) to find someone who knows them, too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Without dragons or demons or monsters or whatever, Fire Emblem wouldn't be much of a fantasy game series at all. It would be a bad thing to me.

Edited by Faustino

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't go so far as to say there's no place for them. However, like many people here have pointed out, it's all a matter of execution. Goldoa is a good example of incorporating dragons in a good way, I'd say.

I want to ask why there have to be dragons or demons in the first place though. Because they've always been part of the series? Fire Emblem has changed a lot throughout the years, and it seems like a strange thing to consider vital to the future of the series. In some games dragons have virtually no influence at all or it's limited to one random bastard who no one cares about anyway like Anankos. That hardly seems like a tradition worth preserving just for the sake of preserving it.

Characters and their journeys have always been what appeals to me in Fire Emblem writing, not whether or not they kill god at the end. While I can see the appeal of a simple story where you defeat an irredeemable jerk and usher in a new golden age of peace and prosperity, it not only lacks the depth I really want, but it has also been done over and over throughout the series. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dragons being central in the plot is a constant in Fire Emblem, like the emblem itself. 

I think it's mostly people being tired of dragons being the final boss, possessing an human and so taking out the human conflict by making the villains not responsible for their actions. This kind of conflict can be twisted more often instead of repeating this plot formula. I don't see dragons stop being important in the story though. 

Edited by Mylady

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think one of the biggest problems is that dragons simply get repetitive after a while. There are so many different kinds of monsters to use for your big boss yet IS keeps going for dragons time after time. This gets even worse due to how practically every other fantasy setting also overuses dragons way too much. They have gotten better at diversifying their dragon designs, but there's no reason they should need to stick to tha creature tempalte to begin with. Look at the Demonic Beasts in 3H for a taste of what Fire Emblem monster bosses can look like, and even that game only scratched the surface.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/23/2019 at 7:52 AM, DragonFlames said:

 

  Hide contents

Yup, the Dracomachina. Fighting them was a lot of fun and their designs are just awesome. I'm honestly surprised (positively, mind you) to find someone who knows them, too!

 

Spoiler

Late reply but oof I'm not on serenes that often nowadays. Yeah, I played some of it a while back, I do want to get back into it and finish the game haha, just massive backlog, and while it's a beautiful game soundwise and graphicswise, gameplaywise imo it's a not as good tales game so I'd probably play Tales first over it sadly

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, LucarioGamer812 said:
  Reveal hidden contents

Late reply but oof I'm not on serenes that often nowadays. Yeah, I played some of it a while back, I do want to get back into it and finish the game haha, just massive backlog, and while it's a beautiful game soundwise and graphicswise, gameplaywise imo it's a not as good tales game so I'd probably play Tales first over it sadly

 

Yeah, that's perfectly understandable. While I personally really love the game, I admit the combat system, while fun, is one of the game's weak points.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nah there's nothing wrong with supernatural villains, plenty of stories use them. Hell some of the best stories out there do.

FE is no different in that regard. In fact, that's kind of built into the series. Our first villain was a dragon, and supernatural bad guys are a staple of the series, and really a staple of the fantasy genre as a whole. Because....its fantasy. The issue isnt the type, its the execution. They havent always been the best executed villains. Doesnt mean they cant work though.

Id love to see them take another swing at the demonic side of villains again myself.

Edited by Tolvir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dragons are fine I guess. I kind of like when they're a normal part of the world they exist in, like in Archanea, rather than some sort of rare, even unknown, aberration. By far, this was done best in the Tellius games, both with dragons and other laguz tribes. I like how Dheginsea, for instance, is an incredibly powerful opponent, yet also exists as a political actor. And how you can get multiple dragons on your side in RD (rather than the typical token "dragon loli").

EDIT: I may have missed the point. Evil dragons or demons or cults or whatever, they can exist, sure. But they have to justify themselves. Who are they, what do they fight for, and why? I'm more interested in villains that aren't blatantly evil (like... again, Dheginsea, and RD's final boss), than those who are (looking at you, Twiztid).

There's an animated series I really enjoy, The Dragon Prince on Netflix, that does this really well. In that world, dark magic is used by certain humans. They need to kill animals (some sentient) to do it, but it's not just a tool of war - it can be used to bring bountiful harvests, and save lives. I find villains with benevolent objectives much more compelling than the "let's usher in a thousand years of darkness" sort. Like, suppose the Loptyr cult used the child hunts, horrific as they were, in a ritual to make their home in the Yied desert support agricultural and become livable. At least we'd understand why they're willing to do something morally repugnant, other than "a big dark lizard told us to".

Edited by Shanty Pete's 1st Mate
I may have missed the point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

There's an animated series I really enjoy, The Dragon Prince on Netflix, that does this really well. In that world, dark magic is used by certain humans. They need to kill animals (some sentient) to do it, but it's not just a tool of war - it can be used to bring bountiful harvests, and save lives. I find villains with benevolent objectives much more compelling than the "let's usher in a thousand years of darkness" sort. Like, suppose the Loptyr cult used the child hunts, horrific as they were, in a ritual to make their home in the Yied desert support agricultural and become livable. At least we'd understand why they're willing to do something morally repugnant, other than "a big dark lizard told us to".

Funny enough; The Dragon Prince drew a lot of inspiration from Fire Emblem for its story and aesthetics, and it shows. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, vanguard333 said:

Funny enough; The Dragon Prince drew a lot of inspiration from Fire Emblem for its story and aesthetics, and it shows. 

Great, now you've got me imagining Viren, Claudia, and Soren as GBA-style sprites.

...I want this hack, dammit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...