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Fire Emblem and it's cliches: Do you think FE's plots are 'standard' or 'cliche' or 'boring'?

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I feel like lately they've been trying to do some new stuff with mixed results.  Three Houses might be the boldest they've gone, with them depicting an academy setting which was never done before in the series and actually attempting to tackle the notion of organized religion.

But I do think they cling too much to certain cliches to see out the full potential of some of the new ideas they try.  Again, to use Fire Emblem: Three Houses, they tried to make each side of the war justified, but the way they went about it involved basically shifting the blame for all the bad things on your typical evil shadowy cult group that's in a lot of FE games.  Or in Fates, all that was wrong with the world could be boiled down to some mad god detached from all the events taking measures to ensure the two main kingdoms of the land would never get along unless a miracle happened, which is what Revelation was made out to be.

If they were to cut that safety net, so to speak, then they'd be freer to depict morally dubious scenarios on the player side, which would enhance the times they'd try something new.  However, some standards should remain, so I think I'd prefer if they kept to the same kinds of stories over them changing things so much that it's barely even a Fire Emblem game.  What I think would benefit the series most is if IS could pinpoint what exactly about Fire Emblem makes it Fire Emblem, and if they'd stick to that while trying to improve in other areas.

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i feel that with 3H they sort of tried to make a painting with a new kind of frame (the game's structure), but with the same colours (fire emblem's trends) in the same way they've always used them, such as the main character's father dying (jeralt stinked like a corpse since his reveal), the main character's unique power which essentially allows him/her to save the day, the dark cult and so on

now don't get me wrong, cliches aren't inherently bad, the fire emblem series is THE collection of cliches: what makes the difference, for me, is not what surrounds them (the frame), but how they're made (doing something more original and cohesive with the colors you've always used)

so yeah, in my opinion it's ok if IntSys thinks changing the frame is beneficial, but imho they need to do a better job at creating something original with the same elements (since i doubt they'll change them anytime soon)

Edited by Yexin

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Speaking just about plot and not gameplay I think Fire Emblem has consistently innovated from FE7 onward, maybe even every entry. Though the laundry list of remakes makes it hard to forget, and FE6 is trying real hard to reference FE1 as well. There are shared elements of course, but I never feel like I'm experiencing the same story again like we would be in cyclical franchises like Souls, Zelda, Pokemon, Mario etc.

Edited by Glennstavos

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4 hours ago, X-Naut said:

such as dead parents.

Not to the extent that plagues Ubisoft games, thankfully.

Quote

Do you think FE's plots are 'standard' or 'cliche' or 'boring'?

In Path of Radiance and Awakening - yes, in Radiant Dawn - no.

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3 Houses is pretty daring- especially since one of your lords can turn against you. That being said, there some ‘standards’ for each game, particularly Manaketes, boss is a dragon, and there’s a secret true villain who Is the real mastermind. It not bad per se, but does get a bit cliche.

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Meh, they're all nothing special. Being cliche or not does not determine whether a story is good or bad, but regardless, FE has always been lacking in the story department. PoR was probably the strongest story overall, the though.

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Fire Emblem plots tend to be fairly standard. Not only do they use rather conventional trope but Fire Emblem stories also tend to have the same pattern as each other with each often having things like a murdered father or a creepy cult pulling the strings from the shadows. And dragons. Dragons everywhere. 

Some titles like Three Houses and Radiant Dawn take some risk but the often sloppy execution highlights how little experience IS has with more unconventional stories. 

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I think that a clever subversion of standard story tropes is in order.

 

Look to Mistborn for what the series could cleverly do with a future entry. A generic evil overlord to overthrow. A plucky group of heroes who succeed. And then they find out that not only are they lacking the experience to rule the nation they've freed, but the evil overlord was actually just going mad from his milennia of holding back something far more powerful, eldritch, and malevolent. 

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One of the more noticable cliches that I noticed was how the majority of the plots are Main Lord/protagonist-centric in morality, agency, and success rate. I remember only once which this was flipped over in morality and success rate, which was Sigurd from FE4 who really screwed things up for everyone. And the only time I remember this was shaken up in terms of agency was with the Fortuna Entertainment in TMSFE - which seemed to have focused more on Itsuki's teammates for the majority of the story including side quests, which I believe was based on how Persona 3/4 similarly gave just as much focus on Minako's or Yu's teammates. At least  I'd like to see non-Lord characters influence the main story a lot more - especially in Echoes remakes where the basic plot and script is already done.

Another thing is how the male Lord ends up being portrayed as a paragon, while the female one rarely seems to have this luxury - though do you think Edelgard started bucking this trend? Is there any reason why we can't have a male lord screwing up the campaign like Sigurd did? Is there any reason why we can't have a female protagonist (barring avatars) that straight up kicks ass like all of the FeMC in Pokemon, or Minako in Persona 3?

Edited by henrymidfields

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Eh, I'd say they're pretty standard. Few things stand out about Fire Emblem stories, but I find that each game plays with its tropes and archetypes enough that it never feels like I'm going through a completely recycled script. Awakening and Shadow Dragon are really the only ones that feel like cliche storms, and even then there's good reason for that. Awakening was originally intended to be Fire Emblem's swan song, and so they decided to go with a "Greatest Hits" route, and Shadow Dragon was the first game in the series during a time when videogames couldn't really focus on stories due to hardware limitations, so they didn't really have much of a choice (and even then, it was impressive for it's time for having several good and bad guy nations instead of just one, and for naming every unit you get with no way to buy more, among other details).

With that said, I do wish that IS shook up or dropped some of the constant tropes they use, without also being overambitious at the same time. Make a Fire Emblem plot that doesn't have an evil cult or a mad dragon behind everything, but don't also try to write three separate stories at once. I want them to try something new without biting off more than they can chew.

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I find that Fire Emblem is like most Nintendo games: it strives to innovate, but often hangs on to certain traditions almost arbitrarily, and it definitely applies to the story. So, the short answer would be that Fire Emblem stories are both cliché and innovative, however contradictory that may sound at first. 

I think the main problem with FE stories is that it has been a battle between ambition and refinement. If we compare Path of Radiance to Radiant Dawn, Radiant Dawn's plot is more ambitious, and as a result is more complex and all that stuff. But I'd consider Path of Radiance's story the better of the two (and possibly the best overall) because the attention to detail in getting the plot lines and character interactions right is second-to-none among FE games. 

Three Houses, by introducing the academy aspect and presenting a darker deconstruction of many FE tropes, is very ambitious. If you don't believe me about the deconstruction part, look at the main characters: Edelgard is a deconstruction of the red-armoured emperor archetype, Dimitri is a deconstruction of the prince-that-defends-his-homeland, etc. Those Who Slither in the Dark could be seen as a deconstruction of the evil-mage conspiracy villain in that they think they're ultimate masterminds, but they're really just fanatics messing with something they only think they understand. Despite the destruction they leave in their wake, they're not as great as they think they are. However, while fairly good overall, it suffers from a lot of issues; one of them being that it seems to want its particular moments but doesn't seem to fully consider how it would play out with the characters given. 

19 hours ago, henrymidfields said:

Another thing is how the male Lord ends up being portrayed as a paragon, while the female one rarely seems to have this luxury - though do you think Edelgard started bucking this trend? Is there any reason why we can't have a male lord screwing up the campaign like Sigurd did? Is there any reason why we can't have a female protagonist (barring avatars) that straight up kicks ass like all of the FeMC in Pokemon, or Minako in Persona 3?

Uh... a paragon is just a character that does good where they see good being done and acts as a catalyst for character development in other characters by inspiring them. I agree that Edelgard is possibly the first female FE lord to be a paragon (Micaiah being more of a Joan-of-Arc), but not very many of the male lords are paragons either. It's largely just Ike. Marth isn't (Caeda does most of the inspiring), Alm isn't, none of the Marth-expies really are. 

 

46 minutes ago, Hawkwing said:

With that said, I do wish that IS shook up or dropped some of the constant tropes they use, without also being overambitious at the same time. Make a Fire Emblem plot that doesn't have an evil cult or a mad dragon behind everything, but don't also try to write three separate stories at once. I want them to try something new without biting off more than they can chew.

Agreed. I would like to see a return to something more like Path of Radiance taken on its own: a more refined story that features a human main villain and is focused on the war, while also exploring the characters, world and story in new and clever ways. Ike being a peasant mercenary was probably one of the best imaginative decisions FE has ever made. I would like to see them come up with something similarly imaginative without biting off more than they can chew. 

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11 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

Uh... a paragon is just a character that does good where they see good being done and acts as a catalyst for character development in other characters by inspiring them. I agree that Edelgard is possibly the first female FE lord to be a paragon (Micaiah being more of a Joan-of-Arc), but not very many of the male lords are paragons either. It's largely just Ike. Marth isn't (Caeda does most of the inspiring), Alm isn't, none of the Marth-expies really are. 

Ugh...do I really need to explain this??? replace that with Gary Stu, or whatever terminology for the person who ends up succeeding (or otherwise getting undue favour from the writers) just because they happen to be the protagonist. You now should know what I mean, dumbass.

Edited by henrymidfields

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Cliches are not necessarily bad, nor are standard adventures. What matters is how it's all executed.

However, in a long-running series like Fire Emblem, the formula does need to be either changed up or deviated from every once in a while. An army of good guy supermodels defeating an evil organization and their dragon master who wants to destroy the world is about as basic as it gets, and while that certainly can work, it's not something that's very interesting the fifth time around. Fire Emblem is also strongly associated with its characters and their relationships; if their journey is merely to defeat an enemy rather than facing something on a more personal level, then they're going to come across as blander as well. 

Moral ambiguity and complexity alone don't guarantee a better story, but they are elements I expect out of a seriously engaging narrative. I think this is why Tellius and Three Houses get brought up so often in discussions about the best Fire Emblem stories, since they flesh out the world and the inner struggles of the characters that inhabit it to a greater degree than most other titles.

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On 11/29/2019 at 2:43 AM, henrymidfields said:

Ugh...do I really need to explain this???

Yes because you made the claim.

On 11/29/2019 at 2:43 AM, henrymidfields said:

replace that with Gary Stu, or whatever terminology for the person who ends up succeeding (or otherwise getting undue favour from the writers)

So protagonist? There's a lot to unpack here so first: is the favor undue, and why?

On 11/29/2019 at 2:43 AM, henrymidfields said:

You now should know what I mean,

No we should not because we are not mind readers and you are not using the correct terminology for what you are talking about. If we cannot agree on meaning of the words we use we cannot even try to comprehend on another's arguments. At best I can only assume you are parroting a tired trope about FE without actually having an argument to back it up because you are safe in the assumption that everyone will simply agree in some form of herd mentality or something since as you said we should already know and you shouldn't have to justify your statement.

On 11/29/2019 at 2:43 AM, henrymidfields said:

dumbass

Rude.

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Let's analyize every game in order.

 

Shadow Dragon: First in the series. Can't be cliche by default, well can't be series cliche by default. You could call it cliched story telling, but it was a very minimalist game over all.

Gaiden: Abandons pretty much everything about Shadow Dragon except a medieval setting (and even then people have pointed out the aestetic is quite Roman in places) and a sword called Falchion. There's only two countries, there's no dragons (or at least, they're not identified as dragons, I believe they always were). Alm is a commoner instead of a prince (effectively), there are two protagonists, a traversable world map (which is a large enough gameplay element I'd include it in the plot as aesthetic does play into narrative), all the characters are changed and so too is the location. Which is actually a rather bold move. Imagine if the second Zelda game didn't star Link.

Mystery of the Emblem: Went back to the same setting for a sequel. In terms of a plot though, it is a bit of a rehash. Marth loses his Kingdom due to the sudden invasion of an expansionist empire. We get a bit more plot by virtue of it being a later generation (most noteably in the first few chapters where we see Marth losing his kingdom), but it quickly becomes nothing but lord. Still, original though as it codified a lot of the lore that was only hinted at in the first game.

Genalogy of the Holy War: Massively changes the formula of the previous games. Gen 1 is basically a series of Gaiden chapters to a larger conflict in the east. The enemy empire is the protagonist's own home kingdom. The protagonist freaking dies half way through the game! Gen 2 reverts back to the formula of exiled prince reclaiming his homeland, but with a lot more added context than the previous (and many later) iterations due to Gen 1. This also introduces the idea of an ancient army of heroes that fill out the backstory. Shadow Dragon had something like this with some scattered historical figures, but not on the same level as Genealogy that later games would use.

Thracia: Again we have a prince reclaiming his homeland, but it's very different here as it's a genuine rebellion with elements of guerillia warfare. It's also staged as just a small part of a much larger scale conflict (that we saw in the previous game). This is really the game that deserved to be called Gaiden now that I think about it.

Binding Blade: Well known to be the cliche one. Although in terms of the actual war it pulls some interesting things. The Lycian Alliance is more like the EU and Roy never actually loses his home land. A peace is made with the enemy half way through the game and Roy needs to fill some time doing some UN peace keeping missions before things heat up again. We have dragons back after a departure in Jugdral and once again they're a "species that was" that's threatening the world again. All in all the game actually manages to straddle the line between it's cliches and it's originality. Most of the cliches come down to reusing (and firmly establishing the concept of) character archtypes. It does solidify one of the most common tropes in the series though, which is basically the opening of Avatar "everything was peaceful until the ____ nation suddenly attacked." All the previous games also used this to some extent (including the first), but this is the first to really just throw it out there because it's an easy way to kick off the story (in Shadow Dragon it happened in Marth's backstory, in Gaiden there'd always been tensions so it wasn't sudden at all and the war has been going on some years before Alm involves himself, in Jugdral who started the Isaach conflict is way more complicated and murky and doesn't directly affect the protagonist until much later). It also rips the whole legendary heroes idea from Jugdral wholesale.

Blazing Blade: This is a game that's forced to be set in peace time due to being a prequel. And that gives it a unique flair, even if in gameplay it doesn't resemble that at all. We also go for multiple protagonists for the first time since Gaiden, Lyn mode plays out the very typical Fire Emblem story of an exile reclaiming their kingdom (even though in her case it's a kingdom she's never even been to). The main plot is more nebulous in it's goals beyond "stop Nergal." There's a lot of running around places trying to figure out what to do next. So I'd rate it as pretty different.

Sacred Stones: Takes a lot of elements from Gaiden, including dual protagonists, monster hoards, world map etc. But it's also a pretty typical Fire Emblem plot of exiled prince(cesses) reclaiming their kingdom. Along with the Avatar intro plot set up. Honestly this one is actually pretty cliche. I can't think of anything it really does unique that other games didn't do previously. It even throws in the whole legendary heroes backstory, yet doesn't even bother to name most of them! Fomortiis isn't a dragon though, which some people appreciate.

Path of Radiance: This game takes Alm and puts him in the more cliched plot of reclaiming the home land (on behalf of a princess which Binding Blade also did). But because the Alm archetype is so different from the common princlings of the series, it does manage to feel very refreshing. It also has well praised world building, most noteably with the Laguz which introduces some more serious themes into the series in earnest. It also has dragons without making them the big deal of the plot (though also without making them feel ancillary like Sacred Stones did).

Radiant Dawn: I think this is the only game in the series that actually feels like a sequel. Mystery Book 2 felt more like a rehash as I said. The villain in this game is a previous ally in the last game. We get to see conflict from multiple perspectives for the first time in the series (as contrived as some people might find it). And then it suddenly goes off the rails in the last part and gets more high concept in nature. I actually think this could be the least Fire Emblem Fire Emblem game we've ever had in the series.

Awakening:  This game is broken into three parts. The first is...well it's not exactly cliched because there's not exactly much to it. The conflict with Gangrel is altogether rather simple. It's like cliched Fire Emblem lite. Act manages to feel different as the protagonist is essentially invading another continent, and the villain isn't actually depicted all that evilly, just opposed morally. Unfortunately is very underdeveloped and gets weighed down a bit trying to juggle bits of act 3. Act 3 basically takes the whole evil dragon (or demon) cliche other games used and turns it up to 11 in scale with an apocalyptic future and a truly giant ass dragon. Robin is also basically Julius except good, which is an interesting turn around.

Fates Birthright: Well we're not reclaiming a homeland, but it still kind of feels like we are as Corrin is from Nohr and Nohr is just as much evil empire as previous games. Birthright also has the kind of Awakening act 1 element to it where it's kind of simple so feels like it's Fire Emblem cliche plot lite.

Fates Conquest: It dares to be different. Doesn't particularly dare to be nuanced. But it does dare to be different. I'll give it that.

Fates Revelations: This is basically the Part 4 of Radiant Dawn. We go high concept other worlds and gods stuff. Doesn't quite feel as fresh after Radiant Dawn.

I've typed a lot and people seem to be discussing three houses at length so I'll leave it there. All in all I think Fire Emblem is a "cliched, but". It always tries to be somewhat different, but also knows there are elements it can get away with relying on. I think by far it's most comfortable tropes are a sudden enemy attack opening, a prince reclaiming their homeland, a powerful dragon enemy (or some such equivalent being, being a video game this is almost expected though) and a shadow dark cult or powerful dark mage (something I neglected to mention there).

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59 minutes ago, Jotari said:

Gaiden: Abandons pretty much everything about Shadow Dragon except a medieval setting (and even then people have pointed out the aesthetic is quite Roman in places) and a sword called Falchion. There's only two countries, there's no dragons (or at least, they're not identified as dragons, I believe they always were). Alm is a commoner instead of a prince (effectively), there are two protagonists, a traversable world map (which is a large enough gameplay element I'd include it in the plot as aesthetic does play into narrative), all the characters are changed and so too is the location. Which is actually a rather bold move. Imagine if the second Zelda game didn't star Link.

  • The aesthetic was somewhat Roman in the first game as well if I recall correctly. 
  • "Alm was (effectively) a commoner instead of a prince" …Until he turns out to be a secret prince at the end of Part 4, and is basically a prince in the final part of the game. He is also the chosen wielder (as in the weapon chose him) of not one, but two legendary weapons. Also, throughout part 1 to 4, he is the supposed grandson of a legendary knight; hardly a commoner, and that raised a minor plot hole for me in Shadows of Valentia: "Really, Ferdinand? You're calling Alm a commoner? As far as you know, he's the grandson of a knight! And just look at him: he has a sword, and plate armour! Those things are expensive." <- My thoughts. What I'm saying is, Alm's not really a commoner as far as the story or themes of Gaiden were concerned; even IS looking back before they even made Shadows of Valentia didn't consider Alm effectively a commoner. 
  • The second Zelda game may have had Link, but it had a lot of bold moves of its own: side-scrolling 2D, a level-up system, combat being restricted to sword, shield & spells, limited number of lives, explorable towns, etc. Story-wise, Link was 16 rather than a child, and the villain, rather than being Ganon, was a Hylian Prince who died long before the game begins. Both Gaiden and The Adventure of Link are very much alike: they were both the second game in their respective series, a wild departure from the first game (The Adventure of Link wasn't even considered a Zelda game until near the end of its development), and both would end up being very different from the mold their series would continue to follow until their most recent games (Three Houses and Breath of the Wild respectively). 

 

1 hour ago, Jotari said:

Path of Radiance: This game takes Alm and puts him in the more cliched plot of reclaiming the home land (on behalf of a princess which Binding Blade also did). But because the Alm archetype is so different from the common princelings of the series, it does manage to feel very refreshing. It also has well praised world building, most notably with the Laguz which introduces some more serious themes into the series in earnest. It also has dragons without making them the big deal of the plot (though also without making them feel ancillary like Sacred Stones did).

I highly, highly disagree with the notion of Ike being part of "The Alm Archetype", for so many different reasons:

As I already said, Gaiden Alm is not a commoner. Ike is. Ike was created by the development team to be a brand new type of protagonist; one that people could better empathise with, and him being a commoner and mercenary's son was a big part of that. The first three chapters cement this idea: Ike has an actual job that he trains for, the mercenary company has to be concerned with making ends meet, etc. One can even see this in the attitude of the characters throughout each story: Alm being Mycen's grandson is a big deal even in Gaiden, while Ike being Greil's son is only a big deal amongst the mercenary company, those who knew Greil personally, and the two villains that know who Greil used to be. Ike has no inherent status at all. 

Furthermore, unlike almost every other lord including Alm, Ike is not a chosen wielder: the Regal Sword is a gift from Greil before Ike goes on his first mission involving a hostile professional army, and Ragnell is something he went back and collected after Greil's death. 

There is so much wrong with saying that Ike is part of "the Alm archetype" that I can't even list it all. Ike does not fit any previously-established FE lord mold: the closest being that he has some personality quirks in common with Hector. That's it. 

I will say though that I agree with your other points about the princess, worldbuilding, serious themes, and dragons. I will just say that there are subtle differences between Elincia and previous exiled princess characters: namely in her character development. Spending time amongst the Greil Mercenaries and her desire to help others combine and lead her to take an active involvement; basically transforming from Guinevere into Minerva/Caeda in terms of archetype. 

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19 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:
  •  
  • "Alm was (effectively) a commoner instead of a prince" …Until he turns out to be a secret prince at the end of Part 4, and is basically a prince in the final part of the game. He is also the chosen wielder (as in the weapon chose him) of not one, but two legendary weapons. Also, throughout part 1 to 4, he is the supposed grandson of a legendary knight; hardly a commoner, and that raised a minor plot hole for me in Shadows of Valentia: "Really, Ferdinand? You're calling Alm a commoner? As far as you know, he's the grandson of a knight! And just look at him: he has a sword, and plate armour! Those things are expensive." <- My thoughts. What I'm saying is, Alm's not really a commoner as far as the story or themes of Gaiden were concerned; even IS looking back before they even made Shadows of Valentia didn't consider Alm effectively a commoner. 

Alm is effectively a commoner in the outline of the story. Yeah, he has the prince plot twist (that's why I said effectively), but the point is that Alm is not fighting to reclaim or defend any land that he personally owns or is entitled to, like Marth, Seliph, Roy, Ephraim, Eirika etc. 

19 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:
  • The aesthetic was somewhat Roman in the first game as well if I recall correctly. 

Yeah, I suppose it was now that you mention it.

19 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:
  •  
  • The second Zelda game may have had Link, but it had a lot of bold moves of its own: side-scrolling 2D, a level-up system, combat being restricted to sword, shield & spells, limited number of lives, explorable towns, etc. Story-wise, Link was 16 rather than a child, and the villain, rather than being Ganon, was a Hylian Prince who died long before the game begins. Both Gaiden and The Adventure of Link are very much alike: they were both the second game in their respective series, a wild departure from the first game (The Adventure of Link wasn't even considered a Zelda game until near the end of its development), and both would end up being very different from the mold their series would continue to follow until their most recent games (Three Houses and Breath of the Wild respectively). 

True, and I love Zelda II. Would actually be delighted to get another game like it. It was pretty common in the NES days for the second game to be the black sheep that did something experimental before returning to the standard in the third. Final Fantasy II is another immediate example with it's really weird combat system.

19 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:
  • I highly, highly disagree with the notion of Ike being part of "The Alm Archetype", for so many different reasons:

As I already said, Gaiden Alm is not a commoner. Ike is. Ike was created by the development team to be a brand new type of protagonist; one that people could better empathise with, and him being a commoner and mercenary's son was a big part of that. The first three chapters cement this idea: Ike has an actual job that he trains for, the mercenary company has to be concerned with making ends meet, etc. One can even see this in the attitude of the characters throughout each story: Alm being Mycen's grandson is a big deal even in Gaiden, while Ike being Greil's son is only a big deal amongst the mercenary company, those who knew Greil personally, and the two villains that know who Greil used to be. Ike has no inherent status at all. 

If you actually look at what happens in the game, Ike is more of a noble than Alm is. Mycen and Greil are both nobles, but the big difference is that Greil actually is administrating and protecting lands from a castle with Ike even inheriting the position he is objectively unqualified for by right of blood alone. In terms of technical law/blood right, both are noble (Alm as royalty is just a higher noble, though Greil being a general was probably pretty highly born in preAshnard reforms Daein society). In terms of how they function in their world, both are commoners. Alm wielding a special sword doesn't change that. It's just a separate cliche he's adhering to (and one that Hector and Eliwood abandoned before him too).

Edited by Jotari

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4 minutes ago, Jotari said:

In terms of how they function in their world, both are commoners. Alm wielding a special sword doesn't change that.

If it were just Falchion, no it wouldn’t change anything but the royal sword does in fact at least prove his nobility and that’s really the main issue with it. In a story about proving the worth of the common man and that birthright doesn’t matter, it really is a bad idea to give your protagonist a weapon only he can wield simply because of his noble bloodline. As for Ike, I can’t speak too much for since I’ve only played 10 chapters of PoR. I don’t know if Ike’s nobility plays a big part in the narrative or not or if it compromises any of the game’s themes or ideas.

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8 minutes ago, Jotari said:

Alm is effectively a commoner in the outline of the story. Yeah, he has the prince plot twist (that's why I said effectively), but the point is that Alm is not fighting to reclaim or defend any land that he personally owns or is entitled to, like Marth, Seliph, Roy, Ephraim, Eirika etc. 

He is by part 5. 

 

9 minutes ago, Jotari said:

If you actually look at what happens in the game, Ike is more of a noble than Alm is. Mycen and Greil are both nobles, but the big difference is that Greil actually is administrating and protecting lands from a castle with Ike even inheriting the position he is objectively unqualified for by right of blood alone. In terms of technical law/blood right, both are noble (Alm as royalty is just a higher noble, though Greil being a general was probably pretty highly born in pre-Ashnard reforms Daein society). In terms of how they function in their world, both are commoners. Alm wielding a special sword doesn't change that. It's just a separate cliche he's adhering to (and one that Hector and Eliwood abandoned before him too).

No; no he isn't. Alm; more of a commoner than Ike? That's not true at all. 

"Greil is administering and protecting lands from a castle" he own a small fortress (not the land; just the fortress) and he is the owner of a peasant mercenary company. Villages and towns hire him directly to clear out bandits. He has no authority or power over these villages; he's just a guy who lives in a home and is hired to do a job. He is no more a noble than Ogma. In fact, let's just compare: Ogma runs a group of mercenaries, lives in Talys Castle, and is paid to clear out bandits. Does that make Ogma a noble?

"Ike inherits a position he is objectively unqualified for by right of blood alone" him being Greil's son does play a part in him inheriting control of the mercenary company. But sons inheriting their father's jobs is hardly restricted to nobles. But what really cements his position as leader is, frankly, who else? Titania doesn't want it, Soren, Boyd, Oscar, Gatrie, Shinon and Rhys are all unqualified. Ike's the closest one to being qualified aside from Titania, who does not want the job. Again, Ike inherits a very small mercenary company. Alm inherits an entire Liberation Army, and later inherits an entire Empire. By contrast, Ike earns command of the Crimean Liberation Army, and he is made a noble because the Begnion soldiers on loan to them will not work for a commoner; even a commoner that's leading an army on behalf of a princess. 

Greil was once Sir Gawain: One of Daein's Four Riders. "That was my name, once, but I threw it away." Greil is no longer of any title or status; the moment he fled Daein with Lehran's Medallion, he ceased being a noble and became an outlaw. Ike is the son of a peasant priestess and a former-noble-turned-peasant-outlaw mercenary commander. He is not noble in terms of blood or birthright. Alm is. 

In terms of how the function in the story, Ike is routinely ignored, belittled, and told to learn his place because he's a commoner and a mercenary, as is Greil, and before you say something like, "That's just Begnion", it really isn't: 

(Petrine talking to Greil in Chapter 7, and remember that she's a general during Ashnard's reign)

Petrine: “Ha! Ignoring me proves you’ve got more guts than common sense. So you’re the commander, eh? Hmph! And I was waiting for some great hero. You’re just another sellsword.”

Petrine: “Dog’s breath! Who are you, man? You look like a common sellsword, but you fight like a demon!”

(Calill and Largo unable to consider that Ike's the general of the Crimean Liberation Army)

Ike All right, you're in.

Calill What? Are you allowed to make decisions like that on your own? Perhaps I should speak to the general!

Ike I am the general.

Calill Whaaaaaat?!

Ike All right. You're in.

Largo Yes! So, uh, how about taking me to meet the general?

Ike I'm the general.

Largo Wah? Bwaa ha ha ha ha ha haaaaa! That's good! You're a funny little guy! Bwaa ha ha ha haaaa!! So, seriously. Where's the general's tent? Must be that big one there.

(Kotaff, another Daein commander, dismissing Ike and his mercenaries as just sell-swords)

Kotaff: So, you are the new commander... Tell me, boy, what cowardly tactics did you employ to fell our brothers? You must have deceived them. There's no way rabble like you could defeat Daein troops in a fair fight.
Ike: From the very beginning, every last one of you underestimated us. Will you never learn? Your refusal to recognize our strength will forever keep victory at arm's length.
Kotaff: Silence! Silence, you idiot child!
Ike: You're right. No more talk.

Furthermore, The Black Knight and Ashnard take interest in Ike because of the Medallion and because Greil was the greatest swordsman in all of Tellius. It has nothing to do with Ike being of any politically-relevant bloodline. 

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29 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

He is by part 5. 

Yes, the end of the game.

29 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

He is by part 5. 

 

No; no he isn't. Alm; more of a commoner than Ike? That's not true at all. 

"Greil is administering and protecting lands from a castle" he own a small fortress (not the land; just the fortress) and he is the owner of a peasant mercenary company. Villages and towns hire him directly to clear out bandits. He has no authority or power over these villages; he's just a guy who lives in a home and is hired to do a job. He is no more a noble than Ogma. In fact, let's just compare: Ogma runs a group of mercenaries, lives in Talys Castle, and is paid to clear out bandits. Does that make Ogma a noble?

 

Ogma doesn't own Talys Castle, Greil, from everything we can gather, does own it. It's not a lot of land, but it is land, that's the difference between a noble and a commoner.

29 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

Soren, Boyd, Oscar, Gatrie, Shinon and Rhys are all unqualified.

Every single on of them (except maybe Rhys, but only regards to combat) is more qualified than Ike. Gatrie and Shinon leave over this issue.

29 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

Greil was once Sir Gawain: One of Daein's Four Riders. "That was my name, once, but I threw it away." Greil is no longer of any title or status; the moment he fled Daein with Lehran's Medallion, he ceased being a noble and became an outlaw. Ike is the son of a peasant priestess and a former-noble-turned-peasant-outlaw mercenary commander. He is not noble in terms of blood or birthright. Alm is. 

Obviously Alm isn't a commoner when he becomes King. Do you really, honestly, think that's what I was claiming? Or are you just trying to strawman me? I'm talking about how he functions during the story of the game. In which he's not a noble, he's raised as a commoner and treated like one. It's a plot twist that he's Rudolf's son and a noble, but during the course of the story this is not known. That's like saying Ike's not a commoner because he's granted a lord ship half way through the game.

29 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

In terms of how the function in the story, Ike is routinely ignored, belittled, and told to learn his place because he's a commoner and a mercenary, as is Greil, and before you say something like, "That's just Begnion", it really isn't: 

The fact that Alm isn't ignored has nothing to do with him being secretly royalty. You're just proving that Ike is publicly viewed as a commoner which is not something I dispute.

29 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

Furthermore, The Black Knight and Ashnard take interest in Ike because of the Medallion and because Greil was the greatest swordsman in all of Tellius. It has nothing to do with Ike being of any politically-relevant bloodline. 

No, it's not. But that doesn't change the fact that he is.

And it is to do with the fact that he's part of a magically relevant bloodline through his mother's side. But all of that was shoved over to Mist and then bizarrely ignored by the story (I peg it down to changes in the plans for Radiant Dawn).

 

Edited by Jotari

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1 hour ago, vanguard333 said:

As I already said, Gaiden Alm is not a commoner. Ike is.

Ike is secretly the son of Gawain, one of Daein's Great Riders. He may not be a prince, but Ike was no commoner.

 

1 hour ago, vanguard333 said:

grandson of a legendary knight; hardly a commoner, and that raised a minor plot hole for me in Shadows of Valentia: "Really, Ferdinand? You're calling Alm a commoner? As far as you know, he's the grandson of a knight! And just look at him: he has a sword, and plate armour! Those things are expensive."

He is considered a commoner because Mycen himself was a commoner. Mycen had to earn his title before it was striped from him.

 

1 hour ago, vanguard333 said:

he first three chapters cement this idea: Ike has an actual job that he trains for, the mercenary company has to be concerned with making ends meet, etc.

Just like how Alm spent his early life training as a farmer, an actual job to make ends meet.

 

1 hour ago, vanguard333 said:

Ike being Greil's son is only a big deal amongst the mercenary company

When the king of Gallia himself is willing to personally met you because of your father, that is a big deal.

 

1 hour ago, vanguard333 said:

 

Furthermore, unlike almost every other lord including Alm, Ike is not a chosen wielder: the Regal Sword is a gift from Greil before Ike goes on his first mission involving a hostile professional army, and Ragnell is something he went back and collected after Greil's death. 

And yet he is quite literally the only person able to wield the Ragnell, his father's sword. Sounds fairly chosen to me.

 

19 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

 

"Greil is administering and protecting lands from a castle" he own a small fortress (not the land; just the fortress) and he is the owner of a peasant mercenary company.

...Do you really believe he owns the fortress but somehow not the land it is standing on.

 

19 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

Greil was once Sir Gawain: One of Daein's Four Riders. "That was my name, once, but I threw it away." Greil is no longer of any title or status; the moment he fled Daein with Lehran's Medallion, he ceased being a noble and became an outlaw. Ike is the son of a peasant priestess and a former-noble-turned-peasant-outlaw mercenary commander. He is not noble in terms of blood or birthright. Alm is. 

Mycen was barely considered a noble before he was banished to Ram village, and striped of his title. Plus Alm doesn't waltz into Rigel like he owns the place, he is hunted like an outlaw, because to his kingdom he is one, just like Ike.

 

19 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

 

In terms of how the function in the story, Ike is routinely ignored, belittled, and told to learn his place because he's a commoner and a mercenary, as is Greil, and before you say something like, "That's just Begnion", it really isn't: 

Alm is treated like a peasant repeatedly, especially in Echoes,  and to emphasize this here are a bunch of quotes showing it.

 

Fernand: I only joined this damned army because YOU were leading it! And now you want me to take orders from some wretched farmchild?

Clive: This is no mere farmchild, Fernand! He has Sir Mycen’s blood!

Fernand: Mycen? Pah! Damn him AND his blood! They may sing of him as a hero, but no one even knows what wench the man sprang from! His entire story is a disgrace to the Zofian nobility! You need to invoke the name of that old man to control your men? Pathetic.

Clive: Enough!

Fernand: I lost my taste for this long ago. We were supposed to be a band of noble knights. United in purpose! Upholding a tradition! Restoring the old order to Zofia! Now the Deliverance is full of baseborn serfs trying to lord over us. Like your lieutenant Forsyth. Or that Python—true to his name, he is!

Clive: Both of them have proven themselves on the battlefield time and again! Are you suggesting I deny my men fair reward for their achievements? What incentive would they have then?! The damned army wouldn’t function! Hear me, Fernand. Hear me well. I know you have your reasons for closing your heart to the common folk. But please, for the sake of our ideals, you MUST think beyond them.

Fernand: No, Clive. I will not. I would rather die than kneel to some whelp who was birthed in the hay. Today we part ways for good and all. I am finished with you and your “Deliverance.” Farewell.

Clive: Fernand, wait—

Alm: Clive, shouldn’t you go after him?

Clive: …No. I knew this was coming—we’ve had no shortage of clashes lately. I cannot force him to see things as I do, so… Well, perhaps it’s better this way.

Alm: Clive… I know it’s not much in the way of comfort, but…I’ll do my best.

Clive: Thank you, Alm. We shall march on Zofia Castle just as soon as you feel we are prepared. I suppose you must still have many questions about the Deliverance. Feel free to ask around to any of the soldiers here.

 

 

Berkut: *sigh* You. Knight. Fernand, was it?

Fernand: Yes, my lord.

Berkut: You said the name of the Deliverance’s new leader is “Alm,” correct? And that he is of common birth? There is no mistake in this?

Fernand: None, my lord. Clive and the other fools believe he is Mycen’s grandson…

Berkut: Hmph. What nonsense. One is born either noble or common. This destiny cannot be changed. Has a sheep any hope of leading wolves? No!

 

 

Berkut: Hah! What’s the matter, farmboy? Afraid you won’t land a single blow?

Alm: The name is Alm—not “farmboy.”

Berkut: Oh, my mistake. Wait a second…

 

 

Berkut: You kept me waiting, Alm. I was starting to wonder if you’d actually come.

Alm: Berkut!

Berkut: That’s quite the little army you’ve assembled. I’m almost impressed. For a ragtag group of gathered scraps, the Deliverance actually looks the part.

Alm: ……

Berkut: Still, it seems you’ve all let a few meager successes go to your heads. Who are you to dare threaten Rigel’s borders? Lowborn fool. Do you truly fancy yourself the next king of Zofia?! You must learn your place!

Clive: You’ve got it all wrong, Berkut.

Fernand: Clive?

Clive: I’ve been at Alm’s side from the outset, watching all that he has done. He’s a brave warrior, and a good man worthy of the crown. He’s made such clear to me time and again.. The right of kings is not decided by blood or station. It lies in what a man believes. What keeps him up at night. It lies in a man’s actions!

Fernand: Enough already! You would throw away your pride as a Zofian noble and bow to a commoner?! I see now that the Clive I once knew is well and truly dead. Now it falls on me to bury him!

 

A lot of Ike's story was following in the footsteps of Alm, with the biggest difference being in the ending.

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4 minutes ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

Ike is secretly the son of Gawain, one of Daein's Great Riders. He may not be a prince, but Ike was no commoner.

 

He is considered a commoner because Mycen himself was a commoner. Mycen had to earn his title before it was striped from him.

 

Just like how Alm spent his early life training as a farmer, an actual job to make ends meet.

 

When the king of Gallia himself is willing to personally met you because of your father, that is a big deal.

 

And yet he is quite literally the only person able to wield the Ragnell, his father's sword. Sounds fairly chosen to me.

 

...Do you really believe he owns the fortress but somehow not the land it is standing on.

 

Mycen was barely considered a noble before he was banished to Ram village, and striped of his title. Plus Alm doesn't waltz into Rigel like he owns the place, he is hunted like an outlaw, because to his kingdom he is one, just like Ike.

 

Alm is treated like a peasant repeatedly, especially in Echoes,  and to emphasize this here are a bunch of quotes showing it.

 

Fernand: I only joined this damned army because YOU were leading it! And now you want me to take orders from some wretched farmchild?

Clive: This is no mere farmchild, Fernand! He has Sir Mycen’s blood!

Fernand: Mycen? Pah! Damn him AND his blood! They may sing of him as a hero, but no one even knows what wench the man sprang from! His entire story is a disgrace to the Zofian nobility! You need to invoke the name of that old man to control your men? Pathetic.

Clive: Enough!

Fernand: I lost my taste for this long ago. We were supposed to be a band of noble knights. United in purpose! Upholding a tradition! Restoring the old order to Zofia! Now the Deliverance is full of baseborn serfs trying to lord over us. Like your lieutenant Forsyth. Or that Python—true to his name, he is!

Clive: Both of them have proven themselves on the battlefield time and again! Are you suggesting I deny my men fair reward for their achievements? What incentive would they have then?! The damned army wouldn’t function! Hear me, Fernand. Hear me well. I know you have your reasons for closing your heart to the common folk. But please, for the sake of our ideals, you MUST think beyond them.

Fernand: No, Clive. I will not. I would rather die than kneel to some whelp who was birthed in the hay. Today we part ways for good and all. I am finished with you and your “Deliverance.” Farewell.

Clive: Fernand, wait—

Alm: Clive, shouldn’t you go after him?

Clive: …No. I knew this was coming—we’ve had no shortage of clashes lately. I cannot force him to see things as I do, so… Well, perhaps it’s better this way.

Alm: Clive… I know it’s not much in the way of comfort, but…I’ll do my best.

Clive: Thank you, Alm. We shall march on Zofia Castle just as soon as you feel we are prepared. I suppose you must still have many questions about the Deliverance. Feel free to ask around to any of the soldiers here.

 

 

Berkut: *sigh* You. Knight. Fernand, was it?

Fernand: Yes, my lord.

Berkut: You said the name of the Deliverance’s new leader is “Alm,” correct? And that he is of common birth? There is no mistake in this?

Fernand: None, my lord. Clive and the other fools believe he is Mycen’s grandson…

Berkut: Hmph. What nonsense. One is born either noble or common. This destiny cannot be changed. Has a sheep any hope of leading wolves? No!

 

 

Berkut: Hah! What’s the matter, farmboy? Afraid you won’t land a single blow?

Alm: The name is Alm—not “farmboy.”

Berkut: Oh, my mistake. Wait a second…

 

 

Berkut: You kept me waiting, Alm. I was starting to wonder if you’d actually come.

Alm: Berkut!

Berkut: That’s quite the little army you’ve assembled. I’m almost impressed. For a ragtag group of gathered scraps, the Deliverance actually looks the part.

Alm: ……

Berkut: Still, it seems you’ve all let a few meager successes go to your heads. Who are you to dare threaten Rigel’s borders? Lowborn fool. Do you truly fancy yourself the next king of Zofia?! You must learn your place!

Clive: You’ve got it all wrong, Berkut.

Fernand: Clive?

Clive: I’ve been at Alm’s side from the outset, watching all that he has done. He’s a brave warrior, and a good man worthy of the crown. He’s made such clear to me time and again.. The right of kings is not decided by blood or station. It lies in what a man believes. What keeps him up at night. It lies in a man’s actions!

Fernand: Enough already! You would throw away your pride as a Zofian noble and bow to a commoner?! I see now that the Clive I once knew is well and truly dead. Now it falls on me to bury him!

 

A lot of Ike's story was following in the footsteps of Alm, with the biggest difference being in the ending.

Well actually anyone can wield Ragnell and Greil never owned it, he only even touched it that one time. It's just locked to Ike for the purposes of gameplay. But other than that, yeah, everything well stated.

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