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Glennstavos

If you were writing [spoiler's] death scene

Divine Pulse in a cutscene?  

29 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you have written Byleth to do that?

    • Nope. The player is used to gameplay/story segregation, anyway. Why complicate a serious scene with vague mechanical details?
      1
    • Nope. Because now anytime something bad happens to Byleth the player is going to wonder why they don't use it to avert any tragedy
      7
    • Yeah. It's realistic storytelling, and divine pulse is already established in the narrative back in the prologue
      10
    • Yeah. It was important to establish limitations for divine pulse so that the player isn't always expecting it.
      4
    • All of this is dumb. I wouldn't have acknowledged Divine Pulse in the story to begin with
      7


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I know the game feels like ancient history to most of us, but I'll put up the spoiler warning anyway for anybody who hasn't cleared chapter 9 yet

Okay, so I remember my mouth agape when Byleth used Divine Pulse in a cutscene. Unbelievable, the writers actually acknowledged the mechanic's existence aaaand it doesn't work. Sothis explains it away as time being too stubborn to change fate sometimes, or some such nonsense. Even though we encounter no such trouble rewriting the deaths of important characters during gameplay such as the lords, Byleth, or even Rhea when she's an NPC. There's also the matter of Thales' intervention, and how believable it is. Even Monika is shocked that Thales was not only there to help her, but chose to  do so despite her finishing the mission already. You could say her "heart" was the key to his erasing of Byleth from existence in the next chapter, but wasn't that a last resort should her ambush fail? And aren't there many grotesque humans he could have also sacrificed for the same move? Chalk it up to lack of worldbuilding for the Slitherers, I guess.

Ultimately my question is this: Byleth using Divine Pulse in a cutscene, good or bad writing choice?

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I'm gonna go with it's a fine writing decision to do what they did but I'm not gonna vote because I flat out cannot agree with any of the reasons given. 

10 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

Sothis explains it away as time being too stubborn to change fate sometimes, or some such nonsense.

This feels condescending and I don't like that. It's a common trope with most time loop stories or any story where a character has the ability to traverse time at will. Sometimes fate just can't be changed no matter how many times you try to change it. Sometimes you just have to accept whatever happened happened and move on which is very much so the case in 3H. Hell a similar idea is lightly touched upon in both awakening and fates but that's besides the point. The reason I like that line specifically by sothis is that it is line with other running motifs in the story. One running idea that 3H tackles is being able to move beyond the past. You see that idea kinda explored with both Dimitri, Edelgard, and Rhea as well as a few other characters like Marianne. I like this scene because it creates a deeper connection between Byleth and their respective lord(except Claude). It allows Byleth to better connect with Dimitri's vengeance or Edelgard's strong resolve to do what must be done. It's a moment that really highlights how cruel and stubborn fate can truly be and I like how it's handled for the most part.

As far as the "realistic"(god I hate that term) angle goes well it doesn't break verisimilitude so it's fine by me.

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I voted for "wouldn't have acknowledged Divine Pulse in the story to begin with", but I do appreciate that they at least showed Byleth trying it and failing anyway, instead of just forgetting about it.

In future games I'd just call it "Battle Rewind" and make it a non-diegetic QoL feature. It doesn't need to be explained in-story any more than being able to save and reset does.

Edited by Anomalocaris

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I legit did wonder why Byleth didn't just use Divine Pulse in the story when bad things happened to him. There isn't nearly enough clarification on what sort of limitations that mechanic has, story-wise, if any at all. Using it once, failing, and then going "oh well" without trying again is...just kinda dumb? There should have been some sort of established, written, displayed reason as to why it wouldn't have worked, and that reason should have been displayed prominently a couple chapters before the death.

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50 minutes ago, Ottservia said:

This feels condescending and I don't like that. It's a common trope with most time loop stories or any story where a character has the ability to traverse time at will. Sometimes fate just can't be changed no matter how many times you try to change it. Sometimes you just have to accept whatever happened happened and move on which is very much so the case in 3H.

"It's written this way because that's how other stories do it" doesn't feel like a solid justification. And I can't think of any time travel stories that do that. Most time travel stories that do come to mind explore the horrors of the power itself. And how trying to erase a traumatic event often makes the situation worse for yourself or for loved ones. Whenever fate fights against the protagonist it actually fights them, rather than taking the toy away for just a second without an explanation. Things getting worse after time travel can also come off just as contrived, but that just speaks to the quality of the narrative. "Hey, sometimes shit happens" is not a theme.

Edited by Glennstavos

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...Fuck, these are all good answers. I went with

Spoiler

Yeah. It's realistic storytelling, and divine pulse is already established in the narrative back in the prologue

Basically, Byleth not using Divine Pulse to reverse any bad stuff will always be pointed to as a plot hole, whether Byleth does it for Jeralt or not (or... is it Sothis doing it? IDK exactly).

1 hour ago, Glennstavos said:

Unbelievable, the writers actually acknowledged the mechanic's existence aaaand it doesn't work. Sothis explains it away as time being too stubborn to change fate sometimes, or some such nonsense.

I've never cared for Sothis' reaction to this point. I would've preferred something along the lines of "Being able to warp instantly, and blocking even the Sword of the Creator... it seems this 'Thales' posseses a power rivaling that of Divine Pulse." The very concept of "fate" or "destiny" is incongruous with the ability to rewind time. My own take is, rescuing Jeralt was technically possible, but impractical given the limited count of Divine Pulses. Even if Sothis knew, though, she wouldn't say it, lest Byleth bear the guilt for their father's death.

5 minutes ago, Fire Emblem Fan said:

I legit did wonder why Byleth didn't just use Divine Pulse in the story when bad things happened to him. There isn't nearly enough clarification on what sort of limitations that mechanic has, story-wise, if any at all. Using it once, failing, and then going "oh well" without trying again is...just kinda dumb? There should have been some sort of established, written, displayed reason as to why it wouldn't have worked, and that reason should have been displayed prominently a couple chapters before the death.

What if Byleth needed a certain item to Divine Pulse? They always bring it to battle, but when it gets taken from them, bad shit comes to pass. The most obvious item is the Sword-of-the-Creator, but that doesn't fit narratively - Byleth uses Pulse to save Edelgard, well before they find the Sword. Perhaps it could be an equippable, like a bracelet or pocketwatch, that belonged to their mother (and Rhea before her)? Thus establishing a connection with the Crest of Flames. But the question would remain - how to take it away when the story demands it, without seeming contrived?

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Yeah, with limitations.

I don’t think Divine Pulse is a power inherent in Byleth.  Sothis allows Byleth to use it because she is uncomfortable with “children in battle”.  I don’t think Byleth can time travel whenever.

 And I would have had Byleth use Divine Pulse SEVERAL times to try save his father each time failing in different ways, becoming increasingly frustrated and emotional... like a full nerd rage when you’re like screwed on a map and there’s nothing you can do but still try...  and the enemy blocking him I’d have him laugh at him as if he KNOWS Byleth is traveling thru time and still failing...  until finally Divine Pulses are used up, Byleth keeps trying to Pulse but the power is worn out.  An exhausted Sothis tries to console him but Byleth is just angry and sad.  No talk about fate...  just a good ol’ miserable time of rage and tears.

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I always figured one limitation could be that Byleth could only rewind back a x amount of seconds and if there were too many complications to compensate for (where he was, how many obstacles he'd have to remove) there was little Divine Pulse due to change what ultimately happened. So while attempting to murder Kronya was certainly doable in that time frame, killing both her and Thales was impossible.

But that's not how it works mechanically, as we all know.

As for Thales interfering... I figured he did that more because Kronya being murdered meant she would leave a corpse that could be dissected and that'd be bad for them. The ritual she was used for later didn't leave a body, apparently.

Edited by Crysta

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My preference would have been to have Divine Pulse be purely a gameplay mechanic without any story integration, but given that they didn't go down that route,  I'd have tried to pre-establish  some limitations on its power before we get to that scene. It wouldn't have worked thematically to have a big discussion on the metaphysics of time travel in the middle of a death scene, but that doesn't mean that discussion couldn't have happened elsewhere. If we'd already had a scene where Byleth had tried to use Divine Pulse for something but failed, then we could have had a longer explanation of fate and destiny from Sothis. Then, in the death scene, we only need a slight reference to something pre-established that does not interfere with the scene.

For instance, at Remire, Byleth could have been frustrated that the Flame Emperor escaped and tried to use Divine Pulse to prevent this, only to fail each time for different reasons. Then we could have had a full scene where Sothis explains that while many events are mutable, some are destined, and that the power of Divine Pulse is the power to weave the mutable threads to one's will, not the power to change destiny, etc. etc. That way, having already had the concept explained, it's much easier to accept a line about destiny in the moment.

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TBF divine pulse was already used a plot element as its literally how they chose to introduce Sothis into the story in the intro cutscene/prologue chapter. By getting Byleth into a situation where it was mandatory.  And if you use the power once you kind of have to acknowledge it again in some form or another. So the bottom option is kind of out long before you get to this cutscene imo.  I just kind of wish they went with something on Thales interfered with it explantion and went into more detail but I guess that would run into the problem of why did he not use that power again problem. Kind of a tricky situation tbh.

Edited by vikingsfan92

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36 minutes ago, vikingsfan92 said:

TBF divine pulse was already used a plot element as its literally how they chose to introduce Sothis into the story in the intro cutscene/prologue chapter. By getting Byleth into a situation where it was mandatory.  And if you use the power once you kind of have to acknowledge it again in some form or another. So the bottom option is kind of out long before you get to this cutscene imo.  I just kind of wish they went with something on Thales interfered with it explantion and went into more detail but I guess that would run into the problem of why did he not use that power again problem. Kind of a tricky situation tbh.

The introduction and prologue could very easily be rewritten not to include Divine Pulse as a story element. As I understood it, the bottom option isn't "keep everything else the same but ignore Divine Pulse in that one scene"; it's "rewrite the rest of the game's story so that there's no reason to need to explain it away at that point".

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7 hours ago, Glennstavos said:

I know the game feels like ancient history to most of us, but I'll put up the spoiler warning anyway for anybody who hasn't cleared chapter 9 yet

Okay, so I remember my mouth agape when Byleth used Divine Pulse in a cutscene. Unbelievable, the writers actually acknowledged the mechanic's existence aaaand it doesn't work. Sothis explains it away as time being too stubborn to change fate sometimes, or some such nonsense. Even though we encounter no such trouble rewriting the deaths of important characters during gameplay such as the lords, Byleth, or even Rhea when she's an NPC. There's also the matter of Thales' intervention, and how believable it is. Even Monika is shocked that Thales was not only there to help her, but chose to  do so despite her finishing the mission already. You could say her "heart" was the key to his erasing of Byleth from existence in the next chapter, but wasn't that a last resort should her ambush fail? And aren't there many grotesque humans he could have also sacrificed for the same move? Chalk it up to lack of worldbuilding for the Slitherers, I guess.

Ultimately my question is this: Byleth using Divine Pulse in a cutscene, good or bad writing choice?

I doubt they could have used any random human heart for the whole Zagras thing. I got the impression it needed to be an Agarthan which is why they chose Kronya. There is the implication that Agarthans bodies are different and all that. Probably because they've fused with crest stones or something.

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About Kronya and the ritual...  I always find the scene distastefully cruel and sadistic.  Bone crunching sounds... ripping heart out, she begging for help and our heroine is like:  Duuuhh what’s going on?

 Cause of COURSE Byleth won’t try to stop it!...  writers want it to happen... for the shock and drama... and seemingly as if to justify if it, before that they had Kroya kill Jeralt, but also mock him calling him a dog and laughing as he dies.

 It’s like... it’s ok to be cruel and sadistic towards Kronya cause she is soooOOOooo EViL...  It’s so obvious the writers want audience to hate Kronya... but then she’s cute!...  but then we murder her in a disgusting way.  No clean death.

There’s some writer in that dev team that really wanted that disgusting scene while somehow keeping the good boys and girls morally clean.  
Of COURSE it had to be the other cartoon villain to do the dirty deed while the “heroes” keep hands clean and watch.


Sickening.

Edited by Rioma

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Byleth using Divine Pulse to save Jeralt was interesting, although like everyone has said it exposes a whole lot of plot holes. I always figured that multiple Divine Pulses was where gameplay diverged from story (i.e. Byleth has the power to rewind, but can only do it once at any given point in time), solving one problem. I also speculated that there were multiple conditions needing to be fulfilled for Divine Pulse to activate (in-story). Condition 1 is that a death has to occur, and Condition 2 is that Byleth has to negotiate an agreement for using it from Sothis (before EO anyway). This is all just my headcanon, but it helps with some of the story issues up to that point.

It still doesn't explain why it never appears post-Ch. 10, though. Why doesn't Byleth rewind to stop Thales from knocking him into a crevasse and/or blowing up Shambala (and Rhea)? Even assuming Thales is always capable of interfering with DP, why doesn't Byleth prevent Edelgard from committing suicide by Dimitri? 

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2 hours ago, haarhaarhaar said:

Byleth using Divine Pulse to save Jeralt was interesting, although like everyone has said it exposes a whole lot of plot holes. I always figured that multiple Divine Pulses was where gameplay diverged from story (i.e. Byleth has the power to rewind, but can only do it once at any given point in time), solving one problem. I also speculated that there were multiple conditions needing to be fulfilled for Divine Pulse to activate (in-story). Condition 1 is that a death has to occur, and Condition 2 is that Byleth has to negotiate an agreement for using it from Sothis (before EO anyway). This is all just my headcanon, but it helps with some of the story issues up to that point.

It still doesn't explain why it never appears post-Ch. 10, though. Why doesn't Byleth rewind to stop Thales from knocking him into a crevasse and/or blowing up Shambala (and Rhea)? Even assuming Thales is always capable of interfering with DP, why doesn't Byleth prevent Edelgard from committing suicide by Dimitri? 

Well I don't think Byleth has a vested interest in keeping Edelgard alive by that point, though one of the most glaring non uses of it for me is Rodrigue's death. He was killed in a situation that would be ridiculously easy to prevent with a bit of foresight...Things did end up working out because Rodrigue's death shocked Dimitri out of his funk...but then we have to question whether Byleth was making that conscious choice to sacrifice Rodrigue (and Fleche) for Dimitri's mental health.

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1 hour ago, Jotari said:

Well I don't think Byleth has a vested interest in keeping Edelgard alive by that point, though one of the most glaring non uses of it for me is Rodrigue's death. He was killed in a situation that would be ridiculously easy to prevent with a bit of foresight...Things did end up working out because Rodrigue's death shocked Dimitri out of his funk...but then we have to question whether Byleth was making that conscious choice to sacrifice Rodrigue (and Fleche) for Dimitri's mental health.

Good points, especially with Rodrigue. Although even Byleth with protagonist powers couldn't have predicted that Dimitri would get his shit together as a result. Or rather, if Byleth had been betting on that, they'd be a stone-cold psycho. 

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I liked the end-chapter-9 scene, one of the few videos in the game I'm a big fan of. Something terrible happens, rewind time and change things, but Jeralt dies anyway.

My read on the scene was always that that was Byleth's last use of divine pulse available. Similarly with any other things it isn't able to prevent, I assume that Byleth has always used up all his/her shots of Divine Pulse (e.g. for the death in a certain Azure Moon scene) trying to keep his/her allies alive in the battle before.

I took Sothis's talk of fate as somewhat metaphorical: sometimes, no matter what you try, you won't be able to prevent all tragedy. That's true in real life, true in Three Houses (there's no way to completely forestall the war and prevent the deaths of many good people), and it's worth emphasizing that it should remain true even if one has magical powers, or there will be no stakes to the story.

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That true it’s realistic in scenes for drama but jeralt death was stupid. They went with drama for drama and to capture Ike feels from radiant.I mean your bending time it’s already Overpowered to begin with in concept. If they at the very least said divine pulse was depending on focus and extremely draining and a Katakuri style weakness of being composed to use. It would work since Thales as technology to rival it and Byleth isn’t thinking straight to use it properly. Again the scene nails on the feels perfectly but that small pet peeve could be solve by explaining the more Sothis stays awake the more expressive Byleth becomes and since they never showed emotion until garreg mach it would contribute to solve this issue.

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I think it would be better written if later Agarthan revealed to have ability to counter Divine Pulse, making Byleth unable to change this event and chapter 12.

Original script calls that Edelgard and Nemesis could counter this ability, (implied it's why Agarthan so interesting in this crest) but it was not adopt into the final game.

Edited by Timlugia

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On 9/4/2020 at 7:34 PM, Glennstavos said:

I know the game feels like ancient history to most of us, but I'll put up the spoiler warning anyway for anybody who hasn't cleared chapter 9 yet

Okay, so I remember my mouth agape when Byleth used Divine Pulse in a cutscene. Unbelievable, the writers actually acknowledged the mechanic's existence aaaand it doesn't work. Sothis explains it away as time being too stubborn to change fate sometimes, or some such nonsense. Even though we encounter no such trouble rewriting the deaths of important characters during gameplay such as the lords, Byleth, or even Rhea when she's an NPC. There's also the matter of Thales' intervention, and how believable it is. Even Monika is shocked that Thales was not only there to help her, but chose to  do so despite her finishing the mission already. You could say her "heart" was the key to his erasing of Byleth from existence in the next chapter, but wasn't that a last resort should her ambush fail? And aren't there many grotesque humans he could have also sacrificed for the same move? Chalk it up to lack of worldbuilding for the Slitherers, I guess.

Ultimately my question is this: Byleth using Divine Pulse in a cutscene, good or bad writing choice?

Aren't they left with no choice but to acknowledge divine pulse in story because it's literally introduced, in the story after the prologue mission?

 

The only problem here is that Byleth gives up after one instance. Or doesn't attempt to rewind time a few more seconds back to warn Jeralt.

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4 hours ago, Fabulously Olivier said:

The only problem here is that Byleth gives up after one instance. Or doesn't attempt to rewind time a few more seconds back to warn Jeralt

The curse of the silent protagonist: shouting “DAD LOOK OUT SHE’S GOT A KNIFE” will shatter all known laws of the universe.

I agree about the multiple tries thing though. It would have felt even worse to see Byleth try, try and try, failing every time. Plus that would drive Sothis’ point about it being fate home.

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It that fact that makes me hate avatar as a protagonist simply because it’s implied about Byleth that they have a personality. The avatar of this game should have a student/mute protagonist because I’m sorry but Byleth would have tried more. Again Byleth inclusions in 3Houses feels rushed since they wanted a vessel for Sothis but made him mute.Even Corrin screamed at their mom getting in the way of ganglari shard and screamed. You avatar should disposable or an observer. I would care a lot more if Byleth was a fully voiced rpg protagonist that grows. It would make this more impactful for me. Sadly Byleth is a rushed plot device/plot Armor because they needed a vessal for Sothis and realized they advertise an avatar in the game but didn’t include it last second and compensated by divine pulse and Byleth getting their d..k sucked to prevent players refund who had been lied earlier 

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