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Fodlan and Race

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1 minute ago, Ottservia said:

*ahem* anyway as for the topic at hand, I feel like 3H touches on racism and it definitely wants to say something about it but it never actually does because 3H just has a fetish for building up plot points only to never deliver on them.

3H really couldn't go all in on expressing how bad racism is. 

Let it be known. House Goneril has ALMYRAN SLAVES!

Hilda is a SLAVE OWNER!

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9 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

3H really couldn't go all in on expressing how bad racism is. 

Let it be known. House Goneril has ALMYRAN SLAVES!

Hilda is a SLAVE OWNER!

Exactly my point. You’d think that would something of a plot point or something considering her relation to claude but NOPE!!! That doesn’t happen 

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9 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

Dedue being saved by Dimitri is just that. There are many other things to live for, but Dedue lives FOR Dimtiri. Exists for him, and doesn't care what Dimitri does. And there's no end goal for Dedue in this even. He isn't serving Dimitri in hopes of saving Duscur, else he would not be serving Dimitri when he is a crazed lunatic going on a suicidal run for revenge

I guess I should probably make it clear that I don’t think Dedue is rational in giving his entire existence to Dimitri. I just think it makes sense that he would. Sure, it’d be smarter to serve him under the assumption that Dimitri would help him rebuild Duscur, but he doesn’t do that. He does seem to still care for his people, but it feels like that revelation is hidden behind a lot of his A supports. Essentially the idea of living for something other than Dimitri is the development that occurs throughout his supports. In VW and SS he loses Dimitri and most of his classmates before those can happen, so his suicidal rampage through the palace makes a bit more sense.

As for Xander, I’d argue further but a) I don’t really wanna derail the thread and b) I haven’t played Fates in ages so any argument I’d make would be even clumsier than my Dedue one. So I’ll concede on that point.

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17 minutes ago, Ottservia said:

Exactly my point. You’d think that would something of a plot point or something considering her relation to claude but NOPE!!! That doesn’t happen 

And people call Ingrid the CEO of racism, for hating the people of Duscur, when she has more legitimate reason to be racist since her fiance died in the Tragedy of Duscur. 

Hilda even makes some pretty racist remarks too, talking about Almyrans based on what she heard, which only pushes to show that she's very racist. But no one bothers to call Hilda out on her racism, either in game or out. 

3 minutes ago, Anathaco said:

I guess I should probably make it clear that I don’t think Dedue is rational in giving his entire existence to Dimitri. I just think it makes sense that he would. Sure, it’d be smarter to serve him under the assumption that Dimitri would help him rebuild Duscur, but he doesn’t do that. He does seem to still care for his people, but it feels like that revelation is hidden behind a lot of his A supports. Essentially the idea of living for something other than Dimitri is the development that occurs throughout his supports. In VW and SS he loses Dimitri and most of his classmates before those can happen, so his suicidal rampage through the palace makes a bit more sense.

It's one thing to pledge yourself in the heat of the moment. But Dedue had several years to try and realize there's more to life. He had four years to think about things and what to do. But Dedue still insists taht there's nothing to live for but Dimitri. So he basically abandoned his people high and dry.

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23 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

And people call Ingrid the CEO of racism, for hating the people of Duscur, when she has more legitimate reason to be racist since her fiance died in the Tragedy of Duscur. 

Hilda even makes some pretty racist remarks too, talking about Almyrans based on what she heard, which only pushes to show that she's very racist. But no one bothers to call Hilda out on her racism, either in game or out. 

It's one thing to pledge yourself in the heat of the moment. But Dedue had several years to try and realize there's more to life. He had four years to think about things and what to do. But Dedue still insists taht there's nothing to live for but Dimitri. So he basically abandoned his people high and dry.

If you ask me, verdant wind Dedue did nothing but double down on Dimitri's obsession with vengeance. But this need to have Edelgard's head is nothing but the same darkness that brought his liege to his doom. He completely fails to develop an identity beyond doing Dimitri's bidding even in death.

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9 hours ago, omegaxis1 said:

And people call Ingrid the CEO of racism, for hating the people of Duscur, when she has more legitimate reason to be racist since her fiance died in the Tragedy of Duscur. 

Hilda even makes some pretty racist remarks too, talking about Almyrans based on what she heard, which only pushes to show that she's very racist. But no one bothers to call Hilda out on her racism, either in game or out. 

Oh completely, Hilda is very interesting from this point of view. I feel like her early surge of popularity obscured this part of her character (+ the relative amount of hate for Cyril in the fandom). It's worth acknowledging that Hilda's motivation for racist attitudes is merely of a different kind to Ingrid's, rather than being completely insubstantial. I can't remember if the Almyrans actually killed anyone close to her (I don't think they did, but maybe?) but as a kid, having your peace be disrupted and your family be in danger all the time through years of living at Fodlan's Locket makes it difficult to separate Almyrans from their stereotypes, and on top of that she can't remember a time when Almyrans weren't characterised in this way. Of course, that doesn't excuse her or the conduct of her house in the present day. But like you say, very weird that she doesn't address this with Claude, or even that she's okay with fighting alongside Almyrans in CF/VW.

House Goneril's treatment of PoWs is pretty scummy, although not surprising. I also find Hilda's A support conversation with Cyril to be laughably rude - unlike Ingrid's, it doesn't really feel like she's grown past those stereotypes, but she's just pretended as if her conduct has always been acceptable.

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The different perception of Ingrid and Hilda's racism is indeed interesting. There are a few factors that I can think of that might have contributed to it. 

- Dedue and Ingrid are in-house members from the start, thus have a higher chance to be deployed and unlock their support chain. Cyril, on the other hand, is at the periphery of the main story and needs players to actively recruit him to experience more of his personal story. 

- Ingrid appears to be the more confrontational one in her exchange with Dedue, understandably because of her personal pain related with the topic, as well as her relatively straightforward personality. The situation is reversed with Hilda and Cyril. Hilda, while exhibiting racist behaviour, is more laid-back, while Cyril challenges her prejudice with his usual, relatively blunt approach. This reminds me of Dedue/Ingrid B support, where Ingrid asks Dedue why not speak back against prejudices towards Duscur people. I wonder how that would turn out (probably terribly considering some of Dedue's dialogues).

- Various information that we players obtain in the game points to the general innocence and victimhood of Duscur in the Tragedy, while Almyrans are depicted as having a warrior culture and are more or less equally responsible to the contentious relation between Fodlan and Almyra (Cyril states in his paralogue that some of them launch attacks essentially to seek glory). This might make it less easy to sympathise with Almyran and to recognise racist behaviour towards them. 

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7 hours ago, DriftingWaterBottle said:

The different perception of Ingrid and Hilda's racism is indeed interesting. There are a few factors that I can think of that might have contributed to it. 

- Dedue and Ingrid are in-house members from the start, thus have a higher chance to be deployed and unlock their support chain. Cyril, on the other hand, is at the periphery of the main story and needs players to actively recruit him to experience more of his personal story. 

- Ingrid appears to be the more confrontational one in her exchange with Dedue, understandably because of her personal pain related with the topic, as well as her relatively straightforward personality. The situation is reversed with Hilda and Cyril. Hilda, while exhibiting racist behaviour, is more laid-back, while Cyril challenges her prejudice with his usual, relatively blunt approach. This reminds me of Dedue/Ingrid B support, where Ingrid asks Dedue why not speak back against prejudices towards Duscur people. I wonder how that would turn out (probably terribly considering some of Dedue's dialogues).

- Various information that we players obtain in the game points to the general innocence and victimhood of Duscur in the Tragedy, while Almyrans are depicted as having a warrior culture and are more or less equally responsible to the contentious relation between Fodlan and Almyra (Cyril states in his paralogue that some of them launch attacks essentially to seek glory). This might make it less easy to sympathise with Almyran and to recognise racist behaviour towards them. 

Yeah, that's pretty much the problem. 

Because Hilda is not expressing hostility toward Almyrans or such, or the fact that it was stated in the very beginning I believe before the game came out that Ingrid has hostility towards those of Duscur, few thinks of Hilda as a racist. It's easy to say that you aren't racist if you aren't openly hostile or cruel toward another race. People think no action is the same as good action. 

But Hilda is someone that is a slave owner. Doesn't matter if Almyrans are invaders, that doesn't justify people that oughta be prisoners of war to basically be stripped of human rights and be turned into slaves.

Rhea only saved Cyril cause he was a child. But what about the other Almyran slaves? 

This game really turned a blind eye toward racism, because I guess after Tellius, no one had the guts to play the racism card to its full extent. 

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2 minutes ago, ThatsEnoughBackTalk said:

The entire point of VW is about addressing how bad racism is and how the world can change. So you could say that 3H does double down on racism.

It... really doesn't. 

Just cause VW addresses that there's a racism problem doesn't mean much when you have several people actually saying that there's no real racism. Like saying that because Garreg Mach takes foreigners means that racism isn't that bad. 

Or dancing around the fact that Faerghus committed genocide on Duscur, or just saying that that wasn't Faerghus's fault, but the Agarthans. 

This game doesn't actually double down on racism, because this game really just says its there, but doesn't really drive home with it. We're SUPPOSED learn that there is, but because we don't see it much, people tune themselves out of it.

Honestly, you hear more racist talks against Edelgard about how she's against the Nabateans, and wants to commit genocide on them. But that's a whole different issue. 

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1 hour ago, omegaxis1 said:

This game really turned a blind eye toward racism, because I guess after Tellius, no one had the guts to play the racism card to its full extent. 

I can't help but agree - the comparisons with Tellius were inevitable, since it was the last FE series to be made for a home console, and it has equivalent levels of thematic ambition. It's not like FE 9/10 got it all right, but it tackles racism head-on, which is more than can be said for 3H in general, but especially VW - an ending card and an NPC cameo aren't enough for an interesting discussion of racism. 

While I'm not sure of the extent to which this was intended, or the extent to which the writers pulled it off, I can still respect the 3H approach to thematic development. The world of Fodlan is supposed to feel bigger than any player can grasp on a single playthrough, and that includes the prejudices of Fodlan, in all its forms. It's only by paying attention to life outside battles, to little in-game details and so on, a knowledge built up through multiple runs, that you can see the society of Fodlan for what it is, including exactly how and where society is broken. Discrimination by race and class and all the rest of it exists, but the player only recognises it depending on the choices they make and the interactions they have, which is exactly what would happen if a blank slate character (like Byleth) did join a functioning civilisation.

The previous FE games that I know of, for better and for worse, mostly throw their themes at you directly in line with the plot. In comparison, 3H makes you work much harder, for what is often less rewarding thematic progression. I'm guessing the aim was to sacrifice clarity/simplicity of message(s) for player immersion, and while that may not have succeeded this time, it's not necessarily a bad way to explore big themes. 

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1 hour ago, haarhaarhaar said:

I can't help but agree - the comparisons with Tellius were inevitable, since it was the last FE series to be made for a home console, and it has equivalent levels of thematic ambition. It's not like FE 9/10 got it all right, but it tackles racism head-on, which is more than can be said for 3H in general, but especially VW - an ending card and an NPC cameo aren't enough for an interesting discussion of racism. 

While I'm not sure of the extent to which this was intended, or the extent to which the writers pulled it off, I can still respect the 3H approach to thematic development. The world of Fodlan is supposed to feel bigger than any player can grasp on a single playthrough, and that includes the prejudices of Fodlan, in all its forms. It's only by paying attention to life outside battles, to little in-game details and so on, a knowledge built up through multiple runs, that you can see the society of Fodlan for what it is, including exactly how and where society is broken. Discrimination by race and class and all the rest of it exists, but the player only recognises it depending on the choices they make and the interactions they have, which is exactly what would happen if a blank slate character (like Byleth) did join a functioning civilisation.

The previous FE games that I know of, for better and for worse, mostly throw their themes at you directly in line with the plot. In comparison, 3H makes you work much harder, for what is often less rewarding thematic progression. I'm guessing the aim was to sacrifice clarity/simplicity of message(s) for player immersion, and while that may not have succeeded this time, it's not necessarily a bad way to explore big themes. 

3H is very ambitious, but it really should not have everything be done in a single game. Truth be told, there would have been far more benefit if this was a game made with sequels in mind. It's why the Tellius Series got so much worldbuilding done. Path of Radiance laid the groundwork, and Radiant Dawn worked from there. 

Honestly, the entirety of Part 1 of 3H could have been its own game, and then a sequel that contains different routes.

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This is a fascinating topic and I've enjoyed reading everyone's input on it.

Fire Emblem is a series about war, usually between different nations, and race has often been a factor in that historically. So it's good that the series is addressing race. And therefore any criticism I make of how 3H handles race should be viewed in the context that I definitely think the series should continue to examine this theme instead of sweeping it all under the rug in the next entry because it's too "complicated" or "controversial".

One portrayal I found very effective was the anti-Duscur racism. You learn first about the Tragedy of Duscur as some sort of terrible incident where Lambert was killed, and only later do you figure out about the wildly disproportionate retribution in which Duscur was basically genocided. And yet the people in Fodlan still blame Duscur for it and look down on them. It definitely brought to mind similar things in history where a privileged race continued to look down on and blame an opporessed race for their own suffering, ignoring their (the priveleged race's) own responsibility for the situation. As a white North American I'm reminded of both racism against blacks in post-slavery America, and our treatment of indigenous people.

I agree that the racial relations between Fodlan and the other cultures (Almyra, Brigid, Dagda, Sreng, etc.) are not as well explored, sadly.

On 9/8/2020 at 3:27 AM, haarhaarhaar said:

In contrast, neither the Nabateans we meet nor the majority of humans interact with Agarthans directly, which is thus at least 1,000 years of hiding their presence, modifying history, hoarding knowledge and wealth, and plotting behind the scenes. It is also unclear exactly what their end vision of society would look like - but shadow control of a Fodlan-spanning Empire, or eradicating the Nabateans and their Church at any cost are both suggested. It's been said before that the Agarthans were written with little nuance - the Agarthans are not visible outside of their villainy and their motivation for it is so poorly explained. But all these Agarthan traits, including their depiction, hew very closely to racial stereotypes of certain groups in our world, stereotypes which were exploited and ended up having extremely dire consequences.

With that in mind, is it simply a huge oversight from the writers that the game eradicates the whole Agarthan race and culture in three out of four routes, and spends scarily little time fleshing them out while all but calling them its master villains? Especially since racism is supposed to be a key theme in the game.

This is very well put and I'm very glad someone else pointed it out. It's something I've long felt very uncomfortable about: the portrayal of the Agarthans is dangerously reminiscent of anti-semitic portrayals of Jewish people. Which makes it extra bothersome how the game basically goes full hog into portraying them as deserving to be wiped out. And I hate how the fanbase has embraced this and actually likes to rate routes based on how effectively each one genocides the Agarthans, as if that's some sort of positive.

If I could make one broad change to the game's story, it would be to change VW's lategame so that Claude learns the truth of the conflict between the Nabateans and Agarthans, and attempts to reconcile them (and humanity). It would have fit so well with his own goal if breaking down the walls between Fodlan and Almyra if he could do the same with the walls between races which have shaped centuries of conflict. Obviously this would require the game actually care about the Agarthans as something beyond a source of evil. But in a game that was willing to show that conflicts happen because of nuanced views colliding rather than black and white, wouldn't have been cool if they'd extended that even to the usual FE "group of evil cultists"?

Edited by Dark Holy Elf

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51 minutes ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

I agree that the racial relations between Fodlan and the other cultures (Almyra, Brigid, Dagda, Sreng, etc.) are not as well explored, sadly.

Add in the mistranslations where people think that the Empire destroyed Dagda based on Shamir's Support with Byleth, when in actuality, the Empire defeated the Dagdan forces that Shamir was left stranded on Fodlan. 

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I've never actually encountered anyone who thought that! There are plenty of references to Dagda still being a nation that exists. Not that I'm doubting you, people believe strange things sometimes.

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On 9/15/2020 at 12:26 AM, omegaxis1 said:

As @haarhaarhaar said, what we know of the other nations are actually small. We don't actually know of the level of technology there. But we do know that from Claude's perspective, Fodlan is a "backwater" place, which actually shows that Claude looks down on Fodlan's technological level. 

Ferdinand and Petra's support also indicate that the weapons of Dagda are a bit more advanced than the weapons of Fodlan, minus the Relics of course.

This only highlights just how closed off Fodlan is. 

My question would then be how does Fodlan keep itself from being conquered by the more technological advanced nations around the then?

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1 hour ago, The Exalt said:

My question would then be how does Fodlan keep itself from being conquered by the more technological advanced nations around the then?

Good point. I have a feeling numbers and geographical advantage played a key role in the Dagda invasion and against Almyran raids.

As for a consistent edge, my first answer was going to be knowledge of white magic. I don't think there is a single Almyran healer in the game, and I'm not sure they even have mages at all. The reinforcements in Petra's paralogue are supposedly from Brigid, and there's a healer amongst them. But interestingly, in the unit description the reinforcements belong to the Imperial Army in CF and "Militia" in other routes - maybe that's just laziness from the devs. Either way, Brigid has had the closest contact with Fodlan of the external nations, so is fairly likely to have picked up the use of white magic from Fodlan rather than independently. What Fodlan may lack in human-driven technology, they make up for in magic.

And there's also Crests. Given that this is a FE game, we probably shouldn't underestimate the effect individuals can have on a battlefield. 

14 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

If I could make one broad change to the game's story, it would be to change VW's lategame so that Claude learns the truth of the conflict between the Nabateans and Agarthans, and attempts to reconcile them (and humanity). It would have fit so well with his own goal if breaking down the walls between Fodlan and Almyra if he could do the same with the walls between races which have shaped centuries of conflict. Obviously this would require the game actually care about the Agarthans as something beyond a source of evil. But in a game that was willing to show that conflicts happen because of nuanced views colliding rather than black and white, wouldn't have been cool if they'd extended that even to the usual FE "group of evil cultists"?

Yeah, it's definitely a common complaint that a game all about nuance required such a simplistic set of antagonists. And boy, they could have done so much with the Agarthans too. Even previous FE games have done better with their dark cults. Writing about complex issues and then giving them one-note causes provides exactly the wrong message - but I suppose the writers were afraid having no neat resolutions would leave more players unhappy than not. 

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4 hours ago, The Exalt said:

My question would then be how does Fodlan keep itself from being conquered by the more technological advanced nations around the then?

Ferdinand explains it in the case of Dagda, that the Empire only repelled the Dagdans due to having a home field advantage. Even if Dagdans had better gear, those would do little to help them when they are invading unknown territory. 

This is another reason why in war, information is key to victory. 

2 hours ago, haarhaarhaar said:

Yeah, it's definitely a common complaint that a game all about nuance required such a simplistic set of antagonists. And boy, they could have done so much with the Agarthans too. Even previous FE games have done better with their dark cults. Writing about complex issues and then giving them one-note causes provides exactly the wrong message - but I suppose the writers were afraid having no neat resolutions would leave more players unhappy than not. 

You're giving FE too much credit when it comes to dark cults. 

FE4 tries to preach some false sense of sympathy on the Loptr Church about how they were persecuted, but they end up never showing us anything that deserves sympathy, where they are all so generically evil that they get sadistic pleasure from child hunts and sacrificing them to a dark god. 

Awakening doesn't even try to make sympathetic dark cult, where Grima and the Grimleal are just evil, and Aversa went from a potentially sympathetic villain to just a brainwashed victim. 

In fact, simply the fact that they are a dark cult is already a screw up in writing.

Edited by omegaxis1

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There's definitely a comparison to be made between Insurmountable and Dividing the World, Edelgard's and Hilda with Cyril's paralogue respectively, that both deal with the same problem, an Almyran raid on Fodlan's Throat. Insurmountable gives a resolution to the problem of Fodlan's relations with Almyra, but from the least likely source, that being the Adrestian Empire. Sort of in a "we just stepped in here and already fixed everything" way, only to proceed to fart jokes and questions about just what caused Holst's bowel problems that sound so suspiciously similar to something Claude mentions.

Meanwhile in Cyril and Hilda's paralogue the status quo seems to be maintained despite what one would expect when coming from other paralogues. Almost every student character has to deal with a problem that they inherit from their family, a sort of "minor route" about every character in which they go through their own route of making Fodlan better. From the three lords, to Felix, Ferdinand, Lorenz. For worldbuilding reasons of course that usually is the nobles. But the thing is Hilda is a noble, with a big influence on her brother (that takes the role that is usually taken by a character's dad), whose House has the dedicated role of having to deal with Almyra within this "every character's route" scheme. Yet she she does nothing about it. Her paralogue provides no resolution to the Almyran problem, only leaving it up to Claude in the case of VW, or nobody at all in the case of AM and SS.

Disregarding Hilda, for me Dividing the World was more about Cyril's attitude towards his Almyran background. He still believes that Almyrans are a pretty stubborn folk, but he no longer feels shame for his origins. It went a long way to show how pragmatic he can be, but also made me all the more sad about how he lost his role to become the designated "Rhea exposition mouth" for when Rhea isn't present in the war phase, or worse, as Rhea's attack dog when she is. 

It's really interesting how every character's story, no matter how minor, manages to raise questions that we should ask ourselves. In many cases the multi-ended nature of the game's routes, shows how different outcomes can result from the story of the same character, either to show that there is no definitive answer to their "question", or to give us the opportunity to gain a better understanding about the consequences of their choices.

Edited by SRPG Tryhard

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50 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

You're giving FE too much credit when it comes to dark cults. 

FE4 tries to preach some false sense of sympathy on the Loptr Church about how they were persecuted, but they end up never showing us anything that deserves sympathy, where they are all so generically evil that they get sadistic pleasure from child hunts and sacrificing them to a dark god. 

Awakening doesn't even try to make sympathetic dark cult, where Grima and the Grimleal are just evil, and Aversa went from a potentially sympathetic villain to just a brainwashed victim. 

In fact, simply the fact that they are a dark cult is already a screw up in writing.

Yeah, you're probably right about this. I was thinking of the Loptr Sect, but even what I've seen of them is more tell rather than show (and I haven't played the game, so what do I know). 

11 minutes ago, SRPG Tryhard said:

There's definitely a comparison to be made between Insurmountable and Dividing the World, Edelgard's and Hilda with Cyril's paralogue respectively, that both deal with the same problem, an Almyran raid on Fodlan's Throat. Insurmountable gives a resolution to the problem of Fodlan's relations with Almyra, but from the least likely source, that being the Adrestian Empire. Sort of in a "we just stepped in here and already fixed everything" way, only to proceed to fart jokes and questions about just what caused Holst's bowel problems that sound so suspiciously similar to something Claude mentions.

I think you're right, the comparison is really interesting. At first I thought Insurmountable was one of the paralogues that was least relevant to its highlighted character, but I've changed my mind since. The fact that it only becomes available after Ch. 14 and Claude's defeat makes it far more important in characterising the Almyrans. We learn in VW that the reason Nader is called undefeated is because he is happy to retreat tactically. But regardless of whether you kill Claude or let him live, Nader isn't content with staying down for long, which is why he leads the Almyran invasion personally. And it doesn't matter that he had allied with Leicester previously, because for Almyrans the glory of battle is a key motivator.

All this allows us to discover an Almyran 'code', reasoning behind their warlike behaviour that Hilda completely doesn't notice in her characterisation of them as brutes, both in her paralogue and Cyril supports. This code gives Edelgard hope of creating a neighbourly relationship with the Almyrans (and clues us in on how she would manage foreign relations), but Hilda has no interest in changing the dynamic between Fodlan and Almyra. 

 

Speaking of paralogues that seemed irrelevant to their starring characters, it's funny that Claude's paralogue is the only time we meet Sreng natives. Putting aside how Claude is randomly researching Macuil, and Macuil randomly has a sacred weapon belonging to an Elite (I still don't understand how that makes sense from a lore perspective), there's not even a mention from Claude, the guy trying to solve racism, about Sreng's people/culture. 

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1 hour ago, SRPG Tryhard said:

There's definitely a comparison to be made between Insurmountable and Dividing the World, Edelgard's and Hilda with Cyril's paralogue respectively, that both deal with the same problem, an Almyran raid on Fodlan's Throat. Insurmountable gives a resolution to the problem of Fodlan's relations with Almyra, but from the least likely source, that being the Adrestian Empire. Sort of in a "we just stepped in here and already fixed everything" way, only to proceed to fart jokes and questions about just what caused Holst's bowel problems that sound so suspiciously similar to something Claude mentions.

Meanwhile in Cyril and Hilda's paralogue the status quo seems to be maintained despite what one would expect when coming from other paralogues. Almost every student character has to deal with a problem that they inherit from their family, a sort of "minor route" about every character in which they go through their own route of making Fodlan better. From the three lords, to Felix, Ferdinand, Lorenz. For worldbuilding reasons of course that usually is the nobles. But the thing is Hilda is a noble, with a big influence on her brother (that takes the role that is usually taken by a character's dad), whose House has the dedicated role of having to deal with Almyra within this "every character's route" scheme. Yet she she does nothing about it. Her paralogue provides no resolution to the Almyran problem, only leaving it up to Claude in the case of VW, or nobody at all in the case of AM and SS.

Disregarding Hilda, for me Dividing the World was more about Cyril's attitude towards his Almyran background. He still believes that Almyrans are a pretty stubborn folk, but he no longer feels shame for his origins. It went a long way to show how pragmatic he can be, but also made me all the more sad about how he lost his role to become the designated "Rhea exposition mouth" for when Rhea isn't present in the war phase, or worse, as Rhea's attack dog when she is. 

It's really interesting how every character's story, no matter how minor, manages to raise questions that we should ask ourselves. In many cases the multi-ended nature of the game's routes, shows how different outcomes can result from the story of the same character, either to show that there is no definitive answer to their "question", or to give us the opportunity to gain a better understanding about the consequences of their choices.

 

1 hour ago, haarhaarhaar said:

I think you're right, the comparison is really interesting. At first I thought Insurmountable was one of the paralogues that was least relevant to its highlighted character, but I've changed my mind since. The fact that it only becomes available after Ch. 14 and Claude's defeat makes it far more important in characterising the Almyrans. We learn in VW that the reason Nader is called undefeated is because he is happy to retreat tactically. But regardless of whether you kill Claude or let him live, Nader isn't content with staying down for long, which is why he leads the Almyran invasion personally. And it doesn't matter that he had allied with Leicester previously, because for Almyrans the glory of battle is a key motivator.

All this allows us to discover an Almyran 'code', reasoning behind their warlike behaviour that Hilda completely doesn't notice in her characterisation of them as brutes, both in her paralogue and Cyril supports. This code gives Edelgard hope of creating a neighbourly relationship with the Almyrans (and clues us in on how she would manage foreign relations), but Hilda has no interest in changing the dynamic between Fodlan and Almyra. 

Yet another case of how Fodlan's Locket was nothing more than just some band-aid to the problem. It doesn't fix anything, but just delays the problem. 

In fact, the fact that they built that wall instead of forming neighborly relationships, it made Almyrans look down on the people of Fodlan as cowards. It's why Edelgard beating Nader not once, but twice, is so significant. It shows to Almyrans that even one of their most famous generals cannot beat Fodlan, and that the people of Fodlan are not weaklings. Hell, Nader is even scared of Edelgard. It's why Edelgard would be able to forge relations with Almyra, since they wouldn't look down on her.

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16 hours ago, omegaxis1 said:

Yet another case of how Fodlan's Locket was nothing more than just some band-aid to the problem. It doesn't fix anything, but just delays the problem. 

Fodlan's Locket is a weird one, where Adrestia and Faerghus both contribute to building defences for a Leicester Alliance territory, in the name of protecting Fodlan's borders. I mean, I'm sure Almyra appeared pretty threatening before they built it, but it's a good example of Fodlanian attitudes that these three countries could unite despite their differences over their xenophobia/desire to close off Fodlan. These attitudes, exemplified by Hilda, are fairly normalised by the game, which makes it all the weirder when nobody kicks up a fuss about the Almyrans helping Claude in VW. You have to wonder why Tiana was the first person in Fodlan to think about trying out life in Almyra, and why there seems to be no kind of diplomacy going on between Fodlan and any of its external neighbours.

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9 hours ago, haarhaarhaar said:

Fodlan's Locket is a weird one, where Adrestia and Faerghus both contribute to building defences for a Leicester Alliance territory, in the name of protecting Fodlan's borders. I mean, I'm sure Almyra appeared pretty threatening before they built it, but it's a good example of Fodlanian attitudes that these three countries could unite despite their differences over their xenophobia/desire to close off Fodlan. These attitudes, exemplified by Hilda, are fairly normalised by the game, which makes it all the weirder when nobody kicks up a fuss about the Almyrans helping Claude in VW. You have to wonder why Tiana was the first person in Fodlan to think about trying out life in Almyra, and why there seems to be no kind of diplomacy going on between Fodlan and any of its external neighbours.

The Empire has many reason to hate the other nations, with how Faerghus and Leicester basically were traitors that rebelled against them and such, but even then, the Empire helped Leicester when Almyra first invaded. It's rather weird how despite Leicester having Relics, and the Empire having little to no Relics, the Empire was the one that helped drive the Almyrans off.

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12 hours ago, omegaxis1 said:

The Empire has many reason to hate the other nations, with how Faerghus and Leicester basically were traitors that rebelled against them and such, but even then, the Empire helped Leicester when Almyra first invaded. It's rather weird how despite Leicester having Relics, and the Empire having little to no Relics, the Empire was the one that helped drive the Almyrans off

Exactly. And lending resources to your enemy for them to build a fortress just seems like poor sense in general, even if the fortress isn't on your border. 

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31 minutes ago, haarhaarhaar said:

Exactly. And lending resources to your enemy for them to build a fortress just seems like poor sense in general, even if the fortress isn't on your border. 

It really just goes to show regardless of the Empire's grievances against Faerghus or Leicester, even the Empire dislikes the invaders from outside even more. Possibly since all the trouble first began with the First Mach War when Dagda invaded. 

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