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Ottservia

Stop bullying Fates. It doesn’t deserve it

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3 hours ago, Ottservia said:

All stories are fundamentally contrived and I’ve explained as to why numerous times. Cause really ask yourself “what does contrivance mean?” Cause going by the dictionary definition of what “contrived” means we get “deliberately created rather than arising naturally or spontaneously” which isn’t that why it’s called “fiction” in the first place. It’s not real. It never was. Nothing in a story happens naturally or spontaneously. Like that should be a no brainer. Stories are inherently artificial and constructed meaning they are inherently contrived and unrealistic by definition. Again, it’s called “fiction” for a reason. It’s not real. You can call anything in a story contrived if you try hard enough which is why I don’t see it as a very valid criticism. It comes off as extremely nitpicky to me.

You must understand by now that you're in a minority for believing that all contrivances are equal and invalid targets for criticism. Let's look at two events in Fates, the one that leads to Corrin being reunited with his Hoshidan siblings in Chapter 4 and the circumstances that lead to Corrin deciding to support Garon's invasion of Hoshido in chapter 15.

The first event requires:
1. Rinka to capture Corrin and send him off to meet the Hoshidan royalty. Is it convenient that the one Hoshidan that Corrin met and spared in chapter 1 happens to be the one who finds him after he returns from the outrealm? Sure, but it's a single event.

The second event requires:
1. Corrin to be constantly being watched by Iago for some reason so he has to travel to Valla through a special path only he and Azura can use.
2. Azura has a single use magic orb that reveals the truth about Garon. There is no explanation for why she uses it right there and then. There is no explanation for why she doesn't get another one after it breaks. The method to reveal Garon is there and then poof, it's gone.
3. There is a curse that prevents people from speaking about Valla so Corrin can't report the things Azura tells him.
4. Despite having the love and trust of his Nohrian siblings, for this one particular topic, they would just refuse to believe him when he says that Garon is bad news. This point is brushed over and no other alternative plans to invading Hoshido are even discussed.
5. There happens to be a magic throne in the Hoshidan capital which has the primary function of revealing goo monsters. Convenient.
Heck, let's add on a bonus contrivance. Corrin only found Valla at all because he chanced upon Azura who was already heading there. She wasn't even leading him there on purpose.

The first event is a minor coincidence to get the characters moving to where they need to be. The second event clearly shows the hand of the writer forcing a plot direction that is utterly bizarre. The purpose? To get Corrin on board with the invasion in a way that preserves his moral purity. Do these two events seem equal to you? Is it all just fiction so who cares about how things happen?

4 hours ago, Ottservia said:

Here’s the thing about that though. There is evidence in the text that directly contradicts this. When I criticize Alm, I’m more so criticizing that he’s inconsistent rather than trying to force the story to be what I want it to be. With Alm I’m more so confused on what exactly they were trying to do with his character at all. Cause for the most part he’s framed as a flawless static protagonist that incites change in other characters namely Clive. And I like that conflict but the issue is that they don’t stick with it and try to pretend that he’s somehow wrong in the end when he never was and that’s a problem. Corrin does not have this problem. Corrin’s character is thematically more consistent than Alm’s character. Because they are a static protagonist more or less throughout the entire story and even when they do deviate from that there’s a reason or explanation for it. It is possible to do dynamic arc and static arc in the same character and I believe Corrin is a decent example of that.

I agree with you on the issues with SoV's story so I won't try to argue the opposite position, but other people could. They could say that everything fits a theme and you're just misunderstanding what the writers wanted to do. That's what you sound like when you talk about the grand design of Fates and the rest of us think it's just bad story telling.
 

4 hours ago, Ottservia said:

Have you ever wrote something before? Have you ever tried to create something before? Cause like I feel like you’re looking at it from a reader’s perspective rather than the writer’s perspective. I’m not saying you have to be a writer to be able to criticize writing but you should at least understand how a writer thinks or understand the fundamentals of what goes into the creative process. Think about it from more a writer’s perspective than a reader’s perspective.

Yes, I have in fact written something before. There is no difference between a "writer's perspective" and a "reader's perspective" when it comes to looking at how stories are structured. I'm either privy to the entirety of the author's thoughts or I'm not. You, me and every other person on this forum is an outsider when it comes to the stories we examine. We do our best to guess their intentions by studying the way they present their work.

To be clear, my criticism was not directed at authorial intent itself. I think the intent of the writer is important and have a very distant relationship with "death of the author". What I was criticizing was your veneration of authorial intent, as though one must accept any decision as acceptable story telling as long as that was the deliberate choice of the writer. Let me ask you this, was it their intention to make Corrin a self-righteous moral coward? I don't think it was, for how highly praised he is in the story. Did they intend to make Ryoma a manipulative bastard by having him lie to Corrin about being his real brother? I don't think it was. It really seems like an oversight that shows they were so focused on the fanservice of letting you bone the Hoshidan siblings that they didn't consider the implications it had for the characters. If these were all intentional, do I have to think it's acceptable writing that these horrible people are praised as good guys? 

I think the underlying issue here, and the reason this thread was created, isn't that there is a lack of nuanced or critical discussion in the community, it's just that your philosophy for identifying good story telling is very different from other people and it frustrates you to be in that minority. To many, many people, Fates really is that bad.

 

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2 hours ago, NekoKnight said:

The first event requires:
1. Rinka to capture Corrin and send him off to meet the Hoshidan royalty. Is it convenient that the one Hoshidan that Corrin met and spared in chapter 1 happens to be the one who finds him after he returns from the outrealm? Sure, but it's a single event.

The second event requires:
1. Corrin to be constantly being watched by Iago for some reason so he has to travel to Valla through a special path only he and Azura can use.
2. Azura has a single use magic orb that reveals the truth about Garon. There is no explanation for why she uses it right there and then. There is no explanation for why she doesn't get another one after it breaks. The method to reveal Garon is there and then poof, it's gone.
3. There is a curse that prevents people from speaking about Valla so Corrin can't report the things Azura tells him.
4. Despite having the love and trust of his Nohrian siblings, for this one particular topic, they would just refuse to believe him when he says that Garon is bad news. This point is brushed over and no other alternative plans to invading Hoshido are even discussed.
5. There happens to be a magic throne in the Hoshidan capital which has the primary function of revealing goo monsters. Convenient.
Heck, let's add on a bonus contrivance. Corrin only found Valla at all because he chanced upon Azura who was already heading there. She wasn't even leading him there on purpose.

The first event is a minor coincidence to get the characters moving to where they need to be. The second event clearly shows the hand of the writer forcing a plot direction that is utterly bizarre. The purpose? To get Corrin on board with the invasion in a way that preserves his moral purity. Do these two events seem equal to you? Is it all just fiction so who cares about how things happen?

This is what I said as well! (Of course, you said it way better than I did) 

It's okay for thing to happen, since they have to or you wouldn't have a storyline, but Fates took it too far with convenience. 

Just reading that to myself it sounds... awful. 

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5 hours ago, L3xandr3 said:

So, because you can't answer me, you turn my question back at me? Alright, then:

Was any thought placed into any of the points I've listed above? No, just conveniences. They didn't put any thought into this, as they didn't want to. Anytime there is a problem, they simply convenience their way out of it. Conveniences are a lazy way out of anything. No thought or effort required.

Question: Do you actually know Fates' writers IRL and have any hard-proof evidence that yes they didn't put any effort into it that can not just be summed up as "This is badly-written so it must be that the writers were lazy"?

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7 hours ago, Ottservia said:

This statement bothers me because what the hell does “bad trope” even mean? There is no such thing as an inherently “bad trope” just bad execution. No trope is inherently bad. I don’t understand this statement. Please explain.

It was late when I wrote that. Let me say it differently.

Tropes aren't inherently bad, that much is true. There's tropes that I actually am quite fond of (one of which, the tsundere trope, we've both expressed our appreciation for, for example). But I personally take issue when the majority of a game's cast is reliant on one-note tropes (most of which I find incredibly irritating) as the basis of their character. To me, those tropes are bad. I'm not saying anyone has to agree. That's just my take on it. And I'm perfectly entitled to have and express said take.

Edited by twilitfalchion

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17 minutes ago, Murozaki said:

Question: Do you actually know Fates' writers IRL and have any hard-proof evidence that yes they didn't put any effort into it that can not just be summed up as "This is badly-written so it must be that the writers were lazy"?

Hooo boy. You asked for this. I'm half asleep right now, so I'll probably regret saying this latter, but...

I don't. Do you? If you don't, what where you attempting to accomplish with that jab?

I responded to Ottservia turning my question on me with a valid answer. What'll you do if I do the same? Give the same response as me, that you don't? If so, why did you ask this question? If you aren't better than me in this case, then it would've been best to not ask that question. If neither of us know, what's the point of raising the topic? You can be only as certain of yourself as I am in this case.

It's either that they cannot write stories, or that they did it very lazily. Both are bad, and equally damning for the story.

 

Speaking of @Ottservia. I answered the question you put to me, yet you have bad enough manners to not answer mine?

 

Why is it that people don't bother to answer questions, but instead pull a 'No U'. This is not a valid argument. It makes you look like a fool when they answer the question they asked and you cannot.

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23 minutes ago, Murozaki said:

Question: Do you actually know Fates' writers IRL and have any hard-proof evidence that yes they didn't put any effort into it that can not just be summed up as "This is badly-written so it must be that the writers were lazy"?

Isnt this just a way to excuse poor writing? You could argue this for any story and therefore it's a "good" story. 

Like I guess SoV's story is good cause we dont personally know the writers, right? I dont think that logic is the right way to analyze a story at all. 

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4 minutes ago, L3xandr3 said:

Hooo boy. You asked for this. I'm half asleep right now, so I'll probably regret saying this latter, but...

I don't. Do you? If you don't, what where you attempting to accomplish with that jab?

I responded to Ottservia turning my question on me with a valid answer. What'll you do if I do the same? Give the same response as me, that you don't? If so, why did you ask this question? If you aren't better than me in this case, then it would've been best to not ask that question. If neither of us know, what's the point of raising the topic? You can be only as certain of yourself as I am in this case.

It's either that they cannot write stories, or that they did it very lazily. Both are bad, and equally damning for the story.

It was a rherorical question of course. And my point is that you don't know the writers and can't pretend you do, and while i don't take issues with people criticizing a story so, not being able to separate the artist from the art and implying the artist is just lazy is where i start to find it disrespectful. Speaking as someone who does consider Fates' writing to be bad, i respect artists, even ones who make what i consider to be bad art, making something such as a lenghty three-part story and actually finishing it is still an effort i find commendable from anyone even if i won't find the actual story to be good in any capacity. And i am bothered by when said work put into said story is disregarded.

4 minutes ago, lightcosmo said:

Isnt this just a way to excuse poor writing? You could argue this for any story and therefore it's a "good" story. 

Like I guess SoV's story is good cause we dont personally know the writers, right? I dont think that logic is the right way to analyze a story at all. 

I don't think Fates' story is good, i just think calling the writers lazy is a shitty move.

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"Bullying" is an interesting word to use to describe criticizing a game, made by industry veterans and published by Nintendo, which many of us paid around 80 dollars for. Likewise, it's also interesting to bring up an "authorial intent" when the game's premise was outsourced to a busy manga writer who wrote far more than he was asked to, leading Intelligent Systems to presumably have to make a lot of cuts which we don't know anything about. In addition to that, we know of "Team A" and "Team B", so even within Intelligent Systems itself, there was never a unified vision of what Fates should be. To then tell others that these authors' intentions somehow take precedence over your own thoughts and feelings when criticizing this product that you paid for, as though you're more informed about that than everyone else, is nothing short of being condescending.

But fine, if we're going to look at author intentions, then...

1) Fates is split into three paths and you have to pay for all three, making this the most expensive main series installment in the series. Rather than letting the choice be something we made then and there, it was based on what version you had bought. I assume they did this in order to squeeze the players of more money.

2) Camilla's entire existence, including spending two cutscenes only on her appearance to put it mildly, leads me to believe their intent was to objectify her, market her, and pander to certain players rather than letting her be a character in her own right.

3) I assume they included the three most popular second gen Awakening characters and an ill-fitting second gen system because they wanted to win over the Awakening crowd even though what worked in that game doesn't work in Fates.

4) The fact that the Hoshidan siblings can get a letter, prepared by their dead foster mother, telling them it's okay to marry Corrin because there are no blood ties, leads me to believe they prioritized shipping over the premise of the game because they thought it would sell better.

Can I prove that this was the thought process of the developers? No, but to my knowledge it's hard to prove these points wrong either. All we have to go on are some brief interviews at best. Even then, it doesn't matter if the developers thought, for example, that the Birthright Camilla cutscene was a true work of art meant to display her confidence; most people will think it's vulgar because it's a cutscene that deliberately zooms in on "your not!sister's" private areas before a fight. The developers' intentions here don't mean anything to me; what matters is what they put in the final product that they sold in stores all over the world.

But Fates' writing problems go well beyond that. @Etrurian emperor and @NekoKnight, for example, have already given examples of how the story doesn't hold up to scrutiny and how it it's almost like a parody taking itself seriously. Fates' writing can't really be summed up in a single post, but I'd like to bring up a point that may not have been mentioned yet.

The games are bizarrely empty. They're generally just about getting Corrin from point A to point B (in Conquest this is only the case after chapter 15), which stands in stark contrast to every other Fire Emblem game where the journey is a lot more unpredictable and features more buildup. Corrin kind of just...walks through forgettable areas that are almost never referenced again on the way to the finish line where the plot will end (Garon's throne room, the Hoshidan throne room, Anankos' throne room). 

During this journey from point A to point B, things just happen around Corrin. This leads to the protagonist of the game feeling like they've got no agency. I made a Reddit thread a few months ago where I went through in which maps Corrin initiates the battle and in which someone ambushes them. In the clear majority of maps, Corrin is minding their business and are suddenly attacked, usually without having seen it coming. It makes far too many battles feel like filler. Every other Fire Emblem game includes smaller victories and reaching more modest goals in order to build momentum for the final battle. Ike gathers allies for Elincia, Chrom defeats Gangrel and Walhart, Roy frees Erturia, etc. The closest Fates comes to this is having your siblings join you, but that's not based on any victory on Corrin's part.


This lack of interesting twists and turns in the story is bad enough, but this is further made worse by the characters primarily talking only about the plot at hand - there's so little dialogue that actually fleshes out the characters we're supposed to care about in the main story. In Birthright, not once does Corrin and the Hoshidan siblings sit down and talk about...anything that isn't the main plot. These people are absolute strangers to each other, yet we're supposed to just accept their close bonds based on the fact that Hinoka and Ryoma knew Corrin as a toddler. 

As a result of this, Fates feels like an on-rails experience without any heart to it. There's no growth, no interesting dialogue, and no one pulls off any cool feats or strategies. Things just happen, mostly in unimportant places. And this is just in addition to the problems that have already been mentioned.

I know I will never convince the OP of anything; they have made their stance clear many times throughout the years, trying to create a framework in which criticism of Fates can be dismissed. Still, maybe someone else will find this post fun to read.

Edited by Thane

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9 hours ago, L3xandr3 said:

As for the minor rant above this, this is because @vanguard333 apparently thinks it's not bad. How is it not bad?

I did not say that Fates' writing is not bad; I think Fates' storytelling is bad, and I've made that clear many times. What I was actually saying was that the specific symptoms strike me more as being the result of rush & overambition than laziness.

EDIT: Basically, I agree with you that Fates' writing is of very poor quality. I was just saying that I don't think the main writer sat down and thought, "Alright, time to put in no effort today!" I think the main writer sat down and thought, "****! There's less than a month before the deadline and I'm still on the first draft of the Hoshido plot! How am I going to finish these on time! Why did i ever agree to write the plot for three games at once?"

I finally get a reply after a long time, and it's someone completely misunderstanding what I was saying... 😢

Edited by vanguard333

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10 hours ago, NekoKnight said:

This isn't a community problem, @Ottservia , it's a you problem. Despite saying you wish for discussions to be more nuanced, you certainly like to take away all the tools of the Fates detractors to make our arguments. We can't criticize contrivances because according to you, all stories are contrived. We can't criticize characterization or plot points because they're tied to "themes" and "authorial intent". There is nothing we can really criticize because you would just accuse us of judging the game according to our subjective personal tastes. This all smacks of hypocrisy anyway considering you use your own non-objective interpretations of the story to invalidate people arguing the contrary. You can say there is hidden brilliance in the writing but when others reject that, they're inappropriately assuming they know better than the writer. 

But let's get into that topic: authorial intent. Why is it that one must "respect the writers" for their writing decisions just because it was "thematic", "by design" or "intentional"? Do I have to give them a pat on the back for making Hinoka and Sakura forgive Corrin despite all the evil he allowed to happen, because it's allegedly part of a theme? Do I have to say it's "just not for me" when they railroad you into invading Hoshido with a series of contrivances just because that's the direction the writer wanted to take? How can any story ever be considered bad when criticisms are countered with "That's just your personal tastes"?

I know you don't think Shadows of Valentia is a good story, so let's apply the same standard there. People can and do argue that Alm was always meant to be the flawless savior of Valentia and that any themes of a duality between Alm and Celica were just the story we wanted instead of what the writers wanted. There are things to support that claim, such as Berkut and Celica perfectly representing their respective deities' flaws and Alm being the ultimate combination of strength and kindness, but I don't think it makes the story better that Berkut is an ineffectual whiner who murders his fiance and gets forgiven, or Celica being unbelievably foolish for trusting Jedah, or Alm being a Mary Sue that can only pay lipservice to not being a perfect human.

Thanks but no thanks, I'm only going to praise what a writer tried to do if they have more successes than failures in their narrative. And what a conga line of failures Fates was. Who can read Ryoma describing the "kingly qualities" of Corrin as a toddler and not assume it's self parody?  Who can read Xander's pronouncement that "peace is wonderful" after he just cut a bloody swathe through a peaceful country, and not shake their head? <Groans of increasing discomfort.>

Excellently said. I second all of this. *round of applause*

10 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

Anyway, what did you think of my overall point about Fates' writing? It's been a while since I got a reply on this thread.

What page was it on?

There are so many walls of text... xD

9 hours ago, Ottservia said:

All stories are fundamentally contrived and I’ve explained as to why numerous times. Cause really ask yourself “what does contrivance mean?” Cause going by the dictionary definition of what “contrived” means we get “deliberately created rather than arising naturally or spontaneously” which isn’t that why it’s called “fiction” in the first place. It’s not real. It never was. Nothing in a story happens naturally or spontaneously. Like that should be a no brainer. Stories are inherently artificial and constructed meaning they are inherently contrived and unrealistic by definition. Again, it’s called “fiction” for a reason. It’s not real. You can call anything in a story contrived if you try hard enough which is why I don’t see it as a very valid criticism. It comes off as extremely nitpicky to me.

Some things never change...

I know we’ve basically agreed to disagree on this so I just won’t criticize.

Quote

Here’s the thing about that though. There is evidence in the text that directly contradicts this. When I criticize Alm, I’m more so criticizing that he’s inconsistent rather than trying to force the story to be what I want it to be. With Alm I’m more so confused on what exactly they were trying to do with his character at all. Cause for the most part he’s framed as a flawless static protagonist that incites change in other characters namely Clive. And I like that conflict but the issue is that they don’t stick with it and try to pretend that he’s somehow wrong in the end when he never was and that’s a problem.

“But that was the point.”

Quote

Have you ever wrote something before? Have you ever tried to create something before? Cause like I feel like you’re looking at it from a reader’s perspective rather than the writer’s perspective. I’m not saying you have to be a writer to be able to criticize writing but you should at least understand how a writer thinks or understand the fundamentals of what goes into the creative process. Think about it from more a writer’s perspective than a reader’s perspective.

What? What....?

If anything, a writer should more so know what good writing is than a reader.

What.......? I’m very confused. What are you trying to say here??

I want to comment but I just don’t know where to begin. Please elaborate. Why should we think about it this way? What’s the difference between looking at something from a writer’s perspective and a reader’s perspective? How should that improve Fates in our eyes at all?

Someone’s thoughts aren’t any less valid if they aren’t looking it at the same way as you are though. I will stand by that. This comes off as awfully judgmental...

Quote

I mean that depends on the criticism though. If I’m being honest if someone even remotely implies that Naruto “contradicted its theme of hard work” I’m going to want to shoot myself because that’s just a wrong and idiotic statement. Anyone who unironically says that probably wasn’t that much attention to the narrative at all. There are such things as bad takes, Y’know. They exist and I have seen them. 

Why don’t you just listen to what they have to say first?

Quote

Then let’s turn it the other way. Prove to me that it is lazy. Prove to me that there was barely any thought put into this story.

Have you seen all the plot holes? And how much effort does it take to throw in bad guys who were behind it the whole time for basically no reason and bring together all the guys we like from both sides to fight them? It really comes across as a lack of effort when you step back and look at the whole story, namely Revelations, and I’m not saying that means there wasn’t any effort, but still.

1 hour ago, lightcosmo said:

Isnt this just a way to excuse poor writing? You could argue this for any story and therefore it's a "good" story. 

Like I guess SoV's story is good cause we dont personally know the writers, right? I dont think that logic is the right way to analyze a story at all. 

I think they were just trying to say don’t call the writers lazy.

Edited by Sooks

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22 minutes ago, Thane said:

1) Fates is split into three paths and you have to pay for all three, making this the most expensive main series installment in the series. Rather than letting the choice be something we made then and there, it was based on what version you had bought. I assume they did this in order to squeeze the players of more money.

2) Camilla's entire existence, including spending two cutscenes only on her appearance to put it mildly, leads me to believe their intent was to objectify her, market her, and pander to certain players rather than letting her be a character in her own right.

3) I assume they included the three most popular second gen Awakening characters and an ill-fitting second gen system because they wanted to win over the Awakening crowd even though what worked in that game doesn't work in Fates.

4) The fact that the Hoshidan siblings can get a letter, prepared by their dead foster mother, telling them it's okay to marry Corrin because there are no blood ties, leads me to believe they prioritized shipping over the premise of the game because they thought it would sell better.

These are all fair and criticisms and I agree with for the most part.

 

23 minutes ago, Thane said:

This lack of interesting twists and turns in the story is bad enough,

I mean does a story need any interesting twists or turns to be good? No, not really. It’s not a requirement so the lack of it isn’t really a sound criticism imo.

 

26 minutes ago, Thane said:

In the clear majority of maps, Corrin is minding their business and are suddenly attacked, usually without having seen it coming. It makes far too many battles feel like filler. Every other Fire Emblem game includes smaller victories and reaching more modest goals in order to build momentum for the final battle. Ike gathers allies for Elincia, Chrom defeats Gangrel and Walhart, Roy frees Erturia, etc. The closest Fates comes to this is having your siblings join you, but that's not based on any victory on Corrin's part.

I mean they are in enemy territory so being ambushed should be more or less expected especially in the case of ninjas. Yeah Corrin’s more of a reactionary protagonist but that’s not a bad thing. All protagonists are more or less reactionary for the most part. As for allies joining Corrin not being based in any victory on Corrin’s part I have to disagree. One of the primary themes of fates is “trust” and the only way Corrin is shown to be able to recruit allies is well by proving they are trustworthy like against the wind tribe, Nyx, Shura, Mozu, etc. all these characters join Corrin because the are able to get others to trust them. In that way disagree. Is it handled the best? No I don’t think so but overall there’s a connection to be made there that you derive meaning from.

 

4 hours ago, NekoKnight said:

What I was criticizing was your veneration of authorial intent, as though one must accept any decision as acceptable story telling as long as that was the deliberate choice of the writer. Let me ask you this, was it their intention to make Corrin a self-righteous moral coward? I don't think it was, for how highly praised he is in the story. Did they intend to make Ryoma a manipulative bastard by having him lie to Corrin about being his real brother? I don't think it was. It really seems like an oversight that shows they were so focused on the fanservice of letting you bone the Hoshidan siblings that they didn't consider the implications it had for the characters. If these were all intentional, do I have to think it's acceptable writing that these horrible people are praised as good guys? 

On the point of Ryoma being a hypocrite. Yeah I agree that’s not the most well handled plot point. It’s somewhat acknowledged in Birthright narratively because they don’t really win in birthright. I’ve said this in another thread but in both BR and CQ Corrin is fundamentally wrong. The fact is that Hoshido is lying to them and they are considered wrong for siding with them and only them because they don’t really win in the end. Yeah they defeat Garon but the victory is hollow because Azura dies and they question if they simply killed a dead man walking. They don’t think of it too much more beyond that. The Azura bit at the end further cements this by pretty much saying you made the wrong choice and that there’s more truth that they didn’t uncover. I don’t think it’s handled as well as it could’ve been simply because Ryoma isn’t really called out for it or punished for it in any meaningful way. Xander is punished numerous times for being a hypocrite but Ryoma? No, not really. Not even in conquest and I think that’s where the problem lies.

 

4 hours ago, NekoKnight said:

The first event is a minor coincidence to get the characters moving to where they need to be. The second event clearly shows the hand of the writer forcing a plot direction that is utterly bizarre. The purpose? To get Corrin on board with the invasion in a way that preserves his moral purity. Do these two events seem equal to you? Is it all just fiction so who cares about how things happen?

I mean like chapter 15 of conquest is probably the worst one on account of it simply not making sense on any level. It doesn’t necessarily break verisimilitude imo but even then nothing about it makes sense. I do not agree with the whole “it shows the hand of the author” because when you analyze storytelling that’s what you want to see! You want to see “the hand of the author”. You see a plot point and you want to figure out why the author wrote that way instead of any other way. Maybe instead of seeing the narrative being “forced in a bizarre” direction maybe you should ask yourself why it was put in that direction. The author is essentially god in their story. They can make the story go in whatever hell direction they want. It’s their story in which they have all the power to do what they want with. So ask yourself why did the author choose this direction to take the story and not any other? Sometimes the answer may surprise you when you break it down enough. 

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To not make this thread any more of a wall of text by quoting them, I'll just say that @Thane and @NekoKnight said it far better than I ever could. I completely agree with your responses.

Edited by twilitfalchion

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Just now, Sooks said:

What page was it on?

There are so many walls of text... xD

I'll check.

I think the one I was referring to was the one on page 7, where I theorized that Fates' writing problems stem from overreaching ambition and trying to essentially write three game plots in the timeframe normally allotted for one game's plot.

That said, I have made a lot of different replies on different aspects of Fates' writing, and I really would appreciate a response to any of them really.

  • On that same page, I had also made a brief point about how one thing that there was a lot of hype for Fates, and one thing that helped that was the marketing, for pretty much the first time for an FE game, the marketing for it was pretty much perfect (Awakening was the first time an FE game got marketing that actually existed).
  • I also made a point on page 7 about how Corrin's different abilities (namely the Yato and the dragon powers) largely go underutilized by the plot, especially in terms of character exploration. Funny enough, someone had posted a bunch of paragraphs above my reply that made a lot of additional points about the dragon powers that I agree with.
  • I had also made a detailed point about the difference between coincidence and contrivance and how a story should be driven by character actions (a point you later made with a lot fewer words) all the way back in page 2.
  • On page 1, I made a point about how, gameplay-wise (so not really story, but story does come up), Fates feels like it was made to cater to everyone and that they just threw in every gameplay element they could think of to see what fans would like and what they wouldn't like. 

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On 11/19/2020 at 3:50 PM, vanguard333 said:

That said, I think it's less that it's an easy target for criticism, and in fact less with the game itself, and more what the game is emblematic of: this game was made at something of a boiling point of division among FE fans in the wake of Awakening's unexpected huge success bringing in a whole bunch of new fans to the series, and it shows in the game itself. Looking at the game pre-release and when playing through the finished product, I always got the sense that the game was made to try to cater to everyone. The developers outright said that Birthright was designed to be like Awakening and Conquest was designed to be like the older games. But more than that, the gameplay and all its many features, a lot of which seem to more simply be there than be their in service of other aspects of the game (like the 2nd gen units) seemed to me at least to largely have just been thrown in, like they were throwing in everything they could think of to see what fans would like and what fans would not like. But, when you try to cater to everyone, the result is often directionless and mush. 

Yeah, this makes perfect sense. In a way, Fates' fanservice is emblematic (hehe) of the purpose of the game as a whole. It's a fanservice game. Yes, it has plenty of fanservice in the common sense of how the word is used, but it's also fanservice in the sense of literally trying to appeal to all parts of the fanbase, while satisfying very few. It's a clear overextension of the efforts behind the game as a whole. As you said, Birthright was for the Awakening fans, Conquest was for the traditional FE fans, and Revelation was for fans of a golden route where both sides come together. But ironically, instead of coming together, Revelation is probably the least coherent plot in FE as a series (barring Conquest, but I don't know enough about it to speak authoritatively on CQ). IntSys threw everything and the kitchen sink into Fates to please everyone, only to have that mess of a game structure, poor writing, trope-filled cast of characters, and everything else flop. Hard.

Do I still like Birthright, despite everything I've said here? Yeah.

It's the least offensive Fates route, despite its many flaws.

Is it still a disappointment compared to almost every other game in the series from a narrative perspective as well as a gameplay perspective? Absolutely.

35 minutes ago, Sooks said:

Have you seen all the plot holes? And how much effort does it take to throw in bad guys who were behind it the whole time for basically no reason and bring together all the guys we like from both sides to fight them? It really comes across as a lack of effort when you step back and look at the whole story, namely Revelations, and I’m not saying that means there wasn’t any effort, but still.

And that's the thing. Can we know the authors' intent? No.

But can we judge their work based on the end result and surmise the effort based on that? Definitely.

Just like I can look at nearly every Zelda game and see how little Nintendo cares about putting a meaningful narrative into one of their biggest series.

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1 minute ago, twilitfalchion said:

But can we judge their work based on the end result and surmise the effort based on that? Definitely.

 

As Murozaki said, I find that line of thinking to be disrespectful. It’s commendable on its own to put something out there like fates in the first place and I find it disrespectful to suggest they didn’t put a whole lot of effort into it. This is Japan we’re talking about. The country known for their workaholic culture to the point where some even throw up from overwork(that is a true story from studio Perriot look it up) so no I don’t think it’s very respectful to say they were lazy for any reason. They put out a finished product and that is more than enough to earn my respect regardless of how I feel about its quality.

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8 minutes ago, Ottservia said:

As Murozaki said, I find that line of thinking to be disrespectful. It’s commendable on its own to put something out there like fates in the first place and I find it disrespectful to suggest they didn’t put a whole lot of effort into it. This is Japan we’re talking about. The country known for their workaholic culture to the point where some even throw up from overwork(that is a true story from studio Perriot look it up) so no I don’t think it’s very respectful to say they were lazy for any reason. They put out a finished product and that is more than enough to earn my respect regardless of how I feel about its quality.

I mean, that's fine if you feel that way. But when a product is put on the market, regardless of what it is, if that product is of a lesser quality or inferior quality compared to products that came before it, it would be wrong to invalidate the suggestion that perhaps less effort was put into it.

Again, nobody's saying you have to agree, but to me (and others, I'd venture to say) it's quite obvious that Fates, in addition to having a serious conflict in development as to the direction of the game's plot and overall theme, was a victim of being the follow up to one of the most successful games in the series, Awakening. It wouldn't be surprising in the slightest if that success caused IntSys to go for a very similar approach and ride off the coattails of Awakening's success. I mean, the fact that three characters from Awakening were included (yet more fanservice to appeal to Awakening fans) is evidence in favor of such a suggestion.

Edited by twilitfalchion

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5 minutes ago, twilitfalchion said:

Yeah, this makes perfect sense.

Simply cutting it down for length. Thanks for the reply. I completely agree about the "throwing everything into the kitchen sink" and trying to appeal to everyone leading to satisfying no one.

 

1 minute ago, Ottservia said:

As Murozaki said, I find that line of thinking to be disrespectful. It’s commendable on its own to put something out there like fates in the first place and I find it disrespectful to suggest they didn’t put a whole lot of effort into it. This is Japan we’re talking about. The country known for their workaholic culture to the point where some even throw up from overwork(that is a true story from studio Perriot look it up) so no I don’t think it’s very respectful to say they were lazy for any reason. They put out a finished product and that is more than enough to earn my respect regardless of how I feel about its quality.

As I said in my response to the guy who said the writing was lazy, I genuinely think that Fates' writing problems were from mixed/confused priorities and overreaching ambition, not laziness. 

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8 minutes ago, twilitfalchion said:

I mean, that's fine if you feel that way. But when a product is put on the market, regardless of what it is, if that product is of a lesser quality or inferior quality compared to products that came before it, it would be wrong to invalidate the suggestion that perhaps less effort was put into it.

Again, nobody's saying you have to agree, but to me (and others, I'd venture to say) it's quite obvious that Fates, in addition to having a serious conflict in development as to the direction of the game's plot and overall theme, was a victim of being the follow up to one of the most successful games in the series, Awakening. It wouldn't be surprising in the slightest if that success caused IntSys to go for a very similar approach and ride off the coattails of Awakening's success. I mean, the fact that three characters from Awakening were included (yet more fanservice to appeal to Awakening fans) is evidence in favor of such a suggestion.

You seem like the kind of person who would say “Kishimoto misunderstood what made his series popular in the first place” I can tell. I mean not to be rude or to make assumptions but that’s just the general vibe I get from you tbh.

9 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

As I said in my response to the guy who said the writing was lazy, I genuinely think that Fates' writing problems were from mixed/confused priorities and overreaching ambition, not laziness. 

I can agree with this and as for your other post. I just need to get to a desktop in order to type out a proper response. Doing it on mobile is a bit of a hassle. 

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2 minutes ago, Ottservia said:

You seem like the kind of person who would say “Kishimoto misunderstood what made his series popular in the first place” I can tell. I mean not to be rude or to make assumptions but that’s just the general vibe I get from you tbh.

Well, when a series loses sight of what made it successful in the first place, one can only look at the top to see why that's the case.

Look at Sakamoto and Metroid: Other M, as an example.

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7 minutes ago, twilitfalchion said:

Well, when a series loses sight of what made it successful in the first place, one can only look at the top to see why that's the case.

Look at Sakamoto and Metroid: Other M, as an example.

Or Y’know saying “Naruto contradicted its theme of hard work vs natural talent” when the story was never about that to begin with. I’m just saying if you think any creator misunderstands their own series that’s just a little rude. There are people who say Deku should’ve remained quirkless and those people need to shut up.

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Just now, Ottservia said:

Or Y’know saying “Naruto contradicted its theme of hard work vs natural talent” when the story was never about that to begin with. I’m just saying if you think any creator misunderstands their own series that’s just a little rude. There are people who say Deku should’ve remained quirkless and those people need to shut up.

Or y'know...just let people have their own opinions instead of telling them they need to shut up.

Losing sight of what made the series successful ≠ saying that the creator misunderstands their own series.

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2 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

I was just saying that I don't think the main writer sat down and thought, "Alright, time to put in no effort today!"

Whenever I see Garon I actually start to suspect that's exactly what the writers were thinking. 

Quote

EDIT: Basically, I agree with you that Fates' writing is of very poor quality. I was just saying that I don't think the main writer sat down and thought, "Alright, time to put in no effort today!" I think the main writer sat down and thought, "****! There's less than a month before the deadline and I'm still on the first draft of the Hoshido plot! How am I going to finish these on time! Why did i ever agree to write the plot for three games at once?"

But to some extend yes. I think trying to split the story in three parts doubtlessly created a pressure that was bound to be detrimental. I'd argue the team chasing bad priorities is the bigger issue but where there's a team B there's also a team A. There likely were plenty of people who had good ideas and did their best but with three games, a set deadline and team B likely overrulling them on many things there's only so much they can do. 

However the presence of those bad priorities is why I'm far harsher on Fates then I am on Three Houses where its also clear the devs just weren't able to properly implement many of the ideas they had. For Example the Death Knight is a character that initially failed, but Garon is a character with which the team never even tried to begin with. There are things in Fates which may not work due to a lack of time or resources, but its very easy to point at things where the writers seem to have deliberately pulled strings to make them not work because that made things easier for them. 

Edited by Etrurian emperor

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1 hour ago, vanguard333 said:

I think the one I was referring to was the one on page 7, where I theorized that Fates' writing problems stem from overreaching ambition and trying to essentially write three game plots in the timeframe normally allotted for one game's plot.

Fates never came off as lazy to me either, tbh. It seems like the kind of story where they thought it was good but then it really wasn’t (at least, in the majority opinion), and I will admit all of that just comes from vibes. Fates doesn’t give any vibes of overarching considering the fact that the games are very different, when compared to, say, Three Houses. Three Houses definitely gives off overreaching vibes, but again this is the just feeling I get, I don’t really have a way of knowing.

Quote

On that same page, I had also made a brief point about how one thing that there was a lot of hype for Fates, and one thing that helped that was the marketing, for pretty much the first time for an FE game, the marketing for it was pretty much perfect (Awakening was the first time an FE game got marketing that actually existed).

And this ties back into people expecting more than they got, it really is a sad little cycle. I will say the trailers made me hype as well but I watched them right before I picked up Conquest after becoming an fe fan (Fates had been out for years at that point).

Quote

I also made a point on page 7 about how Corrin's different abilities (namely the Yato and the dragon powers) largely go underutilized by the plot, especially in terms of character exploration. Funny enough, someone had posted a bunch of paragraphs above my reply that made a lot of additional points about the dragon powers that I agree with.

I don’t think they were made to be utilized by the plot at all, they just wanted to make Corrin look cool (not that that’s a good thing). I mean the Yato is secretly the Fire Emblem but... the Fire Emblem still does nothing?? Like what??

I also always thought that Azura should have always been able to turn into a dragon as well. She has a dragonstone on her, and she and Corrin are the only ones connected to the royalty of both kingdoms, each of which has dragon blood/ancestry. Ah well...

Quote

I had also made a detailed point about the difference between coincidence and contrivance and how a story should be driven by character actions (a point you later made with a lot fewer words) all the way back in page 2.

And I agree with all of that.

But contrivances are easy to write... maybe they really were overreaching.

Although in Birthright, since it’s just a bunch of filler on the way to the end goal, it was probably hard to come up with detailed reasonings for each filler chapter. That was probably why it’s all coincidence.

A lack of character driven actions also, imo, helps the cast fall completely flat on its face. They just react to whatever happens around them, and that doesn’t lend them very much agency, which means we know less of how they think, imo.

Quote

On page 1, I made a point about how, gameplay-wise (so not really story, but story does come up), Fates feels like it was made to cater to everyone and that they just threw in every gameplay element they could think of to see what fans would like and what they wouldn't like. 

Birthright and Conquest have literal opposite ideologies when it comes to map design, so that naturally makes sense. However, as they are separate games, I don’t really care all that much. Each one says what it is gonna be like gameplay wise, and there is no disconnect of the maps feeling completely different because that was the point as these are separate games. So I don’t think that’s really a bad thing.

Now the forced in second gen units are, because they are clearly there only to pander to Awakening fans. Same with S supports, as you can marry your siblings.

Edited by Sooks

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25 minutes ago, twilitfalchion said:

Well, when a series loses sight of what made it successful in the first place, one can only look at the top to see why that's the case.

Look at Sakamoto and Metroid: Other M, as an example.

I can honestly say that I know almost nothing about Metroid, but I thought Other M's problems were from it being made by Team Ninja? I honestly don't know.

Anyway, that is somewhat true; when a series loses sight of things that made it successful in the first place, it is important to look at its development and at the higher-ups. It's just that one shouldn't go straight to assume it's the guy at the top's fault. Look at Tetsuya Nomura for example: he's been blamed for everything fans dislike about every game directed by him for the last several years, even though an actual look reveals that it's a result of him and his development team repeatedly getting screwed over.

 

16 minutes ago, Etrurian emperor said:

Whenever I see Garon I actually start to suspect that's exactly what the writers were thinking. 

Perhaps, but I honestly think Garon's characterization was more a result of confused priorities and/or needing to meet deadlines.

 

7 minutes ago, Sooks said:

Fates never came off as lazy to me either, tbh.

(I'm going to reply to everything you said; I'm just cutting it for length) Thanks for the reply. 

1. I see. Yeah; I could see that perhaps they handed the story in and genuinely thought it was good.

2. Yeah, though whenever I see "over-expectation" brought up, it's usually someone defending something by telling the criticizers, "You were just expecting too much." I can tell that you're not saying that; I'm just saying that's why I try to avoid talking about expectations.

3. I agree; I don't think those things were conceived of for how they could impact the plot or explore Corrin as a character but were simply there for, "Oh, this would make Corrin cool!" I was just pointing out that it was seriously wasted potential. Azura being to turn into a dragon would've been neat, as Azura and Corrin do have a lot of symmetry as you pointed out and it would explain her having a dragonstone to give Corrin.

4. Thanks.

5. Yeah; I agree about the second-gen units and s-supporting the royals; those definitely shouldn't have been in Fates and were only there for fanservice/throwing in everything.

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On 11/23/2020 at 8:29 PM, Dark Holy Elf said:

I actually found SoV's version of it a bit comical. Delthea picks up a sword post-promotion and is apparently super-strong compared to someone like, say, Clive, because they wanted her to deal high damage with magic.

Pretty sure SoV is the only game like that. The GBA games have only one offensive stat, but without hacking, nobody can use both physical weapons and tomes/staves IIRC, making it moot. Same with Heroes, if you count that. Judgral, Tellius, the Archaenaea remakes, Awakening, Fates, and 3H all use separate strength and magic stats. Dunno about FE1-3.

I was saying SoV fixed more along the lines of just within the 3DS era of games. I've personally never played Geneology/Thracia 776. Even if units like Deathea could wield swords in my experience I rarely physically attacked with due priestess pathetically low physical defense which meant units like Delthea could often die to a single physical hit on retaliation so she just zapped people 97% of the time. Usually the only folks she'd melee were witches.  

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