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Theme of Conquest

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17 hours ago, Ottservia said:

I mean not really? I think it depends. Like if you say this moment in a story broke your suspension of disbelief then I can just as easily counter by saying it didn’t break mine. We can’t argue the point any further than that. Unlike with inconsistencies in themes and such there’s no discussion to be had in regards to suspension of disbelief. 

You can still discuss why or why not your suspension of disbelief was/wasn’t broken and learn new things and what others think, discussions don’t have to be about being right or wrong.

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4 minutes ago, Sooks said:

You can still discuss why or why not your suspension of disbelief was/wasn’t broken and learn new things and what others think, discussions don’t have to be about being right or wrong.

On that I agree but I still don’t think you can really criticize a story for breaking suspension of disbelief because of how personal it is

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1 hour ago, Ottservia said:

If you ignore the optional content in awakening the story still works fine as is. Nothing about the themes of the story are contradicted.

On the contrary, the support system is instrumental to creating the "powers of friendship" themes in Awakening. Its one of the bigger themes, and it simply doesn't work if you refuse to engage with supports, and the mechanics surrounding them.

 

 

1 hour ago, Ottservia said:

However ignoring the optional content in echoes by playing perfectly actively contradicts the game’s message.

It only contradicts the way you think the themes should have been done. As you yourself have said, you should judge the game based on what it is, not what you think it should be.

This is enough of a tangent that I will simply focus on Alm for now, and look at how the themes are portrayed in a perfect run, starting from the line I believe offended you most.

Quote

Alm: Don’t apologize. Just know that I need you, all right? Without your wisdom, all I know how to do is fight whatever’s in front of me. So please… Will you fight with me? Believe in me. Believe in US. Believe in our combined strength!

Note that Alm doesn't says he is wrong, what he says is that he needs Celica. Repeatedly throughout the endgame, Alm has found that despite his prowess in combat, he keeps losing things that are precious to him

Spoiler
Quote

Rudolf: I’d thought you’d have realized by now. Your true name… Your true name is Albein Alm Rudolf. You are…my one and only son.

Alm: I… What? That can’t be true… You’re lying! Why should I believe a word you say?

Rudolf: Nnngh… Be still, Alm. I haven’t time left… to explain. But I beg you to grant me one… final favor.

Alm: You want a favor from ME?

Rudolf: Take the Divine Falchion that… sealed Mila’s strength… Duma has become a thing of mindless evil. Use the blade… Destroy him… Please, my son… You must…

Alm: No, wait! Emperor Rudolf! Were you truly my father? Then I’ve just… Oh, gods… What have I done? Aah… AAAAAAAUGH!

Quote

Alm: Why, Berkut? To have finally found family after all this time… Why did it come to this?!

Berkut: Heh… I have no family…nor do I want for one. Now stop talking and finish this. End me, and you can stand alone as inheritor of Rigel’s royal blood.

Alm: I never wanted that! Don’t you get it? I’ve spent enough of my life alone!

Spoiler

 

Celica: Alm, I…

Alm: Listen, Celica. I know you sacrificed your own life to protect me and the others. But I never wanted that. I couldn’t ever be happy in a world you died to create!

 

Alm is the best of humanity, which was exactly what Duma wanted to create in man, but despite how perfect he is as an individual, alone he can't create the world he wants, and is simply left with a world that cold, and empty of the things he most desires.

Spoiler

Alm: Oh, come on! What’s wrong with personal feelings?! All of you fought this far because you hold some kind of hope for the world. It’s man’s individual hopes and fears that shape the world. That drive it. And that’s how it SHOULD be. I truly believe that. Should we let the world crumble on a god’s whim? Or his absence?

Clive: You’re right, of course, but…

Alm: I don’t want to lose anyone else I care about. I don’t want to see anyone else lost because of Duma. Don’t you feel the same, Clive?

Its only when the results of Duma's and Mila's work are united that they can create a better world for humanity.

 

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10 minutes ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

On the contrary, the support system is instrumental to creating the "powers of friendship" themes in Awakening. Its one of the bigger themes, and it simply doesn't work if you refuse to engage with supports, and the mechanics surrounding them.

 

Yeah but that’s not a contradiction just you not engaging with the game’s mechanics which isn’t a contradiction. That’s not what contradiction means.

 

10 minutes ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

It only contradicts the way you think the themes should have been done. As you yourself have said, you should judge the game based on what it is, not what you think it should be.

 

Yeah and I am. Alm apologizes to Celica and says that “without her wisdom he only knew to attack what was in front of him” this is not true if we break down the events of the story. He is able to hold himself back against Delthea just fine. He does not simply “attack what was in front of him” in that instance. Even so at no point in the story did Alm ever and I mean ever need to apply Celica’s ideals or “wisdom” to solve a conflict. That is never shown to be the case. If you want that statement to be true then you have to show Alm needing to take into account Celica’s ideals in order to solve some kind of conflict to show that he did need her ideals in the end in order to succeed. That doesn’t happen though which makes what Alm says to her at that moment untrue

Edited by Ottservia

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4 minutes ago, Ottservia said:

Yeah but that’s not a contradiction just you not engaging with the game’s mechanics which isn’t a contradiction. That’s not what contradiction means.

Are you suggesting that a theme not existing (in this case because you didn't interact with the core mechanics that created it) doesn't contradict the existence of said theme?

Even if you do follow that belief, a contradiction still occurs. A core theme emphasized repeatedly by "Marth"'s failure to change the future, and cemented by the choice that changes nothing, is that "fate is inescapable", with the theme of "the power of friendship" being remove, instead of the inescapable fate being overcome by the power of friendship, it is simply contradicted in the end meaninglessly.

 

2 minutes ago, Ottservia said:

Even so at no point in the story did Alm ever and I mean ever need to apply Celica’s ideals or “wisdom” to solve a conflict. That is never shown to be the case. If you want that statement to be true then you have to show Alm needing to take into account Celica’s ideals in order to solve some kind of conflict to show that he did need her ideals in the end in order to succeed. That doesn’t happen though which makes what Alm says to her at that moment untrue

If Alm had taken an approach similar to Celica's, than the only family he had (Rudolph and Berkut), whom he regrets killing, would not have died.

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Just now, Eltosian Kadath said:

Are you suggesting that a theme not existing (in this case because you didn't interact with the core mechanics that created it) doesn't contradict the existence of said theme?

That’s exactly what I’m saying. Just because you don’t see it that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Again that’s not what contradiction means. It’s totally possible for shit to fly over your head. You can miss things. All the conclusions I come to about stories only get into my head after like five rewatches/replays/rereads. I’ve replayed persona 5 like six times and only now did I begin to make the connection that Makoto and Kaneshiro are supposed to parallel each other. You can miss things in a story. It’s possible.

 

5 minutes ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

If Alm had taken an approach similar to Celica's, than the only family he had (Rudolph and Berkut), whom he regrets killing, would not have died.

This is a fair argument but I don’t think the story does a good job of showcasing that because it only happens at that moment not anywhere else. There’s pay off but there’s no build up to these moments thematically cause up until that point Alm is portrayed is a static paragon who doesn’t make mistakes. The flaws of his ideals are almost never made apparent and that’s the issue.

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4 hours ago, Ottservia said:

That’s just subjectivist which is a somewhat flawed way to look at art. Cause you can wrong about art. Again I’m just gonna bring up the Edelgard is racist example. Edelgard isn’t racist there is evidence to directly support that she isn’t. To say that she is objectively wrong. And even with your example of Jeralt it’s wrong to say that she’s being an asshole cause she’s not. If we really break down what’s she’s saying, essentially what she says is basically “sitting around moping and wallowing in pity isn’t gonna change anything. You just have to accept what happened and do something about it cause action is better than inaction”. Is she harsh about it? Perhaps. Is she being an asshole and outright malicious? Definitely not she’s simply giving her own advice in the way she knows how and how she chooses to understand the world. I wouldn’t call that being an asshole because she’s helping Byleth get out of their funk. It’s just a trope where the depressed character is snapped out of it by being harshly yelled at. She’s blunt but that’s just how her character is. If you simply do not like her method of giving advice well that’s personal taste. She’s not being an asshole though. That is simply not true

Except it's not. Go talk to an English Lit professor, they'll tell you that interpretation is entirely subjective. It all depends on the individual's experiences. It's why we can look at the same events and have completely different reactions to them. You didn't perceive what Edelgard said as her being an asshole but I did and you have to stop telling people their responses and views on things are wrong because you see things differently! You may not have reacted badly to it but should anyone say to me about my grandparents what she said to Byleth about Jeralt they'd be missing a few teeth afterwards. Just because you wouldn't call it her being an asshole doesn't make me wrong for seeing her that way for it. Someone being an asshole is not like someone being prejudiced, it's subjective and malicious intent and asshole are not mutually dependent. It being a trope doesn't matter - I dislike jerk trope characters and thoroughly love the RPGs where you can call them out on it (see Fallout 4 where you can literally shoot them). Likewise I don't and won't dismiss it just because it is a trope. It makes me angry so to me it's no excuse. Is it bad writing? No, not necessarily, it gets the response they want out of me. Still makes me mad.

In an effort to keep from derailing this I won't be responding anymore. Just think about it this way: people are going to perceive things differently than you and instead of railing against it and saying they're looking at it "wrong" actually try to see where they're coming from. Stop being so set in your own perceptions that you can't even begin to see someone else's.

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5 hours ago, Silver-Haired Maiden said:

That's the point, they think the same about your arguments as you do theirs! They believe their arguments to be pretty sound while yours have flaws and it comes down to personal interpretation and the fact that, in discussing literature, there is no right or wrong. People can view the exact same information in a wide plethora of ways because the way every single person views and interacts with the world is different.

Just to give an example, take the Rainbow Sage's death. I saw it, went "Well that was stupid and pointless" and moved on. A friend playing the game was quite touched. We have different world experiences and so reacted to the same thing differently. Or a more extreme example, Edelgard's little talk to Byleth after Jeralt died. I heard her and immediately thought she was an asshole who I wanted to punch in the teeth and would have had it been an option. Meanwhile there are several people here who saw that scene as her being comforting.

So through your world lens you may see arguments as flawed but never forget that people will think the same about yours and it just comes down to that we're all different people.

To be fair, much of Three Houses' dialogue would be improved if "Punch them in the face" was a dialogue option.

Granted Byleth would probably get executed for decking Rhea but eh, worth it.

5 hours ago, Ottservia said:

That’s just subjectivist which is a somewhat flawed way to look at art. Cause you can wrong about art. Again I’m just gonna bring up the Edelgard is racist example. Edelgard isn’t racist there is evidence to directly support that she isn’t. To say that she is objectively wrong. And even with your example of Jeralt it’s wrong to say that she’s being an asshole cause she’s not. If we really break down what’s she’s saying, essentially what she says is basically “sitting around moping and wallowing in pity isn’t gonna change anything. You just have to accept what happened and do something about it cause action is better than inaction”. Is she harsh about it? Perhaps. Is she being an asshole and outright malicious? Definitely not she’s simply giving her own advice in the way she knows how and how she chooses to understand the world. I wouldn’t call that being an asshole because she’s helping Byleth get out of their funk. It’s just a trope where the depressed character is snapped out of it by being harshly yelled at. She’s blunt but that’s just how her character is. If you simply do not like her method of giving advice well that’s personal taste. She’s not being an asshole though. That is simply not true

 

Yeah there is a small amount of "Objectiveness" for art (Like saying Claude is a white Polish man or King Lima is gay, those are objectively wrong as the characters clearly aren't or that Shadow Dragon on the NES has supports.) but most of it is ultimately subjective in some way or another. 

Yeah she's trying to help, that doesn't mean it'd A: work or B: not be seen as an asshole thing.

Byleth's an emotionless trope, that to me personally is A: inconsistent since they clearly show emotion (Such as literally any time they're low on health) and B: Gets dumb since it starts feeling like an excuse to have them just nod along when no sane person wouldn't be getting probably very angry. (Oh Rhea knew Miklan would turn into a in-universe dangerous horrifying beast thing? better just nod my head and not actually get mad that me or the students I allegedly care about could have very likely died if it wasn't for Sothis in my head telling me what to do.)

It personally, just feels me to like it's a cop-out since they clearly show emotion (Hell I'd argue caring for their students at all, from near the very start, is an obvious sign of emotion and joking they're a bandit to Alois, in literally after the first battle is a sign of emotion I'd argue too.)

While I heavily dislike this, I can't claim this is an literal objective fact of how Byleth's emotionless trope works. (Even if I strongly believe it's actually just a lazy excuse to make Byleth go along with Rhea ultimately at the start.)

 

 

Edited by Samz707

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4 minutes ago, Samz707 said:

Yeah she's trying to help, that doesn't mean it'd A: work or B: not be seen as an asshole thing.

 

Well yeah that’s my thing. If you see it as an asshole thing to say fair enough but I wouldn’t consider it bad writing by any means

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Let's pull this back around - while I do like a zesty debate about the more general concepts behind literature interpretation, this has been over a page now so let's try to get back to the thread's topic. If people want to continue a more generalize literature debate, definitely feel free to make another thread to reignite the conversation, but I think we've gotten a bit out of this thread's reasonable zone

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The game has some decent themes and all, but ultimately the context needed for a fair amount of them is either skimmed over or given a unsatisfying justification in game. Why is Takumi filled with so much more hate in Conquest than in either Birthright or Revelation? I'm guessing Anaknos but otherwise idk. Why does the throne room expose Garon's true form and what kind of symbolism is present here? IDK. 

Personally, my biggest issue with Fates was never theming, but details like suspension of disbelief and dropped plot points. I think its awesome children were able to make a return for this game from Awakening, but the justification in-game for their existence via alternate dimension is pretty flimsy and creates WAY more questions than answers. Ultimately, I have to treat much of the events that unfold in the game regarding the children as non-canon because the logic behind the deep realm greatly confuses me. Corrin being a dragon is also awesome, but almost never brought up throughout the game. 

All that being said, I do think Fates' narrative gets a bit too much hate and from a moment-to-moment basis its symbolism can shine through.

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