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Slyfox

Could the Verdant Wind and Silver Snow End Maps Have Happened at the Same Time?

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Or near enough to the same time?

It has always bothered me and from what I can tell, the Fire Emblem community at large, that the end maps in the Silver Snow and Verdant Wind routes are different for seemingly arbitrary reasons (i.e., none). The game doesn't present any reason for the change, not even the slightest hint, even compared to when it barely tries such as Seteth/Byleth coming up with a plan to infiltrate Fort Merceus vs. Claude/Hilda coming up with the same idea. Could this lack of explanation actually mean anything? Probably not but at the very least it allows us an easier time to headcanon some things.

I suggest that Nemesis coming back to "life" to ravage Fodlan and Rhea's power going out of control happened more or less at the same time, just in a different order than what we saw in their respective routes. Aside from the route and two movie cutscenes being nearly identical, we also have Verdant Wind's epilogue slides imply that Rhea died whereas in Silver Snow the slides show Rhea as alive if at A support or above. Why can't we save Rhea in Verdant Wind with an A support? I think it has to do with Byleth and more importantly, Sothis' power.

I propose that in Silver Snow, Byleth can only save Rhea via A+ support because said support rank reforms a connection to Sothis' child that had been previously lost when Sothis initially kicked the bucket. Sothis needs to remember her powers, which is why spending time with Rhea is crucial in this instance, as Sothis needs time to trigger her subconscious. Why is this important in Verdant Wind? Because if we assume Rhea loses control and is subsequently put down around the time of the Zombie Nemesis fight, Byleth isn't physically close enough to Rhea to use their godly powers in order to preserve her life.

Going back again to Silver Snow, we can assume Nemesis was still brought back to life, as we weren't shown him getting crushed by rocks when Shambhala fell apart and the events there were the same as in Verdant Wind. The only difference being that this time Rhea goes berserk before Nemesis gets to show up and thematically it makes more sense to end it at that point in the story, just as it thematically makes sense to end Claude's story with Nemesis. Nemesis would feasibly show up in post Crimson Flower and could also make an appearance in post Azure Moon, though the Agarthans would have an easier time keeping him hidden in the latter case.

Thoughts? Was this a reasonable attempt explaining how things may have happened? Or was it a fool's errand to even try to salvage this mess?

Edited by Slyfox

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39 minutes ago, Slyfox said:

Thoughts? Was this a reasonable attempt explaining how things may have happened? Or was it a fool's errand to even try to salvage this mess?

Ding-ding-ding! It's an admirable effort, but...

40 minutes ago, Slyfox said:

I propose that in Silver Snow, Byleth can only save Rhea via A+ support because said support rank reforms a connection to Sothis' child that had been previously lost when Sothis initially kicked the bucket. Sothis needs to remember her powers, which is why spending time with Rhea is crucial in this instance, as Sothis needs time to trigger her subconscious. Why is this important in Verdant Wind? Because if we assume Rhea loses control and is subsequently put down around the time of the Zombie Nemesis fight, Byleth isn't physically close enough to Rhea to use their godly powers in order to preserve her life.

 

45 minutes ago, Slyfox said:

Going back again to Silver Snow, we can assume Nemesis was still brought back to life, as we weren't shown him getting crushed by rocks when Shambhala fell apart and the events there were the same as in Verdant Wind. The only difference being that this time Rhea goes berserk before Nemesis gets to show up and thematically it makes more sense to end it at that point in the story, just as it thematically makes sense to end Claude's story with Nemesis. Nemesis would feasibly show up in post Crimson Flower and could also make an appearance in post Azure Moon, though the Agarthans would have an easier time keeping him hidden in the latter case.

Ultimately, this requires a certain amount of spirit magic and woo that... just isn't established, or even hinted at. Plus, it creates new oversights in each plot. Why would Nemesis take longer to become a threat in SS (I'm pretty sure he has to, since the Professor learns of him early in the month in VW, while they can fiddle around for longer in the last month of SS)? Conversely, why isn't "oh hey, Rhea went berserk and burned down Garreg Mach while we were gone" mentioned in VW, even if just in the ending cards?

The game's developers had a chance to explain this stuff. Maybe Claude's intellectual curiosity helps him find the cure for Rhea going berserk, but oops! In the process, he wakes up Nemesis. Ultimately, though, they didn't - nearly the same input leads to two significantly different results. Maybe it's a statement on the randomness of the universe, and our absurd attempts to make sense of what happens. But it was probably just lazy writing.

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9 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Ding-ding-ding! It's an admirable effort, but...

 

Ultimately, this requires a certain amount of spirit magic and woo that... just isn't established, or even hinted at. Plus, it creates new oversights in each plot. Why would Nemesis take longer to become a threat in SS (I'm pretty sure he has to, since the Professor learns of him early in the month in VW, while they can fiddle around for longer in the last month of SS)? Conversely, why isn't "oh hey, Rhea went berserk and burned down Garreg Mach while we were gone" mentioned in VW, even if just in the ending cards?

The game's developers had a chance to explain this stuff. Maybe Claude's intellectual curiosity helps him find the cure for Rhea going berserk, but oops! In the process, he wakes up Nemesis. Ultimately, though, they didn't - nearly the same input leads to two significantly different results. Maybe it's a statement on the randomness of the universe, and our absurd attempts to make sense of what happens. But it was probably just lazy writing.

Yeah, not a fan of "power of friendship" shenanigans either, but it was the only thing I could think of given the "evidence" the game gives us.

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Yeap, I didn't wanna be the first one to come out and say it, but Shanty Pete's 1st Mate's assessment is pretty much spot-on. You can try your hardest to save both routes, but in the end it's an impossible feat without doing a complete rewrite. VW and SS are just an unsalvageable mess through and through. Solid gameplay, but I seriously wonder just how much they were drinking when they came up with the story. Only saving grace as far as I'm concerned is playing as Claude on VW (flying meme lord's the only reason I'm even considering a VW run) and fighting Rhea on SS. Hell, if they'd just cut SS from the game completely (it was just a rough draft anyway, from what I've read) and used it's final map for VW instead, they would've at least had a halfway decent Golden Deer route. Zombie Nemesis and SS's half-assed writing though just ruined it all.

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3 hours ago, RainbowMoon said:

Yeap, I didn't wanna be the first one to come out and say it, but Shanty Pete's 1st Mate's assessment is pretty much spot-on. You can try your hardest to save both routes, but in the end it's an impossible feat without doing a complete rewrite. VW and SS are just an unsalvageable mess through and through. Solid gameplay, but I seriously wonder just how much they were drinking when they came up with the story. Only saving grace as far as I'm concerned is playing as Claude on VW (flying meme lord's the only reason I'm even considering a VW run) and fighting Rhea on SS. Hell, if they'd just cut SS from the game completely (it was just a rough draft anyway, from what I've read) and used it's final map for VW instead, they would've at least had a halfway decent Golden Deer route. Zombie Nemesis and SS's half-assed writing though just ruined it all.

For the most part, I agree: you can't save both routes without a rewrite. 

As for how the story ended up like this, well, Verdant Wind and Silver Snow show the most signs of what I think is the core problem: the game having been built around two main conflicts (Church vs Empire & Three Superpowers vs Each Other) and not being able to give both enough attention or intertwine both conflicts thoroughly enough. Verdant Wind and Azure Moon basically used Silver Snow as a template, but Azure Moon received enough attention and focus to be just different enough, while Verdant Wind got left as pretty much a copy. IS bit off more than they could chew in their effort to make "the most ambitious FE game yet" and the end product being "twice as big as [they] had originally envisioned".

I honestly don't know how to go about fixing this problem; I think it would've made the most sense to have one of these two core conflicts saved for another game, but I don't know where to make the cut and a lot would have to be changed for the game to only use one of the two core conflicts. 

In terms of just fixing these two routes, I would fix the Verdant Wind route by rewriting it to focus more on Claude's goals: I'd make it that, not only does he bring in Almyran troops, but he also forges alliances with Sreng and Dagda. Then Dimitri being against Claude would be from him not liking that Claude is inviting Almyrans and ...Srengians? Srengs? anyway, into Fodlan, as he sees it as an army of pillagers; the strong trampling on the weak. 

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My guess is they just needed Nemesis to be the final boss on one of the route, since they already made his design and all that. Despite it doesn't really make sense in the story, it is one of the coolest boss fight in FE for me though, and the coolness/awesome factor trumps logic as it is in many other games.

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2 hours ago, Lemmy said:

I’ve been wondering, was Nemesis released on purpose or was the containment broken from the javelins.

When I first played VW, I had assumed that Thales had consciously released Nemesis. Or, perhaps, that his release was tied to Thales' own death. It would work as a final "screw you" to Rhea. That said, this is contradicted by it (apparently) not happening in SS.

11 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

As for how the story ended up like this, well, Verdant Wind and Silver Snow show the most signs of what I think is the core problem: the game having been built around two main conflicts (Church vs Empire & Three Superpowers vs Each Other) and not being able to give both enough attention or intertwine both conflicts thoroughly enough. Verdant Wind and Azure Moon basically used Silver Snow as a template, but Azure Moon received enough attention and focus to be just different enough, while Verdant Wind got left as pretty much a copy. IS bit off more than they could chew in their effort to make "the most ambitious FE game yet" and the end product being "twice as big as [they] had originally envisioned".

From my perspective, the problem is moreso the game billing itself as "war between three nations", while functionally being more "Empire versus the Church". SS is the story of leading the Church against the Empire, with bare cameos from the other nations. VW is mostly the same story, but with a yellow coat of paint over it. AM manages moreso to distinguish itself, and makes the Kingdom feel like its own entity worth saving apart from the Church - yet the weird "frenemy" rations with the Alliance feel half-baked. In CF, at least, it feels like every nation (plus the Church) are fully-realized powers with their own agendas - ironic, given it's the only route where the (trailer-bait) Gronder II never happens.

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Beating a dead horse here, but all the routes would have worked so much better if Claude was much more of a wildcard, as originally designed. Gronder Field would have been more believable.

If they had merged Silver Snow with Azure moon (Church and Kingdom makes more sense together than with the Alliance, imo) instead of keeping them separate, thus more resources could have been spent on making Verdant Wind a truly unique experience.

Edited by Slyfox

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SS is not even worth saving imo.  I think it is clear example of getting to attached to an idea on the devs part if it really was the first route made.  If you move a majority of your investment into the three lords than a route with out them is not ever going to work.  I don't care if you make the route where you go solo on any path it just won't work leaving a more invested into interest wise area to a lesser one.

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8 hours ago, vikingsfan92 said:

SS is not even worth saving imo.  I think it is clear example of getting to attached to an idea on the devs part if it really was the first route made.  If you move a majority of your investment into the three lords than a route with out them is not ever going to work.  I don't care if you make the route where you go solo on any path it just won't work leaving a more invested into interest wise area to a lesser one.

Agreed. Silver Snow simply serves no purpose whatsoever in the final game other than filler. It reads like a first draft, it plays like a first draft and aside from A Funeral of Flowers, it brings absolutely nothing of value to 3H's characters and story. The route was a complete waste of the devs' time, money and resources, which could've gone towards making Verdant Wind a much stronger narrative with its own unique identity, just like Crimson Flower and Azure Moon. But because of Silver Snow, this is the half-assed Golden Deer route we got.

Claude deserved better.

Edited by RainbowMoon

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3 hours ago, RainbowMoon said:

Agreed. Silver Snow simply serves no purpose whatsoever in the final game other than filler. It reads like a first draft, it plays like a first draft and aside from A Funeral of Flowers, it brings absolutely nothing of value to 3H's characters and story. The route was a complete waste of the devs' time, money and resources, which could've gone towards making Verdant Wind a much stronger narrative with its own unique identity, just like Crimson Flower and Azure Moon. But because of Silver Snow, this is the half-assed Golden Deer route we got.

Claude deserved better.

Tbh I think they could have made every single route better without SS existing not just VW purely off saved time.

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7 hours ago, RainbowMoon said:

Agreed. Silver Snow simply serves no purpose whatsoever in the final game other than filler. It reads like a first draft, it plays like a first draft and aside from A Funeral of Flowers, it brings absolutely nothing of value to 3H's characters and story. The route was a complete waste of the devs' time, money and resources, which could've gone towards making Verdant Wind a much stronger narrative with its own unique identity, just like Crimson Flower and Azure Moon. But because of Silver Snow, this is the half-assed Golden Deer route we got.

Claude deserved better.

I second that because I do like Claude as a character. He’s witty, charming, a schemer but a guy that wanted to bring change to Fodlan by ending racism. It’s just that throughout the whole story he’s just a passenger. At least Nemesis didn’t come completely out of nowhere as he was mentioned during part 1 after you get the SoC. You would have to wait that much longer after he was brought up the first time for him to be relevant to the route’s plot.

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