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Opinions on Shez/Arval Post-Demo

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I know that before the demo came out, there was a lot of dislike online for Shez as our protagonist compared to Byleth. Lots of memes about them too, based on what little we had of their past and personality. And I know that people were nervous about Arval as well. But now that we have some actual information about them thanks to the demo, I was wondering if anyone's opinions had changed.

Now, I liked Shez even before the demo, and that only made me like their personality even more. They're foolish, hot-headed, very blunt, and just a lot of fun. I've been mainly using the male Shez and hats-off to the voice actor; they did a great job voicing him. I like that they're practically the opposite of Byleth; being very emotion driven and rather ridiculous in a lot of ways. The cliff jumping...

As for Arval, I was pretty nervous considering that Sothis was...underutilized imo in Three Houses. But I love their personality! I love that they're so sarcastic and will call out Shex for their actions. The two just have a really fun dynamic that I'm hoping doesn't go away the more you play the game.

So, that's me. What do you guys think?

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I actually like Shez way more than I thought I would. M!Byleth looks cooler than M!Shez, but Shez has a great personality and a very fun playstyle.

 

Arval is life, and his (her?) snark cannot be contained.

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I'm very enjoying both.

Shez is a good foil to Byleth in every way, and it's nice to see how his character dynamics with the students are so different from Byleth's.

As for Arval, I was not expecting that level of sass! I love it! He just sounds so done with Shez's BS. ūüėĄ

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Shez >>>>> Byleth

It’s kind of an unfair comparison because Shez actually gets dialogue, which is usually voiced at that, and actually different dialogue options, while Byleth has neither (in FE3H anyway, I’m glad they have at least a few lines in Three Hopes, although they’ll almost certainly get a lot more later in the game, which will probably (hopefully) raise my opinion of them). Which isn’t to say I ever disliked Byleth, it’s just that they were a completely nothing blank slate, so my opinion on them was… nothing. Anyway, I wouldn’t have thought that those traits alone would make me like Shez so much, but their core character and personality is just so much fun. I also really like the way they’re written into the story of Three Houses, it feels really natural and is admittedly much better than I was expecting.

Arval doesn’t get a ton of spotlight in the demo imo, but I like their snarkiness a lot. I have no clue how the plot is actually going to use them, though.

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Shez > Byleth in every way. I hope the devs see just how much people are going to love Shez and write MC with personality because that makes for a far more interesting story than a blnak bland protagonist.

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At first I was on the classic Byleth train, but Shez won me over since they have more personality. It also helps a lot that Shez is voiced during supports and cutscenes, compared to Byleth's silence.
-- Now, I know Byleth was written to be an emotionless being (The Ashen Demon), who changes over time due to interaction with the students. I guess this works when trying to go for a "blank slate avatar/self-insert avatar," but I rather play as an actual character instead of a player proxy. (Robin was great as they had their tactician gimmick to fall back on, for example.)
-- Perhaps the Byleths would have been better if they had more voiced dialogue to convey their character, but right now Shez is just fun and I hope to see more "Avatars" like Shez in the future.

As for Sothis vs Arval, I think they are about equal at the moment. Both have their quirks, and I haven't seen enough from Arval to form a solid opinion.
-- Sothis was neat, but she did not get enough screen time to be fully fleshed out.

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As one of the people that prefers silent protags Shez isnt half bad.

I like that indeed it gives you more choices which is something that Byleth lacked but guess Shez personality is okay.

Due to Shez being in an spinoff I doubt the next FE will follow on Shez as Byleth has more staying power due to exposure, S supports, many players connecting more with the story, etc. So I think a Silent Protag is more likely for next FE. 

Shez has the drawback of having a personality so people will connect less with the cast because its no longer the player themselves raising and caring for the cast which is a thing I think was the devs aim same as in say Persona 4 where players are meant to see Nanako as their cousin and why her arc hits harder.

As for Arval I like him but I prefer Sothis, mainly because Im expecting them to be evil so cant see him as a partner as much as Sothis is to Byleth.

In all I think the fandom is having this reception because they didnt like Byleth but as like with Corrin the fanbase hate for avatars does not align with most consumers as reading the trailer reactions Byleth is very well loved and I dont see Shez reaching the same popularity.

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Shez is okay. I am, however, still anticipating getting to play Byleth.

Arval doesn't really do anything for me. I feel nothing toward them right now. I wasn't exactly a big fan of Sothis, but I did feel more connected to her.

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I like Shez a lot, both versions. The voice acting and personality really helps. I think Byleth, since they're speaking as well, will also regain some of that lost momentum later in the game. 

Arval is good. I still prefer Sothis, as I find her scolding of Byleth and her overall snarky-yet-motherly demeanor more interesting than Arval's mood, if that makes sense. I don't dislike Arval at all, but I will need more from them going forward, which is exactly what we're going to get. 

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Thinking a little more on it, I think the biggest reason why I'm resonating with Shez so far is that they actually feel like a natural part of the world. They have a personality and a story. They don't know everything, but at least know enough to be a functional teen/young adult in Fodlan.

One of the biggest things that has bugged me with Avatars in Fire Emblem is how they feel isolated in comparison to the rest of the world. Robin's mind is completely wiped aside from their name and a hidden tactical talent. Corrin not only doesn't remember their childhood due to amnesia, but also has been isolated in a tower. Byleth has no emotion what so ever and has a memory so faulty that they can't even give a straight answer as to whether Jeralt is even their dad.

Obviously, there's the rest of the game to see, but at least for now, Shez seems to be bucking a lot of Avatar trends, and that feels very refreshing.

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Shez is great, they have the potential to be one of Fire Emblem's best protagonists if they keep this writing up. Shame that it's all going to a spinoff OC that'll be quickly forgotten if Shez doesn't get featured in Heroes or anything.

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What's everyone's thought/prediction on Arval?

Spoiler

He says he has no memory or connection with TWISTD, but their awaken form and demeanor on promotion arts clearly are antagonistic.

I wonder if he will turn against Shez later in the story? How will Byleth involved?

If Arval turned against us, it seems that Byleth is the only person that could match his power.

 

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On 6/11/2022 at 4:47 PM, Sentinel07 said:

Thinking a little more on it, I think the biggest reason why I'm resonating with Shez so far is that they actually feel like a natural part of the world. They have a personality and a story. They don't know everything, but at least know enough to be a functional teen/young adult in Fodlan.

One of the biggest things that has bugged me with Avatars in Fire Emblem is how they feel isolated in comparison to the rest of the world. Robin's mind is completely wiped aside from their name and a hidden tactical talent. Corrin not only doesn't remember their childhood due to amnesia, but also has been isolated in a tower. Byleth has no emotion what so ever and has a memory so faulty that they can't even give a straight answer as to whether Jeralt is even their dad.

Obviously, there's the rest of the game to see, but at least for now, Shez seems to be bucking a lot of Avatar trends, and that feels very refreshing.

Shez has the benefit of being an Avatar in a world most players already know. They don't have to be the audience surrogate that has butt-tons exposition and lore dumped upon them for the player's convenience, since it's assumed most Three Hopes players have played Three Houses, and thus know these characters and the overview of the world. Granted, there are still lore dumps and exposition, but there's far less of it, and in far smaller amounts. (This isn't a complaint, just an observation, I think.)

I'm not saying the isolation is the worst way to do things. Aloy for the Horizon games is a great example of an isolated character who is still relatable and solid, but she's also not a real avatar for the player, at least not to me. (Commander Shepard from the Mass Effect series is a relatively isolated character, since they are new to the galactic stage as a whole, but they still know things and have cultural and historical knowledge that most of your aforementioned avatars don't.)

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20 hours ago, Timlugia said:

What's everyone's thought/prediction on Arval?

I have one theory currently.

Spoiler

It is that they are a Agarthan creation, similar to how Rhea created Sitri, who they worshipped as a God that could combat the Nabateans, but banished after they failed in that purpose. Arval suppressed their memories of the incident to forget about hate, scorn, shame and humiliation

 

Edited by Metal Flash

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10 hours ago, Metal Flash said:

I have one theory currently.

Spoiler warning, cause tag is failing

In the small editor, you can spoiler text by highlighting the selected area and pressing the "Eye" icon on the right side, after "Size."
-- Alternatively, you can just have the "text input" be in empty space and press the "Eye" icon, then write whatever you want after it.

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38 minutes ago, Sire said:

In the small editor, you can spoiler text by highlighting the selected area and pressing the "Eye" icon on the right side, after "Size."
-- Alternatively, you can just have the "text input" be in empty space and press the "Eye" icon, then write whatever you want after it.

Fixed it, thanks.

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Shez look freaking stupid, I'll say that first. Their personality is 50/50, their goal of taking revenge against Byleth and their means to do so, meaning none, is uttely nonsensical, but they also have some great dialogues with most of the cast.

Arval is basically better Sothis, they don't nag you at every turns, they don't act high and mighty, but aren't afraid to snark at Shez, albeit in a friendly way, it help that your choices kind of actually matters with them, you can actually apologize and he'll react. There's actual discussions going between him and Shez, and you feel a genuine bound between them, more than with any other characters. I repeat,  better than Sothis in every way.

A part of me feel bad that we are controling what is basically Worse Byleth though in the eyes of the characters, Byleth has everything handed to them, while Shez had to actually work.

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3 hours ago, B.Leu said:

Shez look freaking stupid, I'll say that first. Their personality is 50/50, their goal of taking revenge against Byleth and their means to do so, meaning none, is uttely nonsensical, but they also have some great dialogues with most of the cast.

Arval is basically better Sothis, they don't nag you at every turns, they don't act high and mighty, but aren't afraid to snark at Shez, albeit in a friendly way, it help that your choices kind of actually matters with them, you can actually apologize and he'll react. There's actual discussions going between him and Shez, and you feel a genuine bound between them, more than with any other characters. I repeat,  better than Sothis in every way.

A part of me feel bad that we are controling what is basically Worse Byleth though in the eyes of the characters, Byleth has everything handed to them, while Shez had to actually work.

Why is it nonsensical? Shez still cared for Berling's Mercenaries and nearly got killed by Byleth. That's good enough reason for revenge.

The game confirmed to us that Shez's means of obtaining that goal is by spending their time getting stronger. It's why the game frames Shez staying at the academy to be willing, because they want to increase their own power. It's ultimately one important goal and Shez currently develops other goals and relationships like anyone would.

Edited by Seazas

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15 hours ago, Seazas said:

Why is it nonsensical? Shez still cared for Berling's Mercenaries and nearly got killed by Byleth. That's good enough reason for revenge.

The game confirmed to us that Shez's means of obtaining that goal is by spending their time getting stronger. It's why the game frames Shez staying at the academy to be willing, because they want to increase their own power. It's ultimately one important goal and Shez currently develops other goals and relationships like anyone would.

 Nonsensical in the sense of how fast it's done and sent into the background, something that even Arval comment on.

"Oh it's fine, we were only in it for the money, and, it's not like we were actually that close, but I'm still angry at it I swear". It feel expedited.

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2 hours ago, B.Leu said:

 Nonsensical in the sense of how fast it's done and sent into the background, something that even Arval comment on.

"Oh it's fine, we were only in it for the money, and, it's not like we were actually that close, but I'm still angry at it I swear". It feel expedited.

Do you really want to play a game where Shez can't shut up about Byleth? Not form any new bonds or important goals of their own? Shez doesn't talk too much about the Ashen Demon because it'd be out of place in the midst of important battles and character moments for the rest of our cast. Who wants to hear Shez whine about the Ashen Demon in the midst of Dimitri's trauma events or Edelgard's personal struggle? That would just make Shez a shitty character. Instead the fight against Byleth is treated as a longterm goal.

It's not fine though. Them being used to death is the reason Shez doesn't become a crying mess like Arval thought they would, but Shez does care for them. It's why after 2 years, they have a support with one of the Deers bringing their merc associates up by name. Shez even describes them as "friends" and "buddies" and at the end of the day they did take Shez in and care for them as pointed out by Arval. Shez tells us that they choose to honor them by dedicating their life to fighting and growing stronger.

Edited by Seazas

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2 hours ago, Seazas said:

Do you really want to play a game where Shez can't shut up about Byleth?

Of course I don't want want a game where Shez doesn't shut up about Byleth and can't stop must wangst about it all, that's not what I'm saying, I'm saying it was expedited by the writing extremely fast.

Which also show a rather bad picture of what the future could. How many bucks do we bet on Shez instantly forgiving Byleth or something as stupidly fast?

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1 hour ago, B.Leu said:

Of course I don't want want a game where Shez doesn't shut up about Byleth and can't stop must wangst about it all, that's not what I'm saying, I'm saying it was expedited by the writing extremely fast.

Which also show a rather bad picture of what the future could. How many bucks do we bet on Shez instantly forgiving Byleth or something as stupidly fast?

It wasn't. It's only been 2 chapters since it was last mentioned. You can't put focus on it further without it being nonsense and blatantly forced. Shez is their own character who is capable of forming their own bonds and also develop other goals. It wouldn't make sense to constantly bring that long term goal up.

Who knows. We'll get there when we get there.

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2 hours ago, Seazas said:

It wasn't. It's only been 2 chapters since it was last mentioned. You can't put focus on it further without it being nonsense and blatantly forced. Shez is their own character who is capable of forming their own bonds and also develop other goals. It wouldn't make sense to constantly bring that long term goal up.

Who knows. We'll get there when we get there.

You're right. It still feel it's very hasty, weird and almost put him apart from the other characters, but you're right.

Of course, I'd take Shez not talking about the deaths of his past friends, over him constantly crying about it.

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