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[Update] Radiant Dawn interview


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#41 General Banzai

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 03:09 PM

Then again, if you're observant enough you can deduce it yourself even earlier, due to Zelgius and the BK sharing the same battle animations.

People had figured it out before Radiant Dawn was even announced by comparing the Black Knight's stats to Zelgius's hidden ones. Serenes has a whole page which posits that Zelgius is the Black Knight based solely on information found in PoR and its internal coding.

#42 Lord Raven

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 09:05 PM

Incorrect, I explained already that Zelgius and the Black Knight seem to operate under two different personalities with two distinct and separate goals.


I feel like a part of the "Black Knight"'s persona in FE9 was because he was to adapt to the Ashnard's mentality a little bit- chaos chaos everywhere. Mindless killing, and Greil being his master only sweetens the deal (so personal pride + being able to deceive Ashnard a little bit better because he took out the leader of a Mercenary force). And all the crap he said to Greil- pretty much to show that Ashnard is not fucking around. There was a change in motivations, loyalty, and leadership which lead this Black Knight ruse to adopt different mentalities.


Which part of this doesn't make sense to you? The fact that I said "a little bit"? Because it explains why the two different personalities/goals exist in the first place; because he's not supposed to be the same person. Otherwise, it wouldn't be a ruse; you can't deceive anyone without adopting a completely different personality. And Zelgius' personality as a General is also another aspect of this facade, because he needs to adopt a certain sense of personality to be fit for that job.

His actual personality/goals were most likely not what we saw of him; we can see he's in actuality a lonely and depressed person, and Sephiran was his companion. He would do anything for Sephiran, basically. And his actual loyalty lies in Sephiran, with that being his actual personality and everything else being an extension of that to achieve their goals. Are you really that thick that you don't think I addressed your point? Because I damn well did and you scoffed over it.

#43 General Banzai

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:06 PM

Yeah, because that's all a load of junk. When Ike fights the Black Knight in 3-7, he specifically refers to needed to test his master--or the next best thing, his master's son. That side goal of Zelgius's has nothing to do with Sephiran's orders, nor does it coincide with anything we know about Zelgius's personality (that meaning, a loyal and honor-bound knight).

#44 Lord Raven

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:02 PM

That's rich coming from you. You can't just declare something's a load of junk without showing me why.

That line still makes sense. He's allowed to have personal agendas outside of Sephiran, you know. The Black Knight and Zelgius were meant to be two completely different people, this is how a disguise works, Banzai.

Furthermore, The Black Knight himself has had a personality shift between FE9 and FE10, being more helpful towards Daein in FE10 and more bloodthirsty and mysterious in FE9. This is once again because the person he's been ordered to work for was an entirely different human being. It's entirely consistent with my view of Zelgius' personality; almost everything he does is in Sephiran's name or orders. Even Greil's death could be a result of that; not necessarily retrieving the Fire Emblem, but showing off to Ashnard that he is actually loyal to Ashnard. The fact that he was his master makes it a bit more convincing, but it's not to say he doesn't personally wish to test his fighting against his master.

You don't just bring up one point about one of his more personal goals to contradict the entire thing.

#45 General Banzai

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:46 PM

From 4-F-4:

Ike
The Black Knight tried to take the medallion from my father. Tell me, Sephiran, whose plan was that?! Ashnard's...or yours?

Sephiran
It was mine... I planned to retrieve the medallion and hand it over to King Ashnard.

Ike
Why? What reason would you have for doing that?

Sanaki
You did it to gain the king's trust, to show that the Black Knight would faithfully follow the king's orders, right? You never intended on killing Ike's father... Is that right? Please tell me I'm right, Sephiran!

Sephiran
Lady Sanaki, your theory is half correct... and half incorrect. Sir Ike, I'm afraid your father's death was an unfortunate result of Zelgius's own personal agenda.

From 4-F-2:

Zelgius
My master's skills were passed down to his son, Ike. I will defeat him and finally surpass my master! I trust that you understand.

My qualm here is how can someone so slavishly dedicated to one master (Sephiran) be so utterly bent on the destruction of another (Greil)?

Edited by General Banzai, 08 February 2012 - 11:50 PM.


#46 Lord Raven

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:45 AM

He's not "bent" on the destruction of Greil, he just wishes to fight his master at his peak which is a personal goal of his. He's not utterly bent on Greil's destruction, he wants to prove himself; the fact that he had a great fight with Ike, who fought just like his father at his peak, gave him peace in that sense. That makes sense, because he's a Fighter/Knight/whatever you want to call him.

Have you ever been in karate? I know people who take it seriously that they want to spar against their master (I was one), and they don't want either side to hold back. It's sorta like that, but there was also a circumstance around it that lead to it being fatal.

#47 General Banzai

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:54 AM

From 4-F-2:

Zelgius
No draw. No escape. One wins. One loses. We shall end this. One of us will live... And one of us will die.

Edited by General Banzai, 09 February 2012 - 12:54 AM.


#48 Lord Raven

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:39 AM

No shit, they're about to harm his master. It's a mixture of personal agenda and loyalty to Sephiran- that's where both intentions coincide. He fights his master's son, but to the death because they're going to kill Sephiran. What point are you trying to prove?

#49 General Banzai

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 02:23 AM

Number of times Zelgius mentions Sephiran in 4-F-2: One. Right before he dies. So no, no mention of that being his motivation at all. This is turning into the FE7 thread all over again; people make up their own paste to fill in the plot holes based on no actual textual evidence. Zelgius does not say, "Ike you will die for opposing the goddess." Zelgius doesn't even mentioned the goddess once. No, Zelgius says again and again that Ike will die because Zelgius needs to fight his master. Which contradicts everything we know about Zelgius.

There's also this:

Zelgius
General Gawain was invincible at the time he trained me. To surpass him was my ultimate goal as a swordsman.

Ike
Was I as skillful as you remember my father in his prime years? Did you see his shadow in my sword?

Zelgius
I certainly did, Ike. Thanks to you, I was able to fight my master at the height of his glory days.

Ike
Black Knight Zelgius. You were my father's killer. And my last teacher.

Zelgius
Ha... I spent most of my life shrouded in darkness... But my life had meaning. Now I'm certain of it...

So Zelgius fails to surpass Greil, and yet he still thinks that his life had meaning? Was all Zelgius's goal to spar with his master at the height of his glory days? Was that the only thing he needed to "give his life meaning"? Then why did he kill Greil? On accident? Okay. Then why did he want to kill Ike? Because he served Sephiran? But that's the opposite of what Zelgius says here. What was Zelgius's life's meaning? Or rather, what does he think it is? That he served Sephiran or that he fought Greil? From what we see of Zelgius--especially in the two memory scenes in the final that involve him--it would be that he served Sephiran; Sephiran gave his life meaning. But based on what Zelgius says here and his actions as the Black Knight, it would be that he fought Greil; Greil gave him meaning.

So are we trying to say that it was both? Both Sephiran and Greil gave Zelgius's life meaning? Then why did he serve one and kill the other? Why is his last line that he awaits Sephiran in the afterlife and not that he's looking forward to seeing Greil in the afterlife? Did he just not have enough breath to say both? Or is he content that he lost to Ike? How is that meaningful? He killed a man and all he got to show for it was to die to his son? It wasn't even a man he disliked; rather, it was a man he admired. So Zelgius killing Greil (seemingly unintentionally) and then getting killed by Ike was what he needed to come out of the "darkness"? How does Sephiran figure into that equation?

From the memory scene:

Zelgius
I-- I don't like people seeing my face. Around 5 years ago... I realized that I was aging more slowly than others do. I am afraid that people will notice and question me... But this ruse will not last indefinitely. In a few years, I will be forced to leave this army's service. I don't care that I will be alone... that is my fate. So long as I am alive, I will be unable to escape this destiny. My only hesitation, is that...I will miss studying the sword under my commander.

Studying the sword? That's his only hesitation? Then why kill Greil? Why continue to try and kill Ike? How does that give his life purpose? That is the question I'm asking here. Zelgius's motivations for wanting to fight and kill Greil/Ike do not add up with Zelgius's motivations for remaining so dedicated to Sephiran. Zelgius's final comments on how his loss to Ike has given his life "a purpose" only deepen the mystery.

The memory scene gives us a picture of a man tormented by his Branded status, exiled by his family, ostracized and alone. Sephiran becomes his first (and only) friend, and thus we understand Zelgius's motivations for serving him. Meanwhile, the memory scene indicates Zelgius's immense respect for Greil.

From Chapter 27 of Path of Radiance:

Mist
I... I will fight you! I'll never let you kill my brother!

Ike
Mist, you--

Black Knight
Gawain's daughter, eh? Good. Now I can pull out the entire family tree by the root.

From the same chapter:

Mist
...Sniff...sniff...

Black Knight
Do you tremble in fear, little daughter of Gawain? How...entertaining. But if you value your life, you will leave this place at once.

Mist
You...you took my brother and my father! My sword may not even scratch you, but I don't care. This one blow... will contain... all my anger...and all my pain...Rrrraaaaa! I'll kill you!

So what is this? Why would Zelgius want to kill Mist? If he just wants to fight and defeat his master (and, since his master was crippled, his master's son), where does Mist come into all of this? The quote "pull the family tree out by the root" seems not just a desire to best Greil/Ike, but a specific malicious anger against him, enough to embroil innocents such as Mist into his ire. But Zelgius isn't angry at all at Greil--he just wants to beat him.

Zelgius/Black Knight is riddled with contradictions, confusions, ambiguous and conflicting motivations--nothing about his character makes sense except his role in the plot, which is quite clear in both games: Give Ike intrinsic motivation in PoR, do Sephiran's bidding in both PoR and FERD. Otherwise, however, there is an unexplained duality in Zelgius's nature: A man at once immensely loyal to the few people he allows close to him, and a man willing to kill the entire family of his master just to prove he is the best; a man who lives to best his master, and a man who dies satisfied that he failed; a man who is the first to rush to the aid of Greil and his children after Elena's death, and a man who expresses joy at the potential to "pull the entire family tree out by the root."

These contradictions are why I want to separate Zelgius into two characters: a malicious, villainous Black Knight (perhaps Ashnard), who seeks power uncontrollably and has no respect for the man who trained him; and a lonely, fiercely loyal fighter who will serve his one true friend and master to the death.

Edited by General Banzai, 09 February 2012 - 02:24 AM.


#50 Othin

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 03:18 AM

Hey, did we ever find out how the hell Zelgius wound up learning to fight from Gawain, a Daein general, in the first place?

#51 General Banzai

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:27 AM

Hey, did we ever find out how the hell Zelgius wound up learning to fight from Gawain, a Daein general, in the first place?

I'm pretty sure he was originally a Daein soldier before he ever even met Sephiran. In his memory scene, Zelgius states that he's already learned the sword from General Gawain.

And since the Daein army rewards power, not blood...



#52 Othin

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:52 AM

Okay, then how did he become nobility in Begnion? Begnion seems to care a lot more about blood.

I mean, unless he was born into nobility in Begnion, went to Daein for some reason to fight in their army, then returned to Begnion without any problems from what seems like it would be considered treason.

#53 General Banzai

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:51 PM

Okay, then how did he become nobility in Begnion? Begnion seems to care a lot more about blood.

I mean, unless he was born into nobility in Begnion, went to Daein for some reason to fight in their army, then returned to Begnion without any problems from what seems like it would be considered treason.

That part is glossed over; I can only assume he became an Earl based on Sephiran's influence (which is admittedly stated to be incredibly high). In the memory scene he says his family exiled him, so it's doubtful that he was born to there and then returned.

Cador, of which Zelgius is supposedly Earl, is too minor to even appear on the world map. So, yeah, it's ambiguous what exactly happened.

#54 Lord Raven

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 05:39 PM

This is turning into the FE7 thread all over again; people make up their own paste to fill in the plot holes based on no actual textual evidence.

No, you're just
a) trying to look for plot holes that don't exist
b) being a tool
c) bragging about your english major, you don't see me going around and trying to debunk the physics of every single video game out there do you?

Number of times Zelgius mentions Sephiran in 4-F-2: One. Right before he dies. So no, no mention of that being his motivation at all.Zelgius does not say, "Ike you will die for opposing the goddess." Zelgius doesn't even mentioned the goddess once. No, Zelgius says again and again that Ike will die because Zelgius needs to fight his master. Which contradicts everything we know about Zelgius.

What do you expect him to say? "I'm working for a guy who wants to end the world"? Read between the lines, you tool, because he doesn't have to say it for it to be true or even likely. The fact is that Ike and Zelgius also turn it into a 1-on-1 due to personal pride. I never said his primary motivation was the desire to fight with Greil's peak swordfighting, I said that it was one of his own personal goals and the fact that he's protecting his master *while* being able to do this is a super good thing for someone in his spot.

And obviously, against Ike he won't mention any of the plans. What, are you going to say now that because he didn't say he was involved he wasn't involved at all?

So Zelgius fails to surpass Greil, and yet he still thinks that his life had meaning? Was all Zelgius's goal to spar with his master at the height of his glory days? Was that the only thing he needed to "give his life meaning"? Then why did he kill Greil? On accident? Okay. Then why did he want to kill Ike? Because he served Sephiran? But that's the opposite of what Zelgius says here. What was Zelgius's life's meaning? Or rather, what does he think it is? That he served Sephiran or that he fought Greil? From what we see of Zelgius--especially in the two memory scenes in the final that involve him--it would be that he served Sephiran; Sephiran gave his life meaning. But based on what Zelgius says here and his actions as the Black Knight, it would be that he fought Greil; Greil gave him meaning.

I'm thinking of the Muse song "Thoughts of a Dying Atheist" and it's pretty obvious that serving Sephiran was the life meaning, and I think Ike's own calmness given the situation was what allowed him to realize that. As well as the fact that one of his motivations- to fight Greil at his glory days- was fulfilled and he could finally rest after all of that.

And I keep saying he killed Greil to keep the guise of "working under the King's rule" up; his ruthlessness and ability to beat a (to everyone else) great swordmaster further shows this. And they're about to start a fucking war, so your previous allegiance doesn't matter; it's the side you're on and the side that's preventing you from reaching your goal that does.

Why did he think to kill Ike? Because he serves Sephiran. Zelgius says nothing to contradict that. Based on what Zelgius says here? You must've conveniently missed the part where he said "Sephiran" afterwards, because I doubt he means Greil gave his life meaning. Greil could've been a contributor, but I'm certain it wasn't hard to figure out that he was talking about Sephiran in that line.

I don't know how you can say that his actions as the Black Knight mean that Greil gave his life meaning; expound on that, becfause that makes no sense.

So are we trying to say that it was both? Both Sephiran and Greil gave Zelgius's life meaning? Then why did he serve one and kill the other? Why is his last line that he awaits Sephiran in the afterlife and not that he's looking forward to seeing Greil in the afterlife? Did he just not have enough breath to say both? Or is he content that he lost to Ike? How is that meaningful? He killed a man and all he got to show for it was to die to his son? It wasn't even a man he disliked; rather, it was a man he admired. So Zelgius killing Greil (seemingly unintentionally) and then getting killed by Ike was what he needed to come out of the "darkness"? How does Sephiran figure into that equation?

Because Sephiran's ultimate goal is to end all life, and Zelgius agrees with it.

He awaits Sephiran in the afterlife because Sephiran is going to die of the goddess' judgment or by the hero's hands. It was the only person alive that he was waiting for, and I think Sephiran was overall more important to him- if the memory scene is to be considered- because they were "two lonely souls reaching out to one another."

Obviously he's content that he lost to Ike; the point was to fight his master and not surpass his master. That's meaningful to him, but he's still not fucking talking about that. They're on opposing sides of a war that's about to start, you can't expect someone to hold back regardless of who it is and he can't show the Black Knight as one who shows mercy towards the beginning of the war when Greil is directly in the way of his goals- to get the Fire Emblem back.

Studying the sword? That's his only hesitation? Then why kill Greil? Why continue to try and kill Ike? How does that give his life purpose? That is the question I'm asking here. Zelgius's motivations for wanting to fight and kill Greil/Ike do not add up with Zelgius's motivations for remaining so dedicated to Sephiran. Zelgius's final comments on how his loss to Ike has given his life "a purpose" only deepen the mystery.

The memory scene gives us a picture of a man tormented by his Branded status, exiled by his family, ostracized and alone. Sephiran becomes his first (and only) friend, and thus we understand Zelgius's motivations for serving him. Meanwhile, the memory scene indicates Zelgius's immense respect for Greil.

Are you fucking serious? You're picking apart "studying the sword" in his line? Because it might seem minor, but it means a lot to him. Greil was widely known as a father to his men (I think, maybe that's just the Greil Mercs) so obviously it's that one teacher he really likes. The entire "one lonely soul reaching out to another", once again, explains why Zelgius would be more loyal to Sephiran than Greil.

I've covered the "why he killed Greil" a bunch of times already. Why do you say that we pull shit out of our ass instead of use contextual evidence when he didn't in any sense of the phrase that his loss gave his life meaning? Are you really that fucking stupid?

So what is this? Why would Zelgius want to kill Mist? If he just wants to fight and defeat his master (and, since his master was crippled, his master's son), where does Mist come into all of this? The quote "pull the family tree out by the root" seems not just a desire to best Greil/Ike, but a specific malicious anger against him, enough to embroil innocents such as Mist into his ire. But Zelgius isn't angry at all at Greil--he just wants to beat him.

Because he's still in a war and it wouldn't make sense for him to suddenly show a respect for Greil, whose Mercs are leading a war against the country he's working for. Even if he were a former rider or his teacher.

Zelgius/Black Knight is riddled with contradictions, confusions, ambiguous and conflicting motivations--nothing about his character makes sense except his role in the plot, which is quite clear in both games: Give Ike intrinsic motivation in PoR, do Sephiran's bidding in both PoR and FERD. Otherwise, however, there is an unexplained duality in Zelgius's nature: A man at once immensely loyal to the few people he allows close to him, and a man willing to kill the entire family of his master just to prove he is the best; a man who lives to best his master, and a man who dies satisfied that he failed; a man who is the first to rush to the aid of Greil and his children after Elena's death, and a man who expresses joy at the potential to "pull the entire family tree out by the root."[

These contradictions are why I want to separate Zelgius into two characters: a malicious, villainous Black Knight (perhaps Ashnard), who seeks power uncontrollably and has no respect for the man who trained him; and a lonely, fiercely loyal fighter who will serve his one true friend and master to the death.

And you are wrong, consistently, because you are too far up your own ass to see anything other than your own view. Zelgius' attachment to Greil was what caused them to go to his aid; but he can't let that get in the way of his orders and thoughts. He's a fucking soldier, first of all, and you can't expect the rules of emotion/mercy to apply to him when Greil and him are on opposing sides in FE9 (and him/Ike in FE10, since obviously he doesn't feel as much for Ike as Greil despite him satisfying his need to fight Greil once again).

#55 Narga_Rocks

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 06:31 PM

Is Site Content really the best place for a discussion of this sort?

#56 Paper Jam

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:09 AM

Let's say that the Black Knight was Ashnard.

In chapter 11 of PoR, Sephiran commanded the Black Knight not to pursue Nasir's ship.

Why would Ashnard obey that command?

In any event, we know from that scene that the Black Knight is loyal or at least obedient to Sephiran, so that rules out his identity as anyone who isn't.

Edited by Paper Jam, 16 February 2012 - 10:15 AM.


#57 Othin

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:26 PM

Let's say that the Black Knight was Ashnard.

In chapter 11 of PoR, Sephiran commanded the Black Knight not to pursue Nasir's ship.

Why would Ashnard obey that command?

In any event, we know from that scene that the Black Knight is loyal or at least obedient to Sephiran, so that rules out his identity as anyone who isn't.

So we'd change that scene as well, because the Black Knight no longer has any connection with Sephiran. Problem solved.

You and others seem to have not understand that if we can change a few scenes to change the Black Knight's identity, we can change more as well, as part of making that change make sense. You may as well say "the Black Knight can't be changed to be Ashnard because he's still alive in FE10 and he's Zelgius".

Edited by Othin, 16 February 2012 - 12:35 PM.


#58 dondon151

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 06:30 PM

Well, hey, the Black Knight could be anyone if we grandfathered in any other arbitrary changes to the script! New theory: Ike is the Black Knight.

#59 Paper Jam

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 03:24 PM

As General Banzai said earlier,

Path of Radiance has excellent writing--up until Chapter 24


And the Black Knight's relationship to Sephiran, or at least the fact that the Black Knight HAS a relationship to Sephiran, is part of that excellent writing (the end of chapter 11, to be exact).

So I stand by what I said earlier; it sounds to me like you have issues with the entire story of the Tellius series, at least from chapter 11 of PoR on, not just the end of RD.

Edited by Paper Jam, 18 February 2012 - 03:25 PM.





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