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  • Favorite Fire Emblem Game
    Thracia 776

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  1. Seems there's some recency bias, CT aside. That said, CT is a solid top choice.
  2. General "mass killings" thread

    Religion, race, borders and civil liberties are generally the big reasons.
  3. Fair. It's in the secondary material and not the game proper, but it still doesn't really change FE4 being darker than just about every mainline FF game, and it's not really even close. Rape may not be explicit, but it's pretty implicit. The Lene scene specifically is pretty hard to interpret as anything else. And it's not like rape is the only thing that can make a dark fantasy dark, it's just one of those factors that really pushes it over the edge, since things like death and murder are common place in lighter fantasy stories.
  4. It's dark in concept, but it's a bunch of nameless mooks that get wiped out. Same deal when Alexanderia is destroyed. Same deal when Cleyra is destroyed. Same deal when Terra is destroyed. Linblum is arguably the darkest visually, since we see tons of Lindblum soldiers being straight up eaten by Atmos, but again, they're faceless mooks. Garnet is devastated and has a hard time summoning, but most of the cast doesn't really care once they find out all of the important characters like Cid and the Tantalus base in Lindblum are mostly fine. As tragic as it would realistically be, I don't think I can count kingdoms getting wiped out as especially dark, and it happens all the time in even more light-hearted fantasy stories. How many villages and kingdoms get razed in your average Fire Emblem game? It happens all the time. Final Fantasy 4 starts with Cecil unwittingly killing a whole village full of summoners, including a main character's remaining family. Sin goes around Spira, wiping villages off the face of the planet. It's a common trope, and it's generally not painted as super dark. FF6's events are one of the bigger exceptions in the franchise beyond FFT. A lot of it is removed from the main party, but the effects of Kefka's rise are so dramatic that it's pretty akin to the mass child hunts happening in FE4. I'd say it's more than hinted at with Lene, and Azel is a child of rape... which then caused Cigyun to leave Victor for Kurth, and he promptly killed himself. Arguably the events that most directly set up the events of FE4 can be attributed to Victor being a womanizing rapist.
  5. There's also successful suicide attempt in one of the brighter and lighter FEs. Well, sort of. Damn you Paralogues. And I didn't get into FFXV because it's the only mainline FF I haven't played yet. I've been meaning to get around to it. Thanks for covering it since I couldn't.
  6. I was having fun reading through this thread, but as a big fan of both franchises, I have to comment on this. The only FF that even comes close is FFT, a side-game. A game I would definitely call a dark fantasy. No other FF even begins to touch subjects like rape, child murdering cults, and mass murder of the heroes. No love interest is mind-wiped and ends up having children with a villain, who then kills the love interest's former lover. The one time the main party DOES end up dying, they literally beat the concept of death and come back to life. The worlds of the darker FF games are usually in a depression, but it isn't all out war, and the machinations of the villains don't usually concern the populace at large until endgame. 1-4 are very straight forward fantasy stories. 2 has party members dying, but it's pretty telegraphed by the second guest party member that anyone who isn't part of the core-4 is disposable. 4's opening is pretty brutal, and there's some brainwashing, but it doesn't lead to anything dark or tragic. 5 is straight up a comedy adventure, barring one plot development in the early/mid-game. 7 has some darker moments and a more grounded setting, but it doesn't really amount to anything darker than a typical FE. There's a brothel, and there's one scene where the owner of said brothel indicates he might do something with female party members against their will, but he ends up just tying them to a statue to kill them and uses them as leverage against the heroes. 8 is a similar deal, and the concept of child soldiers could lead to a dark story, and we get some bits here and there, like learning that using the thing that gives them their powers are giving them dementia, but our teen mercenaries are ultimately treated as in the right and they all live happily ever after. 9 is back to the 1-4 style of being straight-forward fantasy. Nothing too dark happens beyond what we learn about Black Mages. The ending is very sad, but only because of the perspective of the one narrating it, and otherwise everything works out for everyone. 10 has dark moments, but you spend the whole game exploring tropical islands. It's possibly the most melodramatic and melancholic FF, but it's a pretty narrow focus in that regard. Seymour murdering his father, and his mother becoming a vengeful fish monster, two things that happen in his backstory, is the peak of darkness here. You could argue that a religion of zombies feeding on souls of the dead that they cause via a giant flying whale controlled by their prophet to live forever is dark, but the game never goes into too much detail in this regard. Aside from Operation Mi'hen, the game just presents it as "Sin killed a bunch of people and made everyone sad". 12 is a more light-hearted take on the FFT formula. It only gets dark when you consider the greater story of Ivalice, and you remember that all these fun, silly races almost all die out in a few centuries and Ivalice becomes a living nightmare. 13 is straight up science fantasy, and doesn't really get dark. Despite its tone, nothing that bad really happens in vanilla XIII and almost everyone lives happily ever after. FF6 is a bit of an exception, where it becomes an extinction-level event in by about the mid-game and things go downhill from there, but even the darker moments of that game don't get into the specifics of things like "Children are regularly rounded up and then either brainwashed or just flat out killed across the continent to fed power to a dark dragon" or "The plucky Genki Girl was tortured by her step-mother while protecting her daughter and dies of exhaustion with all hope drained from her". The darkest FF gets is patricide, which is a pretty common running theme.
  7. If you haven't played it, Psychonauts. It fits pretty much all of that criteria. It's a tier or two below the big names, and it flew under the radar when it initially released, but strong word of mouth eventually made it more well known. It's one of my favorite games of all time, and its sequel is coming out this year.
  8. Harbinger works in this context, since he's the Reaper basically set up being the one readying everything for the Reaper invasion. He has to be on the sidelines, because he's not physically there yet, and he has plot armor because he's a Reaper and the Milky Way galaxy is still sitting around like "WE DON'T KNOW IF REAPERS ARE REALLY A THREAT YET". Also the Illusive Man was a good bad guy. DA1 had some good villains, I don't remember anything about DA2's villains, ME3 has... Kai Lang, who is a complete joke, DAI's villain sucks, and ME:A's villain sucks. From what I hear, Anthem's villain has the same exact problems of all the BioWare villains since ME2. I agree that Saren and Sovereign were far and away the best villains they've had since... arguably ever. Saren especially really should have stuck around longer. Having him around would have helped drive home that there really were three options of dealing with the Reapers, and maybe would have helped ease the pain of the insanely binary(Trinary?) choice you had. Several people I've talked to never even managed to pick up that the Destroy ending was supposed to represent the initial goal of dealing with the Reapers, Control was supposed to represent the Illusive Man/Cerberus's goals, and Synthesis was supposed to represent Saren's goal.
  9. At the same time, I do enjoy the twist with Solas, and think it's the only good plot development out of 2 and Inquisition. Though I agree. It makes the huge, monumental tasks you do feel completely pointless when the bad guy just watches you get stronger and stronger. You make the Fade your bitch, and the bad guy is still just sitting back like "Wait for it... we'll get that blasted Inquisitor when the time is right!". Then you go slay half a dozen dragons, and then he finally decides the time is right and ends up playing a back seat in the climax. It's been a HUGE issue with Bioware games. Ever since Harbinger in ME2, they haven't written a single, threatening, compelling villain. They're all boisterous idiots who speak in bad, off-brand Shakespearean dialogue and stilted prose, making grand statements and threats, yet never give off the impression that they could wipe their own ass correctly.
  10. This is another one I missed. I appreciated 2's attempts to speed up the pace of combat, but my god they did it in the worst ways. The cooldowns were faster, but instead of keeping things faster and accelerating the combat encounters, they made everything tanky as fuck in the end-game and encounters felt longer than they did in Origins. This meant that you were pressing the same 3-4 buttons over and over and over and over again. Origins actually wasn't structured too much differently, but it was slower and enemies weren't nearly as tanky. It made each of you button presses feel more important. As far as I'm concerned, the only possible way to enjoy Inquisition's combat is to play a Rogue class. Everything else just exemplifies why single player, hero-focused cooldown combat is the worst thing to happen to RPGs.
  11. That's kind of what I was getting at. Could have thrown in "Devs can't control this", but I guess that can segue into another opinion. I do think a more neutral tone to the supports would work better than zany over-the-topness, ala Tellius. Tellius had plenty of levity in its supports/base convos, but it usually wasn't at odds with the story, even at its extremes. Ilyana's never-ending quest for food felt grounded, despite how silly the whole idea of a stick-thin girl who only thinks about food is. And I hate Ilyana's supports. But they didn't really clash with the events with the story, tonally or content-wise. Compared to stuff like Arthur's extreme patriotism and his cartoonish obsession with justice, which will feel incredibly out of place right after the scene I described, where Nohr violently squashes a (Completely justified)rebellion and mutilates the traitors. If either traits were more subdued in Arthur, it might lead to more interesting conversations, and it wouldn't be so jarring right after that chapter.
  12. Fates is a really weird one. It's tonally all over the place. Conquest specifically is borderline grimdark. Scarlet dies so horrifically that it can't even be described. It's one of the more prominent instances where going from the main story to the in-camp shenanigans is such a tonal whiplash that you can't do much more than just sit there, slack-jawed in awe. Fire Emblem should never go to Conquest levels. Ideally Genealogy is tonally what I'd prefer in the story, with Path of Radiance being what the side-stuff is more akin to. I definitely don't think going from a noble, good hearted Wyvern knight being ripped apart off screen while the good guys sit around doing nothing in the story, to slap-stick and over the top comedy is how FE should be handled.
  13. Drama. The thing the franchise is known for is permadeath. Even though it's optional nowadays, it's still pretty intrinsic to Fire Emblem's identity. It's really tough to sell a light hearted, silly story if your characters are also dying constantly. "Haha all my friends are dead let's go stop the Hamburglar" only works as absurdist dark comedy. Treat the stories seriously. There's plenty of room for comedy outside of the main story.
  14. No, that's correct. That's why I specified when it clashes with style and tone. Persona and most JRPGs? Totally fine with anime aesthetics, as long as they're sensible. A genre that was spawned by a heavily western-style and aesthetic, with tons of violence, and grit in the presentation and gameplay itself? Not really feeling an anime aesthetic on that. Additionally, these kinds of games also don't really lend themselves to hyper stylized art directions, which is where I feel an anime aesthetic would be more appropriate. JRPGs lend themselves to being ultra stylish a bit better than methodical action games.
  15. I'm a bit interested. I generally am not a fan of overly anime aesthetics(Go figure) when it feels at odds with the tone and kind of game it is. An "anime Souls-like" is more of a turn-off than not. But I'm a Souls junkie. If it's good, I'll definitely pick it up. If it's just anime Lords of the Fallen, probably not.