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VincentASM

[Update] Radiant Dawn interview

59 posts in this topic

[quote]a man who killed his master for no real reason other than to say that he did.[/quote]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 [i]a little bit better[/i] 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 [i]not fucking around[/i]. There was a change in motivations, loyalty, and leadership which lead this Black Knight ruse to adopt different mentalities.

[quote]Not to mention fixing the Black Knight/Zelgius disconnect and eliminating Ranulf's anti-climactic reveal.[/quote]How else was one supposed to reveal it? Besides, if you get Ranulf to talk to the Black Knight in 3-7 he leaks it then, too. He's more subtle about it, though. But Ranulf is the only one who had fought both Zelgius and the Black Knight, so if we had learned in 4-E-2 about Zelgius being the Black Knight or something we'd have pretty much said [i]why the fuck didn't Ranulf tell him sooner?[/i]

As for why Ranulf didn't tell him sooner than Part 4, it's entirely possible that the it wasn't really an issue considering a) at some point you'd have thought Begnion and Daein were on the same side anyway (though obviously, Begnion's divided, but they just don't know the details yet so it's extremely trivial), b) it wasn't an issue until only the "strongest of people" were left alive. In this case, Zelgius and the Black Knight- they have no more allegiance to a country, merely at best a cause. c) Ike shouldn't be worried about revenge against Zelgius when, as far as they know, they're on the same side and they can't just fight with Zelgius because of Ike's revenge towards him anyway <_<

[quote]We would contain the Black Knight's role to PoR by making him not Zelgius but Ashnard. Ashnard would don the Black Knight disguise whenever he needed dirty work done, warping around the continent to for his own personal jobs.[/quote]Are you serious? Greil recognized Zelgius' [i]voice[/i] in that cutscene. I heavily doubt the Mad King could emulate his voice. Edited by Mercenary Raven

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[quote]Are you serious? Greil recognized Zelgius' voice in that cutscene. I heavily doubt the Mad King could emulate his voice. [/quote]
As I understand it, General Banzai is reimagining the story, so that particular point isn't too important. If IS wanted, Greil could have been Ashnard's martial arts tutor and it might have made sense, given that Greil was a revered general and Ashnard was just a low-tier royal.

That said, I personally think Ashnard is still an odd choice for the Black Knight's real identity. He doesn't really seem like the type who would hide his face when carrying out his plots.

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[quote name='Mercenary Raven' date='07 February 2012 - 10:33 AM' timestamp='1328628824' post='1845254']
How else was one supposed to reveal it? Besides, if you get Ranulf to talk to the Black Knight in 3-7 he leaks it then, too. He's more subtle about it, though. But Ranulf is the only one who had fought both Zelgius and the Black Knight, so if we had learned in 4-E-2 about Zelgius being the Black Knight or something we'd have pretty much said [i]why the fuck didn't Ranulf tell him sooner?[/i]

As for why Ranulf didn't tell him sooner than Part 4, it's entirely possible that the it wasn't really an issue considering a) at some point you'd have thought Begnion and Daein were on the same side anyway (though obviously, Begnion's divided, but they just don't know the details yet so it's extremely trivial), b) it wasn't an issue until only the "strongest of people" were left alive. In this case, Zelgius and the Black Knight- they have no more allegiance to a country, merely at best a cause. c) Ike shouldn't be worried about revenge against Zelgius when, as far as they know, they're on the same side and they can't just fight with Zelgius because of Ike's revenge towards him anyway <_<
[/quote]
Congratulations. You've just demonstrated that there [i]was[/i] no good way to address the reveal with the existing setup, necessitating deeper changes be made to the story, precisely as Banzai explained. In other words, you missed the point of our suggestion entirely.

Do note that I already explained this, earlier in the discussion.

[quote name='VincentASM' date='07 February 2012 - 10:57 AM' timestamp='1328630243' post='1845263']
As I understand it, General Banzai is reimagining the story, so that particular point isn't too important. If IS wanted, Greil could have been Ashnard's martial arts tutor and it might have made sense, given that Greil was a revered general and Ashnard was just a low-tier royal.

That said, I personally think Ashnard is still an odd choice for the Black Knight's real identity. He doesn't really seem like the type who would hide his face when carrying out his plots.
[/quote]
Precisely.

I believe what Banzai and I were thinking is that Ashnard didn't like the constraints on what he could do or fight personally as a king. Presumably he had a bit more freedom in those areas when he didn't have to be protected all the time. Donning the armor and being able to move semi-anonymously under a new identity, teleporting anytime, overseeing events personally, etc. would all give him even more freedom than ever, something it seems it would suit Ashnard to desire.

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We tried a few other possible options for Black Knight, including one where his identity was simply never revealed. Ashnard seemed like the best choice--but the problem is, there is no really GOOD choice.

That was the main thing we found out in our FERD retool. We could make changes which improved smaller flaws in the story/writing, but the game was such a tangled mess than we could never really come up with something that made it live up to its potential. Too many problems just could not be ironed out. (Note that we were trying to solve the gameplay problems--such as lack of balance, barely available characters, etc--at the same time as we were working on the story).

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I'm sorry, I thought the point was the [i]writing[/i] was poor and not the plot itself which is what I was responding to. I don't see why you didn't address my rationalization of the Black Knight/Zelgius "disconnect," considering the fact that the Black Knight/Zelgius's direct motivations and loyalties were not constant throughout the game (especially considering his loyalty is entirely to Sephiran, and everything else is an extension of that loyalty and those goals).

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The point is both the writing and the story itself has issues, but at the same time both the writing and the story have salvageable strong points.

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You don't rewrite plots because you just don't like them, considering that's the impression you give off in every single one of your posts.

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[quote name='Mercenary Raven' date='07 February 2012 - 10:00 PM' timestamp='1328680857' post='1846356']
You don't rewrite plots because you just don't like them, considering that's the impression you give off in every single one of your posts.
[/quote]
1. I specifically said that I like SOME parts of the plot.

2. What's wrong about rewriting a plot you don't like?

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[quote name='TheEnd' date='21 January 2012 - 03:38 PM' timestamp='1327181939' post='1829390']
But Ranulf basically spoils you.
[/quote]
Are you talking about when he says to big Z "I recognize your scent", or whatever? Or when he flat-out says it. Because the former was awesome, and if you hadn't figured it out when that happened, then you've forfeited the right to be angry at being spoiled.

Also, it's the source material. By definitions isn't that impossible to spoil?

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[quote]1. I specifically said that I like SOME parts of the plot.[/quote]Yeah I know, and then you said that "the writing was poor after this" and etc. I'm not much of an English major, but I thought the writing was fine and conveyed what it needed to convey, and once again it was the most logical way something could've happened given the direction of the plot.

[quote name='General Banzai' date='08 February 2012 - 01:04 AM' timestamp='1328681083' post='1846358']2. What's wrong about rewriting a plot you don't like?
[/quote]When you add elements like "The Black Knight is Ashnard," you're not rewriting a plot. You're changing the plot to fit your sense of writing, and it's not rewriting in any definition of the word that a simple person- with no grasp of college English like Banzai ~the big man on campus~- can muster.

Rewriting I view is "making the plot seem more sensical while not changing the elements," remaking is "changing major elements of the plot." I don't see why Ashnard has to be the Black Knight since my rationale makes sense, I don't see how else Ike should've found out (the audience finding out was a bit of an Easter Egg- though, not hard to find in the least bit), and etc. Changing any of these major elements is changing the entire plot itself, and that really has nothing to do with the writing at that point- which is what you complain about- it's changing the plot as a whole. You overrate yourself. Edited by Mercenary Raven

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I'm fairly certain you either have no idea what I'm talking about or I have no idea what you're talking about.

I like certain aspects of both RD's plot and writing, and dislike certain aspects of both RD's plot and writing, as well. What Othin and I did was outline an edited version of the story which changed the elements that we didn't like. What, then, is your problem? If you think Zelgius being the Black Knight was the best possible way the story could have gone, we can argue that. But instead what it seems to me is that you're attacking my ability/right to "rewrite" the plot of FERD, as though my rewrite had any actual bearing on the published content that you receive when you play the game. Also you mix in a bunch of pointless personal insults.

Othin and I did this because we thought it was interesting, because we wanted to explore Radiant Dawn's potential--potential which we and many other members of this community believe was not tapped in the version of the game sold to us. If you disagree, then go and play the actual game, or engage with us in discussion as to why you disagree. Don't write paragraphs claiming that we misused the word "rewrite", because honestly that's irrelevant. Would it please you if I went and edited every single one of my posts to say "completely change the plot" in place of "rewrite", would that ease your complaints? Because if that's all you're discussing here, just shut up already.

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[quote name='Balcerzak' date='08 February 2012 - 05:11 AM' timestamp='1328685083' post='1846391']
Are you talking about when he says to big Z "I recognize your scent", or whatever? Or when he flat-out says it. Because the former was awesome, and if you hadn't figured it out when that happened, then you've forfeited the right to be angry at being spoiled.

Also, it's the source material. By definitions isn't that impossible to spoil?
[/quote]
When he flat-out says it.

Sure, I agree it's cool that Ike isn't the first to notice. But he gets to know it through a casual (and somewhat contextless) remark instead of a "proper" reveal. And since you watch the scene, it becomes "yeah player, the answer to the question is Z. Hope you got it right!"

He tells you a plot point outside of context and buildup. Why not?

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[quote]If you think Zelgius being the Black Knight was the best possible way the story could have gone, we can argue that.

If you disagree, then go and play the actual game, or engage with us in discussion as to why you disagree.[/quote]I already stated why I think so, considering it addresses your complaints as to what is wrong with that. I'm sure if you looked past some of the points that are irrelevant to what you're saying (considering rewrite and re-imagining are two totally different things from everyone's viewpoint- how the hell was I supposed to infer "we're make a new plot" from rewrite? I sure as hell won't be reading every single long ass post you make about how half-cocked something's writing is in your eyes)

At any rate, I've tried and not seen the main point addressed at all. Which is; [i]why Zelgius as the Black Knight makes sense.[/i] I've seen nothing but you addressing the fact that I misinterpreted your strange definition of "rewrite," so I'd advise you, instead of accusing me of being useless, actually address said points.

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

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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.

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[quote name='Venusaur' date='08 February 2012 - 12:47 PM' timestamp='1328734037' post='1846685']
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.
[/quote]
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.

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[quote name='General Banzai' date='08 February 2012 - 01:16 PM' timestamp='1328724988' post='1846641']
Incorrect, I explained already that Zelgius and the Black Knight seem to operate under two different personalities with two distinct and separate goals.
[/quote]

[quote]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 [i]a little bit better[/i] 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 [i]not fucking around[/i]. There was a change in motivations, loyalty, and leadership which lead this Black Knight ruse to adopt different mentalities.[/quote]

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.

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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).

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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, [i]this is how a disguise works, Banzai[/i].

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 [i]is[/i] 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.

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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

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He's not "bent" on the destruction of Greil, he just wishes to fight his master at his peak which is a [i]personal goal[/i] 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.

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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

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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 [i]to the death[/i] because they're going to kill Sephiran. What point are you trying to prove?

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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 [i]lost[/i] 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 [i]that[/i] 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

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

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