Yexin

Shadow Dragon: My personal Experience

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51 minutes ago, Schleimann said:

The game doesn't give much detail, but you can gather that:

Dohlr: Humans took over the continent and pushed dragons aside. It was also at that time that the manakete sickness started being a problem. Naga also always favoured the humans over the dragons, despite being the king of the dragons. You could understand why some would be angry.

Grust: The king is being blackmailed by Dolhr and is a coward.

Macedon: Macedon had the potential to become the greatest empire of Archanea if they could conquer some land, however, Archanea was in the way. Michalis's father didn't want to disturb the world order while Michalis saw the Dolhr alliance as a chance to overthrow the Archanean order and elevate Macedon to the title of first power. So Michalis does what any totally not sociopath-ish person would do and murders his father and takes the crown of Macedon for himself. After having conquered Archanea, Michalis intended to conquer Dolhr.

I think those things are all character related rather then being related to world building. 

Xane tells us about Dohlr's reasoning but nothing Dohlr or anything of its characters do ever backs this up. 

Gotoh tells us about how much potential Macedon had but we rarely see it. Grust seems to be the bigger threat, being the enemy in much more chapters and occupying Archenea while Macedon merely fails to take the smaller Aurelian. We know Michalis has unrealistic delusions but that never reflects on the nation itself. The cowardly behavior of Grust's king also doesn't tell us anything of the country.

Like, Begnion's biggest issue is its corruption and Lekain is pretty much an embodiment of that corruption. We know what Begnion is about and Lekain gives us an example of its worst traits in action. Ashnard and Elincia too pretty much embody the traits their nations are known for, even if Ashnard does take them to the extreme. We know Michalis is a dullard who has this strange belief that he can successfully rebel after helping the dragons subjugate humanity but it just tells us he's an idiot, not anything about the country of Macedon. Macedon is a country of former slaves and if they rebelled against Archenea in part because they feared being lorded over again we'd have some world building. None of their characters ever do though, Michalis distrust Archenea but there's nothing to suggest being descended from slaves is the reasoning, he's just paranoid and power hungry. Its personal rather than national. If the Grust generals showed disgust at their unmilitaristic king we would have more to work with and if we actually had enemy dragons speak about inflicting vengeance for crimes humanity committed against them it would reinforce what Xane says rather than being completely separate from it. 

I think it would be easy to ''echoefy'' some countries. Grust for example could be a Prussian nation for soldiers and by soldiers who only follow their king because their best soldier does, Macedon could be more influenced by its origin and have its soldiers actually comment on what a necessary evil their alliance to the dragons actually is. Gra could have displayed feelings of inadequacy towards their much more famous sister nation. 

Edited by Etrurian emperor

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2 hours ago, Etrurian emperor said:

I think those things are all character related rather then being related to world building. 

Xane tells us about Dohlr's reasoning but nothing Dohlr or anything of its characters do ever backs this up. 

I'll agree Archanea is underdeveloped, and your ideas for improvement are good too. Archanea has potential with its countries, which are different, but not so sharply distinct as what has come to be in later games in terms of geography and unit composition. It would have been nice if we got to see the potential at work.

Your comment on Ashnard isn't exactly right. We don't know what Daein was like pre-Ashnard, and he was likely a major changeup for the country. And Crimea does have its pesky nobles, but we do get the sense that it and Daein alike are freer from stifling tradition than Begnion, and that Daein is harsh and Crimea is peaceful and mild. Our images of the Laguz nations are notably weaker than the Beorc ones, partly because we never fight there. Yet the Laguz on the whole are well understood.

Most JRPGs give us the names of capital cities, FE rarely does. We have the Beorc half of Tellius, all of Elibe I think, Jugdral sorta but not truly, Ylisstol in Awakening and Pales in Archanea, are Krakenburg and Shirasagi the actual names of their countries' capitals, or just the castles? I speak of this one simple parameter because it's simple world building. FE generally lacking them doesn't mean FE has weak worlds by itself, but taking five seconds to do this is helpful. This said, no amount of world building is too much in my eyes. Tellius was great at spinning its themes throughout its world, but if the next FE can do better, I'm all for it.

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I adore SD. Although, it's fair to say that prefer the style of book 1 of Mystery better (and I prefer book 2 over new Mystery of well). I do miss the chapters that are cut though, because I'm weird and I like the wooden cavalry.

I appreciate upping the difficulty, but the original game was designed around 20 caps and no weapon triangle. Book 1 also had dragons completely ignore defenses, which made that particular final chapter absolutely thrilling as the dark dragons closed in from behind. Dismounting was also really cool and I liked that as well.

I agree with all the points that Archanea just has that feel about it that makes it magical. When the feeling is there, your imagination can fill in the cracks and it can become something truly beautiful and personable.

SD is awesome, but I try to play it as close to the originals as I can, which means no forging/reclassing for me. The OST for SD is also stellar, and I love the character portraits (although the SNES style sprites are just as great).

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On 05/10/2017 at 8:14 PM, Etrurian emperor said:

Xane tells us about Dohlr's reasoning but nothing Dohlr or anything of its characters do ever backs this up. 

I don't know about you, but I don't imagine that during WW1 French soldiers explained to German soldiers "My government feels threatened by the demographic push of your country, and the construction of your alliance system has lead us to this inevitable conflict.

As for Grust, there are plenty of villagers and general who only mention loyalty to Camus. It's obvious that Grust is loyal to Camus and Camus loyal to his king, with only a few exceptions. And the people are loyal to Camus because the guy is legendary. He is comparable to Anri. He has the strength to forge a national identity by himself.

On 05/10/2017 at 8:14 PM, Etrurian emperor said:

Michalis distrust Archenea but there's nothing to suggest being descended from slaves is the reasoning, he's just paranoid and power hungry.

Michalis is not paranoid, he is just ambitious. He wants to give rise to Macedonian dominance because Macedon has the power to establish a new world order. The reason Macedon "fails" to conquer Aurelis is because Aurelis was willing to sacrifice everything. The narration says that Hardin has used up all of his army except for a handful of knights. Macedon had a decisive victory from the start, but Aurelis just went full Russia and endured the impossible at the cost of enormous sacrifices.

And finally, of course Shadow Dragon doesn't have the same world building quality that Tellius has, but Shadow Dragon is still easily among the best in world building.

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