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Favorite and Least Favorite Jugdrali States

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The Jugdral saga is by far my favorite couple of games in the Fire Emblem franchise, thanks in no small part to the politics between the various nations and houses on the continent. In my opinion, Shouzou Kaga and company effectively painted a rich setting (at least, within the confines of the SNES), with each region having a distinct feel to it. That all being said, what are your favorite and least favorite Jugdrali states?

I would have to say that my favorite state is Thracia proper because of how fleshed out it is, as well as its territorial conflict. FE5 particularly raises a magnifying glass on the Thracian peninsula, delving into several towns and villages that were first introduced in the game's predecessor. One of the most notable features of the region would be its rugged mountains and dreary wastelands, sharply contrasting with the bountiful fields of the northern Manster District. It is this agricultural gap that sparks tensions between the two states, as we witness in the Jugdral saga.

Meanwhile, my least favorite state (if we are not counting Yied) would probably be either Verdane or Agustria. This is by no means to say that either country is disinteresting. Nonetheless, I find myself more engrossed in the more geographically exotic locations as opposed to the par-for-the-course grasslands and forests.

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Despite my high opinion of Genealogy I'm actually not overly impressed with any of their nations. The characters manage to drive the story but the countries themselves are fairly bare bones with their culture and their history barely being commented on. 

Of these countries my favorites would be Tracia and Granvelle because they both do have more clearly defined characteristics. With Granvele you have the infighting between the different houses that each have gimmicks of their own, and Tracia is a successful version of Nohr where they were dealt a really bad hand and are villains not because they are evil but because they need to be villainous just to keep their country from collapsing. 

My least favorite country is probably Augustria because its the least defined of any Jugdral country. The Lenster district is akin to Lycia, Verdane is a land of barbarians, Silesia is the land of snow and ice and Isaac seems to have a slight eastern warrior flavor to them. But Augustria is just an enemy nation and the only difference it has with Granvele is that Augustria isn't blessed with dozens of holy weapons and that Augustrian houses don't get the screentime that the ones in Granvele do. It has to share both its gimmick of warring houses and their general troop setup with Granvelle without any defining traits of its own. 

Edited by Etrurian emperor

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Isaach is probably the one region that I like the most. In Gen 1, we don't really hear much about it aside from the tidbits thrown around about the war going on there and Ayra and Quan's conversation after she's first recruited in Chapter 1. The whole region is more or less shrouded in mystery as to exactly what's happening there. Once Gen 2 starts, we actually get to see Isaach. By then, the war is over, but what I really like about Isaach is the fact that it's where we get to start a new journey with Seliph and his band of fighters, not to mention that there's some pretty awesome music to boot.

As for my least favorite, it's Silesse. As a region, it's alright and the atmosphere is nice, but Chapter 4 ruins it for me. The gameplay is a slog, and it's overall not that fun to play. We have to go to the top of the map, then down to the bottom. It wouldn't be that bad if there was a shortcut through the mountains, but there isn't, and it sucks having to go all the way back around to where we started just to get onto the right path. On the bright side, Lewyn get's Forseti.

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I'm a big fan of Agustria, but mainly the northern section you visit in chapter 3. I just really like how the area feels alive with villages, as well as the Orgahill stronghold and Blaggi Tower area having a nice aesthetic. 

As for least favorite, that's gotta be Silesse. I already typically dislike snowy areas because they feel stale to me, but it Silesse feels so shoehorned into Jugdral compared to the other areas. Nothing of note really happens in Silesse in either generation imo. 

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48 minutes ago, kayoyo7401 said:

As for least favorite, that's gotta be Silesse. I already typically dislike snowy areas because they feel stale to me[...]

 

I sympathize with you there; I can't stand snow because winter often overstays its welcome, where I live.

Silesse is pretty low on the list for me, but I do like Lewyn's story there

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grannvale and the thracias are the only ones that really give off any sense of interest or nuance to me; silesse and isaach aren't really explored enough to set them apart in any way, miletos? the merchant republic isn't even visited except post-mortem and all of its exhibition is a few lines in ares' conversations, agustria is kind of a flop of storytelling and worldbuilding, and verdane is just Fire Emblem's Early Game Bandit Chapters: With A King

 

the thracias tell a decent, if basic, story of the guys with the good land and food and money vs. their 'countrymen' they don't really care about and the danger of oppressing the working class; grannvale itself has a decent background of being more of a confederation of princes than fire emblem's typically comfortable doing, and i wish that had been explored more than 'sigurd hares off to save aideen, everything goes down offstage, sigurd is declared a traitor' because it could have been really neat.

 

in the end, though, the interesting countries are really just vehicles for quan/travant/leif and sigurd/arvis/julius/seliph's stories, the worldbuilding behind them isn't particularly special imo

Edited by Integrity

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3 hours ago, kayoyo7401 said:

I already typically dislike snowy areas because they feel stale to me

How dare you mock my hometown.

Nah, kidding, I despise snow, so I sympathize.  I hate shoveling that crap, especially when it gets wet.  I prefer my home when it's all green and full of life instead of dead and full of icky ice and slush.

 

I'm gonna divide my criteria into favorite/least favorite lands to traverse and favorite/least favorite lands lorewise.

My favorite nation to traverse is Augustria, specifically in Chapter 3.  It's a very open-ended map, and that freedom is quite nice.  Lots of objectives to tackle at once, lots to do, and lots of things that happen here.  As for favorite nation in terms of lore, it's Grannvale.  It's the heart of the house politics - the seat of the treachery faced by Sigurd, the inner feuding within the Dozel and Freege houses, and the power-house nation analogy I appreciate in a lot of these stories of grand politics.

Least favorite land to traverse is Silesse - I despise the forests guarded by blizzard-wielding mages, the backtracking halfway through the chapter, and the damn mountains that end up getting swamped with civilians.  I dread that frozen hellhole every time I start up Genealogy, and am grateful every time I'm done with it.  In terms of lore, I really don't like Verdane.  At least King Chagall was meant to be the way he is - Batu is a naive idiot whose actions contradict his supposed motives and overall felt contrived just for the sake of prodding the plot along.  And of course there's the fact that this country is literally just a bunch of bandits - effectively a watered down version of Nohr without the good characters and if everyone looked like the bondage axe men from that game.  Even Yied is more interesting than Verdane, and that's a goddamn desert.

Honorable mention goes to Thracia - though I've not played your game, you still seem pretty neat.  Dishonorable mention goes to Miletos - the only things memorable about that place were the music, the child rescue, Julius and Ishtar's "game", and the ultimate battle at the end, and none of these things had anything to do with the lore for whatever the hell that nation was supposed to be.

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Granvalle & Thracia since these countries are the most important so we learn much more details about them then the other countries. Fe4 is basically a story about how the politics in Granvalle led to the death of so many people and how his son fixed the mess that those politics caused. Fe5 is a coming of age story in which a young boy saves the country that rightfully belongs to him. I also had a softspot for the Yied desert because of the conversation that Seliph and Lewyn(?) have when you sieze the castle.

Verdane is my least favorite. It feels like a country that really doesn't add anything to the world or story. It's only purpose is to set the Lopto sect up. Traversing it is decent until you reach the forest. I do like the music in the chapter though.

The other countries aren't developed as countries but they add nice things to the story. Agustria isn't developed in an interesting way but it does feel distinct and the events create some nice tragedy. Silesia has some nice atmosphere that really fits the mood that Sigurd likely has, but the country feels like an excuse to have a snow level. Isaach gives a good example of how the kind deeds of Sigurd really help in the future. Because Sigurd protected Shanan the Isaachian people support his son Seliph which is the sole reason why he is able to start the liberation army. We don't know the exact details on how the country works but enough to understand it's purpose. Miletos is whatever but the chapter is fun so can't be to harsh.

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Thracia is the only one we really get a good insight into, and it honestly has one of the most interesting dynamics of any couple of nations in the series. God bless Travant. Grannvale has by a distance the most underused potential, but all we see is 'big armies, scheming nobles', which is pretty fucking threadbare. Agustria is a shitshow.

Edited by Parrhesia

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i would say anything as long as there's no deserts or mountains involved. those were kind of a nightmare to get past throu in fe4.

 

i would say Agustria due to having a good variety of backgrounds that goes from forests to plains and beachs.

the Blagi tower in the middle of the ocean was also a nice touch, as it gave the upper side of the map a further vibe of ancient sacred ground.

plus, it's also the map where Sigurd and Eltshan sadly end up crossing blades, so that's one more reason i like it due to the story.

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Thracia / Lenster heavily benefit from the existence of FE5, I honestly think it's the only truly well-made state in FE4. Everything else is just kinda ... there.

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My favorite "state" would probably be Yied. I normally don't like desert places, but I do feel as though Yied and Darna are given a fair amount of context. Yied is the origin of our villains, and...

Spoiler

it's the last thing the player sees in the "secret" ending.

As for Darna, it has 2 of my favorite Gen 2 characters, Aless and Lene. Plus, there's also a sense of irony associated with that city. The place where the crusaders held their last stand, gained holy blood, and got the strength to defeat Loptous turned into a city of sin and greed. A holy city, but full of hypocrisy and corruption. It's also kind of ironic that the city where the Crusaders holed up in so close to where the Lopt were banished.

As for my least favorite, it would maybe be Miletos? We just kind of run through Miletos and that's it. There really aren't any important characters associated with Miletos, so I can't put a face to the country like you could with other states.

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Thracia is the most interesting because of Travant and the whole struggle of the southern region. I don't really like Verdane because we only spend one chapter there and basically all we learn is "forest country full of bandits." It doesn't even get brought up at the end if Jamke has no son.

If we're just talking like aesthetics though then I ain't like Yied, it's ass to traverse and it's the only chapter theme that gets kinda old for me.

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I have to go with the Kingdom of Thracia for my favorite, Travant's ruthlessly practical approach to statecraft made for an interesting region. Least favorite I think I will go with a bit of a cheat and say Orgahil and its pirates; the home islands of Blaggi that he returned to, to build his tower infested by pirates and no local organization, or nearby government have cleared them out to cash in on the lucrative pilgrimages that such a tower should draw in.

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On 12/4/2018 at 10:50 PM, Ertrick36 said:

Dishonorable mention goes to Miletos - the only things memorable about that place were the music, the child rescue, Julius and Ishtar's "game", and the ultimate battle at the end, and none of these things had anything to do with the lore for whatever the hell that nation was supposed to be.

Ok so real talk, until I saw this I forgot MIletos exists. Usually each chapter leaves a mark in my mind on the location (i.e. Ch 3 is the pirate chapter, Ch 7 is the desert chapter etc) When I think chapter 10 I don't even think about Miletos. I usually think Southern Grannvale, mainly because Alvis. The real "Sorrow of Miletos" is the fact that I have to play through it to get to Chalphy.

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12 hours ago, kayoyo7401 said:

Ok so real talk, until I saw this I forgot MIletos exists. Usually each chapter leaves a mark in my mind on the location (i.e. Ch 3 is the pirate chapter, Ch 7 is the desert chapter etc) When I think chapter 10 I don't even think about Miletos. I usually think Southern Grannvale, mainly because Alvis. The real "Sorrow of Miletos" is the fact that I have to play through it to get to Chalphy.

It's lore says that it' s a trade city and that's it.

It's basically just a filler country.

On topic, personal favorite is Agustria and Thracia. Agustria is basically Grannvale-light except they clearly rely on cavalry for their armies.

Thracia due to their rich backstory involving the Manster District and how unique their armies are.

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The Thracian peninsula is easily the most explored sector of the continent.

Miletos on the other hand is just the punching bag of Loptous.

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