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What did fates’ story do right?

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So we all know the many many shortcomings of fates’ story but I’m curious is there anything you all think fates did right in terms of its story writing? I’m a person who says critique should always be fair and balanced so why don’t we give credit where credit is due.

for me personally I love how Camilla was handled in birthright. Yeah I know “yandere = bad” but I think it works here. Camilla grew up during a time where she had to fight her siblings in a a near never ending cold war for the king’s favor so for her to go mentally insane in response to corrin choosing the other side makes a lot of sense to me and I feel it was handled well.

Edited by Otts486

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Up until Ryoma was reunited with the main party in Birthright where he clearly should have stepped into the leadership role, I'd argue the avatar lead the army fairly decently all things considered. He/she listened to the counsel of his "lieutenants" Azura, Kaze, ect., and showed a fairly appropriate level of caution to go along with some of his/her more reckless decisions. At the very least, he/she felt more competent than Conquest's and Revelation's versions in which he/she danced on Garon's strings and too readily marched into enemy territory trying to make peace respectively (granted, such a strong faith in humanity is a trait I aspire to).

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The start of conquest was actually pretty decent. Corrin's acts of mercy show that the Garon style of defeating rebellions isn't the only way, there are some skirmishes with the Hoshidans and the Nohrian siblings each get a chance to show they care about Garon and are willing to twist Garon's orders in order to help him. Even Garon (GARON!) has a moment where he is quite reasonable when he says Corrin not following his order to the exact letter is less important than the fact that Corrin did end up completing the mission. And even Garon ordering a hit on the Rainbow sage isn't exactly Garon being Garon. Killing the create that gives blessing to ensure Nohr has more Rainbow blessings than Hoshido seems reasonable enough if you're an evil dictator. Then after Corrin has been allowed free reign for a while the Chev incident proves he can't keep showing mercy as long as Garon is around and that something has to change. Its only after that point that the story takes a nosedive.  

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Whichever chapter of Conquest(I think it was 25) where you storm the Hoshidan royal palace. The writing is standard Fates fare, but every other aspect of the level does a great job at telling a story. The music is somber. At least on normal there are no enemy reinforcements; this is truly the last Hoshido has, their last stand. The Hoshidans will not attack you; they're focused only on defending their palace. It's the only chapter in the game that really made you feel like a conquerer, feel like the bad guy. The atmosphere in chapter 25 tells the story of the fall of a Kingdom, and it tells a story better than the atmosphere of any other point in the series.

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The story also treats Sakura rather nicely. Despite her shyness she's always ready to make a stand for what she thinks is right, whether its aiding Corrin when no one else does or commanding an actual army to defend Hoshido. For a game that relies so much on gimmicks its nice to see them see Sakura overcome her gimmick and act though when the situation calls for it. 

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I'd say Takumi's descent into madness and ultimately possession in Conquest was decently handled. As much as we had no idea who was ultimately responsible, in Conquest, we at least knew that King Garon was possessed by magic that was a direct foil to Azura's magic. In that regard, they did a good job foreshadowing that something was gradually becoming very wrong with Takumi. His sudden reveal in Conquest as a final desperate attempt to stop Corrin from unraveling Anankos' masquerade was, despite being cringe enough that memes popped up everywhere ("I am betrayal"), well-executed for the most part.

Had there been enough to actually endear us to some extent to the Takumi character; enough that we could maybe take the hint that there's something wrong with him before he starts spewing purple smoke, then I would argue that it was well-handled, rather than just decently handled. Perhaps if, in his introduction before Mikoto's death, he reluctantly warmed up to Corrin (perhaps at the urging of his siblings and Mikoto; thus showing us how much they care about Takumi and vice-versa), and that way Takumi lashing out at Corrin after Mikoto's death didn't seem to only come out of prejudice and misplaced blame, but out of the feeling that Corrin had (unwittingly) betrayed them, and he was wrong to let his guard down, then it might have been even better.

Green-haired ninja and barbarian girl (I forget their names) sparing Corrin because Corrin spared them is a nice case of setup and payoff.

The moment in Birthright that reveals that most commoners in Nohr's capital city stay underground rather than wandering the streets is a good reveal with a decently delivered bit of lore backing it up, especially since it's also revealed around the same time as the similar reveal that Nohr struggles to obtain enough food to feed its people, and characters actually reflect on what they're learning in these moments. The part where Ryoma hears this, realises that Hoshido has an overabundance of food and could stand to at least trade their leftovers with Nohr, is a nice moment that shows that the Nohr-Hoshido conflict could've had potential to be a more deep and layered conflict where both sides have good reasons, and Ryoma deciding that he'll share some of Hoshido's food with Nohr after the war's over also shows that he's beginning to think like a king; not just like a samurai. This moment is good; it's a small set of diamonds in the miles of sewage. 

Some parts of Azura's character were handled well. The part in Conquest where she doesn't exactly expect a warm welcome back to Nohr, being only a step-sibling to the Nohr royalty, and her reaction to the Nohr siblings (especially Elise) welcoming her with open arms is a nice moment. 

Anankos being a tragic villain was a poorly handled good concept. In FE, we've had power-mad dragon villains, dragon villains acting out of hatred for humanity, a human psychopathic Social Darwinist, and a human villain with a tragic backstory where the very power he sought in order to fulfill a personal goal twisted his mind and left him having forgotten why he sought power (Nergal). Anankos being reduced to a senile state by the dragon-madness could have mirrored the best parts of the Nergal character while having his own unique spin. 

Now, these next parts have less to do with writing the story, and more to do with writing the magic system, but, while there are a lot of very bizarre and unexplained components, there are also some really clever parts to the magic system unique to Fates:

  1. The reason that Azura's song can counter mad Anankos' magic being that the song was specifically designed to calm Anankos' madness is very clever.
  2. Mikoto's spell making it that any soldier who enters Hoshido loses their will to fight explains why: a) Corrin doesn't put up any kind of struggle when he gets up, despite being a captured enemy prince. b) why there isn't yet all-out war, and c) why the assassin that is used to kill her is both Hoshidan in origin and possessed. 
  3. The Yato choosing Corrin not because he's a chosen one, but because he wants peace: the very same thing the Rainbow Sage, who created the Yato, now wants. Similarly, the Yato being capable of killing Anankos because the sword was designed so that humans would be able to take part in the War of the First Dragons makes sense.

 

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I’m of the opinion that the story of Fates wasn’t as terrible as everyone says. I think  that while the main plot has issues, the themes of the game were very interesting (family, betrayal, the consequences of choice, etc) and handled well. The concept of Conquest had me enthralled, not being the clear cut “good guys” and having the Nohrian royals trying to justify the atrocities of war based off a sense a misplaced loyalty and fear. I really felt that IS was trying to do a A to Z villain story with the Nohrian royals during Conquest. The idea behind this is that  a character will commit an evil act which they justify to themselves and then commit a worse act and so on (hence A to Z). Thus the actions of the character spiral out of control over time until they end up being the villain. The concept alone beats the hell out of most generic JRPGs stories even if it wasn’t fully realized in the game. Less “friendship is magic” and more Karl Edward Wagner’s Kane series,  an improvement by my estimation anyway.

Edited by Wraith

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Fates was easily the most boring and weakest Fire emblem story to date. i cannot think of much nice to say about it to be honest. I can say the retainer idea for all the royals was pretty cool but thats not really related to the story. Way to corny and cheesy/predictable and lame. like corrin is such a lame character along with most of the royals except Xander and Ryoma who at least look cool. 

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7 minutes ago, Zihark11 said:

Fates was easily the most boring and weakest Fire emblem story to date. i cannot think of much nice to say about it to be honest. I can say the retainer idea for all the royals was pretty cool but thats not really related to the story. Way to corny and cheesy/predictable and lame. like corrin is such a lame character along with most of the royals except Xander and Ryoma who at least look cool. 

I hate to agree in something so negative, but I actually 100% do. I think people search to find things that were okay with Fates, when honestly, objectively, it was just a poor piece of work.

I think the closest thing they did right was their IDEAS. I really liked the idea of Fates. Choosing between your family that raised you and your blood? Great concept. Retainers for royalty? A 3rd path that shows you the consequences of the other paths? Characters dying? Complex sibling relationships and dynamics? Love ALL of those things. In theory Fates could have been actually amazing, so I think if there's anything the story did right, it was at least having a pretty complex, interesting concept.

But otherwise ... there wasn't really anything in the story that I remember being done right. They managed to somehow mess up almost everything they introduced that I was initially very psyched about. Perhaps the only thing they did right was some character writing (Sakura/Elise come to mind), but that's not really part of the story.

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I'd say it does an excellent job of showing how war can bring out the worst in people (see: Xander and Camilla in Birthright, and Ryoma and Takumi in Conquest). Far as I know, no other FE game does that.

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5 hours ago, Otts486 said:

So we all know the many many shortcomings of fates’ story but I’m curious is there anything you all think fates did right in terms of its story writing? I’m a person who says critique should always be fair and balanced so why don’t we give credit where credit is due.

the background story of Valla overall was an interesting concept, as much as having to pick a side to end the war in your own way, or choose to side with nobody in order to find another truth.

i'm also glad they gave Yato its own role, because honestly i've seen enough Falchions being used as plot devices, and it was about time they came up with something new.

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I'm not gonna go into the whole "idea/concept was good" rabbit hole because that's a dead horse beaten and there are plenty of things that could have been done to make the story better.  This is a thread about what it actually did do right.

Conquest up to Chapter 15 was a good build-up to a potentially interesting conflict between the siblings and Garon - promises of political intrigue, secrets kept, and maybe even character development for the villains.

Corrin as a leader in Birthright was actually decent.  Birthright Corrin was more decisive and willing to actually fight the enemy than he/she is in the other two paths.

Turning Zola into a somewhat sympathetic character in Birthright was an interesting move.  I like when media turns the whole "looks like a bad guy, therefore he is a bad guy" trope on its head, even if they only did that in half measure since Zola winds up betraying you in the end.

There being neutral/hostile factions within the home kingdoms' own turf was cool.  Particularly Cheve and Mokushu.

Sakura's character was never screwed over.  Everything she did seemed completely within her personality, and in Conquest you do indeed get some character growth from her.

And I liked that the war didn't cause everyone to be all buddy-buddy in Birthright and Conquest - you didn't wind up recruiting someone like Oboro when fighting for the Nohrians or Niles when fighting for the Hoshidans.  Of course that's all thrown out the window in Revelation, but it was interesting to be fighting characters you could wind up being sympathetic towards just because you're on opposing sides in a war - like fighting The Boss in MGS3, except the leaders are just incompetently stupid at times and none of the people you fight wind up being martyrs for the protagonist and his/her close friends.

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It's refreshing seeing a thread for discussing the positive things about Fates. I'm going to say that out of all the Fire Emblem games, it was only in Revelations where healers thought to heal someone with a fatal injury during a story sequence.

7 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

Green-haired ninja and barbarian girl (I forget their names) sparing Corrin because Corrin spared them is a nice case of setup and payoff.

Rinkah and Kaze

Edited by Arcphoenix

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Well, all I could think of was giving me the opportunity to write a WWII version LP.

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Birthright isn't even all that bad by FE standards (Blazing Blade has a worse plot) and if cleaned up a bit to be the core of a self-contained story could work. The worst plot aspects of Fates come from Conquest and Revelation, both games trying to be something other than Classic FE.

13 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

Had there been enough to actually endear us to some extent to the Takumi character; enough that we could maybe take the hint that there's something wrong with him before he starts spewing purple smoke, then I would argue that it was well-handled, rather than just decently handled. Perhaps if, in his introduction before Mikoto's death, he reluctantly warmed up to Corrin (perhaps at the urging of his siblings and Mikoto; thus showing us how much they care about Takumi and vice-versa), and that way Takumi lashing out at Corrin after Mikoto's death didn't seem to only come out of prejudice and misplaced blame, but out of the feeling that Corrin had (unwittingly) betrayed them, and he was wrong to let his guard down, then it might have been even better.

Hell no. Corrin's Hoshidan siblings were too trusting/lenient towards him to begin with. Takumi's the only one who recognizes a dragon freak who was raised by their archenemies isn't owed unconditional trust. They didn't even take Corrin's demonic sword away from her. All considered, he's the only remotely capable leader in war among the Hoshidan royal brats since he actually acted like he was a leader at war (Ryoma disappearing to do whatever, Sakura being Sakura, Hinoka being a bad sister and shill for Corrin).

11 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

I'd say it does an excellent job of showing how war can bring out the worst in people (see: Xander and Camilla in Birthright, and Ryoma and Takumi in Conquest). Far as I know, no other FE game does that.

Ryoma and Takumi didn't actually do anything badwrong though (against Nohr anyway).

Edited by Eryon

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2 hours ago, Eryon said:

Birthright isn't even all that bad by FE standards (Blazing Blade has a worse plot) and if cleaned up a bit to be the core of a self-contained story could work. The worst plot aspects of Fates come from Conquest and Revelation, both games trying to be something other than Classic FE.

I pretty heavily disagree with this. The problem with Birthright is that it barely has a story. The plot only really starts going when you reach Garon's castle with pretty much everything else being a journey from point A to B with random fights happening in between.

In contrast things are constantly happening in Blazing Sword. Small plotlines like Darrin or the dread isle take several chapters instead of just one, new factions are introduced and the stakes get progressively higher. 

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The lack of a story as you call it can be blamed on how much of the game has to account for the presence of two other games supposed to be self-contained enough to have complete stories yet needing to play more than one learn all the details. I have no doubt that content was cannibalized or left out, which applies to Conquest as well (see Azura not telling Corrin about Anankos when she is able to).

As I said, if Birthright was cleaned up a bit to be a single story it could work.

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On Monday, December 10, 2018 at 2:09 PM, Shadow Mir said:

I'd say it does an excellent job of showing how war can bring out the worst in people (see: Xander and Camilla in Birthright, and Ryoma and Takumi in Conquest). Far as I know, no other FE game does that.

*See's not-Levant post, is ready to disagree*...

*100% agrees with a well thought out tasteful post*

Late reply but had to mention that.

----------------------------

CQ (ignoring ch15) was a pretty good attempt at a bad-guy FE story overall.

Everything Elise does in all three paths is pure gold. Even BR25  (a moment that can kindly go and **** itself with a chainsaw hand) was an impactful scripted death.

Edited by joshcja

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On 12/11/2018 at 1:54 AM, Eryon said:

Ryoma and Takumi didn't actually do anything badwrong though (against Nohr anyway).

Takumi, I could probably agree on (he does get possessed by Anankos, to be fair), but blackmail isn't exactly honorable (see: Conquest chapter 12).

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Corrin's confrontations with the Nohr siblings in Birthright are pretty great. Although a character living in the evil empire switching sides and having to fight their family has been done before, it's pretty fascinating to see the protagonist do it. 

 

Chapter 26 is really emotional, and I like how the Corrin vs Xander fight brings the game full circle (if you played the tutorial)

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On 12/22/2018 at 3:25 PM, Shadow Mir said:

Takumi, I could probably agree on (he does get possessed by Anankos, to be fair), but blackmail isn't exactly honorable (see: Conquest chapter 12).

He told Corrin he'll have Elise treated if he goes with him to Nohr. He's being lenient by holding his war effort up to let his enemy join for a way to cure one of her little sisters.

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1. It introduced Ophelia.


2. Conquest broadened to possibilities to explore the story from different angles. Granted, its delivery was dumb as fuck, but I am glad that it at least showed us another way to look at it.

By siding with the 'bad guys', there could have been more interesting characters with morally contested means and values. We could have explored the story from 'the other side', through different eyes.
Choosing 'family' over 'right and good' gave us the chance to test how much we could give up to maintain family ties, specially when this is the family that unites the realm (like, what if the mothers were heirs of powerful houses across the continent?)

Nohr could have been an allegory of the prejudice present in communities dealing with refugees and immigration these days. The many 'atrocities, barbarism and sins' of Nohr could collide with the will of the Nohrians present in the army conquering Hoshido. Yes, it is a war; but no, they are not the beasts that everyone told you they were.
The different regions of Nohr could have showed us the struggles of nations within a diverse realm. By force or by will, the clashes would produce resentment, but, if the union succeeded, it would also produce political alliances and cooperation and, hopefully, further acceptance.

It opened the door.

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Nobody has told me how Nohr being shown as the obvious aggressors against the Hoshidans without saying the latter somehow provoked that is a problem. We have plenty of examples of humans brutalizing each-other unwarranted. 

If anything Fates would be a far stronger plot if they did just go with what pre-release info suggested what the games' conflict would be (a war between a warmongering/glory-seeking country against valiant defenders where Corrin is siding with one out of loyalty or the other out of blood). Axe or seriously revise all Silent Kingdom elements (namely Azura). Maybe make core cast smaller.

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On 2018-12-10 at 8:01 AM, blah the Prussian said:

Whichever chapter of Conquest(I think it was 25) where you storm the Hoshidan royal palace. The writing is standard Fates fare, but every other aspect of the level does a great job at telling a story. The music is somber. At least on normal there are no enemy reinforcements; this is truly the last Hoshido has, their last stand. The Hoshidans will not attack you; they're focused only on defending their palace. It's the only chapter in the game that really made you feel like a conquerer, feel like the bad guy. The atmosphere in chapter 25 tells the story of the fall of a Kingdom, and it tells a story better than the atmosphere of any other point in the series.

There are no reinforcements on the higher difficulties either, they knew what they were doing there. And yeah I agree, that was great.

 

I think Xander on Birthright, and the conflict with him is really well done. The game builds and builds the conflict between him and Corrin as the game goes on (from the tutorial duel in C1 to his hard words at Corrin's "betrayal" in C6 to having to escape from him in C12, etc.), and then it turns that hyped-conflict to ash. You get your duel with Xander, but it's against a broken man who wants to die. This for me drove home that War and Duels Are Not Cool better than most things I've seen, in a serious that normally likes to glamourize them.

Conquest got me to play as someone doing bad things for reasons they think are good, which is a more believable take on a villain route than I'm used to seeing from games (which is to say, I'm not playing as a moustache-twirler who thinks he or she is doing bad things. Very few people think they're evil!). I like how the ending juxtaposed the happy feelings of "you won and kept your happy family together" with the sad feelings of "oh yeah we killed lots of people; my biological brothers are dead and my biological sisters will never truly forgive me".

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