Dutiful Knight Characterization Wibbling

OK.  Last time I was complaining that Jugdral didn't offer me nerds I could identify with.  Today, imma complain about something else, of more recent origin.

The current conception of a SRS BZNS knight.  [FE12 data obtained from playthroughs by [personal profile] shimizu_hitomi , Big Klingy, and others.]

FE12 gives us "Chris," Marth's invaluable source of support, alter ego, etc.  Chris expresses her devotion to Marth by getting all up in his business being obsessed with training.  And sparring.  And training.  And challenging people.  It's pretty dull, actually.  Even worse, Cain-- a character who was set up for some beautiful characterization in FE11-- appeared to have been sketched in the same way, as this really bland training-obsessed sort of guy.  It was a real disappointment, as FE12!Cain seemed to have less depth than FE3!Cain.

Then we get FE13.

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Gimme back Seth and Titania and conceptions of being a dedicated knight that didn't involve doing calisthenics 24/7.

PS: Please comment at DW if you have a DW account.  Otherwise I'm going to start locking comments from LJ again.  I re-opened it to be inclusive, but I don't want the majority of my content at LJ.  Thanks. 

Headcanon Meme

Stolen from Raphi and Nico.

1. Pick a pairing or a character
2. Ask me my particular headcanon regarding something about them
3. Post to your journal to share your own headcanon!

Just FE, please-- I don't have developed headcanon about other fandoms.

Fic Update: "Things We Lost In The Fire"

This one has actually been completed for quite some time.  A specific incident in March propelled me to write it, and it was all done and ready to upload before I had second thoughts about it.  Something didn't quite work in the translation from my head to the screen, and so I just let it sit.  But I hate hate hate officially abandoning 'fics, and so after running it by Raphi (I'd credit her as a beta, but any spelling and grammatical errors are all on me, so I'll credit her with "support"), I decided to go ahead and release it.  There's a brand-new self insert FE7 thingy up there on the Pit, so who am I to be behindhand?  

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FE4 and the Nerd Problem

I was engaged in a little offhand discussion about Lord intelligence here and I think it kind of clarified one of my main issues in warming up to the cast of FE4.

Where are the nerds?  Where are the true bookish types, driven by a love of learning, powered by sheer curiosity?  We have an abundance of mages, the usual "type" to fill this role, but overwhelmingly, the issues driving them are personal.  Their problems, too, are deeply personal and rooted in family and bloodline.  There's not really anyone who strikes me as an analogue to Pent or to Canas, or even to Lute the self-proclaimed prodigy, or to Knoll, or to Merric, Linde, or Ellerean.  Or Ryuto, who got that essential "mage vibe" across despite coming from a more primitive era.

We have an "adorkable" mage in Azel, but he's not quite the same thing.  With Azel-- as with Tiltyu and Levin, and with all the magical kidlets, so much of it all boils down to family.  Maybe that's the problem.  They're not like a class-conscious Ellerean striving to be top dog, or a Lute who defines herself by her encyclopedic mind.  The FE4 gang were all born into their gifts.  The bloodline chose them... or didn't choose them.  There's no need to be a nerd when you're a conduit for god-power.

But man, if you gravitate towards magey-mages, the lack of a sympathetic nerd character hurts.  Small wonder so many fans admire Alvis, who hits on more points of the intellectually gifted than any of the playable cast.  FE4's Gen 1 mostly come across as anti-intellectual rough-housers by comparison... and well, I've already complained at length about Gen 2.  There's Sety, I guess, but he's still mostly defined by his mission... and his rage against his father.

[FE5, OTOH, rectifies this by giving us Asvel, who is basically Merric II (now with even more subtext)... plus some others fitting the "type" that became expected]

Now, there are a few bright spots if you know where to look.  The house intellectual for Gen 1 would be Father Claude, keeper of esoteric lore that he can't share with us because Tiltyu's a ninny.  Sylvia's son Corple is a thoughtful, serious boy who takes his role seriously... and has almost no screen time and no1 leik him anyway.  And of course we have our two tacticians... Oifey the child prodigy (still the most boring tact ever, for my money) who grows into an astute and competent man, and the older version of Levin... who is cheating and hereby disqualified from this tier list.  And there are a few more characters who, while not bookish in the Canas sense, at least have something going on upstairs, though it seems to be more intuitive skill (Jamka) or maybe just the ability to put words together into articulate sentences (Leaf) in a land where several characters sound like they hail from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventures.  

But I do think this was something I found unpleasant about FE4, and it wasn't until last night that I really got that clear in my own head.  I like my nerd characters-- not to fetish level or anything, but I do-- and I'm not really finding them in FE4.  

DLC Suggestions for IS

Dear IS--

In the wake of Bride!Eirika the Beauteous Staff Chick, I have the following suggestions for upcoming DLC:

Vampire Hunter!Cellica.  So what if there are no vampires in Fire Emblem?  What's stopping you?
Ninja!Lyn.  Everything goes better with ninja, right?
Pirate!Ike.  Not a Fire Emblem pirate, though it's nice that the class does exist somewhere in canon.  Like, a Pirates of the Caribbean pirate.
Mad Scientist!Sigurd.  This makes as much sense as what you did to Eirika.
Badass!Eliwood.  Make it canon, I don't care how.  Black leather is a plus.

And you don't seem to be treating Hector as a Lord, but if you did, there is one obvious choice for him: Pegasus Knight Hector.  With staves.

Please get back to me in approximately two weeks with your results.

   Mark (not that Mark)

PS: And make Soren a pink sparklegoth with Hello Kitty displayed somewhere on his clothing.

FE4 and the Politics of Vengeance

One surface weakness of FE4 (Seisen no Keifu) is that it appears to promote a black-and-white morality.  We have young and beautiful people fighting against a pack of ugly, obscenely corrupt nobles and generals. We have heroes whose specialness manifests in truly "special" ways, making them demigods among men.  We have an Antichrist figure in Julius and a Savior in his counterpart, Celice the Child of Light.  It looks kind of ham-fisted in places even compared to other early FE games... and especially compared with its shades-of-gray successor Thracia 776.

Well, that's kind of true... especially the parade of ugly nobles who need to be offed.  But there's a fair amount going on under the surface in FE4 in terms of morality, especially when the themes of family and vengeance come into play.  Which is, after all, most of the time.

You have to be careful when placing labels on good and evil, Celice.  Never waste your anger on individuals.  Always focus it on the evil within all of us.  (Levin, Ch 7)

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