Amber Michelle (myaru) wrote,
Amber Michelle

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FE: Lyn offers more than the designers give her credit for.

I think I've mentioned before that I prefer FE6 to FE7 - partly because I like Etruria and its characters, partly because it has a grim undertone I think is lacking in seven. Many of the support conversations in FE6 detail personal losses due to the war that brings out the horror of Bern's invasion on both individual and national levels, whereas FE7 focuses more strictly on the individual, and characters are interrelated with each other, but not necessarily what's going on in the world.

Now, that's just my impression, as I haven't gotten all of the supports in either game, nor have I read every single one of the scripts. This is just my pathetic attempt to explain the mystical "feeling" I have that six is a darker game. Alas, I'm not so dedicated to my LJ posts that I'm going to do research for one. That said, I think individual focus is FE7's strength, and I'm not bashing it. For some reason - maybe it's because talk of pairing wars involved a lot of mentions of Lyn - I remembered a thought I had a while ago, which I think came up in an AIM conversation rather than on LJ:

Blazing Sword gives Lyn the shaft. The designers shove her aside as soon as they can to get to the "real" heroes.

I really enjoyed Lyn's chapters. She's a strong character. Her situation is immediately sympathetic, she's a good, stable lead even when she's out of her element (in Lycia), and her motivations aren't high-minded or unrealistic - she just wants to save her grandfather, put an end to the shenanigans in Caelin, and improve her sword technique to avenge her parents. It's a bit dramatic, but otherwise very down to earth, lacking the OMGWORLDISGOINGTOEND situation Eliwood's plot gives us.

Anyway, I wish the entire game followed Lyn. There are some really interesting themes to be explored there, not the least of which is her half blood and the rampant prejudice toward Sacaeans. I dislike the focus on "becoming a proper lady" in her supports with Eliwood, but there's some potential in that - the culture clash - that could have been explored more too. And then, somewhere along the line her desire to avenge her parents falls by the wayside unless you support her with Wallace (which has to be one of the sweetest revelations in the game, in my opinion - that he killed the bandits for her. <3 you, Wallace). Her desire for revenge could have been a really interesting plot point/slant too, but that, along with the above, just disappears as soon as the hero focus changes, and I think FE7 would be a lot more interesting if it offered you the whole game from all three perspectives. Lycia itself could be more interesting, more exotic, seen from a Sacaean perspective. As it is now, it's a conventional fantasy setting.

Then, there's the problem with her pairing endings. I'm not brimming with feminist rage or anything, but it seems a bit out of character for Lyn to drop all of her goals to marry Eliwood or Hector and hang out in Lycia, where she feels somewhat out of place, especially when the game makes sort of a big deal out of missing the plains. Kent is unobjectionable, and Rath... her supports with him don't irritate me as much as they did on first glance, though it seemed at first they rendered her in a weaker role. I'm a big fan of her friendship ending with Florina, because she goes back to the plains and finds happiness under her own power, so to speak.

This is just my interpretation of her character, but I don't think Lyn would be able to adjust to Caelin, or the standards of life in Lycia. I don't care how open-minded Eliwood or Hector can be; that would be a life spent bearing up under racial prejudices, trying to be something she's not, and ignoring her desires (to go home, to avenge her parents). I can't see her willing to put up with that. Also, she's really, really wrapped up in the revenge thing. She's wrapped up in the parent/family thing - her supports with Wil and Wallace are some of the most revealing text about her character, and second to them are her supports with Florina, who seems to be the only person with which she's truly herself.

Other characters describe Lyn as "like the wind;" graceful - independent, sometimes playful, sometimes solitary, and always free. While I don't think tribal culture in Sacae offers her total freedom based on what she says about the Lorca and information given in FE6, I think it would allow her more freedom than Lycia, whether she gets married or not, and this is why I favor her solo ending, or the Florina ending. She can go places after those endings - she can still go find Rath, or Kent, or join another tribe, or get her revenge. She can be herself. And besides-- she was born and raised there. It's the environment she's most comfortable in, that she's skilled in handling, and able to survive in by herself. (Whether you think she's good at the surviving part is another story.) Her endings with Eliwood and Hector smell distinctly like endings that make a respectable woman out of her, so to speak.

So yeah, I'm dissatisfied with the way the game handles her. I should probably finish it before I bitch about it, but by chapter twenty-six, it doesn't look like Lyn's situation is going to change.

For the record, I'm not trying to say the game destroys her character - just that it ignores her potential. And, let's be honest - there aren't many female protagonists in Japanese RPGs. They had an opportunity here and threw it away. Micaiah (FE10) resulted in a similar farce. Sure, she heads the Dawn Brigade and forces you to use her wimpy friends during her chapters, but by the end of the game Ike is the real hero, because he's big and buff and manly, I guess, never mind that Micaiah is in a better position storyline-wise to deal the final blow at the end. Who needs logic?

EDIT: this was not meant to be friends-locked. Whoops.
Tags: public: fireemblem
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