mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Just to get these thoughts down in one place...

I don't know about y'all but I found little things about the way female characters were handled to be a very off-putting thing in FE13. I didn't like a lot of the Big Things in FE13 either but small disparities really got under my skin. At this point, the high-water mark for the franchise treatment of female characters looks to be Tellius, but it's worth examining the baby steps-- both forward and backward-- it took to get to that level, or even to FE6's level of female empowerment.

Spoilers for FE1-FE10 )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
I am seriously bummed out today. See, my most excellent spouse and I have some mutual friends we've known for about fifteen years. We all met on the same Usenet group in the late 90s and they, like us, became an item after a few years and have been together now for more than a decade. We've stopped by their apartment in the next state over, petted their cats, gone out to dinner, and maintained an online relationship through the years. They mean more to us than 99% of our friends from the brick-and-mortar universities we attended in those halcyon Usenet days.

Now they've broken up, for good, with the root cause being mental illness that's basically crippled one of the pair. It's terrible and sad and, given the length of time things have been crumbling, inevitable. Some people can't be fixed, or the fix is something that costs them the life they used to have. But it's just depressing as hell.

So, I will resurrect a post I started on last year, after feeling another overdose of fannish sentiment that Fire Emblem is aaaaaall about making happy love relationships. Whatever you think of FE13, that sure wasn't always the case. Here's some relationships that weren't built to last, and I don't mean relationships that were doomed from the start because of trickery or some other coercion (Hardin/Nyna, Arvis/Deirdre), or something like Lewyn/Fury wherein the supernatural is clearly at play. I mean relationships that people fuck up themselves on their own time, because of who and what they are. Fifty percent of this is old news to y'all because the germ of this post is so old, but two of these topics are things I've never harped on before that are at least worth a look.

Relationshippy spoilers for Archeanea, Jugdral, Elibe, and Tellius )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
All right. Tellius.

[Information about Nintendo of Japan script courtesy of [personal profile] amielleon ]

On the surface, it seems to be a big break from tradition, what with non-noble Everyman protagonist Ike and a world populated by beast-people and bird-people as well as dragons who aren't quite the same as the "manaketes" of earlier games. Despite these surface changes, FE9 and FE10 aren't as big of a departure as they look; in fact, I'd say that for their return to console gaming IS pretty clearly took a look back at the previous console era and returned to the SNES well for these games. The skills from FE4 and FE5 are back, as is the differentiation between Wind, Thunder, and Fire magic. Many characters are obvious echoes of long-ago beloved predecessors-- the relationship between snarky sniper Shinon and his green-haired apprentice Rolf evokes Archanea's Jeorge and Gordin, while layabout Makalov reincarnates loser-brother Matthis from that saga. The Jugdral character tributes are somewhat more subtle, though Micaiah in particular evokes FE5's Linoan on a couple of levels.

There's a feel of "old canon in a blender" to this despite the new distractions of 3D graphics and… cat people. 

Once more into the breach )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
No, it doesn't involve skanky herons. 

I don't think I've seen this pointed out... though I sure understand why it hasn't come up anywhere!  Originally I was going to reference it in my forthcoming Love & Marriage, Tellius-style post, regarding what's actually new and different in those games and what people just seem to assume is new and different.  Out of concern for tl;dr I'm deploying it here.  

It all happens for a reason )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
I was gonna do that fanfic meme that's been going around but my answers are boring and evasive.

On an IM the other night, Ammie dropped a revelation: Soren, in an "our world" modern AU, would vote Republican.

Fanfic and contemporary politics: You're doing it wrong )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
I'd been planning this for a while too, but... life.

And death!

Presenting Mark of the Asphodel's favorite Fire Emblem death quotes!

Read more... )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
What makes a "favorite" character?  In my case, it's kind of a visceral appreciation and not purely an abstract "what-if" meta obsession.  Put simply, I often know if a character (or pairing) is truly a favorite by how I respond to artwork.  If seeing a little fan-doodle or icon provokes a reaction in me, that's a beloved character.  If I see the picture, think "meh," and skip on by, I don't really like them all that much-- not for what they are in-game, or in-media.

I'm also skewing this list toward the characters who have a substantial amount of material upon which I can base my opinions.  I love Norne to bits, but she has, what, three lines of translated dialogue?  That's not enough to hang anything on.  

So, if this entry feels like a bit of a cheat, it's not.

I don't write 'fic about him.  I don't have complex meta posts about him.  I haven't played the second of the two games he's in, cause I rather dislike the first game.

But if you mentally give a power salute to virtually everything that character says on-screen, I think that makes them a favorite character.

Therefore, at #8... Soren.

He is so. )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
One thing I see Ike criticized for, a lot, is his distinct lack of prejudice.  To have Ike emerge from a world as screwed-up as Tellius with such an egalitarian attitude (especially when he grew up around people like, uh, Shinon) strikes a good many fans as unrealistic.  Fair enough, though really it kind of goes with the role of being the Game Hero, at least as far as Fire Emblem is concerned.  (Eliwood's own egalitarian bent could be deemed equally unrealistic, but I guess the "common touch" thing goes over better than "the not-racist in a totally racist world" angle.)  

It wasn't motivated by species hate; that xenocide kind of just happened along the way. )

TL;DR, cut Ike some slack, I guess.  At least in a big-picture sense, as you can still argue that the characterization doesn't entirely work.  But he's hardly an isolated case.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
#14:  Best Designed Character/Artwork

Design.  Interesting topic.  Of course, we have to suspend disbelief on the front end to accept FE designs; spikes on armor and long swirls of clothing and hair all invite immediate speculation on how they might harm the wearer in actual combat.   

Read more... )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 #10: Something you want to change in any of the games:

I'll narrow it down to a couple of things.  In FE8, I would've liked to see more differentiation between the routes-- have Glen and Selena each recruitable on one route, perhaps.  Have different "destinies" for the twins, with Eirika actually becoming a ruling queen after her route and Ephraim accepting his own responsibilities after his route.  Go for broke and make them two truly separate timelines instead of a sort of muddle. Also, some, ah, conversations or explanations or something with the bonus dead characters would've been interesting.  

As for FE11-- I like that game, really I do.  But if they were going to do FE12 as a "reboot" instead of a remake and throw all kinds of weird new material into the mix, then IS probably should've gone further and deeper with tarting up FE11... which might have made the fanbase more satisfied with FE11, and maybemaybemaybe encouraged NoE/NoA to release FE12.  Maybe.  Anyway, the juxtaposition of "remake" and "reboot" is very strange, and the presentation could've been more coherent.

Then again, if they'd tarted up FE11 with moe bullshit, I might not have liked it.  

By the same token, FE7 could really have been better integrated with FE6.


#16: Least Favorite Character

Ah, that's too broad of a question.  A character I despise because they fail me in gameplay?  An intentionally unlikable villain that I don't like?  An allegedly "cute" or "funny" character that gets under my skin?  

How about Roro from FE12?  WTF, man.  Just go away.  I mean, I'm not pleased with Aine and Kleine and the rest of Eremiya's Orphanage Kill Squad, but Roro is too WTF for words.   

Also really disliked Sylvia but I now believe that to be the fault of a skewed translation and should not reflect upon the actual character.


#27: Scene/moment that made you go RAEGQUIT

Spoilers for FE12, if you care. )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 Most of the questions on this meme hold scant interest to me, or at least I have no opinion on the matter.  This was a kind of cool question, though.

"What Country Would You Live In?"

I was going to say "Sofia" because life is there is totally sweet as long as Mila's running it, but Mila went bye-bye and now I guess everyone has to actually work for a living and till the soil for food and stuff.  So that's out.  Oh, and the king was a dick, but he's dead anyway.  And I'm not 100% sure all the zombies went away.

So, with that in mind...

Frelia.  It appears to be stable and prosperous, with a secure and capable king and a competent crown prince.  The Frelian outlook on life seems pretty sensible, the food there is apparently good, gender dynamics don't appear to suck as much as they do in some other Fire Emblem countries.  It's not a theocracy.  It's not ravaged by earthquakes.  It's not governed by Joshua.  I'm not 100% sure the zombies went away here, either, but all things considered?  Oh, and they have flying horsies.   

Khadein would be really interesting, too, but it's in a desert and I can't take the heat.

Places I don't want to live: Grado.  Duh.  Post-war Jehanna (hell, pre-war Jehanna doesn't seem nice, either).  Rausten.  Anywhere in Archanea with the possible exception of Talys.  Gallia (though the feeling would be mutual).  
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
First off, a word about marriage in general in Fire Emblem-- there seems a fair amount of evidence that formal marriage, though practiced across classes, is more of a concern to the upper and titled classes and that overall the inhabitants of Fire Emblem 'verses are quite comfortable with the practice of shacking up.

Read more... )

 As I said in the part about Elibe, the unconventional forces are the ones who carry the day.  They might end up remaking their continents from the family unit on up-- or, after a few generations, may just settle back into the ways of the ruling classes they decimated back in the war.  Marriage-markets, trophy wives, brothels and all. 

ETA: LJ's formatting is so jacked up these days...
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
So, today I went down to Lake Erie Metropark for the annual Hawkfest, a two-day celebration of our good friends, the raptors.  

I love hawks.  Even if they do show up in my yard and try to eat the squirrels and birds that we feed, the way a young female Cooper's Hawk wanted to yesterday (she missed).  I love them even more after hanging out with Peregrine Falcons, Red-Tailed Hawk, various owls, a Turkey Vulture that thinks it's a person, and an incredibly adorable American Kestrel.  Kestrels are like the budgies of the hawk world, dove-sized and darling.  This cutie made little chirps when her trainer gave her a spray-bottle bath, and puffed up into a sphere and began shrieking when she caught sight of a wild Cooper's Hawk that had just been released after banding.  

Facts about hawks:

"Hawk" is kind of a catch-all term in the US and UK, encompassing accipiters like the Cooper's Hawk, buteos like the Red-Tailed Hawk, falcons, eagles, and even buzzards.  Basically, it can mean "any bird of prey that's not an owl."

Buteo and accipiter hawks, compared with falcons, are clumsy as hell.  I have seen some hilarious "misses" by immature hawks that would've made me famous for a couple of seconds on YouTube if I'd taped them.  This is part of why falcons have the status as the preferred hunting bird.

Hawks have amazingly keen eyesight.  Scary keen.  Like, able to see a pea set down in the touchdown zone from the opposite end of an American football field.

Traditionally, "falcon" is a term for a female bird, while "tiercel" applies to the male.  (Take that, Falcon Sword!)

Female hawks are larger than the males.  Quite noticeably larger.  And often more aggressive.

Hawks that imprint on humans as hatchlings and learn to think of themselves as humans will select a human "mate" and fend off potential human competitors.  So do some other birds-- I met the "wife" of a Great Horned Owl today.  The owl got noticeably antsy if male humans came to close to his lady. 

They can learn a pretty interesting array of verbal commands, and recognize things like cameras.

Facts about ravens:

Ravens are awesome.  I need not say more.

Facts about herons:

Herons are predators, dammit.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Combining Tellius with the other worlds is a bitch.  

Anyway.  So, I've been toying with a serious take on It's All One FE World for months, and some time ago I thought about using the device of an interconnected myth cycle or something equally hazy.  Finally got there, or as close as I'm going to get.  At a certain point, I said "screw the research, it's all about myths anyway."

Brief story discussion )

With apologies to the Tragically Hip.
mark_asphodel: (Dead Heero)
 I'm still in screw-off mode.

"Paris, you pretty boy, you woman seducer.  Why were you ever born?"

This, one of my favorite quotes in E.V. Rieu's prose translation of the Iliad, is Hector's lament over the wayward and aggravating nature of his brother, Paris.

The Trojan Hector and Paris are amusing to me because, links to Sir Ector notwithstanding, FE7's Hector is named, well, Hector.  And Ike's original name was supposed to be Paris.  And, given that Ike was modeled on Hector, that makes him, in a sense, FE7!Hector's little brother.

And since girl-crazy Paris Ike doesn't work for me, I'm now imagining Soren as Helen of Troy.

Yes, you can hit me now.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 The spouse and I figured that rundown video game section of the San Leandro K-mart might have a game as old as Radiant Dawn new in the box.

We were right.

Fortunately despite the $49.99 list price, we got it for twenty.

Now I have to finish FE9.  Argh.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Spent the weekend "Up North"-- as in, without internet or cellphone access.  Very restorative, especially if you like sandhill cranes and bufflehead ducks, but there was a little problem of a mold explosion in one of the bedrooms that brought back memories of the chupacabra episode of the X-files.  So clearly we have an issue there.


Color me surprised that the royal UK wedding did not inspire a single royal wedding-themed 'fic in the FE section that I've seen.  I didn't expect a lot of them, but I did expect a handful.


I guess I missed the [ profile] magvel  comm deadline for the "royalty" challenge.  Just haven't been good with deadlines lately, or at least I haven't been able to write to them.   I had an idea that I'd been kicking around for about 18 months regarding Vanessa and her son, and again it just seemed like too much work to pull off.  Magvel is like that, though.  :/


My usually excellent spouse left the GameCube card with my FE9 file on it at the cottage, and we won't be up there again until Memorial Day Weekend.  Guess my plan to work on that is shot...


Dear fandom secrets anon: seriously, I do not bite.  It is perfectly OK to come here and talk.  There's a reason this journal is open to the public-- I like people coming in to say hi.  Unless you're a Russian spambot.  Those aren't welcome.  But real people from Russia and everywhere else are welcome.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 So over on [ profile] emblanon  there's a thread about the wtf-ness of Ike/Mia and if it all stems from fanboy self-insertion, which raises the issue of whether or not Mia is really fanboy (or fangirl) bait to that extent.

This is Mia.

This is default Female!MyUnit.

I rest my case.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 Ike/Soren is not technically a slash pairing.  Ike/Soren stories are not technically slash.

mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 Part Two: When Pairings Eat A Fandom

Now it's time for FE9/10... )

Stay tuned if you like for Part III: Canon, What Canon?  In the meantime, recs for good Ike/Soren stories are appreciated, and feel free to pimp your own.


mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)

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