Fire Emblem: Awakening is a brilliant game. I’m not going to deny that. The manner in which it combines surprisingly compelling interpersonal mechanics, individual characterization, light strategic gameplay, and JRPG storytelling is certainly unrivaled in today’s handheld market. Nothing comes close to satisfying me the way FE:A does. One of the most moving parts of FE:A — if you play on classic mode, that is — if one of your beloved characters dies, they’re gone for good. This is huge. This makes me sad. It makes me leak.
This emotional response is a product of Digital Satan, a lie told by a devil computer to make me feel stuff. But all games are. My brain, however, knows this nifty little trick called “suspension of disbelief” — or, to some, “becoming stupid so you can be happy for a little while.” The more my brain does that, the more I enjoy a game. The less my brain does that, the more likely it is that a game is failing to completely engage my entertainment receptors. If I’m remembering that characters aren’t real, the writing isn’t hitting the mark. I’m fairly confident that this principle could carry over into almost every fictional medium.
Fire Emblem: Awakening, like I said, has amazing characters that can die almost instantly and disappear forever. In a strategic game like chess, you — normally — don’t have any sort of empathetic connection to the rooks, the bishops, or the pawns. In Awakening, the pawns have faces / lives / one-liners. You grow to love the pawns, and then the pawns are wrenched away from you by Digital Satan. You mis-position an archer? Whoops. You lost Virion, the narcissistic bowman. This hurts. This is designed to hurt. This should hurt you, the viewer. And it should hurt Virion’s friends, loved ones, and distant relations.
This technically works — it achieves a sense of emotional weight — but not in quite as beautiful a manner as it could.
Once the battle is over and the character’s absence is felt — perhaps not until the next battle begins — it is only then that I begin to realize that I’m feeling a tactical loss on top of the narrative loss. This is ludonarrative cohesion at its finest. There is no part of me that does not miss the deceased.
I’m still paying the game compliments. Your eyes are flitting back and forth to your 365 Cutest Cat-Themed Sudoku Challenge Daily Tear-Off Calendar, making sure that you’ve got the date right. Yep. It’s Monday. Yep, this is still the Monday Mourning column. Never fear: like seasonal depression in mid-February Minnesota Winter, the complaints are imminent.
After a death scene, the deceased’s loved ones move on instantly. This is a storytelling issue. An enormous storytelling issue.
All my emotional and statistical investment in the character meant something to me. It meant something to the other characters too, in terms of interpersonal dynamics. Even if Person A thought Person B was an outright buffoon, they were still a trusted ally. There was still a bond, even one as basic as the natural human connection that comes from shared experience. As the player, I’m supposed to be bothered that one of my fake people is gone. This is supposed to shake me. But when the in-game reality starts to subtly deny the fact that the deceased ever even existed, I become less and less filled with appropriate grief or regret.
In fact, at this point, the game almost seems to be gaslighting me. Rather than providing natural mourning dialogue, the game promptly moves on without mention of the party’s recent human loss. Nothing. Not even a montage of mourning. Not even a passing quip from one or two important characters. Just one semi-dramatic death script from the dying one before they are forever swallowed into Unmemory.
Awakening won’t let me connect in the way it suggests I connect. By providing the “Classic” mode, Awakening is setting a stage for the experience of meaningful loss. The game is perfect for such an interactive theme. And yet, the devil on the other shoulder of Awakening has you rubbing your eyes and wondering if you should just move on. This sabotages any possibility of It is for this reason that I am compelled to play on “Normal” mode — the one without permanent character death. I was completely invested in the mechanic. I was ready to fall in love with the characters. I was fully ready to lose some of them. I was ready to be part of a beautiful tragedy.
But the system fails to deliver. I love it, in theory. But in execution? In attempting to deal with death, Awakening is its own downfall.
Looking for birthstones for a special gift? Malak Jewelers has a large inventory of gemstones Charlotte NC relies for the highest quality jewelry at the best prices on the market. Start shopping and find the perfect gemstone now.
Searching for the perfect birthday or anniversary gift for that special person? For the highest quality and most affordable Charlotte jewelry stores shop Malak Jewelers for all jewelry purchase and repair needs.
Diamonds remain the classiest, most valuable gem for rings and other jewelry. For the best quality Charlotte diamond at the best prices, contact Malak Jewelers today or browse the expansive online catalog.
Diamonds are everyone’s best friend when it comes to gift options for that special someone. Send the right message of love with diamond stud earrings Charlotte NC trust from the industry’s most trusted source at Malak Jewelers.
Getting ready to pop the question? Just remember that the ring is the thing. Browse the wide selection of Charlotte jewelers engagement rings available at Malak Jewelers today to find the ideal expression of love.
Looking for something a little different for a gift that will stand out? Browse the online selection of unique jewelry Charlotte NC purchases from the industry’s most trusted source at Malak Jewelers today.
Need jewelry and accessories for the big day? Malak Jewelers has a wide range options for unique wedding jewelry in Charlotte that will mark this most important day with class and style.
What time is it? Can’t answer that due to a broken watch? The time is now to bring that watch in to Malak Jewelers for expert watch repair Charlotte NC trusts to keep their timepieces in top working condition.
Want to know how much those rings, necklaces, and bracelets cost? Malak Jewelers performs professional, accurate jewelry appraisal in Charlotte NC. Find out the fair market value for all items of all kinds and value.
What good is an expensive Rolex watch if it cannot tell time? Malak Jewelers performs expert Rolex repair Charlotte NC relies to keep their most valuable items in top working order.
Looking for where to sell jewelry in Charlotte to get the best prices and the fairest deals? Contact the jewelry professionals at Malak Jewelers today. Get the most money possible for rings, necklaces, bracelets, and more.
When computers go down, so does production. Computer Repair Plus offers expert laptop repair San Antonio relies on to keep computers going and online.
Nothing more frustrating than when computers go down. Experts at Computer Repair Plus perform professional laptop repair New Braunfels use keep computers of all kinds running in top condition.
In today’s digital age, when your phone goes down, all communication is lost. Technical specialists at Computer Repair Plus specialize in iPhone repair San Antonio trusts. Get cracked screens, battery malfunctions, and other issues fixed by industry pros.
Mobile device malfunctions are frustrating and stressful. Get fast, affordable iPad repair San Antonio trusts from the industry experts at Computer Repair Plus to get all kinds of devices repaired and online.
When Hiring an El Paso roofing contractor, residents can be certain in the fact that they are getting the best. Quality and affordable roofing services are what they strive to provide all of their customers.
Shopping around for professionals can be tiresome. When looking for roof repair, El Paso makes it simple. Roof Solutions provides quality and affordability.
Offering free roof inspections, and satisfaction guaranteed, Roof Solutions is among the top roofing companies in El Paso. From those minor repairs to a full roof replacement, they are committed to doing the job right and doing it right the first time.