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.
When clients participate in Paramus pilates physical therapy, the results are life-changing. For those patients suffering from back pain and many pathologies of the spine, this therapy is highly effective.
A massage can help to relieve muscle spasms and strains. When you get a massage, Paramus Medical and Sports Rehabilitation Center can help to increase circulation to an injured area, relieve pain and stiffness, and reduce inflammation.
For those who haven’t heard of cupping therapy, Bergen County NJ can introduce you to the best. At Paramus Medical and Sports Rehabilitation Center, ask for their professional cupping therapy to draw out toxins from the body, which will help maintain optimal health!
Don’t look any further than Paramus Medical and Sports Rehabilitation Center for professional acupuncture. Wayne NJ can count on Paramus Medical for all of its successful acupuncture needs.
When searching for a place with optimal physical therapy, Bergen County NJ has Paramus Medical and Sports Rehabilitation Center! With a multitude of services to choose from, Paramus will be able to help with whatever is ailing you.
A great program to get into when you’re expecting is prenatal yoga. Oakland has this and many other services particularly for prenatal and postpartum stages at Paramus Medical and Sports Rehabilitation Center.
When residents are looking for Moving Companies, San Antonio company Econo Move & Storage & Storage is their first call. With employees that are handpicked and are required to have at least 4 or more years of moving experience, clients are reassured that they will be well taken care of.
Looking for cheap moving boxes? San Antonio, TX moving company, Econo Move & Storage & Storage has a variety of bundles to choose from that will help cover any packing needs!
Get top-notch storage in San Antonio, with Econo Move & Storage. All clients will no doubt be pleased by the storage services they offer.
Finding the best professional movers New Braunfels has to offer! Econo Move & Storage has all of the equipment they need to move every item safely.
When businesses are looking to hire movers, Boerne call the company they know they can trust. Econo Move & Storage handles anything from resident moves, to industrial moves. All employees having at least 4 years of professional moving experience, and are handpicked specifically for each job.
When looking for an Austin airport car service, Austin Prestige Limo is perfect for any special event. From proms to bachelorette parties, Austin prestige covers it all.
If you’re looking for a top-quality limo rental, Austin Prestige Limo services have everything you need to make your experience the best it can be. Whether it be for corporate services or personal ones, Austin Prestige will not disappoint.
Limo service in Austin, Austin Prestige Limo offers top quality luxury limos. Reserve first-class limousine service at affordable prices for any occasion.
When corporations are looking for a limousine service, Austin doesn’t disappoint. Austin Prestige Limo service has chauffeurs that are professionally trained, experienced, courteous and are always wearing formal attire.
When looking for an Austin limo service, look no further than Austin Prestige Limo! Specializing in events from prom to corporate events, Austin Prestige has the top quality luxury limos for any occasion!
If you need an orthopedic doctor San Marcos TX has the pros you are looking for. At Joint Pain Orthopedics, we can help with the shoulder, knee, and hip pain that’s been bothering you.
Can’t stand the thought of a hip replacement San Antonio? Joint Pain Orthopedics is here to help you manage your ailments in the smoothest way they possibly can.
If you are dreading your hip replacement Austin TX company, Joint Pain Orthopedics is here to help you feel at ease about your procedure.
Don’t cringe at the thought of a knee replacement Austin TX has the professionals you can count on, at Joint Pain Orthopedics, to ease your anxiety about any procedure you might need.
Austin orthopedics company, Joint Pain Orthopedics specializes in all kinds of treatment, operative and non-operative. We are here to help make things as smooth as possible
When looking for a top-notch knee surgeon San Antonio company, Joint Pain Orthopedics, specializes in joint replacement surgeries.
You don’t have to look for a San Antonio orthopedics specialist. Joint Pain Orthopedics specializes in all kinds of operative and non-operative treatments for whatever is ailing you
When looking for superb architectural design, Round Top TX has the crew you’re looking for! At Shroyco, you can count on excellent professionalism and top-notch home design.
A company who is professional and provides quality isn’t hard to find. Home design Round Top TX company Shroyco provides both!
Get quality remodeling – Round Top, TX company Shroyco strives to help you turn your home into your dream home!
Looking for a company to handle your remodeling – La Grange, TX has the professionals that get the job done right! Shroyco loves to create custom indoor and outdoor spaces that allow homeowners to thoroughly enjoy.
When searching for a company that handles design build – La Grange, TX company Shroyco specializes in new construction and restorations.