#1 Posted by LackingSaint (1786 posts) -

I just finished the game and, after really REALLY enjoying it, found myself kind of bummed out by how flawed the execution of the epilogues were. I spent almost the entire game with Lon'qu before he died in the final encounter, only to find his epilogue consisted of "Died: Endgame". No story to tell, nothing he impacted in his death, nobody mourned him or spoke well of his relationship with them? It felt very deflating for all of Lon'qu's actions to be negated by his death, but I could let it slide with the reasoning "I guess HE didn't do anything after the game".

But why don't RETIRED characters get epilogues?! Are we to assume that because they had to stop fighting the war, they just stopped doing anything or having any relationships for the rest of their lives? I lost my long-time fighters Frederick and Cordelia late-game, and they got nothing! Why not just let retired characters have standard epilogues? They're not dead!

Probably my biggest issue; why don't female characters get epilogues if they got married? Characters like Tharja, Morgan, Noire, Panne, I genuinely wanted to know what they were up to, or how they felt post-game, but for some reason when characters are married, they get a single epilogue for both that always centers around the husband's exploits, usually with some cut-and-paste addition of "He went to X, and brought [WIFENAME] with him." That just seemed totally illogical to me, especially when the writers up until this point seemed to have no problem writing unique dialogue depending on what relationships the characters had with eachother.

I guess most of this isn't a huge deal, as the epilogue is a tiny, tiny thing at the end of the game, but it isn't the best feeling when an absolutely incredible character-focused game leaves you with a really messy end-text scroll. Anyone else have thoughts on this?

#2 Edited by Benny (1950 posts) -

@lackingsaint: Yeah it's weird. Lucina was married to my avatar so I didn't get to know how her story wrapped up either :|

#3 Edited by C2C (855 posts) -

I felt the lack of a story for the dead/retired characters was fine. It was a sorta slap on the wrist sorta thing for letting characters die off. In my first playthrough, I didn't marry a lot of the female cast so I got to see their own ending. Most of their endings had a variation of, "and so she ventured off into a quiet place in the land where she could do her character trait." So you really aren't missing out on that much character exposition. I agree that the epilogue stuff could probably have been done better, but I was actually pretty ok with it.

#4 Edited by Hailinel (24392 posts) -

That's just a standard way that Fire Emblem has always handled character epilogues. They have to survive through the end if you want to see what's become of them. That's part of why people often play the games with an obsessive desire to keep everyone alive rather than allow them to be thrown to the wolves.

#5 Posted by StarvingGamer (8135 posts) -

Dunno about dead/retired characters. What does it even mean if a character is retired? I honestly don't know, I had everyone alive at the end.

That said, some of the couples had epilogues that centered on the exploits of the female. I can't remember which ones now because it's been a while. I didn't have a problem with it. Considering how much writing there was in the game I understand them not wanting to go too crazy in the end. Having generally uniform couple endings probably reduced the amount of writing necessary to a tenth or less.

#6 Posted by Hailinel (24392 posts) -

Dunno about dead/retired characters. What does it even mean if a character is retired? I honestly don't know, I had everyone alive at the end.

That said, some of the couples had epilogues that centered on the exploits of the female. I can't remember which ones now because it's been a while. I didn't have a problem with it. Considering how much writing there was in the game I understand them not wanting to go too crazy in the end. Having generally uniform couple endings probably reduced the amount of writing necessary to a tenth or less.

"Retired" refers to characters that don't die when they run out of HP. They're kept alive for story reasons, but are too injured to continue participating in battle.

#7 Edited by LackingSaint (1786 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@starvinggamer said:

Dunno about dead/retired characters. What does it even mean if a character is retired? I honestly don't know, I had everyone alive at the end.

That said, some of the couples had epilogues that centered on the exploits of the female. I can't remember which ones now because it's been a while. I didn't have a problem with it. Considering how much writing there was in the game I understand them not wanting to go too crazy in the end. Having generally uniform couple endings probably reduced the amount of writing necessary to a tenth or less.

"Retired" refers to characters that don't die when they run out of HP. They're kept alive for story reasons, but are too injured to continue participating in battle.

One thing that was weird for me is Cordelia, Miriel and Cherche all died and were "retired", but as far as I can tell none of them had plot significance. Miriel and Cherche never even had kids. The only character I had that died died was Lon'qu.

#8 Posted by Dragon4234 (133 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@starvinggamer said:

Dunno about dead/retired characters. What does it even mean if a character is retired? I honestly don't know, I had everyone alive at the end.

That said, some of the couples had epilogues that centered on the exploits of the female. I can't remember which ones now because it's been a while. I didn't have a problem with it. Considering how much writing there was in the game I understand them not wanting to go too crazy in the end. Having generally uniform couple endings probably reduced the amount of writing necessary to a tenth or less.

"Retired" refers to characters that don't die when they run out of HP. They're kept alive for story reasons, but are too injured to continue participating in battle.

One thing that was weird for me is Cordelia, Miriel and Cherche all died and were "retired", but as far as I can tell none of them had plot significance. Miriel and Cherche never even had kids. The only character I had that died died was Lon'qu.

It's so that there's no timeline problems if you had recruited their kids, it's just a blanket application.

#9 Edited by Superkenon (1416 posts) -

Considering the completely crazy amount of dialogue they wrote for all the various pairing combinations, I can't bring myself to complain about them sticking to the standard fare for the epilogues. Besides, maybe I was lucky, but most of mine felt like they fit pretty well. And I could've sworn some of the husbands got that "single line" treatment.

The only thing I miss is the big fat scroll of every unit and their kill count, ending with the TOP FIVE. I know all the relevant information is still there, but...!

#10 Edited by LackingSaint (1786 posts) -

@lackingsaint said:

@hailinel said:

@starvinggamer said:

Dunno about dead/retired characters. What does it even mean if a character is retired? I honestly don't know, I had everyone alive at the end.

That said, some of the couples had epilogues that centered on the exploits of the female. I can't remember which ones now because it's been a while. I didn't have a problem with it. Considering how much writing there was in the game I understand them not wanting to go too crazy in the end. Having generally uniform couple endings probably reduced the amount of writing necessary to a tenth or less.

"Retired" refers to characters that don't die when they run out of HP. They're kept alive for story reasons, but are too injured to continue participating in battle.

One thing that was weird for me is Cordelia, Miriel and Cherche all died and were "retired", but as far as I can tell none of them had plot significance. Miriel and Cherche never even had kids. The only character I had that died died was Lon'qu.

It's so that there's no timeline problems if you had recruited their kids, it's just a blanket application.

So none of the female characters can die?

#11 Edited by Hunter5024 (5612 posts) -

The whole point of Fire Emblem is to make death have meaningful consequences, so that you're forced to think more tactically in order to avoid it. That means that you don't get to use them again, and you don't get to know how their story wraps up. Allowing characters who "retired" because you let them die was just a necessary concession that Fire Emblem had to make in order to tell a story. Before they started doing this, they had a major problem. They couldn't let crucial characters play any part in the story once they joined you, because they didn't know whether or not yours survived. This led to weird situations like in 6, where someone who has clearly been built up as the main love interest for half of the game, stops taking part in the story entirely once you recruit her. Retired characters not getting an epilogue is supposed to make their death as a unit still feel meaningful even if they still get to be in the story.

#12 Posted by Superkenon (1416 posts) -

@hunter5024: I don't think missing out on an epilogue really does anything to drive home 'consequences!' That's already served by losing the character as a combat unit. It's all fair enough, though, I agree... but at the same time, if they're going to stick with the 'retirement' concession, they may as well let them have their epilogue too.

More importantly, I think it's about time they dress up the "death" text, at least a little bit. It's obviously unreasonable for them to write a bunch of custom text for all the ways/places the character could die, but I'd like it to be a little more than [DIED: CHAPTER NAME], which just reads like a debug message. Since permadeath is such an integral part of this game, it's kind of counter-intuitive to make it look like you broke something if someone croaks.

Not a big deal to me either way, but hey. Cents.

#13 Posted by Hunter5024 (5612 posts) -

@superkenon: Well I think losing the conclusion of their story is just as important a consequence as the loss of the unit. There have been lots of units throughout the series that I thought had cool stories or personalities, and wanted to see how everything played out for them, but had no interest in them from a gameplay standpoint because they had bad stat distribution, or there were better units of the same class available or whatever. So if they died, it would still be upsetting even though they weren't particularly vital to my army, if I still got to see how their story played out though, I wouldn't be upset at all. Causing you to lose the epilogue and the unit means there are consequences for the narrative and the gameplay. That's what's so great about Fire Emblem to begin with, because while you're trying to decide the best way to use these soldiers, in the back of your head you know they aren't just soldiers. They're also fully realized characters that you don't want to die.

I'm all for dressing up their death epilogue however. If they choose to highlight the effect that their death has had on the world then it would only serve to make it more meaningful. Though theres already so much text in that game that I can't imagine writing double epilogues for every unit is the kind of thing they'd be interested in doing.

#14 Posted by Superkenon (1416 posts) -

@hunter5024: I do agree with the significance, but at the same time, it feels like their decision to keep them alive during the story is at odds with acting like they're dead in the ending. Just a minor quibble though. It makes sense to look at it more like a reward for keeping them alive.

For the deaths, I'd be happy even if it was just some generic string per mission. Instead of saying 'Died Chapter XX', saying 'perished in defense of Castle Grannvale' or some such thing. A tiny bit of flavor. Meh.

#15 Edited by Hailinel (24392 posts) -

@superkenon: That's just the way it goes. There's no reward in letting your units run out of hit points.

#16 Edited by Superkenon (1416 posts) -

@hailinel: Yep. I'll admit, I'm one of those guys likely to restart if I've lost a dude. It's... it's so hard to let go.