Everyone Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

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#1 Edited by BIGJEFFREY (5054 posts) -

I mean the whole damn ensemble from XIII 2 is back? You've got Caius, Yeul, Vanille and Serah (I guess more time travel crap?) From the looks of it only Lightning/Snow/Vanille got a character design change which, come on at least give Noel some different pants. Also even Square hates Sazh, look at him in the back.

Also FUCK HOPE

FUCK HOPE

#2 Posted by Morningstar (2161 posts) -

Fuck Hope indeed.

#3 Edited by Soap (3592 posts) -

This game is going to suck, I can sense it already.

#4 Edited by TruthTellah (9092 posts) -

Fuck Hope indeed.
Online
#5 Posted by Petiew (1348 posts) -

@soap said:

This game is going to suck, I can sense it already.

Well, your incredible and well thought out criticism has convinced me.

#6 Posted by TruthTellah (9092 posts) -

@petiew said:

@soap said:

This game is going to suck, I can sense it already.

Well, your incredible and well thought out criticism has convinced me.

This game is going to rock, I can sense it already.

Online
#7 Posted by punkxblaze (2985 posts) -

@petiew said:

@soap said:

This game is going to suck, I can sense it already.

Well, your incredible and well thought out criticism has convinced me.

They're just supporting the notion of 'fuck Hope', but in a different sense.

#8 Posted by Sinusoidal (1506 posts) -

What is with the focus on Lightning? I finished XIII, I vaguely remember Vanille and Fang being important, I don't remember jack shit about Lightning... What a forgettable game...

#9 Posted by Petiew (1348 posts) -

@petiew said:

@soap said:

This game is going to suck, I can sense it already.

Well, your incredible and well thought out criticism has convinced me.

This game is going to rock, I can sense it already.

Well, your incredible and well thought out praise has changed my mind.

#10 Posted by StarvingGamer (8242 posts) -

Yeah man, what kind of shitty teenagers gets all emotional just because their mom died in front of them and they suddenly became a fugitive and were forced to fight giant monsters?

Online
#11 Edited by Soap (3592 posts) -

@petiew said:

@soap said:

This game is going to suck, I can sense it already.

Well, your incredible and well thought out criticism has convinced me.

Thanks, I aim to please :)

#12 Posted by believer258 (11911 posts) -

Yeah man, what kind of shitty teenagers gets all emotional just because their mom died in front of them and they suddenly became a fugitive and were forced to fight giant monsters?

This is the part where I look at my avatar and wonder why Hope couldn't have been more like him, what with all the fighting eldritch abominations and walking on eggshells while around certain bad guys in the government.

I don't want him to not acknowledge that his mother died, but he was so useless for the 8 or so hours that I played this game.

#13 Posted by gokaired (534 posts) -

Kinda miss that gunblade :(

#15 Posted by Zirilius (650 posts) -

@starvinggamer said:

Yeah man, what kind of shitty teenagers gets all emotional just because their mom died in front of them and they suddenly became a fugitive and were forced to fight giant monsters?

This is the part where I look at my avatar and wonder why Hope couldn't have been more like him, what with all the fighting eldritch abominations and walking on eggshells while around certain bad guys in the government.

I don't want him to not acknowledge that his mother died, but he was so useless for the 8 or so hours that I played this game.

He actually becomes one of the better party members to use once everyone gets together but his story is so god awful in XIII. I actually sort of liked older Hope in XIII-2 but not enough to make me forgive the sins of his past.

#16 Posted by Demoskinos (14835 posts) -

I seriously never have gotten the hate for the XIII characters. I adore them all. Super pumped Ciaus is back. He is my favorite Gillian in the final fantasy series.

#17 Posted by 34f3ecwdc3 (162 posts) -

Wherever Fang will be, there will be no sucking.

#18 Edited by Verendus (348 posts) -

My heart skipped a beat, for a moment thought this was about FFXIII getting another sequel nobody asked for.

"FFXIII-4: Everyone returns"

#20 Posted by Dixavd (1358 posts) -

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah! I wish this was coming out this year but whatever, I liked XIII and really liked XIII-2 (my favourite game of last year). Hopefully they don't completely screw up the gameplay simply to make it slightly different again 'cause I think they nailed it in XIII-2.

#21 Posted by phantomzxro (1577 posts) -

@zirilius said:

@believer258 said:

@starvinggamer said:

Yeah man, what kind of shitty teenagers gets all emotional just because their mom died in front of them and they suddenly became a fugitive and were forced to fight giant monsters?

This is the part where I look at my avatar and wonder why Hope couldn't have been more like him, what with all the fighting eldritch abominations and walking on eggshells while around certain bad guys in the government.

I don't want him to not acknowledge that his mother died, but he was so useless for the 8 or so hours that I played this game.

He actually becomes one of the better party members to use once everyone gets together but his story is so god awful in XIII. I actually sort of liked older Hope in XIII-2 but not enough to make me forgive the sins of his past.

Yeah, he was a bit cooler in 13-2 but i can not get over him being some kind of time lord just going to and fro in time. Sara and Noel are given the power to time travel by a goddess of sorts to stop fate, Meanwhile hope says screw it and just makes a time machine.

#22 Posted by Animasta (14691 posts) -

Hope was awesome in 13-2!

also I wonder what role Caius serves

#24 Posted by DonChipotle (2760 posts) -

I like Hope.

Fuck ya'll.

#25 Posted by Zomgfruitbunnies (787 posts) -

@donchipotle: Yea, you tell 'em.

Why y'all gotta pile on Hope like dat?

#26 Posted by Hunter5024 (5686 posts) -

Given the state of the world at the end of 13-2 I don't see how it's possible for every single one of these characters to be in here short of even more time travel shenanigans, and this just worries me that the plot is going to become even more convoluted.

#27 Posted by Slag (4388 posts) -

I don't get the Hope hate. He isn't my favorite character ever, but he seemed plausibly believable in 13. In 13-2 he became boring frankly, more of a one note chracter with no depth. Many kids his age probably wouldn't handle his situation in 13 much differently. Blaming Snow for his mother's death seems like a pretty normal thing for a privileged 12-3 boy to do.

I wonder if the criticism of him is because his portrayal hits a too close to home for some of us.

#28 Posted by Hailinel (24809 posts) -

@slag said:

I don't get the Hope hate. He isn't my favorite character ever, but he seemed plausibly believable in 13. In 13-2 he became boring frankly, more of a one note chracter with no depth. Many kids his age probably wouldn't handle his situation in 13 much differently. Blaming Snow for his mother's death seems like a pretty normal thing for a privileged 12-3 boy to do.

I wonder if the criticism of him is because his portrayal hits a too close to home for some of us.

Yeah. I mean, Hope does start off as an obnoxious teenager, but that's just the thing. He's supposed to be an obnoxious teenager, and he grows less obnoxious and more mature as the game goes on. He's actually one of the better written party members of the game.

Given the state of the world at the end of 13-2 I don't see how it's possible for every single one of these characters to be in here short of even more time travel shenanigans, and this just worries me that the plot is going to become even more convoluted.

It's pretty clear from the state that the world is in when Lightning awakens that time and space have been pretty fucked up, which is not surprising given how much it was toyed with in XIII-2.

#29 Edited by MariachiMacabre (7096 posts) -

After the negative response to XIII and the tepid response to XIII-2, it seems odd that they're going back again. Don't get me wrong, it's cool for those of you who like this series-within-a-series but it just seems weird that they keep trying with it.

#30 Posted by Slag (4388 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@slag said:

I don't get the Hope hate. He isn't my favorite character ever, but he seemed plausibly believable in 13. In 13-2 he became boring frankly, more of a one note chracter with no depth. Many kids his age probably wouldn't handle his situation in 13 much differently. Blaming Snow for his mother's death seems like a pretty normal thing for a privileged 12-3 boy to do.

I wonder if the criticism of him is because his portrayal hits a too close to home for some of us.

Yeah. I mean, Hope does start off as an obnoxious teenager, but that's just the thing. He's supposed to be an obnoxious teenager, and he grows less obnoxious and more mature as the game goes on. He's actually one of the better written party members of the game.

I agree completely. Likability is not essential to being a well written character.

#31 Posted by Slag (4388 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@slag said:

I don't get the Hope hate. He isn't my favorite character ever, but he seemed plausibly believable in 13. In 13-2 he became boring frankly, more of a one note chracter with no depth. Many kids his age probably wouldn't handle his situation in 13 much differently. Blaming Snow for his mother's death seems like a pretty normal thing for a privileged 12-3 boy to do.

I wonder if the criticism of him is because his portrayal hits a too close to home for some of us.

Yeah. I mean, Hope does start off as an obnoxious teenager, but that's just the thing. He's supposed to be an obnoxious teenager, and he grows less obnoxious and more mature as the game goes on. He's actually one of the better written party members of the game.

I agree completely. Likability is not essential to being a well written character.

#32 Posted by Hailinel (24809 posts) -

After the negative response to XIII and the tepid response to XIII-2, it seems odd that they're going back again. Don't get me wrong, it's cool for those of you who like this series-within-a-series but it just seems weird that they keep trying with it.

A third game was pretty much a given with the way that XIII-2 ended on a cliffhanger. Admittedly, XIII-2 was also an unnecessary game, as XIII wrapped up its story nicely, but it was developed with the intent to basically address all of the mechanical issues people had with XIII (the lack of explorable maps, the linear leveling system, and so on). Also, with the way that the entire Fabula Noval Crystallis concept built around XIII sort of went off the rails, it's nice to see that they were able to salvage something for fans of the game and characters.

#33 Posted by Hunter5024 (5686 posts) -

@slag said:

@hailinel said:

@slag said:

I don't get the Hope hate. He isn't my favorite character ever, but he seemed plausibly believable in 13. In 13-2 he became boring frankly, more of a one note chracter with no depth. Many kids his age probably wouldn't handle his situation in 13 much differently. Blaming Snow for his mother's death seems like a pretty normal thing for a privileged 12-3 boy to do.

I wonder if the criticism of him is because his portrayal hits a too close to home for some of us.

Yeah. I mean, Hope does start off as an obnoxious teenager, but that's just the thing. He's supposed to be an obnoxious teenager, and he grows less obnoxious and more mature as the game goes on. He's actually one of the better written party members of the game.

I agree completely. Likability is not essential to being a well written character.

I agree with this, but if you don't make a character likable then well... people won't like him. He acts like a whiny jerk all the time, of course people hate him, whether his behavior is justified or not.

Plus I really don't think it's possible to interpret Nora's death as Snow's fault, even in his emotional state, it was a huge stretch. All Snow did was ask some people to fight back in a situation where they very easily could have lost their lives whether they did or not. Even after she volunteered, he asked if she was sure, which he didn't do for anyone else. He even shouted "NOOO!" when she fell, and even if Hope didn't hear that, it's clear from what he saw that Snow tried to save her. Even if Hope was just bitter towards him over the situation, that would have been way easier to sympathize with, but Hope was straight up homicidal. He fantasized about murdering Snow over that, and we're supposed to feel bad for this kid.

Regardless of whether or not Hope's interpretation of the events was legitimate and regardless of whether or not he was actually a good character, basing such a huge emotional plot point on a dumb misunderstanding felt kind of like poor writing to me.

#34 Posted by Hailinel (24809 posts) -

@slag said:

@hailinel said:

@slag said:

I don't get the Hope hate. He isn't my favorite character ever, but he seemed plausibly believable in 13. In 13-2 he became boring frankly, more of a one note chracter with no depth. Many kids his age probably wouldn't handle his situation in 13 much differently. Blaming Snow for his mother's death seems like a pretty normal thing for a privileged 12-3 boy to do.

I wonder if the criticism of him is because his portrayal hits a too close to home for some of us.

Yeah. I mean, Hope does start off as an obnoxious teenager, but that's just the thing. He's supposed to be an obnoxious teenager, and he grows less obnoxious and more mature as the game goes on. He's actually one of the better written party members of the game.

I agree completely. Likability is not essential to being a well written character.

I agree with this, but if you don't make a character likable then well... people won't like him. He acts like a whiny jerk all the time, of course people hate him, whether his behavior is justified or not.

Plus I really don't think it's possible to interpret Nora's death as Snow's fault, even in his emotional state, it was a huge stretch. All Snow did was ask some people to fight back in a situation where they very easily could have lost their lives whether they did or not. Even after she volunteered, he asked if she was sure, which he didn't do for anyone else. He even shouted "NOOO!" when she fell, and even if Hope didn't hear that, it's clear from what he saw that Snow tried to save her. Even if Hope was just bitter towards him over the situation, that would have been way easier to sympathize with, but Hope was straight up homicidal. He fantasized about murdering Snow over that, and we're supposed to feel bad for this kid.

Regardless of whether or not Hope's interpretation of the events was legitimate and regardless of whether or not he was actually a good character, basing such a huge emotional plot point on a dumb misunderstanding felt kind of like poor writing to me.

Well, for an emotional teenager in a traumatic situation (battle was going on everywhere), it's easy for Hope to lock in on the fact that Snow was at fault for Nora's death. If he hadn't come along and encouraged others to fight, Nora wouldn't have volunteered and wouldn't have ultimately been killed. At least, in Hope's own mind. It's very possible given the circumstances that Nora could have still lost her life had she not gone with Snow, but Hope, in his emotional rage, never pauses to consider the alternative. He blames Snow for her death and wants revenge. It's a misguided desire, but teenagers aren't known for being the most rational in times of duress.

#35 Posted by Hunter5024 (5686 posts) -

@hailinel: I just don't buy that someone would think that way, and if they did, I'd think they were a sociopath, an idiot, or both. I get that his whole world was turned upside down and inside out, but the point where he abandons rationality in favor of a homicidal fantasy is the point where he's lost either believability or sympathy. I even would have excused it if he had tried to kill Snow right after in a fit of emotional insanity or whatever, but the first time he saw Snow after that, he didn't say a thing about it, he barely even objected to Snow being around. Then he harbored this grudge for days (maybe even weeks) while he was on the road with Lightning, that's plenty of time to consider the alternative even in his state.

#36 Posted by stubbleman (306 posts) -

After the negative response to XIII and the tepid response to XIII-2, it seems odd that they're going back again. Don't get me wrong, it's cool for those of you who like this series-within-a-series but it just seems weird that they keep trying with it.

I'm just going to throw this out there. I have a really good feeling that XIII-2 and Lightning Returns were made in order to try and recoup on the almost definitely redonk development costs for XIII. That game was in development for a smooth five years but was really put together in something more like ten months. That game's engine was an insane money pit unfortunately. I mean FFXIII probably wouldn't have turned a profit if it was making Call of Duty and Battlefield money combined. Then XIII-2 came out, offering a far better realized product and sold like, Medal of Honor Warfighter numbers. And that sure wasn't going to make their money back. So they're taking a third and final dip in the well to try and fish out a bit more money out of that gross escapade of an engine. But hey, it works for me. I can't wait to play Lightning Returns. This is all speculation though, of course.

#37 Posted by Hailinel (24809 posts) -

@hailinel: I just don't buy that someone would think that way, and if they did, I'd think they were a sociopath, an idiot, or both. I get that his whole world was turned upside down and inside out, but the point where he abandons rationality in favor of a homicidal fantasy is the point where he's lost either believability or sympathy. I even would have excused it if he had tried to kill Snow right after in a fit of emotional insanity or whatever, but the first time he saw Snow after that, he didn't say a thing about it, he barely even objected to Snow being around. Then he harbored this grudge for days (maybe even weeks) while he was on the road with Lightning, that's plenty of time to consider the alternative even in his state.

Or to just let the anger seethe and boil over the next time they met. I'm not saying that Hope was being smart. It's a purely emotional, immature reaction. Hope probably didn't get the idea of seriously killing Snow until Lightning gave him her birthday knife.

#38 Posted by Hunter5024 (5686 posts) -

@hailinel: Maybe. But I'm just saying even if you disagree with them, unjustified homicidal tendencies seem like a pretty decent reason for people to hate the character.

#39 Posted by Slag (4388 posts) -

@slag said:

I agree completely. Likability is not essential to being a well written character.

I agree with this, but if you don't make a character likable then well... people won't like him. He acts like a whiny jerk all the time, of course people hate him, whether his behavior is justified or not.

Plus I really don't think it's possible to interpret Nora's death as Snow's fault, even in his emotional state, it was a huge stretch. All Snow did was ask some people to fight back in a situation where they very easily could have lost their lives whether they did or not. Even after she volunteered, he asked if she was sure, which he didn't do for anyone else. He even shouted "NOOO!" when she fell, and even if Hope didn't hear that, it's clear from what he saw that Snow tried to save her. Even if Hope was just bitter towards him over the situation, that would have been way easier to sympathize with, but Hope was straight up homicidal. He fantasized about murdering Snow over that, and we're supposed to feel bad for this kid.

Regardless of whether or not Hope's interpretation of the events was legitimate and regardless of whether or not he was actually a good character, basing such a huge emotional plot point on a dumb misunderstanding felt kind of like poor writing to me.

I respectfully disagree, I think it was strong writing because of it. You don't see many depictions of people handling grief like that in games and yet that's a reaction that's pretty true to life for many people.

I think you're coming at too much from a dis-involved adult's point of view. It can be difficult to put yourself back in the mindset of pre-teen once you're not one, but they are often not that logical right away and many struggle with emotions now enhanced with hormones. It wasn't so much of a misunderstanding as it was a willful delusion of an immature mind. He believed what he wanted to believe, because it was easier to handle than the truth.

Many kids his age would struggle to process such a traumatic event coupled with a profound sense of powerlessness. It's easier to handle and digest if there's someone for you to blame than to just accept awful bad luck. That's what he did, heck many adults even do similar things. Snow was a pretty convenient target for Hope's anguish/rage since he asked for for volunteers and made some promises implied that he'd keep everybody safe (probably for morale reasons). Even though that was a completely unrealistic. And the fact that he did try to save her and failed, probably only served as further proof in Hope's mind that he was responsible. Plus Snow was lot less scary target than the Fal'Cie and their forces who were certainly actually responsible.

And yeah he did fantasize about killing Snow, but again that's something many people (not everybody of course) suffering intense loss would do. fwiw I've had the , misfortune I guess, to be around a lot of grieving people of all ages and quite a few of them reacted in similar manners to Hope to varying degrees. Life effin sucks sometimes.

re: the likability- I guess it comes down to people want good characters or good caricatures/likable characters? Unfortunately in entertainment audiences usually seem to prefer the latter and Hollywood and such usually toss those out because they know they are easy sells (Mario would be one in my book, but that's not a problem in his kind of games). I thought Hope was a good character, pretty fleshed out and complex, but given what he was going through he wasn't especially likable. I appreciated the risk Square Enix took by writing him that way, they could have gone the safe route and made all the characters likable like Fang, Sazh and Lightning, but they went for the better story instead.

#40 Posted by Hailinel (24809 posts) -

@hailinel: Maybe. But I'm just saying even if you disagree with them, unjustified homicidal tendencies seem like a pretty decent reason for people to hate the character.

There's a difference between hating him because he's meant to be hated versus hating him for being a terribly conceived character. Hope's depiction may be on the melodramatic side, but he's still a well-written, well-realized character that undergoes a transition over the course of the game from being a vengeance-driven teen with an immature, unlikeable personality to someone that is more mature, collected, and at peace with what's occurred. The people that Hate Hope with a capital H tend to not acknowledge that transition and picture him as the same emotional ball of rage for the game's entire duration.

#41 Edited by Hunter5024 (5686 posts) -

@slag: I can definitely acknowledge that your interpretation of the events is totally valid. I just don't think that's how they were trying to portray him. I don't think the writing in any other part of the game is indicative of that level of competence, vision, or cohesion. If they actually did intend for Hope to be an unbalanced teenager deluding himself into believing something as a coping mechanism, then I think the eventual confrontation with Snow would have gone quite a bit differently. As the scene eventually goes, it's actually much more about Snow's character arc, Hope barely says anything, it's all about Snow learning how to apologize. Maybe it's due to some cultural difference, but it seems to me like the developers genuinely felt that Snow was the one in the wrong, but personally I don't think Snow had anything to apologize for, in fact it they did everything in their power to make Snow come across blameless right from the get go. It's because of this clash between what happened and the way the characters perceived the events that the whole arc felt totally fumbled to me. It just seemed like they weren't willing to compromise on Snow's heroism whatsoever, and this made Hope's reaction just kind of ridiculous. Like I said though, I think your interpretation is totally reasonable, I wish I shared it because I'd rather enjoy the game then criticize it, but it just didn't come across that way to me.

As for the likability thing, I'm totally with you that a character doesn't have to be likable to be good. The tricky part is in order to get someone invested in a story, you have to make them care about something, and it's very tough to make an audience care about an awful person. I bet this is why you don't see a lot of unlikable protagonists. Those kinds of characters usually just work better in antagonistic or ancillary roles, and that's okay.

@hailinel: Like I was telling Slag, I don't think the developers ever intended for you to hate him, I think they intended for him to be a character you feel bad for and sympathize with, which is why I don't think he was particularly well written. I'm willing to concede that Hope is one of the better written characters in the game though. At this point we're just arguing over our individual interpretations of the character however, and I think they're both totally valid, so there's not really any reason to try and prove the other wrong, it is a matter of opinion.

Also I think maybe the reason people only remember him as the emotional ball of rage he was for the first half of the game, is because once that arc plays out, Hope pretty much stops participating in the narrative. By the time you get to Pulse his story is almost completely over with, and he doesn't have too much to say for the rest of the game. The same could be said of Sazh after his fake suicide.

#42 Posted by stubbleman (306 posts) -

@hunter5024: You made some really well thought out points. I'd just like to throw my two cents in on Hope and Snow. I think Hope's deal is that he blames Snow for getting his mother killed, since he was responsible with her life however slightly. And I mean, who else is he supposed to blame it on? And Snow has survivor's guilt. His whole 'I'm going to save everyone! Yeah! And then they're going to have a parade in my honor and give me a million -- No! A HUNDRED million dollars!' thing is his way of running away from his survivor's guilt. So he needs Hope around so that he can ask for forgiveness and get it, whereas Hope needs Snow to help him snap out of his creepy raper guy thing with flicking the knife and staring at the back of Snow's head all the time.

Really, the problem with the writing isn't so much that Hope is poorly written. It's that the opening is poorly written. If we all could have, from coming into the game cold, understood who these characters were and where they were coming from off the bat, then all that characterization in the early hours wouldn't have been lost and we all probably would have liked Hope well enough. But the opening couple hours are easily the worst in the entire game. They halfheartedly explain about half of the inscrutable jargon in the game, and it's not until like, a good six, seven hours in before any of it actually makes any sense. And by that point, all of the character development that's happened by that point is kind of lost unless you go back and watch all of it again.

It's also worth pointing out that Hope is important in other characters' development too. Lightning's character hinges a lot off of Hope's contribution to the scenario, as does Vanille. So while the story maybe stops focusing so much on him in the back half, it does start focusing a lot on Vanille and her relationship with Hope. So he's definitely still contributing, even if he's not the main focus. In fact, it's almost as though his name is just one really lame metaphor for how he gives each member of the party hope to go on through this trial or something. But of course, that just makes him sound shitty again...

#43 Posted by JackSukeru (5912 posts) -

Hope? I liked him.. mostly.

Immature characters tend to really speak to me and I thought his angst both relating to hating his father and clinging to his mother was Hi-larious.

That said, I never finished XIII and have no desire to play XIII-2 so I think I probably won't touch XIII-3 either, regardless of what it is. At this point I'm just waiting for them to move on from that world and those characters so I might be able to get into their stuff again.

#44 Posted by Slag (4388 posts) -

@slag: I can definitely acknowledge that your interpretation of the events is totally valid. I just don't think that's how they were trying to portray him. I don't think the writing in any other part of the game is indicative of that level of competence, vision, or cohesion. If they actually did intend for Hope to be an unbalanced teenager deluding himself into believing something as a coping mechanism, then I think the eventual confrontation with Snow would have gone quite a bit differently. As the scene eventually goes, it's actually much more about Snow's character arc, Hope barely says anything, it's all about Snow learning how to apologize. Maybe it's due to some cultural difference, but it seems to me like the developers genuinely felt that Snow was the one in the wrong, but personally I don't think Snow had anything to apologize for, in fact it they did everything in their power to make Snow come across blameless right from the get go. It's because of this clash between what happened and the way the characters perceived the events that the whole arc felt totally fumbled to me. It just seemed like they weren't willing to compromise on Snow's heroism whatsoever, and this made Hope's reaction just kind of ridiculous. Like I said though, I think your interpretation is totally reasonable, I wish I shared it because I'd rather enjoy the game then criticize it, but it just didn't come across that way to me.

As for the likability thing, I'm totally with you that a character doesn't have to be likable to be good. The tricky part is in order to get someone invested in a story, you have to make them care about something, and it's very tough to make an audience care about an awful person. I bet this is why you don't see a lot of unlikable protagonists. Those kinds of characters usually just work better in antagonistic or ancillary roles, and that's okay.

Just out of curiosity what did you think they were going for with Hope? I know he's partially in there just there is a young pre-teen for young Japanese boys to identify with, but I never considered that they maybe they were trying for something else entirely and failed that badly.

I wasn't too keen on Snow either, but I felt like mainly that was due to him representing a very Japanese character archetype (cheerful boisterous tough guy)that doesn't really resonate with my western sensibilities. I think @stubbleman nailed the rest of his character, seemed liked a pretty clear cut of case of Survivor's guilt (another thing you see fairly rarely in games).

you're right that's why you almost never see unlikable protagonists. There's too much money riding on these games for that kind of high risk creative choice.There will be times you play as horrible humans (GTA games e.g.), but they usually play them as likable in some fashion (power fantasy, witty etc). If Hope was the only playable character that would have likley been financial suicide for the game.

#45 Edited by Hunter5024 (5686 posts) -

@slag: I doubt their thought process extended very far beyond "cute angsty young boy." Maybe I'm underestimating them, but every interview I've ever seen Tetsuya Nomura in suggests that he doesn't put a whole lot of thought into the character concepts beyond the visual elements. So when I look at Hope I see them trying to take a stab at a Ken, or a Sasuke type character, attempting to use the source of his angst to tie him to the other party members and produce some drama. Only unlike the targets of my examples' revenge, with Snow they weren't willing to dive into any morally questionable territory. That's what caused everybody's disconnect with the character I think.

#46 Posted by Hailinel (24809 posts) -

@slag: I doubt their thought process extended very far beyond "cute angsty young boy." Maybe I'm underestimating them, but every interview I've ever seen Tetsuya Nomura in suggests that he doesn't put a whole lot of thought into the character concepts beyond the visual elements. So when I look at Hope I see them trying to take a stab at a Ken, or a Sasuke type character, attempting to use the source of his angst to tie him to the other party members and produce some drama. Only unlike the targets of my examples' revenge, with Snow they weren't willing to dive into any morally questionable territory. That's what caused everybody's disconnect with the character I think.

Nomura didn't write XIII. He had nothing to do with the game beyond the designs of the main characters. Literally, his only concern with that game were the physical appearances of the primary cast, and he created those designs based on the wants and needs of others on the project.

#47 Posted by Hunter5024 (5686 posts) -

@hailinel: I'm not going to claim to be an expert, so some of my details may be wrong, but as I understand it this is one big difference between JRPG and western RPG design. In the west, they're called Character Artists, and they're only responsible for drawing them, but in Japan, they're credited as Character Designers, because they're responsible not only for the character's visual design, but things like their personality, backstory, and mannerisms. Sort of like how the vast majority of american comic books have a writer and an artist performing their own separate duties, while the majority of Manga has the art and writing performed by the same person. I can't speak to whether or not that's true of this game (I think it is), but I'm certain this is how Square has done it in the past. There was a recent interview with Yoshinori Kitase about his work as the scenario planner on FF6 and how he had to juggle various staff members different visions for their characters while still stringing together a coherent story.

In fact this may be the very reason that the disconnect happened in the first place. Perhaps the character designer dictated that Snow wouldn't have done anything wrong, but the scenario planner felt the scene was an integral part of the story so what we got ended up being their compromise with each other.

#49 Posted by Hailinel (24809 posts) -

@hailinel: I'm not going to claim to be an expert, so some of my details may be wrong, but as I understand it this is one big difference between JRPG and western RPG design. In the west, they're called Character Artists, and they're only responsible for drawing them, but in Japan, they're credited as Character Designers, because they're responsible not only for the character's visual design, but things like their personality, backstory, and mannerisms. Sort of like how the vast majority of american comic books have a writer and an artist performing their own separate duties, while the majority of Manga has the art and writing performed by the same person. I can't speak to whether or not that's true of this game (I think it is), but I'm certain this is how Square has done it in the past. There was a recent interview with Yoshinori Kitase about his work as the scenario planner on FF6 and how he had to juggle various staff members different visions for their characters while still stringing together a coherent story.

In fact this may be the very reason that the disconnect happened in the first place. Perhaps the character designer dictated that Snow wouldn't have done anything wrong, but the scenario planner felt the scene was an integral part of the story so what we got ended up being their compromise with each other.

No, actually, you're dead wrong. A character designer is just the designer of the character's physical appearance. Much in the same way that the character designer for Fire Emblem: Awakening only designed the looks of the various characters based on the needs of Intelligent Systems's writers. Can the artists add their own design embellishments that the writers might adopt into the character's personality or backstory? Sure! But a character designer is ultimately beholden to the needs of the writers. It is not the case in any sense that Nomura dictated the personalities of the XIII cast or the direction of the story from his role in the development process. The game's designers came to him, gave him an outline of what they wanted, and Nomura provided it for them. Nothing more, nothing less. The story and characters were written by the game's actual writers, not the character artist.

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