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 Tales of Superfluous Characters

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Slivendiferious
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PostSubject: Tales of Superfluous Characters   Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:13 am

Because I value the quality of fleshed out characters and character interaction over the quantity, I've decided to start this topic once again.

Who are the less memorable Tales of characters? What characters don't really add anything to the plot or the game itself at all? Which of them could easily be merged together into a single, much more striking character?
How would you make it work?

For example, I know more than a couple of you feel indifferent towards Genis Sage at best, and have argued in the past that he either be merged with Raine or removed altogether. Some would have given her (?) Both offensive and healing spells, while others preferred a combination of the two, resulting in spells which hatm the opponent and heal your allies.

The apparent love for Hubert by our newest member, Dis, got me thinking. What if Richard and Cheria were merged into one princess while keeping Richard's plot intact. What if we then replaced Asbel's friendship with Richard by Hubert's friendship/ love with princess Richeria? Personally, I'm having trouble visualising how they would mesh together, but it is an interesting thought nonetheless.
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PostSubject: Re: Tales of Superfluous Characters   Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:06 am

Slivy totally wrote:
What if Richard and Cheria were merged into a prince while keeping Richard's plot intact. What if we then replaced Asbel's "childhood friendship" *cough* with Richard by his love for Cheria? Personally, I feel like the romance with Cheria was forced and disregarded Asbel and Richard's relationship. Richard clearly has feelings for Asbel, who, as a good little chaste hero, is completely oblivious to it and only ended up with Cheria because his mother pressured him into marrying and Cheria conveniently happened to be a girl he kinda liked. We were sooo close to a gay relationship without the necessary angst and scandals caused by them being *gasps* two guys.

Asbel and Cheria got married, she died in childbirth, Asbel went to Richard for "emotional support", they lived happily homo ever after and no one will convince me otherwise.

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PostSubject: Re: Tales of Superfluous Characters   Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:02 am

Slivy totally wrote:
What if Richard and Cheria were merged into a prince while keeping Richard's plot intact. What if we then replaced Asbel's "childhood friendship" *cough* with Richard by his love for Cheria? Personally, I feel like the romance with Cheria was forced and disregarded Asbel and Richard's relationship. Richard clearly has feelings for Asbel, who, as a good little chaste hero, is completely oblivious to it and only ended up with Cheria because his mother pressured him into marrying and Cheria conveniently happened to be a girl he kinda liked. We were sooo close to a gay relationship without the necessary angst and scandals caused by them being *gasps* two guys.

Asbel and Cheria got married, she died in childbirth, Asbel went to Richard for "emotional support", they lived happily homo ever after and no one will convince me otherwise.
Requoted for emphasis.

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PostSubject: Re: Tales of Superfluous Characters   Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:28 pm

I recently finished playing Xillia, and I'd have to put Leia in this category. For one thing, her artes are mostly stolen from other Xillia characters, she has very few artes that she doesn't share with other Xillia characters. A little uniqueness in that category would have gone a long way towards making her feel more important. She's also the last playable character you get, and kind of feels like she was a "we need to have at least 6 playable characters" character, rather than a character that contributed to the story's plot. You could have made Leia a NPC or taken her out entirely, and nothing would have changed that much.

I also hated how she was all "I want to be a nurse" and at the end of the game changes her mind. You could argue that was a good thing since it seemed like the biggest reason she wanted to become a nurse was to be close to Jude, but I would have preferred it if she realized she wanted to be a nurse to help people (regardless of Jude) rather than changing her ambition to raising a family. This just makes her seem even more Jude obsessed than she already was, and gives her less depth and less things she seems to want to do for herself. Besides, she could have easily have done both.

So yeah...make her a NPC or take her out and nothing really changes that much.

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PostSubject: Re: Tales of Superfluous Characters   Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:09 pm

Marissa wrote:

So yeah...make her a NPC or take her out and nothing really changes that much.

Have you seen the side quests with her in Leronde(?)? There is a bit more plot to her or rather that is, what I think, stuff they wanted to use during the story but hadn't the time to do.
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PostSubject: Re: Tales of Superfluous Characters   Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:47 pm

I did, and while I enjoyed them (especially ones about the food) they didn't really add anything new to Leia's character. For example take the sidequest where we find out she dropped Jude's birthday chicken for X years straight, even though she wanted to be the one to bring it to him to see him happy. All this really tells us about Leia is that she's clutzy (which can be seen in the after battle interactions with characters) and that she wants to see Jude happy, both of which were things we already knew about her. So while I enjoyed the sidequest (and learned they get chicken instead of cake on their birthdays) it didn't really add anything new to Leia's character. And we still could have this sidequest with Leia as a NPC rather than a playable character.

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PostSubject: Re: Tales of Superfluous Characters   Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:17 am

Saeko wrote:
Slivy totally wrote:
What if Richard and Cheria were merged into a prince while keeping Richard's plot intact. What if we then replaced Asbel's "childhood friendship" *cough* with Richard by his love for Cheria? Personally, I feel like the romance with Cheria was forced and disregarded Asbel and Richard's relationship. Richard clearly has feelings for Asbel, who, as a good little chaste hero, is completely oblivious to it and only ended up with Cheria because his mother pressured him into marrying and Cheria conveniently happened to be a girl he kinda liked. We were sooo close to a gay relationship without the necessary angst and scandals caused by them being *gasps* two guys.

Asbel and Cheria got married, she died in childbirth, Asbel went to Richard for "emotional support", they lived happily homo ever after and no one will convince me otherwise.

Nah son, Cheria doesn't have to die, she's just Asbel's beard. She marries him for legal purposes, bears him an heir, and then she gallivants off to continue helping the people of the world with her charity organization while Asbel makes "political trips" to Castle Barona to "visit" with Richard. ;) Cheria was willing to help Asbel out because she held affection for him as a friend, and maybe she did want to have a child of her own, at least once. (Because she can care for the child even if she isn't in love with the child's father, that's a thing.)

So Lhant gets its heir, Cheria gets to continue being more than just Asbel's forced love interest, and Asbel gets to have his affair with the king while no one suspects anything of it because, hey, he's a married dude with a kid, clearly nothing is going on here.

Win-win!

Aaaaaaaaaanyway, my answer to the topic at hand would have to be Regal in Tales of Symphonia. He could and should have easily been an NPC. Aside from my own personal gripes about his personality in the first game (he was actually one of the characters I felt DotNW improved upon--one of the very, very few), Regal wasn't really necessary to the plot in such a way that made him a necessary party member. I mean, everything he brings to the table story-wise is something that we would have gotten simply by virtue of having Presea in the party. Regal's claim to fame is that his girlfriend, Alicia, was used as an Angelus Project experiment and was turned into an exebula, thus showing that Regal (and Alicia) were ordinary people that were affected by Cruxis, and that Cruxis' reach is greater than simply those who have direct ties to it. That's fine, except for the fact that Presea is Alicia's older sister, meaning that we would have gotten that story anyway even if Regal had never joined the party. Regal could have easily been an NPC that you fight a couple times, and could have later gone on to reclaim his company (the fact that he went to prison in the first place is ridiculous, but I'm not here to argue about that) and help the party out from time to time when they needed things. Really, his entire story could have been wrapped up in the Lezareno arc, kickstarting Presea's character development/recovery. I mean, the fact that he is the one character you are never forced to use is pretty telling in and of itself (since by the time you get to Tethe'alla you almost always have more than four characters, and the one time you start dropping characters off (on the way to the Hall of the Great Seed) he is the first to go while Presea is second to last, meaning that there is a point in which you have to have her in your party).

So yes, Regal definitely should have been NPC'd. He brought nothing new to the table (especially given that his story was just a mirror of Kratos', fridged love interest and all), and it isn't as if he was ever necessary to use in battle, either. He could have stayed in Lezareno and the game would not have suffered for it in the least bit.

Oh, but one last thing:

Marissa wrote:
I also hated how she was all "I want to be a nurse" and at the end of the game changes her mind. You could argue that was a good thing since it seemed like the biggest reason she wanted to become a nurse was to be close to Jude, but I would have preferred it if she realized she wanted to be a nurse to help people (regardless of Jude) rather than changing her ambition to raising a family. This just makes her seem even more Jude obsessed than she already was, and gives her less depth and less things she seems to want to do for herself. Besides, she could have easily have done both.

So yeah...make her a NPC or take her out and nothing really changes that much.

The Hamil Incident on Jude's side would have changed a great deal. He would have been completely S.O.L. if not for her.

That said, the last arc in general was super damaging to Leia's character, tbh. Before that point, while there were vague hints here or there that she had feelings for Jude, it was clear that she thought about other things/had other ambitions as well. (For instance, in a conversation on Milla's side she tells Milla that the reason why she wanted to come along was to learn more about aspyrixes/spyrixes, since one helped her heal when she was young. That subplot is completely forgotten as the agme goes on, though.) But in the last arc, instead of addressing the things that are actually important to Leia's character--her continuing self-confidence issues, what happened with Alvin in Hamil, etc--we instead get her going on and on about her feelings for Jude, having entire conversations about her feelings for Jude with Rowen, etc. Leia is more than her crush, she was more than her crush for most of the game (and honestly, her interactions with Jude read a lot more like brother-and-sister to me for 90% of the game), and honestly the last arc felt like the writers said, "Hey! We forgot to have a girl crushing on/obsessing on the main hero! Quick, ramp that up in Leia!" It just felt very unnatural.

That said, keep in mind that Leia is a fifteen year old girl, so I don't think she should be harshed on for changing her life's ambition too much. It's true that people are very, very mature at very, very young ages in this universe, but Leia seems like a realistic portrayal of a fifteen year old imo, so her changing her mind on what she wants to do with semi-frequency is something I actually enjoyed. (She's a reporter by the start of X2, anyway--and that's not a spoiler, it was in the promotional materials--so it's clear she doesn't really stick with the "starting a family" bit. She's going to cycle through life ambitions for awhile until she finds one that suits her, I'm sure.)
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PostSubject: Re: Tales of Superfluous Characters   Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:19 am

Marissa wrote:
All this really tells us about Leia is that she's clutzy (which can be seen in the after battle interactions with characters) and that she wants to see Jude happy, both of which were things we already knew about her.

I meant a different and easy to miss one  Smile
I think it was "Jude's Substitute". It has three or four parts and explains Leia's "illness" better and a few other things about her and the Spyrix.
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PostSubject: Re: Tales of Superfluous Characters   Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:48 am

I did all the sidequests available on Milla's playthrough except the golden mage knight (didn't feel like going back and doing it) the one with the black feathers (didn't have enough of them by the end of the game and don't want to search for them forever) and Leia's failure (which I, ironically, failed).  I mean, I know that sidequest tells you how she got injured because of the spyrix, but I honestly felt like that explained more about Jude (considering what you learn about his dad) than it did to shed more light on Leia.  I haven't done Jude's playthrough though, so maybe that would put her in a better light.

As for Regal...wasn't he also the only character in the gamecube version without a unison attack combo?  I can see how that would make him seem like and afterthought, and his and Presea's stories are tied together closely enough that you'd get most of the same stuff even if you cut one of them (and Regal probably would be the better one to cut as if you cut Presea you miss the thing with her crest and not ageing, etc.).  That said I still like Regal though, and I'd be sad if he was cut.

I feel like a lot of the characters in symphonia are superfluous at one point or another, just because the game seems like it has too many playable characters.  Nine is a lot, even if you only ever have 8 in your party at a time.  Having so many characters means certain characters hardly ever interact with each other.  Sheena almost never has meaningful dialouge with Regal and Presea.  Kratos has almost no meaningful dialouge with Regal and Presea.  Genis almost never talks to Sheena or Regal.  Raine rarely talks to Presea.  You get the point.
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PostSubject: Re: Tales of Superfluous Characters   Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:55 pm

Symphonia did have an overflow problem, probably why 6-member casts have become the norm.  It begs the question, though, does the game's making Lloyd the moral center of the game accentuate or alleviate this?  Regal, Presea, and the Sages feel much more at home when Lloyd is the vehicle to bring out their voices- all of which are valid and make the game better- where the overarching events usually do not need them.  Raine and Regal might be my overall favorites of the 9 from first couple playthroughs on, and for Regal at least I certainly have Lloyd to thank for that.

I've got a Symphonia-related one to throw down, and it falls under "How Dawn of the New World could have done better without even trying" banner (as opposed to "How could Dawn have been better by being a completely different game" banner).  It's Dawn, pondering it any more is 6 years too late, but I'll fenagle it to fit here.

Why did the game- and nearly every official Dawn-related thing that was not drawn by Okamura himself, bless him- insist so mightily on separating its own characters from the old 8?  It has almost no ground to stand as anything but a supplement to Symphonia, and everything about it ties back.  I'm not talking about how they were introduced and then plucked away over the story, that was a wise choice to let each of them shine and mentor Emil and Marta in their own way.  That's the game's supplementary nature actually working, these new characters meeting the player's old acquaintances with their own opinions.  Rather, I'm talking bits like the resolution to the Alice sidequest going nowhere, or that Richter is practically a foreign entity to everyone but Lloyd.  When Alice calls out the old 8 has hypocrites, we probably could have had Collete- with her simple observations of people- deconstruct Alice's power-mongering completely and unmaliciously; then start up a heckuva skit conversation afterward that would have done something for Alice and bring her full-circle both from the original game and being the first old character the two meet.  Not to be.
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PostSubject: Re: Tales of Superfluous Characters   Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:22 pm

Saeko wrote:
Slivy totally wrote:
What if Richard and Cheria were merged into a prince while keeping Richard's plot intact. What if we then replaced Asbel's "childhood friendship" *cough* with Richard by his love for Cheria? Personally, I feel like the romance with Cheria was forced and disregarded Asbel and Richard's relationship. Richard clearly has feelings for Asbel, who, as a good little chaste hero, is completely oblivious to it and only ended up with Cheria because his mother pressured him into marrying and Cheria conveniently happened to be a girl he kinda liked. We were sooo close to a gay relationship without the necessary angst and scandals caused by them being *gasps* two guys.

Asbel and Cheria got married, she died in childbirth, Asbel went to Richard for "emotional support", they lived happily homo ever after and no one will convince me otherwise.

Scrawlers wrote:
Saeko wrote:
Slivy totally wrote:
What if Richard and Cheria were merged into a prince while keeping Richard's plot intact. What if we then replaced Asbel's "childhood friendship" *cough* with Richard by his love for Cheria? Personally, I feel like the romance with Cheria was forced and disregarded Asbel and Richard's relationship. Richard clearly has feelings for Asbel, who, as a good little chaste hero, is completely oblivious to it and only ended up with Cheria because his mother pressured him into marrying and Cheria conveniently happened to be a girl he kinda liked. We were sooo close to a gay relationship without the necessary angst and scandals caused by them being *gasps* two guys.

Asbel and Cheria got married, she died in childbirth, Asbel went to Richard for "emotional support", they lived happily homo ever after and no one will convince me otherwise.

Nah son, Cheria doesn't have to die, she's just Asbel's beard. She marries him for legal purposes, bears him an heir, and then she gallivants off to continue helping the people of the world with her charity organization while Asbel makes "political trips" to Castle Barona to "visit" with Richard. Wink Cheria was willing to help Asbel out because she held affection for him as a friend, and maybe she did want to have a child of her own, at least once. (Because she can care for the child even if she isn't in love with the child's father, that's a thing.)

So Lhant gets its heir, Cheria gets to continue being more than just Asbel's forced love interest, and Asbel gets to have his affair with the king while no one suspects anything of it because, hey, he's a married dude with a kid, clearly nothing is going on here.

Win-win!

I agree so much with you two X3

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PostSubject: Re: Tales of Superfluous Characters   Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:08 am

Patty Fleur from PS3 Vesperia comes to mind. The character is corny, has bizarre luck-based gameplay, and doesn't really add much to the game.
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