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  3. Iceman Ranks Every Tales Series Party Member w/Writeups & Prediction Prizes

User Info: NBIceman

NBIceman
1 month ago#31
Alrighty, let's get this show on the road. Best of luck to everyone that predicted - if you want to follow along with how you're doing, just use the link below. I'll be updating it as characters drop.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1P2noR8HDHRRGp0f2HtfuRstIxgu8vE2LECz5QNbBrGM/edit?usp=sharing

#95 coming shortly.
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User Info: Anagram

Anagram
1 month ago#32
I've only played Symphonia, and that was back when it came out. What's the best Tales game to play after it?
Not changing this sig until I decide to change this sig.
Started: July 6, 2005

User Info: NBIceman

NBIceman
1 month ago#33
You got your wish, Alanna.

#95 - Shirley Fennes (Legendia)
“The power to annihilate people is not something I’d wish on anyone.”

What a spectacularly horrible excuse for a character, let alone a main heroine.

It’s hard to know where to start with Shirley. Maybe that ear-bleeding squeak that she calls a voice? It’s been months since my last playthrough of this game and I can still hear her shouting “Senel!” in my head. And it was intentionally that way! It gets deeper when she turns evil, so the capacity to speak in a way that doesn’t have me cringing every time her mouth opens is there. This was actual voice direction.

Or how about the fact that her entire role for the first three-quarters of the main story is to get kidnapped over and over and over? And then it even happens again in the Character Quests when she’s supposed to not be deadweight anymore. It’s like a running gag except I’m quite sure it wasn’t meant to be anything of the sort.

Really, though, none of that matters. What matters is that she’s the only playable character in the series who tries to commit genocide. She tries to tell Senel she loves him roughly fifteen minutes after Stella dies, and when he (very reasonably) shuts her down, she decides life isn’t worth living and no one cares for her, despite the fact that she had a group of close to a dozen people risking their lives repeatedly to save her. I’ve seen people try to defend her by saying that the genocide part doesn’t come until later, because she didn’t really remember what becoming the Merines meant until it was too late. And technically, yeah, that’s true. The genocide part comes when Maurits, who is very obviously evil at this point given that he’s had no less than three complete monologues IN HER PRESENCE explaining in great detail his desire to rid the world of Orerines, somehow manipulates her into believing Senel never cared about her in any capacity. That’s equally as stupid and I don’t understand how it’s supposed to make her look any better. The truly amazing part comes in the Character Quests where she claims that Fenimore was her first friend. Not the guy who spent years putting his life on the line to protect her. No, the racist girl that spent most of her screentime screaming at Shirley for daring to associate with that guy. It’s maddening.

They try to wrap her up in this adorable little bow by giving her a cutesy design and making her all dorky in the Character Quests and making her the “Oh, I just want to be everyone’s friend and if we just talk through our differences I’m sure we’ll get along” girl and giving her an eventual bond with the other girls, and it just doesn’t work. Too much damage has been done. Sure, she’s not a jilted goddess on the edge of sanity anymore, but she is still a clingy, jealous girl for no good reason. And everybody treats her like she’s amazing. Like, why is she the one talking Chloe off the ledge during Chloe’s Quest? Chloe barely knows her at that point. Their relationship is somewhat heartwarming by the end, but the lead-up feels so forced, because everything with Shirley feels forced.

And she’s not even good in battle. Casters are worse than melee fighters in Legendia to begin with, and the attempt to make her a hybrid just ensured that she was especially poor. Most of her spells are already known by the other mages in the party and she doesn’t learn unique ones until veeeery late in the Character Quests.

She contributes nothing. The party is better without her in it, but it’s not like she’s a good supporting character or villain, either. She plays so many roles throughout Legendia and they’re all terrible. Her sister gets 2% of the screen time that she does and still manages to be a hundred times more interesting. Shirley is a truly deserving last-place finisher.

TL;DR: Laughable main heroine. Laughable villain. Laughable character in general. I stopped wanting to rescue her before too long. Makes almost every scene she’s in worse. Awful in every possible respect.
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User Info: NBIceman

NBIceman
1 month ago#34
Anagram posted...
I've only played Symphonia, and that was back when it came out. What's the best Tales game to play after it?
Different people will tell you different things, but I generally recommend Vesperia. Prevailing opinion nowadays is that it hasn't aged super well, and to be honest it never hit the highs for me that it did for a lot of people even in its heyday, but it's kind of the prototypical Tales game in a lot of ways and therefore acts as a pretty good litmus test for whether you'd enjoy more games in the series. It's nice and accessible too now that it's out on current-gen systems, and it's pretty similar to Symphonia in general.

Berseria is also a super solid choice, and I think most would agree at this point that it's probably a better game overall than Vesperia. It's just also not quite as indicative of the rest of the franchise, and even though it's been a good while since you played Symphonia it might be kind of a whiplash for you.
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User Info: Anagram

Anagram
1 month ago#35
I didn't realize any of them were out on Steam, that's actually helpful to me, thanks.
Not changing this sig until I decide to change this sig.
Started: July 6, 2005

User Info: pyresword

pyresword
1 month ago#36
I don't know anything about the game but I have to assume that Legendia characters dropping out this early is bad news for my prediction chances.

Also that writeup kind of makes me want to play the game...
Oh woops. Putting Advokaiser in my sig like this until I think of something more clever

User Info: NBIceman

NBIceman
1 month ago#37
pyresword posted...
Also that writeup kind of makes me want to play the game...
Legendia may be second only to Abyss in terms of its status as a polarizing Tales game, and honestly its cast might even eclipse it on that point as a lot of people have problems with Abyss that have nothing to do with the characters. It's something of a black sheep for the series with a lot of qualities that make it very unlike the rest of the franchise, which makes it really interesting. Sometimes in good ways, other times in bad ways.

In other words, I'd discourage formulating an opinion on it based solely off the last place finisher on this ranking!

#94 - Rose (Zestiria)
“But know this, Sorey: if the Shepherd turns out to be a force for evil that leads people astray, we won’t hesitate to kill you. Remember that.”

I sure hope no one was enjoying the early-game story or worldbuilding or lore of Zestiria too much their first time through the game, because if you were, I imagine you didn’t appreciate it too much when Rose stepped into her starring role and threw all of it out the window. There aren’t many characters that I’m familiar with in all of fiction that are given more narrative leeway than she is. Everything kowtows to her simply because she’s Rose, and it makes everything a mess.

First of all, vigilantes (which is exactly what she is, no matter how much Zestiria tries to dress it up) lose all of their intrigue when they’re portrayed as being completely in the right, and that’s exactly how she’s presented. “Killing is the wrong way to solve things,” Zestiria says, “except when it’s Rose, because she investigates her targets and she’s pure of heart.” It’s really made out to be that simple. She believes so fervently in what she does that she’s able to stay free of malevolence. Actually, she’s so pure that she even keeps Dezel from becoming a hellion. Other true believers in the game become hellions for literally that exact same reason, but the rules need not apply here. Because if they did, they’d lose the “Fiction Writing 101 - How to Write a Foil” dynamic where Sorey gives life and she takes it. Is that not just the most incredible and deep thing you’ve ever heard? How come the other Scattered Bones are free of malevolence, too? Are they also all pure of heart? Purity of heart must not be too special or rare. Or is Rose just so gosh-darned pure that she is able to bear all their sins herself?

The term “Mary Sue” gets erroneously thrown around a lot, and I often think it’s especially prevalent among uninformed fans of this series, but it fits Rose perfectly. Everything she does works out for her, her actions don’t have consequences, and the rest of the party all treats her as infallible. “She would never tell a lie,” says Lailah of the woman that masquerades as a merchant to run an assassins’ guild. Dezel and Zaveid wanting to kill hellions is treated as some incredible sin, but the girl out there killing people is so wonderfully suited to being a Squire that they simply can’t fall over themselves enough to recommend that Sorey recruit her. They even claim Rose is the one that makes Sorey more proactive, despite the fact that Lailah chewed him out for being too proactive when the journey began. It’s all just so awkward and forced and nonsensical.

The only reason she managed to finish above Shirley is that there are actually a couple of good aspects to her. I don’t completely hate her personality - she can approach being funny at times - and I actually quite like her design, particularly the Sparrowfeather outfit. Neither of those things even come close to making her anything other than an absolute disaster, and it probably says more about how terrible Shirley is than anything, but down here on the trash heap you gotta take what you can get.

TL;DR: Equal parts a vehicle for moving the plot along when that dang malevolence just gets too convoluted to work around otherwise and an inclusion that makes the plot an incomprehensible conglomeration of contradictions in the first place. We got this failure of a character just because Baba wanted to bang her voice actor and I don't think I'll ever quite be able to completely wrap my head around that.
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User Info: Xiahou Shake

Xiahou Shake
1 month ago#38
Holy crap reading that write up was downright cathartic. Rose is the most bafflingly hypocritical character I've ever seen in a work of fiction. I legit almost quit the game in pure frustration when she would act exactly the same as the villains and not only dodge any consequences but be celebrated by the party for being so awesome.

In any well written story, Rose's rampant hypocrisy would be thoroughly explored, but Zestiria seems to legitimately try to say she's not even in the wrong, auuuuugh what an awful character.
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User Info: Mega Mana

Mega Mana
1 month ago#39
Hahaha, yeah, I definitely stopped caring at all about the story once Rose became a fixture. Pre-Rose, the story was flowing fairly well, there was great concern over the malevolence and its effects on the party, and honestly it was getting super depressing at every turn. I can understand her inclusion as an attempted shot of hope and energy, but it was pretty storybreakingly silly. There were a good number of moments where her actions broke my brain not just because of what she did and how cheerily she did them, but the sudden lack of consequences and the muted reactions of the cast. Like, probably after the first or second twon with her, I just completely gave up on the story making sense, and you know what? I'm okay with that

I definitely enjoyed using her in combat (but everyone in Zestiria was surprisingly fun in combat) and right around the time she joins, everything else about the game loses momentum too. I still somehow like her, but I completely agree with her placement at the very bottom because she is the most perfect demon girl who is super pure and has her own guardian watching out for her always and is the best and most noble murderer.

But damn Zestiria combat was hella fun

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User Info: Alanna82

Alanna82
1 month ago#40
Thank goodness Shirley is where she belongs.

I never finished the character quests in Legendia (I think I did the first few) but Shirley was one of the reasons I didn't finish them. Because she is awful.
Don't mess with a Bunny!
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