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A Sometimes Food
Dec 8, 2010

Relinquish your foolish
delusions of control.





Estelle was great and I'd love them to do a lead like her again instead of generically nice bland fuckboys. Kirito rear end anime porridgemen.

Edit: Rean has his moments but he's still boring as poo poo 90% of the time.

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SyntheticPolygon
Dec 20, 2013



Endorph posted:

literally my only complaint with duvalie is that weird line in cs3 where she kind of has a crush on rean and its never acknowledged again, and the random bit towa has about angelica and george is way weirder than that so its forgivable

pretty sure that second thing doesnt come up in cs4 or hajimari no kiseki so i have no idea what that line was about. towa needs a diagram of what a lesbian is.

Dang, Crow has a line about that in CS1 and I was really hoping it was just never going to come up again. Which I guess it sounds like it doesn't outside of one other time, but it's still really strange it happens twice.

CubeTheory
Mar 26, 2010


I'm Taro Kitazawa! I'm going to draw comics in America!


Endorph posted:

literally my only complaint with duvalie is that weird line in cs3 where she kind of has a crush on rean and its never acknowledged again, and the random bit towa has about angelica and george is way weirder than that so its forgivable

pretty sure that second thing doesnt come up in cs4 or hajimari no kiseki so i have no idea what that line was about. towa needs a diagram of what a lesbian is.

I kind of took it as them poking fun at her for being into Rean, when it's less of a physical attraction thing and more of a respect/acknowledgement thing. I know absolutely nothing of 4 and have tried to stay as spoiler free as possible so I can theory craft with my friends, but it always seemed to me that Duvalie was kind of isolated from the bad side of Ouroboros. She idolized the Steel Maiden who was a savior, a teacher, and a saint to her, and also wanted to be a strong heroic figure, but was sort of slowly realizing that maybe they were the baddies and Rean was sort of the thing she wanted to be. Her blind faith in the Steel Maiden helped her to justify the bad things they were doing, because obviously if the Steel Maiden is doing them then they are good and right, because the Steel Maiden is perfect and great. She sees these same qualities in Rean, a person she is pitted against time and time again, and doesn't really know what to do with those feelings, especially as it becomes more and more apparent she is the bad guy.

Or maybe it's just anime being anime making every girl be into the main character, I don't know. The Steel Maiden always seemed like a surrogate mother to Duvalie, and I was never sure how I felt about her being so into her, but like, that's not even close to the weirdness with Elise, so it's not really something I give much thought. edit: I forgot about Laura, I think she makes a more interesting pair to Duvalie


Also it's like 4 in the morning I hope that was coherent

CubeTheory fucked around with this message at 07:58 on Oct 17, 2020

The Colonel
Jun 8, 2013

I commute by bike!


the saddest character in all of trails is the one lady in mainz who sees noel seeker and says "wow you're hot. Unfortunately, after seeing that you are a woman, my interest in you has vanished."

Endorph
Jul 22, 2009

I may not be as cute as the other girls, but I'm the best at arm wrestling!


CubeTheory posted:

I kind of took it as them poking fun at her for being into Rean, when it's less of a physical attraction thing and more of a respect/acknowledgement thing. I know absolutely nothing of 4 and have tried to stay as spoiler free as possible so I can theory craft with my friends, but it always seemed to me that Duvalie was kind of isolated from the bad side of Ouroboros. She idolized the Steel Maiden who was a savior, a teacher, and a saint to her, and also wanted to be a strong heroic figure, but was sort of slowly realizing that maybe they were the baddies and Rean was sort of the thing she wanted to be. Her blind faith in the Steel Maiden helped her to justify the bad things they were doing, because obviously if the Steel Maiden is doing them then they are good and right, because the Steel Maiden is perfect and great. She sees these same qualities in Rean, a person she is pitted against time and time again, and doesn't really know what to do with those feelings, especially as it becomes more and more apparent she is the bad guy.

Or maybe it's just anime being anime making every girl be into the main character, I don't know. The Steel Maiden always seemed like a surrogate mother to Duvalie, and I was never sure how I felt about her being so into her, but like, that's not even close to the weirdness with Elise, so it's not really something I give much thought. edit: I forgot about Laura, I think she makes a more interesting pair to Duvalie


Also it's like 4 in the morning I hope that was coherent
I definitely got the read Duvalie had a crush on Arianrhod. I mean, Duvalie's only like 22ish in CS2, it's not exactly that weird for her to have a crush on a mentor figure she met when she was like 14-15. If my read of the timeline is right anyway.


The Colonel posted:

the saddest character in all of trails is the one lady in mainz who sees noel seeker and says "wow you're hot. Unfortunately, after seeing that you are a woman, my interest in you has vanished."
lol

CubeTheory
Mar 26, 2010


I'm Taro Kitazawa! I'm going to draw comics in America!


Endorph posted:

I definitely got the read Duvalie had a crush on Arianrhod. I mean, Duvalie's only like 22ish in CS2, it's not exactly that weird for her to have a crush on a mentor figure she met when she was like 14-15. If my read of the timeline is right anyway.


Honestly, it's kind of late and I might be misremembering, and I'm quite frankly not going to risk spoilers to look it up, but I thought when they showed sepia tone flash back Duvalie in 3 when she met her she was a lot younger, 6 or 7, but I absolutely do not remember for sure. If she was 14/15 the crush thing makes a lot more sense, if she was a literal child it's a little weird but I'm still not really that concerned about it. I just want Duvalie to be happy, and I don't think that's gonna happen with Arianrhod!

The Colonel
Jun 8, 2013

I commute by bike!


also idk i like estelle on her own but my liking of her has been permanently tempered by how sky just kinda treats her weirdly and i have never really cared about joshua in any form so i don't really care for 90% of her character being tied to him and i think a lot of the best parts of sky are the parts where, they aren't, together

like on a basic level she's a more interesting character than lloyd or rean but in execution i think kevin is like. kind of. the only trails protag. who's ever 100% worked within the context of his story without any particularly annoying decisions around writing him

Endorph
Jul 22, 2009

I may not be as cute as the other girls, but I'm the best at arm wrestling!


CubeTheory posted:

Honestly, it's kind of late and I might be misremembering, and I'm quite frankly not going to risk spoilers to look it up, but I thought when they showed sepia tone flash back Duvalie in 3 when she met her she was a lot younger, 6 or 7, but I absolutely do not remember for sure. If she was 14/15 the crush thing makes a lot more sense, if she was a literal child it's a little weird but I'm still not really that concerned about it. I just want Duvalie to be happy, and I don't think that's gonna happen with Arianrhod!
was mostly going off the trails wiki that lists her date of birth as 1183 and the year she met arianrhod as 1198. Its possible the trails wiki is wrong, though iirc there's another line where Duvalie says she met Arianrhod '8 years ago' so I feel like she'd have to have been at least 10 when she met her.

Totally agreed on the second point, mind, and I def. don't think Arianrhod would reciprocate for a whole host of reasons, I just think Duvalie having a romantic motivation is kind of interesting for her character.

Endorph
Jul 22, 2009

I may not be as cute as the other girls, but I'm the best at arm wrestling!


The Colonel posted:

also idk i like estelle on her own but my liking of her has been permanently tempered by how sky just kinda treats her weirdly and i have never really cared about joshua in any form so i don't really care for 90% of her character being tied to him and i think a lot of the best parts of sky are the parts where, they aren't, together

like on a basic level she's a more interesting character than lloyd or rean but in execution i think kevin is like. kind of. the only trails protag. who's ever 100% worked within the context of his story without any particularly annoying decisions around writing him
josh is by far the worst trails protag and its bizarre people act like he worked on any level, tbh. like on a backstory/execution level he's sort of like rean but whereas rean is genuinely nice to the people around him to the point you can get why women would like him josh basically spends 80 hours negging estelle.

SyntheticPolygon
Dec 20, 2013



Starting SC has definitely increased my enjoyment of Estelle, I was expecting the lack of Josh to make an impact but like more's done with Estelle in the first chapter of SC then the entirety of the first game. It's been fun.

Though, i'm a good ways into CS2 as well and i'm still not really understanding all the complaints about Rean i've seen. Like, yeah he's kinda lame and there's some writing around him that's pretty obnoxious but he's largely fine I feel? Maybe something will click later but after probably spending over 100 hours with him he's alright. Not as fun as Estelle though.

Endorph
Jul 22, 2009

I may not be as cute as the other girls, but I'm the best at arm wrestling!


SyntheticPolygon posted:

Starting SC has definitely increased my enjoyment of Estelle, I was expecting the lack of Josh to make an impact but like more's done with Estelle in the first chapter of SC then the entirety of the first game. It's been fun.

Though, i'm a good ways into CS2 as well and i'm still not really understanding all the complaints about Rean i've seen. Like, yeah he's kinda lame and there's some writing around him that's pretty obnoxious but he's largely fine I feel? Maybe something will click later but after probably spending over 100 hours with him he's alright. Not as fun as Estelle though.
CS3 ramps up the harem stuff with Rean a bit but otoh the character whos the most forward about her crush on him is also my favorite of the new characters, so.

Mokinokaro
Sep 11, 2001

At the end of everything, hold onto anything




Fun Shoe

Rean really has two issues:
-he is kinda bland personality wise (and this gets worse in CS3 as XSEED punched up his script more)
-almost every female character fawns after him and it's completely unearned in most cases

Edit: /\ though I agree with Endorph. It's pretty obvious which character she's talking about. That particular character is just strong out of the gate.

SyntheticPolygon
Dec 20, 2013



Endorph posted:

CS3 ramps up the harem stuff with Rean a bit but otoh the character whos the most forward about her crush on him is also my favorite of the new characters, so.

I kinda figured it'd be something like that, just because i've seen a bunch of complaints about harem stuff but while I know there's a relationship system in the first two games the writing only really seems to push Alisa and to a lesser extent Towa. There's some stuff in a couple bonding events I suppose, and they always feel really out of place when they happen but most bonding events feel strangely disconnected from like the actual story.

E: Oh and Alfin's crush which is always pretty bad when it comes up.

SyntheticPolygon fucked around with this message at 08:33 on Oct 17, 2020

Mokinokaro
Sep 11, 2001

At the end of everything, hold onto anything




Fun Shoe

It's kind of funny. I'd argue 3 actually does the potential romance bonding events better even if they had to make Alisa X Rean semi-canon.

The console generation shift has them basically soft reset that part and it almost works out better for it.

kirbysuperstar
Nov 11, 2012





Joshua sucks so much goddamn

ZenMasterBullshit
Nov 2, 2011

Ziggy Hero!
Ziggy! Save! Everyone!



Eder might be the best party member in all of western CRPGs.

Every bit and joke with him hits so perfectly in Pillars 2. Aloth is like a good 25% fail rate on jokes landing for me and most of the new cast is still finding their legs at this part of the plot but Eder just always puts a smile on my face.

The bit at the very beginning where you flip off the pirate attacking you and the next text box is just "Eder smiles like he's seen an old friend". Yeah I missed you too.

Crowetron
Apr 29, 2009




ZenMasterBullshit posted:

Eder might be the best party member in all of western CRPGs.

Every bit and joke with him hits so perfectly in Pillars 2. Aloth is like a good 25% fail rate on jokes landing for me and most of the new cast is still finding their legs at this part of the plot but Eder just always puts a smile on my face.

The bit at the very beginning where you flip off the pirate attacking you and the next text box is just "Eder smiles like he's seen an old friend". Yeah I missed you too.

Eder's great because his entire narrative role is to be your buddy. He's got a backstory and motivations and all that, but he's really just there to be your himbo pal who is up for anything.

ZenMasterBullshit
Nov 2, 2011

Ziggy Hero!
Ziggy! Save! Everyone!



Crowetron posted:

Eder's great because his entire narrative role is to be your buddy. He's got a backstory and motivations and all that, but he's really just there to be your himbo pal who is up for anything.


And tbf his story stuff is done really well. This sweet earnest man struggling with this faith that was so important to him and his family and what all this means in the face of his god starting a war and now being a world striding colossus destroying half a country. You feel for the guy.

I am 100% defending him from Xoti's flirtations though. That is...that lady has Problems.


Gonna try and romance Kana's Sister because the idea of just showing up to their family home one holiday as a surprise tickles me.


EDIT: Boy this game is LOUSY with Critical Role VA's isn't it? I know the Cast of that first campaign is dlc but like, you can't go 10 feet without hearing an NPC voiced by Marisha or Sam.

Crowetron
Apr 29, 2009




ZenMasterBullshit posted:

And tbf his story stuff is done really well. This sweet earnest man struggling with this faith that was so important to him and his family and what all this means in the face of his god starting a war and now being a world striding colossus destroying half a country. You feel for the guy.

I am 100% defending him from Xoti's flirtations though. That is...that lady has Problems.


Gonna try and romance Kana's Sister because the idea of just showing up to their family home one holiday as a surprise tickles me.


EDIT: Boy this game is LOUSY with Critical Role VA's isn't it? I know the Cast of that first campaign is dlc but like, you can't go 10 feet without hearing an NPC voiced by Marisha or Sam.

I don't actually know how the Maia romance shakes out because the one time I tried it was the run where I sided with the New Blood pirates and she did not like that very much. Neither did Pallegina, actually.

But you know who absolutely had my back while I became the Pirate Queen of the Deadfire? My dude, Eder.

A Sometimes Food
Dec 8, 2010

Relinquish your foolish
delusions of control.





ZenMasterBullshit posted:

Eder might be the best party member in all of western CRPGs.


It's not even really close. Eder's just so drat lovable.

NikkolasKing
Apr 3, 2010





Eder was cool. As I said when I played POE earlier this year, he reminded me of Alistair as he's the clear bosom buddy character who is also far less morally ambiguous than all the other party members.

I kept him devoted to the Eothosian faith when I played POE1.

I also romanced Maia. I liked it a lot.

Inspector Gesicht
Oct 26, 2012

500 Zeus a body.




Maia would go for the bat for a Shark-man Henry Kissinger. Her realpolitik actions are very concerning.

CharlestheHammer
Jun 26, 2011

YOU SAY MY POSTS ARE THE RAVINGS OF THE DUMBEST PERSON ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH BUT YOU YOURSELF ARE READING THEM. CURIOUS!

Estelle and Joshua were the last Trails protagonists where they felt comfortable giving them actual faults instead of the next two being functionally perfect player ciphers.

Considering people here get mad Estelle dares to have a fault I guess I understand the shift but it makes me sad

Ither
Jan 30, 2010


Eder & Alistair are great buds.

More games should have companions like them. But gay, so I can romance them.

Clarste
Apr 15, 2013

Just how many mistakes have you suffered on the way here?

An uncountable number, to be sure.


CharlestheHammer posted:

Estelle and Joshua were the last Trails protagonists where they felt comfortable giving them actual faults instead of the next two being functionally perfect player ciphers.

Considering people here get mad Estelle dares to have a fault I guess I understand the shift but it makes me sad

I think what people don't like is that Joshua seems to be written as if the writer is unaware of his faults and thinks that being a low-key rear end in a top hat to Estelle is actually supposed to be endearing to the audience. Like, he's supposed to be a perfect (broody) boyfriend who everyone instinctively loves, but they paper over his faults without addressing them.

Endorph
Jul 22, 2009

I may not be as cute as the other girls, but I'm the best at arm wrestling!


CharlestheHammer posted:

Estelle and Joshua were the last Trails protagonists where they felt comfortable giving them actual faults instead of the next two being functionally perfect player ciphers.

Considering people here get mad Estelle dares to have a fault I guess I understand the shift but it makes me sad
My problem with Estelle isn't that she's impulsive and dense. Those are good things. My issue is that the entire rest of the cast points this out incessantly and vastly exaggerates how badly she has those traits, which makes them come across as assholes. Especially Josh, who's ostensibly supposed to be her love interest.

Some banter is fine, but Joshua acts like she'll get her head stuck in a plastic bag if he leaves her alone for five minutes, mocks her for not knowing things she'd have little reason not to know, etc. And again, this'd also be fine if you were meant to think Josh is an rear end in a top hat, but nobody ever calls him on it and this arc is resolved with Josh saving Estelle from the heart-attack inducing terror of Gilbert, a comedy relief butler with a submachine gun.

CharlestheHammer
Jun 26, 2011

YOU SAY MY POSTS ARE THE RAVINGS OF THE DUMBEST PERSON ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH BUT YOU YOURSELF ARE READING THEM. CURIOUS!

Clarste posted:

I think what people don't like is that Joshua seems to be written as if the writer is unaware of his faults and thinks that being a low-key rear end in a top hat to Estelle is actually supposed to be endearing to the audience. Like, he's supposed to be a perfect (broody) boyfriend who everyone instinctively loves, but they paper over his faults without addressing them.

I mean the literal opening is overtly blunt against that and she tells him off when they meet again but I guess people wanted them to sever completly?

I dunno people here are really weirs about Joshua in general

Endorph
Jul 22, 2009

I may not be as cute as the other girls, but I'm the best at arm wrestling!


CharlestheHammer posted:

I mean the literal opening is overtly blunt against that and she tells him off when they meet again but I guess people wanted them to sever completly?

I dunno people here are really weirs about Joshua in general
She tells him off for ditching her at the end of Sky 1. Their general relationship is never really questioned. Josh is less of a dick in Sky 3 onwards but it's still an annoying dynamic to have to sit through for an entire game.

And iunno. Sky 2 is meant to be Estelle coming into her own but it just never feels like she does at all. Schera or Agate lead her around for most of the first half of the game and she has to get bailed out by Josh, and then the rest of the game is mostly a group effort. There's moments where Estelle really takes charge sure but they're just that, moments. Heck, the entire reason the final boss is defeated literally depended on her having no knowledge of the plan for defeating him.

CharlestheHammer
Jun 26, 2011

YOU SAY MY POSTS ARE THE RAVINGS OF THE DUMBEST PERSON ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH BUT YOU YOURSELF ARE READING THEM. CURIOUS!

Endorph posted:

My problem with Estelle isn't that she's impulsive and dense. Those are good things. My issue is that the entire rest of the cast points this out incessantly and vastly exaggerates how badly she has those traits, which makes them come across as assholes. Especially Josh, who's ostensibly supposed to be her love interest.

Some banter is fine, but Joshua acts like she'll get her head stuck in a plastic bag if he leaves her alone for five minutes, mocks her for not knowing things she'd have little reason not to know, etc. And again, this'd also be fine if you were meant to think Josh is an rear end in a top hat, but nobody ever calls him on it and this arc is resolved with Josh saving Estelle from the heart-attack inducing terror of Gilbert, a comedy relief butler with a submachine gun.

Thatís just trails writing, they love hammering a point home.

I vastly prefer that to hammering the point that wow loyd/Rean, you sure are cool and attractive.

I wish I could kiss you

Endorph
Jul 22, 2009

I may not be as cute as the other girls, but I'm the best at arm wrestling!


I think the Rean thing is totally fine tbh. Like I get why women would be into Rean. Women in real life, are into Rean. They overdo it in parts (Claire is a big example) but at least it's an angle I can understand.

Last Celebration
Mar 30, 2010


CharlestheHammer posted:

Estelle and Joshua were the last Trails protagonists where they felt comfortable giving them actual faults instead of the next two being functionally perfect player ciphers.

Considering people here get mad Estelle dares to have a fault I guess I understand the shift but it makes me sad

I dunno man, I would personally say Reanís self-loathing is a fault that has repercussions and is actively toxic to his family, at least in CS1. Its not like, Estelle being kinda airheaded and spacey where those are definitely personality traits, but as much cool poo poo Rean has going for him (sick sword moves, kaioken, girls fawning over him) itís hard to read someone whose biggest enemy is themselves as a power fantasy, not to deny that he has those traits entirely.

SyntheticPolygon
Dec 20, 2013



Josh is bad because Estelle's a fun character but once you're out of chapter 1 in FC her only real arc is her relationship with him, and hoo boy is it real lame.

CharlestheHammer
Jun 26, 2011

YOU SAY MY POSTS ARE THE RAVINGS OF THE DUMBEST PERSON ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH BUT YOU YOURSELF ARE READING THEM. CURIOUS!

Endorph posted:

I think the Rean thing is totally fine tbh. Like I get why women would be into Rean. Women in real life, are into Rean. They overdo it in parts (Claire is a big example) but at least it's an angle I can understand.

To be honest after playing Zero I dislike Rean less now. I still think heís boring but I also just think that the series is just turning towards blander protagonists. Especially with the introduction of harem mechanics. You can just project yourself into him. Especially when his only real fault is he doesnít realize how cool he is.

Itís just a series at this point where I am going to find more enjoyment out of the side characters I guess. Like Juna in 3 is interesting if a bit underused

Inspector Gesicht
Oct 26, 2012

500 Zeus a body.




What non blood-related siblings are there who aren't set up to get in each other's pants?

Endorph
Jul 22, 2009

I may not be as cute as the other girls, but I'm the best at arm wrestling!


Honestly iunno if Rean is really a self-insert. I mean there's elements of that sure but Cold Steel was kind of designed to bring in more female fans, and largely succeeded at that. If anything the harem stuff might be a kind of self-conscious 'see, women, like this game, rean is cute' thing.

Clarste
Apr 15, 2013

Just how many mistakes have you suffered on the way here?

An uncountable number, to be sure.


I mean, I think Rean is cute. Rean is cute.

CharlestheHammer
Jun 26, 2011

YOU SAY MY POSTS ARE THE RAVINGS OF THE DUMBEST PERSON ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH BUT YOU YOURSELF ARE READING THEM. CURIOUS!

Inspector Gesicht posted:

What non blood-related siblings are there who aren't set up to get in each other's pants?

The royal family, weirdly enough

Terper
Jun 26, 2012




I would go so far as to call him, a 'snack'.

Nate RFB
Jan 17, 2005



Clapping Larry

Every Trails protagonists have their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to writing and I don't think any of them are like, actually bad. I like Lloyd a lot because I got really into the overall story in Crossbell and he becomes a big driving force in it, where the worse things get the more determined he becomes to do something about and not just let stuff passively wash over him. You might argue that he's less of a character in a certain sense than a stand in for the SSS in general and you might be right, but that works for me because the "relationship of the SSS to everyone else" is a strong heart for Crossbell to focus on.

Estelle has a lot of individual fun traits and bits, being very headstrong, eventually confident, and proactive. However the Sky games don't do the best of job of writing around her and characters like Joshua drag her down a lot. I think she is able to muscle through most of this in FC and still come out being a fun person to have a primary perspective on the events, and by SC due to circumstances she's given a better supporting cast so it strikes a better balance.

Excluding Kevin who is hard to really bring into this conversation, Rean I think does the best job of being a protag with actual flaws and a feeling of something he has to overcome internally. Estelle/Lloyd obviously have watershed moments of introspection but Rean's entire character is predicated on his debilitating lack of self-esteem and that's interesting. I think like Estelle he's let down by some of his supporting cast, but less so in that people are weird/lovely to him like Estelle and more that due to Cold Steel's huge cast and overall slow pacing it winds up feeling stretched thin and watered down. When combined with his romantic relationships being spread so far and wide, it doesn't feel like there's any one or even several anchors that would actually be needed to complement Rean's aforementioned negativity that (presumably) he will overcome.

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CharlestheHammer
Jun 26, 2011

YOU SAY MY POSTS ARE THE RAVINGS OF THE DUMBEST PERSON ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH BUT YOU YOURSELF ARE READING THEM. CURIOUS!

Endorph posted:

Honestly iunno if Rean is really a self-insert. I mean there's elements of that sure but Cold Steel was kind of designed to bring in more female fans, and largely succeeded at that. If anything the harem stuff might be a kind of self-conscious 'see, women, like this game, rean is cute' thing.

The harem stuff looks like it started with Azure, CS just expanded it since they expanded the cast so much.

So like I said I donít hate Rean as much as most of the things dragging trails down started with Zero. Rean sadly is more a victim of the poor direction than anything else

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