I also really liked how FE10 managed its cast. It had one of its most gigantic, at 72 playables I believe, and it also didn’t have the benefit of supports, yet there was a tremendous amount of interaction between them that had some kind of bearing on the plot. Edward and Leonardo, though underdeveloped, were *part of* the Dawn Brigade and you definitely felt like they belonged there. Nobody laymen Nephenee and Brom serve the plot-important purpose of informing the queen. And so on. There are still a few random nobodies (cough vika cough) but for the most part, all the characters really have a sense of place.
Meanwhile, the Ylisseans let some random bloodthirsty Plegian join up, and all they want to talk to him about is training and the weather. So many wasted opportunities with the Plegians, man.
Things like this remind me that I still need to play that one.
And finish Path of Radiance.
Butyeah, there were a LOT of wasted opportunities with reams of characters in FE13—they got a lot of attention in the many supports (except Chrom and Sumia…) which was wonderful, but suffered in the lack of plot-involvement. Sully actually gets hit pretty hard for an Ylissean, she doesn’t even get introduced with the rest of the Shepherds. Only her arrival with Virion. (Kellam gets more lines than she does)
And, like Ammie says, the Plegians were pretty much ignored as when when there’s a LOT that could have been done with them, especially given they are some of the most culturally and socially dissonant characters you pick up, on top of other oddities (like, I dunno…. Henry arriving in a storm of crows and just deciding to hang out after informing them they are surrounded. Is that not weird to anyone?)
The way I’ve been thinking to compare the way FE13 handles characters versus the older game is this: in FE13, you are handed your main players with excitement, like “Look at these people, aren’t they cool?” while the rest of them come out like an upturned Green Army Men Bucket. You barely get an introduction or a reason to care about them before picking them up and moving on.
Most of the previous games (as I remember) preciously hand you almost every new person, like a special gift. Each one is unique—and they’re not all coming just because HOMG CHROM /dramatic swoon. Previous games had several people that were only recruitable via their peers. Guy comes because Matthew saved his life, Marisa has to talk to someone she knows, Rennac can be bought or dragged into things with L’Arachel. Tellius even had some BACKFIRING conversations, if I remember right, with Jill talking to her dad and Zihark talking to a laguz. (what a concept!)
I feel like blaming the Avatar for this, but as it’s one of the highest-ranked characters in the Japanese poll, I doubt we’ll get a change any time soon. It just makes me a bit sad.
Oh well. I can always draw stuff and make my own kind of bandaids for everything. :u
A word about the recruitment thing, as it struck me at the time.
Since FE1, there have been characters the Lord could not recruit. Caeda was your best FE1/FE3 Book I recruiter. FE3 Book 2 had loads of significant characters (Jeorge, Astram, etc), who didn’t give two craps about Marth and needed someone else to convince them to sign aboard. FE4’s most intricate recruitment/neutralization chain doesn’t involve the main Lord at all. And so on.
Where this started to unspool is actually FE11 & 12. Suddenly Marth can talk to all kinds of people who didn’t give a shit about him personally before— characters like FE12’s Jeorge, whose aloofness from Marth used to seem… IDK a significant part of his character?
[I love Jeorge and anyone who thinks they like snarky snipers or badass wandering princes should bow down in his direction thx.]
But even there, the characters didn’t lose their original recruitment path. They just had another option available if you killed Gordin or whatever. So much about those remakes seemed basically geared towards “Let’s still make this playable and winnable for someone who killed off everyone who originally served a unique function!” Which I guess is NICE, but…
But as much as it shames me as a remake defender to admit it, many of FE13’s worst points are things that got taken for a test drive in the Marth Reboots. :/
Including the Avatar.