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Christian Symbolism in FFXV

Discussion in 'Final Fantasy XV - Spoiler Discussion' started by Ikkin, Mar 23, 2017.

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  1. Ikkin

    Ikkin ShinRa SOLDIER

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    I'm sure I've mentioned the Christian symbolism and parallels in FFXV at least a few times around here, but it's kind of difficult to convey the full extent of them in text. And so, I made a video! ^_^



    The short version goes something like this:
    • Most of the terms used for elements in FFXV's mythos are either directly or indirectly taken from Christian terminology.
    • FFXV's art and architecture is heavily influenced by the artwork and architecture found in Catholic cathedrals.
    • FFXV posits redemptive sacrifice as critical to salvation as a result of the metaphysical laws of its world.
    • The Starscourge is a very close analogue for sin.
    • FFXV's ending values the portrayal of passion and suffering over overt displays of courage and heroism.
    • The temporary shattering of the connection between son and father is given even higher priority than the physical pain of sacrifice.
    • FFXV conflates salvation, sacrifice, and marriage.
    • Noctis is deeply troubled by his sacrifice in spite of his ultimate obedience.
    • FFXV specifically portrays Noctis as compassionate towards Ardyn at the very end.
    • Noctis is a servant king who loves to fish. ;)
    • Regis and Noctis parallel Abraham and Isaac -- the father who is so faithful he is even willing to sacrifice his son.
    • Noctis being consumed by the Crystal and held until he is ready to fulfill his calling is reminiscent of Jonah.
    ...but visuals really are helpful for understanding where each of the connections are coming from. ;)
     
  2. Jubileus

    Jubileus AVALANCHE Warrior

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    Is it just me, or do most of the FF games seem to have religious undertones in them?

    FFX was my first one, and I was surprised that they called out religion so blatantly in that one.

    Made for a great story though.

    I was quite surprised Noctis was compassionate towards Ardyn at the end. Usually people would be full on vengeful.
     
  3. Ikkin

    Ikkin ShinRa SOLDIER

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    It depends on what you mean by "religious undertones," I guess.

    All FF games are full of allusions to various world religions -- that's where most of the summon names come from, for instance. But I wouldn't say most of them are particularly interested in engaging religion as a concept. FFX was really the first mainline FF to put religion front-and-center in the plot, with Tactics doing the same earlier as a spin-off and one of those "only-an-FF-in-the-States" games pulling the "You end up fighting God" card earlier yet. FFI-IX really didn't seem to care about religion all that much beyond the cool names they offered. It's only since FFX that the series has consistently put religious elements at the forefront.

    And, of course, there's a big difference between what FFX did and what FFXV did. From the perspective of someone who's kind of sick of the "organized religion is evil" trope, FFX was a little uncomfortable, even if its story was very compelling. FFXV is like catnip in comparison. XD;

    Same here! I was positive that that was what the game was working towards, and initially, I was almost a little confused that that didn't end up being the case. I'm very glad they didn't decide to go that way, though.
     
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  4. Storm

    Storm AVALANCHE Warrior

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    FFXV is the only JRPG i can remember where the guys actually accepts the burden of the gods without questioning; their faith along with luna's faith are quite commendable, noctis and luna are martyrs, they followed god's will till the end.
     
  5. Jubileus

    Jubileus AVALANCHE Warrior

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    Yeah they really went full out in making religion is evil in FFX. Wakka and Rikku's interaction made it even more shocking, especially as she kept lambasting Wakka for mindlessly following Yevon without thinking.

    I remember thinking to myself, "Wow. They're really going down this road? I wonder what the reception for this is gonna be like?"

    Tbh with you, I get the feeling that Noctis learned something about Ardyn to have made him more empathetic towards him by the end, but we just didn't get to see it (yet).

    There have been hints towards this, and I always felt that this newfound compassion for Ardyn by Noctis came outta nowhere (although it is a most welcome attitude since games usually end with protagonists hating the living bejesus out of the antagonist).

    Hints of this would be Noctis's compassionate tone of voice when the dialogue was triggered when he looked at the Mythos painting with all the King's, referencing Arydn's plight of having lived alone for so long, and him kneeling down next to Ardyn after he got owned by all the Royal Arms, saying he can finally rest in peace without any animosity.

    There's quite the disconnect and sudden change of attitude. It's subtle, but it's there, and isn't explained (yet).

    I'm thinking the part where Noctis reached an understanding of Ardyn's motives might have taken place during the 10 years he was asleep within the crystal (Dream World speculation), or after he reunited with the bros in Hammerhead. I'm thinking the latter.

    I get the feeling that there was meant to be a revelation after the gang reunited and headed into the diner, where they all talked about what they have learned. Or more specifically, Ignis telling Noctis what he learned after all those trips to ancient ruins to study the history of the world with Talcott.

    By game's end, everyone pretty much knew Arydn is 2000 years old and was a former King.

    We just didn't get to see the part where Noctis learned all of this.
     
  6. Storm

    Storm AVALANCHE Warrior

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    oh... Lightning Returns have strong christian themes, probably the most in the series, and paints god in a evil way.

    Bhunivelze is referred as the god of light, all-mighty; two atributes of the christian God, and even sends he's messiah (Lightning).

    i'll have to deal with spoilers here but: he's idea is to create a new world after the apocalypse, the problem is that for him humans need to lose their memory (and in result the memory of dead - which are considered impure by Bhunivelze); this is, apart of the memory of the dead thing, exactly like the bible says, there will be a new world and past memory will be no more.
     
  7. Ikkin

    Ikkin ShinRa SOLDIER

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    Same here. I mean, it's not exactly uncommon for there to be Chosen One prophecies that the heroes follow without really questioning it, but they're usually divorced from any meaningful religious connotations. Once religion gets thrown in the mix, the standard trope is "defying fate."

    FFX really benefited from crafting the Yevon religion from a number of different sources rather than taking aim too heavily at any particular real world religion. It's a lot easier to set aside a few surface elements and go with a "false god is false" narrative when the "god" in question is clearly fictional. Not to mention, it was kind of hard to argue that the Rikku-Wakka stuff wasn't earned when the Al Bhed were the victims of religious persecution.

    IIRC, no one back in 2001 said all too much about the game being potentially sacrilegious. Maybe it would have gotten a side-eye if it came out in the mid-'90s (remember DOOM? XD; ), but... *shrugs*

    I sort of assumed that Noctis' change in attitude towards Ardyn came from reflecting on what Bahamut had told him about Ardyn (and, in light of that, what Ardyn said about himself) for ten years. And Talcott did tell him a little bit about that Ignis had discovered.

    Now that you mention it, though... Tabata did say he wanted to provide Ardyn's side of the story, and having Noct learn about it while in Reflection would be a perfect opportunity for that. Maybe that can be the VR expansion. XD;

    The way Lightning Returns handled its religious allusions is one of the main reasons why I'm never going to play it. (The other reason is the "let's turn the interesting fantasy world into an AU version of our own!" ending, because forget that noise.)

    The FNC mythos was so obviously meant to be its own thing initially that grafting a bunch of Christian elements on Bhunivelze made absolutely no sense. And his most negative elements are cut from whole cloth anyway. Taking away people's memories, taking away their individuality, taking away their free will... that's not Biblical. >_>;

    I thought I heard somewhere that some of the more explicit allusions were actually added in the localization...? (And that the Japanese version had more Lightning/Hope shipping for some reason...?!)
     
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  8. Jubileus

    Jubileus AVALANCHE Warrior

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    In reference to Christian symbolism, I'm most interested in who the "Judas" of the story is.

    From what we know, it's pointing towards this "Izunia" individual.

    If so, I do wonder will they make the betrayal scenario similar to the one in the bible?

    I would be most interested in how the betrayal will be portrayed in FFXV.

    Obviously Ardyn would be "Jesus" (or affectionately named "Trash Jesus" by the female fandom since he resembles a homeless hobo) what with him being a celebrated and revered healer, being crucified, and having the very people he helped turn on him.

    This may be reaching a bit (or maybe a lot lol) but I'm wondering will something like The Last Supper be used symbolically? With the disciples and even Mary Magdalene being referenced?

    He did seem to be a bit too gleeful in taking Noctis's beloved by him. So another motive for revenge which has not seen the light yet?

    (This is theoretical musings after all and could be total bs xD)

    If we are thinking fully in terms of symbolism, perhaps Ardyn's apostles were the Kings who would be passing down the Royal Arms weapons to future generations?

    Edit:scrap the last one. You can't have multiple kings in one generation.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  9. SonOfEtro

    SonOfEtro ShinRa SOLDIER

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    He's very much his own being in... the Japanese version. It's the English version that gives him Biblical overtones (he's not "GOD" in Japanese but "the God of Light"). It's a classic localization clanger, like fudging the difference between "heart" and "soul", or by giving Bhuni his own voice actor removing the implication that Bhuni borrowed Hope's voice to talk with Lightning.

    Example: In Japanese haughtily tells Lightning to consider his "love" for humanity an honour as he is condescending to use Hope's body as an avatar to rule over them as one of them and thus reducing himself to their pitiable level, while the English version he wants them to "rejoice in the light ect..." which is much more High Church. Then all his talk of "benediction" in the final battle in the English version is nowhere to be found, and instead he's declaring that this test will prove Lightning a fitting equal/partner/figurative spouse(?) for him.

    @Ikkin, Hmm... While interesting and compelling, I must point something out. According to this bulletpoint article, XV's revamped cosmology core is built from Japanese mythology with Western elements, so it could equally be placed within the Japanese Shinto tradition.

    • While the Bibilical terminology is present in the English version at least (don't know about other versions) the Japanese version has terms that remind me more of Shinto/Buddhist/Taoist elements than Abrahamic lore.
    • The concepts of sacrifice, passion and marriage are recurring motifs in Japanese history and folklore. It seems to be one of the reasons the late Sengoku period is such a favourite subject for media adaption.
    • Forgiveness is also a recurring motif, as it is encourage to forgive and pity enemies so they may find respite.
    • The royal family being tied to the divine directly correlates with the origin myth of the Japanese Imperial line being descended from Izanagi-no-Okami through his son Susano. The broken father-son dynamic can also parralel the broken relationship between Izanagi and Susano, including how Izanagi retreats beyond reach and Susano is left to fend for himself.
    • The role of Susano could equally apply to Ardyn, as like Susano Ardyn was expelled from bliss in disgrace. His corruption and bitterness could also parallel the story of Izanami-no-Mikoto, who became Izanagi's bitter enemy due to a perceived/actual betrayal.
    • The Oracle parralels elements of the role of Shinto Mikos.
    • The Astrals fill the role of Kami (they are even called "Mutsugami"), while Daemons can be seen as Yokai (of which living corpses are a member if memory serves me right).
    • Starscourge is equivalent to Kegare, a self-precipitating negative force that requires effort/sacrifice to purge. Within this, Pitioss makes more sense if you remember that Izanagi had to wash himself clean of Yomi's stain after fleeing Izanami's wrath, so he was made unclean - something that could well parallel Ifrit and the "protagonist" in the Pitioss narrative.

    Of course some elements are still "Western", but several of the points above can go both ways.
     
  10. Jubileus

    Jubileus AVALANCHE Warrior

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    @SonOfEtro

    Damn that was a compelling post. You're making me want to read Japanese mythology now (not like I would know where to start lol)

    Yes, I do remember Tabata saying in an interview that FFXV took on Japanese mythology as a foundation for the story, but since I am not familiar with such, I couldn't make any connections.

    Your last point is particularly interesting :

    Definitely sounds like the base concept for Ardyn, and Ifrit and the Pitioss "protagonist"
     
  11. Storm

    Storm AVALANCHE Warrior

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    god in the bible is linked to light many times; Bhunivelze is also the main god of the FNC universe, and is adored by the Luxerion church (aka catholic).

    in the english version, he is also named god of light or radiant god.

    it's pretty clear the anti-religion agenda this time (basically humanity only achieves freedom when there's no god), i'm christian but i found the the story to be really interesting anyway; i love stories that deal with the metaphysical (if only had less melodrama lol)
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  12. Ikkin

    Ikkin ShinRa SOLDIER

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    Well, I don't think FFXV was trying to do a 1:1 recreation, so a Judas figure isn't strictly necessary. Even pure allegory has been known to skip out on that; the Judas figure in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe didn't betray Aslan directly so much as necessitate Aslan's death by being a traitor to his siblings. In that light, I'd suggest Ardyn himself as the Judas analogue -- he rejected what he was commanded to do and turned on the Astrals and Kings, and Noct has to die because of it.

    Ardyn's concept is far too focused on disobedience for me to see him as a meaningful Christ analogue. I think the idea is that he's trying to make himself such, but that it's more presumption than actual truth.

    Well, you do get a last campfire where Noct talks to his friends about what's going to happen before walking off to his death. =(

    Ardyn seems generally gleeful in doing anything that could spite Noct or the Astrals, so I don't think he needs a specific motive for that. =/

    I feel like, in terms of the compare and contrast the game itself provides between Ardyn and Noct, Ardyn being a loner is actually pretty important. There's that connection in Omen between Noct being alone and things going really wrong, for instance, and the fact that Noct has loved ones while Ardyn has no one is specifically pointed out right before Ardyn is defeated.

    One could still argue that the Lucii serve as that sort of parallel, of course, but it'd be for Noct rather than Ardyn. (And in reference to Noct, the Lucii comprise twelve ancient kings and his father.)

    I can't get over how bizarre that is. I mean, what exactly were they thinking? "Let's appeal more to Westerners by making the evil god that you have to kill more like the God they worship?" Bzuh?

    Condescending to take a human form out of "love" for humanity still kind of seems like a mockery of the Christian God, to be honest. >_>; On the other hand, wanting to marry Lightning is just plain weird and strikes me as having more to do with the director seeing Lightning as a waifu than anything else. =P

    Well, it's worth pointing out that the mythos has clearly changed since that article was written:
    • The article repeatedly mentions stuff about "Eidolons" (now Astrals) being involved in the creation of the world and the game explaining how the world was created, which does not appear in the final game (or its Ultimania, for that matter). FFXV is profoundly uninterested in anything taking place more than 2000 years prior to the start of the game.
    • The woman in the logo is described as the most important goddess in FFXV's pantheon, which can no be longer true given that the woman is now Luna.
    • It's mentioned that it was difficult to find a place for the classical FF monsters, which the final game found a very neat solution for in the Daemons.
    Anyway, I do think that there's a sense that FFXV's mythos was designed to feel familiar to both domestic and foreign audiences, at least initially. It's certainly not difficult to see how the Astrals could have been intended to remind the Japanese audience of Kami (even as Greek/Roman and Judeo-Christian elements are mixed in to get the Western audience on-board) and the Oracle was meant to seem like a Miko (even as design elements associated with Catholicism are also attributed to her). The decision to use familiar terms for each region could have been intentional, given that the localization director for the English version, Dan Inoue, was also one of the lead writers.

    Beyond that, however, we're really just dealing with an issue of comparative religion. There are a lot of topics and themes that appear frequently in religion and folklore -- they're usually things that loom large in the human psyche. So it's not surprising that things like sacrifice, passion, marriage, forgiveness, broken filial bonds, the divine right to rule, and self-precipitating forces of corruption can be found in Shinto/Buddhist/Taoist writings as well as Abrahamic ones.

    But there's a difference between sharing motifs and using those motifs in the same way. And what's particularly striking about FFXV is the way in which it maintains many of the same connections between its motifs as Christianity does. Forgiveness, salvation, sacrifice, suffering, alienation from the father, death, obedience, marriage, and kingship are all part and parcel of each other. The willing sacrifice of the King of Kings is built into the very fabric of the universe, Noctis' sacrifice requires him to suffer immensely, and the game takes great pains to link Noct's marriage with Luna to their sacrificial deaths.

    Each of those elements also includes specific details that tie them closer to the form they take in Christianity. Forgiveness is probably the most generic of them, but even there, it's specifically linked to salvation in a Christian sense (Noct says that it's up to him to save Ardyn from his own darkness).

    Other elements' ties are more obvious. Noct's kingship, for instance, is a direct parallel to Christ insofar as he serves as both the fulfillment of an ancient line of kings from a chosen nation and the savior-King of the entire world (hence "King of Kings"). As far as I'm aware, Shinto doesn't do anything of the sort.

    Likewise, the alienation that Noct feels from Regis is much more closely aligned with Christ's separation from his Father on the Cross than it is with any narrative that involves permanent alienation. It's clear that Noct and Regis never stop loving each other; Regis is a supportive voice from above in the post-credits scene. It's just that the nature of the sacrificial act demands a temporary severing of that bond as Regis must be complicit in the suffering of his son. That doesn't sound anything like the Izanagi-Suzanoo relationship as you describe it.

    Ardyn is more open to interpretation, but I think it's important that an interpretation retain his status as foil to Noct if it is to hold water. His sin of disobedience can only be undone by Noct's obedience; his unwanted immortality can only be undone by Noct's willing death. And, of course, it's important that his corruption is reversible, because that fits an Adam parallel far better than a Suzanoo or Izanami parallel.

    As for the Starscourge... well, it's worth pointing out that there's very good reason to believe that it's of Nomura origin, and Nomura wears his interests on his sleeve. Most obviously, the Starscourge is linked to Geostigma (the names of the two are even more closely related in Japanese, FWIW), which was resolved in Advent Children by Cloud literally baptizing kids with holy water in a church. And, in terms of function, it's also closely tied to Kingdom Hearts' use of the Heartless, which started out being linked to the darkness in the human heart and is now explicitly linked to sin thanks to X [previously "chi," now "cross"]. Nomura's... very subtle about this stuff. XD;

    And in some ways, the Daemons throw even more explicit Christian references over the top of their Heartless-like elements. People disappear when their hearts are taken by Heartless; people who are infected by Daemons disappear as well, but their clothes remain behind in what seems rather like a pointed reference to a particular interpretation of the Rapture (see: Left Behind).

    Beyond that, you've got explicit links between marriage, salvation, and death -- there's a lot of talk about the marriage between Noct and Luna as a symbol of peace, Luna's wedding dress vacillates between a memorial for her death and a celebration of her marriage, and the post-credits scene specifically portrays the two of them as being wed in (and through) death. You've got salvation being brought through the humble obedience of a king who serves as willing sacrifice. You've got an unflinching focus on the cost borne by the savior, with the most painful part being the strain it puts on his filial bonds. FFXV doesn't just take an element or two here and there from Christianity. It links into this massive web of connections and simultaneously mimics as much of it as possible.

    TL; DR, some things are probably just common in world religions in general, I agree. But whenever FFXV connects its motifs or provides specifics, it always hews much closer to Christian ways of conceptualizing things than any other alternative.
     
  13. SonOfEtro

    SonOfEtro ShinRa SOLDIER

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    About that, the article I cited isn't quoting Tabata directly, just most likely paraphrasing him via translator. And we all know how loopy some translations can still be these days in foreign language interviews. He could just have said "summons" or something. Remember, they were keeping their cards close to their chest in 2015, working to polish up the game. Heck, we didn't know "Astrals" were the canon name until footage leaks/releases in 2016.

    I will admit some of the details there are a bit baffling, some comments a bit misleading. Sort of makes you think those rumours about cut content from the revamped XV to make the 2016 deadline had some grain of truth in them. But that doesn't stop quite a bit of the info in there still being valid.

    On that argument, you could probably compare it with Classical or Celtic or Indian traditions or Zoroastrianism or many others. Myths and legends have far too many shared threads, and storytellers read far too widely, for any story to escape having motifs within them that can't be traced back to some other grand tale. And I must say that, myself included, people will look and see what they want to see more often than not.

    I admit you've pointed out a large number of parallels, but we're talking about a piece of fiction in a fictional world, written in a time when people have access to practically every folkloric and religious tradition that's ever existed from the Americas to across Eurasia and Africa. I'm sorry, but I can't fully accept that most of the "Abrahamic" symbolism in XV is anything but unconscious or serendipitous.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  14. Ikkin

    Ikkin ShinRa SOLDIER

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    The problem with the article isn't that there isn't a lot of valid information in it. The problem is that it's impossible to know whether the most critical bit of information -- that FFXV's mythos is primarily based in Japanese mythology -- is still valid in the game as it actually released. =/

    Given the circumstances, I find the sheer implausibility of unintentionally creating a figure who serves as son/savior/sacrifice/bridegroom/King of Kings to be more compelling than an article that could have been referring to a work-in-progress version of the game, you know?
     
  15. Jubileus

    Jubileus AVALANCHE Warrior

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    I never thought of Ardyn as the Judas figure in this story, more so Christ himself.

    From what we've learned about him so far, he started out as a benevolent and kind individual who possessed the unique ability to heal people. With his powers, he went around Eos taking in the scourge so that "countless lives be spared."

    He was also revered and beloved by the people, as shown by the concept art of him parading around on a black chocobo with festival confetti and a crowd full of cheering people trying to get close to him .

    It wasn't until he was deemed unclean by the Astrals, demonised, and executed, that he started to become a disobedient and defiant douchebag (with good reason though)

    Even after being "executed and crucified", he "came back to life" and since then, has made it his goal to take vengeance on those who wronged him.

    The circumstances of his life seem to align more with the story of Christ than Judas (minus the vengeance part).

    His disobedience was a reaction rather than a trait he started off with. From what I can tell, he pretty much did what the God's told him to - protect the crystal, help the people of Eos, and get rid of the Starscourge.

    Guess they just didn't approve of his methods of getting rid of it.

    Ah yes, I cannot believe I forgot about that O_O

    Was too focused on that situation happening with Ardyn specifically that I kinda forgot about Noct for a sec xD

    It makes me wonder, was Ardyn always alone ever since the beginning when he was a King?

    Betrayal by the Gods is one thing, but being betrayed by the whole of humanity, who he actively saved and was revered by, takes a lot of effort, political prowess and scheming.

    I sense foul play in the political court, where even his advisors were scheming behind his back for his downfall.

    If so, then this exemplifies the contrast between Noctis and Ardyn's circumstances all the more: Noctis having loved ones and people who cared for him since he was born, and Ardyn... not so much (unless you count his black chocobo xD )
     
  16. Ikkin

    Ikkin ShinRa SOLDIER

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    The problem with Ardyn, of course, is that it's hard to take what he says at face value. Of course he's going to see himself as having been unfairly persecuted for trying to save people, regardless of whether the Astrals and "Izunia" had a good reason or not.

    And, apart from Ardyn's own words, we aren't really told very much about what he did. Bahamut explains that Ardyn's immortality came from the Scourge, that he was forbidden to ascend, and that he brought darkness on the world out of hate and desire for revenge. Conversations with Talcott and the party reveal that Ardyn's existence was covered up, but that he was originally intended to be the King of Light before he went bad.

    If you don't take Ardyn at his word, that last bit is the most telling thing the game says about him -- "the King of Light" is a title reserved for the Crystal's chosen savior, not a title given to the current King of Lucis. If Ardyn was chosen to use the Crystal's power, he shouldn't have needed to absorb the Scourge into himself to save people. He could just do like Noct did and use the Crystal to wipe it out.

    And if that's the case, the question is, "Why not?" Why go around absorbing the Scourge from people one-by-one when the Crystal's willing to work with you? And the obvious answer there is that he might have just liked parades and confetti better than a violent and solitary death, failing to understand that choosing the former route would cause more problems for everyone.

    In other words, if Ardyn was chosen as King of Light and decided to ignore that calling in favor of one that would gain him more favor in the eyes of his people, he would have been disobedient even before the Astrals, "Izunia," and the people turned on him.

    Maybe the best parallel for him would be Saul, actually.

    See, that's the problem with assigning too much sympathy to Ardyn. ;)

    It depends on what had happened to cause people to turn on him, honestly. If it had become obvious that his attempt to heal the world wasn't having the desired effect and he'd had a better option that he simply chose not to take, it's not that implausible that people would turn on him.

    I do think he was a loner... but that doesn't mean that he never had anyone on his side whatsoever. At the very least, there's no reason to believe he didn't have decent parents. *shrugs*
     
  17. Jubileus

    Jubileus AVALANCHE Warrior

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    This may have been worded seriously but I couldn't help but laugh at how funny it sounded.

    Parades and confetti indeed.

    But yes, back to the discussion...

    You do have a good point that it's probably not a good idea to take a serial liar and douche nozzle at face value.

    I guess you can say the reason I view him in a more sympathetic light is, even though it's hasn't been explored a lot, the available scenes and dialogue, as well as Noctis's behaviour towards the end, was trying to make the player sympathise with him and view him as a tragic figure who was justified in his lust for vengeance.

    It worked though... well for me at least. I haven't come across anyone yet who didn't understand why he did what he did, or empathised with him after what happened, although the opinion of him being a conniving asshole remains the same lol.

    Seriously we just need a DLC and then everything should be explained xD

    Touche.

    Could be one of those "Well, I have this power so... might as well use it"

    Seeing how playful and flippant he is, I wouldn't be surprised if he took joy in being a rebel and rule breaker just because he could.
     
  18. Ikkin

    Ikkin ShinRa SOLDIER

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    There was definitely a sardonic edge there, don't worry. ;)

    Well, from my end, I guess the thing is, I see there as being a difference between sympathy and justification. Ardyn is absolutely, absolutely sympathetic. But to me, he's sympathetic as a representative of fallen humanity. It's not that he was justified in his lust for vengeance; Noct in particular did absolutely nothing that was deserving of what Ardyn put him through. But it's understandable. It's easy to see how Ardyn saw things and how he was twisted from what he, at least, must have seen as good intentions to pure bitterness.

    It'd be fantastic to get a more in-depth explanation of his history, though.

    Yeah, I could kind of see that being a thing. "I know I have that option, but I have this one, too, and it seems a lot more entertaining, so I think I'm just going to run with it." Unfortunately, FFXV's worldview is not particularly fond of rebels. XD;
     
  19. Ikkin

    Ikkin ShinRa SOLDIER

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    Well, 13:2 has been released now, and it couldn't have fit this topic better if it tried. XD;

    How does the game choose to make Ravus more sympathetic? By using the language that it's most familiar with -- the language of martyrdom. Rather than being caught off-guard or overwhelmed, he's called into the Emperor's chambers for what looks like a formal execution hearing, and instead of speaking on his own behalf, he takes the opportunity to provide testimony to his faith in Noctis as the True King to a man who he knows will kill him for it.
     
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