Trails Of Cold Steel I & Ii

Discussion in 'The Legend of Heroes Series' started by ThePlayerOfGames, Jun 5, 2015.

  1. Marx-93

    Marx-93 Active Member

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    So, been a longtime lurker, but as people already said the quality of the discussion is so high that I felt the need to sign up and rant a little about Rean (as one of the seemingly few Kiseki fans that actually likes him). Hello to everyone.

    Rean has a pretty simple and typical teenage problem, and that is a complex about belonging and who he really is. I think his quote in the first drama cd summarizes it pretty well:

    Considering that is just at the end after one of his big epiphanies (that gets repeated in Cold Steel II) and he still feels he’s clearly not there... That shows pretty much how bad it actually is. Frankly, I feel that Rean may be just as screwed up as Joshua, but just like Joshua in FC he’s very good at hiding it.

    But let’s start from the beginning. Since Rean has memories he has known he is adopted (this in contrast to Elise, who was told do 3 years before I think?). Now, being adopted can already be a big can of worms with identity issues. But we also have to add to that the noble/commoner divide and how Rean feels responsible as the reason his adoptive dad stopped attending noble socials gatherings (which he feels his fathers belonged to). The result is that despite having of one the most loving families an adopted child could ever have, he feels he does not belong there: an adopted son instead of a natural one, a commoner instead of a noble, etc. This leads to the beginning of the first game; Rean, having decided he does not belong with the Schwarzer family, decides to find “his own path”.

    Now, a small distinction with this. While I will repeat this “lack of belonging” sometimes, this does not mean Rean doesn’t love or even feels responsible for those people. He clearly loves his family a whole lot, and even while hesitant he still considers Ymir his home. It’s more of a feeling of not being “good enough” or not fitting, than of an outright lack of love, something I think we can all agree is fairly common among teenagers.

    We’re good? Then let’s continue. Now Rean is introduced to class VII, the classes start, etc. We see that Rean still feels really insecure about his identity when he hides his nobility (again, likely a feeling he does not belong there). He also lacks a bit of a sense of purpose and is a bit bland, which is actually pretty genius when you realize that’s the point (which for bonus points, Falcom also managed to thematically join with a high-school setting to make it even more noticeable and archetypical!). That Rean is running away from his identity as adopted son of Baron and Lady Schwarzer, meaning he is pretty much trying to make a new one as he goes along but doesn’t know where to even start; he doesn’t join a club despite being proficient with the sword and lute (and having friends in half the clubs!), he clearly refuses Patrick’s invitation to join the noble’s gathering (though in that it helps that he is a prick) and he really seems to only be comfortable when he’s helping others (i.e. denying himself).

    Still, he generally improves through the game, and by the middle of CSI he seems to have more or less found a place in class VII, one he values a lot (and spends the game reminding us about it). But this place comes a bit at the price of denying his old spot with his family. Rean, now confident about finding a path, feels he can ditch his place in the Schwarzer family, and there comes the confrontation with his sister. In that chapter is shown how Rean had started distancing from her sister and family, likely in preparation. I think those scenes make pretty clear that Rean somehow feels responsible of his sister, loves her dearly and yet still feels he doesn’t belong with the Schwarzers. A bit of a hypocrite in that, which may also explain why he’s so blind to her feelings (Rean is dense, but he doesn’t feel that dense in his bonding events).

    So, this brings us to his ogre power, and here comes the real problem. Rean seems to have control issues with it, but frankly they seem a bit different than normal. After all, the first time he used his power he managed to save his sister from an almost certain death, and she never treated him any different for it. Not only that, his power seems to be an amplifier more than a sheer surge of strength; as a child it's likely that his father (who is skilled enough to take down jaegers) could have managed him even in the worst case. But the problem is not the power in itself, but rather what it is. It’s a power from outside this world, that doesn’t belong anywhere else. Rean feels like he has inside him someone who is literally an anathema to every place he may belong to.

    He believes that he can’t belong with anyone who has seen his power, as they have seen a place inside him that doesn’t fit anywhere. This is also why he trained under Yun Kafai and why he has so many problems with his power: he’s trying to squash it, to deny the power inside him so that he can fit in the world, while at the same time redirecting his whole life to protecting others (especially Elise) as the only “useful” part of his power (which is also why he is so much of a martyr without cause). This is why not even his family managed to crack down his barrier, and why he’s so reluctant about sharing anything about his power. Even at the drama cd, after 7 freaking months with class VII, he still lets out this line:

    He has very, very deep issues with his power and what it means for him.

    Still, the events of the old schoolhouse, the fight with viscount Arseid and the drama cd happen, and Rean seems to slowly be on the good track. I want to remark however that he hasn’t solved his problems, not by a long shot. Even after the intermission in CS II he only managed to reach the conclusion that his ogre power is him and he is his ogre power, which only transfers the big issue he had with his power (a power outside from this world not belonging anywhere) to him directly.

    And now we’ve reached the school festival and the ending of CSI. Everything breaks down. In desperation, Rean accepts another other-worldly power in order to protect his friends and confront Crow. However, in his worst nightmare, he ends utterly defeated. Not only that, he has to see how his friends risk his life in order to save him, the opposite of what he wanted and denying him what he saw as the only utility of his power. He wakes up, is rescued by his family and recovers a bit of the bond with them… only to again be a witness to his father being injured and Vita taking away the princess and his sister, all while his ogre power (his second power whose only usefulness was in protecting others) ended completely useless and maybe even worsened things.

    Frankly, the fact that at this point Rean managed to somehow keep going is something of a minor miracle. It’s likely that his complete focus on reuniting with class VII was the only thing remaining in him and by this point he was already kinda broken inside.

    But he manages to recover Class VII, and with it a bit of confidence. Even when the Pantagruel takes him it’s not that bad; it’s a bitter defeat surely, but with his surrender he managed to avoid anyone harming his friends by his own (even if it was a bit pathetic). But most importantly, the intermission gives him a purpose again: the talk with the princess makes him realize how dumb his idea of protecting others without thinking of them was, allows him to partly redeem himself rescuing her and gives him an objective in the future in the form of Crow.

    But why Crow? Well, Falcom hasn’t been very subtle about it. Besides the obvious implications of reuniting Class VII, Rean sees Crow as a reflection of himself. An outsider, with no sense of purpose in life that managed to befriend a group with seemingly no previous relation, all while hiding a side of himself and a strange power out of the normal. Convincing Crow to return and giving him a place in Class VII is basically Rean’s way to show himself he has a place to Class VII and he belongs there. Redeeming Crow is crucial step to accept that he can have a place in Class VII.

    Of course the world is not so kind and it steps brutally on Rean’s hopes. With Crow dead, there’s no hope of Class VII returning as he wanted, and it makes him doubt he even has a place in Class VII. In moments, his last shelter on what was already a half broken mind is destroyed. When he threatens Osborne he is completely out of his mind, probably not even minding the likely possibility of getting killed for it; the apparent lack of value of Crow’s life reflected in what he probably judged as his own worthlessness. Remember that while Rean is passionate he is also pretty level-headed, so his OOC action probably means something.

    And then Osborne, like the magnificent bastard he is, changes the situation with two phrases. To the broken teenager with no identity nor place to belong he gives him both: the son of Osborne and the national hero of Erebonia.

    And then the time skip.

    While the first time I was also mystified by it, after seeing it again it all clicked. Both the divertissement and the epilogue are not explicitly about advancing the story; at most they offer fragmentary views of events. No, their purpose is to show how Rean has stopped forming part of class VII. And by his own choice. Manipulated by Osborne, his own broken mind and self-deprecation, but by his own decision nonetheless. That’s also why he refuses to go with his love interest (whoever it is) or Toval; while he has problems with his choices, he feels that this is the only path in which he can belong due to all his (perceived) faults and problems (and Osborne undoubtedly putting pressure at the adequate points to avoid a realistic alternative appearing). The divertissement already has Rean admitting it explicitly, while the epilogue itself is the end of Class VII, in which everyone follows their path outside Class VII after their leader has done the same.


    TLDR: Rean’s identity and belonging issues last through all the first game, and the second basically breaks him with them.

    Frankly, I think Falcom is trying to do something very interesting with Rean and I have my own crack theories about it. However, the path is tortuous, and that’s the reason why Rean may feel so bland yet with so many problems sometimes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
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  2. omgfloofy

    omgfloofy Well-Known Member

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    Holy crap! That's one hell of an amazing first post! I don't even have anything to counter in it, because you just hit all of it, and worded way eloquently than I could ever do. Well done. :D
     
  3. Askejerger

    Askejerger New Member

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    Which then comes back full circle to how I think Olivier sees Osborne now, capable of feeling doubt and hesitation and maybe even remorse. Even if he is a master, just like Lechter and Rufus, at obscuring his feelings and his plans.

    And I think this hits even harder at Rean after his memory of Osborne leaving Rean in the snow where he is having a hell of an internal struggle doing what he's about to do.


    This is pretty intriguing to read! I have only a few lines of thought I could add to it.

    I think there's a very real chance that, despite all his skill in getting people out of complex machines alive, Rean had to kill soldiers from Calvard in order to protect Erebonian soldiers. A question of split second decisions, over and over and over.

    And even if it he didn't kill, he'd still see a lot of soldiers die from both sides, although this is never directly stated. Celdic was pretty awful, but what happened around the Tangram gate must've been bad for Rean. Between that and Crow, I think it would be pretty disturbing if he had a spark in his eyes after the fact.

    As for something else that is never directly stated, let's move to Rean's ogre power. He's afraid of it because he has no control over something that is extremely violent and a bit unhinged, that somehow might have hurt Elise. He has (almost) no memories of what happened before he was adopted by the Schwarzers, and he was left in a blizzard alone. And he's afraid of knowing the truth behind whatever happened back then.

    The way I theorize, Rean theorized that he did something terrible after losing control of his ogre power, and that was the reason why he was abandoned (to supposedly die of exposure for being a threat). It was also so traumatic that he couldn't remember anything.

    But what that something is, well, who knows? Maybe he thought of Xenogears and wondered if his mother died because of his power, ala Fei Fong Wong.

    Welcome to the forums!
     
  4. Cqef

    Cqef Member

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    That's one great analysis on Rean's character if I dare say so myself. With the game's ending still pretty fresh, I even teared up a bit by the last paragraph.
     
  5. zwabbit

    zwabbit Active Member

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    For someone whose identity issues supposedly broke him, Rean's not really showing it. The gripe I've had so to speak is that we've not seen him move either forward or back since the start of CS. By the end of CS2 he's not showing any more emotional trauma than he showed at the start of CS1. For Rean to have basically lost 'all' of the progress that he made over the two games would require some major traumatic events, which did happen at the end of CS2. Yet somehow he's still as functional as he was at the start of CS1 at the end of the epilogue. IF he had spent the three months recovering from it emotionally, sure, that might actually be believable that he managed to drag himself back up. But it's plainly evident that he was quite active during those three months and was not spending the time putting himself back together. Combined with the repeated messages that people have been trying to pound into his head for the past two games, that Rean is Rean, that he has already found himself, it's pretty clear that he's being willfully deaf. He's not actually trying to work out his issues, he's just constantly running away from them. Which for a Kiseki protagonist is kind of the kiss of death since the entire series has been about facing your problems.

    I suppose I'm a mite confused as to your specific point, what does Olivert's change of opinion regarding Osborne supposed to convey exactly here? There is nothing that precludes a man who can feel from also being a monster, in fact I could argue that a man who feels and still acts the way Osborne does is even greater of a monster than a man who does not doubt, since the former will have made the conscious decision that the suffering that he causes is worth less than whatever ambition he is trying to achieve, whereas the latter it does not even occur to him that a price is being paid to begin with. The latter at least has the excuse of a certain ignorance, the former is pretty much putting himself before others wholesale.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
  6. Marx-93

    Marx-93 Active Member

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    Thanks! Well, I wanted to make a good first impression... and I already had a lot of the ideas, I simply had to write them. As a fan of Rean, it felt kinda bad to see everyone pissing up on him (not that I don't understand), so I accumulated those kind of arguments, and I ended proud enough of the end result that i felt I could post it.

    Thanks too.
    I think Rean already feels responsible of Vulcan's death. And even if he doesn't, in the divertissement he clearly shots down 2 Calvard airship. I mean, they may have pseudo-parachutes or something similar, but you don't throw down an aerial vehicle from 50+ meters and expect everybody to turn up alive. So if he really didn't kill anybody during the civil war (which is a big if) I think by the time of the war with Calvard he definitely has.

    And good points about his power. While maybe killing his parents would be too much, I think it would be pretty natural for Rean to assume he was abandoned because of his powers.


    Heh, I admit I had "Blue Destination" and the arrange of "A Decisive Collision" in my headphones as I wrote the last paragraph, so maybe I was a bit melodramatic. Still, glad you enjoyed it.

    Part of the point I wanted to make is that Rean was already pretty bad at the beginning of ToCSI. I would compare him to Joshua in the point of being "functional": during 99% of FC you would think of Joshua as the most stable and level-headed of the cast. Yet come that other 1% and SC and welp. Being able to work and functioning apparently well socially despite being broken inside it's actually something surprisingly common (a way to cope; what a lot of people do after a trauma is precisely focus on their work/family/etc).

    And I kinda disagree on the other bit? I feel ToCSII broke him, but I don't think he made any steps back. One of his big problems, the there-is-a-hidden-power-inside-of-me-with-his-own-will-who-is-trying-to-kill-everybody is solved, which is actually the "Rean is Rean" problem. Now, the one left is that Rean assumes being Rean means being the guy-who-is-only-valuable-for-his-power-yet-doesn't-manage-to-save-anyone-with-them. At most you could argue that the development itself was in the bad direction, which I agree but I think it's what ToCSII wants to do (because of ToCSIII or maybe another one further in the series). But to me the Rean in the Divertissement is very different from the Rean in the prologue.
     
  7. zwabbit

    zwabbit Active Member

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    My point wasn't that he's the same as at the start of CS1, it's that he's no closer to dealing with his demons at the end of CS2 than he was at the start of CS1. He's changed, certainly, and there are various points in the story where it looks like he made significant strides. Except that none of it seems to stick. The same self-doubt that he had at the start of CS1, they're still there at the end of CS2, despite multiple events where he basically says something along the lines of "I accept this" or "you've helped me accept this" and so forth. And then ten minutes later the self-doubt creeps back in.

    Note that I never really bothered trying to explain why this self-doubt keeps cropping up, I just noted that it got really repetitive in how it kept coming back DESPITE all the dialogue that has Rean reassuring others he's okay and him providing assurance to others in turn. And when we get to the end and he's still full of self-loathing and doubt, and it feels like he's basically been lying through his teeth every time he accepts someone else's assurances. Which is more than a bit disturbing.
     
  8. Askejerger

    Askejerger New Member

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    Olivier also has the memory of Loewe who, despite his misgivings and his doubts, still did nothing to stop Joshua from being a killer for a sizeable amount of time, and trained him as such. And Loewe turned in the end, despite his will and his conviction.

    And even Olivier tacitly admits that Osborne has done a fairly sizeable amount of good for the rights and condition of the commoners in Erebonia, and that he has trustworthy allies who Olivier would trust to take care of affairs in the general Empire.

    This is not a case of where the suffering that Osborne has caused eclipses everything else he has achieved. And we do not know what Osborne's ambition, or the motive for his ambition is.

    If Olivier feels that Osborne can second guess himself, then why exactly can he not be made to repent and make amends for what harm he has done?
     
  9. zwabbit

    zwabbit Active Member

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    Because all of the current evidence indicates that Osborne elected to pursue his ambitions in the manner he has done so for the past decade or so in full awareness of the suffering they caused and thus has already made a choice to not be repentant about his actions by continuing them, something Olivert is equally aware of.

    I'm also not sure how Loewe's actions play into Olivert's decision making process, I'm pretty sure if another 'Loewe' like figure cropped up the potential for that person's redemption is not going to stop Olivert from shooting to kill if they find themselves on opposite sides. Being open to a person's reform does not mandate you hold back in whatever conflict you are engaged with against that person.

    And a thought regarding our favorite radio host.

    It's really hard to determine the extent of her morality and ethics. She's scheming and is not hesitant to inflict a fair amount of suffering to achieve her goals, but she at times presents a very personable impression (and didn't think very highly of Weismann), and Rean is convinced that she at least was genuine in some of her actions and deeds, like when she pretended to be Misty. There are a few points where she displays a somewhat sadistic streak however, like when she laughed at Rean and co when she had Alfin and Elise kidnapped.

    This opens up a kind of wider question about all of the anguis. We know Weismann was an utter ass, and his replacement might not be any better. Novartis' immorality is also pretty up there by all indications even if he isn't outright malicious like Weismann. But then we have Arianrhod, whom by all indications holds herself to a fairly high moral and ethical standard. And of course we have Vita, who's a bit more ambiguous. Yet somehow they are all able to collaborate on these complex plans. Really begs the question of just what it is that unites them, cause it sure as hell is not some sense of conventional camaraderie.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  10. Shed

    Shed Member

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    I'll echo the consensus of this being an amazing post, and while thinking about it earlier I realized something that could be pretty crazy but honestly not too surprising.

    Just how much did Osborne plan? He clearly planned around his own assassination and everything, so naturally the man has planning chops that make David Xanatos blush, so what if he also planned on Rean's "destruction"? The only piece of it I can honestly think of that would be near impossible to plan would've been Crow's death at the hands of Testa-Rossa, but I'm sure there's plenty of backups that could've been implemented to make sure Crow met his demise somehow prior to Osborne's return.

    Obviously he'd be monitoring his own son, and might very likely have gotten enough info to get a solid grasp on Rean's psychology, and how to best work around it to make him his pawn. It was also exceedingly likely he knew of Crow's involvement in Rean's life, as well of course Crow's involvement in the ILF (while we know Lechter, Claire and Millium didn't quite figure it out until it was "too late", Osborne also had his Jade Rook well in place on the board, and Rufus could very well have learned Crow's involvement from Cayenne and moved that along to Osborne, who naturally kept it to himself so the others didn't get even a slight hint to the primary member's identity) and planned things around using Crow as a sort of wedge (as per a similar example I'm sure most of you know from a previous game) to shove into Rean's psyche and break him enough to make him a perfect addition to his little personal entourage.

    Of course, this is all speculation, and feel free to prove me wrong if something grossly contradicts this speculation. But if it ends up being true, then Osborne is one hell of a disgusting villain, easily matching if not beating Weissman for the "Most Awful Person" award in the series.

    Edit: I also have my own crack theories on where Rean's character arc might possibly lead him in CSIII, but they're admittedly a bit of a stretch and, quite frankly, a part of me hopes they don't happen. But it's late and I have to think about them more before actually writing them out :p
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  11. Lisa Eves

    Lisa Eves Member

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    as everyone else has already said, this is an excellent character analysis and perfectly describes the nature of rean's broken Ego. and yet, all of this just reinforces why i *personally* don't like rean: i am simply not interested in stories about bland sullen teenagers who are bland because they can't "find themselves". the endless abyss that is young adult literature has gorged itself on these sorts of characters, and while it's surely not impossible to extract something compelling from the archetype, i don't think falcom has done enough to differentiate their protagonist from the swathes of near-identical ones. hell - couldn't you construct a similar analysis for bella of Twilight fame? now there's a adolescent identity crisis if there ever was one.

    but besides my own preferences, there's something else that i find problematic. i can accept that rean's external dullness is as a result of his inability to construct his own identity. even knowing this, however, still doesn't explain just why the hell everyone seems to love him so much. i mean, how big is this Sexy Secret Rean Harem now these days? come on.

    still, this doesn't mean i'm not interested in where they take his character in III. because this is kiseki, i'd be very surprised if they didn't have him overcome his "inner demons" or whatever, but exactly how that will occur when trapped in a political prism his friends are going to be occupying all faces of could prove to be intriguing. actually, that does bring up another point that's been mentioned before, but it bears repeating, i suppose: I and II combined are effectively the equivalent of FC, and so we shouldn't expect rean to have moved forward all that much, especially given joshua in the same point had quite decidedly taken several steps backwards - and in a way, joshua was a sort of secret protagonist of those two games. as such, i think rean's character arc to date neatly conforms to the structure solidified by previous entries, and i'm not expecting him to break the mold in that respect (though i secretly hope he does!).

    on a random side note, isn't it convenient how the series designations are all distinct? we have FC, SC, 3rd, zero, ao, I, II and III. kinda irrelevant, but i hope it continues in this fashion.
     
  12. omgfloofy

    omgfloofy Well-Known Member

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    I think Kondo actually once mentioned this intentional. I do know that there was something stressed with Sen no Kiseki and Sen no Kiseki II. He said that it was to imply that it has a first game that needs to be played first.

    Falcom puts some interesting thought through their titles. I remember when they talked about 'Ao no Kiseki' and the decision to use 'ao' in that title. I think it was something that once you're deep enough (like underwater), blue and green become near indiscernable when you look to the surface or something of that sort. Of course, I have other thoughts about the title, but that statement is still something that seems really interesting to me.
     
  13. Catasplurge

    Catasplurge Member

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    Cause he goes out of his way to help everyone out, and does take point a lot as leader position even if he was mostly just forced into it. Though if you're asking why the girls seem to love him and not why everyone just has a general fondness of him, then I guess it's just the harem effect.
    To me whenever Falcom runs with a trope I don't like it for the fact that they break the mold with it or anything, it's just the fact that they execute it well. That was basically what my thoughts on FC and SC where when I finished them "generic but still god damn amazing" and is still a big factor in why I love them so much.
     
  14. zwabbit

    zwabbit Active Member

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    Well probably the only reason Joshua did not have as large a harem as Rean did was because the number of women around his age was much smaller (not that that stopped some of the women that gravitated towards Rean in the least). Consider that in Sky he had Estelle, Kloe, and Josette all pining for him. Joshua was just a bit better about picking one and sticking with her. After two games. CS on the other hand is all based on relationship points, meaning despite Falcom's intentions, in theory Rean could hook up with any of the girls. For that to be possible they have to also develop affection for Rean in turn so that when the big night comes it's not completely out of the blue. I would not be surprised in the least if Elise was added as a full option next game. And it would be absolutely hilarious if Vita was as well.

    I wonder if Lloyd had the same problem, or if he was already in a designated relationship like Joshua was with Estelle.
     
  15. Catasplurge

    Catasplurge Member

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    Lloyd's harem powers are so great, he could hook up with any of the girls or guys and it wouldn't feel out of place.
     
  16. Marx-93

    Marx-93 Active Member

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    Ok, I think I now get what you mean. And well, you're right but at the same time it's kinda the point? Anyone repeating to himself constantly that he's fine it's clearly not fine. Someone with confidence and self-worth issues doesn't simply get cured, he/she has them during all his life. Normally however, in most narratives they reach a point where they have enough successes and few enough failures that they are able to muster enough confidence so that they don't get bogged down. ToCSII however feels for Rean like a constant failure after failure so in a way he never gets the chance.

    Not that your opinion isn't perfectly fine, but I wanted to express why at least in my book such development was actually natural and expected.


    Oh, thanks! And frankly, Kiseki and crack go together very well! Today I've just read a theory on the literally Kiseki on crack website that blew my mind.

    I don't think Osborne could plan that far ahead; some things, like Valimar choosing Rean, should be completely outside his predictions (unless in the end he really is a vampire or Dreichels).

    Personally, I always felt that Osborne is very good at planning, but at what he really is a monster is at improvising and taking advantage of literally everything. In a way it would make sense with how he's so effective against Ourobouros. There are already a lot of planners and extremely good strategists (like Cassius) that have gone against the society, but they have it hard: that's because Ourobouros doesn't have a ace in their sleeve, they have 24 and an entire new deck there. It's impossible to predict them because it's impossible to even know what and who they have. Yet Osborne has survived against them through using every possible mean and taking every chance. I think that he, simply by looking at the room, was likely to have understood what moved Rean and what he could do (that and I think he may actually be surprisingly similar to his son in some things, and he really has a suspicious lock of white hair).


    Thanks. Though I think the key point in Rean is his nuances, that I don't find everywhere. Now, I understand why you may don't acre about them. I mean, as you hate the archetype, it's very likely everything looks similar to you. But just like someone who hates citrus may think that oranges and lemons taste almost the same, someone who appreciates them likely thinks differently. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to write a similar analysis for Twilight or similar works.

    And I don't see your point in your question? Castaplurge has already said the basics, but even then someone who is very bland from the narrative point of view can actually be a great friend, lover and leader. Joshua for example was already super-popular before anyone knew he had a mysterious past and he showed anything ebyond being a level-headed, calm, kind and handsome young man. I would even say that they tend to be better than super-interesting characters (God knows I would want a friend who is extremely attentive to me, kind, diligent and never bothers me with his problems). A lot of great leaders actually were extremely boring characters themselves. Even the harem bit is pretty overstated: outside max score with bonding points (which you should only be able to get with a few characters in a blind first playthrough), only Elise and maybe Alfin and Claire show interest in him, and the latter two have good reasons (Rean literally is the knight in shining armour for Alfin, and Claire basically is having mixed feelings about the younger, hot son of the object of her devotion).

    But as this is a good chance, I'll take it to talk about some of Rean's mostly unspoken qualities. And it's that, like Claire says, in retrospective Rean is frighteningly similar to Osborne in some points.
    First is his charisma. He never was chosen explicitly as the leader of Class VII (and the class representative is actually Machias), nor was he the strongest, the smartest or the noblest. But he is attentive and kind, diligent yet approachable and level-headed, and this made him the living link between all the members. Yes, his speeches are sappy and his rhetoric unrefined, but at the same time they do motivate class VII and even some of the adults. He clearly still has a lot to do, but there is something there.
    And second is his presence and gravitas. It's very hard to see, because you're controlling him all the time, but I think the Divertissement showed it pretty well; from the beginning, when he simply swoops down and with one swing and phrase he dominates the entire battlefield, to the ending, where Lloyd and Rixia seem a lot more worried about the officer of similar age instead of the little girl with a super-weird looking weapon even before he uses his giant robot.


    From what I heard, Lloyd may be even worse, because with Rean if you don't do the bonding events then nothing is implied, but with Lloyd it seems to actually be canon that half the cast is interested in him.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  17. omgfloofy

    omgfloofy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,164
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Uhoh. :D

    If you're not afraid of Crossbell spoilers, feel free to dig around. We'd all love responses, challenges, input, etc etc. :D That's what makes crack theories the best. <3
     
  18. Neko_Isa

    Neko_Isa New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Paris, France
    Hello everyone! Long-time lurker too, and I finally found the courage to write my first post...
    Marx-93, your analysis of Rean is great! I'd like to discuss with all of you two points I find rather strange/interesting about him...
    First of all, it seems to me there's a parallel between Rean's decision to "help" with the pacification of Crossbell, and the way Crow helped the Noble Alliance. Both of them felt it was their duty, as Awakeners, to finish a task they didn't really believe in... Secondly, it looks as if Rean lets Lloyd and Rixia get away with what they were doing: he knows time is precious, yet as Altina remarks, he lets the fight drag on, not using his ogre powers which could have ended that battle in a jiffy. What I find especially sad is that during the epilogue, even though others like Toval say they understand he participated in the invasion to stop it from turning into an all-out war, Rean reacts to every mention of Crossbell or Crow like it hurts -a lot. I really, really wonder if he could have decided to finish what Crow started by killing Osborne himself, even though he has first to sell his soul by working for him...
     
  19. Lisa Eves

    Lisa Eves Member

    Messages:
    85
    Location:
    new zealand
    well, i'll just leave it at this: rean certainly wouldn't be my friend. perhaps that says more about me than it does about him.

    also,

    i'm not entirely sure but from what i've heard, rixia could easily go toe-to-toe with rean++, and is certainly much stronger than him under ordinary circumstances (canonically, that is - it sure as hell didn't feel like it during what was probably the most difficult battle of the entire game!). it definitely seems like he is approaching his duty with all the enthusiasm of a thumbtack. and this is actually the one main difference i see between him and crow in this regard - crow involved himself with the civil war and the noble alliance because he genuinely believed doing so was the surest way to end the war, and as such was the right thing to do, whereas rean is just doing what's he doing because, well, he feels like he has to do it, because, well, you've gotta do something, right? rean is much less assured of his own course of action than crow, imo.
     
  20. Paiguy

    Paiguy Member

    Messages:
    124
    My slow rear finally hit the final dungeon, someday I'll be able to read all these spoiler blocks.

    That conversation between Vita and Rufus made it seem like there's def more divine knights that didn't wake up (or at least 1), probably in Longhrein Castle which I am sure I totally spelled wrong. Implication seemed to be piloted by the lance maiden? But going on what I know that would be an interesting thing given the general consensus theory on who that actually is.
     

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