Is DQ7 as bland as people say it is? in General Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior Posted 12 hours ago · Edited 12 hours ago by ignasia On 5/24/2020 at 9:21 PM, DragonQuest2IsGood said: I found a relevant image: What don you guys think? I think the more important question is, and you should ask yourself as this relates to the psychology of nihilism; why do you, and so many others, feel a need to empathize with a villain? Why does a villain in many modern beliefs, only stand as a well designed villain if one can garner sympathy on some level? The point being, in the general past, there wasn't a desire to do so, as harmful actions were seen as having direct ramifications. There are various points in time with complex origin stories, but once vilified, a warrior, king, even a god becomes permanently a force for evil, and the motives for this always something petty at the start, and never something to find alignment with, or sympathy for, or even understanding of in lieu of putting oneself in those shoes and finding common ground to grasp why the reader/player would follow a similar path. Vampires in Chinese lore tend to be more akin to Eastern European. Bad harmful people who are reborn to suck dry the essence of a person. Only in the East it is the spiritual/mana/prana, while in the West, the physical blood (which was inherently believed to be WHERE the spiritual strength of a person resided, and why blood letting was so common as a way to remove bad spirits and dark thoughts). What does it say about a person when the only reason today we even have sympathy for the devil, and see things through a grey scale, is because of the adoption of Nihilism, which even for Nietzsche was merely a pre-condition when one begins to see the yoke of humanity striving in vain for a better world without striving for himself to become a better being first. Essentially society has adopted wholesale as truth, what Nietzsche himself saw as a first step, which eventually becomes a lie, as the belief taints the soul, as one who adopts such thoughts, through cognitive bias and cognitive dissonance, will ignore good deeds and see only ill deeds and for those doing good deeds, darker motives. One becomes trapped in a vicious cycle they cannot escape from. This stems initially from seeing the filth in ones own life, and their own dark works, generating a sense that even oneself is polluted, and finding the source, the teachings and machinations of the larger societal construct. His solution was a progressive governance run in a strict regimented way that would enforce good behaviour and learning, developing constantly through scientific rigor using the best people to eventually develop a perfect regimented system that through fire and brimstone, would force the general population through hard toil to seek to become better, and in escaping the system, develop the tools of the ubermensch, and with this grander understanding from those trials, and the superior tools and mindset, the nihilism would fall away as one sees the world only through sound reason. Not that I agree with Nietzsche's proposition, but the man is fount of most of our societal beliefs in the West, and the general play by play of left versus right politics...which is a whole other thing, and connects to spiritual paths (magickal if you want to be more specific...the paths of the Magi in Jewish Mysticism, Boaz and Jaochim...which you can see as order within, chaos without, or order without, chaos within, the goal to play both sides to find the center path which leads to the God-head....this is where political branches of Right and Left originate). If you guessed which side holds the greatest sway as the left, and the moral ambiguity it brings, such as a desire to find common ground with a villain as much as a hero, stems from ones sense of self being rather low, and ones connection to the divine being nearly non-existent (and no I'm not talking about crazy church people speaking in tongues and frolicking back and forth, or wild dances in the jungle with certain tribal groups, getting into the rhythm and flow, though this does have a correlation...it's just a primitive form of attempting to breach the veil to reach the essence and grandeur of something beyond this world). ====== Another aspect I hadn't considered until now, is the world of the West is based on the court system, and justice of damages done. What I think most people usually want to know about a person's actions, let's say theft, would be why they took that action. What brought that about? Not for any other reason than most people cannot see themselves doing such actions, even if they could, because anyone who has ever recalled those moments where the line was nearly crossed, recalls that there is a VERY fine line that determines taking a bad action or either not doing anything or doing something good...usually just bad or nothing. I tend to find a lot of people either don't want to recall those moments, especially if they took the wrong route, and the lessons they had to go through, or the guilt they felt in taking that action (why feel guilt at all, even if such an action wasn't explicitly taught being another aspect?). Or they dissassociate. Yet some part of the mind always has that connection to the dark side, the curiosity of it, as we are inherently dualistic, there's always that desire to know as a way to reconnect with that darker half without actually internally facing our own demons in the mirror. Thus, with a nihilistic approach to most modern story telling, with the basic premise that because we can, some of us just will, or we don't care and overlook the actual bad things we somehow do (carbon footprint, which is a lie, as we all breath out CO2, but it's used as a tool to tie us down to the idea we're inherently bad and cannot do anything about it, the very act of living...then there's stuff like eating animals, when even breathing will kill organisms, and plants are living organisms as well who also release poisons into their cells when we eat them, just as animals do when they die, that in turn rots the food and harms us in the process of digestion). Further pushing the notion we should sympathize with the devil. Afterall, we ARE the devil in modern society. We ARE the plague on the planet. The parasite that was seeded to this world from outside, not truly part of it. Or so we're constantly bombarded with such messages through various media at various points in time (more commonly TV and certain mainstream shows that appear online for streaming). That has to play a role in guiding us towards wanting to feel as though a better written villain is a victim, just like us, a victim who is also evil, but who we can see as being superior to us if given the right motivations and righteous reason to enact his/her vengeance upon the scum of humanity. Notice how the prime "god-tier" villain has decided to wipe out all of humanity because of the actions of a VERY SELECT few, and a total misinterpretation of the one human he came to love. A VERY petty, very low-grade motivation (wrath) treated as righteous by someone who obviously feels humanity itself is worth burning to the ground. That even he/she, the author of this graphic, feels unworthy of life being human, and feels as though the direction of Corvus is correct, so they resonate, and raise Corvus to the top tier, not because he has motivations, but because Corvus aligns with THEIR innermost desires of self-destruction. Which again falls back on the first point, and the affects of nihilism on the world. ====== The other factor is that it's not why a villain does their evil that is the only aspect of story that needs be told to be a good story. In this case the idea of control to force people to align with good deeds somehow being a higher level thought that would amount to positive outcome. There are many other facets to a well written story, and a well written villain. Does the villain ever pursue, and in either case, why? What actions does the villain take? How does this affect the Hero? I'm too tired to think of other questions...I wish I wrote them out when I was working, but I didn't. I had a few extras that were fairly good, and another aspect of storytelling that isn't linked to motivations, that define a good villain. This will do, but my apologies. I found a few. Do they attempt to do harm to the Hero's homestead? To capture him/her? What further specific actions are taken throughout the course of the story that define that villain. THIS more than anything, SHOULD be the more defining element of a good villain. Not the motivation, which is helpful and useful at times, but only if one wishes to find common ground, which I find makes sense only in context of someone who is like us. A mortal, a human or human-like creature that we can relate to. A god, a demonic lord? Why do we need to work out the machinations that guide the hand? What does that gain us to put ourselves in that role within the context of the story, as in forcing us down the constructed narrative of motivations? Isn't it more fun, if we're talking about someone who isn't human, or an unstoppable monster, to roleplay that being to figure out what that would be like, and if we want to create a motivation beyond just...this is fun, yeah, let's take over that world, or let's kill that person, or let's see that town burn down...woo, then let that be up to the imagination of the player/user/reader? Do we know what Sauron's motivation is? Oh right, it's the ring of power so he can rule, because he wants to. I don't see people complaining about that. Or Ungoliant, who simply wishes to feed on everything, to devouring the world as a whole? How about Nemesis? Nemesis might have once been human, but once becoming a specialized Tyrant, as far as we know, it just does what it does because that's all it is. It's Jason or Michael Meyers. Do we really need to understand the mind of Michael Meyers for him to have been a good villain? No, and the act of trying to do so polluted the original narrative, creating a grossly inflated script and movie that took us out of the context that Michael Meyer's is a monster who kills because he likes to, because he can, and because it's a game to him. A child's mind locked into the idea of killing his family on Halloween. It removes the fear factor of Meyers when we develop sympathy for him. Thus disengaging the fun of watching the original movie, or the new movie. It's too complicated now, because HE is too complicated, and the concept of horror is undone. Similarly with Cosmic Horror. I do not see people complaining about not understanding Cthulhu's feelings and why he desires to devour souls and bring about the destruction of this world, driving it into an eternal cycle of madness. Yet he's a great villain? Why? We don't know anything about WHY he does what he does, or why he seeks to become the level of god he wants to be? What about the other Cosmic Horror beings and the old ones, etc. in H.P. Lovecraft. What if Lovecraft games started coming out, do you really need to know WHY beings beyond our understanding desire to torture and set humanity to flame for them to be good villains? We certainly have Soulsborne, and Soulsborne borrows almost 1:1 from Lovecraft's universe. I see no complaints on the discussions of each monster as the game comes across them, or the lore behind them. Yet nothing is related to a motive, a need to define a desire to explain the nature of these beings. So why does DQ require this to have good villains? What really makes a good villain is far more complicated than one element alone, and do you not think it intellectually obtuse to define a villain on the merits using only ONE factor? That all things hang on that one detail to feel they've been handled well? I sure as #$*! do not.