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Character In Depth Discussion: Marcello (DQ 8)


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Sorry for the delay! Now, we are looking into a certain man of faith who fights his way to the top while going against the very nature of his bloodline; a man who would use any means necessary to change the world. Thoughts on thus not-so friendly templar captain?

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My favorite NPC character from the series. Loved how his story was handled with Angelo in the PS2 version, $#!&ing hate how they brought him back in the 3DS version.

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Probably the most complex npc in the series. Also one of the best. Especially when he acts as a foil to Angelo and likewise, their interactions in the game really elevated the experience for me.

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I remember on my first playthough, i was thinking somewhere on the line of " I marcello is important, but i don't know how...". So i kept a eye on marcello, thinking that he might get possessed by rhapthrone, but never did i though that HE would take control of rhapthrone. That gies to show you that marcello is not one to take lightly. As a boss, he was quite the challenge! Having a moveset similar to a dq 6/7 paladin class (plus kafrizzle), he alwayed had a trick up his sleeve.

 

So what you guys think about the 3ds exclusive things involving marcello?

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I disliked him. Immensely. I know he was there to hate, and I hated him throughout. He was a nice guy for 2 seconds when he met young Angelo and a complete $#!&$#! the entire rest of the game. I immensely dislike the fact that you don't kill him dead in the game, which some of you may recall is a reoccuring theme with me. You kill monsters dead in games all day long but then there's a big enemy and you only in knock them out and let them go? Bullshit. Immensely disliked him coming back in the 3DS version. At least the bastard wasn't a playable character.

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Not every encounter needs to end in death. Only the millions of mooks, mates and brats notwithstanding.

 

Anyway, Othello.

To start with, Othello is the reason that Angelo was too busy to have character development with Jessica; sucks to be her. This mutual grudge between brothers is another one of DQ's first serious experiments with character arcs, but it stays too long on the back burner. After he and Angelo prove to have serious bad blood between them, the game mistakenly separates their character arcs; Angelo gets a few feeble wiggles in the direction of character development, but -- and this is a big but (down, eal) -- Angelo doesn't actually change*. He starts a hedonistic specimen only willing to do the right thing when it comes to the people he cares about, and he ends a hedonistic specimen willing to do the right thing when it comes to people he cares about, just a touch more magnanimous about it.

 

Thing is, his brother doesn't change either -- ol' Othello's actually got a more detailed, fleshed out character arc (the benefit of not being a party character, apparently), but because the captain of the guard never turns away from his consuming ambition, it leads inevitably to his doom. Now, on his own, it's a perfectly valid character arc (making him one of the better villains in DQ), but the fault here comes in the fact that he and Angelo are never actually developed as brothers; in the original release, their brotherhood is only ever offered as justification for their animosity and remains static and unexplored after the Riverside Chapel. This is why I'm immensely grateful for Othello's bonus content in the remake, because it creates an opportunity to resolve this equally important aspect of his and Angelo's character -- I totally understand why some of us don't like it, because their resolution as brothers is divorced from both of their arcs as individuals (and the villain's is already concluded) when it should've been what tied their individual arcs together, but still, I'll take what I can get.

 

Our villain is also a vehicle for one of the more obnoxious and ham-handed plot habits, in which, by game fiat, the party bends over for his guards without even a real objection. The Prison Island arc was largely a waste of time, Rollo's character development notwithstanding. Rollo's not the character the game should've been developing!

 

*It's not actually a bad thing for a character to not change in terms of character development. Learning to stick to your guns in the face of growing adversity is perfectly valid way to grow. It is a bad thing for opposed character arcs to remain unchanging and both be validated by the story, because at that point the story just proves wishy-washy.

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You kill tons of boss monsters. Emphasis on the word "monsters." You often don't kill bosses that are human.

The bad humans are even more monstrous than the monsters. They need to be exterminated.

 

 

Our villain is also a vehicle for one of the more obnoxious and ham-handed plot habits, in which, by game fiat, the party bends over for his guards without even a real objection. The Prison Island arc was largely a waste of time, Rollo's character development notwithstanding. Rollo's not the character the game should've been developing!

Ugh, I hate $#!& like this in games too. We can defeat basically a god, but allow soldiers to lock us up without a fight for a month? Bullshit. Fight for freedom!

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You kill tons of boss monsters. Emphasis on the word "monsters." You often don't kill bosses that are human.

The bad humans are even more monstrous than the monsters. They need to be exterminated.

 

 

Our villain is also a vehicle for one of the more obnoxious and ham-handed plot habits, in which, by game fiat, the party bends over for his guards without even a real objection. The Prison Island arc was largely a waste of time, Rollo's character development notwithstanding. Rollo's not the character the game should've been developing!

Ugh, I hate $#!& like this in games too. We can defeat basically a god, but allow soldiers to lock us up without a fight for a month? Bullshit. Fight for freedom!

#notallhumans

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Speaking of the prison island arc, it seems to me that this series has a strange obsession with putting one or more of the main characters in jail in at least one point in the story. Off the top of my head I remember this happening in 4, 5, 6, 7, twice in 8, and 9. (I think it happens in 3 too? but I can't remember specifically). I never really understood why this seems to be such an obligitory thing for every game in the series to have.

Edited by SlimeVagrant
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Speaking of the prison island arc, it seems to me that this series has a strange obsession with putting one or more of the main characters in jail in at least one point in the story. Off the top of my head I remember this happening in 4, 5, 6, 7, twice in 8, and 9. (I think it happens in 3 too? but I can't remember specifically). I never really understood why this seems to be such an obligitory thing for every game in the series to have.

 

Happens in 10 and 11 too

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I rather liked Marcello. Has a strong backstory, doesn't feel too forced to the story, and it is hard to hate him when you look at things from his perspective (obviously we can still hate him because he's a poohead but when you think about his motives he actually isn't as bad or poorly written as others).

At this point, it seems like we've discovered an underappreciated series tradition of putting the heroes in jail. We need DQ memes of this,

I'll see what I can do for the Dragon Quest Memes page on Facebook.

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Yeah III is the first time you're jailed, but the guards don't think to remove any keys and until to take the steps to progress the story, the "king" will still just throw you in jail rather than just ordering an execution which he did for someone bad mouthing him.

 

I rather liked Marcello. Has a strong backstory, doesn't feel too forced to the story, and it is hard to hate him when you look at things from his perspective (obviously we can still hate him because he's a poohead but when you think about his motives he actually isn't as bad or poorly written as others).

At this point, it seems like we've discovered an underappreciated series tradition of putting the heroes in jail. We need DQ memes of this,

I'll see what I can do for the Dragon Quest Memes page on Facebook.

 

Pretty much this though I'm mixed on a particular bit:

 

I'd say if his additional appearance in the 3DS remake is suppose to be a way of atoning for his crime, which is inferred to be of his own free will as Rhapthorne only took over after the fight on Neos, then I would say it doesn't work as he would at least need to be willing to surrender himself to whomever would have the authority to punish him.

 

If it was done to resolve his threat to Angelo yeah it's okay.

 

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  • 2 years later...

I was thinking about this recently and figure I should revise/expand on my answer.

Marcello is a solid character, with powerful presence and a poignant relationship with Angelo. Unfortunately, like Nera and Debora Briscoletti of DQV, he's really kind of jammed into a story in a way that he shouldn't be, and, like forcing a square peg into a round hole, the story breaks in order to accommodate him and the corrupt church plot he brings with him. (DQV did the inverse, by taking the square peg characters and then shaving them down until they fit into the round hole story, also bad).

I've mentioned before that the Prison Island arc and Rollo's character development was a waste of time, but I didn't really go into why. Up until we get to the final arc, we were well into the descendants of the sages arc, where we chase imprisoned Rhapthorne around the world trying and failing to stop him from Argonia through Orkutsk, but then we get to the final sage's descendant, find that he's the Lord High Priest, who may be the most important person in the world and despite the corruption underneath him is held to be so saintly that his sheer goodness keeps the giant rock he lives on afloat.

And then Marcello interrupts our regularly scheduled program and blatantly shoves the descendants arc aside to make way for his own scene, murders the pope offscreen, which both prevents the sage's arc from being actually resolved and has nothing to do with the established theme of "fulfilling obligations, especially to family". Marcello and his story are about status, control*, ambition, corruption, and a certain amount of existentialism, but not obligation -- and the matter of family is really only incidental; Angelo and Marcello could have been schoolboy rivals and their arcs would've been essentially identical. And if it turns out that Marcello's arc didn't turn out to simply rob the spotlight from the last of the sage's descendants but also from Jessica, I wouldn't be at all surprised -- Angelo and Jessica have some very deliberate setup but all of Angelo's further development is sunk into his relationship with Marcello, which leaves Jessica rather out in the cold.

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Admittedly, she should be used to it by this point.

* Even Rhapthorne, a demon lord of literally immense power, authority, and magic, is made to accommodate Marcello -- at no point does Rhapthorne have to struggle to overpower with his hosts until Marcello gets ahold of the scepter; Rhapthorne's ability to control people is a complete non-issue until then.

p.s. It occurs to me, given that Marcello's issue with status is still tied to family, he wouldn't be out of place in a story with the Briscolletti girls, who inherit the family problem, as it were. Also, Marcello and Debora trying to out-stubborn each other amuses me.

Edited by Brother Jaybird
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Hooray for random topic revivals.

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48 minutes ago, YangustheLegendaryBandit said:

Hooray for random topic revivals.

I needed a place to thoughtdump! We had one! You know I can't help it.

1 hour ago, Brother Jaybird said:

Even Rhapthorne, a demon lord of literally immense power, authority, and magic, is made to accommodate Marcello -- at no point does Rhapthorne have to struggle to overpower with his hosts until Marcello gets ahold of the scepter; Rhapthorne's ability to control people is a complete non-issue until then.

The gears won't stop turning: it occurred to me that Marcello, who deforms the story to revolve entirely around him, however briefly, is therefore a dictionary-definition Mary Sue.

Edited by Brother Jaybird
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  • 2 weeks later...

I loved Marcello. I would have preferred to have him in my party, instead of his prick of a brother, ngl. 

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All things considered, Marcello is a better character than Angelo. He has character, style, and a decent arc; Angelo's got style, but his character really just starts and ends with his brother and the church, but never particularly goes anywhere afterwards (like Jessica, come to think of it; they're even both in it just for the revenge).

...It's just that Marcello's a bad fit for DQ VIII as a whole.

Edited by Brother Jaybird
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