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Beauty in imperfect: The goddess Rubius (DQ 1-3, 6, and builders)


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Hey Everyone! I know that many different characters have been discussed before, but how about a disscussion about a goddess? 

There has been many types of deities through out the series, but Rubius arguably have one of the better characterization among them (especially in builders).

So! How do you feel about our guardian spirit Rubius? Do you have any tibit about our goddess?  Is she a flawed deity?

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When does she appear in VI?

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Rubiss isn't a Goddess.  More like a divine spirit that oversees Alefgard.

The remakes explore this a bit, but essentially the hierarchy would be Rubiss -> King Zenith -> Xenlong = (if we take the GBC into account) Grand Dragon.

In the world above, it would be Dragon Queen -> King Zenith -> Xenlong = Grand Dragon

As such, being a guardian, she isn't a deity of any sort, and thus isn't meant to be worshiped.  Xenlong would essentially be the "God" of the world if anyone is.

 

She is an interesting sort, though we really don't know much about her.  If there's any overseer we're really privy to, it's King Zenith.  Though Rubiss' inability to counter Zoma is a telling factor that she is essentially not that powerful if encountering a superior foe, and given her nature in choosing the hero, rather than saving the world herself, it seems like anything she isn't equipped to handle directly, she finds the next champion.

 

I'm not really sure how I can or should feel about her, since we really don't get to know her personally.  Though even Zenith is capable of being overpowered, and from what we've witnessed with other games, even a true deity can be defeated or nearly so (though one can say 7's deity is nearly defeated because he spends too much of his energy protecting humanity rather than shoving it down Orgy's throat...that was made clear in the discussion, that were it not for his concern for his charges, he would likely have been able to easily dispatch his foe, but at the cost of his own creation/children).

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9 minutes ago, YangustheLegendaryBandit said:

When does she appear in VI?

Cameo, she's underwater, and she's the one who awakens the Hero in the opening ceremony when Tania walks past him, and that divine feminine spirit appears telling the hero he must get to Somnia.

However, we never see anything indicating her absolute and direct participation beyond triggering the quest, and that you can meet her.  However in 6 she doesn't really function as a guardian in the same capacity as in 3.  Meaning it's like different Rubiss' spirits for different worlds.  Like a standard created spirit that carries the same name but is tied to that world, who has more or greater power depending...maybe on her connection to the people, or the level of threat?  Or simply how she was created?  I don't know.

Edited by ignasia
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Given how 11 referenced and drew upon so many past DQ elements, I honestly expected Rubiss to pop up somehow but surprisingly there wasn't a single reference to her.

Also in a sense I think you can consider her a goddess since she's the one who created Alefgard

Edited by Hopeful Death
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23 minutes ago, ignasia said:

Cameo, she's underwater, and she's the one who awakens the Hero in the opening ceremony when Tania walks past him, and that divine feminine spirit appears telling the hero he must get to Somnia.

However, we never see anything indicating her absolute and direct participation beyond triggering the quest, and that you can meet her.  However in 6 she doesn't really function as a guardian in the same capacity as in 3.  Meaning it's like different Rubiss' spirits for different worlds.  Like a standard created spirit that carries the same name but is tied to that world, who has more or greater power depending...maybe on her connection to the people, or the level of threat?  Or simply how she was created?  I don't know.

Wait, the Mountain Spirit was Rubiss the whole time? I...am honestly not sure how to react to that. I assumed the Mountain Spirit was like how Milly knew how to summon the dragon leading to Muduo's Castle: it was something that was never going to be explained.

Where exactly is she located underwater in the real world of 6? I need to see if I ever found her in one of my files on the DS version because I don't think I have.

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2 hours ago, ignasia said:

Rubiss isn't a Goddess.  More like a divine spirit that oversees Alefgard.

Not to be contentious, but technically that's exactly what a god is -- a tutelary (guardian/patron/landlord) spirit. It's that protection that the worship is technically in exchange for. All pagan religion runs on that premise -- the Romans called it "do ut des" ("I give so that you will give"), but most of the anime nerds here will respond better to what FMA calls touka koukan, or Equivalent Exchange.

DQ is, unfortunately, generally uninterested in its own cosmology, which bugs me something fierce, you all may recall from my old questions about VIII's Goddess. The closest thing we have is relative power levels and flavor text from the monster games.

 

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5 hours ago, Hopeful Death said:

Given how 11 referenced and drew upon so many past DQ elements, I honestly expected Rubiss to pop up somehow but surprisingly there wasn't a single reference to her.

Also in a sense I think you can consider her a goddess since she's the one who created Alefgard

Alefgard itself is just a small set of islands.  Is this a factor in the original mythos, or one of the elements Nintendo added with the original DW1 localization that Enix embellished?  I don't recall the specifics on this, but is it inferred the whole world is created by her, or just Alefgard?

 

1 hour ago, JaybirdC said:

Not to be contentious, but technically that's exactly what a god is -- a tutelary (guardian/patron/landlord) spirit. It's that protection that the worship is technically in exchange for. All pagan religion runs on that premise -- the Romans called it "do ut des" ("I give so that you will give"), but most of the anime nerds here will respond better to what FMA calls touka koukan, or Equivalent Exchange.

DQ is, unfortunately, generally uninterested in its own cosmology, which bugs me something fierce, you all may recall from my old questions about VIII's Goddess. The closest thing we have is relative power levels and flavor text from the monster games.

Well, if we're getting into semantics, this requires a bit of distinction.  Technically the term for God implies a being who is worshiped, be it the creator, or a proprietor of a place, element, or function of existence in reality or the afterlife.  However the general concept even in Paganism isn't so much "guardian" as "ruler" is it not?

At what point is Rubiss ever worshiped?  Or called upon?  Or beseeched as the guiding and principle force of good in the land of Alefgard?

I would argue we're basing this on a technicality, a potential deity figure who functions in a way like a Shinto spiritual entity, or a Celtic or Shamanistic spirit who is the principle guardian of a particular area, and ultimately the guiding force for that area, and in that respect is a GOD, and this is noted by Hopeful Death.  However, she never takes it upon herself to act in this fashion, and only a handful of NPCs are even aware of her existence, the most notable being in her employ and acting as her chief agent in her place in DQ3.  There are no altars, no sacrificial pits, no offerings, and only one place that blesses in her name, but the rest fail to even acknowledge her presence.  Yet she remains the guardian.  So in a way it's a semantics and argument of perspective on the nature of the term GOD.  DQ doesn't even offer much of a pantheon, as each "god-like" figure does not take the mantle of God; not King Zenith, not the Zenith Dragon (who both originate in a universe with the concept of a universal divine creator and omnipresent/omniscient overseer beyond the scope of the game itself), and in a way, not even Xenlong, though if any could claim Godhood in the original trilogy it would be him.

So I'll give you the point she can be seen as a deity, but more of a lesser deity, from a pagan perspective.  She is not an all-encompassing divine creator and overseer, or isn't directly discussed as such, unless I'm missing some elements of story and Hopeful Death can enlighten me on what I've overlooked.

 

5 hours ago, YangustheLegendaryBandit said:

Wait, the Mountain Spirit was Rubiss the whole time? I...am honestly not sure how to react to that. I assumed the Mountain Spirit was like how Milly knew how to summon the dragon leading to Muduo's Castle: it was something that was never going to be explained.

Where exactly is she located underwater in the real world of 6? I need to see if I ever found her in one of my files on the DS version because I don't think I have.

You'll find her castle between Murdaw's Island and the Tower of Pegasus.

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1 hour ago, ignasia said:

but is it inferred the whole world is created by her, or just Alefgard?

When you talk to her in 3 she says she's the one who created Alefgard(as in the land under the world of light) and she said that even in the original Famicom release of 3.

The Wii 25th anniversary special edition came with developer notes that noted that the sudden stop at the end of the ocean is because "the world is still being created" so it's also logical to assume that Rubiss is the one who created the other areas around Alefgard after the end of 3. Presumably she's unrelated to the world of light.

Edited by Hopeful Death
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9 hours ago, Hopeful Death said:

When you talk to her in 3 she says she's the one who created Alefgard(as in the land under the world of light) and she said that even in the original Famicom release of 3.

The Wii 25th anniversary special edition came with developer notes that noted that the sudden stop at the end of the ocean is because "the world is still being created" so it's also logical to assume that Rubiss is the one who created the other areas around Alefgard after the end of 3. Presumably she's unrelated to the world of light.

Interesting...very interesting.  So yes, then I'm incorrect and Rubiss is indeed a Goddess.  That's a huge discrepancy to work out the logistics of, since it means she would have had to have created all of the rest, or at least enough of the rest of the world immediately following Zoma's death to allow for instant exploration, since we know "Erdrick" leaves to start a family almost immediately, and by his/her grandchildren, at least one kingdom rather far from the islands of Alefgard, though I guess that infers the world of 2 is now officially Alefgard as a whole, and within it lies the isles of Alefgard.

Certainly calls into question how long it took to build it.  She never claims to have created humans, and the original tie-in of the nail mark between the two worlds, and the creation of Alefgard as a world of darkness is due to Zoma, or is there evidence it was always tied to Gaia's navel, indicating the populating of the land started with the upper world (Earth?  since it's clearly designed to mimic us)?

Edited by ignasia
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Hey eveyone! I had previously thought that Rubius was a goddess/deity of sorts, but i guess that is up for debate XD!

I was wondering, doesn't DQ Builders refer to Rubius as a goddess, or did they specifically say that she was a guardian spirit?

Also, regarding DQ builders, i find the conflict between Rubius and Buildrick (the protagonist) to be very interesting. From the very beginning of the game, she let you know that you are NOT the hero of this story. It is unique in the sense that she tells you that, although you are an essential person needed to rebuild the world, you are not the hero destined to save the land. This notion is  is present through out the game; even as we show that we are more than capable of saving this land, she still believes that you are NOT the hero. This could be the fact that Builder is not a hero physically; they were not made for combat. She thinks that the builder might not be able to take on the dragonlord, epecially since they cannot get stronger by level up (or experiences). 

I think a reason why rubius would rather believes that a hero might suddenly show up out of nowhere is mainly because that kind of event has happen before; she is essentially wait for another Erdrick to arrive. In a sense, she was holding on to a shaky sense of hope mainly because she (initially) couldn't do anything else. 

Rubius was a believer of fate and destiny. When the 1st hero in the series betrayed the land, she was the one most affected by the betrayal, especially since she knew Erdrick themselves. Despite still having a sense of fate, her trust in humanity was not the same as it previously.  

When the Builder chose not to obey the path of fate, it triggered a very negative response from her. This is the second time someone has went against the notion of fate. This led her to temporarily leave the Builder out of frustration and confusion. This is ironically a very human trait that Rubius is displaying since she is lost on what to do. 

However, once Rubius sees how the people of alefgrad place there hopes on the Builder despite not being gifted with the power of heroes, she learns that a true hero is made, not born or chosen. 

Rubius is quite well written in this game, as deity in DQ don't tend to get this much development. I guess it gies to show that DQ builders is surprisingly well written in that department. XD

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5 hours ago, ignasia said:

Interesting...very interesting.  So yes, then I'm incorrect and Rubiss is indeed a Goddess.  That's a huge discrepancy to work out the logistics of, since it means she would have had to have created all of the rest, or at least enough of the rest of the world immediately following Zoma's death to allow for instant exploration, since we know "Erdrick" leaves to start a family almost immediately, and by his/her grandchildren, at least one kingdom rather far from the islands of Alefgard, though I guess that infers the world of 2 is now officially Alefgard as a whole, and within it lies the isles of Alefgard.

Certainly calls into question how long it took to build it.  She never claims to have created humans, and the original tie-in of the nail mark between the two worlds, and the creation of Alefgard as a world of darkness is due to Zoma, or is there evidence it was always tied to Gaia's navel, indicating the populating of the land started with the upper world (Earth?  since it's clearly designed to mimic us)?

Horii actually mentioned that Erdrick disappearing at the end of 3(no one ever saw him again) was meant to be sort of ambiguous, but he wrote it with the idea in mind that the player would assume that he actually went back to his own world, implying that's probably what he meant to happen. At first thought it does seem at odds with the idea of the DQ1 protag supposedly being a descendant of his, but I guess there are ways to get around it(the descendant being made before beating Zoma, the descendant originally descending from the upper world just like Edrick but don't ask how he got there, etc) DQ11 even technically offers another explanation for that in a way but I won't get into that until it's out in English. I don't think it's necessary that the surroundings had to be built immediately upon Zoma's defeat at any rate.

Though there's a fun theory that Erdrick actually started a family with Rubiss herself, since there's an NPC that says that Rubiss's Charm is a symbol of her love. Though... that's a bit of a stretch lol. But if he were hanging out with a goddess it would make sense for people not to have seen him afterwards.

Considering an NPC says that their ancestors are people that came from the upper world I would assume there was some kind of path leading there as long as Alefgard has been there. Probably multiple ways considering Ortega got there through falling through a Volcano which is different from the Pit of Giaga.

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15 hours ago, ignasia said:

Well, if we're getting into semantics, this requires a bit of distinction.  Technically the term for God implies a being who is worshiped, be it the creator, or a proprietor of a place, element, or function of existence in reality or the afterlife.  However the general concept even in Paganism isn't so much "guardian" as "ruler" is it not?

It wasn't quite a matter of semantics; you initially claimed that Rubiss wasn't a goddess but an overseeing spirit, and my objection was that she was a goddess anyway on the grounds that she was an overseeing spirit, and thus a tutelary deity.

Deities are a class of being, which also includes spirits and fairy creatures. Worship isn't necessary, either; the greek titans were generally unworshipped (Kronos' temple notwithstanding) and the only functional difference between them and the "gods" is about one generation.

But if it's temples you're after, I'm pretty sure the shrine from DQ II where you summon Rubiss is dedicated to her.

5 hours ago, Restlessknight14 said:

Rubiss gets an actual character arc in Builders.

Well, now I need to look into actually buying that game. I don't have the right system! I don't wanna youtube all of it!

8 minutes ago, Hopeful Death said:

Though there's a fun theory that Erdrick actually started a family with Rubiss herself, since there's an NPC that says that Rubiss's Charm is a symbol of her love. Though... that's a bit of a stretch lol. But if he were hanging out with a goddess it would make sense for people not to have seen him afterwards.

Given how many ancient and mythic heroes are half-divine, that wouldn't be out of place; it would also lend some credence to why the lineage of Erdrick is so important in Alefgardian history.

New headcanon declared!

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