Some issues I had with the plot (**SPOILERS**)
Since I'm not going to wrap half of what I say in spoiler tags, I will warn you now: this post, and likely this entire thread, is going to be full of late game spoilers; read at your own discretion.
Okay. Having completed the game, there were a number of plot issues/plot holes that I felt were left unaddressed, or that simply didn't make sense from the get go. I will state these issues, and why I feel they should have been resolved more fully, and hopefully I can see what others thought about them.
2. Why do none of the Eternian forces bother explaining the situation to the PC's? Braev, Alternis and the lot of them simply condemn the party for wanting to awaken the crystals, without explaining the dangers in doing so. Braev is clearly aware of the Harrowing, and the fact that the PC's are being manipulated, yet never bothers to explain it. Instead, he jumps straight to killing his daughter. Only chapter 5's Alternis bothers to shed some light on things, but still doesn't go to any lengths in explaining them. I don't take huge issue with this, since admittedly, there IS a semi-justifiable reason for it, which brings us to...
3. The protagonists. Really. Just really. These guys are unbelievable. By the game's closure, I found myself hating the lot of them (minus Ringabel, I suppose). I don't get why they're just so damn slow in the head. They were warned about 20 times that what they were doing would only bring danger, and wouldn't solve anything. Ringabel regained his memories, and Airy's ploy came to light (of which they had already been warned by Alternis in chapter 5, the only time in the game an enemy bothered explaining something), yet they ignored it and continued on as though nothing had happened. Really infuriating. DeRosso's exposition alone after the reveal of the Angel Paining is enough to cast serious doubt over the party's actions (and that comes as early as chapter 4), but they just blindly charge forward for another 4 chapters, ignoring all red flags, and end up walking straight off the cliff. In particular, I can't understand why they continued dancing on Airy's palm even after learning that they were being manipulated by her. Some argue that they wanted to bring the threat to light and eliminate its danger once and for all, rather than merely delaying it. This holds little truth, though, as the party was completely unaware of what it is that they were actually dealing with. All they knew was that Airy was trying to do something malicious with the crystals, and that they were being used to that end. This is why I say #2 kind-of excusable, since even if anyone did explain the situation, our sagacious group of Eintsteins would have disregarded it as being "inconceivable."
3. This is the one that really gets me: why didn't Edea recognise Ringabel as Alternis? I've hear people justify this by saying that he keeps his armour on 24/7, or that she hadn't seen him in years, but this hardly serves as a valid reason, since Mahzer and Braev both recognise Ringabel instantly in some of the later chapters. In chapters 6,7 and 8, Braev calls Ringabel his "son," a title with which he addresses Alternis. In chapter 6, Mahzer says "so you cam back to us, Alternis," or something of the sort. Thus it's clear that Mahzer and Braev both recognise Ringabel. Why, then, doesn't Edea? And, for that matter, why doesn't Alternis himself recognise Ringabel when he storms Grandship? Makes no sense.
4. Where...exactly, did Lord DeRosso's immortally come from? I think it's implied that in the true ending, he uttered the words he heard so long ago to his past self, but...that doesn't explain a) how he actually did that -and- b) how he actually became immortal. Putting aside (a), since it isn't that important, the game never explains where DeRosso got his immortality from.
Continued in next post....
5. Why does Agnes so easily forget about the Orthodoxy's past actions. In both vampire castle and Everlast tower, the part learns of how the orthodoxy was drowned in greed, avarice and crime from its inception. Yet later (presumably because these revelations come in "optional" content), you hear Agnes rebut criticism of the orthodoxy with her usual "the orthodoxy is light, the orthodoxy is hope" spiel.
I actually have quotes here, taken from chapter 5:
Agnes:"...your hatred of the orthodoxy I cannot forgive"
Agnes:"The orthodoxy would never use the power of the crystals in such a selfish manner."
Keep in mind that in Vampire castle (chapter 4), the party learns that the orthodoxy simply desired the crystals to bolster their power, and such has always been their interest in them. Agnes makes zero sense here
6. If Airy is a single creature spawned of Ouroboros to shatter the world bounds, than how does she have a sister? Furthermore, her sister is implied to be a celestial (thanks to Tis having taken in a celestial). If so, then surely Ouroboros couldn't have created the sister, since that would make him the creator of celestials, and if he actually is such, than it makes no sense for him to want to destroy celestials and recreate them in his image.
7. Since it's strongly implied that the 'angel' is actually an instance of Agnes from another world that was deceived by Airy (and it's explicitly suggested that it's the instance of Agnes from Ringabel's world of origin), it's evident that only one instance existed to warn Yulyana and DeRosso of Airy. If so, how did all instances of Yulyana and DeRosso witness the Angel's warning?
Also, just another question about DeRosso's immortality: If DeRosso's immortality came from DeRosso himself (and the game doesn't explain...how he actually does this, but..??), then from where did the "original" DeRosso acquire his immortality?
The more I think about it, the more it seems the developers were just lazy in how they handled the plot and its intricate (and not so intricate) issues.
Only 4 members of the Eternian forces knew Braev, Yulyana, DeRosso, and Kami. They were keeping a secret so as to not alert the evil one I.E. Airy and Alternis was only told after there was no choice.
Braev not telling largely comes down to he didn't see the need to explain himself to his daughter. He was angry and distraught at everything falling apart and he just wanted his daughter to obey him and think for herself. He was foolish and rash exactly like Edea and that's what brought about his downfall. In each subsequent world it's less and less dire for him and so he shows a more open side. Kami was keeping it a secret as his best friend wanted. Yulyana and DeRosso knew the party had to reach the decision on their own so they weren't keeping it a secret so much as simply waiting for the party to come to them and ask them about it. Regardless the party wouldn't have believed them even if they were told, not until they began to world travel and discovered the secret themselves. Hell they were told in Ch5's end and at the time thought Alternis was a raving lunatic.
*will tackle 2 next post*
3. It's not that Edea didn't recognize Alternis, on the contrary she actually saw Alternis without his armor and thought he was Ringabel according to the second journal. Even if she thought they looked alike it was completely entirely pointless to mention. She knows Ringabel can't be Alternis because they are clearly two independent people and have polar opposite personalities. To put it another way if you see someone who looks like your friend you're not going to assume that person is an alternate version of your friend from another time and space, that would be both groundless and insane. You're just going to file it away as a minor coincidence and move on with your life.
When Edea saw them side by side she realized then Ringabel might be some form of Alternis but she didn't understand how that could be possible but it's why her tone to him changes. In addition slightly before this there is party chats that show Edea had slowly grown a theory on the true identity of the writer of Ringabel's journal but she didn't want to share it yet. Basically she had a sense for the truth but without the missing part, the existence of multiple dimensions each that run on their own time, she couldn't figure it out.
4. It's pretty clear especially in the journal that moment is where DeRosso's immortality comes from. Basically at that time every world and time had been connected by Ouroboros's plot. When DeRosso sacrificed himself to destroy the immortality amulet the energy from rebounded into him and through him the many selves he was connected to. DeRosso took it directly killing himself and all DeRosso got it secondary and were granted immortality. It's a giant temporal loop there is no start or end it's a circle.
5.There is no evidence that the party goes to the Vampire Castle in Ch4 both the enemy strength there (being a noticeable spike that doesn't occur anywhere else till Ch5.) and the text of the characters all imply that the game doesn't actually expect you to enter the castle till Ch5. Even if they did Agnes basically knows a totally different Orthodoxy thanks to Yulyana which is why she had trouble believing.
6.Her sister isn't the celestial spirit you the player are the celestial spirit, the celestial world is our world and we are the spirit within Tiz guided there by her. Airy's sister isn't a plot hole so much as a mystery yet to be explained, she said we would see her again and they've already planned a sequel.
7.Maybe maybe not the Angel could have been a repeat instance or she could have been spread across all worlds like DeRosso it doesn't matter. As Yulyana said there is no telling which Agnes it was there has been thousands of them.
I've got a quote that embodies you perfectly, but it's seventy-three posts long, has a few massive flowcharts, and lots of Xion-KMA to Me
2)As for why they kept awakening the crystals it's actually a mix of different reasons....
Agnes was in a very bad state of denial she had already had the faith she had been raised on and her whole life revolved around shattered and revealed as corrupt and bad. At the same time she has a strong moral compass of bad and goody as well as trust issues so she didn't really know who to trust or believe in because everyone seemed like a potential bad guy. The only people she could trust were her friends and Airy is included in that. Airy was her first friend on her journey she desperately didn't want to believe Airy was evil, that she had been friends with someone who had just freshly murdered her and had murdered her thousands of times.
That her journey was all a lie, that she had been inflicting endless suffering not saving the world, that she had been responsible for killing Tiz's whole village. Everything was to much for her to handle so she had to take it all slowly having a couple near mental break downs when it was all thrust on her. Finally after accepting Airy was a badguy (though holding onto a faint hope she was wrong) she focused on watching Airy and going along with the plan because she wanted to know why Airy had done this. If Airy is a badguy what is her aim? They haven't been doing anything visibly evil so why did Airy go to all this trouble. Who is the real enemy? Is it Airy? Is it Eternia? Or is it something else entirely? Agnes had to find out for herself and so she continued on prepared to bare the consequence it would bring.
Tiz basically left his decision making up to Agnes. What was most important to him was staying with her and making sure she's alright. He knew everything was to much for her to handle all at once she he stuck by her and let her take everything in at her own pace. Beyond this Tiz was also curious on what the point of all this was, why Airy had been doing this. Finally Tiz is also under our influence and control, he continues on because we make him continue on.
Edea had a very bad problem with seeing everything in black and white. This is where all her problems stem from. How could her father be a good person after seeing all the evil that he's responsible for? What reason could justify these atrocities? How could Airy be evil when she hasn't done anything evil that she knows of? How can bad people do good things and good people do bad things? Edea saw everything in black and white just two extremes and literally couldn't fathom the idea of a grey middle. It's something she's warned about countless times.
Add into this that Edea was pretty much doing this whole thing because she was having father issues. He was always cold and distant to her, she wanted his attention and approval but at the same time she was head strong and like many teenagers she believe she knew everything and thus her path was the right one. It doesn't help her father and teacher raised her to pick a path and stick with it not to get wishy washy or doubt it. So that's exactly what she did and she calls herself stupid for all of it at the end.
Ringabel was the last one and basically he had two big reasons. The first was he wanted to know like the rest of the party why all of this had happened. They knew the cause and they knew what they could do but they didn't know what their outcomes would bring. He wanted to know why, he wanted this mystery solved. The other is he's seen Airy's true form first hand and knows its horrors. He didn't want to see his friends slain all over again and his big thought on his mind was protecting Edea. So he tried to not let Airy realize he knew her secret afraid acting rashly would bring about their demise while staying together with his friends to the end to protect them because that was the path he had chosen.
I've got a quote that embodies you perfectly, but it's seventy-three posts long, has a few massive flowcharts, and lots of Xion-KMA to Me
Okay, having read your posts, I more or less disagree with most of what's been written, so I'll try to address your points and follow up with my complaints in the order in which you've outlined them.
1. It's not specified that anyone wanted the situation "kept a secret." This is more or less speculation on your part. Braev's main concern was stopping the impending disaster, and he himself explicitly stated that all personal ties are trivial before this, and that the situation is "larger then them all" for them to prioritise personal agendas over a solution. Whether or not he'd reveal everything to bring a swift end to the matter or allow his decisions to be distorted by anger and desperation is largely debatable; I'd say the more desperate he is, the more he'd consider the option of simply revealing everything (he told Alternis, so why not the crew?).
Now, regarding Yulyana, I'm afraid I disagree there as well. Yulyana himself stated that he failed to do what he was supposed to do (what the angel herself told him to do) when Agnes showed up with Airy at her side (he was supposed to kill her). If that's the case, it''s pretty obvious that his task wasn't to watch over them and wait for them to slowly figure things out, but to act swiftly and decisively should it be necessary to prevent the harrowing. Thus it makes no sense that he'd decide to hide the information and simply wait for the party's inquisitiveness to kick in.
3. I think your analogy is...not quite right. You're comparing two very different situations. If I meet Mr. A, who looks identical to Mr. B, sure I'd pass it up as a coincidence. But, if I meet Mr. A, who looks perfectly identical to Mr. B, and Mr. A has amnesia, and Mr. A is in possession of a journal that:
- Contains illustrations that depict an armoured figure that dons the exact same armour I know Mr. B to wear
- Suggests that the author and I know each other rather well
- Suggests that the author has a relationship with me that resembles the relationship I have with Mr. B
- Has attack names that are eerily fitting for a fighting style that Mr. B uses
Then I am most certainly going to suspect that something odd is going on here. Frankly, the difference in personalities is irrelevant, since it's an established fact that Mr. A has amnesia, and brain-trauma has a way of...doing things to people's personalities. It's absurd that she didn't recognise that something was going on.
4. I know that that is the moment in which DeRosso gains his immortality, but I'm asking HOW he actually gained it. That the energy rebounded off the amulet is just your speculation, and I've seen nothing to even suggest that in-game. It's neither shown nor explained how he grants immortality to his past instances. Plus, if Ouroboros has linked all time and space in that moment, than his defeat should be permanent and singular; time should be irrelevant. i.e. because all time planes are linked, if he is defeated, winding back to the past (given that the times and worlds are still linked) shouldn't revive him. Thus the game can't operate on an endless time loop, since ouroboros should, really, be gone for good. That's how I make sense of the game's events, at least.
5. What do you mean no "evidence?" I went to vampire castle in chapter 4? The game can't just 'assume' that you didn't. Actually, the way I see it, the sub quest opens up in chapter 4, and thus I think it should be assumed, canonically, that the party DID visit vampire castle in that chapter, since all the chapters following CH4 are repeats. You can't skip a sub quest that opens in chapter 1, and then assume that because you did its repeat in chapter 5, it's not assumed by the game that anyone completes it until chapter 5. It should be assumed that the sub quest is completed when it opens, not that it's completed when it's available to repeat later on.
Continuation of last post...
5. (cont.). Furthermore, it most certainly IS assumed that the part completed ever last tower in CH4, and the orthodoxy's atrocities are recorded in the files found by the party there. So even if they didn't visit Vampire Castle in CH4 (and that's one giant if), the part is still aware of how ruthless and selfish the orthodoxy is. Regarding Agnes, excusing her by saying "well she's stubborn and knows a different orthodoxy" just doesn't cut it. She KNEW a different orthodoxy, and knows the true orthodoxy and the extent of their greed and ruthlessness. Just because she had a different picture painted for her, it doesn't mean she can ignore all that's been shown to her in the game, and then have the party fight alongside her for a cause that doesn't have legitimacy. My question is, really, why she continues to defend the orthodoxy that she knew in the past, when she's now aware that it isn't the same as what she's been told.
6. I'm sure lots of debates have been had on this matter, since it's just surrounded by ambiguity and speculation. I don't know if I agree with your proposal. I mean, if you want me to be really technical (and I mean REALLY technical), Ouroboros's description of the celestial realm (our world, supposedly) is...well, most certainly not a fit description of our world. The "never ending peace" part is especially amusing. Even if your theory is true, it still makes no difference to my claims. My criticism was aimed at the existence of Airy's sister, and that is just as legitimate whether or not she is a celestial. Airy is supposedly a lone being created by ouroboros to shatter world bounds? How does she have a sister? It'd only make sense if her sister was also created by ouroboros, but her sister was against Airy's plans, and is grateful that you stopped them. Clearly, then, her sister is not a creation of ouroboros. If they don't even share a creator, than how can they be sisters? It just makes no sense.
7. I feel like Yulyana's statement at the end (akin to "well it's a 99.99% chance that it IS true but we can't really be CERTAIN now can we?;)" ) just existed as a last-second solution to a glaring contradiction, and I'm going to assume (justifiably, I think), that the angel was Agnes from Ringabel's world of origin. DeRosso's case and Agnes's case are very different. I have my doubts about DeRosso, but putting them aside, DeRosso supposedly transferred his immortality in a linked plane of all time and space. Okay, I have to jump through a few logical holes, but I can see it making sense. Agnes, however, was not in a linked plane of time and space. She jumped from one world to another world. Thus her presence as the angel in thousands of world (or at the very least, all worlds crossed by the PC's) makes no sense. Another difference is that Agnes physically entered another world. She didn't merely convey words and energy like DeRosso. She can't have physically entered 1000 different world at the same time, and died of her injuries in all of them. That just makes zero sense, no matter how you look at it.
Since (2) is quite a chunky section, I'll address it in my next post.
a few notes:
as far as why the party continued following along airy's machinations and direction it has been shown specifacally in chapter 6's final scene when the party discusses whether should keep going.. you can clearly see that they understand full well that airy isn't a positive force and when edea asks - how nuch longer must they keep on doing this she is being told by ringabel that it will end when airy's wings pattern will herald the begining and tiz says that it is necassary to confront their reall enemy - the party aren't actually as stupid as many people here accuse them of
yulyana's task was to direct and guide the vestal but also kill her if it comes down to it and it'll be necassary to kill airy - the evil one(though that reason is the true element preventing yuyana from carrying his task)
ringabel is afraid of airy and thus is very carful as not to alert her of their awarness of her true nature - they were dusccusing it discretly and preparing for the end though agnes is in denial untill the very end due to the fact that accepting airy's true nature is tentamount to denying everythis she was raised upon - and that's very diffucult - espcially for those raised on reglious ideas - offen train on acceptance reverance of ideas and obidiance - unlike people who were born and raised to think indepandantly and maybe even critically and not accept everything - it's evident in ringabel's behavior for example
edea didn't comment upon their similiarity because she didn't realize how similiar(or identical) they are untill obeserivng them closely and together - even when she saw alternis without his armor she assumed it to be ringabel - so maybe she didn't saw alternis in exactly the same look ans ringabel and thus didn't fathom that they are truely as similiar as they are - and certainlt not the same person (asn how could she possibly imagine the idea of parallal universaves?)
and about fighting style? what do you mean? it's class depandant rahter then person depandant so how could she make comparisons based on that?
and just look at regilious people and organizations in our world - even when confronting facts (even science) they have hard time excepting them if they conflict everything they grew up being thought - espcially in a strict and religious setting..
2. Agnes may have some annoying trust issues, but they hardly excuse her actions. Yes, she may not have known who to trust, but the strength of that argument is diminished when just about every knowledgeable character in the game warned her about Airy. Ringabel warned her when he regained his memory. DeRosso warned her of an evil one disguised as a helper of the vestals. Braev warned her of the dangers of awakening the crystals (let's not forget that Airy is the one that told Agnes to awaken the crystals in the first place). Yulyana explicitly stated that the evil one accompanied Agnes when she visited him. Alternis warned the party that they were being deceived by Airy. Even Tiz, who she's known and trusted as long as Airy, warned her about Airy. Yet she continued to awaken the crystals. "Trust issues" or "stubbornness" doesn't even begin to justify this. It's just outright lunacy. She may not have 'wanted' to believe it, but literally everything in the game suggested. She can't just ignore it all because she didn't 'like' the idea.
I already explains why I don't buy the idea that the party wanted to address a 'deeper issue' in allowing Airy to continue her plans. The party didn't know anything of what Airy was trying to do. As I said, all the part knew was that:
- Something called the "harrowing" was approaching
- The "harrowing" wasn't desirable
- Airy would bring about the "harrowing"
That's it. They knew nothing of ouroboros, and knew not that Airy was merely a pawn. Thus the notion that they wanted to address the deeper threat goes right out the window.
I'll buy the point that Ringabel may have been fearful, but simply letting Airy accomplish her goal is hardly a sensible solution. Ringabel knows that Airy slaughtered Agnes, Edea and Tiz because they took her as far as she needed to go to shatter the world bounds for that particular world. They fell for her ruse, danced on her palm, and were killed when deemed useless. Thus, if he was scared of Airy's strength, it's hardly sensible of him to simply continue assisting Airy until he and his friends are no longer useful. If they rebel, they fight Airy, and may get killed. This is true. But, if they do everything asked of them by Airy, Ringabel knows (because, as you said, he witnessed it first-hand) that Airy will 'clean them up.' No loose ends, right? Only, in the second case, they've simply brought about the harrowing with their own hands, and in the first, they've ad least rid Airy of her pawns. This is all assuming that Ringabel truly believes that they can't stand up to Airy, and never does the game suggest that he's the type to simply back down before a powerful force. It defies his established character. Actually, I don't believe any of the characters are portrayed as bearing that trait. All of them are depicted as people that'll stand up to any might, as long as they hold conflicting ideals. Thus Ringabel being complicit for the last two and a half chapters because he knows that Airy is strong almost defies his characterisation up to that point, but I'll agree that this quite debatable.
Now to address my main issue with your justification of the party's complicit nature in those last few chapters. You defended it by suggesting that they wanted to know the truth. Perhaps this is true, but let me ask you: does that truly excuse their actions? It makes no sense to continue assisting someone that you know is manipulating you to bring about a catastrophe that could destroy the world, just because your curious. "Well I wanted to know their goal, so I kept awakening the crystals" is absurd. Any sensible person would just stop helping someone they knew was tricking them.
I'll agree that Edea had some serious issues, and was only able to comprehend morality by reducing it to senseless extremes, but that alone doesn't justify everything the party did.
they may not know of oroborus but they did know of the fact the airy isn't the true enemy and I have described in my post - check the yulayan scenes in chapters 5 and 6 as well as the holly pillar scenes in chapter 6's end and see for yourself