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Just a little meme/exercise I thought'd be fun, and might potentially lead to some interesting discussions. (I feel bad for posting this while you're away, seika; I'm just really in a chatting-about-fiction mood right now and could do with a meme. Feel free to respond when you're back! I like not to put time-limits on discussions here.)

The idea is simple: pick a character (or three, or five, or $VARIABLE) we both know, and tell me one or more facts about them from your personal canon (i.e. something that wasn't in the story but is personal to your interpretation). I'll respond with one or more facts about the same character from my own personal canon. I reserve the right to tangent off into Fun Facts About My Connection To This Character, to substitute Georg Prime Facts™ for actual facts about Georg, or to not be able to answer (especially if you pick a fandom I haven't thought about much), but I'll try and pass commentary on your fact(s), at the very least.

Oh, and if you want to ask something about a character you know I know but you don't have anything to say about them yourself, feel free! I'm playing fast and loose with this one, sorta. I just want us to talk nerdy at each other. <3


( 46hp damage — Attack! )
Mar. 12th, 2008 07:06 pm (UTC)
Geshtar isn't much of an Empirialist at all. He started out as something of a matchstick man and worked many (fake) jobs, dressing appropriately and ripping off a lot of people. For him, being someone was simply a question of acting the part. He was so good at it, the first "real" job he landed was that of Vandole's right-hand man, which he acquired by getting himself caught trying to pull a fast one on the Emperor after selling him a ship full of tin weapons. But his life was spared; Vandole himself needed a figurehead, someone who wasn't actually good at being a general, who would therefore do whatever Vandole told him to without considering why or making decisions on his own, he just needed a thug who would dress important and tell people what to do and most importantly, act the part--he offered Geshtar his biggest acting career ever, lavishly paid with a cushy life, fancy clothes and armor, lots of money and a badass airbike. That, or being fed to the metal mantis. Of course Geshtar took the carrot.

Geshtar didn't take the job itself too terribly seriously (no more than any "job"), but he had fun being The Evil BadGuy for a while. But after getting his ass kicked a few times, Vandole's death, and feeling weird about some of the more vile things he had be asked to do by Thanatos, Geshtar decided he wanted out. Unfortunately for him, Thanatos had other plans; like Fanha and Sheex, Geshtar was used as a distraction to the Mana Knight & co., only in Geshtar's case, Thanatos had to take over his mind to do it.
Mar. 12th, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC)
Hmm! I can honestly (and rather sadly) say I have no headcanon for Geshtar, or really any of the Empire; Mana was one of those games where I focused on the characters and plot a lot less than I focused on the world. Even the protagonist cast didn't get fleshed out much in my head, despite that there was room for it. But reading this, I know I'll see Geshtar in a new, and quite saddening, light the next time I play the game.

For me, that game was... the experience of entering into a coherent world, a different world, full of different light and sound and smells and knowledge. Playing it was like entering into a little bubble of otherworldliness, where everything felt connected, everything felt like part of everything else. It was, pretty much, the beginning of my spirituality. I saw characters less than I saw this world that was buzzing with life, a world that would embrace me if I reacted to each part of it in a manner that sustained the whole, if I treated it as the sacrosanct thing it was. Pureland was... a genuine holy land, for me. It was the forests of my childhood mixed with a strong cue that everything here was meant to be treated with awe, treated as sacred, walked among knowing you only did so because of the everloving grace of the Goddess. I truly felt enraptured there. Even now I can listen to the music on repeat for ages.

Fun Fact about Geshtar, though: his name did get stolen by me for one of the right-hand men of Emperor Thanatos Ketsuroko, my pretty transparent appropriation of aforementioned Emperor who was the Big Bad of my part-original, part-crossovery headworld for a time. Said Thanatos was even a headperson for a bit, though he was pretty one-dimensional.
Mar. 12th, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC)
...I'd do this, but I honestly don't think any of our fandoms match. Feel free to correct me, though
Mar. 12th, 2008 10:54 pm (UTC)
Omg! Icon! *dies laughing*
Sans Subjectum, Peon - eclective - Mar. 13th, 2008 04:15 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 12th, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC)
Oooh...I like this...links to fanfics are here:

1. Nash (Lunar). Nash is not a native of Vane, but one of the few survivors of a prairie tribe. As a boy, he was known as "The Storm Child," one of those "gifted" among the Tribes with "Wild Magic." After escaping the attack that killed his family, he made his way to Vane, since his mother had mentioned wanting to bring her children to the mages and see if they could "help."

[This is all from that mess of a Lunar fic that is still unfinished]

2. Mathiu. I believe he is Apple's biological father. Apple was never aware of this until years after the events of SIII. Shu was expelled from Mathiu's school for coming into this information and then attempting to blackmail Mathiu with it.

[I wrote two fics about this: the first is "Final Chapter" and the second is "Severance"]

3. Helmut. Helmut is one of Chris Lightfellow's ancestors. He and Colton "disappeared" after the events of Suikoden IV and they sailed north. Eventually they landed in territory near the Grasslands called Zexen. More advanced in technology than the Grassland tribes, they felt it was a pitiful substitute for Kooluk, but it would have to do. The two of them worked tirelessly to make ends meet. Helmut enlisted in the army when a scuffle broke out and impressed his commanding officers with his skills. Following that, he was granted a surname and given "Lightfellow" after the unusual silver hair he had at such a young age.

[And this one comes from a variety of fanfics I've done, but most notably "Fulfillment"]

Mar. 13th, 2008 03:01 am (UTC)
Oo, interesting! Not having acquired as much attachment to IV as the other games (I'm working on that), I don't really have much of a headcanon for Helmut, but I think my current headcanon take on Chris is that at one point a Falenan prince was part of the bloodline that led to the Lightfellow aristocracy, its being relatively inconsequential who a Prince of Falena marries, and a number of them doing the thing of setting off for foreign climes the better to actually make their own way in life, rather than being bound to a society that really doesn't have much for them to do. The Lightfellow name, in my headcanon, would have come from that (either the general paleness of the family, or the country of their origin being known as the country of the Sun Rune).

Tangentially - and because I don't have enough of a headcanon about Nash and, for reasons mentioned below in response to luinied, Mathiu - I will note that it's my opinion that the Falenan royal family's hereditary colouration is due to a kind of mild albinism (blue or violet eyes are actually quite often a trait of albino people; they don't all have red eyes, the violet being caused by a small amount of blue overlaid onto the underlying red), which is the cause of various degrees of colourblindness and (ironically and sadly enough given their circumstances) photosensitivity. I'm not sure if these traits carried through to Chris or not, but it's a possibility. (It also causes them to do a nifty thing where their eyes can look different shades of blue or violet depending on the light.)

Interesting take on Nash! I played Lunar 1 during a period where I was really already mentally preoccupied with the Suikoden games, so I didn't really pick up on the characters as much as I'd've liked. I'm all for anything that makes him more sympathetic, though; we had a strong attachment to Lemina for a while, and she was rather anxious to know more about her ancestors and whether Nash really deserved the rather negative reputation he had in fandom. It sort of biased me towards wanting to look for positive traits in him, but I never really got to know his character enough. That's fascinating, though.
Sans Subjectum, Peon - karthur - Mar. 13th, 2008 03:15 am (UTC) - Expand
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Mar. 13th, 2008 12:21 am (UTC)
Re: Mwa ha ha.

Honestly I find it easiest just not to have an Achilles in my personal canon. He seems like such a ridiculous post-game insertion.

turn into a tree someday, as women of the Mana Tribe have since its founding.

You know, I always did wonder where this whole aspect of the Mana Tree went in Secret of Mana, since it was the Big Tragic Ending of FFA. Not that this isn't the only inconsistency between the two, or that I even believe it's possibly for a consistent Mana timeline to exist. I really should finish Sword of Mana someday, though, just to see if they've kept the ending.
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Re: Mwa ha ha. - eclective - Mar. 13th, 2008 02:35 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Mwa ha ha. - luinied - Mar. 13th, 2008 04:31 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Mwa ha ha. - eclective - Mar. 13th, 2008 04:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Mwa ha ha. - luinied - Mar. 13th, 2008 04:56 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Mwa ha ha. - eclective - Mar. 13th, 2008 05:37 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Mwa ha ha. - luinied - Mar. 13th, 2008 06:39 am (UTC) - Expand
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Re: Mwa ha ha. - luinied - Mar. 13th, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Mwa ha ha. - eclective - Mar. 13th, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Mwa ha ha. - karthur - Mar. 13th, 2008 03:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Mwa ha ha. - seika - Mar. 14th, 2008 08:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Mwa ha ha. - eclective - Mar. 13th, 2008 03:47 am (UTC) - Expand
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Re: Mwa ha ha. - eclective - Mar. 13th, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Mwa ha ha. - eclective - Mar. 13th, 2008 03:56 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 13th, 2008 12:32 am (UTC)
I don't have many of these to add, but:
  • Shin is Hugo's father. He met Lucia in small town tavern (Forest Village, maybe?) as he was Leaving Greenhill Forever and she was returning home. A combination of mutual sadness and warrior-style respect led to them spending the night together, and Hugo was the result - and according to Karayan customs there is nothing at all odd about this. Hugo's hair color makes perfect genetic sense given Shin's.

  • Odessa's bit about choosing to be a woman was a bit of dark humor, referencing a comment Flik made when they first met. Flik hadn't been out of Warrior's Village for long, and he still had problems understanding women who were warriors in their own right and not always in need of protection. Odessa had long forgiven him for whatever it is he said, but she was reminded of it as she lay dying.

If I think of any more I'll add them - I sure I have a few from sources other than Suikoden.
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Re: I don't have many of these to add, but: - seirai - Mar. 13th, 2008 02:10 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: I don't have many of these to add, but: - eclective - Mar. 13th, 2008 02:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: I don't have many of these to add, but: - luinied - Mar. 13th, 2008 04:29 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: I don't have many of these to add, but: - eclective - Mar. 13th, 2008 04:43 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: I don't have many of these to add, but: - eclective - Mar. 13th, 2008 04:45 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: I don't have many of these to add, but: - luinied - Mar. 13th, 2008 04:54 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Odessa - karthur - Mar. 13th, 2008 03:13 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: I don't have many of these to add, but: - eclective - Mar. 13th, 2008 03:58 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 13th, 2008 02:49 am (UTC)
talk nerdy to me!
I've still never played Seiken Densetsu 3 in a language I can read, but Merc and I developed our own canon while we played it. In that one, er... Jessica eloped with Nikita. In mine, Duran was a Meridian Child, which was something like a Mana Knight. (I'm not sure why I chose him, other than the hair-resemblance to SOM's Mana Knight, but..there it is. I seem to remember you associate that title with Riesz, right? Riesz was my favorite character...)

Travelling together in the World of Ruin, Celes and Sabin grew close. She might also be related to him. (From some cryptic comments from townspeople about resemblances. I understand now I probably wasn't meant to see them with only Celes in my party. =P)
Mar. 13th, 2008 03:30 am (UTC)
Re: talk nerdy to me!
Oh, wow. Playing games in a language you can't read and inventing your own canon around them is love. And that is quite an adorable story. But yes, I did associate that title with Riesz, for... reasons I'm not entirely sure I remember, actually. I think it was more a qualia thing than anything concrete. I wish I'd had a more solid idea of what it meant, like the way I took Celes's Rune Knight title to be a signifier of a specific and separate path she'd aligned herself to, rather than just a magic class. (And awww, Jessica/Nikita is quite adorable.)

In my SD3 headcanon, the Amazons were a very strongly bonded people, both an army and a devoted sisterhood. It was a bond that was very much part of their sense of self and one that was enhanced through their warrior rituals, which were centred on the doctrine of the most effective fighter being one who recognises that they are part of a greater unit and strives to develop a connection to that unit that will help them move as one, like striking birds. (A microcosm of what the Mana games' philosophy was for me in general, I think.) The bond didn't necessarily have a romantic component (though sometimes it became that way between certain individuals), but it was the kind of thing that took over one's life, and Riesz felt very strange and isolated when she left Rolante. She felt very guarded around people who weren't "of her kind", and it was a long time before she was able to apply the doctrine she'd learnt about how oneness was the most important thing to anyone outside her tribe. As a result, she had no interest in getting romantically involved with anyone during her journey; she just wanted to go home, really, though she covered it up with aloofness and shows of bravery.

I would definitely agree that Celes and Sabin were close. Sabin was one of the few people who was able to take her at face value; he didn't care about her past, and something, perhaps derived from his training, perhaps simply from the straightforward way in which he looked at the world, was able to just reach through to who she was in the here and now and understand that she was sincere. After a lifetime growing up around cold military types she valued his easy companionship, the fact that he didn't stand on ceremony, and while it took a while for her to relax into it herself, she was immensely glad of his company during those trying times. I don't know if they were related or not, but their friendship was probably the closest thing Celes ever had to a sibling-y bond.
Re: talk nerdy to me! - luinied - Mar. 13th, 2008 04:26 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: talk nerdy to me! - eclective - Mar. 13th, 2008 04:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: talk nerdy to me! - luna_manar - Mar. 13th, 2008 05:50 am (UTC) - Expand
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Re: talk nerdy to me! - luna_manar - Mar. 13th, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: talk nerdy to me! - eclective - Mar. 13th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 14th, 2008 08:43 am (UTC)
Because you know so much of my Suikoden canon already...
My Celes:

-Is the daughter of a noble family who were very much like a traditional Japanese samurai family (and lived in a very traditional Japanese-esque house/town). The eldest son was supposed to inherit the father's position; Celes was an only child, so she was expected to do so instead (this wasn't shockingly unusual in an Oscar-like way, just not particularly standard either.) Since she was going to be a general from birth, she was chosen for the Magitek infusion. Her mother died in childbirth, and her father raised her until she was like six or so, at which point he also died, and the only family-type person she had around was Cid. She inherited her father's house and lived in it with just a servant, and later alone.

-Learned to sing and play Japanese instruments because that's what ladies from samurai families did. (I was totally reading The Tale of Genji when I made up a lot of this canon. XD)

-Felt that it was her duty to commit seppuku after her betrayal, but was "too weak" and just couldn't do it, as her instincts resisted too much. Was ashamed of this secretly. Was doubly ashamed when she then tried to end things in an easier way. She only started to think that maybe it was all right if she hadn't after seeing Terra's orphanage and thinking about it a lot and realising that sometimes people have really strange places in life that don't follow typical expectations. Still, though, it does embarrass her, and when she dwells on it she still feels awful and weak about not having done what she believed was her duty.

-When relaxing at home/socially and not in combat, wears long silk elaborately-embroidered kimono that trail on the ground. It's sort of androgynous wear for her that is still elegant; she doesn't feel like overly advertising that she's a girl because she already got attention for it in the military, but she does like the silks.

-Does look like the Amano art of her, although her definitive headshot is the status screen portrait.

-Does not have any sense of physical temperature. She literally lacks it as a side-effect of her infusion. (This isn't the case with Kefka, because he was "broken".) Hardly anyone knows this, though, because it makes her feel kind of weird and she's afraid people will judge her as inhuman if she tells anyone, so she keeps it pretty much secret.
Mar. 14th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Because you know so much of my Suikoden canon already...
Oh, wow. This is all so pretty (well, except the parts of it that are sad, though... sad can be pretty, in its own way) and lovely and detailed and squee. I'd heard a little bit of it before, but most of it I had not, actually, and this was really fascinating to read. (Hmm, I'm wondering if you would have really identified with the description of her as a "Shogun" from the fan-translated version, if you'd played it at the time... To me she was always a general, and because I never had any Japanese-esque associations with her the shogun thing didn't click for me, but I wonder if it would've for you.)

I think you know most of my Celes canon, but I'll lay it all out here anyway:

- She's a semi-closet opera buff, which was the reason behind her being able to scrape even a passable performance through the opera (she knew and loved that particular song off by heart), though everyone who didn't know who she was still thought Maria had caught a cold. During her time as a general, she kept a gramophone in her quarters; at the end of tiring days she'd turn on the music and let herself get lost in the elaborate romance, in a word much more stylised and ideal and less morally unpleasant than her own. She'd scoff at the idea of describing it as romantic (in the classical, as opposed to love-related, sense), but it was very much the fantastical and epic aspects of it that got her into it.

- As aforementioned in another comment, her Esper side was, in my head, Shiva, though I never paid terribly much attention to how much sense this made to the plot. I think later on I theorised that Shiva, Ifrit and the like were races of elemental Espers, as opposed to the forms of individual entities each looking different.

- She had huge amounts of guilt and disgust going on about her Esper side, not disgust at it so much as disgust at herself and refusal to accept that her body was this way because of the sacrifice of another being; she detested the idea that what she was was the product of so much cruelty, and felt herself a horrible monster (for more sensible reasons than most genetically engineered people do, I think). Actually, she dealt with it a lot like Luc dealt with his Rune, by pushing it away, and so wasn't able to communicate with it or assimilate it very well for a long time, despite knowing more about it than Terra did. This was more as she got older and actually understood what had happened to her, though; when she was younger, she was quite fascinated with her magic and her element, and was often thought of as an eerie and unemotional little child because of how absorbed she was in it (and also because she was very bright and would ask questions way above what the adults expected of her, very matter-of-factly).

- During her time as a general, she had a psychological addiction to the slightly euphoric and soothing effects of healing potions for a while, though since they aren't inherently addictive (they don't create a chemical dependence, since they're not chemical) it was something she was able to wean herself off. (If I've referred to her in the past as being "sort of an alcoholic", it was that.)
Mar. 14th, 2008 10:47 am (UTC)
You know, I had to let this one percolate overnight, because the vast majority of my childhood headspace was taken up with original characters. I started roleplaying before I stopped playing make-believe. Then I grew up and had a lot of awesome non-fiction to keep straight. :) I never gave much headspace to other people's characters in general.

But I do have one for you:

Rydia, FFIV. (The series' best black mage evar!)

She stayed in the Land of Summoned Monsters for at least a decade (time passes differently there, but I'm going by how she aged). Why? Because she found a home there -- a place that could accept her for what she was. But, more importantly ... she has a boyfriend down in the LoSM.

No, hear me out. I think she's one of the few postpubescent female characters in Final Fantasy games that doesn't have some sort of crush on, or love interest with, one of the other protagonists. (Edge has an unrequited crush on her, but dude's so sexually frustrated he hit on Rosa at her wedding, so that hardly counts.) I hate to extend traditional stereotypes of gender here, but if you look at it through the lens of FF logic, it almost only makes sense for her to reject a "happy ending" hook-up with one of the other good guys if she already has a sweetie. Albeit off-screen.

Note also that she makes a point of returning from the LoSM to the human world in order to save the PCs' bacon and fight off the Big Bad. She likes the human world enough to give up her happy place to help it out. But then, during the ending, it's directly stated she's chosen to return to the LoSM full time ...

... Actually, on watching it again, it's even more blatant than that. Her scene opens, and what's she doing? Chatting up one of the generic-icon hooded monster dudes!! (See 0:55 in the video.) This directly follows the scene in which Palom is chatting up his NPC Obligatory Happy-Ending Sweetie, and is the only other end-of-game context in which one of the protagonists is shown talking to generic NPCs (not counting Edward's supervising of Damcyan's rebuilding). Hmm!

Plus, if you look at the parallels between FF4 and 6 ... FF does so love its recurring characters (cf. Cid, Chocobos, Mog, etc). It can't be coincidence that both stories have green-haired mage chicks that come from the LoSM. FF is very good at retelling the same story from new angles. But Rydia's parents are presumably both humans, so this retelling makes the most sense as a temporal inversion ... Terra is the daughter of a summoned monster. Rydia is (ultimately, implied) the mother of one. (n.b.: If you want to draw an actual connecting line between the two games here, go ahead, but that's outside the scope of my argument. ;-))

Also, Rydia/Gau is totally the OTP.
Mar. 19th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
Oddly enough, there is only one character that has stuck in our head and exerted any kind of continued presence there. I'm not sure if you've even read the Belgariad/Mallorean series, let alone have any kind of attachment to any of the characters, specifically Ce'Nedra/X'Nedra. Please correct me if this is not the case! ^^
( 46hp damage — Attack! )


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