So, if Rush was really a Remnant, would he automatically come bound or unbound? Could Irina bind him? Could he bind himself (assuming that he holds some form of Marion's Blessing rather than it just being Irina's power)?
If the state of all the other Remnants is any indication, their default state is "unbound". Thus, Rush is "unbound" (though not awakened) and Irina could indeed bind him. Also, Rush can't have Marion's Blessing because it's an inherited ability.
An addendum: there's a theory (based on one scene that you see when Rush enters the Sacred Lands) that Rush was found by Marion and bound (perhaps accidentally) to her. If Rush were bound to either Marion or Irina, it would explain his single-minded obsession with Irina's safety throughout the entire game: brotherly love is one thing, but his devotion to her borders on psychotic.
Mmm... kinda subjective there. I was of the idea that Rush had accidentally wandered into the room with the cradle and had some irreversible accident happen to him, explaining what happened in the scene. It would be kind of weird for Marion to care so much about him wandering in if she had just found him there.
I think she probably found him there as a baby, but didn't want him returning for fear of him awakening his latent Remnant self, or just from finding out that he was technically adopted.
So then how did The Conqueror get Marion's Blessing if the ability is hereditary? If Rush was meant to be some proto-Conqueror, doesn't he also have the ability to nullify Marion's Blessing by getting serious (or having a blue aura surrounding him)?
His power is not Marion's Blessing. It's a similar ability, but not the same. I could speculate that all Remnants have the power to call out to each other, considering that they are all made from the same cloth. However, only the Conqueror and Rush have the sentience to use it in any sort of effective manner. What's special about Marion's Blessing in that it allows a non-Remnant to use this ability. (Or to put it another way, Marion's Blessing allows you to "speak Remnant".)
Ah, okay. ...Now I have more questions. Why does Rush get the option to 'go back' after the credits? What could be in Irina's talisman that was so powerful she had to stop it from rebelling as opposed to, you know, Cyclops or the Gae Bolg? Why is Wagram a lackey of the Academy if it's shown he's more powerful than the God Emperor himself? Did I miss the answer to that last question in a cutscene?
Hoo boy. Okay, one at a time:
Simply put, it's a Sequel Hook. I could wax Epileptic Trees about Rush having some special power that allowed him to survive the destruction of the Remnants (maybe the same power that prevented him from awakening in the first place) but the fact is that no explanation is given.
Irina wasn't trying to prevent her talisman from rebelling, she was trying to stop the various Remnants she had bound to herself (mostly thanks to Wagrum) from rebelling, distracting her from helping Rush and David. She succeeds in suppressing them, while the boys lose control.
Wagrum may be more powerful than the God Emperor, but he is not a megalomaniac. His allegiance lies with the Remnants (and by extension, the Conqueror), as does the God Emperor (who controls the Academy). It's easier for Wagrum to work with the Academy rather than working against it, since they share the same goals and serve the same power. Not to mention that his lackey status allows him to slip under the radar, and he seems to share a friendship with the God Emperor.
On who Wagram really is, after finishing the quest "The Desert's Legend," the soul of the Queen was about to name the very first God Emperor when she passed, but didn't finish saying his name. "Waa ... graa...." Apparently there's been some discussion on gamefaqs talks about this. If this were true, this would mean that Wagram is the Imperator—the single most powerful person in the world's history, disguised as a mere scholar. (And would explain why the current God Emperor treats him as as social superior.)
Yup, pretty much. Thumbs up to you guys for answering these questions, by the way. =)
The "leveling" system. Going in, the game indicates that linking groups of opponents is a ideal, and it seems like increasing your battle rank is a good thing. However, to really maximize your power, you should always avoid linking and keep your battle rank as low as possible, so your characters can get stronger while keeping enemies weak. This goes beyond counter intuitive and into the realm of the game lying to the player.
The PC version of the game removes the part where Battle Rank increases at a faster rate when you link enemies.
I should also point out that "maximize your power" is a bit inaccurate: linking battles means that the enemies drop better loot, which in turn means stronger equipment, which in turn means greater power.
How has no-one mentioned the cyclops yet? It is forced out in a battle, its in a cutscene and yet there is NOT ONE SINGLE MENTION OF IT in game