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Because Destiny Says So vs. Screw Destiny in Japanese Games:

(This kinda holds true for anime too but I'm far more itnerested in the video game aspect of it)

This topic was inspired by an observation from someone else so I don't think it's just in our heads but hear me out.

Those of us who are fans of things like JRP Gs might have noticed the change in themes and messages from the games of our earlier days.

One need only contrast the earlier Final Fantasy which were very much about legendary heroes who were fated to arrive and slay evil. Heck, this idea was there all the way up to FFVIII.

With FFIX things started to change but FFX marked the complete shift in the other direction. I've heard FFXIII is the same but I haven't played it.

The change is even more clear to Xenofans like myself. Xenogears and Xenosaga were both written by the same guy but while Gears had Fei, The Chosen One destined to free the world, Saga has Screw Destiny etched in almost every area of the story.

So we see how things swing from our heroes are heroes because the universe is good and made them that way all the way to the universe is just out to fuck you over and you become a hero by asserting your free will.

So I'm just wondering...is this all in my head? has anyone else noticed this mood swing? Any guesses as to its cause if you have noticed it?

EDIT:

And I think I probably used the first trope incorrectly. My apologies.

edited 2nd Mar '12 11:20:33 AM by Nikkolas

 
rrw
i thought pretty much every FF game is use this trope?
hi
It's the standard cycle for all cliches. Once one gets used too much, the reverse becomes more appealing.

Cliché is such a strong word. This, after all, is TV Tropes.
 5 Clarste, Fri, 2nd Mar '12 11:53:52 AM Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Three Steps
I agree with the general shift, but I think your characterization of certain games is a bit weird. FFVII for example was very much anti-destiny. The "destined hero", if anyone, was the villain who went insane because of all the conflicting expectations put on him. The one who ends up being the hero isn't even one of the elites; he's just an ordinary guy with low self-esteem. None of the party members are "chosen", they're just people.

And in Xenogears, while Fei was certainly special, the basic premise was that history was repeating itself forever through various control methods and reincarnation. In the game, the cycle of destiny is broken, which is the whole plot. It's... a bit complicated so you can't say that either the heroes or the villains were the ones breaking it, but the whole thing is very anti-destiny. All of Fei's previous incarnations were equally special, and even awoke to their destiny or whatever through the Zohar, but ultimately failed to break the chain. It's more about breaking apart the system that creates The Chosen One.

edited 2nd Mar '12 11:56:24 AM by Clarste

I think it's more along the lines of their destinies were being subverted by evil forces. "The Contact" - Abel, Kim, Lacan and finally Fei - were given a purpose by what is essentially God. That purpose was to destroy Deus and free God/The Existence.

I would call that fate or destiny but maybe that's just me.

edited 2nd Mar '12 1:24:16 PM by Nikkolas

 
 7 Clarste, Fri, 2nd Mar '12 1:26:16 PM Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Three Steps
I suppose it depends on whether or not you think it was inevitable for the system to fall apart.

edited 2nd Mar '12 1:26:24 PM by Clarste

I'd say 13 is more of a subversion.

It appears to be "screw Destiny" but much of 13-2 shows just why screwing destiny can be a very BAD thing
Going Forth!
13-2 was careful not to be on the side of destiny, either, though. It stressed that 'true history' simply meant the one that happened, and there were times where going against prophecies was the better choice
Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought
[up]

well, yeah. Or that self-fulfilling destiny is a thing.. Though I figure 13-3 will be "fuck you destiny" in big letters
Going Forth!
 11 feotakahari, Fri, 2nd Mar '12 4:22:52 PM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
I think this is part of a general pattern of video games becoming less simplistic as their stories become more complicated. "It's fated to do this, now go do it" is an easy way to justify everyone playing their part in the story, but it doesn't allow for characters' personalities to shape the course of events. (As a related factor, Final Fantasy has gone from Dark Is Evil [but redeemable] in Final Fantasy IV to Dark Is Not Evil in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years to The Sacred Darkness in Dissidia: Final Fantasy, all with the same character, because the morality of games is now complex enough that not everyone who looks evil needs to be evil.)
That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful
 12 dorkatlarge, Fri, 2nd Mar '12 8:21:37 PM from Parts Unknown Relationship Status: Maxing my social links
Brosuke wannabe
Back in the early 90s, I didn't expect anything more than a hint of plot in my video games. These days, you can still find plenty of video games with little to no plot, but there's more exceptions.

Anyway, looking at the main Screw Destiny and Because Destiny Says So pages, I see the following games get more than a passing mention:

And there's probably more worth mentioning. But I'm not sure if there is a trend towards Screw Destiny. It might depend on what games you look at, and which ones you consider notable...

There's also ambiguity over whether Destiny is really being screwed, or merely a prophecy. What if Destiny says "you will screw this prophecy and prevent it from happening?"

Also, this is the core of why Chrono Trigger fans *despise* Chrono Cross. It takes the entire theme of Chrono Trigger, Screw Destiny, and inverts it *horribly*. Nothing like finding out everything you did was meaningless at best! *rage*
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Total posts: 13
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