I’ve created a mass of characters, in a similar world building vein to Pratchett’s Discworld. But out of all of them, I think my current “favourites” are Alexandre Jutt (shadow), Yaska May Däwngale (who may be my anima) and Chloe Rhye. Chloe is essentially a genius, but also a complete ditz who stumbles over her own sentences. She’s well read, but introverted and lacks formal education. I guess those are standard for her “type” though. Sort of.
I’m deeply interested in seeing how she reacts to the real world, as is her father, who sends her on a quest of sorts in her adolescence. Her young adulthood is where it really gets interesting for me though, and that’s the story I’ve been trying to write for over two years.
The coolest thing, I think, regarding Chloe is her potential as an individual, and her lazor eyes. I came up with lazor eyes being a sort of racial trait for the Solune when I was much younger (four or more years ago!), but now that I’ve begun to explore archetypes and symbolism as a young adult, I’m seeing a sort of meaning behind it. Chloe is possibly the most powerful user of lazor eyes/lazor plasma, and I think it has something to do with vision. Chloe, being a genius, is a visionary. In her youth, she doesn’t have a lot of control over it, and it emits passively out of her wounds. She avoids using her power because she doesn’t know what will happen. Later, she focuses it, and takes control. That is the character arc in The Solune Prince.
There’s a lot of symbolic importance to eyes, if you look back to the ancient gods Horus and Marduk. I don’t know where my subconscious finds it (although Jung would call it “The Collective Unconscious”), but I’m deeply interested in seeing what Chloe is capable of. Are you?
Happy too am I!
Where is Lvsa, my love?
And I dub Alice and Finch’s life to be an Archetypal Comedy, and therefore eternal.
Now I digress from my memories of their love story to bring you evidence with the help of Northrop Frye.
These are the elements that occur in nearly all love stories (and realities) across nearly all cultures. (Sorry barbarians, you are hardly romantic.)
Two lovers. Two lovers who are destined for each other, often both secretly of noble blood; prince and princess. No explanation needed here.
(I will add, however, that the connection to royalty is a very Jewish tradition. For more, read,Song of Songs, which may or may not have been written by King Solomon, or contact your local Rabbi.)
Flawed Society. The society is flawed; even if the only flaw is that it does not approve of, or actively denies the love of the heroes.
You can see conflict and excitement, and even longing on the horizon by now, surely.
Instant Love. There is nothing in between the lovers. It is as if they have known each other forever. They slip into each others’ lives as easily as they slip into each others’ arms. Love at first sight may be something only found in the realm of fantasy, but surely love at his words must be real.
This is, of course, how I fell in love.
I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
(Authorized King James Version, Job. 23.12 2, emphasis mine, italics in original)
Separation. How tragic! The lovers mus separate. It is either caused by a chaos or double chaos (brigands are a chaos. Water is a chaos as well, so pirates, thieves of the sea, are a double chaos.) Usually, however, it is the society’s failure in tandem with a chaos that sets it off.
(The chaos being internal instead of external is, of course, very intriguing to me.)
Struggle to find oneness. Often this process brings out the woman’s beauty and desirably, as she longs for her husband-to-be. In the man, it brings out the same longing, and in some cases, even suicidal thoughts; “If I cannot be with her, I do not want to live!” (Infamously, Chaereas from one of the most ancient novels, Chaereas and Callirhoe, tried to die at least three times.)
Fuck it all and fuckin’ no regrets
I hit the lights on these dark steps
Medallion noose, I hang myself
Saint Anger ’round my neck
And I choke… on the cross
As I hang… as I’m hanging
I just wanna die today
I just wanna die
Will tell you why
I’m madly in anger with you
I feel my world shake
Like an earth quake
Hard to see clear
Is it me? Is it fear?
Searching my head
For the words that you said
The light at the end of the tunnel
Was turned off
And something I noticed
Beating you is thrilling me
I’ve got a secret for you
Tears filled my eyes
As we said our last goodbyes
This sad scene replays
Of you walking away
The tides of change pulled us apart
I feel a familiar pain
In my hour of need,
No, you are not there
And though I reached out for you,
Wouldn’t lend a hand
My darkest hour is every hour
You’re not there
When no words are spoken and please are ignored
Your tears go unnoticed, will you say enough?
Did you ever think I get lonely?
Did you ever think that I needed love?
Did you ever think, stop thinking;
You’re the only one that I’m thinking of.
Goodbye 1000 times goodbye
The thought never crossed my mind
That this would be my last goodbye.
My heart, it hurts
‘Cause it never catches its breath
I’m still staying when I should have left
Come to where the waters meet the shore
I’ll be there
And I will stay, leaving you
I am really afraid
But I am her protector
You’ll be never alone again,
Cause I am your protector.
Waves—close your eyes and count slow
In this moment things are getting dangerous.
I can’t find my way.
All these things that left me in their waiting.
—I keep shaking.
But the things that she said sounded peculiar and strange
Like she couldn’t believe the words that were shaping
Her future life
(Plagiarized by Alexandre Jutt, and Daniel T.
Credits in order: Metallica, Two, Logic, Metallica, Megadeth, Falling Up, Daniel Triumph.)
The struggle to return as one pits the protagonists against many trials, mostly internal for the woman, and external for the man.
Reunion. Of course, there is a happy ending! The man finds his woman, or in the case of stories like An Ephesian Tale or An Ethiopian Story, the lovers find each other.
Wedding! Of course, the lovers need to lock in their commitment and become slaves to each other. How romantic, a choking band around the neck—I mean the finger. You will never be forgotten, Alice, Finch!
The old and corrupt society is inspired and renewed by the lovers’ actions and their fated reunion despite it all. The wedding festival brings happiness not only to the lovers, but to the whole city that celibates with them. Even the villains find their good spirit and join the celebration (if only to be arrested or likewise midway through. However, all are happy for the lovers, even they that opposed them see how wrong it was to do so.)
The marriage is very important, it is the symbol; a promise of a new and bright future. (Ah, love is in the air. Are you as excited for Alice and Finch’s wedding as I? Truly, I must finish these writings soon, for they are calling that I help with the preparations.)
…and Daniel Triumph.
Read an essay on the first draft of Alice and Finch Here: Alice and Finch: The Archetypal Recapitulation
You can also check out Alice and Finch – Update 1 here, as it is far short, and less dense.
Finally, the first draft is available on this blog, for free in its entirety. Check it out if you are feeling impatient!
Burying all of the evidence
My glamorous words will CATCH HER
Burying all of the evidence,
Some thousands of eyes will HAPPEN
STRUCTURALISM IN ART AHHGGGGG NORTHROP FRYE IT IS THE NEW FRONTIER OF SOCIAL SCIENCE AND I LOVE SOMEONE AS WELL WHICH IS VERY IMPORTANT BLEGHH >:3
This is another page from Alexandre Jutt Dirge’s journal. She is a Masters of Chemistry student at the Solune Academy (Officially named the Solune Royal house of Sophia.)
She is known for having a scathing tongue and being extremely judgemental. She is also considered beautiful. Tall, well endowed, and having pale and clear skin. Hated by most, loved by few.
As a woman, I can confirm that woman are primarily useless.
Even now, as I get my masters degree in Kemia, I have contributed nothing to the world.
There is, of course, a shift that comes in most women’s lives,
When they become the most valuable class of human on the planet.
Women and children.
The time between marriage (when there is no escape) and parenthood,
That is when a woman is truly the most valuable.
However, they are still of little worth.
It is not until a woman has a child that she herself exits childhood.
Suddenly, at the moment she holds her infant,
She becomes masculine. Focused.
As the child grows, and becomes more independent, so does she.
Two children or more is mandatory.
One is a form of slow, dull torture for the entire family unit.
Children must be socialized, as the woman must.
A single child is like a single parent. Useless and damaged.
Do your best, Alexandre, you lone child. Find friends.
After this point, ideally in the late twenties, life begins.
Everything before this moment was in first and second gear,
But you will now coast in third at all times,
Find second in the home,
First in the bedchamber,
And overdrive, is your passions, within and without.
Adult women; mothers and grandmothers, are useful.
That is why brothers, husbands and fathers spend so much time ferrying them to that stage.
The patriarchy is hormonally constructed
To make women perfect.
Sophia. Women become repositories of wisdom.
From Sophia to Paglia, to Wollstonecraft to Asphasia, to Gwenhime to Chloe,
To you and I. Everyone could use a little more wisdom.
So, bachelorettes and girls, what the fuck are you doing?
The world needs its heroes.
Thanks for listening, ἐφημερίς. No one else listens like you. Usually, they hate me whenever I dare to speak, and so I am silent.
Looking for love,
Alexandre Jutt Dirge.
Alexander Jutt’s Journal – Epinephrine (a different page)
This was a reply to a reddit post that essentially stated that Symphonia was a bad game. The poster argued his point by comparing it to other tales games, instead of judging it on its own terms. I enjoyed the critique, but found it deeply flawed.
This argument contains some spoilers for the first third or so of the story, but nothing game-ruining—I could explain to you the entire plot, and the game still wouldn’t be ruined.
Half-elves, duality, racism, sacrifice, friendship (really?), resources, relationships, right to live? Symphonia, at its core, isn’t about any of these, although it addresses each with reasonable depth and competence. All of those are subthemes that either contribute to the main plot, or flesh out the world. Tales of Symphonia is about systems, and subversion;
Symphonia is about overcoming corruption.
The crux of the game is introduced at the Tower of Salvation, about one quarter of the way into the game. They find out that the religion of Martel that underlies their journey to regenerate the world is a sham, and that it’s just a tool for a failed system. It’s a corrupted system with a convoluted goal, run by the selfish, in-fighting Cruxis. Most of the latter half of the game is Lloyd (the “gentle idealist”) and company rejecting the dichotomy of, either two worlds vying or one of them dead. Lloyd rejects both and tries to find a way where everything can be decent.
There’s a harmony between the form and the content too, which (academically anyway) is a meaningful strength in a narrative. If the game is about subverting corrupted systems, then with each of its characters, it presents an RPG archetype (or system), and then subverts it. Lloyd, the “shounen-hero” standard, becomes a thoughtful idealist, and then acts on those ideas throughout the plot. Collette, the sacrificial Mary Sue, struggles with physical and spiritual illnesses throughout, and is constantly taking on loads of responsibility… and doing it well. Genis, the genius child caster, is (unusually, if you know the type) still childish, despite his ability. He’s a bit racist, arrogant, and he whines and cries about things. I could go on, but feel free to try it yourself. You can look at anyone from Sylvarant and see a video game trope, but if you reflect further (especially on their actions after the Tower even) you’ll see that they unravel their own tropes to reveal depth and individuality.
This marriage of content and form isn’t only found the characters; even the game itself starts off as a cliched system. Four seals? An adventure to save the word? Magitechnology that has gone extinct? an “empire” of bad guys? Sounds like every JRPG from the Super Nintendo to PlayStation era. But, after the Tower of Salvation, this is again shed to reveal something further down in the core of the game. Notice that the Tethe’alla party members don’t seem to fall into tropes like the Symphonia crew do (and if they do, it’s often far less overt). Zelos and Sheena are very strong examples of this.
In Tethe’alla, the Desians are no longer the main threat; there’s an underlying layer beneath it. Seals also now have a doubled reason for existing—the releasing summon spirits. And, of course, the entire system of the two worlds that need to be saved, instead of just one, becomes the active problem in the game.
You don’t have to like Symphonia. You don’t even have to like video games. Plus, the idea of dismantling flawed structures and tyrannical systems doesn’t resonate with everyone. (If you think about it, the theme might be the reason why it’s more popular in the United States than it is in the more conservative Japan.) I advise that you judge Tales of Symphonia for what it’s actively attempting to do with its narrative. Everything else, in the grand scheme of things, is secondary.
P.S. Here’s the original argument to which this post was a reply to, followed by my original rebuttal.
My original reply, from which this post came: