Red, I think you're equating somebody's job with their identity.
sometimes it's hard to explain myself. I'm not a good writer. I meant the exact opposite. In an earlier post I stated how Zoe at the beginning of DFC is faced with her old self and must decide how to proceed with her life. In the end, through her choice, the result is she has a different job. If the game's focus was to be finding one's identity, then a job change would miss the target. So you see: we agree. It's exaclty what I was trying to say...it's just that sometimes I'm a mess at communication, sorry
edit: I probably failed writing this paragraph as well...there you go
Your identity is your sense of self. Who you are, deep down. On a spiritual level if you will. Most people have at lest some awareness of who they are, and when their actions don't reflect that they often get depressed. They feel like they've lost their way in life. It doesn't matter how successful they are, they don't feel that way. It's more emotional than anything else.
I like the way you describe it! It's more spiritual than my view.
I think one's identity is a mix of things. How we react to events in our personal life, who we interact with people around us, how our journey in life has shaped us, how and if we passed through difficult times...losses.
Mostly I think that however we, as individuals, perceive ourselves is very distorted and biased by...ourselves!
I think that the best way we can find our identity is by observing how we impact the people, things, events that are around us.
I think this videogame does a good job of portraying his main characters, but I still don't think its focus is on it's characters' identities and if it was then it "missed the target" with me (but I don't mind it at all!).
Another example of identity is when you decide to either kill or torture or threaten the child-abuser. That is an identity-defining moment for sure. Kian has already said multiple times he won't kill anymore people but will he do it? After all he already sort-of did in Friar's keep, no? Either letting die or killing that poor man in the prison sorted a bad effect on the family (I think...if I recall it right).
The player puts him/herself in Kian's shoes and, depending on what kind of person the player is Kian moves a step forward in defining his new identity.
If the game's focus was the character's identity I would have expected more consequences, ruminations by Kian, reactions from his friends. Sure: Likho can be more or less of a friend depending and same goes for Enu and that's a good game mechanic that works well, but IF (stressing the if, here!) I was looking for a deeper character-building moment, I would have stressed out Kian's new approach. Is Kian a gentle soul? Then he won't kill any more people.
April, as a young student, probably never had a chance to really find out who she was. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, projecting how I felt as a college student, but I wasn't exactly sure who I was, or who I wanted to be. And that's not just career-wise. April's issue at the start of TLJ wasn't so much that she has lost her identity, but that she never really discovered who she was.
Sure: we can look at it like a coming-of-age story (that goes for TLJ, not the dreamer's cycle)
And while her long journey should have helped her discover that (as often happens in stories), she's told in the end that she was going to have this big important cosmic role to play. Ironically, her acceptance of that role is probably the most telling thing about who she is. The problem is that knowing that she was going to spend 1000 years as the Guardian, she never does the analyzing part that's required for somebody to gain self-knowledge.
What analyzing part?
She just kind of goes with it, never discovering her identity.
In DF, we find an April who has strayed quite far from where she was. She's so far from her identity that she's become depressed and bitter about it. She's angry. This is IMO why she can't shift anymore. She's so far removed from herself that she's lost a defining characteristic. When she finally dies, and we meet her in Dreamtime, she is finally free to be herself.
Yeah but those are words she says. I could say right now I found inner peace and am touching the heavens but people would need to feel the journey I took and see each step that led me to my state.
In april's case we see her bitterly accepting her destiny and standing against the Azadi. Then she dies. Then a funeral and her voice in Kian's head. Then nothing until the very end when she says she's at peace but she...says it..by the way when I look at her face...she doesn't even look happy. She looks sort of ..patiently accepting.
Kian has a similar problem. He as raised to be the Apostle. That's all he's known, and believes that that is who he is. He makes the mistake to equate his job with this identity.
Nice insight! You're totally right!
So yes, when he finds out that his blind faith in his leaders is misplaced, it's not exactly a good time for him. His whole life, he killed and slaughtered people. It was fine with him because he thought that he was doing the will of the Goddess. That his leaders would not tell him to do such horrible acts if it wasn't. To find out that his leaders (and Vamon claims it goes much higher that him, which we later find out is true) are not doing that, but rather directing him to further their own ambitions, is not good for Kian's idntity.
Suddenly he's not the chosen Apostle, bringing the Light of the Goddess to the people, but rather the thug, furthering the ambitions of greedy men. It calls into question everything he's ever done. If that doesn't make you pause for a bit, I don't know what will.
It would make me pause if it was what happened but I guess I didn't see it that way. Kian is smarter than your average Azadi guard and surely understands something is wrong. But he doesn't question his whole life. If he did, he would have gone straight to the rebels and become one of them, join forces etcetera.
But he's loyal to his people and traditions. He's very worried for what's happening but he's not questioning the foundations of his morals. He stands by the Goddess too.
that's why in the end he does go to the rebels but he also tells April he wants to go back to the six and tell them what's going on.
By the way...I don't think you fully grasp the Azadi situation in its whole. Vamon and Sahia surely were greedy but they didn't send Kian there. In fact they're quite annoyed by him from the very beginning. The prophet told the six to send him there.
When captive in Friar's keep (DFC) Kian must have had many doubts. Prison will do that to anybody. It's a quick moment and it's over very soon. When he's freed by the rebels he can't do anything else but join them, since he's an Azadi outlaw and not an Apostle. But his intent remains the same: uncover what's going on and correct the Azadi's mistakes. And in the end he accomplishes it.
In DFC he is so clearly lost. Look at several of his early choices. Do you kill Arn? What about the Warden?. Whether you kill of not is a huge self-identity thing. The very fact that he would even question that is telling, given his past. Then later with the rapist. To torture of not? I doubt Kian is exactly new to the torture scene, so again, his hesitation is telling. There's several other, smaller moments, but it's clear Kian doesn't have a clue who he really is.
As said above, Those character-building moments are there and they're quite sufficient to me. I like them. But I don't consider them as central to the story.
They would be central if I decided not to kill anyone (as I did) and in the end Kian would not punch or kill Klacks, he would learn the magical's customs, talk with Likho and make him understand that violence is wrong and so forth. Or if I decided to torture the child-molester then Kian would be a Judge Dredd kind of guy: feared but respected, many nightmares but a self-assurance that he's true to the Azadi way...or something like that I don't know...
As said: I'm perfectly happy the way the game is.
You say that Zoe was a party girl. She dropped out of school yes, but not to party. She just realized that what she was doing was not her. That the whole biotech thing maybe wasn't what she wanted to do. So she's depressed about it. And let me tell you, if you're depressed, it's kind of hard to do anything. Which is why we find her, at home, kinda lost. Not really sure what she want's to do with her life. She can't even work up the drive to take her exercise at the dojo seriously. Then she goes on this journey, finds herself again.
I didn't see it so intensely. Sure: she seemed a little uncertain...but many kids go through that phase. It never seemed to me like she was in serious depression or totally lost.
But I agree: she definitely grew up through her experiences of the videogame. As I was saying...a "coming-of-age" kind of arc.
The ironic part of that is just as she kinda figures it out, she loses her memory and (if you made that choice) goes right back into biotech.
This journey is the simplest and most spelled out of the three, and probably the most successful. She seems really happy in the end.
A baby and a husband (or boyfriend). Gotta love them happy endings ;-)
You could say that DFC is a C&C game, and that those kind of choices are expected.
Sorry for my ignorance: what is a C&C game? (Command & Conquer....omg that was sooooooo long ago °_°)
I'd say that the decision to offer us those particular choices is deliberate. Think about the choices we're offered. Do I kill of not, and if I do, under what circumstances? Do I dwell on the past or move on to new things? Do I trust my friend with incriminating evidence or do I go straight to the authorities? Do I get involved in a mugging? Do I keep pushing Likho's buttons or do I try and mend my relationship with somebody I have wronged? Do I care enough about people to listen to a young Zhid girl's ramblings? Do I torture somebody, no matter how much they may deserve it? Does anybody, ever deserve torture? Do I give Na'ane, who made a terrible choice, a second chance, or end any chance she had at redemption?
Do I do what my boyfriend want's and get him his dammed cheese soup, or try and force him to try new things?
They're all big, who-am-I kind of choices. Some with huge consequences, some not so much.
I agree: they definitely are character-defining choices. But, as seen in other videogames, they do not truly define the character because they would require too much plot ramifications, so they're there to have mostly immediate consequences (there are exceptions of course). But, as said, I would need more to elevate them as truly relevant and central. I would need Kian's choice to not kill to affect every other approach he has to his self from that point on. Instead that doesn't happen.
Instead Kian carries on sticking to his character which is a man of action. He has been ever since we first saw him and he is until the very end.
Zoe does have a character arc but in my opinion it is mild, not strong. The vary last scenes when she truly wakes up and finally uses her powers: that was a long time coming and it got me quite satisfied. It was a small moment but it was very nice: you could see Zoe thinking for herself...also Abnaxus abode scene was nice.
April...heh...well. Enough said: it's late and I really gotta go to sleep :-D