Monday, October 24, 2011

The Many, Many Forms of Tale 7 (Part II)

One day, as I was mulling over characters, an idea struck. "Zealot!" I quickly sent to my go-to spriter at the time, Nayr. His response, however, almost turned me off from the idea. Instead of Zealot, he sent me "Zealot's dad," which turned out to be an incredibly recognizable splice of Orson's head on another character's armor, recolored to have black hair. At that point I was ready to just say "fuck it" if I couldn't get a decent sprite. Luckily, The Blind Archer was much more accommodating. Going to him paid in spades. Zealot would become the tale's new lead, and I could finally base the story around someone that I could work with, rather than exploring the continuing military careers of already-established, non-major characters.

Zealot, in FE6, is a renown and popular mercenary in Ilia, serving as the head of Ilia's Mercenary Guild. In addition to this he is also the honorary Lord of Edessa, and after FE6's plot Zealot reforms the government and becomes Ilia's first King. For such a major figure in Elibian history, I felt Zealot was left terribly unexplored. But, how exactly did he become so famous? What made him so compelling? These were interesting questions that I could possibly answer. I began working on the third draft, this time building it around Zealot's rise.

Draft 3: The Ilian Guild is in chaos. Given its loosely structured nature, warring factions have risen to prominence within the guild. One side, a band of corrupt, profiteering mercenaries, the other side focused on the people, but terribly inefficient at governance. As the people of Ilia starve, they await for a hero to rise above this conflict and finally deliver peace and stability. Enter Zealot, the young, charismatic commander of a squadron of soldiers. Zealot's forces wage a decisive battle against Sir Ayron's camp. The tale follows Zealot's path to triumph and rise to power.

Fiora and Farina returned in this draft, as did Wallace. Florina had already been moved to Tale 3, and there she would stay. Unfortunately didn't experience a net gain of any party members, I merely traded Florina for Zealot. However, this draft began a strong new foundation on which to build the tale.

This guy, once upon a time, was the Archer Captain.
The problem of party members would come to be solved by the chapter's decided "gimmick." While chatting with Blazer one day, he proposed an interesting idea. With his permission to borrow it, I took it and ran. The idea focused around creating an epic, large battle through the use of NPCs. There would be five unit captains for the five types of units you could call: Archers, Pegasus Knights, Soldiers, Cavaliers, and Mages. Every several turns, Zealot could talk to one of the captains and that would send the orders for 5 reinforcements of that type to come to your aid. The battle would be fought in waves, and which units you called at which time could either make or break your campaign. This idea went so far that I decided to commission mugs from The Blind Archer for each captain (which can be viewed in Tale 7, I recycled the mugs so they wouldn't be wasted).

Although I was excited by the chapter's gimmick, and the plot was acceptable, ultimately I decided that, while an epic battle and Zealot seizing power would be quite cool, that I would prefer to scale things down a bit. Zealot, after all, is only in his twenties at this point in the timeline, quite early on in life to be commanding the Ilian Knights. The quota for a grand-scale epic battle was also already filled, I felt, by Tale 5. One last draft, I decided, would settle it.

No comments:

Post a Comment