Asexual Awareness week was October 20 – 26 and, as some of you may know, I identify as asexual. Representation of any kind of diversity has always been important to me, even before I realized my sexuality. In a belated celebration for Asexual Awareness week, this Friday Favorites post details a few characters that I headcanon as asexual.
Lukas (Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia)
Cool, calm, and collected, Lukas is a soldier of the Deliverance who invites the main character Alm to join the cause. While he ended up being a favorite for his personality in the game, there was a specific DLC support conversation he has with Python where Lukas confesses that he doesn’t feel the same kind of “fire” that Clive and Mathilda — the resident battle couple — has. That little nudge towards not experiencing that longing cemented Lukas as a favorite.
Miles Edgeworth (Ace Attorney series)
I adore Edgeworth’s character arc throughout the Ace Attorney series. Considering it’s canon that he’s not interested in marriage and turns down dates, he’s always been one of my favorite characters to headcanon as asexual. Focused on his work and his tight circle of friends (despite seemingly grumpy at times when he has to deal with them), Edgeworth is a character I can relate to.
Cyrus (Octopath Traveler)
Cyrus was the biggest dork in the bunch in Octopath Traveler, and he ended up amusing me to know end with his love of learning and absolute obliviousness to all the women trying to flirt with him. He was an easy character to headcanon as asexual due to said obliviousness. Even though romance wasn’t really prominent in any of the eight main characters’ paths, it was still rather nice to see a character who had no romantic inclinations whatsoever.
Do you have any diverse headcanons of game characters? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
One of my favorite aspects of the Legend of Zelda series is the lore. At the core of the games, the story is a basic formula of a trio of ones chosen by the world’s goddesses to embody the spirits of Wisdom, Courage, and Power, being reincarnated time and again so the holders of Wisdom and Courage can protect the world against the corrupted Power. While Link is the default name of the Triforce of Courage, nearly every game has a different incarnation of Link and, despite him mainly being a silent protagonist, each is able to show off his own personality through gestures and their friends and allies.
The Legend of Zelda is a classic when it comes to lore and storytelling. It’s definitely one of my favorite games, easily. All the Links are similar to each other but each one is vastly different. It’s hard to pin-point one of them and pick a favorite.
While I don’t have a negative thing to say about any of the reincarnations, there are a few that are at the top of my list, like Twilight Princess Link. I enjoyed his design as well as the impact he had on the children of his village. I thought it was adorable how they idolized him. You could also pet cats and other animals in his game unlike in Breath of the Wild (c’mon, Nintendo, let me pet the dogs). Seeing the animals following him around was one of my favorite details!
I agree with you on that one. Twilight Princess Link looks the most “adult” to me. He has such a soft, yet tough, personality. I really enjoyed Skyward Sword Link. Since it’s the “first” game in the timeline I also felt like Link was younger and inexperienced, even though all Links kind of are in a way. For some reason, it just seemed to fit better in Skyward Sword.
Skyward Link is adorable. His progression from student who slept in too much to hero trying to rescue his best friend — with some sassy “dialogue” choices — throughout the game was wonderfully done. We totally both cried during the cut scene that had Link trying to reach Zelda before she went to sleep in that crystal! Speaking of sassy, I enjoyed Breath of the Wild Link’s personality as well. While he seemed stoic the majority of the time, his interactions with the world around him felt natural. And I completely enjoyed the fact that he made seal puns with the Gerudo.
All true. Any Link, Breath of the Wild included, who makes faces to express himself is a great Link. That being said, I love Wind Waker Link. His cartoonish look is cute and his faces – especially when he’s tired or hurt – are hilarious.
Wind Waker Link does have great expressions, but I think the Toon Link style may be my least favorite. That’s not to say I dislike the art style, as I do enjoy it and find it unique, but I’m more inclined to play games with the more “realistic” looking Links, such as Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, and Breath of the Wild.
Toon Link is special in that sense. I think I prefer that “realistic” ones as well, but I love the risk Toon Link made. Overall, all the Links are fabulous in their own way. I can’t wait to see more in future games.
Which Link is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.
#GamingTogether has been our little hashtag game on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr during the weekdays. Considering we haven’t done a little compilation like this in a couple of months, we decided to do another. These questions were from February 2019.
Here are some of our rapid fire answers from last month. Feel free to join in the game on social media!
1: Do you prefer characters with higher speed or attack power?
Kris: Higher speed, all the way. I love thief and ninja-like characters with their evasive maneuvers. Can’t hit a character that’s too fast!
Rachel: I agree, I prefer higher speed. Any damage is damage, especially if it’s done first.
2: What’s your favorite elemental magic in a game?
Kris: I’m finding myself leaning more towards lightning, if that’s an option, lately. Otherwise, wind or dark.
Rachel: Fire for sure. I’m sure you all knew that though.
3: Do you typically buy ports of older games?
Kris: Depends on the game, really. If it’s a game I remember loving, I’ll probably buy it for nostalgia.
Rachel: Yeah, it depends on the game. But honestly, I think I’d lean more towards yes. I always says I won’t buy ports and then I do.
4: What’s your favorite multi-player game?
Kris: I’d probably go with a Smash Bros. title or Super Mario Party, actually. Super Mario Party is something that is casual enough for friends that typically don’t play games join us for a round or two, while the Smash Bros. franchise is just classic.
Rachel: Super Smash Brothers, most likely. I don’t play it as often as I should, but it’s great fun with more people.
5: How do you feel about spoilers in game announcements?
Kris: Not great, admittedly. I like learning enough information about a game to help me figure out if I want to buy it or not, but spoilers turn me off. Case in point is the Pokemon franchise. I’m sincerely hoping Nintendo keeps some surprises about generation 8 and the new Galar region under wraps before the games are released. I do not want to already know the characters, the map, and all the new Pokemon before turning the game on.
Rachel: I can tolerate it, but could do without it. For the Galar region in Pokemon, for example, I like seeing the starters and the map. It makes me curious about the final evolutions and legendary Pokemon… but not curious enough that I want it leaked. I’d like to be surprised when my Pokemon evolve while I play the game.
Did you get a chance to answer these questions? If not, what are your responses? Let us know in the comments below!
A couple of my favorite genres of video games are RPGs and strategy games, particularly ones with multiple classes for your characters. Trying to figure out the best combination and the best attacks for said characters is a fun addition to the gameplay, even if not all of the attacks deal physical damage…
Typical in RPGs, there’s usually multiple classes and types of attacks or moves your characters are capable of. Utilizing all these types of moves usually allows you to come out on top in battles with all of the different strategies you can make.
As a kid, my strategy was usually:
Seriously. Why would I have my Pikachu know Tail Whip if I could give it Quick Attack? Why would I use a Dancer-class character in my old Fire Emblem armies when they couldn’t do anything to defend themselves? Why waste a turn using Geno Boost in Super Mario RPG when Geno’s basic weapons were strong enough already to get the job done? Support moves that buff allies and debuff enemies were never really on my list of moves to use.
Growing up, I’ve learned a little more strategy when it comes to gaming, especially my RPGs. My Pokemon teams have more rounded move sets, such as utilizing status-inflicting moves and physically damaging moves that dole out more damage against opponents that have a status ailment. Toxic has become a favorite move throughout the years, and I have a couple of tried-and-true Pokemon match ups whenever I’m in a double battle. Powerful Ground-type moves paired with a speedy Flying-type Pokemon are one of my go-to combinations in a double battle.
Granted, physically damaging moves are still at the forefront because, honestly, how else are you going to win RPG fights? However, the importance of support moves has never been so apparent as it had with one of the latest boss fights in Octopath Traveler.
(Small spoiler alert for the game’s bosses, I suppose.)
Rachel and I have been catching up with Octopath Traveler and recently were finishing up H’aanit’s Chapter 3. The big, bad boss at the end is a dragon, of all creatures (I want a dragon), and I got my ass kicked. Twice.
My team — Therion, Ophelia, Alfyn and, of course, H’aanit — were of the appropriate level, Therion even higher considering he is my main character, and all of them had weapons that were strong against the dragon’s defenses. Yet, the damn dragon still ended up defeating our team.
It wasn’t until the third time when I started utilizing the characters’ more supporting moves rather than just going for the kill that I was able to defeat the dragon.
Ophelia’s class was Cleric-Dancer, granting her not only Reflective Veil (which was an absolute Godsend, considering it not only protected her teammates from the dragon’s strong Dragonfire move, it also reflected the damage back to the dragon), but also the Dancer class’s ally buff moves. H’aanit had moves and creatures that hit multiple times to bring down the dragon’s shield faster, and Therion was able to debuff the dragon’s physical defense. With Alfyn’s physical strength being buffed by Ophelia’s Lion Dance and boosted to the max, his Amputation skill knocked out a bit over six thousand HP.
After doing that a couple of times, mixed in with Alfyn’s Empoison move and the other characters’ getting buffed from time to time, the dragon was taken down in what was probably one of the shortest boss fights we’ve ever had.
I probably won’t underestimate the power of Support moves again. At least, in Octopath Traveler.
How often do you use support characters and buffs in games? Do you think they’re worth it? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Have you ever noticed if the gender of the protagonist effects the game? Perhaps one gender has better stats or different powers or something as simple as clothing options?
Many games, particularly RPGs, allow the player to choose between playing a male or a female protagonist. While most games tend not to have much of a difference between the genders, there are some games that can be skewed to favor one over the other.
One of the most notable examples that I’ve heard of Harvest Moon 3. While I’ve never played the game myself, I have heard that the game is cut short as soon as you marry while playing as a female. While, as a male, you get married and can continue working on your farm, as well as get a child. Granted, each gender had different perks — males tended to be better with the farmland, while females were better with the animals — but why would the game just end if you get married as a female?
Different stats in games, such as the Fire Emblem franchise, favor one gender over the other as well. Males tend to have higher strength and defense while females are better with magic and speed. In many Fire Emblem games, some character classes are restricted as well — only males can be fighters while females can be pegasus knights, for example. One of my favorite aspects of the Fates trio is that these class restrictions were lifted, and I was disappointed when Echoes brought them back.
In hindsight, being a remake, Echoes probably brought the class restrictions back in order to be as faithful as it could to the original. With that said, though, I do wish it was updated to not only lift those restrictions, but also lift the healer restrictions. In the very beginning of the game, if you are following Alm’s story and have Faye with you, she has one less class promotion available than the boys. Archer is not available for her, yet when she was introduced to the Fire Emblem Heroes mobile game, archer is her class rather than cleric.
If the female gender is favored over the male, it tends to be for aesthetic reasons. In Pokemon X and Y, the female character has almost double the amount of clothing and hair options. The Sims franchise also tended to have gender options based on aesthetics only — with jobs and skill building being exactly the same across the board — but Sims 4 took this a step forward to allow transgender sims and lift the gender restrictions on all the clothing and hair options.
Perhaps one of my favorite aspects of Stardew Valley is how absolutely little your gender matters. No NPCs treat your character differently no matter what gender they are and your skills do not depend on your gender. You can also marry whatever eligible NPC you want, no matter the gender.
Any games that you’ve played that tend to favor one gender over another?
Octopath Traveler is such a fun game in our opinion, if you couldn’t tell from the posts we’ve been writing about lately, haha! Still, most of the posts have been praising Octopath Traveler and everything about it. Today, here are a couple of things I’m not too fond of when it comes to the game.
We’ve been gushing about Octopath quite a bit on this blog, from the music and the graphics to the characters. There are a few aspects of the game that leaves us feeling a little disappointed, though.
I play RPGs mainly for the stories and the characters. I mean, those two elements of a game are arguably some of the most important aspects of an RPG, right? The characters of Octopath are great, there’s no dispute about that, but I do wish their characterization went deeper, especially when it comes to each other.
The “party banter” interaction is wonderful, but I definitely want more of it. Rachel and I, while playing the game, go through each character’s chapters by imagining how the rest of the party would be reacting to the events going on. For example, in Tressa’s chapter two, there’s a rival merchant who outsells her. We’re sitting on the couch mentioning how Cyrus would probably be lecturing about good sportsmanship while Therion would be stealing the rival’s goods before he could sell it all.
Obviously, programming more in depth interactions between all the characters would be difficult with the myriad of parties you can create, but a little more than the party banter would have been nice.
Going along with that, we feel that Octopath Traveler holds your hand during much of the stories. There’s a little map on the bottom right corner of the screen and, if you can get rid of it, we haven’t figured it out yet. While the map is useful, your next step is always in green, as well as the speech bubbles of NPCs that you need to speak to next. There’s usually a line of text on the top of the screen telling you what you need to do, as well. It really doesn’t leave much room for mystery or exploration when it comes to the chapters.
I really think Octopath’s main strengths are its music and graphics, as well as the battle system. Its characters are wonderful, and the stories aren’t bad, but the way the stories are executed with the hand-holding… They leave a little something to be desired, in my opinion.
What do you think of the way Octopath Traveler does the chapters for its characters?
We’re still going strong with Octopath Traveler, and we hope those of you who haven’t finished are enjoying it too! After playing further into the characters’ stories, there are a few that are clear winners to me. Although I enjoy all the characters, these four are right at the top of the list.
Hunter and ranger characters are generally some of my favorites. Bows are a favorite weapon of mine in most games, despite how awful my aim can be — seriously, you should have seen me trying to shoot enemies in Breath of the Wild, Rachel had a great time making fun of me — as they usually can be so versatile. H’aanit has one of the better stories in my opinion as well. She’s off in search of her missing master with a trusty animal sidekick. The only aspect of H’aanit I’m not completely on board about is her dialect. The Shakespearean way she and her people speak isn’t bad, but I’m positive some words were just made up or slapped with prefixes and suffixes that don’t really work to make her way of speaking more “otherworldly.”
My heart broke during this lady’s chapter one. Not for the revenge angle, since tons of fantasy characters’ motivations seem to stem from the murder of their loved ones (especially fathers, for some reason), but for where she found herself while searching for her father’s murderers. I loved to hate the boss of her chapter one, and her motivation for moving forward really captured me. Her story so far is one of my favorites. Her voice actress also does a phenomenal job, in my opinion.
As soon as Rachel and I heard Alfyn speak, we cooed over how adorable he sounded. While a couple of other characters have similar, “we’re off to see the world,” story lines, Alfyn was the first character we collected to have that particular plot. His movepool is more of a smorgasbord of other characters’ — a bit of healing like Ophelia here, some ice moves like Cyrus there, shares the hatchet with H’aanit — but he also has the fun Concoct skill, where he puts together herbs to create either healing or damaging items. I love his poison skill too!
If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you’ll know that I’ve always had a soft spot for thief and rogue characters. Stealth and speed are attributes to most of my favorite playable characters — Sheik in Smash Bros., Fire Emblem characters in the thief class — and it’s a bonus whenever they use daggers as weapons. Therion was the first character we picked when starting Octopath, and his dialogue, mannerisms, and voice acting is spot on. His story isn’t too bad either, one where he’s in it for himself, but trapped in a deal that’s taking him on a journey dangerous enough to need allies. We’ve gotten a few “party banter” dialogues between Therion and a few of the other characters, and we’ve been enjoying his personality and interactions with them. We’re just hoping for so much more!
Per Rachel’s and my last debate — Harvest Moon vs Animal Crossing — this Friday is dedicated to my favorite NPC characters of the franchise, minus the characters that are eligible to marry.
Felicia from Island of Happiness/Sunshine Islands
Felicia is one of the “moms” of the setting in these games. She has a sweet disposition, helps with the shipping so you can turn a profit and, in the case of Island of Happiness, treats you like family almost immediately due to being shipwrecked together. Being one of the first available NPCs, and with such a kind nature, helps ease you into the game.
Hana from A New Beginning
Hana is the little old lady who runs the General Store in A New Beginning. She’s adorable and is quick to become friends with you. If you find and talk with her on rainy or stormy days, her dialogue is cute as she mildly scolds you for being out in the rain just to check on her.
Bo from Animal Parade
Bo is the quieter of the two carpenter apprentices, and his chill personality is one reason why I like the NPC. The other reason is that I find it funny how exasperated he can become — going so far as to even apologize for — the antics of Luke, the other carpenter apprentice!
Gotz from Friends of Mineral Town/More Friends of Mineral Town
The carpenter from the Mineral Games, Gotz is a bit gruff, but softens up once you befriend him. Like many of the other Mineral Town characters, he has a deeper backstory, one that I enjoy learning about whenever I play these games, as sad as it is.
Have you played any Harvest Moon games? What are your favorite characters from the games?
Mother’s Day is this weekend, everyone. I hope you all have a wonderful mother figure to celebrate it with! When playing video games, mothers of the protagonists tend to… be nonexistent. If mothers existed at all, they tend to be part of the protagonist’s tragic backstory by being dead. In the Pokemon core series games, though, your mother is always present. This Friday, this is my personal ranking of the Mom character from the Pokemon games.
7. Mom from Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald/Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire
The Pokemon Mom from Hoenn really doesn’t do much. Aside from giving the player the Running Shoes, like the majority of other Pokemon Moms before it became an automatic mechanic, and revealing that the protagonist’s father is a gym leader, she hangs out at home. Where she doesn’t even have her own room. Which isn’t even in the same town as her husband’s gym. Why did she move you guys to Littleroot Town again?
6. Mom from Black/White/Black 2/White 2
I’ll admit, the fifth generation of the Pokemon games are the ones that I’ve played the least. Unova did not capture my attention as well as the other regions had. The Mom from Unova likewise did not seem memorable, except for the Running Shoes, although I do know she had a bit more of backstory than some of the other Pokemon Moms. I found it a little interesting that she had been a receptionist working with Nurse Joy in the Unova sequels. Sure, she gave you the Xtransceiver, but I never remembered it existed until the story made it ring automatically from the NPCs.
5. Mom from Sun/Moon/Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon
Despite being the latest Pokemon Mom, the Alola Mom doesn’t even have a name nor the productivity to even fully unpack after moving to the island region. She has a nice personality and her backstory with being a Meowth trainer gives her a little depth, but it’s not much at all. With all the new aspects of the Alola region, Mom seems fairly forgettable, which may have been done on purpose. She seems to serve no other purpose other than to be the token adult figure that brought the protagonist to the region.
4. Grace from X/Y
Considering that the Kalos region didn’t have sequels or a third-tier game, we didn’t really get a chance to really meet Grace, the mother from X and Y. I enjoyed finding out that she was a Rhydon rider, and I would have loved to see a side game where there was a race, perhaps with Grace being a fellow competitor. Grace has a lot of missed potential, and I’m sorry that she wasn’t a bigger part of the protagonist’s story.
3. Mom from Red/Blue/Yellow/LeafGreen/FireRed
The original Pokemon Mom, the Mom in Kanto definitely stands out just for being the first. She doesn’t do much other than remain at home and quietly support you, healing your Pokemon if you ask. Still, she was one of the first introductions to the Pokemon core series, which have become such a staple to my video game collection.
2. Johanna from Diamond/Pearl/Platinum
The Sinnoh Mom has a name. This is the first Pokemon Mom to get her own moniker, and she has a much more active lifestyle than just chilling at home while you’re off on an adventure. She actively participates in Pokemon Contests, which I always thought was a nice touch. I’m a sucker for minor or side characters having their own lives that don’t revolve around the protagonist.
1. Mom from Gold/Silver/Crystal and Heartgold/Soulsilver
While all the Pokemon Moms are supportive of your character, I feel as if Johto Mom is one of the most useful. When I was younger, I wasn’t thrilled with her taking some of my money, but in later play throughs, I found it definitely helpful. It kept me from spending all my money on decorations on my own — if Mom bought them, it was fine, haha! That, and with Crystal being one of my favorite games, it was nice to finally have a mom character to support my female protagonist.
Which Pokemon Mom is most memorable to you? What are your favorite video game mothers?
Dungeons & Dragons was always something that was at the back of my mind, but it wasn’t something that was popular — that I knew of — around where I lived. Most of my friends weren’t exactly into video games like Rachel and I were, so I didn’t have as much hope for D&D.
Dungeons & Dragons has existed since 1974, which sounds wild considering how little I had heard of it growing up. Of course, the few times I had heard of it was due to how “nerdy” the game was, even compared to video games.
For years, Dungeons & Dragons wasn’t really a thought in my mind until I realized that it was fairly popular with a couple of YouTubers that Rachel and I watch. Rachel and I spend what little downtime we have trying to catch up with “Dice, Camera, Action!” while now trying to stay up-to-date with “Trapped in the Birdcage.” The players in both those groups are fantastic, as are the Dungeon Masters with their storytelling abilities and antics.
For my birthday, Rachel got me the D&D Starter Set and, while it’s brilliant, I’m not sure where to start. It’s fun to go through and imagine different scenarios with characters I’ve thought of but haven’t fully fleshed out with character sheets because I don’t fully understand the character sheets, and… yeah. The dice are a really pretty blue!
Rachel and I are hoping to, sometime soon, have enough time to each make a character or two and just have a practice session, if you will, between the two of us. We both love creating stories and D&D seems to be another fun, creative way to do so.
Then, of course, there are all sorts of D&D video games to check out…
What do you think Dungeons & Dragons? Have you ever played? Any advice for new players?