Annoying princess character with a sheltered upbringing? Yep. Healer character? Yep. Crappy voice acting? Yep. Wish she was dead after about thirty minutes? One thousand times yep.
Yet as the healer character, Estelle is later given one of the more interesting roles in the game. See, sheís the only character in the game who is able to naturally heal characters not only in battle, but any wounded NPC that the party might come across. Because of this, sheís celebrated throughout the game by nearly everyone you meet.
That is until some flying bird thing calls her an insipid poison, which doesnít really make any sense, but letís focus on the poison part for now. Indeed, later in the game, you do find out that she is literally a poison. Her healing ability uses ďaerĒ (stupid term for a familiar thing? Check!), which the world requires in a certain balance. If this balance is interrupted, oops, the world is broken.
So, you come to find out that every time Estelle has used her healing ability, she has killed the world a little bit. Thatís heavy.
In all honesty, though, itís a fantastic way to put a spin on something that we so often see as a universal good. While, in their struggle to defeat the villain of the game, they unquestionably require Estelleís healing, they also have to come to grips with the fact that itís destroying the planet. Keep using it and the planet turns into a giant unhappy face. Stop using it and your friends probably fail in their journey and die. Itís a tough choice, and those are the sort of choices in games that make us truly forget about the lines between good and evil and think only of whatís necessary.
So, what can other games learn from this? Thereís nothing, nothing
in this world or any other world that we should ever treat as universally good or universally evil. The real world does not work that way, so why should a game world? Stop thinking in terms of good and evil and simply think in terms of characters: what does one character want, and what is he or she willing to do to get it? It is this consideration that makes for realistic morality, and, properly executed, will give us far more rewarding games than the cut-and-dry morality of many of this generationís attempts.
LOOK WHO CAME: