This Sindar Ruins act is such good writing on the treasures of our lives. I have no doubt its inspired by the writer's real life experience. I believe it's their way of showing and reminding us of what we have.I've been thinking about Hilda lately (Recently played the White Deer Inn section of S2) and it's interesting that she makes her own impact on the story, despite being one of the most unassuming characters in the whole game - she's not a soldier or a sorceress who can help win a battle or slay dozens of monsters by wielding weapons and rune magic, she's a humble innkeeper, playing the part of a loving mother and wife struggling to support her family while her husband chases his dreams of finding treasure so his family can become rich overnight.
She never shouts at Alex, she puts up with his treasure obsession and doesn't complain when he dumps childminding duties on her while he heads off on a treasure hunt. And Hilda ultimately is the treasure that Alex goes off searching for. we go through a whole dungeon, traversing waterway mechanisms and fighting monsters and a giant two headed snake, and instead of finding tons of gold or fancy jewels or a special magical artifact like we might find in another RPG, Alex is given a chance to put his wife first when it seems she's about to die. He got to realize that even if he did become filthy rich, it would have meant nothing without his wife and the mother of his son.
It also seems that Hilda gets treated with the respect she deserves after she recovers. She gets to make the decisions instead of suffering Alex's outbursts. she makes the bold decision to move the family into Riou's castle so they can help with the war effort by providing an inn and shop. And Alex even gets to prove he's become a better man by defeating Killey - not by beating him up, but by gesturing to his wife and son, showing that his family is more valuable than any treasure that he was hoping to dig up in those ruins.
So there ya go, the love of a gentle woman becomes a powerful weapon in the Suikoden world, not by being brutal or domineering, but by being patient and kind and nurturing to those around her.
I feel Teresa is a heroine like Odessa, she is fearless for herself and is willing to sacrifice herself for the greater good of the people.This came back into my mind when we discussed some female characters in another thread…
Some years ago I’ve read an essay about female roles in the Shuihu Zhuan. There are basically 4 different roles of females:
- Good woman or faithful wife (e.g. Lin Chong’s wife)
- Bad woman or adulterous wife (e.g. Wu Song’s sister-in-law, Yang Xiong’s wife)
- Man-woman or amazon (all female SoD)
- Mysterious woman (imperial concubine Li Shishi)
Now, I tried to do something similar for S2. Suikoden has much more complex and a much greater variety of female characters (thankfully!!!). Whenever I mention femininity, I’m talking about personality and behavior etc, not about appearance. This makes sense because artwork designer and novel writer are usually not the same persons, so that’s probably why S1 Kasumi’s artwork and her personality totally contradict. Here we go…
- “Underage adventurer”: Millie, Meg, Wakaba, Yuzu, Tomo, Ayda. Girls who haven’t developed femininity yet.
- “Teengirl in love”: Eilie, Nina. Young women who behave feminine, but haven’t fully discovered the field of sexuality or femininity yet.
- “Engaged woman”: Nanami, Yoshino, Hilda, Tengaar. However feminine they are, it doesn’t matter, because they are bound to a specific character.
- “Amazon”: Hanna, Oulan, Kasumi, Valeria, Lorelai, Lo Wen. Adult woman who don’t behave feminine. You could almost replace them with males by just changing name and artwork, without changing their personality (of course you shouldn’t). Just think of Atalanta in case you’ve watched the Dwayne Johnson Hercules movie. Men don’t touch them for fear of getting beaten up.
- “Heroine”: Anita, Rina, Karen. As strong as amazons, but they don’t hide their femininity. If you want to replace them with males, you would need to change more than just name and artwork.
- “Nerd”: Apple, Barbara, Emilia, Annallee. Similar to the engaged woman, but these are bound to their job, that’s why their femininity doesn’t really matter.
- “Auntie”: Leona, Taki. Since they are superior in life experience, their role is to teach the young.
- “Mystery”: Jeane, Raura, Sierra. Although they are arguably very attractive to men, they seem not to care about sexuality. Maybe they are similar to amazons in a way that men don’t get close to them for fear of a punishment, but even harder than a beating.
I didn’t know where to put Teresa (nerd or auntie) and Viki (underage or mystery).
Maybe this gives you a different perspective on the female characters. Think about your favorite female characters (in terms of personality rather than gameplay or looks) of any Suikoden game, can you identify a specific role you’re really in favor of? (You don’t need to follow my model, maybe you’ll identify other roles.)
Moreover, if you were to create the first female hero of Suikoden, would you have their femininity fully developed or not (underage) and displayed (heroine) or not (amazon)? Will her femininity only be displayed when together with a certain character (engaged) or will she just discover her femininity throughout the story (teengirl)? Or anything else?
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