Main heros are always young . . . . coincidence?

Ask questions about the events that take place during the Suikoden games themselves.
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Main heros are always young . . . . coincidence?

Postby Silverberg » Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:44 pm

Just had a thought (ouch)

Couldn't help but notice that Tir, Riou, Hugo (canon), Lazlo, and Freyjadour are all young characters. I'm not saying the protagonist always has to be male, it just seems that way. I don't consider Chris and Geddoe in this discussion since canonically speaking, Hugo is the true protagonist of S3

I'm wondering if it is choice made by the creators to connect the main character of each game to the target playing audience or if there's a deeper meaning behind it. Like, maybe only the innocent can harness the power of a true rune without going nuts. But then that wouldn't apply to Luc, who, well, went nuts. Of course Luc was normal for a while until the rune started showing him stuff after wearing it for 30 years. So maybe it has something to do with how long someone has a true rune equipped.

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Re: Main heros are always young . . . . coincidence?

Postby Hirathien » Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:51 pm

Well, I read somewhere that the Japanese audience like to play as a young male in most games, or something like it. Which explains the change in main character in Nier when it was released in US and Europe.

Also, it might be because of young people having a more open view about things, not totally set in their ways. An older person usually have their experience of the world and don't just change that one, and are far less likely to be such a helpless victim as the protagonists in the games have been.

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Re: Main heros are always young . . . . coincidence?

Postby Jowy Atreides » Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:57 am

Geddoe and Joshua would seem to indicate that adults can also bear True Runes without going insane. Also, while True Rune bearers cannot die of old age, they do become older and naturally lose their innocence over time.

The reason behind Suikoden's young, primarily male protagonists is the same reason almost every JRPG has a young, male protagonist: their target audience is young males. Japan's RPG demographic may be getting older, but you couldn't tell from the average age of RPG heroes.

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Re: Main heros are always young . . . . coincidence?

Postby Silverberg » Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:50 am

Thats true about Geddoe and Joshua. Though Joshua did hand over his rune to Milia. But that's probably for other reasons.

I was hoping it wouldn't be just cause of the target audience but all evidence seems to lead to that conclusion. Not having a 6th game to play in so long has given me too much time to read deep into every aspect of Suikoden. Right on down to what Leknaat eats for breakfast.
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Re: Main heros are always young . . . . coincidence?

Postby eldrasidar » Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:43 pm

yeah, the japanese almost always use teenage protagonists. Scandinavia and the World did a comic about that:

In the west, we prefer our hero's to be nicely matured, like a good scotch or wine. Seriously, you see a teenager in a western action movie or game, he is either A: going to die quickly, or B: cause a lot of trouble to the main character in order to keep alive.

I can see how younger protagonist might make sense when they are silent, as their lack of dialogue can be explained away by their innocence and inexperience. But now that main characters are more and more frequently talking, you need them to actually have something of substance to say, and the fact is, substance takes some time to develop in characters. I think Final Fantasy 13 proved that. All the characters that had anything useful to say/useful in combat were finally over the age of 20. I think you'll start seeing more protagonists being aged in their 20's in the future, possibly in Suikoden 6.

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Re: Main heros are always young . . . . coincidence?

Postby Oppenheimer » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:43 am

As others have said it's just a JRPG thing. If you've played pretty much any JRPG it's always the same.

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Re: Main heros are always young . . . . coincidence?

Postby Aerolithe Lion » Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:41 pm

West likes Indiana Jones and James Bond, East likes Ashitaka and Cloud Strife.

Pretty much that. I personally loved the perspectives in III of a Knight who's unstoppable or an older hero who's seen it all. But that's just me.

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Re: Main heros are always young . . . . coincidence?

Postby sticky-runes » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:06 am

yeah, I believe it's because the majority of gamers are teenage boys. It makes it easier for them to connect with a young man going through his own adolescence and exploring the big scarey world and coming to question his own beliefs and friendships that he's grown up with... Whereas if it were to be a more mature protagonist, the audience would probably expect him to have established a career, raised a family, seen a lot of the world and experienced a great deal of tragedy already. So playing as a teenage boy sort of gives the audience a clean slate to work with. You get to explore the game world as a wide-eyed innocent with character-defining moments ahead of him, not somebody who has already been around for a while.

Even if you are a mature gamer, we all know what it's like to have been a teenager, so in some way we can all connect with a younger character. the old if it ain't broke... formula.
Last edited by sticky-runes on Wed Dec 24, 2014 5:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Main heros are always young . . . . coincidence?

Postby Son_of_Genkaku » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:53 am

Adding to the points above, I think it also plays into the David and Goliath mentality. Everyone always wants to root for the little guy.

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Re: Main heros are always young . . . . coincidence?

Postby Kareeen » Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:01 am

As far as I am concerned that a young hero appears more inspiring. I mean as a leader Tir or Riou can do better than other more experienced warrior such as, um, Flik or Victor?

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Re: Main heros are always young . . . . coincidence?

Postby Poet » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:05 am

I actually think Flik is useless,average in magic and physical strength.Jack of all trades,master of none.

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Re: Main heros are always young . . . . coincidence?

Postby Punkaiser » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:53 pm

I don't rate him too highly as his fans do, but saying he's average is a bit exaggerating, his performance in both magic and physical offence are decent, just not outstanding. He's a very good all-rounder among the jacks.

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Re: Main heros are always young . . . . coincidence?

Postby JeaneIsMyWaifu » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:00 pm

I think it's due to the game's demographic being young male. Objectively speaking almost none of the heroes in Suikoden inspire confidence as a leader. Tir and Riou certainly doesn't seem the type to lead and inspire people to battle since both are too young, soft appearances (they look like random guys you picked off the street), and doesn't have the look that gives confidence. As Lucretia put it, outward appearance is as important as status. That's why I think Frey and Chris are the only heroes legitimate enough to lead an army.

Frey because of his bad-ass clothes, good looks, and his status as a prince who has legitimate claim to save the queendom from the Godwins. People would have no problem at all rallying behind him. Chris because she's already a knight's captain with badass sword skills and famed beauty, she'll make a better flame champion than a hot-headed Karayan kid (barely out of puberty and not even a full-fledged warrior) or a seemingly random mercenary with indecisive nature. You could say Riou was chosen because he was Genkaku's son but it doesn't spare him many occasions where people initially underestimated him for being a kid (which was different than the well-known prince Frey). Lazlo was even more random, you could replace him with Tal or Kenneth and it wouldn't make a difference. Tir was pretty much there just because Odessa said so and others somehow followed her wish with no second thought except Flik.

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Re: Main heros are always young . . . . coincidence?

Postby Wolkendrache » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:02 am

If it's fate who chooses the Tenkai Stars, then fate is a chauvinist, a pedophile, a human racist, and is in favor of M-ranged fighters.
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Re: Main heros are always young . . . . coincidence?

Postby suiken » Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:09 pm

Would it hurt if a JRPG puts a young adult protagonist around 18-25 years old?

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