I just like discussion, could care less if it's a joke or notIf you couldn't guess, I was joking. xD
And he is a tragic hero (I've read quite a bit of Shakespeare, I'm thinking of Hamlet right now)
Marche's flaw is his narrow-mindedness, which in turn causes him to focus too adamantly on a single task, regardless of how he achieves the task. This causes him to fall from his friends good graces, which is not 9at least to our knowledge) restored.
The two major elements of a tragic hero are the tragic flaw (An inherent trait in the character), and harmartia, the action(s) that causes a social or other decline due to the tragic flaw.
And about the protagonist/antagonist, you are correct. A better classification would be Hero vs. Anti-Hero.
Warrior of Light|Gabranth|Cloud|Garland|Firion|Gilgamesh"...never cast away hope, and live on with pride. Don't ever become like me." -Judge Gabranth"I am who I am, I am what I have done." -Marche Radiuju
For an actual tragic Final Fantasy hero, you should look towards the original Final Fantasy Tactics game. Its story plays out much more like classic literature, where as Tactics Advance has your typical JRPG storyline with the hero overcoming every barrier put before him. I applaud your dedication to your character however and recognize this has actually been the most fun and mature debate I have been apart of on this forum. And for that, I shall rep you :3
Remember: December 2011
It's rare that anyone talks about Marche in the Final Fantasy series seeing as Ivalice Alliance games are not as fan-enticing as Nomura games, but nonetheless I wish to have my share of debate here.
Honestly and frankly speaking, I disagree with mostly everything Nexus has said above. Also just because this is more a general discussion based off a character in context of a video game itself, I don't really see the need to bring literacy definitions into this...the debate just kind of looses focus from the main point in terms of discussing more broadly whether he has more heroic qualities or anti-heroic qualities (in which case you could just outright say he's got more antagonistic sentiment).
Marche’s background is not of noble beginning like Ramza was of the Beoulve household, but of a humble one. The eldest child between two brothers, his parents have presumably divorced before the start of the game, and he has a sibling who is sickly and frail – which hinders the amount of attention he is able to receive at home from his single mother, who is on ‘hands and feet’ for the frailer of the two, understandably. But even beyond this, lies other problems. Not only is his brother somewhat demanding, Ramza is harassed for being the new comer to school and only just begins to make two friends from the start of the game – emphasizing his meeker and soft-spoken initial personality.
Though it doesn’t end here – throughout the main storyline of the game Marche is continuously tested, pit against his friends as well as his own brother, in a fight that is against the major wishes of the ones he cares for.
Essentially given all the multiple stressful and somewhat tragic occurrences within the timeframe of the game, Marche’s character is given a large depth of melancholic quality. The problems of which he faces being a combination of various common social problems of contemporary 21st century society, and can allow any gamer who may be going through similar circumstances connect, seeing as family problems and difficulties settling at school are commonly recurring issues in many of today’s youth.
But unlike most people, Marche isn’t one to fall by the wayside based off mishappenings in his life.
In fact, in a very similar way to Ramza, he stands up against them, and fortifies his resilience towards the falsehood of the ‘Ivalice’ the Grimmore takes him to by fighting against the laws, the public perception, the views of those of which he had initially trusted full-heartedly. Indeed, out of all the main characters transported to Ivalice, Marche is the only one who makes a decisive stance against the false reality upon realizing that it is such.
This unwillingness to live in a false reality, and the determination he clearly displays in the game trying to achieve his goal of returning things to normal, can be interpreted in multiple ways. It could be first seen as an insecurity, a willingness to prove that he is ‘correct’ in his way of thinking, to prove that all the strife he went through in his previous life of reality was not for nought, and that returning to that reality is a means of testifying that strength in him to face things head forward, with a disregard for his friends’ wishes to remain. This is the ‘one-track’ mind fault many refer Marche with, and perhaps in many ways, this is an accurate way of justifying some of his actions.
However, another perspective is the fundamental morality that lies behind his actions – the principle that living in a false reality means averting your gaze to the ‘truth’, that is, addressing your own real faults. For that is escapism in an essence: to avert our gaze from the underlying issues that trouble an individual from being the best person they can be within their lifetime. As mentioned by Marche in the game’s dialogue when questioned by Cid Randell when asked for his resolve: “(Ivalice)…is just a dream - an escape from the real world! But you can't just avoid problems forever...”
This was a theme addressed in FFT as well – as mentioned in War of the Lions by Ramza as he walked away from the battle at Ziekden Fortress (after Delita’s sister Teitra has been slayed), “when the pillars of that life (that I had lived all my life) came crashing down, I did not stand and watch them fall…I turned, and walked away.” Though Ramza was aware in his mind of what had happened and the breach of ethics by his own household, he chose initially to cast his eyes away and essentially pretend as if nothing had occurred. Initially, Ramza assumed the ‘loser’ role by lying before the truth directly in front of his eyes. Though later, similar to the path Marche chose, he chooses to cast aside his feigned ignorance in search for the truth, and to lead the life of a ‘moral knight’ against all odds, and hence developed into the hero archetype.
Which is an interesting thing to note. Fundamentally, Ramza and Marche are the same. Both are shunned or are distrusted by people that they had initially trusted with a seemingly strong bond (Marche in respect to his own brother Donned and friends Mewt and Ritz, as Ramza to his two lord brothers, his best friend Delita, and by the rest of external society generally despite having hailed from a noblemen’s household). Yet despite this, they both rise up against these odds and continue to hold true to their own reasons for fighting the battles that they do. Marche indeed seeks to ‘destroy’ and put an end to the Ivalice that they enhabit upon being transported, but it is under the pretext of knowing it is an illusion.
Last edited by ryumi; 04-13-2013 at 08:16 AM.
(continued) WARNING: SPOILERS!
But this is not to say Marche is not without indecisiveness, for he admits continuously in the game just how much he loves the world of Ivalice to the point of doubting his own intentions of ending it for good. However, going back to the previous quote, his inherent will not to live in what is a false reality becomes the major reason for him to set aside his uncertainties to fight for what he knows and believes to be right – not just for him, but also fundamentally for the rest of humanity pertaining especially to his friends (another ironic note, as his theme song in the FFTA White Melodies Soundtrack is called ‘For the Love of Humanity’).
And this is truly what makes him revel in the hero role – if his self-sacrificing nature in terms of the things he does for his brother is not enough to symbolize it – the rest of his deeds in Ivalice do. And that is what Ivalice is – a signifier. Ivalice is a means of Marche expressing himself for all his strength deep down into physical form by wielding a sword and leading a clan.
But even a signifier can only do so much for someone trapped in a false reality. For it is being able to derive the lessons from a false reality and apply them into a true reality, that a true sense of accomplishment can be achieved.
Or very simply put: you can never develop your full potential and become who you want to be without facing yourself first by admitting the reality of faults.
This is a fundamental virtue of humility, and why I love Marche in particular even while making comparisons to a hailed hero amongst Ivalice Alliance fans like Ramza. Because his humility and genuine honesty for his own faults, in expressing himself for who he is throughout the course of the game. The scene that highlights this most emphatically was after the ‘Hidden Veins’ mission, upon reprimanding Donned for making too much assumptions of Marche being ‘the selfish one’ between the two brothers.
Here, Marche honestly tells Donned how he feels and bares his weaknesses for him – he admits to having felt neglected, indicating directly how selfish Donned was always being for demanding so much from both him and his mother unawaringly, and the accumulated jealousy he held deep within him for an amount of time – aggravated only by the life-disruptive move of having to be moved to the countryside, away from a father that could have potentially been the last person that he could connect with within the family (though to be fair, this is speculative).
When I read the posts in various Final Fantasy forums analysing Marche as an overall character, it was really disappointing to see very few people vouch for him as a Ramza/Heroic archetype, and label him outright in an antagonistic light.
To be honest, I don’t think that’s what the developers had in mind, and just looking at how the game framed Marche and all the parallels between him and Ramza from characterization down to storyline, I would definitely say that there’s more evidence to support him as a heroic lead.
I just think that Marche, unlike Ramza, is a stronger reflection of the player himself. Because of the complexities that Marche has in respect to coming from a reality and modern society much more symbolic and evoking to the player’s, than Ramza did – since he existed within his own verse (a medieval fantasy realm). And that the moral choices Marche makes in the game need to be considered with a more considerable view point – because there are actually a lot of underlying themes, values and virtues that need to be considered when evaluating Marche as a character.
But for me, I believe this game was especially like a personal journey for me.
Because for me, I want this to be one of the last games I play in such an enthralling way, because I’ve realized just like Marche has, that there are things within my own life that I need to address. And that means putting down the escapism of video gaming, and leaning more towards other things like my academics and other pursuits in my life. To find out how to enjoy other part of my life more, just because I can and I want to.
I find it ironic that this lesson came from a video game itself, but I also find it comforting and funny to laugh about. For as I’ve come to learn, video games are a much more powerful means of communicating and expressing messages and values – they have indeed come a long way in recent years.
But with that said, they should not be an escape for the problems that we all have to face in our own realities of now and today. For there’s always something else we could be doing, and we have to be brave enough to choose to do the right thing, and continue to believe in ourselves in the face of uncertainty, principles that I praise Yasumi Matsuno for embedding into his characters and games to have people to learn from.
So call me biased if you wish, but I stand by my own set of beliefs that Marche is indeed an outstanding young hero to praise in the Ivalice Alliance series, let alone in the Final Fantasy series as a whole.
Last edited by ryumi; 04-13-2013 at 08:17 AM.