Why Ashe is not the main character?

gultubilla

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Originally Bathlier is their intended protagonist of this game. You can see it on the character development he have.
192425-balthier.jpg


But we end up having these 2 boring teens with no personality as the main characters.
dims


Vaan and Penelo are boring as giant block of ice melting.If You think about it, the story doesn't focus on these 2 boring lifeless Vanilla flavored empty shells. Their purpose is to be the narrators.We are seeing Ashe's story on their point of view.

The real focus of the story is Ashe.
ashe-ff12-final-fantasy-xii.jpg


The whole story focus on her quest to save her Kingdom and to avenge the death of her husband. She leads the group and she have majority of the facetime when it comes to cutscenes. Most of the moral dilemmas and decisions in the game fell in the hands of Ashe. Most of the character growth is given to Ashe.

We learn nothing about Vaan and Penelo, they are just there witnessing the adventures of Princess Ashe as her sidekicks. The producers said they decided to make Vaan and Penelo the main characters despite of sucking so much is the fact they are young and Ashe was too old.


I think Vaan and Penelo would have been less hated if they have character growth and they are the focus of the story but they gave 70% of the focus to Ashe. 20% to Balthier and 10 percent to others.

I didnt like the main characters of 12 because I felt like I was playing like a sidekick instead of a main character. Why would you want to be Robin and Bat girl if you can be Batman.

Ashe is definitely Batman.
 

doep djuer

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Ashe is the Focal character as the story revolves about her but she is not a protagonist. There are many stories where the protagonist is irrelevant because the writer wanted you the audience to see the Focal character's story through the protagonists' eyes. It is like the movie Frozen. The protagonist is Anna but the story is about Elsa.

In Most Final fantasy games the protagonist is the focus but Square experimented on this one.
 
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12 is released on a time where video game companies struggle to sell games with female protagonist. Yeah X-2 did well but yeah 12 is released on an era that most games rely on a brown haired male protagonist on his 20's to 30's.

They also want to target this game to teens and Ashe is too old for the developers.
 

Maestro

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So we are actually getting Ashe's story from Vaan and Penelo's point of view?
 

Bartz_FFV

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So we are actually getting Ashe's story from Vaan and Penelo's point of view?
Yup that is how Final Fantasy 12 goes. I guess they want to feel like we are a friend of Ashe who see her grow. We won't have that perspective if she is the lead character we control.

I think Vaan and Penelo are the Trojan Horse to trap teens from buying this game but make them love and prefer the older woman Ashe.
 

Sharon

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Seriously though 12 have the worst looking cast in Final Fantasy history. Not only they look bland designwise , they also have little to no personality. No wonder Ashe really shined in this game because she is the most sympathetic character in the cast.
 

gultubilla

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So we are actually getting Ashe's story from Vaan and Penelo's point of view?
It is basically like those Lord of the Rings movies. The protagonists is Frodo but he is badly outshined by Aragorn. There is nothing relatable but the 2 main characters and they never had the character growth that is mostly seen in Final Fantasy heroes.
 

holmes22

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It does give that different perspective, but it does leave them coming off as somewhat unnecessary and it made me wonder the point of everything. I get it though but still kind of wish things were done differently.
 

deryan kibeht

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Focal character not being protagonist had been a long time style of writing. It is like the Disney version of Sleeping beauty. The Focal character is Princess Aurora but the main character is Prince Phillip.

The Lack of relationship of bond Ashe have with Vaan and Penelo make the 2 feel useless.
 

Addap Earver

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Seriously it is really sad that Vaan represents 12 in Dissidia, he is so irrelevant to the story but because he is the main character to control he got the slot. He don't even have much connection to the villain Vayne.
 

NoviceNinja

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Yeah, I guess Ashe is the primary character, although Balthier maybe gets a few more lines. He is the supporting character, supposing he did not have a cause until they went to stop Cid. Vaan is only a guy who tags along, just because the story narrates through his point of view doesn't automatically mean he is the main character.
 

Hova

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Given that Ashe was chosen by gods of her world, I personally think she should have been the main character. Many people dismiss her just because the don't like her. Also, she is the one character who had the most impact on the Final Fantasy XII's plot progression. Plu the party members mostly listened to her.
 

Hova

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Given that Ashe was chosen by gods of her world, I personally think she should have been the main character. Many people dismiss her just because the don't like her. Also, she is the one character who had the most impact on the Final Fantasy XII's plot progression. Plus the other characters built a great relationship because of Ashe.
 
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I think they just experimented on this one but the result leads to two main characters who are irrelevant to the story. I hope they never do this again.

I think another reason they decided to go with empty shell protagonist is so the player can insert their personality to the main character since the main character have no personality.
 

Hellothere

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I know that its 2 years late sorry.

Just sharing bit of things i found on the internet.

No. Balthier was never meant to be the main character of the game.
The original character is a combination of basche,vaan,and a character in the series previous work of vagrant hearts

No, Vaan was not a late addition to Final Fantasy XII.

Not my work.
But it explains the development process in which the characters are made, Vaan is already considered an alternate protagonist even early in the games production with him being named as Aqua with pretty much the same character design.
The change of character happens not as a last minute ditch but rather early into the development. I wouldn't explain much since that article would provide clearer information.

It basically comprise the decision and devolepment behind the scenes of what happened in the making of ff12

With Vaan's character
A little bit of summary of understanding his character.

Understanding Vaan: a story of forgiveness and purpose

Again not my work so credit to the author.
But what i like about this summary is, it shows the easy to overlooked detailes of Vaan's character, the article does not glorify Vaan but rather is giving an own piece of mind with a purpose of understanding the character, and,
No Vaan is not the robin for ashe he's more of the Venat of ashe, he's character doesn't have a loud impact in their own closed party, but rather shouts louder in the grand scheme of scale a whole lot of ashe's character development have Vaan written over it, from making sense of the real reason of her persuit for her rightful throne, to overcoming her grief and lustful revenge.

By denying Vaan you would have missed the story.

He's not the aladdin type, aladdin chose to use the genie,
Vaan is a character who would see things through.
 

Hellothere

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And ashe lacking the the bond with ashe, is kinda seeing things through a blindfold, vaan is the first character who opened up with ashe, vaan is the character who can emphatize with ashe, their bond does not come from being from the same place nor , having the same social status its from their shared experience of losing a loved one

And for those who says that ashe always shut the shit out of Vaan

Final Fantasy XII Zodiac Age: An Over-localized Experience? - Erzat

I always taught the "Dont Interrupt me Vaan" to be so out of place it always came out as rude and not fitting for her character,

Tho even with the english Localization you could Make out the way her tone change when silencing Vaan to the point that the last time she did at pharos have a tone of gentleness to it which doesn't make sense considering that its supposed to be shutting him up and yeah in the jp version the running gag is not her shutting him up but rather her correcting him in how he addressed her which is the informal " you " in japanese which would make sense in the pharos
 

Hellothere

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And its actually balthier whose most disconnected to the goal of the party not hating the guy i agree that he's the coolest its just that he's the one who got the most loose character balthier opening up with ashe in phon coast would actually make more sense if it was reddas who does so since what ashe is trying to do is the same thing that break reddas 2 years prior of the story in nabudis, the climax scene at pharos also fell short for balthier he never addressed his given character inner conflict calling cid dad or father or even accepting his real name would have been great what we got is cid shooing his son in his final moments
And for those wondering why he always
Says
"i am the leading man"
Is pretty much the same vaan's
" i will be a sky pirate"
A copping mechanism in which ties the two characters together
 

Podoljak572

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@
Hellothere
I never felt that Vaan have any growth in the story though. Balthier is liked for his coolness factor while Ashe is liked because the story centers to her despite of not being the main protagonists. Vaan did improved on the expansions but on the first game he is just there.
 

Hellothere

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@Podoljak527
Does he not grow tho? Throughout the first part of the game its actually his characater that is experiencing growth the links i gave at my comment above explains it thoroughly, we've seen in the game how his character
changed from "
being the hellbent character thirsty for revenge drowned with hatred to the point of helplessness and we learned further in the story that he had develop coping mechanism to get further away from the grief he's experiencing from pick pocketing the imperials thinking that he is getting back at them to him wanting to be a sky pirate all just to stay away to distract him from the memories of his loss, and take note that Vaan is the one who suffered the most than anyone in the party, Ashe may have lost alot but atleast she still has a kingdom to have if she manage to take it and she has the power to take it"
Vaan like what the link i gave has said like a true ivalician fashion and the socioeconomic environment he was in, He was dead before he even knew it we even learned that Reks did not die initially and was made the perfect witness to frame basch of treason and is implied to be tortured that lead to his catatonic self that we've seen in the white "hospital? " but even all that he has the maturity and clarity to forgive basch, who in this 2 years of living in hell was the person he was made to believe that betrayed his country but much more importantly his brother"
to
Someone who wants freedom not just for him but for the people he knew, penelo,his small band of stret urchins from lowtown, to megalo his father figure and the only one generous enough to provide him with something to live by everyday they are his world the small solace in his everyday life.

Thats just a small part of his change and

In summary, Vaan did grow....Alot, what he doesnt have is a grandoise reveal like balthier's being that of a Judge, nor Basch being the Brother of the judge magister Gabranth, he doesnt have anything fancy all he have is his abilit to find reason even in the most hardest situation and his honest personality, even the way he address her make a change at her final answer to vayne,Vaan had always address her not as a princess but as a person living all the same, and that was reflected to her final Answer
"I am simply myself, no more no less, and i want only to be free" she Accepted she only person an individual in the greater world of ivalice who at that moment wants only nothing but to be free,

While i do agree with Ashe is supposed to be the protagonist but She is the protagonist they both are the protagonist
The story of dalmasca revolves on its entirity a kindom without his people is nonexistant, and people without a kingdom/nation is incomplete, without Vaan Ashe wouldn't find the answer she seeks, she seeks only to be free from her past to the grief she have and from the gods that tried to control her, no one in the party regards her as an individual, no one makes her see things to a personal level for them she's a princess, for her she's the heir to the dynast king and the power that comes with it but its Vaan that she'd her powerlessness even with her birthright she doesnt knew how to use it, the gods have willed it but its for their own desire its Also Vaan that shed question "of what it meant" on the question she's almost chanting "to protect something" its to give freedom to the person they loved to the person they would left behind, even a chance in a million is enough for it to be worth fighting for, and with that they both finally made peace of their loss,

Vaan is a protagonist that championed an idea, and Ashe is a protagonist that makes the decision. What i mean is he gave her a choice and she made the decision.

sorry for being a mouthful again really the link i gave about understanding Vaan would provide you more context to Vaan's case more than i could ever articulate due to my improficiency in using more straightforward words to provide context instead of going the long way.
 
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Hellothere

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I do understand if you find him less of an important character than Ashe, Balthier and Basch as his character is very Ambigous you need to see how he plays the role not as an individual character but on how he makes a difference in the final scheme of things in this case Ashe's decision, you need to see that his character is actually interconnected with that of Ashe as they represent the the polar spectrum of the premise of the story of ivalice the people and those who rule and the similarities that they have in the personal level as a person.
And that of gabranth who suffered from alike brother basch for gabranth and reks for Vaan and how things could have been different for both of them.
But to make up stories like balthier is the actual protagonist, the creator of the game actually dislikes Vaan, 2 teens without personality? Vaan's personality is even what makes things possible he's an honest straighforward guy, whose got clarity to find reasons even to the most hurtful of grief and still forgive, he knew his limits he knew his capabilities, not even an adult in ivalice nor in the real world would find easy to do, Panelo is the representative of his world those who supports him the people he knew on the personal level much like how basch is the representative of the people that still supports ashe they may have lost everyone they hold dear as a family but they still found support from the people that is around them,
and all the sort of things just to deligitimize a character is just plain stupid, ff12 is a great game as its open to discourse and interpretation
Is it right to forsook the gods, is it wrong for the people of ivalice to write destiny for themselves, whose right or wrong between Vayne and Ashe both intentions are benevolent initially the same in their approach one is at the height if his power the other a banished princess.
 
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