GHALEON DID NOTHING WRONG

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GHALEON DID NOTHING WRONG

Postby Jenner » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:05 am

Actually he's terrible lol you got clickbaited suckers.

I made a series of posts on Twitter (don't follow me on Twitter) about how I've found myself agreeing with the villains in certain movies now and I'm not sure what that says about me.

Basically, the best villains are the ones who would have been heroes given different circumstances. Folks who aren't exactly wrong. If there is a villain who has been wronged by society. Who has been victimized and oppressed. Where their whole deal is these people hurt me -Fatal Hopper- these people I am almost always on their side.

I am rooting for them every time. Cheering them on and booing the hero. And I always wonder why the hero doesn't help this kind of villain. Sometimes the means the villain is using are extreme but their ends are usually just. Sit down with the villain and workshop their plans, hero. Empower them and help them achieve their goals! They want the right thing!

My hot take? By maintaining the status quo the hero continues to protect the structures and institutions in place, the injustices, that gave birth to the villain in the first place. That's not what a "good guy" does. A good guy challenges and changes these things. Doing anything else just creates more villains. Job security, I guess?

-Fatal Hopper- that kind of hero.

Anyway, Alunissage replied to my tweet talking about how my rant makes her think of TSS Ghaleon and summoned me back to these forums to rampage with my bad takes so here I am.

The thing is Ghaleon isn't that type of villain. He doesn't actually give a -Dragon Diamond- about the people suffering in the Frontier. He just uses them to achieve his own ends and treats them like garbage. He's not out to Right Wrongs and Get Justice for the People of the Frontier, he's out for his own power.

The people of the Frontier have very good reasons and justifications for helping Ghaleon and siding with Ghaleon but Ghaleon doesn't care about them and if Alex and Co. had failed the people of the Frontier would have ultimately risen up against Ghaleon.

Xenobia is that kind of Villain though, and Xenobia did nothing wrong.
Last edited by Jenner on Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GHALEON DID NOTHING WRONG

Postby Alunissage » Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:00 am

TSS and SSS are very different when looked at through that lens. In TSS, Ghaleon articulates a disagreement with a principle of the status quo setup -- that Althena could simply order the Dragonmaster to take on a task that was too great for him -- but it seems almost incidental. He blames Althena for Dyne's apparent death, but there isn't really an indication that he'd've been bothered by the existing power structure if he hadn't lost something. (Although, Laike does comment that a dragonmaster is really just a servant of Althena, and that Ghaleon was never cut out to be a "servant" -- even though he also apparently competed with Dyne for the job, according to a random NPC.) This is one of those places where it's hard to analyze because there are lots of hints but no real backstory on their relationship the way there's all that extra material for SSS. When I played TSS, I read Dyne as being the older and wiser/stronger person Ghaleon looked up to, and of course SSS and especially the manga (whose artist had a hand in the revision of the rebirth scenes) was more or less the reverse. Anyway, even though there were no more Dragonmasters after Alex, that isn't necessarily related to Ghaleon's actions, since Luna was placed with Alex's family before Ghaleon started his plan, and Alex and Luna were already in love before they ever met him. Luna might have had more incentive to retire because of all that, but she doesn't talk about it at all in the EB recording; the implication is that it was only because she met Alex.

In SSS, though, it's Dyne and Althena who change the status quo and Ghaleon who tries to restore it, arguing that humanity needs a deity. That's pretty much the opposite of the argument you put forth on Twitter, which is what prompted me to think about how this game doesn't really fit that framing. Ghaleon isn't a villain in SSS until the status quo is changed, breaking his faith in some manner (he was a priest of Althena before then, after all). I suppose in both games he feels he could make better choices with Althena's power than Althena did, but he also seems to believe that humans truly need a god in SSS. Harder to say what he thinks of the Vile Tribe, whether he also believes that they should be given the full rights and opportunities that humans and beastmen have, or if their liberation is just incidental to his using them as a grunt force. I need to play the latter half of the game to muse on that more.

The Vile Tribe is also pretty different in TSS and SSS, and therefore Xenobia's role as well. The're purely monstrous in TSS, stupid and malicious, and there's no particular reason to have sympathy for them. Xenobia also unleashes sickness upon Pao with no particular motive given -- perhaps it's supposed to be to keep people from getting to the Frontier because of the Water of Mirage being there, but if so, it had the opposite effect, since the Frontier was blocked off for a decade until Alex and friends went to Pao to deal with the sickness, which was much more recent. Generally, Xenobia seems to be more in favor of malice and revenge than actually improving the lot of her people.

In SSS, she's the putative leader, and refers to her people as "the innocents that Althena banished to the Frontier" -- but we only have her word for it that they were innocent. In fact, I think Phacia says that they were not -- but that the punishment was far greater than the crime. I think the story's intended premise is that Althena is a fair and compassionate ruler, and therefore that she would have had a good reason for isolating them (and Dragon Song somewhat supports this). Anyway, Xenobia is still motivated more by revenge than anything else, while Phacia is the one who actually prioritizes helping her people over trampling the people already there. Royce appears to be simply sadistic. I would need to review the text in the Frontier to have a better response, though; I've skimmed through some screenshots recently, but of course those aren't complete. I just feel like the miners also complain about how Xenobia treats them badly, not just Ghaleon and Taben, so Xenobia would still fall into the villain bucket for me.

It might also be interesting to consider some of the EB characters through this lens -- Zophar is pretty much written to be as unabmiguous a villain as possible, and I think Lunn is pretty umabiguous by the time we see him too. But I wonder if Borgan could have been wronged by society, e.g., the snobbishness of some Vane magicians, all of which seem to have moved to Neo-Vane by the time of the game. His design is simplistically coded to read as evil (fat and ugly, I mean, not one of Kubooka's finer moments IMO), which makes it hard to see him as having had much of a chance ever to NOT be a nasty person. He reads to me a bit as someone who was bullied for being unattractive and perhaps not very strong magically, who somehow got an opportunity to gain power and was too weak not to succumb to the temptation of simply turning the tables to become the bully instead of the...bullee?

Fake Althena, of course, is just a patsy, but easily exploited because the only thing she can see of value about herself is her physical beauty, tied into her youth. With a better self-image, she wouldn't have been so vulnerable to Zophar's setup. She's almost too minor to be called a villain, despite being a boss battle, and it seems that she must be unhappy every moment that she's not being praised and worshipped. Anyway, I would say that someone failed her, too.

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Re: GHALEON DID NOTHING WRONG

Postby Jenner » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:21 am

In TSS Ghaleon seems completely motivated by the declaration he makes on the way to Quark. That they [Althena and the Dragons] do not deserve to rule the world, he does. TSS Ghaleon seems to think that Althena is doing it wrong and that he could do a better job. He comes to this conclusion, not because of what he witnesses on the Frontier, but because of what happens to Dyne. Like you said, Alun, Ghaleon is pissed that Althena sent an assassin on a suicide mission to fix her mistakes and -Fatal Hopper- her. He is technically not wrong in that regard and his anger is justified. But, in my opinion, he's not acting to make things better, he's only out to get his revenge. He doesn't really appear to have any grand plans for how to run Lunar and improve things after he takes over. He spends his entire time as Magic Emperor with Enslaved Goddess joyriding around Lunar and striking out angrily at any who might challenge him. The people of the Frontier, who are supporting him, are just being used and exploited to enable him to achieve and go on his little power trip. Ghaleon doesn't do anything to show he would actually do Althena's job better than her. He does immense damage and actually makes Lunar worse.

The People of the Frontier side with Ghaleon because, from their point of view, Ghaleon is offering them a chance to strike back and hurt the people on the Bright Side of Lunar. After spending generations suffering and being ignored I can't begrudge them that malice. Especially since the people who pissed Althena off died off forever ago and the people suffering in the Frontier now aren't guilty of anything, they don't deserve this. Though, again, taking their anger out on the people on the Bright Side of Lunar is going after the wrong target. The people on the Bright Side of Lunar (Brightsiders) aren't hurting the people of the Frontier, they're not responsible for their suffering. Althena is. So, by highjacking Althena Ghaleon is attacking the right target but that's pretty much the only thing he does right. Anyway, being manipulated into attacking and hurting the people who aren't responsible for your plight is a very common thing in the real world (we're dealing with that right now) so :/

So yeah, I don't really have a problem with Xenobia's malice and vengeance beyond it being misdirected and Xenobia did nothing wrong. (My headcanon is that Xenobia messed things up in Pao because it was sexist and -Fatal Hopper- them.)

I don't even remember what SSS Ghaleon's deal was so I can't really talk about it beyond agreeing with Alun that he wanted an All Powerful Authoritarian Entity and was hellbent on ensuring that continued. So, yeah, maintaining status quo bad.

Which means we now need to talk about Alex and Co. Because there is nothing that established that, after defeating Ghaleon and liberating Luna, they do anything to address the absolutely dire situation on the Frontier. It is entirely possible that they don't and maintain the status quo and thus are bad. Though, TBH, I honestly can't imagine that being what they do at all. I can't imagine Alex seeing the conditions of the people of the Frontier and not convincing Luna to fix it. The Frontier doesn't appear to be a thing any more in Eternal Blue that's probably because Luna did something about it. So, yeah, they probably did the right thing eventually we just don't see it.


ON LUNAR: ETERNAL BLUE
I believe there is already a thread on here about who the worst villain in Lunar is and I'm of the opinion that it was Zophar because he's an EVIL GOD WHO IS JUST THERE TO BE EVIL AND PRETTY MUCH EVERY EVIL THING THAT IS HAPPENING IS FOR HIS SAKE but if we exclude Zophar then the evilest is absolutely Lunn because even though Borgan enslaved children (very evil) for the crime of not being magical and Mauri created a brainwashed cult they both did this under the influence of Zophar whereas Lunn abducted children, did horrible things to them, and trained them to be killers without Zophar's say so. He did it for him. Guy is the worst.

Anyway I agree with your interpretation of Borgan as a bullied kid but that doesn't excuse him. Neo-Vane was just another Isolated Flying City of Elitists like Vane and both were bad ideas. So it's not like he even wants to do the right thing. The only one of Althena's Chosen who wants to do the right thing is Leo and he is so traumatized by the fact that he was being used, manipulated, and tricked into doing the wrong thing that he has a crisis! He can no longer trust his sense of right and wrong and justice is super important to him so he locks himself up in a tower to ponder his life.

Beyond Capitalism still existing in Eternal Blue and the bad things the Chosen are doing the current status of things in EB aren't particularly dire. Righting the wrongs and fixing what's broken then kicking Zophar's ass isn't reestablishing the status quo so Hiro and Co. are GOOD.

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Re: GHALEON DID NOTHING WRONG

Postby Shinto-Cetra » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:31 am

I often prefer ideologically driven villains, but I prefer TSS Ghaleon because he was a revenge-driven antagonist done right, whereas remake Ghaleon had a cause, but it was so esoteric that it just felt like Ghaleon was being really rigid. If the game had taken time to show roving bandits, changing climates or other unfortunate occurrences as a consequence of Althena's becoming human in the remakes, I might sympathize with him more, but that never happens. I do acknowledge he has good qualities in the remakes, but it's overshadowed by many things. TSS Ghaleon killed Quark in under 5 minutes, remake Ghaleon tortured him for most of the game, ouch! He actually helped the Vile Tribe in TSS, and the pixies, and still longed for Dyne (NOT canonically romantic, contrary to what much of the Internet claims, but I don’t not deny there is a connection.) He strikes me as someone who partially out of necessity, and partially out of sympathy, takes all the underdogs (Dyne (as he perceived him), The Vile Tribe, Pixies) under his banner and tries to overthrow the status quo.

The Vile Tribe is always sympathetic, they were banished to the frontier which is pretty much worse than death (death=no feeling, no suffering, frontier=living hell where food and light are scarce), and the fact that there is no evidence of Ghaleon using Xenobia or either of them using the Vile Tribe at large in TSS. Obviously life in the rest of Lunar is better than both, but Althena sealed them away with no chance of escape till Ghaleon intervened. I can't blame them for being enraged and filled with malice. A true villain like Zophar simply uses his followers as pawns. There’s no direct evidence of this in TSS.

“Stupid”, sometimes, the Vile henchman that Xenobia brings to the spring sure are. The ones that impersonate Alex’s parents not so much (and obviously Xenobia herself), they speak normally. Just because some members of a race are stupid doesn’t mean all of them are. Under that logic, all humans in Lunar are inbred because of Meryod’s inhabitants, which is also not the case.

GHALEON AND XENOBIA AND THE VILE TRIBE DID NOTHING WRONG
(Ok maybe not, but they're pretty damn relatable and fabulous max.)

Update: I made a meme for the occasion: viewtopic.php?p=77205#p77205

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Re: GHALEON DID NOTHING WRONG

Postby Alunissage » Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:47 am

The only Vile Tribe members we see talking in TSS are definitely written to imply a group of stupid monsters. Lines like "I've lost count of all the humans I've [some verb]...wait, I don't know how to count!" and dumb-coded laughter. I don't recall offhand if that's also the case in Japanese. Anyway, I'm not saying that stupidity justifies cruelty, obviously, just that they were written to read as subhuman in that game, without redeeming qualities. The morality of confining them was not a question in that game, as they were seen as purely destructive monsters that endangered everyone else. Is it less moral to confine them than to exterminate them?

The Frontier in TSS is bad, but note that humans and beastmen live there as well in Cadin and Marke, and it was Ghaleon who trapped them there ten years before the game, not Althena; prior to his plan, they could have left. So, difficult to live in the Frontier, as one of the first villagers in Cadin says, but not so much that no one is willing to live there. Heck, the Black Dragon lived there.

Xenobia was designed because Kubooka wanted to draw a witch. I don't know if they'd already established the idea of a tribe of monsters to be Ghaleon's henchmen at that point. Certainly she's anomalous in every way compared to the rest of her group. (She's also the only entity in the game who turns people to stone; it's not a standard battle condition in that game. An interesting hint of different power from the other characters, similar to how Lucia has energy-based magic that doesn't resemble any other spells in EB. I don't know if that distinction between Xenobia's powers and humans' was intentional, but it was lost in the remake regardless.)

I will have to think harder on whether there's much in TSS about using the Vile Tribe as anything other than cannon fodder to slow down Alex's advance. Of course, humans were enslaved (not just the Burg group, but "the strongest man in Cadin", drafted as an enforcer for Talon under threat to his family) for the actual mining work and I think also work in Ruid. Taben is probably not a Vile Tribe member in TSS; he looks like a beastman, and although in SSSC he implies that he's Vile Tribe by repeatedly calling the party "humans", it's ambiguous in Japanese. Also, someone in Meryod tells the group about both Myght and Taben, so clearly Taben has not been confined. So he's an ally of Ghaleon's.

I forgot where I was going with that and have to go make cat food now, so I'll stop there.

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Re: GHALEON DID NOTHING WRONG

Postby Shinto-Cetra » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:25 pm

Alunissage wrote:The only Vile Tribe members we see talking in TSS are definitely written to imply a group of stupid monsters. Lines like "I've lost count of all the humans I've [some verb]...wait, I don't know how to count!" and dumb-coded laughter. I don't recall offhand if that's also the case in Japanese. Anyway, I'm not saying that stupidity justifies cruelty, obviously, just that they were written to read as subhuman in that game, without redeeming qualities. The morality of confining them was not a question in that game, as they were seen as purely destructive monsters that endangered everyone else. Is it less moral to confine them than to exterminate them?

The Frontier in TSS is bad, but note that humans and beastmen live there as well in Cadin and Marke, and it was Ghaleon who trapped them there ten years before the game, not Althena; prior to his plan, they could have left. So, difficult to live in the Frontier, as one of the first villagers in Cadin says, but not so much that no one is willing to live there. Heck, the Black Dragon lived there.
.


Nope; go to the 4:19 mark, and see Vile Tribe members that impersonate Alex's parents, and don't talk like idiots https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tMGYoJ ... ex=22&t=0s . Again Xenobia herself also doesn't talk like this. And as I stated elsewhere, she does mourn her minions' passing when Alex kills them, "You killed my henchmen!" implying she didn't expect them to die. Camraderie is sign of some sense of morality. I'm not saying it justifies slavery, draining the spring, and kidnapping, but they're still above Zophar in sympathy. Just because some Vile Tribe are stupid doesn't mean all are. Stereotyping is never good, even in fiction. Where does it say Ghaleon trapped the villagers of Cadin and Marke? The Black Dragon went insane, so s/he living there further hammers in my point (come to think of it do dragons other than Quark, Ruby and Nall have genders?)

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Re: GHALEON DID NOTHING WRONG

Postby Alunissage » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:24 am

You aren't "hammering" anything, thank you.

I don't have time right now to search too thoroughly for text, but here are some lines from Cadin. I think there are lines in other towns about getting to the Frontier, including of course Nash's dialogue when he rejoins the party in Tamur with the information of how to get there.

GHALEON HAS BEEN CONTROLLING
THE FRONTIER FOR 10 YEARS.

HERE, HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN
KNOWN AS THE MAGIC EMPEROR.

I GUESS NOW HE'S 'OUT OF
THE CLOSET' WORLDWIDE.

--

GHALEON IS IN THE TOWN OF
RUID AT THE FAR END OF
THE FRONTIER.

HE FOUNDED THE TOWN ALMOST
TEN YEARS AGO.

--

GHALEON HAS MANY SOLDIERS
WILLING TO DIE FOR HIS
EVIL CAUSE.

THEY'RE ONLY FAITHFUL TO
HIM BECAUSE HE'S CAST A
SPELL OVER THEM!

---

I don't recall claiming that the Vile Tribe were on a level to Zophar, just that they had been written as fairly one-dimensional, unambiguous monsters in TSS. That's not me saying they should have been written that way, just that they were in that particular game -- I'm not a fan of stereotyping either, but I can't deny that it's there. I'd argue that "you killed my henchmen!" is as likely to be "you destroyed my possessions!" as it is to be mourning; expressing anger at a loss doesn't mean the thing you lost was a person to you.

I think we established that one of the games, perhaps EBC, refers to the Black Dragon with female pronouns, in both English and Japanese. Amelia the Red Dragon in Lunar Legend and Lunatic Festa is also female.

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Re: GHALEON DID NOTHING WRONG

Postby Shinto-Cetra » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:43 pm

Alunissage wrote:You aren't "hammering" anything, thank you.

The frontier was a horrible living place due to lack of food/light as has previously been established. These living conditions may have contributed to the Black Dragon’s insanity. Therefore it “hammers in” my point that it was a Frontier was a horrible place to live, thus it is understandable for the Vile Tribe to want revenge after being banished there.

Alunissage wrote:I don't recall claiming that the Vile Tribe were on a level to Zophar, just that they had been written as fairly one-dimensional, unambiguous monsters in TSS. That's not me saying they should have been written that way, just that they were in that particular game -- I'm not a fan of stereotyping either, but I can't deny that it's there. I'd argue that "you killed my henchmen!" is as likely to be "you destroyed my possessions!" as it is to be mourning; expressing anger at a loss doesn't mean the thing you lost was a person to you.

Possessions can be “broken”, “destroyed”, but not “killed”. One cannot "kill" a a chair, a plate, a sword, a book, etc. By using the verb “kill” Xenobia acknowledges they have life, are not simply possessions, so there was camaraderie.

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Re: GHALEON DID NOTHING WRONG

Postby Alunissage » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:59 pm

There's no reason given for why the Black Dragon went insane. Correlation is not causation. I don't disagree that the Frontier is a horrible place to live, but the fate of the Black Dragon is irrelevant. There's also no reason to think that the Dragon didn't choose to be there, and that therefore any Dragonmaster would have to go to the Frontier to become Dragonmaster. At any rate, while it may be another point for your thesis, it doesn't reinforce it the way the verb "hammer" suggests.

I think you're missing my point about possessions. It's pretty uncommon for people to be protective of certain relatives and yet be abusive themselves or at least seeing those relatives as things they own (e.g., men who threaten all sorts of bodily harm to boys interested in their daughters).

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Re: GHALEON DID NOTHING WRONG

Postby Sonic# » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:42 pm

One thing that struck me in this thread is the way that Ghaleon is possibly designed with homosexual stereotypes in mind. Alunissage cites this dialogue:

Alunissage wrote:I GUESS NOW HE'S 'OUT OF
THE CLOSET' WORLDWIDE.


This may be Working Designs camping up the dialogue, but it feels odd to use the idiom of "coming out of the closet" to refer to his villainy. This also falls into common patterns of villain design, where the villain acts in ways that are *out*: flamboyant, highly performative. In SSSC, I'd also point to Ghaleon playing an instrument and Truitt's vocal range as possible stereotypes.

I point all this out not because I think Ghaleon and Dyne were romantically entangled, or because Ghaleon is or isn't homosexual. (The tension between him and Luna - which I've always interpreted as sexual, would complicate any simple reduction of Ghaleon's orientation.) Rather, there are a set of non-normative traits that ends up in the design of many villains, including Ghaleon, that are used to mark their villainy. While Ghaleon is clearly a villain for his motives and what he actually does (kidnapping girls, enslaving dragons, and so on), there are other traits that check the boxes of a morality play villain.
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Re: GHALEON DID NOTHING WRONG

Postby Alunissage » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:13 am

Ugh, there is so much about all of that that I hate. The idea that orientation is coded by certain styles, vocal tics, behaviors, when it should be completely irrelevant. Clothing preferences have nothing to do with private preferences. Hobbies have nothing to do with gender, orientation, morality (mostly). And so on. My default reading for any character is asexual unless they say otherwise, because unless someone chooses to disclose information about themself it is very much None Of Our Business. This is probably my single biggest beef with fandom as a whole. Any fandom.

Pursuant to that, I never saw anything sexual between Luna and Ghaleon other than the way Dark Althena stands near him in that cutscene -- which I think was a stupid choice on the part of someone, honestly. But I also dislike the evil = sexy thing which I guess is kind of baked in with that ridiculous outfit she's wearing, which I'm inclined to read as a very male-dominated expression of forcing the powerful female into submission and controlling her (see also: Samus's outfits at the end of Metroid games, changing her from an intimidatingly powerful woman into a pinup to be consumed by the male-gaze). It's fanservice not just for sexiness, but for fantasies of domination of strong women.

I also don't see Ghaleon's and Luna's initial encounter scene in SSS as having romantic/sexual tension. He's an older man staring too long at a young woman (who he may recognize -- he actually met the Goddess, after all). I don't think she blushes from feeling attraction, but from discomfort. I started to say fear, but that's definitely a bit of a projection from the real world; Lunar doesn't have quite as much patriarchy baked into it, although there's still way too much.

Not sure that was coherent, and I may have contradicted myself a bit there. As I mentioned elsewhere, I'm pretty stressed out right now and less tactful than I would hope to be otherwise.

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Re: GHALEON DID NOTHING WRONG

Postby Sonic# » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:50 pm

^ I think that's a fair reading overall. I don't think orientation is coded by styles, tics, behaviors, and so on, but I do think that character designs sometimes reflect the perspectives of designers who at least subliminally believe that and bring that to bear in their art. A more overt but also coded form of this is camp, an over-the-top aesthetic that was often used to hint at queer themes in ways that were acceptable to a popular culture that was at the time hostile to overt expressions of non-heteronormative sexuality.

My mode of interpretation points out moments where Ghaleon or the people around him (principally Luna) may fall into a stereotype of sexualized villainhood. I don't see any evidence that Ghaleon coming "out of the closet," Dark Althena's clothing and manner next to Ghaleon, Luna blushing before Ghaleon, and other choices are a consistent indication that Ghaleon is anything specifically. Rather, I'm fascinated - and somewhat troubled - that these traces seem to resemble the effeminate queer-coded villain in other media, and I don't know what to make of that.
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Re: GHALEON DID NOTHING WRONG

Postby Alunissage » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:57 pm

Yeah, troubled is the right word. It's also worth nothing that probably none of the people involved in making the game were thinking of it as being a work that would still be discussed decades later rather than what would be good for a laugh and serve the purpose for the short period of time before people moved on to the next game. And stereotypes certainly get used as shortcuts in place of fleshing out individual characters. One of the general things that annoys me with SSS is how the characters got pushed a bit more into standard tropes -- Kyle the fratboy, who is disliked by Mel (rather than trusted by him as in TSS), Nash the snob who thinks he's really competent but no one else does (in TSS his peers and teachers saw him as actually competent except for one person who was clearly jealous), Mia the super-shy introvert (she's much more confident and decisive in taking action in TSS), and so on. These simplifications of personalities made it easier to set up jokes, but I think at the expense of appreciating them as people that others might actually find admirable. Or maybe that's just me.

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Re: (SSS) GHALEON DID NOTHING WRONG

Postby Temzin » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:20 am

Shocking follow-up to shocking headline: Jenner's thread title is actually true, but for SSS Ghaleon instead. Not only is he a stand-in for a legitimate debate between a Hobbesian/Confucian/Catholic "peace in a chaotic world through authority/order/ceremony" and a Lockean/Deist/humanist "peace through freedom and working together," he also...doesn't really do much beyond temporarily kidnapping singers and sealing the Dragons! No destruction of Burg, no enslavement of the populace, no darkness over the planet... Well, I guess he did destroy Vane and reveal before the last battle that Luna would perish and that he would absorb her powers (line altered in English), but that's a far cry from his TSS viciousness. "SSS Ghaleon did (almost) nothing wrong!"

On Ghaleon's design/voice: the out of the closet bit is English-only, and John Truitt's (marvelous) voice may invite some sexuality discussion, but the original portrayal is slightly different. Both Ghaleons sneer arrogantly, but Naya Rokurou's voice is warbly/ghostly and Truitt's is more grandiose. To the extent Ghaleon's character was meant to be hinted at in his visual and audio design, it was by giving him narrow cat eyes (sorry, cat lovers, but you know what I mean) and haughty dialogue.

I think people are right in their take on Borgan as the most pitiful and perhaps most relatable villain of the bunch, at least before SSS Ghaleon. His own poor magic abilities and his despair at losing the Black Dragon's power speak a lot about how his personal feelings of inadequacy or ill-treatment helped inspire his unjustifiably over-reaction into, ah, apocalyptic cultism.
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Re: GHALEON DID NOTHING WRONG

Postby Jenner » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:29 am

Even if we could get in touch with whoever was responsible for putting the "out of the closet" dialog in I'm not sure we could trust their answers regarding what their intention were. Moreover, I'm not exactly sure how much their intentions really matter.

What cannot be argued is that Working Designs put several homophobic lines like this in their games, flung about casually with zero awareness. A line like the one we are talking about brings nothing of value to the games, it doesn't convey any important information, it's just that NPC being an -Albino Baboon-. I infer from this line that this dick of an NPC isn't a big fan of Ghaleon and decided to express that with some fun, light-hearted, harmless, homophobia. Calling something/someone gay was a popular way to imply it was bad in the 90s and early 00s (it still happens today too.)

Anyway this NPC saying this is not confirmation that Ghaleon is gay. Ghaleon is a queer-coded villain aesthetically, but not in behavior, and while Ghaleon's White-Haired Pretty Man look was pretty well established in Japan as an indication of a more sinister or duplicitous character. At the time of TSS's introduction to the US, most Americans were unfamiliar with this trope and didn't read much into it.

Look y'all, if there's any reputation I've built up in this community it's probably that I'm Horny, Have Bad Opinions, and Will Do Everything In My Power To Interpret It As Gay so please allow the clout of that reputation to power this statement: There is nothing sexual about anything Ghaleon does and Ghaleon is not gay.

I could go on a huge ass tirade about how coding characters as queer has been shorthand for informing audiences that they're evil and how bad that is (and how much I hate it) but I don't wanna get TL;DR in here. Just understand that a character being queer-coded doesn't mean they're queer, but it almost always means they're evil and it sucks.


Ghaleon has the honorable distinction of being one of the few villains who actually achieves their goals. No one can deny that Ghaleon successfully kidnaps and enslaves the Goddess, harnesses her power for himself, and uses it to lord over Lunar with an iron fist (regardless of how briefly he is able to, we can't all be Kefka.) His reasons for doing this are varied but he is not a benevolent dictator, he has nobody but his own interests in mind. His outcomes do not improve Lunar. And his intention was not for Althena to realize that humanity was relying on her too much and better off without her involvement (in fact, that's the exact opposite of what he wanted) so the positive results of Ghaleon's actions aren't his intended outcome.

It doesn't matter that she was actually god all along, Ghaleon abducted a teenage girl and that is wrong.
I believe Talon Mines exist in both versions of the game, as such, Ghaleon did enslave people and that is wrong.
Giant castle on tank treads? Cool as heck. Powered by the lifeforce of the enslaved dragons? WOW EXTREMELY COOL, also wrong.
(Powered by coal mined by slave workers is also wrong.)
Blowing Vane out of the sky? Great that they have to start interacting with the normals again and stop being such pricks but still very traumatic and very wrong.
Basically Ghaleon is justifiably mad at Althena and acted on that anger, but I'm not going to say Althena deserved any of what she went through (In fact, she absolutely did not deserve any of it). I'm pretty radical now, and I would absolutely argue more in Ghaleon's favor if he'd intended anything good with his actions, but he doesn't. That's where my morality is. But while Ghaleon's reasons are legitimate and his anger justified, Ghaleon's means do not justify his ends. And Ghaleon did a lot wrong.
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Re: GHALEON DID NOTHING WRONG

Postby Alunissage » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:55 am

TBH, I didn't really read the "out of the closet" comment as meaning anything but "his secret identity is now revealed", expressed flippantly. Of course, I tend to be oblivious and/or forgiving of a lot, and I have no personal reason to be sensitive to the phrasing, so it strikes more as a minor misfire that wasn't at all out of place in 1993. Ruby's line about Leo being 35 (which he isn't) and never having had a girlfriend ("People are beginning to talk...") bothers me a lot more, in part because I have a weird blank spot in my sense of humor about truth and have a hard time finding jokes based on false statements about a person funny.

I would still argue that in SSS he did have some idealistic goals of saving humanity from itself (themselves?) by providing them with the deity he thought was necessary for the world to function. Although, SSS also shot that idea in the foot by having the fortress sucking up all the life of the earth, which would definitely be a problem for humanity. It's another melodramatic addition to the story in SSS that I think is a bit overwrought, especially with the instant restoration of it all after the fortress crashes. In both regards it's too fast and seems too powerful to fit in with even Goddess-scale actions. (I have an argument for why the destruction of the Blue Star is different in this regard, but the reasoning wouldn't apply here.) I liked the relatively understated darkening of the land in TSS better as an indication of how Althena's capture was doing Bad Things to the environment.

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Re: GHALEON DID NOTHING WRONG

Postby Shiva Indis » Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:07 am

Sonic# wrote:Camp

I have a hunch that some of this is a form of actor allusion. Do you direct Mamma Mia if you aren't, in fact, interested in ABBA?

https://reddingculturaldistrict.org/event/mamma-mia/

Well maybe you do, but this fills me with joy anyway.
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Re: GHALEON DID NOTHING WRONG

Postby Kizyr » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:49 pm

Shiva Indis wrote:
Sonic# wrote:Camp

I have a hunch that some of this is a form of actor allusion. Do you direct Mamma Mia if you aren't, in fact, interested in ABBA?

https://reddingculturaldistrict.org/event/mamma-mia/

Well maybe you do, but this fills me with joy anyway.

Um... oh... wow... This is a real thing.

Like, I'm seriously tempted to advertise this on LunarNET and the Facebook page.

I'm not even an ABBA or a musicals fan. KF
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Re: Truitt did everything right

Postby Temzin » Sat May 04, 2019 4:22 pm

!!!

Delightfully, the world may never know whether A) WD wrote in the ABBA references because John Truitt liked them, B) John Truitt came to like ABBA based on the Ghaleon role, or C) John Truitt just happens to be directing this with no particular recollection of the Ghaleon connection.
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