The interesting thing about Borgan is that while he's easy to just dismiss as an ugly and unlikable villain (and all the more so in the original when he's mopping the floor with you as the game's hardest boss), there's a lot of stuff going on the background.Alunissage wrote:So I find myself constructing a backstory for them, that maybe they argued about elitism vs egalitarianism, since many NPCs talk about Miria being welcoming to both magicians and non-magicians, e.g. opening the library to all, when Borgan was still a member of the Guild. Is he made out to be as poor a magician in the Japanese game? He doesn't actually sound unintelligent, most of the time; it's just that his unattractive traits are hammed up and pounded in with the evident intent of making be someone to despise. Yet both Miria and an older man who knows Lemina well say that he and Lemina are not so different from each other.
First, as a failure, he's interesting: I do have a distant memory of Borgan either being a poor magician or not being able to use magic at all before he sells out to Zophar. It's in the comic, and likely in the game, too. That certainly places him in the same mould as Linus and the False Althena: flawed people looking for something beyond their grasp as many people do, but taking "self-improvement" in a very dark direction.
Second, he's interesting as a symbol for what Vane was and is. If you ignore the Zophar angle, Borgan's elitist and exclusionary vision for Vane is a far better match for the city's original identity...Vane was only "democratized" in a sense by its destruction at Ghaleon's hand, ironically enough, since it literally became accessible on the ground. As in real life, there's a tension between rewarding the elite and respecting the masses. Lemina's dream of restoring Vane's glory necessarily contains a bit of the same elitism/meritocracy that Borgan imagines, and a villager even asks her about it awkwardly at one point. I think Lemina comes around to understanding restoring Vane as a historical preservation project, but until she does, the Vane she and Borgan imagine share some uncomfortable similarities. This makes Borgan an ugly foil to cute Lemina, who comes to see him as a bigger mirror image than she'd like him to be. The pointlessness of Neo-Vane really underlines how unclear it is why Vane should be restored: with Althena and the Vile Tribe gone, there is no longer a purpose for this elite institution in the sense that Borgan understands it.