Kyle discussion! From the topic about the pairings

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Kyle discussion! From the topic about the pairings

Postby Sonic# » Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:05 pm

LunarRaptor wrote:Sonic, Kyle's own men tell us that women fit right into the equation. He womanizes. Not boyfriend/husband material. And Kyle caring about Mel and everyone else just means that he does have a heart beyond the drunken thief, but he's far from being maturely able to take another steps farther in a relationship. Look, this topic is for fun, and no one ever changes their minds in these debates, so let's just drop it.


I wasn't going to argue the point much more, but I just thought of something today.

(Even if it won't change your mind, maybe someone will find it interesting, no matter what side they take.)

Both Kyle and Nash do things that would signal their lack of commitment to the relationship, as you put it. Kyle, well, yes, struggles with commitment, but by the end there's a demonstration that he is committed, at least within the arc of the story.

With Nash, he goes off and betrays Mia. His betrayal is of the party of course, but it's a direct betrayal of Mia and the standards of the Magic School that she has to hold up. That is why she smacks him in SSSC... it was a direct betrayal of her trust.

So I think you're right to point out that Kyle is not the best person. Neither is Nash. For a while, I didn't like Nash at all because of it. But I came around because they do come around, and the optimism of the endings indicates that their improvements continue.

(As an aside thought, there are some people who study Jane Eyre that say readers only like Rochester, the main guy, because he's riding on a horse, a potent symbol of his masculinity, and that otherwise he's really not all that likeable a man. I wonder if the same is true with Kyle and his crossdressing. I don't think so, but I'm just throwing it out there.)
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Re: Kyle discussion! From the topic about the pairings

Postby DezoPenguin » Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:16 pm

Honestly, Kyle just looks like the latest example of the generic archetype of the hard-partying, womanizing guy who has to have his feet nailed to the floor to get him to give in and commit to a relationship. You see his type as the hero of romance novels all the time (you'll also see him in sitcoms as the guy who romanticizes about his old fratboy days and ogles bikini-clad women on the beach while never once having the idea of actual cheating or abandoning his family cross his mind). It's a classic example of the old "the love of a good woman turned this wild boy into a solid citizen" routine; the fact that that's exactly what happened when Jessica's mother met up with "Hell Mel" works as a good parallel to that. The relationship also hits the "fall in love like a guy just like Dad" trope and subverts the whole "love of a good woman" thing by having Jessica, while definitely a good person, also be a brash extrovert who's more likely to do her husband-hunting with a mace than a winsome smile.

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Re: Kyle discussion! From the topic about the pairings

Postby Alunissage » Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:31 am

Considering that Kyle's character was established over 15 years ago, he's not exactly the latest example of anything. :P

I have to say I don't care much for reducing the characters to types in discussions like this -- it seems to me that talking about them as type 1 interacts with type 2 misses the point of talking about them at all, because we're discussing specific characters. If they were all generic stereotypes, the games wouldn't have appealed to us so much; it's where they differ from the types that they become interesting.

Admittedly, in TSS Nash tells Kyle "You're the most one-dimensional man I know!" or words to that effect. But Kyle's situation is different in that game. Mel had already recognized him as valuable and had placed him in charge of the Nanza barrier (perhaps he had no problem with the protection/thievery part of it because of his pirate history), so he's pretty much already in his position of responsibility.

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Re: Kyle discussion! From the topic about the pairings

Postby GhaleonOne » Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:53 am

Also, give Nash more credit for his role in TSS. He wasn't nearly the back-stabber in TSS as he was in SSSC. In TSS, he runs off when you meet the Blue Dragon (I think? it was that or Red, but I'm pretty sure it was Blue). Only he shows up of his own accord after you get back from Myght's Tower, having double crossed Xenobia and Ghaleon. I'm hazy as to why he did this, but I remember it all being a trick on Ghaleon and Xenobia, rather than having the party (or rather Mia) slap some sense into him.
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Re: Kyle discussion! From the topic about the pairings

Postby Alunissage » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:51 am

After you get the Blue Dragon Helmet, Xenobia appears and tells Nash to grab it and then they both vanish. He returns after Laike takes Alex to meet Myght, and the information he brings is how to get to the Frontier (water from Pao to restore the transmission spring). And yes, he's a much better character in that game.

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Re: Kyle discussion! From the topic about the pairings

Postby ilovemyguitar » Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:05 pm

Alunissage wrote:After you get the Blue Dragon Helmet, Xenobia appears and tells Nash to grab it and then they both vanish. He returns after Laike takes Alex to meet Myght, and the information he brings is how to get to the Frontier (water from Pao to restore the transmission spring). And yes, he's a much better character in that game.


While he may be a "better" character in TSS in that he never actually betrays the party, I actually found him much more interesting in SSSC. The whole betrayal plotline was just blatant misdirection in TSS, and when he returned to the party shortly after with the information about the transmission spring it was all made into a total non-issue. But having him actually betray the party in SSSC, complete with zapping a hole in Myght's airship and actively joining Ghaleon's troops and fighting the party, gave Nash some depth that he didn't have in TSS. The incident carried dramatic weight, instead of just being a silly trick that was soon forgotten. Yes, you hate him more, but I hardly cared about him at all one way or the other in TSS once we found out the betrayal was just a ruse.

And besides, in SSSC we get to see Nash in a giant robotic chicken suit, and that's made of pure win. :P
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Re: Kyle discussion! From the topic about the pairings

Postby phyco126 » Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:10 pm

I love that Nash betrayed the party. I mean, how often do you get to see someone you hate get smacked around by you?
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Re: Kyle discussion! From the topic about the pairings

Postby DezoPenguin » Sat Apr 12, 2008 11:03 pm

Alunissage wrote:
I have to say I don't care much for reducing the characters to types in discussions like this -- it seems to me that talking about them as type 1 interacts with type 2 misses the point of talking about them at all, because we're discussing specific characters. If they were all generic stereotypes, the games wouldn't have appealed to us so much; it's where they differ from the types that they become interesting.


No argument with you on TSS Kyle, incidentally. Frankly, I found him a bit more interesting because he's less stereotypical. But in truth, I found the majority of the SSSC characters to be largely one-note archetypes, entertaining not because of how they differ from their archetypes but in the quality of the execution of those archetypes. Alex, Kyle, Nash, Nall, Mia and Luna are all pretty much exactly what we've come to expect from their roles (and even Ghaleon in his SSSC incarnation is a much more stereotypical villain that TSS Ghaleon). Jess is a bit less so--Jess is the typical genki-tsundere cross (though, to be fair, "tsundere" wasn't really so much of an archetype back then...) but she has some genuine character tension going on with her relationship with her father and the fact that she genuinely embraces the duality of her role as noble lady and tough-talking adventuring buttkicker (and come to think of it, she's also a mixed-race kid, so that lends something extra to the whole "I have multiple sides" discussion). Even while SSSC was fleshing out the story with more text and animation, I think it also managed to "dumb down" a number of the character roles to their lowest generic denominator.

It's kind of like watching Numb3rs, at least for me--every week, especially for the first couple of seasons, they'd come up with a basic plot structure that was intensely boring and predictable, and then the writers would rise above their material and make in entertaining to watch and interesting to work with. SSSC does the same kind of thing (FF6, for example, had a number of more interesting and original characters, but I simply don't enjoy the way they interact with one another and the story leaves me flat).

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Re: Kyle discussion! From the topic about the pairings

Postby Alunissage » Sun Apr 13, 2008 5:40 pm

I might have seen the SSSC characters more as types if I'd played that game first and/or were familiar with anime, other games, etc. However, since I don't watch anything and hardly get around to my games, I don't have much exposure to them. And, more to the point, I not only played TSS first, it was my first RPG, so I already had the characters set in my mind from multiple playthroughs, so I just saw SSSC as expanding on the characters that were already established rather than changing them, for the most part. With the obvious exceptions, of course.

Oh, and re Nash, I agree that he has more character depth, or at least we see more character from him, in SSSC. But I think a lot of that was simply more text to set it up, like his meeting with Royce in Vane and his comments about Ghaleon's power. In TSS there aren't any hints that he was going to do something; you have to fill in for yourself that he must've been in contact with Xenobia before then to arrange the "betrayal", etc. And admittedly it's kind of a stock action in that game -- party member leaves, party member returns with information. But it could have been put in SSSC also (even if he didn't reveal his double-cross until he was in the chicken suit), rather than making him a pretty pathetic person at the end of the game.

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Re: Kyle discussion! From the topic about the pairings

Postby LunarRaptor » Wed Apr 23, 2008 5:35 am

I know I may have gone a bit hard on Kyle in our discussion, but I want it to go on the record that I do not dislike him. Quite the contrary. He's part of why I could stand to get the end of the game when things kept getting increasingly serious, and it got to when only Kyle was the one still wearing a smile with a thing or two to say to relieve the situation of some of the tension.
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Re: Kyle discussion! From the topic about the pairings

Postby Angelalex242 » Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:41 pm

If Kyle and Nash had growing to do, don't Mia and Jessica?

Let's not dump on JUST the guys, here.

First, there's Jessica. Hitting a guy with a mace is not, particularly, the best way to encourage behavioral changes. And on the flight up on Nall, Jessica has some rather futile arguments with Kyle on the way up. She's a spitfire of a girl, and the constant arguing might eventually wear on the relationship.

Mia, on the other hand, is too shy to maintain a relationship when she starts out. And too clueless, really, to even understand what Nash was feeling for her. She's an Ausa, and a very sheltered girl. She really had to get out there and see the world to expand her horizons. She had to, in some ways, learn to love herself before she could accept Nash.

Alex and Luna/Althena have their own growth, but theirs is more clearly seen through the course of the game then are the other two couples.
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Re: Kyle discussion! From the topic about the pairings

Postby LuNaRtIc » Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:18 pm

Angelalex242 wrote:And too clueless, really, to even understand what Nash was feeling for her.


Just thought I'd throw my two cents in here, because I'm much like Mia in the very shy and sheltered department. xD

Mia never struck me as a clueless character. I think she knew of Nash's feelings, as she herself had feelings for him too. However, I believe her shyness kept her from openly displaying her feelings. Personally, I don't like it very much when guys flirt with me, I'm extremely shy and I don't know how to flirt back and it makes me uncomfortable. I think I'm that way because I'm very self conscious and doubt myself so much on many levels. One needs a certain level of confidence to flirt with someone, and even more confidence to confess one's feelings.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said Mia needed to learn to love herself and gain confidence in herself before she could truly love Nash. I don't believe she was clueless, just shyness and self doubt held her back from many things.

By the way, on the topic of Kyle, is it safe to say he's an alcoholic? :?
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Re: Kyle discussion! From the topic about the pairings

Postby GhaleonOne » Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:49 am

LuNaRtIc wrote:Personally, I don't like it very much when guys flirt with me, I'm extremely shy and I don't know how to flirt back and it makes me uncomfortable. I think I'm that way because I'm very self conscious and doubt myself so much on many levels. One needs a certain level of confidence to flirt with someone, and even more confidence to confess one's feelings.


I know what you mean. When a girl flirts with me, I never know how to react, and generally don't even realize it until the moment is gone, and I'm back in my own little world. I've always been shy, though not as much in recent years. Even when I recognize someone flirting with me, I think I have the same issues, where I just don't feel confident in the moment enough to flirt back. If it's someone I know pretty well, and have become more comfortable around, I can, without much problems, but when a stranger does it, I always back away, without even realizing it until afterwards.

And back on topic a little... I think the Mia in TSS was quite a bit less shy than the SSS Mia. She just came across as really kind-hearted in TSS, rather than really shy in SSS.
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Re: Kyle discussion! From the topic about the pairings

Postby Angelalex242 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:03 am

I was once like that...

But then I got a Sales job, and my income suddenly depended on my people skills. Amazing how fast you learn when you're in a 'no work/no eat' commission environment.

Ah, yes. SSSC does have notable differences...shyness being one of the larger ones for Mia.

I don't know if Kyle's an alcholic, per se. He never struck me as an eternally bent elbow sort. Just someone who more uses alcohol to get women to loosen up so he can, well...forget Jessica, I guess. This is before the actual game, of course.
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Re: Kyle discussion! From the topic about the pairings

Postby Kizyr » Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:37 am

GhaleonOne wrote:I know what you mean. When a girl flirts with me, I never know how to react, and generally don't even realize it until the moment is gone, and I'm back in my own little world.


That's how I am. Except, it happens when I'm the one doing the flirting, not when I'm the recipient. Basically I won't have a clue what's going on until I notice the look in her eyes, then about a year later I end up proposing to her.

Though this has only happened once. KF
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Re: Kyle discussion! From the topic about the pairings

Postby Alunissage » Thu May 01, 2008 11:38 pm

I don't think Kyle is an alcoholic per se. More like a frat boy type. Plus, when you first go to Nanza, he's clearly drinking because he's upset about the fight with Jessica -- he's all maudlin about it if you find him in the towers and such before he ends up in the cell.

That said, I don't think that his and Jess's arguing is necessarily a bad thing in their relationship. It's just part of it. Jess herself is already pretty much with it. After the fight, rather than getting drunk, she goes to burn off steam by helping the people in Lann, and several times during the game she starts to talk to Kyle about things. Kyle needs to grow up, but she's pretty much already there. I'm inclined to think that the comments about her being a spitfire and worse say more about the people saying them than about the character. Even on Lunar, she has to fight to get out of her predetermined passive, submissive, nice-girl role. For all his failings, Kyle probably gives her far more opportunity to be herself than anyone else in her life, or at least anyone else from her hometown.

I don't really feel that Mia was entirely aware of Nash or had conscious special feelings for him. At the end she says happily "Oh, Nash, I love you." He's shocked. And then she continues, "...and you, Jessica, and you, Alex, and..." I don't think she would have said things like that if she thought of him as in love with her. Phyco's comic about his trying to ask her out has it pretty much pegged, I think.

I agree that in TSS she was less typed as shy and quiet and naive. For one thing, there's no intro scene with her crying. She already recognizes what's wrong and acts to fix it; seems to me that the only reason she hadn't already exposed Xenobia was that she needed Alex's dragon ring to get to the mirror. But maybe I'm skipping over some steps.

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Re: Kyle discussion! From the topic about the pairings

Postby LunarRaptor » Fri May 02, 2008 4:30 am

Well said, Alun. After reading some of the other posts and this one, its just obvious that, in the end, regardless of everything thye are forced to do: Alex and co are youngsters with a lot to sort out about themselves.

Kyle: eh, he probably does love Jessica, but before any solid relationship can be formed, he has a ways to go still. I still think that what Kyle's men as well as other people you meet who know him said had validity, though.

Jessica: definitely ready to have a serious relationship. The problem is that her love is still lagging behind.

And nope, you didn't miss any steps. Mia was a lot stronger in the original SCC. I don't why they changed certain characters to be less than they were...but that's a discussion for another topic.
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Re: Kyle discussion! From the topic about the pairings

Postby DezoPenguin » Sat May 03, 2008 3:50 pm

I think Alun's "fratboy" comment is dead on target. Indeed, when you consider Kyle's age, it's pretty much completely descriptive (actually, if you consider the ages the characters are supposed to be, debating their eternal love prospects seems kind of silly since most of them are in the "high school crush" age, but you have to adjust for the whole "add ten years' worth of assumed emotional maturity" to all characters in a JRPG thing*). But yes, Kyle acts like pretty much a college jock struggling with his first serious commitment issues.

*actually, I think it's some kind of multiplicative thing. Since anyone who hits 30 is immediately an over-the-hill middle-aged fogey, maybe it's just that everybody in a JRPG universe ages at 1.5 times the real-world human rates, which would make all those teenagers off to save the universe a more reasonable 22-ish in effective age...


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