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Dreamfall Chapters broke my heart


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#1 SpringsEternal

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 18:33

If it needs to be said: spoilers, spoilers, spoilers for all the games!

 

 

An Introduction

 

 

I just finished Dreamfall Chapters yesterday and had to make an account to get this off my chest (so, hi!)

 

I swore not to play DFC until all the books were out, as I wanted to play the whole story, start to finish. I also chose to replay The Longest Journey and Dreamfall first, so I had all the information possible and wouldn't forget who anyone or anything was. For further context: I originally played Dreamfall back when it was released and didn't play TLJ for the first time until later.

 

Since first playing Dreamfall when it came out, I've been waiting for conclusions, but the most important to me was April's fate. Even before I knew her adventures in TLJ, I was sympathetic to this woman who seemed to have sacrificed a lot, become bitter and finally, seemingly, died an ignoble death. After playing TLJ, I truly fell in love with the character. This time around, playing the two games back to back, I became more hopeful that April's story wasn't over - after all, she's a woman of magic and a daughter of a dragon.

 

 

The Beginning

 

 

So when DFC opened with her bloody funeral, I blinked widely. "Well… <expletive deleted>", thought I  (also "hey, is that Brynn and Chawan? I thought you guys died!")

 

But the theme from the get-go was rebirth and new beginnings. Okay, April's dead, but that doesn't mean she's done necessarily. She's magical! She's the daughter of the White of the Kin! This was going through my head all while I played DFC. I became convinced from the beginning that Saga was April - the house was too similar to Lady Alvane's house - when the baby was born, there was a Shift!

 

I found both Zoë and Kian much more engaging characters this time around, which helped me through - they seemed like more sympathetic people. Zoë's sense of humour came through much more strongly and I warmed to her a lot.

 

When Zoë stepped out into Propast for the first time and I saw the tourist map, I just sort of stared at it for a long time. I took a screenshot. I stared at the screenshot. I thought: "I know someone who would have liked this. You are breaking my heart again. Already!"

 

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[*sobs bitterly*]

 

When Kian woke up in the Enclave and I explored, I found the White Dragon mural. That image of her rising up was very powerful (and an obvious inspiration for the rebel emblem). I became more convinced that April would return later, perhaps in dragon form to save the day.

 

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[On the third day she rose again… ?]

 

...Maybe I'm going through the five stages of grief over here.

 

 

The Journey

 

 

Kian met the Mole and heard of the Banda genocide. I thought about April's meeting with the Banda in TLJ and how their murder at the hands of the Azadi likely played a part in her change between TLJ and Dreamfall (assuming the genocide occurred in that 10 years and not after April's stabbing). It was another moment that reminded me of April and all the crap she'd been through.

 

When Saga drew the events of TLJ, I thought she was too old to be April literally, but wondered if April's father's talk of holding a "baby" (at the end of TLJ) hadn't been literally talking about an infant, but a small child. I remembered April had taken her child drawings with her to Newport, but she wasn't sure why she'd done it. I wondered; had she dreamed the events as a child and forgotten about them, but had some subconscious connection to the drawings, prompting her to bring them along (but ironically not looking at them before things kicked off).

 

Of course, eventually I realised that Saga couldn't literally be April. She became too old to have possibly been the girl adopted in Stark. I started to doubt if the connections between her and April were me just seeing what I wanted to see. But with White Dragon 2.0, Shifting and her art, I decided that the connection had to be intended - it was too much of a coincidence otherwise. Also I was 90% sure Saga's mother was voiced by Sarah Hamilton. So. That.

 

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[I'll tell you what it is, Saga: plagiarism! Very pretty plagiarism!]

 

I played through the game curiously, trying to find answers to all my previous questions (not just the April in the room questions). I wondered who the mysterious Anna could be and went through several (VERY WRONG) theories only to be disappointed that she was a character we'd never heard of before. After that, I started again to worry that Saga would be the same - a brand new character.

 

Hoo boy.

 

 

The End

 

 

Before I finished Book 4, I was greeted by the most meta of April reminders, as Crow and Zoë spoke about her. "A lot of people miss her." Ouch. Keep twisting that dagger in my heart, guys.

 

At the end of the book I went through in my head how many of my questions from Dreamfall were still unanswered. Thus, I was prepared for Book 5 to be a heavy exposition dump (it was). I was also becoming more prepared for the idea that April wasn't going to miraculously show up in any form to save the day.

 

I wasn't, however, prepared for what I would eventually see.

 

I was shocked by Mother Utana's betrayal, but I wasn't convinced Kian was dead. I wasn't saddened by the idea of his potential death, either. Kian was a character that, to my mind, didn't necessarily deserve a happy ending. He was a killer and a harsh man, despite his nobility of soul. He was a warrior. We'd only ever seen him as these things - unlike the ladies, we hadn't seen an innocent, unsuspecting side of him. I felt Kian would be satisfied dying as he might have done; to save the Worlds.

 

When Crow was left alone in the room with the villains, I knew what was going to happen. I was still outraged when Brian snapped his neck like he was nothing. Outraged. Not sad. I knew Crow survived. Crow was with Lady Alvane - who should have been April, I thought, bitterly - and therefore, couldn't be dead, despite this attempt at pathos. I thought, again, he's a being of magic. He was thrown into the Dream Vortex. Maybe death doesn't mean dead here.

 

Despite that, I teared up when Saga picked up his broken body. Oh, little buddy. Who's going to make jokes at inappropriate times now? Who's going to fly off when I need him most? Best and worst buddy! I also wondered why in the world(s), Saga would take him with her.

 

Cue the Storytime sequence.

 

Crow was back, though dead for certain. There was a rapid reveal of much of the plotting left unanswered. I was disappointed to discover that Brian was, indeed, an evil maniac rather than an unwitting pawn. Dreamfall had set that up and I hadn't liked the implications of his villainy in that (and I was sure, since Dreamfall that, it was him who'd killed the White - after all, she recognised her killer and who else had been there in the Dark People's city?) But it was what it was. I sighed and I moved on.

 

And as I moved on, I saw a young woman standing beside an easel, painting. My heart clutched in my chest. I tried to steel myself.

 

The conversation was odd, dreamlike (appropriately) and short. Zoë got the information she needed, mostly figuring it out for herself, and left.

 

And I was left behind with my dear April and Crow. April, still not quite herself, first talking like her Sister Kin. And then she confirmed my worst fears.

 

"Come on, Crow. We've got a long journey ahead of us."

 

And they walked out of the story together. For good.

 

 

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[…]

 

 

I didn't cry. But it was the closest I came to it throughout the entirety of the game.

 

 

Conclusion

 

 

So, what was the point of this long and winding stream of text (besides my desperate attempt to find closure)?

 

Like the previous games in the series, I enjoyed Dreamfall Chapters, despite its shortcomings (and they all have shortcomings). But April...

 

April deserved better. As a character in a story, one who'd been through so much through TLJ and in the unseen moments between then and Dreamfall, she deserved better than being killed in cold blood just for the worlds and everyone else to move on without her.

 

Kian and Zoë got happy endings. April just... ended. Became something else.

 

Saga is a fun character, but she isn't April. I felt like she cheated her way into April's place. After TLJ, it seemed obvious to me that Lady Alvane was April (after all, we had no reason to think it was anyone else - April had the sense that she knew her, she was with Crow and she knew April's story intimately). All that adventuring with Crow in the multiverse could have been April's.

 

I did enjoy the Epilogue and I did get a bittersweet feeling at seeing young April step through the Shift. But I would've been so much happier if it had been an old April, having lived a long and fulfilling life, sat there waiting to greet her young self and knowing all the great adventures she still had left before her.

 

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[*bawl*]

 

It's a testament to April as a character that I felt so attached to her. It's not often in fiction that I feel the loss of a character, whether that be their death or just the end of the story, as if it was the loss of a friend.

 

...So I guess I've hit the Depression stage of grief. How's everybody else doing?

 

(PS Gold star if you read the whole thing. I thank you from the bottom of my broken heart)


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#2 Clairobscur

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 20:15

Welcome to the forum! :) I enjoyed reading your post. The forum is very quiet these days so it feels good to read something new and interesting. I am impressed that you managed to wait until the full game was released!

 

My heart is also broken by April's fate. Even though Zoë is first in my heart (and I am really happy she got closure - even if that closure takes her away from me), April is also very important to me and I feel sad by how things turned out for her. She deserved better indeed and I want to believe there is more for her behind the veils of darkness that surround her (TLJH). Saga is "cool" but I do not connect with her nor do I really care about her nor do I like much the way she jumped from nowhere into the main story with her Songlines. So far, she does not make much sense to me. As you say, she is not April.


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#3 the red of the kin

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 13:18

...So I guess I've hit the Depression stage of grief. How's everybody else doing?


Great post! I really enjoyed reading it. I like your style :)

Not doing too good on the April side. But I've already talked extensively about it in another thread and you pretty much summed it up here. 

I see it like you do: it's sad and it feels a bit unfair.
It's really too bad because overall this was a marvelous saga!


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#4 popcorngal

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 21:48

To the OP, thanks so much for your detailed breakdown of how you viewed the series and the characters! I'm always fascinated by the various theories, emotions, etc. of other players. I had no problem reading everything. :D

 

Also wanted to thank you for giving me a place to post something myself, as I've had trouble figuring out where I wanted to post or whether to create a thread. Your title of the thread is perfect for my purpose, though not specifically for April.

 

*begins semi rant*

 

I've already posted in another thread about how I tried to wait until receiving the physical copy and then finally caved a few weeks after Book Five for a very self-centered reason that I believe I've mentioned elsewhere. So, this post is something of a continuation of my original thoughts, a couple of weeks later after having more time to ponder my initial response to finishing.

 

My heart is broken and in some ways, the entire series has become almost too painful to think about. "Very over dramatic," is what my sister called me when I told her my reasons for feeling as though my heart was broken. She's also played the game but never was an extreme fan as myself. I'm sure many others will think I'm nuts. Maybe I feel the way I do because of how important the series became to me over the years. I've played a lot of adventure games and this isn't only my favorite game ever, there's very few games that are it's equal. The vocal acting, story line, the  three dimensional characters. For nearly seventeen years those characters have helped get me through some tough times through being able to escape into the worlds of Stark and Arcadia. So, I guess you see from what I've written, that I've played TLJ and Dreamfall a lot. TLJ especially, I've played once or twice a year since buying in in 2000. Dreamfall not quite as frequently.

 

The above text was lengthy but it was necessary to get across the reason for having a broke heart. Because I don't know if I can ever play these games again, something that for me, is a big deal. I know it that it might be completely ridiculous to get so attached to some pixels on a computer. Neither can I blame a writer for the way his story unfolds. Being someone that's done a lot writing myself, I know that often a character does exactly what I don't want it to or a story line veers off to a path I never expected. None of that helps my heart. None of that logical thinking helps. There are just some things that can't be unseen and I just can't let go of the way Crow was so brutally killed. Dying is something integral to a story and I've re-read tons of books that make me cry buckets because a beloved character dies. Dying is often the inevitable conclusion to a story. But dang... I don't know how to forget that scene. And I don't know how I could enjoy the essence of Crow by replaying the games when I know how ugly his fate is going to be.

 

I'm truly hoping that as time goes on, the impact will fade. But in the here and now, I'm grieving the loss of something that I often feel stupid over the fact that I -am- grieving. Which is also not enjoyable. So, once again...  Kudo's to you, Ragnar, for creating something that has evoked such strong emotions from this particular fan.

 

*ends what became much more than a semi-rant*

 

Also want to apologize for any errors or confusing text, since normally I proof what I write. However, * didn't feel like reading through all that again, so I'll be amazed if anyone else is able to do so. :blush:


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#5 bongboy

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 22:28

You're far from the only person who's had TLJ ruined for them by the Dreamer Cycle. In the end I might be able to replay TLJ on its own and try to pretend the Dreamer Cycle never existed. This is one of the reasons why sequels should never be made.


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#6 popcorngal

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Posted 09 October 2016 - 06:51

You're far from the only person who's had TLJ ruined for them by the Dreamer Cycle. In the end I might be able to replay TLJ on its own and try to pretend the Dreamer Cycle never existed. This is one of the reasons why sequels should never be made.

 

I'm hoping that eventually my heart break will mend, since I don't have a problem with Chapters as a whole. Other than the brutal act with Crow, I wasn't overwhelmed by anything else. As with the TLJ and Dreamfall, I feel that Chapters has an excellent story line, vocal acting, interesting new characters, etc.

 

As an aside, I do agree with a lot that the OP had to say about April, though for me, her death was sad but it wasn't so terribly shocking when taken into context. I too, felt a little distant toward the adult Saga, perhaps because she wasn't the 'real' April. ^_^   However, I do like the way it all tied together with TLJ April.


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#7 the red of the kin

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 07:54

her death was sad but it wasn't so terribly shocking when taken into context. 

 

To me it was very shocking when taken in many contexts

1) TLJ's realm. The first TLJ was about the protagonist being a gentle person that saves the day through her whits and ingenuity and helping people. She is captured but never killed. Dreamfall presents a much different person, sure, but she still is kind to people and tries to help. She dies because of it.

2) Na'ane. The person who gives her location betrays her on a promise of a stranger and leads the stranger at the rebellion's hideout? I didn't sentence Na'ane in DFC but come on...that's gotta be the stupidest move I've ever seen. And I was shocked

 

3) April doesn't escape? Sure: diving into the water is not very stylish but could work! But what about shifting!

 

I'm still in shock today at how random that scene was

 

EDIT:

Oh yeah *pfff* "find April save April"...right


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#8 SpringsEternal

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 20:25

Thanks for the welcomes and the kind words, everyone! I'm glad my tale of woe caused some enjoyment. :D

I'm also glad to hear I'm not the only one who felt they'd been punched in the heart (because misery loves company). I did worry I'd get laughed out of the forums for my strange outpouring of emotion.

 

April is also very important to me and I feel sad by how things turned out for her. She deserved better indeed and I want to believe there is more for her behind the veils of darkness that surround her (TLJH).

 

I vaguely knew about TLJH before writing my sob story above, but I thought it was just a midquel. Then I read a little more about it and how it was going to expand on events and now I want it. T_T I'm just going to try to draw upon my vast well of cynicism and assume it'll never happen, because then if it does I can be happily excited. You know, when I'm old and grey because it releases 30 years from now. ;)

 

 

 I don't know if I can ever play these games again, something that for me, is a big deal. I know it that it might be completely ridiculous to get so attached to some pixels on a computer...

 

I'm truly hoping that as time goes on, the impact will fade.

 

I think it just shows the strengths of the games and the medium itself. In the past, I've spent days thinking about character deaths after playing other games (usually any PC death in an RPG hits me hard, because I get very attached to the characters I create). Sometimes just depressing character lives are enough to set me off (hello, Fallout 4). I tend to analyse, mope, headcanon (can that be used as a verb?), mope some more, write about it and then finally, painstakingly, move on.

I don't think it's ridiculous to get so attached to fictional characters; just means you're empathic (but as an offender myself, maybe I'm a little biased :P)

 

 

3) April doesn't escape? Sure: diving into the water is not very stylish but could work! But what about shifting!

 

I'm still in shock today at how random that scene was

 

EDIT:

Oh yeah *pfff* "find April save April"...right

 

*Removes emotional hat and dons critical hat*
This bothered me a lot when I played through Dreamfall this time around. I get that there were probably technical limitations involved (number of character models, animations etc), but April and Kian both just stand there while the Azadi goons walk up to them. Then they talk a bit. Then they both just watch as the soldier clumsily jabs his spear at April.

You could make a case for Depressed April not moving out of the way (but I'd fight you!) but why wouldn't Kian do anything? It's a very oddly framed scene.


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#9 magic88889

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 21:21

You could make a case for Depressed April not moving out of the way (but I'd fight you!) but why wouldn't Kian do anything? It's a very oddly framed scene.

 

I've always thought it was clear why Kian didn't do anything.  However it seems like a lot of people didn't get Kian, or understand his character (probably due to him having a lot of his scenes cut from DF).  To be brief, he was having a crisis of faith.  A crisis of identity.  Throughout the game he is confronted with the idea that maybe not is all as it seems.  Who he thinks he is (loyal Azadi soldier, doing the work of the Goddess), and who he really is (a thug working for the ambitions of evil people).  The moment when he realizes that April is the Scorpion is that point where he finally realizes what's going on.  Where he realizes that what he has been doing is wrong, and is not the will of the Goddess.  Suddenly wondering if his whole life has been a lie.

Kian had a lot going on just then, and it makes perfect sense to me that he would freeze. 

 

April was in a similar boat.  She was obviously angry, bitter, and depressed about it.  She lost that spark to live her life.  That spark that we came to know and love in TLJ.  She's still fighting because that's all she knows at that point.  She's become the rebel, the killer, and it's come to completely define her life.  In many ways, the April we knew had already died.  There's a part of me that thinks that when confronted in the swamp, there was a part of her that wanted it to end.  Maybe not enough to really give up, but maybe enough to have her pause for a second.  Long enough to be fatally wounded.

 

One of the great things about this series is the complexity of the characters.  And April and Kian are some of the most complex ones I've ever seen.  And this scene, for both of them, is a perfect example of that.  Admittedly, a lot of this is informed by my own headcanon.  We don't really get enough of either one in DF to really get a clear picture of things.  But I think it all fits.  Especially with Kian, given his clear confusion about who he is and how he want's to behave at the beginning of DFC.


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#10 the red of the kin

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 07:28

I've always thought it was clear why Kian didn't do anything. However it seems like a lot of people didn't get Kian, or understand his character (probably due to him having a lot of his scenes cut from DF). To be brief, he was having a crisis of faith. A crisis of identity. Throughout the game he is confronted with the idea that maybe not is all as it seems. Who he thinks he is (loyal Azadi soldier, doing the work of the Goddess), and who he really is (a thug working for the ambitions of evil people). The moment when he realizes that April is the Scorpion is that point where he finally realizes what's going on. Where he realizes that what he has been doing is wrong, and is not the will of the Goddess. Suddenly wondering if his whole life has been a lie.
Kian had a lot going on just then, and it makes perfect sense to me that he would freeze.


Sorry but that's not how things are presented. When Kian gets to April he is uncertain as you say, but as he speaks he finds purpose and claims to have now a new mission: to go to the 6 and tell them what's really going on. Then the baddies show up, he reaches for his sword but is talked to submission by Vamon. Kian never has a crisis of identity. He is the Apostle right until the end when he's captured. He even tells it to Vamon. He now sees that his people are not doing the will of the goddess but he wants to put remedy to it. Even in DFC he still wants to do this (and in the end he doesn't even stay with the rebels but becomes a king of Azadi).
Remember the movie "The Gladiator"? I think there is a similarity.
 

April was in a similar boat.  She was obviously angry, bitter, and depressed about it.  She lost that spark to live her life.  That spark that we came to know and love in TLJ.  She's still fighting because that's all she knows at that point.  She's become the rebel, the killer, and it's come to completely define her life.  In many ways, the April we knew had already died.  There's a part of me that thinks that when confronted in the swamp, there was a part of her that wanted it to end.  Maybe not enough to really give up, but maybe enough to have her pause for a second.  Long enough to be fatally wounded.

 
Meanwhile April, as you say, clearly starts the conversation claiming she doesn't believe in anything anymore, but while talking to Kian she warms up to him and starts trusting him. Of course when the baddies show up she reverts to her...hem...new-old self. She then states she'd rather die there than face Azadi's judges and she stands still while an Azadi guard approaches her (no one is behind her) and stabs her.
 
Call me cynical if you will. But if my life is in peril all my crisis of faith can go to hell: I dive, I dodge...whatever it takes, man. I don't just stand still. Unless of course I've become a rather miserable being that is willing to suicide.
I could understand her standing still if they were cornered to a wall with no escape but that is not the case. I might be wrong but I don't think there even were archers among the Azadi.
Also, to be meticolous, their conversation must have gone on for like 5 minutes. Long enough for some rebels to mount a rescue (the airships were noisy and anyone could hear them). Even if taht wasn't the case, Na'ane could have called for help, no?
 

One of the great things about this series is the complexity of the characters.  And April and Kian are some of the most complex ones I've ever seen.  And this scene, for both of them, is a perfect example of that.


April and Kian are wonderfully written characters...but they don't feel very complex to me. Kian has been brainwashed to be the Apostle but while on his quest to find the Scorpion he begins to see what his people are really doing is wrong and not the will of the Goddess. He has no crisis of faith towards his Goddess but he has a crisis of faith towards his people. That's why he says what he says to Vamon. And you can find that kind of attitude in many stories.
We could say April is a little more complex because she has truly lost faith (poor Faith!) but still fights. Basically she feels betrayed by the Balance and she doesn't want to meddle in Balance's affairs anymore. But..again...there's no real complexity here either. She is pulled towards Kian's change of heart and you can sort of see she almost wants to get back to her old self, but in the end she just doesn't.

So in the end all that happens in this scene is Kian is a chance to develop a friendship that...never happens. And then decides it's ok to die. but hey..that's the will of the goddess for you, Kian.

 

The only thing that I always asked myself and never had a real answer is...if April felt like she was done with the balance...why help the rebels and become a murderer? She could have gone back to Stark and her old life. I think I miss this info.
 

Admittedly, a lot of this is informed by my own headcanon.  We don't really get enough of either one in DF to really get a clear picture of things.  But I think it all fits.  Especially with Kian, given his clear confusion about who he is and how he want's to behave at the beginning of DFC.

 
Nah. Not convinced. He does have a plan and also shouts to Vamon he wants to talk to the six and stuff.
Anyway I won't try to convince you on this: it's ok :-)


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#11 bongboy

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 08:14

We could say April is a little more complex because she has truly lost faith (poor Faith!) but still fights. Basically she feels betrayed by the Balance

The only thing that I always asked myself and never had a real answer is...if April felt like she was done with the balance...why help the rebels and become a murderer? She could have gone back to Stark and her old life. I think I miss this info.

Yeah. You've clearly missed quite a lot, and I think it would behoove you to replay the saga, as I'm about to do. April made it exceptionally clear on many occasions that she had lost her ability to shift. She was corrected when she was told that she hadn't lost her ability; instead she'd only forgotten how to use it. After ten years of not being able to shift and that having led her to the logical conclusion that she can't shift, and therefore she can't return to Stark, she came to terms with it but became bitter and depressed about what the Azadi were doing. Brian had a hard time accepting that he couldn't return to Stark, and that, and the undreaming, led to him becoming a genocidal maniac. April became a vengeful, hateful, spiteful person who decided to exact revenge on the Azadi, under the lead of Brian, for their war crimes at all cost. At the end, she insisted on going on a suicide mission and demanded that others join her. She was told that if she were to insist on such a suicidal endeavor, she would be on her own. As far as she knew, her only other option would have been to lie down and take it, and that was never going to happen.


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#12 magic88889

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 09:11

Sorry but that's not how things are presented. When Kian gets to April he is uncertain as you say, but as he speaks he finds purpose and claims to have now a new mission: to go to the 6 and tell them what's really going on. Then the baddies show up, he reaches for his sword but is talked to submission by Vamon. Kian never has a crisis of identity. He is the Apostle right until the end when he's captured. He even tells it to Vamon. He now sees that his people are not doing the will of the goddess but he wants to put remedy to it. Even in DFC he still wants to do this (and in the end he doesn't even stay with the rebels but becomes a king of Azadi).
Remember the movie "The Gladiator"? I think there is a similarity.
 

 

The major theme of the whole game is that search for identity. 

Zoe begins lost, and in the end finds herself.  Kian loses faith with who he is, and what he believes.  And April... April was lost, and unfortunately never found her way back.  She had to be reborn for that to happen (which I'm thinking it the real thought behind "save April".).

 

For Zoe, I don't think there can be any argument.  It's clearly stated that she's lost all direction in life, is depressed, and has no clue what she wants.

 

For Kian, again, it a bit more subtle, and you really have to read between the lines.  Part of his faith is that the Six rule by the light of the Goddess.  Meaning that effectively, their will IS the will of the Goddess.  And by extension, that goes for Vamon and Sahya as well.  So when he finally realizes how far up this conspiracy goes, all the way to the top if Vamon is to believed, it certainly makes sense that he's not exactly thinking clearly.  It calls into question everything he's ever done.  Has his entire life become a lie?  He's done terrible things, but it's all OK because it was the will of the Goddess.  Even in that final scene, he is still clearly conflicted, even if he thinks he's not.  And when he finds out that April, the girl who has shown him his supposed new path (he's of course deluding himself on that), is the Scorpion, that's the final straw.  So no, he's not exactly primed and ready for action when that soldier kills April.

 

And as for April.  She's been stuck in Arcadia for 10 years, cut off from everything she had known.  After finding out that she wasn't the new Guardian of the Balance, that she really didn't have a place in the universe.  Cut off from her home, her friends.  Is it any wonder she has trouble figuring out who she is?  So she takes the role given to her: The Raven.  Years spent fighting a seemingly hopeless battle against firs the Tyren, and then against their "saviors" the Azadi.  And then the Guardian tells her that her part is done?  How is a girl supposed to feel after that!  And then, in the end, the Azadi she comes to like, maybe respect, ends up being an assassin sent to kill her! 

The actual death happens really quickly.  All it took was for April to hesitate for a split second.  Which is precisely what happened.\

 

 

Note: just watched that scene again, and Kian even tell April that if he ever lost his faith, that it would call into question his entire life.  And of course, then Vamon shows up, and that's exactly what happened.


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#13 the red of the kin

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 11:47

The major theme of the whole game is that search for identity.


The game never spoke to me that way. Maybe it is I who didn't understand it. It could be.
Dreamfall Chapters might be intended that way, but still...not really to me.
Sure: all characters find their "paths", but that is usually what happens with most character arcs in most movies about "heroes". The hero starts in a direction->the hero has doubt->the hero finds new strenght->the hero succeeds probably in a new direction. Sort of like Star wars. So yeah: what you say makes sense in a generic way, but if Dreamfall:TLJ (or even Dreamfall chapters, for that matter) truly were about the search of one's identity, we would have had many more scenes with Zoe confronting Reza (and us deciding on that matter), Zoe pondering about her job, Zoe being conflicted about Wati and undecided whether they're evil or not. Some of that happens, sure, but it's not at the center of the story. Zoe is already set on a path. She's lost Reza and she looks for him, going against Wati and never questioning her own actions. April in TLJ, on the other hand, had many identity crises. She would ofter be overwhelmed by this new world, her role. Zoe always gave me a different feel...except in some brief moments.
Kian, even when in difficult moments, never doubted himself or the Goddess. I never had a feeling he was in a true crisis. He only had a brief moment at the end of DF:TLJ and a couple in DFC. But to me a true crisis for him would have been if he first questioned the Azadi's motives, then his whole training as an Apostle, then the Goddess herself. That to me would have been a real crisis.
Now April...well we could say that DF:TLJ is about her crisis, but no search for identity. there is one moment in the game when she goes to the guardian and for a second there is hope she could find an identity or purpose. But in the end she's left with the usual "it's in the hands of the Balance" or something like that. For the rest of the game it doesn't seem to me she's looking for purpose: she's already decided she's just going to fight with the rebels because at lease that makes sense. She doesn't even want to shift and she never does, not even at the end. 
 

And as for April.  She's been stuck in Arcadia for 10 years, cut off from everything she had known.  After finding out that she wasn't the new Guardian of the Balance, that she really didn't have a place in the universe.  Cut off from her home, her friends.  Is it any wonder she has trouble figuring out who she is?  So she takes the role given to her: The Raven.  Years spent fighting a seemingly hopeless battle against firs the Tyren, and then against their "saviors" the Azadi.  And then the Guardian tells her that her part is done?  How is a girl supposed to feel after that!  And then, in the end, the Azadi she comes to like, maybe respect, ends up being an assassin sent to kill her! 
The actual death happens really quickly.  All it took was for April to hesitate for a split second.  Which is precisely what happened.\

 
April wasn't stuck in Arcadia: she could shift whenever she wanted, really. She wanted to be there. I don't recall her being cut off. Also, when Zoe told her Faith said to free her April plainly stated she didn't need to be saved and today I'm still struggling with the idea of April having been saved. To me it feels like now April needs to be saved.
But, hey, I get it: it's how I perceived it. I'm sure a much more spiritual man would understand April's condition as having been saved. I'm not being ironical: I truly believe so (I used to be like this).
 

Note: just watched that scene again, and Kian even tell April that if he ever lost his faith, that it would call into question his entire life.  And of course, then Vamon shows up, and that's exactly what happened.


But sure: anyone who eventually lost faith (if they had a faith before) would then question their own life. The two things go together.
but Kian doesn't appear to loose faith in his religion or even the system. He is convinced something's wrong but he doesn't loose faith in the Goddes or even the Six. Tand in the end he's right, since the problem was the prophet, Lady Utana and a small fraction of the Azadi burocracy.

Kian definitely loses some identity during the first couple of books in DFC because he's no longer the Apostle but he doesn't feel like a rebel either. So we could say that for a small while he does actually search for his identity...but he doesn't find it: it is imposed to him. He's constantly doubtful but he's surrounded by rebels that constantly tell him (only exception of Likho) how he is important for the rebellion. So in the end he is convinced about what he has to be. Even in the end he is told what to do and be, since Saga tells him he has to be the king of the Azadi empire.

But look: this is a matter of perspective....different points of view. I get what you're saying and it does make sense. It simply is not how I perceived it.


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#14 bongboy

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 18:03

I think April's search for identity is a metaphor for being "born again" (not in a religious way, of course) in a way that results in the new you being so completely different from the old you that you don't even recognize yourself anymore. The new April in Dreamfall is unrecognizable as the April from TLJ, as is the "new April", aka Saga, in DFC. This happened to me a few years ago (also not in a religious way, of course). Over the course of two weeks I became such a different person that I really had no idea who I was or where the person I used to be had gone.


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#15 Ringtail

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 19:33

Just a quick note - if we take April at her word in Dreamfall, she says she can't shift on her own any more. That's why she needed the Young White Kin's help to Shift to the Guardian's Realm.
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#16 magic88889

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 19:53

I had this big long response, but I'm not going to go with that. Clearly you missed something while playing the series.

The saga is about that search for identity.  And what's really cool is that we get three completely different takes on it.  April, who lets circumstances define her, and thus never really finds out who she really is.  Kian, who thought he knew exactly who he was, found out it was all a lie, and then struggles to put the pieces back together.  And then Zoe, who knows she's lost it, never really goes seeking it, but somehow finds herself anyway. 

It's actually a really cool way to structure the story. 


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#17 bongboy

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 20:01

Just a quick note - if we take April at her word in Dreamfall, she says she can't shift on her own any more. That's why she needed the Young White Kin's help to Shift to the Guardian's Realm.

Correct. She originally thinks she's lost her power to shift, but later the White of the Kin explains to her that she hasn't lost it; she's just forgotten how to use it so someone needs to help her to use it, and April believes her after she sees the proof.


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#18 the red of the kin

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 07:27

I had this big long response, but I'm not going to go with that. Clearly you missed something while playing the series.

The saga is about that search for identity.  And what's really cool is that we get three completely different takes on it.  April, who lets circumstances define her, and thus never really finds out who she really is.  Kian, who thought he knew exactly who he was, found out it was all a lie, and then struggles to put the pieces back together.  And then Zoe, who knows she's lost it, never really goes seeking it, but somehow finds herself anyway. 

It's actually a really cool way to structure the story. 

 

Yeah I might have missed something indeed!
You see to me The Longest Journey was about the power of Art and Love. A journey where April also finds her purpose (not really identity because she does not change through the game).
The dreamer's cycle sees 3 protagonists.

 

April who was fine and dandy in TLJ is now broken because she cannot accept not being the Neo of the situation (hehehe it's true, though!) does she feel like she's lost her identity at this point? I as a played might say so because I want the old April back but she's quite fine with her choice: help the rebels and not shift. Why has she lost her abilities? It is never explained if not by the White. But it is a common cliché in so many mangas and animes (or even movies): the Hero is broken so he thinks hes lost his powers but he always had them, he just needs to "believe" in himself. Well we've seen how that went with April. She didn't want part in that and she's got her ending. Found her identity? Well maybe in the dreamtime-like place at the end of DFC...but she seemed to revert to her old self, since she had those clothes and was painting...all things that characterized her when we first saw her n TLJ. is I'm guessing her journey brought her back to her origins?

 

Kian starts as an Apostle, one of Azadi's most trusted individuals, one that's been trained to accomplish missions where he kills without questioning. But when sent to find the Scorpion he starts questioning...his boss, Not himself. He sees something smells fishy...there's some businness going on in that town and people are being deported...stuff that Azadi were not doing before. His loyalty to the Goddess and the Six remains intact throughout all the Cycle but at the end of DF:TLJ he gets caught when trying to investigate April (hilarious note. he seems no NOT know she's the Scorpion but Vamon knows). At that point he tries to talk to Vamon to make him understand something's wrong with what they're doing but he doesn't know Vamon *is* the problem. In all of this I have yet to see where he "goes astray", searches for his identity and stuff. We might say that at the beginning of DFC he does have a crisis of identity. He suddenly is a rebel, he talks of the last of the Banda and she helps him in many ways. But very quickly he gets on his quests and very soon we see how the only thing that's changed is his approach to the Magicals: he now respects them. That's a great teaching and is sure can help to be a better person but it doesn't scream "identity found!" it does even less when you see how he didn't choose to be there: he was clearly told that either he joins forces or else....well Likho is there hehe. And in the end his "identity" is ....to be king, which we never guide him to for the whole cycle. We hear there's a bloodless king but we never set Kian on that path and we neve see him realizing his identity, his purpose is that of a king (wasn't Azadi society matriarchal?).

 

And we have Zoe, a girl that *does* change throughout two games! starts like a party girl that never studies, gets involved in an adventure and stuff starts happening to her. We might say that she does find her own identity and grows up because when we start DFC she does ask herself how she intends to move on. But depending on that choice you wind up with a different job and a different bot which is a great game ramification but I don't know if it tells me anything about finding identity. At the end, after many perils, she does find her old identity and she does it by herself. She finds out she was a test subject, built artificially. She definitely has a character development here where she comes to term with this fact and forgives her father (and even Helena? I forget).
But after everything she's done for her balance we see her happily pregnant as if that was the identity she was looking for? It's ok but it doesn't tell me nothing about finding identity. I was hoping to see her helping people dream or back in Arcadia making a better place.

 

I definitely missed something :)

 

Correct. She originally thinks she's lost her power to shift, but later the White of the Kin explains to her that she hasn't lost it; she's just forgotten how to use it so someone needs to help her to use it, and April believes her after she sees the proof.

 

yeah, that :)


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#19 Indrid Cold

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 08:04

Just a quick note - if we take April at her word in Dreamfall, she says she can't shift on her own any more. That's why she needed the Young White Kin's help to Shift to the Guardian's Realm.

Also, the White confirms April really can't Shift on her own, and not even the White knows why.
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#20 the red of the kin

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 08:44

Also, the White confirms April really can't Shift on her own, and not even the White knows why.

 

I think the reason is in between the lines. April can shift but she lost the will to do it. I think in the end of DFC she does it (to send Zoe back) because she's...at peace :)

 

EDIT: re-watched the scene to make sure. The white says "It's not something you can loose. Maybe you've just forgotten how".
After all, somehow April leaves Crow when in TLJ they're done in the Guardian's realm. My guess is she shifts, one last time, to go to Arcadia. 


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