Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
Earl Garcia is an intern for the Writing Arts Department for the Fall 2017 semester. He is majoring in Writing Arts with a specialization in Creative Writing.
Different Archetypes and The Ordinary World
Due to a delay, I decided to combine two of my reading sessions into one blog. From Pg.39-79, I’ve read over additional details about the other archetypes. Specifically, it’s this list I’ll show below:
I’m aware that I could be repeating myself in certain areas but the one I’ll focus on for each is an example of a different type of Mentor, Herald, etc. For the Mentor, one of the different types that Vogler mentions is a Fallen Mentor. He describes such a mentor as one that’s going through a journey of their own, fallen from grace, on the road to redemption. From my past experience with media, one fallen mentor I can think about is defense attorney Phoenix Wright from Capcom’s Visual Novel series Ace Attorney. In the fourth game, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, it is revealed in a flashback that Phoenix Wright, Apollo’s mentor, his last trial ended in a scandalous fashion in which he was called out for presenting forged evidence in court. As a result, he has been disbarred and forced to turn in his attorney’s badge. Since then, he has become a piano and poker player in a bar. However, he never stopped conducting his own investigations starting from all the way back from seven years before the events of when the game’s story started, and with the help of his protege, his efforts finally paid off.
Threshold Guardian wasn’t covered much, but Vogler reiterated that the function of characters belonging to this archetype is to test the Hero in order for them to be worthy of attaining new powers or achieving parts of their goal. He even states that these characters may appear as enemies but are actually allies, testing the Hero for their own good. An example I can name that is a Threshold Guardian under the guise of an enemy is Klavier Gavin from Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. Klavier Gavin would be the prosecutor counterpart to Apollo Justice, rookie defense attorney. A stereotype of prosecutors in Ace Attorney based on past prosecutors of the series is that they can be condescending, display sheer arrogance, and verbally abuse the defense attorney. Previous prosecutors include Miles Edgeworth, Franziska von Karma, and Godot-all of which Phoenix Wright faced previously before being disbarred. Klavier Gavin breathed fresh air into the prosecutor archetype of Ace Attorney as he displays outward friendliness and a likeable personality. He displays no qualms of mingling with his opposite number, Apollo Justice, outside of the courtroom. Klavier does not display any sort of interest in mere victory. He even shows this in Turnabout Corner (Episode Two) when Apollo can’t seem to get it together to put an incontrovertible case on Alita Tiala, whom he suspects is the actual murder. He tells Apollo that he should take a moment to remember everything he has learned, and from there, he can have the case closed. He’s not entirely helpful or friendly, though. Klaiver still makes Apollo do his fair share of the dirty work that a defense attorney has to do, and he still makes points and counterarguments against what Apollo might say in defense of the defendant.
The Herald is similar to the Threshold Guardian in that their role can be played from that of a villain, an ally, or a completely neutral position. Their function is to bring the call to action to the Hero, the news of something that threatens to shake the balance of tranquility and peace. They motivate the Hero to take action. An example of a Herald would be Lukas from Fire Emblem: Shadows of Valentia. Lukas initially arrived in Ram Village to recruit Alm’s grandfather Mycen to perhaps restore the morale of the Deliverance with a familiar historical figure who used to be a feared military general. But, Mycen refused and Alm pleaded Lukas to let him go in his grandfather’s stead.
The Shapeshifter can be self-explanatory but their function is mainly deception by tricking the Hero. How they do this is project themselves as an ally, most often, the love interest of the Hero. Another example from Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is Nuibaba. Nuibaba is a servant of Medusa and has sacrificed a countless number of beautiful women from the native land of Rigel in exchange for longevity. By the time the events of the game take place, she is approximately 124 years old. Nuibaba performs her role as the Shapeshifter by posing as Alm’s childhood friend and love interest Celica and then uses her image to lure him to her abode, taking advantage of Alm’s love for her and the fact that he wouldn’t doubt her for a second. Nuibaba noticed that Celica and Alm are the children of fate and that sacrificing either would grant her true beauty and unconditional immortality.
The Shadow can have some overlap with what the Shapeshifter can do and can even be interconnected with each other. However, there are some things that set them apart from the Shapeshifter. The Shadow can function as like a “mask” that functions as other characters from different archetypes. Their “mask” can even emulate those that are missing unbeknownst to the Hero or a figure who is already dead. A heroic example of a Shadow is Lucina from Fire Emblem: Awakening. Lucina (while actually wearing a mask), at first, when she meets with Chrom , his tactician Robin, his guardian Frederick, and his little sister Lissa, introduces herself as Marth (and a man since the real Marth was a man.) Her goal is to use stealth approaches to alter the timeline that led to the apocalyptic future from whence she came from. Later, when intervening in an attack that was meant to cripple Chrom, Lucina had her mask slashed, revealing her identity as a woman. Much later, she would accidentally address Chrom as “father”. And after revealing the brand in her left eye as incontrovertible evidence that she is in fact his daughter, she shares a tearful embrace with her father Chrom after he said that she deserved better than tears and a sword.
An Ally is usually someone with friendly ties to the Hero. Their roles are bountiful ranging from someone to talk to, a travelling companion, or a sparring partner. Multiple allies from different video games include Maya Fey from Ace Attorney, Gray and Tobin from Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, and Mark from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade. Maya Fey is the younger sister of the deceased mentor of Phoenix Wright, Mia Fey. From the second trial of the first Ace Attorney game, she becomes a companion to Phoenix Wright and also helps him take care of the law office that was put into his heads with the death of his mentor. Since then, she has engaged in playful banter while travelling with him despite the seriousness of the cases that are murderous ones. She takes so much pride in being Phoenix’s travelling companion while doing investigative work that she dubs herself his “Ace Assistant.” Gray and Tobin are main allies that accompany Alm on his journey, and they have opposing personalities. Gray is the more easygoing and simple of the two. In many ways, he behaves like a typical 18-year old boy. He likes girls, is eager to prove his worth, and runs his mouth that can rub people the wrong way. Tobin is the more cautious and levelheaded of the two. He is wary of almost everything they get themselves into, thinks about his family often, and is actually secretly jealous of Alm with how different he is compared to him. Mark is a silent tactician that is also the character the player assumes in Blazing Blade and is a gender neutral character as well.. They are discovered in a sea of grass by Lyndis and she quickly forms a bond with Mark to set out on an adventure to perfect her sword craft with their help.
Last but not least is the Trickster. Tricksters can be tricky to tell from friend or foe. Often at times, they can cause mischief and trouble for the Hero but also do the same for a villain. They are also a common source of comic relief for when the mood gets too serious. An example of a Trickster is Anna from Fire Emblem throughout the entire franchise. Anna is recurring character but other than in-game tutorials and shops, she didn’t have that much of a prominent role until Fire Emblem: Awakening. She becomes a playable character for the player to control but not until they rescue two of her sisters from bandits and thieves. However, despite how Anna in both instances were in danger, she has shown that she is capable of holding her own. She even boasts about it saying to a brigand trying to intimidate her, “Prices aren’t the only things I cut in half.” Multiple Annas then appear in places around the world map periodically as a way for the player to score some nice deals on high-performance weapons. In conversations, however, Anna has shown to be a very greedy individual, looking for ways to exploit people’s talents and appearances to make money. Furthermore, Anna’s sisters are all identical with absolutely no way to tell any of them apart, and there’s hundreds, even thousands of Annas out there. They have the same hair, personality, eye color-everything. Nobody outside of the family can tell them apart except for the Annas themselves. So there’s no telling if the Anna in the player’s party may have swapped out with one of her many identical sisters while they weren’t looking.
After reading the tighter details about the archetypes, that was the end of “Book 1: Mapping the Journey” it was onto “Book 2: Stages of the Journey.” We start off with the Ordinary World. In the book, Vogler breaks it down into different aspects. These are as follows.
Before the Beginning
The Ordinary World
Raising the Dramatic Question
Inner and Outer Problems
Making an Entrance
Introducing the Audience
The Hero’s Lack
Establishing what’s at stake
Backstory and Exposition
The Wizard of Oz
Questioning the Journey
These are a lot of different aspects for what’s supposed to cover the beginning part of the journey, so I’ll go over the highlights. On page 86, in the prologue section, Vogler highlights an old rule of initiation in bold. It’s that, “Disorientation leads to suggestibility.” It’s explained that when it comes to beginnings, a good way of making the Hero (and the audience) receptive to the story is pulling them out of their comfort zones and upsetting their normal perceptions. Prologues can play an important role in this, in that it gives the audience hints and tips as to what the strange world the Hero is about to embark on an adventure in is like before the real bulk of the story begins. An example I can think of a prologue is one from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon.
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon is a remake of the first game in the Fire Emblem franchise and the 11th in the franchise overall. Shadow Dragon retells the story of the first game and among the new tweaks it did for its story, it added a four part prologue that featured the Hero Marth, Prince of Altea, running away from his home after his homeland was invaded by Gra, Altea’s neighboring country and ally turned traitor. In the process of escaping, one of Marth’s allies even gives their life for him. This sets the tone for Marth’s journey through training to save his homeland, doing the saving itself, and personal redemption.
Contrast is another one I’d like to go over. Vogler explains that it’s generally a good idea to have the Ordinary World as different as possible from the Special World to make the change feel as dramatic as possible. He then goes on to use The Wizard of Oz as an example of contrast. The Ordinary World is black and white and when the threshold to the Special World is crossed, it becomes a technicolor to accentuate the dramatic change from the transition.
Identification is an aspect that I think is important to talk about. Vogler defines Identification as the sense of the Hero and audience being equals in some regards. The opening scenes should also function to establish this sense of equality. Volger says that to create the Identification, it should be by giving the Hero basic needs and drives. These drives include, a need for understanding, acceptance, and intimacy with others. An example of a Hero with basic needs and drives is Alm from Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. He often expresses his want for venturing out into the world outside his home in Ram Village to his grandfather Mycen. However, Mycen sternly tells him “no” every time and kept him sheltered in the village up to when he was 17 years old. Him wanting to explore the open world and fight the good fight is like a rebellious teenager trying to persuade their parents to let them be able to live their life without being criticized by them. A desire for independence and to make their own decisions is common among adolescents, and even I engage in arguments with my own parents over the want to make my own decisions, even those that they might not necessarily agree with. I think with Identification, a Hero that’s trying to prove to their caretakers that they are capable of making adult decisions is a want that most adolescents can relate to.