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PostPosted: Tue Mar 5, '13, 11:21 pm 
@The Reviver - I pretty much agree with everything you said.

Looking back decades after the fact, it's easy to spot the tropes/cliches/patterns and see what was heavily foreshadowed.* Could the case be made that Nei's death in 1989 was more shocking than Alys's in 1994? Possibly. I'll admit to 1) not playing PSII, III, and IV until the early 2000s and 2) not being very familiar with the genre anyway. These days, killing off a major character for plot purposes is nothing to bat an eye at, but there have been plenty of people over the years who have said that when they first played, they were completely shocked by the death of Nei and/or Alys.

(*Another admission - I'm TERRIBLE at spotting hints like that. I'm usually taken by surprise every single time. Oh well, at least I'm entertained!)

Now, back to the original question of which was more traumatic? I guess it goes back to which sort of trope (not cliché! ;) ) strikes your fancy. As mentioned, Nei is sort of set up as the tragic character from the getgo. Questionable origins, splitting from her sister, ostracized from society...even if she had survived, she might not have had the happiest of lives, despite Rolf's best efforts. On the flip side, Alys has already had success in her life and thus is inserted into the mentor/"cool big sister" role. Though they both illustrate some well-used tropes, in (over)thinking about it, the circumstances set wildly different tones. Rolf, the hero of II, only knew Nei for a couple months, where Chaz, the hero of IV, knew Alys for longer and arguably had a closer relationship to her. Do we empathize with Chaz, who has lost the woman who took him under her wing and turned his life around so he could go on to do great things? Or do we weep for humanity when Nei dies before fully proving her worth to those who scorned her and mourn the lost potential?

Obviously, it's all subjective. (And now my head is spinning a little from all this DEEP ANALYSIS.) As tili said, neither one is better; they're just different. Each one is going to appeal to different people differently.

@Tanith - I can't believe I forgot about Miun! I also thought her death was one of the more poignant moments of the game. *sniff*

(If anyone's interested, I do a weekly feature on my writing blog about tropes and their pros and cons. With luck, I linked this correctly, and it should bring you to all the relevant posts tagged with the trope feature.)

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