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Breaking the Narrative Episode 13:A Feminine Touch, Oh My! Female Mentors in Video Games.

Last week we started this two-parter with male mentor characters in video games. Now I hope you did your homework and commented on it with something productive because some of that is going to be touched upon later on with this one. If not that’s ok, I’m planning on in a month or so to do a part three based purely on what I find in comments for both of these articles to finish up on ideas of how to mentor men and boys realistically. I’m probably going to pull some bits from A Christmas Carol on that one too. But enough on future endeavors, let’s hammer this in!

To begin, I’m going to go big! I’m going into the Phantasy Star series! Now in the first episode of Breaking the Narrative I touched upon Alis Landale as a strong female character. Well, in the stateside release of the fourth installment, there is a partner and mentor character that is with you from the beginning named Alys Brangwin (Lyra Brangwin in the original Japanese, renamed as fanservice towards the classic game). She spends her time in the game acting as the front for your party even though the lead character is Chaz Ashley. She shows the young hunter how to act in the world and provides an example and inspiration to him and Hanh, a young scholar who teams up with the party along the way. She is even built up as a huge deal throughout the span of the game to put more stock into what she says. Fun thing is, she isn’t the only one in that series because Universe puts forth Karen Erra, who is a Guardians instructor along with Laia Martinez.

No, she isn’t a doge, even though she is of the Beast race.

Both instructors providing deep advice to your player characters along the way. Though to be fair Laia could be training a female character depending on your character creator choices. (Source: http://phantasystar.wikia.com/wiki/Alys_Brangwin)

Next, we’ll touch upon the cult classic Shenmue, in the first game there is an ever present minor mentor in the form of the housekeeper Ine Hayata who cared for the protagonist Ryo since his mother’s death at the tender age of three. However, the more prominent female mentor in this series is in the second game in the form of Xiuying Hong, also known as Lishao Tao. At first, she is reluctant to teach Ryo anything, due to his intentions to seek revenge. However, she decides to teach him anyway in order to guide him away from giving in to the darkness of his heart and becoming worse than series antagonist Lan Di. As of this writing, it seems her good  intentions are ultimately fruitless and until the more recent announcement  of the upcoming kickstarted sequel, they have been thought to never come to fruition. Now,there seems to be a chance for her mentorship to become something more. We can only wait to see her mentorship expand. (Source: http://shenmue.wikia.com/wiki/Xiuying_Hong)

To keep with more positive mentors that have rough cases to deal with, we will go with Mia Fey from the Ace Attorney series. In the first game, she is the direct lawyer mentor to series protagonist Phoenix Wright and ultimately one of his closest friends and confidants.  Even from beyond the grave she continues to aid him and teach him not only the ins and outs of the profession, but a strict code of ethics along with an unfettered sense of justice, something ultimately needed to reform the flawed fictional systems of law presented in the universe. If one looks very closely at the system in question you will find it’s based on the inquisitorial system of law where due process and innocent until proven guilty are foreign concepts. If you think about how things are done on campuses at this time and  how feminists act, this is the exact system of law they wish to impose on various forms of abuse cases. Considering the mature direction the formerly T-rated series is starting to go, perhaps we’ll see such cases shown in the future of the series. But enough digression there, though we should stick with mature veins of thought. (Source: http://aceattorney.wikia.com/wiki/Mia_Fey)

The next mentor on our list is an interesting one in the fact that she is actually the antagonist, The Boss from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Scarred chest aside, before she reveals herself you can talk to her over the radio to learn survival tips and battlefield ethics. She even gives you some philosophical questions to ask yourself if you go deep enough into the radio sessions. Even when she is your enemy she makes sure every challenge met teaches a different lesson. That is, if you look into it deeply enough. Normally, you would be called ridiculous for picking apart every bit of a game. However, with a game made by Hideo Kojima, you almost have to be that meticulous about the details of his games because everything is a puzzle inside an enigma inside a cage of pretentious symbolism. The thing is, men are typically very keen on such mysteries, which makes our final entry for my list something very special. (Source: http://metalgear.wikia.com/wiki/The_Boss)

So quite surprisingly our final mentor is from a movie licensed game, a side story title to be specific. Even if Disney doesn’t recognize her, there is no denying that Kreia, from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords, is a masterful mentor for the protagonist you play in the game. Sure ‘canonically’ the protagonist is the female Meetra Surik, but many prefer playing through the male themed storyline. In her unique position throughout the game, Kreia teaches several lessons about the force and its very nature. The more influence you get with her in the game’s influence system, the more you learn, and the more influence is gained by taking her lessons to heart. Inadvertently the developers Obsidian created a story based around something the Star Wars franchise greatly ignores overall – keeping balance. This is something that people should take to heart more often in the real world, not so much a balance between ‘light’ and ‘dark’ but more a balance of political concepts. As much as we need left leaning liberal ideas we need to keep some conservative outlook as well. In an age where the Alt Right and Regressive Left clash vigorously the idea of balancing the political left and right is something we need to reclaim; a conserving financial and political power while being liberal or libertarian with personal beliefs and social interaction. In short, less government and spending but when we do use that power it should be to protect the rights of people to live with their own free will. But I digress from the fact that Kreia is a brilliant mentor. (Source: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Darth_Traya)

Last week I suggested that there be comments made showing more examples so we can discuss it more, but as I think about it now the more time given the more we can expand on this and discuss it as a whole. So I think I’ll extend comments on the last one and have it combined with the comments on this  for a third article on the entire subject on what others look for in a mentor. We won’t touch on both of these next week because I want to give everyone who reads articles on the blog here a chance to put their two cents in. So I’m going to say we wait a month. This article should be released on September 12th. So the third article on this subject I’ll have written and released considering ALL the submitted comments on October 10th. That is exactly four weeks from the release of this article. So do your best everyone. I look forward to the result!

Now I think you are asking, this is about breaking narratives so what narrative is broken by these past two articles and what will be broken by the third article? The narrative in question is that there isn’t a difference in teaching style needed between men and women. Everyone has their different ways of learning and teaching and those should all be respected and considered in what’s necessary for the future. Hopefully, these articles can be used in advocacy of changes in how we educate our children for the sake of restoring our society to give a better chance for more people to live comfortably. But next week we are going back towards breaking shitty narratives in a fun manner. The Mary Sue has decided to step into my wheelhouse. I am the Anime-Mun after all. It’s time to play! So remember to Game Freely. I know I’m going to!

Alex Tinsley
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Alex Tinsley

A student of Fine Arts and Japanese culture of six years at Murray State University. Having never graduated due to difficulties with a specific teacher has gained a unique perspective upon the issues being faced by men and boys. A father of a young boy and loving husband.
Alex Tinsley
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Alex Tinsley

A student of Fine Arts and Japanese culture of six years at Murray State University. Having never graduated due to difficulties with a specific teacher has gained a unique perspective upon the issues being faced by men and boys. A father of a young boy and loving husband.

  • Alex Tinsley

    Alright, if you are reading this article now I’m only going to wait until this upcoming Saturday for people to submit more examples in the comments. After that the next article will be set!