Suikoden II - Game Narrative Review

An analysis of the narrative design and execution in the game Suikoden II by Konami, submitted for GDC’s 2019 Game Narrative Review competition. It explores how the designers portrayed the complex layers of war, human conflict, and fate and destiny through the interplay between gameplay mechanics and character narratives.

The following is a short snippet:

With 108 Stars of Destiny – which do not even include the antagonists and other supporting characters – it is no small feat on the developer’s part to create and implement unique and compelling characters. Some play a more important role in the narrative than others. The player meets these characters from different walks of life as they travel the region and recruit them to the cause. In doing so, the player steps into the perspectives of each of these characters in understanding how they are affected by the war, how they choose to deal with it, and how they can contribute to the player’s army. These include a chef who finds comfort in easing the wartime burdens of others through cooking good food and a cartographer who is frustrated in trying to keep up with the changing geopolitical landscape due to the Highland Army’s conquest. In short, the game excels in representing not just those who risk their lives on the battlefield but also the unsung heroes working behind the scenes on either side of the conflict, shaping a world that feels populated by real people with real lives.


The Psychology of Azula

An analysis paper on the psychology behind Azula as a complex and effective antagonist in the TV series Avatar: The Last Airbender.

The following is a short snippet:

As a character, Azula was psychologically complex, and the skillful control over her emotions, actions, and behaviors masked her underlying internal conflicts for most of the series. Zuko in particular was integral in her character development, as she was for him. A lot of their shared family history drove their respective motivations and constant hatred for each other. In many ways, Azula and Zuko were alike, and as the series entered the second half of Book Three, Azula began to mirror what Zuko was originally in Book 1. Her failure to cope eventually led to a mental breakdown, where she became emotionally unstable, and experienced episodes of psychosis.