Video Game Tuesday: Zestiria’s Heroine is Rose

Michael Blaker
Game Industry News is running the best blog posts from people writing about the game industry. Articles here may originally appear on Michael's blog, Windborne's Story Eatery.
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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic I saw people complaining about endlessly online last year and figured I’d set the record straight. Zestiria’s Heroine is Rose!

Why?: Alisha isn’t a hero, she isn’t even competent! She leaves the party for the rest of the game because she knows that she can’t be impartial politically and is only bringing harm to Sorey by being his Squire. Not only that she’s a princess, she can’t just go off galavanting across the world and leave her country to fend for itself during a time of potential war. She’s also too idealistic, a trait she shares in common with Sorey, and cannot do the things he can’t do. So when Rose decides to join the party to be Sorey’s Squire she instantly got my attention. Rose is an assassin and a good one at that, she takes money to kill people and she has no problem with that! She decides whether or not to accept a job and she only chooses to accept if the target is a person who is doing wrong to others. If it’s a rapist, murderer or corrupt government official abusing his/her power she has no qualms about killing the person. She knows that there are some people who just have to die in order for more people to live peacefully.

I love Rose for this part of her mindset, she’s a person who acts on her heart.  She willingly takes up the dirty and bloody jobs necessary to make the world a better place for her friends and loved ones. She consistently reminds Sorey that he can’t save everyone, and that some people must die. Sorey is an idealist, he wants to save everyone. But he can’t, his job as the Shepard is to stop the Lord of Calamity and at the end he finally accepts what Rose has been telling him from the beginning of their journey together, Heldalf can’t be saved and he has to die. Alisha would never have been able to do that, she couldn’t even kill her traitorous mentor who was using her as a tool to further war since she was a little girl. Thus Rose had to take up the reins as Sorey’s Squire, and eventually his role as the Shepard, because she knows that she is the only person with the potential to right the wrongs that occur in the world. Sorey for all his likeable qualities isn’t a good hero, he’s too idealistic and his hesitation to do what is necessary prevents him from being able to save his beloved Grandfather figure Zenrai. That’s his turning point as a hero, he finally realizes that he can’t save everyone, to save the ones he loves he has to get his hands dirty and do so while keeping his morals. If he lost those morals he’d become just like Heldalf, but at the same time he couldn’t save the rest of his loved ones without taking up new ideals to live by.

Rose was always the true heroine of Zestiria and while Sorey’s journey as the Shepard eventually leads him to becoming a hero who takes up the job of contracting with Maotelus in order to prevent the world from being swamped in corruption, she was always the support he required in order to become that hero. Despite the humor between Sorey and Rose about being husband and wife, it’s obvious that the supposedly “fake” marriage isn’t that far from the truth. Rose was able to become the other necessary half of Sorey and accompany him on a journey that led to the ultimate destruction of his ideals and kept him from losing his way despite the loss of them. Alisha wasn’t ever able to do any of that and so she did the only wise thing she did in the game by leaving Sorey.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!

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