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  • Game Narrative Review: Lost Odyssey

    [08.27.09]
    - Bryant Wood

  • Strongest Element

    The strongest element of Lost Odyssey is the how the theme of being immortal is expressed through the relationship between Kaim, Sarah, Lirum, Cooke, and Mack. One of the earliest cutscenes in Lost Odyssey is the scene in which Lirum jumps off a cliff to what we believe is her death. This scene is replayed again later, with the added information of Gongora nearby, having possessed Lirum to jump. Eventually Kaim and Sarah find Lirum, who survived the jump but is on her death bed due to illness. Kaim and Sarah reunite with Lirum for just a few short minutes before she dies. This is a great expression of the Immortal's loneliness.

    Forced to live, believing and mourning Lirum's death, they are brought together for only a few more minutes before Lirum is truly lost. This emphasizes the loneliness and detachment from the world the Immortals suffer from. After Lirum's death, Kaim and Sarah take care of her children, Cooke and Mack. Later in the game, Cooke and Mack disappear, and fearing they may die Kaim and Sarah temporarily abandon their quest to search for Cooke and Mack. Immortals outlive any other beings on this world and are therefore alone, a feeling wrought through the relationship between Kaim and his family.


    Unsuccessful Element

    An unsuccessful element of Lost Odyssey is the love story between the characters Jansen and Ming. Jansen and Ming are main party members for different reasons, but were also included in a love story apart from the main narrative. The intention is to help progress Jansen's transformation from a whore-loving, self-absorbed man, who cares most for money, into a man who knows how to love and care for another.

    This love story begins with Jansen attempting to take advantage of Ming. Behaving for whatever reason like a childish and unknowing girl, Ming takes Jansen's advances with naiveté, finding him charming. As the game progresses, Jansen's character begins to change and he falls in love with Ming, but Ming never realizes the person Jansen used to be and her admiration never changes, just slowly grows. This takes away from Jansen's change, as it wasn't his coming around of character that won Ming's heart, it was his old whore loving self.

    Jansen's character change is also more significant to characters other than Ming. In fact Ming is nowhere to be found during the highlight Jansen's transformation. This occurs when Jansen disobeys Gongora and uses the item which is intended to erase Kaim's memory on a prison guard instead. At this point in the story the characters had only met Ming once and she was not a constant member of the party. If Ming was really supposed to be the one to change Jansen for the better, Jansen should have changed for her, or at the very least somewhere near her.

    Overall Ming and Jansen seem to be only semi-important characters that were given a story in order to try to increase their usefulness. The attempt to give them a story adds nothing to the main story of Lost Odyssey and acts as a last attempt to add character.

    Highlight

    At the end of Lost Odyssey, it is revealed that the immortals must send Gongora back through the portal to their world to stop his plans. Through the final battle it appears Gongora is too powerful to be forced back through the portal alone. It is at this moment that Seth runs up and holds Gongora, making it known she will bring him through the portal, stopping his plans but also giving up her ties to the mortal world embodied mostly in her son, Sed. While in hindsight it is Seth who is most likely to sacrifice herself, as she has the least attachment to the world, Kaim and Sarah having their grandchildren and Ming having Jansen, the narration is built to create an expectation of a mortal character sacrificing themselves for the others, specifically Jansen or King Tolten.

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