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[Warning: Major Spoiler] Let's Talk About That Branching Path

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I'm sure many of you already know what happens in this just due to the discord chat constantly talking about it, but I'm going to put it in a spoiler anyways. If your wondering eyes caught your curiosity before playing, please click away from here and play the game.

 

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First off if you're going to say that this episode is bad simply because one side has way more content, I really don't want to hear it. Yes it sucks that one path has more content on the other but even without that side, this episode still has quite a bit of story content expected for an episode. It just feels faster paced than E16's. This is a look at both paths for what they are and not judging the other path due to the "other one being better." I liked the story and other people didn't. I get why they didn't and neither of use are really going to change the others side.

 

So I'll just give a brief of what happens on both path. The path most people walk ie the Zekrom path basically consists of the player exploring the desert until they reach the scrapyard where they meet Titania. Stuff goes down with Lin before a gym battle in which Lin acts like she won and pushes Titania to run back to Amaria. Amaria still seems conflicted as she still is a bit suicidal but chooses life to be with Titania. After the battle Titania seems to stick around for Amaria's sake even though she really wants to go after Meteor especially Lin.

 

Then there's the Reshiram path. This is taken if you Refused to battle Taka in the WTC. I haven't actually played on the path yet but I know quite a bit about it. Anyways you get to have a desert adventure with Taka which he talks about certain areas of the place giving information about them in more detail than normal (no other NPCs really talk about these areas). Once you get to the scrapyard Taka eventually leaves you. The events from before all happen except instead of Lin being cut down, Titania ends up killing Taka before "killing" Lin. This leads up to the same events except this time Titania reveals the truth to Amaria (who still has her memories of before) and ends it before finally leaving her to go after Meteor. 

 

And for the people upset getting the Zekrom path, Radomus did warn you that "Not everything is black and white" and this is one of the first times in the game that a choice like this has consequences of this level. This episode isn't about the player but it is a follow up of the events in the Water Treatment Center. In other words, both Taka and Titania are the focus of BOTH paths. Now we jump back to E15 which was a wee while ago for it's release.

 

So that episode involved a lot of conversations between Taka and Titania in which Titania was being a huge hypocrite to Taka calling him a coward and not simply walking away from Meteor despite doing something he despised. He says he does it out of fear, but it's due to somebody he cares about. This leads to him asking a favor in return in which he asks the player to battle him so that it looks like he put up a fight and failed to do his part. Titania told him again to stop living this lie before letting the player choose. Most people would instinctively choose to help the guy out believing it's the right choice. It's got to be the right thing to do, right? Thus Taka stays with Meteor and leads into what I talk about with E17.

 

The Zekrom route begins with the player aimlessly exploring having no idea what each place is or what it even means. They are simply going through the motions. It feels a bit empty just like how Titania feels about her relationship with Amaria. She only does what she does simply believing it's the right thing to do for a friend. Taka sticks with Meteor due to Solaris likely due to the grip Lin has on him. Neither like what they are doing and probably feel like a void or even awful people. That leads up to Titania and her choice to stay with Amaria. Titania likely reflected on what Taka chose and believed that is also the path she should take (ie the coward's way). She may not mentally or physically admit to it though, but Taka is the reason she chose to do what she did. This is the ideal route as everybody is alive and well, right?

 

But why is it the right thing to refuse to fight Taka? You've seen what a life of lies did to the one person Titania was watching over. It pushed her over the edge and she tried to kill herself. You've also seen what it's done to Titania and how she was taking it out on all the "innocent" grunts of Meteor. Titania is no saint, but if Taka continues the path he is on, it would eventually catch up and build up on him. If you believe everything Titania did was wrong, then you should not fight Taka as he's no better than her. Only difference is that he has no blood on his hands right now. It's best to tell him to face the music and accept the responsibility of his actions instead of trying to help both sides. He is being a coward just as Titania is. Now we get to the desert where Taka fled for his life from Meteor. He bumps into you and acknowledges your bravery and eventually travels with you. This is perhaps the best time of his life he ever had and quite a bit was going through his head.

 

We could pin his death on Lin manipulating him, but part of me believes he saw the part of himself in Titania and wanted to help her. He knew he was kind of a worthless corpse who couldn't do anything...except one thing. Save Titania. He pretended to be Lin knowing Titania likely was going to kill him. The fact that he didn't run away really shocked Titania causing her to be a bit in distraught (as seen in the change in her battle sprite) trying to comprehend this coward (who was just like her) would be so brave to face his fears and die. This was the truth Titania needed to finally understand the big picture. The lies with Amaria were hurting them both and she needed to stop running away. The truth needed to come out. That's why she even said it took Taka dying to finally break free from this prison she was in. In a twisted sense, this is the happy ending to an ugly fairy tale for both Taka and Titania. Both were free.

 

This is actually the first time we've really seen the game branch with the choices being either a hollow ideal ending or a brutal truth ending for an episode. There's a lot of speculation and I even think Taka might be some foreshadowing of what's about to happen. I really liked this idea of a branch and you definitely don't see an empty or "bad ending" segment in the game without getting a game over. Maybe this analysis is onto something and maybe it's rubbish. It's just this branch is very interesting to look at and analyze due to the symbolism used such as the Zekrom and Reshiram being a reflection of the path.

 

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Gunna be honest, I battled Taka when I first played through e16, and then sided with both Tania and Amy in this episode. I think I just like making people feel good so I agree with them. I just hope I don't get a bad ending from all this...

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hah I choose not to fight him the first time I've been asked. Sad that I soft reset and decided to fight him just for the battle hunger in me.

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Its kinda funny, despite me not trusting Radomus, I did take his words to heart resulting in me trusting in Taka for the hope that Team Meteor can redeemed through him. You may see Taka as a coward but I think he is incredibly brave for staying and helping. Lets not forget that this is a team that can and will destroy your immortal soul as punishment and is far smarter and more dangerous than Team Galactic. This path is only hollow now as we have not fully shown the courage (that makes dreams a reality) and have not fully done the hard work yet to bring a Golden Ending into fruition. As for Titania and Amaria while yes the truth must come out there, it can happen later. Taka's death doesn't necessarily have to be the catalyst and I don't consider death to be a form of freedom. Besides the world needs both truth and ideals right?

 

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Happens to be, I wasn't thinking in either Titania or Radomus mode at the time, I was thinking in Firebug Charlotte mode. I opted to fight Taka for two reasons. The first being that Taka is easily the weakest link in Team Meteor, so I'd rather have someone like him inside the organization than outside, especially considering the fact that it seemed everyone in Team Meteor was abandoning it or getting Dragonited / Aegislashed / Chadenlured to death. The last thing that was needed was a small elite team of the competent Meteors. No, that would be bad. I elected to set into motion a course of events which would keep Taka within Meteor. Hopefully to bring in down from within later, whether he works up the nerve to do something, or just fails to do it out of sheer apathy.

Also, second reason I fought Taka. The guy saved my life back in the trap with his Chatot, and he asked politely. I owed him that favor.

 

Also, just an analysis, the second path (not fight Taka) is far more the true 'fairy tale' than the first. True fairy tales seldom have happy endings, though it seems the first choice isn't one either. It's either an illusion of a happy ending, or the truth that it isn't. Now, in fairy tales, often there is the illusion of the happy ending, but there's always a price to pay for it. Rumpelstiltskin, for example. Certain variations of Cinderella. The Little Mermaid (Hans Christian Anderson's original version). A lot of fairy tales have a point where everything looks perfect, but then there's a price to be paid. As things stands, the second ending would be the end of a fairy tail, probably one starring Taka. The first ending might be a happy ending. Or, far more likely if any of Titania's motifs are anything to go by, it'll get far darker than the second in later episodes.

 

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17 minutes ago, Mogget said:

The first being that Taka is easily the weakest link in Team Meteor, so I'd rather have someone like him inside the organization than outside

Good point. I'd rather be somebody like him acting as a good infiltrator than have someone like Titania fight Team Meteor anyway. We can get good info out of him if we keep secret working together with him. On the other hand, Titania is too rash to really achieve anything other than lowering their numbers, which only helps in the short term. What good is the truth if a key member of the terrorist group is gone and can't help you out anymore? 

 

Idk, just my two cents. It's pretty clear that the path of truth is the correct one here since you get a lot of info about the desert, which is a real shame. In a situation like this, you gotta think smart and not just throw away someone important to the wolves. Especially when they made it clear they're not against helping you when they know (think?) their bosses aren't aware of it. 

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E17. Honestly I was quite fine with the episode at first.

Then I played the Reshiram path.

 

The issue I take with the episode is not the ideal vs true path, no it's the fact that pretty much all of the actually fun gameplay and content of e17 is lost if the player chooses to side with a character who's been nothing but helpful to them.

 

There's little to no content to differ the Zekrom path uniquely, there's absolutely 0 reason to side with Taka period here. You say thing's are not that 'black and white' but as it stands E17's content actually is that black and white.

 

You either pick Taka in the WTC and get absolutely nothing, or side with Titania, go against a friendly NPC who's in need of help, and get frankly a much better episode period.

 

I can understand that one split gets a bit more content for being the right choice, but the amount of differences is actually outright jarring and frankly extremely disappointing.

 

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In the end, it seems to be more a plus than a minus, a life will be taken to protect another one. By choosing to not fight Taka, you give him a chance to act like somebody new and good... for a certain amount of time. I found interesting the way Ame managed to introduce morality in the storyline as well as remove it.

 

Reshiram and Zekrom are like players reflections, if you decide to hide the truth by fighting Taka and allowing him to return to the Team Meteor, you're on a dark side. He will still be Lin's puppet and will not probably have any chance to gain self-esteem after that, everything will gone, especially the morality of the so-called 'fairy tale'. But it's not the same story by refusing his request in the Water Treatment Center, and I think it's even more logical to do it if you already decided to tell the truth to Amaria after reading Titania's diary. Also, if you face Zekrom rather than Reshiram, it means that the player has something to hide, and it would not surprise me to face Reshiram even without telling the truth to Amaria, because in one way or another, she will discover the player lied to her, so this fake romance won't be kept secret anymore, not like Taka cowardness. If you're going on Taka's side, there won't be any possibility to force Titania to open her eyes on what she done all along, and this charming pink fairy tale will be as empty as a tasteless dish. Everything around you will be fake, like Lin who is more likely to be a kind of hologram from the young Lin.

 

By the way, I have to say that the castle in the sky reminded me a lot of Molly's world from the third movie, "Spell of the Unown", the sameness were great, especially with the floating stairs in the pink sky, and later you will have to find Amaria talking underwater like teen Molly during her fight against Misty. Taka is definitely the only one to put an end at this meaningless story, he will start as a vilain and dying by facing Titania like a true hero.

 

Another little thing who urges me to affirm the white path is right is the point of relationship you gain from Shade if you say 'no' to Taka in the Water Treatment Center. So much people expect it's better to satisfy the desire of a begging man, and all of them fall into the trap, thinking it's a good idea to let him go back to Solaris, forgetting everything about this story. Finally, the person who is able to write the story is the one who feel able to take part of it. Amaria is wrong when she hopes finding 'Delivrance' in her Pokeball, it resides in the mouth of people who lived the story and know the truth.

 

Ame, you're a genius <3

 

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I was wondering where E17s story went. Starting from E16 my experience was, go to the desert look for the story, find the scrapyard people -> no story to be had there. Find the mystical fairytale land, wild cutscenes involving Lin and Titania talking weird stuff, fight a dragon, have Titania slash Lin, fight the gymleader -> new badge -> Lin cheated death -> Titania says "follow me" -> I have to find Amaria three times and listen to her emo stuff -> second gymbattle -> The End!
Honestly this branch of the story is bland and almost non-existing. You're out on your own, have almost no interaction with people or the new locations and unless you get stuck with the boss battles, you'll be done with it in no time. Needless to say I was a bit disappointed. It's all making sense now that I know what I've missed. It's disappointing considering I can't just go back and reload an old backup from two episodes ago to change the decision, so the whole story arch won't be available to me unless I do a fresh run.

However I hope once the whole game is done, the other path option gets some screentime too.

 

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You say not everything is black or white yet argue a completely black or white take on it, a right choice and a wrong choice. This is not what Zekrom and Reshiram represent, there's a reason N's justifications in Black and White don't change whether he's the hero of truth or ideals, a reason why their concept is the yin yang, a reason why they're the same entity that split. They embody the same thing and are the same thing. For example Titania represents the ideal of sacrificing oneself for another and throwing away your ideal life for what you believe is the truth, that Amaria needs to be saved from herself. They're easily interchangeable, its supposed to be a duality. There is no ''right'' answer here, maybe a player can relate to Taka and made some sacrifices for what he holds dear himself, believing that to be the correct choice. Maybe one just doesn't want to push Taka in the dragon's mouth, knowing what Lin's methods are. Not knowing what comes after its only normal to assume it would end badly for him, and making him keep the charade just a bit longer for his own sake. There's valid reasoning on both sides. In the end it all comes down to subjective belief and that's what it should be like, a duality of choices neither ''right'' or ''wrong'' with their own consequences. Giving the Zekrom path way less content and thus making players feel punished highlighting a right or wrong choice doesn't do the concept of the tao duo justice and doesn't make any sense.

 

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Everyone makes some really good and valid points.

Now I can't choose what's right or wrong.Or maybe that was never the point.

Spoiler

Still sad that I miss out on a lot of stuffs.

 

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E17 makes it abundantly clear there's a right and a wrong choice. That's black and white, regardless of whether you wish to hear it or not.

 

 

Being lost in a desert alone is not bad per se. It's just indicative that you've already messed up.

Now go to the SPICE to drink your sorrows down, maybe improve another forgotten part of this forsaken city and perhaps call Fern, see how he's doing.

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The only reason I chose to fight Taka was that I accidentally saw that you get a Relationship point with Shade and someone else later, even if it cost me a point with Titinia.  I was fully planning on letting him face his father before seeing that, so it wasn't even for his benefit, since my feeling toward him are neutral at best/annoyed at worst.............I certainly didn't expect an outcome this sudden.

 

If it didn't take me so long to get through this stuff, I would have stopped reading once I saw the branch condition.  As it stands, I would probably only have a slightly faster trudge than my first playthrough, so thank you for putting this together Commander!

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36 minutes ago, NickCrash said:

E17 makes it abundantly clear there's a right and a wrong choice. That's black and white, regardless of whether you wish to hear it or not.

Perhaps, but E18 may change exactly that.

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I sided with Taka in E15. Not because he was right, but because having an ally among Meteor admins is far more useful than a fugitive. Pure pragmatism. But Taka was indeed a coward, not from his actions but rather from his motives. Had he considered himself a double agent, staying only to destroy them from the inside it would have been courage, but he thinks of himself only as a reluctant Meteor agent, causing many deaths because he's afraid to hurt his father.

This is the huge difference with Titania.  By essence, her choice hurts only her. No one dies because of that, any death that might occur are coincidence. For instance even if killing the meteor in the WTC was a way to let out her frustration, they were killed because they were a threat to remove, the pleasure was just a bonus. Then her choice his not cowardice like Taka but sacrifice. Maybe it's not the wisest option, maybe there would be a way to end this fake romance without Amaria killing herself, but she hasn't found it and doesn't want to risk her friend's life on a bet that she wouldn't commit suicide. Not cowardice, pragmatism.

 

After reading all that I missed with my choices I think too that I missed a lot, but the game isn't other yet. Now we know Amaria is aware that the romance is fake. Which didn't seem to be the case during the diary scene. So now that the shock of finding out this romance is fake is gone, and seeing that Titania chooses to stay with her despite all that happened, despite her disgust for the situation, the newly aware Amaria may find the strength to end this herself and free Titania. While if Titania tells the truth and breaks up, Amaria will just stay a weight to everyone.

And for Taka, even though is seems he faced death bravely, at first he was just running away, going to the desert to save his life instead of staying to fight team Meteor. I haven't seen that path so I may be wrong on that though. While staying in team Meteor and alive leaves him the option to get some courage too to actually fight Meteor, leaving the possibility of a better end.

 

Things aren't set yet. It's just that one path moved faster than the other. So we'll see what happens in the next episodes. I just hope Ame took into account that many who sided with Taka did it not because they agreed with him but because they wanted a spy.

 

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The thing you guys forget is that the 'Zekrom' route represents an ideal route. Nothing crazy out of the ordinary happens, stuff goes about as you'd expect them to. Simplistic. Nothing truly opposes the player and everyone lives. Happy. Fake.

 

I don't see how you're calling it not "black and white" when you're outright calling one path right and one wrong. Heck the things we use to define those two paths are literally black and white.

 

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I wouldn't call either path 'right' or 'wrong' because they're both wrong. The term for a situation like this is a zuzwang. The player is forced to make a binary choice, and with both outcomes being negatives. On the one side, you've got death for a character who (arguably) didn't deserve it. On the other side, you get a very hollow shell of emotional interactions. I feel that the point a lot of people are missing is that there was never a clear 'good' choice - and if there were, there wouldn't be any debate about it. This episode is quite clear that decisions have consequences, and occasionally you're forced to choose the 'lesser of two evils', to say. Now, which evil was the worst evil? Well, that's hard to say, and if you want to argue from an idealistic perspective,which decision was correct, then the contents of E17 don't actually matter. In a way, this dichotomy was perfect for the Taka decision, because there's demonstrably no 'golden ending'.

 

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I really appreciate that actions have real consequences now. I very much am invested in the beliefs of the Butterfly Effect and seeing these small actions come to fruition now is pleasing, though I honestly wouldn't have known had I not read this post considering I was on the Zekrom path (which did honestly feel like an odd dragon to be fighting in that environment).  I'm hoping at least with Taka alive in this path that we have the potential to see more from him in the future so he doesn't just disappear.  And while this path may seem disappointing to some, I'm certain that based off of how Ame went about this split, there will definitely be something fruitful from this path as well.  It wouldn't be a good idea to make one commonly chosen path incredibly bland and leave the rest of the goods for the select few.

 

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So my questions are for the one who played the Reshiram pace:

- Do you have to play the Reshiram pace to enter the tower in the desert ?

- Through the part with Taka, do you get any item or pokemon that is not available in the zekrom pace ?


There are a couple of questions I have for the ones who playes the pace i did not, if someone can take some time to answer me, thanks ^^

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11 hours ago, Azeria said:

E17. Honestly I was quite fine with the episode at first.

Then I played the Reshiram path.

 

The issue I take with the episode is not the ideal vs true path, no it's the fact that pretty much all of the actually fun gameplay and content of e17 is lost if the player chooses to side with a character who's been nothing but helpful to them.

 

There's little to no content to differ the Zekrom path uniquely, there's absolutely 0 reason to side with Taka period here. You say thing's are not that 'black and white' but as it stands E17's content actually is that black and white.

 

You either pick Taka in the WTC and get absolutely nothing, or side with Titania, go against a friendly NPC who's in need of help, and get frankly a much better episode period.

 

I can understand that one split gets a bit more content for being the right choice, but the amount of differences is actually outright jarring and frankly extremely disappointing.

This. Even tough when it comes to the amount of content I believe the tables will turn around next episode (the other path content was axed and moved to the E18?), I'm dissatisfied with this whole branching story and the reasoning behind it seems completely made up and out of the blue. It is literally never even slightly hinted or shown that Titania's and Taka's characters and their stories are connected in any way. If it was on me, I'd change the dialogues during WTC part, to maybe show Titania's hesitation about the reasons behind Taka? Or some compassion and sympathy from anyone towards Taka? Or just make the diary part being decisive here, then the whole reasoning brought to us in this post would actually make more sense - it was Titania that was afraid of revealing the truth, if the player chooses to reveal it, this could work as an eye-opener for Titania, that the truth is better choice than living in a lie? After all, why would Taka want to sacrifice himself (in fact only) for Titania?

 

Not to mention the more we interact with Amaria, the more I understand why everyone wants to escape from her. It's just Titania's resillence and inner strenght that prevented her from doing it long ago, but it only entangled her and twisted her within Amaria's tormented soul, which is completely hopeless. Well, if Zerkrom's path ends up with Amaria realising she's torturing Titania, that only she can overcome her problems and eventually she lets Titania go, then it would be the good ending. I don't know how much of this story is based on real events and if this is even possible.

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Looking back, I don't even remember why I battled Taka, though I seem to have made a mistake.  I must have misread/mis-rmembered the Relationship Guide numbers at the time, since Shade and Anna only give the point if you didn't battle him...............so much for that reason.    

 

Just posting that my comment from earlier isn't entirely accurate now.......orz.

 

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I was so surprised of how short the episode was. I got the Zekrom path. I didn't see or meet Taka anywhere. It was just Desert Puzzle, battling Tania, Battling Zekrom and then battling Amaria. This right now caught me by a surprise! I didn't know there was another path! This some beyond logic interpretation. I'm just glad I didn't see any deaths so far. The idea of seeing Tania weak kinda messes me up because she's really powerful. 

 

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My main issue with how the branched story in this episode was executed is that the Zekrom path essentially punishes players for pursuing more gameplay. In my mind Reborn's main selling point is the consistent presence of engaging and challenging battles, so it makes sense that most players, regardless of story context, would make it their pejorative to battle more, not less, especially a somewhat major fight with a Meteor admin. 

If the choice at the WTC didn't involve a battle at all that'd be more justiable for such a drastic branched path since then players are more inclined to give the in universe consequences of their choice some actual thought as opposed to thinking, "I get to battle with one choice but not the other", above all else. And why shouldn't they? Battling is the core gameplay ffs. So yeah its a shame that most players are going to get the Zekrom path like I did because of that. #Zekrompathdidnothingwrong.

 

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Yeah I'll admit, I was wrong about that story choice.  Not battling Taka is clearly the "correct" timeline for the secret ending.  You can understand how I'd make that mistake, since every other "correct" choice requires taking the harder path.

 

Which one I think is better, however, well...

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I'm gonna have to wait and see if Taka dies in the Zekrom timeline too.

 

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