Transcendentalism: Modern Frank I Gomez

Nonconformity

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”

-Henry David Thoreau "Walden"

Fire Emblem Fates: Revelations 2016 (2015 JPN) is video game created by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo. Fire Emblem Fates is the fourteenth installment of the Fire Emblem series. This title specifically allowed the player a big choice to make at the beginning of the family. Born in the nation of Hoshido, raised in the opposing nation of Nohr, upon reaching chapter 6, the player is asked to choose a side. Siding with their birth family puts the player in Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright, while siding with the family that raised them sends them on the path of Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest. These two paths revealed different information about the world of the game, as well as showing two outcomes to the story. Each story deals with a different side of the war, each favoring the player's side. However, both outcomes end on a sour note, with an apparent lack of a true closed story. Released a couple of weeks after Birthright and Conquest released, Revelations gave the player a third choice. In Revelations, the player decides not to side with either family, being unable to take arms against either side. As a result, alongside their Maid (Felicia) /Butler (Jakob), and Princess Azura, the player flees the battle. It is through this action that they learn the truth about the world, and obtain a resolve to reveal it to the others. This path isn't about defeating Nohr or Hoshido, but rather, something else that is manipulating the two nations...

This third path to the game allows the player to choose not to follow others, but instead to take the future into their hands. Refusing to take a side is flat out denying that the player will go along with the others, their only resolve being to end the fighting for both sides. This is the path they chose for theirself, and it is going to be the path that they end. This shows nonconformity as a form of refusing to take a side in a conflict, instead wishing to end it another way that won't hurt either side, which may or may not also be seen as naive. As the game states in its song, "the path is yours to climb."

"For Hoshido!/For Nohr!"
"I make my own fate!"

- Corrin (name determined by player) occasionally when activating a skill/critical hit in Birthright/Conquest (former), and in Revelations (latter).

Self-Reliance

“Few and mean as my gifts may be, I actually am, and do not need for my own assurance or the assurance of my fellows any secondary testimony. What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson "Self-Reliance"

Marina Wulfstan is a character from the 2008 game Valkyria Chronicles, by Sega. Valkyria Chronicles is a game that takes place during a fictional version of World War II, with the protagonists originating from a small nation known as Gallia. In this ficitional rendition of the war, the large Europan Empire is the villain, taking the place of what would be Germany and the Soviet Union, with the Federation, Western Europe being allied with Gallia. In the game, a young man by the name of Welkin Gunther leads Squad 7, a squadron of the Gallian army. Marina Wulfstan is one of Welkin's soldiers, and she is a sniper. However, Marina prefers to work alone, not wanting to be around others if it could be avoided. She was trained to hunt animals by her father as a child, and as such wants nobody to distract her when she is hunting. She learns the skills "Lone Wolf" and "My Way," with the former decreasing her accuracy around other people, and the latter increasing it when she is alone.

Marina doesn't like being around other people, nor having to rely on them. In her free time, she remains alone and keeps to herself, being annoyed when others try to talk to her. She has no care for others, nor what they think. She is only in the battle for the sake of defending her country to live in, and for no other apparent reason. After the war ends, she leaves to go live alone with a fox. Overall, she could be living a simple life, and be relying only on herself.

"It's easier alone."
"I've come this far alone."

- Marina Wulfstan, activating "Lone Wolf" and "My Way," Valkyria Chronicles

Importance of Nature

“In the woods we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life- no disgrace, no calamity…”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Stardew Valley, by ConcernedApe, is a game that released in 2015. In this game, the player character becomes bored with their normal average life in the city, and decides to open a letter their grandfather left for them, which would in turn be a farm out in a small valley known as Stardew Valley. Upon arriving, the player can just live life their as they please, either as a farmer or some other job to that extent. They can more or less do what they please, including interact with their neighbors or go mining. The only real goal in the game is to live and farm to one's content, not being forced by an outside entity to do anything.

While the player doesn't look for anything spiritual or to that extent, they do enjoy their new life as opposed to their old boring one in the city. Nobody will judge the player for what they do, as literally nobody, with the exception of the player's spouse should they choose to get married, or the mayor to tell them of an upcoming holiday, ever goes to their farm. The world exists for the player to make of what it, to do what they want in this place they now call home. From being a farmer, to heading to the mine to obtain ores, the player can live as they wish. It is a peaceful life to live, free of overall stress.

Favoring Intuition over Reason

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

-Henry David Thoreau "Walden"

Li Dian is a character from the Dynasty Warriors, making his first official appearance in the 2013 release of Dynasty Warriors 8, which was created by Omega Force. Dynasty Warriors is a game based off of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which is based off of the second and third century China. Being recruited to join Wei and Cao Cao early in the game, he makes his debut at Hulao Gate alongside Yue Jin. Throughout the game, Li Dian acts on his own intuition alone, which just happens to always be right. At Hulao Gate itself, he is able to foil an enemy ambush by suggesting to jump down from stairs into to a closed door room, getting the initiative on the enemy. His most prominent role in the game is the Battle of Hefei, where he decides to go against his orders to defend the main camp and to go actively participate in the battle himself. Alongside Yue Jin, the two are successfully able to rescue Zhang Liao, another one of Wei's generals, from being overrun. In addition to this, he also places ambush troops to attack Sun Quan, the enemy, where he predicts he will pass by. His prediction is successful, and Sun Quan's army is ambushed during their retreat.

Overall, Li Dian is a great example of someone who puts their intuition before reason, in addition to his addition always being correct. While his willingness to always follow his intuition may be called foolish by some, he lives the way he wants to. He follows what he wants to do and does it, regardless of thinking things through first. He confidently moves forwards how he wishes too, and ends up with results that are positive. Thoreau would probably show some interest in how Li Dian would live his life, favoring his intuition over thought out plans.

"I foresaw this victory before it even happened!"
"Heh, don't underestimate my intuition. I knew this was coming!"

- Li Dian Dynasty Warriors 8

Simplified Life

“Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.”

-Henry David Thoreau "Walden"

Setsuna is a character from the 2016 (2015 JPN) video game Fire Emblem Fates, created by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo. A retainer to Princess Hinoka, she joins the Avatar's army alongside her in Birthright and Revelation. Setsuna is an archer and daughter of a rich family, obtaining anything she asked for during her childhood. In fact, it is due to this that she lost most of her enjoyment or care for life, and as such she doesn't try to make anything out of her life. The only excitement she truly gets in life is falling into traps, only for the sole fact that it makes her feel alive and excited.

Overall, Setsuna lives as simple a life as she can during a war. If the game ends without Setsuna getting married, she returns to serving Hinoka, never achieving anything in her life. She doesn't understand insults either, as her simple mindedness makes her immune to picking up on sarcasm at all, only taking it all as compliments. Even when she is in battle, she still remains talking in the same calm aloof voice as always, even when she is on the brink of death. Setsuna, like Marina as stated earlier, is a simple character, who lives a simple life. However, unlike Marina, if Setsuna does not rely on others for some things, she will end up in stuck in traps for as long as humanly possible. Whenever she falls in a trap, she just waits for Hinoka to show up, as she knows that she eventually will. Regardless, Setsuna lives a simple life.

"Oh, are we fighting?"
"Oh...it's dead."

-Setsuna assisting an ally in battle (former), and after having defeated an enemy (latter).

Created By
Frank Gomez
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