Ah... Dice, once again, you're right, I'm just being negative. i've made the same point about Zelda games. Some of the world's greatest works were built on cliches. I guess the important part is not the over-arching character architype but what you do with it. The Tales team has had a good time playing into common architypes only to twist them around, but that only works a few times (Lunar 1 did it really well too). What I love is to have a common architype, but explored in much more subtle ways than can be defined by a simple lable. Having an architypical character defy expectations is fun, but having them meet expections while at the same time emotionally connecting with the audience on a visceral level is really where narratives excel.
I'm flattered you agree I guess, and I like your take on it.
I suppose if good characters were that easy to make it'd be done all the time. Oddly enough, I always like the games that pointed out minor nuances to their characters. Name someone who wasn't chiefly amused with Ashton's [a la
SO2] barrel fettish, or even man-Nier's soft and "dad"-like patience to bounce against his brute-attitude and Weiss' nose-in-the-air remarks. All cliche, but I think it just has to be played out right.
I'm kinda kicking myself for the world in Arcadia remark... what else would you associate a desert with if not a "fire" element... I think what made me laugh though was how it was such a blatant play of earth-based cultures and didn't even bother adding to it. Indians wore turbans, Asia-land wore yukatas, etc. But many games do it, and only few actually try developing their own cultures (I think FFX is a good example to the opposite, it tried to mix several cultures from what I saw to create something truly "otherworldly"). Nevertheless, the game nails the pirate aesthetic.