Gaming with God: My Brother’s Keeper

Hey there my treasured readers, glad to have you back on another edition of Gaming with God! I was on hiatus from my last post, as we had a fantastic interview with Vic Mignogna, who is a well-known voice actor. I was actually looking forward to listening to the interview, as I myself have heard him speak in a con here in Miami, FL, where I reside!

Well, for the next few posts I will be covering Tales of Xillia 2 for the Playstation 3. I have gone through part 1 and never got around to playing the sequel, even though I have heard mixed reviews from fellow gamers. Since the heart of this column is to connect gamers who enjoy Japanese games with their Creator, I thought about which game I should tackle next. Seeing that I haven’t played this particular one, and would like to try to do a series of posts on the same game instead of different ones, that’s what you’ll be seeing for a while. I may change it up, but that depends if there’s a post I really want to do that merits it.

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Julius (left) and Ludger (right). Brothers caught up in a world-wide conflict.

As you may already know, I am a huge fan of the Tales Of series, as it is one of the few series to combine anime with an action oriented JRPG style. Plots are deep, full of twists, worlds are diverse and character development feels real and genuine. I could go on and on about how much I enjoy these games, but I tend to do that in a lot of my posts, so I will get straight to the good stuff, and my initial experience with this title.

So, not only is this a direct sequel to Xillia 1, but now there is a new main character by the name of Ludger Will Kresnik. His older brother is named Julius, and their relationship seems tight, but at the same time Julius is hiding things from his younger sibling. I could tell right form the beginning that something wasn’t right with him, and he was a little distant as to what he was doing. Eventually, Ludger finds him on a train that is being hijacked, and Julius is accused of the one who committed the crime at the cost of many lives. Torn between his loyalty to his family and the suspicions that he hears from investigators, the game gives you options during dialogue to see which side do you lean towards more. Do you hope that Julius is just being framed and there’s more to the story, or do you want to bring Julius to justice for what looks like a tragedy by his hands?

What’s great is that I am in control of these decisions, even though I don’t enjoy the silent protagonist model of RPGs. That was common in the 16 bit era, but nowadays we have voice overs to give the character life and emotion. To me, Ludger is the type that just follows along with what everyone else is doing and doesn’t seem like he makes his own decisions. Because of this, he just gets caught up in other people’s problems, while trying to figure out what happened to his brother who has disappeared. Even though Ludger is his brother, Julius made his own choice and the way he sounds he has thought it out carefully. The hijacking, keeping Ludger in the dark and disappearing was not an accident, it was planned.

The brothers fighting in their advanced forms.
The brothers fighting in their advanced forms.

I personally do not have brothers or sisters, as I’m an only child, so maybe my slant towards this situation may sound selfish. To me, if Julius abandoned Ludger on purpose and pushed him away, I would certainly be curious as to why but I would not expend so much energy into finding him. Ludger was never given the responsibility to watch over his brother. In fact, the game makes it seem that it’s Julius’ job to do just that, but he split and went rogue instead. I chose to do the nice thing in the game and pick dialogue choices that make Ludger seem interested in his brother, but personally I wouldn’t as much.

Maybe because I’m older than Ludger and have more life experience, while not having to rely on family members for survival or help. Whatever it is, sometimes that whole scenario in anime or video games where something happens and the main character spends all their time trying to figure it out bugs me a bit. Sometimes, even family, can betray you and go off on their own will. Even if it’s not right, life does not always have a happy ending in regards to relationships, and to me, Ludger being his brother’s keeper is not fair to him.

I am looking at this without having played the entire game, and only a few hours in. I wonder if my view on this sibling rivalry will shift, or not. If anyone else has played this game, what was your experience with it and did you enjoy the game? God bless, and look forward to the next post!

6 thoughts on “Gaming with God: My Brother’s Keeper

  1. By the time the game ends, it’ll be interesting to see how your views on the relationship between the brothers changes. When I think of sibling betrayal, I think of Cain and Abel from the Bible. I think of one murdering the other and Cain saying, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” to the Lord when asked about Abel. The problem with Cain’s question is two fold – one, he’s lying to God. Two, he’s ignoring the fact that yes – we are all to be our brother’s keepers. Paul reminds us of that over and over again in his letters. But, I digress.

    I come from a different perspective than you as I am the oldest of 8 children – I have 5 younger sisters, 2 younger brothers. I want to see what’s best for my siblings, but I know I can’t make the decisions for them. They can and have made decisions I disagree with or, straight up don’t like. I still love them and still want what’s best for them, but anyone including family can let you down – as you mentioned.

    What will happen in their relationship is interesting to see play out and I look forward to hearing what you find happens next.

    1. The story of Cain and Abel is something I should have touched on in the article, but I honestly forgot about it 🙁 That is a good comparison though.

      Wow, such a big family! I’m so used to having very little family, except my wife of course, that it’s just the way I’ve lived my life. God has been the best Father ever, and He gives me all the desire for peace and unity with family that I need, but of course it would be nice to have more family around.

      Let’s see how the game goes, I have a feeling I’m reading too much into the plot BUT I do that on purpose because I want to see if my hypothesis is right or wrong, as I normally don’t do that.

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