And now that I've nearly completed my Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits Shrine, it's time for me to come out and say why I hate Arc the Lad: Generation. According to several of my sources, the storyline of Arc: Generation has completely, yes completely, destroyed the whole Maru/Bebedora storyline. Without any kind of an explanation for it, Maru is married to his own cousin, Queen Foh. Yes. It's perverse and wrong on every possible level. It's as though the entire relationship between Maru and Bebedora never even happened. Even ignoring that Foh is Maru's cousin, this is a character that only had a bit part in Arc 4, was annoying as hell even in that small part, and Maru had absolutely no chemistry with or deep love for (if he liked her at all, it was only because she was his cousin, and because Maru is just friendly towards everyone, except for that initial confrontation with Kharg.) And Bebedora's fate? I'm not 100% sure of it, but I heard from one source that she's locked up in the Coleopt Shrine again. So much for that "bright future of freedom" she hoped for.
Not only are Maru and Bebedora one of the funniest, most convincing, and kick-ass couples around, but their subplot is the whole entire reason Arc 4's story worked on any kind of level at all. Maru went from being just a weird hyperactive kid to being the voice of reason because his relationship with Bebedora made him realize that Deimos weren't just overgrown monsters, as Kharg and Paulette had taught him. And Bebedora went through hell to break away from the Divine Ruler's control because of her love for Maru. There are two important points made here. The first: The Divine Ruler was completely wrong when he said that it was impossible for there to be true friendship between humans and Deimos. The second: Nothing is left to fate. Even if you're created for a purpose, as the monsters, Deimos, and Bebedora were, you can change that purpose. Without the Maru/Bebedora subplot, I couldn't have cared less what happened to everyone by the end of the game. If there's no hope for peace between humans and Deimos and they're just gonna keep destroying each other, then who cares if some other power comes along and wipes them all out? Even if Kharg and Darc insisted on acting like stubborn knuckleheads in the ending, at least Bebedora and Maru showed us there was hope.
Shame on you, Sony and Cattle Call and whoever else is responsible for taking all of this and flushing it down the crapper. In one fell swoop, you've gone and destroyed everything that meant something in Arc 4. You couldn't have hurt the characters more if you had them star in a porno flick. I know there will be (and I hate to use the word) "fanboys" who will defend this game and the decisions made for its storyline to no end, but I honestly *cannot* see how any self-respecting fan of Arc 4 could consider this a canon sequel. The only defense I can even imagine for this debacle is that maybe someone thought a relationship between a human and a doll-type Deimos couldn't realistically work out, but I still think that's a cop-out and goes against everything Arc 4 stood for. However, if you're going to arrive at that decision, at least have the characters deal with it. Don't just act like it never happened at all. If this is the way the story was always planned to go, then what the hell was it about??
As for me, Bebedora and Maru will still remain my favorite RPG characters until if and when I find others I like more (although it'll be a tough act to follow), because if this information that I've gotten is true, then as far as I'm concerned, Arc the Lad: Generation doesn't exist.
BTW, if you have concrete evidence that my sources are completely wrong about this, please let me know. But until then, I'm standing by my opinion 100%.
Frequently Asked Questions on This Article
I decided to answer some Frequently Asked Questions that I've received about this article. But I warn you that I'm fully-prepared to defend my stance. (Please note that I will not respond to blatant flames or emails written in "13375P34K".)
#1: Your article states that Arc the Lad: Generation is a sequel to Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits, but it's not.
FO: Eh? Says who? The game is called "Arc the Lad", it takes place in the same world as Twilight of the Spirits, exactly 5 years after the ending of TotS, uses many of the same characters, and even reuses exact locations from TotS. THAT is the very definition of a sequel. And even if it wasn't a sequel, that's still not an excuse to misuse the characters so horribly.
#2: It can't be a sequel because it has a different gameplay style.
FO: You need to read up on your videogame history. Many sequels have had completely different gameplay from their predecessors. Castlevania 2, Zelda 2, Ys 3, to name a few, but they are all still sequels within a series. If the game shares the same name and takes place in the same continuity, then it's a sequel.
#3: There are articles at IGN.com and Gamespot.com that prove that you are wrong.
FO: First of all, ever since I found out there was going to be another Arc the Lad game that uses the same characters as Twilight of the Spirits, I've been following it almost religiously. To think that I wouldn't have found and read those articles by now is a little silly, folks. And I've read through them several times and there is nothing in those articles that goes into specifics about the characters. I heard from people who own the actual Japanese game that Maru is married to his cousin Foh with no explanation. If you have evidence that specifically states that, no, Maru is NOT married to Foh, and my sources were wrong (I'd like more than anything to believe they are wrong, but right now, it doesn't look that way) then that is what I asked you to inform me of. Please do not send me links to articles and trailers that I've already seen 3,000 times unless they contain specific information on the characters and storyline.
#4: Twilight of the Spirits sucked! All I care about is that I can play as the characters from Arc the Lad 1-3.
FO: Well, good for you. I hope you have fun with this game, then. But, obviously, that isn't what I care about. But I think you should know anyway that, from what I understand, the Arc 1-3 characters aren't involved in the story. They're like Diekbeck and Choco in TotS in that you can play as them, but they don't have dialogue and don't affect what goes on at all. The only characters that are involved directly in the story are the TotS characters, so if you didn't like them, I can't imagine you'd have much reason to like this.
#5: Isn't what matters most the gameplay, not the story? You shouldn't judge a game before you've played it.
A: Normally, I would agree 100% with this statement. But judging from everything I've read about Arc the Lad: Generation, it doesn't sound like it's all that good of a game. (The IGN article, in particular, was quite convincing.) Even so, there was still a chance I could've enjoyed this game. After all, it's not like Twilight of the Spirits was all that well-received by critics, and I loved it anyway. But if the action really is as boring, easy, and repetitive as the reviews make it out to be, then the only reason I'd want to play Generation is for the characters, and they're not even accurately represented! Maru marries Foh? Tatjana is a schoolmarm? Bebedora is locked up in a treasure chest again? Do I even want to know what they've done to everyone else?
Let me use an analogy that I used on my forums when this same question was brought up:
Imagine if at the opening of Shrek 2, Princess Fiona is marrying Prince Charming. There is absolutely no explanation as to why she's no longer with Shrek. There's not even any reference to or mention of their relationship in the previous movie. Shrek hardly even appears in the movie at all. He just shows up to help out during a fight scene. And, to top things off, it turns out that Prince Charming and Princess Fiona are cousins, but they don't care and get married anyway. If you were a fan of Shrek, would it matter to you then if this movie was funny or not?
Really, it's okay to complain about a game's storyline if the complaints are legitimate, and right now I can't think of anything more legitimate to complain about than taking an already-established character and making him incestuous while pretending his former relationship with another character never even happened! Honestly, I wouldn't care if it was some random cousins getting married, I wouldn't even give a flip if it was random siblings. If they want to put crap like that in a game to be l33t and 3dgy, so be it. But you DON'T do that to characters that you've already built up with a specific personality and history and that people have an emotional investment in! Look at how many people complain about what George Lucas did to Star Wars, both with the prequels and the changes to the original trilogy. It's the same reason that I don't like the Transformers movie and I don't like Alien 3. In my ever-so-humble opinion, this is just as bad, if not worse.
This update to this situation was sent to me by a site reader "Call Me Akarai". Akarai has apparently played Arc the Lad: Generation and knows the whole scoop of what went down with Maru and Bebedora in it:
Hi. I had come across your page many times while looking for examples to show people
of why I liked Bebedora. I know several years have passed since you wrote it, and
somebody has probably cleared the record by now, but in case they haven't, I just
wanted to inform you that in Arc the Lad: Generations (aka End of Darkness) Maru and
Foh don't technically get married.
At the start of the game, Edda wakes up in Milmarna. Everyone in town is talking
about Foh getting married, but none of them know to who. Edda (the story isn't very
good) is the last living Exorcist who can expel the darkness, but the guard at the
gate won't let him leave to go on this journey and exorcise demons unless he becomes
a Hunter. Being one of the great Heroes, Maru is in charge of the local branch of
Hunters, but he keeps disappearing for reasons unknown to those in town. When you
finally track him down, he's been cornered by two of the elders who care for Foh,
and they're demanding that he marry her, but he very much does not want to. When
Edda comes in, Maru uses him as an excuse to run away saying that he has "very
serious business" at the guild, thanks Edda, and runs off. Subsequently Maru owes
him a favor, and makes him a hunter.
So, in point of fact while they are trying to make Maru marry Foh, he does not
actually marry her, presumably because of Bebedora.
Also aside from having nicer clothes, he doesn't look much different, and is
roughly the same height five years later.
As to Bebedora being locked back in her case? If that's what happens, it's never
mentioned in the game. Unfortunately, while she can be unlocked as a playable
character, she's not mentioned at all in the main plot. In one mission you do pass
through where she was found, but there is no mention of her being there.
You may also be interested to know that while the game is fairly boring, and the
plot leaves a lot to be desired, and it's mostly action rather than RPG, it is
possible to play as Maru or Bebedora.
Primarily you play as Edda, but you can gain 24 "Character Cards" which let you play
as characters from the previous games. All twelve characters from Twilight of the
Spirits, and even Lillia is playable. She uses a boomerang sword for some reason.
Samson sadly is not. The other unlockable characters are all from the other Arc the
Once you've gained their card, you can play as them in all non-story missions, and
in the online mode. Though I should also mention that while Bebedora is a lot of fun
to play with, and has fairly good stats, they kind of screwed over Maru in that they
made firing his arrows really slow, and further crippled him with low attack power.
If you rent or borrow the game, and use a guide to get to that portion really
quickly, you'll see that while they are trying to force him to, Maru is in fact, not
married to Foh, nor does he want to be, and many of the NPCs also complain about his
continual "running away" when they try to marry him off to her.
Assuming no one had told you this before, I hope this puts your mind at ease.
FO's comment: Well, that's certainly a relief to hear that after all this time, although it still sounds like they really messed up the story in some major ways. The fact that Bebedora isn't mentioned at all in the main plot alone is pretty weird considering that they bothered to make Maru a main character. I also heard somewhere that the entire game ends up being a dream or something like that. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately depending on how you look at it), I still don't own the game so there's no way for me to verify anything about it on my own. I personally haven't even thought about the game in years and it sounds like the story is so forgettable that you probably don't have to think about it if you don't want to.