Meiryu no Shugan

A Spontaneous Thought Concerning Krystal and Her Possible Connections to Celtic Mythology and Arthurian Legend.

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Meiryu no Shugan

Hello, everyone. If you are reading this topic, then you have no doubt noticed the overly long and unorthodox title and have had your curiosity piqued. I honestly have been thinking about this idea for quite a while and I feel I should explain why I came to it in the first place. Please forgive my long-winded speaking in advance.

I look up Celtic Mythology in my spare time, and have a keen interest in the Arthurian Legends in particular, and I find many parallels between certain traits in the myths and various factors in Krystal's part in the Star Fox Universe, including the character herself, her role in the story, her mystical staff, and lastly, her planet of origin, the mysterious and elusive Cerinia. So, without further ado, let us begin.

Beginning with Krystal's character and role, I can connect her with three separate women of Celtic and Arthurian Legend. They are Scathach, the Lady of the Lake, and Morgan le Fay.

1. Scathach.

Scathach was a Scottish warrior woman that appeared in the Ulster Cycle, in particular, the Tochmarc Emire. She trained the Irish hero Cu Chulainn and his friend Ferdiad in all she knew of war and magic, and gave the Son of Lugh her own weapon, the Spear of Mortal Pain, Gae Bolg. As Scathach had done with Ireland's Child of Light, so too did Krystal do with Fox early in Adventures, telepathically communicating to him in how to properly wield the Staff, and understand it's nature as a weapon. Granted, this connection is more stretched and thin than the other two.

2.The Lady of the Lake.

Whether you call her Viviane, Ninianne, Nyneve, or the name I prefer, Nimue, the Lady of the Lake is one of the most, if not the most important plot point in Arthurian Legend aside from Excalibur, having given the aforementioned sword to the King of Knights himself. She is an inhabitant (if not ruler) of the isle of Avalon, in possession of inhuman beauty and tremendous and mysterious powers. This parallel with Krystal is self-explanatory. The two character roles overlap quite well, but for two points: 1. Arthur was actively looking for Nimue and Excalibur in particular quite deliberately, while Fox had stumbled upon the Staff quite by accident, and 2. While Nimue was quite free in her actions and willingly helped Arthur in person, Krystal was at this point imprisoned and only able to barely contact Fox through telepathy. Otherwise the stories align: both heroines have supernatural capabilities of unspecified extent, both relinquish a weapon they have in their possession to the hero to use in his quest (Nimue gives Excalibur, Krystal her Staff), and both are of some status on their homelands (Nimue rules Avalon, and it is generally agreed that judging by her clothes and equipment, her family was high-ranking or even nobility on Cerinia).

3.Morgan le Fay.

Oh, Morgan. Angry at her brother for perceived slights, she goes out of her way to make the King's life miserable however she can. Where to begin? While the reasons vary across the legends, she feels slighted by either Arthur (in proxy of his father Uther who killed Morgan's father Gorlois and impregnated his wife Igrayne with Arthur), Guinevere (for banishing her from Camelot for varied reasons, mostly adultery), or even both. She seeks revenge in many ways, but the two that tie to Krystal the most are her theft and loss of Excalibur's Scabbard, and her aid in exposing the affair between Lancelot and Guinevere. These two actions both personally screw Arthur over royally (no pun intended) and shatters the Round Table in one fell swoop. However,  she reconciles with Arthur in the end and in some legends even helps escort her mortally wounded brother to Avalon, going so far as to proclaim him "The Once and Future King" in one version. Her story probably aligns best with Krystal's later roles, during Star Fox Command. Like Morgan, Krystal feels betrayed and slighted by Fox drumming her out of the team out of paranoia over her safety, and at this point she seems to channel all the anger, scorn and downright stubbornness that Morgan was also known for. Depending on the route you take in the game, she joins Star Wolf and books up with Panther to stoke Fox's jealousy, and even steals his chance to kill the Anglar King, while publicly proclaiming her allegiance to Star Wolf and Panther, which screws the Star Fox team over and crushes Fox's spirit entirely. However, she is vilified for her actions and runs away, assuming a new identity, the jaded bounty hunter Kursed. In other routes she reconciles with Fox and gets back together with him again, just like Morgan reconciles with Arthur. It is an interesting thing that the two characters have such similar reactions to their respective misfortunes.

Just has Krystal has similarities to certain mythological figures, her Staff harkens back to a number of magical and famous weapons in Celtic myth. Two in particular that stand out are Brionac, the Spear of Lugh and Rhongomyniad, King Arthur's war lance. Brionac is one of the legendary Four Jewels of the Tuatha de Dannan, and is said to make its wielded nigh invincible. It is also said to overcome its targets with fire, which goes into the Fire Blaster. As the Staff looks more like a spear, and seems to indeed convey the image of invincibility, Brionac's legend ties together with the Cerinian weapon quite well. Rhongomyniad was the lance wielded by King Arthur, most well known for being the weapon that took the life of Sir Mordred at the battle of Camlann. It was told that no matter how tough the armor of the Knight of Treachery was, it could never resist the holy lance, an existence on par with Excalibur. Some compare it to the Spear of Destiny, which pierced the Messiah. Like Rhongomyniad, the Staff is quite strong, able to pierce most defenses, such as when Fox pierced the thick, hardened skull of the RedEye King, not an easy task by any means. Also, with its repertoire of powers like fire blasts, force fields, miniquakes and rocket boosts can easily lead one to assume that it is indeed a holy weapon, if one considers a combination of the Four Classical Elements to be "holy".

Finally, Cerinia itself can be compared to the mythical Avalon, as both seem to be magical or at least wondrous places that not much can be known about -- Avalon being separate from the mortal realm, and Cerinia being destroyed according to the Star Fox canon.

So that's it. You may ask, "Huh!? What was this overly long dissertation supposed to do!?" Well , my answer is that I noticed the similarities mentioned above, found them interesting, and decided to make my findings known. Whether the similarities were made in purpose by the game creators, particularly in Adventures, or they just came to be pure chance, I do not know, but I believe the former. For evidence, I do not have much, except for two points: A) Rare was based in Britain, which is the central point for the Arthurian Legends, and B) let it be remembered that the entire Star Fox series came to be because Shigeru Miyamoto was inspired by the Fox statues and took arches at the Fushimi Inari shrine. Ultimately, however, what I want is your opinion, dear readers. What do you all think of my reasonings?  Please comment!

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Robert Monroe

While I always appreciate some enthusiastic referential research this all seems like a stetch. Cerinia isn't even mentioned in-game, just the manual (and amybe just the American manual at that), and Krystal is literally a hold over from Dinosaur Planet wherein she was a playable character. And Rare being British holds no water on  Assault or Command, which are both Japanese based. Also Krystal didn't relinquish shit she literally dropped the staff and Fox found it and as soon as she lays eyes on it she takes it right he fuck back rudely. 

A for effort, but giving Starfox Adventures WAY more credit than it deserves. Dinosaur Planet already had its own mythology and storyline written out and the ugly simple fact is most of it was just left cut out in the rushed development of turning it into Star Fox Adventures.

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Meiryu no Shugan

Thank you for your criticism. I do understand what you point out. Yes, Cerinia had only one place of mention - the manual. That lack of information was the connecting point. I am sorry if I failed to point that out. To be truthful, even I was dubious about that last part. I also was aware of the fact that she was disarmed of her weapon at the start of the game, but that point slipped my mind hen I was writing. Even so, she DID leave a telepathic message in the staff for someone to find and hear, which was what I was focusing on. And yes, she practically tore it out of Fox's hands when she saw it. I wasn't saying EVERYTHING connected to the myths. I was only pointing out what DID connect. Finally, she may have been a hold over character, but that doesn't deny the similarities seen. Yes, Rare deliberately adding the connections was a stretch, but only speculation. You have a point about Command, but I didn't mention Assault. I also am more than aware of Adventures' faults. I never said it was a good game, but even bad games have good points. I wasn't praising the game, I was talking about certain things in the plot that I noticed and was intrigued by. Thank you, once more, for pointing out my errors, and giving me the opportunity to explain myself better.

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Commander D

If only Adventures got a remake, you know? I cant say it's perfect but it was at least something new and expanded upon the series that it also showed that Fox was capable of fighting on foot. All i'm saying is unlike 64 that got a terrible remake called Zero, Adventures could really use it as a way to really make it make more sense and connect more to Assault at the end.

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The VGM Lover

@Commander D, Assault should get that treatment, too.

(BOY, REMEMBER WHEN THIS WAS A THING I USED TO DO? XD )

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SF Redd

Damn, Scathach is a name I've not heard in a long time. I remember learning about her when I was wee, in primary school. Nice throwback.

More on topic, though, yeah, you do bring up some good points. Not 100% fool proof, however I do see what you're saying.

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Meiryu no Shugan
On 9/4/2017 at 0:14 AM, Commander D said:

If only Adventures got a remake, you know? I cant say it's perfect but it was at least something new and expanded upon the series that it also showed that Fox was capable of fighting on foot. All i'm saying is unlike 64 that got a terrible remake called Zero, Adventures could really use it as a way to really make it make more sense and connect more to Assault at the end.

Indeed it would, but let's not go so far as to call Zero "bad." It depends on what you look at. I can't speak for the gameplay, as I don't have a Wii-U, but I HAVE seen gameplays on YouTube, followed the plot, and from the plot-perspective, I'd have to say it is an interesting and refreshing twist on the original storyline, and a provider of interesting new information and questions. For instance, from 64 onwards, all we know of whatever Andross did to the Lylat System to warrant banishment, it turned the entire systenm "into a wasteland of near extinction." Later, we find that it was an accident with a bioweapon  that seald his fate. That's a little odd, don't you think? Damages aside, he was BANISHED to the Lylat equivalent of VENUS (or HELL, if you're in a poetic mood) just because of an ACCIDENT? I would understand if the "accident" was deliberate, but I find no evidence of that, andf it leaves Andross' status as a out-and-out "maniacal scientist" as a little ambiguous, doesn't it? But NOW that's changed. This time, Andross was banished for a perfectly justifiable reason: He worked with the Cornerian Army on a ground-breaking technology -- and was confirmed to have been planning to deliberately abuse the living hell out of it for his own destructive gains. The introduction of the telepoter tech, interestingly enough, also gives you a little fridge horror when you think of this: It is more than implied (all but confirmed, really) that he was responsible for Cerinia's destruction. The next logical question would be... why?  What motive would justify a planetary genocide ala Alderaan? With the teleporters he helped build for the C.A., we may have the answer. The teleporter tech was not Andross' brain-child; he had met the Cerinians, and learned their tech. We know that in Zero, Venom was essentially a Death Star sized teleporter. Going a long the idea that the Cerinians were the origin of teleportation tech, it is llogical to assume that Venom is a bygone relic that they made, like the titular ringworlds in Halo. Venom may even be what Andross used to actually destroy Cerinia. And if you don't believe that a teleporter can kill, watch all the beam-up mishaps in Star Trek and try and say that again. Thus with all I have seen and reasoned out, all I can say is, "The xenocide was  committed by Andross in Lylat with the Planet-Sized Wormhole Device." Nuff said. It soundsd far-fetched, but that's just what i reasoned out by connecting the dots and reading between the lines, like I did with Krystal and her character's overlap with Celtic myth. It's all about the point of view.

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Robert Monroe
On 9/3/2017 at 11:17 AM, Meiryu no Shugan said:

Even so, she DID leave a telepathic message in the staff for someone to find and hear, which was what I was focusing on

Yes but that's hardly if at all comparable to Arthurian myth where Excalibur is literally predestined by the Lady. This would be like if the Lady dropped the sword, Arthur found it, then she took it back from him right before the big battle with Mordred or some such lol. It is still very much a stretch, especially because again - Krystal was never meant to lose her staff in the first place back with Dinosaur Planet 64.

On 9/3/2017 at 11:17 AM, Meiryu no Shugan said:

You have a point about Command, but I didn't mention Assault.

I only mentioned it in the context that of the three games Krystal featured in, two were Japanese made.

On 9/3/2017 at 11:17 AM, Meiryu no Shugan said:

I wasn't praising the game, I was talking about certain things in the plot that I noticed and was intrigued by. Thank you, once more, for pointing out my errors, and giving me the opportunity to explain myself better.

I never said you were lol, just pointing out that Adventures as a product was far too rushed and unfinished on release for us to really consider any of its concepts terribly deep or inspired by myth. 

11 hours ago, Meiryu no Shugan said:

Indeed it would, but let's not go so far as to call Zero "bad."

That's just what Commander D does, crams in excuses to complain about Zero in any given topic no matter how unrelated :V Just ignore him when he does that.

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Commander D

Oh Monroe, you say that as if i'm the only one who thinks Zero is bad :^) I'm only saying Adventures has a more justifiable reason for a remake over 64s. No, it's not just channers that think Zero's bad, it's the journalists and even lets players that think the same thing about it. So to attempt to alienate someone like me and possibly anyone else here is silly if it's over despising a game. 

Really though i'd rather I not have this thread derailed since it's not completely relevant to OPs interesting topic.

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Xortberg

"Wait a second while I argue with you and then slap on a 'Let's not derail the topic though' at the end so I can have a moral high ground when you respond, even though I could have averted a derailment by just not responding myself"

- Commander D

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Robert Monroe
On 9/9/2017 at 11:11 PM, Commander D said:

Oh Monroe, you say that as if i'm the only one who thinks Zero is bad :^) I'm only saying Adventures has a more justifiable reason for a remake over 64s. No, it's not just channers that think Zero's bad, it's the journalists and even lets players that think the same thing about it. So to attempt to alienate someone like me and possibly anyone else here is silly if it's over despising a game. 

Really though i'd rather I not have this thread derailed since it's not completely relevant to OPs interesting topic.

I never said you were the only one who thought that (Plenty here on SFO don't like Zero either) but you're the only one randomly bringing up Zero just to poop on it in a thread that has nothing to do with Zero.

Durrrr.

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Commander D

A bit of a point, though I guess using it as an example of what not to do is apparently a bad thing.

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