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Gissur the Sailor

  • I live in Finland
  • I was born on May 2
  • My occupation is Student/historian
  • I am Male

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Hi, welcome to the Dragon Age Wiki! Thanks for joining! I hope that you will stick around and continue to help us improve the wiki. Please leave a message on my talk page if I can help with anything! -- D-day (Talk) 23:07, 22 September 2012

Branched off from Forum:What i dont wanna see in DA3Edit

"3. Origins stories if they have a ridiculously limited effect on gameplay and hinder deep probing of your character's personality (so, yeah, I guess I preferred DA2 over DAO...)"

This is bullshit. The Origins have a deep effect on your game. That happens because every Origin Warden exists, but only the one you choose survives. Don't tell me you REALLY liked the crappy Lothering fereldan who loses one of the siblings depending on your class. That's retarded. You don't dare compare that to the origins.—Preceding unsigned comment added by 200.188.173.141 (talk)

I dare and I do. Most of the time in DAO after the origin story itself your origin has neglibly little effect in what happens. For most of the game everything that happens around you happens identically; either the origin has no effect or the only effect is what your character can say and the reply will be identical to all the other origins. I genuinely preferred the crappy Lothering Fereldan with his detailed back story and it's large-scale effect on the game to the origins in Origins. I apologise if you find this so insulting that you feel copelled to call me retarded. Gissur the Sailor (talk) 14:39, September 28, 2012 (UTC)

I apologise, I didn't mean to call you stupid. The situation is stupid. I just raged, 'cuz i can't believe my eyes.

You say the origin story has no effect on what happens, but it has all the time. Most NPCs recognize you as an elf, a dwarf or a noble. You can't add more than a few lines to this because a game has limitation. But there's a difference between giving the player options and outcomes (that in the end are pretty big - a.k.a. king of ferelden, arl of the elves, paragon of orzammar) and simply don't giving a fuck. Hawke's prelude is boring comparing to any Origin of Dragon Age Origins, and the fact that Hawke is just always the same person is so irritating. You say origins have no effects (yet they have) and still you don't complain about the idiotic or non existant effects that Hawke's class has. Losing a sibling? Really?

"detailed back story" Right. So you cared about the death of your "companion-so-called-brother/sister" or the mother you have no real connection to... Hawke doesn't have half the backstory the Warden has. The only thing that the Hawke beats the Warden is is the consistency of his speeches (but this is due to limitation to only 3 types of reaction to each situation, and therefore is dumb).

You may feel that way if you wish. I disagree. Gissur the Sailor (talk) 21:35, September 28, 2012 (UTC)

Improving DA2 Edit

Hmm, interesting, though it may have been hard to implement in the endgame (where would the letters be? why would Hawke stumble upon them during the battle? or if it's after the battle, why would they stop on the way out of the city to collect them?). I'd find it more likely if Orsino just accidentally mentioned Quentin's name at some point, and then Hawke could press him about it. Then Hawke could either forgive or kill him after he tries to explain himself - whether it comes down to a fight or Orsino being so regretful that he doesn't fight back, I don't know. Still, any of this would've been an improvement over the ending we got. Nice observation :) Matt-256 (talk) 08:14, October 6, 2012 (UTC)

It seems I was a bit unclear on what I meant (which happens to me irritatingly often). My idea was that this would happen in the Gallows, before the final confrontation with Meredith. Roughly hence: defending the mages against the templars in the Gallows' inner chambers -> leaving with Orsino -> passing through Orsino's office and discovering his correspondance with Quentin (or Orsino could mention Quentin, either way) -> Orsino battle (or verbal confrontation) -> final battle with Meredith as it appears in the same. Of course, the letters idea is dependant on the player using the "loot everything" method. Or there could be a cutscene where Orsino wants to take things from his office and Hawke sees the Quentin letters by accident there. -- Gissur the Sailor (talk) 09:09, October 6, 2012 (UTC)
Ah, I see, that makes sense. BTW, it's nice to have another scandinavian on the site - though I do wish you had done the right thing and rejoined your true countrymen after liberating yourself from the soviets instead of declaring yourselves independent ;) Oh, I kid. Given the current state of our military Finland could probably conquer us with little difficulty :P Matt-256 (talk) 17:29, October 6, 2012 (UTC)
Well, I'm actually one of those weird Finns who actually quite like Sweden. ;) Maybe (re-)joining you back in the day would not have been such a bad idea... our army might be better (although from what my brother, who just finished his military service, tells me, ours isn't all it's cracked up to be either), but you seem to be doing better financially. We could combine the best of both countries? -- Gissur the Sailor (talk) 21:14, October 6, 2012 (UTC)
The quality of the military doesn't have to be that great - Sweden can currently mobilize at most 10,000 (if not less), Finland can field up to 300,000. Yeah, not liking our odds. Still, yeah, we do rather well financially, though I have no idea how well compared to you guys. Maybe a merger would be nice ;) - then again, if we could conquer Norway again somehow, that'd be even better - get a cut of that fine oil they're selling >:)
Though I found your first sentence curious. I was under the impression finns like swedes well enough, but just wanted to be independent. Is that incorrect - IE, is there resentment against us? Or does it just mean we're the butt of your jokes (kind of like how norwegians are the butt of ours :P)? Matt-256 (talk) 19:29, October 7, 2012 (UTC)
We might be able to field 300,000 men, but we only have weapons and other equipment for about a tenth of that (or so I'm told - I actually went to the civilian service myself). Of course, that would still be three times what you have... Anyway, how about a threeway merger of Sweden, Finland and Norway? Oil money, better economy and a decent army. Plus centuries of common history and rather similar cultures.
You definately are the butt of our jokes, yes, but there are also a lot of Finns who - for whatever reason - seem to hate Sweden and everything related to you. I don't really get this personally, we owe a lot to you and the Finnish state or culture would not really be the same without our long joint history (hell, the Finnish constitution is based of Gustav III's constitution for Sweden from 1700-something). -- Gissur the Sailor (talk) 22:30, October 7, 2012 (UTC)
Ah, I see. It's kind of the opposite with us I think - we have more equipment than people to use them, probably because we sell it (including Saudi Arabia, as it turns out - fueled a bit of a scandal a while ago, including one instance of a minister saying Saudi Arabia "isn't a dictatorship, but a monarchy" in a hilariously pathetic attempt to cover their asses). Sad to say, I don't know if I can fault them for that - if not from us, they'd probably be getting weapons from someone else, so we might as well profit from it, evil and hypocritical as it seems.
With all that considered, yeah, a three-way would be nice.
Weird about the hate, though, considering there's no anti-finnish sentiment here (that I know of - and I used to live in Norrbotten, not too far from the border). I guess I could understand it if has something to do with cultural and linguistic differences (the swedish conquerors probably didn't prioritize letting the finns keep their traditions and language back in the 1200s - both of which I assume would originally have been very different from swedish culture/language - well the language still is insanely different). Come to think of it, how many of you learn swedish nowadays? Is it a mandatory second language in school, a subject you can pick or just something your parents cram down your throat? Just curious - if we both know swedish, we could totally troll the rest of the site by writing entirely in swedish and laugh as they try to understand what we're writing >:D
Oh, and Gustav III's constitution would be from 1772, after his coup against the riksdag, or somewhere after that but before his formal declaration of absolute monarchy in 1789. I'm such a history dork... Matt-256 (talk) 22:56, October 7, 2012 (UTC)
I think we too had some slightly shady military equipment deals, selling troop transport vehicles to contries that are not quite up to standards with human rights. I actually think I read a bit about the Saudi Arabia weapons trade scandal in here, actually.
You are probably right in your ideas on why much of us Finns hate you. Swedish is indeed a mandatory subject you have to read at school (from grade 7 onwards as latest) and they do pretty much cram that down our throats. Which alas means most of us can't be bothered to learn it properly. I can read Swedish without much difficulty, but writing or speaking myself is quite challenging and I do tend to make a lot of mistakes. So changing languages is probably not a viable idea, alas. Though I could use the practice. Anyway, I got distracted on the hate part: I think the Swedish-hate goes back to the 19th century and the attempts to build a separate Finnish nation. From there onwards Sweden has been painted in Finnish history writing as having essentially treated us like the colonial powers treated their colonies. It's not true of course, unlike most other parts of the Swedish Realm, people living in Finland actually had the same rights and priveleges as the Swedes. But never the less, the inaccurate view has stuck.
Regarding the Finnish language, it's true that it is very different from Swedish, but there are a lot of indivial words that are more-or-less direct loans from Swedish. And a lot of present-day Finnish words were actually invented in the 19th century by Swedish-speaking people simply because there were no existing words in Finnish for many things. When it comes to Finnish culture, it's near-impossible to tell how different the present-day culture is from the original - there simply isn't source material for a comparison. Considering how many similarities there are between Finland and Sweden I suspect much of our culture is a Swedish loan.
I should have really remembered the year of Gustav III's constitution, being not only a history nerd but a history student - and having spent most of my teenage years reading about the history of Finland during the Swedish era. -- Gissur the Sailor (talk) 23:16, October 7, 2012 (UTC)
True. I guess every country has shady military trade deals going on. Well, if you're not gonna use it, might as well sell it. Ultimately, I think people's started to forget about it here, and the government somewhat made what they're doing less obvious by founding a corporation as a middle hand so that they don't directly trade with Saudi. And there was that story about an official being caught with a briefcase full of money from one such deal (to avoid suspicious-looking electronic transactions, most likely).
Well, if it's any consolation, swedish is a very difficult language to learn if you aren't born with it, largely due to its convoluted grammar (or at least I think that's the main reason). Heck, we find it hard sometimes, and we only have to learn that and english (which by contrast is really easy to learn, considering it appears in just about every movie, song/music video and web site we get here, and doesn't have ungodly complicated grammar) when it comes to languages (and if I'm not mistaken, I guess you have to learn that too).
Comparing us to a colonial power actually makes a lot of sense - or at least, it probably made sense for the people founding the finnish nation. Or they legitimately thought that after having spent such a long time largely independent while a part of Russia (it wasn't until the 1900s that Russia started to try and turn you guys into full-on russians). But you're right that that wasn't the case - heck, it wasn't just that the finns had the same rights, Finland was just considered the eastern half of the kingdom (which is why the county Västerbotten is currently in the east of the country - Österbotten is in Finland). And not to sound like a swedish apologist, but to be strictly accurate, most swedish conquests (by which I count the Baltic, Russian and German territories during the 1600s, which was when we conquered the most stuff) didn't necessarily have lesser rights, other than not being represented in the riksdag (which didn't have much influence anyway during the country's time as a great power) - they were just treated like independent territories in a personal union with Sweden (so, for example, Pomerania - Pommern in Swedish - came under control of the swedish monarchy, but wasn't considered part of sweden proper - the swedish king/queen was just also Duke/Duchess of Pomerania). We did have three, maybe four, legitimate "colonies" throughout history - one around the Delaware river, which was made up of swedish settlers and told to cooperate peacefully with the natives (probably because otherwise they'd have been tossed out because there were so few of them), another in around Ghana, which traded in slaves and some other stuff, and one, possibly two, island(s) in the caribbean which we bought from France, but they were essentially just free harbors (which traded mostly in slaves, ironically). So, yeah, we were one of the least colonial of the colonial powers. Err, sorry for the long paragraph - I sometimes get carried away when discussing history :P
The roots of swedish and finnish are fundamentally different though - swedish is part of the germanic language category (and scandinavian sub-category), finnish the finno-ugrian (don't know if that's correct english - I learned the terms in swedish class), a category which is pretty much only present in Finland and Hungary (and Hungarian is, according to a finnish-knowledgeable friend of mine anyway, apparently not even closely related to finnish), and with a few, small groups in parts of Russia (mostly those who were previously part of Finland). Just saying, I can't blame you if you find swedish difficult. As for culture, I suspected as much. The only uniquely finnish custom I can recall is your constant "bastubad" (I think it's called "sauna bathing" in english, but I'm not sure), and the fact that you for some reason use "barrträdsgrenar" ("pine tree sticks"?) while doing that. Oh, and a finn created Mumin/Moomin, which is quite popular here (and in Japan, oddly enough).
Eh, I didn't even remember he was behind a constitution until you mentioned it. To us, Gustav(us) II Adolf(us)'s, the post-Karl/Charles XII riksdag's and the post-Gustav IV Adolf riksdag's constitutional reforms are the most important. Then again, I'm mostly self-taught when it comes to swedish history - or to be accurate, swedish royal/political history, not so much the socioeconomical kind. So I can, among other things, name every swedish monarch from Erik the Lisp and Lame ("Läspe och Halte") up to Oskar I Bernadotte, and the most important events during their respective reigns - all of which is largely pointless in most history-related subjects past högstadiet/high school, which focuses on political evolution and people's movements or on events in other countries - so most of the time it's just useless trivia. So to have another history nerd to chat with is great :) Matt-256 (talk) 10:01, October 8, 2012 (UTC)

The Swedish grammar is difficult, I won't deny that. Particularly when compared to English, which is terribly simple when compared to most other languages. And indeed, I did have to learn English as well... If I remember correctly, the Finnish education system demands that you must learn at least one foreign language (usually english) and both national languages (so Finnish and Swedish). Plus additional voluntary languages if you wish, I also studied French and German but am not very good in either.

I didn't actually know the other Swedish holdings were treated as being under a personal union, though that does make a lot of sense when you think about it. As it happens, I am somewhat familiar with the genuine Swedish colonies (fascinating things!). A lot of the Swedish settlers in Delaware came from Finland (based on what I have heard). There is even a monument by a Finnish sculptor somewhere in Delaware commemorating the arrival of Finnish settlers. I wonder if there's a Swedish monument as well?

Finno-Ugrian sounds correct (we say suomalais-ugrilainen in Finnish, which would pretty much translate as that). Hungarian is indeed so far removed from Finnish that it's completely unintelligble to a Finn. Estonian on the other hand is semi-understandable, if only they didn't use such weird words and words that sound like Finnish words but mean completely different things. For instance "linna" = "castle" in Finnish, but "city" in Estonian, and there are hordes of similar examples. My favourite, actually, is "kulli", which is Finnish for "cock" (as in "penis") and Estonian for "eagle".

Oh yes, the sauna. That and dark rye bread are about the only two things I can think of that are somewhat unique to Finland (and yes, I know you have rye bread too. But your version tastes terrible ;) ). As for the weird things related to it... What we usually use is vihta, a ... thing ... made out of birch tree (björk på svenska) branches. The thingy looks like this: http://lavidadeenol.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/vihta-41-575x753.jpg. You soak it in warm water so that the leaves soften and, well, beat yourself with it. It's not unconfortable, though I realise it sounds like it is. Sometimes people use juniper (en, according to WSOY's electronic dictionary) branches, but that's much rarer. You have to soak them in water longer so that they soften, but surprisingly that version isn't uncomfortable either.

Interestingly, the woman who created the Moomin was a Swedish-speaking Finn and the Moomin books and comics were originally written in Swedish. Many Finns conviniently omit this fact...

I'm not sure about Gustav III's (or Kustaa III as well call him) constitution was frightfully important, but it was the one that stayed in effect when Finland became an autonomous part of Russia. I like to point out that since all the Swedish laws stayed in effect in Finland in 1809, that meant that for a short while there were essentially two Swedens in the world: the one named Sweden and the other one named Finland. Later on the two countries changed their laws into slightly different directions of course.... but even so, in 1918 when there was heated debate on whether or not we should have a monarchy, the monarchists prime argument was actually Gustav III's constitution.

And on a final note, I'm all for useless trivia. Particularly when it's about Swedish kings. ;) -- Gissur the Sailor (talk) 14:32, October 8, 2012 (UTC)

Huh, so english isn't totally mandatory for you? Well, we're stuck with it (though I'm not complaining - to me it's far more useful than french or spanish would ever be). Still, I assume you don't dub everything, considering all finnish songs I've listened to are in english (Lordi's totally awesome, BTW ;) - I assume there were a few happy finns when they won Eurovision?)? We too have to pick additional languages - I studied spanish for three years (by now I've forgotten most of it - I might be able to read a simple text, say my name, ask someone where they live and order a beer - pretty useless since I don't even drink) and italian for one (picked it just because I needed to study another language for one more year and knew I wouldn't make it through Level 4 spanish - I barely passed level 3). In hindsight I probably should've picked German - more likely to encounter germans than spaniards where I live, the language is more similar (though with the same problem of tough grammar, apparently), and I had a close friend/classmate who was pretty fluent in it and would probably have helped me cheat-err, I mean taught me more german than either of my pathetic spanish teachers taught me spanish. Then again, in my experience, you learn languages better through personal experience than in school - for example, I got really good in english mostly through being active on wikis (started out on Halopedia and Halo Fanon, came here a year or two ago), playing video games and watching movies with english subtitles.
Now that you mention it, I do recall several settlers being finnish (curiously, Karlskrona, close to where my family live, Ronneby (in a neighborhood called Ekenäs - a name I think it shares with one of your cities), had a large population of finns when it was founded too). And at least a few were pardoned criminals too. Not sure what to make of that ;) Just kidding. Anyway, I checked up on the colonies, and that island in the Caribbean I mentioned (well, technically we had two, but one was handed back to France after only a year)? It's called Saint Barthélemy, and its capital is still known as Gustavia (after our pal Gustav III), and the swedish three crowns is still in its coat of arms (but the language, cuisine and culture is still french). It's not a monument, but it's something.
Right, forgot the estonians. Quite a shame too, considering how badly they want to be considered a nordic country (like Finland, Sweden and those three other punk lands not worth mentioning), largely due to connections with our two countries. Anyway, sounds like there could potentially be hilarious misunderstandings between you two. Reminds me of a sentence in german I once read - "Dein pulla is schön" = essentially "That sweater/shirt is nice/looks good" ("Den tröjan är fin/snygg"). Unfortunately, "pulla" is also a swedish word for "to have sex" (or more accurately, "to f***", considering it's pretty rude...), and "schön" is prounounced the same as "skön", the swedish word for "comfortable" or "pleasurable" (not coincidentally often used in an erotic context). And there are a few finnish words we find ourselves giggling at too, but I can't come up with any examples right now.
Eh, we don't really care about rye bread. You can have the best one if you like. As for the sauna stuff: I do recognize björk, good old-fashioned nordic leaf trees. Though I still don't get why you would whip yourselves with it, especially since there's usually a lot of people in there simultaneously- Oh. Oh my. I think I get it now...you have huge BDSM orgies in the sauna, don't you!? :O Either that or I channeled Oghren for a second and my mind went somewhere unnecessarily perverted ;)
Yeah, I remember that fact. Proving once and for all that knowing swedish makes you 10x more awesome XP Just kidding, though interestingly, another famous finn (and he's a hero to you guys as well, I'm pretty sure), Carl Gustaf Mannerheim, had swedish ancestry (okay, to be accurate, the family came originally from Germany to Sweden in the mid-1600s, and didn't move to Finland until the late 1700s). Sorry if I sound like I'm underselling one of your national heroes, just making an observation.
"Kuusta"? That sounds like the word "krysta", which swedish nurses tell mothers to do when they're giving birth...I hesitate to ask what you call all the kings named Karl. Anyway, interesting how an event could mean entirely different things to two such similar countries. And you like trivia? Well, I assume you're aware of the stories told during ol' Gustav III's reign about his - ahem - bedroom difficulties? About his needing "guidance" from a trusted friend to do "it" properly (others went farther and suggested he didn't get involved at all, and left the queen and the friend to - ahem - "solve the problem"). And there was that funny period of swedish history when two families - Erik and Sverker - essentially took turns being king (one would get deposed, gather an army and take the throne again, then be killed by the other, whose family then took the throne, then the first one's son gathered an army and overthrew the new king, repeat ad nauseum). And the period after that, where instead of two families bickering over the crown, it was one family overthrowing/killing each other, until their second generation was wiped out entirely at roughly the same time (the eldest, the king, imprisoned his two brothers, their supporters stormed the castle and killed the king, but by then the two had starved to death - can I have an "EPIC FAIL!"?). And I hesitate to even get into the Vasa family, or the Kalmar Union period. Weird how interesting such an insignifanct country's history can be.
Edit: Oh, and BTW, do you know of Erik the Saint/Erik den Helige? He was never officially made a saint, but widely considered one in Sweden for, supposedly, crusading against the finns who were pagan at the time, among other things. Modern scholars seem to agree he probably never did any of that stuff (at the most he might have lead a raid on finnish territory), but I figure he'd be perfect for the finnish founders to use as a negative swedish example :P Matt-256 (talk) 19:03, October 8, 2012 (UTC)
English isn't technically mandatory (or at least wasn't when I or my ten-year-younger brother were in school), but practically everyone chooses it as their first foreign language anyway. Or they choose Swedish and then take English as the second foreign language. I too do find that learning a language - at least once you know the basics - is better through personal experience. I learned English mostly from reading Star Trek novels and Swedish because one of the information databases on ships is available only in Swedish (yes, I'm a bit weird like that). And yes, we don't dub anything - would be too expensive I guess - except for some children's shows. Almost everything is subtiteled.
I had huge difficulty learning German because it's so similar to Swedish. Mandatory Swedish begins of 7th grade (if you didn't start it earlier) and foreign language number 2 starts a year later. I had huge difficulty keeping the two apart, particularly as I was in a similar early situation with both languages. I probably still use some German words thinking that they're Swedish ones on the rare occasions that I have a chance to speak Swedish.
My understanding is that there were quite a lot of Finnish-speaking people in (present-day) Northern Sweden back in the days when we were all one big, happy kingdom.
With regards to Estonia... I do like the place and the people, but they really are more slavic than Finns and they also have some cultural differences. Plus they can't really claim to have anything resembling a Nordic-style welfare state (not that ours would be doing too well either), which in my opinion does exclude them from being considered a proper Nordic country.
I can come up with a good Finnish word meaning something different in Swedish: "pulla" is also the Finnish word for a "bulle". ;)
Oh no, you broke our secret sauna code! Yes, they are huge BSDM parties where you spank other people in the heat. ;D Although, seriously, it's far too hot in the sauna to have sex. Trust me, I've tried. :P I suspect Oghren would have only thought that if all the people in the sauna were female though...
Carl Gustaf Mannerheim I actually think is somewhat overrated, but he is indeed considered a big hero - probably the biggest Finnish hero - by many. But, interestingly, he not only had Swedish roots, but he actually could not speak Finnish at all (another one of those facts the more nationalistic Finns tend to ignore). When Mannerheim had to hold a speech in Finnish, it was written down for him phonetically and he read it without understanding a word. So that's us Finns - our biggest national hero couldn't even speak our language.
Swedish king's names in Finnish:
  • Gustav = Kustaa
  • Karl = Kaarle
  • Johan = Juhana
  • Erik = Eerik (similarly Knut = Knuut and Adolf = Aadolf)
  • Håkan = Haakon (when pronounced like in Swedish as "håkan", the name is used as an insulting term for a gay man)
  • Magnus = Maunu
That's the ones I could come up off the top of my head that are different in Finnish.
I always thought Gustav III's bedroom difficulties were delightful. Although I sort of liked him in general, one of my favourite Swedish kings to tell the truth. He seems to have been extremely interesting as a person, though I can hardly agree with all his actions.
Very interesting to read about the earlier Swedish royal history, the Finnish ghistory writing doesn't really go back much further from the Kalmar Union. So, obviously, I am familiar with the Kalmar-era shenanigans as well as Gustav Wasa's sons. Well, who wouldn't be familiar with those? I remember when I was in gymnasiet (lukio as we say in Finnish) and our history techer actually said "don't worry, I won't ask about these in the exam, it's too complicated". To which I objected, since I would have definately gotten full points for that.
Erik den Helige (Eerik Pyhä) isn't really made a big deal out of in Finnish history writing, but I was of course familiar with him and his supposed crusade. -- Gissur the Sailor (talk) 21:02, October 8, 2012 (UTC)
Star Trek, eh? Curiously, I've loved and been involved with many other sci-fi series - Star Wars, Mass Effect, Halo etc. - but I've for some reason never read/watched anything Star Trek related (I watched the Nostalgia Critic's reviews on the odd-numbered movies and Linkara's review of a comic adaptation of The Wrath of Khan, but that's it). Just haven't had time or thought about it, I guess. What do you say, is it worth getting into?
You start with swedish very late then. We start studying english in second or third grade (mostly just words and very simple sentences up until 7th grade, though), and it's then mandatory up until second grade of gymnasium (or in my gymnasium program, social science, it was anyway - there's probably differences depending on program), then you can pick it for the third year as an elective subject (not as a choice for foreign language - it's grouped in a pool of other subjects you can choose between, such as business economics, english business communication, dance, gym with focus on ball games "bollsport", computer programming, etc.) - which I did, though as an intense-course during just the autumn term (we were going to have a lot of additional subjects during the spring term - plus, I got a pretty official-looking certificate allowing me to apply for Cambridge University if I wanted to out of it ;) ). The mandatory foreign language is picked in 7th grade (though you don't study it seriously until 8th) - the traditional choice is german, french or spanish, though I think some schools also offer italian, portuguese and/or others - and then continued to 9th grade, after which you (usually) go to gymnasium, and can then either pick up where you left (unlike other subjects, the foreign language "stacks" levels depending on how long you studied it in högstadiet - so, since I had studied spanish two years already, I went on straight to Level 3 Spanish on my first year of gymnasium) or pick a new one. Depending on the gymnasium program you're in, you may or may not have to continue with foreign language (the same one or a new one) in 2nd grade too (like I had to) or maybe even 3rd. There's a subcategory of the social science program appropriately titled 'Language' ("språk") where they have to study at least five languages I think - swedish, english, and three others (predictably, since it was a rather small school, only one applied for it - poor sod). Err- just some useless trivia about the swedish educational system.
Interestingly, the "border" between sweden and finland before the separation was actually a bit west of where it is today. The story goes that the guy who was negotiating peace with russia just happened to be a close friend of the tsar (he was the ambassador in S:t Petersburg - and refused to believe his friend was arming for war right up until he had invaded Finland) got very ill, and the tsar, feeling pity on him, drew the border a bit more east as a compromise. Even today, there's a lot of finnish speakers in the border lands (though it's evolved into a different variant than traditional finnish - it's known as Meänkeli or Tornedalsfinska, and considered an offical minority language here), and I think more than a few settlement names still sound finnish (I don't know if it's a real place, but one swedish book takes place in a village called Vittula - the story's called "Populärmusik från Vittula", on the off-chance you've heard of it).
Still, can't fault them for wanting to join the Nordic club - swedish dominance had to be better than Soviet's (and the Teutonic Order's, for that matter - those guys wore some pretty scary - but cool - helmets, and they weren't very nice to pagans either). In fact, estonia (technically just northern modern-day estonia, the southern part of the modern-day country was part of Livonia/Livland) willingly let itself be annexed during Erik XIV's reign (he wasn't quite so nutty at that point as he would later become). Maybe it's a heritage of that. And Stalin wasn't a nice man, that probably helped too. Plus - this might be totally unfounded and just bias - but from what I've heard, the other baltic countries (Latvia and Lithuania) aren't that great either. Plus, Estonia even has a well-liked swedish minority (which the estonian government has apparently tried to help after becoming free from soviet rule - most were driven out during Stalin's time, I think) - I can't help liking those finn-slavic-russian guys :P
You've actually tried? You know what, I don't want to know. And yet...And yeah, I kinda assumed the rumor that in Finland women and men sometimes sit in there at the same time was true. Is it? Or is it just subtle bias? Your statement certainly implied it...
He didn't know finnish at all? Certainly ups the hypocrisy points (then again, what self-respecting country doesn't have hypocrisy in spades?). Wasn't he also an officer in the russian army for a while - a job for which he'd presumably need to know some russian? Which means he potentially could better understand the people he was fighting against than the one he was fighting for. Though to be fair, he did play a key role in your country's independence and constitution, you've got to give him props for that. In that sense, he's kind of your version of Gustav Vasa - who also ensured swedish inpendence and made it into a true nation (before that, it was arguably just a collection of landskap/counties with a common king), but was a lot more assholish about it (during his reign he ended up backstabbing just about everyone who helped him get on the throne in the first place, robbed churches, wrote nasty letters and died the richest - or one of the richest - man in europe). And for a long time, Gustav was considered a national hero too (along with Gustav II Adolf - who arguably does kinda deserve the reputation (emphasis on the "arguably" and "kinda"), if only for his lasting contributions to constitution and modernization of cities, schools, universities, as well as trade and overall infrastructure, turning a backwater country into a great power in roughly 20 years - and Karl XII - who if you think about it did nothing other than lead a war for 20 years which ended with his death and Sweden losing great power status). So, compared to our heroes, he's still kinda awesome.
I'll tell any guys named Håkan I know to stay away from Finland then...Curiously, Haakon is also the spelling used in Norway (and Denmark, I think) - or at least their kings spell it that way. We never had any kings named either, though. We did have a ton of Magnus, Erik, Sverker, Karl and Gustav though (not nearly as many as it seems - kings didn't get numbered until Erik XIV, and he made it up to give himself a higher number) - you know, I've realized monarchs are really uncreative when it comes to names (though not as bad as the danish royal family - ever since Kristian II, all their kings have alternated between Frederik and Kristian - ex Fredrik I, Kristian III, Fredrik II, Kristian IV, etc.). And apparently we love them for it - there were in fact a few complaints recently when the name of our future crown princess was announced as Estelle ("It's not traditional enough!" or "It sounds like a potato chip brand!" or "It doesn't fit a princess!"). Yeah, seriously.
G the III certainly is/was a curious person. Loved theater, didn't know how to "get it on", but still managed to restore the absolute monarchy, and perhaps most surprisingly, went to war with russia and didn't get totally owned (unlike Hattarnas'/The Hats' hilariously awful attempt to reclaim territory from Russia). Personally, my favorite monarchs (yeah, I can't decide) to read about are Gustav II Adolf and Queen Christina (I was going to put Karl XII there too, but it's actually the Great Nordic War which is interesting to read about, not really him personally - and Gustav Vasa's kids, but since they're so many and most interesting when reading about them together rather than individually, it felt like cheating). I'm one of those guys who find wars and deadly political intrigue more fun to read about than peacetime and societal reforms.
Hmm, a pity. If they're going to show swedes in a bad light, not using somebody who supposedly killed some finns feels like a wasted oppoertunity :P Are there any other swedes used/presented as "bad examples" instead? The Hats? Birger Jarl (the guy who really was responsible for incorporating Finland into the swedish kingdom)? Or Gustav Vasa? You've got to have somebody to blame for your oppression ;) Matt-256 (talk) 18:35, October 9, 2012 (UTC)
Star Trek: Oh my, where to begin? There are so many series and movies in the Trek pranchise that are really stylistically quite different from each other that it's really hard to just recommend just one individual thing that you'll like. I'd say maybe watch The Wrath of Khan and if you enjoy it, try out some of the other movies or one of the series. Personally I'd say the only Trek TV series worth wathing are The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine (and even with those it's better to skip the first two seasons entirely). TNG is more light and positive of the two, DS9 is darker and perhaps more similar to the first Mass Effect game. The original TV series is fun if you like to watch old scifi but the pacing and the plots really don't work too well in modern context. The latter two series, Voyager and Enterprise, I personally got bored with after just a few episodes.
Actually, approach two: watch the two-part TNG episode "The Best of The Both Worlds" followed by the movie First Contact. That will give you a good idea of what most of Star Trek is like. Wrath of Khan is a great movie but it's actually slightly atypical as a Star Trek film.
Your education system sounds quite similar to ours in fact. Not a surprise as such, I think we even get near-identical hats of graduating gymnasiet. ;)
It is absolutely true that in Finland both genders go to the sauna at the same time quite often. Families usually go to the sauna together so we learn from a fairly young age that it's perfectly normal to be in naked in a hot room with people of different gender. And this can and does extand further than just your immediate family, cousins and whatnot relatives are perfectly acceptable. As are friends, depending on the company. There are never really any sexual overtones, simply because it's so hot there that any physical excercise will be unpleasant. ;) If you want to know, the only time I tried sex in the sauna was with my then-girlfriend now-wife when we were alone in the sauna... well, it was not pleasant and I have never tried it again.
Mannerheim was in the Russian army for 30 years in fact, and reached the rank of general. Apparently he was also a favourite of tsar Nikolai II, so I think we can say he surely understood the Russians (at least the tsarist kind) better than the Finns. But apart from that, the comparison to Gustav Wasa is a fair one - there was much similarity between the two men. Except for the fact that Mannerheim tended to shy away from power. He was only the riksföreståndare for a little over half a year in 1918-1919 (critically, the first constitution independent Finland was drafted during this time) and although he probably could have became the president any time he wanted after that, he only accepted the position in 1944 when someone respected enough was needed to take the mantle from Risto Ryti (who resigned to enable us to break our alliance with Germany). And Mannerheim himself resigned already in 1946, though his failing health probably was a contributing factor.
According to Wikipedia, you (and technically us too) had a king named Håkon, though admittedly for just two years: [1] ;) But yes, royal names do tend to be unimaginative. I personally like it if there's some level of tradition, but having 16 Louises or something similar just shows lack of imagination.
Gustav III's ... everything, really, just fascinates me. There seem to be so many different sides to the man. He had to be a brilliant tactician and a stone-hand negotiatior to pull of his coup, restore absolutism and do as well as he did in the war against Russia. But then his love of theatre, opera, his lack of skill in the bedroom... Fascinatingly complex person.
Speaking of the Great Northern War, me & my wife (who also plays games like Dragon Age and was actually the one who introduced me to BioWare games) were talking a while back that you could make a brilliant Dragon Age -style game out of the Great Northern War. Our idea was that the game would start after the Battle of Poltava, where the protagonist would wake up injured on the battlefield. He would meet another survivor (a Finn) and the two (plus probably other companions) would first travel through Russia, then reach Russia-occupied Finland and fight a guerilla war there for a while. For the final part of the game they would return to Sweden proper and somehow (I can't remember what exactly our explanation was) gain favour of the king and eventually get involved in a plot to assissinate Karl XII. I think our final idea was that it would be the player who would shoot the king. I'll have to ask the wife if she remembers more of the details. If you want to know more, that is.
When it comes to swedes oppressing us, we don't really differentiate between the different rulers. The general view seems to be that regardless of who was in power, they all just wanted to use us for cannon fodder and rip taxes off our backs. This might be simply because if people chaked their facts they might find things weren't as black-and-white as they think... -- Gissur the Sailor (talk) 23:06, October 9, 2012 (UTC)
Ah, thanks, I'll try to and do that sometime. Might not be too soon, however - I'm in the final weeks of my second university subject, "The swedish political system" (as part of the Political Science program - pretty interesting thus far), and recently got DAO, DAA, DA2 (I had them on the 360 already, but I had to leave it behind in my parents' house, so now my only method of playing games is on my trusty laptop) and Medieval II: Total War Gold Edition (IE including the expansion, Kingdoms) for the PC at bargain prices (99 SEK each, with a 3-for-2 bargain as well, so I got 4+1/2 awesome games for 300 SEK - roughly 35 euro). Been spending this month on Medieval, so next month (after getting my monthly income) I plan to start my first DA playthrough on the PC (after deciding which DLCs to get and which to ignore - honestly, they're all pretty darn expensive, and the code to get The Stone Prisoner for free expired a year ago...). Plus I routinely try to follow Game of Thrones, The Borgias (based on a family of powerful people in renaissance Italy that had more insane stuff going on than even the Vasa sons, with the additional benefit of the main character becoming the friggin' pope) and Young Justice (yeah, the last one is a cartoon, but it's a darn good one ;) ).
I assume you mean the navy/sailor hats? That would make sense. I mean, no matter how much some of you hate swedes, you can't deny that it looks better than the rectangular abomination the students in the US unfortunately have to wear, along with those boring, black robes for everyone regardless of gender. Here we do it properly - fine suits for the guys and skimpy dresses for the girls >=3
Ah, that does make sense. We usually sauna bathe gender-separated though (and when we don't, we usually put something on so we're not naked together). I would probably be totally creeped out if I saw my mom naked.
That was kind of the point I was making - Mannerheim was more heroic than Gustav Vasa ever was. Granted, his heroic status has been largely discredited today (though I'd still wager a large percentage of the population don't know much about him other than the fact his coronation is our national holiday and that he had some interesting and maybe/maybe not historically accurate adventures before that which inspired Vasaloppet/the Vasa ski race), but he's still one of the closest figures we have to a guy like Mannerheim.
Well, I can honestly say I didn't remember little Håkan at all. I only remembered Magnus Ladulås and that Albrekt of Mecklenburg came after him - must've skipped over the chapter he was mentioned or just plain forgot I read about it. Thanks for informing me. And those ideas for a Great Nordic War-game sounds awesome. Though I imagine it could also have worked as the plot for an Assassin's Creed game (especially if you would assassinate king Karl in the end). Then again, I love both DA-style and AC-style games, so either would've been a treat for me. I don't know if you've heard about the books in Finland, but the Arn the Templar Knight series could've made for interesting games too (if you don't know about them, it's about a monk named Arn who becomes a templar and goes to the Holy Land during the first or second crusade, as well as his lover, a pregnant nun who stays in Sweden while it's suffering some conflicts between the Eriks and Sverkers, and in a later book set in a later time period, Birger Jarl). And there's been a few times I've fantasized about a Total War (IE strategy) game set in the DA universe (Thedas: Total War? Anderfels: Total War? Ferelden: Total War? Free Marches: Total War? So many possibilities!).
Unfortunate. Well, I would be happy to tell any of those nationalist finns that we probably conscripted more troops from Sweden proper (and the danish and norwegian provinces we conquered) than Finland, and peasants from sweden proper were no less pressured by taxes than finnish ones. Granted, the finns had to take the blunt of russian attacks, but Sweden proper in return got constantly attacked by Denmark and/or Norway (in total far more often than Finland had to suffer russian invasions, I think, especially since russia technically didn't exist until the 1500s, and even then most of the wars between them and sweden were waged in their territory rather than in Finland, because Russia's armies frankly sucked until Peter the Great gave them a serious upgrade during the latter stages of the Great Nordic War). Matt-256 (talk) 20:37, October 10, 2012 (UTC)
Happy playing for you then! :) I will likely finally have the money this month to buy DA2's DLC's (the story-driven ones anyway), so something slightly similar there. Alas, I haven't actually played any of the DAO DLC's as my copy of the game isn't strictly speaking legal. Or more to the point, I borrowed it from a friend so while it's legal, it's not my copy. As for the TV shows, I have been thinking that I should check out Game of Thrones and/or The Borgias, but not having a TV does slightly hinder my trying to watch tV shows...
I admit the navy hats (we actually call them butcher's hats) are much better. However, Finns tend to be too informal for suits and skimpy dresses. I think I wore blue jeans and a black collared shirt for my gymnasiet graduation. Actually, from what I read, our version of the hat was designed by some Finnish dude in the 19th century (during the time that we were a part of Russia, that is). He probably coied your version... or maybe you copied ours? ;)
As for the Great Northern War game... I haven't actually ever played Assassin Creed, so I've no idea how the game works. I guess the GNW game would really have three quite distinct parts that could also have slightly different gameplay mechanisms: part 1 would be getting to Finland from Poltava across Russia and would probably be more about sneaking past soldiers than actual fighting (or you could choose to sneak or fight). Part 2 would be guerilla fighting against the Russians in Finland, and Part 3 would be more about political intrigue in Sweden, eventually ending with the assassination of the king. In the latter case it could also work BioWare style that you could either choose to participate in the conspiracy against the king - in which case you'd shoot him - or stay loyal to the king and try to protect him. Of course you'd fail because we can't alter history too much.
I have heard about Arn the Templar, but I have not read the books (or seen the movies). However, it does sound like a decent game idea too. Alas, I have not actually played Total War either...
You are probably absolutely right when it comes to the nationalist Finns arguments, the Russian military wasn't really up to much pre-Peter the Great and you did indeed get attacked a lot from the west too. But that's easy for Finns to forget because for us the enemy is always in the East. -- Gissur the Sailor (talk) 21:35, October 11, 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm definitely getting Legacy and MoTA, if only because they introduce new locations - then again, based on videos I've watched at youtube, it seems that at least Legacy also tells a pretty good story, and both added tons of clever dialogue and put more thought into combat (IE no more waves jumping out of invisible helicopters). I'd recommend skipping the item packs though - it's not worth it just to get some extra (and overpowered) items with no effort (no quest, no searching through dungeons, no looting off powerful bosses - they just appear in your house with no explanation), considering how easy the gameplay in DA2 is already. And I'll probably skip on Darkspawn Chronicles and Leliana's Song too - the former is a fun distraction, but doesn't add anything to the game itself (other than a pretty mediocre sword); the latter is okay, but also contradicts Leliana's account of Marjolaine's betrayal in the core game, which always felt unnecessary to me (plus, the gameplay makes Leliana feel more like a thug than a bard - a spy/assassin/saboteur), and like DC, doesn't add anything to the game itself (other than introducing the future divine - who isn't important at all in DA2 anyway other than being Leliana's employer, so it was pretty pointless). But then there's the other origins DLC - Witch Hunt I feel compelled to give because it gives some closure to wardens romancing Morrigan, but is pretty short and too dedicated on advertising future plot points; Golems of Amgarrak is a challenging combat experience, but doesn't really add anything else; Soldier's Peak and Return to Ostagar add all-new quests and cool items, but are also somewhat on the short side; The Stone Prisoner I also feel compelled to get because it adds Shale to the party. Choices, choices...
You don't have a TV? Is the economy in Finland that bad? ;) Unintentionally mean-spirited jokes aside, if you have a computer with good internet connection, I can recommend this website. Of the various episode links, I'd say pick the ones hosted by "GorillaVid" (if there are any). However, there's a lot of pop-up advertisements - not all of which are always safe - so you should have a reliable internet security system. If you do get a chance - definitely check out the The Borgias - we need to support good historical dramas (plus, Jeremy Irons, one of my favorite actors, plays the lead role of Pope Alexander VII/Rodrigo Borgia - how much cooler can you get?). Game of Thrones I certainly recommend too, but I'd say the books they're based on are better thus far.
What, no skimpy dresses? I guess since you're so desensitized to nudity by your collective sauna bathing it wouldn't make much difference even if you went naked, but come on! Think of any foreigners potentially watching the occasion! You don't want to deprive them of eye-candy, do you? :P
Well, they're essentially open-world sandbox games, with an emphasis on climbing, blending into crowds, assassination and just stealth overall, though with the possibility to engage in open combat (ranged or close-range), with the protagonist's ulterior motive being to assassinate various people for reasons differing from game to game (usually they've done the PC or the people as a whole a great injustice, and/or they belong to the templars, which in the AC universe existed much longer - it's first member was Cain, believe it or not - the order only assumed the mantle of "Templars" as a front during the Crusades, and thus actually had members on both sides of the conflict, and...yeah, the story's kinda complicated...). And the game idea sounds good, though I'm not sure if Sweden actually had much political intrigue, at least during the time - the riksdag seized most power following the king's death, and there's been theories that Ulrika Eleonora's husband was the one to orchestrate his death in order to become king, but other than that, there's not much to speak of. Of course, for the purpose of a game, it certainly wouldn't be difficult to expand and add to those aspects :)
I actually haven't read/watched them either - other than the first chapter in (I think) the second book, where Arn saves Saladin from bandits and talks to him, managing to guess the latter is planning a campaign against the crusaders - just heard about them. The author who wrote them - Jan Guillou - is pretty famous here (for both his books and his uncovering of a top secret swedish intelligence agency which was monitoring - and probably also arresting - communists, for which he was imprisoned for a while).
Though to be fair to you guys, I'd probably be scared too if we had this huge nation along most of our border and was forced into war with them because some people in the capital refused to acknowledge our nation wasn't a great power anymore and thus couldn't bitch-slap all our neighbors into submission at will like we could in the past - which was definitely the case in the war of the 1740s and Gustav III:s war against Russia (incidentally, an era during which Denmark had pretty much been vanquished as a legitimate threat). So it's not really surprising they would forget about/ignore these things. Doesn't make them less hypocritical, of course ;) Matt-256 (talk) 22:53, October 12, 2012 (UTC)

I will definately be skipping the item packs. There are plenty of good stuff already in the game item-wise and paying for more just doesn't make sense to me. From what I've read about the DAO DLC's, I guess the ones I would get myself if I could would be the ones on your top list. I'd have to pick up a proper copy of the game first though, and I'm not really sure if I want to play DAO through again in the near future, having been playing it a lot recently.

I do watch TV series online too, but somehow one doesn't get into new shows as easily as one did back in the days of yore when I had a TV. Also, you accidentally mean-spirited joke does have a grain of truth in it - the reason I don't have one is because we didn't really think it was worth it paying the TV permit, we watched so little of it. Next year the TV permit will change into a media fee you must pay regardless of whether or not you have a TV reciever, so I guess we will be getting a TV at that point. And with regards to the TV series, I have actually read one of the Songs of Ice and Fire books (or whatever the Game of Thrones book series was called). Not, however, the first one. I got one of the later parts as a gift and read it. It was okay, though understanding what was going on was "slightly" challenging when I had little to no idea of what had happened in the previous books. :)

AC does sound interesting, I guess I ought to give it a shot at some point. As for the Great Northern War game, there was the (admittedly quite limited) struggle for the throne between Ulrika Eleonora's supporters and Gustav of Pfalz-Zweibrücken's supporters. Both parties appear to have been active already before the king's death and this intrigue could be exaggerated, with the player needing to navigate between the two parties viying for the throne after Karl's death. Both parties could even be planning to assassinate Karl, and in the end the player would have to choose between the two parties or staying loyal to Karl. This part of the game could of course also include fighting as a part of Karl's Norwegian campaign.

I have heard about Jan Guillou, now that I think about it - though it might be that I just remember him as the author of the Arn books. ;) In any case, those could be something worthy of checking out. -- Gissur the Sailor (talk) 10:51, October 13, 2012 (UTC)

"A Song of Ice and Fire" is the series' exact name (or "Sången om Is och Eld", if you're feeling swedish ;) ). But yeah, it's definitely not a series that's kind to new readers - you want to get into it, you've got to start from the beginning. Personally, I like it for its realism (relatively - sometimes the gore gets a bit out of hand, and the magic aspects get more and more emphasized, plus there's occasionally just a tad too much focus on sex, but the characters and events make sense) and its character-driven - but still epic - narrative that goes on like a historical chronicle, with characters always evolving/changing/dying. In fact, if you liked the ideas presented in DA2's story (and I really did like most of the ideas/concepts, even if it doesn't always sound like I do on the forums - it was the execution I found lacking), I think you'd like it. Though, there's less humour and more grittiness, so for some it may just be a little too dark for their tastes. Plus, the most recent books have gotten a bit cluttered because there's such a huge amount of point-of-view characters at this point (some of which don't seem to serve much of a purpose, and others being stuck doing largely irrelevant things to pad out for time or attempt to dump lore information for worldbuilding - Tyrion "The Imp" Lannister, otherwise a fan favorite, unfortunately suffered from this, for example). Still, to me it's an awesome series (in fact, I've long considered reimagining the DA universe in the form of a series of fanfic "books" in a similar format, though it seems I'll never get further than constantly replaced notes - I have an insanely hard time making up my mind when I try to write stuff).
God, I can't believe I forgot about the struggles of succession in Karl XII's absence. Then again, I don't think Gustav was ever involved in that - the main issue was between Karl Fredrik of Holstein-Gottorp, Karl's nephew, and Ulrika Eleonora. Admittedly, I'm basing my knowledge about this stuff on a somewhat unreliable source (most of my first history books were written by a guy who's a self-proclaimed royalist and despised by most proper historians - he really knew how to make history sound interesting, though), along with wikipedia, so you could be correct about the Duke of Pfalz-Zweibrucken's involvement. Anyway, you're very right in that that intrigue could be expanded on and made more relevant - that's what most historical dramas do. Hmm, maybe one of the endings would let the PC join the riksdag? It did seize most executive power following the king's death. Either that or Fredrik of Hessen - Ulrika Eleonora's husband - lets you bed the latter - he certainly didn't seem to care for her much (or at least he preferred his mistress, Hedvig Taube - poor Ulrika; she seriously loved him back, to the point of abdicating in order to make him king). Sorry, I always start to babble semi-incoherently when I'm tired. Back to watching "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" - read a little about it just a few hours ago and decided to try it, and the first episode was pretty good. Or should I call it day... Matt-256 (talk) 23:05, October 13, 2012 (UTC)
A friend promised to loan me the Song of Ice and Fire books if I want them. I guess I ought to take up her offer, they do seem like worth reading. At least the first few books as most everyone seems to agree they are the best ones and the story gets too fragmented from there on. In any case, I do agree that the books do tend to contain a bit too much emphasis on sex. And sex was made seem so unpleasant and gritty and not fun. I mean, I'm all for sex (who wouldn't be?), but it should be fun and pleasant. Much of the sex scenes in Song of Ice and Fire just made me fell bad.
You aren't the only one having a hard time making up your mind when writing stuff... I have been working on a fantasy book idea for at least a decade now, The most recent incarnation of the story currently has 15 pages or so and it has little to nothing to do with the thing started from ten years or so ago. Gradually all the details have been changed (for the better, I think). Right now I feel I've arrived at a near-ideal version of the story, but who knows, in a few month I'll probably end up changing some thing or another and will have to rewrite everything.
Well, if one was to really do the GNW game, you'd have to check out the historical facts properly to see who really were involved in Karl XII's succession struggles and all that. Of course it wouldn't have to be entirely historically accurate, but the more believable the better. The idea of our hero ending up in riksdag would probably be a good idea. The bedding of Ulrika Eleonora could also be involved, but perhaps not as the main thing of your reward. And obviously, choosing to side with the other party (be it the Holstein-Gottorp one or the Pfalz-Zweibrucken one) should lead to a different entry - as should staying loyal to the king. But I think all endings should be somehow positive, so that the player wouldn't be left feeling he made entirely wrong choices. For instance he could end up with a minor noble title or a major army general even if he sided with the wrong party.
Actually, since we're talking about this, here are all the details about the game that I remember to have planned thus far:
The protagonist wakes up at the battlefield in Poltava. He meets another left-behind survivor (a Finn) and the two make their way to a farmhouse, whose owner takes them in and nurses them to health. The farmer had, previously after the battle, sold a horse to Karl XII who was fleeing the battle. The king had nothing else to pay with and hence he gave his signet ring to the farmer. The player and his companion decide to return home and hence return the ring to the king (the farmer gives the ring to them, of course). At the farm they meet a further companion, a cossack who was a part of Karl's army and agrees to help them reach Sweden (the Cossacks allied with the Swedes, as it happens). Travelling through Russia the trio would perhance meet further companions. They might or might not stay with the group all the way until the end.
In part two the group are in Russia-occupied Finland. Since Karl XII is still Turkey, the protagonist would be convinced that he can do the most help for the time being by staying in Finland and fighting the Russians. The team meet a group of men fighting a guerilla war against the Russians and the protagonist assumes the leadership of the group (the presumption is that he was an officer in the army and hence is qualified to lead). The group attack Russians here, there and everywhere in Finland. They also visit the home village of the original Finnish team member. They find the village largely destroyed, but discover the Finn's sister who is alive and with child as a result of being raped by the Russians. This leads to a crucial decision of what to do with the sister: the Finnish guerilla fighters you recruited will want to get rid of the woman and the child (as they are damned Russians!), but your companion will naturally defend his sister. You could either A) let your men kill/drive away the woman and her unborn baby, in which case her brother would leave with her, B) let the woman be taken in and command your men to leave her alone, or C) lie that the child is yours and promise to take care of both the child and it's mother. The lattest option would of course get the highest rise to approval from your original Finn team member, and would affect the later game - you could choose to marry the woman, for instance.
Eventually you would hear rumours that Karl XII is returning to Sweden and decide to travel to Sweden with your core group. This is pretty much as discussed above. The protagonist would return the signet ring to the King, who would be impressed with the protagonist's actions in Finland. At this point the protagonist could suggest the king retake Finland, but of course the king would turn down the idea. The protagonist would, however, be made a high-ranking officer in Karl's army for invading Norway. After meeting the king the protagonist would then be discreetly contacted by the the two different parties vying for succession. In the game both would be planning to assassinate Karl and you could choose to join with either of them or stay loyal to the king. Your decisions here could again affect what happens to your companions. If you side with either of the conspiracy groups, the protagonist is the one to assassinate the King. If you side with the king then it could be your original Finnish companion that does the deed (if he is still in your party after Act II that is). In the end, regardless of your actions Ulrika Eleonora would be made Queen and your position in the society after that would be different depending on who you sided with.
A bit of repetition there, but I presume you found the idea interesting and there are the ideas so far. Maybe we should refine the concept further and then try selling it to BioWare? :P -- Gissur the Sailor (talk) 21:16, October 14, 2012 (UTC)
Good to see I'm not the only one - though it's a shame to see someone else suffer writer's block, too. Though at least you've come somewhere - I can never seem to move out of the planning stage, until I come up with something else and scrap the previous work. I think I've gone through half a dozen drafts for the DA fanfics at this point - mostly the same in narrative structure and general idea, but with different details. For example, I seem to always like the idea of using the Cousland character as a participant in the Fereldan Civil War, and that it should be a male warrior, but I can never decide where to have him squired prior to the events of the origin - with one of Bryce's business partners in Orlais, with Oriana's family in Antiva, or with a family in Kirkwall (either the De Launcets or the Amells - as a contrast to Nathaniel, who I pictured staying with the Harimanns) - or his fate - should he be executed some time after the events of Awakening, having gone stark raving mad and murdered Delilah Howe and her newborn child? Remain alive and relatively sane and accompany Alistair to Antiva (IE the events of TSG etc.)? Or go mad like the first example, but realize what a horrible crime it was, escape and go on a journey throughout Thedas in an attempt to redeem himself? And then there's which character to "canonically" write as the warden - a male Mahariel romancing Morrigan? A female Mahariel who's secretly a soul container for Flemeth, having been conceived as part of a bargain between her father the former keeper of Marethari's clan and Flemeth (this idea sounded better in my head at the time I wrote it down...) - used to explain some extraordinary abilities the warden can unlock in DAO (the arcane warrior's partially entering the fade to avoid attacks, for example, or high-level shapeshifting - I always had the encounter with Uldred in mind, where F!Mahariel would then shapeshift into a dragon or some other large creature) as well as tie the character closer to the Morrigan/Flemeth plot? Amell (the mage warden and Hawke's relative)? And then there's my different ways to attempt to end the series... And there was that draft where I wound up with over 20 POV characters (each of the origins - including making the human and elven mages separate characters - the main characters of Journeys and Legends, each of the orlesian origin possibilities, Hawke, the child of one of the aforementioned characters, possibly a qunari, and some new ones). And I hesitate to even get into my attempts at building fantasy worlds (though there at least I've always remained fairly certain on the rules of the setting's magic usage, that I want to use elves of some kind, with the twist of basing their culture on mesoamerican civilizations - aztecs, inca, maya, toltec, chichimec etc. - the rules regarding vampires and vampirism, and the concept of a vampire nation).
Err- anyway, you're right that there's a careful balance between adding to historical events and staying loyal to it. I was mostly joking about bedding Ulrika though - she was supposedly not that pretty. Not that I'm shallow or anything. Though I probably wouldn't mind having the option of bedding empress Celene in DA3 (assuming my perception is correct that she's fairly young). Oh come on, you know others were/are thinking it too ;)
Anyway, thanks for the details. It's really well thought out. It'd certainly have been interesting what BW could do with the concept. The only problem I can think of is the language barrier - unlike LoTR or DA, real-life history didn't have a common world language, so communication with that cossack and russian farmer would've been difficult. It's not impossible to justify though - maybe the cossack in question was sent escorting an envoy to the swedish army a year or two prior, and picked up some swedish or german (which was the closest the swedish empire had to a unifying language) from the swedish soldiers during that time. He would then be able to act as translator with the farmer, as well as other russians/cossacks met along the way. Just something I realized. Matt-256 (talk) 20:34, October 15, 2012 (UTC)
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