Part 52: Chapter LI: Truth And DreamsThere is another way.
: "Dost thou truly think this world be worthy of thy protection? Thou hast seen it with thine own eyes! The mortals' joy and their anger...their mirth, and their grief...their lives and their deaths. But thou doth not understand the truth, Ryu! All that...all they are...it is of no consequence to us! We are Endless! What be these things to us other than petty diversions?"
: "They...the mortals art ignorant, prideful animals...they doth lie to one another, injure themselves and their fellows, and they kill each other and all around them for sport! Their folly is immeasurable."
Yohm was hardly doing it for sport. He was doing what he was ordered to do, in the most efficient manner he could. He knew damn well he was probably going to die doing it, but he did it anyway because he felt that was what was necessary. And really, would YOU hand over the keys to the empire to a half-asleep fractured god that doesn't really know how humanity works? They were dicks, but they weren't idiots.
...Prince Morley couldn't hand over the Alliance on a platter for one woman, no matter who she was or how important she was to him and others. Cray was the exact opposite of selfish, everything he did was with Elina in mind. If he'd really been so selfish about her, he wouldn't have mercy-killed her. You can't narrow down all these factors into blunt, broad statements.
...yes, some were complete douchebags, but we've met dozens if not hundreds of perfectly decent people. Even in the military, Ursula was horrified by Rasso's actions. The monsters we have met have been abberations, not the norm.
...just because one guy was a sucking black hole of morality, doesn't mean that the world he is part of is to blame. Yuna is a freak, a fluke, a horrifying and rare byproduct of humanity. For every Yuna, there's thousands of ordinary folks. You can't condemn the human race to death just because one guy managed to get in a position of power and started wrecking things.
Besides, Yuna was hardly a fool. He was frighteningly calculating.
: "Thou understandeth, dost thou not, Ryu?"
: "Ryu! Ryu...I like this world the way it is...the way it is with you in it. In spite of all its problems, and all of what's wrong with it, I want to believe in my world!"
: "Be that the best ye can do? Thou sayest thou believeth in this world? That thou dost find it favorable and pleasing?"
: "They mean nothing. Come, Ryu. The time hath come for us to become one god at last. Open thy eyes to the truth thy heart showeth thee...the mortals be unfit for our favor."
There's two ways you can decline Fou-Lu.
Since we said "I don't know..." to all his questions, both our answers will get the good ending. "Maybe so..." only appears if you said "Maybe so..." a lot, and "You're wrong!" only appears if you said "I don't know..." a lot.
Let's check out "I don't know..." first.
Ryu shakes his head slowly. Fou-Lu holds his hand out for a few seconds, then lets it drop.
: "I knoweth full very well that 'tis our duty as a god to protect the mortals. But they be not worthy of that protection! They are beyond salvation! Admit the truth thou knowest in thy heart, Ryu. There be no hope here. What be thy answer?"
Ryu shakes his head again.
: "'Tis as I feared...I must remove that which clouds thy perceptions."
Cue boss fight. However, there's a much more awesome way to do this.
Fuck you, shut up, quit your misanthropic blubbering and get the hell in my brain.
: "T'would appear thou has lived amongst the mortals too long. However, that shall be remedied anon."
The ground starts to rumble.
Boss Video XXIII: Tyrant
: "We art one mind, if not one body! Yet I cannot fathom thy thoughts! How doth this world appear to thee? What dost thou seeth in it?"
: "It might not be as bad as you think it is."
: "Says Deis."
: "You're right...people are sometimes foolish and weak...sometimes they do the wrong thing...but not everyone is like that! You can't give up hope for a better world!"
: "They that called me here did say much the same as thee. But their deeds did not liveth up to the promise of the flowerly speech their tongues professed! They didst see to use my power to make war upon their fellows, to kill their enemies!"
Boss Video XXIV: Astral
Final Cutscene and Credits
: "I seeth now for the first time through thy eyes. The mortals are indeed weak...foolish...verily, a collection of contradictions...and yet...they are magnificent."
I'm of two minds of this.
On the one hand, it's a bit arbitrary. "I'm totally going to kill all humans!" *boss fight* "Dude, why don't you want to kill all humans?" *boss fight* "Humans are cool."
However, I think there's a good way to explain it. Fou-Lu and Ryu are empathically linked, and Ryu's certainty and willingness to fight tooth and nail for humanity resonated with Fou-Lu.
Weakened from having the stuffing beaten out of him, he finally gives in, and gets absorbed by Ryu's stream when he's too weak to resist.
: "I am also Fou-Lu."
: "So what next? What's going to happen to the world now?"
: "I understand now what Fou-Lu was trying to tell me. What he really wanted to say is that this world does not need gods."
The original translation is apparently closer to "What he wanted to say was that gods are incompatible with this world," which I feel fits better.
: "Ryu...You don't mean...!?"
: "That is why..."
: "Just like you wanted me to, Deis."
Ryu's stream appears, a brilliant gold-green.
Ryu and Fou-Lu's voice clips for transformation both play at once here.
And so his power flies through the world...
...and the Endless fade.
They've been freed from their undying imprisonment on a world that is not their own.
Good old Zig. Looks like he's about to start paddlin'.
Hey, guys, guess who's back?
: "It would seem that the gods are dead. But we needn't worry about that...I can make as many gods as we want...or need."
YEP. That's how Yuna ends the game. Alive, well, and fully intending to do this all over again. He completely escapes any form of retribution whatsoever. It's the cherry on top of the shit sundae. What's worse is that he was originally supposed to be killed, either by being strangled to death by Rhun or being torn apart by Won-Qu and A-Tur. However, time constraints meant they had to cut it and they inserted him into the end sequence. The developers have gone on record, though, to say if they had known ahead of time how venomously hateful the fanbase would be of Yuna for surviving, they would have done it from the start.
However, as the thread has stated, this could easily be Capcom continuing their proud tradition of being shameless revisionists in order to placate rabid fans. Yuna's survival as a reflection of giving all of humanity a second chance is almost too perfect a fit to be an accident.
And now I can tell you the theory I like best for how Breath of Fire 4 fits in the series. It comes first, probably several hundred years before Breath of Fire I. Notice how the Endless are to live out their lives as ordinary mortals? The theory states this is how the Dragon Clan was created.
Meanwhile, Yuna goes off and does his evil shenanigans, creating an artificial god to replace the Endless, an abomination that should not be, something that poses as divine when it is merely a horrific and powerful monster.
He may or may not also give Deis her half-serpent body (with or without her consent) at some point. This would explain Deis calling Myria her "sister," though she could simply be referring to her as a fellow god after a fashion.
Myria kills Yuna (just because I want him to die) then separates the water and earth in the Sea of Mud, drastically altering the landscape and fulfilling what she talks about in the end of Breath of Fire III. Her presence and stream awakens the godly powers in the Dragon Clan, letting them transform into echoes of their ancestors' former selves. Myria tried to pit them against each other and destroy them, making the Light and Dark clans, but was sealed away, and the absence of her stream meant the Dragon Clan lost its powers once more. From there, the series goes chronologically from I to III. While this doesn't explain everything (Wyndians gaining/losing abilities, Woren disappearing, etc) I find it to be pretty cool.
/wall of text
: "Driving out all the gods in this world...that's a pretty radical solution. Now you, Ryu are also a mortal, who will grow old and someday die. Me? Oh, I decided I'd stick around. I'm interested in seeing what happens after this. I guess being inside this armor's not so bad after all."
: "The end of an age is upon us..."
: "But there is still work to be done here."
: "This is goodbye then, Ursula?"
: "Yes. There are things I have to do...like find General Rhun."
: "Um, Ursula? Thanks for everything."
: "Wha? I was only doing my duty as..."
: "I know. Still, we're allies now, not enemies...Right?"
And...roll credits. They're sadly not translated, and the song in them is sung in Japanese, but I grabbed a translation for it off the internet. It's in the final cutscene video posted above if you want to see it. I also suggest you watch it if you want to hear the final music in the game, as it's pretty awesome.
And that's it! Game's over.
Well...not quite yet it's not.