top of page

How a Game's Plot Improved My Moral Philosophy

For those newer to the site, my main influencing game of all time is one known as Suikoden IV, a game where you essentially play as a person with a magical illness, known as the Rune of Punishment. In a world supposedly controlled by destiny, the cursed rune cannot be avoided, which means that it's inevitable.

While it brings you, the player, great power, it also consumes your character's life, until you're most likely to die by the end of the game, especially when you play it for the first time.

I did not expect, 20 years ago, that my life will be consumed by an illness of my own: chronic fatigue, a symptom with no known cause. Unless be presented with a cure, it is basically for life, similar to the Rune of Punishment, which is, fortunately, far parasitic compared to my own. I'm not talking about CFS.

The world of Suikokden IV changes by the time your character obtains the rune "by mistake". Some people begin to see you as too hostile, and thus, you are sent to exile with a small team of fellow traitors.

It was your own childhood friend, who framed you for murder, even though it was the rune itself, who consumed the life of the previous owner. You are, again, expelled from a ship due to your nationality, by the mercy of its captain.

It is on a deserted island, when a monster attacks you, and you have to use the rune in a way that makes you collapse and faint. If it weren't for your followers, you would probably die alone there, unsafe and unprotected from the island's creatures.

Although grim a game, this is arguably a game for children, and I'm surprised that Quora has declared an article I wrote previously on the matter, to be for adults. Quite ironic, but I digress.

If it weren't for that magical parasite of sorts, you would still have the life you had today, living as a soldier for a nation that provided you with food and shelter. You would still have had your childhood friends, your comrades, and, perhaps, the life on the island village itself. It is, arguably, your "fault", that you got this rune, even though it was completely unintentional, story-wise.

In order to survive the game, you must, nonetheless, be merciful to that said friend that framed you for murder; You also must recruit him eventually, or else you will die. Should you be vengeful, and execute him once captured, you will be killed, yourself, by the rune.

You will not even be buried, but instead, be sent on a boat as your grave. Therefore, in order to prevail your parasite, you must forgive, and you mustn't strive for revenge, EVEN when faced with the option, to execute another potential recruit -- a surrendering commander who occupied your village.

The irony of the Cursed Rune lies with the fact that you must go against it, in order to prevail the game in its ending. Be severe with your judgement of those you capture, and your character won't make it. Also, you must not only not execute anyone, but also be forgiving to others, to the point that you'll recruit them.

From a trio of thieves who can steal form you, to an arrogant loner who deceives you, to an assassin that was sent to kill you -- you must accept to recruit anyone that can be recruitable, to survive.

Such good-hearted nature, although counter-intuitive at first, is the best thing you can do in order to get the happy ending your hero can have. In other words, the cure to your parasite's parasitic nature, is forgiveness and compassion.

As I grew up myself, I realized how important it is, to be kind-hearted to those who deserve it. After all, it was a great way to make people understand my medical position. I know that, should I be too much of a jerk, I would let people's negative bias deteriorate, and mislead them, to reach incorrect assumptions towards me.

It is easy to devalue someone whom you hate, and thus, in order to be better understood, I chose that game's philosophy: To try and be good at most, if not all times.

It's easy being a jerk to people who don't know or like, especially online. For most of the time you don't even see their faces, unless they have their own profile picture, or post a video where they visually appear. You don't care for them personally, right? So, the mindset in many people's eyes is, don't care about those who don't know nor owe anything to.

However, that treatment is a luxury I refuse to afford, even though I can. While my condition might be incurable, I can still "cure" people's lack of awareness or recognition towards this condition. I know I don't "have" to be nice to everyone, especially those who are jerks.

However, being compassionate goes a long way towards correct estimation of one's situation, as it prevents one from sinking into negative bias.

In Israel, disabled people get a special card that gives validation to their condition, and I've been having those ever since I began getting welfare. Should I ever go to the supermarket on my own, I can show this card to the cashier to skip the line.

The thing about it is, that it can make people angry for waiting in the line and see a person get immediate access to the cashier, even though it's that person's right to do so. Being good hearted enough can go a long way to make these people understand that you suffer from a certain problem or have a disability.

I almost always was a nice person, and maybe it was primarily because of that game, that might've influenced me subconsciously, to be one, before realizing it, of course. Nowadays, the game's story was a moral lesson that although largely underrated, serves its purpose in my own philosophy. We don't have to be nice at all times, but a more compassionate and forgiving attitude, sure helps and increases one's chance to understand and to tolerate.

44 views0 comments

Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

צילום מסך 2023-09-14 194035.png
bottom of page