Building Character: Agnès Oblige

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

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Following the release of the game in North America, Bravely Default is now out in all regions of the West. To celebrate, we’re devoting March’s Building Character articles to the game’s characters. This week, we take a look at Agnès!

Building Character Agnes Oblige - Featured Image

Agnès Oblige is one of your four party members, alongside Tiz Arrior, Ringabel and Edea Lee. She is one of the four vestals of Luxendarc, safeguarding the crystal of wind from darkness. The other three vestals are of water, fire and earth, each ensuring their own crystal remains untainted, as they have for several millennia. The vestals and the crystals they protect are core to the beliefs held by Crystalists, people who believe in the power of the crystals and hold great respect for the vestals who keep them secure.

Agnès grew up isloated from the rest of the world within the temple of the wind crystal. The only people she knew were the old vestal of wind who taught her how to care for the crystal, and the acolytes who worked under her. She left the temple on only a few occasions, which usually involved tagging along to some kind of public rite that the vestal was required to perform.

Agnès is interesting to watch develop, as she’s venturing out of the temple and into the wider world for the first time. There’s clearly a lot she doesn’t know about life outside the temple, which can be seen in hilarious party chats throughout the game.

Building Character Agnes Oblige - Praying

Bravely Default sees an uprising of Anticrystalism, led by the Duchy of Eternia, who looks to overthrow the rule of the crystals and vestals for reasons unknown. This movement and the clashes it generates with Crystalist believers are core to the story, as the Anticrystalists of Eternia pursue the party throughout the entire game, trying to capture Agnès.

Agnès, as a result, is riddled with guilt from the onset, as she does not wish to place anyone else in danger. This is particularly evident just before the first major boss fight, when she attempts to give herself up to her would-be kidnappers in order to protect the Kingdom of Caldisla. However, she wavers when she learns of the physical and psychological abuse she would have had to have endured on the ride back to Eternia. Tiz manages to convince her that turning herself over to their foes is a bad idea, as she is necessary to keep the crystals’ light shining in the world.

Her guilt is further compounded by the fact that she, in her own words, “faltered” when faced with torture she felt she should be prepared to face. And so, for a little while, Agnès contemplates why she’s doing what she is, and whether or not she’s up to the task of reawakening the crystals.

Building Character Agnès Oblige - Crystal

A little later down the road, Agnès learns of the death of an old friend. And, finally, she crumbles. It takes some convincing from her newfound companions to get her up and fighting again, but when she does, she grows even stronger. From this point onwards, Agnès’ attitude starts to change. She still fears for the safety of herself and of her friends, but she finds it easier to trust them and to ask for their help when she needs it. She stops lamenting the changes life has brought her, and instead uses them to motivate her and drive her forward, restore the crystals and put an end to Anticrystalism. You really see her grow, and I think it’s a great change to see.

Bravely Default Cast Featured

Agnès started out as a sheltered, naive priestess of the wind crystal who, with the aid of her friends, developed into a self-assured woman capable of awakening all four crystals and restoring the world’s balance. It’s an interesting change to watch, as the signs are subtle, and you may not even notice until much later in the game. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what she will be like in the sequel.