12 Days of Waifus – Day 4: Melia (Xenoblade Chronicles)
Pity and sympathy towards a character is something I had been questioning myself if it relates to liking a character. But regardless of anything, I think Melia deserves at least some love for all the crap she had been through.
Feeling for a video game character is actually a rarity for me-it happens, of course, just seldom. What’s more, you will probably be more worried about levels, equipments, getting stronger or just gameplay elements in general to make some progression on the game. Despite so, Melia is obviously an exception to this.
Note: Major spoilers ahead
Melia is a half-Hom half-High Entia (Xenoblade’s lore, just imagine Hom as humans and High Entia as elves, not exactly accurate, but it’s a close comparison) and is actually of royalty. Being royalty, she had a lot of complicated family issues. Melia, being half-blood, wasn’t actually worthy of respect either. Her father, the Emperor, who had a Hom and High Entia consort; barely gave her any attention at all (think Shinji and his father’s relationship). Melia’s Hom birth mother had passed away, and her stepmother (the High Entia one) was plotting an assassination plot to kill her own stepdaughter. Horrible huh? And just when Melia’s father was finally able to discard his Emperor’s persona; finally showering Melia with some semblance of fatherly love near death’s door, before long, also died in his very own daughter’s arms from an injury he sustained from the enemy.
But perhaps the most emotional and heart-wrenching moment of all, was when her brother got turned into Telethia and she was forced to kill him, her last family member by her own hands. Telethia was the final form of pure-blooded High Entia, where after the transformation, they essentially become senseless beasts completely void of any intelligence. Since it was such a long time I last played Xenoblade, I’m not too sure but I would assume Melia would also be forced to kill her own people as well. Then again, outside of story context, I did see quite a lot of Telethia in random encounters I had to kill for my quests (I’m so sorry, Melia).
To add on all of these depressions, Melia also had a crush on the game’s main character, Shulk; and it’s a purely one-sided love which would never be reciprocated, considering Shulk only had Fiora in his mind all the damn time. Needless to say, Shulk is completely unaware of Melia’s feelings, even as the epilogue ends. Furthermore, there are barely any illustrations or fanfictions for Shulk X Melia, so trying to ship the pairing even outside of the game is a difficult endeavor.
Last but not least, High Entia also has an extremely long life span compared to other races-so Melia will probably outlives all of her friends and be in solitude in the near future.
Being Melia is suffering.
But still, perhaps what’s best about Melia is that she’s quite mentally strong. Sure enough, there were a lot of times when she was in emotional turmoils-but every time she suffered, she stood right back up. Even at the epilogue, Melia looked like she had moved on, from the sufferings and even from her unrequited love. Developing through fail-and-try cycles, Melia’s an excellent character in that sense. Now that when I think about it, I think the reason why I like Melia so much-my affection for the character isn’t particularly only rooted with pity or sympathy, but also of respect and awe to her mentality.