WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD! READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION!
For a general review of the game, you can read it here.
RATH VOGART: The younger brother of Arles V. Felnoir, and the poster boy of Black Wolves Saga. After their family is slaughtered by the hands of Mejojo, they are separated in the ensuing turmoil; where Rath endures many years of immense suffering. They reunite many years later, and he is considered second-in-command amongst the Wolves along with Guillan. Due to his experiences, Rath is extremely apathetic towards the world. He is resentful of his own pathetic existence as a wolf, living life in constant fear of being hunted and with no choice but to constantly flee for their own survival.
Rath resents and distrusts humans due to the suffering that he and others have experienced, and views achieving peace and co-existence amongst the races as an impossible dream. Above all else, he despises himself: he is powerless to seize control of his own future and fate. He lacks the will, determination and leadership to invoke change like Arles, and continually protected and treated like a child; whilst unable to do anything in return for his kindness.
To add salt to injury, Rath is suffering from Zodiva that is rapidly consuming his body and already completely blinded him in one eye. It further increases his burden on the pack and Arles; and does nothing but elevate his self-loathing at his own futility. Even if Rath wanted to change for the better, his time was running out with his deteriorating body. Seeing Fiona’s kindness, determination and will to change the future of the world moves his cold heart, and causes him to reevaluate his own situation.
In spite of her obvious powerlessness to invoke change, she stands by her own convictions and beliefs. She willingly joins the wolf pack despite having to abandon her own family in the process, all for the sake of peace. Not to mention that at the end of the day, she is still a Lobeira and exposing herself to such harsh conditions with the wolves would inevitably infect her with incurable Zodiva.
He cannot fathom as to why she would go so far, as she had been ostracised and outcasted by her own people for witchcraft. Rath eventually warms up to Fiona’s kindness, and slowly changes his opinion of humans; and that perhaps, what he once considered the impossible is now no longer a far-off dream.
Considering Rath is the poster-boy for Black Wolves Saga, I was exceptionally disappointed by his route as I had high expectations from the beginning of the game. From what I’ve read, he finally gets his spotlight in Last Hope as the game revolves around his side of the story. As a result, it left Bloody Nightmare with little to no content dedicated to Rath. It’s a shame considering he actually had what Arles’ route lacked; which was the romantic intimacy and build up between him and Fiona.
They actually had some really cute and meaningful moments together, as well as some of the best CGs in the game. The scene where Fiona allows Rath to drink from her neck in order to see whether it would cure his blindness had so much muted passion and desire. The voice acting, tension and build up was amazing; and I read with bated breath wondering what would happen next. It felt like a major turning point in their relationship, so I was really excited to see how they would progress in the events following after.
To my shock and dismay, the story essentially all ends immediately afterwards. After escaping from Mejojo and Auger, Rath finally decides to take action in what he wants for the future. Although Arles and Guillan’s fate is unknown, they cannot return to rescue them as that is not what Arles would’ve wanted. They had made a promise to continue living, and spread the Wolves’ story; as with no survivors, their tale and suffering would become lost to the history of the world.
No one would ever come to know the truth, and the lives forsaken and sacrificed for the cause would all be forgotten. Fiona agrees, and they walk hand in hand towards their future together. I remember just staring at my computer screen for a few solid minutes trying to convince myself that it couldn’t possibly just end then and there without any sort of epilogue or conclusion tying up their story.
To my complete and utter disappointment, that actually was the ending. It felt like there was so much build up in their relationship and potential for the future; setting the reader up for expectation, and then having it all crumble before their very eyes. It’s knowing how much promise the story had to be amazing, that makes the ending altogether even more dissatisfying.
Especially because Rath is always the focal target of their promotional advertisements on Black Wolves Saga, it really does set up the audience in believing his route would offer a lot more than it actually did. I guess in a way it’s effective marketing by Idea Factory, as out of frustration with the lack of content for the wolves you’d undoubtedly purchase Last Hope for a more satisfying conclusion to the series (laughs).
On that note when I was discussing the game with my SO, we agreed that almost every single emotionally traumatised male character or lead wears what we call an ’emo scarf’. You know the black tattered scarf that is all together way too long and impractical, but it’s a must have accessory in order to show how ‘edgy’ of an ‘edge lord’ they are. It’s always the cold, hard to approach and disillusioned character that wears it as though their life depends on it.
All jokes aside, I did really like Rath’s character and design; and I actually don’t mind the scarf trend. It’s popular because clearly a lot of people are a fan of the look, and it suits the character type. I will most likely play Last Hope and take Idea Factory’s bait, simply because my curiosity is unable to accept the conclusion of his story.