Rune Factory 5’s western release feels both very near and a long way off — and I, for one, cannot wait for it. In honour of its upcoming release, and to hopefully release some of my excitement for it before it becomes too much, I’m covering one of the many quality waifus from the franchise. Specifically, we’re taking a look at one from the fourth mainline entry.
I’ve previously talked at great length about all the bachelors of the game, so now it’s finally time to highlight my favourite wifey of the title.
Who is Forte?
Forte is one of the available bachelorettes from Rune Factory 4 (available on the 3DS and ported to the Switch as Rune Factory 4 Special). She is a Dragon Knight who fully commits and puts her heart into the role, going on daily rounds to keep an eye on the village, and then training in her room afterwards.
She’s a part of the Rune Factory 4 family who really puts the emphasis on familial bonds. She has emotional baggage concerning her past, she lives through daily pressure as a female Knight — and her career strains her one remaining connection to her family. On top of all that, she feels like she’s still discovering exactly what it is she fights for.
Heartfelt, wholesome, and endearingly relatable and influential to characters and players alike, Forte’s underratedness is something I hope we can all agree is undeserved.
Why we love Forte
Forte is polite, genuine and stubborn. She’s so serious about her duties as a Dragon Knight that she attempts to conceal her girlish tendencies from everyone around her. She deliberately restrains herself from fawning over or commenting on things she finds cute, she hides her fear of ghosts, and she won’t admit that she enjoys treating herself with sugary foods.
There’s some lovely juxtaposition going on with Forte’s character here: it’s fun to see the contrast between the front she puts up as a vigilant and regimented Knight, and her real self. Because despite being a capable fighter who wields a badass sword in order to protect others, she denies her true self in order to uphold this image of being a “perfect Knight”. And to make matters worse, it’s obvious that everyone around her would still love her true nature if she’d just accept herself and allow the mask to slip.
Forte was immediately appealing to me on first sight due to her Knight image reminding me of Claymore’s strong and independent women. For me, Forte’s main enduring appeal is her relatability — and also for wearing one of the most believable armour designs I’ve seen in a while as a female warrior type.
She puts on a strong and resistant exterior and hides her “vulnerabilities” because she is hard on herself, primarily in the hope that she can live up to her father’s reputation — but also so that she feels she can live up to her role as Selphia’s Dragon Knight, protector to its people, and a capable fighter. She seems rather uncomfortable about her own femininity, and does not believe in her own charms as a woman; elements of her past meant that she was unable to divulge and express her own gender fully.
She deserves to know she’s glorious no matter how she presents herself, and especially when we consider how she also happens to be the oldest of the available bachelorettes. If you follow through her narrative threads, her eventual acceptance of herself is a long time coming.
Her being the oldest also perfectly explains why she comes across so overprotective of others — especially her younger brother, Kiel — and why she acts as a mentor of sorts to other characters, such as to the main character during their introduction to the battle mechanics and initial tour around the village.
Why you will love Forte
You can easily look up to Forte for how genuinely passionate she is about protecting her village; at the same time, she is a sympathetic due to how her upbringing left her with personal issues over exploring and being herself. Alongside this is the added pressure of her desire to become someone who can protect others when her gender is questioned with regard to her ability and skills as a Knight.
Easily my favourite part about her is what her side story explores. Her arc touches on the price of parents expecting too much of their children and the burden it puts on them as a result — as well as the barriers one faces in regards to their gender when proving their worth in an environment that they were forced into. Her personal growth results in a heartfelt and impressionable conclusion to her story — one that reminds us to never forget our goals and ambitions, and to discover what we should cherish and protect in our own lives.
Outside of finally getting to these key moments of hers, we can still see the running theme of familial bonds whenever her and Kiel are on screen, as she dotes on him excessively considering that they only have one another as family. And it comes up in dialogue that she keeps her hair grown out purely for the sake of being able to wear a hairclip he had gifted her. Their dynamic is too cute for this world.
Where the main character comes into this is how she happens to be yet another perfect example of an imperfect partner — none of us are flawless after all, and it only ever adds to her charms if you ask me! As both a terrible swimmer and a shocking cook — with the latter most definitely not helping her bag many players from a practical perspective, since her lunches would not be any benefit — we love her for who she is.
And that’s a great message to send out to the world.
On a final note, she’s easily one of the best recommendations in partnering up for combat. Fitting for her job as you could expect, Forte is an absolute tank in charging at enemies and packing devastating blows with her longsword whilst healing you up in no time. Forte is best girl!
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