I think the thing that hecks me up about Echoes is that although there are clearly evil people involved and Duma and the heads of Rigel are portrayed as the “bad” side of the conflict, at the end of the day, the “big bad” of the game isn’t evil. He’s sick.
Although he was harsh and didn’t outwardly love his people the same way Mila did, it’s clear through his and Mila’s memory prism that he led his people in what he believed to be the best way for them. He’d seen firsthand how weak the hearts of men were when spoiled. He didn’t want to rule people with an iron fist just to be a tyrant, but rather did so to bring prosperity to the land and his people in the way he believed worked. In his own detached way, he cared for them, otherwise he simply could have either killed them all or left them to their own devices.
And the heck of it is, he wasn’t wrong. Mila’s people did grow spoiled and greedy in the end. But Mila wasn’t necessarily wrong either. Neither of them were wrong in the way they ruled their people, but rather the entire conflict came about as Duma’s mind decayed, and Mila sealed the Falchion in denial of this fact.
The story of Valentia isn’t just about a clash of ideals and moralities, but rather, about a pair of very old siblings–one who’d lost themselves to sickness and the other following close behind, not wanting to face both of their mortalities.
You fight and slay the god Duma not to destroy him, but free him from himself so that he and his sister may find rest, and their people be freed from their sickness as well.
Do you ever just read so much fanfiction for a couple that isn’t canon and then you rewatch the original material and you’re like????? I could’ve sworn you were dating in this???? Who is this random dude you’re calling your boyfriend excuse me the love of your life is right there??????