In God Eater, we have seen some unique characters. The God Eaters themselves wield God Arc weapons and undergo extensive training to fight Aragami, making them far stronger than normal humans. Adaptive God Eaters take it to another level, as they have been experimented on to give them new Burst techniques and make them resistant to ash. But then, there are characters like God Eater Burst‘s Shio and God Eater 3‘s Phym. These are more unique entities that the games want us to connect with and possibly love. Fortunately for players, it is very easy to care about little Phym.
Editor’s note: While God Eater 3‘s ending will not be spoiled, there will be spoilers regarding what Phym is below. There will be no spoiler screenshots.
Phym’s introduction pulls double duty in God Eater 3. It paints her as incredibly sympathetic, yet also incredibly mysterious. Thanks to players’ avatars’ resonance levels, they are aware of Phym way before the character is introduced. Upon first exploring the Chrysanthemum ash crawler and meeting Claire, the Gleipnir agent guarding the hold, we get a glimpse of “someone” in the ship’s storage. When the first Ashborn Aragami attacks the ship, we see Phym lying prone and possibly in danger. Our avatar leaps into action, getting between the Ashborn Aragami and the young girl and being devoured in the process. However, Phym manages to heal and save the protagonist’s life.
From there, we get to see how well Phym fits in the crew. After this attack, we quickly learn that she is a Humanoid Aragami and considered by Gleipnir to be humanity’s last hope. God Eater 3 makes sure she is well integrated and accepted. During the days the player was unconscious, the others began to know and care for her. They found food she would eat. They taught her to play games. They spent time with her and began to love her. Once you are up, you can talk to her often and encourage her. She can join you on missions, after you fight Anubis for the first time. While she is not as straightforward of a healer as Claire, who is great at keeping the party’s health up, she is a heavy hitter with the Heavy Moon, is easy to trigger an Engage with, and is a perfect character to have the Healing Light regenerating health Engage ability on. She is always there, trying to help and be close to her “parent.”
It also helps that Phym is absolutely adorable. She is a young child who visually appears to be just a bit older than characters like Lil, Marr, and Sho, the three children who started out with the AGEs at Port Pennywort. (In battle, she does appear a bit taller than she does in the hub.) She is clearly just learning about humanity and adapting to people, as she didn’t have a name and is learning to get by. If you perform any sort of emote action around her, she will mimic your behavior, just as she follows your avatar around the Chrysanthemum. Everything about her exudes innocence. She is a child who doesn’t know about good or evil. She just wants to protect the people she loves. As she says at one point in the game, “I want to make everybody happy.”
This means when the time comes to rally behind Phym and save her, it is an easy decision to make. God Eater 3 makes sure people will feel gung-ho about it. We have seen that she is basically like the avatar’s child. She has spent the entire course of the game trying to help us and keep us safe, even going so far as to save our lives. There is no malice from her, even though she is a humanoid Aragami. She is constantly going above and beyond to be useful, and that mentality almost makes it feel like a player owes it to her to do the same.
God Eater 3 even makes sure the decision to always protect Phym makes sense with narrative support. In the very beginning of the game, we see our avatar, Hugo, and Zeke doing all they can to try and save Sho, the ill Pennywort Port child. When the ash storm is heading for that port, the team agrees to help the crew of the Chrysanthemum with saving those children being a part of the terms. We know this ragtag group considers themselves family and keeping the kids safe is a priority. When Phym is taken, there is no doubt in players’ minds that it is their job to do everything possible to save her and get her back.
Throughout God Eater 3‘s story, there are a few things the game makes sure we know about the avatar and their associates. They care a great deal about children, the people around them are their chosen family, and they will go above and beyond for the people they love. The game then presents Phym as all three of those things. It establishes her as an innocent child who is quickly accepted by the whole crew as one of the group and deserving of love. It shows how much she cares about the protagonist and sees them as a parent. Then, it eventually presents us with a situation where we might have to do everything and anything to get her back. Fortunately, thanks to all the backing up, it rings true and Phym becomes someone the player might hopefully want to love and protect too.
God Eater 3 is available for the PlayStation 4 and PC.