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Skraal
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Why, hello there.
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Alright, so Vesa’s pregame is fairly uninteresting. 3/4 threads he’s in have him mostly watching what’s going on from the sidelines with posts that, going by the OOC notes in them, were written in a hurry. I did really like the 3rd thread where he briefly spends time with his host family, though there are too many characters introduced in a relatively short post, so the reader can’t really get too attached to them.

There’s a recurring thing in his story where Vesa talks to himself in Finnish, with translations given beside in brackets. It’s kind of weird that he talks to himself in Finnish, but his personal thoughts (written in italics) aren’t given the same treatment. It feels weird that while he is so comfortable talking in Finnish that he slips into the language during conversations with non-Finnish speakers, but his thoughts are, as far as the reader can tell, in grammatically perfect English.

Now, onto the island.

Right in the first thread, his characterization is...not great. He goes from being really scared and timid to declaring his intention to play mid conversation to a stranger and potential threat. That whole conversation was pretty weird, since both of the two characters turn fairly sharply from being terrified and worried that they’ll get killed to gleefully announcing that they won’t hesitate to kill anyone in their way, complete with slasher smiles and cinematic brandishing of weapons.

Perhaps this switch could have been more justified had we had more access to Vesa’s inner thoughts, but Croco’s posts are all so short that we get barely any detail beyond the words coming directly coming out of his mouth and a few scattered fragments of thought here and there. I’m not saying every poster has to write a novel in every post, but having nearly every post (excluding flashbacks) in those early threads be under 250 words doesn’t give a ton to work with, especially since one of them has him enter and leave within a single post.

Throughout the rest of his time on the island, Vesa oscillates between being fairly caring and helpful to the people around him, and being cold and threatening to those same people. One minute, he’ll be helping someone find life-saving medicine to flashing his knife at them and bragging about how he’s definitely ready to kill someone any moment.

This duality continues throughout Vesa’s story. It seems as there are two Vesa’s: a bloodthirsty murderer who kills for his enjoyment and a decent, empathetic young man who wanders around the island scared and regretful of the violent acts he’s committed. While these two themes definitely can be combined successfully, it feels like Vesa switches between the two personas at the flick of a switch, and every post seems to be from the perspective of one or the other whenever the writer finds it convenient.

One thing I did like is that he seems to be one of the only people who recognizes how famous Alex Ovechkin is, though obviously Ovechkin’s inactivity doesn’t lead to anything coming out of it.

Overall, I feel like the saddest part of Vesa is that Croco really was improving significantly as the story went on, and he did attempt to capitalize on the earlier interactions he had with other characters, sparse as they may have been. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late. The fact that his motivations had not been properly established, combined with the contradictory and confusing characterization, makes his late game still quite messy. His posts get further and further apart, as IRL issues cause him to give his thread partners permission to skip him again and again, until he becomes barely a part of the final thread he was in before he went inactive.

Despite making it to the final ten, he meets the same inglorious end as many other characters in the version, being adopted by an established handler and quickly killed off in a single post to pad another character’s kill count.

The best part of reading Vesa is seeing him enter threads containing a lot of interesting interactions between characters more interesting than him, and watch him not participate in them. At least reading what the other characters were doing was pretty entertaining. For a guy who made it into the V2 final ten, he really didn’t do much, unfortunately.

Requesting another character.
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