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Polibyss
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Gregg Archer is one half of a love story plotted out by Megami and Riserugu. Ali Grayston is the queen bee of Bathurst High, and she's secretly in love with her childhood friend Gregg Archer, who goes to Franklin and is unaware of Ali's mean girl tendencies or of her feelings for him. I think the two handlers wanted Ali/Gregg to be one of the big stories of V2, a romance for the ages. it didn't end up that way.

Gregg himself is a pretty down-to-earth guy. He's nice, humble, athletic, intelligent, artistic... maybe he's a bit too much of a dreamboat, but he comes off as a normal guy who's a bit too dense to realize that his best friend is, as today's cool kids would say, "Thirsty AF". He's the more submissive one in the relationship, and he has absolutely nothing going on outside of Ali. She's the protagonist and he's the love interest. That doesn't make him a bad character of course, I like how Riserugu writes him. However, there's problems.

Gregg's pregame consists of one outing with Ali that's stretched over 2 1/2 threads. They go to the mall, go to a restaurant, decide to watch a movie, etc. It's boring as hell. Every post in the thread is around 2,000 words, mostly consisting of the characters dwelling on insignificant nonsense. How will Gregg cope with eating at a fancy restaurant? Will Ali's NPC ex-fling tell Gregg about their relationship? What movie will Gregg choose to have them watch? If you care about the answers to these riveting questions, read Gregg's pregame (except for the movie thing, we never learn what movie Gregg picked, they make me read about it for a fucking eternity and never reveal the result). All of this normal life stuff wouldn't be a problem if it really helped develop the characters, but it doesn't. You can learn everything important about Ali and Gregg by reading the first few posts of the first thread, beyond that it's just retreading the same characters traits over and over in a painfully slow manner. It doesn't have an ending, either, it just drones on until it stops mid-scene.

Okay, wow, the game. That's important, too. Gregg's first two threads in-game are the only threads where he's without Ali. They're pointless. He's just searching for Ali while having short and shallow interactions with Tori and Seth Malvice. In his third thread, he reunites with Ali, which is nice and all, but this is where it really starts to fall apart.

Ali and Gregg only have two threads after this. Riserugu leaves the site and Gregg is adopted by Megami. She does a decent job at writing him, and with Gregg and Ali now being written by the same handler, their story is told in only half of the words! Hooray! They run into everyone's favorite Marivarella Variavel, and in the confrontation Ali's mean girl history revealed in the open. It's all coming to a head pretty quickly. She gets herself shot, and Gregg carries her to the school, where he meets Beth. Suddenly, it just comes to an explosive conclusion. Beth hears a loud noise and runs, and in the very next post Gregg and Ali are incinerated when the school's furnace explodes (which happened because a nearby inactive kill, whatever). in the seconds before they're killed, Ali wakes up but can barely move. Gregg decides to stay and die rather than abandon her. Ali kisses him, he reciprocates, then... poof! They're gone.

As much as I've complained about post length, it's only really a problem in pregame. The in-game posts are still bloated, but they're shorter and have more going on. Gregg is a good character, and what I've seen of Ali is pretty good as well. The biggest problem is that the grand love story set up between Ali and Gregg in peters out and ends suddenly once they meet on the island. It's not a satisfying story. It's clear that OOC issues crippled the Ali/Gregg story. Riserugu stopped posting and Megami was left to handle Ali and Gregg while dealing with a million other problems as the only person holding the site together. She wrapped their story up in a sudden end because she just didn't want to deal with them anymore. Or maybe they were just rolled, I didn't check.

Gregg and Ali are victims to one of V2's biggest problems. Everyone had really big plans for their characters, but almost none of them came to fruition. The version is full of wasted potential and miserable ends to promising characters. Don't read Gregg Archer or Ali Grayston, it's a waste of time. If for some reason you want to read them after reading this, just follow Ali. Ali seems to have some more stuff going on by herself, and Ali is in all of Gregg's threads aside from two short, pointless ones.

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The V2 Read-o-thon · Roleplaying Discussion