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I heard Mai committed a pregame murder and was instantly sold on this.

Running commentary

Ok so, to give a serious critique of Mai.

In short, she's not great.

In a slightly longer form:

Besides the entire pregame murder deal, her voice and character just aren't that interesting and we never get to see another side of her other than the ugly person who killed her best friend over a role in a play. Like a lot of V2 and some of V3 there's the basis for some interesting character work there. The jealous friend who sabotages her bestie to get what she wants and there could be some interesting explorations of jealously and self-worth as well as self-esteem issues given her dance instructor and best friends fixation of physical appearance.

Instead what we get is a shallow evil character who just isn't very interesting and going onto the island doesn't help this out much.

Part of this may be that Jack's original handler went AWOL so Mai's handler took over. Now obviously it's not ideal but if you were going to stick with it you'd imagine the greater degree of control over both characters would mean you're able to produce something with a lot of detail and interesting bit. Unfortunately this doesn't happen either. The rest of Mai's threads end up being her having conversations with Jack which means that they all end up being lines of dialogue with no description or thoughts behind them. This ends up really hurting everything because the dialogue we're given doesn't have much depth to it, it's just the kind of the regular conversations you'd expect from characters stuck in SOTF but without knowing what's going on in the characters heads it comes off as fairly bland. That and due to the weird red text stuff we're left waiting for the moment Mai turns on him.

This moment never comes though. Ok that's not entirely true, we do get this moment but it doesn't come in the way that is being built up. Which doesn't mean its a good surprise, it's almost the opposite since the foreshadowing we were being given has us expecting Mai to just kill Jack because she wants to move on and she killed her best friend in pregame. Because of a play.

The other issue is the whole death sequence starting from Mai chugging her poison capsules in an attempt to commit suicide. As soon as this happens Jack instantly realizes she killed Kim. It seems to come too fast as a realization and while I'm aware it's probably for the purpose of getting deaths done it still doesn't quite hit the mark. It's just too soon to reach this point in their stories. This then also causes a continuity snafu as Mai fights off the effects of the poison for a massive amount of time, catching up to Jack and killing him. The death itself, is a bit of a mess as well due to the formatting choices that were made. Also she tears his face off.

Overall I can't say I'd recommend Mai. Not even for the curiosity factor of the pregame murder. She has the potential to be interesting and hit some intriguing themes but she's a victim of most of the early being very similar to Battle Royale in that most characters are exaggerated archetypes. It makes her come off as very flat, and worse boring. It's disappointing because there could be so much more here, but the choices of how her on island story plays out and how it's presented to us undercut all of it.

But hey, she'll always have the pregame murder.

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Forrest Quin - At the Zoo
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The V2 Read-o-thon · Roleplaying Discussion