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V3 Read-A-Thon; I want to go back to V2 - Ruggahissy
Topic Started: Feb 3 2014, 01:15 AM (21,127 Views)
Blastinus
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You know, this could be a fun thing to do while killing time. Throw one my way, please.
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Eris Marquis

At first, I figured Eris to just be yet another premade killer in a can. She was antisocial, just on the edge of snapping, and had a wide knowledge of things that would just conveniently help her if she got stuck on an abandoned island in a fight for survival.

In the first couple threads, that prediction did seem like it was coming true, but there was actually a different twist to the whole thing, and I have to compliment Dinah_Shore for making good use of Eris's starting weapon, a large bottle of Vodka. Simulating the effects of an intoxicated person under heavy stress made the first murder seem a bit more reasonable than if she had just snapped by herself and started going around killing people for no adequate reason.

Unfortunately for Dinah_Shore, Eris's next target was the ever-incomprehensible Liam Black. You could forgive her for seeming a little dumbstruck as everyone else in the thread reacted to her shooting someone like she'd been shooting a BB Gun. No real panic, certainly not as much of a reaction on Liam Black's part as someone being shot in the leg should have had. Just everyone having a giant conversation about how to react and then filing out of the tree, one by one.

(If I may diverge a little bit, this brings to mind a common complaint I have about V3, that almost nobody ever acts like they're threatened by anything, unless they've actually been rolled. Eris had a handgun, a freakin' handgun, and people were still as cocksure as can be. I'm not asking people to become a blubbering mess or something of that sort, but there's no harm in acting just a little afraid of one's own mortality.)

After being taken over by D/N, Eris seems to take a strict turn for the villainous, going after anyone and everyone she can find. She isn't an unrepentant killer, but instead someone heavily rationalizing her actions to herself. Unfortunately, she seems to also take on a few...interesting opinions about people, particularly Dacey Ashcroft. Not sure whether that was D/N talking or just roleplaying the character, but it's a little weird to read.

At the Airfield, I start to wonder whether writing offscreen actions is a good thing. We hear about a lot of the traveling that Eris does on the island, but we never actually see it, right up until she pulls out a broken saber that she apparently found in order to fight Morgan Green. Otherwise, there's not much to say about this confrontation, since I can only assume that most of it was arranged in advance, considering how the characters injure one another in the posts themselves. It's a well-written fight, but V3's fight scenes were one of its higher points, so what's to say about it?

And finally, we get to Wild International, at the Small Cottage. This is a wonderful thread, and a great way to kick off Eris's character. D/N does a wonderful job of portraying a character with just a few strings of sanity left, and the back-and-forth between her and the more idealistic folks in the cottage makes for some amazing reading. And then comes Dante Cooper's entrance, and that's where everything goes gloriously south. Like I said, fight scenes are where V3 really shines, and the utter chaos of the shootout that occurs in front of the cottage can really be felt with how the handlers write it. You can really feel like Eris didn't mean to shoot Dacey Ashcroft, and that was simply how it had panned out.

And from there comes the standoff, when she, Ryan Atwell, and Steve Digaetano all have guns on one another while the danger zone is activating. End result: Eris gets wounded and decides to take her own life instead of having her collar explode. Curiously, she's credited with the death of Ryan Atwell, and sure enough, reading through his story, it turns out that she'd managed to get him in the side during that last shootout. And the story doesn't even end there, as we get one last look at Eris's mind through her father, Daniel Marquis. This was a fascinating way to bookend Eris's development, and I actually wish that more handlers would show the reactions of family and friends to what happened during SotF.

Overall, Eris seemed to be a very shallow character when I first read her bio, but while she adhered mostly to the First-Day Player archetype, the way she was written made her more complex than that. If I had to put a rating on her, I'd give her an 8.5/10. Good character, would read again.

Can I get another?
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Blastinus
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Reg Robson

I gotta say, as yet another person thrown into the sacrificial pit that was Bobby Jacks, Reggie Robson made the most of his time on the island. He was a non-player, and a very convincing one at that, since he didn't just mope around and do absolutely nothing. Instead, he was almost immediately conspiring to ruin Danya's game and lamenting the fact that he might have to kill someone to survive. And there's the thing: Reg's thoughts, plans, and concerns were all very believable. He wasn't high and mighty about his decision to not play. He just didn't want to kill people.

When Lenny Priestly showed up, doing his Lenny Priestly thing, I halfway expected Reg to get completely overshadowed by his presence, but actually, he managed to do a good showing in the brief tussle that resulted, calm down the situation, and propose a decent idea. He didn't immediately resort to violence in a tense situation, but instead defused it and turned it around for his own ends. That's what I liked about Reg, that he stayed consistent to his character, even with the random occurrence of a dedicated killer.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Bobby Jacks' appearance. Gotta be honest, his actual death just doesn't do anything for me, and storywise, it feels like a complete non-sequitur. Bobby Jacks shows up, shoots at him, he falls over dead. I suppose that's supposed to illustrate how sudden and mundane a person's death can be, but after all the buildup and all the planning that he was doing, Reg Robson's abrupt exit from the island made his whole plot arc basically pointless.

Alright, keep 'em coming!
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Lucy O'Donnell

Gotta say, I wasn't expecting much from Lucy when I first read her profile and saw that she was in only one thread. I figured that she'd been killed quickly and nothing had come of her computer nerd character traits. I couldn't have been more wrong, as it turns out that she was the one who came up with the way to get the collars off and provide a handful of students with a way to fight back against the terrorists.

Still, it's hard to get a real feel for Lucy's character, since she shows up in other people's posts more often and the original handler doesn't write her nearly as much. Not to say that she wasn't important, since she was the means by which the V3 students were able to perform a brief insurrection against the game, but she struck me sometimes as not so much a character as a collar-removing plot device. Her tirades against Neil Sinclair and Adam Dodd were fun reading, for sure, and a brief flashback at the moment of her death gave her a chance to fill out her character a little, but ultimately, she just didn't last long enough for me to really get behind her character before she took a bullet to the chest. It's a shame really, because she could have been so much more.

Honestly though, it did give me an excuse to read The Twist. That whole plotline in V3 was a fascinating read, and I wish I'd been paying attention when the plotline was going on.

Can I do another?
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Shawn Waits...just...Shawn Waits

Where do I even start with this guy? You really don't know what to expect just reading his profile. A "well-known" musician at the age of 21, still in high school at the age of 21, and one of his listed interests is "jail-bait." This style of exaggeration struck me as strangely familiar, and sure enough, the handler in question was none other than Bukowski, of Blood Boy and Josh Goodman fame. Bukowski's posts with Blood Boy struck me as a guy trying to see how over-the-top he could go while still remaining within the bounds of the narrative, which could only mean good things for this alcoholic, lazy, excessive, compulsive gambler.

With that in mind, I went into his one and only thread expecting something ridiculous to happen, and I wasn't disappointed. Shambling into a conversation while spouting drunken nonsense, Shawn was hilariously uncomfortable to read. Bragging about sleeping with five girls at once, taunting Steve Digaetano about his girlfriend, and so on, this guy was really asking for someone to pull a gun on him, which is exactly what happened.

And this is where Shawn really gets fun, because he not only does every single insult you can possibly imagine in a short space of time, but he actually charges a guy holding a gun on him, with predictable results. The resulting shot to the face, with Bukowski's typical detail-filled descriptions, makes for fascinating but stomach-turning reading. Unfortunately, at this point, Shawn goes inactive and gets killed off in a hurried and mundane fashion, but oh boy, did he manage to make his one scene memorable.

As I said, it's really hard to communicate my feelings on Bukowski's characters. I guess the best way to describe them is "larger-than-life." They're so over-the-top, hilariously so, and they're fun to read because of that, even if the realism of the characters is somewhat questionable. I would never expect one of these characters to make it into V4, let alone V5, but they were entertaining, nonetheless.
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Blastinus
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Pardon the wait. Real life and whatever. Now then...

Noah Jacobs

I applaud Super Llama's decision to just outright ignore the part about the evil split personality. When I read that part of Noah's profile, I fully expected a premade killer who flips out whenever it's convenient and turns back just in time to have angst about his actions, and I was happy to find that to not be the case.

Instead, we've got instant action, what with Harry Tsai and his boomstick of doom. Llama does a good job here of having Noah take a good amount of damage from Harry without getting himself into a fatal situation. I wish that more people would actually go for one another outside of rolls, because the fight that takes place between Noah and Harry is violent and quick, with a lot of good synergy between the two handlers.

After a couple of one-shots, by the end of which Noah seems to have forgotten about the shotgun pellets in his side and his broken nose (kinda weird, really), Noah finally finds a slightly more substantial thread in the Jailhouse. Nothing really to say about this thread though, since it's just your typical "Hi, I'm not playing. What are you up to?" kind of interaction. He's on a vague quest to find the folks he met near the start of his game, but for the most part, he's just wandering and occasionally getting into interactions with people.

And so it goes. Noah Jacobs goes to a graveyard, gets shot at by John Rizzolo, and realizes that his friends are dead. He reacts angrily, doesn't wait for anyone to react to him acting angrily, and leaves. He's got kind of an objective now to hunt down Alexis Machina, but he seems to spend a lot of time just dithering around, arriving when other people bite it and acquiring their goods.

Final thread: he's got a shotgun and a harpoon, and he finally gets an opportunity to fight Alexis Machina. He's been building up to this for a while, and for what it's worth, it's a pretty good fight. Alexis and Noah have a short game of cat and mouse with a little back and forth before he's taken out by a grenade and shot in the head.

So...that's Noah, I guess. He rages around the island, tries to do the hero thing, and ends up accomplishing almost nothing when you really get down to it. Just another sacrifice to Alexis Machina. If anything, his "role" is to play a foil to Alexis, giving her an opportunity to show how frightened and not-in-control she is, despite having a whole bunch of weapons. I can't say that I was really interested in Noah, but I'm glad that he didn't have a split personality, because I would have been even less interested.

Can I do another?
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Blastinus
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Yeah, looking back through it, I noticed that I'd been assigned Dan Wolfe and completely failed to do a write-up. I'll get on that over the weekend.
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So....Daniel Wolfe.

Nothing really notable about Daniel's pregame, other than establishing a backstory between him and Harry Tsai, where they both jam together. Near as I can tell, he's a guy who likes to play guitar which, so far as character traits is concerned, is more of a hobby than a personality.

Then he actually gets onto the island, and things get a little more interesting. You don't see a lot of people who decide immediately that they're just going to get into the swing of things, and as it so happens, Daniel reunites into Harry Tsai, who has the same idea in mind. The back-and-forth in their fight scene is interesting but short since Mary McKay enters the scene, prompting Harry Tsai to escape.

Not to be deterred from his goal of whacking somebody, Daniel does something which I find to be rather significant: he goes after Mary (who, I should mention, is pregnant) without any sort of hesitation. This establishes his character better than his fight with Harry could, since he's so kill-crazy that it doesn't matter who he's going for. I question the realism of this, since one of his supposed goals is to become a teacher and improve the next generation. I just don't see the progression here from the profile to an instant attempted murderer.

After fleeing the scene when further backup shows up, Daniel's next appearance is in the hospital, having sustained some deep cuts during his two attempted kills, where he encounters a bit of a group. When beforehand, he was acting all gruff and confrontational, suddenly he tries acting defenseless. This seems to jive with his advantages claiming that he's a good actor, but when I look at the major body of his profile, I don't see any supporting paragraphs to explain his acting skills. I'm surprised that a mod didn't catch that.

What follows is a convoluted scheme to fracture the group and worm his way into the good graces of Gabe McCallum in order to get his gun. And then The Scalpel shows up, the one that trips people so that they can impale themselves on it. Given the short length of Daniel's death post and the way that he died in the exact same way as the person he nabbed it from, I can't help but think that the author was pressed for time when he wrote it.

Overall, I didn't get much from Daniel Wolfe. He was a schemer but also a spontaneous killer, and he wasn't especially fantastic at either. While an interesting read, just because of how direct and uncomplicated his actions were, I felt like he was also a case of squandered potential.

Can I have another?
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Mark Tavarian

Starting with the profile, a few alarm bells went off in my mind. Tragic loss of parents, studying a martial art, playing strategy games, charming and suave in public, but a dark side underneath...All of these aspects together suggested to me that Mark was going to be a player in a can. I figured that he'd just snap at the first opportunity and go on a typical killing spree.

Not quite. From the first thread he's in, where he steps in, observes a Bobby Jacks killing, and leaves, we discover that Jonathan Lancer, who happens to be controlled by the same handler AND Mark's best friend, was following him. Mark, meanwhile, is just becoming a tagalong. I don't blame him for being drowned out in Sound and Fury when there are such strong characters as Bobby Jacks and Neil Sinclair going at one another, but he really doesn't do much, even in RationalParanoia's posts, and he just eventually goes inactive and gets removed from the thread.

Next time we see Mark, he's been taken over by a different handler, and suddenly his whole demeanor changes. He's seeing people as pawns and scheming to take advantage of them, and this is honestly closer to how I expected, just based on the profile. But beyond that, he's also acting like he's got brain damage and referencing events that never happen onscreen, and I'm just confused. He's giggling and grinning and focusing on weird things...I won't say that Darkling Perhaps wrote him poorly, because the writing is good, but he's a completely new character at this point. When he dies spouting dumb Chess analogies, I'm just shaking my head in disbelief. In the end, he was just another goofy gimmick killer, and that's tragic.

Well, hopefully the next one will be better.
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NotAFlyingToy
Nov 1 2014, 07:24 PM
Un-Persona
Nov 1 2014, 07:04 PM
Blast: Adam Dodd
Trade ya.
Hmm...yeah, sure. I don't have much of an investment in Adam Dodd anyway. Who do you have?
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NotAFlyingToy
Nov 1 2014, 08:40 PM
Blastinus
Nov 1 2014, 08:10 PM
NotAFlyingToy
Nov 1 2014, 07:24 PM
Un-Persona
Nov 1 2014, 07:04 PM
Blast: Adam Dodd
Trade ya.
Hmm...yeah, sure. I don't have much of an investment in Adam Dodd anyway. Who do you have?
Kara Holmes!
Okie dokie. I'll do a write-up of Kara ASAP. Have fun with Dodd! That one's gonna take you a while.
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Kara Holmes

Just judging from the profile, Kara Holmes is a character with a lot of potential. She's the head cheerleader, has parental issues and psychological problems as a result, and she has a backstory with two other characters. She could go all sorts of directions with this kind of setup.

Then I look down and see that she has one thread. And that thread is with Blood-friggin'-Boy. Great! Awesome.

Sure enough, ol' Nathaniel Harris steals the scene with his ridiculously over-the-top (And plagiaristic. That speech in Ten Speed about teenage girls is copied word-for-word from the Joker) persona, and Kara Holmes becomes nothing but a setpiece for him to play around with. Blood Boy is one of the dumbest things that ever happened to V3, sucking the enjoyment out of any thread he's in. Kara could have been an interesting and sophisticated character, but she died way too soon and to the absolute worst player.

I need someone else to wash the taste of Blood Boy out of my mouth.
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Velvet Retsiloh

Let's see...star athlete in two sports, really tall, obsessed with fashion, unanimously elected team captain...This has potential at any rate, even if it is hard to swallow.

Velvet is another one of those late-joiners, the ones who hid on the island while all the craziness was going on and only just started showing their face. I feel like her handler made a mistake in having her discard her chosen weapon entirely, since that forced her to go on the passive side of things. Still, she's a fun character for the brief time that she has with John Rizzolo, showing a witty side despite everything that's going on and a good degree of caution.

Then Shameeca Mitchell shows up and prompts the Riz to begin the long chase. Let me tell you about this chase, because it goes for three whole threads and finally culminates in Velvet's death. I'm talking a long-running story here, way before any rolls could have come up. At one point, she pops into a thread, utters a warning, and pops back out again in the exact same post. As much as I like the narrative behind this chase, I feel like it also hamstrung Tythanin a little, since one attempt at getting Velvet into a different group was immediately broken up by the Riz popping up again.

I think I'd like to also discuss Mr. Rizzolo, since he was the big winner and all: it seemed to me like V3 had a lot of cases where characters would basically throw themselves into the mill, sacrificing themselves to some big name player so that he could have a giant kill score. Nothing wrong with that if the guy's willing to do a good death scene for your character, but I feel like that kind of attitude also prevents a bunch of other would-be players from getting an opportunity to show off, since the big guys are getting all the kills (and saves, for that matter) basically handed to them. I hope that V6 has a more even spread in general, because V3's cults of personality aren't really my kind of thing.

Anyway, Velvet finally gets caught and killed with barely a fight. I saw her story going a number of places, but being chased from thread to thread wasn't one of them. It didn't give her a lot of character-building moments or chances to develop, because she was never allowed to stop and be at peace. That's tragic.

Can I get one more? These are so fun.
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Sean O'Cann

I must admit, I had my reservations when I read about Sean's sexuality. Gay characters aren't often much more than just that, which tends to make for some really eye-rolling scenes. However, Sean's profile doesn't emphasize the sexuality. Rather, he's a sportsman with an exciting past full of adventure who also happens to be gay.

Which, curiously, doesn't seem to factor at all into his first few threads. For a guy who's a sportsman and a daredevil, Sean seems to be incredibly timid, only really acting with confidence around his third thread. I feel like his handler made the right choice in separating Sean from Anderson Walker early, since a large part of his character when the two were in the thread together was just discussing how safe he felt with the two of them together. Once out on his own, Sean seems to be a lot freer, capable of doing daring acts such as challenging Gabriel Theobaldt to a fight while armed with just a piece of glass.

Credit to his handler, Sean demonstrates very well how a person would realistically be just wasted doing the island stuff day in and day out. While other characters are just chugging nonstop without seeming fatigued or inconvenienced, Sean is passing out from exhaustion, debilitated from injuries that cross several threads. SOTF would realistically give little opportunities for people to heal from injuries or get a good rest, so the physical and emotional tolls would ramp up fast, and Sean demonstrates this.

Following the deaths of his friend and his lover, Sean's character goes heavily into the bitter cynical which, not to be insulting, tends to sound the same as every other SOTF character after a while. Not to say it isn't justified, considering what he's been through, but I feel like a lot of the early confidence and meekness made for a more interesting character. I'm not a fan of the bitter cynic character type, mostly because it isn't a lot of fun to read.

Of note, Sean is one of the characters who actually manages to escape, though it's unclear in the game itself whether he actually made it, due to wounds incurred when fighting the terrorists. I don't know how much of an impression he made on me, since he didn't actually contribute a great deal, despite interacting with a lot of big-name characters. Still, he's well-written, and one of the few cases where I've seen a gay character played tastefully, so props for that!

One more, please.
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NotAFlyingToy
Nov 9 2014, 08:25 PM
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Nov 8 2014, 10:46 AM
Ohm: [url=sotf.wikia.com/wiki/Liam_Black]Liam Black[/url]
HAAAAAAH.
I envy him, actually. I was hoping to get Liam Black.
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