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The V5 Read-A-Thon; Lets goooo for it
Topic Started: Apr 2 2017, 10:02 PM (5,568 Views)
CrossbowPig
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I'd like one~!
~~~~~ Sadly CBP looked at a SOTF character. It was so sad... such a sad character... like him... he only waned a normal life... was that too much to ask? was it?

NOW: V7

SOON: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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CrossbowPig
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Okay, so, Sara Corlett! As a quick note, I might as well make it clear that I only read Sara's island threads, and, for that matter, I only read the last thread she was in up until she died.

Poor girl. Really poor girl, she was. Her getting along with Sean, a character who I feel like ended up stealing the show a little bit from Sara, was a really cool way to build on his character and flesh out Sara's personality as well. Real shame she only managed to get tin foil as a weapon, too, since I can imagine how she could have lasted a lit longer - or shorter, who knows - with a gun (flintlock pistol? cutlass?) or a different weapon in general. For what was there, though, I found it a very enjoyable read, a more lighthearted romp up until the somewhat sudden death of Aria. I generally feel like, with this, I'm poking at the sleeping underbelly of a larger creature, that larger creature being the body of V5 as a whole. Prior to this, the only character I had read from start to finish from this version was Amaranta Montalvo, the winner, so while Zubin was familiar to me (remotely) all of the other faces I got peeks at were brand new to my eyes.

I realize that the guest of honor here isn't getting much attention, but that kind of feeds into my feelings toward Sara in general. The four threads she's in aren't really enough on their own to develop her character, given that Sean's dominant personality is so often the focus whenever she's around, but the quality of prose that's here is generally good. For Sara being a character that originally wasn't her own, I want to say Turtle did a good job - she certainly did with the quality of the writing itself - but I don't really know the original vision for the character was on her original handler's part so I don't want to jump to any conclusions. Overall, pretty nice and cozy read through, and looking at how Turtle's matured at a writer since Sara - a jump from good to great imho - will never cease to fascinate and impress me.

Hit me with another one, barkeep! I promise it won't take me this long next time.
~~~~~ Sadly CBP looked at a SOTF character. It was so sad... such a sad character... like him... he only waned a normal life... was that too much to ask? was it?

NOW: V7

SOON: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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CrossbowPig
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I'm trying a bit of a disorganized approach here, truer to how I actually read the character. Sorry if I'm doing anybody any injustice.

Alexander de Gaulle has a good head on his shoulders. Almost too good. The whole "wake up, realize where you are and how you got here, throw up, panic and cry" start has been overdone to hell and back (even if I've done it, that doesn't mean that it was the most tactful usage), but here with a character as soft as Alex I would've thought that it would be a good fit for him. It speaks more to his character, though, that the first thing on the island he tries to do is to help someone else. Him and Sophie eventually find their way to the hotel, and then I get distracted and start reading pregame threads because I didn't do that last time for Sara.

As fate would have it, Alex and Sara start pregame in the same thread. Their interactions are pretty cutesy, it's a bunch of - mostly - nerdy people hanging out in a library, and here I could see that, going from a normal setting to the island, Alex didn't really get too affected by what was happening - at least, not by the second island thread of his. Sadly, Alex gets stuck in purgatory by his second pregame thread, and the only other non-island tidbit he gets is a memory thread where he meets Madeline Wilcox. He comes off as a bit awkward here - I don't know how many people would straight up go ahead and introduce themselves to a stranger and then make a bunch of somewhat outlandish claims that their father was in the magazine the stranger is reading - but again, that feels at least somewhat intentional. Madeline takes it well anyway.

Back on the island, Alex decides to show his incredibly small music power level, which is entirely befitting of a teen in this time and place. I liked those songs when they came out, so I don't know why this is such a sticking point for me, but for some reason I started laughing when I saw them. It was incredibly rude of me, and I have brought dishonor upon myself as a musician and music listener. Lord, forgive me, for I have goofed.

What strikes me the most about Alex is how Firedog never wrote another character. To me, that's really a shame, because I see lots of potential here. Each post is entirely serviceable, and there's a decent amount of hooks for subsequent posts. Plus, post length is consistent throughout, and even if they fall on the shorter side, they manage to pack in a decent amount of content. The only real gripe is how, at times, Alex can sort of be a little bit of a Captain Obvious, but otherwise he's a solid read with a badass name to boot. He comes into his own a bit more in his last thread with some corny jokes, a fitting coping mechanism for anyone in this situation, but especially him.

At this point, Firedog stopped linking threads in his signature, so I had to go onto the wiki. Folks, it's not that hard to keep things internally consistent, ya heard?

Multi shots aren't fun to read. Alex doesn't get much action in this one, so I sort of skimmed it.

I really hate the multi shot as a format. It doesn't do any of the characters involved justice on their own, and it's a giant block of text that just feels like a slog to get through. With a normal thread, each section of the thread is broken down into little chunks for greater analysis. Even the oneshot is a bit of an undesirable format. I try to keep mine short and sweet. Thankfully, Ghosts of Ravenstar was courteous enough to break his up into two separate posts, so I could bail as soon as Alex left the thread. I'm guessing the next thread was lost to the ether when the site crashed, because all of the posts are by Vyse, so even though my initial thoughts were "Another goddamn multishot?" I can't blame anybody for this.

I can't not comment on the fact that Gavin names his gun Platinum Lucifer. Whoever gets this guy is in for fun times.

Firedog disappears at this point. Just up into the air, like that, and Jilly Shears takes over. That explains the internal thread linking confusion, somewhat. This is the second character I've recieved that's been handled by two separate handlers. The first time, it was just pregame that was done by the original handler, and I could avoid it somewhat, but now it's cut into the main storyline and island threads. I'm not sure if I can handle all this change, it might be a bit too much for me.

From here on in, something changes with Alex, noticeably so. He gets a bit more spiteful, and tired, and maybe that's because he's been burned one too many times. I feel like it's more due to the change in ownership. In his last thread, the changes become more apparent in subtle ways. Post length varies more often, and one sentence lines used for tension creep up where there were none before. It's funny, because I've read this thread before. The only student I'd read in full from v5, prior to the read-a-thon, was Mara, and coincidentally, Alex's last thread is one of hers too. I remember this death vividly, from a different viewpoint - that of someone who had just walked onto the scene, not the person dying. It takes on a different tone now because of this, something more sorrowful. Storylines and characters weave together like areas in the first half of Dark Souls - One minute you're reading Alexander de Gaulle and wondering where the next bonfire is, then you kick down a ladder and find yourself in Amaranta Montalvo. That's the way it goes.

Jilly Shears disappears, and SOTF_Help steps in for the death. Alex gets torn to pieces by a grenade. Like the transition from handler to handler, this death comes suddenly and doesn't do much to satisfy. I wish I had more to read of Alex - the Alex that Firedog was writing. Not that Jilly didn't do a good job, apart from also up and leaving.

Oh well. What can you do, right?

Another one, garçon, s'il vous plait.
~~~~~ Sadly CBP looked at a SOTF character. It was so sad... such a sad character... like him... he only waned a normal life... was that too much to ask? was it?

NOW: V7

SOON: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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CrossbowPig
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Can I just say, really quickly before I just tear into this guy, that I love the idea of embedding a memory in a post as a dream? I think the way it was handled was maybe not the best, because as far as I can tell it was either done after the fact or in really quick succession, but that's the kind of format screw that I really like. It wasn't what I was expecting, at the very least. For some reason, because of that, as well as the whole moonbase thing, I was drawn into this guy's pre-game, something that I haven't really gotten as far into with other characters, but something it makes the least sense to do now because of just how long this guy's pre-game is.

The impression I'm getting is that, this early on in pre-game, he's being painted as a jerk with a heart of gold archetype. Whether or not that works later is in the air at the moment, but right now it's realistic enough that, though overplayed, it works. He keeps his friends close, and is willing to go to war for them - or at least willing to scare off a bunch of freshman - while still being prickly enough towards them to poke at a couple of cousins for having to maybe dance together. He does popular, stonery things, with stonery people - this guy would be the hit comic relief character in SOTF: The Movie: The Game: The Series.

But then we get to Prom. Worth noting that this, while technically a separate part of pre-game, like Memories, isn't listed as part of its own section on the wiki. This is strange and inconvenient in its own ways, but not in any words really worth talking about. It's just a minor detail that I find kind of annoying. For the most part, character-wise, he stays exactly the same, sneaking pot-brownies in the bathroom and fucking around with his friends some more, but he crosses some kind of miniature moral-event horizon when he gives an unwitting member of the general public a pot brownie. Now, I'm no pot-head, stoner, junkie, or other drug associated citizen - yet - but as far as I can see this is generally considered a dick move. He plays it off like a character would while the rest of the world reacts realistically, which is an interesting dichotomy. The two stoner bro's aren't both apathetic, but one is generally caring and stunned at what just happened. That one isn't Travis, though.

I have to assume that they had sex, because their pre-game thread where they were most likely slated to have sex never got to the point where they had sex. I'm also inclined to believe that, like, the little brother saw it and was traumatized, but again, left to the imagination.

Oh, and I guess he was at a party at some point? But that thread looked really long, and moved slowly, so I set it aside for some other point because I didn't particularly feel like reading it. That's not the main event, so, whatever.

Is there such a thing as significant as a hypothetical "Main Event" to Travis? He just kind of waltzes into his first island thread and starts talking, as if there isn't anything wrong or questionable about that kind of behavior. Not only that, he comes in with the idea of stealing things. I appreciate Naomi calling him a pleb for not realizing the use of duct tape, though. This seems like another character where one of the selling points is the characters that they come into contact with. This is only reinforced as he comes into contact with Hansel Williams, and some other kid named Tyler. Fight scene was a popcorn-popper for sure, though. Really enjoyed that. For the most part, he's stayed in line with the precedent he set in pre-game up to his first one-shot, a precedent best described as "crazy motherfucker" because apart from the profile we haven't seen much of any of his truly, truly caring side yet.

Until he hears about Joe.

The narrative tries to play it off as a pragmatic concern at first, but it's pretty apparent, at least to me, that this concern lies primarily with the fact that Joe's his friend. Someone that Travis cares about, first and foremost.

I mean, that's where things feel like they're going, until Travis goes and fucks with some other gullible saps just because he can, a group that includes one of the people he messed with earlier, because that's a good idea,Travis, because that's an action that makes sense after the hook we just got for what you were going to be doing for a good deal of time, because this is a good decision, TRAVIS.

Sigh.

Gavin shows up and then doesn't anymore while Travis gets called out for his shit. Backslash comments on the whole Saturday Morning Cartoon villain schtick in the comment they left on the wiki, and I'm picking up on it heavy here. The callout at the end of his tenure in the container maze just sells that to me, that he's more of a character than a person. So far it's worked in his favor, for all his faults, but I'm waiting for when this eventually turns sour. I mean, he already describes Matt Masters the same way he described Tyler.

He deals with him differently, though. He kills him, accidentally piercing a major artery.

Oh, I think it's worth mentioning that, before he tries to rob some people and winds up killing one of them, Travis messes with this guy named Edgar, because he's a huge guy now and that's his whole thing, he don't trust nobody. Takes Edgar's things, then isn't satisfied and goes to take more things. He'd be swimming in cracker tins at this point if he could keep his shit together long enough to eat any of them. The reason that I'm bringing up Edgar out of sequence is because Travis somehow runs into Edgar again after his accidental killing of Matt Masters. If there's ever a point for a narrative to go all grimdark, all "Fuck what others think I'm a monster now," then I guess it's after a first kill. It's in this state that Edgar, reasonably terrified, finds Travis. The only real complaint I have about this fight scene is that there is so, so much goddamned introspection during it! Time doesn't go that slowly during a fight, where you're able to think all those thoughts about family and friends and regret and whatever, all in the span of a three second fall? This really goes both ways here, but for what it's worth Edgar has it rougher. The threat at the end is, at this point, classic Travis, a little over the top and mental. He slugs off, with two bags, the weight somehow not bothering his bruised body, and wanders into another thread

This is almost the halfway point, as far as thread count goes. What I don't understand is how Travis kind of decided "Nah, that whole killer thing, that was so yesterday, I'm gonna act decent now," and didn't kill Cass right then and there. Maybe this is the start of some kind of redemption arc, or something.

I've been imagining scalpels this whole time as pizza cutters. I am dearly sorry.

He goes back to his old self almost immediately, though. He uses Cass as a human shield in a way that to me sounds like Cass finding him at the beach was only happening so that she could be used as a human shield, like a poorly hidden Chekov's gun, but it doesn't matter all that much in the long run. It doesn't matter at all, really, because Travis runs into Joe right after that.

This is where the comparison is to be drawn. The interactions between Travis and Joe before and after the island should be the biggest indicator of any personal change in Travis, since the two are such close friends. This should be the staging ground, then, for any new character moments, insights into what makes Travis tick, any indicator of anything occurring on a mental level.

And I can't really complain here. They're obviously both mad at each other, and one of them (Joe) is more right than the other in this, but as friends, they're able to pull through. Joe conveniently dodging the issue of the person he killed is a bit suspect, but I'll chalk that up to Travis throwing him to the ground and the appearance of Tyler again. I like the interactions with Tyler, too, the cat and mouse kind of chase here reminds me a lot of some good horror encounters enough to keep me engaged. The dynamic then shifts to Travis being kept on a leash by Joe, as they run into someone, walk back out, and then into a barricade, where it's Joe's turn to hold the idiot ball because he decides to knock on the door of a barricade and ask if they have a shovel. What is there to say here? I guess it makes some sense, given that Joe's been trying to assume the best of people thus far, and it does turn out well enough.

Ha. Haha. Turns out in Owen traumatized, Joe down a friend, Aileen dead, and Travis running for the goddamn hills. Well enough!

I think that Travis took a dip in writing between when he killed Matt and when he found Joe again. That little segment right there of aimless wandering and conveniences didn't strike me the right way. Now, though, I feel like the narrative has picked up some of its slack. We went from slightly manic junkie on the loose, to active killer and stealer, to restrained maniac, and now he's running around free again, bruised and battered, not much life left in him. Enough life to call Joe out, though, which, having dropped Joe's narrative when it faded out of Travis' view, I have to side with. Enough life to steal something, that something being a gun.

Enough life to get into a hell of a gunfight! It's almost like a reunion, really, as three of the six involved were all out by the Ferris Wheel before this, several days prior. None of the combatants die, but someone is caught in the crossfire, a likely tragic end to someone's tragic life. I really liked Carlos announcing the arrival of Travis. Made the whole thing feel like some kind of Shakespearean fight scene, with a chorus and the like. Throwing around the word 'Lo' helps that a decent amount. Travis makes it out basically unscathed, but missing a few shots in his gun.

Enough shots left to finish what he started with Owen, at least. I've read enough to know that this is what kindness does to you in this world, so this conclusion isn't very surprising. It makes sense for Travis to want to tie up this loose end, but not all that much sense for the mention of a name to be enough to send him on his way killing again. What happens next would probably have been another good character moment, if it wasn't an inactivity death. It makes sense for him to succumb to his injuries in some way at some point, but for all the low points of his journey I can't help but feel like he should have been found, unconscious, by someone who took pity on him, nourished him back to health, and then was killed by him, or something like that. What I'm trying to articulate is that I wish it didn't end this way.

Like, two inactive deaths in a row? My effin' luck.

I want to highlight the Meanwhile that was started and never finished. It didn't last long enough to get to when Travis died, for starters, but it showed some promise. I do wish that each post wasn't just a play-by-play of the breakdown of the family, but the course that things were taking would have been entertaining on its own.

Overall, I think I grew attached to Travis, even if I didn't completely like him the whole way through. The highlights to me were pre-game, the first quarter of his island time, and the third quarter of his island time, while the rest of his story was a bit weird to read. None of it was boring, at the very least. Jerk with a heart of gold gave way to just plain Jerk, I guess.

I think I'll hold off on another kid for now. I'll post again when I want one rolled for me.
~~~~~ Sadly CBP looked at a SOTF character. It was so sad... such a sad character... like him... he only waned a normal life... was that too much to ask? was it?

NOW: V7

SOON: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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CrossbowPig
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Been a while. I'd like another kid.
~~~~~ Sadly CBP looked at a SOTF character. It was so sad... such a sad character... like him... he only waned a normal life... was that too much to ask? was it?

NOW: V7

SOON: V7

DEAD: V6

MAYBE: V?
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