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The V2 Read-o-thon; Olden days
Topic Started: Aug 24 2017, 06:45 PM (7,551 Views)
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Hit me up, barkeep.
"I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk" -- Stephen King

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It's the Grand Map of Doom! v6
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I quite like Blake, but he suffers from several flaws that detract from his character.

The opening thread works through strong and realistic thought processes. He's bright, but also flawed, and he shows that very quickly when his idea of taping a bible to his chest to act as padding is quickly shown to simply be an annoyance rather than a great idea.

His thought processes are interesting, sometimes thinking about what the game means more than his personal affairs, we occasionally get a little bit too much of the intelligent atheist archetype seeping through in the early writing, but for the most part he makes it work.

It's helped that he interacts with a lot of quality writing in his threads, his kill of Gregory is brutal, his reaction to the utterly hilarious (probably not intentionally) Stacy is nuanced, and his interactions with himself with Franco are played well enough that it doesn't seem off putting.

There's some of that unalienable wierdness that suffuses v2, though some only seem odd due to being retconned away.

Blake hits some problems starting in the middle, with a few slow threads. There's an interesting scene featuring three of Nealosi's characters, but the setup is somewhat muddled, and would probably flow better with a few breaks.

The writing remains engaging, but writing with himself for extended periods of time feel very out of place, and the lack of strong interactions with characters that aren't Franco put a damper on what could be strong writing.

It's unfortunate that he went inactive at the end, but overall Blake is a decent character with a strong voice who was marred by certain narrative choices.

New kid please.
"I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk" -- Stephen King

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The character who accidentally killed chat, the quotation mark and sanity.

I'm not going to quote that line from Ali's profile here, because of the swathes of destruction left by it's introduction in chat. Megami was probably too innocent to realise what effect her words could have upon future generations of SOTFers.

Ali is a bit of a stereotype at points, the stereotypical rich bitch, daughter of a senator, who cares a little too much about guys. There's an interesting nuance in her profile, she's head over heels for someone who isn't interested back, and she doesn't really understand the ramifications about the way she presents herself on anything more than a surface level.

Pregame:

So Ali's pregame is kinda long. Really long.

Her first pregame thread sets her characterisation from the start. She's a rich kid who never takes no for an answer, and sneaks up on Ian Rico and decides that it'd be fun to snatch Sofie de Wilde's (Sofie seems to be pregame only) not-quite-boyfriend away, insults the friends next to him to his face while buttering him up. And then this drops:

Mitch
 
“RED CARD! Somebody stop this child molester!”


In a move that brings thoughts of Fiyori to mind, Mitch Gunther, leaps at her, biting her in the arm. She's pissed and slaps him, leaving for the infirmary with an overwrought line.

Ali
 
"I'll have you suspended for this, you know," she mused, no hint of remorse echoing in her words, "I don't think you understand who you're messing with. My Daddy's a senator, don't you know that I can pull the strings to get whatever I want? You people... I could make your lives a living hell. Remember that."


Herein lies one of the big problems with Ali. There's a little too much focus on how beautiful she is, almost every sentence is laced with a descriptor of either her looks/ her ability to snatch men away. This really is a problem of Ali, most of the writing is good, but it often feels a need to overstate things that are already clear to the reader, or simply unnecessary for the current post. She uses the word 'muses' far too often, and other small things in the use of vocabulary that could be evocative if they weren't overdone. Still, it brings across her character fairly well, even if I feel that a lot of her lines are way over the top.

Her second thread though, is a little more nuanced. Sophie plays off Ali rather well, almost unflappable in the face of Ali's insults and jabbing at how shallow Ali is, while Ali remains oblivious and spiteful, unable to get what Sophie means. The dialogue is a little cheesy, with gems like "Au revoir mon cheri, I do so hope we'll meet again," but it's an interesting thread in all.

She then goes on to meet CJ (our dear hook-handed janitor) Bryan, and Tori, and spends her single post in the thread telling Bryan that he'd missed a spot. It seems a little out of nowhere, but actually helps setup a little bit of the Bryan-Ali and Tori-Ali dynamic for the next thread.

Tori is a character I like from the get go, her personality is rather down to earth, even if her posts are marred by a rather large number of typos. Tori wants to get in with the cool kids, and sees Ali and Preston as a chance to do so, which sets up an really interesting dynamic. Ali hates Bryan for being part of the "Bloody Fists", and his shabby dress, and wants Tori to join her "Sisterhood", while Tori is intrigued by Bryan's kindness and the conversation she'd had with him earlier that they, and yet wanting to be part of the cool kids. It's rather unfortunate that not a lot more comes from this, but it's a quality scene that actually could be the setup for a lot more.

Then comes the part I kinda don't like. Megami and Riserugu spend at least twenty thousand words describing a date between Ali and Gregg and while on a technical level the writing is good, I can't actually bring myself to like it. Gregg doesn't know Ali's mean girl personality and she's head over heels for him. Unfortunately, the thread feels like it wears out it's outcome fairly soon, with so little to actual propel things forward. There are several subtle things that work well, but too often the thread simply meanders on, an it merely comes to an uneventful stop as pregame ends.

Island:

Ali's first Island thread has her exchanging usual island pleasantries like "What weapons do you have?". Mariavel stumbles into this thread, worn and bloodied after a couple battles. The two of them seem to have a personal grudge that goes beyond just the feud between their cliques, but Mariavel refuses to defile a church with fighting, a move that comes across as rather surprising given that this is the very first Mariavel post I've ever read. In any case, the thread gets rather crowded with the addition of the very unfortunate, R. Kelly and Ali decides to get the hell out of there.

There are some interesting inconsistencies in the thread, which unfortunately seem less of a personal contradiciton than a mistake. She notes her disbelief in god, before selfishly praying to god in her first post, and then goes on to deny any thought of religiosity.

But she's off without a single thought of that, and she wanders over to witness Jameson Doeert's death. Skraal's already mentioned this one, but she uses it to good effect. We get a little look into her mind that's different from her regular prissy rich kid thoughts, and notes points which she actually fails to notice herself in the narrative, and is a touch of humanisation that Ali has sorely lacked thus far.

Her next thread is an interesting fight with Tanesha, with an interesting flashback about how Ali had basically coerced Sera into pasting Tanesha's diary, which contained stories about her infatuations, in a place for all to see. I really enjoy this post right up till the last bit when Ali decides that she needs to give a speech about how much better she is than Tanesha, instead of running away with her tail between her legs. Seriously, if Ali would actually stop interjecting everything with "but anyway, I'm better than you" and have some mild introspection, she would be a much, much stronger read.

Well, on to the next thread, and Ali is doing her makeup? But in any case, she meets up with Gregg here, which is a rather nice thread, though my earlier complaint about them taking too long to do anything in pregame starts to rear its ugly head once more.

Gregg goes inactive and Megami picks him up and the two enter the next thread where the pair are accosted by Mariavel. Mariavel, doesn't actually want to kill Ali, which is really making me confused about all these second-hand Mariavel reports, and instead merely wants to humilate her in front of her crush. Mariavel reveals Ali's terrible side to Gregg, and Ali merely responds with vitriol. And so Mariavel shoots her, as Mariavel does.

Mariavel
 
She’d never know if they hit Ali because the announcements came on after she shot.

That doesn't add anything to what I want to say about Ali, but I just wanted to share that. Somehow Mariavel can't confirm the shot because Danya is speaking. It's amazing.

But anyway, Ali is shot, and her horrible nature is revealed, and Gregg is somehow perfectly fine with that. The horribleness, not the fact that she'd been shot. They travel to the school where he tries to patch her up, and have a short encounter with Beth before the place blows sky high. But as they die, they manage to squeeze in a kiss within a song post.

Final thoughts:

Ali is competently written, but to be honest she doesn't have a strong story going for her. Her relationship with Gregg is the only real focus, and she suffers a little for it. The chemistry between them is shallow in too many ways, and really doesn't deserve the focus it gets. There are several interesting scenes, but they are all too often marred by weird choices and there's a ridiculously large amount of wasted character development potential in her.

In all, not a read I would strongly recommend, but an inoffensive one. If you want to read her, I would recommend you skip all the threads in pregame after the one where she meets Tori. You only really need to know that her and Gregg are a thing, and that she hides her mean side from him before getting into the game proper.
"I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk" -- Stephen King

Those no longer with us

It's the Grand Map of Doom! v6
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