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The V2 Read-o-thon; Olden days
Topic Started: Aug 24 2017, 06:45 PM (8,983 Views)
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Sure, why not? Give me one!
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Eric Silvstedt was a frustrating read for me. In his first thread he comes off as a complete psycho, and whenever he's with his friend Ricky Callahan (who he happens to share a handler with, for the record) he's just kinda shunted off to the side so Ricky can take center stage. However, in his pregame oneshots, he came across as a much more interesting character. His flaws were still present, most notably his anger and inability to refer to his mother with anything other than pure hatred, but other nuances to his character were apparent. His miserable station in life was emphasized and used to show how he became such an angry, negative person, yet at the same time, he also cares greatly about his siblings and wants to protect them. He is also aware of his flaws and, as shown in the thread where he meets with his therapist, wants to deal with these issues. So at the end of pregame, he comes off as a person with a lot of deeply-rooted issues, but is still redeemable.

However, all of that goes straight out the window on the island, where he immediately decides that he wants to play because, in his words, it's a competition, and he's a competitor. All that complexity involving his family and personal problems goes out the window as he decides that he's out to kill everyone in order to win. This gets particularly repugnant when he mocks Matthias Kovalenko by implying that his sister may be getting raped or murdered while he's not there to watch out for her. Considering that Eric had worried about the same sorts of things happening to his siblings before the island, it seems pretty out-of-character for him to attack someone like that.

I'm not saying that I'm opposed to people becoming players on the island. That's one of the things that makes the SOTF story keep going on. Rather, I'm bothered that Eric instantly becomes a really generic-minded player as soon as he wakes up. And then his death thread comes along and, while it is quite well-written, ultimately proves what I had feared in pregame, which was that he was a prop for Ricky's story all along. He tries to kill Whitney, but Ricky interrupts him and causes his death by accident. It's a sad scene, but Eric doesn't get the focus. Ricky does. But then again, that's a problem pretty much any time handlers kill off their own characters with their other characters.

I really wanted to be positive about Eric and recommend him, but I can't really do it. The pregame oneshots where he's on his own are worth giving a look, but his story as a whole is kind of disappointing.

Another character, please.
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You know, Sylvea Hill isn't a bad character at all!

She starts her journey alongside Garry Dodd and Lester Treskington, who quickly break into a fight. She manages to keep her cool for the most part, but she's pretty weirded out by what she witnessed, which provides good reason for her to leave them and go solo. Her second thread features her getting injured and being tended to by Vesa Turunen. Unfortunately, the two of them get paranoid and wind up fighting. Vesa gets the upper hand and ends up killing Sylvea, who encounters a cluster of old memories in the moments before her death.

Aside from a few technical slip-ups, I have little to complain about involving Sylvea. She had a pretty unique voice, and she came across as pretty relatable. Even when she collapsed into paranoia, the rational part of her could still be seen trapped under the layers of fear and aggression. She's a short read, and the death post may be a little over-the-top for some, but I found her to be pretty decent.

And on that note, I would like to request another character.
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Maggie Heartgreeder was too nice for SOTF.

Her pregame is pretty good. She starts in a bit of an odd situation, dealing with the aftermath of Kim Jones-Laramie's murder, but she handles it rather realistically, panicking at the idea of someone dying in school and trying to get her mind off of such awful things. From there she just goes on about her day, being fairly pleasant aside from a few harsh thoughts about Siouxie Sioux that she immediately chastises herself for thinking. She's not outlandish or gimmicky, she's just... normal. And it works.

On the island, Maggie worries about players and the possibility of dying, but she still tries to be nice and help people when they just so happen to blunder her way. She does get nervous after more people start to show up, particularly in the case of one Garry Dodd, and she leaves.

Her deathpost is a bit of an odd spot for me. It's a massive series of flashbacks set to Sarah McLachlan's "In the Arms of an Angel" just as a power line falls into a puddle and electrocutes her, killing her instantly and painlessly. It's not badly written, but I think that there may be just a bit too much going on at once. Then again, I suppose that oneshots are there for us to experiment in such a way.

Maggie's a good read written by a competent writer, and I think I could recommend her. You won't find brutal fights or high drama, but you'll get a nicely written, consistent character, and that's a pretty good deal.

Another character, please.
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Tanesha Lexx was disappointing. I had read good work from Megami already, but Tanesha was not good at all.

In pregame, she spent a lot of time thinking about how much she hated other girls, particularly the popular girls. Shen she wasn't dwelling on that, the narrative was pointing out how fat and ugly she was. She had a few decent interactions with Jackie Kovacs and a girl named Jolie who didn't make it onto the island, but nothing spectacular.

On the island was when things really hit the fan. She starts with a brief interaction with Whitney Acosta, but when she sees Whitney talk to Matthias Kovalenko, her hatred of popular girls becomes her sole driving force until her final thread. She screams both internally and externally about how they should all die, and uses the word "whore" more times than I've ever read anywhere else in my life. In other words, what was already a not-that-great character turned into a flat island psychopath almost immediately.

Then her final thread comes along that explains her motivations, and it doesn't really hit home for me. It's not badly written or anything, but it feels like kind of a grab for sympathy after Tanesha had spent the rest of her time on the island going on a rampage just because she saw a guy talking to a girl.

So yeah, I'd say you should give Tanesha a skip.

Another character, if you please.
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Anna Dibendetti is a bit of a hard one to discuss, but I'll do my best.

She doesn't really start out that inspiring, with sub-par writing and her only goal being to find her sister Jamie. She bumbles about for a bit before getting kidnapped by Paris Persphone, only to escape when he gets into a scuffle with Preston Grey. Throughout all of this, she never really captured my interest.

However, in Without You, Anna comes across Huy Tran, and there's a pretty clear shift. Mitsuko's writing is a lot better when the two are paired up, and Huy being a fantastic character in general really brings up their story. During the rest of Anna's time on the island, she's with Huy, and since the two play off of each other so well, it's a really nice read.

Unfortunately, it ends in tragedy as Anna kills Huy, shortly before shooting herself as without Huy and Jamie, she's too crushed to try to keep living anymore.

Honestly, if I were to rate Anna as a character, I'd say that she's okay. Her first few threads aren't really good, at least on her end, but her story with Huy is really great. And for the latter half of her story alone, I'd say that she's worth a read.

Another character, if you please.
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Tori Johnson is one of v2's long runners, with 4 pregame threads and a whopping 12 island threads. She was also closely allied with Bryan Calvert, the winner of v2 and a very good character in his own right. So naturally, Tori would be very good too, right?

Well... not exactly.

Mechanically, Tori starts off on very shaky ground. There are a lot of typos and poorly structured sentences in her early threads, which amount to almost all of pregame and a bit of her early island run. Her writing does admittedly get quite a bit better later on, especially after she meets up with Bryan on the island. However, it still makes her early run not so easy on the eyes.

Tori herself, for the most part, is inoffensive. In pregame she's the naive newcomer to Bathurst High, and on the island she's nervous and afraid until she meets Bryan, at which point she essentially becomes his protectorate. Now, I think that by far the best parts of Tori's story come when she is with Bryan, since the two of them have surprisingly good chemistry together, and that makes for some pretty good scenes. However this pairing is as much of a curse as it is a blessing, because while Tori does improve, I keep getting drawn to the much more interesting Bryan.

Another gripe I have is that sometimes Tori will suddenly have an outburst and start yelling, only to go back to her normal personality in the next post. I feel like these moments aren't as built-up as they could have been, so they tend to come off as really disjointed.

Finally, her death scene, while undoubtedly emotional, comes off as rather dumb in terms of the situation. Mariavel shows up, and even though she knows about Mariavel's huge killcount, Tori tells Bryan not to fight her. Bryan not only agrees, but he leaves Tori alone with Mariavel while he goes to stake out the rest of the hospital. Tori inevitably gets shot and dies, Bryan cries, and Mari gets away until their final showdown in Endgame.

Tori Johnson is not a bad character at all, despite not having the best of stats. However, she's not really stellar either. She's worth a look because her time with Bryan is really good, and she's in at least one really fantastic scene, but don't expect her to knock your socks off.

Another character, if you please.
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So... Mihiro Duli.

Mihiro's profile is ridiculous, proclaiming that she pretends to have multiple personalities to she can get away with being mean to people, is hated by the teachers because she's a math prodigy who has memorized the first 700 digits of Pi, and is hated by literally everybody to the point that she can't walk down the hall without someone insulting her. None of this is written or formatted particularly well for the record.

The in-game story of Mihiro is a short one. In her first post, she finds a hatchet and talks in D&D slang before rolling a pair of dice and celebrating the results. Then staff comes in and tells her that she can't spontaneously gain weapons whenever she wants, Mihiro's handler briefly argues with them, then she goes inactive. Some time after that, she resurfaces to teach Roland (Who thinks that she is the spirit of Damien Carter-Madison's good side for some reason) about Dungeons and Dragons before the announcements cause him to get violent and messily kill her.

I wouldn't recommend Mihiro at all. She's nothing more than Roland fodder, and didn't inspire much hope in the first place.

Another character, plase.
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Melanie DeSilva did not impress me very much.

Her bio tells us that she is a highly intelligent student who hates studying, other students, and pretty much everything about school in general. It's stated that her only real joy in life was going shooting with her grandfather, who died when she was 14. It also says that she's willing to do whatever it takes in order to win, so one would expect her to be a fairly ruthless aspiring player.

However, on the island, Melanie spends almost all of her time panicking, and never shows the determination to survive the ordeal despite her profile claiming that she would "sure as hell adapt to it". There's also some pretty odd writing moments, like when she goes from freaking out about Preston's existence to calling him her first friend over the course of one paragraph and the space between posts. In the end, she winds up begging for Debrah Dollop to kill her, which she does.

I wouldn't recommend Melanie. She wasn't an interesting read, and her actions on the island clash greatly with the way her profile described her.

Another character, if you please.
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Seth Mattlock is a unique figure in SOTF who requires some explanation.

v2 took place at a transitional point in SOTF's history. The site moved to a new board, and many old handlers and staff members left at various points during the version. As a result, the remaining staff was stretched very thin when it came to making and enforcing the rules, up to and including inactivity guidelines. When it comes to these turbulent times, Seth Mattlock might as well be the poster child.

Seth went inactive shortly after his first scene, which was fairly early in the game. He was never inactive-killed and no one ever did anything with his death rights, even though he was rolled multiple times. As a result, Seth was simply a ghost for most of the game until his handler returned, realized that he was still alive somehow, and killed him off in his second scene, which took place near the end of the game. To my knowledge, the board hasn't experienced a situation quite like this before or since, so Seth has his own place in history in that way.

In terms of his actual character, Seth has a very over-the-top backstory involving his dad being a former cop who joined the mob, and now he hangs out with mobsters all the time and deals drugs for them. He also claims that the Bloody Fists are not a criminal gang, which clashes with Mariavel's backstory in which she kills someone while doing work for the game. All in all, he reads like another one of v2's premade players.

Then Seth reaches the island, and winds up being surprisingly heroic. True, he only has two scenes, so it's hard to say what would have happened had he been active the whole time, but his story details him saving Mariavel from Walter Smith before disappearing into the night, then unexpectedly reemerging at a crucial moment days later to save Bryan and Tori from Felix Travertil. He winds up coming off as a bit of a deus ex machina character because of this, but his scenes are well-written and his fights are pretty good, so I'm willing to forgive that. His death is also quite heartfelt, and I feel like Slayer really wanted to do right by Seth. And honestly, I think he succeeded.

Seth Mattlock may not have been around very much, but he saw more than his fair share of action. And since he's part of one of my favorite v2 scenes as well as one of the most vital parts of Bryan's story, he's definitely worth checking out. My only real gripe is that his paragraphs can get way too long for my taste, but at least the contents of said paragraphs are usually good. If you want an action-oriented character, you probably won't find many more suited to the job than Seth Mattlock.

Another character, if you please.
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So Elizabeth Ebert was... unusual.

Her bio describes her as an extremely sheltered girl from a very conservative family who thinks that pretty much anything will corrupt her if she is exposed to it. However, she watches SOTF at her friend's house and it becomes her favorite show. She takes a particular liking to Adam Dodd, and hopes to meet the "actor" who plays him. Nothing too out of the ordinary, I guess.

Then she gets on the island, and realizes that she's in SOTF. However, instead of panicking, she thinks about how awesome it is that she's on her favorite show. She sees some corpses and thinks that they're mannequins. She handles her gun and thinks that it's a prop. Even worse, when Penelope Withers panics and charges her with a mace, she thinks that she's interrupting a scene and decides to improvise by pointing her gun at Penelope. This leads to Penelope getting shot and dying, and it's only then that Beth realizes what is going on.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that Beth comes off as an utter moron with no common sense to speak of for her first two threads.

Her third thread is spent in full freakout mode as she tries to come to terms with the fact that she killed someone and is actually in a life-or-death situation, then she goes inactive and ends up as a footnote in one of Mariavel's killing sprees, showing up and dying over the course of a single paragraph at the end of the thread.

The best way I can describe Beth is... weird. She has very little content for a character that reached the Final 10, and what she has isn't particularly good in my eyes. You might like her if you enjoy oddball characters, but I wasn't a fan.

Another character, if you please.
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I didn't enjoy Debrah Dollop.

She only had a couple of posts in pregame, the only notable event of which was when she gave someone an erection by licking her lips in her very first post. Seriously, why were so many v2 characters obsessed with sex?

On the island, she was obsessed with finding her sister Deliah, and it was emphasized in almost every post of hers. Once she does get some information from Melanie DeSilva, she kills her immediately afterward. Granted, Melanie was begging Debrah to kill her, but the fact that Debrah feels no guilt for doing so, and the narrative outright states that she saw Melanie as someone who had outlived her use to her doesn't put her in a good light.

Once Debrah finds Deliah is when things really go off the rails, though. You see, Deliah was pregnant, and the stresses of the island caused her to miscarry right in front of her sister. The miscarriage is described in disgusting detail, and Debrah kills Deliah afterward in a fit of rage and despair. This scene made me incredibly uncomfortable, and I have absolutely no intention of going back to read it at any point in the future.

Once Deliah is dead, Debrrah takes her severed hand and wanders the island in full-on freakout mode for two more threads before suddenly deciding to make a heroic stand against Vesa Turunen and getting killed for it.

I do not recommend Debrah Dollop. She spends her entire story being obsessed with her sister, making her come off as a very flat, limited character. The fact that her story involves an incredibly disgusting scene does not do her any favors either. If you're reading v2, I'd say you should give her a skip.

Another character, if you please.
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Kasumi's story is an extremely brief read, so I was able to breeze right through it.

Kasumi's pregame is incredibly shortand doesn't really amount to much of anything, so I'll skip right over it.

On the island, Kasumi starts in the church, prays for guidance, and tries to play peacemaker with the surprisingly large group that wound up gathering there. However, she very quickly goes inactive and winds up getting blown up when the chapel becomes a danger zone.

Kasumi is an extremely minor character in the grand scheme of things, and has no real effect on anyone outside of her boyfriend Lance. As such, even though she isn't particularly poorly written, I can't really recommend her because there's almost no substance at all in her story.

Another character, if you please.
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Christian Cohen is... something.

Christian's profile is pretty out there, mostly because the vast majority of it revolves around his relationship with his girlfriend, who he married at age sixteen and currently lives with in a storage room where they frequently play music and have parties. This setup doesn't make sense to me, and after spending a long time questioning it I just decided to try to move on and not let it bother me.

Christian's time on the island was very short, as his only appearances came in the form of two one-shots and he never encounters any other characters aside from those written by his handler. Christian makes his debut by getting in a brief scuffle with Jonathan Michaels and getting a few pretty good jabs at his character flaws and coming off almost as a philosopher of sorts for a moment or two. They eventually wind up playing rock-paper-scissors to see who gets Jonathan's gun, and Chris wins. He takes the gun, runs away, and fires a long-range shot at Jonathan on the way out.

Christian's next appearance is at the scene of Jonathan Michaels' death, where the boxer is flayed by Brandon Cuthbert. Disturbed by this sight, he tries to shoot down Brandon, but winds up being subdued and vivisected by the pint-sized sadist. A disturbing end for a character that certainly didn't deserve it.

Christian had a pretty out-there concept, but compared to the people that he interacted with in-game, he was downright agreeable. However, despite me not disliking him as a character, I still wouldn't recommend reading him since he never interacts with any characters worth following, and his death scene is very unpleasant.

Another character, if you please.
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Kevin Kapustiak wasn't really much of a character, in my opinion.

Most of his hobbies aren't even mentioned in his profile, and his advantage of being good in street fights pretty much comes out of nowhere. He also has no pregame, so we can jump straight into the island.

Kevin just seems to wander from one place to another without much purpose. He doesn't have a particularly strong voice, either. Also, he refers to himself as "The Wolf" in his first and last threads despite there being no mention of him having a nickname anywhere in his profile, much less being referred to as "The Wolf". In fact, Kevin's most notable quality is the fact that he suddenly starts thinking about burgers multiple times during his journey, which is somewhat amusing.

In Kevin's last thread, he switches handlers, and his personality changes entirely. Now all of a sudden he is incredibly foulmouthed and aggressive, and offers sex with Sera Wingfeld as a prize if Matt Drew manages to kill him, which is pretty gross. Kevin gets overconfident and dies when Matt's friend Rob shoots him in the back of the head, and that is that.

Kevin was never a stellar character, but the personality switch that came when he switched handlers pretty much wrecked what character he had. It's just to jarring for the guy who was just thinking about how Heaven is a land of infinite burgers to suddenly be offering a woman as a wager for a fight to the death. It's just too inconsistent, and I can't recommend him.

Another character, if you please.
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