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The V1 Read-A-Thon
Topic Started: Sep 28 2017, 07:14 PM (6,196 Views)
Aura
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Toss me a character! Let's get this started!
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Aura
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Aiden Ambrose is not a character who I am going to hold up as one of SOTF's greatest all-time figures. His writing was spotty at times, and there would be decent stretches of time between his posts that made it seem like things were happening around him instead of to him.

However, I think that Aiden's story is pretty good regardless.

Although Aiden's absurdly tiny three-sentence biography doesn;t give the reader a good feel for him as a character, his actions on the island make up for that. From the beginning of his time in th game where he meets Daisuke and Umi, Aiden is determined to find a way for them to escape. As they gain and lose allies over time, he never waivers from that goal. Most of this i birthed from not only his desire to survive, but his drive to help other people as well.

One thing that I really appreciate about Aiden is that he suffers a lot of setbacks in his plans, and is clearly affected by them. He's shaken after watching Daisuke shoot Minase, he's horrified upon witnessing Andrew's death, and all of the misery he faces keeps building up on his shoulders. But despite that, he still doesn't give up on his goals. This is probably best seen when his group takes severe damage from back-to-back attacks by Daphne Rudko and Jason Andrews, and he forces himself into the role of leader and fights back to make sure as much of their group can escape as possible.

Sadly, Aiden goes inactive, but Dodd treated him very well in his death thread. Aiden dwelled on his losses and failures, but upon finding a girl with a visible injury, he wanders over and tries to see if he can help. Unfortunately, the girl he went up to was none other than Angelina Kaige, who quickly executed him. Even after being beaten down so much by the island, Aiden goes out the way he came in: trying his best to do good.

I would recommend Aiden. His writing may not be top-notch, but he's a likable enough character with a solid story.

Another character, if you please.
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Aura
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I was a little leery of Cole at first since his backstory made him look like a premade killer, and his first thread where he declared himself the reincarnation of Triple H didn't really do much to dissuade that. However, as I read on, I was pleasantly surprised to see the route he took in the game.

Cole meets up with Xian Chun, and the two o hem just kind of hang out and talk about stuff, before getting high and talking about stuff. It's all pretty casual and charming, although I'm still not 100% on the romantic undertones suddenly appearing between the two over the course of one conversation. But all in all, the two of them interacting is a pretty nice read.

They get interrupted by Andrew Klock, and Cole fights him in a pretty good scene. Cole gets beat down for most of the fight until he gets Andrew's machete away from him, and even then he still needs an assist from Xian to drive Andrew away. Cole is severely injured after the fight, and his left arm is pretty much completely shredded, but his death comes when Xian removed the corkscrew that Andrew had jammed through an artery, causing him to bleed out as he kisses her.

For such a short-lived character, I think that Cole does his job well. His story is short and compact, and he gets in a good scene before he goes. I'd give him a recommendation.

Another character, if you please.
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Amber Phillips' profile describes her as a girl who was born to a prostitute, lived her whole life surrounded by debauchery, and never learned anything resembling a system of values, rendering her completely amoral. In other words, she sounds exactly like the sort of character who will start killing almost immediately.

Would she have done so? We'll never know, because she went inactive immediately after creation, was never posted with, and was killed off by having the terrorists' helicopter fall on top of her when it crashed.

Well, that was a thing.

But yeah, not recommended, since there is literally nothing to follow.

Another character, if you please.
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Cassandra's profile isn't too outwardly absurd. Basically, she was a straight-A student who eventually got in trouble and started slacking off as a result. Compared to a lot of the v1 cast, she actually seems fairly realistic.

Cassandra joins up with Kichiro Taka and Kiyoko Asakawa early, providing an interesting dynamic to the group. Kiyoko can't speak English, Cassandra can't speak Japanese, but Kichiro can speak both, pretty much making him the leader and peacemaker of the trio by default. Although this is fairly unique, even in v1, not as much is done with it as there could have been.

Most of this can be drawn up to a few reasons. First, Cassandra falls into the same issue as a lot of characters in that she tended to fall into the background during threads because of the lack of posting order combined with the absurd speed that her thread partners would post. Second, Kichiro runs off and dies alone before their final thread, cutting their trio short.

Cassandra's death thread is a pretty unique scene. Kiyoko runs off and leaves behind a suicide letter, but since Cassandra can't read it, she assumes that Kiyoko is planning to attack them. Cassandra confronts her, and because both are paranoid and incapable of communication with the other, they wind up killing each other. Even more tragically, had Kichiro not ran off out of the blue, this probably could have been avoided.

Although Cassandra has some pretty interesting bits, she also has some notable weaknesses, mostly revolving around how few posts she actually gets. Her group and the path it takes are interesting, but Cassandra as an individual character is not. And because of that, I'm afraid that I can't fully recommend her.

Another character, if you please.
Edited by Aura, Oct 3 2017, 08:00 PM.
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Eh-Sun Choi was not an enjoyable character to read. Her profile is very over-the-top, featuring many of the common tropes of v1 characters, and she doesn't get much better on the island.

It doesn't take very long for Eh-Sun to decide to start killing, and the way she does it is very abrupt and not believable at all. When she wakes up, she's confused and scared, but in her very next thread she uses her cattle prod to drown Aaron Bourdon with no reason given for her change in behavior until after the deed is done, at which point she states that killing makes her feel good. So essentially, she becomes a player out of nowhere without a good in-universe explanation.

Things don't get better in her next thread, where she comes upon the site of Shinya Motomura's suicide, shoots Jake Driggers, then takes all of their stuff. The extra-sketchy bit about this is that Shinya was handled by Eh-Sun's handler, and he had just been rolled. So with that knowledge, it looks like they just had Eh-Sun conveniently show up and take all of their previous character's possessions while padding their kill count, and I'm raising an eyebrow at this.

Eh-Sun then goes on to have a feud with Kouji Ginsenshi, who tries to chase her for a while before just disappearing, then forges an alliance with Peri Barclay and Stevan Hyde. Along the way she kills a cowering Kousaka Takeda while bluntly rebuffing his last request. This leads to a climasx where she, Stevan, and Peri fight McLocke, one of the terrorists who had been recently released on the island, and they actually win. However, McLocke blows himself up, and the bast and ensuing shrapnel badly injure Peri and Eh-Sun.

It was at this point that Eh-Sun switched handlers to LadyMakaze, who had her feel the pain of all of her repressed tragic memories at once and freak out. Her final appearance then took place at the Old Warehouse, where she seemingly loses her grip on sanity and gets blown up along with several other characters by Angelina Kaige.

I do not recommend Eh-Sun at all. She is not well-written, she doesn't interact with many good characters, and she's generally a chore to get through. I'm sorry to be so negative, but I didn't have fun with this one.

Another character, if you please.
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Rais Sekth is barely a character. His profile has many usual v1 trappings, including a tragic backstory, manipulative behavior, and violent tendencies. So he reads as a pre-made player along the same vein as quite a few others who existed on the island.

On the island, he might as well have been a nonentity. His first thread consists of two very short posts where he does nothing of note, and in his second thread he gets backstabbed by Jacob Starr in order to give Jacob another gun and another name on his resume.

At the end of the day, Rais was just fodder who, despite his profile building him up as a dangerous person, offered virtually nothing at all. I can't recommend him because there is absolutely nothing of interest about him or his story.

Another character, if you please.
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Duncan Wright was a college student who was researching SOTF, and he was kidnapped by the AT because they felt that he knew a little too much about how they worked. This actually isn't too bad a backstory as far as v1 is concerned, although how a single college student can obtain so much information about a secretive terrorist organization to the point that he is considered a specific threat to them raises a few eyebrows in terms of realism.

Despite his profile making him seem pretty important, Duncan actually doesn't do very much on the island. He meets Angharad Davies early and teams up with her, and the two of them head to the lighthouse in search of shelter. Duncan explains the basics of SOTF as far as he understands, then heads to the kitchen to cook some dog food and go inactive. His next appearance comes when Angharad, now fully committed to playing, returns to the lighthouse where he had been staying. He shows her an escape plan that he had drawn up, and she responds by kicking him to death.

There isn't really anything wrong with Duncan. He's competently written and has a decent voice. However, he doesn't really get to do much on the island before going inactive. He's decent, but you aren't really missing much if you skip him either.

Another character, if you please.
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Callum Hadley was a strange character. His profile declares that he still has imaginary friends at 16 years old and has difficulty distinguishing between fiction and reality. Apparently this came from his nanny, who taught him to use his imagination during playtime. This seems a little flimsy of an excuse, but I'll chalk that up to this being v1 and logic not applying to anything yet.

On the island, Callum's story largely revolves around a girl named Beth who doesn't exist. He also occasionally meets up with Skip, a long-time imaginary friend of his who often acts like a jerk. Honestly, Beth comes up so frequently in Callum's story that it becomes rather repetitive. And when you also take into account that she isn't even real, then it comes off as constant, pointless derailment.

When he's not going on about Beth though, Callum is pretty decent. He's a nice guy who doesn't want to hurt anyone. He tries to play the protector, but his delusional nature gets in the way of that, and he gets himself into a few awkward situations. However, he does manage to find a few successes while trying to play hero, successfully helping to fend off Cillian Crowe and Shinya Motomura. However, his obsession with Beth never leaves, and it directly leads to his death when he leaves a group to run off alone. And since, as previously stated, Beth doesn't actually exist, it makes him come off like a fool for doing so.

Also, there's the matter of the death scene itself. Callum is killed off in a needlessly grotesque manner by Johnny Lamika, who goes by "Dread". The posts are not overly long, but the nature of the kill itself is disgusting and off-putting and it completely turned me off of Callum at the last minute.

Callum was decent for the most part, having decent writing and lacking many grammar or mechanical errors. However, his death completely ruins the reading experience, and I cannot recommend him in good faith because of it. Just consider him another one of those characters who could have been all right, but was dashed at the last minute by an awful, unpleasant death.

Another character, if you please.
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Kouji Ginsenshi is a character who I can't really describe the way I talk about most characters that I have reviewed on the RAT, so bear with me for a moment while I explain my reaction to him.

First off, I will say straight-out that Kouji is not a good character. Far from it, in fact. His biography is absurd, his personality is ridiculous, and his first three posts are absurdly similar to each other barring a few words. As soon as he runs into someone, he tries way too hard to be a ruthless, badass tough guy, but when he fails to follow through, he comes off as an utter buffoon instead. The best case of this would be in his waterfall encounter with Eh-Sun, which ends up looking like a total farce by the end of it. This comes to a head in his final thread, where Scott Jameson is attacking Jeremy Torres with a brick about ten feet away, and Kouji just stands there thinking about soup.

These sort of writing and tonal issues are the kind of thing that I would normally rip into a character for, but I just can't do that with Kouji. For you see, Kouji was the most fun I have had reading any v1 character thus far by a wide margin. He's very bad, but unlike a lot of bad v1 characters who are just bland, uncomfortable, or shock value, Kouji ends up being hilarious. I would go so far to call him the v1 equivalent of The Room. He was just a delight to read, and he really cheered me up after a not-so-great day.

However, there was one thing that I took issue with in Kouji's story. In his final thread, the other handlers were clearly unhappy with his handler. Nevera's handler even went so far as to suggest that Kouji's handler quit the site and let Nevera kill Kouji. After that, all the other characters in the thread teamed up and started attacking Kouji, much to his handler's bafflement. Now, this is something that I was definitely not okay with, and it was really uncomfortable to read. Yes, Kouji's handler was not a good writer, but to go after him in that way was completely uncalled for, and it was very unpleasant to watch.

As Blast said in the chat while I was reading Kouji, a good improv actor will run with someone else's terrible idea and make something great out of it, while a bad improve actor will break character and complain about the other guy's bad idea. That was what happened in Kouji's final thread, and it absolutely should not have come to that. Kouji was by no means the only ridiculous character in v1, and even if he had been, there was no reason for them to go after his handler like that. So it soured his story right at the end. I remember he argument more than Kouji's inactive death, actually.

Also, apparently Kouji came back to life briefly when his handler posted with him again after his death due to a misunderstanding of the rules. Nobody acknowledged him in-character and nothing came of it aside from a brief bit of confusion.

So would I recommend Kouji? The surprising answer is... yes. Absolutely. He's an absolute blast, flaws and all. His story is ridiculous, it makes no sense, and Kouji himself is just a treasure trove of memorable quotes. It's a bit soured by the drama at the end, but I can say with 100% certainty that I do not regret reading him at all.

Another character, if you please.
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