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Character tropes, Archetypes, likes/dislikes, + More

PostPosted: 01.20.16 1:02pm
by Zynux
Musings over random characteristics in fiction, discussion about them, or express what you either like or dislike and guilty pleasures.

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Recently I've been musing over "Kings". Kings, Queens, and monarch's in general are very easy to villainize and also very easy to glorify. Politically I am against the very nature of a Monarch but in fiction I find something...almost awe-inspiring about it.

There is something to be said of a King, even especially despite his tyranny or his just rule that his subjects will still look up to him in his glory. He exemplifies extremists in all sides that they find endearing. He is their leader and he is what binds them together. If the King falls, often times so do they. Even if the King is a tyrant, often times the King is still the will of the people and they follow behind him because his actions will lead them to a better life.

A Monarch being motivated by his own greed and ambitions is a tale to time and time again that will likely bore many, but yet it's something I'm not sure I will ever get tired of completely. On the flip side, a monarch being shown as Just and saintly is nothing something that tires me either.


Some examples of Kings I like include "King of the Koopas" Bowser, "King of Kings" Gilgamesh, "King of Hyrule" Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule, "King of Britannia" Charles zi Britannia, etc. Many others that I can't think of now. Recently I just find Kings fascinating, despite them being very easy characters to either villainize or glorify and oftentimes don't have much depth because of their abundance.

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There are many types of villains that I like. I won't be able to go through them all or even remember them now. However I rambled on the Zelda Thread that there is a certain villain type that I find interesting recently: the ones that seem to act more as a monstrous phenomenon then an active, human-like agent with an ambitious force. Their workings and origins are unexplained or vague and their motives seem almost alien and not understandable by the characters around them. Usually, stories surrounding these unexplained phenomenon focus more about the various characters trying to cope with their surroundings then the "villain" itself.

They have clear motivations but it's almost told in a way that seems beyond human comprehension. We can all understand the greedy, the hateful, or the corrupt but these guys are a bit harder to pin down.

Sometimes, these characters act more on instinct then any malicious ambition. It could be that they are just naturally this way and trying to survive just like any other creature.

Re: Character tropes, Archetypes, likes/dislikes, + More

PostPosted: 01.20.16 9:54pm
by Apothem
... "King of Kings" Gilgamesh ...
*RECORD SCRATCH*

You tellin' me you ain't got no love for the one and only "King of KNIGHTS" Artoria? The one and true "Seiba?" Ms.Ex-u-cali-ba? The Endlessly Ravenous? Kiniko Nasu's personal Waifu Queen/King/WHATEVER of a Thousand Identical Faces? Supposed-to-be-King-Arthur-but-I'd-totally-bang-anyway-because-hot-animu-babe-even-though-she's-like-supposed-to-be-fourteen-but-she's-also-technically-Japanese-and-also-a-cartoon-and-they're-cool-with-that-so-it'd-be-totes-ok-and-not-illegal-because-reasons?

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Just look at her - any of her, they're all the same friggin' character - how is she nothing shot of the very embodiment of kingly majesty!? The shining standard by which all of Britannia should dare hope to aspire? The absolute epitome of knightly valor and honor? The (second) best looking woman in armor ever seen? The great DFC Quing any man - or woman, whatever - would graciously bend their knee for?

How can one deny that which is perfection in two dimensional animated form?

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All silliness aside, while I've never been particularly enamored with monarchs, rulers, or nobility inherently I am frequently interested in flawed leadership figures, particularly those tragically so. Nothing quite like seeing what increasingly heinous extremes someone will go to for reasons they themselves honestly feel just and right. The Well-Intentioned Extremist is a great trope in general. While not kings, at least not properly, princes Kael'Thas and Arthas Menethil have particularly interesting stories in Warcraft, both desperately fight for the preservation of their respective peoples only to fall to corruption as they acquire the power necessary to protect their kinsmen and country.

Arthas, in particular, was interesting. The Fallen Prince of Lordaeron. Ner'Zhul's Blade. The inevitable Lich King himself. It's a pity his story came to conclusion in World of Warcraft, as MMO's are notoriously terrible with their narratives. Playing his campaign in Warcraft 3 as he sacrificed everything - sometimes everyone - to combat the undead Scourge, fall to Frostmourne's - and by extension Ner'Zhul's - poisonous will, betray and murder his closest comrades, usurp the Orc necromancer's place as Lich King, all then to return home to his kingdom of Lordaeron, the life he had left behind, to the forests that "spoke his name", cheered by the subjects he had "saved", marched upon his father throne...



...to "succeed" him, and cast all those he once fought so valiantly for into oblivion.

I was introduced to WoW before I had any idea what Warcraft was. After burning out a couple months into my first stint I turned to Warcraft 3 on heavy recommendation of my best friend / the one responsible for my 6 year WoW binge. It's not the best, most original, or superbly told story ever in gaming, but it took a world I already loved and gave it the much needed depth I found WoW lacking. The continuation of Arthat's story in Warcraft 3's The Frozen Throne expansion remains my favorite time spent with the series and one of the best campaigns I've ever played. I still lament how he was mishandled in WoW's Wrath of the Lich King, but at least they managed to show that despite the abomination he had become, he still had the faintest glimmer of humanity left. He still had a heart. At least until you the player discover it, cast down an accursed pit of elder god-tainted metal, the Argent Crusade tries unsuccessfuly to exploit it, and Arthas ceremonially destroys both it and any chance at redemption he may of had.

Monsters are typically boring. Humanity allows us to relate to a character, and in a villain can cause us to question ourselves were we in a similar situation. A monster is the absence of motive and understanding, they exist simply to be and destroy. A hearty foe to test the might of a hero, but insufficient to test their depth of character. Seeing a hero rise, fall to villainy, and then transform into the monster, particularly the very one they once fought against, is a long form tragedy I find endlessly fascinating. Warcraft, the RTS, does an excellent job of investing the player just enough into Arthas as a character to make his collapse all the more bitter. Warcraft, the MMO, tries to present little more than Artha's the monster to be vanquished, but between the diabolical monologues and posturing lay the threads of a more intimate story, one of a man whose last act of heroism and humanity was to constrain the monster he had become just long enough for others more powerful than he to end his would be reign of terror. WoW added a surprising amount of depth to Arthas, but most of it was hidden or had to be inferred.

Re: Character tropes, Archetypes, likes/dislikes, + More

PostPosted: 01.21.16 5:19pm
by Zynux
Saber is but a foolish little girl. Actually I love Saber she's one of my favorites it really hurts my feelings when people diss Saber

Jeanne is cuter though! (probably wasn't this cute in real life but still)

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The Well-Intentioned Extremist is probably the easiest way to make a radical or villain sympathetic in the story. Bonus points if they sacrifice everything for whatever they want, and the damage/aftermath they cause for what they believe in.

Even if you disagree with someone's methods or ideology, one can still relate someone risking it all for what they believe in. Even if heinous things come from it. In some respects, it can be more admirable then someone who's just contempt to sit by the sidelines and do nothing.

While I can sometimes go for a good old "Good vs. Evil" story, I do prefer my characters that fall into a much more of a grey area. Those characters who you know are doing the right thing, but you question how they are going about it. Or vice versa, you know that Villain is a bastard but at the same time you will catch yourself sometimes nodding and agreeing what they say at some points and go "You know, he has a point..."


When it comes to Monsters in general, I don't believe they are inherently worse then human-like but yes they can be boring. With them I think you just need a different approach in story telling. Showing them to be more of a force of nature or a phenomenon to overcome is something that I like. Obviously, since Monsters are harder to relate to since they're ambitions are above humans it won't work to try to tell a story that is very grounded in reality like Ambitions, Greed, Sacrifice, Morality, etc.