Mother, May I See Metroid: Other M by Korval

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Mother, May I See Metroid: Other M by Korval

Postby Mako Crab » 08.26.14 9:30pm

I searched the forums, but could find no mention of Korval or the in-depth analysis that he/she (?) did of Other M. If this has already been discussed, then my apologies. BUT!!! I personally love this type of media analysis. It goes more in-depth than any other analysis I've seen. This thing is a beast. It took me a full 3 hours to read the whole thing. I'd like to discuss it, but it's so big, I'm not sure how. The only way to do it right, I suppose, is section by section. I'll continue to update this post with links and the key points of each new section as we go. I've read the whole essay, and feel that a lot of Korval's points get mired in snark. Though it is entertaining snark. :D Citing the key points is my way of trying to bring some objectivity back to it. So without further delay:

INTRODUCTION
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/lb_i.php?lb_ ... 921400&p=1
Key Points
* Only discussing the story as presented in Theater Mode. No gameplay.
* Justifies use of only Theater Mode to examine the story.
* Recognizes that Theater Mode is still a bunch of cut-scenes strung together, so sets some ground rules for conducting the analysis.

Rule 1. No pacing
- Will not criticize the game for having pacing issues between cut-scenes. This is due in part to the fact that hours could have gone by for the player between scenes. Pacing within a cut-scene is fair game though.

Rule 2. No gameplay
- Gameplay will not be mentioned unless it directly affects the story narrative in some way.

Rule 3. No visual story-telling
- Recognizing that story can be conveyed visually through the environments, and also noting that the author has not played the game, will refrain from commenting on Other M's visual story-telling (or lack thereof).

Rule 4. No Yoshio Sakamoto
- Korval sets out to examine the story and characters of Other M, and ONLY the story and characters. Outside influences, like an interview given by Sakamoto, are not to be considered.

And this is where we start. In regards to Korval's 3rd rule, I assume he/she is referring only to visual story-telling elements found during gameplay segments. If such segments are not shown during Theater Mode, then it is to be disregarded.

And in regards to rule 4, I appreciate that this analysis is focusing on the structure of the story itself, removed from outside influences. I've already seen plenty of essays and reviews blasting Sakamoto as a sexist and any number of things. This analysis, at least, will examine the work removed from the author that penned it. I personally like that approach, as it gets a lot of negativity out of the way and allows us to look squarely at the story on its own merits.

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Re: Mother, May I See Metroid: Other M by Korval

Postby Mako Crab » 08.26.14 10:19pm

2. You Remind Me of the Babe
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/lb_i.php?lb_ ... 020100&p=2

Key Points
* Recaps Other M intro from recreation of Super Metroid finale to where Samus responds to BOTTLE SHIP.

* Argues that Super Metroid finale is wrong. Has been changed to fit the motif of Other M.
- The baby metroid is suspending Samus in the air, where before it covered her entirely on the ground like a giant umbrella.
- By suspending Samus in the air, the intention of the metroid is muddled. If it's trying to protect her, then dangling her in front of Mother Brain is not recommended.
- The metroid was able to cover her, because it was HUGE. In Other M, the metroid is significantly smaller.
- This is a key point, because it's trying to convey the metroid as still being a baby, when in fact, it has grown up quite a bit. Maybe it hasn't reached its Alpha form, but it is certainly no longer a helpless baby.

- Super Metroid showed how the metroid absorbed the hyper beam from Mother Brain during the fight and later transferred it to Samus.
- Notice how Mother Brain doesn't use the hyper beam after being attacked by the metroid. And notice also that the hyper beam Samus uses is rainbow colored like Mother Brain's.
- Other M shows Mother Brain still using the hyper beam after being attacked. In this retelling, the weapon is not absorbed and then transferred. It's simply glossed over. Samus gets the hyper beam somehow.

- Context of the scene is ignored.
- Other M tries to establish that Samus loved this metroid like it was her own child, when Super Metroid said no such thing.
- Super Metroid established that Samus gave the metroid away as one might a stray dog.
- Super Metroid later establishes that the infant metroid grew up, yet still recognizes Samus as its parent and was willing to fight for her.
- At no time is it ever implied that Samus had deep maternal feelings for the baby.

* The Best Part (according to Korval)
- Having Super Metroid rewritten to show Samus viewing the metroid as her own child doesn't even matter. All it does is cast Samus in a maternal role, because all women in this game are dealing with motherhood in some fashion. In reality, you could take out all mentions of the baby and it wouldn't affect the story in the least.

* Notes Other M's complete lack of subtlety
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Re: Mother, May I See Metroid: Other M by Korval

Postby Zynux » 08.27.14 3:38pm

Yes, this has been brought up before a loooooong time ago I believe. It's in probably one of the older threads laying around here.

I remember this being a well-thought out good read on the game's narrative but it's been a while since I've read it. I may read it again to see if it still holds up, since I've largely stopped caring about discussing Other M's narrative. brb :P
"Cut! There are no second chances for actors that fall to the abyss. Await your second casting in the darkness forever." - The Night of Wallachia

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Re: Mother, May I See Metroid: Other M by Korval

Postby Mako Crab » 08.27.14 3:57pm

Ah. Strange that the search didn't bring anything up. Unless it got purged for space? Anyway, I know this topic has been beaten to death. I wouldn't bother with it, except that (for me anyway) this was a fresh approach in how the story was examined.

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Re: Mother, May I See Metroid: Other M by Korval

Postby Zynux » 08.27.14 4:14pm

Don't worry about, I'm pretty sure a thread was never made of this. I'm sure a link to it has been posted by older members before in arguments and such, but not something you will easily find in the search function.
"Cut! There are no second chances for actors that fall to the abyss. Await your second casting in the darkness forever." - The Night of Wallachia

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Re: Mother, May I See Metroid: Other M by Korval

Postby Mako Crab » 08.27.14 5:32pm

Cool, that's good to know. On the subject-

One thing in regards to the analysis that I like is how Korval is examining only the story as presented by Theater Mode. I've seen lots of other essays and fans try to explain things that happen during Other M using outside sources like interviews with the staff or obscure manga or even events that happened in prior games. I've always held the opinion that a story should be able to stand on its own merits regardless if it's a sequel or a single episode in a TV series, etc. I love long, over-arching plots, but each piece of the story should stand on its own as well as function as part of the greater whole. If the story hinges on something important that happened in a previous chapter, okay cool, but be sure to re-establish that information within the current work. One of the reasons I dislike Star Wars: The Clone Wars is precisely because they demand that their audience already be familiar with all the characters and plots as presented in the SW movies. That's no way to treat your audience, especially newcomers that maybe haven't seen all 6 movies (or even the prequel trilogy). And, of course, this comes into play later in Other M, but that's getting a bit ahead of ourselves.

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Re: Mother, May I See Metroid: Other M by Korval

Postby Zynux » 08.27.14 5:35pm

100% true. This the main problem I have with Type-Moon's works (Tsukihime, Fate/Stay Night franchises) because they have a very difficult time doing this as well, they often fail to adequately establish key plot points because they expect you to have read earlier material.

Other M is no different; it expected you to know key plot points established in previous media but failed to adequately establish these plot points in the game.

Wouldn't be a huge issue if it wasn't for the fact that the developers of Other M were trying to introduce new fans to the series.
"Cut! There are no second chances for actors that fall to the abyss. Await your second casting in the darkness forever." - The Night of Wallachia

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Re: Mother, May I See Metroid: Other M by Korval

Postby Zynux » 08.29.14 2:44am

So after rereading about half of this so far, I still seem to pretty much agree with most of it. There's some inaccuracies here and there, and it probably would have been better for him to have taken a less antagonistic approach about the whole thing, with less insults and jabs (especially since this can scare away those whom are Neutral on the whole issue) but overall I still think he clearly lays out what's wrong with Other M's narrative.

Especially on the points in the beginning where Other M seems to have a knack for rewriting previously established plot points to fit it's own narrative (I had completely forgotten about how Other M's portrayal of the Mother Brain fight is vastly different from Super Metroid's :/)

Still shaping up to be a solid read after so long.
"Cut! There are no second chances for actors that fall to the abyss. Await your second casting in the darkness forever." - The Night of Wallachia

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Re: Mother, May I See Metroid: Other M by Korval

Postby Mako Crab » 09.01.14 2:14pm

Oy! I gotta give this thread some more love. Been packing and moving in real life, so time is scarce. But yeah, that's the one thing- as much as I agree with Korval's points, and as entertaining as it is to watch him/her (still don't know) jab and insult Other M, it can be off-putting to someone that's neutral on the issue. I even saw some people posting in the comments section of the blog, asking for less insulting remarks.

. . . still makes me chuckle though. :D

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Re: Mother, May I See Metroid: Other M by Korval

Postby Zynux » 09.01.14 3:05pm

There's a time and place for some of the jabs and such to get your point across, but I believe he overdoes it quite a bit IMO. I agree on his points on why so-and-so scene doesn't work, but how he comes across it is sometimes uninviting to those who actually want a discussion on Other M's story. Overall, I do think he's still pretty amusing but it would help this piece tremendously if he toned it down a bit. This piece seems to be more for people whom already made up their mind on Other M's story and think it's lackluster, then for trying to exchange ideas with those who do like Other M's story.

...With that said, he this will probably make me out to be a hypocrite, but his harsh tone was extremely appropriate for the Adam Sacrifice scene. Good lord, I still can't get over how everything goes down in that scene.

---

I still haven't finished all of it yet (been reading pretty slowly), but apparently since the last time I've read this he actually went back to play the game (as in, gameplay). That should be an interesting section to read.
"Cut! There are no second chances for actors that fall to the abyss. Await your second casting in the darkness forever." - The Night of Wallachia

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Re: Mother, May I See Metroid: Other M by Korval

Postby Mako Crab » 11.20.14 6:31pm

Returning to this.

Being Adam Malkovich
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/lb_i.php?lb_ ... 940100&p=3

* Notes how Anthony calls Samus "princess" and Adam calls her "lady."

*Notes how a flashback scene is inserted in the middle of this introductory/setup scene.
- Not exactly a crime, but the story is still in the setup stage, and flashbacks grind the forward momentum of the story to a halt.

*Adam demands to know what Samus is doing on the BOTTLE SHIP.
- Rather than the characters having an exchange of dialogue, Samus monologues how she related the details that brought her there, and then monologues how she asks Adam why he's there.
- Adam replies, "That information is not for an outsider." What information? There's nothing to disclose yet.
- Samus monologues that the term "outsider" pierced her heart. Korval questions the need for Samus to narrate her emotions instead of simply showing them on-screen either through body language or through a close-up of her face inside the helmet, or through dialogue.
- There is no need for monologuing here. We've just met Adam and his team. Now is the time to let these characters talk and allow the player to get to know them.

*Anthony and the others are having trouble opening a door. He suggests using a missile, while giving Samus a look (basically asking, "Would you like the honors?")
- Samus fires a missile and opens the door.
- Adam glares at her.
- A message appears on-screen saying that Samus has decided not to use her missiles unless Adam authorizes it.
- Korval speculates 2 options on what this could mean:
1. Samus is showing defiance, and won't lift a finger from now on unless specifically asked to do so.
2. Samus is placing herself in Adam's chain of command and won't use any gear until he authorizes it.

* Boss Fight!
- Adam authorizes his men (but not Samus) to use their ice-beams on the creature, and authorizes Samus to use her missiles.
- Samus never told Adam that she was withholding use of her missiles unless expressly given permission. So how does Adam know to authorize their use?
- Their relationship must be such that "death glare" is understood as "knock that shit off unless I say so."
- Of the 2 options listed earlier, it is now evident that Samus chose #2 and placed herself under Adam's command.

* Adam reluctantly concludes that he'll need Samus' help.
- "You don't move unless I say so. And you don't fire unless I say so."

* Cue Flashback!
- While in the Galactic Federation, Adam would end all his briefings with "Any objections, lady?"
- The men in Adam's unit would all give the thumbs up gesture, but Samus would show defiance and give a thumbs down.
- The reasoning: to show defiance at being called "lady" despite the fact that she liked it when Adam called her lady.
- States that the men supported her, so she became increasingly bitter.
- Adam was the closest thing she had to a father, thereby negating or ignoring the Chozo that raised her as a child.

*End Flashback!
- Adam doles out mission assignments for each of his men. Sends them each to different areas.
- Is on a first-name basis with all his men. Interesting to note, despite all of them except Anthony are faceless red-shirts.
- Adam reiterates that his men can use their freeze guns- but not Samus.
- Adam says that he will be able to see and hear everything that Samus sees and hears through her visor.
- "You cannot imagine the number of plot holes this one line creates."
- Adam authorizes the use of Samus' bombs, lectures her on the dangers of power bombs (it becomes story related later on)
- Adam authorizes Anthony the use of his plasma gun, but not Samus.

*Adam ends his briefing. His men all give the customary thumbs up. What will Samus do?
1. Give the thumbs down in keeping with her established character.
2. Give the thumbs up to show her growth and maturity since then.
3. Neither. Mereley respond with, "No objections."

* Further Analysis of the Flashback Scene
- Uses Samus' monologue and what we see on-screen to tell the flashback.
- What Samus says doesn't match up with what we're shown on-screen.

* Looking at Just the Visuals
- Adam singles out Samus based on her gender.
- The fact that she's the only woman in the room makes clear that he's singling her out by gender, not because she's a poor soldier.
- Were there other women in Adam's unit, then his intent could easily be explained as he's singling her out for her performance, not her gender.
- Samus' only means of expressing her feelings was the thumbs down.
- The other men in the room are shown laughing at Adam's joke, further embittering Samus.

* And now with Samus' Monologue Added
- Says that Adam wasn't known for joking around. But regularly makes Samus the butt of the few jokes he does tell.
- Calls attention to the fact she's a woman in front of his men at the end of every briefing is his way of joking.
- Samus says her acts of rebellion were because she had a chip on her shoulder, was young and naive, and implies that she now regrets doing it at all.
- Compares her relationship to Adam with that of a daughter being abused by her dad.

* Notes that, while "this is not a nice door the writers have opened," it could be the unintentional result of bad writing.

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Re: Mother, May I See Metroid: Other M by Korval

Postby Zynux » 11.29.14 6:36pm

Forgot to mention a while back that I did re-finish reading this.

Despite the snark and antagonism (which won't win over neutrals), it pretty much explains in good detail what was wrong with Other M.

His added section, the gameplay section, was also interesting to see him actually finally sit down and play the game instead of just the story.
"Cut! There are no second chances for actors that fall to the abyss. Await your second casting in the darkness forever." - The Night of Wallachia

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