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Article - 'Insane Characters - Tips!' by Guest

An item about Plots/Characters posted on Jan 14, 2004

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Helpful list of do's and don'ts for insane characters!

Body

well this is my first one in a while so it wont be the best written but hey here it goes.

Many computer games, books and films make the main bad guy either insane or on the make but not all do it well, some use cliches and things we expect.
here is a step by step method of creating an effective insane character.

1.Reason
Are they just medically mad or is there a reason???
first I will start with the most overused one, a tragic loss. Either their loved one, their child or even their parents. A tragic loss has caused many people to do weird crazy things. The tragic loss method also brings in other things like revenge which can lead to a neat litte side quest. But maby you think that loss has been overused well there is always my favourite. Mad with Power. Most dictators suffered from it and yay even the bad guy from my game suffers from it.
They are in charge but then they realise that they can abuse that power and eventually it becomes addictive and they will do anythig to satisfy their power-hungy needs(good examples of this are Megatron, Mr Burns, President Shinra, M Bison, and almost every Bond villain)

2. How to incorporate this
There is a whole variety of ways which you could use to show that your character is insane. I will only touch a few of them.
A-Sadism (Kefka) We all know that Kefka is insane right from the early stages of FF6(he even has his own laugh sound effect) and more so when he poisons the water supply just to attack the castle.
B-How do they speak???
Generally if a character is insane they will speak differently from the other characters, sometimes stuttering when they speak, saying random words in the middle of a sentence, laughing all the time(with their own sound effect) and of course saying useless words at the end of a sentence, yes?
C-Actions
Ever watched Die Hard with a vengence?
Simon Gruber (Jeremy Irons) is insane, though not mentioned it is obvious by the way he toys with John(Bruce Willis) and this also touches on the sadism and the loss thing (he singles out John because of Nakatomi Plaza).
This is closely linked to Sadism but it can be quite the opposite for example the most evil person in the world likes to play with children (not in a perverted way unless it is a mature and sick game)

3-Interaction with hero
So how should they interact with the hero???
the most common ones are flirting with the hero, toying with them or just being damright rude. Flirting with the hero can be funny if pulled off correctly and can lead to some great confusion with the player (which is what we want, yes???). Toying with them is a very simple one to do and is used in most games and films so I wont go into to much detail. Now being rude is not as effective as it seems as it shows them to be more normal and human but again if used with the correct motive and incorporated properly it can lead to some very Seifer/Squal moments in your game

Well now boomers I hope that this has been informative for you all, yes???
and remember keep watching the skies