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Article - 'Darkness and Light- Motivation' by Wina

An item about Game Design posted on Jan 14, 2004

Blurb

A guide on designing characters, giving both the good and the bad motives and comparing different kinds of motivation for each.

Body

Darkness and the Light

MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I WILL DESTROY THE WORLD!

Come on! What was that!? In most games nowadays that’s just the villain’s basic idea. No reason why they did it and its just there. Crash Bandicoot was like that but it still is a killer game because it’s not an RPG. RPG villains need to have a reason for doing things because their actions will soon get the player annoyed if not told why they do it. The best way to do this would be to tell the player part of the reason at the begin and bits after they trigger an event or beat the villain in battle. This will keep the player onto your game because they want o find out why they are doing this and the end to the villains “quest”. The second part I see is “I shall vanquish you because I am good and you are evil” Huh!? Most people would be half way deleting the game when they see this. Faust has already written an article about evil and how the game is deleted though it might have been a good one. Try giving your game a chance by making the key characters complex and have a background. Welcome to Wina’s class:

Darkness: Sephiroth

Considered to be one of the most complex villains ever, Sephiroth was a great addition to Final Fantasy VII because he provided a side story to the main one. Sephiroth didn’t start out evil and wasn’t born evil. He went crazy because all his life he had tried to fit in with others and be normal but one day a great shock came upon him turning his views aside completely. No matter what you say, in his own eyes he wasn’t evil. The only thing he was trying to do was to claim the land for his mother. He believed so much that she was an ancient and that the planet was made specifically for the ancients. After all, the stuff you see until Cloud’s in his mental coma (He says Xenogears: secret message preparing the world for Xenogears) was done by Jenova. Sephiroth didn’t come into the picture until Cloud gave him the Black Materia. Sephiroth was different than the other villains of the game, such as President Shinra, because they made him like one of the main characters and gave him a background story to live on.

Darkness: Edea Kramer

Edea wasn’t evil at all but she did things that were considered evil by others. *spoiler* Edea was controlled by Ultimecia because she was only trying to protect Sis. By providing a shield in front of Sis she then became the present Sorceress that was in fact only a puppet of Ultimecia’s. Edea seemed to have a deep story like Sephiroth’s but it all ended once you had finally defeated her. Edea only cared about the children’s safety bringing forth her own misfortune rather than her running for her life (women these days! When faced with danger they don’t run!! Who do we have to save? Ummmmm……ladies, why are you removing your high heels?). This told us that Edea was deep and had character pros and flaws. This story told you that Edea was brave but also wise at the same time. (Phew!! Escaped the women!) I really don’t have anything else to say about her so I’ll move on.

Light: Kima Roshgarde

Though people keep on talking about how it was all ripped off from Suikoden I enjoyed the game. Kamau did a great job on it and made it very clear why Kima dared to fight Dansa. Dansa took Kima’s brother away from him and threatened to destroy every body on earth because they had annoyed him and destroyed HIS children. Kima wasn’t the generic Alex who fought because it was only the right thing to do but because every body he loved would be destroyed. I have to state here that most heroes don’t want to do it at the beginning but things such as their parent’s death by the villain’s hand fuels them to react to this and try to attain revenge.

Light: Edda Roshgarde

Edda was like his son and believed in saving the world but in a different way. Edda tried to achieve piece with all the factions for everybody’s sake. He didn’t do it because it was the only choice but because his virtues showed in his actions and pronounced the words: FAITH. Yes faith, faith is a basic foundation for any character because in order to achieve their goal they need to have enough faith to continue through every hardship they faced.

Implementation into the game

As we come into the final chapter of this article I wish to give a moment of silence to my wisdom. -------- I know, I’m so pig-headed. In your game you want to amaze others and not make people laugh at how simple the villain is. Many twisted events in childhood could lead up to this evil. I have got an example in the forums under Game and Demo: Anastysia: Angel of Darkness. (It pays to advertise) Probably the death of a parent brought about emotional scars. You see if you experienced something in child hood that made you hate others soon enough you’ll hate anybody that you meet. When it comes to light though, that’s a different story. Don’t worry I’m not ending now, Light is forced outward because it was triggered during an event. Look at the Marvel Super Heroes, Spider-Man vowed to fight evil after his uncle Ben died (It was his fault). Ah sh-t my fingers are tired at this time in the morning. (I know, I’m great, 3 am in the morning) Experiment with your ideas, Try polls on the forums to see which idea turns out the best or PM me (I’m now the Counsellor, weekly at 7 on WTV). Just try it and don’t be afraid of being laughed at unless you wet your drawers, HAHAHAHAHA! I won’t explain about how Light can’t be without darkness because that’s my next article.

Homework: Read this song by Papa Roach it’s in my to-come article after the Light with Darkness article.

Last Resort
Cut my life into pieces
This is my last resort,
Suffocation no breathing
Don't give a fuck if I cut my arm bleeding

This is my last resort

Cut my life into pieces
I've reached my last resort,
Suffocation no breathing
Don't give a fuck if I cut my arm bleeding
Do you even care if I die pleading
Would it be wrong, would it be right
If I took my life tonight,
Chances are that I might
Mudilation outa sight
and I'm contimplating suicide

CHORUS:
'Cause I'm losing my sight, losing my mind
Wish somebody would tell me I'm fine
Nothing's alright, nothing is fine
I'm running and I'm crying

I never realized I was spread too thin
Till it was too late and I was empty within
Hungry, feeding on my chaos and living in sin
Downward spiral, where do i begin
It all started when i lost my mother
No love for myself and no love for another
Searching to find a love upon a higher level
finding nothing but QUESTIONS AND DEVILS

CHORUS

I can't go on living this way
Repeat First Verse

CHORUS

This article was longer than the other.

-Wina
“The silent tree keeps its bark dark but the whistling leaves brings down its roots”-Shiro, Shriveled Blade (Kid’s Interactive Productions)