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Article - 'Darkness Within Light' by Wina

An item about Game Design posted on Jan 14, 2004

Blurb

Another article on character development, this time by Wina!

Body

Introduction

Watch out! Wina’s here again! Hide! “Grrrrrrr! [censored] all of you!” So, I do have a bad side (now, to conquer the world! Ha ha ha ha). Most of you have played Kingdom Hearts, or have seen the Bonus DVD disc included with Final Fantasy X, and are familiar with the following phrase:
“As one gets closer to the light, their shadow becomes bigger” This tells us that the more pure we become the bigger our dark side becomes. In Christian religion this is: The closer we become to God the harder Satan’s temptations will be. You see, (Call me Dr. W) when you create characters people don’t want to see Mr. Goodie-two-shoes or they’ll wonder what newbie made this. In any world no one is perfect apart from a deity unless it’s Greek Mythology. I know I’m steering off the topic, The gods of Greece were like humans and lusted for what they desired (Zeus antics anyone?). Your party can’t have a leader that is perfect, so try to experiment and make it that the player chooses the leader’s choice and it either affects the other party member’s affection for the leader (Party Mood System/Affection System). Not all creations are perfect because in nearly all religions or myths someone did something to cause our pain. Well, it’s comparison time, since all of you are getting sick I won’t use FF games this time…..little surprise.


Shattered Samurai
Charles: Good but shadowed

If most of you DID finish Shattered Samurai then you’ll all recognize the part that Jennifer tells Charles to find himself. So after you defeat the trial bunny you’ll go to the mountain top and fight that dude. After winning the battle Charles makes this speech that doesn’t seem like him at all and kills the boss. Charles’ revenge mission had somehow taken control of him (from my view) and caused to do things that weren’t like him. I am thankful that Arc didn’t make him the forgiving HERO because that would not have been fun to see. I love blood (not in that way). Where’d everybody go? Now that you are back, we don’t want to see this:

BOSS: Now that I’m on my knees won’t you kill me
HERO: I’ve seen the area of this action, so go and spread peace
BOSS: You’re full of shit hero, die
HERO: -Dead- (Make him burp when it dies: weird but funny)

Version two: Interesting
BOSS: Think about it HERO, I could spread peace to this world with you
HERO: BOSS, you’re full of shit. I won’t let you continue your killing spree. After all, who said I cared for peace? (kills BOSS)

The second version is better to me because it reveals to you something that the hero said rashly because he was overtaken with the emotion that caused him to fight. The first IS funny (Now laugh you [censored] heads off) but if you want to deepen your plot then you might want to stick with the latter. If the player reads the latter they are kept in the shadow and want to get to the light and find out what’s going on. They will always wonder what will that bastard do next?


Heroes of Might and Magic: Queen

I know that this game is quite crappy and doesn’t contain much of a story to it, but the events suggest different motives of the NPCS. Nothing, I repeat nothing, is free in that world. There’s always a catch [censored] those NPCS). This tells us that the people in that world want money badly because of the prices they charge. The Queen is a good example of aristocracy because she won’t see you until your rank has increased. Prejudice anyone? (Not juice, prejudice) King Louis XIV was a great ruler to some people’s eyes in France (I picked him because France is a great country and I was born there, so pooh-pooh on you) but he took control of the whole France as absolute ruler. People proclaimed his right to rule from God so they called it divine right. Though of his bad side, Louis XIV was a great nationalist that wanted to make his country one of the greatest in Europe. (He tried but it was managed by Napoleon (I salute you Napoleon)).


Implementation
Mix these ideas up with other’s articles on characters to get something totally new and original. I couldn’t leave without examples for you, could I?

Try out that the healer of your team is nice to people but when faced with the people that nearly wiped out her village she goes crazy and is willing to kill (double her strength then and then half it after she get’s to cope with them).

You could try reverse to surprise players that villains could also have a Light side. After all Satan’s good point is that he never gives up no matter how tough it gets. Or how about how I’m gonna be King and kill everyone from GW (Heh heh). Where’d did everyone go again? Damn! My jokes keep scaring the GW members away, mental note: gotta find better material. The next article is about suicide because you characters have reached the dumps and don’t see any way out at all.

-Wina
“My material is not good anymore, keeps scaring GW members. Try jokes about Eskimos (No offence! Huh!? Where did every one go AGAIN!?”