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Article - 'Realistic Characters' by fitz_tayo

An item about Plots/Characters posted on Mar 2, 2004

Blurb

A guide to realism in characters, rather than storyline.

Body

Hey this Fitz Tayo with his first Article, on Character Realism.

Just so you know, this is about how some characters are unrealistic and how you can make them more, um realistic. If this gets posted I will make it a series on Character realism and personalities, and how to progress with them. In this first Episode, I will be covering the personalities and realism of Heroes.

Repeated Personalities:

First things first, you have your characters, and you want to give them personalities. Before this, when making your characters, you should have already decided what their personalities would be. Otherwise your game could be a bit unplanned, but we don’t know that, only the maker does, but forget it anyway. But when deciding on your characters personalities, you have to make them seem realistic. Unless you want a weird world where random people with the Alex CharSet pop up out of no where and run off to defeat an evil demon lord with the justification that evil must be vanquished. This would make a pretty unoriginal game. So you want to make them realistic right?

The following is a list of personalities that are unrealistic and repeated:

The natural Hero: This character is so cliché that nearly everyone now hates them. He (Girls like this are rarely seen) will somehow have a strangely large sense of duty and will help any one in need of help and have no angry thoughts about it, just being nice, and not wanting anything in return for it but getting things anyway. I hate this person, they seem to care about nothing but saving the people of Earth or Gaia or wherever the hell they live. He always has no opinions of his own. Think is this realistic; make the character get angry at things other than thieves, monsters and evil things. You shouldn’t even consider using this.

The Chosen: These characters are always variable. They have their set personalities, then they end up finding out they are a clone, or an alien, or they are chosen. They always end up better than the rest of the characters. Even if someone is a clone of the “Great Sephiroth”, they will still have weaknesses, everything does, and if it doesn’t, it should! Chosen people are just really annoying, if they were chosen, or were made to destroy a planet, how come they start off at Level 1 with about 100 HP? I have never seen a game where an extra character is chosen, or has ultra powers. Except for Chrono Trigger (one of the best games that ever lived!) with Frog, who was meant to have the Hero Medal and everything, and Crono is just an average Joe.

The Underdog: These are people who have some sort of disability, whether it be a fear, or a physical injury. These people always end up having to confront their fears. I actually quite like this one, but it is starting to get cliché I like this character, it gives more realism to the character and it teaches a moral lesson. This is a less used cliché and I think it should stay that way because it is a generally good theme.

The Undead: This is NOT a walking corpse. This is somebody who’s originally been destroyed by the Protagonist (The enemy). Then instead of a great story of sacrifice and confronting death… the other characters revive him by some twist of fate and the heroically destroys the final boss, usually brought back from the “Other Side” by a loved one. If you are going to use this character, instead of reviving them, give them trials to do in a sort of “Hell”. And give the player the option to fail and get stuck in hell while the other characters cope with the death and beat the protagonist, or let the hero/heroin escape hell and fight the protagonist with their allies. The substitute I just said is great for giving multiple endings.

The Loved One: Not really the character, but what happens to them, you always find the character falling in love with somebody at some point in the game, which is a tragic love tale crossed with the destroying of a demon. But to be realistic, why not have the main character break up with their loved one or not have one at all. I know we all like a bit of romance in our games… and Romancing Walked is one of the best games in the universe because it gives choice and is realistic (apart from the whole monster thing). Why not have the hero/heroin have the chance to fall in love with one of a few characters or not at all, why not break characters up and get others together rather than just the hero or heroin. Just because you are playing as the main character and the story is centered on them, doesn’t mean others can’t fall in love but even get rejected. Give more variation and realism in your characters love lives!

Conclusion:

In Conclusion, try and give more variation and use some of the substitutes I put for each character, but remember, clichés can be a good thing, and can actually make the player feel more familiar with the game, just put the characters in different more interesting situations.

Ahgg… lots of typing for someone who hates writing. Anywho this is Fitz Tayo… um… bye