Mentors: Meet De Mentors

Why not take the easy way out and make them your usual can of exposition and training?

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Very few characters actually make it on their own. Even as loners, they had to learn from somewhere. They had to have a teacher, someone to actually teach them to acquire the skills and traits the author arbitrarily assigned to them.

Someone like a magical talking animal. Or a grizzled washed out wizard. Or the city streets themselves.

Or some weirdo on the internet giving introductions and tips to writing.

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The Silence Of The Self-Inserts

We might wax philosophical and try and paint it as a purely artistic decision, but this is the cold, hard reality of game design, folks: You need CASH MONEY.

And there you have inspirational quotes from some of the most iconic videogame characters! Can YOU guess who said each one?

So yes, today I’ll be talking about SILENT PROTAGONISTS! No, I don’t mean characters who are unusually quiet. I mean it’s you, the player character, but there is just about no dialogue coming from them.

Now, this might seem a tad antiquated. What’s the deal with them? Do people still DO them? Do we only know this because our childhood icons were mute?

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Metaphors Embodied: The Psychopomp’s Circumstances

No, it’s not the Psycho Pope, the main antagonist in a poorly written Young Adult novel with hamfisted anti-religion themes.

In today’s edition of Things You Recognise But Don’t Know The Names Of, a totally legit and not-at-all-made-up series, we’ll be talking about the PSYCHOPOMP! What thing that you recognise is it?

No, it’s not the Psycho Pump, an item in point and click adventure games to fix the Psycho Plumbing.

No, it’s not the Psycho Pope, the main antagonist in a poorly written Young Adult novel with hamfisted anti-religion themes.

No, it’s not the Psycho Crusher, the signature torpedo move of Master Bison, overlord of Shadaloo.

The PSYCHOPOMP is in fact…DEATH! Well, kinda.

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Night Of The Living Weapon

It doesn’t age because of the magic within it. It doesn’t feel hunger, pain, or even pleasure. All it perceives is the world around it, the hands seeking to wield it.

After weeks of finding something to say about storytelling, I’ll be changing gears for a bit and going back to something I’d set out to do more often: Giving a crash course of tropes, characters, and concepts!

Today we’ll be talking about a certain type of character: The Artificial Character. Self-aware objects, artificial intelligence, living weapons, spirits trapped within objects, you’re probably familiar with these things. They are a thinking, cognizant existence of a different kind from conventional life. Basically, the servants from Beauty and the Beast. From wisecracking sidekicks and sage advisors to malevolent enemies and alien entities, many fantastic settings have given ‘life’ or ‘spirit’ to what was once lifeless.

So what is the deal with these guys, and what happens when you give your props lines of dialogue?

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The Bionic Raccoon and Space Mall Cop

Those are the moments that are foreshadowed, that form the emotional climax, the payoff and culmination of all that character development and conflict. And THESE…are not those moments.

Disclaimer: All mentioned films belong to their owners, spoilers inbound!

In any movie with some emotional component (yes, even Michael Bay films), there’s always ‘the talk’ where there’s a major revelation, a major resolution. Basically the thing where they either say “This is the problem I am raising at the worst moment!” or “This is the explicit moral of the story I just learned.” Those are the moments that are foreshadowed, that form the emotional climax, the payoff and culmination of all that character development and conflict.

And THESE…are not those moments.

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A Legacy Of Flaming Heads And Leotards

What? No, they are not lazy writing or cheap writers reusing old material.

Disclaimer: All mentioned characters and used images are property of their respective creators!

Today, I’ll be talking about Legacy Characters! What? No, they are not lazy writing or cheap writers reusing old material.

In simple terms, a Legacy Character is a particular identity that is passed down from the original to a successor. This is more than just a simple reboot, reimagining, or alternate take (though successors can be any of those writing-wise): what makes Legacy Characters stand out is that their past, present and future incarnations are more closely, directly linked than simple reboots or revisits of the same creation.

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BATMAN! I’M! STILL! BURNING!

And then he makes a sacred salt circle to stop the ancient mystical Thanagarian demon.

Disclaimer: Batman, Lego, and the Lego Movie are all the properties of their respective creators.

He is vengeance. He is the night. He is Batman!

Now that that’s out of the way, time for a quick crash course on Batman with a bit extra on some of his fandom.

Now, for those of you not in the know somehow, Batman is one of DC’s biggest characters and arguably the most famous non-powered superhero. Motivated by the tragic death of his parents, young Bruce Wayne dedicated his life and his multi-billion dollar fortune to fighting crime. Because apparently, therapy was out of the question.

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