D/N
Contender
Joined: November 10th, 2008, 9:40 pm

October 9th, 2017, 4:19 am #121

HURRAY I read all of Hawley Faust!

Roll me another while I think about how much I'll actually write up. Dun worry, I'll get a writeup done but it certainly won't be a painstaking post-by-post recap.
v6!
G058: Kaitlyn Greene aka Katy Buried - Horse Tranquilizer and Syringe
She Knew She'd Found Freedom - Questions - Fools - Barons - Opportunities - Sideshows - Dawns - Gulches

v5!
G038: Deanna Hull - Replica Freddy Glove - DECEASED
From Sea to Sky -Smoke--Sun--Tiki--Nine--Repeat--Talk--Now--Drift--Hunger--Valley--Fall--Rust--Paper--Heart--Sky-
B023: Jesse Jennings - Riz Action Figure - DECEASED
From Vision to Glory -Vision--Summon--Time--Plan--Length--Sleep--Cause-

v4!
B006: Ricky Fortino - Trowel - DECEASED
B022: Imraan Al-Hariq - Remington 870 - DECEASED
G036: Carly Jean Dooley - VASE D: - DECEASED
G077: Andrea Raymer - Gunpowder - ?????
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Ruggahissy
Mr. Danya
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 2:07 am

October 9th, 2017, 5:37 am #122

I've seen Elsie twice now, once for two threads with Fred and once in a thread where Michael tried to get into her hiding place, so I think I've read about half of her already. Let's rock.

Profile:

Sexy blonde cheerleader from a rich family. It says she's a bit of a snob, but smart. Interesting drama: she had sex with her rival's cousin, Matt Vreeland,(related to Tayli Vreeland) and she's pregnant. Matt pressured her to abort the child and she still is nervous about talking her best friend Lyndi about it, but desperately wants to so she can get advice. Onward.
[+] Spoiler

Island:

It seems that she's scared. She thinks about stuff and I think Matt was her first for whatever that's worth. She hears Lyndi's voice though and calls out to her. Meanwhile Cody Jenson showed up on his bike and he's fighting Shinya. Callum and Lyndi pick up a nearly dying Fred Hughes. Cody is instantly in love with Lyndi and he and Shinya run off. Pregame did not exist so Elsie has a flashback to when she tried out for cheerleading and the other girls were all saying mean things about her because her sister was cheer captain and they felt that she was going to get on the squad out of nepotism. Only one girl is friendly to her, and that's Lyndi.

The group arrives at the lighthouse and they come upon Vince who is kindda shady. Callum runs off to die, saying he has to look after his friend Beth. Vince's shadiness becomes a back burner issue when Cody shows back up, determined to kill everyone but Lyndi. Everyone goes in the lighthouse by Fred who tries to fight off Cody though he's like, dying. Then he does die. Lyndi can't stand to sit inside and do nothing so she goes out to help Fred and Elsie is convinced by her bravery to go out too. Then she trips over a crate, hits her head on the ground and passes out. Truly a fighter.Vince gets beat up and then runs away like a coward leaving Lyndi and unconscious Elsie. Um, Elsie is out cold for the rest of this so even though I read it we'll skip forward. Cody kidnaps Lyndi. Elsie wakes up hours later and sets off to find her.

Somehow Lyndi escaped Cody and is in the school. Elsie hears her and asks her to let her in. CHARACTER GROWTH: Elsie decides she has to dedicate her to protecting people she cares about, that being Lyndi and her unborn child. She lets it slip she's pregnant with this sort of hilarious line:

"Lyndi open the fucking door I'm playing for two out here and you're the only one who can help me!" Elsie screamed.

Lyndi pulls her inside and her only response to the news of the baby is to hug Elsie tightly. Lyndi had been thinking of killing herself, but hearing the news of her best friend's pregnancy inspires her to keep living, if only to protect her.

Why is Lyndi great?
Elsie wrote:"Oh my God Lyndi what am I gonna do?!"

Having kept her pregnancy a secret from everyone but Matt for so long had taken it's toll on her and now here she was breaking down, on live television.

"I was so scared Lyndi... I was so scared. What are we gonna do? I'm sorry I didn't tell you but I was so scared."


This is a nice moment. Michael Suarez comes over and they tell him to fuck off. I really like this kind of protector/protectee thing we've seen a lot, but with two platonic girlfriends. Elsie is a bit the weaker of the two both in story and as a character despite being the one with the baby.

The girls run to the woods and Elsie runs face first into a tree branch and gets AMNESIA as well as separated from Lyndi. That's how amnesia works, right? I'm pretty sure. Welp that happens on March 23rd. June 10th Megami takes over with permission from Elsie's handler MooCow.


Warning: This next part causes my mind to cloud, the walls to melt, flowers to wilt. I question the fabric of space and time itself. I thought that I'd gotten a relatively safe draw, but this was all to lure me into a false sense of security.

You are interested in the unknown, the mysterious, the unexplainable. That is why you are here. We are giving you all the evidence, based only on the secret testimonies of the miserable souls who survived this terrifying ordeal. The incidents, the places, my friend, we cannot keep this a secret any longer. Let us punish the guilty. Let us reward the innocent....

Elsie approaches Cody in a field and is like "Where am I? Who are you?" and he taunts her slasher villain style before she takes off running. He runs her down with his motorcycle and hits her with the tire iron. She grabs his bag and gets the axe from it and they have a pretty decent fight where she holds her own for awhile. She notices that while he's fighting her he's getting a murder boner. Oh, this should have been my first clue, but it was not.

After more fighting he grabs her by the hands, head butts her and she drops the axe. He beats her for awhile and then this happens:
Why wrote:In one fell swoop, Cody Jenson swung the axe and all Elsie Darroch saw was the gleam of the blade, followed by an intense black, as Cody completely severed her mid-section in half with the weapon. Elsie continued to stand for a moment, as if dumbfounded, before finally both her top and bottom half fell to the ground with a loud thump.




WHY wrote:Cody continued to marvel at the bloody speciman before him. As if finally deciding on a course of action, Cody once again raised the axe and severed the blonde's head from the rest of her body. The quiet sound of humming once again started to emit from Cody's throat as he went about using the blonde's hair to fasten her decapitated head around the handlebars of Loretta.


FINAL THOUGHTS: ....no......no?....NO


Elsie was fine until a death that frankly comes out of no where and I don't know why any of it happened. Either way, Lyndi is the better character so just read her and pretend Elsie floated away on a raft?

Another
[+] Spoiler
[+] Spoiler
- Today at 8:38 PM
imagine this happening in life
and you pissed off a cop and he made you live with some incontinent sodafreak

05:57 NotAFlyingToyYou would not kill a policeman
05:57 NotAFlyingToyYou would not steal his helmet
05:57 NotAFlyingToyYou would not defecate in his helmet and mail it to his grieving family.
05:57 NotAFlyingToyYou would not steal it again

17:06 Ruggawork An orison is a prayer
17:07 trash i don't know why i thought it was a bird
17:07 trash who looks at random ass words and thinks "huh what does that mean? whatever it's probably a bird"

14:11 Kalopsia I HEARD FURRIES AND I CAME AS FAST AS I COULD.
14:11 Imehal Lovely.
14:11 Imehal Read that again.

20:16Outfoxd I SAID I'M TAKIN IT BACK FROM THE SALTINE ESTABLISHMENT
20:16Meeemz Half the drag queens on Drag Race would beg to differ.
20:16Outfoxd EVERYONE KNOWS ALL DANCE CAME FROM AFRICA
20:17Outfoxd YOU CRACKAS NEED TO PUT SOME CHEESE ON YOSELF AND GO SIT ON A SNACK TRAY SOMEWHERE

21:07craft i
21:07craft am a fan of blowjbs.
21:07craft nods sagely
21:07Rugga ?
21:07Rugga Does that mean you get a lot of them or give a lot?
21:07craft yes
21:07craft wait
21:07Rugga ....



22:31Mimi THATS WHAT I THPGUTH
22:31Mimi THOUGHTU
22:31mudkip MIMI'S TURN
22:31Ruggahissy Thougt
22:31Ruggahissy THOUGHT
22:31Mimi HOUGHT
22:31Ruggahissy We got it
22:31Mimi THOUGHT
22:31Ruggahissy WE GOT IT
22:31Mimi we did good
22:32Mimi we're a good team

22:46 Meeemz I love dicks, though
22:46 Meeemz er
22:46 Rugga Sig quote
22:46 NaftUm
22:46 Meeemz dicky characters
22:46 Meeemz GOD NO

19:45 BikrikiI am pretty sure we can built a bridge to jerking off

00:11 Mimi DOESN'T FOAM BREAK EASILY
00:11 Ruggahissy Not if you wrap it in duct tape
00:11 MurderWeasel There's a fiberglass core.
00:12 MurderWeasel And the foam is some special sort you buy directly from another dimension using souls as currency or something.
00:12 Ruggahissy.........

14:42 Bikriki JA! Stick it in ze boot!
14:43 Rugga I LOVE THIS KID
14:43 Bikriki adds that to list of sexual euphemisms
14:43 Skyler_Phone You have a list?
14:43 Bikriki <.<
14:43 Bikriki >.>
14:43 Bikriki No...

Victoria says:
Oh wait, I totally forgot to tell you last night because I was busy whoring
Mimi says:
STORY
OF
MY
LIFE

16:42 KamiKaze I've always wondered what using a fleshlight feels like.
16:42 KamiKaze Too bad I'm not special because God didn't give me a penis. ):

17:46 Dom LET JESUS INTO YOUR HEART, NOT YOUR VAGOO

Ruggahissy this dress makes me feel like I should be having tea with the mad hatter. Not getting felt up by drunk Germans
Dom don't let them go down the rab-
Ruggahissy BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Dom SO WORTH IT

09:51 Vicky We did a good job, didn't we, Meemz?
09:51 Mimi not really, no

03:19 GeneralGoose*BUT HE'S GONNA THINK IT'S A SPOON. OR MY PENIS. WHICH IT ISN'T*

23:15 Cluevara ICE CREAM MAKES YOU FAT YOU LARDY LARD BUTT.


[+] Spoiler
Jonah Heartsgrave: If you need to talk I'll listen.
Lori Martin: You're so stuck up.
Tirzah Foss: Let's have some fun.
[+] Spoiler

v6
Caleb Diamond: Silly sacrificer
Hazel Jung: Abandoned actress
v5
Amaranta Montalvo: Pageant Winner
Michelle Wexler: Vegetarian sweetheart
Paris Ardennes : Scheming holy man

v4
Ethan Kent : The smartest jerk
Sally Connelley: Dainty meanie
Nick LeMonde : Eternal optimist
Isabel Guerra: Sad little girl
Autumn O'Leary: Lonely redhead
Mary-Ann Warren: Crumbling romantic
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Aura
Winner
Aura
Winner
Joined: December 9th, 2011, 6:39 pm

October 9th, 2017, 5:50 am #123

Eh-Sun Choi was not an enjoyable character to read. Her profile is very over-the-top, featuring many of the common tropes of v1 characters, and she doesn't get much better on the island.

It doesn't take very long for Eh-Sun to decide to start killing, and the way she does it is very abrupt and not believable at all. When she wakes up, she's confused and scared, but in her very next thread she uses her cattle prod to drown Aaron Bourdon with no reason given for her change in behavior until after the deed is done, at which point she states that killing makes her feel good. So essentially, she becomes a player out of nowhere without a good in-universe explanation.

Things don't get better in her next thread, where she comes upon the site of Shinya Motomura's suicide, shoots Jake Driggers, then takes all of their stuff. The extra-sketchy bit about this is that Shinya was handled by Eh-Sun's handler, and he had just been rolled. So with that knowledge, it looks like they just had Eh-Sun conveniently show up and take all of their previous character's possessions while padding their kill count, and I'm raising an eyebrow at this.

Eh-Sun then goes on to have a feud with Kouji Ginsenshi, who tries to chase her for a while before just disappearing, then forges an alliance with Peri Barclay and Stevan Hyde. Along the way she kills a cowering Kousaka Takeda while bluntly rebuffing his last request. This leads to a climasx where she, Stevan, and Peri fight McLocke, one of the terrorists who had been recently released on the island, and they actually win. However, McLocke blows himself up, and the bast and ensuing shrapnel badly injure Peri and Eh-Sun.

It was at this point that Eh-Sun switched handlers to LadyMakaze, who had her feel the pain of all of her repressed tragic memories at once and freak out. Her final appearance then took place at the Old Warehouse, where she seemingly loses her grip on sanity and gets blown up along with several other characters by Angelina Kaige.

I do not recommend Eh-Sun at all. She is not well-written, she doesn't interact with many good characters, and she's generally a chore to get through. I'm sorry to be so negative, but I didn't have fun with this one.

Another character, if you please.

[+] Spoiler
v5 Characters:

B029- Matt Masters- DECEASED (114/152)

B043- Adonis Alba- DECEASED (124/152)

G051- Stacey Mordetsky- DECEASED (136/152)
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1245
Winner
1245
Winner
Joined: June 29th, 2013, 5:06 pm

October 9th, 2017, 6:13 am #124

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Aura
Winner
Aura
Winner
Joined: December 9th, 2011, 6:39 pm

October 9th, 2017, 6:26 am #125

Rais Sekth is barely a character. His profile has many usual v1 trappings, including a tragic backstory, manipulative behavior, and violent tendencies. So he reads as a pre-made player along the same vein as quite a few others who existed on the island.

On the island, he might as well have been a nonentity. His first thread consists of two very short posts where he does nothing of note, and in his second thread he gets backstabbed by Jacob Starr in order to give Jacob another gun and another name on his resume.

At the end of the day, Rais was just fodder who, despite his profile building him up as a dangerous person, offered virtually nothing at all. I can't recommend him because there is absolutely nothing of interest about him or his story.

Another character, if you please.

[+] Spoiler
v5 Characters:

B029- Matt Masters- DECEASED (114/152)

B043- Adonis Alba- DECEASED (124/152)

G051- Stacey Mordetsky- DECEASED (136/152)
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1245
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1245
Winner
Joined: June 29th, 2013, 5:06 pm

October 9th, 2017, 6:28 am #126

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Flare
Contender
Joined: September 11th, 2010, 1:32 am

October 10th, 2017, 12:00 am #127

Elijah Rice! So I pulled me a TERRORIST, nice.

Before I get into the actual factuals of Elijah's character, I will comment on the idea of putting some disgraced members of Danya's crew onto the island along the students. It reminds me of V4's rescue in terms of something big and out of the box that shakes up the way the game is played, so I appreciate the creativity behind it. The execution... well, it fits V1's style, I can say that. Which means it ends up resulting in mostly a lot of badly written action scenes and the concept doesn't get fully fleshed out. It's sort of a shame.

As part of the whole plot hook, the terrorists have all had their vocal chords ripped out. This means that Elijah has no dialogue to speak of, only internal monologue. While I'm sure, given the rest of the writing, any dialogue he might have had would have been mainly comprised of heartless, terrorist-y grandstanding, the lack of any option at all for his character to verbally communicate puts a damper on the whole idea of a terrorists vs. students conflict in the first place. This is evidenced in the first thread he enters, where he shoots two girls before agreeing to team up with Clemence because he admires her... kill-y nature or whatever. Nothing of real interest.

NEXT THREAD: He shows up with Clemence at the hospital and they decide to murder everyone because, y'know, SOTF. It's almost entirely action, Elijah is still pretty heartless and unrelatable, and barely anyone ends up dying anyways.
Elijah Rice wrote:To sum it up, it was a very disappointing scene.
Elijah's handler seems to have gone inactive, because his final thread is a one-off DODDPOST. It is labeled with "(Intense and Extreme content warning)".

Should be... fun.

Elijah runs into Sidney Crosby and smacks him with his assault rifle, starting a scuffle between the two of them. It goes back and forth, with Sidney stealing the gun and Elijah starting to strangle him anyways... until the man, the myth, the legend, ADAM DODD himself shows up to save Sidney. Elijah gets up to get going with the whole murder thing...

And Adam unsheathes a sword and BISECTS ELIJAH RICE.

...

OK.

CONCLUSION: Elijah was barely enough of a character to even bother recommending him or not. He's given no real characterization, not even all that over the top in his evil-ness compared to Clemence, is barely on the island for that long, and his death scene barely gives him any credit at all and mostly just exists for Adam and Sidney. Hard pass.

---

Gimme another
V5 Characters:

Jack McDonald is a SELF-INSERT YAY.
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Blastinus
Player
Joined: September 19th, 2008, 8:57 pm

October 10th, 2017, 4:56 am #128

August Masbeth's handler would very much like you to know that this character is absolutely nothing like Helena Van Garrett, despite coming from about the same background and being best friends with Helena herself. See, the big difference, as we'll soon discover, is that she accidentally burned down her mother's bakery and killed her sister. That's basically it so far as characterization goes, so let's hop right in.

To be honest, her first thread starts out pretty solidly. She meets a guy named Terry Woodard and, having discussed that neither one is in the mood for playing, just sit down and have a casual conversation, getting to know one another and fleshing out their characters a little. It's a decent scene, but suddenly August's handler decides that the scene is boring, so they invite none other than Hawley Faust in to play. Now Hawley, being Hawley, is confrontational at best, but decides to not try anything directly, instead sending off a parting shot as he leaves the scene. Pretty simple action, and a sudden shock to end the thread. Now then, let's-

What do you mean there's eight more pages?

That's right, having been shot at, the two of them dust themselves off and get right back to talking. I'll freely admit that I started skimming it after a while. It's not that it's bad writing or anything. It's just that it's basically a back and forth of two characters going over the usual talking points that, by this point, have become rote cliches. What weapons did we get? Are we playing? What do we do if we encounter a player? Who do you think is playing? What friends should we be looking for? You could probably make a mad libs for "Non-Player Conversations" based on this scene alone.

Fortunately, Kichiro Taka awakes in the general area. Time to finally break the tedium, right? Instead, there's the briefest amount of tension and distrust, and it's right back to mad libs again. Kichiro leaves, and they finally decide to move on themselves, this entire 12-page thread having basically gone in one ear and out the other.

Anyways, in the amount of time it takes to go from thread one to thread two, Helena's been whacked by Hawley, and so it's now revenge time! Finally some action! And the scene is really, really fun. Riseruga's writing is one of the highest points of quality in V1, and Hawley's struggle with fighting off Terry and August simultaneously is well-written and entertaining. He prevails in the end, of course, but without making it seem cheap or contrived. And to that point, I have to say that I wish that orangeflamingo had more characters to run against riseruga's, because the two of them writing action scenes together can wring out pure gold. I would probably skip August's first thread, but I would definitely put both Helena and August's final scenes on a must-read list for V1.

Can I please have another?
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Inge
Player
Inge
Player
Joined: March 29th, 2013, 9:02 pm

October 10th, 2017, 5:28 am #129

Flare: Hannah Juett
Blastinus: Vince Samsa
[+] Spoiler
Serena Waters
Will Mckinley
[+] Spoiler
Seth Dunn
Sean Leibowitz
I do let's plays on my youtube channel here.
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MurderWeasel
MW's Private Rank
Joined: February 18th, 2009, 7:01 am

October 10th, 2017, 7:22 am #130

This is somewhat scattered and I didn't proof it. But here it is.
[+] Spoiler
Well, this is what regret feels like because I’ve already read all of Nanami except her first post and rereading stuff is pretty much the bane of my existence. On the other hand, Nanami ties into some thoughts I have regarding one of V1’s most famous characters so I get to explore that a little, which is the lemonade I am making.

V1 profiles are weird to a modern eye. Nanami’s is actually really long for V1, detailing her relationship with her overly-critical single mother (though Nanami also doesn’t really know how to assert herself) and her return to Japan. This latter bit is where we’re first introduced to Nanami’s most substantial relationship: Madelaine Shirohara (who you’ve probably heard of at some point or other). Madelaine is also handled by LadyMakaze, and Nanami is used as a very flattering lens through which to examine her, with stuff like:
wrote:Madelaine always stood out for her coolness and maturity, as well as her confident nature. She was always looking after others, and though she never paid attention to the fact, there were people who looked up to the older-sister figure Madelaine Shirohara. Comparing herself to Madelaine, Nanami saw herself as plain and mediocre, having no special qualities of her own, and even went so far to believe that Madelaine only befriended Nanami out of pity.
We then learn that Nanami secretly resents Madelaine heavily. Madelaine moved to the US, and then Nanami did too, but only a week before the abduction (and she was not at the same school as Madelaine). This is actually a thing I quarrel with somewhat, because it’s an end-of-school trip for Barry Coleson, and I’m not really sure what use it is to stick Nanami into class for only a week or two of finals. It also has no bearing whatsoever on her abduction, since she was snatched on her way to school, rather than from it.

So, the good stuff from Nanami’s profile is mostly her core concept. She’s a bottler, one prone to passive aggression. She’s a follower and she absolutely hates that; she’s torn between a desire to be her own person and a fear that she can’t possibly succeed. It’s a potent cocktail of traits all set to boil over in an SOTF situation.

What’s less great is the Madelaine focus. I’ve insinuated a little, but Madelaine is treated as a real focal point of Nanami’s profile, and this centering on Madelaine continues in the actual game. It’s not a particularly interactive manner of writing, and it does not actually do its job from my perspective; I sort of resent being told how awesome Madelaine is when there’s nothing yet to back it up. I also don’t dig the coincidence of Nanami being the sole student from her Oregon school to be abducted by the same group that took the class including her best friend/secret foe. This is compounded by something we’ll talk about soon: Nanami almost instantly runs into Madelaine in-game.

So, the game begins. Nanami is wondering around on the dirt path, and we’re told that she’s studiously avoided all other contact thus far, fearing death at the hands of the others, all strangers to her. Nanami muses, though, that she could kill in self defense if need be. She’s also upset at going it alone, though, feeling lost without someone to guide her—that someone, she muses, would usually be Madelaine. There’s an awkward bit where Nanami muses that though Madelaine would be super useful in this sort of situation, she’s probably not here, and she stops crying and walks on, telling herself she’ll never have to rely on Madelaine again.

This is an alright intro that does a good job setting up some of Nanami’s internal conflict and detailing her very unique situation. It is also, I feel, undercut really hard by the fact that Nanami runs into Madelaine in her very next post.

Nanami trips over a rock and as she rights herself sees a group nearby, and is shocked to realize that one of the students in it is also improbably wearing the same Japanese school uniform she is. Adam Dodd is the only one to really notice Nanami's arrival, but he's blasted out of his mind on morphine (which is one of the recurring themes in V1 Dodd's story that is, I feel, a really mixed bag, but that's a conversation for another time). David Jackson suggests just shooting her to save the potential for trouble, but is stopped by Marcus Roddy, who rather astutely points out that that's not a course of action fitting to those styling themselves as the good guys. Everyone else also chews David out, and he replies that he's just being cautious—his inattention almost got members of the group hurt before, and there's no telling if this girl might attack them. Everyone calls David awful for this (spoilers: he's Cassandra in this situation).

Nanami's narrative features some casual sexism that is a bit tricky to say whether comes from Nanami herself or the narrative, but I'm gonna give the benefit of the doubt and say it shows Nanami's "traditional" values and lack of self confidence. That said, it's an odd quirk that's pretty common n early SOTF and I'm really quite glad it's fallen away. Here's the bit:
wrote:It was bad enough that a girl with a shotgun, of all things, approached her. But this new stranger was a boy, much more rowdy, much more dangerous than any girl. She hid her eyes behind pale, shaking hands, letting out gasps and sobs as both girl and boy began to argue.
Nanami bargains in her head for more time, and that's a great little moment of desperation on her part. Madelaine finally notices her and this is where I start to have issues with the scene.
wrote:One girl out of those 300...the chances were extremely slim...but somehow, Madelaine knew as soon as she saw her crying form, that it just had to be...

"...Nanami?" she murmured, trembling slightly. Her stance weakened a bit as she stepped forward, almost unsteadily. "It can't be..."
I'll bring this up more throughout the scene, but my huge gripe with Madelaine is she feels like a fanfiction character escaped into SOTF. Madelaine is special, the one who stands out, the one stuff revolves around... not due to anything she particularly does or says or is, but because of how the narrative and the other characters treat her. Her prose is notably more flourish-filled than anyone else's, and her plotlines are jam-packed with (sometimes unearned) drama. It makes tons of sense why she was a huge deal in V1, when a ton of characters had posts that were one or two paragraphs without punctuation, and honestly the era was much closer to BR fanfic than to the current styling. On the other hand, SOTF was developing into its thing already—the seeds of the current game can easily be seen in characters like Hawley Faust and Adam Dodd—and I feel like by comparison Madelaine has aged very poorly. Her interactions with Nanami showcase these issues repeatedly.

There's a bit that's very well-written tracking Nanami's progressing lies (though some of the actual details don't quite mesh well—2005 was a long time ago but not that long, so I'm not totally sure why Nanami's primary mode of communication with Madelaine is snail mail).

We also start to see some of the cracks in Madelaine's nice girl act as she comforts Nanami:
wrote:Now, she continued to hold onto Nanami, as the shorter girl buried her face into Madelaine's shoulder, letting out muffled sobs and soaking her blazer with tears. At this, Madelaine could not help but feel a tinge of nostalgia. She remembered holding onto Nanami like this while she cried over this incident concerning some boy, back in junior high...though she never knew the details. Nanami always got hurt over seemingly petty things...it was understandable how someone like her could break down completely in situation like this.
Nanami is apparently Madelaine's best friend. I think it's a bit telling that she didn't bother to figure out what made Nanami upset. She thinks Nanami's concerns are overreactions to little stuff.

Madelaine promises Nanami that the group will get out alive together, but Nanmi, in a pretty good moment, is appalled at the thought of trusting her life to those who just casually contemplated shooting her. Nanami wants to leave... and to bring Madelaine with her. It's revealed that this is mostly manipulation; Nanami knows that Madelaine is such a kind and caring person she'll gladly give her life for those she cares about (meaning Nanami) and wants to use her as a tool, without the baggage of the group.

The issue here is that's a really quick jump in motivations on Nanami's part since the only thing that happened between this and the post before was Hawley glancing vaguely in their direction.

Anyways, Dodd is having none of it and unleashes a string of incredibly inappropriate commentary. Madelaine slaps him and it's treated pretty decently actually, in that the rest of the thread doesn't like it. It's also used to plug Madelaine again:
wrote:Nanami had watched silently as Madelaine walked up to Adam to deliver a slap to the face, suddenly reminded of days long past. It was not the first time that Shirohara-san had defended her so fiercely. There was that incident when a group of boys tried to torment her, and Shirohara single-handedly scared them off with only words and a single slap.
Callum Hadely's handler posts to remind everyone that Callum is still right there (doing what? No idea! Nobody's mentioned him at all, but apparently he just attacked them or something).

Nanami is introduced to the group, and basicallytold she has to stay with them. She's not thrilled about this.
wrote:What disgusted Nanami the most that for all that she was reluctant to admit it, Shirohara-san was right, as always. Leaving now could only mean death. But now, all Nanami could think about was how much she resented Shirohara-san at that moment, just because she was right. She was always right.
I think we're not supposed to be sympathizing with Nanami here, but... Madelaine's being framed by the narrative as in the right even though she's really not so untouchable. She just escalated Dodd's inappropriate behavior to physical violence, made no effort to deal with the fallout, and is ordering everyone around without doing much explaining. Nanami's narrative goes on more about how special Madelaine is (and Nanami is not).
wrote:It annoyed her slightly, that she was able to make friends and allies so quickly. But that was Shirohara-san...she was always like that. No matter how cold or scary she may seem at times, she always managed to make friends with others. She always seemed to possess something special that Nanami did not.

Whatever it was...Nanami had no idea even now, and it made her feel envious. As she crawled to her feet, hugging her daypack and keeping to herself a bit, pacing around. She began wondering if there was anything at all that was special about herself, and if anybody saw it at all.

Madelaine returned to the group, deciding to continue helping out with Marcus' injuries. She was silent in deep thought for a few moments, and it seemed as though her prior irritation towards Adam had faded. But that was Madelaine after all, she was not one to hold grudges against others, no matter what they did.
What Madelaine really has is that she's the character favored by the narrative, and Nanami is not. :(

Callum runs off, the group talks, and Nanami sits and stews. To her great credit, Makaze actually checks in with Nanami every time she posts, even if Nanami isn't doing much of anything.

Speaking of, the somewhat-neglected Amanda gets a check-in that cuts away to the V1 Afterlife—this is one of the V1 quirks I'm pretty down on so I'm just gonna say that I have zero problems if someone's personal headcanon is that the Bar and Grill exists or whatever but it strikes me as poor form to include it in narrative without a modicum of deniability (because it's gonna get denied anyways by most of the site). I have a bit of an issue because Amanda's post is very long but tends to focus on everything but Amanda—she recaps everyone in the group, spends a ton of time musing on Dodd... but that's the bulk. Her post is a bit self-aware about it, and the doubt that comes with that is a good moment, though.

The group muses about escape, and David notes that the terrorists don't really care if you mess with the cameras. My, how times change! Hawley muses some, and in all of this Nanami sort of fades into the background. Madelaine has a similar recap post flitting over every member of the group, and Nanami leads her away, musing rather sinisterly that Madelaine may not be returning to them soon... or at all.

Adam's story to date is recapped in its entirety which is actually not a bad thing, I feel, given how long it is already. This recap does, however, sit really oddly in the middle of a thread—especially following the two roll-call posts the precede it. Basically, all action has stopped for a pretty substantial span of time to rehash a bunch of stuff that those following Dodd and friends would probably already know. It works alright if you've got no clue what's going on with Dodd and friends as you read... but there aren't really any characters that'd bring you here if you don't know them except Nanami. It feels like maybe it was to catch up readers at the time (as IIRC there'd been a big boom in participants) but I still think the placement leaves something to be desired given how long it all is.

Nanmi talks briefly with Madelaine, tricks her into handing over her tire iron for a moment, then pulls her own pistol and shoots Madelaine in the collarbone. This sequence is pretty well structured and paced, but Nanami's thoughts are entirely absent. She's become an antagonist to Madelaine, and all the narrative focus is on Madelaine's peril and suffering; Nanami is there to create that situation.

Everyone comes running because gunshots are loud and the pair were actual still within sight of some of the group members. Hawley rushes to tend to Madelaine, while Amanda trains her gun on Nanami. We're told that the others arriving was Nanami's plan. I'm not sure I buy it—Nanami's spent the whole scene trying to get Madelaine away from the others, when she had ample opportunity to get the drop on her while being totally ignored by the group. It feels like a narrative overcorrection—stuff went off-script, but rather than adjusting to compensate the script tries to smooth it over. Nanami monologues a good bit about why she hates Madelaine—it's mostly what we've seen before (she feels like Madelaine's protection robbed her of all agency and resented being pitied and treated as helpless)—and Madelaine is crushed by this more than by being shot.

The others try to flank Nanami. Dodd actually has a really good moment here, trying to goad Nanami into focusing on him instead of Madelaine. It's sold well, makes sense for his character and is a great look at what made V1 Dodd a popular protagonist. He also mentions that Nanami basically has one shot, because she's surrounded by heavily-armed people and the only thing keeping them from blowing her away is the damage she could do on her way out (which is a big part of why Nanami's lure-everyone-to-watch plan doesn't make logical sense and feels like a Band-Aid).

The standoff escalates further; David shoots at Nanami, hoping to disarm her, but instead scores a graze that causes her to fire a similarly cosmetic shot along Madelaine's cheek. Dodd taunts some more, Hawley chimes, in, and the tension mounts.

It's the danger to her friends that stirs Madelaine out of her stupor. She muses that she never meant any harm, that she was just trying to be good to Nanami, and that she'd far rather die than see others hurt on her account. Nanmi, for her part, gets more worked up:
wrote:She raised her eyes to look at the group again. "Why else would Shirohara-san show that sort of kindness to me, other than to act out of pity? Why else would she even tolerate me, when no one else would? Like you guys just said...I AM pathetic. I AM a weakling. And because I was weak and helpless and so pitiful...Shirohara-san befriended me. Just how stupid is that? I wanted to be one in control...I wanted to show her that I no longer needed her pity, by doing this to her!"

Desperate for them to understand her, she cried out with fury towards the group, "Why are you trying to protect her, anyways? You've barely even known her for that long, but are you saying she's that important to you? Tell me....what's so good about her? Everyone says she's so great, but she's just a normal person like me! What is it that makes her so wonderful and precious, that you're so willing to let yourself get killed just to give her a living chance? How is it that she's worth so much?!"
In any event, Nanami is distracted for a second and Madelaine pulls herself together enough to draw her own pistol (of which Nanami was unaware, failing to realize Madelaine had only disclosed her assigned weapon and not the one Amanda gave her earlier) and shoot Nanami in the back. She then immediately rushes to Nanami's side, trying desperately to save her, and this sort of highlights a bunch of my issues with Madelaine, in this scene and overall.

Madelaine's story wants it all. It wants her to be the center of attention—everything in this Nanami sequence has been geared towards pushing Madelaine into focus, held hostage as the others are forced to watch. It wants Madelaine to be the one to ultimately resolve the situation—a ton of stuff happens in the post where Nanami gets shot, keeping anyone else from really being able to get a word or action in edgewise, and it's Madelaine who takes care of things where others have somewhat arbitrarily failed (whatever happened to Marcus, who was trying to flank Nanami and get her under control while her attention was elsewhere?). And it wants Madelaine to nevertheless retain the moral highground, as she acts only to protect her friends and immediately tries to stuff the genie back in the bottle and help save Nanami from the wound she just inflicted. She even throws herself between Nanami and David when the latter expresses his frustrations with a kick.

And throughout all of this, I'm wondering where Madelaine's flaws are. Nanami views the girl as so perfect her very existence is a mockery... and the narrative seems to only really disagree with the mockery part of that. Nanami recovers a bit and points the gun at Madelaine (somehow, despite the fact that Dodd is at that very moment pressing her chest to the ground trying to stop the bleeding) and threatens to take Madelaine with her into death, and Madelaine sobs and admits to total fault despite having acted only out of pureness and love. Nanami is shocked and realizes just how much better than even what she'd thought Madelaine is, and muses about how really Madelaine has the worse deal even though Nanami's the one bleeding to death:
wrote:Shirohara-san would pay for it all. Nanami would leave this would soon. It would all end easily for her. But Shirohara-san would live on, enduring all of the pain that came from the mess Nanami caused. It was as though Shirohara-san had inherited Nanami's sin, and was paying the price in her place. How awful was that...?
So, in case it's not clear, I've got some real issues with Nanami and her arc but mostly as it relates to Madelaine. Nanami is pretty much a prop—one better developed than many in V1, but perhaps more frustrating for that—who exists to push Madelaine. The span from Nanami's first post to her death is eight days OOC, and every aspect of her narrative is focused around pushing Madelaine. In the moments where Nanami herself gets to shine through, I think she's cool and interesting. I think her plot has real meat to it, and could've gone amazing places were it allowed to play out a little more naturally, were the other group members allowed actual agency, were it not so rushed. As it is, though, the whole affair is flawed in some ways that are really frustrating to me.

And so, at the end, I find myself not agreeing with the remorseful, penitent Nanami slipping away, wishing Madelaine nothing but the best. No, I'm right there with bitter, angry Nanami. Madelaine is too perfect, and I really do resent her for it. Give me the flawed crybaby instead, any day.
I'll take another, please!
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October 10th, 2017, 9:44 am #131

MurderWeasel: Tayli Vreeland
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October 11th, 2017, 2:43 am #132

Duncan Wright was a college student who was researching SOTF, and he was kidnapped by the AT because they felt that he knew a little too much about how they worked. This actually isn't too bad a backstory as far as v1 is concerned, although how a single college student can obtain so much information about a secretive terrorist organization to the point that he is considered a specific threat to them raises a few eyebrows in terms of realism.

Despite his profile making him seem pretty important, Duncan actually doesn't do very much on the island. He meets Angharad Davies early and teams up with her, and the two of them head to the lighthouse in search of shelter. Duncan explains the basics of SOTF as far as he understands, then heads to the kitchen to cook some dog food and go inactive. His next appearance comes when Angharad, now fully committed to playing, returns to the lighthouse where he had been staying. He shows her an escape plan that he had drawn up, and she responds by kicking him to death.

There isn't really anything wrong with Duncan. He's competently written and has a decent voice. However, he doesn't really get to do much on the island before going inactive. He's decent, but you aren't really missing much if you skip him either.

Another character, if you please.

[+] Spoiler
v5 Characters:

B029- Matt Masters- DECEASED (114/152)

B043- Adonis Alba- DECEASED (124/152)

G051- Stacey Mordetsky- DECEASED (136/152)
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Joined: September 19th, 2008, 8:57 pm

October 11th, 2017, 3:38 am #133

I might be a terrible person, but Vince Samsa's backstory had me in stitches. When he's four years old his drug dealer mother gets shot in the head on his birthday, which happens to be Christmas, right in front of him, resulting in this line:
wrote:As Vince stared at his mothers brains which at that point where spread against the floor of his house he promised himself not to cry.
There's a fine line between tragedy and black comedy, and I think his handler used it as a jump rope.

Right from the start, we get an idea more of the handler than the character, since Slacker doesn't even wait for Vince to get rolled a weapon before sending him onto the island. His first thread is one post long and just features him getting pumped up, putting on that football war paint and all. Football is the one thing besides his mother's brains that we know about this character, so I guess we're going full-bore with it.

Anyway, he writes around the whole "not having a weapon yet" thing by saying that his character hadn't peeked into his bag, which means that he approaches his first interaction with Cody Jenson a bit cautiously. After all, why threaten the guy when you might just have a rubber chicken in there? He asks Cody for a spare weapon, Cody says no and fires some parting shots as he tears off into the distance on his magic motorcycle. How he manages to avoid wiping out on that thing is a mystery to me.

By the time he reaches his next thread, evidently he's been rolled his weapon, since he's fawning over his assigned handgun to an uncomfortable degree. Oh also, everything relates back to his dead mother, because he has one detail in his backstory, and by golly, is he going to run it into the ground. When he encounters a group at the lighthouse, he makes small talk and tries to be a member of the group, and then Cody's motorcycle of wonders roars into the scene, accompanied by threats and gunfire, as is Cody's modus operandi. Vince wants to go out to help Glenn's brother Fred, but he ends up just talking about his mother again and nothing comes of it. Fred dies, Vince walks out too late, and Cody rides off into the night, trailing rainbows and sunbeams out the back.

A new thread, a new group. Vince has apparently gone off the deep end at this point, which means that he's playing with the standard V1 tactic of walking out at a significantly larger group while raising your gun and acting threatening. But...wait a moment, this is the scene where Kousaka spontaneously turns from a cocky gun mage to a simpering nobody, so there's somebody even hammier to distract from him. Vince takes the initiative, nabbing Kousaka's bag and performing a Cody-esque goodbye on the way out (by which I mean turning around, firing two shots, and disappearing into the Elsewhere Zone before anyone else can fire back).

Vince returns to the lighthouse to observe Fred's corpse and talk to his dead mother some more, which a mod swiftly informs him is an impossibility because Fred fell off a cliff. Also, he leaves that scene in the same post, so it's effectively pointless filler. Moving on, he comes to the well, sees a collective group with Cody in it, and hatches the clever scheme of throwing a smoke bomb and unloading an entire magazine at them. This fails to actually score him any kills, because he's trying to shoot people IN A SMOKE CLOUD! What was even the point of throwing smoke at them? You use smoke to hide yourself, you silly man! In the ensuing fight scene, Vince also gets suddenly philosophical:
wrote:"Put a gun to my head and paint the walls with my brains. Just great, I say. Really." Vince told the boy evilly. "I know you won’t, because you’re just an idiot kid. You have been lied to about your individuality, there is no such thing as an individual and there is no such thing as you!"
Then Vince decides that he's going to ogle a girl's breasts while a shotgun is being trained on him. But that's okay because:
wrote: "Pull the damn trigger, you’ll just be helping me out…" he looked up to the sky "When I was three years old I had a gun pointed at my head…
Look, I'll just abbreviate it for you. He talks about his mother again. At this point, everyone's ready to shoot him, but first, Bohemian Rhapsody. No real point to it. His handler just posts the lyrics to a Queen song. He takes a shotgun blast to the...feet? Look, I don't know what happened there. This is what Clare Shepherd does:
wrote:With a quick movement she stepped to the side, blocking Ryan who was still sprawled on the ground, and shifted her gun to aim at the ground directly in front of Vince.
And this somehow sends Vince flying, right onto a convenient rock that impales him through the chest. Undeterred by, you know, an object poking out of his torso, he fires off all but one round at the group and then serves himself the last one right in the mouth, but not before delivering one last speech about his mother, then his last thought is of his mother, and really, how do you milk a single character trait for this long?

I really can't recommend Vince. At all. He's creepy, he's one-note, he accomplishes nothing of consequence, and his dialogue isn't even that fun. I'd take the psycho ballerina over him any day.

Another?
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October 11th, 2017, 7:24 am #134

Aura: Callum Hadley
Blastinus: Amanda Jones
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Blastinus
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Joined: September 19th, 2008, 8:57 pm

October 12th, 2017, 5:05 pm #135

Amanda Jones is my first Dodd character, and she's also the vice president's daughter? And she has a huge crush on ADAM DODD?! What kind of self-shilling nonsense is this? Oh well, let's just evaluate her as her own separate character.
[+] Spoiler
So what's her plan of action on the island? Well, it's uniting with Adam Dodd, who she knows will already be gathering allies, but enough of that, it's time for her to meet a Slayer character named David Jackson. One who's not playing. And is completely friendly and up-front. Huh. Maybe I was being presumptive with the guy and he actually has the capacity for depth. She asks him where Adam Dodd is, and is shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that Adam would ever consider getting into a gunfight with someone. And I have to ask...Dodd, did you even read your own character? He goes from zero to murder in almost no time at all.

Madelaine Jones also shows up, and after David acts like a total prat, they grudgingly decide to seek out Dodd together. But first, we need Slayer to kill one of his own dudes as Andrew Klock walks crazily into the scene and gets instantly shot. I guess we're supposed to think of David as a hero or whatever, but because it's the same handler talking to himself, it comes off as forced and staged. The group talks some more, and then the president and the VP play some paintball.

Wait, what?

Oh, right, Dodd chose this moment to suddenly cut to the White House, where we discover that the president is an immature manchild (I'm sorry, "prankster") who likes to shoot at interns in the halls of the nation's capitol. And wouldn't you know it, but the VP's daughter is on TV right now, hacking some poor innocent grass to death with a machete. Then she flashbacks to her first date with Dodd (the character Dodd, not the handler), but it's boring, so I skipped it.

Then Heather shows up and has that weird scene with David, and it occurs to me that David is just another mechanical construct, but instead of murder, his mind is stuck on the "noble protector" setting, even when it makes absolutely no sense. Seriously, her gun is on the ground and he's still going on about how he should just shoot her right now but because he's so virtuous, he'll give her a chance to drop the gun she's already dropped, then he justifies it by claiming that she reached for it so he can't trust her, even when in her post, her hands were in the air. This is so alien and bizarre that it becomes genuinely unnerving, like it's the first thing I've read in V1 that has actually caused me a degree of emotional distress. What is going on in this delusional kid's head, and is he a danger to everyone around him? Turns out, the answer is yes, because when Heather violently protests how he's treating her, the mask falls off almost instantly:
wrote:He had been attacked, now he wasn't going to stop until she was dead.
What a saint. To Dodd's credit, he actually calls out Slayer for how he acts in the subsequent fight scene, since in typical Slayer fashion, he no-sells every move and fires off multiple shots in a single post. Both Amanda and Madelaine are shocked and disturbed by David's antics as well, and it's clear to basically everyone that he's in no proper state of mind, so the two ladies go their separate way from him.

And now it's time for Amanda to meet Adam. Or rather, not meet Adam, because he's threatening Madelaine from an angle she can't see and being weirdly coy about divulging his name. The scene is so contrived it defies reason, since he's been perfectly fine with revealing his name on other occasions, but because the love of his life is lurking nearby, we've got to do this lengthy runaround where Amanda's like "Could it really be him?" But hey, it eventually pays off, I guess, since they have the big hug and all. But now comes the next big conflict: will Amanda ever reveal her true feelings for him? Well, seeing as these are the same handler's characters, I'm sure it'll happen when it's dramatically appropriate.

There's a lot of group stuff that doesn't matter, since our subject is just Amanda, so let's cut to the chase. Yes, they kiss. And it's at this point that Amanda starts asserting influence instead of Dodd, because he's distracted by a call from his friend Andrew and he wants to meet up with him. The group's goal, therefore, becomes finding Adam and presumably keeping each other alive in the process. Amanda spends a good chunk of the time in this portion of the game being scared in post after post and not really doing much else, though she does give David a stern talking-to (because he's back with the group now) about his tendency to threaten people, so I guess there's that.

It's at this point that Peri, Jacob Starr, and some other kid decide to pay a visit, and a standoff occurs. Not much to say about it, since Amanda mostly just stays out of it and a good chunk of the group flees the scene when bullets start flying, but it's worth noting that Amanda gets nicked in the leg. In the next scene, she confronts Jacob about almost killing Dodd, and it's pretty clear that she's on the verge of blowing his head off, but she doesn't. I'm actually interested in Amanda's progression at this point, since she's doing decisions that don't entirely revolve around Dodd-having. It's too bad that most of her dialogue is still about finding Adam and whether or not she loves him, but hey, small favors.

Suddenly, Blaine Eno enters the scene, with murder on the mind. Just as it looks like he's about to get Amanda, a shot rings out, and Adam appears, announcing his presence at the end of the post instead of the start. And I'll have to admit, this is somewhat clever. Almost feels cinematic in a way. It's too bad that Adam has to throw in the lyrics for Closing Time for no apparent reason. Adam's choking up over his decision to take a life, but fortunately, he can talk to himself and reassure himself that what he did was a-okay by putting the words in Amanda's mouth instead. It's at this moment, while Blaine is dead and cooling in front of them, that Adam finally lets slip that he totes loves Amanda too, and they have a really long post-murder kiss.

But unfortunately, all good self-makeouts must come to an end, because Hawley arrives at the end of his rope. But rather than giving in to despair and doing something he'd regret, he's talked into lowering his gun and the situation is resolved, just in time for Adam to get high off of morphine. It's an interesting direction to go, and Dodd writes Amanda as appropriately embarrassed about her boyfriend's wild antics. While he's incapacitated from being high as a kite, she addresses the motley crew gathered together and hatches a plan, a plan of escape. She delivers a fairly compelling speech, and it makes me think that Adam needs to be doped out of his gourd more often, because she shines most when she doesn't have to work off of him.

One of the group snaps and we have a dramatic confrontation that ends with her dead, but this is more Dodd-centric than Amanda, so I'll just skip past it for a bit. What's important for Amanda is that this ends up leaving Madelaine shaken and unresponsive, and we have a scene where Amanda tries desperately to get her out of her nigh-catatonic state. Once again, Dodd is off to the side, and we get to see Amanda as the more caring and likable of the two. The thread continues, and Hawley dies after another confrontation that breaks out, so it's back to Dodd again until the end of the thread. One long, friggin' 17-page thread. It's here that Amanda finally ceases becoming an unthinking mouthpiece for Dodd, since she patently disagrees with his decision to kill Marcus Roddy after he gets put in a coma. It's nice, but it's coming with only two threads until her death, so I don't know if it's enough.

Next, the group gets caught up in a confrontation with Cody Jenson and Jacob Starr, resulting in Amanda and Madelaine being locked in a warehouse with motorcycle boy. Naturally, this goes sourly, and Cody ends up just leaning in for a kiss when a friggin' shotgun is being leveled at him, only to be clocked in the back of the head. Can't say I didn't enjoy that. But it leaves Amanda with nothing to do but play the damsel in distress until Adam finally gets the door open.

Last thread. Boy, this took a while. The results of Adam's kills sound over the loudspeaker, and Amanda decides that they were totally fine because they had justifiable causes, thereby exonerating Dodd of all wrongdoing. So say he all. Then Cody shows up again and kidnaps Madelaine before...well...basically, if he was an unapologetic scumbag before now, he's crossed the line to becoming basically unreadable. But read on I must, as he gets confronted for what he just did and he responds by firing a couple shots, one of which ends up lodged in Amanda's forehead. Almost like an afterthought to the atrocity that occurred just before.
Final thoughts on Amanda...Well, from what I can tell, Adam Dodd exudes a strange Second Banana Aura, which makes it impossible to stand out as long as he's nearby. I enjoyed the scenes most where Amanda has to strike out on her own and actually do stuff independently of the Doddster, but whenever she's attached to him, her character revolves around building him up and helping him through his emotional turmoil. She can only be Amanda and not Dodd's girlfriend when she's by herself, and so my opinion of her oscillated up and down. Ultimately, her character's death is just designed as a motivation for Dodd to get his revenge on Cody, and that feels a bit cheap.

Can I go again?
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