Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Character Archetypes Inspired by Blue Gender

On ye old Netflix, I'm watching the 'classic' anime, Blue Gender. In honor of this watching, I've decided to give some half assed thoughts to what I see as two archetypes that I've seen in a few different situations and genres. Let me know if this is something a reader would like to see more of, or perhaps more random babbling from the various viewings and readings.

The Out of Time Character:

In many different genres, a character can become locked in time. In many instances, this character can be a default 'standard' viewpoint character. In Thundar the Barbarian for example, there are instances of people from pre-Cataclysm Earth that Thundar runs into. In Blue Gender, Eugene is another such character. He suffers from a disease and is placed into a sleep that allows him to bypass the Blue invasion. In other settings, such as those written by David Gemmell, a whole race of warriors is set in stone so that they may be called forth when needed to fight an invasion by an old foe.

Such a viewpoint character often fits the standard of where they come from or what the rules and or time of the genre may be. For example, in a setting taking place in an Oriental Adventure setting, the character may be a Westerner whose outlook and equipment is familiar to those who read Knightly tales or standard fantasy. In a Vampire or other setting where the characters are monstrous, the character in question may be new. The path of the character is to discover what they are in relation to the setting about them. 

They judge others around them by the manner in which they used to. It may take them some time, if ever, to accumulate to the new setting and or situation that they find themselves in. Such an archetype is useful for new characters or new players who may not be familiar with the current setting or game system.  A potential problem such individuals may have, is adapting to the current weapons and armor of the setting. For example, while a sword may just be a sword, a blade like the Sunsword in Thundar might be quite different than one a standard character is used to. In some instances, such a time displaced characters may not have any weapon skills to call upon.

When such a character is offered the chance to return to the womb, or to return to the simpler times, they often pass on it. They've already lived that life, already done those deeds. This is a new life and a new time and even though it is challenging, they accept where they are.

The Doomed Soldier:

A professional by trade, the Doomed Soldier is a stoic individual that doesn't complain. They are often highly skilled in their field and while not necessarily boastful of it, they have no problem demonstrating their skills to others. They have little use for those who don't follow orders, because in their experience, those who do not follow orders tend to die and often times, wind up taking other members of the crew with them. In terms of respecting those they work with, they often only have a great degree of respect for those in a similar outlook to themselves, especially if they are part of the same organization.

The Doomed Soldier doesn't necessarily have a problem making allies, but making real friends on the other hand, is difficult. In their experience and history, it just isn't worth the time. They know that most people they associate with and ally themselves with, will in time, through circumstance or situation, perish.

They do not hold themselves above such a situation happening to them, but worry that due to some failure of their own, they may cause others to die. This is something that the Doomed Soldier struggles against with every fiber of their being. Others perishing because of their own inability to follow the rules and existing structure is bound to happen but under their watch and under their control? Never.

Despite their outlook of death being perhaps inevitable, or perhaps because of it, they have no problem enjoying the sensations that the world offers. This could be as simple as a fine meal, or satisfying other physical needs. Their theory is that because they could die at any point, weeks, days, or minutes from now, they should take advantage of life when they can. This pleasure seeking however, never interferes with the mission.

Doomed Soldiers may not necessarily start off with such a pessimistic attitude but may gain one through game play and suffering through difficult times that tend to stretch on for years at a time.