Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I'm Confident I Put Together Better Teams Than Tony Stark

After much deliberation and time-wasting, I might as well post one of those League of Extraordinary Gentlemen style teams I said I might do. I've actually got about 5 in progress, but nobody wants to deal with all that one after another, so the plan is one every so often. I'll admit I don't know precisely what the original goal was with these. Put together the best team possible? Most entertaining? Are they together for one job, or permanently? What's their goal? I tend to opt for characters I like I hope will bring something interesting to the mix. You get to judge whether I manage it or not.

The Leader: Tetra/Princess Zelda (The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker) - I chose her less for the fact she's a princess, more for the fact she was a pirate captain. Don't get me wrong, the experience in diplomacy is going to come in handy. No one else on this team has much going there. She can probably deal with snooty nobles more easily than anyone else in this crew (assuming not going the violent route). But her time spent leading a crew of smelly, rowdy pirates is probably going to give her more guidelines for keeping this bunch together. She's definitely keeping the Light Arrows.

This is some time after the events of Windwaker. We're going to assume Ganondorf is out of action, if not permanently, at least for a few decades. But there's other threats, and one has emerged. Link is either missing, or already been dealt with. Zelda's the one who usually has the Triforce of Wisdom, so she's smart enough to recognize a direct attack on her own is a bad idea. And she decides being a very visible ruler makes her and her kingdom a very visible target. So she goes lowkey, back to being Tetra, back to her old crew, while she tries to find some people to lend a hand. This time it's her turn to travel far and wide gathering what, or rather who, she needs. It's going to be a tightrope, because she has to convince this group to help her, someone they don't know, but she also needs them to work together effectively. The former probably requires her skills in diplomacy, the latter may require her willingness to thump skulls and speak bluntly.

The Rogue: Ada Wong (Resident Evil 4) - There is something to be said for the lady who sneaks around a zombie-filled European countryside with a grappling gun in an opera dress. That something is probably, "What the hell are you thinking?" but Ada makes it work.

The problem for everyone else with Ada is that she's helpful just so long as she needs their help. Once that's over, she'll probably turn on them. This doesn't mean she'd try to kill them - that's going to prove difficult for her anyway - but it's something a hypothetical reader/viewer might keep in mind that the team wouldn't necessarily recognize right off. She's fully capable of presenting herself as either a sympathetic figure, or simply as someone willing to help.

Still, she might surprise everyone. In Resident Evil 2, there was no real reason for her to save Leon from Annette Birkin, but she did. Being able to convince even the people you're working with you've betrayed them can have its advantages. It makes you the one the bad guys approach to sway to their side. It opens doors, provides information. It can be very profitable, and a clever person can recognize when it's paid out all it can, and that it's time to switch back. Ada may well be more outgunned than normal, but she's the sort to trust in being clever enough to mitigate that. Whether she's right or not. . .

Also, having Ada around means I can have Wesker show up and get annihilated, because I really hate that character.

The Muscle: Krillin (DragonBall Z: Budokai) - Technically my theme was "Gamecube games", and I did own that game for 'Cube. But it's a licensed game, which isn't quite the same thing, but hell, every time I do one of these, it has someone who doesn't quite fit the theme. Johnny Smith was originally a book character, not a TV character, and Earthworm Jim was originally a video game character, not a non-Marvel/DC comic character.

So Krillin. I'm picking him from sometime after Vegeta came to Earth. Maybe Tetra finds him recovering in the hospital after that fight, or she winds up on Namek while he's there. I'm not clear on the order these five are going to get together. Krillin would probably jump at the chance to help a princess free her kingdom, though. At any rate, Krillin's probably the strongest character on the team, but not to an overwhelming degree. It's unlikely the battles this group will face adhere to DBZ traditions of occurring in isolated locations, and Krillin isn't the sort to just blow up five square blocks, especially if it would put innocent people at risk. However, I did like the idea of him getting to be the "big gun" for once, rather than the hopelessly outmatched one who is just stalling for time. There will be times that's what he'll have to do, because there are going to be some threats that blowing up with energy blasts may not work on.

He's not really a take-charge guy, and has managed to work successfully with noted grouch Piccolo, so I think he can get along with the more volatile personalities on the team. I think he's going to spend at least some of the time trying to play peacemaker when members of the team start to wear on each others' nerves. He may not be successful, but he'll try. And at some point, the Destructo Disc is actually going to work and finish a battle, goddamnit. Just once, that's all I'm asking.

The Woman of Mystery: BloodRayne (Bloodrayne) - I could switch her and Ada, but I figured with Ada being the most likely to betray them, the Rogue fit her best. Rayne does have a fair share of mystery in her life, if only because she's lived so long (being half-vampire has its perks). Odds are, though, most of those decades were spent in traveling the globe, fighting and killing various supernatural threats. Her response to most problems is going to be to cut it to ribbons, or shoot it. But she has some ocular abilities associated with her heritage which could come in handy for assessing situations, if she's willing to slow down and use them.

It's unclear how her teammates will react to her. I have to think Zelda is going to be at least a little wary of someone who drinks blood, just given her own experiences with supernatural and mystical threats. If Rayne gets wind of the fact Ada has helped get material to create monsters through science, she's certainly not going to be pleased with that.

I'm not sure when exactly in her life Rayne would be at. Probably anywhere between the end of the first game and start of the second, which offers about 60 years (roughly 1945-2005). There was a gap of a few years in the first game, mostly in the '30s we could draw her from. She'd be less used to operating on her own, which might make her more willing to be a team player. But she'd also have just recently lost her mentor, which might make her more reluctant to work with others. Or she could have both impulses, and the confusion that might create could be a problem for her and the team, which wouldn't understand what was going on.

The Lady with a Boat: Samus Aran (Metroid Prime) - I also considered swapping Samus and Tetra. Let Samus try being a leader, instead of a lone wolf, and just use the pirate ship. A spaceship is cooler, so here we are.

As it is, Samus is still going to have to work on being a team player, which could prove challenging (I never played Metroid: Other M, so I'm ignoring whatever history that gave her as dutifully following some dolt commander's orders to not use better forms of her armor until he said so). By pulling her into this after the first Metroid Prime, it leaves the threat of Dark Samus out there unresolved, to appear at the time most inconvenient, either for Samus specifically, or the group in general, depending on how powerful it's gotten.

Samus will probably want to abandon the team at different points if she gets wind of the Space Pirates getting up to something (let's hope she doesn't have some general bias against pirates, or Tetra and her crew are in for a real bad time). But it's unlikely she'd do that in a moment of need, because Samus doesn't really seem the type. But it's hard to say. I've never seen her talk much in games, so it's hard to get a feel for her personality. The Pirates are terrified, seeing her as a relentless engine of destruction directed at them. But they took two families (her birth parents and the Chozo who found her and raised her), so it's unlikely she's that way with everyone. Probably not very outgoing or open. I don't know how long it would be before she actually removed the helmet in their presence, to even let them see her face. But with Rayne's outbursts, and Ada trying to be oh-so-helpful, but still not seeming entirely trustworthy, Samus could prove to be a calm center for the team. The one who doesn't get rattled outwardly, and has enough physical presence people are going to notice and respect her. If the group has a deputy leader, it's her.

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