Wednesday, October 05, 2016

There'll Be A Lot Of Sarcasm With This Bunch

Time for another fantasy team lineup post! It's a little late for my every other month schedule, but my schedule has been a mess lately (and may continue to be for the next few weeks), so it was tricky finding the time to sit down and work on it. Enough excuses, let's do this. Last time was the Legion of Angry Characters from the XBox 360. This is going to be based on more characters from my games on the 360, but I wanted to branch out a bit, try to grab a few more supporting characters, a few that are a little less typical. See if that works.

The Leader: Cortana (Halo 4) - I understand that Cortana came back in Halo 5 as a sort-of antagonist after her possible death at the end of Halo 4, but let's just ignore that. Her program degraded, but the Forerunner's technology gave her access to something to help counteract it, but not until she's wound up somewhere else. Or her program fell apart entirely, and she was only able to pull part of herself together over time.

Cortana is smart and resourceful, and has a certain amount of curiosity combined with an unwillingness to take things at face value. This was apparent in the first Halo, when she nosed through the memory banks of the system on the ringworld and figured the Caretaker wasn't being entirely upfront with master Chief about the plan he was pushing to stop the Flood (namely, it was leaving out the part where the plan would destroy that entire section of the galaxy). She figured this out, and then was able to devise a different plan to deal with the threat without wiping out entire star systems.

But Cortana hasn't necessarily been a leader. She gathers information, and offers a course of action, but commanding officers were fully capable of ignoring her (to their detriment, usually). One of the advantages she had before was Master Chief trusted her implicitly. If she told him something was so, he believed her. This group doesn't know her from Adam to start, and now she has to convince them to do what she wants. She can be pretty blunt with people when she thinks they're being stupid. She's going to get impatient with them, they're going to get impatient with her. And depending on whose world she winds up in, there may not be the kind of information network she's used to having access to. If the place they're at doesn't have radio transmissions, or any kind of computer networks, how much is that going to impair her?

The Rogue: Trip (Enslaved: Odyssey to the West) - Trip's the tinkerer of the bunch. Cortana's smarter, but Trip's the one who'll build something for the team if it's needed. She's curious about how things work, and usually pretty good at pulling them apart and repurposing them for her ends. She's fairly brave all things considered, and seems to have a pretty good sense of her limitations (she knew she needed someone with Monkey's physical skills to get home, for example). She has this wrist-computer thing, it's possible Cortana took up residence in it as she was pulling herself together. Or she's inside the insectile drone thing Trip used for recon. Which could be a real problem if Trip just decides to go off and do her own thing all of the sudden, and drags the leader along for the ride.

Because Trip is the one most likely to wreck the entire team, or get herself killed by her teammates. She's consistently selfish, and once she decides something needs to happen, has little compunction about using people for it. She wouldn't help Monkey escape at the start of the game, but once he managed it himself, she was fine slapping a slave headband on him and making him help get her home. Once he did that and they found her home destroyed, she broke her promise to release him so he could help her take revenge. This doesn't mean she won't help the rest of the team out, but it's likely it'll be in service of her own interests.

The Muscle: Rubi Malone (Wet) - Fine, there's still one angry, violent person on the team. Rubi's a gun for hire, good with swords or guns, and quite the acrobat. She also drinks like a fish and swears like something that swears a lot. As a mercenary, she's not much of an altruist, so there's a question of how she got into this (none of the rest of the team have much in the way of money). On the other hand, revenge is a concept she's quite familiar with, so she could be after someone who double-crossed her, or loused up some job she was on.

She's the one most likely to kill Trip if she tries anything, and it's questionable how well she's going to work as part of a team. She has associates, but they're the sort who provide her with information on where the person she needs to find is, then get the hell out of the way. That's probably not going to work here, and there's no telling what'll happen if she goes into one of her rampage modes. I don't know how well she's going to handle taking orders. It might work fine; she's used to having people give her specific instructions for completing jobs, but it's hard to say. I can't picture her making friends with anyone on this team, but as long as they get the job done. . .

If they can keep her stocked up with some halfway decent booze, that might smooth things over.

The Guy of Mystery: Khan (Metro 2033/Metro Last Light) - Khan's ostensibly part of the Rangers, but spends most of his time roaming the tunnels and outposts that make up the Metros. Which is no mean feat considering the dangers: Hideous beasts, giant insects, ghosts, a strange orb of light that floats along incinerating anything in his path. But he seems to handle it fine. The peculiarities of it are old hat to him now, and he takes them in stride. He's capable of defending himself, but doesn't resort to violence unnecessarily. He's an optimist, doing his bit to protect humanity, seemingly sure people can come to some understanding with their strange world, if they'll make the effort.

He's comfortable in his world, so let's throw him into a new circumstance. I don't expect the idea of alternate universes to shake him, but I'm curious how he'd react to a different world. One where he doesn't have to wear a gas mask to walk on the surface, or worry about massive, leather-winged beasts descending from the sky to rip him to shreds. Would he fight more fiercely to protect a world like that from ending up like his, or would he take things in stride, what will be, will be? Khan's a big believer in people having destinies or a specific purpose, and he may wear on everyone else's nerves if he espouses that too often. They're trying to stop some threat, and he's arguing that they're making a mistake by trying to do that. Even though he was very helpful to Artyom in the two games, there were more than a couple of times I wanted to shoot him because I was sic of being told what I should have done, or have to do, or whatever.

If Trip does lead the team into disaster, or use them, Khan's the one most likely to defend her, either because he figures she deserves the chance to atone, or because he accepts it as her destiny. Neither of which is likely to pass muster with Rubi.

The Lady with a Boat: Judith (Tales of Vesperia) - In this case the boat is a giant flying creature that resembles a whale (but doesn't do well in water). She and Ba'ul met when they were both young and had narrowly survived a huge battle. Rubi doesn't like flying at all, so that'll be an issue. On the other hand, Judith is the most physically powerful member of the team, and she enjoys fighting, so those two might hit it off anyway.

In terms of personality, Judith can be pretty closed off. She keeps her true thoughts and feelings to herself, only occasionally offering some sort of commentary. If something is bothering her, she'll try to handle it herself, without letting anyone else in on it. She tends to hang on the periphery of group scenes, taking everything in. Then she'll step in abruptly to question someone's motives or actions. She may not even disagree with what they're doing or proposing. I think it's because she spent a lot of time by herself settling on a course of action, and she thinks other people ought to really consider what they're doing, and why they're doing it.

I'm not sure anyone on this group is going to be easy to control, as they're all comfortable just going their own way, but Judith is probably the one who'll question Cortana the most, just because. I don't think any of them will necessarily object to following an AI because of what she is, at least. Rubi ought to be familiar with the concept from pop culture, Khan and Judith will probably just equate her with some kind of spirit, Trip will probably have the best understanding of what Cortana is, and she might have some concerns give robots under the control of a supposedly benevolent program are what killed her friends, but having Cortana in a computer on her wrist might give Trip a sense of control over the situation.

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