Thursday, 2 May 2013

Analysing Characters

In every game we play there is always memorable characters that stay in our heads for multiple reasons. For some people it could’ve been a boss that was incredibly indestructible to defeat? It could be a protagonist who shines out from the others with their background story or morale’s? Maybe it’s a companion or guardian that seems torn between duty and personal feelings?
The first character I want to analyse is Aeron; he’s the main protagonist in Pandora’s Tower which is an RPG/ action-adventure genre game. It starts off where Aeron, an Athosian soldier faces a personal and emotional mission along with his friend Elena, who’s bound by fate which causes her to mutate into a monstrous abomination. The only way to reverse the curse is to slay 13 monsters and bring back the flesh of each creature, so that Elena will be saved, however the Athosian race are vegetarians it becomes cruel when Elena has to eat this horrible meat. Enemies are attacked in two ways, one with a bladed weapon offering hard-hitting results up close and the other,  with a magical chain possessing uses that extend far beyond overcoming opponents; known as the Oraclos Chain.

In my opinion Aeron is stereotypically portrayed as the protagonist, or someone protecting a kingdom because if we look at what he is as a being, he doesn’t resemble anything abnormal and looks like an ordinary person with no scary intentions. With what he’s wearing we can see there’s some armour which would suggest he’s a knight or a fighter of some sort, plus looking at the trousers you can just make out a golden cross. By having a cross that’s golden the creators could be trying to communicate with the target audience that this character is very faithful to the games main religion and is a fighter of their god. Then you have the colours gold and crimson which represent royalty backing up the idea he’s a knight and the colour ashen which would suggest purity and innocence. With this it proves that Aeron was designed this way for his purpose as the protagonist.
I think Pandora’s Tower was based towards and older teen/young adult audience that enjoy RPGs and action-adventure genre games. Aeron was created this way for the audience, even though he seems quite young (resembling the elder teens) he’s dressed as someone older which can tempt people into questioning his back story plus it makes him seem more adult. So what gives him away as a fantasy character than anything else despite the clothes? His sword is completely different to a normal and simple style, at the top it contains possibly runes from the games religion and is attached to the Oraclos Chain which is something that you don’t see in everyday life.
Personally I think Aeron is a good character and through his actions in the story line, you can tell he’s a very faithful friend that wants nothing more than to protect Elena despite himself; plus it’s a great quality for a character.
Shadow The Hedgehog is the main character in which the storyline revolves around Sonic X’s episodes 36 I think. In the game it’s the player’s choice as to whether Shadow should be a villainous traitor or a hero to the city of Metropolis, the game is a third-person shooter, action-adventure and platform type where it starts off as a dark creature called Doom visits Shadow who tries desperately to cling onto his memories aboard the Ark. In exchange for Shadow’s past Doom commands Shadow to collect 8 Chaos Emeralds and return them to him, however he unleashes his army of monsters and it’s then whether you decide to aid the monsters or the G.U.N military.
Shadow is meant to be an upgraded copy of Sonic where he’s the ultimate life-form. In the episodes of Sonic X, Gerald Robotnik (Shadow’s creator) invented him to help the world be a better place, however after the G.U.N military found out about this life-form they were sent to destroy Shadow aboard the Ark. Yet when Shadow was created he befriended Robotnik’s granddaughter Maria and the two became close friends, on the other hand when the military came for Shadow, Maria sacrificed herself and sent Shadow back down to earth.
On the other hand he hear little about Maria and the leader of G.U.N military was Robotnik’s grandson who was also aboard the Ark when this hedgehog was created. The twist is the General says Doom was also with his granddad when Shadow first awakened and was supposed to be used to bring destruction upon the world, but again G.U.N military interfered and Shadow was deposited on the earth.
Going back to is the character stereotypically represented? It depends on the player’s choice of Shadow being good or evil. As I said before he’s copy of sonic who’s the blue hedgehog and Shadow has very dark but bold colours. Red and ebony could represent darkness, anger and rage which most villainous characters have, plus he wears the gold rings which could possibly show greed meaning he’s only looking out for himself. This would work if the players makes him a traitor, but then he wears white which again emphasises his innocence to what is real past was, because even in the game he doesn’t know who to trust and is confused at who he is and what he’s on the earth for. Therefore it makes him feel vulnerable, lost and alone so in order to make himself seem something more of a challenge he puts up barriers so that no one can get close to him thus representing his good side in a way.
The older versions of Sonic were more for a younger target audience than something like Pandora’s Tower, due to their simplistic game line of defeating Dr. Eggman through a series of platforms collecting rings with Tails, Knuckles and sometimes Amy. Yet they need to introduce an older audience hence why they could’ve brought in Shadow because he was supposedly everything Sonic isn’t, and in the game he indulgences into violence using fire arms, acts as a loose cannon and dark horse being mysterious on what side he’s working for.
Again I believe many people including myself would see Shadow as a great character, being torn between two paths where he has to unfortunately blind in conscience to either path between right and wrong, in order to try and retrieve his past so he can link up each little flashback he has into one decent memory. By doing this Sega has given this character depth and thought about the different perceptions people will have on the black, red, gold and white hedgehog again making another brilliant storyline both in and out the game.

 Finally my last character is from the Spyro The Dragon franchise in the game: Dawn Of The Dragon. Malefor is the story’s main antagonist and doesn’t really appear until Dawn of the Dragon at the end of the game, as the final boss.
I believe Malefor is stereotypically portrayed as an evil dragon. By looking at his appearance only we can see he’s been in a few fights, possibly for power, as his wings are slightly torn, the spikes on his back, his horns and his tail tip all represent some kind of spear or appear jagged compared to Spyro’s smooth horns that don’t look so intimidating. Going by the colours Malefor is supposed to be the first purple dragon ever born, when we think of the colour violet it can be associated with bright colourful objects like flowers, rainbows maybe sweets, whilst a yellow would mean a bright, optimistic sensation or a way of life because it represents the sun. On the other hand the yellow is quite pallid signifying the opposite of giving life, so that this pale yellow is the giving of oldness and death? In the game Malefor is kind of an anti-hero as he believes himself to be a saint by destroying the current world so a better one is born, which would tie in with the whitish yellow symbolising death. Then we have a very dark and rich purple, with the purple being quite royal that could mean Malefor  is someone important and that’s before anything is mentioned about him being the first purple dragon born and the ‘Dark Lord’. Also a darker violet to me represents magical powers, with it being a dark purple it ties in with him being the ‘Dark Lord’
The whole Spyro cast in this game was altered to suit an older teen/ adult target audience, as these would be the people that grew up with this game. Despite the fact we don’t see Malefor till the end he still fits in with the new design of the old and new cast, which the style of this character is realistic, sinister and gothic. Having this it would back up the fact Dawn of the Dragon focuses on a more grown-up theme and storyline for the target audience, whereas the older games like Year of the dragon features a cartoonist style, again with a child-like story that’s simple and doesn’t involve romantic relationships.
Personally I’m not a Malefor fan, but I think loads of people would agree with the fact he played his role very well in the game being one of the hardest villians to destroy, corrupting Cynder, Spyro’s companion, with his darkness and turning Spyro’s loneliness and insecurities of him losing his Elder, Ignitus, against him in battle so that the main protagonist might follow in his footsteps.

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