Upon The Mary Sue Character in Video Games

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Upon The Mary Sue Character in Video Games

I think Freedom Planet offers a usable example of what a Mary Sue is to a video game story - even though I dismissed that possibility before.

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I think it's in large part due to the console wars. Choosing SEGA meant choosing Sonic, and by taking a side they became vehemently attached to it. This was exacerbated when SEGA eventually lost the console war, leaving them yearning for more and wandering "what if?", even if it was all shit.

If Nintendo had lost, I'm sure you'd have Plumbies who'd have a mustache fetish. Personally, I think it's the weirder of the two, when compared to anime anthropomorphic bunnies.

I only know of two real-life Sonic fans; one was an old friend who I find out is in prison for pedophilia based offenses (no, really), while the other doesn't speak to me because I think I indirectly insulted her by denouncing all Sonic fans pedophiles. Ok, not really that. But I did perhaps unintentionally insult them jokingly, yet evidently harsh enough to lose a second sonic acquaintence. I make friends good!

Ok, so I played your game and here is the result (imagine the words "tada!" upon opening):

Ehh, it doesn't creep me out as much as the others here. Looks more like Dante the Hedgehog. Still weird pretty though. And i am apparently crying, i'd imagine the two to be linked.

I didn't play the game, so the freedom planed characters are annoying, unrelateable self-insert mary-sues and the story is bad?
The article just kinda stopped when going into sonic weirdness and didn't bring any concrete examples besides a bunny-dog thing having no place in the narrative up.

I keep hearing it's a good game.

See, I think you're going too far to one side of the spectrum with the "since the story is in the game, it's taking away from more gameplay." Rather, I feel that all the /bad/ fanfic writing in Furry Planet detracted from what could have been a relatively enjoyable story. I suffered through the story, not because I particularly enjoyed it, but because I 100% enjoyed Lord Brevon as the villain. And without the plot to give context, these things don't really have meaning. You're just kind-of thrown from one set piece to another (which isn't entirely a bad thing, considering how well made the game is). It just kind of loses that extra punch, especially during the final boss fight. You wouldn't quite grasp how insane the boss is. And that's why bad stories are especially irritating: you CAN'T just skip them, or else it does hurt the game in the progress.

Although, just for argument's sake (because I KNOW for a fact Furry Planet is bad when it comes to the writing and Mary Sue-ness): Are we more critical of the writing of games with furry characters/ furry protagonists because of the stigma attached to them because of their...let's say...zealous fan-installments? Mary Sues are a lot more common than you think; in books, TV, and video games alike, but we always seem eager to point them out when it's the furry.

Edit:

loa:
I didn't play the game, so the freedom planed characters are annoying, unrelateable self-insert mary-sues and the story is bad?
The article just kinda stopped when going into sonic weirdness and didn't bring any concrete examples besides a bunny-dog thing having no place in the narrative up.

I keep hearing it's a good game.

Nearly every Extra Punctuation ever is in reference to the previous week's Zero Punctuation. Always watch that before/along side for more context.

Huh...apparently (My Name) the Hedgehog is part of the X-Men. o.o

image

Yeah, gonna have to go with Yahtzee on this one: Sonic fans are indeed a bit..."odd".

This was half video games and half unnecessarily ripping on furries.

I can get behind this kind of content.

On a side note, the most commented image on knowyourmeme is this lovely thing.

So yeah, that was a fun little game to look through the cringe. Sometimes you get lucky and find "your name" the hedgehog is actually not that bad but mine is this cringey little number...

Well, if Yahtzee's comment wasn't enough schmuck bait, hopefully this is.

I grew playing the Sonic games on the GameCube, so that's how I became a Sonic fan. However, I never really considered the whole idea of self-insertion into the Sonic series. One of my friends did sort-of do that, and I noticed how rabid the fanbase was with it when I grew older, but I never really saw the point of self insertion in something like Sonic. Stuff like Stargate and Star Trek I thought about being a cool idea because, well, you're stepping through a f***ing stargate or go trekking across the stars with Spock or Neelix. And, outside of daydreams, I never really saw the whole idea of creating a "self insert" story.

As for today, with my current attitude, I have commonly considered the idea of self-insertion in some of stories I want to write (Whether it be just a quick quip or an almost complete copy). However, I have realized that the problem with that is that I'm full of flaws and that no one thinks like me, except for me. So then I have to find a way for the character to have a damn good excuse as to why they would make such a statement similar to my own, or actually take note of my flaws and attitude and make sure that my in-story version of myself exhibits the same attitude and flaws, and make sure the response from other characters is an appropriate one instead of how I'd like things to be.

Now that I actually think about it after writing that, I feel like that's part of the reason why some of these people are so rabid in creating their own fan characters in something as carefree feeling as Sonic (Or any other series). It's because they want to use it as a form of escape from their real lives because they don't want to handle the troubles in their own day-to-day lives, so they create these personas in these worlds that they feel safe in because their familiar for them.

Also, I just realize I'm getting into the territory of pointless babble, so...let's see what pops up for the I search "[My name] the Hedgehog". Oh dear god, why?

My favorite theory on why Sonic fans tend to be THAT GUY or THAT GIRL is that the franchise is incredibly attractive to Aspies. With their big animu eyes and faces, over-the-top body language, and tendency to express their emotions in simple ways (GRUNT! That makes me MAD!), it's easier for someone who can't read body language or social cues to understand these characters and empathize with them. This same thing tends to be found in a lot of anime fans as well.

Could it be that Sonic fans are especially prone to palette-swap Mary Sue characters because the franchise itself is? That was always my impression.

I don't know what's the deal with Sonic fans. I think MLP attracts a similar crowd though, what with the self-insertion and such.

The Mary Sue is an interesting thing. I'm an avid D&D player and Mary Sues are rare if unseen in my circles, though I hear horror stories. Most people willingly insert flaws and having watched several players over numerous campaigns I've had the good fortune to watch them adapt and grow in terms of character development. People go from bizarrely specific characters to nuanced, fleshed out individuals after a few sessions and a lot of rp time in and out of game as well as philosophical discussions (can't be helped, it's my field) about what the characters are like and their relationship with the world.

My point being, in writing, D&D, games I often see that people Mary Sue when they're novices. They think it's cool when their awesome character haxx0rz their way through life, defeating the ultimate uber big bad of evil evilness with barely any effort. I find those who've been writing or playing or working for longer in those areas tend to make more complicated characters who have genuine problems, as all humans do but aren't "omg so, like, dark".

Real characters are vastly more interesting, I don't think everyone needs a rampant mental disorder or daddy issues or whatever but it is nice when we're not perfect, especially because it facilitates the easiest character developments. Recovering from a failure to overcome whatever caused it or working past a flaw can be fascinating and interesting...

Mary sues suck outside of some extremely niche points.

In case anyone else was curious

Oh my god...

Sonic fans are weird.

Other than that, I really like that quote. To much writing is needlessly verbose, or stretched too far. Oddly enough though, I'd say that the opposite is true of a lot of visual art. Whenever I watch someone doing digital art every 5 minutes I think "I would have stopped adding details now". Then they refine the lighting some more, I think it again, they refine the shadows, again, add texture, and so on...

Maphysto:
My favorite theory on why Sonic fans tend to be THAT GUY or THAT GIRL is that the franchise is incredibly attractive to Aspies. With their big animu eyes and faces, over-the-top body language, and tendency to express their emotions in simple ways (GRUNT! That makes me MAD!), it's easier for someone who can't read body language or social cues to understand these characters and empathize with them. This same thing tends to be found in a lot of anime fans as well.

Individuals who have Aspergers are usually high functioning enough to recognize body language. It's not that they can't read body language, it's that reading body language is harder, it requires concious effort, and is easier to get wrong.

It's like having dyslexia, but with body language. I doubt that Sonic's art design has anything to do with it.

VanQ:
This was half video games and half unnecessarily ripping on furries.

I can get behind this kind of content.

I thought all the ripping it did on furries was purely Sonic Like in nature. Why do people assume all furries like Sonic? I Hate Sonic & would still be defined as furry due to my Flash Yiff Collection.

My god... That 'Mengele the Hedgehog' thing wasn't a joke.

I can't stop laughing.

I live in a world where that image exists. It's amazing.

I have a joke, but last time I made a joke about ponies I got warned.

I'm, not sayin' anything! Just noticing some similarities!

Although, I've tried "Inflatable the hedgehog." and found nothing on deviantart. "Tent the hedgehog." and found nothing... But, "Beer The Hedgehog" produces some pretty funny image results. My real first name is too common, so you'll find just about everything if you search "Michael the X" And I'll promise that at least half of it will be badly drawn on Deviant Art.

I will not post mine [...] the hedgehog, because it is an embarrasingly extremely shit drawing. Yes, it's like triple as bad as the one MiskWisk posted.

:(

Wow, this is worse than I thought.

Okay I just did the google search...

I had about 20 freaking images pop up and my name isn't even common. That is honestly a tad bit creepy...

The Almighty Aardvark:
In case anyone else was curious

Oh my god...

Sonic fans are weird.

Other than that, I really like that quote. To much writing is needlessly verbose, or stretched too far. Oddly enough though, I'd say that the opposite is true of a lot of visual art. Whenever I watch someone doing digital art every 5 minutes I think "I would have stopped adding details now". Then they refine the lighting some more, I think it again, they refine the shadows, again, add texture, and so on...

...What the fuck is going on with that thing's torso?

Well, at least you're not associated with THIS thing.

Though both scream "Try hard"

Yeah I like to avoid insulting fanbases as a whole, but there's no denying that while Sonic has plenty of normal fans, there's this following of self inserts and obession that I REALLY don't get. And frankly I don't want to.

Johnny Novgorod:
I don't know what's the deal with Sonic fans. I think MLP attracts a similar crowd though, what with the self-insertion and such.

There definitely are parallels but I honestly don't find bronies nearly as creepy. A lot of bronies are in it more for the community then the show. Hell some seem to like it just to challenge perceptions of masculinity. Sonic fans on the other hand come across as very strangely fixated on the characters. Everyone of them I have met on the internet comes off as someone very sexually suppressed.

I don't know. Personally, I've always felt that the whole "Sonic fans are creepy weirdos" thing was blown out of proportion. Like, people only focused on the most egregious offenders and presenting them as the norm while ignoring the sane, non-obsessive fans who go about their lives. I mean, what fandom doesn't have people making crappy self-insert ocs or draw porn of the main characters?

But then, that [X} the hedgehog game is pretty damning. And for all my talk, I've only had limited interaction with the Sonic fandom, so it could very well a different story on the front lines as it were. (Not that I'm in a rush to find out. I value my sanity too much.)

Johnny Novgorod:
I don't know what's the deal with Sonic fans. I think MLP attracts a similar crowd though, what with the self-insertion and such.

I'm not going to defend or attack either side for things that can be perceived as strange and weird. I have no clue what it's like on the sonic side of things, but us MLP fans at least embrace the weirdness. Self insertion, Sonic fans have us beat in that department. I don't see it that much other than in fanfics and the once-in-a-blue-moon comic. Instead of desiring to BE a pony, we have more of a desire to BE WITH ponies, as in "The real world sucks, Equestria looks awesome, let's go there!" No clue what's going through Sonic fans' minds.

Now people do use pony OCs frequently, but they're more for the purposes of a stage name or online persona as opposed to self insertion.

erttheking:

"Krank"? That is some very inventive onomatopoeia.

I prefer to look at this picture with the interpretation that it's a large lollipop stick that he's crushing in his hand instead of a lead pipe.

The lollipop was bubblegum flavored

Sonic was cooler before he started talking. The quality of the games dive around the same time. Compare with Mario and Link, who kept their jabbering to a minimum even after they entered a gaming age where they could have been voice acted.

VanQ:
This was half video games and half unnecessarily ripping on furries.

I can get behind this kind of content.

Careful, that's not PC, the proper term is Transspecies.

Johnny Novgorod:
I don't know what's the deal with Sonic fans. I think MLP attracts a similar crowd though, what with the self-insertion and such.

Doesn't MLP at least have the excuse of a quality base show to go off of? I was never a sonic fan, but I've gotten the impression from the web that there hasn't been a good sonic...anything in at least a decade if not longer.

That and MLP doesn't take itself that seriously and has done Pony inserts/cameos of characters from other shows/films/etc on occasion as one off jokes.

I think there's something people find appealing about the Sonic the Hedgehog aesthetic. It's sorta like a mix between furry and anime, with some added sleekness. Personally I can't stand the way the eyes join in the middle, it looks wrong. And they should NEVER be put alongside any realistic looking human characters, it's just jarring.

Now I just wonder which came first: furries or Sonic the Hedgehog.

"I never touched the multiplayer mode in Spec Ops: The Line, but it still offends me, because I know effort had to be spent on it that could have been spent on rendering more dead civilians."

I think in all these years, this is possibly the greatest and truest thing yahtzee has ever said.

Oddly enough, I could not find a "Yahtzee the Hedgehog" image. This needs to be rectified.

My name also does not have a hedgehog. However, it had a dingo and a hedgebat (whatever that may be) image.

Darth_Payn:
Now I just wonder which came first: furries or Sonic the Hedgehog.

That has to be (one of) the stupidest questions ever.

Furries basically go back all the way to certain Egyptian Gods & other myths.

The first Sonic game I owned was Sonic Adventure 2 Battle on the Gamecube when I was about 11 years old. At the time, I loved it, and I got more Sonic games as the years went by. But after the baffling mess of Shadow the Hedgehog and the complete disaster of Sonic 06, I pretty much gave up on Sonic.

I still enjoy the Genesis trilogy as classics, and I still see both Adventure games as enjoyable, even if they have some big flaws. However, I haven't bought a Sonic game new since then, except I did try both Unleashed and Generations years later, and while they both have their moments, I just don't have any faith in Sega to make a good Sonic game again.

And no, I have not looked at any of the dedicated online fan communities for Sonic. I tried once when I was younger, and I managed to stay on the forum for about five minutes before I gave up and closed the page because my brain started to hurt. I got out while I still could, and I never looked back.

Anyway, Freedom Planet is a great game, but I feel like the bad story of the game is going to overshadow all of that, and everyone will just mock it for the story and assume the whole game is bad. First impressions, and all that.

Oh man, I felt like you were about to go on an revelatory tangent near the end there, Yahtzee. I wish it hadn't ended at a quick little end-of-article gag. I hope you delve into the concept of why Sonic's fanbase tends to gravitate towards Sonic and not something else next time it's pertinent. Maybe see if there are any other examples of fans that do this with other series. I'd love to see how you could tie bad author-insert characters together with rabid fan bases in greater detail.

I can think of two off the top of my head that might be able to play into it: Pokemon and My Little Pony. I think a big part of it might be the ease of ability for someone to draw a character that fits into the world.

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