Character Spotlight: Marina from Splatoon 2 with Mod Loser!

Hey, Nasties! It’s Mod Loser, Jackie, whatever you want to call me, and today I’d like to talk about the new Squid-Kid Icon from Splatoon 2, Marina. While yes, the pop stars in Splatoon 2 don’t do too much involving the story, its more about what Marina represents and why I believe she was a very good addition to the game. It comes all the way down to representation, and with the team harping on that a lot, this made me ecstatic.

Marina being a person of color as well as considered to be a gorgeous, amazing pop idol in the world of Splatoon is empowering to women of color. For a long time in American and European culture, the standards of beauty were exclusive to anything but white people. This is why when a black Barbie doll was released, there was a massive response because that meant little girls of color could feel beautiful as well.

How does this relate to Marina? Truth be told, its a similar effect. Marina is the fan favorite of the new Squid Sisters, has the most fan art drawn of her, and garnered attention from the entire community when she was shown off. This is significant because this also means that the community of gamers are also accepting of a POC character, as well as regarding them as gorgeous or desirable. At the same time, Marina is also frequently shown to frequently enjoy participating in the games of Splatoon, as she announces new maps and modes.

Marina may be aesthetically beautiful, but also confirming her desire and love of the activities in Splatoon make her more than a pretty face. It gives her a sense of personality, and encourages women of color to get involved in the game.


Thanks for reading even if this statement was a bit short, Nasties! This has been Mod Loser, Jackie, whatever you want to call me, signing off!

Character Spotlight: Cole from Dragon Age: Inquisition with Mod Knight!

Dragon Age: Inquisition is an excellent game full of varied and interesting characters, with deep and involved stories that draw you into the world of the game and it’s characters. However, none are quite as curious (or quite as mysterious) as Cole, the spirit of mercy.

When we first meet Cole in Inquisition, he appears before us within a twisted mindscape filled with demons and nightmares. At first, we’re left to assume that he is another one of the horrible visions that’s being used in an attempt to break the inquisitor’s spirit. However, after talking to him we discover that Cole is…different. He seems to be entirely concerned with helping people and granting them mercy.

After they return to Skyhold, Cole can be found doing cryptic things which, at first, seem like pranks or mischief. However, if you wait and talk to him, you’ll discover that these are all things done to help people throughout the castle.

Cole’s story is one of struggling to find an identity and place in the world. His struggles begin as he attempts to relate to humans, while he is a spirit and used to an entirely different form of communication. Therefore Cole might seem awkward or strange; however, he is just as intelligent and bright as the rest of the cast.

Another of Cole’s struggles is that of learning a method of coping with pain, pain being a feeling that spirits are not usually aware of. Cole himself is a spirit masquerading as a human whom he was unable to save and who he lives on as. The inquisitor is given the choice to help him come to terms with either his spirit nature, or the budding humanity within him. Interestingly, neither choice is correct or incorrect, as there are positives and negatives to both.

Ultimately, Cole is a fascinating character, one who finds a way to do what he deems kindest, even if it may not be what others would expect! His disposition and ways of communication may throw people off at first, but deep down, is a compassionate soul who believes in doing the kind thing.

–Mod Knight

Character Spotlight: Futaba Sakura from Persona 5 with Mod Aria!

Hello all Nasties! Mod Aria is back today with another Character Spotlight. As Atlus has just announced a Persona 5 anime set to air in 2018, I decided to celebrate. So today, I’ll be talking about one of my favorite Persona 5 characters, Futaba. I feel as though Futaba is a character so many people can relate to (especially female gamers), so it’s no surprise that I find her absolutely wonderful. But there’s so much packed into Futaba’s character that I feel like goes unnoticed. So I’ve made it my mission today to discuss it with our dear readers! Warning: Spoilers Follow. Suicide discussion also appears.

Naturally, if you’ve played Persona 5, you know what’s up with Futaba. She suffers from a mental illness due to a horrific incident in her past. But before we get into her psyche, let’s just talk about some fun things. Futaba is a computer geek, a gamer and an otaku. She is also a genius; Futaba reveals at one point while bonding with her that she was so much smarter than the other children in her school that she faked failing tests just to fit in. Futaba may be young and immature, but she is leagues beyond all of the rest of the Persona 5 cast.

In regards to her Persona, she spends her time on the sidelines. Futaba maps the dungeons that you spelunk as well as offers support during combat. I think her support role fits her character very well; even though she is healing, that process takes time. Having her engage in combat would seem too unrealistic for her. Even her mannerisms as the game progresses symbolize her own nervousness: her hunched posture, her mumbling, her emotional range. What I’m trying to get at is that Futaba is a very well made character.

Futaba suffers from a very unique, yet very tragic situation. The death of her mother leaves her scarred and frightened, and her trauma is justified. Being blamed for the apparent suicide of her mother has given Futaba severe agoraphobia; she hardly even feels comfortable leaving her own bedroom, let alone her home. This interferes with Futaba’s life so heavily that even her existence is a rumor. What’s amazing about the situation is this: despite feeling there is nothing she can do, Futaba is (or was) on her way to recovery even though she didn’t realize it.

The fact that Futaba approached the Phantom Thieves at all means that she recognized how her PTSD had taken control of her life. She wanted to fix it; to be free of her fear. You know that saying “the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem”? There’s merit in that statement; you can’t fix what you don’t think is broken. Futaba wanted to take those steps. She just thought that the Phantom Thieves stealing her heart would be the only solution. But is that really the case?

Because Futaba is cognizant of her agoraphobia and wants to fix it, I personally don’t think that she wouldn’t have recovered without the Phantom Thieves. However, that’s just what I think. The game presents quite the opposite: if you miss the deadline to steal Futaba’s heart, she commits suicide because of her crumbling mental state. It’s quite a dark ending, but not an uncommon scenario. Many people who know they need help and want it can end up hurting themselves due to the melancholy over thinking there is no way out. Especially if the only way out they know ends in failure. She likely not only had agoraphobia, but severe depression as well.

This is just another reason why I think Futaba is a terrifically crafted character: her mental illness(es) is/are showcased in such an accurate way, and seeing her take the steps to heal is one of the best parts about bonding with her in the game. While it is a miraculously fast recovery, the game’s fantasy elements justifies the quickness. And while Futaba leaving her home is a strange move, I still think her full recovery showcased in her bonding scenes makes sense. She sets reasonable goals for herself. She doesn’t take on too much all at once. Futaba surrounds herself with a support system as she tries. It’s stunning how healthy it is.

All in all, Futaba Sakura is one of the most interesting characters to come from Persona 5. Her writers and creators knew what they wanted her to be and knew exactly how to portray the heavy topics of PTSD, agoraphobia and metal illness. I think that Futaba’s transitions from unhealthy to healthy are great examples others with mental illnesses should use as a template to help them understand what true recovery means. As long as they know that Phantom Thieves can’t make everything go away instantly.

It’s not an easy task living with a mental illness, but Futaba can help you understand that it doesn’t mean you cannot live. You can get better. You can be free.


Thanks to everyone for supporting NWG. Until we meet again!

 

Character Spotlight: Kairi from Kingdom Hearts with Mod Loser!

Hey there, Nasties! It’s Mod Loser, Jackie, whatever you want to call me. And this Character Spotlight will be discussing a character that really grinds my gears! That character is Kairi from Kingdom Hearts. I’m certain that the initial backlash to this statement will be great, but allow me to explain why Kairi’s character irks me so badly.

We’ve said it about multiple characters, and it applies here as well: Kairi is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. She has barely any personality whatsoever other than smiling and wanting to see Sora and Riku, everything she does simply acts as motivation for the two boys, and her very existence is only to act as a plot point for Sora and Riku to chase after in the majority of the games.

A stellar example is Kingdom Hearts 1 where, quite literally, there is a scene where Sora sees Kairi in front of a portal. She calls out “Sora!” in a very melancholic, monotonous manner, before quickly being sucked into the portal, making Sora angry.  There was no actual dialogue, no evident threat, Kairi only appeared there in that very moment to motivate Sora and move the plot along.

Similar situations, unfortunately, occur in Kingdom Hearts 2. Once again, Kairi exists as a method to move the plot forward even near the end of the game when Riku makes his appearance. She approaches Riku, currently in a black cloak, and asks if it really is him. The hood of the cloak comes down to reveal Ansem’s face, yet clearly being controlled by Riku. Any character could have made that reveal, but Kairi had already been shoe horned into the love interest slot, and as such was used to create an “emotional moment.”

Kairi has potential, but ultimately it has been wasted. What do you think, Nasties? How do you feel like Square Enix could have taken better advantage of Kairi’s character to make her something great? Tell us in the comments below!

This has been Mod Loser–Jackie, whatever you want to call me–signing off!

Character Spotlight: Valentine from Skullgirls with Mod Knight!

Hey there, everybody! Mod Knight here with another Character Spotlight!! This time, I’m discussing Valentine from Skullgirls. Now, if you recall, I did an article on Skullgirls a while back, and I’m excited to go into it again. Especially talking about one of my favorite characters in the game! Just a warning: spoilers will follow!

Now, what makes Valentine such an interesting character? Well, honestly, a lot of it revolves around the fact that she’s smack dab in the middle of the majority of the game’s stories; often appearing throughout the story of certain characters and usually serving as half of the penultimate battle (usually paired up with Double.) This means that there’s lots of information about her and that we get a lot of opportunities to learn about her!

So, one thing that stands out about her is her skill in playing all sides as she sees fit despite coming off as one of the bad guys. She actually places herself in danger to get closer to the main antagonist, hoping for a chance to strike at her and, ultimately, those who are controlling her! Not only that, but her own story shows us why, as in her backstory we learn about the loss she suffered at the hands of the antagonist and how her friends were taken from her.

Despite this, Valentine still shows a darker side to her personality, implying that it is not entirely an act. She also works with another, semi villainous character (Brain Drain) completely seriously, helping him control his subjects whom he’s tortured and experimented on as well as mocking them during battle.

In addition to her personality, Valentine is one of the most provocatively designed characters in the game, with extremely visible cleavage, and an extremely tight, short outfit. She comes of as being obviously sexualized. However, thankfully she, and many other similarly designed characters, own their sexualities! They don’t allow you to see them as weak or helpless, and their personalities definitely match up, showing that they are the type to dress for themselves…or to get something they want. All in all, they are totally in control of themselves. Not only that, but her feminine sexuality and appearance are never vilified by the game, instead focusing on the actually cruel aspects of her personality when making a villain of her.

Overall, Valentine is an extremely fun and heartfelt villain character who moves you with her story while at the same time providing an example of harshness that you rarely get to see from female antagonists! That’s part of why I love her and am glad to have played the game!

Thanks for reading this has been Mod Knight!