@Samuel_H_Young This has got to be one of the darkest, if not the darkest, CoG I have ever played. I take my hat off! The reason why I’m writing this is post is a scene I love where The sister says “I love you, okay” just before I watch her drown , it broke my heart a bit and confirmed I’m not a psychopath . However it also caused a distancing between myself and the MC.
I know the MC is a psychopath but I don’t feel or understand being a psychopath. Intellectually i know that a psychopath has no sense of guilt or empathy and yet as a reader I’m playing such a person. This is an interactive medium so I do believe that it gives the reader a chance to step into the shoes of someone else. I think most of us are not psychopaths or sociopaths, at least I hope so, and this will inevitably create a gap between the reader and the MC. So that scene of my little drowning sister and me watching was a hard on me.
There are two elements I wish to explore: the relationship between the mother and MC; the relationship between the sister and MC. I think these elements can be the bridge between the reader and MC. I’m starting from the assumption that the reader is not someone who will feel it is okay to just watch their little sister die. There are enthusiastic readers here who have no problem jumping into a character of psychopath. And good for them (you all deserve to be in prison and have the keys thrown away )
I suggest the needs to be some kind of transition to get the reader’s feet wet before jumping all in the psychopath psyche. And mother dearest is going to be the jump start, I believe. Yes she beats the MC and favours our little sister but I don’t think that is enough. It’s enough for the reader to hate her but I think there needs to be more than simple hate. The reader needs to feel or at least understand where the MC is coming from to want revenge in the form of making mother suffer brutally.
Take Kira for example. I disagree with his actions but I understand them because it’s based on a human emotion I understand, a sense of justice. Who doesn’t want to get rid of ‘evil’ and suffering? His methods are questionable but understandable.
Let’s take the MCs mother. She is a very bad person. But I think she can pushed a bit further. I love the opening scene of her, it shows her craziness. I think she can be fleshed out more. For example to illustrate the basic idea, a scene revealing that the mother keeps the MC in a cage while your sister sleeps in a comfy bed. There is a bed for the MC but mother says that runts don’t deserve to be treated nicely. While my parents have never kept me in a cage, I think such a scene establishes the cruelty of the mother and how she dehumanized the MC. It create animosity towards the sister and begins to plant the seeds in the readers mind of where the MC’s lack of respect for people comes from.
I know a psychopath doesn’t care about people, the point is to make the reader be a bit sociopathic. So the reader is groomed into being a sociopath so that they can understand the mind of the psychopath MC.
But it shouldn’t end there. The mother must do terrible things to the MC. Beatings are bad, but not bad enough . These are just examples to further the image: let’s say the MC and his school “friends” are planning on buying buns at the end of school tomorrow and the MC asks mom. But she refuses and maybe gives money to your sister. The MC decides to steal the money, like any normal kid will do . So mom finds out and decides instead of a good old beating, she chains the MC somewhere, like a dog, and leaves them without food or water for a week or burns their hand with a hot metal rod. The reader must suffer with the MC. We know that children learn a lot from their parents, so mother is unknowingly teaching the MC the art of torture.
I liked the closet scene where the mother kept the MC deprived of food and water. And the one where she shoves MC into dirt because they urinated on themselves. However, at least in my mind, this shows the mother is cruel and deserves punishment. But since this CoG is dark, I feel something is lacking. Let’s not forget, the MC ends up kidnapping an innocent person in order to practice so that they can get their revenge. Mother needs to be a bit more sadistic.
The point being, the MC has to believe violence is the solutions to things. I think there should be gradual increase towards killing. Maybe the MC will transfer their frustration first to small animals. Doing what mother does to them. And as time goes, they become more violent. Another example to illustrate the idea is maybe the use of a pet animal. The MC will experiment on them and become more sadistic as time goes by.
[bold] I come to the sister: [/bold]
The problem is that I actually like her or feel sorry for her by the time she dies. I think that’s a good and bad thing. Good in that it shows the callousness of MC. Bad because it creates distance between the MC and me.
But I don’t think the sister should be hated or even made to be cruel. It’s good that she is innocent. It marks an important point of the MC being a serial killer. If the MC treats his sister who is innocent this callously , how does the MC treats their enemies?
I do acknowledge that the MC might hate her because she is a golden apple to mom. There has to be more resentment, I think the best way to do this is playing on the reader’s sense of fairness. Scenes that have her getting prefencial treatment I think do establish that resentment. I do believe it’s not enough to tell the reader that mom likes her better, it needs to be shown clearly. So Yes, prefencial treatment. But also maybe a scene showing how mother dishes out punishment differently.
Let’s say the MC and sister both break the cookie jar. Sister gets time out for ten minutes but the MC gets a beating so bad they nearly pass out. Maybe another scene where the MC and sister have their own toys. One day, sister takes a liking to the MCs new toy and mother dearest just takes it away from you and says its the sister’s toy now. The sister is being a kid but the point is to create resentment towards her for the reader.
So when the scene of the sister drowning, the reader can understand why they are letting her die. Maybe to hurt mom or just the MC hates the sister.
All of this bleeds over to how the MC treats their victims. No one helped the MC. Maybe others knew mother was abusive but thought it was a family matter and thus did not need to intervene. The City Guards probably don’t care that your mother smacks you around (I don’t think at this era in the game there is such a thing as children rights)
That is the end of my rant!..for now
I’m on my phone and sorry for the typos. Just thought to give my five cents. Of course, these are my personal opinions and not the gospel truth. Love the game so far!