Hey guys! I'm glad to finally be back. I have something to share with everyone (if you guys thought I wrote a lot before, wait until you scroll down :P), but @buggygirl11, I do have a reply ready for you. I'm afraid I might run past the character limit, so hoping you won't mind, but I'll save it for my next post below!
Whew, okay, so as promised, I've been working on extensive write-ups for the main characters. Thing is, I've decided that for now, I'll just stick to four characters that I can fully develop. I'm sure I'll toss some different ideas around for the other six, maybe short ramblings rather than complete write-ups. But mainly, I want to avoid committing to them and instead keep my options open until we see more of where the story is headed. That way, if it inspires me to create a radically different set-up for a certain character, I wouldn't have to scrap or ignore one that I'm already attached to. But that's just my current plan. I might be tempted to do a few more in full, simply because there's just so much content to work with already.
Oh, and although I originally selected June as my kind-of-insert, I quickly realized that it wasn't gonna work. She just has such a distinct personality that I can't bear to enforce my sloth-like habits on her any longer. Instead, I guess I'm going the path of shameless self-insert, name and all Haha no, but I do plan on developing nameless gal (in my case, Kaye) as her own character. Even if she shares my chosen name and is someone I'll be able to strongly relate to, I'll do my best so that her experiences (past and present) will naturally shape her and her decisions.
So anyway, the ones I've committed to at the moment are June, Mike, Ashley, and Kaye. They're far from done, but I do have a few things to show for it. With each of the four, I've at least worked out a song that reminds me of them, their sexuality + general approach to relationships, and their religious beliefs. I tried to connect as much as I could into who they are as people (especially the traits that are naturally stronger for them) and their motivations. So hopefully none of the info feels too trivial, though it's definitely unbalanced in terms of detail. I managed to keep Kaye and June short, but I went a little overboard with Mike and Ashley! In fact, I really doubt I'll organize all this info in quite the same way when I do my masterposts, and I'll likely even rework it to leave out the song explanations entirely. But for now, here's some of what I've got:
Kaye - "Vagabond" by Misterwives. Standout lyrics include: "Wandering far, disappearing / Feet stuck in place, not moving", + "You've been flying so high / Avoiding the road / Pretending to not feel alone"
A personal favorite of mine, and one that may or may not have influenced my username a bit. But more than that, it ties really well into her default description of "individual journeying through life without a specific destination." I think it captures how on the one hand she feels stuck and just drifting aimlessly (making her a natural Sloth), but she's still persevering through a lot of difficult experiences. It also emphasizes how she struggles to ignore her crushing sense of being alone, given her broken family and her now either dead or murderous friends.
Sexuality/Relationship history: As a hopeless romantic, Kaye was always disappointed that she never felt anything beyond aesthetic attraction. The first person to change that was Mike, who connected with her on an emotional level first. Kaye fell hard, and she was very grateful that he had feelings for her too. Still, she was unfortunately much more invested in their relationship than he was. Mike was pretty patient about sex, but he still thought that if he waited it out, Kaye would change her mind. When that didn't happen, he used it as an excuse in his mind to justify sleeping with Sonya, since she could give him something Kaye couldn't. Needless to say, Kaye was heartbroken, since she thought this was her shot at love.
(More specific sexuality: demiromantic ace)
Religious beliefs: Christian. Kaye believes that an individual's relationship with God is most important, not the blind following of religion and its laws. She's already broken away from a lot of church rhetoric (that gay marriage is sinful, gender and sex are binary, the Bible as we know it is perfectly translated and should be treated as black-and-white, etc.) Her progressive nature causes her to challenge other Christians on these notions and point out hypocracy every chance she can get. Viewing all human life as equal and sacred, Kaye also feels validated as a pacifist through her faith. Her stance is so extreme that even capital punishment is wrong to her, and she would be the one who'd refuse to murder an innocent under any circumstances short of being told to do so by God Himself.
June - My song choice for June admittedly doesn't quite fit in with her usual tastes (which I see as classical and/or new age, neither of which I really listen to). If I had to put together a playlist she might like, I'd probably be pretty clueless. Even so, I still love relating her to "Drops of Jupiter" by Train. Favorite lyrics include: "She acts like summer and walks like rain / Reminds me that there's time to change," + "She listens like spring and she talks like June," + "And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there?"
Now, I'm sure her name being in it comes off as pretty cheesy, but I legit picked this song for her before I even remembered that was the case. And it still fits, right? With her fascination in everything mystical/extraordinary, she gives off the same kind of otherworldly vibes. I also see her as big on self-discovery, and all the mentions of travel really do suit the adventurous, "on-the-go" lifestyle she's described as having.
(As a bonus, the lyric about finding heaven overrated isn't lost on me, either, considering how different religions are/will be explored throughout the game)
Sexuality/Relationship history: June usually has zero interest in dating, but after growing really close to Ashley, she agreed to go out with her so that they could spend more time together. Besides, she thought that if she had to sleep with someone, it'd be another woman. Regardless, her feelings remained platonic, which Ashley never quite understood. So after Ashley meets Sonya, and finally feels wanted in that way, she gives in, initially hoping June could excuse it. Their relationship might have actually survived a proper break-up with ease, since June honestly doesn't need romantic/sexual attention. But being carelessly tossed aside by her best friend through a text message was a complete betrayal of her trust. It especially stung because very few people bother to get close to her.
In the case that it's June that sleeps with Sonya, she only gets roped in because she wants to learn techniques that she thinks will make Ashley happy. Even Sonya picks up on the fact that June doesn't know how to navigate these things, and she freaks her out enough that June thinks she has to immediately send a break-up text, something she'd normally never consider doing. The loss of her relationship with Ashley would probably depress June enough to agree to continue seeing Sonya if she insisted on it, for the sake of company if nothing else.
(More specific sexuality: aromantic gray-ace)
Religious beliefs: Wiccan. June's a fairly new convert, but she's someone who always felt a spiritual connection to the natural world. She sensed a sort of magic within it, but never thought of it in terms of religion or something that she could label. However, once she did explore these beliefs, it greatly strengthened her faith in her own powers.
Mike - Ah yes, another song that's not quite the character's taste but I could see him liking. I chose a mashup/cover version specifically because the original song is so repetitve it makes me want to pull my hair out. Besides, I like the mashup's added lyrics, since they fit my take on him as well. So with Mike, I associate him with "Thunder/It's Time/Polaroid Mashup" cover by Joel James. Top lyrics being: "Just a young gun, with a quick fuse / I was uptight, wanna let loose" + "Not a 'yes, sir!' / Not a follower," + "All my life I've been living in the fast lane / Can't slow down I'm a rolling freight train"
The fundamental thing about Mike is that although he managed to suck it up under years of his dad's hounding, he was definitely never a naturally obedient person. He absolutely chafes under authority, especially now that he sees himself as his own man. The song really reflects that resistance, and you can kind of hear him gritting his teeth to think about the mold he was forced into.
I also like the song's immediate introduction to him as both humble about himself and a guy who's particularly short-tempered. Mike doesn't think much of himself, but he considers everyone his equal and expects them to treat him as such. His temper may flare up easily, but never more so than when others are talking down to him. Mike doesn't put up with that crap anymore, not unless his life truly depends on it, all other consequences be damned. His years of practice do end up kicking in sometimes with McCready, but he's resenting him every second of it.
Otherwise, I like to think that Mike's always pushing his limits, whether it be with success in life or with other people's patience. His pretty volatile emotions mean that he often lashes out in the heat of the moment and says things that he later regrets. Still, unlike people like McCready, Mike avoids fighting, and his anger won't translate into physical violence unless the other person initiates it. He also is capable of moving past the anger that he feels with a relatively short cool-down time.
Last thing I'll mention, but with the part about wanting to let loose after being uptight for so long, that totally suits his attitude toward college. To him, it was mainly valuable as a source of freedom and independence. Mike never completely shook the habits of self-discipline that were drilled into him, but he developed a motto of living in the present and indulging in every opportunity that seemed to promise a good time (like this trip, whoops). He likes how this keeps him active and living at a fast pace, sparing no time for thoughts of his issues or past.
Sexuality/Relationship History: Mike is often drawn to dating people who are one of two extremes; either someone who's so forgiving that he doesn't have to worry about his short temper driving them off, or, even better, someone with enough rage themselves that they understand where he's coming from. In either case, he's able to let down his guard a lot more and make emotional connections more easily. However, even with the right person, Mike's still not big on dwelling on his issues or his past, so he tends to shut down conversations that head too far in that direction.
Mike has a moderately low sex drive, but he's still bisexual. As much as he's willing to wait on sex, he kind of assumes everyone will want it eventually. Mike can even be tempted to cheat when drunk and sexually frustrated enough, especially if the person he's dating has shown a complete disinterest in sex altogether. His habit of living spur-of-the-moment and making temporary excuses for himself only means that the guilt would settle in later. Alternatively, if he finds out his partner cheated, it would trigger an immediate outburst. Mike would then calm down after a little ranting, but he'd still be pretty hurt, and attempting forgiveness would take a lot of effort on his part.
As a side note, I have his favorite music down as country, and while I wouldn't suggest this song for his character as a whole, I bet he'd much prefer "Hard to Love" by Lee Brice. It's also about being a "short fuse" and other such flaws, but more in how they affect his relationships. It doesn't mention cheating in particular, but I could still see him dedicating it to all the exes he's left broken-hearted throughout my playthroughs
Religious beliefs: "I don't know what I believe" Mike's not against the idea of a higher power, but he's certainly not for it yet either. He gave it some thought, but he simply doesn't think he could arrive at an answer until he's given some real proof. After all, he's always been a natural skeptic. And it likely wouldn't affect him much anyway, since Mike takes life at his own pace and refuses to answer to anyone if he can help it.
Ashley - I don't have a song that fits her particular description/character yet, but I did find one that not only fits her taste of music but also the narrative I have in mind for her. "Villainy Thrives" by Trivium. Relevant lyrics include "I can feel it breaking a retaliation release / I need to cause the evil doer suffering," + "It's not that I take life for granted / It's only that the good wont make it / Innocence dies while villainy thrives," + "For too long you've gotten away with murder / A fitting justice would be your painful execution"
Like man, these lyrics are vicious, and that's exactly how I want them. As Ashley's sanity slips, and she builds up more and more rage, she lets herself become a monster so that she can live long enough to take down the villains. Only she can stop them from killing innocents, and when she does, they'll deserve what's coming to them. Ashley might have softened her heart for Sonya, who she thought she loved, but she felt utterly betrayed at everything that was kept from her. So for now, she'll play along with her new "family," but she's only biding time. The act that cements her as a monster? Ashley doesn't even look back in regret, since he was one of them in the first place. Or at least, this is the storyline I had been working on, and the same general sense of vindictive-righteousness-against-villainy is what made this song so perfect to discover.
To better define Ashley's character, I'll say that I view her not as short-tempered, but deeply passionate. She can usually take a lot in stride. However, when someone does something to truly hurt or offend her (like, I don't know...killing her innocent friends), it ignites a fire in her that has little risk of burning out. So if it's not a significant danger to her, Ashley won't hesitate to unleash her fury. Even that rarely satisfies her, so she lets all her anger linger and holds grudges to an alarming extent. Still, if she does need to, Ashley can hold her tongue...but pent-up frustration will only make her that much more determined to spite whoever wronged her.
Of course, her character goes way beyond wrath, as I'll delve into a bit in the following two sections. For one, Ashley fiercely loves and values the people around her. So long as someone continues to treat her well, she'll happily offer them anything and everything she has. This relative selflessness is one of her defining virtues. Also, when she's not around others, she often falls prey to periods of depressing emptiness, where even her pastime of outdoor pursuits seems to lack meaning. That's part of why she loves hard rock and metal so much, because they really get her worked up when nothing else can. High energy pop songs (especially ones on the physical side, like Maroon 5) can be nice once in a while. But only hard rock and metal have the ability to fully tap into her inner rebelliousness and rage, giving her the intensity she strongly desires.
Sexuality/Relationship History: Ashley jumps at any chance to connect with other people and make memories with them. You'd never guess it by how she interacts with others, but the true reason she thrives on attention is because she's a lonely girl at heart. In return for distracting her from the void in her life, she provides everyone around her with generous and loving support. As for steady relationships, she'll gladly accept whoever's willing. This has little to do with her moderately high sex drive, because instead, it's affection and reliable companionship that she craves the most. In fact, while she'll accept men and women alike as romantic partners, Ashley is actually strictly a lesbian in terms of attraction. Most women she knows are straight, which is why she's surprised to find out otherwise with Sam J and Sonya. Sam J's not her usual type, but Sonya (and her ex June) definitely are.
Even if Ashley's dating someone, she finds Sonya hard to resist and can be reluctantly persuaded to hook up with her, internally accepting the flimsy excuse that she could patch things over with her partner later. Hypocritically, if her partner did the same thing, Ashley would get too furious to even think about forgiveness after she finds out. She might convince herself that it doesn't matter to her, but unless her partner's very persuasive, she'll always secretly hold a grudge.
Religious beliefs: "I don't like religion." Ashley's dealt with a lot of crap from people like McCready, so she never bought that religion somehow improves your life or makes you a better person. But more importantly, she can't stand how much suffering there is in the world. As far as she's concerned, any higher power that would allow it isn't worth worshipping. Instead, Ashley believes in taking things into your own hands when you see a need, making it her mission to be personally charitable and kind. Of course, that kindness runs out once you're on her bad side, and she won't hesitate to plot against those who she views as having evil hearts.
Since Mike and Ashley share wrath as one of the sins they're inclined toward, I tried to give them each a different relationship to it. Hopefully that came across well, but if not, I'd definitely be open to some constructive criticism. Really, I'll take any feedback if you've got it, especially since it'll be helpful as I work on the full write-ups. Though I will say that I don't need Mike and Ashley to feel entirely disconnected, since they're technically direct counterparts in the story when you don't play as them. I think I'd like a few similarities between pairs like that (Chelsam and Adavid for instance, though I know there may be more down the line).
Also, I suppose it's not of particular interest at the moment, but in terms of the others' sexualities, I've worked out Adam and Chelsea as straight, David, Sam, and Josh as bi (with Josh in particular being gray-aromantic), and Carson (aka nameless dude) as gay. I know Chelsea can sleep with Sonya, but it's a pretty safe bet from her unique responses that she just did it for David to find out. As for David specifically denying being gay...I don't know, just like with Sam, I do get genuine bi vibes from him in the aftermath. So yeah, anyway, across my playthroughs, Ashley's dated June/Sam/Mike/Adam/David while Mike's dated Ashley/Chelsea/Kaye/Josh/Carson. Hmm. Y'know, at some point, I'll probably do a section where I take the different couples and guess what qualities they found most attractive in each other. I think that could be fun.
Hmph, well I was going to congratulate you guys for surviving my text dump (or scrolling past it, hey, I'm not here to judge) by sharing some pictures too, but apparently I'm limited to one per post as a new user. Darn. Well at least they're all picked out, so look forward to my visual interpretations of the MCs (+ Jack and April) some other time!