rionaleonhart: okami: amaterasu is startled. (NOT SO FAST)
Taking things out on fictional characters? I don't know what you're talking about. At least I've started writing again, I suppose.


Title: New Game?
Fandom: Until Dawn
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 2,500
Summary: Mike is caught in a time loop. Maybe this means he can save everyone. Then again, maybe it doesn't.


New Game? )
rionaleonhart: kingdom hearts: riku, blindfolded and smiling slightly. (we'll be the darkness)
A worrying thought: how many of my favourite character types can be traced back to James Sunderland of Silent Hill 2? I love characters who make terrible mistakes and are overcome by self-loathing, characters trying to atone for things that can't ever be undone, characters who undergo horrible experiences they'll never recover from or be believed about, characters who can't trust their own perception of reality. And I follow all those threads back, wondering when I first developed these preferences, and they all take me to James Sunderland, all-time champion of the World's Worst Husband competition.

Mike Munroe of Until Dawn falls into three of these four character types (all four in a couple of fics where I kick in his perception of reality: Alone Together, Wrong Road Home) and, moreover, wears a James Sunderland-esque heavy green jacket for most of the game. It's no wonder I like him so much. If it's any consolation, Mike, you are at least a slightly better person.

Here is a small handful of Until Dawn ficlets, most written anonymously for drabble challenges on [community profile] fail_fandomanon, all focusing on Mike and Sam.


Until Dawn, 100 words, prompt: comfort bathing )

Until Dawn, 100 words, prompt: long-distance )

Until Dawn/Animorphs, 100 words, prompt: fusionfic )

Until Dawn, 300 words, prompt: Sam/Hannah )


(The last one came about because a friend challenged me to write some Sam/Hannah. Their response was 'Damn it, you managed to make my ship about your ship,' which is, I'll admit, a fair accusation. It's the only thing I can write!)
rionaleonhart: okami: amaterasu is startled. (NOT SO FAST)
I was overly pessimistic in my 'two or three survivors' estimate for Ginger's Until Dawn run; there were four!


Chapters eight to ten of Until Dawn. )


Late in the game, Ginger picked up on the fact that Mike's relationship stat with Sam had increased a lot.

Ginger: They're not going to get Sam and Mike together, are they?
Riona: Breaking my heart, they are not. I 'ship Sam and Mike a lot.
Ginger: Sam can do so much better!
Riona: I don't care!


Another stat observation:

Ginger: Huh. Chris has become less funny.
Rei: I don't think it's possible for him to become less funny.

I cracked up. Sorry, Chris.
rionaleonhart: the mentalist: lisbon, afraid but brave, makes an important call. (it's been an honour)
Ginger's playthrough of Until Dawn continues! We're now at the start of chapter eight. Some good decisions, some very bad ones.


Spoilers for the entirety of Until Dawn. )


This is so interesting to watch! The playthrough that introduced me to this game, by the Scary Games Squad, had the controller in the hands of someone who was extremely good at QTEs, so it hadn't really hit me that decision-making isn't the only danger in Until Dawn; most people don't hit every QTE effortlessly, and it's easy to lose someone to a mechanical slipup as well.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy versus xiii: a young woman at night, her back to you, the moon high above. (nor women neither)
My housemate Ginger is now playing Until Dawn while Rei and I watch! I robbed myself of the opportunity to play this game unspoiled myself, so this is my vicarious first playthrough. We've only just finished the first chapter, so not much has actually happened yet.

It's been an absurdly warm day, or at least it's been absurdly warm for anyone who grew up in England, so there were a lot of envious noises at all the in-game snow. 'Lucky bastards. I mean, yes, they're probably about to die, but at least they'll die cold.'

The game really can't shut up about the butterfly effect in its first hour or so. We ended up cracking up at every mention of it, which slightly impaired the atmosphere.

Ginger commented that the butterfly shown in the opening ~ooh butterfly effect~ sequence has the same colouring as the butterfly representing Chloe in Life Is Strange. Chloe Price is behind the events of Until Dawn. It all makes sense now.

Ginger doesn't get along with the controls. 'It sort of makes me want to kill all of these characters, just as revenge on the game.' Please don't deliberately kill all the characters, Ginger.


Ginger finds the first totem (showing a glimpse of a possible future event in the game). I explain the concept:

Riona: So, if the totem shows you choking to death on a pie, you turn down the pie when it's offered to you later.
Rei: I'm not sure about that. I do really like pie.
Ginger: Are you willing to die for pie?
Rei: I am willing to chew very carefully.


Mike's intro screen: Intelligent. Driven. Persuasive.
Rei: Dick.

Ginger agrees. I'm not at all surprised that my housemates immediately decided Mike was a dick (I can't even say they're wrong), but I still hope in my heart that they'll warm up to him later on.

Stupid Mike. Of course the arsehole ended up being my favourite character. Not that this game is short of arseholes.
rionaleonhart: harry potter: extremely poorly-drawn dumbledore fleeing and yelling NOOOOOOOOO. (NOOOOOOOOO)
I have been thinking way too much about the deaths in Until Dawn.


Discussion of Until Dawn deaths. Major spoilers. )


Something that struck me while I was looking up character stats for this entry: Mike's 'romantic' stat is very high, whereas Sam's is very low. Setting them up for one of my favourite het relationship dynamics, where she's just here for a friends-with-benefits thing and he's painfully in love with her. Sorry, Mike.
rionaleonhart: the mentalist: lisbon, afraid but brave, makes an important call. (it's been an honour)
I really thought this was just going to be a weird, dark oneshot! Apparently it's a weird, dark twoshot instead. This is entirely [personal profile] magistrate's fault.


Title: Moving On, Part Two
Fandom: Until Dawn
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: slight Sam/Mike
Wordcount: 2,100 (this part; 3,800 cumulative)
Summary: Sam and Mike do not have the healthiest coping strategies.

Part One


Moving On, Part Two )
rionaleonhart: top gear: the start button on a bugatti veyron. (going down tonight)
Surely, at some point, I'm going to go 'right, I've written enough post-Until Dawn fanfiction about traumatised teenagers and I am free.'

This is not that point. Here is my fifth work of post-Until Dawn fanfiction about traumatised teenagers.


Title: Moving On
Fandom: Until Dawn
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: slight Sam/Mike
Wordcount: 1,700
Summary: Sam and Mike do not have the healthiest coping strategies.


Moving On )


Part Two
rionaleonhart: final fantasy versus xiii: a young woman at night, her back to you, the moon high above. (nor women neither)
Hey, I managed to write some fanfiction after all! Uncharacteristically, it is entirely devoid of Mike/Sam.

Emily, it turns out, is a lot of fun to write.


Title: Barricade
Fandom: Until Dawn
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 1,700
Summary: Only Mike, Ashley and Emily survived the night. There's a certain amount of strain on their friendship, particularly when it becomes clear how Chris really died.


Barricade )
rionaleonhart: final fantasy versus xiii: a young woman at night, her back to you, the moon high above. (nor women neither)
I shouldn't have mentioned Until Dawn in my last entry, because now I've fallen straight back into it! I want to write fanfiction, but I'm completely at a loss for ideas. I've already written 'my favourite character is in love with everyone else' and 'characters are forced to question their perception of reality', which are the things I seem to write in every fandom these days. 'Everyone trains Pokémon' is also a recurring theme in my fanfiction, but I'm not sure that would really suit Until Dawn. I haven't written any Jess/Matt, which I do think is a really cute pairing, but I'm much more invested in Mike and in Mike/Sam than I am in anything else.

I'm just going to talk about some of my favourite moments and aspects of the game, in case it sparks something off. Not including the bear trap moment. I've already talked enough about the bear trap moment.

(I'm sorry, Mike. You just suffer so well. Every so often I check out the Tumblr tag for Until Dawn, and sometimes people are talking about how they always shove Mike's fingers in the bear trap because they hate him. It's so strange to me. I want to see Mike's fingers caught in a bear trap because I love him.)


Spoilers for Until Dawn. )


Well, I'm not sure this has spawned any inspiration for writing fanfiction, but I enjoy talking about this game anyway. Even if, before I robbed it of the ability to surprise me by spoiling myself for everything, it freaked me out so badly that I had trouble sleeping.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy xv: prompto, the best character, with a touch of swagger. (looking ahead)
I hope you like it when I talk at excessive length about videogames, because it's that time again. Ginger, old friend and new housemate, is replaying Life Is Strange, and it's got me thinking about narrative choices.

In the last year, I've experienced three games - Life Is Strange, Until Dawn, Oxenfree - in which the gameplay consists almost solely of making choices. There's the occasional puzzle in Life Is Strange, there are QTEs in Until Dawn, but fundamentally these games are about the player making choices to shape the story.

In theory.

In practice, these games have a linear story to tell. You can't drag the game down wholly different paths, in the way a Choose Your Own Adventure novel might offer. There are a handful of variables, but every playthrough will hit more or less the same story points and end in more or less the same way. Even in Until Dawn, where the way you play determines who lives and who dies, it's not possible to kill everyone off in the first few hours and make the game go '???? roll credits, I guess?' - certain characters are guaranteed to survive long enough to steer you to a predetermined endpoint. Ginger is currently doing an arsehole run of Life Is Strange, making all the horrible decisions they avoided on previous playthroughs, and at moments it's painful to watch, but it's still much the same story I experienced on my own run.

I mentioned this to Ginger, and their response was something I wasn't expecting: they put forward a case for games like this following roughly the same path and ending in roughly the same way, regardless of player choice. I'd always just assumed that 'your choices have as much impact as possible on the narrative' was the ideal point for these games to reach, and the current 'your choices can change small aspects of the story without actually changing the story's direction' situation was a result of budgetary and time constraints. But Ginger pointed out the social aspect to playing games like this: when you've finished a chapter or a game, you'll want to discuss it and theorise with other people playing the same game. If your choices could make Life Is Strange branch off onto one of ten different paths, that wouldn't be possible; you'd go, 'Hey, wasn't it strange when Max drank from the magical fountain and became a unicorn?' and nobody else would be able to discuss it with you, because only 10% of players even come across the magical fountain.

Thinking about it, this applies to fanfiction as well. In total, I've written ten works of fanfiction for these three narrative choice games, most of them set post-ending. If I hadn't been able to go 'yes, I know that the reader's playthrough will have ended in roughly the same way as mine and therefore they'll be able to tell what's going on here,' I'd never have been able to write them. I feel 'we'd better make things easier for the fanfic writers' is possibly not that high on the list of game developers' priorities, but I'm still glad that I was able to create things inspired by these games.

Life Is Strange also has strong themes of memory and nostalgia, of beautiful fleeting moments, of returning to where you came from and realising you're no longer the person you used to be. Would it be possible to write a game with twenty different endings and make its themes feel coherent?

You could argue that a game shouldn't try to be a film, and, while the developers going 'we know the story we're telling here; you can nudge the tiller occasionally, but we're the ones steering' makes for a better narrative, 'the reins are entirely in your hands! go wild!' would make for a better game. But I think I've been persuaded that greater freedom of choice shouldn't necessarily be the goal of all choice-based narrative games. Maybe Life Is Strange isn't an example of a genre that needs to develop; maybe it's a genre that's exactly where it needs to be.

It could still be fun to have the occasional cinematic game where your choices really do shape the narrative. But, for the moment, with all the budgetary issues involved, that might have to remain the domain of visual novels.

I do think choice-based games could do with fewer endings that explicitly undo the effects of all your choices, though. If the entire game consisted of the player making decisions, don't render those decisions meaningless!
rionaleonhart: final fantasy xiii: lightning pays intense attention to you. (speak carefully)
The final boss of Final Fantasy VI was a nightmare. He kept killing people in one hit! He kept muting my entire party, and I was quickly running out of items to cure it! (It's possible I didn't prepare very well.) I was convinced for a while that I was going to lose, and I'd have to fight through that entire sequence of pre-final-boss bosses again. But I made it! If the fight had gone on for a couple more minutes, I'd have been doomed.

So, yes, I finished Final Fantasy VI! I'm fairly certain I snapped this game up when it first became available in the UK, back in early 2002, so it took me, er, fifteen years and two copies. But I got there! And I wrote a fic, so revisiting this game was a highly successful endeavour. Even if it landed me with a new rarepair.

(At the ending, on the airship, there's a bit where Edgar tries to flirt with Celes, and she walks off to stand next to Sabin instead. I'M JUST SAYING.)

I'm starting to spot a pattern in some of my pairings: two people are part of the same group of friends. They're not close friends - they don't necessarily spend time alone together - but they move in the same circles. The group goes through some major, traumatic experiences. These two find themselves isolated, with only each other, having lost contact with the rest of their friends. I start 'shipping it immediately. It happened with Celes/Sabin, and with Mike/Sam in Until Dawn. I think my fondness for Hope/Serah in Final Fantasy XIII-2 comes from the same place; they're not alone, but they've lost touch with everyone who really knows what they've been through.

Even if Celes/Sabin is what really caught my attention on this playthrough, I also have a slight fondness for Celes/Locke, and Celes/Terra, and Leo/Terra, and everyone just cuddling in a big pile, including the yeti.

I've criticised some aspects of this game, but it has a huge amount of charm. The cast is delightful, and the tiny sprites are surprisingly expressive, and the battle system is one of the best from the ATB era; all the different battle abilities do mean that characters have wildly varying levels of usefulness, but they also make things varied and fun!

My preferred team was Celes, Locke, Edgar and Sabin, although I'd have swapped Edgar out for Terra if I wanted it to be a team of my four favourite characters. The Tools function was too useful to give up! Plus I liked the idea of the brothers fighting side by side.

Celes is the best. I wouldn't have stood a chance without her in the final battle.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy xii: fran glares; tremble with fear! (don't cross me)
If I were in charge of a remake of Final Fantasy VI, I'd cut the playable cast down substantially. I like the playable characters, but there are just too many of them for the plot to feel focused. The story of Final Fantasy VI would work perfectly well with just Terra, Locke, Celes, Edgar and Sabin in the party. And possibly Setzer, for the airship. And - and General Leo. Look, I'm in charge and General Leo is the best. I'd forgotten how much I liked him.

I can see that you sort of need a huge number of playable characters for the World of Ruin to work, though. If there are too few party members, it'll become tricky for the player to find enough to assemble a viable party.

I'd also make big changes to the feeding-fish-to-Cid bit. It admirably conveys the misery and monotony of being trapped on a tiny post-apocalyptic island, I suppose, but it's horrendous game design on about six different levels. (I saved Cid this time! The first time, I had no idea what I was doing and ended up running back and forth for what felt like a thousand years, catching fish indiscriminately and going 'when is this fishing going to end?' until he eventually died of food poisoning.) And I'd reduce the game's ridiculous encounter rate. I was so happy when I finally got a relic to bring it down.

Okay, that's enough nitpicking, because there's a lot I like about this game as well!

When I started this replay, I thought 'maybe I'll finally establish whether Celes or Sabin is my favourite character!' and instead I've ended up torn between three favourite characters: Celes, Sabin and Leo. Although Sabin definitely earned strong points with his 'Did you think a little thing like the end of the world was gonna do me in?' line; it was a timely reminder that life and hope and humour can be found in the darkest of situations, and it made me smile.

I was so happy that Sabin was the first person I found in the World of Ruin. CELES AND SABIN: THE PERFECT PARTY. It's just as well I love these two, because it's taking me a while to track down anyone else. Inevitably, I now want fanfiction about Celes and Sabin slipping into a strange, sad physical relationship while they cross the ruined world in search of others.

I can't say Celes/Sabin is a pairing that's ever occurred to me before, but maybe the fact it's not an obvious pairing is what makes the concept interesting. It appeals to me in the same way Sam/Mike from Until Dawn does: under normal circumstances, they'd never look at each other in that way, but the circumstances are so far from normal. It's another living, breathing person, and that's suddenly become so precious.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy viii: found a draw point! no one can draw... (you're a terrible artist)
Here is an entry of scattered nonsense that amuses me.

Occasionally, if you use Windows 10, your computer will go 'hey, I made an album from some of your best pictures, check it out! :D'

It offered me one album consisting solely of the following:

- sixteen screenshots of Final Fantasy XV
- a danisnotonfire tweet reading 'sometimes i dream about being one of the reindeer galloping through the sky with leather straps tying me to my friends mm yes carrots please'


It's been a while since I last posted any of our household's attempts to reproduce lyrics in the medium of fridge poetry!

'Why are we wasting time on all your wasted crime?' (Shawn Mendes, 'Treat You Better'): 'why are we breaking clocks on your low doings'

'I've got two legs from my hips to the ground' (Monty Python, 'I've Got Two Legs'): 'I have two walking arms from my lustful latitude to the grass'

'I'm Christina, and here's my ass!' (possibly not technically a lyric): 'it is I a lady's name please watchfully adore this behind'

Why is 'latitude' a word in this poetry set? (If you want 'longitude', though, you're going to have to make do with 'unlatitude'.)

The set generally has a strange blend of really common words and really specialised ones. I spent ages looking for 'dance' and eventually resorted to 'adjust your behind to jazz'. Rei couldn't write 'bee', but she could certainly write 'mean gold wax merchant butterfly'.


Finally, I recently discovered a video of the best moment in Until Dawn, which I didn't realise even existed. In the words of the uploader, Mike fights a shower curtain and gets his ass kicked.
rionaleonhart: okami: amaterasu is startled. (NOT SO FAST)
I played a couple of hours of Oxenfree last night! It's very pretty and colourful, which is an interesting design choice for a horror game. All the landscapes sort of look like they've been made out of coloured paper.

You have to make decisions within a few seconds in Oxenfree, which I find very stressful, even when most of the decisions are just 'what do you want to say now?' (I feel a bit spoiled by Life Is Strange, which not only gives you as much time as you like to choose your response but allows you to rewind and redo things if you change your mind.)

At the very beginning of the game, just after you get off the boat, I refused to speak alone with Jonas because my mind was working by Until Dawn rules: DON'T SEPARATE, BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN. [livejournal.com profile] th_esaurus pointed out that this was very early in the game, nothing bad had happened yet, and a brief conversation with my stepbrother was unlikely to get anyone killed. I felt so bad for turning Jonas down that I restarted.

At this point I set the first and most important of several goals that would help me make decisions in the future: I want to get along with my stepbrother.

Later, after panicking during the 'who do you meet up with first?' decision at the radio tower, I came up with my second goal: I want to improve my relationship with Clarissa.

My third goal, after telling Ren there were other fish in the sea and TOO LATE realising that the game might think I want to be his fish: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES can I end up in a romantic relationship with Ren.

('The game won't let you romance your stepbrother,' [livejournal.com profile] th_esaurus said, with deeply felt sadness. I laughed at her.)

I feel a lot more comfortable making quick decisions now that I know what I'm aiming for. Even if I still miss Life Is Strange. (The soft colours and loading-screen Polaroids really remind me of Life Is Strange, actually. Although I'm puzzled by the fact that Jonas took a picture on his phone and it appeared on the loading screen as a Polaroid.)

I'm playing this game at [livejournal.com profile] th_esaurus's flat, so I don't know exactly when I'll be able to pick it up again, but I hope it'll be soon! There's a lot of intriguing mystery. And I like Alex, which is unusual; I usually have trouble warming to characters who communicate entirely through dialogue choices, because they can end up feeling like an empty vessel for the player rather than a character in their own right, but a lot of personality comes through in everything she says.


Here are a handful of things I experienced in 2016 but didn't post full entries on:

- I watched the anime ERASED (it's available legally on Crunchyroll here), which is about a man who goes back to his childhood and tries to prevent the abduction and murder of a classmate. It was very good and very gripping, but I don't know whether I'll ever watch it again; it might be a bit too bleak and serious without the 'but what happens next??' drive to keep going. Still, I loved that it told a very compact, intense story in just twelve episodes. It also has one of the coolest opening sequences I've ever seen. The shots of the empty school give me chills.

- I saw Your Name in the cinema and loved it. The basic concept (two strangers keep swapping bodies across a great distance and can only communicate with each other by leaving notes) is exactly the sort of idea I find irresistible: people being drawn together by weird experiences, unable to talk about them with anyone but each other! Inevitably, I'm now wondering whether it could be employed in fanfiction for other works.

- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a much, much better show than you'd think from the title. A couple of my favourite songs:

I've kind of got a girl crush on you, by which I mean I wanna kill you and wear your skin like a dress.
FACE YOUR FEARS. RUN WITH SCISSORS.

- The second series of How to Get Away with Murder is, I'm delighted to report, just as stupid as the first. The scene in 'Meet Bonnie' where the students were going 'pfft, we've screwed up our lives, might as well have an orgy' inevitably delighted me. Has anyone written the fic where they follow through? I'm going to be so disappointed in fandom if nobody's written that fic.


Inevitably, the combination of fandoms in this entry is making me ponder a How to Get Away with Murder scenario in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, in which Rebecca somehow ends up killing someone and has to try not to get caught. It's actually a worryingly plausible scenario.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy versus xiii: a young woman at night, her back to you, the moon high above. (nor women neither)
I wrote this entire fic today. I'm not doing National Novel Writing Month, but if I were I'd be on track on wordcount!

My Until Dawn fanfiction consistently gets low hit counts on AO3; all five of my Until Dawn fics are in the bottom seven when you sort my works by hits. I think there's some strange, stubborn part of me going 'I'M NOT GOING TO STOP WRITING FOR THIS FANDOM UNTIL I COME UP WITH SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE WILL ACTUALLY READ.'


Title: Wrong Road Home
Fandom: Until Dawn
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 2,300
Summary: Mike thinks the others just don't want to talk about that night. Maybe the truth is stranger than that.


Wrong Road Home )
rionaleonhart: the mentalist: lisbon, afraid but brave, makes an important call. (it's been an honour)
Still thinking about Until Dawn. Still really, really invested in Mike/Sam. I haven't fallen this hard for a pairing in a while.

I was surprised to find it's a relatively unpopular pairing in the fandom - not nonexistent and not actively disliked, but nowhere near as big as I'd expected it to be. I suppose the problem is that each half is in a more popular het pairing: Sam/Josh is the second-most-written pairing in the fandom, and Mike/Jess is fourth. Mike and Sam don't really start interacting until halfway through the game, by which point people might already be invested in Mike/Jess or Sam/Josh, and it's going to be difficult to shift those preferences.

In my desperate quest for fanart, I came across one artist who said they didn't usually 'ship het but had fallen for Mike/Sam anyway. It's just occurred to me that this fits with my theory of its unpopularity. If you're not a het fan, you probably won't be 'shipping Mike or Sam with anyone by the time they team up, and therefore you'll be better able to appreciate that, objectively speaking, Mike/Sam is the best pairing ever and anyone who disagrees is a poo.

At the ending, if they both survive, he grabs her arm and just doesn't let go, just stays holding on to her as if it's the only way he can be sure they're still alive, and I can't get over it.

The thing that fascinates me about Mike/Sam is that I get the impression they would only end up with each other after the events of the game. Prior to that night, Sam would never have considered it. But they've been through hell and lost friends and almost died together, and something in their relationship has changed irreversibly. They've seen new sides of each other. They're closer now. Maybe too close, in a highly dependent 'you're the only person who knows what I've been through and I'm not sure I'd be able to function without you' way, depending on how many of their friends were killed. Maybe they're helping each other process things. Maybe they're stifling each other, unable to move on from that night as long as they're together and reminding each other of it. It's a pairing I love either way.

Unfortunately, my 'they'd only get together after their horrible experiences' view restricts what I can read or write for this pairing. I can understand why people would want to write about them getting together in a lovely AU where nobody dies or is permanently traumatised, but I just can't care about scenarios where they aren't miserable PTSD-ridden wrecks.

This is why I'm unlikely to write an Until Dawn/Pokémon crossover.
rionaleonhart: the mentalist: lisbon, afraid but brave, makes an important call. (it's been an honour)
Apparently I did end up writing the fic where Mike and Sam have miserable sex before their probable deaths. I wasn't expecting this.


Title: Still Breathing
Fandom: Until Dawn
Rating: R
Pairing: Mike/Sam
Wordcount: 1,600
Summary: Mike and Sam are alone in the basement. The others are missing or dead. All Sam wants is a distraction.


Still Breathing )
rionaleonhart: harry potter: extremely poorly-drawn dumbledore fleeing and yelling NOOOOOOOOO. (NOOOOOOOOO)
I don't know why I've ended up writing such a huge entry on a game none of you have played, but, er, here you go. (The last few paragraphs of the entry still concern Until Dawn but may be of more general interest to people who play videogames.)


I ended up spoiling myself for just about everything in Until Dawn, because I was far too freaked out to keep watching when I didn't know what was going on, and it's amazing how much of a difference it made. Every QTE was terrifying when I was unspoiled; every decision felt like a matter of life or death. Once I'd looked things up, I was absolutely fine; I could just watch and enjoy this story about a group of flawed teenagers in a horrible situation without being constantly on the verge of dissolving into petrified sobs.

In a way, I do regret robbing myself of the opportunity to play the game blind, making my own bad decisions and seeing who survives to the end. On the other hand, even if a first playthrough is probably a powerful experience, I feel it wouldn't be an experience I'd enjoy.

It's really interesting to see the way the game's situation brings out certain qualities in its characters. Mike and Sam are at their absolute best when they and their friends are in mortal peril (even if Mike screws up sometimes). Emily very much looks out for herself, but she's able to stay focused and keep going. Ashley doesn't do well under pressure at all, although, to be fair, she's put in really horrifying situations. You might die! You might not! It's completely up to the person who's weighing your life against something else, and all you can do is wait helplessly!

I think an Animorphs AU for Until Dawn could work really well: it's a similar 'hey, teenagers, here's an awful situation you've suddenly been thrown into, you're going to have to think strategically to not die, good luck!' concept, and I'd love to see how the Until Dawn characters would handle it. Given that there are eight characters involved, though, it'd probably be too ambitious a project for me to attempt.

(Would Mike be the leader? Sam? Maybe Mike's the leader in name and Sam's actually the one who keeps things together.)

I don't think I'll be writing any more Until Dawn fanfiction, although admittedly I thought that after my first Until Dawn fic, and indeed after my second. But I've written 'Mike and Sam are miserable and make out', 'Mike and Sam are miserable and don't make out' and 'Mike wants to make out with everyone (and is miserable)'. Where else can I go? I can't just write endlessly about Mike being miserable, but it's the only thing my heart is interested in.

(I got a review on my Mike/everyone fic that said 'THIS WAS SADDER THAN I THOUGHT IT WAS GONNA BE. ;A;', which I'm pleased with because it is exactly according to my evil plan. The summary is 'Mike Munroe has a lot of attractive friends, and he'd make out with all of them if he could.' Hey, this'll be silly and fun! NO. NO FUN. MISERY. IT'S UNTIL DAWN.)

If I could write sex, I'd probably write a fic where Mike and Sam are the only ones left alive, they're still trapped on the mountain, and they end up banging unhappily because they're probably going to die anyway and it's the only thing they can think of to do. Alas, it's not in my skillset.


I've been skipping around and watching bits of a lot of different Until Dawn Let's Plays, and not just because I could watch Mike cut his own fingers off all day. I really like watching people slowly warm to Mike. He makes such a bad first impression (the first two things he does are 'participate in a cruel prank' and 'jumpscare you'), and I love the way a lot of players gradually progress from 'who's this arsehole?' to 'actually, I'm really invested in this arsehole's survival.'

Something I found interesting: at one point, when ChristopherOdd was playing as Mike, Jessica called to Mike for help. ChristopherOdd commented on 'the sheer terror in her voice, calling out our name'. When you play as Mike, does Mike's name become your name as well? Referring to playable characters in the first person is common enough; if Nathan Drake falls off a cliff when I'm controlling him, I'll usually say that I fell, rather than that Nate fell. Referring to yourself and the playable character together as 'us' isn't unheard of; you might say, 'Come on, Mike, let's see what's over here' (I'd never say 'we fell off a cliff' in the Uncharted example, though). But thinking of the name of the character you're playing as 'your' name strikes me as unusual.

Then again, if you saw me playing Silent Hill 2 and asked what was happening in it, I feel I might say that I'm looking for my wife. I don't know why names are specifically the point at which I feel a barrier falls between me and the playable character.

Are there any studies on when people refer to playable characters in the first person? Does it happen more with customisable protagonists, with silent protagonists, with protagonists that share the player's gender? Does having more than one playable character in the game affect it? (I feel I don't generally use 'I' in Final Fantasy games, for example, where you can usually control the actions of multiple characters.) Does whether the player likes the protagonist affect it? It's a difficult subject to Google, unfortunately. I don't want to know about first-person videogames; I want to know about people talking about videogames in the first person!
rionaleonhart: the mentalist: lisbon, afraid but brave, makes an important call. (it's been an honour)
I think this is my fourth 'pairing one particular character up with everyone' fic. Previous characters who's received this treatment: Patrick Jane, Jeff Winger, Nagito Komaeda. Now it's Mike Munroe's turn, apparently. (There's a definite 'overconfident arsehole' pattern emerging, although one of those characters is in fact an underconfident arsehole.) I'm not sure how I got into this particular ficcing habit, but, hey, I'm enjoying myself.

This turned out a little more serious than I was expecting.


Title: Satisfied
Fandom: Until Dawn
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Mike/everyone
Wordcount: 1,400
Summary: Mike Munroe has a lot of attractive friends, and he'd make out with all of them if he could.


Satisfied )