rionaleonhart: final fantasy versus xiii: a young woman at night, her back to you, the moon high above. (nor women neither)
Riona ([personal profile] rionaleonhart) wrote2017-06-01 10:44 am

What Are You Tweeting? Hashtag There's A Freaking Ghost After Us?

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.)

- My favourite reaction in the game is when Josh goes 'hey, Chris, you might as well let Ashley sleep with Mike' and Mike looks over at Chris in sudden alarm. (Well, my favourite nonverbal reaction, at least, because it takes a lot to beat 'UNDERSTAND THE PALM OF MY HAND, BITCH.')

- It seems a little weird to have a favourite death, but it's when Ashley locks Chris out and leaves him to die if he chose himself over her earlier. It's strange to me that this is, as far as I can recall, the only point at which you can make a choice that will result in a character's death several chapters later. Despite the game's emphasis on the butterfly effect, it doesn't actually explore long-term consequences much; most deaths are the result of making a mistake immediately beforehand. Here, you can make a fatal mistake, and you won't actually know it was fatal until a couple of hours later.

- I also like Ashley locking Chris out because it makes Ashley such an interesting character. Most players won't try to shoot Ashley when Chris is given the 'it's Ashley or yourself' ultimatum - they'll think 'what would Chris do?' and go for the self-sacrificing option, or they'll have found the totem that indicates you shouldn't shoot at all - so they'll never realise what Ashley is capable of. Most players will see her persuading Mike to shoot Emily, but it's possible to miss even that. Different playthroughs can give very different impressions of the characters involved, and I think Ashley is the most dramatic example of that. In a playthrough where Chris doesn't try to shoot Ashley and Emily dies in the mines (or escapes being bitten), Ashley will be perfectly sweet throughout, if understandably panicky, and you'll never know it's possible for her to let one character die and then call for another to be killed.

- Whether Ashley locks Chris out or the player just isn't fast enough on the trigger, I love Mike being gentle with Ashley and leading her away if Chris dies in front of her.

- My second favourite death, inevitably, is when Sam moves at the wrong moment, and Mike runs in front of her so the wendigo will attack him instead of her. Does that count as a death? The attack doesn't actually kill him outright, but it does render him unable to escape the lodge alive, so it's a moment that locks his death in. In any case, Mike can sacrifice himself for Sam and I love it.

- (Seriously, I don't understand why Mike/Sam isn't a more popular pairing. If they both survive, the last shot before the credits is of him holding desperately onto her arm in front of the burning lodge! There's barely any fanart of them and it is TEARING ME APART.)

- Poor Jess is such a wreck by the end of the game, both physically and psychologically. She walks so slowly; she's in so much pain; she seems so lost and defeated. It really tugs at my heart. I was going to say 'I'm so glad Matt is there to look after her' and then remembered that it's entirely possible for Matt to die before then, leaving Jess to wander alone in the mines. As I said, I think Matt/Jess could be a really cute pairing, but Jess is so thoroughly traumatised by the end of the game that it's hard to imagine writing romance involving her.

- It's a shame that you don't get to see Jess and Matt reunited with the others at the end of the game, if they survive. Perhaps there's fanfiction material there? Hmmm. I find myself strangely reluctant to write anything that doesn't focus on Mike suffering. Letting him find out that Jess is actually alive means he suffers less, which goes against everything I stand for. (I'm sorry, Mike. It's tough to be my favourite character.)

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.
zabimitsuki: (Default)

[personal profile] zabimitsuki 2017-06-01 09:55 am (UTC)(link)
I guess the problem with Mike is that he starts out as the absolute worst (then again, they pretty much all are)? But as you play, you can actually make him a pretty decent guy! I mean, how awful would you have to be to deliberately hurt the wolf or not even try and make up with it? I had a real soft spot for him by the end of the game, mostly because he was so resourceful and all the parts going through the asylum with him were so good!
zabimitsuki: (Default)

[personal profile] zabimitsuki 2017-06-01 01:50 pm (UTC)(link)
I've played through it twice so far - once on my own with a "golden" run, and then with friends where they got Matt and Mike killed. Unfortunate, because... I'm pretty sure Mike was everyone's favourite at that point? And it's so easy to accidentally kill him at the end too!

That's a good point about Emily! I was certain I was going to kill her off at the first opportunity, she was that abrasive, but when I had the choice of actually shooting her... I couldn't do it? She's awful, but she goes through some horrible things and she didn't deserve die over a misunderstanding. I was surprised at myself! XD
wolfy_writing: (Default)

[personal profile] wolfy_writing 2017-06-01 05:05 pm (UTC)(link)
Not including the bear trap moment. I've already talked enough about the bear trap moment.

I would argue, but that's because I have opinions about the bear trap moment, and I haven't played the game.

I want to see Mike's fingers caught in a bear trap because I love him.

I know the feeling.
wolfy_writing: (Default)

[personal profile] wolfy_writing 2017-06-01 05:15 pm (UTC)(link)
I think the only time I cheer for horrible fates for characters I don't like is if it takes them out of the picture. It's only appealing to see fictional people suffer when I care about them.
magistrate: The arc of the Earth in dark space. (Default)

[personal profile] magistrate 2017-06-01 06:34 pm (UTC)(link)
[but Jess is so thoroughly traumatised by the end of the game that it's hard to imagine writing romance involving her]

GAUNTLET THROWN? yourself, unfortunately, most probably. I have such a strong aversion to jumpscares that I couldn't even make it through the Let's Play, so I am unable to take up this particular gauntlet.
thenicochan: {...} from Hanna is Not a Boy's Name (Default)

[personal profile] thenicochan 2017-06-09 01:51 pm (UTC)(link)
(disclaimer: this was drafted up throughout my last two days at work in-between our viciously busy member cycle, so I can’t make any promises this isn’t complete gibberish)

You and I are pretty much the same when it comes to Until Dawn. Just reading your entry makes me wanna replay it (for, like, the seventh time) like woah.

It boggles my mind that anyone could hate Mike. Even purposefully taking the worst moral options as possible as him still leaves a surprisingly loyal, strong and protective guy. He’s amazing. (and I, too, enjoy his suffering for much the same reasons as you).

A few thoughts, re: your thoughts.

-Ashley’s murder of Chris (because, real talk, that is some cold blooded straight up murder happening) is one of the most shocking moments in the entire game… and sort of a major revelatory factor for Ashley as a person. Like I said above, even at their worst characters like Mike still show signs of being decent people. Granted, decent people who let fear cloud their decision making skills, but decent people nonetheless. Sam will always try to rescue her friends and show concern towards Josh’s plight, even if a moment of fear sees her abandon them all at the last second (or, like me, she assumes Mike is going to get out through another door or something and accidentally runs too early the first time >.>), Jess will always show signs of guilt over what happened with the Washington twins, even if Mike assures her she can’t dwell on it, etc. “

But Ashley sort of… doesn’t as much. Like, most of her mandatory narrative shows her expressing signs of guilt, but more in a “I didn’t do it, it’s not my fault” sort of way, which Chris brilliantly calls her out on with his comment, “You looked like you were having fun.”(sic)

I agree that Ashley is the character who swings between actions most dramatically. I think it makes her an interesting character… but maybe the worst person in the group. She’s only unerringly sweet if Chris puts her ahead of all other at every juncture, including himself. She can even beg him to shoot her so that she can “do something for him”, but can still lock him out even after that. Not only that, but it’s not like she was putting herself in any danger when she does it—it’s not like when Matt can push Jessica (ugh) in their final scenario, where it occurs as a reflex out of fear. With Ashley it’s, momentarily, premeditated. Between that and how much of an instigator she can be (‘UNDERSTAND THE PALM OF MY HAND, BITCH’ got cheers in our house), I think Ashley’s moral compass might be the most skewed. My roommate actually loathes her, to the point she said Ashley ranks as one of her least favorite characters in anything. Ever.

-Mike/Sam is pretty great. They’re a surprisingly understated couple, which I actually kind of like. They’ve got a ton of chemistry, but they lack the shoehorned romance angle so many other stories would’ve forced on them. Honestly, I’m not sure who my favorite Mike pair would be. For as much as I love Mike/Sam, I enjoy Mike/Jess (Jessica is such an underrated character), Mike/Chris (they are kind of hilarious together) and maybe even Mike/Josh, just for the hell of it. What I’m basically saying is Mike/Everyone OTP.

-Like I said above, I really like Jessica. I think she’s far too underrated. She has a surprising amount of depth, and her scenes at the end of the game break my heart.

I was going to say 'I'm so glad Matt is there to look after her'

I would say that too… if Matt couldn’t basically use her as a meat shield to try and keep himself alive. Twice, if I recall correctly. The jerk. That being said, I do think Matt and Jess have some chemistry. I also think Jess might try to cling to a romance after the events of the game, in a desperate bid to feel safe and comfortable… but that’s not necessarily a good/healthy thing. Which makes it rich for fic possibilities haha.

thenicochan: (Chris Until Dawn)

[personal profile] thenicochan 2017-06-10 03:21 pm (UTC)(link)

I’m glad! Until Dawn is near and dear to my heart, and I love talking about it in depth.

I always saw any timeline where Sam kills her friends as a moment of thoughtlessness as well. Her flight instinct overriding rational thought. It’s more than a few degrees of separation from how Ashley can throw Chris to the once-human-now-mystically-cannibal wolves. I brought it up with my roommate last night and I think she said it best, “In a world of Matt: be a Sam, not an Ashley.”

Does she genuinely believe what she's saying, and then realise that, whoops, she can't handle him actually shooting her? Is she thinking 'well, he won't actually shoot me, but I'll look good if I say this'? Is she trying to test him?

I think it’s a bit of column A and B, with a smidge of column C for flavor. Ashley’s such a romantic—in the classical, old timey sense of the world—so I think she tries to offer herself up as tribute (which sounds like a reference she would use to try and earn Chris’ favor, hah) because it seems like the right thing to do, though the reality of the fact is… she’s not a fictional character (well, y’know what I mean) and she’s not a hero. Furthermore, she’s not okay not being the #1 priority for Chris (shown with how she has to be practically dragged along to find Sam, whereas Chris will be adamant about finding her even if she snooped through his phone and he was salty to her earlier in the evening).

It’s kind of a startling contrast to Emily, if you think about it. Emily starts off aggressive and haughty, but she’s also fairly honest with her feelings about things—hence her constant complaining—and when push comes to shove will do everything in her power to keep herself alive (and even shows concern about the other characters, like Sam, in the later stages of the story) whereas Ashley begins as a sweet, cute moe-blob only to reveal this extremely vindictive, vicious side and a major reluctance to put herself in danger at the expense of others—to the point of becoming perhaps the most destructive internal force among the group. Well… except Josh, I suppose. Though Josh never intended to actually hurt anyone.


I mean, no one would want fic about Jess and Mike coming together to find comfort in one another after their tragedy, only for Mike to be unable to feel “right” and eventually begin to find what he needs in Sam, while he’s terrified of destroying Jess’ security net and it becomes an extremely viscous cycle of lies and broken spirits and oh MY GOD.

…Yeah, no one would want that. (*coughgiveittomenowcough*)