aragorn: (Tell me more)
Blues Drive Monster ([personal profile] aragorn) wrote2012-01-09 07:33 pm

ENDGAME META

Everyone else is doing this on plurk but I'm going to put down this part here, so that it does not get lost within like a week. So, character meta on Erik Lehnsherr and his run in Sabra La Tau. Because I have been waiting SO LONG!! to talk about some of these things.

I APPED ERIK LEHNSHERR BECAUSE... I thought metalbending powers would be cool. '-'

That was at least my initial motivation, back when the trailers were coming out. At the time, I had two normal blanks in Sabra and was idlyyyy sort of thinking of picking up a third, which meant I would need an Ophiuchus. I was thinking of apping Raikou from Tactics, because he would be a delightful fucking troll on that team. But when First Class came out, I just kinda went "...oh no clearly I need to app Magneto instead." I waffled on this a bit since at that time, you had to have your third slot be an Ophiuchus and I knew that Erik would FREAKING HATE OPHIUCHUS. I'd also never played a character who was legitimately on the antagonist side of things. I play a lot of jerks and assholes, but at their core they usually mean well and are usually on the good guys' side, or at least neutral. At the same time though, I really did want to play him and didn't want to drop either of my other two to do it, just to get him on a regular blank team. [personal profile] quixotic had also said she would app Charles, so I just sucked it up and did it.

And I am really glad I did. I was nervous of playing an Ophiuchus because I didn't think I would have the time, or creativity, to play a mid-boss. I had never run mini-game things before, not on that sort of level, and being Ophiuchus meant doing that sort of thing. BUT. Ultimately it became the most tremendously interesting thing, having Erik on the black team. And that's because I knew he would hate it. Once I sat down and worked through the app and considered things, it became really obvious that hey. This could be fun. Let's put him through possibly his worst nightmare and have him slowly realise it. I'm glad I went ahead with it because now I can't really imagine how he would have fared on a regular blank team. In some ways it would have been better for his sanity, but in others it would have been worse.

The concept of playing Erik without his memories was also quite interesting to me. He's very much formed out of his experiences and circumstances, so what happens when you strip that away? What happens when you put him into a situation that is the antithesis of everything he stands for, but without any idea that that's the case? My general feeling on this was '8D'. Because XMFC, to me, reads as a canon where things could have gone differently if they'd been tipped in other directions. I think this is the only fandom I've been in where I legit enjoy AU fanfiction, and stupid dorky modern day AUs, and honestly WEDDING FIC. I never read that crap in my other big fandoms. The 'what if' scenario really appealed to me.

One problem was, of course, the reason why Erik agreed to Sabra in the first place. Sabra La Tau is predicated on the idea that your character came there willingly, that they agreed to their role. Magneto being who he is, it... actually took me a while (AFTER I'd apped) to have a concrete reason for why he accepted when he knew he was walking into a role where he would follow orders. Because ha ha ... ha. This ICly drove him mad, not knowing why he'd agreed to Sabra, and nearly caused Edge to reject Erik Lehnsherr entirely as a bad joke. But I realised that, coming from a later point in time from Charles, I did have a decent reason: the recruiting Judge mentioning that Charles Xavier had already accepted the deal. WHAT ACTUALLY SPURRED HIM is something I left vague, regarding his feelings when he heard that (it could range from decent to absolute asshole reasons), but this was the catalyst I needed to make it FEASIBLE for him to have agreed. And I am happy to say that I never mentioned his reason to anyone until he revealed it ICly, during endgame once he finally remembered everything. EVEN [personal profile] quixotic DID NOT KNOW. I am proud of that in a derp way.

The other thing that I agonised over for... pretty much the entire seven months I played him was: his wish. Obviously he had a wish going in; to liberate all mutants from human fear and cruelty, and blah blah mutant supremacy blah. But from the start I said to myself, "Self, if you get Erik to his good end/the end of the game and he wishes for something OTHER than that, you'll have done a good job." Because a lot of what I played in Sabra was... ultimately wish fulfilment! I DID want to score a happy ending for Erik. I did not want to do this LIGHTLY, I did not want to be That Person who nerfed Magneto and made him dere with like zero reasoning. But I did want it, and it informed a lot of my choices. So in regards to his wish... I did not actually know exactly what he would wish for until last week. I had a variety of options that I thought were likely, but nothing was set in stone and everything was variable right up until endgame. It was difficult to come up with a wish that satisfied both Magneto's original intent and Edge's more current worldview. In the end, Erik essentially wished for something he considers to be The Truth to be broadcast all over the world, and in a Xanatos Gambit move, wished to be sent back to the same point in time as Charles. THAT he rationalises as a necessity, as being from different timelines, Charles going back to an earlier point and using what he knows to do things differently could have erased him, as he is now, from existence. And he rationalised it in the wish itself as wanting to see the effects of what he wished for from the start. But he knew, as well as I did, that what that final part was really about was stopping himself from accidentally shooting Charles.

And what it boils down to is that Erik ended up making (at least partly) a selfish wish. Something he never would have done as his original canon self.

ALL OF THIS WAS QUITE NERVE-WRACKING AT TIMES. Occasionally I would stop and think, my god, what am I doing, this is not IC at all. What if someone randomly comes across my threads and thinks "WOW WHAT A CRAP ERIK LEHNSHERR 8|"? But I got over that because I was enjoying myself and I do not think my decisions were poor ones. His situation was really strange! He remembered killing Shaw WEEKS before he remembered what happened to his mother! I had NO IDEA how much that would alter his perception on events and his rage. I had a rough plan in my head for what Erik would do when he finally remembered the beach. NONE OF THIS GOT FOLLOWED because obviously I couldn't plan out Charles' response. And I just... I loved it all. I loved getting to mess around with his development based on his experiences, and his memories, and the fact that he wasn't a whole person and then a new person, Edge, started forming separate from Erik Lehnsherr. And that person would look at Erik Lehnsherr sometimes and think to himself, "Maybe I don't want to be that person anymore."

I am just so, so grateful and pleased about the things I've been able to do with him. I got to play with some fantastic RPers and made new friendships. I'm so happy that the mods and Judge-runners were OKAY with Erik KILLING GODS and I was ecstatic when his actions landed him right in the middle of the plot and he was a key part of bringing the Judge system down. ERIK LEHNSHERR FOUGHT A GIANT GOD SNAKE AND GOT KIND OF EATEN BUT HE STILL WON!!1 And then I got really emotional when Aeris and Jace and Parrot and Kazuha all told him that he'd done enough and he should let them do the rest and protect him for once and ;^;. The fact that he (grudgingly) has some human friends is just magical. I'm just so lucky in what I've been able to do with him.

I'm super, super lucky to have been able to have [personal profile] quixotic on board with me through this, because I can't imagine how I would have done without her. I DON'T EVEN WANT TO THINK how terribly Erik would have turned out without Charles there in the murdercave to tell him not to be stupid, and help him with things, and in turn be helped. All my hearts ♥♥♥

Do I feel like I played a good Erik Lehnsherr? Not really. Do I feel like I took the concept of Erik Lehnsherr, stripped it back and rebuilt it in new ways thanks to an incredible game environment? Yes. And I think I played 'Edge' very well, for what he was.

As a player I'm sad to let him go because I don't feel 'played out' with him in my mind. But his character arc has come to a close, he helped topple a vicious, unjust system and he escaped the end of a world. He's going home to rewrite his own universe and live in that stupid fluffy derp AU with Charles and no one is telling me otherwise. If there are opportunities for sandboxing I'll take them, and if CFUD ever does fourth wall again you can bet I'll do that too. But I am happy with the ending he's getting.

And no one can tell me an ending where Professor X and Magneto have sex in space aboard the USS Enterprise isn't amazing. Fuck yeah.

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