Shadow of the Colossus isn’t the first video game that begins with a maiden laid out on a stone altar, waiting for you to resurrect her. If you played Zelda II: The Adventure of Link on the NES, it should have been a familiar scene.
This is, of course, just the modern echo of a great many myths and fairy tales. Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, sleeping the slumber of death, both waited to be saved by a young prince. What’s strikingly different about Shadow of the Colossus is the eventual conclusion. For Wander and Mono, there is no salvation, no redemptive defeat of some wicked queen. Instead, there’s gradual corruption and a fall from grace, leading to the edge of a catastrophe, barely averted by the same forces of order that you, the player, have just spent fifteen hours trying to defy.
Read as a fairy tale, Shadow of the Colossus is a surreal revisionist clusterfuck, a wholesale rejection of the picturesque idealism that makes up that Disney fantasy. This is because mass-market fairy tales are pure Romantic ejaculate, unencumbered by historical consciousness or self-awareness. Shadow of the Colossus, on the other hand, is a hero story that’s been contextualized according to the lessons of history. It is not a naïve story of Romanticism’s triumph, but a savvy retelling of its rise and eventual collapse.
“The Death of Romance in the Shadow of the Colossus”, Jesse Miksic
Great article on the history of the "shmup" and the (slightly) changing features that define the genre.
A couple of weeks ago I made a post on writing teenagers, I don’t believe we’ve made a post on child characters recently. So here we go!
Child characters are different to adult characters for several reasons which are stated below. However these differences should make no difference to how you develop your character. A child character has likes and dislikes and both positive and negative traits.
Depending on the age of your child character and the life they have led, they will be more innocent to your adult characters. This does not mean they think that everything is nice and fuzzy but that they aren’t aware of a lot of the evils of the world. You have to be careful how you play innocence, for example I bet most 9/10 year old know exactly what sex is. So think carefully about how you portray this!
Children are naive, this does NOT mean stupid. They have less world experience and have no independence so they haven’t really seen everything in the world. This makes them naive to other cultures other people. How naive they are depends on their age, personality and background.
Children are more impulsive than adults. We learn through making mistakes and children are still learning (aren’t we all). So children are more likely to display impulsive behaviour. This involves saying exactly what they think. Small children of 5/6 don’t really have a dam, they just say what pops into their head.
Children aren’t stupid. In fact you can have a pretty good conversation with a small child and be surprised what they say. But children haven’t learnt as much as adults and their knowledge grows as they do. Intelligence however isn’t just what they know but how they apply it.
Dialogue is where you are going to slip up with your child characters. This could be by making the language too mature or not mature enough. You need to know before you start writing how a child would talk, you may have to do research for this.
It’s hard to remember what we talked like when we were that age so you may need to talk to others, watch some movies with children and read books to see how other authors have portrayed characters of a similar age.
So how do I make my child character realistic?
Research!!! If you know friends or family with young children spend some time with them, see how they interact with others and take special notice to how they speak and what words they use. The wording in dialogue is the kicker in making children realistic.
Think back to when you were a child or look at family videos, how did you act around family? How did you play?
Mibba: Writing Realistic Children
Writing Child Characters for Adults
Writing Realistic Children
Writing from a childs perspective (forum)
Writing from a unique perspective
The voice is the most difficult part of any character development and finding a voice for your child character is even harder. But if you can find the right voice that suits the age of your character then that’s fantastic. Don’t be put off if you don’t get it right in the first few tries, keep trying.I look forward to seeing more children characters in your works :)
Hope this has been useful to some of you!!!
Another useful little tidbit for my fellow rp’ers.
I would say a useful little tidbit for writing in general!
Why Hotline Miami is an Important Game
The case against Zynga: What if EA wins -
I can only hope that EA wins this lawsuit. Though it wouldn’t do much for small indies like me that cannot afford to take on companies with much larger (read: existent) legal budgets, at least it would give some hope that some case can be won against counterfeiters.
Four Ways to Make Better Horror Games
Going Indie: The Story Of Independent Android Game Development From Concept To Completion
I think there’s a fair lot of people so desperate not to take games seriously that they see “fun”where there isn’t any. — Leigh Alexander, Sexy Videogameland