Game Character Evaluation

Spyro

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Character – Spyro

Game – Spyro the Dragon Series – specifically ‘Spyro The Dragon’ (1998)

Game Description – The intention of the game is to play via the character of Spyro and free other dragons around the world they live from their prisons and defeat Gnasty Gnorc.

Why This Character – This character is the protagonist of one of the biggest video games for Playstation 1 – A breakthrough console for casual video gaming. He’s an iconic character immediately recognisable on par with other characters such as Mario and Luigi from the Nintendo consoles. Also a character that most gamers have heard of through their initial first experiences with video games – being a character/from a game aimed at younger players most of whom now adults.

Characters Role – Protagonist of the series and the character that the players assume the role of when joining the game. Their role in the game is to defeat the antagonist along a story timeline in the game.

Relationship With Characters – The character of Spyro has various relationships with other characters such as siblings with Sparx the Dragonfly and enemies with Gnasty Gnorc. He’s generally a likable character.

Personal Appeal – The appeal to players of this game towards Spyro is his reliability. He was designed to be bratty and unpredictable, but likable and cute which connects with mainly the younger players of this game. It made him a character that acted much like the people/friends around the player, connecting on a personal level.

How The Character Influences Gameplay – The character influences gameplay as the main character, determined and loyal to his cause to defeat the antagonist and rescue his friends. Without this determination, you can’t imagine the game being taken in the way it was.

Dr. Neo Cortex

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Character – Dr. Neo Cortex

Game – Crash Bandicoot (1996)

Game Description – Primarily the games purpose is to assume the role of the Protagonist, Crash Bandicoot, and save his girlfriend, Tawna, from evil Dr. Cortex. Throughout the game you have to complete a series of levels defeating henchmen and other threats in order to reach Dr. Neo Cortex and rescue the protagonist’s girlfriend.

Why This Character – I chose Dr. Neo Cortex because he’s one of the most recognisable early antagonists in video games (specifically PS1).

Characters Role – His role isn’t seen as much as the main (protagonist character), however without him there’d be no plot. His role is to capture Crash’s girlfriend and hold her in his castle while commanding several threats to pursue Crash, holding him off from reaching his goal.

Relationship With Characters – In the game Crash Bandicoot has a girlfriend, Tawna – the driving force causing him to pursue the antagonist, Dr. Neo Cortex, his enemy.

Personal Appeal – The personal appeal of a character like Dr. Neo Cortex is his cliché, stereotypical evil persona that stands as a classic video game villain. He’s evil, but likable because his ways aren’t reflective of any real life events that might perhaps touch sensitive issues in the players’ lives.

How The Character Influences Gameplay – The character influences the game as the provocation for crash to pursue the journey to save another character. Without this character, there’d be no game.

Alice Lidell

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Character – Alice Lidell

Game – Alice: Madness Returns (2012)

Game Description – The game follows the character of Alice as she spirals into madness after the death of her parents and admittance into a psychiatric ward. Her story tells us she then goes to an orphanage, at which she falls back into Wonderland (as it’s a sequel to the original 2000 game set one year later) and has to defeat evil within to discover the truth about her past. Wonderland appears to be her fictional mental equivalent to her reality, perhaps making reality easier to deal with while tackling the situation alternatively.

Why This Character – I chose this character because she’s different from other protagonist characters that often have a past but not necessarily as truthful or traumatic as Alice. Through her odd history, I feel like Alice’s character is a strong one with striking sympathy from the players and having an emotional connection – as opposed to other characters with an over the top background and connections to reality that stand a little too farfetched. Alice’s character has ties to reality with mental illness, abuse, and the loss of family members.

Characters Role – The character is the protagonist and her role is to defeat the evil forces within Wonderland, uncovering her own truths and becoming at peace with herself. Her role is to tell the story to the player through a series of battles, challenges, and obstacles.

Relationship With Characters – Her relationships with other characters are complicated and twisted – character she thought were friend turn out to be foe, and those she didn’t think she could trust become her allies, specifically with the character of Dr. Bumby – the antagonist of the story. He appears trust worthy in the beginning and not as a typical antagonist. His true intentions are revealed in the end with the help of Wonderland – Alice’s mental escape from her reality – as the one who caused the fire that killed her family and his intentions of keeping Alice from ever remembering through hypnotism. Another character is the queen of hearts – who Alice discovers is the wonderland equivalent of her sister, Lizzie, who died a year before in the fire.

Personal Appeal – The personal appeal comes back to my reason of ‘Why this character?’ Alice is a relatable character telling her story through fantasy settings but metaphorically fighting her cause in the real world. Many conclusions can be made about Alice through the game, that she has a mental illness, that she is being abused by Dr. Bumby, and she is now an orphan. These are all relatable characteristic that trigger sympathy and likability with players, making Alice a great character and boosting her personal appeal.

How The Character Influences Gameplay – The character influences gameplay as the character whose story is being told. You play a set path in this story overcoming all challenges to move on. Upon moving on you uncover more and more about Alice. She influences gameplay by being the main subject/story of the game.

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