Modern characters

FC Groningen

New member
Apr 1, 2009
224
0
0
I was just responding in a topic regarding mostly Japanese Visual Novels in which I spouted some hatred around regarding typical Japanese characters and exclaiming I'd prefer more Western orientated visual novels.

Yet, while I wrote that, I just realised that I'm completely fed up with most Western orientated characters as well. This extends not just to video games, but movies and series as well and I was wondering whether the community feels the same, which characters they like and/or what makes a good character.

Typical Western characters I hate:
- The standard bad ass GI Joe character you'll find in "modern shooters", war movies and TV series. "You don't fuck with me, I'm a one man army that occasionally bangs available women since I'm that wanted. Long live *insert nation here which is usually the USA*.

- The womanizer/douche of which his entire life is revolved around sex. Californication or anything Charlie Sheen does comes to mind.

- Righteous/holier than thou types that are mostly concerned that others aren't doing it the way (s)he does. Suits, House and crime fighting series come to mind here.

For women:

- The slut that can only influence the story in 2 ways. Seducing others and dragging others down with them. Laurie of the Walking dead, too many female characters in Game of Thrones and any female character in Rome comes to mind.

- The "strong" woman that loses all personality once she gets fucked or perhaps even kissed once. The standard Bond girls and the standard love interest in games come to mind.


Characters I personally like:

Lee and Clementine of the Walking Dead. Your average citizens that remain human during their entire screen time.

Any male character in Rome. I'm a sucker for historical characters, but I like the political intrigue, the battles, the charm. Especially the guy that plays Julius Ceasar seems to have a natural charisma.

Phoenix Wright. Sense of humor, good at what he does but remains humble.

Lyndis of Fire Emblem 7. Strong independent woman that doesn't need overcompensating to be depicted "bad ass".

Bilbo Baggins of the Hobbit. Simple "man" that would travel the world for the sake of friends. Basically anyone in the Lord of the Rings universe acts because he has to, instead of doing things because he just feels like it. Very old fashioned of me perhaps, but I prefer the former.


So, in general, I prefer humble down to earth characters with a sense of humor I suppose. Perhaps I'm raising the bar too high, but I personally feel it's time developers would seek past these stereotypes. Question that remains of course is whether how much the community feels the same and what makes a good character according to you.
 

God'sFist

New member
May 8, 2012
523
0
0
On the subject of good characters I suppose I'm a little strange. You see I like characters (read protagonists) mostly faceless. My best example is Kirito from SAO. He doesn't seem to have any personality other than I am a good gamer and I use my skills to survive. Other characters I can't help but like are Link, Samus, every prisoner in TES, and to a lesser degree Shepered. Maybe it's just my love of RPGs that makes me like those characters or maybe I'm spoiled and am not tired of any character stereotypes. Perhaps people are focusing too much on stereotypes and not the story being told, I mean most stories have the same characters but have a much different world or place to explore.

But if I had too I'd say the only characters that I dislike period are Tsundere and the I only want to have sex characters you come across every now and then one more so than the other.
 

FC Groningen

New member
Apr 1, 2009
224
0
0
The silent protagonists? Yeah, I don't have a problem with those either, although sometimes I figure it's just lazy game design as well.
 

Zhukov

The Laughing Arsehole
Dec 29, 2009
13,768
0
41
I've found that I don't much care for the arrogant guy who treats everyone like crap, but gets away with because he really is just that good at everything archetype. Think Tony Stark. I don't mind characters being justifiably self-assured to the point of arrogance, but they damn well better be affable about it.

As for characters I do like, I've always had a soft spot for the stoic, loyal subordinate who's in way over their head. Think Samwise Gamgee.
 

Silvanus

Elite Member
Legacy
Jan 15, 2013
7,482
3,092
118
Country
United Kingdom
I really dislike characters who seem super-capable, who have every angle figured out, who know exactly what to do and act in an arrogant manner about it. It only really bothers me when it's the hero (or someone otherwise meant to be cool), because then there's the implication that we're supposed to be impressed, like them, or otherwise excuse them for their douchebaggery. Examples include Leto II Atreides, a few characters from the Foundation series, and a good number of film heroes.

A character type I love, though, is the professional, mega-stoic, stops-at-nothing type. I don't know why exactly. Think Stannis Baratheon, the Salamanca twins from Breaking Bad, Auron from FFX, Tyekanik from Children of Dune.
 

FC Groningen

New member
Apr 1, 2009
224
0
0
Hmm wouldn't fall Auron in your first "super capable who have every angle figured out" group?
 

Timeless Lavender

Lord of Chinchilla
Feb 2, 2015
197
0
0
I liked characters that are arrogant but have a sense of humour or are self aware like Death from Darksiders , Dante from DMC (Not DmC) and Bayonetta .I also liked stoic types liked Auron from Final Fantasy 10 and Agent 47 from Hitman series. Furthermore, I also liked characters that are charismatic like Balthier from Final Fantasy 12.


I really hate characters who are quiet and have no emotion or those typical Duke Nukem/Kratos "Anti heros" that have no redeeming factors in terms of their personality. I also love to hate the overly cheery girls that just looked cute and does nothing.
 

visiblenoise

New member
Jul 2, 2014
395
0
0
I come to terms with this by realizing that most of these things we're looking at is entertainment, and the people who make entertainment aim for fun. Assholes who are assholes in just the right ways are fun to many people, just like junk food. Yes, this entertainment is maturing, but that is where it came from.
 

Maximum Bert

New member
Feb 3, 2013
2,149
0
0
I dont think there is any broad type of character I dislike or like I just tend to judge them on a case by case basis. There is obviously some formulae but I have never been bothered to figure it out seems kind of pointless ill know whether I like a certain character when the time comes.

I have stayed away from certain characters before because something about them struck me the wrong way usually because of certain ingrained dispositions and then when I do see the characters in their world and setting I have in some cases actually liked them.
 

CrystalShadow

don't upset the insane catgirl
Apr 11, 2009
3,829
0
0
God said:
But if I had too I'd say the only characters that I dislike period are Tsundere and the I only want to have sex characters you come across every now and then one more so than the other.
What the hell do you have against tsundere you jerk! Wait, wait, that came out wrong uhm... I uh... ~runs away~


(lol. sorry. Couln't resist an opening like that... XD)

I don't know. I try not to get too caught up in character archetypes really. Some are kind of groan-worthy, and some are so horrible you'd avoid them like the plague if they were real people, but... They can still be interesting in the context of a story...
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
Legacy
Jul 18, 2009
17,907
2,292
118
I can't tell from one character to the next if I'm going to like them or not. Sometimes I like the quiet type (Ryan Gosling in Drive), sometimes I hate the quiet type (Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Godzilla).

As for character types I don't like most if not all of the time... The smarmy, smart-mouthed, look-how-much-I-don't-give-a-shit hipster. So basically everyone from the Scott Pilgrim movie except for Knives.
 

thedoclc

New member
Jun 24, 2008
445
0
0
FC Groningen said:
~Snip~

Typical Western characters I hate:
- The standard bad ass GI Joe character you'll find in "modern shooters", war movies and TV series. "You don't fuck with me, I'm a one man army that occasionally bangs available women since I'm that wanted. Long live *insert nation here which is usually the USA*.

- The womanizer/douche of which his entire life is revolved around sex. Californication or anything Charlie Sheen does comes to mind.

- Righteous/holier than thou types that are mostly concerned that others aren't doing it the way (s)he does. Suits, House and crime fighting series come to mind here.

For women:

- The slut that can only influence the story in 2 ways. Seducing others and dragging others down with them. Laurie of the Walking dead, too many female characters in Game of Thrones and any female character in Rome comes to mind.

- The "strong" woman that loses all personality once she gets fucked or perhaps even kissed once. The standard Bond girls and the standard love interest in games come to mind.


~Snip~
Slut-shaming aside, the problem is the media you choose to consume. These "problematic" characters aren't new. By modern, I think you mean, "I've been annoyed with this lately."

In the last few weeks, and limiting myself to video games, the protagonists have been:
A beleaguered Mexican psychopomp trapped in a parody of a nasty sales office
A writer caught in his own novel who realizes he's essentially a complete jerk
A ghost haunting a house where another writer, his wife, and his kid struggle to put together his book, the boy's life, and their marriage
A really unlucky survivor of a plane crash, stuck in the Canadian wilderness
A native Alaskan girl and a magical fox
A spoiled rich kid trapped on an island of pirates who loses his goddamn mind in the bloodbath that follows
A take-down of the bad-ass GI Joe who may well be stuck in Hell because he self-righteously assumed he knew what he was doing and wiped out thousands of people as a result

So yeah, if something bothers you, find media that fit your taste better.
 

FC Groningen

New member
Apr 1, 2009
224
0
0
To be honest, I picked shows I really didn't like but are known to a larger audience. The Walking dead series only appealed to me a short while which was because of the vastly superior video game. I completely agree on the sentiment though and partially I hoped to see suggestions of shows/games and characters as well.

While reading your titles, quite some of these protagonists seem like they could have been created by Stephen King. What are the titles of these games by chance?

edit: With modern, I meant the types of characters that are usually depicted in most popular modern media like the games Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed and Uncharted, HBO (like) series and apparantly quite some recent movies (haven't seen many except for the Hobbit).
 

happyninja42

Elite Member
Legacy
May 13, 2010
8,577
2,937
118
FC Groningen said:
snip

So, in general, I prefer humble down to earth characters with a sense of humor I suppose. Perhaps I'm raising the bar too high, but I personally feel it's time developers would seek past these stereotypes. Question that remains of course is whether how much the community feels the same and what makes a good character according to you.
What you are tired of, are the over used tropes in media. There is sadly, no real solution for this issue, other than finding source material that doesn't rely so heavily on these tropes, or uses them properly.

I did a thread like this a while ago, about character types you hate, so I will happily repeat some of them. xD

Teh Gurl With Teh Super Uber Secret That Must NEVER Be Known: She's running from some Dark Past (or a past that she thinks is dark), something that has her wracked with so much guilt, she's literally reinvented herself in a new location, and lives in this constant state of suspended terror that someone around her knows her secret, or will find it out. So she is hyper paranoid, lies with about every word she speaks, will cheat, steal, and do pretty much anything to the people around her, including her new friends, and it's ok, because it's all to maintain her "good persona" in this new city. She is certain that everyone will shun her and cast her out of the city, tossing stones and rotten fruit at her if they learn her secret (this almost never actually happens when her secret is revealed, because her new friends truly love her), and she is certain that she is some horrible, terrible person that is unfit for human company.
I...loathe...this character type. And the sad thing is I seem to see it all the time.

The grizzled, wounded soldier archetype, that can only be healed by finding that one True Wuv woman, who can heal his soul pain with her Magic Vagina.

The Doormouse Woman, who is meek and timid, but is loved by someone powerful, rich, wildly independent, who can sweep her up into a Cinderella story of rags to riches. Basically your typical Mary Sue, this character is in, well, just about every romance story ever. Whoever the woman in 50 Shades is, is this character.

The Ryan Reynolds character. Because it's based on Ryan Reynolds. You know the type I'm talking about, that type can die in a fire.

Characters I Like:

Strong, well balanced female characters. They don't have to be perfect, they don't have to be the main protagonist, but well developed, 3 dimensional female characters. Kitara and Toph from Last Airbender, Ripley from Aliens, in fact, just about any character Sigourney Weaver has played. They've got flaws, they've got fears, but they also have determination, and a willingness to stand up to threats to protect those around them.

Lighthearted, playful characters that aren't over the top. Wash from Firefly is an example of this. Characters who see life with a positive lens, but aren't dilated to the Joy Zone 24/7. They look for the humor whenever they can, but they don't let it stop them from being serious if they need it.
 

God'sFist

New member
May 8, 2012
523
0
0
CrystalShadow said:
God said:
But if I had too I'd say the only characters that I dislike period are Tsundere and the I only want to have sex characters you come across every now and then one more so than the other.
What the hell do you have against tsundere you jerk! Wait, wait, that came out wrong uhm... I uh... ~runs away~


(lol. sorry. Couln't resist an opening like that... XD)

I don't know. I try not to get too caught up in character archetypes really. Some are kind of groan-worthy, and some are so horrible you'd avoid them like the plague if they were real people, but... They can still be interesting in the context of a story...
You can make any character archetype good by putting a little effort into your writing. But tsundere get to be pretty irritating if you watch allot of anime. Seriously it's like every show has to have one. But in any case its not like I haven't come across a few that I liked granted they had more to them than just being tsundere.

By the way that was a good joke very funny made me laugh.

Captcha: in spades

Even captcha agrees.
 

Darth Rosenberg

New member
Oct 25, 2011
1,288
0
0
Forgive me for sounding slightly dismissive, but... I don't really see a point to the original post; it just looks like a list of characters you subjectively do and subjectively don't like. So, er, yay for you?

I could say I agree with the sentiment that writers need to push the boat out a little further, but archetypes exist because they offer a shorthand connection to familiar cultural ideas and tensions. We can't have a narrative culture where every character is something 'new' or a subversion of an archetype (which forever remains bound to the archetype which spawned it, ergo the archetype is still utterly relevant cultural currency).

If we're going for random subjective posts, then I'd say: 'good' characters - and narrative - can be found everywhere and in all forms. Great stories can be told with archetypes (either embraced wholly or subverted in various ways), as well as those who may not fit neatly into tropey boxes. An archetype doesn't mean they'll be shallow, nor does a rejection of those ideas result in anything with essential merit in and of itself.

...so I guess my point is: I don't care about tropes or archetypes. If something's well written [to me], it has value [to me]. And perhaps, above all, I care about one thing: variety. Our society needs stories about the mundane and relatable small people, and the OTT icons/archetypes - it all reflects on who we are, what we want, what we fear, etc.

As a feminist I'd particularly like to see more diverse female roles/characters/stories, but that's a whole 'nother topic (obvious disclaimer is obvious: no, Sarkeesian doesn't speak for me... feminists can and do disagree and agree about different stuff).

Lara Croft from nu-Tomb Raider received some flak, but I think she's a great example of a well written character which both evolves and embraces their iconic cultural value. Showing my Whedon bias, Buffy Summers is another obvious example of it done right; she represents a desire to subvert the overused misogyny of certain horror/genre films (where screaming blonde teen females are served up to be brutalised), but she was allowed to be a nuanced character in her own right - her identity was not defined by a bland, self-conscious concept about archetypes.

So, I'd it's possible to have the best of 'both' worlds. You just need people who actually truly care about the characters they're writing for.
 

FC Groningen

New member
Apr 1, 2009
224
0
0
Darth Rosenberg said:
Forgive me for sounding slightly dismissive, but... I don't really see a point to the original post; it just looks like a list of characters you subjectively do and subjectively don't like. So, er, yay for you?

I could say I agree with the sentiment that writers need to push the boat out a little further, but archetypes exist because they offer a shorthand connection to familiar cultural ideas and tensions. We can't have a narrative culture where every character is something 'new' or a subversion of an archetype (which forever remains bound to the archetype which spawned it, ergo the archetype is still utterly relevant cultural currency).

If we're going for random subjective posts, then I'd say: 'good' characters - and narrative - can be found everywhere and in all forms. Great stories can be told with archetypes (either embraced wholly or subverted in various ways), as well as those who may not fit neatly into tropey boxes. An archetype doesn't mean they'll be shallow, nor does a rejection of those ideas result in anything with essential merit in and of itself.

...so I guess my point is: I don't care about tropes or archetypes. If something's well written [to me], it has value [to me]. And perhaps, above all, I care about one thing: variety. Our society needs stories about the mundane and relatable small people, and the OTT icons/archetypes - it all reflects on who we are, what we want, what we fear, etc.

As a feminist I'd particularly like to see more diverse female roles/characters/stories, but that's a whole 'nother topic (obvious disclaimer is obvious: no, Sarkeesian doesn't speak for me... feminists can and do disagree and agree about different stuff).

Lara Croft from nu-Tomb Raider received some flak, but I think she's a great example of a well written character which both evolves and embraces their iconic cultural value. Showing my Whedon bias, Buffy Summers is another obvious example of it done right; she represents a desire to subvert the overused misogyny of certain horror/genre films (where screaming blonde teen females are served up to be brutalised), but she was allowed to be a nuanced character in her own right - her identity was not defined by a bland, self-conscious concept about archetypes.

So, I'd it's possible to have the best of 'both' worlds. You just need people who actually truly care about the characters they're writing for.
I admit I pushed the actual questions to the very bottom of the original post, but I'm genuinely curious about the community's favorite characters and what makes a good or bad character according to them. As you stated, it's just my sentiment that these stereotypes just seem to flood the market lately, although I fortunately see some people agreeing with me here.