Poll: Is John Marston an enduring, iconic character?

Podunk

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I was considering putting together a cosplay outfit for some cons I'm going to later this year. I know it's a big expense and a lot of trouble though, so I don't want to go through all that for something that won't be relevant in the years to come.

In your opinion, is John Marston an enduring, iconic, recognizable character? Why or why not?
 

tippy2k2

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Note: I played some of RDR but I did not care for it so take what I say with that in mind...

I would say No, he's not an iconic character. I did a quick Google image search for him to see what exactly he wears and what makes him different than a generic cowboy costume and I've gotta say...I didn't see much.

I suppose one could say that about a lot of character costumes like Nathan Drake or Lara Croft but the big advantage that they have is that they have both had multiple games for gamers to really get people used to their designs and what they wear. John Marston is not going to have that luxury. He got one game and unless something drastic changes, he's only ever going to have one game.
 

Zhukov

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Define "iconic" in your own words.

Because I'm not entirely certain that that word means what you think it means.

He's iconic in the sense that he conforms to the traditional cowboy character archetype. He's a tough, gruff, somewhat laconic, no-nonsense gunslinger who slings guns, rides horses and wears a hat. He could easily have been played by Clint Eastwood.

I'm not so sure that he iconic in the sense of being the quintessential video game cowboy. If only because there aren't that many video game cowboys around.

Recognizable? Uhh... sure? I mean, I recognize him. Damn near anyone who's played the game will recognize him. If you mean recognizable in wider culture then no, fuck no. He's utterly unknown outside of gaming.

Enduring? No, not really. When it comes to video game characters, longevity is based at least somewhat on reoccurrence. Lara Croft is iconic at least in part because she just keeps bloody coming back. She stays fresh in the memory. Same with, say, Mario, who has been getting games for like 30 years now. Mr Marston got one game and presumably isn't going to be getting another. He'll be forgotten along with his one game. Red Dead Redemption was a passable game I suppose, sold well, reviewed well and all that, but it was hardly an unforgettable classic that will loom over the medium for many years to come like, say, Doom was.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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Yes, but I think what makes him iconic isn't necessarily perceptible from a design viewpoint. At first glance he looks like any other cowboy. He has that scar on his face, but it's not something that makes him stand out that much either. What sets him aside are his story and the guy that voiced him. I think these really sold the character. Design-wise? Just another cowboy. And I'm fine with that.
 

Silentpony_v1legacy

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Well I actually have to look up who you meant, even though I played Red Dead Redemption. Given the fact I played that game a good deal, and John left so little an impact on me I had totally forgotten him, I'm going with no...
 

Prime_Hunter_H01

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I would say yes in a gaming culture sense, because RDR was well loved by many and I am sure that years from now he'd be recocnizable if you gave a screenshot or said "Remember John Marston or Red Dead Redemption". Though like others have said, what makes him recognizable is that he is also the classic cowboy and while I thought as a character he did well to distinguish himself, an attempt at Cosplay would just make people see a Cowboy and not John.
 

Casual Shinji

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Outside of his actual ingame model, he looks just like every other cowboy. So in the cosplay department I'd say no, unless you really bare a striking resemblance to him, or walk around with a big sign that says 'I'm John Marston'.
 

Fox12

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I wouldn't consider him the quintessential, enduring American Cowboy. In a cultural sense, I would have to say no. Will we remember him like we do Dracula, or Hercules, or even Clint Eastwoods Man with no Name? Or Link, Mario, or Sephiroth? I don't think so, not really.

Is he recognizeable though? For a con, yeah, absolutely. He's not bad, just not the best. Even six years from now, I'm sure there will be people who remember the character. If you like the character then go for it, why not? Besides, picking a less well known character will mean that you'll avoid getting lost in the sea of Master Chiefs in the world.
 

Podunk

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Fox12 said:
Is he recognizeable though? For a con, yeah, absolutely. He's not bad, just not the best. Even six years from now, I'm sure there will be people who remember the character. If you like the character then go for it, why not? Besides, picking a less well known character will mean that you'll avoid getting lost in the sea of Master Chiefs in the world.
Yeah, I guess what I really meant is do people think he's recognizable and memorable enough.
 

Zaeseled

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I've never played RDR, but after looking some screenshots he looks pretty generic, you could try and put on some robot parts and say you're cosplaying as that cowboy from Overwatch?
 

Hero of Lime

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I would say Red Dead Redemption is certainly more iconic than John Marston himself. I feel like more people could name the game and say it was made by Rockstar. However, if you asked that same bunch of people, they would have a harder time naming the main character.

So I can't call him that iconic. I know who he is and what he looks like despite not having played the game, but that's only because I pay attention to games more than the average person who knows less about gaming overall. That being said, it's a popular game, so you will probably get recognized more than you think. I've gone to a few conventions dressed as the male protagonist of Pokemon Black and White, not really an iconic game character, but I was stopped for a bunch of pictures and people recognized me nonetheless.
 

Lavaeolus

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So obviously he's no Mario, and his visual design isn't much to look at (it's not just that it's simple -- overcomplicate a design and it'll be less "iconic", because I won't remember half of it -- but it's been done before). Still, he's fairly well-known as a good example of characterization, plot, all that jazz. And I expect he'll be known as an example for a fair amount of time.

He hasn't really penetrated pop culture and isn't a name I'd expect most of my friends to immediately know, but in my gaming circles if I mention him I think most will know vaguely "oh he's that cowboy bloke, right?" at least. He's not someone truly obscure, like Tin Star.

Imagine a big scale, rather than a "iconic or not" state. Marston's fairly middling, not that high, but he's made some impression.
 

misfit119

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Whenever someone asks this question I like to think to myself about what makes for a good cosplay. Typically I'd say it's someone with a visual aesthetic that really grabs the eye (even if it's not great it gets the people to notice it) and / or a person with the right personality that really sells the character. Marston has personality which is great for the game itself but as far as cosplay goes? That visual aesthetic is "A cowboy" and that's about it and there's no real way to project "John Marston" unless you can imitate his voice really good.

As far as him being iconic? No. RDR might be a hell of a game and some people (not I) may think every game Rockstar releases has the greatest story since ever but Marston is a fairly weak protagonist. He has an emotional storyline going on in the back of the game involving his family but he spends most of the game simply being ordered about. It's not even like in most Rockstar games where the protagonist takes it upon himself to do things, Marston spends almost the entire game just doing as he's told like a good lil boy, whether it's for farmers or rebel generals he's just a tool to be used by all the varied people in the west. I doubt he'll be thought of much in years to come. I'm sure that RDR the game and possibly even Dead Man's Gun will endure in the public memory for far longer than Marston himself.
 

laggyteabag

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Iconic? No.

I remember him, sure, but I remember a lot of random characters from much less popular games too. The way I determine if something is iconic or not is if someone who has never played the game knows who the character is.

Characters like Mario, Link, and the Master Chief are all iconic in my eyes, and to some extent so are Kratos and Commander Shepard, but John Marston? I wouldn't say so.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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misfit119 said:
RDR might be a hell of a game and some people (not I) may think every game Rockstar releases has the greatest story since ever but Marston is a fairly weak protagonist.
Every game Rockstar releases? This is the only one that comes close to having a good story.
 

Rebel_Raven

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Iconic to me, yes? Recognizable to me? Yes.
All around, he's one of the few male protagonists I like. He helped make the game enjoyable, though the interesting world around him didn't hurt either.

But unless you get that beard, and scar going, you'll probably be some cowpoke that won't get recognized, aside from the fact RDR is about the only western game in recent history, and people might guess the cosplay just for that.
 

Lavaeolus

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I don't know if it's worth focusing so much on visuals, here. They're are other ways to be iconic. You're bound to notice someone walking 'round in a giant GLaDOS suit (not the most practical cosplay, I'm sure), but ultimately it's less her look that's iconic and more her voice.

Not sure if you could just go around doing Marston's voice when cosplaying, admittedly.
 

Loop Stricken

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Podunk said:
In your opinion, is John Marston an enduring, iconic, recognizable character? Why or why not?
Well, when I read the thread title, my immediate thought was "Who the shit is John Marston?" so I guess that answers that.