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Messages - IronSoul

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Flipside Discussion / Re: Chapter 46: Discussion
« on: August 06, 2016, 06:07:06 pm »
Warden's always been fair and sometimes more than fair--she's just been fair in terms of the legitimate rules and consequences of the Colosseum. When Bernadette was ranked as a D for not fighting, that was her own fault. When she let Polly do the work, or the D Rank teammates, that was also Bern's fault. When Bern was set up for a slaughter match, she tried to at least give Bern a ghost of a chance to push through. Realistically, the entire mess Bern's been in--up until now--has been her own mistakes.

However, the administrator got greedy and tried to force Bern into indenturing herself further into the system, because of no fault of her own, and quite the opposite.

That's why Warden interjected now on Bern's behalf, and why she's always been fair.

Flipside Discussion / Re: Chapter 45: discussion
« on: April 28, 2016, 08:37:30 pm »
I agree that Crest has a point about Halcyon's behavior being a little fishy. That's fine, but, correct me if I'm wrong, but does any of this really suggest or prove that Suspria could be innocent, either?

Flipside Discussion / Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
« on: September 22, 2015, 10:42:07 pm »
One crazy thought I haven't seen anyone voice. Someone suggested that these tests could take place in the mind...but if that's true, is it possible that perhaps crazed individuals like Suspria are those that were also talked or coerced into going into the dark cell, and went insane as a result? I'm probably wrong and it's probably more than that, but it was something that occurred to me.

Hall of Games / Re: Corrupt A Wish
« on: July 06, 2015, 11:37:04 pm »
Granted, but ink gets spilled on them, obscuring all the naughty bits of your characters.

I wish posts would come here faster.

There can be only 1

Flipside Discussion / Re: Chapter 43: Discussion
« on: May 22, 2015, 11:22:43 am »
^ I kind of agree. I also don't see the point of Polly being here; all she did so far was made her look bad. And if I remember correctly, it was Polly who insisted she took this route (Colosseum). So if anything I despise Polly more.  I hope somewhere along the line this will all make sense though. I am curious what is going to happen with that "deal". I have a feeling that this is not going to be it for Bern.

If I remember correctly, Polly advocated the Colosseum, but the Enforcers also made it a condition if Polly were to take half of Bern's marks.

But I don't really agree that it's a fair place. They allow super enchanted weapons and sorcery. The "aptitude test" was about using your shitty old school weapon to stand up to this super enchanted chain thing. Old school weapon means you automatically go into C/D rank or get killed cause you stand no chance against Warden (see first guy who attacked vs. Polly with her fancy magic ball).
So from this point of view Bern's swords are really not overpowered, she just received the proper weapons for this place.

That's true, though the use of enchanted weapons could also speak, in part, of the business at large. Flashy, powerful weapons in the hands of vicious warriors probably gets more paying customers than three common criminals going at it. Most people with a common weapon probably have less marks to pay than someone with such a dangerous weapon as well. It's harsh on C and D ranked "common" criminals, but it would also largely discourage crime, wouldn't it?

But to consider your argument from your perspective...perhaps fair is not the optimal word. The Colosseum has the prison feel with the poor beds and the barred cells, at least for the D rank "quarters", but nothing else to really suggest this is a brutal place to be outside of the arena. I doubt it's comfortable, but it's not a special kind of brutal that gives Bern a reason to really hate this place outside of "I don't want to fight for the amusement of others", thing. It's not sinister enough, if that's a better word. Something like this to portray Bern as the justified hero needs more brutality in their treatment, or skeletons in the closet. Think about The Running Man, as an example, if anyone remembers that now.

Flipside Discussion / Re: Chapter 43: Discussion
« on: May 22, 2015, 07:10:35 am »
Guys, I'm not sure I can keep reading this comic. I should be thrilled for Bern, but... I'm not.

I'm not really cheering for the other guy, either, because he's a bully. I just plain hate this battle, and that it's dragging on like this.

I don't blame you. I don't think this chapter is necessarily a mistake, though. This chapter definitely has a "monty hall" feel, but that's not unheard of in a comic book series, and an enchanted weapon  or artifact alluded to earlier in a story is common in fantasy. Normally it results in a very powerful, impressive presentation, and it can be against overwhelming odds, its supposed to be satisfying as we cheer the character on, and wish to see more of the weapon/artifact/tool can do, where we can then see more of its strengths and how they compliment the fighter, or if we take a more storybook route, its weaknesses, or what happens should the fighter rely on them too much. These are all viable options in the Flipside-verse, right now.

So why is this not flashy and fun? That's ultimately, at least in my opinion, the biggest point to showing off such weapons, unless the point is to create such a contrast with crippling weakness later. Why is The Indomitable Blades, part II, such a "tedious, dragging on scene" when so many people wanted to get to the fight, already?

Because The Indomitable Blades, part I, did one of the worst things it possibly could to a protagonist: it made her unlikeable. (Edit: Just a warning guys, this is insanely long)

The naive protagonist is not a new concept, not even close. There are tons of characters like that, and many of them quite successful; consider ironic characters like Frodo Baggins or Luke Skywalker. When it came to the world beyond their own, both of them were ultimately clueless, or naive, or both. That's not to say a competent character can't be important; someone like Aragorn could fit this bill quite nicely. I don't think even combining the two is necessarily a problem. I think a lot of us felt really bad for Bern when she was begging for directions on the streets of Marvallo, scowled at the high price of healing and the healer's crass treatment of both her and the father, and some of us probably cheered when she whipped out her blades and asserted her own dominance. I'm sure some people were critical, or didn't get why Bern would do so much for a drunk that she barely knew, but I remember the reception to what Bern did at least being, overall, positive.

But then we get to the Colosseum, and here's where it becomes a problem. The thing with the earlier example in Marvallo is that Bern was, ultimately, treated unfairly by a cruel, uncaring world. Legality won over morality, or at least, the reader's perception of morality. However, in the arena itself, Bern refuses to fight because of her own perception of morality. To fight simply to entertain and earn her freedom is something she refuses to do. Still fine so far, fits the naive, albeit technically competent protagonist.

However, there are two very, very, big problems with this. One is the fact that Blackbird is here, period. This makes Bern's desire to not fight, at all costs, come off as extremely selfish, not just in terms of being a bad teammate, although that is certainly there, but also because of the fact that she ultimately is taking the stance that by not fighting, she is putting herself and her moralities above every single fighter in the fighter in the Colosseum, including the woman who sacrificed her freedom to mitigate Bernadette's punishment. The second problem, and ultimately, the bigger problem, is the fact that the Colosseum comes off as...pretty fair, honestly. Yes, when we're introduced, it was portrayed as a place in the middle of transition, with a leader that used to enjoy raping women, with several protestors lining up against them, but beyond that, on screen, what has the Colosseum done that's actually wrong? Bern didn't fight the warden during her application, and let her teammates do all the work, so they didn't want to give Bern a chance to fight for her freedom (not even that bad, they just placed heavy restrictions on her right to fight and cancelled her fights for that week), because she refused to fight in the first place. Those are pretty reasonable consequences for Bern's actions. No one's being unfair in this situation, really, but Bern.

Then we get to "the talk" with Bernadette and Warden. Warden is fair, and realizes Bern is a much better fighter than she is, but lacks the "warrior's spirit", or at least, the warrior's spirit as fits the arena. Long story short, she gives Bernadette an ultimatum, Bern accepts, and allows Polly to once again throw herself under the bus for our protagonist. This makes Bernadette even more selfish, and even more unlikeable, by again placing her own perception of morality to not fight, even for her freedom--or to see Maytag again. So right now, Bern has been portrayed as selfish, ignorant, not a team player, and a whiner.

As a plot device, this could work very well if it bit her in the ass, but it doesn't, because next is the deathmatch. Because the three fighters are facing her in an unfair fight (and possibly the only unfair part of the arena we've actually seen so far), we're put in a situation where Bernadette either has to rise above this, and gain much despite her selfish, indecisive actions, or die. Several pages of the legendary twin swords of uber pwnage later, and we have Bern more than likely victorious, and we have two chapters that are probably the worst two in the entire series, and chapters that should have made Bern take a level in badass, and stand firm against a cruel, uncaring world, and be the hero, ends up portarying her more as a Mary Sue type that gets bailed out whenever there's a problem. What should have been one of the most satisfying arcs has become very unsatisfying.

Why? Honestly...the Colosseum was fair. The organizer didn't treat Bern any differently than his other fighters, and war concerned for his business, that he is trying to reform (even if to just save his own neck), and the Warden is more than reasonable, especially by Marvallo standards. I personally don't think this chapter coming to play earlier than intended is the problem, because i think the damage was done in the scenes I outlined earlier. Bernadette could have had her perspective change in this cruel world, and still be a noble, selfless fighter: she simply needed to change the means she did this. She could have even flat out regretted the blood she shed after adapting to the Colosseum, thrust her swords into the ground, declaring "never again", and walk off. Then Bern could have started questioning herself and what she was doing and why she was fighting, and I think we as readers would sympathize with her plight more.

Or, if we wanted to go with this "rise above the arena" thing, that could actually have worked. However, for this to work, the Colosseum needed to be unfair, even if it was unfair to everyone. The organizer's intro was fine, and the notion of Blackbird kicking ass for Bern could also work. The two of them being separated works. At this point, we really should have seen more about the Colosseum being cruel, callous, and flat out negligent.

Some people said, in jest, that Bern should have gotten raped/sex slave, etc. Honestly? In all seriousness, it could've helped this arc. However, I don't mean by route of option A: One of the other prisoners should have done it, or better, one of the guards in the Colosseum. Bern should have been traumatized, as early as possible, into this arc, and we should have seen it. This would make the reader's sympathize with Bern, and it would give her a reason beyond her own personal morality to not want to play "these barbaric games", severe trauma can do a lot, and whittling away at someone's courage or decisive nature are generally considered to be among those things. This would also make Option A a lot more repulsive, and maybe even trigger some level of trauma for Bern, and make us sympathize more with her: our poor hero was already raped once, why should we want her to put herself through that again? This also makes Polly's decision look a hell of a lot more heroic, and really drives the sinister nature of the Colosseum home. It doesn't have to be rape, the Colosseum simply needs to be brutal and unfair, but because of Bernadette's views of sex and violence, the question of rape certainly hits her, in my opinion on a moral level as well as a physical and emotional one, it certainly makes us sympathize for her, it justifies her indecision, her crying, her loathing of the arena, and it paints her as a victim. Then she gets set up for the deathmatch, tricked, traumatized, and guilty that Polly sacrificed herself to protect her, and then the swords bail her out until she finds her own confidence again, her own strength, and she manages to defeat True Strike in the iconic perfect counter that we know her for. She stays true to her morals, becomes stronger for holding onto who she is, and demonstrates the great power behind these swords, and everything she did was now worth it as she is much closer to completing her quest.

I think that's what Brion is going for, but going back to the reader's perspective of morality, all we see, on screen, is Bern not being a team player, and the only reason we see is that she thinks she's above the Colosseum's games, and again, this is primarily a problem because the Colosseum, before the slaughter match, has been more or less fair. That makes Bern herself look unreasonable, and when there are no consequences for that kind of mentality for the hero, it makes her very unlikeable, regardless of how good she's been in the past.

God, that was longer than I intended. I do apologize. I'm not some award winning author, but based on my experience in reading and at least dabbling in writing, that's my perspective.

Flipside Discussion / Re: Chapter 43: Discussion
« on: April 29, 2015, 11:41:56 pm »
Escape. With Polly. Everyone too scared and stunned to stop the suddenly strong "weakling"... ;D


Flipside Discussion / Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« on: February 18, 2015, 08:14:16 am »
We're probably not going to find out for a while. Next chapter is probably going to focus on Maytag or Crest.

All in all, this chapter was really....slow to me. I understand what was being done, but it seemed to drag for way too long. Though in all fairness, it may do better in paper format.

Flipside Discussion / Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« on: February 11, 2015, 08:09:31 pm »
So.... basically the Warden is saying...

"That pretty red-head needs to get seriously laid... teach her a thing or two about being a woman!  She needs a man or perhaps several men or women to get that perpetual uptightness thoroughly FUCKED out of her so she can get her head screwed on right!"

...eww.  Maybe I'm being a bit... over-stated... but that's the impression I'm getting from the Warden's phrasing ..said and unsaid sentiments.

That's very ugly... and I do not agree.  There is no social-superiority to being without ethics, morals, propriety, or self-control!  Sex... especially wanton, promiscuous, lust... does not "Make the Man or Woman", some kind of mature paragon adult... it just makes you a slut... unable to control or show any discernment in controlling one's carnal appetites!  Its pure selfishness... and NOT attractive at all~ nothing more.  Sexual intimacy between to consenting adults can be upbuilding and fulfilling.. but uncontrolled lust is self-destructive.

That's not the vibe I got at all. Option B is a trap, we all knew that, but Option C was too. For all of Bern's faults (and in my opinion, they have been nearly limitless in this latest arc), Bern is generally a character driven to preserve the well being of others. Option C would violate this, as she is hurting another for her own gain. Options B and C were each a poisoned apple. Option A would still really suck, but would be less physically or psychologically devastating based on Bern's mentality.

By Polly throwing herself under the bus for Bern, Polly essentially forced Bern to choose Option C, in the sense of harming another for her gain.

Flipside Discussion / Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« on: December 12, 2014, 07:48:16 pm »
Poly's forgetting that she's already an A rank. This "deal" is for an A-rank-up test.

Warden has a really twisted view of what a warrior is. A warrior fights when he HAS to.

Someone who fights only because he ENJOYS IT is not a warrior, but a sadistic thug.

To be fair, Bern does kinda have to fight at the moment if she ever wants to be with Maytag again.

Flipside Discussion / Re: Chapter 42: Discussion
« on: November 05, 2014, 01:13:09 pm »
At this point, I think any ultimatum the Warden would offer Bernadette would be "a pat and easy solution", though it might be hell for Bernadette. Of the speculations listed, I think it's far more likely for Bernadette to have to kill Polly. I can't see the Bloody Mary clones being in Marvallo.

Whatever happens, I hope Bernadette comes to her senses soon. I started disliking her when she first ended up in Marvallo, and I've been liking her less and less each time we've seen her since.

Also, hello everyone :)

Flipside Discussion / Re: The Criticism Thread
« on: January 14, 2013, 01:23:36 am »
Little old, but I think it's worth putting up a rebuttal.

Look at Marvallo for a moment. It costs 5 gold to get directions, 10 if someone is dying. Then you have to hope you're not conned. And if you need help again, that's another five gold, that adds up. Proportionally, 800 for saving a life seems about what you would expect for cost. More importantly though, it outlines a really dangerous fact about Marvallo that every reader should have grasped by now: without money, in Marvallo, you're as good as dead. Without some kind of reserve, you can't buy food or get directions to a job in an unfamiliar district, and as already been made evident, people of Marvallo don't deal in IOUs. It's a cruel country that self perpetuates its greed in order to survive. There's freedom, for that, but no community. That's the danger of choice. The average person, when they can, may very well want to extort to get ahead of the game. Others either fall in step to survive and compensate, or live in poverty, or die out. Marvallo is a place where nice guys will inevitably finish last.

If the healer starts taking in people for free, everyone will start demanding it, and he'll have no excuse to not save them, especially given that Grant offers very little to the Marvallo people, if anything. He could easily be accused of holding a double standard, and lose his business. He has his savings, but what good will that do in the long run? We still don't know how expensive many basic services are. 800 gold could be worth a day's pay or a month's. Most of his treatments are probably more mundane than Grant's, or else the taxing on his daughter's spirit essence would probably be great enough that most treatments would need some kind of appointment or something. A walk in fee, for those reasons, would also make sense.

I'm by no means saying I support Marvallo's system, but looking at it for what it is, Marvallo is a very dog eat dog world. If you start playing the philanthropist, you aren't going to last. Simple as that. The man isn't being greedy so much as practical.

Flipside Discussion / Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« on: January 08, 2013, 08:20:06 pm »
I think both of you are being fairly opinionated right now.

I think Burn's argument has some merit. I think her actions were more impulsive than a matter of relying on Polly to bail her out, but I'm not a big fan of the turn this scene seems to be taking. Bern's a main character and naturally needs an "out", but I wish there had been a little more time before Polly had shown up. It feels a little instantaneous for the sake of the story, though Polly's standing with the enforcers and her general personality do at least make her sudden arrival make sense.

Flipside Discussion / Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« on: December 02, 2012, 12:35:27 pm »
I'm not gonna lie, I can't wait for this arc to end. I'm not a big fan of Grant as a character and Bern shackling herself to him, even as her father, is wearing thin on me.

Flipside Discussion / Re: Chapter 34: Discussion
« on: September 27, 2012, 09:18:08 pm »
Well, she left them alive, she's not completely gone.  Yet..

Or maybe that's what we're supposed to think, and something more insidious is at work...say that they were infected by some sort of black magic Suspria's cursed form might have.

Flipside Discussion / Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« on: February 09, 2012, 05:23:10 am »
That's a pretty good point. Anyone that's been to a formal dinner party with the family and a drinking party on Saturday night with friends should be able to grasp the extent that a personality can change, while still having the core similarities that make that person them. As for the life story vs humor question, I sorta gave it the benefit of the doubt. Some of the comments are very "maytagish" that were at least in character, and offscreen (during the actual life story comic) remarks might have been funnier. I mean granted that could be considered a weak explanation, but its the same an artist would use if he couldn't draw hands, just use a pose the hides the damn things. I'd rather go with that assumption if Brion is bad with humor than side through a slew of bad jokes and expect the reader to think them funny cause a character said so, now that would be insulting. At least in this scenario there's enough open that there can be benefit to the doubt, at least considering Maytag's background and character.

Hall of Games / Re: Corrupt A Wish
« on: October 19, 2011, 11:47:25 am »
Granted, but they take your soul.

I wish for the heart of Davy Jones

Hall of Games / Re: Beat the mods. (Record forumites=302 v/s mods=202)
« on: October 19, 2011, 11:46:11 am »
4ever alone

Flipside Discussion / Re: Chapter 30: Discussion
« on: July 22, 2011, 06:02:57 am »
Yeah, they could also be taking note that inflation is a problem in Marvallo, but if they're using the same coinage I can't imagine that the values of services and wares could differ that much or people of Iscariot would be exporting like mad to Marvallo and coming home with riches.

Its probably more to do with accommodation being scarce or something, so Marvallo (or at least that town) costs a lot for temporary accommodation, rent, land purchase, etc.

But even in our world, 1 Silver ($100) a night isn't too high above the general minimum for staying in a major town or city.

No no, other way around, other way around. Realistically, even at its highest value, 100 platinum being worth one silver is a huge loss. I'm saying Iscariot is having the economic problems, as platinum is much more valuable than silver (if that was different in the past, I stand corrected, but I've never heard of that) and 200 being knocked down to 2 is also pretty staggering.

I'm saying that Marvallo's economy is actually pretty good in spite of their rather lawless system, while Iscariot's economy is doing poorly.

Flipside Discussion / Re: Chapter 30: Discussion
« on: July 22, 2011, 05:48:24 am »
I thought it might also have been a commentary as to how much the value of currency differs across national borders. I mean, wasn't 200 platinum a fairly good amount of money in Iscariot? I wonder if it's a parody on more laws and bureaucracy and its consequences. Or maybe Bernadette's general lack of street smarts.

Or maybe I'm reading too much into it. I could see Brian going for at least more depth in the world with the currency difference though.

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