YMMV / Archipelago Exodus

  • Abandon Shipping: Lee originally had romantic designs between Almudena and Garth, but abandoned the ship upon concluding they work better as Vitriolic Best Buds, as well as noticing another possible interest for each student: Almudena/Deandre in a case of Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl, and Garth/Ben for a possible dash of Gay Guy Seeks Popular Jock. Naturally, these two pairs make good Ship Mates in the absence of Almudena/Garth.
    • Also worth noting is Garth/Telrien, which was a fairly popular ship until it was revealed that Garth was only in his late teens, making him a bit too young for the twenty-something Tel.
  • Angst? What Angst?
    • Thyra has surprised several readers with the fact that she typically doesn't gripe about her past. (Of course, it HAS been at least six years now since the incident.)
    • When Garth learns that he accidentally killed two Fascere operatives in an uncontrolled outbreak of his zodiac power, he takes the news rather well and it's quickly swept under the rug, which jars a bit with his usual fretful nature.
    • Word of God confirmed that Vincent died during the plot of The Exploration. Yoshimitsu's next canonical appearance is in Obscured Truth where, despite having been in a relationship with Vincent, it goes completely unmentioned and he doesn't seem to be in grieving.
  • Arc Fatigue: A very common issue (Arc Stall variety, not Myth Stall). You kind of have to accept the slow pace of responses as a feature rather than a bug, or else you'll be driven mad by the fact that most stories that pick up any steam still take years to finish. Some notable recent exceptions include Stray Dogs (finished in eight months), The Case of the Burgled Boullogne (five months), and Gasoline (just two months, though it's short).
  • Author's Saving Throw: Yoshimitsu was panned for having too many powers in the Popularity Poll. One quick streamlining later, and the character is much more popular.
  • Badass Decay: Miko (though he seems to be recovering from this).
  • Base Breaker: One of the more polarizing characters as of the 2010 popularity poll is Mr. Rabbit; he has both enthusiastic supporters who embrace his offbeat composition, and detractors who consider him a Lethal Joke Character but fail to find the joke funny.
  • Breakout Character: Hey, did you know Emily started out as a Perky Female Minion to a villainous arms dealer named George Buckland as part of an organization called the Obsidian Hearts? Tenuously, she still is! But you'd be hard-pressed to find any traces of that in her material any more, other than explaining her close adherence to Natalie (who's also a sometime associate of the group).
  • Catharsis Factor: Shouta, with emphasis on "empathy-deprived".
  • Chaotic Evil: Charles and Lucas.
  • Chaotic Good: Lacianus (which causes a lot of friction, since her employer's a Lawful Evil organization.), Dace Balao, Almudena, Hector (leaning Chaotic Neutral these days)
  • Chaotic Neutral: Joseph, Rhometer, Channery, Nopcsa, Sikes and Antonio. Emily might count too, though it's hard to say; she's quite morally ambiguous, but trends towards being nice to lots of people.
  • Crazy Awesome: Rhometer and Higgledy-Piggledy, with Emily bringing up the rear. Tweak also counts.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The biggest flaw in Ishkabibble's tone; there's three serial killers running around with virtually no redeeming characteristics (until Biscuit gives Lucas a chillingly jovial demeanor), the main characters are morally ambiguous, and the most moral characters in the work (Tsubota, Helen, Alyssa) all had roles in the decimation of various cities and ties to unsavory organizations.
    • An Author's Saving Throw in the revival of Ishkabibble has gone quite far in redeeming this; some of the darker scenes have been worked around or cut, and there's a greater focus on humor and lighthearted action to provide a counterpoint to the harsh Crime Fiction background.
  • Designated Villain: Both Blaise and Nopcsa were nominally villains in their debut stories, but neither did much to merit the title: Blaise was just trying to defend the institute employing her, while Nopcsa was just carrying out Fascere business and got quite chummy with some of the main characters. Both have gone on to become sympathetic leading characters in their own right, though still not quite what you'd call "heroes".
  • Dry Docked Ship: Ender and Rie. They tried dating years ago, but settled as friends.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Judging from the 2009 Character Popularity Poll results, Helen may easily be the darkhorse of Lee’s roster. She was ranked the third most popular of his characters (after Natalie and Zebedee, of course), beating out even the likes of Miko and Thyra, and tied with Ender and Rie for sixth most popular character overall (out of more than sixty). And this in spite of the fact that, at the time the poll began, she hadn’t appeared in any RPs since Chords and her fight with Rhys. Not bad for a character who started off as a minor Summoner. Per the 2010 poll results, however, she's slipped a bit, and Nopcsa and Blaise look more like Lee's darkhorses. Even so, Helen still managed a more than respectable score.
    • As of the 2010 poll, The Curator is Elliot's most popular character by a wide margin after Yoshimitsu, and the most popular walk-on character created for Burgled Boullogne by a respectable margin as well. Overall, he's well at the upper end of the spectrum, and this from two decent-length posts.
    • Lucas was already Prime's most popular character by a wide margin in the 2009 popularity poll (his score was 23; Prime's second most popular character was Ryuu with 14) and in the top ten most popular characters overall. This was pretty much based entirely on his exchange with Scar in the first part of Because It's Interesting. Now that Biscuit has taken over the character for the rest of Ishkabibble (and possibly beyond)... the fandom has rejoiced.
    • The 2015-16 poll results should be taken under advisement since this was a closed poll with only three participants rather than open to the public, but some interesting darkhorse results turn up. Notably, Dalisay Salazar managed to make it into the top six of Terminer students, holding her own alongside the more enfranchised characters Flint and Garth and the more obvious protagonist-type candidates Almudena, Carlos, and Deandre. Meanwhile, Flo Pendlebury, in her first turn at the ratings despite having hung around on the sidelines for years, ran away with the highest score of any Pohatu character after the A-list trio of Deandre, Channery, and Terrian. Finally, Halley Cometta, a newcomer with only a few posts to her name, put in a very strong debut and outperformed a number of significantly more established characters, though not topping Hector among Lugiasian's cast.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Sikes and his large amount of piercing.
  • Foe Yay: Nopcsa with Prime. Basically Nopcsa loves the yay.
    "Hey, sexy."
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In Flynn's first pesterlog with Tweak, he mentions the sunglasses-wearing Kurt Castor (obfuscatedBrilliance), who was at the time slated to appear as a player run by October, but later got replaced due to inactivity. The pesterlog reads quite differently now that the reader has to infer Kurt didn't survive the Reckoning.
    FH: Oh please, I wouldn’t expect you to go to all the trouble of READING things. You might have to take off the shades for that!
    FH: Hey! Have you and Bustin and Kurt ever thought about pooling your sunglasses collections and just rotating them weekly??
    FH: It’d save a lot of money AND you three would get even closer to your dream of all being the exact same person!
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Since some of Flynn's speech and all of his sound effects are rendered in IPA, there's a steady undercurrent of this. Some words are practically incomprehensible without knowledge of linguistics, such as the sound effects in the two versions of Flynn throwing his portable out the window, which respectively come out to "shatter" and "nonshatter".
    • Other people have Roman alphabet fridge magnets. Flynn's fridge magnets are IPA characters. That would be enough of a Genius Bonus in itself, but the magnet which Flynn's sister uses to obscure her own face is a voiceless glottal plosive, which just happens to resemble a question mark without the dot. Mystery! And later, as Flynn ponders an internal question, what should appear by his head but voiceless glottal plosives instead of question marks.
  • Good Bad Bugs: In an attempt at an RPG, a misplaced file made Hector lie down to shoot fireballs at the enemy.
  • Growing the Beard: It took three steps, but it got there. First, when it split away from Pokemon Role Play on the Pokeschool boards around 2002, it allowed for much more complex and mature themes to creep into the works. Secondly, in 2007, after breaking off and forming its own site, the authors stopped focusing so much on the Wangst that had given ORP a short Dork Age, and started instead focusing on moral complexities and the greater implications of a society with Powers running amuck. Finally, around 2012, a bottleneck in activity led to many of the less dedicated authors leaving, with only the most honed and devoted writers remaining. After all this trimming down, the current revival is seeing an average quality level that is absolutely staggering for online fiction written by a committee.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: At first Ender's slacking and trouble with his powers in Triannual comes across as his standard Brilliant, but Lazy antics. However, the next RP in line was End Game, making it possible his issues in Tri were the early warning signs of his Superpower Meltdown.
  • Ho Yay: Lee intentionally plays this up in Nopcsa's interactions with Terrian, but it's stated that Nopcsa keeps things ambiguous so he can play people better.
    • Acknowledged between Yoshimitsu and Hector. Many of their past interactions have had subtext that suggest as much.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Yoon, although Stepford Woobie would probably be a little more accurate.
    • Flynn dials the emotional theatrics too far up to be a straightforward Woobie (and, you know, he's definitely a Jerkass), but beneath all the over-the-top raging and sobbing, there's some real underlying anxiety and vulnerability coming to light.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: So, is Nopcsa paired with Terrian? Or Telrien? Or maybe Garth? How about Rhys? Or maybe Ender? Or Prime? Or maybe even Sikes?
    • Garth's followed in Nopcsa's footsteps, currently being shipped with Ben, Marius, Telrien, Nopcsa, Almudena, Belwyn, and yes, Nopcsa.
  • Lawful Evil; George, Massimo, Nico, Vinnie, Phil & Dom, Nachoset, and Bernard.
  • Lawful Good: Thyra, Valon, Belwyn
  • Lawful Neutral: Blaise, Miko, Bethold, Higgledy-Piggledy, Perry (though he likes to think he's Lawful Good), Denham, Auguste, Julia and Jacob.
  • Magnificent Bastard: George.
  • Mary Sue: Masumi is a Kevin character, so "unbelievably gorgeous, graceful, deadly warrior with no personal flaws" is par for the course... But we'll see what threatens this status in the future.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Terrian gets subjected to jokes that he's the physically weakest and frailest character on the board, as a way of explaining why he tends to hang on to persuasion and negotiation even when things go sour. While not totally deserved (he's had a couple of impressive combat moments), it's pretty hard to refute.
    • Garth? Who's Garth? Oh, was he in Triannual? Didn't notice.
    • An odd case, but after a few peculiar posts from the Snitz era (roughly 2004ish) turned up, some of the Exodites have taken to declaring Maude to be Dead All Along. In a case of Hilarious in Hindsight, right before the joke caught on, Maude had a fight with a vampire, leading to jokes about a Universal Studios style classic monster fight.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Flight and fire control" gets used jokingly in external discussion as a shorthand for generic Stock Superpowers, but if you look closely, you'll notice a few tongue-in-cheek nods to that meme in-universe as well.
    • In Flint and Steel, after a can of soup got a surprising amount of focus in the debut post, soup cans continue to crop up as a running gag not only in the RP proper, but almost any time Flint/Belwyn are around.
  • Memetic Sex God: Blaise can get it. Somehow, absent any focus on her physical appearance in Lee's writing, she's garnered a popular image as one of RP's most attractive ladies. It can probably be traced back to Lee posting this faceclaim in an external discussion thread.
  • Mind Game Ship: Pretty much any relationship Nopcsa could possibly have falls under this.
  • Moe: Alyssa.
  • Neutral Evil: Cesare; that he's the only non-lawful Giarrettiera accounts for much of the friction between him and his siblings. Roufus, Flo, Hugh, Daniel, Rance and Ysane also count.
  • Neutral Good: Ender, Rick, Jonas, Alyssa, Helen, Illiana (though she's showing signs of Lawful Good), Albatross, Garth, Prime, Esther, Zebedee and Jacqueline.
  • Old Shame: Just mention Dark Truth and its cop-out reveal and weak villain, and watch Lee head for the hills. Also of note are Choobs' first character, Max Andurin, and Pohatu's first attempt at a villain, the King of Clubs, who he now considers simplistic and lacking in any compelling drives.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • The Curator, as mentioned in Ensemble Darkhorse above, was a smash hit among Elliot's cast despite appearing for two posts in a brief scene in Boullogne. Other walk-on characters in that story have gotten a lot of praise as well, and Biscuit in particular is regarded as the king of Boullogne's one-scene wonders.
    • Yoon Mangjeol only makes one appearance in Obscured Truth, in a flashback (canonically she and Roufus Mayordomo are in Europe at the present time, putting her conveniently out of the way to avoid breaking the mystery open), but it's a doozy.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • As mentioned above under Author's Saving Throw, Yoshimitsu (the second-lowest-rated character in the 2009 poll) came around in a big way after Elliot scaled back his abilities to the essentials.
    • Commissioner Williams was deservingly panned in the 2010 poll as a one-dimensional, stereotypical, and unlikable character with little definition beyond "grumpy authority guy who hates Powers". That was before Obscured Truth came knocking with a complex and unexpectedly sympathetic leading role for the big guy, and he went on to win Best Dramatic Character in a subsequent Lugiasian Awards ceremony.
  • The Scrappy: Prime the character attracted a lot of criticism over the years. Some of the reasons were specific to him (especially his inconsistent development, with new powers and weaponry every year or so), but he also perhaps unfairly became a whipping boy for some of Prime the author's more general bad habits (such as a need to win every battle). In any case, his Scrappy status diminished somewhat in later years as Prime the author tightened the reins on the character's capabilities.
    • Hector also comes in for a certain amount of snark, but it's generally more affectionate. Despite Lugiasian's best efforts, he can never seem to shake off the associations of some Snitz-era RPing stereotypes.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Done in-universe. In her first speech to Terminer Academy, Thyra name drops Williams' city, and then proceeds to point out that with the number of violent and criminal Powers, normal people are totally justified in being terrified of them, and unless the Powered community straightens their act up, they're actually deserving of all the scorn they receive.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes:
    • Kitten.
    • Emily, on two levels - her introduction to the high school had her showing a sickly sweet personality, and she was also handing out personalized cupcakes to each student.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Poor Mickey Sharp.
  • True Neutral: Terrian is a mix of Types 1, 2, and especially 7. Rie, Rhys, Yoon, Telrien, Sarosin and Death also count.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Little Girls?: Kitten; come for the Tastes Like Diabetes, stay for lines like "OH GOD. OUT. OUT NOW, YOU UNGRATEFUL SLUTS. YOU TOO, PIMPY MACWHOARBAG."
  • The Woobie: Thyra is, as is Royce. Seriously. His father clearly doesn't care for him, the only love he's ever received is the cold touch of a robot who surfs the internet looking at parenting videos, he randomly blacks out, his ONLY FRIEND is a stuffed panda, and even when he talks to people about stuff? Even the most basic of things? He can't even move past his own humility.
    • Terminer Academy has proven itself to be a battleground of Woobies. What's your flavor of choice: the bravado concealing a tragic past of a Carlos or Talia, the anxiety and self-berating of a Ty or Deandre, or the flat-out Blessed with Suck woes of a Dalisay? There'll be quite a bit of emotional baggage to unpack during the school year.
  • Writer Cop Out: During the 2015 revival, RPers have faced harsh truths about what it would take, if it were possible at all, to finish some of their high-profile stories. So 2015 saw two arguable copouts by Pohatu (who willfully skipped over most of Ishkabibble's untouched scenes in order to get to the final batch, though it's mitigated by the possibility of revisiting selected scenes later) and Choobs (who had no hopes for concluding Head Games and so posted his synopsis of the story's envisioned outcome instead).
    • Averted by Lee, who decided to instead simply skip over rough patches of various R Ps and continue them where the action picked up again. So far, there's been Chips Are Down (Luxury Train Ride), Clemency (Summoner Style), and Nomenclature of the Pococurante (Whisper in my Ear). These reboots also served to jettison some characters of inactive RPers so that the plot threads could continue with minimal discruption.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/ArchipelagoExodus