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Complete Monster Cleanup Thread

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Edited by nombretomado on Sep 23rd 2019 at 4:42:19 AM

Jul 15th 2012 at 8:16:43 PM

Could I trouble someone to look back at my City of Heroes discussion thing? I'd like to get that sorted before I move on to the next batch of Video Game Monsters.

EDIT: here is a link to the post in question.

edited 15th Jul '12 8:19:29 PM by Shaoken

DrPsyche Avatar by Leefsnake from Hawaii
Avatar by Leefsnake
Jul 15th 2012 at 9:33:25 PM

[up] Sorry, Never played city of Heroes, and I've never heard of it until you posted that. That said, your arguments are well presented, and, in my opinion, hold up.

Jul 16th 2012 at 8:44:49 AM

I never played the game either, but it sounds like you're right and most of them don't count as Complete Monsters. The only ones who sound like they qualify are Mother Mayhem and possibly Tyrant.

32_Footsteps Think of the mooks! from Just north of Arkham Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Think of the mooks!
Jul 16th 2012 at 9:11:12 AM

Hai Guize, wat did i miss?

Okay, sorry for that, just got over a nasty summer cold, and I'm feeling a bit silly.

First, the City Of Heroes examples: I agree that Phipps should be cut; that's fairly low key for the setting. The Emperor would need to have much more added to his discussion before I'd consider adding him. Tyrant (I presume this person is distinct from Emperor) is cruel and selfish, but he doesn't strike me as monstrous. Mother Mayhem sounds like she's chosen to become a psychic vampire to live forever; I'm also inclined to count her. I agree; Neuron needs either expansion or cut (I actually missed him at first in the entry, due to how sparse it is). Chimaera should be cut; I think that almost was an obligatory mention. I also would cut Marauder and Dominatrix; that's so low-grade for the setting that I won't even entertain more discussion than that. The entry for Anti-Matter even says that he isn't one; easiest cut of all. Hatchet, I'm actually inclined to keep, if he's feeding humans to other sentient beings, who he then uses as suicide bombers. That's a whole lot of cruel murder right there. That said, he might fall under Well-Intentioned Extremist territory; I'd want more detail on him before I kept him for sure.

I see action was taken on the Music page already... I approve of all the cuts. The only one I was personally familiar with is They Might Be Giants and "Kiss Me, Son Of God" - said song is one of the more blatantly political songs they do, but they're actually fairly vague about anything they do. It's basically about a robber baron or the like exploiting workers and being loved for it. That said, they never say what said exploiting actually is (not really important for the song, really). TMBG doesn't like making explicit monsters in their songs (they do something similar in the song "Reprehensible"), so they shouldn't be cited for this trope on any of their current songs.

For stuff that's on said page, "A Criminal Mind" should be cut. It does give the standard mindset of The Sociopath, but the entry even says that it never describes any acts. It reminds me of those idiots I saw in high school that talked about how evil they were when they were petty thugs at worst.

Reminder: Offscreen Villainy does not count towards Complete Monster.
32_Footsteps Think of the mooks! from Just north of Arkham Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Think of the mooks!
Jul 16th 2012 at 11:02:06 AM

Oh, also, since I forgot to discuss it earlier...

On one hand, I completely agree with the idea that we should cut references on other pages to Complete Monster, or at the very least make it clear that certain tropes can be components of Complete Monster but are not sufficient on their own (The Sociopath is a great example; it's completely possible to be a sociopath in the trope sense and not be a Complete Monster, even excepting Sociopathic Hero examples).

However, before we actually do go about and start zapping those, I think we need to do a couple things first.

One, make sure the mods are on board with this effort. It's a legit part of the cleanup in my opinion, but I can imagine the mods would want to offer their input on such an undertaking before we actually do it. Given that several mods do keep track of this thread, I imagine that they'll give their opinions on it shortly.

Two, I think, similar to the examples for Complete Monster, we should discuss the pages to be edited in this thread as well. Some pages (like The Sociopath) probably should still have the link to Complete Monster in the description, but they should still be rewritten to give a better sense of the relations between the tropes. Still, since altering trope definitions is a major change, it should pass through several checks before they go through. (The last time I felt comfortable altering a description on a trope page was for That One Boss, and that was only a straight addition to the definition, and that was 3-5 years ago).

Reminder: Offscreen Villainy does not count towards Complete Monster.
Iaculus Pronounced YAK-you-luss from England
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
Jul 16th 2012 at 12:45:13 PM

Emperor Cole is Tyrant, by the way (he's a mirror-universe version of the game's Superman-analogue, and 'Tyrant' is the nickname he got from 'our' universe's heroes). The entry is just very disorganised.

What's precedent ever done for us?
Jul 16th 2012 at 1:05:06 PM

Wait a minute, instead of discussing removals of villains from Video Games, shouldn't we just continue the sandbox?

DrPsyche Avatar by Leefsnake from Hawaii
Avatar by Leefsnake
Jul 16th 2012 at 1:06:53 PM

I'm sorry, what was the sandbox again?

Jul 16th 2012 at 1:11:15 PM

Sandbox.Video Game Monsters, I believe.

Also, if I may nitpick, the work names need some namespacing.

edited 16th Jul '12 1:12:11 PM by DarkConfidant

DrPsyche Avatar by Leefsnake from Hawaii
Avatar by Leefsnake
Jul 16th 2012 at 1:33:49 PM

[up] Thank you

edited 16th Jul '12 1:34:07 PM by DrPsyche

Jul 16th 2012 at 2:33:39 PM

@32 Footsteps

I agree that we should be careful. Another example that's probably okay to stay is Moral Event Horizon—the page itself specifically notes that crossing it means a character may be approaching Complete Monster-hood, but adds that it doesn't mean they're there yet.

So far the cuts I've made have been to Affably Evil, Despotism Justifies the Means, and Dystopia Justifies the Means, none of which need a link to this trope.

Jul 16th 2012 at 10:15:19 PM

@ 1732: As I said the last time you brought this up, we can do both. You're also overlooking the fact we're talking about examples that don't fit. As in doing that group review thing to see what fits and what doesn't.

Also, please stop adding examples to the Sandbox before they're done. You added Sarrano even though we hadn't finished talking about the entry.

EDIT: Here's my propposed entries for the City Of Heroes Cmoplete Monsters. Do not add them until everyone has had a chance to review them for mistakes.

  • Mother Mayhem from City Of Heroes runs a mental asylum devoted to training Praetorian psychics as "Seers," thought-police who track down and apprehend any "thought criminals," so that "Mother" can "rehabilitate" them. But the Seers aren't volunteers, and that's actually the secondary purpose of the Seer Network; the primary purpose is to provide "Mother" with psychics to feed on, prolonging her own life and expanding her personal power.

Everyone else is either cut for lack of details or for failing the henious standard.

EDIT: For Dark Confidant, I changed the namespaces for 98% of the examples, although a few of them that just redlinks it. I also noticed that Variable Geo is redlinked, and only the Anime OVA remains. And according to that page, Variable Geo was a H-Game. So...does that mean we cut it since there is no longer a work page for it?

EDIT again: Turns out it's now Advanced Variable Geo, so I've corrected the redlink and moved it to the top of the sandbox.

edited 16th Jul '12 11:10:06 PM by Shaoken

32_Footsteps Think of the mooks! from Just north of Arkham Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Think of the mooks!
Jul 17th 2012 at 7:57:49 AM

Actually, are there any objections to me removing the "A Criminal Mind" example? It specifically says that there are no actual actions described, which goes against our policy of "you must have on-screen actions to be a Complete Monster" description.

I ask because I think that it's the last example under controversy under Music - if we make a decision on it, we can lock the page.

Reminder: Offscreen Villainy does not count towards Complete Monster.
lu127 Paper Master from 空蝉丸
Jul 17th 2012 at 8:03:01 AM

I found this on the Tales Series:

  • Grand Maestro Mohs from Tales Of The Abyss is still pretty vile; he deliberately tries to engineer a genocidal war in order to fulfill a prophecy, mentally manipulates Anise, an adolescent girl, by threatening the lives of her parents, and is generally a huge asshole to Ion up to and including forcing the poor kid to read the final Fonstone, a process so exhausting it kills him. In fact, the neural contamination effect of the Seventh Fonons in his body eventually causes him to transform into an insane, raving, vicious demon-like creature—and this is noted as being an improvement compared to his old personality! And to add insult to injury, we're actually supposed to feel sorry for this bastard once he finally gets what he deserves.

I've only watched the anime, and I really hated this guy, but if I recall correctly, his final scene has Tear invoking Alas, Poor Villain about how he actually had good intentions. Anybody else know?

32_Footsteps Think of the mooks! from Just north of Arkham Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Think of the mooks!
Jul 17th 2012 at 8:07:12 AM

I recently did a playthrough of this. Rather typical for Tales series villains, Mohs is a Well-Intentioned Extremist - he does do all those terrible things, but he does them because he fears that things will be even worse if he doesn't. He does suffer a bit of Motive Decay by the end, but that's due to With Great Power Comes Great Insanity. He should be cut.

edited 17th Jul '12 8:07:33 AM by 32_Footsteps

Reminder: Offscreen Villainy does not count towards Complete Monster.
lu127 Paper Master from 空蝉丸
Jul 17th 2012 at 8:31:44 AM

It looks like it was deleted a while back and re-added last month. I'm taking it out and locking the page.

32_Footsteps Think of the mooks! from Just north of Arkham Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Think of the mooks!
Jul 17th 2012 at 8:58:31 AM

Mohs, you mean? Interesting. I removed said entry from the YMMV page for Tales Of The Abyss as well.

Reminder: Offscreen Villainy does not count towards Complete Monster.
Jul 17th 2012 at 9:57:46 AM

If it was removed then added again, and there was a notice saying not to add it back to the YMMV, I say holler for mods to get involved.

So, no further discussions on my City Of Heroes example?

Jul 17th 2012 at 10:00:47 AM

[up] Just add it to Sandbox. The main page is locked, but is it there?

Jul 17th 2012 at 12:30:37 PM

On the Mass Effect and Dragon Age Complete Monster pages there are some examples who I think should be cut. Shaoken pointed out in the discussion thread that in Mass Effect 3, it’s possible to find emails written by Morinth to her sisters, in which she shows a degree of love and affection for them that was unknown before. I agree that this disqualifies her from the trope and she shouldn't be added in the future.

  • From Mass Effect, Saren Arterius, the Big Bad of the first game. In the novel that preceded the release of the game, Saren is a Rabid Cop and borderline sociopath, who ends up killing and poisoning hundreds of people by blowing up a refinery while on a Spectre mission. However, by the time the game rolls around, Saren has been softened considerably. He’s a Well-Intentioned Extremist whose motives have shifted towards working with the Reapers to prove the worth of organic life, and prevent them from wiping out all life in the galaxy. His goal is actually to save people’s lives. And, during Shepard and Saren's final confrontation, Shepard can talk Saren into having a Heel Realization, which will motivate Saren to kill himself to stop the Reapers.

  • From Dragon Age, there’s Paragon Branka who sacrificed her entire household in her search for the Anvil of the Void. She allowed the women to be raped by darkspawn and turned into Brood Mothers in order to breed an army of darkspawn that she could use to test the traps surrounding the anvil. However, Branka’s a Well-Intentioned Extremist who wants to use the Anvil to stop the darkspawn from wiping out the dwarves completely. Also, during the end of that questline the main character can convince her into having a Heel Realization, in which case she’ll destroy the Anvil of the Void, recognizing it as evil, then commit suicide after forging a crown to help the main character use to solve the political unrest in the city.

  • From Dragon Age 2, there’s Ser Varnell. Varnell should be cut because everything he does is on Sister Petrice’s orders, and he’s really not defined as a character outside of his hatred of the Qunari. EDIT: For the record, Varnell tortured and executed a group of Qunari delegates before an angry mob.

  • Finally, Sister Petrice from Dragon Age 2, is a secondary antagonist who despises the Qunari, thinking them evil, and wants them driven out of the city. To that end, she has her bodyguard murder a group of Qunari, tries to frame innocent people for the deed (in this case Hawke and his party whom she assumes are random nobodies at this point), then have them killed by the Qunari in retribution. She planned on using this perceived murder of innocents to further her goals in inciting people against the Qunari. Later in the game, she has Varnell capture a group of Qunari delegates to torture and execute before an angry mob. If Hawke sides against her, Varnell kills the delegates and Petrice works the mob into a frenzy, having them attack Hawke and company. Finally, she has Saemus Dumar murdered for converting to the Qun, and tries to have Hawke framed and killed for the deed. These actions eventually cause the Qunari to revolt and have them launch open war upon the city.

Of all these, the only example who I believe may count is Sister Petrice, as the only reasonable argument I could see being made against her inclusion is because she’s a Knight Templar. However, unlike fellow Knight Templar Meredith, who has a Freudian Excuse, is aware not all mages are evil and her actions are extreme, and is slowly being driven insane by an Artifactof Doom, Petrice doesn’t have well-defined reasons for thinking the Qunari evil. She just acts like a hateful bigot and religious fanatic. She also shows no concern for the people she has killed to further her agenda. She sells out her bodyguard and his followers not because she believes they’re actions are too extreme, but because they’re drawing too much attention to her. Her pitting Hawke and her followers against each other is a Xanatos Gambit. If Hawke kills her followers, she gets rid of the loose cannons jeopardizing her. If Hawke dies, then she’s rid of some Qunari sympathizers. Because of this I'm inclined to think she counts, but I'd like other opinions.

edited 17th Jul '12 2:25:52 PM by OccasionalExister

Iaculus Pronounced YAK-you-luss from England
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
Jul 17th 2012 at 1:00:03 PM

[up]It's worth remembering that Morinth is an expert seductress and manipulator. Haven't seen 'em myself, but could there have been any selfish motive to writing those e-mails?

What's precedent ever done for us?
32_Footsteps Think of the mooks! from Just north of Arkham Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Think of the mooks!
Jul 17th 2012 at 1:16:15 PM

Wait... we already covered Morinth. In fact, looking back on page 25, Occasional Exister, you were in favor of including her. What's the content of these emails (and any possible commentary from Morinth about them) that should have us reconsider?

Arterius being a Well-Intentioned Extremist would suffice. I do note that his entry is extremely thin, so it'd have to be rewritten regardless.

I need clarification on Branka. The page claims that she's motivated by It's All About Me. @1745 is saying that she's a Well-Intentioned Extremist. Anyone else care to weigh in? As written on the page, it looks fine. But if the page is wrong about It's All About Me, it should be cut.

Varnell... you need to format that point better. Anyhow, even on the page, that looks like it's fairly low key for the setting even without getting into following orders (because zealousness can affect that). I'm inclined to cut on the heinous standard.

I'm fine with keeping Petrice, but I think a rewrite/expansion is in order.

Reminder: Offscreen Villainy does not count towards Complete Monster.
Jul 17th 2012 at 1:52:28 PM

[up] Yes, Branka is a Well-Intentioned Extremist. I can be sure of that. Sometimes, if depending on what choices you will make in the game, you can even redeem her. If you will make another choice, she will start doing more and more horrible actions mentioned on the page. I still think that she should be disqualified.

Jul 17th 2012 at 2:09:12 PM

I originally did think Morinth counted, but Morinth never lived in any of my playthroughs so I was unaware of the emails she wrote. In Mass Effect 2 Morinth was painted as a sociopath, these letters, however, hint that she still is capable of love. The content of the emails has Morinth telling her sisters that their mother died a hero fighting the Collectors, even though Morinth hated her mother and, depending on the decisions made by the player, Morinth will being lying to comfort them. She also tells her sisters that Samara’s last thoughts must have been about them. The emails have Morinth telling her sisters all about the sights and places that she’s seen across the galaxy. She says she understands and respects her sisters’ decision to cloister themselves away from the rest of the galaxy, but she also wishes they could all be together again and hints they should breakout. Morinth only appears once in Mass Effect 3, as a mindless, non-speaking Banshee, so if she had an ulterior motive in writing these emails, it remains unknown. At face value, there doesn't seem any other reason for Morinth to act so nicely towards her sisters other than basic decency.

In the beginning, Branka’s motives were that of a Well-Intentioned Extremist. The darkspawn were slowly wiping out the dwarves, and the Anvil of the Void seemed like a weapon they could use to fight their enemies, as well as regain some of the dwarves’ lost glory. The years she spent searching for the Anvil, however, seemed to have affected her sanity, ala Captain Ahab. By the time the player encounters her, Branka seems to want the Anvil for herself more than for a desire to help the dwarves. The It's All About Me likely comes from that, as well as the fact that she whined about how the rest of her household complained about being eaten, killed and raped by the darkspawn.

edited 17th Jul '12 2:41:59 PM by OccasionalExister

Jul 17th 2012 at 9:28:21 PM

To further the Monrith discussion, her last email was written not long before being turned into a Banshee and she clearly acknowledges that it'll be her last letter, and she signs it using her real name. But in her letters she's a lot more open then she was with Shepard, and talks more about being free then killing people.

Now, onto the others;

  • I'm for keeping Saren, using the invofmation in Mass Effect Revelations (the first book). He's a clear sadist, enjoying the acts of killing and torture. His creed is "Never kill someone without a reason" and "There's always a reason to kill someone." Throughout the novel he lets a injured civillian die in agony rather than risk his target finding out she's alive and hiding, he leaks the flight path of an Alliance ship coming to pick up Kahlee Sanders, leading to the deaths of everyone on board (Kahlee survives and is taken hostage, but Saren honestly expected them to kill her too), and when it came time to infiltrate the plant to capture the ringleader he blew the plant up because he couldn't be bothered tracking the boss down, an act that ended up posioning hundreds of innocent workers and their families. And then when he finds the Big Bad of the book, he shoots him so he can have Soveriegn, the Reaper from the first game all to himself, using it to boost the Turian's standing in the galaxy and put humanity in their place. His entire MO is to get the job done fast and to hell with the consequences, and his internal dialogue made it clear he would kill Anderson in a heartbeat if he wasn't afraid of getting caught.

As for his actions in the first game, by that point he's heavily indoctrinated, so I discount his motivations as being those of a Well-Intentioned Extremist. Throughout that dialogue where he delievers his Motive Rant he sounds like he's reaching, insisting that if he suceeds the Reapers will spare some life in galaxy despite all evidence to the contrary. From my perspective he's still a Knight Templar looking out for himself and his race first, he's just shifted to helping the Reapers wipe out the rest of the galaxy.

Onto the others; Branka seems ot be driven mad, which in my book tends to disqualify most actions from counting as CM-worthy due to them not fully appreciating the gravity of their actions. But you can snap her out of her and make her stop and reflect on just what she had to do to get the Anvil, causing her to destroy it and commit suicide. So I'd say that discounts her.

Ser Verrel is a mook to Petrice, so he doesn't count.

Petrice, honestly I don't think she's Complete Monster worthy. Yes, she's a Knight Templar, yes she's a Smug Snake and Manipulative Bastard, but she doesn't do anything truly henious like wipe out entire villages or subject people to routine Fate Worse than Death that is being made Tranquil, and there is a valid reason to be concerned about the Quanari (them planning to eventually take over the entire world and forcibly convert it all to the Qun, as well as them lying about their reasons for remaining in Kirkwall). So still evil, but acting in the interests of protecting the Chantry and their followers from being forcibly converted (which when the Quanari get fed up, they attempt to enact).

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