Old Man Yells At Cloud

Photograph of me

This is a blog post idea I’ve been considering for a long time, and had lengthy drafts of at various points. I’ve decided it’s time to go for it with WordPress.

People are mostly familiar with me complaining about how Marvel treats Polaris. But I actually have a lot of things I have issues with involving fiction (hence me yelling at clouds). This an attempt at a brief rundown of things that are or were (and no longer are) issues.

Marvel

Let’s start with the easiest first.

I don’t want to discount that Marvel has, in fact, done some good things over the past 10 years for Polaris. Back from space, origin story finally told, playable in games, figurine, etc.

However, the problems tend to overshadow all of that. Marvel has a tendency to treat Lorna poorly in multiple ways.

They’ll try to erase her from canon (e.g. redraw a House of M portrait to remove her, or exclude her from an event that the rest of her family is in).

They’ll try to take things away from her and give them to other characters (Luminous as a new “sister” for Wanda and Pietro, Bishop leading Prisoner X clearly based on season 1 Gifted’s use of Lorna, Jean Grey using the powers causing accident as a little girl backstory in the coming DoFP film).

They’ll try to undermine her for the benefit of other characters, mainly men (Gambit in ANXF #3-6 until #7 set things right, Havok and a little Magneto on X-Men Blue).

I have big problems with all of this. So right now, I’m refusing to engage in anything tied to Disney that I can until Lorna gets a solo, mini, oneshot or leads a team book.

There’s also the forced retcon on Wanda and Pietro, suddenly not being Magneto’s kids. I stopped watching MCU films because of it. Won’t start again til they’re Magneto’s kids again, though that’s contingent on Lorna getting what I said in last paragraph.

FF4 fandom and Rosa

This WAS an issue I had but isn’t anymore.

Back around the time of the DS remake, I discovered a lot of hate toward Rosa. Short of it is that people were framing everything she did in the game as if it was horrible and her fault, claiming things were said in a Japanese “source book” that went against what’s known of the character, etc.

I spent a few years laying out lots of stuff people missed about her, and questioning the negative framing. For example, people were blaming Rosa for being captured by Golbez in Fabul, ignoring that 1) Cecil and co were about to be killed and it was only offering herself up that stopped that from happening, and 2) you may as well blame Rydia for the shipwreck caused by Leviathan if you’re gonna blame Rosa for things out of her control. Also pointed out things like Rosa crossing the desert by herself to reach Cecil. Lastly, that people might see her as “bland” because her personality was the foundation for multiple future, better known FF characters (Aeris, Rinoa, Garnet, Yuna).

Today, people seem to understand Rosa’s value, so I’ve had no reason to complain.

Ubisoft and 1666

This is another “was a problem but now isn’t” case.

At one point, Ubisoft acquired the rights to Amsterdam 1666 via acquisition of THQ properties. This matters because Desilets and Ubisoft have had a rocky relationship. After that acquisition, Ubisoft fired Desilets.

The rights to 1666 were SUPPOSED to go back to Desilets if the game got canceled. Ubisoft instead put it on “indefinite hold” so that Desilets couldn’t get the rights back for his own IP.

While this was ongoing, I was refusing to buy and play anything Ubisoft. When the company finally gave the rights back to Desilets, though, I bought a bunch of stuff from Ubisoft and played it. Far Cry 3, Far Cry 4, Far Cry Primal, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, a couple other small things. More recently I bought Far Cry 5 and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

Tomb Raider

Here’s what was good about the recent “reboot”: Lara isn’t sexually objectified, the graphics are good, and as far as I know, gameplay was good too.

Then there’s everything else.

I have big problems with the recent “reboot.” Those problems are specific to the fact that Crystal Dynamics used Tomb Raider and Lara Croft instead of starting a new IP with a new character where everything they did would’ve been more appropriate.

Lara Croft is supposed to be something of a heroic cool icon. That type of character is supposed to be someone you want to aspire to be like, representing amazing qualities you normally don’t see in the real world.

The current “reboot” made Lara out to be a horror film survivor girl wracked with PTSD living a horrible life you’d never want to live. It destroys the entire foundation of the character. You can’t say “Oh, this is just part of her becoming that cool self” because with the 2013 game, she’s an adult and that’s her base nature. And what the game says is that Lara is now a deeply scared and traumatized woman who only does what she does as a coping mechanism while trying to hide it behind a fake image of bravery and coolness.

Nothing done by any future games can change that. A full-fledged reboot that tosses out the 2013 “reboot” would be needed.

But the worst part of the “Tomb Raider” “reboot” is that Crystal Dynamics clearly only did it to follow the grimdark trend of taking great uplifting characters and franchises and turning them into depressing hellscapes.

Oh, and one of the reboot’s producers caused a scandal by touting their amazing move of showing Lara surviving an attempted rape as part of her origins. Which got a lot of backlash until Crystal Dynamics conveniently announced that Rhianna Pratchett was the scriptwriter. Then people suddenly stopped complaining.

Snyder’s Superman

You don’t see me talk about this much because most people realize this was bad. It’s interesting. People easily recognize when these bad things happen with male characters and complain, but if the same happens to a female character, they celebrate it or act like it’s no big deal.

My problem with Snyder’s idea of Superman in the films is the same as for Lara up there. They took a heroic icon you’re meant to be uplifted by and aspire to become more like, and dragged him through the grimdark mud. The same base is that there’s no respect for who the character really is and what he represents.

Writing a Superman that’s broken, traumatized by the world, that’s all fine for an AU. It’s not fine as the most visible representation of the character. Even as an “origin,” it’s terrible form, because it robs the character of his amazing awe-inspiring spirit.

DmC Dante

This was another reboot that did things very wrong. Seemed to act like the actual franchise was something terrible to be discarded and forgotten. Didn’t help that Tameem at Ninja Theory ridiculed the character, franchise and fans. Not a smart move to badmouth the source material of what you’re working on.

Again, people recognized the problems with this, complained, and you see Devil May Cry 5 out now. Again, it’s interesting that they don’t do the same over female characters.

Soul Calibur V

This was something I had big problems with that isn’t a problem anymore.

Soul Calibur IV was the last in the franchise. People wanted it revived. Good! Then Daishi decided bringing it back should mean a big time skip.

It wasn’t merely the time skip, though, but the real reasons behind it. He purged a ton of the existing roster to add entirely brand new characters. Conveniently, most of the characters he removed were female characters. There were shitty excuses too. For Sophitia, it was that she died. For Taki, he just up and decided that she was “too old to be a ninja.” Despite the fact he had no problem with Siegfried, Mitsurugi, Raphael, etc still being playable in the game.

This game sold about half of what SCIV did, and it was essentially a base breaker game. Most people seemed to call it out for how bad it was. Many loved it though, and insisted that they would never buy a game that did not continue from SCV.

This isn’t an issue for me now because Soul Calibur VI was a step toward fixing this. It went back to the origins to use the core characters. I wish Setsuka would’ve been in it, but I understand her not being there.

3rd Birthday, Aya Brea

There is a looooooooot I can say about this. The short of it is, if you know Other M, this was a hell of a lot worse.

The Parasite Eve franchise is one of the most popular as far as ones with female protagonists. People were clamoring for a sequel or remake. After over 10 years, Squeenix finally made a game.

… And it was fucking insulting beyond belief.

A clothes ripping away mechanic to show skin. Various fetish costumes. Marketing and advertising that sexually objectified her. A story loaded with sexual harassment and creepy junk that simultaneously mocked the original franchise AND made Aya out to be innately scared of combat and only willing to fight if she’s forced into it.

All of this included stuff like having Maeda, a character from PE1, talk about how he wants to taste Aya’s tears – supposedly cause she’s so beautiful. And then the story includes a softcore porn style bonus movie to unlock, and the game reveals only at the end that Eve was in Aya’s body all along. Right before killing off Aya’s spirit. And saying she was all the monsters in the game all along.

There was also constant lying from Squeenix about the game, too. The producer claimed the clothes ripping away mechanic was for “realism.” Toriyama claimed he was writing Aya as a “cool mature woman in her 30s,” exact opposite of what he actually wrote. Even that shower scene. They said they weren’t doing it, then threw it in at the last minute.

After various other Squeenix things (FFX-2, Chrono Trigger DS and attitude toward fan sequels, etc), 3rd Birthday was my last straw. I haven’t bought, played, watched, read anything Squeenix since 2010. Only way that changes is if they make a new game starring Aya Brea that thoroughly establishes that 3rd Birthday wasn’t canon and treats Aya right. Requires at least as much promo as 3rd Birthday got, too.

Other M

I bought, played, and beat Other M. Gameplay-wise, it’s good. Story-wise? Terrible.

Things got worse afterward. Nintendo seemed to double down on Other M with the whole jet boot thing for Samus’ Zero Suit, made to look like high heels. Then there was Federation Force. Already sending a message that Nintendo felt Samus didn’t deserve respect (by trying to make a group of male characters into the protagonists), they went even further by making Samus into a nonsensical and incredibly easy boss fight in her morph ball form.

All that while refusing to acknowledge Metroid on its 25th anniversary, and refusing to make any new Metroid games starring Samus.

This is a limbo territory matter. They released a new 3DS game starring Samus that people loved, but they haven’t put out Metroid Prime 4 yet, and they haven’t celebrated Samus like they have Legend of Zelda.

Nintendo and Rapp

I’m going to make this brief. Nintendo had an employee named Alison Rapp. A bunch of GG types decided to doxx and attack her, with the goal of getting her fired. And they got their wish. Nintendo gave them what they wanted. Rapp was doing NSFW stuff in her personal life outside of Nintendo, and GGers got Nintendo to fire her for it.

Rapp wasn’t even anywhere near the supposed reason for what GGers were doing. GGers were whining about translations. Rapp was not in that role. She was just a visible woman they decided to target, and Nintendo fed them.

I swore off everything Nintendo after this. Only case where I don’t have criteria for when I’ll get Nintendo stuff again. It’s just whenever I’m no longer too disgusted with Nintendo. I came close to deciding to get the Switch recently, then remembered what Nintendo did to Rapp and just couldn’t.

ArenaNet

Let’s talk ArenaNet.

If you don’t know, this is where their garbage founder Mike O’Brien fired Jessica Price and Peter Fries, again at the behest of GG types. All because Jessica said some stuff the GGers didn’t like, and Peter spoke in support of her.

As far as I’m concerned, this company doesn’t deserve money. Preferably, Mike O’Brien should be kicked out of the company. But it going out of business would be good too. Just need the good people who work at ArenaNet to get jobs at other companies that deserve their talent.

Resident Evil

There is a lot I can say here too. This is cliff notes.

Since Resident Evil 5, Capcom has been treating Jill and Claire like they’re worthless supporting characters for the men, and acting like Chris and Leon are the “real” stars. I can delve deeper into this with a dedicated blog post in the future. Highlights.

Since Resident Evil 3 in 1999, no main numbered entry has starred Jill or Claire. The only games they’ve been given, Revelations, are spinoff side games with lower budgets and less advertising/promotion, where they’re used as guinea pigs for experimental ideas (more horror angle and 3DS platform for Rev 1, episodic content for Rev 2).

You’ll also notice that representing the franchise in general always goes to the men. In Marvel vs Capcom 3, they used Chris as the RE representative and left Jill for DLC, while MvC1 and MvC2 had used Jill. When launching the Resident Evil 2 “remake,” Leon was the focus of the E3 announcement, the sole character of the One-Shot demo, and got front focus for the collectible and deluxe editions.

Stuff like that. I’ve since sworn that I’m not touching a Resident Evil game unless it stars Jill or Claire. And I skipped the RE2 “remake” because its focusing on Leon and treating Claire like she’s beneath him in promo work and packaging is bullshit.

Star Wars games

When Disney acquired the rights to Star Wars, they shut down LucasArts. They didn’t even let the dev teams making games wrap up their projects. Just fired them. No warning.

After this happened, I decided I wasn’t going to buy future Star Wars games. I may start up some day, when enough time has passed, but that’s not any time soon.

Harley Quinn

This is the last thing I can think of. I may add to this list later if I remember others.

I liked Harley Quinn. She was a great character when treated well. Fun, entertaining, wild POV. Then DC saw Arkham Asylum and decided she needed to be more like that.

My problem with DC’s approach to Harley since the “reboot” is that they basically threw away her identity. The concept is supposed to be of a harlequin. What they’ve done is more akin to “clown girl,” with much more blatant visual cues to having come from Joker rather than being her own character with her own thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

The writing might do plenty of unique things with her, but visually what they’ve done is made her beholden to Joker’s aesthetic. And they didn’t even change the name, which makes all of this akin to dressing Batman up like an owl or chicken but still calling him Batman.

I haven’t bought, watched, played anything DC since this happened with the exception of the Wonder Woman film. Solely to support diversity. Which was a great film, by the way. But that was my reason for making the exception.

And that wraps up my cloud yelling!

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