I will be discussing spoilers in this post. Consider yourself warned.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with video game culture, there was a series that started clear back in the 80’s called Castlevania. Many people consider the 1997 release, Symphony of the Night, to be the best game in the series (phew, exposition).
I confess that I have never played Symphony of the Night. All I know is that Alucard is the ultimate gothic pretty boy vampire character.
Anywho, the creator of Castlevania got fed up with video game companies, struck out on his own with Kickstarter, and developed Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night as a spiritual successor.
We played Bloodstained because I was in the mood for something gothic, lol. I’d rate it 4/5.
All right, now here are the spoilers: your character wakes up after a ten year long nap, and discovers that her bff is the villain. He is later revealed as being mind-controlled by a demon, and the excessively helpful blonde woman is outed as being the one who is actually evil. She summons the ultimate demon that you have to fight and kill as the final boss of the game.
And, well, I thought that the story line was the weakest part of the game. It was too obvious and predictable, but teased just enough that I kept hoping it would try something new. It didn’t.
The mind control shtick has passed its sell-by date, in my opinion. Whenever characters act like, “You used to be sooo good, but now you want to kill everyone. What’s going on?” you can bet that it’s because of MIND CONTROL.
I dunno, maybe they were abused and damaged beyond what they could handle. Maybe they realized that society is irredeemably corrupt. Maybe, just maybe, something happened that made them change their mind. Characters are allowed to evolve, and it doesn’t always have to be for the better. Even good characters can have a dark night of the soul.
And the main character… she’s allowed to change too; she doesn’t have to statically believe in black and white forever and ever. Wouldn’t it be wild if, halfway through the game, the main character has an epiphany about pursuing the wrong goals, and forms an alliance with the antagonist? No one would see it coming!
It feels like there’s a big, gaping hole in the middle of storytelling that no one acknowledges, ideas that are never explored because we’re too accustomed to stereotypes.
In this day and age where indie is becoming more and more accessible, what are we afraid of?