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130279 No. 130279

What do you think? Are these ideas good enough?
http://archive.heinessen.com/mlp/thread/S15162716

Let's talk about characters and which types of chars fit best for which world & scenario.
Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 130280
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130280
If you want a great entertaining fun funny show with gum drops and ice cream then your best bet is to go with simplistic, yet heavily endearing characters.

While a character that has tons of hobbies, ambitions, dreams, responsibilities and mature flaws which lead him to blow his fuse and become antagonistic(even a psycho), should stay in a serious show where responsible and realistic characters belong.

But what do you think? perhaps one of these types of characters can go both ways.
>> No. 130281
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130281
>> No. 130283
All Hail G1. (I'm so damn old...)

But yeah these ideas are good. I see nothing wrong with them. I've even seen a few instances where these characters are put in serious situations.

Wind Whistler is a character who'd fit really well in any kind of story really. With her spoc like persona and all.
>> No. 130291
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130291
>>130280
I disagree.

But on the other hand, I'm rather a fan of tonal dissonance, so that's probably not helping me.

Simplistic characters even without endearing traits becomes cloying and frustrating. It's good for one offs with clear predefined direction, but it's progressively removed from anything artistic.
Simple characters have events happen to them until there is a conclusion.

> While a character that has tons of hobbies, ambitions, dreams, responsibilities and mature flaws which lead him to blow his fuse and become antagonistic(even a psycho), should stay in a serious show where responsible and realistic characters belong.

This character is actively more interesting in any sort of media. Even if your example is a little over the top, characters that have flaws, that can be wrong, and that can change have more impact on the audience than simplistic characters in a funny show.

In G1, there's a reason that Wind Whistler is most people's favorite. She does things, takes action, and affects change in her stories. She's relatable because she's more complex than the vapid palette swaps that make up most of G1.

Take a look at the characters of My Little Pony Tales. A cute show with gum drops, ice cream, and complex characters. The stories are driven by the characters, usually not because they happen to be around when stories are happening to them.

Moving up in the modern scale, compare Sonic SatAM to The Adventures of. Both kids shows, released the same year. But the deep, complex characters of SatAM continue to have a fanbase, where as the simplified characters of Adventures are generally remembered by potheads.

People remember Batman and Spiderman because they face challenges that are greater than they. The flaws they have and the work they put in is remembered.
Think of your favorite Batman storyline.
Now think of your favorite Superman storyline.

What made those stories different? Which was easier for you and why?

Complex characters drive their stories. As a writer you put challenges before them, and the character works to overcome them. They might even fail and find some new status quo because of it.

Simple characters wait for things to happen to them. They're kind of boring at any time. Even kids pick up when their favorite show stops being entertaining, they just don't know how to explain why they aren't enjoying it all of a sudden.
>> No. 130300
>>130291
But at least the ponies that received focus weren't vapid pallet swaps. The picture right in front of you was made to show that. Simple, yeah to that I agree. But never to vapid or pallet swap.

True Wind whistler was considered the smartest but plenty of the other ponies had there own way of solving a problem. Though in G1, pretty much every thing was a force acting upon them.

Gusty was too eager to fight, Shady was too scared to make a difference, baby Lickity Split was the scum of the earth, and more than one pony was very leader like. I keep mentally referring to Galaxy.

Last edited at Wed, Apr 30th, 2014 02:31

>> No. 130303
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130303
>>130300
I'll have to admit, it's been a few years since I've last watched the entirety of G1, so I have to take your word for most of it.

But just in your example you seem to remember the outliers. The characters who didn't fit with standard, simplistic pony society.
G1 hopped through characters (for reasons) so quickly, often characters weren't around long enough to make a major impact on the audience.

> baby Lickity Split was the scum of the earth
And you remember her more easily because she's NOT a simplistic, heavily endearing character.

> the ponies that received focus weren't vapid pallet swaps
That's my point. The simplistic, endearing default pony is vapid and uninteresting because they're trying to be simple to understand. They need an Applejack or a Firefly; who is more complex, has flaws, desires, and ambitions; to come in and save them.
Do you remember the names of the first jewel eyed ponies to come out of the cave, or that Applejack cracked that sonva'itch wizard right in the head?

In the same era, a related show that I was watching would have been Care Bears. It's a fair comparison, because like MLP it has parts where it's great, and parts where you want to claw your eyes out for trying to follow it.

In the version of the show that makes you want to kill puppies, characters are vastly simplified. They usually have only one, at most two motivations, that tend to perfectly line up with the plot.
In the version of the show that people remember to this day, characters have motives that create plots. There's inter-character conflict to deal with, on top of the monster of the day. Characters are allowed to be bad people and make things actively worse by having opinions that differ with the good of the group.

If you go through things that you liked and remember from when you were younger, you'll find that the simple characters tending to drift down in importance. You'll find you remember them being there, but the characters that pop out first will tend to be the wierdos.
The ones who made things worse, the ones who disagreed, the characters that found responsibilities and had to change to adapt to their situation. The ones who weren't endearing because they were written that way, but who you connected with because you understood how people could get to where they ended up.
Sure it's fantastic. That's the point of fantasy. As you said the pictures you posted were made to show they weren't vapid.
But you also started with a fan interpretation with the intent to infuse more character into G1.

http://starbat.deviantart.com/art/G1-Ponies-Character-Sheet-Page-One-373411266
As an 80s baby, I retain a certain nostalgic attachment to the old, original ponies, even though the writing and characterization for that program truly can’t compare to the new G4. G1 still has its charm for me.
>> No. 130304
>>130303

"Grizzly Ursa" posted those pictures. Not me, I'm just an anon.

I remember most of the names of the Jewel eyed ponies because I simply happened to like the jewel eyed ponies.

Also there are popular forms of media where the characters are simplistic yet I never got tired of it. Redwall springs to mind. I started reading that back in middle school. It is what got me into books. And I can tell you right now, every good guy and every bad guy in every book is the same damn character. But I read every book and loved the adventure.

Stories do not necessarily require this complexity you are asking for. It's a nice bonus yeah but not a requirement. It really just becomes an issue of the story/series over staying its welcome. When possibilities start getting tapped out and the show falls into a rut. Like Season 4 and whatever horrors may come after, (oooooooooh yeah I went there. )

Will Rainbow Dash ever join the Wonderbolts? No. Yet she she should by all rights already be one. Maintaining the status quo is how stagnation and bad writing starts. Also Twilight has nearly lost all modicum of interest. But that is neither here nor there.

Either way I don't know why you take G1's simplicity as a bad thing. Why don't you just say all of the one note ponies were "the background ponies" and the ones you deem complex as the "main cast" ?

Last edited at Wed, Apr 30th, 2014 12:33

>> No. 130305
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130305
>>130304
> "Grizzly Ursa" posted those pictures. Not me, I'm just an anon.
Doesn't change the statement. The:
> The picture right in front of you was made to show that
after a tiny google search was found to be in reference to a project to give G1 characters more character, based on their actions in canon. Which in /fic/ should be standard operating procedure. That's what fanfics are about.

> Redwall springs to mind. ... every good guy and every bad guy in every book is the same damn character.
You've got me at the disadvantage. I've never really gotten into Redwall for an assortment of reasons.
However, I do have a modicum of Google-fu and located a classroom guide for the Redwall series fairly easily.

http://www.bookitprogram.com/teachers/printables/redwallclassroomguide.pdf if you care to follow up.
With questions like: In contrast to the villains’ pure evil, the heroes are not absolutely good. Why did the author choose to give them weaknesses? How might a character be more appealing when faced with obstacles? Give examples from the books of what each character’s weaknesses are and how they contribute to their development and journey.
I think you may want to re-evaluate your stance on the simplicity of the characters.

> Will Rainbow Dash ever join the Wonderbolts? No. Yet she she should by all rights already be one.
I disagree with you here as well anon.
Rainbow Dash isn't a Wonderbolt and shouldn't be because she clashes with them every time they interact.
This is a constant in the series. Spitfire doesn't do things the way Rainbow Dash wants them to be, and that difference is an important part of the character.

Dash is good at flying. Lightning Dust works harder and pushes herself further. Gilda has better speed and control in most situations. And as a person Rainbow Dash is lazy and is a terrible team member.
The Wonderbolts are a dream for her, a goal to aim for. But every time she approaches it, the Wonderbolts are show to be not as fun and exciting as she thinks they are. Every time.

If you want to talk pros and cons of season four, I'll gladly jump in on that at the drop of a hat. But simple characters are functionally uninteresting victims of the story being inflicted on them. This isn't to say you can't start with a simple baseline and expand a character through life events. This is to say the statements:
> If you want a great entertaining fun funny show with gum drops and ice cream then your best bet is to go with simplistic, yet heavily endearing characters.
and
> While a character that has tons of hobbies, ambitions, dreams, responsibilities and mature flaws... should stay in a serious show where responsible and realistic characters belong.
ARE WRONG.

Simple characters are in the long and short run, not entertaining. And complex characters with depth and flaws should not be restricted to srsbnz.
>> No. 130306
>>130305


Listen sweetheart. I read the books. You didn't. I've read them more than once, you googled third party material.

I'm not changing my stance on the simplicity of the characters.

The last bit you are responding too about complex characters not being restricted.

I didn't even say that. Grizzly said that, not me. Keep your arguments in front of the correct person.

> Dash is good at flying. Lightning Dust works harder and pushes herself further. Gilda has better speed and control in most situations. And as a person Rainbow Dash is lazy and is a terrible team member.
>The Wonderbolts are a dream for her, a goal to aim for. But every time she approaches it, the Wonderbolts are show to be not as fun and exciting as she thinks they are. Every time.

Every little bit of that was fan speculation. Your fan speculation. You made that part up about Gilda completely.

Last edited at Wed, Apr 30th, 2014 13:53

>> No. 130315
>>130306
1)
>Listen sweetheart. I read the books. You didn't.
I have read the Redwall series. The characters are not simple. Yes, many heroes and villains share many traits, and the characters are not as complex as others in stories aimed at an older audience, but they are not simple. Simple conflicts, yes—good vs. evil—and while I hate the fact that X species are "good" and Y species are "evil," that particular simplicity just seems to be a crutch the author uses to project roles quickly and clearly (despite the racist undertones). Obviously, he underestimates his audience's intelligence. Or maybe he just really hates stoats.

2)
>I didn't even say that. Grizzly said that, not me. Keep your arguments in front of the correct person.
Regardless of who first made the motion, you have picked sides. Please do not argue for an idea then opt out of critical analysis by pre-emptively declaring yourself pointless. Furthermore, Minty in no way accused you of writing those statements; (s)he merely re-iterated his/her position that said statements are incorrect. (S)he is re-iterating the statement that got you arguing in the first place, so I hardly think it incongruous to bring those statements back into the fray.

3)
>Fan speculation
How does making something up about Gilda make the whole thing fake? I mean, I haven't watched s4, but in three seasons I have seen plainly that Rainbow Dash is good at flying. I have seen that Lightning Dust pushed herself harder, even to the point of becoming a danger to those around her. While I cannot recall any time where Dash was shown to be lazy or a bad team player, I have seen her put her own ego in front of her friends and the safety of Ponyville, so it isn't hard to accept that she'd be a poor team player. On the other hand she is the embodiment of Loyalty, so perhaps she plays just fine with others. Could go either way, really.

4)
For my view, I have no idea how a simple character can be endearing. Mostly, I just find them irritating as a focus and forgettable as a side. Characters need traits. They don't have to be huge, epic backstories or rhyme and misreason, but there needs to be something to sink your teeth into. I mean, there really is no way to see a one-dimensional object, so how could you hope to enjoy its design?
>> No. 130318
>I have read the Redwall series. The characters are not simple. Yes, many heroes and villains share many traits, and the characters are not as complex as others in stories aimed at an older audience, but they are not simple. Simple conflicts, yes—good vs. evil—and while I hate the fact that X species are "good" and Y species are "evil," that particular simplicity just seems to be a crutch the author uses to project roles quickly and clearly (despite the racist undertones). Obviously, he underestimates his audience's intelligence. Or maybe he just really hates stoats.

So basically you said. "They're not simple.....but yeah they kinda are simple." I mean really you're not even going to provide a single example?

Every Log-a-log is the same character. Every Skipper of Otters is pretty much the same character. Every leader of the vermin horde besides some noticeable examples, is the same character. They all want to take over Redwall/Mossflower or Salamadastron, or some other place across the ocean.

The Abbot of Redwall is always a kind patient caring animal and their goal is always going to be the same, protect their people from the vermin hordes.

The Foremole in every book is the same character.

The Cellerhog is always the same character

I think the cook/Friar is sometimes different.

The hero of the story will of course vary bit by bit but the variances are superficial at best. The only thing that ever differs with these characters are their names.

Also Lightning Dust didn't "push" herself she was showing off.

And I guess you're okay with Dash never being a Wonderbolt BECAUSE you think she's lazy and egotistical. Pretty much her Season 1 self. But if you're so hung up on "complexity" you'd realize that the entire point of Wonderbolt Academy was meant to show that she'd changed. So she isn't an egotistical asshole anymore. Or at least not as much of one, and that she is very willing to work out her issues to become a Wonderbolt.

Are we watching the same show?

Last edited at Thu, May 1st, 2014 12:28

>> No. 130328
>>130318
Do I really have to go over this?
*sigh*
All right.

There is more to this world than black and white. I am sure you can look out your window and see many, many things that fall outside of the two shades, even if you look through colour-removing lenses. For simplicity's sake, we shall think only in monotone for this example. Look at any older movie, or older photograph, and you will see many shades of gray in the picture, even though it's called just "black and white." There is a whole slew of a pallet that isn't covered. Why, then, are you so stuck on those two?

There isn't a binary selector switch that says 'simple' on one side and 'complex' on the other. There are degrees in the middle. So, yes, the characters in Redwall are kinda simple, especially when compared to works like, say, Song of Ice and Fire. On the other hand, they are complex when compared to other works such as, say, g3 My Little Pony.

Recycling characters shows a simplicity of execution, not a simplicity of character. Please note the difference.

But you wanted examples. Let's talk about the ones you provided, first. Your claim that
>Every Log-a-log is the same character. Every Skipper of Otters is pretty much the same character. Every leader of the vermin horde besides some noticeable examples, is the same character. They all want to take over Redwall/Mossflower or Salamadastron, or some other place across the ocean.
>The Abbot of Redwall is always a kind patient caring animal and their goal is always going to be the same, protect their people from the vermin hordes.
>The Foremole in every book is the same character.
>The Cellerhog is always the same character
>I think the cook/Friar is sometimes different.
is fairly accurate. In fact, I'm going to agree with you. Now, all these fellows? They're side characters. Support characters. Pieces to help the main character to his goal, and didn't we already cover how Brian Jaques underestimates his audience, and therefore uses easily-noticable role-references? They're the same character because that's who needs to be there. You can't be too hard on the guy for that—I've heard that Stephen King recycles characters in his stories, but that doesn't make them any less engaging or complex.

Brian recycles more than characters, I think you'll find. Most of his books follow the same formula, with only a few exceptions; "Outcast of Redwall" springs immediately to mind. But just because it's a formula you've seen before doesn't mean it's any less engaging.

But let's shift the focus here from 'recycling' to 'are these characters simple?' As I have said, I think not. Let's talk Martin.

Martin was, as you no doubt recall, a warrior with trust issues. Oddly enough, not directly to strangers, but more to his friends. In his own book, he comes up with a great plan to defeat the tyrant cat, but doesn't really tell anyone what it is. Yes, he tells them their part, but leaves them blind to why and how. He then carries on this tradition beyond the grave, hiding his sword away from his friends and family and those sworn to never take up arms yet who would gladly defend and protect the artefact with all they have, talking to all his descendants in riddles rather than just telling them what needs doing, and generally being distrustful and any who'd seek him out. And he's the great mouse everyone looks up to! Sure, he was a great warrior, but he was no strategist. Most of his solutions were very straight-forward, and he needed Gonff to balance that. Of course, Gonff was a thief who stole the girl that Martin was falling for (you know...that unimportant mouse, Wassername), so maybe that's what made him distrustful.

But, hey; opinions vary. Tell me: what defines a 'simple character' to you?

>Also Lightning Dust didn't "push" herself she was showing off.
Eh...potato, potato. You cannot expect a show-off to not be pushing themselves to exceed their last stunt. Sure, she was a show-off—I'll grant you that—but she pushed herself for it.

>Rainbow Wonderbolt
When did I ever say anything about Dash not becoming a Wonderbolt? My point was that Minty's argument has merit, and you shouldn't discredit it as simply 'fan speculation.'

Are we even having the same argument?

Last edited at Fri, May 2nd, 2014 01:54

>> No. 130333
>>130328
>>130328


In the earlier books his main characters were a bit more unique. Martin, Matthias, Luke, and a couple of others. But I did say in my previous post that the heroes of Redwall tended to have some degree of differentiation. In his later books, not so much.

But the more I read over this topic the more off topic it gets. this is a pony thread not a redwall thread.

>Regardless of who first made the motion, you have picked sides. Please do not argue for an idea then opt out of critical analysis by pre-emptively declaring yourself pointless. Furthermore, Minty in no way accused you of writing those statements; (s)he merely re-iterated his/her position that said statements are incorrect. (S)he is re-iterating the statement that got you arguing in the first place, so I hardly think it incongruous to bring those statements back into the fray

Minty was arguing fan speculation as if it were fact. So yeah not taking what she said seriously makes a whole lot of sense to me

I really didn't care at all about Minty's initial arguments or his position on shallow vs complex characters. My only intention was to defend G1. The ponies that had considerable focus were not vapid or pallet swaps. That's all I really wanted to say before we threw this off the rails.
.

Last edited at Fri, May 2nd, 2014 11:34

>> No. 130402
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130402
>>130333
> My only intention was to defend G1. The ponies that had considerable focus were not vapid or pallet swaps. That's all I really wanted to say before we threw this off the rails.
Well that would have saved lots of time.
I said that G1 was prone to hopping through characters, which is true because Hasbro likes making money and wanted to advertise multiple pony models.
You want me to not say they're vapid or character swaps. I can pull back on that, that's debatable till the cows come home. Subjective statements are like that.

> Minty was arguing fan speculation as if it were fact. So yeah not taking what she said seriously makes a whole lot of sense to me
Ohmehgawad, speculation on /fic/. THAT CAN'T BE TRUE.
Now I'm pissed about the Rainbow Dash thing. Because you want episode references now:

>>130306
> You made that part up about Gilda completely.
Season 1, Episode 5, which is still the only episode with Gilda.
In most situations, even after giving Dash a large headstart, she's able to close gaps between them very easily, and passes her on a few occasions while practicing.
It's possible to infer, taking the small interactions here, that Gilda is more suited to open stretches of high speed flying, and including her nature as an aerial predator species, she seems physically designed for swooping.

A particularly unkind reading of the scene could include Gilda holding back for Dash's emotional benefit.

>>130318
> Or at least not as much of one, and that she is very willing to work out her issues to become a Wonderbolt.
And she's growing up. But really I was hoping the end of Wonderbolt Academy would be her swearing off joining the military like that. But it didn't, so I'm fine with that.

> Are we watching the same show?
Probably not. I'm more attracted to unfortunate implication than most.

Now, let me hit my points:
> Dash is good at flying.
We seem to agree here.

>Lightning Dust works harder and pushes herself further.
There seems to be some lack of clarity on the difference between Pushing Harder and Showing Off. But the words I chose are specifically Spitfire's, who is captain of the Wonderbolts. This is important for a future point.

> as a person Rainbow Dash is lazy

Season 1, Episode 1; Season 1, Episode 3; Season 2, Episode 7;
These episodes all have a few things in common. Rainbow Dash is sleeping in the middle of the day when she's supposed to be doing something else, and these are just the ones that I remember right off the top of my head. Dash is sleeping when she was supposed to help Applejack, Dash is sleeping when she's supposed to be clearing clouds, Rainbow Dash is sleeping because her friends knew not to invite her because she'd probably be sleeping anyways. She spends most of her afternoons asleep.
Her key sin has been sloth for a good long while.
How about the episode when she has an entrance exam to take, but instead she blows off studying for it till the last minute?

> and is a terrible team member
Didn't she just sell Fluttershy into indentured servitude an episode back? For a book she already owned?
You remember her plan for the Grand Galloping Gala back in S1? Show up, interrupt the Wonderbolt performance, something-something, Profit! Which she didn't plan enough time to do anyways.
How about when she starts yelling at terminally depressed crystal ponies to make them be not depressed? Rainbow Dash is bad people man.

> the Wonderbolts are show to be not as fun and exciting as she thinks they are.
Name an episode where the Wonderbolts are everything she expects them to be.
Not Sonic Rainboom. They kind of ignore her for most of it, and give her a pat on the back at the end.
Not Best Night Ever. They seem more focused on pretending to hobnob with snobs rather than spend time with her.
Hurricane Fluttershy? Spitfire seems like she's only there to get her job done. She doesn't even help, and she's vaguely sort of bored.
Wonderbolts Academy? Please note that the Wonderbolt's Captain approves almost entirely of Lightning Dust's behavior, even though Dash is put off by it.

She's not Wonderbolt material. She's not cold, distant, or dedicated enough to be a functional part of a military performance and assault team.
If you want pure speculation, Celestia is keeping her off the team because it will crush her will and destabilize the Princess Twilight Sparkle.
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