Comment on with an uneven synchronicity

  1. ycouyo chara

    They cannot have a meaningful character if they are in any way aware their choices are not their own
    everyone's entitled to their own opinions on what they think is most interesting, but i super disagree with this sentiment! the big cathartic moment of frisk's character arc is the explicit reveal that they are a separate entity from chara and the player. since their catharsis is tied into the acknowledgement of their identity and personhood, it's reasonable to guess that identity and the right to assert themself are central elements of their character arc. asriel explicitly suggests that frisk is suicidal (like most of the cast of undertale; here's a cool essay written by someone else on that), and a lot of things that cause suicidality also tend to cause learned helplessness.

    i've talked at length on how i interpret and write frisk's character arc. (tl;dr suicidal doormat who needs a push from the player and chara to stay alive at first, provides the act options, will obey even commands that they don't like out of a desire to please, disappears quietly rather than resist aggressively when they hit their threshold; climax of their arc is both the refusal to die and refusal to knuckle under to asriel at the end.) i'm not the only one with a similar reading.

    also the question of power dynamics and fight vs spare is already a significant part of chara's arc and their direct relationship with the player. (also also: frisk is not the one being punished in-game for completing a no mercy route. that's very VERY explicitly the player, thanks japanese localization.)

    like, i guess i can understand this sort of character arc not being to your personal taste, and wanting to write them differently because it's fanfiction and the whole point of fanfiction is having fun? but saying that frisk can't have a meaningful character if the player is an in-game entity is like saying that yorda from ico isn't a meaningful character.

    (i could, go on, for paragraphs, about how the player has a level of agency that none of the in-game characters enjoys--the player is the only person who can actively decide whether to be a hero or a villain--SPECIFICALLY because of the way that undertale is framed in-verse as a video game and uses video game tropes, but i'm already approaching the character limit here so)

    Last Edited Sat 16 Sep 2017 02:37AM EDT

    Comment Actions
    1. Wow, I really stepped in it. I absolutely take back the assertion that Frisk "can't" have a meaningful character if the player is an entity. Now that I read it over that's a really harsh statement and I didn't mean to be so arrogant or dismissive because that's not how I feel at all. I'd try to clarify what I did mean but I've already failed once and honestly my point was more of an aside than something really relevant to the fic so I'll just "mea culpa" and bow out.
      I like reading different interpretations of Frisk and Chara and think most of them are completely valid, other than "murderous psychopath Chara wants to kill all the monsters for no clear reason and Mary Sue Frisk crying as their friends all get killed", and of course binary-gendered Frisk and Chara. Personally I've always assumed the player is a factor but Frisk and Chara are not fully aware of the player's presence or influence. Though Chara referring to the player and Frisk with different pronouns in the JP localization of the Genocide ending speech is giving me something to chew on, since it is clear when they are speaking to whom in a way the original English is not. Thanks for those links by the way.
      I'll try to be more careful about how I speak in the future. Sorry again.

      Comment Actions
      1. ycouyo chara

        i appreciate how polite this response is, thank you!!

        i've only got all these links on hand for quick copypasting because "the player isn't really a thing, doormat frisk is boring and bad, only edgy frisk need apply" is such a pervasive argument and has been for almost but not quite as long as undertale has been out, and i'm used to dropping essays with full citations on a dime, sorry... 8') i hope the various extreme word dumps were/are/will be fun to look through regardless though!

        Comment Actions