The return of Misty

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Re: The return of Misty

Postby Bobby Archer » Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:34 pm

MarbitChow makes a number of good points. In the end, I think it comes down to these two thoughts:

MarbitChow wrote:That's not the point. The point is, if the character dies, and that death is significant to the narrative, the character should remain dead, unless that character's return from death is ALSO significant to the narrative. Misty isn't important to the narrative, except for the fact that she died.


We don't really know anything at all about Misty, other than that she's a female thinkamancer who seems to like to be helpful. Wanda has also been shown to be very helpful, and she's EVIL. We know nothing about Misty's real personality, so we as readers would have no idea what changed. So, there's no potential dramatic value to bringing her back this way, because WE couldn't feel the change, nor could Parson.


We (and more importantly, Parson) met Misty when she was part of the Eyemancer link-up. As such, she had almost no personality beyond "Lookamancer". Yes, she seemed to desire being helpful, but that really doesn't let us know a good deal about her. We wouldn't be able to track any changes in her personality.

If we can't see her change from her return from the dead, being decrypted would only serve the purpose of making Parson (and possibly Maggie) feel better. And this directly undercuts the impact of having her die.

Firefly wrote:If I get diagnosed with cancer and believe I'm going to die, then later go
into remission, I'm going to have a different notion of how to live my life
in the future, recognizing that it's a precious gift and it's NOT infinite.


If a close friend or family member is diagnosed with cancer, there is a stark difference between them going into remission and dying from it. Literally, life and death. The basic lesson or notion or moral you take away from it may be the same, but, trust me, death is going to underline that much more than remission is.

To draw a parallel to another comic, think about Spiderman. The original concept of the character revolved in large part around the fact that he wasn't always faced with easy choices and he didn't always win. The series is full of moments where Spiderman, in one way or another, failed. However, the two pivotal moments in the comic, the two failures he learned the most from, were the deaths of Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacy. Spiderman's had friends and colleagues hurt, kidnapped, sent to the hospital...on and on, but the two events that form the heart of the comic's mythos and that the writers keep returning to (how many times have they replayed the bridge scene in one way or another?) are those two deaths. Because nothing drives a point home like the fact that, to learn it, someone close to you is no longer here.

I'm not going to try to debate whether decrypting Misty is possible in terms of game mechanics. "Claiming" is vague enough to slide around right now, and while Misty wasn't moved out of the city hex, she did change zones from the tower to either the courtyard or the tunnels (depending on how deep Sizemore buried her). That can be argued endlessly.

What I will argue is that, from a narrative standpoint, Misty serves a greater purpose dead than alive. Dead, she is a symbol to Parson that, however cutesy and game-like Erfworld seems, the consequences are real. He has the power to send living, thinking creatures to their horrible deaths. She is his Uncle Ben.

So, I'm going to side with Parson on this one, Misty deserves to rest.
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby Duckman » Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:34 am

Bobby Archer wrote:To draw a parallel to another comic, think about Spiderman. The original concept of the character revolved in large part around the fact that he wasn't always faced with easy choices and he didn't always win. The series is full of moments where Spiderman, in one way or another, failed. However, the two pivotal moments in the comic, the two failures he learned the most from, were the deaths of Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacy. Spiderman's had friends and colleagues hurt, kidnapped, sent to the hospital...on and on, but the two events that form the heart of the comic's mythos and that the writers keep returning to (how many times have they replayed the bridge scene in one way or another?) are those two deaths. Because nothing drives a point home like the fact that, to learn it, someone close to you is no longer here.


I don't want to turn it into a Spiderman debate, but I don't think your parellel is accurate. It is NOT the fact that Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacy died that affected Peter Parker, but rather the fact that he did not save them. This is especially true in the case of Uncle Ben: he was not killed by a Spiderman supervillain (in fact, there was no "Spiderman" at the time). A low-life thief shot him, and, most importantly, a thief which Peter Parker had refused to stop when he could. THAT is what turned the death of Uncle Ben into a defining moment: Peter's conclusion that it was HIS FAULT that his uncle had died, not the death itself. In fact, we know that Peter's parents are both dead (let's not touch their return, please, it still makes my eyes bleed), and that didn't lead to a big character development. His mistake with a simple thief killed Uncle Ben, and that's why Peter Parker learned a lesson of personal responsibility.
The same with Gwen Stacy. Her death was painful for Spiderman because it was the whiplash of his saving her from a deathly fall what what actually killed her. Here, we can also add that it was her proximity to Spiderman what made her a target, so it is yet another reason why Peter Parker would feel responsible for her death.

Bobby Archer wrote:What I will argue is that, from a narrative standpoint, Misty serves a greater purpose dead than alive. Dead, she is a symbol to Parson that, however cutesy and game-like Erfworld seems, the consequences are real. He has the power to send living, thinking creatures to their horrible deaths. She is his Uncle Ben.


There are two ways in which I disagree with the above. First, if Parson sent someone to his death, it was Bogroll, not Misty. So, if your point is that Parson learned the cost of sending a living being that he liked to his death, and that that should not be undone by decrypting, then again, you're refering to Bogroll. It was Bogroll that made a case to Parson about personal responsibility. Bogroll is (ugh!) Parson's Uncle Ben.
Not so with MIsty. Parson DID NOT send a living, thinking Misty to her death. It was the Tool and, to a certain extent, Maggie, who were responsible for it (as Parson keeps reminding Maggie AT THE BLOODY END OF BOOK 1!). Misty was important - from a narrative point of view if you wish, as so many would-be co-writers of Erfword keep reminding us - to make Parson understand that death was real.
Ok. Got it.
I think that point has been driven through quite successfully already, with more than Misty and Bogroll. Parson is effectively sickened of the death he caused in GK, and seems quite hurt by the fact that Bogroll was quite throughly obliterated, beyond even the arkenpliers ability to bring back to life. So I'm still unconvinced of why MIsty's decrypting (regardless of the debate on whether that is possible, which was the main idea triggering this thread) would be bad narrative-wise. I don't really think it would cheapen anything. And I still think that a changed, decrypted Misty, who hated being brought back in that way, and who avoided Parson or despised him for allowing her to be decrypted, could bring interesting narrative options.
It does not matter that we did not get to know her before she died. It would still make sense to make her into a new, different source of guilt or narrative tension for Parson and team. I don't see Maggie or Parson going all "Oh, she's back alive, we're off the hook, let us lose character depth" after her decrypting, especially if Misty does not seem happy about it. Now, I'm not saying this will happen, or that it should happen. I'm not aching to see MIsty back in the story. I'm just saying that it could happen, and that it would not necessarily "cheapen" whatever it is that her return has been foretold to "cheapen".
Then again, I'm not an expert. :)
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby Cmdr I. Heartly Noah » Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:49 am

Misty's not a Thinkamancer, she's a Lookamancer.

But really, other than the way Parson felt about it, she's only important in that there's no table anymore. And that's kinda sad. Especially since Parson now has the weight of Bogroll's death on him, and Misty's death is kinda taking a bakc seat. (Even though Parson is still talking about it with Maggie).
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby President_Allosaurus » Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:03 am

The fact that Book 1 has ended and that there will new things in the Summer Updates doesn't speak too tell on Misty's final Fate. If it was never commented on it within the story, then Parson's burial of her may or may not have disturbed the rules, but the end result was that she wasn't raised. The summer updates may reveal Misty to him as a special surprise of sorts, but I doubt it would work. Misty's death was the death that forced Parson to begin to accept the concept that this world, Erfworld, accepts these kinds of..obscenities, to steal his words. To bring her back to life is to cheapen his development. It is to try to gain a few readers at the sabotage of the story itself, of the thinking man's appreciation for your story. Misty being revived should not occur, no matter the how, but she was a nice girl, and rather than question of can we bring her back, I wonder if she was happy serving under Stanley and what kind of person she would have been.
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby Shadyjames » Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:31 am

My biggest question is how "thoroughly obliterated" could bogrolls corpse have been? I mean we get shown a shot of the jetstone troops setting fire to him, but thats a drop in the ocean compared to the full-blown mutilation a volcano would cause, and everybody elses corpses seem to be fine. Did they grind him into a pulp and then spread him around the courtyard or what?
Or are we just running with the fact its a toy volcano.

This is now the corpse thread, because i said so.
*sigh*, bogroll will be missed.
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby imgran » Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:29 am

MarbitChow wrote:From a gaming perspective, "move" usually means "crossing hexes". Note that Bogroll had a move of 0. This didn't mean he was immobile. It meant he couldn't leave the hex. From a gaming perspective, since Misty's body didn't exit the hex, she wasn't "moved".


Welll... they did find her in the tower.

They did bury her in the tunnels.

The game dynamics are different in a city. It's kinda borderline, but there is greater than zero hope for Misty fans.

Just sayin. I'm kind of neutral on the whole thing.
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:37 am

imgran wrote:It's kinda borderline, but there is greater than zero hope for Misty fans.


It's a fantasy world - anything is possible. Perhaps a set of linked casters, using the power of a Tool of the Titans, can go back in time and rescue her. Hope springs eternal. :)
However, for all of the reasons that those on the "Misty is gone forever" side have enumerated, it's unlikely to happen.

What could be more interesting is if Sizemore had a thing going with Misty on the side, becomes obsessed over her loss, and asks one of the decrypted archons to dress up and "Play Misty for Me."
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby Bobby Archer » Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:22 pm

Duckman wrote:I don't want to turn it into a Spiderman debate

I don't either, so I won't.

My point is, Misty's death is the point where Erfworld became "real" for Parson. The cute little characters die. Someone he liked and who helped him died. Misty's was killed because Stanley needed a Foolamancer for his great escape. Not because of anything she did or didn't do, but because an Overlord's plan killed her as an aside. She was killed for nothing by Stanley's carelessness. Parson, as Chief Warlord, has the power to end the lives of thinking feeling beings. Misty's death made that real for him.

Maybe Bogroll's death, the volcano uncroaking, and everything that's happened since her death would still keep the point driven home for Parson psychologically. That's not the point. From a narrative standpoint, Misty's resurrection would undercut the point of "death is real for these people" because then death is only real for Gobwin Knob (or whatever side possesses the Arkenpliers) under certain circumstances (being completely destroyed).

Also, the opportune moment for decrypting Misty from a story standpoint has passed. The Summer Updates aren't the place for such a momentous event. Book 2 will take place a number of turns after Book 1 ended. Her decryption at that late date runs into the question of "why now?" If Rob and Jamie wanted to do this, they would have done it before Book 1's end (it could even have led into the end of the chapter, Parson symbolically taking back someone that Erfworld had taken from him).

Finally, I get the idea of Misty coming back different. I won't argue that, if written well (and Rob's proven he's more than up to the task), it could be very effective. Misty just isn't the best candidate for that kind of plot for the aforementioned reasons. Bogroll, on the other hand, would have been. We got to know his character much better than we did Misty. For boop's sake, Bogroll was even described as having "a good heart...[which is] really not a typical trait for a twoll." Bogroll's death was even Parson's fault.

But Rob and Jamie nipped that one right in the bud.

I think we're going to get more of a slow burn on the "decryption is not a fenix down" idea. I, for one, can't wait until Jillian and Vinny meet the new Ansom.
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Re: The return of Misty

Postby ripple » Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:46 pm

Duckman wrote:[...]if Parson sent someone to his death, it was Bogroll, not Misty. So, if your point is that Parson learned the cost of sending a living being that he liked to his death, and that that should not be undone by decrypting, then again, you're refering to Bogroll. It was Bogroll that made a case to Parson about personal responsibility. Bogroll is (ugh!) Parson's Uncle Ben.


More importantly, I'm convinced that although Misty's death got Parson's attention, it was Bogroll's death (and its specific connection to Parson's sword-induced ruthlessness) that caused Parson to rid himself of the Ultimate Warlord Sword.

That, folks, is as big a point from that book-ending page as the expletive and the "I'm a player" screech. Parson does not choose to play by rules that will cause (force) him to sacrifice individuals for the greater good. He wants to be free to choose another (better) way. And that is exactly why he's a hippiemancer.

Major props to the Erfworld writing and artistic team for being able to capture subtle points like this. I seriously haven't enjoyed a "comic book" this much since Watchmen.

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Re: The return of Misty

Postby Duckman » Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:14 pm

Bobby Archer wrote:No, no, Misty is Uncle Ben; Bogroll is Gwen Stacy.


That, sir, is an awesome signature. Still, the mental image of Bogroll making out with Peter Parker will haunt me for weeks.
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