I don’t know if you ever let someone down, got your ass kicked, or straight up failed. Those are the moments that define us, they push you further than you ever thought possible and force you to make choices… no matter what the cost.
Shocking to no one, Emma’s favourite beauty brand is one of the most expensive brands in the world: Cle de Peau. With the signature 1oz. foundation at $120, Emma doesn’t pinch pennies with beauty. She swears by their stick concealer as well as their skincare(she is one of the outrageous people that actually buys, and swears by their signature moisturiser “la creme” at $795). She doesn’t buy a lipstick that is not Tom Ford, and prefers cream formulas as opposed to powders for contour, blush, or highlight, because her skin leans towards the dry side.
She didn’t use to bother with makeup, more out of lack of knowledge and skill, than outright dislike for the whole thing. She spotted cool-girl brand Glossier’s pink minimalist ads in NYC, and liked the concept. She also liked that they don’t have more than 15 products on their entire site(she still had to google a tutorial). She washes with the milky jelly cleanser, moisturises with the priming moisturiser, and uses the rich version at night. She tackles her daily skin necessities with their three super serums. She likes their haloscope cream highlight, and their cloud paint blushes. Her daily look is their stretch concealer if needed over moisturised skin(she can’t be bothered with foundation), haloscope on her cheekbones, tip of the nose and cupid’s bow, cloud paint on her cheeks, clear boy brow ran through her dark brows, and and alternates between their signature clear gloss or a berry generation g stained on her lips. It doesn’t take her five minutes. Her most treasured beauty item, is a Tom Ford lipstick in the shade “Ginger” that Ororo got her as a gift. She loved the colour and it was the most comfortably smooth lipstick she’d ever owned. When she went to the counter at Nordstrom and realised it was $50 a bullet she figured “Ginger” was good enough for now.
Storm supports B.O.M.Bs (Black Owned Makeup Brands). Which means she is always on trial with different obscure beauty brands. She never wastes her time with a base, due to her rich, perfect complexion. Her favourite brand is the fairly recent Pat McGrath Labs, and in the short time its been available its become her signature. She is one of the 25 000 people who got their hands in the Skin Fetish 003 in gold, and she’s in love. As for skincare she prefers the green and organic type. She uses Tata Harper to wash, treat, and tone, and moisturises with pure, organic, fair-trade shea or karite butter.
Jubilation is about five years ahead everybody’s game. Including Emma’s. She sides with the most advanced, in terms of beauty, country in the world. South Korea. And K-Beauty is the best. She’s used everything, Mamonde, Blithe, Innisfree, Moonshot and dozens of other makeup and skincare brands. She’s currently all over Huxley, a brand with the star ingredient of… something about a cactus that lives in the Sahara. The point is that it retains a bunch of times its weight in moisture. She also sunscreens. like. crazy.
(She’s totally aware that she doesn’t need to do anything what with being a vampire and everything, but she enjoys it, so get off her dick.)
Kitty is sort of a basic bitch when it comes to beauty. She doesn’t wear makeup daily, but when she does, Too Faced, Tarte, Urban Decay and the sort, are the kind of brands she gravitates towards and there’s nothing wrong with that they have the prettiest colours shut up. She also loves Becca because highlight is life. If she doesn’t look like a unicorn came in her face she didn’t do it right. Fuck the fact that her skin leans on the oily side, she will blind you with her highlight. She also, always, without fail, falls for the gimmicky fads. The holographic lips glosses? She bought Sigma’s whole bundle. Rainbow Highlight? Heck Yeah, Lisa Frank vibes. She’s utterly lost in skincare, though. She’s always had near perfect skin, so she never bothered to upgrade her routine after her 12-year-old Clean&Clear kit. Which means she still uses the too much salicylic acid gel cleanser, alcohol based toner, and moisturises with the Neutrogena pink grapefruit lotion because it smells nice. She still hasn’t figured out that she’s greasy due to the fact that she obliterates her skin’s lipids, and fucks up its PH balance on a daily basis.
Lorna Sticks to the classics, because she’s smart and she knows that its dumb to try to re-invent the wheel. Chanel represents 90% of her beauty collection. She also likes over-the-seas, makeup-artist-built brands like Charlotte Tilbury, Ellis Faas, and Natasha Denona. She knows exactly when to save, and when to splurge. Take mascara for example, everyone knows that if you spend more than twelve bucks on mascara you are a moron. The only person she knows that goes for designer mascara is Emma Frost, but she’s Emma so she doesn’t count. Foundation is such a complex subject, tho. Should it be oil-based like Giorgio Armani? Water-based like Koh Gen Do? In a cushion like Lancome? In a squeezie tube like Laura Mercier? Never in a jar though, that shit’s disgusting, and it’s begging for breakouts(to this day she has no idea what Chantecaille was thinking). These are things a woman should know. As for skincare, she prefers the doctor owned brands. Her favourite is Dr. Dennis Gross. She swears by the Retinol and Ferulic Acid line, but is currently giving the Hyaluronic Acid and Marine Minerals line a go, and is loving it.
Our hero, Cole, is quite plain, like, the usual psychological thinness one grows to expect from video game main characters. The ones who aren’t ridiculous power fantasies like Kratos or your good ol’ antihero like Raziel. He isn’t bad, especially when you have deeper insights to his personality - thanks to Kessler most notably - but still, he is kinda boring.
The rest of inFamous’ writing fluctuates between good ideas, funny dialogues… and terrible support characters. Let’s not talk about the embarrassing depiction of female individuals, divided in both games between the Wife (Trish, Kuo) and the Bitch (Sasha, Moya, Nix), and everytime, without any influence on the main plot. Way to be progressive. And for every plot element which gets good foreshadowing, there is another one which painfully fails to tcheckhov themselves.
Still, some quality writing most of the time. And in all of this… Let’s talk about Zeke.
Unlike Cole, whose childhood and teenage years we know nothing about (or at least it isn’t hinted in-game), we learn during inFamous Zeke is an orphan, often in the streets, and with his forties approaching, in complete existential despair. Not getting any real satisfaction in life. Poor to the point of living on a roof, a shitty inventor whose inventions generally explode, apparently no successful love/sex life either, no known friend outside of Cole, clearly the occasional outlaw too.
Close to the end of the second island, in respect to your usual three-acts-structure, the hero traditionally encounters a significant failure. And the big defeat here, the one which definitely implies some moral responsability… isn’t Cole’s doing. It’s Zeke’s.
It’s Zeke who will foolishly abandon his job of watching a gang leader in chains during an important mission, it’s because of Zeke countless innocents die when the leader escapes.
"Don’t know if Zeke’s gonna forgive himself for this….Don’t know if he should.“ (Cole)
The character will be developed further during the game, while in what is arguably the most stunning scene of the series, during the bad ending of inFamous 2, Zeke is once again the focus of the situation.
This is a very interesting thing, the sidekick being the developed character for once, and it is one approach clearly done, deliberately or undeliberately, as a direct result of the support.
In video games, you can’t have your main character fail too much. You can’t have him being too fat, or too short, or too clumsy. You can’t develop him around his failure of a life and around big, bloody mistakes. Well, you CAN but most developers will never risk it, and regrettably, a lot of players would hate it.
However, you can make a real character out of the sidekick.