shadow-man

anonymous asked:

Hey Caddy, enjoyed your review of Shadow Man, but I think you should know that the PS1 version you reviewed is the worst of all the 4 released (the other three were on PC, N64 and Dreamcast). It probably won't change your opinion of the game in general in certain aspects (and I can respect that), but a bit of clarification or atleast prior research would have helped (though you did say Shadow Man ON PS1).

Haha, thanks! I did try to be as clear as possible about the fact I was talking about the PS1 version. It can’t be any more obvious. People getting upset with me over hating the game have clearly missed that, lol.

In regards to the other versions I’m sure they’re 10x better but the cutscenes and environments I personally hated as well so maybe I’ll just give it a miss.

Laura Moon is not your “iconic badass female character” at all, and I’d appreciate it if white women stopped pretending otherwise. 

I do think it’s important and necessary to portray female characters who are complex, flawed, selfish, dangerous, and even a bit villainous. I also think it’s crucial to represent female characters with mental illnesses properly. So yes, in that sense, Laura is written quite well. Her depression is not aestheticized or glorified in the slightest, nor is it fetishized for a male viewing audience. She’s not a typical wife to a male protagonist because she is dangerous, she is apathetic, she is both a liar and casually blunt, she is self-aware, and she is cynical. These are not typical traits for the love interests of male characters. I get that. 

But Laura is also meant to be a character you dislike, or, at the very least, one that you should have quite a difficult time empathizing with. Not only did she cheat on her husband - she cheated on him with his best friend, a man who also happened to be her best friend’s husband. Her selfish desires caused Shadow to get imprisoned, and she committed adultery while he was in prison because she lied to both Shadow and to herself when she said she could wait for him. She chose temporary relief over honesty. She treated Shadow apathetically, selfishly, and patronizingly, and in fact even after her death she continues to condescend to Shadow and expects him to be at her beck and call. She was callous and flippant with a god (Mr. Jacquel, AKA Anubis) and expected him to listen to her whims. Mr. Jacquel is a serious but compassionate person - if even someone like him is irritated by her actions, then you know that Laura is not a nice or good person at all. 

You don’t need to justify her behavior. You need to accept that she’s a selfish and bad person. If you truly want complicated and different female characters, you cannot spend time trying to prettify or justify their awful behavior. 

Audrey, who justifiably hates Laura, still cares for her because Laura, albeit her actions, was her best friend. It’s difficult to fully hate someone when you found out about their death and their adultery at the same time. But she has no qualms about letting Laura know what she truly thinks about her. And she’s right - Laura did not love Shadow. Laura did not treat him properly. Laura was selfish. Laura is still selfish. Laura thinks of nothing but herself, and it doesn’t matter that she’s depressed; depression does not excuse treating your loved ones like toys to play with or manipulate. 

The only reason any of you are justifying Laura’s behavior is because Shadow is black. The protagonist of the show is a black man, and that’s exactly why you think the show is only good now that Laura is on it. I’ve seen people say “well the show passes the Bechdel test because of Laura now”. Setting aside the sad reality that the Bechdel Test was created by a lesbian to measure lesbian representation (so the show doesn’t actually pass the test since there are currently no lesbian characters on it), there are actually interesting and unique female characters already. These same fans who are touting Laura Moon as the height of “revolutionary” female representation ignore Bilquis. 

If Shadow was a white man, he’d definitely get more sympathy from white fans. Conversely, if Laura was a black woman, she’d get villainized by the same people who are currently defending her. Or alternatively, if Shadow had cheated on Laura, he would be deemed persona non grata by these “Laura defense squad” type fans. Hell, if Shadow was a white man, white fans would not be saying that the show was “boring” until Laura came along - they’d hype it up from the get go. 

This show is incredibly important because the main character is a black man who isn’t reduced to stereotypes at all, and it’s important because it has many characters of color who are written well and aren’t typecast into boring roles. Laura Moon is not what makes this show great. Sure, she’s one example of the great writing behind the show precisely because she’s such a challenging character to figure out and analyze. But even her actress, Emily Browning, acknowledges that she is supposed to be a character you have a hard time liking or empathizing with. Do not excuse her actions or lessen the degree of hurt she caused. 

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Please. I need it. I beg of you.
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the aftermath

Marisha: That was a three hour battle.

Matt: Yeah.

Marisha: We did nothing but fight.

Matt: And honestly? Kinda mucking it up with archers kinda helped too, because they were all about to just start focus firing on whoever was visible.

Laura: Yeah. So I’m glad we split them up. Getting Grog out… 

Matt: Getting Grog out was key. 

Matt to Laura: If you hadn’t have pulled him out and taken all those attacks of opportunity-

Travis: That was it.

Matt to Travis: -you would be gone.

Travis: I was at 20 and then- I was like “that’s it.”

Matt: They weren’t gonna stop when you hit zero.

Travis: Yea-no that would’ve been it.

Matt: They were going to cut you up until you were dead.

Matt’s face immediately following that statement:

Liam to Laura: Look at that guy, look at that guy-

Travis: LOOK AT THE FACE

Travis, to Liam: You saw it too didn’t you!?

Liam, laughing: I saw it

Travis: The shadow of a man that wished he could have butchered someone and didn’t quite get to.

Taliesin: That is the face of the fucking devil.

Travis: The shadow of Craven Edge lives behind those eyes!

A Finite Amount of Love

The first time Rose did it, it was out of ignorance.

The second was desperation.

The third time she did not do it. If she had, it would have been purely malicious.

She resisted it the fourth time too, and the fifth, the sixth and the seventh. 

The eighth time she never got the choice: she died first.

The first, though—the first was Adam. An eager and honest bucktooth man with blond hair in ringlets that reminded Rose just a bit of her own. Adam was the first human Rose fell in love with, and it was different. It wasn’t her normal human love, that soft and gentle maternal kind. This love was bubbly and effervescent. It was walks alone just the two of them that felt giddy and new and anxious eager jolts in her mind of touching his skin and investigating his lips and getting close, close like humans do, in a way that wasn’t fusion.

And 58 was far too young an age, Rose thought, for Adam to fade. He burst out in sores that corrupted his human form and could not heal, would not heal, and no human could save him. So Rose did. Adam died, and Rose shed just enough tears to bring him back into existence.

Things didn’t change all at once. For years nothing was different than the novelty of Adam’s ringleted hair truly matching Rose’s. But humans experience the passing of decades different from Gems. Adam grew solemn when all his friends died. He made new ones. Then 50 years later, they all died as well.

Adam’s body remained healthy. But it seemed the human mind wasn’t equipped for centuries of life. Maybe humans had a finite amount of love packaged into them, meant to well up from the soul for 70 or 80 years at most. Adam ran out of love. He packed his things, just a single bag on his shoulder, and he told Rose he would leave forever.

Rose let him go, but her heart still broke, because Gems work on a much larger time scale.

Samuel was the next man in her life, a mere 30 years later, and he was spry, bubbly, energetic, overflowing with a sort of giddy love that Rose felt would last and last. She swept him up in her arms and spun with him on the briny beach front, her bare feet molding in the sand as they swirled and danced, day after day, year after year. She and Samuel married, as was a custom among Samuel’s kind, and he gathered a batch of humans larger than Rose had seen since the victory against Homeworld.

Samuel turned 75 faster than Rose could measure. He was gray and worn, thin and knotted at the joints, senile and immobile when Rose still wanted to dance with him on the beach. He did not wake up one morning, and it was too soon for Rose. She wept, honest heavy wet tears that poured the life back into a husk that dried too soon.

Samuel lasted another 75 years after that. But he burned down, slower than Adam but still the same. His human light died. He wept too hard for his family and friends, for the children of his first marriage and his children’s children, and their children… He grew solemn, and cold, and inconsolable, and one day he told Rose he wanted to explore the ocean with his infinite age. Alone. Without her. His human love had burnt itself to the wick.

The heartache hit worse. Rose gave her hand and heart and time to no other man for decades. Not the curious sailors who came hat-in-hand to the Temple. Not the outcast townsfolk who came to investigate the myths of the magical women out by the briny shore. She waited, and waited, until that ache in her chest grew too heavy, and she let a young and spindly man named Wilson woo her. He took her out to sea on a rickety hand-crafted boat, and he pointed out the wonders of the vast sea to her, and Rose wondered silently if ever they might cross Samuel’s path.

Wilson grew old when Rose was not paying attention. She went to visit him one day, and found only a sickly man curled up in bed, breathing in wheezes, blinking through milky eyes. Garnet found her that evening, Garnet with the ability to see the paths laid out ahead of her. She warned Rose not to follow through this time, and Rose did not. And Wilson died.

Mark with the thick orange brows was slowly whittled down to thin scraggly gray hairs, like fuzzy caterpillars resting on his lip and brow the day he died. Seth had only hit 30 when his carriage was lost off the side of the road in a blizzard, his body found days after. Wallace made it to 76. Jeremy to 64…

When she met Greg, Rose reached a selfish conclusion. She would be the human this time. She would be the human wife that Adam, Samuel, Wilson, Seth, Mark, Wallace, Jeremy never had…she would be the one to give him a child.

And she would die first this time.

The other men had seemed so peaceful when they passed, Rose thought in hindsight. A life well-lived. A life fulfilled. Not like Adam, not like Samuel, whittled down to husks and then nothing but a puppet on strings, in a body strewn about, too spent and stressed for a human. She wanted to know that peace of a life lived to its end. She wanted to pass on her chance of experiencing the world to a new human, a new generation, like all humans were so happy to do.

Rose died first. Steven lived on.

Lars has not visited Beach City in centuries. Pearl, Garnet, and Amethyst still live there, he knows that, but he never knew them well. He never properly met the green and blue ones either.

He travels sometimes. Mostly he lingers. Wherever he ends up. It’s all a blur. Where he’s been and where he’s going. Just not Beach City. He’s visited those old homes too many times, and he saw them all demolished over time. Nothing’s left for him there.

Lars does not quite know where he is. He does not particularly care. It’s indoors, and dim, and a man is logging orders on a holographic tablet one table over. It’s a restaurant of sorts. Lars doesn’t need to eat, but if he orders a coffee, they will probably let him linger longer.

Lars stares out the window. He does that often. He’s run out of other things to do over the years. He’s gotten numb to most of it.

A shadow of a man slides into the booth with Lars. He takes the space on the opposite side of the table. He’s wearing a rain poncho, a thin and ultra-light orange material for maximum hydrophobic effect. He looks old, eyes lined with wrinkles beneath the hood. Lars swallows the urge to ask him what he wants as the man lowers the hood.

His hair cascades in ringlets, each the same pale and luminous pink as the hair on Lars’ head.

He sticks a hand out, and offers a thin smile that doesn’t quite touch his eyes.

“I’m Adam. I noticed your hair from the other side of the bar. Sorry to intrude, but could we talk a moment…?”

KURO WEEK - DAY 2: Identity

“And I cannot help but wonder,

where does ‘he’ end

and where do ‘I’ begin?”


Even after their escape, Kuro still felt the cold pressure on his back – the ever watching eyes of the Druids. Always waiting, always anticipating his next move to be a failure. Always looking for a reason to get to him. To hurt him and tell him how he needed to become the Champion – Shiro. Over and over again. Until he would believe it. Until he would embrace the idea of losing himself to the arena, and become their greatest weapon.

He could still hear them comparing him to his original sometimes. He knew he was an individual personality. He had to be. And still, after all this time, Kuro was at a loss.

He still wondered, what was real, and what not. What was him and what was Shiro? Which traits, which quirks, which likes and dislikes were exclusively Kuro? And which ones were copied from the original? Which facets of his personality were his? Which ones were only a mere shadow of a man he loathed and loved at the same time?

He was at a loss.

After all this time, Kuro still wondered, where Shiro ended

and where he began.

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Okay, so my poor baby sometimes wonders if he’s a real, individual person or if his mind, too, is nothing but a copy. Second entry for the @kuroweek 2017 :3

Take a turn and see his smile
Made of nothing but loneliness
Just take a walk and be a friend
To the Shadow Man
You can call him Joe, you can call him Sam
You should call and see who answers
For he promises to come running, guided by the truth
But the Shadow Man is really you
Look in his eyes and see your reflection
Look to the stars and see his eyes

277. SHADOW MAN - Ziggy Stardust Sessions, Recorded in 1971

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“Friends, I know I’m in hock to y'all pretty deep already, but it seems our little froggy prince lost his way. And I need your generous assistance getting him back.”