So. In his mutant form, Moreau is a fish with 8 arms. Does that make him an octopus?
So. In his mutant form, Moreau is a fish with 8 arms. Does that make him an octopus?
Me: You know, I don’t really read fic in which the main focus is on an OC or a character’s relationship with an OC. Mostly it’s just a matter of taste, but many, if not most OCs are either a self-insert, or an audience surrogate in some capacity, and I just can’t get into those stories for pretty personal reasons.
Also me: GODDAMMIT! I accidentally had to make ANOTHER OC! This might just be the fifth one I’ve made for this fic!
By getting into RE fandom, one could expect me to become obsessed with Lady Dimitrescu, tall vampire MILF that she is. If you look at my taste in favorite characters in the past, really it was only a matter of time before I would get immensely interested in and attached to Heisenberg. It was inevitable, really. What I did not expect however is my recent deep affection and fixation on Moreau.
So I was wondering how much items in RE8 would actually be worth in real life. And then I remembered… Oh wait… Lei is an actual currency in real life!
Of the objects that you can sell to the Duke, 3000 lei for one used cigar seems like a lot. Way too much for a used cigar. That must mean that 3000 lei is not actually worth very much in real life, right? Well as it turns out, 3000 Romanian lei (RON) is worth ~700 USD. And just… Like… WHAT!? A single of Heisenberg’s cigars. USED. Is $700!??? Just… DAMN! Either Duke is INCREDIBLY generous to Ethan, or Heisenberg’s cigars are DAMN expensive! What the hell is in those things for them to be worth THAT much!? I was looking at cigar prices and maybe the very most expensive Cuban cigars that I could find were that price brand new. So for a USED one to be worth that much!? Those damn things must have pure gold dust in them or something! I don’t know what the resale on used cigars is, but I can’t imagine that it’d be a lot. So that cigar probably easily runs at least double that price. Most likely more.
So what I learned about this is that the Lords must be absolutely fuckin’ LOADED and that Heisenberg is just sitting here flexing his wealth, smoking $1500 cigars. Just… DAMN DUDE!
In response to this post.
Hey! If anything I should be the one to apologize for not replying, but I’ve been doing a lot lately! So sorry about not getting back to you on this! I also get distracted SUPER easily. So like… Sorry about that… But yeah. You’re more than welcome to say your piece. I’m just feeling very scatter brained right now.
A third person review of Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated. This just amuses me a little.
My mutuals out here calling Heisenberg the fuck out for liking the mushroom man.
I would say that they’re also calling out Moreau, but he is a frog, not necessarialy interested in them.
So here’s a thing. I think that Heisenberg may have gotten some of his fashion sensibilities and quirks from Moreau.
Now I’ve seen it floating around and am very fond of the idea that Heisenberg decided to start wearing gloves and that hat of his to kinda copy his big sis, Dimitrescu. But something that I haven’t seen anyone mention is the fact that Heisenberg wears a coat that is actually quite similar to the one we see Moreau wearing.
Yeah, Moreau isn’t actually wearing a cloak…? It appears that his ‘cloak’ is actually an old, dilapidated, black leather trench coat with a hood very crudely sewn onto the coat’s collar. (TBH the coat he’s wearing looks like something someone from The Matrix might wear.) His hunch is just so severe that it makes him look like he’s wearing some weird cloak thing, when actually it’s just a pretty long jacket. And when you compare them, the coat that Heisenberg wears bears a lot of resemblance to how Moreau’s coat would have originally looked.
And then there are the things that Heisenberg wears around his neck.
I’ve speculated before that with his tattoos and the fact that he’s packing heat that Moreau may have been in the military in the past. And we already know that he must have been a mariner in some capacity. And dogtags, a compass, and a spring scale. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for Heisenberg to be wearing them. It’s unlikely that he was in the military and the fact that they’re blank means that he’s probably just wearing them for the aesthetic. He’s not allowed to leave the village, so why would he need a compass? And what would he be weighing to justify wearing a spring scale all the time? But Moreau? Actually, it would make sense for him to be wearing those items! Again, if he was in the military (which albeit there isn’t much evidence that he was, but evidence is there), of course he would have had dogtags. Compasses are perhaps most often used by sailors as they navigate the seas. And a spring scale? A very common use for them is to weigh fish! These things make sense for Moreau where for Heisenberg they really don’t! But Moreau probably can’t exactly wear necklaces anymore given that he kinda doesn’t have a neck, it’s so swollen. So I think that it’s entirely possible that Moreau may have given Karl those objects to wear if he wanted, or for Karl to have started wearing them to emulate his big brother, Moreau! At the very least it’s a very cute idea that is worth exploring a little.
Ever since I first thought of this, it just made me imagine Heisenberg and Moreau having gone out fishing. Karl’s still a kid and asks what Moreau’s wearing. He tells him it’s a scale and he brought it to weigh any catches they make, and Karl just thinks that’s neat! So then Moreau just slips the scale around Karl’s neck and tells him to keep it. Alternatively, Moreau just approaches Heisenberg one day as an adult and just gives him a compass. Heisenberg asks what that’s for and Moreau says that it’s a compass and he’s giving it to Karl just because he thinks he’d like it. Magnets and all. Externally Heisenberg just rolls his eyes like, “Yeah. Sure. I’ll wear it.” giving Moreau the impression that he won’t, while on the inside Karl’s just like, “I love this and I am never going to stop wearing this!” Pick your poison! Or both can be true! Why not!? I just think that it would kinda be a cute little connection between the two.
So I’ve been working on a RE8 fic recently. It’s about our beloved fishboy Salvatore Moreau, but before he got supremely fucked up! He’s still been mutating, but the changes weren’t to the kinds of extremes as we see in the game. I wanted a better idea of what to be picturing in my brain while I write him (I kept switching between like… Four separate designs that other people have made for him, none of which match his personality, so that was a bit weird to mentally have), so I drew this up and decided to share it cause why not?
So some notes about him:
It’s a much different interpretation from what most people tend to go with, but I hope you find the idea at least a little entertaining anyway.
Also shoutout to @penquinlori for being my enabler in all of this! Without them I never would have gotten as far with this dumb fic project as I have! Go check them out! They’re quite a good artist! (Better than me at least.)
Has anyone else noticed how the Four Lords kinda perfectly fit into the fight, flight, freeze, and fawn framework of how people react to stress and trauma?
Heisenberg is obviously fight for obvious reasons. Dimitrescu actually falls under flight, avoiding conflict by focusing on perfectionism among other things instead. Donna with how withdrawn and isolated she is pretty clearly falls under freeze. And while I think that they all have some level of fawn mentality going on, Moreau really embodies that response the most out of any of the Lords, being the most obviously psynchophantic and devout of the Lords.
It’s just interesting that these four just happen to fall into this framework. I doubt that it was intentional, but it is still very interesting!
So the other day I was talking with a bud about the thematic and character implications behind each of the Lords’ outfits and the colors each of them wear. Dimitrescu wears white with a few black accents, Moreau wears black with a few white accents, Beneviento (between both Donna and Angie) wear black and white, and Heisenberg…? Sure, he has a bit of white and a bit of black as part of his outfit, but those aren’t really the main colors of his ensemble. The green of his jacket, and the brown of his pants are what really stand out colorwise with him. So black and white are just accent colors for Heisenberg while he tends to wear more earthy tones methinks. He kinda sorta doesn’t wear either black or white. But looking at it this way, the colorization of his character design is just a thing that stands out as kinda odd about him and doesn’t really mesh in well with the other Lords at all…
In fact, do you ever think about how weird Heisenberg is within the narrative and how he really doesn’t fit in or mesh well amongst his siblings in general? He really is an outlier in a lot of ways. All of the other Lords look like monsters, but Karl kinda just looks like… A guy. A few too many scars, but a somewhat ordinary guy nevertheless. And there’s of course the obvious stuff with his attitude and feelings towards Miranda, how he wants to team up with Ethan and goes out of his way to not kill him, how he’s a much more modern feeling character who doesn’t feel caught up in the Victorian period, and whatnot. So the fact that he doesn’t visually mesh in well with his siblings… Just another odd little thing about him. But then I realized… While his outfit really doesn’t visually mesh well with the other Lords’, there is one character in the game that his outfit matches with in a very interesting way…
Green jacket, eyes purposefully hidden. In terms of affinity with another character’s outfit, Heisenberg’s outfit fits in a lot better with Ethan’s than anyone else’s. And while those are about where the similarities with their outfits end, how they differ is interesting. Where Ethan has a black shirt under his jacket, Heisenberg has a white one. Ethan has cool blue denim jeans, Heisenberg has warm brown pants (also brown is a shade of orange, and the opposite of blue is orange). Also while Ethan looks like he’s too young for his age, when you actually look at Heisenberg’s features, he doesn’t actually look very old. The gray hair just throws things off by a lot, so while Ethan looks too young for his age, perhaps Heisenberg looks too old for his age. And in addition, apparently in some of he concept art, Ethan’s hair was supposed to be long! Perhaps another outfit and design parallel between the two.
So this makes me think… Their character designs kinda imply that while they are similar they are also opposites… So… Are their designs trying to tell us that Ethan and Heisenberg are supposed to be foils…? And the thing is… I think that this is an idea that really does hold up! Because thinking about it, Heisenberg is kinda living through similar circumstances that Ethan would have to exist in within a Bad End scenario. Forced to be part of a family that he never wanted to who mutilates and experiments on him. While he may be powerful, ultimately he couldn’t get away and now can’t ever be free. He is altered by this family to the point where he can no longer really considered to be human anymore. He is forced into isolation and needs to be violent in order to survive. That is the reality of Heisenberg’s life and could easily have become Ethan’s life as well if he didn’t manage to escape the Baker house. And that is probably what Heisenberg was trying to get across to Ethan when offering him that deal. That the two of them really are similar in a lot of ways. Except where Ethan had people to fight for, to love, and to help him, Heisenberg has no one.
So… Yeah! As a character Heisenberg stands out a lot, especially when compared to his siblings. But he just makes SO much more sense as a character if you put him in the context of being a foil to Ethan. Similar, but opposites. An angry and hostile protagonist contrasted against a relatively friendly and helpful antagonist. Also they’re both engineers! But ultimately I don’t know if any of this was intentional. Very interesting if it was though! At the very least it’s neat to think about and it’s fun to keep finding interesting parallels!
Y'all are cowards for not writing Mia as the monster fucker she truly is! Cowards, I tell you! COWARDS! This is a woman who willingly and knowingly fucked mold! It’s fine if you don’t think she should be with Ethan anymore. But the fact that I don’t see people pairing her off with other characters more often is a sign of cowardice! She would fuck probably just about anyone in the Village! Come on, guys! If you’re gonna write smut, get kinky with it and write some freaky monster-fucking bullshit!
Mommy Milker’s mama, Mother Miranda.
You know, season 4 of Miraculous Ladybug on the whole has actually been kinda… Good? I think that I’ve been enjoying this season far more than I have past seasons, and some of these episodes are genuine bangers! I think the Queen Banana has been the only episode so far this season to just make me groan, but that’s because Chloe is the worst. I do like her sister though!
Just… The episodes this season seem to be having greater emphasis on the interactions between characters and is just giving us more about them. And it’s been really nice to be getting to know these characters and world a bit more! I like all of the classmate characters so much more now! And Alya may have no joke ascended to the rank of best girl. Also just… Things are actually happening! They aren’t just spinning their wheels in place anymore and fighting baddies as the same old same old. Sure, the baddies are still there, but the actual conflicts of each episode feel more varied! And because things are able to happen and the status quo is able to be changed, the episodes actually have far more stakes then they ever have had before! And these stakes are very personal! And that’s just so good! It’s actually exciting to watch because in each episode something big and fun happens and I have no idea what they’re going to be pulling next!
I just watched Wishmaker, and seeing what everyone wanted to be as a child is just a really fun idea and how they made this idea fit as an evildoer’s villainous superpower was quite interesting! How nice of the butterfly asshole! And sure. The big thing to happen in episode was for Luka to learn Ladybug and Chat Noir’s secret identities. But my big takeaway is how Adrien has no idea what he wants to do with his life, and that all he’s ever wanted to do was to please his parents… And that’s just tragic! Relatable, but tragic. The poor boy… I just really like that little piece of character writing. And the stuff that I liked the most about this episode was just seeing Marinette, Luka, and Adrien being good friends. Like… Luka is just the best wingman! And BOY does this episode make a good case for Marinette/Adrien/Luka. A poly ship that I am absolutely here for! It’s just nice to see that this season is a lot more focused on interpersonal relationships and dynamics. It’s a change of pace from a lot of the superhero antics they’ve done in the past, and I like it a lot! So I’ve been immensely enjoying season 4 of Miraculous Ladybug. And who knows!? Sounds like there’s even more fun things in store for this season!
The more I fall down this stupid Mia/Moreau mental rabbit hole, the more I realize that… Y'ALL ARE COWARDS! COWARDS, I’M TELLING YOU! Do you know how many smutty fanfics for Moreau exist on AO3? Presently only 25! I was literally able to count how many fics that seem to be about Moreau and are labeled as explicit over there! Because they’re surprisingly rare and hard to find! (Obviously these numbers are a little skewed by how I was counting them, BUT STILL! I think my point comes across!)
Cowards! There is so much weird and kinky potential in Moreau! And the knowledge that I now have will curse me forever.
So… Uh… I’ve been working on an outline for a RE8 fic that got waaaaaay out of hand (as things like this usually do for me)… And… Just… I… I think I may have just invented Mia/Moreau as a ship… And… Just… HOW!?
But by far the thing that surprises me the most is… Just… It may actually be able to work!? Like, Mia is married to and decided to have a baby with the mold man, and it is heavily implied that she knew… So, really is it so out of the question for Mia, a well known monsterfucker to try the romantic fishman on for size!? Just… My god…
……. Is Enter the Haggis punk…?
… Hard to say, but somehow describing Enter the Haggis as ‘the folk punk rock band with the bagpipe’ tickles the fuck out of me though!
My process for trying to write fanfic 90% of the time is basically just me asking myself, “Hey. You wanna know what would be REALLY fucked up!?” and then me trying to answer my own question in increasingly worse ways!
Always fun to find someone to join me in this endeavor!
Screw Hogwarts Houses! Which of the Four Lords’ Houses from Resident Evil: Village do you have the most affinity for!?
Responding to this post.
The argument that a good movie or game should be able to stand on its own has its limits and depends on what you intend to do with it. In terms of simple surface-level enjoyment, yeah, you’re right, a movie or game should be enjoyable on its own without necessarily needing the previous ones, but not when we’re talking about an in-depth literary analysis of a work of fiction. Analysis requires you to do your homeworks and try to gather as much information as possible about the wider picture to make sure you avoid any misinterpretation. Especially when it gets you so far as to accuse other people’s analyses of ableism and eugenics. Furthermore, you wouldn’t watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 before even watching Part 1 or Avengers: Endgame without watching Infinity War, would you? Well, RE8 Village being the direct continuation of RE7, both games work as a Part 1 and Part 2 of the story of the Winters family. And even though the Deathly Hallows, the end of the MCU's Infinity Saga, and the story of Ethan Winters can stand alone in their respective franchises and have very different vibes from the rest, you understand that any attempt at analyzing their plots and characters will inherently present flaws and inaccuracies when you have no, or little, knowledge of the whole saga.
RE7 is not necessary to have a blast playing Village if you don’t really care about the lore, but it is absolutely essential to understand and analyze RE8 accurately if the lore truly interests you. That’s where you get information about the mutamycete for the first time, and that’s where you witness how it operates. And that’s also where it is shown and said very clearly that it has nothing to do with nurture or environment, it’s simply a matter of a fungal infection taking over its host. The Bakers seemed to have their issues, like everybody else, but overall they were the most basic and ordinary Southern American family you can think of. They were generous people who loved each other and truly cared about their fellow humans, and who sadly got infected for trying to save complete strangers from a shipwreck. It didn’t prevent them from becoming monsters who then tried to kill each other and murdered several innocents, and we see in the Daughters DLC that the behavioral change occurred as soon as they got infected. Nurture had nothing to do with it, Eveline infected their minds instantly without subjecting them to decades of trauma and abuse to drive them insane and violent, and Jack Baker kept being a threat long after she died. Because that was all the effect of the mold. Here’s what the Baker Incident Report says about the mutamycete:
“The mutamycete has similar characteristics to Cladosporium (black mold) and has incredibly high reproductive properties.
It acts like a parasite, infecting the cells and rewriting the DNA of its host. Furthermore, when it combines with other bacteria it creates its own muscle tissue, brain, and nervous system.
As such, an organism infected with the mutamycete transforms into a type of undead monster.”
The Lords were infected. It’s not Mother Miranda’s influence that made them violent, they weren’t aggressive to please her or because she wanted them to, it was the parasite she implanted in each of them that made them that way. Even if Miranda had released them all into the wild as soon as the surgery was done, their DNA was already rewritten and the fungus would have still made them bloodthirsty and unreasonably hostile on its own. Just because The Last of Us 2 doesn’t have files explaining how the Cordyceps fungus works doesn’t mean that it works any differently than it did in the first game. Same thing goes for the Mutamycete. As I said, I have no doubt that the Lords used to be regular and innocent civilians like the Bakers were, but as soon as they were infected and started to mutate, they were all doomed by the parasite. And it has nothing to do with the environment, the isolation, or the lifetime of emotional manipulation Miranda put them through (even though, if some of them ever
tried to fight to preserve their humanity from the influence of the mold, all these things certainly didn’t help) they would have turned the exact same without Miranda around. Their aggressivity is a side-effect of the fungus, not a result of being trained, raised or encouraged to be violent out of fear of the consequences.
I wouldn’t really say it’s completely a matter of nature either, unless we’re talking about the parasite itself. Then, yes, it’s in the parasite’s natural properties to make its host uncontrollably dangerous. But it’s an external factor that is neither nature nor nurture, it’s an infection. And infections have the power to make both nature and nurture irrelevant. You keep talking about redemption, about the Lords being unredeemable, or redeemable, monsters, or “bad people”.. They’re not. They’re neither good nor bad, neither right nor wrong, they’re infected. Jack and Marguerite Baker were good-hearted people. Certainly, the Lords were too (we actually don’t know). The fungal abominations they became after being infected don’t even have the mental capacities to be good or bad, they’re just.. the sad remains of what was once a perfectly regular human being. Human-based bioweapons don’t need redemption or forgiveness, they’ve never done anything bad on purpose, they just need to be cured and brought back to normal.
From what we’ve seen in the short post-credit cutscene, Rosemary Winters is definitely not living a normal teenager life in a loving environment where she’s given independence at all. She’s forced to work for some organization and her handlers follow her with snipers ready to take her down as soon as she’s being slightly uncooperative. She wasn’t even allowed to visit her father’s grave and had to run away from whoever is keeping her to be able to have one minute alone with him for his birthday, I fail to see the independence in that. Add to that the fact that she’s a human-bioweapon hybrid (her medical report did say that she wasn’t infected so.. yeah, weird, like her father she might just be a “special case”), is very likely under some sort of medication and is probably being tested regularly like her mother, Mia, to help her fight the influence of the mold on her body and behavior, and you get your answer on whether or not it would be possible to rehabilitate the Lords.
Like I already said, it could happen, but only if all of them were either cured, or agreed to undergo some treatment in order to bring back the human beings they once were and make them cooperative and manageable. They probably could never be completely free, since even the Winters and Zoe Baker were under high surveillance after being simply infected, despite the fact that Mia and Zoe never fully mutated into bioweapons. And it doesn’t change anything to the fact that the main goal would be to bring back and salvage the humans they were, not the bioweapons they became in the state that we meet them in the game. Same goes for the Bakers, the only difference being that we meet Jack Baker’s human consciousness stored in the Megamycete after defeating him in RE7, and we see the whole Baker family as humans in the DLCs, so we would know what to expect if they were ever brought back to life and cured, while we have no idea what kind of humans the Lords were (though we all hope that the upcoming DLC could shed some light on that).
You say that you’d be willing to let a dangerous and aggressive parasite live at your expense (and at the expense of all the people it might kill or possibly infect) because you believe that it may be a person, well it’s your choice. Good for the fungus, not that good for your surrounding. But it’s also a bit incompatible with your fear to be given up on, isn’t it? Because, at some point, people will have to make the decision to cure you and bring you back, or completely give up on you and let the fungus consume you entirely (knowing it’ll keep threatening the lives of other people, but at least your body is still more-or-less alive even if your mind isn’t, and that’s what matters to you the
most, I guess?) Since you’re afraid to be given up on, I assume you would want to be cured and get the control over your own body back even if it means that the parasite will die, right? But I hope you can also understand why people would rather be killed alongside the parasite if it can save other people’s lives at the price of their own if no cure seems to be available in the immediate future. That’s not ableism nor eugenics, it’s sacrificing your life, which doesn’t even belongs to you anymore, to avoid causing the deaths of other people. It’s selflessness.
That being said, I’m with you about how cool it would be to see the Lords come back one way or another in the future. We’ve already seen how the collective mind of the Megamycete works in RE7, when Ethan talked to the consciousness of Jack Baker, we know that the Megamycete is what gave Mother Miranda all her knowledge, and we’ve seen Ethan communicate with Eveline and have access to baby Rose’s memories when grabbing the flasks or putting them in the Giant’s Chalice. Rose’s power over the Megamycete being superior to Miranda’s, it would be really awesome if, despite the destruction of the Megamycete at the end of Village, she somehow found a way to have stored the consciousnesses of all the infected people who died within herself, and thus, remain connected to them. Even if it’s just to communicate with them and they’re never actually brought back to life.
However, you might be disappointed by the fact that, if Rose was ever able to talk to the Lords through their mutual connection to the Megamycete, she would not meet them as we know them in RE8. In RE7, Ethan talked to the consciousness of Jack Baker as the regular human he was pre-infection, so Rose would likely meet the Lords as they were before they got infected as well. Only the human consciousness is stored into the Megamycete, which kinda proves that the parasite itself doesn’t really have one and the mutants we kill are, indeed, undead beings devoid of any consciousness. So I don’t think the scenario about Rose and Heisenberg being bioweapon foils to each other could ever happen, since what is stored inside the Megamycete is human Heisenberg’s consciousness. Rose would just talk to whoever Heisenberg would be if he had never been infected with the Cadou, which could be interesting as well, but probably not useful in your musings about the place of bioweapons in human society.
Hm! Well, I think that we’ve come to something of an agreement, or at least an understanding of one another at this point, so hopefully this one won’t be nearly as long! Not nearly as much to discuss and debate here, so…
Ehehe. Hell yeah I would watch Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part 2 before Part 1 or Avengers: Endgame before Avengers: Infinity War! I mean, I didn’t, but if I didn’t watch the Avengers as a social thing, then I absolutely may have! I for one haven’t watched probably the vast majority of the MCU. I haven’t seen Avengers: Age of Ultron, or Captain America: Civil War, or any of the new Spiderman movies. Didn’t even watch Doctor Strange even though I already like the idea of him as a character! And while I went through all of the Harry Potter books, I don’t think I’ve ever sat down and watched the entirety of The Half Blood Prince (I tried once and fell asleep), or either of the Deathly Hallows movies! Is that gonna stop me from maybe doing my own analysis on it? HELL NO! But that’s just me. And if you think that I’m not allowed to because I haven’t consumed enough of the franchise, well then too bad I’M GONNA DO IT ANYWAY! And I think that misinterpretation is kinda like… 90% of the fun of analysis…? Almost the point, really. The creators can’t factor in for every single way that their work can be analyzed or interpreted, and yet certain fields of stuff like film studies are designed to examine films through those exact lenses. There are feminist readings of summer blockbusters that never had that field of film studies in mind because they just didn’t bother to think about it. There are queer readings of films that only have straight people in it and were never meant for an LGBT audience. You can read any piece of media through any lens and get a different view and analysis, and I don’t think that knowing the lore or every single piece of what goes into that piece of media is a prerequisite to that, nor do I think it is wrong if one such person just wants to drop themselves into the middle of a series to do exactly that. If something can be read that way, regardless of whether or not that’s supposed to be the case, I think that’s a valid interpretation, regardless of if that person understands the backstory or lore or any of that for a given piece of media. (Actually there’s a video essay series that you may want to check out. Lindsay Ellis’ The Whole Plate which explains various fields of film studies through the lens of Micheal Bay’s Transformers movies. Needless to say, I don’t think that Micheal Bay ever intended his movies to have Marxist theory applied to it… >.> ) That’s about all I have to say on that, but I just wanted to include a quote here from my ex (who is actually a BIG fan of the Resident Evil games and their lore and who doesn’t disagree with me on my view) whom I showed this conversation because I think that he makes a decent point. “I think they’ve lost the fun of discovery to the greater expanse of larger works. These things stand perfectly well on their own, they should draw you in and make you want to go back. The shouldn’t make you feel like you need to go into every work to do research for the sake of accuracy. People have different levels of how they interact with lore. On the most basic level it’s like the difference between the person who plays through the game and takes in everything the game shows you. And the person who takes the time to find and read every single document in the game. Or even further the guy who does that and plays every DLC, goes out and reads the comics, and the books etc. An analysis can be told from each of these perspectives respectively. The question is are we the consumer, the casual player, or the mf MatPat.” And I am certainly not trying to be the MatPat here!
And I just want to say… I actually don’t care about the lore. I’m not trying to make an argument for the lore or use my understanding of the lore to support my arguments, really. I merely care about the characters and am trying to further understand and analyze them. That’s all. The characters of the Lords just aren’t present in RE7, and so I mostly just want to examine the text that they exist within with as little influence from the rest of the franchise as I can because those works are less relevant to what I want and I’m just not interested in that. And honestly, if what they are starts and ends at, “They are all no longer people who are infected with uncontrollable parasites that act unthinkingly at the expense of their host and can never be more than that.” … Well… That’s just pretty boring to me and there’s not a whole lot to analyze or discuss there! At the very least, I would think that who they were before the infection has to influence how each of them act in the game to some extent! They don’t all act the exact same way after all, and I want to explore why! I very much think that they are individuals who aren’t just what their infection has made them into (otherwise they would all act the same way when they decidedly do not) and want to look at those individuals and understand and get to know them more.
Also while I’m here, I do want to make it clear that I’m not accusing you of ableism nor of supporting eugenics. I’m merely pointing out how some of what is being discussed here and the thoughts expressed may be able to lead to points of view and arguments that are in support of both of those things, and therefore I can’t agree with. I’m just trying to inform you of those possible interpretations of what we are discussing because those ideas deeply concern me and I think that many people accidentally make arguments for those things without meaning to. I think that for most people, it simply isn’t something that people think about very much and therefore would never see in their own line of thinking. I very much believe that you are making these arguments in good faith and therefore I am trying to the best of my ability to do so in kind. But people do unconsciously hold many of these thoughts and beliefs and I think that it’s important for everyone to sometimes disrupt their own normal patterns of thinking to try and see how those patterns may have negative attributes to them that can cause harm to others and the world around them. You don’t have to agree with what I’m saying, I merely want you to be able to see what I see and how that can hurt people.
In any case, I’m just going to continue seeing the Lords as individuals, and there’s just nothing that you can do to change my mind on that. I’m going to continue seeing the Lords as beings who are not just their infection and therefore have their own thoughts, beliefs, and identity, and there’s nothing you can say that will make me change my mind. And if the Lords are each their own person with their own identity, then they can each be effected by their environment and are therefore possibly able to change, and I’m not going to change my view on that. And honestly… Taking medication, being under surveillance, getting tested… That’s exactly what I would have liked to see! That to me is recovery and that is literally the exact chance I would have liked for them to have had as I was discussing in the original post this conversation sprouted from! I don’t expect for them to get off scot-free! But I think that they would have deserved a chance at proving themselves so that could maybe be an option in the future, just like how in spite of everything, Zoe seems to be free to operate on her own and more or less as she likes these days. It would be treating a condition just like any other. Take your medication, check in with your doctor, manage your remaining symptoms as best you can, keep an eye out for if your symptoms come back or your condition worsens, and while you may not exactly ever be the same as you were before and this condition may never leave you, you can still live a happy and good life. Mind you. For many many conditions, medication isn’t a cure. It just makes the more severe symptoms manageable. It makes the symptoms smaller to bring the person who was hiding underneath them back to the light. That’s how I see this. And merely not being a slave to your symptoms is often enough to make the rest worthwhile. Perhaps it isn’t unmitigated freedom. But it’s freedom enough for a lot people a lot of the time. And of course it would require cooperation! (Which I personally doubt they would go along with, but they still deserve that choice, and if anyone were to give it a try, I think that Heisenberg would.) And personally, I don’t really see that stuff as ever leaving them entirely even if this were to happen. Because unless they get amnesia for the duration they were effected, those memories and experiences would still remain. Even if they weren’t necessarily in control of themselves during that time, that would still be a part of them just as much as the changes to their biology. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. And that’s kinda how I tend to imagine the cadou in general. Sure, at first it was very invasive, but over time it just became a part of the Lords. I imagine that their relationship became more symbiotic over time, and now they can’t exactly live without them and they don’t mind that. But so long as their effects are tolerable and can be managed, that’s okay. To me, so long as those experiences and memories remain, the person they were before the infection and the person they became after it are pretty much indistinguishable (unless again, there are distinctly two separate conscious entities in there between the human and the parasite). So long as there is continuity between these stages of this body’s life and the memories the person inside of it has, that’s the same person. It’s just that they’re more in control of themselves and not as much of a danger to themselves and others anymore now that they’re taking medication.
As for the parasite questions, yeah, I know there’s contradiction there. I think that it’s very difficult to have beliefs that don’t contradict one another in some capacity, especially when asked very difficult questions and hypotheticals like this. But personally, I would say, if you absolutely must choose for only one to survive, and there’s an about an equal chance of either surviving, the one who inhabited the body should get priority. If there’s a significant disparity between the chances of the two of them surviving, then the one who has the better chance should be given that chance. I’d rather there be one of those lives surviving than both dying if it’s at all possible. But that’s just me. I absolutely understand your perspective, and wouldn’t blame anyone for sharing your thoughts or acting on that! I’m just inclined to never want to give up on someone, even when they don’t deserve it. And I will absolutely admit that is a weakness and a flaw that I have. Also it can be hard to reconcile this inclination with my desire for justice, and I am absolutely aware that could be the wrong call! But it’s still the one that I would make with the present information provided to me my this hypothetical. (But yeah… My sense of justice does not incline me to want to forgive. But my sense of compassion always inclines me to want to give people another chance. It’s a contradiction, I know, but I feel that people are kinda contradictory to their core. And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.)
And lastly… Hm! I actually like that idea of everyone who has interacted with the mold being kinda in Rose’s head and talking to her. That’s an interesting and fun angle to go about it! Even if they are who they were before the infection with no memories of what was happening to them under the infection, it’s an idea that I would still love to see explored! But now I’m just imagining Rose talking to the Lords, getting help and advice from them since their insights as adults are helpful… And then Karl’s in the corner just like… “… Hi! So… I’m 10…” Since he kinda implies that he was a kid when Miranda took him. Welp… THERE’S ANOTHER FIC IDEA TO ADD TO THE PILE! And actually this whole thing gave me another fic idea where the Lords do start undergoing treatment and have been getting better! But then one of them stops taking their meds… Just… Ideas… I have too many of these and just… GOD WHY!? Though that latter one… It could be a one-shot so I may actually write that one. But really, this has been fun. It’s been genuinely nice talking to you, even if we have our disagreements. Again, while I personally don’t agree with your view on the Lords and their infection, I do think that it’s an interesting perspective to look at it all at with and it does lead to some interesting story ideas! (I want to write a story where it turns out that Karl is a pissed off nematode SO BAD now! But like… What the fuck would be the conflict or resolution!?) I don’t know if you were enjoying yourself while responding to these, but I genuinely have been and hope you have too! In any case, I hope you have a good day! Or night. Or whatever it is for you! I’m always happy to chat about dumb things like this! Though maybe the conversation should be shorter and more to the point next time. You know. So I don’t spend 6 hours writing these a piece. Heh heh. ^.^;
So responding to that one anon with those ridiculously long posts as I do got me to thinking about some things. And so now I want to express some niggles that I’ve been thinking about trying to find an excuse to talk about, but haven’t really found one until now!
Now I MUST preface this with the disclaimer that I’ve never really played a Resident Evil game before. My brain just decided to fixate on Village because that’s how my ADHD brain do sometimes, I guess! So I am entirely speaking out of my ass here. But from the sounds of things, especially with how that anon put things, Rose kinda sounds at odds with the normal status quo of the Resi games. RE games have big baddies that were infected with some kind of virus or whatnot at some point and made into bioweapons. They start killing things, so the good guys come in, put them down, the day is saved, maybe one of the good guys was infected, but they’re cured now, so it’s all good! Weep at the tragedy of the innocent lives lost and how things couldn’t be better for those who were infected as they were too far gone and had to die for the sake of the safety of humanity. But Rose on the other hand is born as something of a bioweapon (albeit probably not on purpose, and if she was then Mia did something REAL fucked up there!) and is allowed to continue living on as she is. Sure, she seems to be under some kind of surveillance and ‘testing’, but otherwise she seems to be a pretty normal young woman. Just a kid who is given love and support by her family, is given enough freedom to be able to wander off on her own sometimes, and while she may have issues, is just trying to make the best of her life just like anyone else her age. She also just happens to be a seemingly immensely powerful mold baby. And if that ending was indeed setting Rose up as the protagonist of the next Resident Evil game, then that could lead to an interesting tension between her and the status quo, established themes, and narratives of the Resident Evil series as a whole. Specifically, it may be trying to question the morality of killing these bioweapons that have served as the main antagonists for most of the games. But again. I haven’t actually played these games, so what do I know? Nothing, actually! :D
But in any case, let’s talk about a small thing that kinda bugs me! So in Village, when Ethan puts the Rose Flasks into the Giant’s Chalice, he and us as the player get to experience a few images of the Lords approaching Rose from her point of view. Now once I was able to tell what this was, the question occurred to me. Why are we seeing this? What purpose do these images serve? Why have the game devs decided to give us these images here? They don’t seem to serve much purpose, right? At this point in the game, Ethan and us as the player have already met and seen the Lords and kinda know what they’re all about. So this isn’t exactly a brief preview or foreshadowing Ethan meeting them for the first time in the future. In fact, by this time in the game, Ethan has already at least killed Lady Dimitrescu, so it’s not like he needs to be reminded of what his quest is or what he has to do to save Rose. In fact, the player can choose to only put all the flasks in after collecting all four of them and at that point, Ethan is WELL acquainted with the Lords (having already killed 3 and on his way to kill the 4th). So narratively this doesn’t seemingly help Ethan or the player out at all. It just seems kinda random, and yet is being given this little bit of narritive focus as if it means something important when as far as I can tell, nothing comes of it. But here’s a thought. The images are from Rose’s point of view. So perhaps they weren’t really supposed to tell Ethan anything. Rather they were trying to tell us, the players, that even though Rose may be a baby now, that she is going to be able to remember the Lords in the future. And why will she have to remember them in the future? Because they’re going to return in the next game to some capacity.
A big plot point about the Megamycete is that it’s able to store information about anyone who has interacted with it, and the Lords, having Megamycete infected nematodes implanted into their bodies, quite obviously qualify. It feels kinda weird to have this plot point in the game and to barely even use it, so it makes sense that this feature of the mold would make a return in the future. And so given that the mold may make a return to bring someone back from the dead, and Rose will need to remember the Lords, it makes sense that perhaps the Lords are going to be the ones to be resurrected at some point during the next game. So if the Lords are going to be resurrected in some capacity and Rose is going to be able to remember them, what role will they serve?
Well, when discussing Heisenberg’s character with this anon it occurred to me… He would actually make for a very natural foil against Rose as a character! They are both made of the same stuff, both having been made into what they are now by the Megamycete. Both have somehow died and been resurrected. Both seem to have issues with anger and aggression. Both were raised/made to be strong. And if Capcom isn’t full of a bunch of COWARDS! then even though they both barely knew him, they both loved Ethan in some capacity. (Let Heisenberg be a dumbass with a crush, dammit! You cannot convince me that this man is straight! Also Rose roasting Heisenberg over having a crush on her dad? Give me please!?) But where Rose is a young woman, Karl is an older man. Where Rose’s abilities would likely lie in the organic through her utilization of the mold, Karl’s abilities lie mainly in the mechanical and artificial. And if I am right about Karl having been taken by Miranda at a young age, that adds even more to the dynamic of them being foils to one another! Because where Rose was raised with a lot of support behind her, mostly by a mother that loves her, Karl was raised in an abusive household and made to mostly take care of himself as his mother didn’t care very much for him. And where Rose was raised as a person who just so happened to be a bioweapon, Karl was raised as a bioweapon who just so happens to resemble a person. It could lead to a very interesting conflict and theme of nature vs. nurture between the two of them. Heisenberg is convinced that they are both slaves to their nature and when it comes down to it, they will only be able to act as the weapons that their natures dictate that they are. Meanwhile Rose believes that they can be more than just the weapons they were made into and can both be their own people. Also given how one of the last things that Ethan said before dying was asking Chris to raise Rose to be strong, it would be interesting to see what her idea of strength is and how it contrasts against Heisenberg’s philosophy of, “The strong will destroy the weak.”
Just… The two of them bouncing off of one another could lead to an interesting dynamic and discussion, and if they were to work together, I think that even their gameplay could contrast against one another in an interesting way! Where Rose would take the traditional Resident Evil protagonist role of shooting people from a distance, Heisenberg would get up close and personal, smashing enemies with his hammer. Rose could be very much a glass cannon, while Heisenberg would be a tank! (Appropriate!) The contrast between the two characters would just be… So good! And and if they go against the Resi games of the past by examining how the bioweapons could possibly be saved and redeemed… It could really be a neat direction for the game! But I know that this is entirely wishful speculation on my part with very little basis in in-game evidence. But if true, I do think that it would be neat! At the very least, now I want to see fanfic exploring the idea of these two being foils! Just… Please give it to me. I’ve been looking and haven’t found any. I don’t want to have to do this myself. >.>
Responding to this post.
Oh, well your clarification about your point of view being solely your free interpretation and not necessarily based on what Capcom canonically intended with these characters actually helps a lot to understand your stance on the matter! Like it or not, though, Resident Evil’s bioweapons have always been similar to typical zombies. It’s the story of a virus, or a fungus, that infects human (or animal) hosts and modifies their behavior, sometimes in an irreversible manner, until the human is no longer at the helm, or their consciousness is considerably damaged to the point of no return. Or until they’re cured, but it’s mostly a luxury only the protagonists can afford.
When you defeat the Lycans at the Stronghold and you find the Cadou implantation notes in the underground laboratory, that’s when gamers who are familiar with the franchise get the first clue that it’s a typical Resident Evil game, for you learn in these notes that Alcina Dimitrescu was neither a real supernatural vampire nor an irredeemable asshole who tortured and killed people for the sake of it, but that the real Alcina Dimitrescu, some plain ordinary noblewoman, ‘died’ in this underground laboratory ages ago and what you killed at the castle is a bioweapon biologically engineered through some type of experiments conducted on that poor woman. Same thing goes for all the Lycans, and at this point in the game you can guess that it’s what happened to her fellow Lords as well. Their aggressive behavior was not their fault, something or someone made them that way, and that someone’s gotta pay.. because.. well, it’s a Resident Evil game and the mad scientist who tried to play God always pays in the end.
It’s not made as clear as with the Bakers, but since all of them come from the Megamycete and it’s just the basic plot of pretty much every Resident Evil game ever, it makes sense why the devs didn’t bother explaining in further details that the Lords were also not in complete control of themselves anymore. We’re supposed to already know, that’s what bioweapons are and they’re not that different. You wrote “For the Bakers, Eveline made them erratic, uncontrollably hostile, and gave them a preoccupation with death and a penchant for violence.” Which is.. exactly, word for word, what happened to the Lords and the Lycans as well. They even all share a sort of obsession around the concept of family (even Leonardo, in his last moments, was calling for his daughter after turning into a Lycan!) The only difference is that they’re influenced by the Cadou parasite, not by Eveline, but the outcome is the same. As I said, they’re all products of the Megamycete in the end, so the symptoms are awfully similar.
Lucas Baker and Ethan Winters are the only ones who seemed to be able to resist the mind-control abilities of the mold, but Lucas did go through some behavioral changes (arguably so, since he’s one of the few mold-infected bioweapons who had confirmed undiagnosed mental health issues pre-infection, with Donna Beneviento, so, like her, it’s harder to determine what was his own doing and what was the influence of the mold). Even Rose is shown getting uncontrollably aggressive in the post-credit cutscene. She did have a reason to get angry, but her reaction afterwards shows that she regrets losing her cool and is not able to fully control her violent impulses. From what we’ve seen, she seems to be a mix of her father and the Bakers/Lords, she’s mostly able to live a human-like life and function normally, but unlike her father she has to actively refrain herself from getting uncontrollably violent and to resist the influence of the parasite on her mind and behavior.
And I don’t think that my interpretation is any less nuanced than yours. If anything, you’re the one who’s painting the Lords in a more negative, Disney villains-like, light by considering that they are fully self-aware, that their actions are truly what they all intended, and that they would all be the same without the mold and the Cadou. That way of thinking doesn’t make them sympathetic at all, it just
makes them appear like inherently evil and bloodthirsty bastards who did terrible things on their free will without any mitigating circumstances, which is the definition of a one-dimensional villain. While I’m saying that what makes the Lords so tragic is that they were most likely perfectly harmless and innocent people who were unfairly biologically and physically altered for the rest of their lives without their consent (we learn this through Heisenberg) and that, like most Resident Evil bioweapons, they don’t really know, nor are in control of, what they’re doing anymore.
The tragedy of Karl “I’m not like my siblings” Heisenberg is that, unfortunately for him, he is exactly what Mother Miranda made him into, and he is no different than his siblings. He can’t help but being as aggressive, impulsive, out of control and unpredictably dangerous as the others. Even when he tries his hardest to appear harmless, there wasn’t any moment, in that cutscene where he offers a deal to Ethan Winters, when I ever felt safe in his presence, the man is a ticking bomb. He attempted to kill Ethan in his death traps maze after the meeting and gleefully enjoyed seeing him scared and in pain, clumsily tried to manipulate him into using his infant daughter as a weapon, was noticeably emotionally unstable throughout his proposal, took Ethan’s rejection like the sociopath he is: by throwing him to the Sturm, kept trying to kill him by sending his soldiers after him in his factory, then revealed in his boss battle monologue that he was always planning to take Rose from him and use her for his own benefit.
Neil Newbon wasn’t answering in-character when he was asked what he thought Karl would have done had he ever been free. It was his point of view, not Karl’s. The sad truth is, that it was already far too late to save Heisenberg. It’s a pessimistic, hard-to-swallow point of view, but it’s what the game itself lets you know. Just as it was too late for Ethan, too (“I’m afraid you can’t return to your old world any longer, Mr. Winters”). Even if he had lived after Miranda’s death, Heisenberg would never be free, and his body would never fully belong to him, because she altered it forever. He will always remain the weapon she turned him into, and he can’t help but being not only exceptionally good at what weapons are naturally designed for, but also craving it. That’s the tragedy of Karl Heisenberg, and what makes him so fascinating. A weapon who desperately wanted to feel what it’s like to be a man, but, by his very own nature, can’t. The other Lords could have similar analyses, they’re equally brilliant characters.
See, I don’t think it’s a matter of nuance or lack thereof, but it might simply be a matter of subjectivity. I know I’m biased because human experimentation is something that terrifies me, and what contributes a lot to the horror Resident Evil makes me feel is the idea of taking perfectly healthy and normal human beings who didn’t ask for any of this and wasting their lives by turning them into abominations that are only monstruous shells of what they used to be. And the more ruthless and terrifying the monster, the more heartbroken I feel about the human trapped inside. (And that’s why I’m uncomfortable with the idea of comparing it to disabilities or mental health issues, it feels like you’re considering that disabilities are the same as a fictional sci-fi virus or parasite, when they’re actually natural occurrences and accidents that are or become part of the person and don’t change who they inherently are, not something that’s been artificially implanted in them by someone to purposely create something they can weaponize for their own benefit) Having to kill them makes me feel angry and frustrated because what happened to them is cruel, unfair and there was no way for me to save them. But I must be a bit of a masochist because I like this feeling and its complexity. The endings of Resident Evil are almost always bittersweet because your protagonist generally looks back on what just happened and is torn between their relief
of being a survivor and sadness for those who didn’t make it.
As I said, I’m still not very fond of the comparison with disabilities, brain damage and mental health issues resulting of it, mostly because we’re talking about a parasite taking control of its host here, not an injury. You absolutely can’t compare it to alters either, it’s biology vs. psychology and those two things don’t work the same way, one is the result of physical damages to the body, that can be biologically observed and studied, the other is the result of psychological conditions in the mind, that can’t be seen or physically observed. The only thing you can accurately compare the mold to, is other real-life parasites. If you consider that parasites deserve to be left alive at the expenses of their host, it’s your opinion, I respect it. But I know that I would sadly make the choice to put my beloved dog down if he ever contracted rabies, and there’s nothing ableist with putting a rabid animal down to spare him the suffering. And I would certainly have murderous thoughts if I learned that someone infected him with rabies on purpose. Basically, that’s more or less how I interpret what happened to the Lords, the Lycans, and the Bakers.
Resident Evil has never been a psychological horror game, where the antagonists are antagonists because of mental health issues and there’s no real villain because they can’t help it (or, poetically-speaking I guess we can consider that mental health struggles are the real villains of psychological horror), it’s a sci-fi/biological horror game, where the antagonists are antagonists because they’ve been either genetically engineered or subjected to DNA-altering experimentations that ripped their humanity away from them, and the villains are those who purposefully made them that way to use them as weapons. You choose to stray away from this aspect by analyzing the characters through a psychological perspective as if they were regular humans with disabilities, which I don’t think is an accurate way to analyze Resident Evil because bioweapons are neither humans nor disabled, while my interpretation stays closer to the original medium and analyzes the characters through their biological changes, by taking into consideration the fact that they aren’t disabled, they’ve been purposely made into something else than human, and they’re in fact perfectly abled for the new sick purpose they’re given by their creators. Because that’s what Resident Evil is about: biological horror, and the atrocities some people can put their fellow humans through in the name of science and power.
But I did mention previously that Resident Evil always punishes those who play God with human lives, and I totally understand your opinion that nobody should play God any further by deciding whether or not the parasite-ridden creature born from these experiments should live or not, no matter how unethical its sole existence is. It’s not my point of view, but I understand.
Okay everyone. Strap yourselves in! This is a long one!
Ehehe. Well, you know what I said about how I believe that you make your own continuity and choose what gets to be canon or not, regardless of authorial intent? Well, you see, I’m a filthy casual who hasn’t really played any Resident Evil game before ever, and has only barely consumed any media regarding it outside of this one at all! Why my brain has decided to fixate on RE8? I have no idea! But that’s the situation I find myself in! And so presently the other entries in the series are completely irrelevant to me because I know just about nothing about them! But in general, I do believe that most media needs to be able to stand on its own without outside supplemental material in order for it be to genuinely good. Even if an individual section doesn’t make much sense to a new viewer because it’s part of something serialized, any individual product needs to be good enough to at least tempt the consumer to want to see what came before it in order for it to be good, if it is to be marketed on its own. I genuinely dislike it when media decides that it needs to have a barrier to entry in order for people to engage with it. (This is actually a big reason that many people can’t get into comic books.) And Resident Evil Village very much is a game that can be played on its own without necessarily needing any prior knowledge of the series in order to enjoy it. Do I understand pretty much anything having to do with Chris or the Umbrella Corporation? NOT REALLY! But the game is still good in spite of that and people should be allowed to examine it on its lonesome and on its own terms without having to know about literally everything that came before. So yeah, you may be viewing it through the eyes of a longtime fan who knows the lore, but if I can only 'properly’ enjoy this game if I know the lore… Then that would be bad! That would make it a bad game! And if they made it such that the story can’t actually be understood unless you know the lore when this game is very much supposed to stand on its own, then that is a failure on the game developers part! I should not have to do homework to actually understand and enjoy a piece of media if it’s actually good! (I mean, I understand and they explain how and why Ethan is a mold monster just fine. It may be a little confusing for newcomers who know nothing about RE7, but they do a perfectly good job of explaining it for anyone that is new. But if they fail to put enough content into the game to understand the actual nature of the Lords in the game when you play it on its own terms, that’s bad, a breakdown of communication, and a failure on their part!) Since this game is supposed to stand on its own as its own product, knowing what came before should enhance your experience with the game, but that previous game shouldn’t be a barrier for entry for everyone else! In fact, a criticism I have seen for this game from at least two internet personalities (aka people who literally play video games for a living) is the sentiment that how they tried to tie this game in with the rest of the series at the end felt forced and that it would have been better if they just let this game be its own thing. It’s fair if you disagree with that viewpoint. But the fact is that tying certain things about this game in with the previous entries made the experience worse for these people who have played them. And so I think that the idea that perhaps this game should be examined on its own without looking at what came before is also a legitimate one. (And if a person wants to say, “Yeah, I know that’s a thing that happened, but it’s dumb and I don’t like it, so I’m going to ignore it for the sake of my enjoyment,” then I think that’s valid.) And having the game just be its own thing was an option. There are plenty of game series out there where the individual entries have little to nothing to do with one another.
In any case, the nuance! What you say about my perspective painting them as one-dimensional characters would be true… If I didn’t also firmly believe that the Lords are victims of abuse. (This argument that the Lords are victims of abuse is the core of pretty much everything else that I have said about them.) Ultimately what I’m realizing is that our difference of opinion and point of view is stemming from one primary thing. Nature vs. Nurture. Your viewpoint is very much from a nature standpoint; these were people once, but they aren’t anymore, so they are dangerous, can’t be redeemed by their nature, and therefore must be destroyed. And while it may not be coming across the most clearly, my perspective on the other hand says that while their nature may predispose them to certain behavior (violence, aggression, etc.) that ultimately it’s their environment that makes them act this way, and so therefore they deserve the chance to live! They act inhumanely because that is what they need to do in order to survive and appease their abuser. They are in essence being forced into violence by Mother Miranda. If they want to survive, they need to fight and kill because otherwise Mother Miranda would kill them for insubordination. If they want to receive love and attention from the woman who is literally calling herself their mother, they need to do evil, monstrous things. They’ve been indoctrinated into a cult and while they may be self-aware and in control of themselves, they ultimately don’t have much of a choice because if they disobey, they will be subjected to further abuse and possibly die for their troubles. Additionally their indoctrination into Miranda’s cult may impair their ability to discern what is right and wrong. In any case, when people who are in abusive situations do bad things because their abuser told them to, the blame for that behavior is on the abuser, not the victim. If the Lords were not in a situation where violence and killing is a condition of their survival and if they were actually receiving the love that their family should be unconditionally giving them… Even though they were experimented on and have become inhuman monsters, perhaps they would choose not to be violent at all. At the very least, if you give Rose the chance to prove that she isn’t only her nature, then the Lords deserve a similar chance (albeit probably with some conditions). Everyone deserves to live a life free from abuse, but that was taken from them. I do believe that they were, “perfectly harmless and innocent people who were unfairly biologically and physically altered for the rest of their lives without their consent,” and being subject to physical alteration in that way is abuse! Their abuse is the mitigating circumstance, and when put into a situation where they aren’t being abused and have the genuine choice to not be violent, perhaps they would go back to being harmless in spite of what they’ve become. The fact that they are victims of abuse is part of the tragedy of it all to me. Are the Lords bad people? Very likely. But even they deserve justice for what they were subjected to! And even they deserve a chance at a life without abuse! And even if I do agree with you that the human that inhabited their body before is long dead, I don’t necessarily think that killing the sentient being that replaced them is the solution! If anything they’re also victims of all of this and they deserve their justice as well! I’m not going to limit my sense of who deserves justice only to humans!
Also if the story of Resident Evil is literally always just, 'People become irredeemable monsters by getting infected by some kind of parasite or virus,’ why not try to mix up that formula a bit by throwing the 'irredeemable monster’ part into question? Having the exact same story every time sounds pretty boring and like it would get old after 25 years. Maybe they didn’t elaborate on that point for the reasons that you state… But it’s also possible that the game devs didn’t clarify that point because they wanted to throw the status quo into question. Perhaps they want the audience to explore the idea that even though they may be victims as well as the villains, that they may have been able to be saved unlike the monsters of the past. Rose gets to live on in the condition that she’s in, right? She was given a chance to continue living a peaceful life, even if the fact that she’s moldy predisposes her to aggression and violence. The game is literally telling us that she can be better in spite of her nature. And I want to believe that means that the Lords could learn to hold themselves back and be better people just like the young woman Rose has grown into. And if they can learn, grow, and become better people without hurting anyone, then they absolutely deserve a chance at a peaceful life too! The Lords, just like Rose, are the way they are because of their environment. But change the environment, and you may change the Lords! Rose seems to have been raised in a loving environment where she is given support, respect, and some level of independence where the Lords weren’t. If the Lords had that, perhaps they would be better. It may not be easy, they would have to learn a lot, face consequences for their actions, and work on their issues with violence and aggression like Rose seems to need to, but they may be able recover. If Rose can be good in spite of her infection, then I believe that the Lords deserve the same benefit of the doubt.
To borrow the dog metaphor, I don’t see the Lords as rabid dogs that need to be put down. I see them as dogs being forced into a dogfighting ring. Tails docked, ears cropped, shot full of drugs to make them more aggressive and a better fighters. Their violence isn’t their fault because they are only acting violent because that’s what their owner has brought out of them through mistreatment. Their owner wants them to be aggressive, so that’s what they are. And when a dog is saved from a dogfighting ring? Sure, sometimes the circumstances are such that said dog may have to be put down or remain in captivity for the rest of their life. But they should still be given a chance to live a peaceful life with someone who loves them first. There’s always the chance that they will bite, but that isn’t their fault. And it doesn’t mean that they’re unworthy of love. Accidents may happen but they still deserve a chance to learn and love in spite of the danger. And I for one don’t think that I would blame anyone for trying to give someone else compassion, even if it hurts someone in the end. (Though of course justice would still need to be served if the harm is severe enough.) Perhaps it is foolish and stupid of me. But I always want to believe that people are capable of change for the better.
To me the tragedy of Heisenberg is that while yes, he is “what Mother Miranda made him into, and he is no different than his siblings,” that is only because he doesn’t know how to be anything else. He is that way because of the abusive things he was subject to, but he wants to change. At the very least, he wants his circumstances to change and doesn’t want to be one of Miranda’s broken toys anymore. And he’s never given the chance. Karl’s lines to me really imply to me that he was a kid when he was taken by Miranda for her experiments. How he acts is therefore a reflection of the kind of world he was raised in. He was raised as a weapon. He was taught from a young age to be violent and aggressive, and that if he wanted to live, he needed to be strong. He never had the option to be anything else if he wanted to continue living. And that’s all he’s ever known. For the other Lords, they seem to have had lives of their own before the abuse started, but Karl doesn’t seem to have that. He may not even know that he can be anything else. In the scene where he’s offering that deal to Ethan, what I see is a man who is desperately reaching out and trying to ask for help in the only way that he knows how to the only person who can. In the world he lives in, if he openly asked for help, he would be laughed at and it would be thrown back in his face. So instead he frames it as him offering Ethan his services when what he really needs is help to escape his abuser. He himself probably doesn’t even realize that he’s actually asking for help because he’s always had to rely on himself. To me really, he’s just a socially inept dumbass who doesn’t know how to deal with people or his emotions! Even when he’s being sincere, he sounds sarcastic, and he’s trying to do something that he never has before… And he’s bad at it! Of course he is! He doesn’t know how to act in a way that isn’t at least mildly intimidating because he’s so used to playing the only role that he’s ever had or known. He doesn’t know how to act sincere because expressing anything like that would be a weakness to be exploited. And above anything else, because he’s a weapon, he can’t be weak. He can’t be vulnerable. I think that when offering Ethan the deal, he honestly doesn’t see what’s so bad about treating someone as a weapon. After all, that’s how he’s been treated as since he was a child, and it’s given him power and respect. Why would being used as a weapon be a bad thing? And in the end, Ethan throws his plea for help back into his face, proving that he shouldn’t have bothered with trying to be anything other than the weapon that Miranda made him into in the first place. When Ethan rejects him, he falls back on the only things he knows in regards to getting what he wants from others. Intimidation and aggression. He has no idea how to handle that rejection. And that’s tragic. To me he was a person who was turned into and treated as a weapon for most of his life, but still wanted to know what it was like to be a person. But he didn’t exactly stop being a person. Maybe he became a different one, but just because he became a weapon that doesn’t stop him from being a person. (A knife can be both a weapon and a practical everyday tool after all.) But in the end, he didn’t know how to be anything else, and was never given that chance no matter how badly he wanted and deserved it. He wasn’t ever treated like a person and so didn’t know how to act like one, nor did he even believe that he was one. And everyone deserves to be treated like a person no matter who they are. (Also just… Sociopaths deserve to be loved and to be treated with kindness and respect too. Sociopaths are literally just people with a specific mental disorder.)
And I think that where you’re scared of human experimentation… Well, for myself at least, I’m not. Obviously people should never be subjected to that kind of treatment ever, and if I learned someone was subjected to that, I would be struck with some kind of abject sense of disgust and horror. But for myself, if I was to be experimented on, while I’m scared to die, I wouldn’t exactly be scared of the consequences of such treatment. So long as I survive, I will continue to live, and whatever happens to me, I will just have to deal with it when I get there. But what I’m afraid of is if something bad happens to me, or if I lash out against the world and do something wrong… I’m afraid that people would just give up on me. Of course I wouldn’t begrudge anyone for giving up on me if I hurt other people and don’t want to change or be better, but in this fictional scenario, if I regret my actions and genuinely do want to change and make myself better… If I were to no longer want to hurt people… I’m afraid that the world would give up on me anyway. I’m afraid that people would see my damage and just decide that it’s not worth it and give up, leaving me not just broken, but alone and unable to recover because of it. Whatever it is, no matter how hard it makes my life, it’s still one I want to live! Even life as an abomination is one worth living! But being given up on? That may just kill me. And so I would never want to give up on someone who can still grow and change. And I wouldn’t want to give up on someone who just wants to live and will do what is needed to keep living either. To me, the one of the cruelest things that someone can ever to do another is to give up on them. (I understand that some need to give up on others for their own sake and to show themselves compassion, but that doesn’t make it any less unfortunate for either party.) My favorite characters are always the ones who have done bad things but are not irredeemable. Because they give me hope that if I were to lash out against the world that I could recover. The stories that are told with these kinds of characters are often ones in which someone lashes out against others or the world, but someone helps them anyway. Someone doesn’t give up on that character where others would and because of it they are able to get better. They hurt someone else, but they are shown compassion and love anyway. And while I know that you don’t agree with me on this point, I see that in Heisenberg, and that’s why I can’t help but to adore him. I don’t want to condemn any of the Lords and just say that they’re monsters that can’t be helped. Because I don’t believe that we can really know that. People deserve second chances. Especially victims of abuse. And in Heisenberg I see someone who is able to be better and recover but presently can’t because he’s still in an abusive situation that he can’t escape and doesn’t know how to be better or even that he can. I see someone who is asking for help in the only way he knows how… And it’s heartbreaking to see Ethan not even attempting to humor the idea that he may be trying to be sincere or that he could be better than what he is now. In essence, Ethan gave up on someone asking for help before even giving him a single chance to prove himself. If I were in Heisenberg’s position I’d be pretty angry (and probably heartbroken) too!
And the thing is… This fear is tied into my views on disability and my secondary experiences with it. You see, because of some very personal reasons, I can’t help but to view media through the lens of disability a lot of the time. I know that it makes you uncomfortable to be looking at things through this lens, and that is perfectly valid! But the reality of the situation is that people have and do treat people with disabilities, disorders, and disease as monsters and less than human all the time. Look at what people think of sociopaths and psychopaths when in reality both of those simply describe people who have a specific kinds of mental disorders and likely just need to be understood and to be treated with respect just like anyone else, no matter how frightening we may think that they are. And so to me, to say that a monster needs to be put down, it reflexively makes something inside of me tighten because I believe that we as human beings have a very bad record when trying to decide what is a monster and what isn’t. I would much rather make the mistake of giving something the benefit of the doubt to not be violent and be proven wrong by their actions than to condemn someone who is able to change and be better and to leave them with no course for their recovery. And the very sad reality is that abuse can cause disability and disorder, so while I don’t particularly want to compare a sci-fi parasite to someone in real life having a disability, there are aspects to it that I feel are analogous. And I don’t think that it’s wrong of me to look at the results of an abusive relationship within a work of fiction and to compare them to the possible real life effects that abuse can have on someone, even if those things that are being compared against one another for the sake of the analogy include fictional sci-fi fantasy junk. When analyzing works of fiction, if someone has been abused and that caused them to have problems regulating their emotions, whether it was because they were subject to human experimentation or they grew up in a neglectful household, both were caused by a form of abuse and both led to similar behavior in the victim, even if the victim in this case was subjected to infection via moldy nematode and not something that could happen in real life. If It’s wrong of me to do that, then are we allowed to have or discuss any victims of abuse within fantastic settings at all? I may be wrong, but I wouldn’t think so. Please do understand that I’m not trying to make these analogies lightly, and I am not necessarily saying that their parasites have given them disabilities. Merely that the Lords’ behavior reflects what someone in an abusive relationship may experience which may then reflect certain conditions that people in real life have. (You yourself literally just called Heisenberg a sociopath. Which describes a person with a mental condition which can be caused by, among other things, childhood abuse or neglect.) I am not trying to be cruel or insensitive, and I will probably make bad, dumb statements at some point. But I’m not trying to do so maliciously. This is one of the reasons why it takes me so long to make these answers. I truly am trying to word things carefully and be as sensitive with this subject matter as I can, though I have no doubts that I will make mistakes. Again, I’m not a professional in any of this stuff in any way. And to be honest… How can I analyze a character on a deeper level than the surface without falling onto or using the lens of existing and examined human psychology…? I suppose that I can examine them as a metaphor or within the scope of plot devices and tropes, but I don’t have any particularly interesting angles or takes for the characters of RE8 presently in that direction, so of course I’m going to examine the Lords and their actions as if they were real people with actual psychology to examine! It’s more interesting and fun that way anyway. And that’s all this is. I’m just speculating and having fun here.
In any case, back to the Lords. I think that everyone who experiences abuse deserves a chance at a safe and happy life, even those that have done bad things before. And I’m willing to extend that to a mushroom man. I can’t help but to see these characters as people, and while I know that you may disagree with that and say that they aren’t people (and mind you, being a person is different from being a human being), I don’t think that I will be changing that any time soon. I want my idea of personhood to be very broad because I don’t think that we can know for certain what would qualify personhood if we ever were to encounter beings with a level of intelligence and self-awareness comparable to humans. Personally, I would rather have a more inclusive definition to account for all kinds of ways for beings to operate. So for the Lords, I really do believe that since they act like people and do people things that they should be considered people, even if they strictly speaking aren’t humans. And I do this because… You know… Historically and even now, the moment that somebody stops treating others as people, that’s when atrocities happen. I’m not going to close my mind to the idea that non-human entities can be people, so who am I to say that a mold parasite isn’t a person? I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and a chance to not hurt people. And if they are a person, hopefully they can recognize that not hurting one another is a mutually beneficial beneficial relationship and can open up a dialogue for understanding one another. As for me… If a parasite were to replace me… Yeah, it sucks that I died, but I wouldn’t hold it against the parasite if it wasn’t something they could control as is the case with the Lords. Mother Miranda was the one who infected these people, it’s not like the cadou had a say in the matter. So long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, I would want it to live as happy and safe of a life as they can. And I would hope that the people I love would offer them that same level of compassion. The lives lost in the past can’t be brought back. But I would rather preserve the lives of the present than avenge the lives of the past by taking the life of someone who really didn’t have a choice or say in being complicit with that death in the first place. Being forced into a position like that would make that parasite a victim in a way as well.
Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, if you want to see a different piece of media that kinda explores some of what we’ve discussed here that has influenced how I see this subject matter, I would recommend Parasyte. It’s a manga series but has an anime adaptation called Parasyte -the maxim- that I rather likes and does a good job of modernizing this manga from the 80’s into the modern(ish) day (it was released in 2014 so it will be a bit dated) if you would prefer to watch and not read. Like Resident Evil, it’s also a piece of science fiction horror that includes man-made bioweapons (at least that’s what the manga implies) that eat human beings! Not zombies, but if you like Resident Evil already, I can easily see this scratching a similar itch. (Also apparently Resident Evil 4 actually ripped this series off lol)
Just… In the end, on principal I can never bring myself to agree with a worldview that says that how an individual acts is solely based upon their nature. I believe that it’s the wrong way to look at people and that people must also be products of their environment, not just their genetics. I do want to remind everyone that the argument that people are solely their nature and genetics could and has been used as an argument for eugenics in the past, and so I want to steer as clear from that kind of thinking much as possible. Besides, the idea that we are slaves to our nature and there is therefore no free will irks me to the very core of my being and always will. If Rose can be different, and the game is very much telling us that she can, then that chance should be extended to the Lords. They are all made of the same stuff after all, right? They were all subjects made from the Megamycete, so why can Rose be the only exception? But those are just my thoughts, views, and beliefs, and you are welcome to disagree. (Though if you believe in eugenics, get the fuck out of here, you are not welcome.)
So here’s another dumb idea playing with the idea of Ethan being a weird-ass mushroom man!
So did you know that the outside of fungi can be likened to the inside of an animal’s digestive tract? Digestive enzymes and whatnot are secreted from the fungus so that it can absorb nutrients from whatever is around it.
So imagine that one day, Ethan is cuddling with whomever in bed. They’re all nice and comfortable, but then Ethan says, “You taste so delicious toady.” Needless to say, it completely ruins the mood. And yes. He’s been digesting his cuddle buddy just a little bit while laying here like this. You know. As a treat! You always gotta wonder how much Ethan is digesting someone whenever he makes skin to fungal skin contact with someone after he learns that he’s a fungi!
@maniac-reboggles This is what immediately came to mind…
Pffft! This is incredible and I love it! Thank you so much!
Ethan cuddling with Mia
Ethan: You taste delicious today.
Mia indiffrently: Ethan, stop digesting me and go back to sleep.
Ethan cuddling with Heisenberg
Ethan: You taste delicious today.
Karl turning to face Ethan: Alright, what the FUCK is that supposed to mean!?
So here’s another dumb idea playing with the idea of Ethan being a weird-ass mushroom man!
So did you know that the outside of fungi can be likened to the inside of an animal’s digestive tract? Digestive enzymes and whatnot are secreted from the fungus so that it can absorb nutrients from whatever is around it.
So imagine that one day, Ethan is cuddling with whomever in bed. They’re all nice and comfortable, but then Ethan says, “You taste so delicious toady.” Needless to say, it completely ruins the mood. And yes. He’s been digesting his cuddle buddy just a little bit while laying here like this. You know. As a treat! You always gotta wonder how much Ethan is digesting someone whenever he makes skin to fungal skin contact with someone after he learns that he’s a fungi!
Responding to this post.
You can’t compare the condition of the Lords to disability, people with disabilities have a human consciousness and are still the owners of their own bodies. The Lords have no free will and self-control anymore, their actions are mostly influenced by the Cadou parasite. Sparing them is like letting a zombie live, except they’re high-functionning zombies and they can do more than growl and bite. Still, there’s no human conscience at the helm. The humans they were are long gone, you would just be sparing the abominations created by the parasite. To humanely spare them, you would need to find a cure to remove the parasite first and free them from its influence. Otherwise, you’re condemning four humans to be trapped for eternity in bodies controlled by a fungus that’s making them do things they don’t want to do (like.. being overly aggressive and murdering fellow humans, exactly how we’ve seen the Bakers lose control of themselves and start attacking each other despite not wanting to).
And Neil Newbon, Heisenberg’s VA, explained in Nicole’s stream (VA of Jill, Elena and Daniela) that Karl wouldn’t be able to keep himself from kidnapping and murdering people, and overall being a threat to society for his own benefit, had he been freed. And that guy could talk about his character for hours, he works very hard analyzing the characters he plays (to the point that he literally made a playlist for Heisenberg, to get a better understanding of the vibe he wanted to give him, dude was his #1 fan before any of us all), so he knows Heisenberg very well and I think his interpretation will always be more accurate and valid than any of ours. I personally found his take interesting and definitely true to the character. You should check it out.
I will say that while this is a very interesting way to look at the game, and this does lead to some very interesting trains of thought, that I just have to disagree with this interpretation of the game.
I will try not to dwell on this first point for too long because when you start focusing on the topic of what counts as ‘human consciousness’ for too long, things can get real bad real quick, but there are plenty of disorders or whatnot that can cause a person to have a severe loss of cognitive function and others that can have your body more or less do things against your will or control. The brain is a very weird thing like that. And I personally don’t see how what you’re describing would be much different from one of those. I know that you told me that their experiences can’t be compared to disorders and disabilities, but when trying to interpret what the Lords are experiencing and what should be done with them, I am trying to compare each situation to what an actual human person going through something like that would be experiencing. And for a lot of these things, some form of disability or disorder is just the closest real life parallel. I’m sheerly using this as an analogy because it gives us an idea of how we would treat a person going through these things because there are people out there who have experienced similar things in real life. Of course no one in real life is probably ever going to be taken against their will, operated on, given mutant superpowers, made into a lord, forced to join a family of other mutants with an awful mother, and made to do awful things like murder against their will. But individuals have lost cognitive function and control over themselves in real life. Most easily, people who have received brain damage can experience a lot of the same psychological phenomena that you are describing.
Take for example a brain injury like that of Phineas Gage. Now accounts of what happened to him seem to be largely exaggerated, but for at least a time after that railroad spike with through his brain, he had a severe personality change to the extent where friends of his said that he was, “no longer Gage.” (Quote from Wikipedia. I know, but again, I don’t want to get too too deep into it.) For the time following his injury, his abilities to function as a person were pretty badly impaired. When I first learned about him in school, I was even taught that he became slovenly and aggressive, though that seems to be one of those aforementioned exaggerations. But even if that was true, would he deserve to die? If he was unable to control himself because of this brain injury, should he be put down as a mercy? If you were able to take who he was before and who he was after this accident and put them in the same room, and the past version of him was absolutely HORRIFIED by what he became, would it be good to kill that future version of him for the sake of that past version of him? Personally, I would say that no. He doesn’t deserve to die, and he shouldn’t die. Though to be fair, Phineas Gage wasn’t exactly a severe menace and danger to society, but I hope you understand what I’m trying to get at. The person he was before and the person he was after were very different people. But I don’t necessarily think that either version is 'better’ or more worthy of existing, even if he can’t control his own actions. Is it a shame to lose the original version of him? Sure. But the later version of him still deserves to live. Of course all of this goes with an admission that I am nowhere close to being a medical professional or an expert on any of this stuff, and that I may absolutely be wrong about things. Plus your mileage may vary, but these are my beliefs and my beliefs alone.
Anyway, to move on to the next point, I just don’t want to get into zombie ethics because I really don’t like talking about them and they are major reason that I don’t like and try to avoid zombie media when I can. Plus I feel like zombie media also tends to be pretty ableist…? It may just be me, but when I think about zombie media, people’s obsession with the idea of a zombie apocalypse and seeming desire to have one, and relate that to disabilities and the people I know and love who have disabilities? Something just feels really wrong to me. So I am genuinely not a fan.
And okay. Maybe the Lords have a very alien way of looking at and interpreting the world to the extent that they couldn’t really be considered 'human’ anymore. I will concede that point for this analysis. But they still seem to have a human-equivalent level of sentience and intelligence, and so I think that they still deserve to be respected and that we should try to understand how their minds work, even if it means giving them a level of compassion that they cannot return. Just because they’re no longer human, that doesn’t mean that their lives don’t have value. (I mean… We respect the lives of animals. Even animals whose minds work in very alien ways. Snakes are a good example. Why would this be any different?) And very clearly they are more than just zombies. They clearly have emotions. They have wants and desires that are outside those of consumption, and they even have hobbies and opinions. With that in mind, I really don’t see why we should treat them as anything less than human, or at least human adjacent. And I simply don’t think that there is enough evidence in-game that the Lords have no free-will or self-control. In fact, I would say that there is more evidence to the contrary.
For the Bakers, they make it very clear that they are being controlled by external forces and are being forced against their wills to do bad things. We know that force is Eveline, and we know what kind of people they were and would be without her influencing them. She is also influencing them in very specific ways and giving them specific behaviors that we can track, so it’s pretty easy to tell when they’re acting against their own wills. And with Mia, we know that if you get rid of Eveline, you get rid of that behavior and they return to who they were before. (For the record, I do believe that for as terrible as she was, Eveline deserved to live and the fact that the situation couldn’t allow that is part of the tragedy of RE7. She was literally just a child.) But for the Lords? These lines aren’t nearly as clear. Unlike the Bakers we aren’t directly shown that what they’re experiencing. We can’t really know for a fact that they’re acting against their own wills right now where for the Bakers we do. What behavior are the cadou making them do? Who would they be without the cadou? It’s entirely possible that they wouldn’t really be any different from how we see them in the game without the cadou. But we don’t know that for a fact. And as for them not having any free-will or self-control… Well… Heisenberg’s existence kinda contradicts that, doesn’t it? It really isn’t clear what behaviors this influence is giving them. No specific behaviors particularly jump out at me as being shared by all of the Lords. For the Bakers, Eveline made them erratic, uncontrollably hostile, and gave them a preoccupation with death and a penchant for violence. For the Lords maybe like… They’re all kinda aggressive? But even Heisenberg isn’t particularly aggressive towards Ethan. And we can’t really know about Donna. Well, maybe there are behaviors and traits that I’m missing, I don’t know. But what would be controlling them? If it’s Mother Miranda, then why would she make Heisenberg hate her? If it’s the mold itself, then why does Heisenberg want to get the hell out of dodge while the others seem content to stay where they are? And if it’s the cadou itself… And if the cadou is really the one in control of the body… Well… Why does it draw clear line connecting who he was before the experiments to who he is now? And why does it resent what Miranda did to it? The cadou literally gets to be a person! Why would it resent Miranda for that opportunity!? Like, I guess it’s possible that specific cadou was just happier being a nematode floating in a jar, but it seems a lot more likely that there is continuity between who Karl was and who he had become. (Though just… If Karl literally is just a pissed off nematode that wants to go back to living in a jar… That is actually an incredible way to look at his character and I kinda unironically love it.) The cadou isn’t so much controlling him as it’s just a part of him. It’s a part he doesn’t like and feels invasive to him, but people are allowed to feel that way towards their own bodies and themselves in general. I very much do think that given how Heisenberg acts and talks about Miranda that he is still the same person as the person he was before the experiments. And so because of all of these reasons, I am inclined to think that the Lords are still individuals largely acting on their own wills.
But even if the cadou is the one in control of the body, I still think that the characters that we see in the game are individuals and are able to act on their own will. That individual just happens to be a nematode. And that nematode has a human-adjacent level of intelligence and sentience and so deserves to be treated as a person. But also like… Even if we say that there are distinctly two separate consciousnesses inside of that body, the original being unable to control the body at all while the consciousness of the cadou is in control… Well… Like… You kinda just described a plural person…? Like, obviously how this came to happen is different from real live, and it’s a very unfortunate situation that the cadou isn’t letting the human front even though he desperately wants to, but I think the analogy is very applicable for this scenario. And for the situation that the human and nematode find themselves in, they don’t both deserve to die. The cadou is still essentially a person or person adjacent being and deserves to live just as much as the human even if they weren’t the original inhabitant. And just saying… There are plenty of people out there who have non-human alters. There are people out there where the host is not the original inhabitant. Neither of these are inherently bad things. They both deserve to live, and I would want to hope that with time they could become better headmates and have a less toxic relationship.
And while I probably should watch those streams and whatnot, I really just… Can’t right now. And I will say that while the person portraying any given character can have very interesting insight into the characters they play… They can absolutely be wrong. No matter how much they love and think about their character, they can absolutely be wrong. (Don’t make me talk about the actor who portrays my favorite Doctor Who companion! Because he’s WRONG and Mike Yates should be gay! Or Butch Hartman. We all know about Butch Hartman.) In terms of Word of God, I would hold more stock into the word of the writers and directors of whatever piece of media I’m looking at over the actors, but I also very much believe in Death of the Author. Once the work is out of the creator’s hands, its interpretation is entirely up to the people consuming the media regardless of the original intent. So while interesting, for me to personally consider Newbon’s words to be canon, there needs to be clear evidence of it within the game. And I just don’t see there being enough evidence to support that. In fact… The idea that Heisenberg can’t keep himself from murdering people…? We literally see him avoid killing Ethan. He kinda goes out of his way and puts himself in danger in an attempt to NOT kill Ethan, and when he finally does try to actually kill him, it’s because Ethan is coming at him with a tank! That’s self-defense and shows a remarkable sense of restraint for a person who is supposed to not be in control of himself at all! (I’m specifically talking about when Ethan encounters Karl in the factory for the second time, and Karl knocks him all the way to the bottom of his factory where there’s a bunch of water for some reason. If Heisenberg wanted Ethan dead, that would have been when to do it, but he didn’t. He even tells Ethan to stay out of it, indicating that he expects Ethan to survive through this. But Ethan clearly isn’t going to change his mind about them working together. There isn’t any benefit for Heisenberg to let him stay alive at this point. So why did Heisenberg let him live? Especially if he can’t control himself nor stop himself from killing people? The game shows us that this is not the case in how Heisenberg chooses to let Ethan live. So clearly, if he doesn’t want to kill someone, he is able to choose not to kill them. And if this is the case, I do believe that he can be swayed into not killing anyone at all. After all, it is to his benefit to not be going around killing people all the time.) I personally think that Newbon’s interpretation is equally as valid as the fan’s. But that’s not how everyone operates, I know.
But also… All of what I have said can be true, and Newbon can still be right about Heisenberg! Because think about this. Newbon is saying this from Heisenberg’s perspective. But maybe that is solely Heisenberg’s perception of himself. Newbon is trying to understand what Karl thinks of himself in order to portray him properly. But Karl doesn’t know everything. And self-perception can be wrong. It actually makes sense that Karl would think that he’s not able to control himself. That he would keep murdering and kidnapping and being a general menace to society if allowed to be free. But he may also be wrong about himself and may indeed be able to recover and become better if given the freedom he desires. Both can be true!
And lastly… If I were to agree with you. Say that what you’re saying is 100% correct and how the game should be interpreted. Then why should we treat Ethan any differently than the Lords? He’s clearly infected with the mold and can hardly be considered human anymore. Rose is very likely to be infected too, so why should she be allowed to live? Why should either of them be spared? They’re infected, not human anymore, and for all we know are being controlled by the mold. I mean, Ethan actually does seem to show a similar kind of hostility, erraticism, and penchant for violence that the Bakers did. We even see that Eveline is still in his head in some capacity! Can we say for certain that he’s in control of himself? Is the man that he was before currently being held hostage by this moldy copy of himself? Is he even Ethan? When it comes down to it, isn’t he just a high-functioning molded? (Which is pretty much just a zombie but mold.) They’re both certainly menaces to society and exceedingly dangerous. I mean, look at what Ethan managed to do to all of the Lords over the course of a single day! Sure they’re monsters, but is there any guarantee that he wouldn’t do the same to a human that pissed him off? In terms of species, Ethan and Rose are closer to the Lords than humans, and Ethan had no problems with killing them. If he were to have survived the events of the game, why would he have any obligations towards the human race anymore when he isn’t one? And there is absolutely no hope of recovery for the two of them. If you are to say that their nature makes the Lords monsters and abominations that need to be killed because they’re too dangerous and that there is no chance for them to be better people and recover, then why are Ethan and Rose exceptions?
And so those are pretty much all of the reasons that I can think of right now for why I reject the idea that the Lords are worthy of death. I don’t think they are innately bad. I believe that they are people. I believe that they are capable of change and are not inherently dangerous. And I believe that their actions reflect those of victims of abuse. Therefore I think that they deserve better than what they got, and deserved a chance to live a life without abuse. But please understand that this part of this conversation that you were responding to is pretty removed from the game’s actual content and that all of this is merely interpretation and opinion. Everything I say here are more ideas and hypotheticals that I am tossing around, and not stuff that I think would ever actually be canon. I actually don’t think that Capcom really intended to make it possible to interpret the game this way. I don’t think that they made this game with any kind of interpretation like this is mind at all! Honestly, I think that they just wanted to make a family of fun villains like the previous one with no intentions of giving them any nuance or sympathetic motivation. Likely they already had the idea of Ethan being moldy, decided to give him a kid, and to act as a foil for Ethan being a good dad and having a good family to make him fight against a bad mother who has a pure evil family. But in the process they actually created a story that they didn’t intend to. I don’t think they realize that there is a narrative of abuse here and that they therefore made the Lords worthy of 'redemption.’ (Technically speaking this is not redemption. This is recovery. I just say this word to mean going from a bad guy to a good guy.) And so when watching what happened in this game, I picked up on this narrative of abuse, and that is the lens through which I interpret everything that is seen in the game. To me this story is largely about about a family with an abusive Mother and how they pissed off the wrong guy and so he killed them one after another not caring if his actions were wrong. I believe that you are seeing the game through its intended lens which says that nothing deeper is going on here, that the Lords are just big baddies like Maleficent or Captain Hook or the Evil Stepmother from some Disney film. But neither interpretation is actually wrong. It’s just from a different perspective. Honestly, both can be more or less true and/or wrong in equal measures. Your view is more from and sympathetic to Ethan’s perspective and mine is more from and sympathetic to the Lords. And I don’t think that I’m alone in seeing this narrative, even if people are only catching onto it subconsciously. In fact I can tell you that at least ~162 people have seen this narrative and agree with me on it. But this is still just my personal interpretation of the game, its characters and its events. Just because my interpretation is different from yours, that doesn’t mean that yours is necessarily wrong or any less valid than mine. I may absolutely be wrong. You may absolutely be right. I don’t think that there’s necessarily a wrong way to view or interpret media. In fact I believe that you as the viewer get to choose what counts as continuity and what doesn’t! And so these are just my musings and the lens through which I choose to view this story through. This is the continuity that I have chosen to believe in. Our interpretations are not particularly compatible with one another, and that’s alright! More interpretations and ideas are a good thing! And if things come out to prove that your view is the more canon accurate one, I’m still going to keep interpreting things through this lens and try to make them work within this narrative that I see. Because ultimately, the reason that I prefer to interpret things this way is because I think that it makes for a better, more nuanced story. it makes the game and its content more enjoyable for me! This interpretation gives me more than enjoyment than the game itself has! But if it doesn’t do that for you, you don’t have to agree with
it! You don’t have to view the game through this lens if you don’t want to. But you aren’t going to necessarily change my interpretation without making some damn good arguments! And I do believe that my present interpretation does have enough evidence that it is able to fit within canon. I believe that this interpretation has a place in how we view this canon. But all of this is far more headcanon than theory. And it’s solely my own.
You know, I feel like people don’t play with the idea of Ethan being a weird-ass mold man in AUs where he lives after the events of the game enough. And so to help remedy this, here’s a really dumb thing that keeps popping into my head!
A bit gross, I know (though to be fair, mold is pretty gross), but I keep imagining that one day someone catches Ethan eating spoiled leftovers from the fridge. When asked what he’s doing, Ethan just responds with a, “I’m eliminating the enemy.” before going back to it.
Okay but… Just… Rick & Morty’s Thanksploitation Spectacular… Just… AHAHAHAHA! People who think that Rick and Morty is good because it makes you think are wrong. This is some of the dumbest shit I have ever seen and it’s just GREAT!
When I first watched it, I said it then, and I will repeat it now, but The Rickurian Mortydate was the most mediocre episode about fighting the president that I think Rick and Morty could have ever made. I don’t remember most of that episode. I remember that they played Minecraft and the President and Rick fought, but how they got there and why escapes me. Though I do remember it being something of a dick measuring contest. The best thing about that episode were the fight scenes and some of the sci-fi ideas and gadgets therein, but otherwise I felt that it was very meh. Not necessarily a bad episode, but not particularly good either.
But Rick & Morty’s Thanksploitation Spectacular? Oh. OH! Now THIS is the insane kind of bullshit that I want to see out of Rick and Morty and an episode in which someone is having fisticuffs with the fuckin’ President of the United States! This episode is great. National Treasure references, the president of the US turkey, the US turkey president (these two are separate things), spider!FDR, awkward family dinners with the President, Carter having been banned from drinking at this one bar for running a tab of like… $58 or something, thus all presidents being banned from it, France invading and taking over New York, mutant turkey abominations, the rewriting of American history in the dumbest of ways. This episode has it all and it’s fantastic! REALLY fucking dumb, but incredible nonetheless!
Re how many lycans. You’re making me want to do math now… Lol So if we take in game lore as the average, 1 of 5 turn into lycans, and 1 of 180 take particularly well to the cadou. So if Miranda was just haphazardly experimenting, it would take 720 subjects to get 4 “successful failures” like the lords, making 144 lycans. This is not accounting for if she began to be more selective on whom she experimented on which she undoubtably did which would ideally mean more lycans and mutants and less deaths.
… Okay, but there MUST be more than 150 lycans in the game… Right…!? And that population is assuming that every single lycan ever created was still alive and made it to the modern day (which we know they didn’t). My brain keeps telling me that there must be like 100 lycans in the Stronghold alone, but then I think about the numbers we see in there, and maybe we only see somewhere around 50…? Once again, this is making me want to do a census! Werewolf census! Great idea obviously!
Actually based on all the industry the village had it could be on the larger side, it’s just that most people live outside the village, scattered into homesteads that Ethan doesn’t visit.
Personally, the factory looks a bit rundown and abandoned to me. Like, I think Heisenberg did a good job of fixing the place up (especially on the inside), but to me, I wouldn’t be surprised if after WW2, the factory was largely abandoned as the population of the village and surrounding areas was no longer big enough to be utilizing the whole factory, and so it was largely left abandoned until Karl moved in. That’s my personal headcanon at least. Also given what we see inside the factory… Well… I don’t think that Heisenberg actually had very many people working inside his factory in recent years. I think that he would mostly want to keep his experiments on the downlow, and I don’t think that all the corpses wandering around and hung up like Christmas decorations everywhere would go over well with any village, no matter how fanatically they may worship their leaders. I can see Heisenberg having maybe a team of trusted engineers that he would work with, but not much more than that. I imagine that he wouldn’t really want people to know what he gets up to in there for the most part.
Re Heisenberg. You know him collecting the bodies from the slaughter all day could have been a great excuse to mask him setting up all those signs and boxes.
I mean… Yeah, it could be! But I’m just imagining like… Lady Dimitrescu comes across him setting some boxes down while hauling the bodies away and she’s just like, “So what do you have there?”
To which he responds, “A corpse.” Ala that iCarly meme.
Re Heisenberg discovering Dimitrescu victims dismemberments. That’s sort of a hilarious. I can totally see that as how it happened.
Hey! Here’s something that my brain made up that makes it even funnier, but also like… 80 times worse!
Heisenberg goes over to pick up a body that Dimitrescu wants him to get rid of. He’s about to leave when one of her daughters comes running into the room, yelling, “Hey! You forgot something!” before chucking the body’s severed dick at Karl’s face! You decide how he reacts to that one!
Re Beneviento hallucinations. Beneviento knowing stuff about the Winters and Mia to influence the hallucinations implies Miranda was disclosing stuff to the lords about them and if so my first thought is why would she? What was the purpose there?
Well… Mia is still alive and they are holding her captive, so it is entirely possible for Beneviento to have gotten the information for the escape room section from Mia herself! But also. Like. Very clearly Heisenberg as some level of intel on Ethan, knowing what happened in Louisiana and whatnot, so if Miranda isn’t directly telling them stuff about the Winterses, clearly it’s not exactly hard for the Lords to get information on him. And while it may not be obvious, there are advantages to making sure that your lieutenants are in the loop, even if you intend to stab them in the back later. You’ve just gotta be selective with what you let them know!
Also I tend to think that Donna may be able to get away with just knowing a few base things about the Winterses, make some specific props and hallucinations around those base things, and then let Ethan’s own mind fill in the gaps!
Also I don’t know about the props being real… Didn’t the scissors disappear as soon as Ethan killed Lady Beneviento?
And did they? I didn’t notice that they did… But I absolutely could have missed things! Because if any thing in that section was real, that one HAS to be real, right? Because otherwise how did Lady Beneviento die? If the scissors didn’t exist, that means one of two things. Either her hallucinations are so powerful that they can have something of a real effect on people, even to the point where anyone being subject to them is able to be killed by them (which given the baby, is actually pretty possible)… Or Ethan literally just punched Donna in the face until she died! And… Just… That idea is just too freaking funny to me! (With guns like those, why use actual guns!?)
And I think that the props were probably real because… If anything in that section is real, it has to be whatever is able effect things outside of the hallucination. We know that the elevator is probably real. (I mean… I imagine that it still exists after Lady Beneviento dies, but I don’t know that for certain.) Therefore the elevator not working was probably real, and therefore the fuses were likely real. And if the fuses are real, all of the pieces of this escape room were set up for Ethan to work his way towards those fuses, so that inclines me to think that the props he was interacting with were actually real. Like, she’s making him actually go through an actual puzzle. Not just making him have a bad trip. I certainly think that it’s better if the puzzles are at least somewhat real.
Re the discussion as a whole. It just occurred to me that using their human experimentations as the basis for determining the lord’s ethicality is fundamentally flawed. None of them were doing this of their own accord, this is all offshoots of Miranda’s own research
And yes! You’re right! All of the Lords are victims of abuse, and pretty much all of their immoral actions are more or less results of that abuse. Be that from how Miranda changed their biology, how she withheld love from them, or trying to fight back against said abuse. The reason I’ve been thinking about this is because I can’t help but to think about people’s arguments on why Ethan was in the right to kill these people and why the Lords didn’t deserve better. Because… Just… Because the Lords are victims of abuse, a lot of their less moral actions weren’t really their own fault. They would have been mostly done on behalf of or to please Mother Miranda. So in the question of how easy they would be in trying to rehabilitate them into normal human society, looking at how bad their actions are and if they would do them again is helpful. And you know. Crimes are still crimes, so some level of accountability or punishment or even just surveillance is probably in order. I mean, even murder done in self-defense doesn’t always go unpunished after all. Like… TBH, I think that Heisenberg did basically nothing wrong. I don’t think that he’s particularly interested in killing people without reason and was trying to meaningfully fight against his abuser in the most practical and ethical way that he could. If any of the Lords deserves to have been brought back into human society, it was Heisenberg. And the fact that he would not be very likely to do these crimes again makes him actually pretty safe to release back into society in spite of how incredibly dangerous his abilities are. Maybe he would need to be under surveillance so that he doesn’t misuse his abilities, but I think that he could have adapted to a normal human life pretty easily and he wouldn’t need to be watched. He just isn’t a threat and probably wouldn’t be doing anything bad with his freedom.
The others are a lot more tricky though. Dimitrescu was doing her human experimentation probably in attempts to please Mother Miranda, and therefore is pretty unlikely to keep doing that stuff when Miranda is dead. But she did murder people a lot for basically offending her. That wasn’t really done for any reasons related to Mother Miranda. Mostly I think she would just do that because she knew that she could get away with it… And she needed the blood. So if Alcina was to be brought back into normal society, she would need to be put under surveillance so that someone can make sure that she isn’t murdering people for small slights and to hold her accountable for any immoral actions that she may take, but so long as she knows that she can’t get away with committing crimes, I don’t think that she’s particularly likely to hurt people. Well… Except for her blood disease. But the thing is, I don’t think that she needs to be punished for a condition that she can’t really control. She would need help to get the resources she needs to live, but that can be done pretty ethically. So I think that as long as her condition is being treated, she’s at medium to low risk of actually hurting anyone. Again. Where you probably don’t need to watch Heisenberg, you would probably need to keep an eye on Dimitrescu, though that could be temporary.
Moreau is a VERY tough call because where he was also doing experiments on people to please his mother, unlike Alcina, he may just keep doing them even after Miranda is dead. (He may be fanatical enough to want to please Mother Miranda even from beyond the grave.) Also I don’t think that Miranda was telling him to eat whomever he was able to catch boating around in his reservoir, so if you wanted to try to bring him back into society, you would probably DEFINITELY have to keep an eye on him. He just doesn’t have the same excuses that Dimitrescu has when it comes to why he’s eating people. But also unlike Alcina, Salvatore very likely has some sort of mental disorder going on and therefore deserves help and has a lot of possible room for him to get better. Depending on how much this disorder he may or may not have plays into his bad actions and how much he’s willing to give things a try, once he’s given actual love, help, and treatment, he may not be a threat to society at all! But he also may not be receptive to help, and if that’s the case, it would be immensely dangerous to try to rehabilitate him and to bring him back into society. Either way, he is still the most difficult of the Lords to bring back into society, but may very well deserve that chance given the extent of his specific mutation. I would genuinely hate for him to have to be imprisoned for the rest of his life and so would hope that he’s more than willing to change his actions so that he can live a relatively normal one, no matter how difficult it may be for him. If nothing else, given how bad the extent of his abuse was and how it changed him in mind and body, he will likely need the most help, but may also be the most deserving of it. Whether at the end of it all he would be safe to bring back into society would be up to him.
And as for Donna… Well… I also thought that she did nothing wrong, but when it occurred to me how she kills people… Well… There is definitely something wrong with her mentally. Even Mother Miranda reports that she has some form of mental illness. So she absolutely deserves some level of help. At the very least giving her access to a therapist for the rest of her life is probably a good idea. But as for how dangerous she is… Well, Miranda likely didn’t have much to directly do with her killing people. So would she continue doing that stuff without her there…? At worst, she’s an absolute monster, and while she may be willing to stop, it would be terrifying to know that she’s out there. But if she genuinely didn’t mean any ill will… Well, then she probably deserves to be brought back into society, even if it is difficult. Beneviento and Moreau are kinda in the same boat there, aren’t they? Except I think that Moreau is far more likely to remain malicious where Beneviento probably isn’t. But that’s pure speculation on my part.
But I certainly don’t think that any of them deserved to die. You remember what I said about a thought I saw someone express that kinda felt ableist even though that wasn’t what they were talking about…? Well, this is kinda the crux of it. Someone was saying that Ethan was in the right to kill the Lords because the Lords had become monsters and therefore are too dangerous to live. Killing them would be an act of mercy and the people they were before the experiments would probably want Ethan to kill them. And this is a notion that I vehemently reject. If anything, it reminds me of when people say shit like, “I can’t understand how they do it. If I couldn’t walk/go blind/am paralyzed/whatever I would rather die.” Which is a really toxic sentiment for people to have. Because it suggests that a disabled life is not one worth living, when that is patently wrong. Life with a disability may be more difficult. Sometimes it may be hard to take. But people live with those disabilities every day. And many many MANY people with disabilities live long, happy, and worthwhile lives. Just because their life is different doesn’t make it worth any less. And being a mutant experiment? I don’t think it would really be much different. They are still people. They still deserve to live. They were all victims of abuse and so deserve the benefit of the doubt and help. They should not be punished for biology that they really can’t control having. These are people. And just like any person they deserve respect, dignity, and life.
So those are just my thoughts and why I was thinking about how ethical their actions are. Because while I think they all deserve help, how ethical their actions have been does help a bit when determining how much leniency and benefit of the doubt each of them should be given. Because at some point, for some people if you keep giving them that benefit of the doubt, people are going to get hurt and they are never going to change. And I wouldn’t begrudge anyone for giving up on that kind of person. Though I do admit that this thinking may very well be flawed too. I don’t even know what I’m talking about anymore I’ve been typing so long!
Out of everything that I expected to see today, an episode of Miraculous Ladybug that spends most of its time critiquing Capitalism while also giving kids an idea of what protest movements can look like was certainly not on the list! Can’t say that I dislike it though! Made my heart go doki doki in appreciation. Also holy shit Mylène is SO freaking cute using the mouse miraculous! And having her on the team really does help the diversity of their body types! A plus sized superheroine in Miraculous Ladybug? YES PLEASE!
Bacially, Mega Leech good.