Everything else: Me
Super Paper Mario: Nintendo/Intelligent Systems
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A few weeks ago, I was catching up on my old friend and fellow Super Paper Mario obsessive hambammich64's gallery when I spotted a picture that I really loved. (Oh and if you like SPM and haven't checked out her gallery yet, YOU HAVE TO.) She said she wasn't entirely happy with it, however, and was never going to color it. But I liked it just so goshdarn much (especially since I've always been fond of the "red string of fate" concept), and as it just so happens I'm trying to focus more on my coloring these days, so I asked her to send it to me- and here we are!
For something I didn't draw, I've grown awfully attached to this picture. I had a great time choosing the quotes, listening to the game's music and getting all gushy and mushy about SPM all over again.
Since I didn't *DRAW* the picture, but I did a lot of thinking about it, I offer my personal interpretation of the way Fate wraps its way around each of the characters.
Bleck - his hands are tied, literally and figuratively. He is in thrall to a destiny that he typically embraces; but when doubts and regret creep into his mind, when he is more lucid, he sees himself as victim of the Prognosticus and the Chaos Heart moreso than their controller. He walks handcuffed as in a prison line, feeling that he once was playing a game of chess but somehow became a pawn on the board. The lower quote is the only time he refers to himself as "I" in the entire game before its climactic events, hinting that deep within him struggles a Blumiere who longs to take everything back, who is kept suppressed by the self-imposed distance and grandiosity of his persistent referral to himself as Count Bleck. How little he knows that within him still lies the power of love that will undo his actions.
Nastasia - Nastasia sees her greatest asset as her brain, be it her intelligence, reliability, or her attention to detail that keeps the whole team together, not even to mention her mind-control powers. Fate has wrapped itself around her neck, and as the events of the game escalate it wraps ever tighter, cutting off circulation to her logic, her rationality, her calm and collected demeanor; overpowering her with emotion and fear for the people she loves, no matter how hard she tries to hide it behind her professionalism.
O'Chunks - Strength, loyalty and honor are important above all things to the warrior. Unfortunately, he's painfully aware that he's never on quite the same page as his colleagues, be it in wits or the lack of supernatural powers. As the heroes' quest progresses and he faces one humiliating defeat after another, the fact that they - and, he fears, even his friends - see him as little more than comedic relief erodes his dignity to the point that he would rather be killed in battle than see them again. With a little external pushing, he decides to fight on, under the condition that he eschews all vulnerability and strives to become the mere dumb muscle as which others already perceive him. All of this to say that fate has tripped him up, has embarrassed him, has brought his pride low.
Mimi - while you could say the string could very well run straight through the hearts of all these characters (except perhaps Dimentio), it wraps itself most tightly around Mimi's chest. Why? As the youngest among them, her views on the universe and on people are the most formative and vulnerable. She fights alongside the others because they are her friends moreso than from a bitterness at the universe's corruption and a genuine desire to see it remade (hence her referral to war as merely "icky"). She grants Bleck the pure trust of an adolescent towards a beloved mentor, and in the end she loses him. Dimentio's betrayal has the potential to rub her the rawest of any of the minions. Much as it once did for a young lord who lost someone he loved, Fate wraps itself around her heart, attempting to squeeze out her joy, tempting her ultimate potential for ruthlessness. But in the end, despite all that has happened, she greets the stable universe with a smile, determined to build a better world.
Mr. L - Luigi is most known for his legs, but as Mr. L the man subconsciously tosses aside the timidity of his old persona, and other characteristics with it. It is with his arms that Mr. L builds the machines he intends to take down his (unbeknownst to him) brother and friends. Fate wraps itself around the arms of the brainwashed man, strangely freeing him initially but eventually clenching to cause him to dance like a puppet.
And that brings us to... the puppet master. Who twirls fate around his pinky, who yanks the string tighter with a smile on his face, who cuts his bond with a laugh.
It fits so well! Really great job!
aaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAH I CAN’T THIS LOOKS TOO GOOD
And you hit what I was going for with the string placement DEAD ON. I was afraid to add my reasoning when I posted the lineart because I knew I was going to nerd out and ramble, but you summed it up nicely!
There's something to be said for an artist not waxing poetic about their own work and letting it stand on its own for interpretation. In this case, I got to be an interpreter of what was already there, and your art does a good job speaking for itself.
He seems more detailed 'cuz I made him hairy. I had to figure out the best way to represent body hair whilst coloring... I must say that's a new one for me.
I like both versions actually, they represent similar things but offer different interpretations
Seriously though it's fun and looks great!! Good job you guys.
The two of you did an amazing job, seriously. ♥
Now put his two quotes together... HOLY CRAP
I mean I'm sure he's just referring to himself in that second quote but if you consider "brain" to mean something, someONE else... it's a perfect encapsulation of what's actually going on for him at that moment (and actually what that fic I was[am?] writing is about).