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Old 2011-03-02, 19:48   Link #781
DezoPenguin
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Originally Posted by RadiantBeam View Post
So, any suggestions on how to handle an emotional scene with a character who isn't usually an emotional mess without making it into Narm?
Hmm, as Kuroi Hadou already suggested, the key thing is to not derail the character in the process.

AFAIK, the real producers of "Narm" and "Wangst" are when the character's reaction to the emotional stimulus are out of balance with the audience's expectations. For an in-universe example (that I just watched), in Black Butler v.4 the Indian prince whines to Ciel about the way Mina left him and went off to England. Given Ciel's hellishly awful backstory, this struck him as a big wad of Wangst and he basically told the prince to shut the heck up and stop whining about something so inconsequential.

So the question is...the character is normally unemotional. What is it about this particular scene that would make them cross that line? Is it better for them to play it in an understated fashion? Or is there some established-in-story reason why this would affect them more deeply? Archer, for example, would be more motivated to reckless action by something bad happening to Ilya or Rin, whereas he might shrug off the same thing happening to Shirou or Saber.

So long as the character is "true to him/herself," then the only people who will likely find Narm are those who find the underlying emotion itself to be Narmful ("X is a Badass! Badasses never cry, even if they watch their children tortured to death in front of them and are force-fed sausages made from their lover's intestines!"). On the other hand, if the character needs to act in a certain emotional way for the scene to play out (such as if you need a big argument between lovers, but one of the lovers is not the kind of person who would participate in such a fight), then you might well run into Narm. It isn't likely to work well to make the characters bow to the scene. On the other hand, seeing a normally understated character have a strong emotional reaction can be a very affecting and powerful moment if the reasons for it led properly to that reaction.
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Old 2011-03-02, 19:54   Link #782
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadiantBeam View Post
So, any suggestions on how to handle an emotional scene with a character who isn't usually an emotional mess without making it into Narm?
Off-hand? I would suggest 'keep it subtle' as the rule for this. Make the breakdown... emotional, but not extremely so. No top-of-the-lungs screaming and gnashing of teeth. Indeed, the character just... silently falling to pieces can be far more powerful and show far more clearly how damaged they are.
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Old 2011-03-02, 21:29   Link #783
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Originally Posted by RadiantBeam View Post
So, any suggestions on how to handle an emotional scene with a character who isn't usually an emotional mess without making it into Narm?
I'd say it depends on who it is.

Rin get's very, very passionate if you do the right things. She can be business like, but she can become really unreasonable, especially if it is about people or things she cares about.
In the heat of the moment, we all can become rather silly looking, but that is how it is. I'm sure if you had someone tape you when you blew up, at some points you would laugh at how you looked. Sure it looks cheesy, but sometimes that's how it is.
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Old 2011-03-03, 20:01   Link #784
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Originally Posted by RadiantBeam View Post
So, any suggestions on how to handle an emotional scene with a character who isn't usually an emotional mess without making it into Narm?
Well, assuming you're talking about Rin here, I don't think she's as well-adjusted (emotionally) as you think. She just acts like she is.
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Old 2011-03-03, 21:03   Link #785
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Well, assuming you're talking about Rin here, I don't think she's as well-adjusted (emotionally) as you think. She just acts like she is.
I'm well aware of the fact that Rin isn't as emotionally well adjusted as she likes to pretend she is. What I'm concerned about is how she would come across in a genuine breakdown. Most of her emotional outbursts in the game were driven by anger, and had something she could lash out at. The scene I have in mind is different.
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Old 2011-03-03, 21:49   Link #786
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Yeah, I can see your issue, because I assume this will be somehow related to Sakura, and like you say she usually has someone she can be angry at when such a situation happens, whereas here she has no-one to "blame" but herself and no-one she can take her anger out on.

I'd imagine that the closest you could get to a genuine (non-angry) Rin breakdown would be at the end of HF, but even then she's pretty calm.
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Old 2011-03-03, 21:54   Link #787
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but even then she's pretty calm.
Blood loss and blacking out tend to have that effect.
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Old 2011-03-04, 13:40   Link #788
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Originally Posted by Cherry_Lover View Post
I'd imagine that the closest you could get to a genuine (non-angry) Rin breakdown would be at the end of HF, but even then she's pretty calm.
Meh. IMO that was less of a breakdown and more of Rin realizing something she'd be in denial about all along, and accepting it.
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Old 2011-03-04, 13:42   Link #789
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Originally Posted by RadiantBeam View Post
I'm well aware of the fact that Rin isn't as emotionally well adjusted as she likes to pretend she is. What I'm concerned about is how she would come across in a genuine breakdown. Most of her emotional outbursts in the game were driven by anger, and had something she could lash out at. The scene I have in mind is different.
Wasn't there something similar to that in UBW when Archer betrayed her and Shirou had to lift her spirits? Would that make a good reference point?
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Old 2011-03-04, 13:45   Link #790
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Wasn't there something similar to that in UBW when Archer betrayed her and Shirou had to lift her spirits? Would that make a good reference point?
It definitely helps, yeah. But part of the problem is that Rin had that reaction in UBW largely because Shirou was there as someone she could lean on, so it felt "okay" for her to do it. I'm just trying to grasp how she would handle a situation where she's breaking down with nothing to lash out at and nothing to hold on to.
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Old 2011-03-04, 13:51   Link #791
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nothing to hold on to.
Sakura?

Stupid post length limit....
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Old 2011-03-04, 13:55   Link #792
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Originally Posted by Cherry_Lover View Post
Sakura?

Stupid post length limit....
Kind of hard to hold on to the thing that plays a major role in your breakdown in the first place. At least, at first.
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Old 2011-03-04, 13:56   Link #793
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Originally Posted by RadiantBeam View Post
It definitely helps, yeah. But part of the problem is that Rin had that reaction in UBW largely because Shirou was there as someone she could lean on, so it felt "okay" for her to do it. I'm just trying to grasp how she would handle a situation where she's breaking down with nothing to lash out at and nothing to hold on to.
If I had to guess...

I would say the situation you're describing would result in her probably going into denial. She would have a brief period of sitting helplessly before trying to move her focus to a problem she CAN solve. Her breakdown would probably be short and quiet before she started trying her damnedest to ignore the problem.
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Old 2011-03-04, 13:58   Link #794
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I think she'd just throw a fit and trash her place (or the place that she might be in at the time). Then eventually she'd become a stoic and do whatever she thinks has to be done (like in the Bad ending in UBW when you don't recuit Lancer's help) even if it's suicidal.
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Old 2011-03-04, 14:09   Link #795
Cherry_Lover
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Originally Posted by RadiantBeam View Post
Kind of hard to hold on to the thing that plays a major role in your breakdown in the first place.
Well, technically, Shirou was the cause of her breakdown in UBW :P

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Originally Posted by Moczo View Post
If I had to guess...

I would say the situation you're describing would result in her probably going into denial. She would have a brief period of sitting helplessly before trying to move her focus to a problem she CAN solve. Her breakdown would probably be short and quiet before she started trying her damnedest to ignore the problem.
Yeah, this sounds about right.

However, I get the impression that this isn't a problem she's going to be able to ignore, because I would assume it involves something about Sakura (either her past, Rin's feelings for her or the true nature of the shadow).

Last edited by Cherry_Lover; 2011-03-04 at 14:20.
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Old 2011-03-04, 21:46   Link #796
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B-but what about us people who don't drink alcohol?

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Still running pages backward to check for backlogs...
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Old 2011-03-04, 22:03   Link #797
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However, I get the impression that this isn't a problem she's going to be able to ignore, because I would assume it involves something about Sakura (either her past, Rin's feelings for her or the true nature of the shadow).
If it makes any sense, she's going to start out trying very badly to ignore it. But since it's at the core of her whole decision at this point in the story to save Sakura, eventually it's going to catch up with her. Right now she's trying to run away from it as fast as she can and never look back.
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Old 2011-03-05, 00:51   Link #798
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If it makes any sense, she's going to start out trying very badly to ignore it.
Well, of course, she's Rin. What else would she do?

Quote:
But since it's at the core of her whole decision at this point in the story to save Sakura, eventually it's going to catch up with her.
Well, yeah, exactly.

I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to here, but there are several issues which she is going to have to deal with eventually.

Quote:
Right now she's trying to run away from it as fast as she can and never look back.
Yep, sounds like Rin....
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Old 2011-03-05, 01:41   Link #799
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Originally Posted by RadiantBeam View Post
If it makes any sense, she's going to start out trying very badly to ignore it. But since it's at the core of her whole decision at this point in the story to save Sakura, eventually it's going to catch up with her. Right now she's trying to run away from it as fast as she can and never look back.
Don't forget the "find an obviously transparent excuse why doing whatever she did is really the kind of thing a cold, callous JerkAss magus would naturally do, no matter how it looks" step!
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Old 2011-03-22, 23:24   Link #800
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Right, so I've finally gotten started on my next Omake file thing and I was wondering if you guys had any ideas you'd like to throw out.

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