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What story/character tropes do you dislike or hate?

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I personally don't really like "Supernatural Masquerades"; i.e. supernatural creatures hiding for... some reason, often that people "aren't ready" or something. It feels rather lazy to me and is a huge waste of potential imo.

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3 hours ago, Topaz Light said:

It’s less that it’s inherently racist towards any specific group and more that the idea of an entire race of people that’s just intrinsically malignant and often less intelligent by nature lines up with a lot of racist rhetoric.

This is a broader topic, though, that I don’t really feel fully qualified to explain in-depth, and that’s not really the subject of discussion in this thread.

Alright. I see where you're doing from, and I both agree and disagree. 

But to get back on topic, I'll also throw in perverts for comedic purpouse. I simply don't find a pervert or that kind of behavior funny, in any way. 

I'll also throw in Female on Male abuse, domestic or otherwise, being played as comedic while male on female domestix abuse is always portrayed as an atrocity. It's bad no matter who the recipient is. Lets just, not hit people.

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16 hours ago, Etrurian emperor said:

I would also add that the better aspects of Luke were always present to some degree. Even as a haughty brat he was more naive and clumsy then malicious and he generally showed an interest to learn from his mistakes. His better half especially came out around Ion who he immediately acted rather nicely towards. The nicer, meeker Luke we see in act 2 is who he'd likely always have been if not so spoiled and manipulated. 

Mhm, very much agreed.  Sure, I can get someone just not liking Abyss enough to see through to that but I think he shows in more than a few places that he is, if you'll pardon my troping, a jerk with a heart of gold in more than one episode of the narrative.

 

16 hours ago, Ottservia said:

Personally I love these kinds of villains at least when they’re done well. They’re extremely simple but can also be extremely effective. They’re evil for evil’s sake. They have no sympathetic qualities or motivations. They just want to watch the world burn and have fun while doing. The thing that makes these kinds of villains so much fun for me is that they’re just fun characters. They know what they’re doing is terrible but they relish in it. They don’t care they just wanna have fun. Why did they blow up the orphanage well they nothing better to do that weekend. Or like they just want to flaunt how strong they are in the most petty way possible like how Shigaraki intercepts an entire police transport ambulance just to taunt Overhaul while he’s down. He didn’t need to do this in fact staying hidden and not showing himself to the police would’ve served him better but he did it anyway. Why? Because he’s a petty bitch and I love him for it

I think that's fair.

I may clarify myself a little: I do think that an incredibly destructive villain can, indeed work depending on the tone.  I'm unfamiliar with this Shigaraki character but one character that I rather did enjoy was Ardyn in FFXV.  Not because I think he's particularly amazingly well-written, but because Darin De Paul is just hamming it up in every scene and that's enjoyable.  Pantomime baddies can certainly be acceptable if, indeed, you are gunning for that sort of tone.

It's when writers try to tell a more serious story and bring in a very morally simple antagonist that I find myself rolling my eyes.  Mostly because I think that the more serious and philosophical a writer wants to be, the more interesting a villain they need to antagonise the heroes.  Which is kind of why I find I'm not a huge fan of Ardyn's DLC episode: it introduces a degree of moral grey that the story doesn't feel like it was built for because it's a JRPG about Swordboi McJebus saving the world as the destined Messiah of Sparklygem.  Saying, "Well, I guess maybe Baron von Hitlersatan kinda had a reaassonn after all" rather out of the blue just doesn't particularly gel for me.

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13 hours ago, RomanFlour said:

I personally don't really like "Supernatural Masquerades"; i.e. supernatural creatures hiding for... some reason, often that people "aren't ready" or something. It feels rather lazy to me and is a huge waste of potential imo.

That would probably be because a lot of "supernatural masquerades" aren't written very well in terms of worldbuilding, so that worldbuilding falls apart when you think about it for more than a few seconds. Just look at the Harry Potter books for example: you're telling me that the hidden wizarding world survived two world wars without the masquerade coming down? 

 

20 hours ago, Ottservia said:

Personally I love these kinds of villains at least when they’re done well. They’re extremely simple but can also be extremely effective. They’re evil for evil’s sake. They have no sympathetic qualities or motivations. They just want to watch the world burn and have fun while doing. The thing that makes these kinds of villains so much fun for me is that they’re just fun characters. They know what they’re doing is terrible but they relish in it. They don’t care they just wanna have fun. Why did they blow up the orphanage well they nothing better to do that weekend. Or like they just want to flaunt how strong they are in the most petty way possible like how Shigaraki intercepts an entire police transport ambulance just to taunt Overhaul while he’s down. He didn’t need to do this in fact staying hidden and not showing himself to the police would’ve served him better but he did it anyway. Why? Because he’s a petty bitch and I love him for it

I agree and disagree when it comes to Shigaraki. He certainly starts out as a villain who just wants to watch the hero-based society burn, but a huge part of his villainous character development comes from him wondering why everyone cares more about people like Hero-Killer Stain than himself, and hearing from Deku, "I neither agree with you nor understand you. I may not agree with Stain, but at least I understood where he was coming from" makes Shigaraki rationalize his hatred for the hero-based society and put that towards a clear goal. 

Also, him attacking the police transport ambulance wasn't just to kick Overhaul when he's down; it was to get vengeance for Overhaul killing Magne (as another part of Shigaraki's development was him learning to actually value his minions) and, more significantly, also to steal the Quirk-Erasing bullets that were being transported with Overhaul. So, it actually was in his best interests to intercept the police ambulance. 

He certainly remains a villain without sympathetic qualities or motivations, but he's become far more pragmatic about it and has a lot more conviction than a typical "wanting to watch the world burn" villain. 

Edited by vanguard333

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Destruction craving villains can be very good. They just need to adhere to some criteria. Metalface, Hades and Malos would be good examples of such villains done right. 

Most importantly they need to have charisma. If they can't win over fans by being interesting then they must win them over by being entertaining. Have them revel in the destruction they cause, let them gloat about all of their misdeeds and give them all the chances in the world to kick the heroes when they're down. Ensure they are a joy to have on screen and they'll make up for their lack of complexity. 

Its also required to make them genuinely intimidating. A villain who's far to incompetent to cause any destruction scares nobody. Its where Iago fails since he only ever succeeds at anything by hiding behind Garon's skirt. Contrast this with Metalface who might be a mere bully but who repeatedly kicks the heroes to the curb. Give the player reasons to believe that these villains really will cause massive amounts of destruction if they aren't stopped. Even Narcian gets this right to some extend. He might be among the better examples of a joke villain in Fire Emblem but even he is introduced as someone Roy just cannot defeat on his own in the earlier chapters. 

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Honestly, as long as it's well-written I can deal with tropes that I generally dislike. Although there are a few story/character tropes I strongly dislike and don't think are very good tropes to begin with, and as a result are never done well.

1) Sympathetic villainous characters where the writers utterly fail at it and make the character unintentionally unsympathetic. I'm not against villains who are sympathetic, but lately I feel like there's been a trend of excusing characters who do bad things because "they had a hard childhood" or "it's not really their fault because of external factors". A character can be sympathetic and evil while not excusing the fact that they're doing evil things, and I feel like writers (and media consumers) just cannot seem to comprehend this. Leading to things like trying to "soften" the villain and their villainous actions by giving them all sorts of Freudian excuses and never actually exploring the negative consequences of their actions or why what they went through is not an excuse to take out their issues on others.

2) Female villains being treated more sympathetic and/or redeemable compared to male villains, who are total monsters. I mean ... it gets super predictable at some point, but it's also super condescending to women. "Oh, a woman is just too INHERENTLY KIND and can be "FIXED" and can't be taken seriously as villains!" Which is doubly problematic if this kind of bullshit leaks into real life perceptions of women, because people are people and one's biological sex doesn't stop one group of people from being more evil than another.

Edited by Sunwoo

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Probably not a trope, and imo it only applies to story heavy games, but...

Characters (usually MCs) who are tabula rasas meant to represent whoever is controlling them. That is, characters with no personality or a very generic set of personality traits, who don't seem to develop through the story or have very little development, who exist solely to fulfill the role of representing the player in the game or their desires ("I'm strong/talented/dependable here", "there's this harem after me", "I'm pivotal for this world and for these people"), who are super important despite being incredibly shallow characters. I'll always prefer fleshed out characters to self-inserts.

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I hate the "Character death for plot motivation" trope, as seen in most Ubisoft games. It's so overdone that I shake my head everytime I see the protagonist's family introduced.

Edited by NinjaMonkey

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Ohhh, I got a few.

to start: Characters relapsing from their development immediately after they get said development. It feels like it absolutely ruins the point of character development.

Hmm.. what else.. The "Best Friend" trope character being an absolute dickhead (Like, it's one thing for friends to riff on one another, but it's another thing for one side to be absolutely horrible to the other)

 

aaaand any villain motive of "Destroying the world/destroying [X Race/place/etc] for a non-existent/nonsensical reason)".

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I don't like the whole Fate concept that seems to be in every game, where things have to happen because they've already been fated, like the final battle between the main boss and the main character dueling with swords. It's so played out at this point.

I also don't like where some female/goddess character has to die in a scripted fashion where you can't do anything about it. It makes everything feel so linear.

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Lynching in mafia. But when I play mafia I always explain to "new ppl" that lynching is typically a good strategy, especially on night one.

I don't really like when stories break down in a schizophrenic mess and you start thinking that characters might be mirrors of each other, etc. But I mean...I liked Fight Club, and what I watched of Mr. Robot.

Characters (usually MCs) who are tabula rasas meant to represent whoever is controlling them. That is, characters with no personality or a very generic set of personality traits, who don't seem to develop through the story or have very little development, who exist solely to fulfill the role of representing the player in the game or their desires ("I'm strong/talented/dependable here", "there's this harem after me", "I'm pivotal for this world and for these people"), who are super important despite being incredibly shallow characters. I'll always prefer fleshed out characters to self-inserts.

This is why Byleth is so great. Nearly everyone talks to him about how great he is all the time and he mostly doesn't talk back much and he makes really fake looking and overacted gestures (for instance: Sothis chastises him towards the start and he simply bows without talking back). He never gets the chance to initiate supports, he always has to wait for people to come to him before he can talk to them. I think FE 3 Houses can be read as Byleth making fun of everyone but Jeralt and almost everyone making fun of Byleth but Jeralt. Byleth and Jeralt's relationship, however, made me extremely depressed, up to and including Jeralt's voice advising Byleth to get married at the end of the game.

Reminds me of Riou and Viktor in Suikoden II.

Edited by Original Johan Liebert

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On 8/9/2020 at 3:59 AM, redlight said:

Bit of a shounen gripe. If you want your MC to preach about hard work and all that in your stories then don't give them some kind of unique OP ability/power to render all that worthless. Lee should've the true protagonist of Naruto.

I'd agree except for the fact that the show Naruto wasn't really about hard work vs talent; him being untalented was an obstacle, but his real struggle that pervaded the series was overcoming his loneliness. His drive to become Hokage wasn't rooted in his lack of talent but in him being all alone with almost the entire village hating him, and him being desperate to win their acceptance ("I'm gonna be Hokage someday, and then everyone will respect me! Believe it!"); him being untalented was just an obstacle towards him achieving that goal (and another reason for the kids to hate him beyond their parents telling them to). 

I see people criticize the Neji fight by saying stuff like, "Naruto used Kurama's chakra to win; that's breaking the very thing he keeps spouting about" …No, it isn't; his fight with Neji was about whether or not a person can escape the cage that their society has placed them in if they put the work in. Neji believes it's impossible and that he is destined to forever be a slave to the main branch of his family just as Naruto is destined to be forever alone and hated by everyone, and Naruto's trying to prove him wrong. Naruto using Kurama's chakra to win is him using the very thing that's the reason all the adults hate him (him being the host of Kurama) to win. 

 

Anyway, out of curiosity, what's your opinion then on a protagonist like Asta from Black Clover? He is the only human without magic in his world, and he says a lot about hard work. He does get a unique sword(and later two more) through which he can use anti-magic that no one else can use, but the story goes to lengths to point out that it doesn't erase the fact that he doesn't have magic: he still can't sense magic (but it also means people who rely on magic-sensing can't sense him), he still can't cast spells, and all anti-magic ultimately does is erase magic, so while a counter to basically every opponent that he comes across, it is far from OP. The swords he uses are also unusually heavy, to the point where one of the reasons only he can use them is that he is one of only two (later three) named characters to even bother with muscle-training and physical exercise. 

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One present in many RPGs: a main character with dead parents. This is something I pay more attention to because both of my parents died pretty young. It often seems borne out of lazy writing. It's used as explanation for why this character is free to go off and save the world. Sometimes, it's a motivation for them. I'd much rather explore a parent-child relationship and learn something from it.

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3 hours ago, Sturges said:

One present in many RPGs: a main character with dead parents. This is something I pay more attention to because both of my parents died pretty young. It often seems borne out of lazy writing. It's used as explanation for why this character is free to go off and save the world. Sometimes, it's a motivation for them. I'd much rather explore a parent-child relationship and learn something from it.

Dead parents is a common trope practically everywhere, and yeah, I agree; 99% of the time it's done out of narrative convenience and I'd much rather see a story where at least one of the parents is still alive. 

Really, relatives in general are something I want to see more of; I really dislike how, on the rare case that the protagonist even has a sibling, it's almost always an evil sibling. I can only think of two stories where the protagonist had a sibling that was both a major character and not a villain; funny enough, both of them are anime: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Black Clover. 

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One-sided romances as a significant character trait. Let Catria a game without shoving her maaaaars crush in our faces and let her move on ffs, people who eat this junk like candy be damned.

Also, One Head Taller. This isn't bad as a one-off thing, as boys are usually taller on average; but when you have a cast that looks built around this trope, it feels like it infantilizes the women. I typically prefer couples within half a head or less if you're not going for the comically large size gaps.

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49 minutes ago, X-Naut said:

One-sided romances as a significant character trait. Let Catria a game without shoving her maaaaars crush in our faces and let her move on ffs

Yeah; I know what you mean. It is a very annoying trope.

The only case of it that I can think of that I actually liked was Hinata in Naruto. In that case, I enjoyed it because of what the story did with it, the dynamic she and Naruto had, it fit the character, and of course (spoilers if you haven't seen the epilogue episodes, The Last: Naruto the Movie, or any of the Boruto movie or anime):

Spoiler

Her romance ceases to be one-sided and she and Naruto get together. That was even what the author had planned from the beginning. 

So... I'm actually not even sure if she counts as an example of this trope. 

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The evil church/religious officials trope of 'people can't handle the truth. The lie is more comfortable'. Not to say it can be done in a meaningful way but to me I feel like it is everywhere. I really didn't like this for FF14 Heavensward. Though it was well written in all fairness.

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Oooh I really don't like that the typical main characters in Fire emblem, and a lot of other games/ media are nobles. I would much rather follow the story of a witch, a heretic, a serf, or a beggar, or even a craftsman or soldier. (If we're dead set on the middle ages.) Power corrupts, and those in power will do what they can to keep it. I don't think nobles are good people, despite what our media teach us.

And as for the enemies, I'd like them to have understandable motivations at the very least. I really appreciate Hayao Miyazaki's story telling for the redeemable villains they tend to use. Princess Mononoke is a great example of a story with two sides in conflict, and each having goals that are noble, even if the means to those goals hurt others. That's something to strive for, I think.

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I started to harbor a hatred for genki girls since when one ruined the romcom of the decade.

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For me it's the "chosen hero." If you're going to save the world, can you NOT suck the suspense out of it?

 

On 8/9/2020 at 11:21 AM, Sir Gerwald of Vallora said:

. Another one that comes to mind is the need that western studios feel to cram in European actors into foreign stories. I'm looking at you Last Samurai (Tom Cruise) and you The Great Wall (Matt Damon). Yeah, if you want to make a story about the European voyages to parts of the world that aren't Europe, go ahead, but let stories about foreign nations be lead by people that represent the nations.

There's actually some historical truth with the Dutch (or the folks from Northern Europe,  I forgot whom) trading with Japan. One of them became a samurai, IIRC. But China might have been open to the west, but I'm not sure, since they were known for being isolationists.

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4 minutes ago, Armchair General said:

There's actually some historical truth with the Dutch (or the folks from Northern Europe,  I forgot whom) trading with Japan.

Originally, it was the Portuguese who became prominent visitors in the 1500s. However, the Portuguese got kicked out of Japan because they included missionaries, notably the Jesuits, and Christianity = evil once Hideyoshi and then Ieyasu unified the country. Thus, the Dutch became the only Europeans allowed to trade with Japan until the 1850s, being limited by the Tokugawa shogunate to an island adjacent to the port of Nagasaki. The only time the Dutch could go further than Deshima, was on the annual trip to Edo to pay homage to the Shogun to whom they were, in the Japanese government's nominal worldview "vassals" of.

As for European samurai, the one that Nioh game has made known is William Adams, an Irishman who worked for the Dutch East India Company, though Jan Joosten, a fellow member of the VOC as its Dutch acronym went, was an ethnic Dutchman who achieved similar notoriety.

 

13 minutes ago, Armchair General said:

But China might have been open to the west, but I'm not sure, since they were known for being isolationists.

China I'm not as familiar with, but it was somewhat more open to the West. It permitted foreigners from more countries and allowed them to visit the country's interior, though most Europeans kept to the coastal cities because all they wanted was trade. And like Japan, or most other countries at the time, China didn't show an interest in coming to Europe, Europe already brought the good trade to their shores, why go there then? It's not until Western imperialism becomes a menace, is it realized "Maybe we should study their ways more closely?". Call it arrogance, or call it tragic innocence.

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2 hours ago, Armchair General said:

There's actually some historical truth with the Dutch (or the folks from Northern Europe,  I forgot whom) trading with Japan. One of them became a samurai, IIRC. But China might have been open to the west, but I'm not sure, since they were known for being isolationists.

Not overly historical really, at least in the war, and time period they were representing in that film. The original premise of British (and its not impossible there were American as well) "military advisors" being sent with some of the military equipment being sold (like the gattling gun they bought) may have been a thing, but there is no evidence of one going native, and the notion that the more samurai focused side wasn't actively using firearms of their own was ludicrous. Japan acquired firearms shortly after the Portuguese arrived, and they were manufactured in Japan ever since (although the smaller scale conflicts of the more peaceful, and unified reign of the Tokugawa made the sword a more practical weapon). There was one battle in that war where the more samurai focused side wasn't actively using firearms, it was after days of rain storms, where their older more traditional firearms got too wet to fire, whereas the more modern guns the other side had were better protected from the elements and were still usable, and it was a disaster for the side without firearms. Random side note, I always found it ironic that the heroes were watching a puppet show at the start of the scene where the Ninja attack, as the ludicrous black uniform they wear was a cliche that started from Bunraku puppet shows, where the stage hands that aided in the play all wore black, and if there was a stock Ninja character they would be a stage hand, which would be shocking as the watcher are actively ignoring them.

As for China being more open, if so not by much, and only by a few years. Both were very isolationist during the European age of exploration, with very limited and restricted trade, until the Europeans opened them with force. I suppose China's trade restrictions were less severe in that their foreign trade port was open to Europeans other than the Dutch (and at times there were two of them), but not by much. China was forced open in the Opium wars where the Chinese attempt to crack down on the illegal opium trade that Europeans traders started peddling as a way to avoid to bypass some of those trade restriction, with the Europeans winning the first of those wars in 1842, whereas Commodore Perry would force the Japanese ports opened by threatening to bombard the capital in 1854.

 

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I just hate Mind Control/Possession/Brainwashing of a character for conflict among the party. i see it too much in media and find it as lazy

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19 hours ago, Armchair General said:

There's actually some historical truth with the Dutch (or the folks from Northern Europe,  I forgot whom) trading with Japan. One of them became a samurai, IIRC. But China might have been open to the west, but I'm not sure, since they were known for being isolationists.

The setting of The Last Samurai actually is inspired by events a little beyond that. After the Shogunate got overthrown and Japan started to modernize they invited many western expert to train Japanese soldiers and officials in modern technique. Though they tended to be French, Brits and Prussians rather than Americans.

But I think the Japanese inviting western experts was just a happy coincidence that aligned with true motive of the movie studio. Tom Cruise playing an American rather than a Brit already gives the game away. He's there because he's an American, his presence is required because the movie studio feels an American main character is required. And that goes for all those stories. Movie companies are risk averse and so they want an American or at least a western main character to make the movie sell better. Historical movies are probably tricky to greenlight. They are going to be more expensive to make and the appeal is niche. I suspect many white main characters are present mostly as a compromise between the artists and the executives. 

And to some extend its actually not really a bad idea. People in the west don't know about the Meji restoration and Tom Cruise doesn't know anything about it either. So having a ''fish out of water'' lets the main character and audience both learn about events together. A fish out of water is a handy tool to organically clue in the audience about settings they wouldn't be familiar with. 

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