Nico Nico Why

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I’ve been falling behind on writing anything, but there’s a bunch of games that I’ve finished here and there, so collecting my thoughts takes a while. Then when I think about the things I want to write, I basically forget.

(And then I go off and play something else which doesn’t help the thoughts I want to stew and hopefully write about.)

Fun fact: With a lot of the blogs I’ve written so far this year, I’ve scrapped a bunch of shit. But there’s something particular that I want to get out, that evidently is always on my mind. I want to get through it by talking about a certain character.

For starters, I don’t know how often people think about the nuance of a character in a video game. Specifically a female one. That might be due to people caring more about the way they look or how badass or some shit, reducing it down to a simple form and saying “so-and-so is really cool, you’re being ROOD.” It’s like debating who is cooler between 2B or A2. A2 has an interesting story to follow based on what you learn about her up until you play as her, but 2B looks like a gothic lolita.

(Whoever put this image on the site, didn't realize how much white space is in it.)
(Whoever put this image on the site, didn't realize how much white space is in it.)

That being said I need to talk about Nico from DMC V. A game where every character is already goofy and dumb or “badass”. A caricature of an attitude, that just fits the game that it’s in (Devil May Care… that’s what it’s called right?) It’s centered around over the top goofy nonsense and a “stylish” combo system, so the characters are made to reflect that.

This is an interesting thing that I’m trying to bring up because the sense of style or attitude of these characters is definitely more prominent to a game like this. Character development is not it’s biggest draw, (a supposed plot-twist is really just farted out, but let's face it, we all knew it was coming anyway) but since this is the 5th game in the series, (6th?) You pick things up about them along the way.

So Nico comes in, and is introduced as some asshole. Sidekick and chauffeur to Nero as they drive around in the mobile division of the Devil May Cry franchise. (I worry nobody gets that joke) Sporting the trailer trash look and an accent her father doesn’t even have, Nico’s behavior seems almost unnecessarily hostile toward Nero. It’s like watching grown up versions of Lucy van Pelt and Charlie Brown.

But then as I played more of the game, rolling my eyes at everything, there was something that clicked. And it was the moment Nico meets someone (cool to her) for the first time. All of that previous jerk-ness was left in the van and she was reduced to being nervous, giggly and stuttering (this one, a trait that her father has). Like you actually see what Nico is really like for the first time, and it made me think about every other scene with her in it.

Suddenly, her character came off as a little sister that wants to fit in with cool kids. Nico thinks that she’s supposed to behave a certain way, and when she sheds that for a moment, I end up appreciating what her deal is, because I had a scene that offered some strangely important development.

I can admit that sometimes a preconceived notion can get in the way of a character and that’s usually the case with video games. Whether it’s a fighting game or FPS or RPG, we gravitate towards the things that look cool or sexy. I want to play as this guy cause his armour is so badass and he’s got like 50 belts and a giant sword that can flame up and shoot bullets, or I want to play as this woman because she’s specific to my fetish. Since you just play as them, it’s all usually surface level and never seems to matter.

With Nico (and every other character in DMC) you can see her as a cool or garbage design and move on, which is something I almost did.

Because I hate it, I think it’s dumb.

Yet as the game kept going forward and she became more realized, her design made sense. Over time, she became less of an image and more of a girl who wants to prove she’s just as good as her grandma and has no remorse for what happened to her father.

And now I’m chain smoking in vans at high wreck-less speeds.

sadly, this is the last you hear of Mr. Soldier.
sadly, this is the last you hear of Mr. Soldier.

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