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In-Universe Wilco fans?


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Josh Mandel said during the SQ6 Commentary that part of his reasoning for creating Stellar was that he found it hard to think that for all Roger's adventuring and accidental feats of heroism that he wasn't viewed as a "urban legend" of sorts. Space Quest 5 in a way DOES allude to just that with Bea asking if Roger was the same man who foiled the Sariens, and again when she snidely remarks "Isn't there a mop somewhere with your name on it?" Then again, she may just know Roger's file really well.

 

But, that aside, and Stellar obviously, do you think there could actually be a group of galactic individuals who are familiar with the [greatly exaggerated] tales of the heroism of Roger Wilco? I highly doubt there was a large group of protestors lining outside of StarCon headquarters picketing Roger's demotion in SQ6, but it might be nice to think that somewhere on a distant star, there's a down on his luck, under-appreciated Janitor thinking to himself "If that Wilco guy can get the credit for doing something big, even just once, then maybe I can too!"

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PsyckoSama put it best in a different thread:

 

I think his greatest problem, the one that lead to his fall from grace between SQ1 and SQ2, and again after SQ5 is that he really is not the hero the universe wants. He's awkward, not well spoken, and even if he's not an authentic idiot, he's still authentically bumbling. The the kind of hero the SQ world wants is QUIRK. He's superfically suave, superfically dashing, superfically chrismatic, and probably superfically brave. He's as real as his hair, but as long as he looks good on TV he's just what they wanted.

We all know about Roger Wilco's story and how he got the short end of the broomstick in Space Quest 6, but those who are inside the universe - not just StarCon's tribunal, but all of StarCon period - probably were under the impression that Roger went rogue and murdered Captain Quirk without probable cause. They probably believe that Roger got let off the hook too easy by being allowed to serve as a janitor on DeepShip 86.

 

I don't think Roger has any fans at all simply because the universe he's in doesn't hold him in very high regard, save for those who know him personally.

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Which is one of the appeals of Roger in the first place -- he's not just the underdog in the Guybrush-sense, where he saves the day but lets fame go to his head, but the true kind of underdog where he saves the day and no one gives a rat's ass. :)

 

Also, as far as Roger is concerned, he's not in this for the fame, the glory or to save the day. Roger's a coward. He just wants to go back to sleep.

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Hmm. Topic is from 2003... Yeah, I think I'll pass on reading through that. :lol: Ancient history indeed!

 

It would be hard to create a "fan club" for Roger Wilco without turning it into a cliche. That "obsessive fan" device has been used so many times in storytelling; the best subversion I can think of is The Incredibles, where Mr. Incredible's "number one fan" becomes his nemesis -- Syndrome.

 

On the other hand, it would be funny if Roger's travels took him to a planet whose entire culture is based around a worshipful idolatry of him - Wilco statues, Wilco coffee mugs, Wilco T-shirts, a variation of football called Wilcoball - assuming that it's handled carefully. With a device like that, you either have to be very subtle or blatantly absurd in order for it to not appear trite and forced.

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Personally, I find the concept of parodying "number one fans" self-aggrqndizing and conceited. I'm sorry, Jess, but that Monkey Island guy was one of the reasons I vowed not to play the rest of the Tales; likewise, the "Back to Earth" episode of Red Dwarf, my otherwise all-time favorite sit-com, was toe-cringingly feeble. The movie "Galaxy Quest" is a similarly abysmal exercise in my book for exactly those reasons. It's just never funny, and it always comes off as either bitter, egotistical, pandering, or all of the above.

 

It would take an ungodly amount of finesse to make something like "parodying the fans" work.

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Why is it conceited to parody one's fans? People are fans of your work, some of them do eccentric things or go to extreme lengths to show their enjoyment of the material...How does it harm anyone to incorporate it into the work itself as long as it fits the universe? Granted, there's a line between being humourous in your depiction and being malicious, but hey, that's life. Anyone remember that old band called ZZ Top?

 

Sorry, that was a little off-topic...

 

According to the flavour material provided with Space Quest 5 (The Galactic Enquirer magazine, for those who are unfamiliar with it), Roger was a celebrity of some renown following the events of Space Quest 1. Clearly he was large enough for a galactic tabloid to feature him in a "Whatever Happened To..." column. Assuming that we can take it the magazine's story as canon, Roger disappeared from the limelight in between Space Quest 1 and 2, which explains why he found a job on Xenon Orbital Station 4. It also says that he disappeared though, and since it was written shortly before the start of SQ5, it implies that no one had seen hide nor hair of him since Vohaul's thugs kidnapped him, and his enrollment in Star Con Academy wasn't exactly breaking news. How Beatrice knew so much about him is anyone's guess, but I have two theories. One, she reads the Galactic Enquirer, and happened to see the article on Roger, which also featured a very large photo of him; and/or two, she's familiar with Xenon's history, which makes sense, seeing as she's an ambassador.

 

As far as number one fan's go, anyone who's old enough to remember the Subspace Channel would agree with me that Roger's number one fan happens to have spots...

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I'm sorry, Jess, but that Monkey Island guy was one of the reasons I vowed not to play the rest of the Tales

You might be thinking of the wrong character. Morgan's not a guy. Also, she probably has one of the best character arcs in the series. Without giving anything away, she's an example of how an in-game fan can push the story forward without being an annoying "OMG can I have your autograph?" character. A fan character has the power to hold up a mirror to the hero and bring out either the best or worst in him.

 

Also, Roger has Xandra in WSSQUID. :D

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A fan character has the power to hold up a mirror to the hero and bring out either the best or worst in him.

This. It's exactly why I thought the mention of Syndrome from The Incredibles was a good one; Mr. Incredible was undoubtedly a hero, but he also was a little self-absorbed. Think of how differently things would have gone had he actually taken the time to put up with the annoying kid who worshipped him. (Hint: We wouldn't have a movie and he still would be boring old Bob Parr. Wait a minute...)

 

Also, a round of applause to you for catching the reference I made! ;)

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Why is it conceited to parody one's fans?

 

It's not necessarily conceited; it can come across as conceited without that being the intention. :)

 

I'm not going to harp on about this, because a big part of it comes down to personal preference. For me, personally, parodying fans is essentially meta-parody; it reflects back on the source material, and it has the uncomfortable power to be able to potentially distort the tone and style of the narrative.

 

I don't want to meet Roger Wilco's biggest fan. But that's just me, it seems. ;)

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I suppose I can see your point, though it seems like a moot one in my eyes, given how self-aware Space Quest is. If it took itself more seriously, I could understand the concern, but as it is, as long as any inclusion didn't turn into fan-bashing, I think it'd fit. Gotta remember that this is series that has our hero "casually glancing at the title bar" and rescuing his own creators and getting them a job. ;)

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You know, Troels, I was honestly pondering with the idea of having you appear as a cameo in my fangame, just because I thought up a perfect way to implement you, which would serve as a three-fold purpose: (1) to poke fun at my inabilities (as a designer) to rectify the debates that exist between things like the number of planets in the system of Earnon or the distance that Kerona is from the dying star... (2) to further depict yourself as the SQ Historian (Xenon, being a real metropolis type area, obviously has museums and large libraries and therefore, historians...) and (3) to have you make my fangame more popular or interesting by your short-lived appearance in it (not that it will need you to be interesting. I just want it interesting as possible).

 

It's the way you put yourself out there by making all those funny videos of yours. I have a good sense of a character for you in the game, and I'm certain others would find you as great comic relief.

 

You wouldn't be up to that, would you...?

 

EDIT: I should clarify that you wouldn't be a fan of Roger in the adventure. Rather, to him you'd be kind of... well... you know... indifferent.

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I wrestled with some of these questions while creating Bea from Pledge Quest. On the one hand, I wanted her to be a huge Roger Wilco/Two Guys from Andromeda fan, but I didn't want her sleeping in Roger Wilco pajamas and nearly fainting if, by some strange twist of fate, she ever encountered Mark and Scott (which would almost certainly never happen *wink, wink* *nudge, nudge*). Bea isn't an in-universe character, of course, my goal was to drive home the idea that she was a massive Space Quest fan without having people think, "Wow, I'm a bit worried about this character's mental health." As Troels hints, it's not always an easy balance to strike.

 

Jess

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As far as number one fan's go, anyone who's old enough to remember the Subspace Channel would agree with me that Roger's number one fan happens to have spots...

Gah -- I was afraid that this topic would eventually go there... <_<

 

But back to the topic at hand, I'd say that with an entire universe with a virtually infinite amount of possibilities out there, it is possible that a handful of in-universe Wilco fans still exist, even at the time SQ6 takes place. However, to make these fans fit convincingly within the "framework" of the series, they would most likely fall into one of three categories:

 

1. They're living on planets many light-years from Earnon, and their communication technology is so behind the times that it still takes many years for news from the Earnon system to reach them, thus they still haven't learned that Roger's name has fallen into obscurity

 

2. They're seen as obsessed, deluded wierdos by the rest of their species, and tend to be ignored, avoided or even ostracized because of how much they still admire Roger despite the amount of infamy he garnered during Space Quest 6

 

3. They're "closet" fans, still seeing Roger as the hero he was once heralded as, but keeping their admiration of him secret to avoid being mocked and ridiculed by others

There's also a googol-to-one chance of any of these fans actually running into Roger. "Never the twain shall meet", in other words. If you wanted to take the fan idea to a new level, perhaps you could even find a bunch of creatures who are "fans" of Roger for completely different reasons.

 

This could be something like a population of submicroscopic, plantlike organisms who have never heard of Roger saving Earnon or defeating Sludge Vohaul, but they revere him because they are descended from a form of mold growing in the corner of a bathroom which Roger never cleaned thoroughly. Since what little cleaning Roger did do wiped out all of the mold's competing species and some of the chemicals he used dramatically altered the mold's genetic makeup, the mold was able to develop very rapidly, and eventually gave rise to a super-intelligent species of plant life that (unsurprisingly) sees Roger as their creator.*

 

I have actually explored the "in-universe fans" concept once or twice in this work-in-progress currently quoted in my signature. I've been pretty cautious about saying anything about it (since it's still far from done), but I figure I might as well quote a bit of it that relates to this topic:

 

"There were even a number of eccentric older females from various species who had become fans of Roger back when he first defeated the Sariens and apparently never realized that Roger was no longer famous (and hadn’t been for some time).

Over the years, Roger had received several romantic letters and voice mail from these women, but they never sounded like the kind of women who wanted to steal Roger away for themselves (though neither Roger nor Beatrice had ever understood what message the fan who had sent Roger her recently shed skin was trying to convey – and weren’t sure if they wanted to understand it, either)."

I'm also reminded of quote from Hoyle Games, Volume 1. It features several Sierra characters (including SQ3-era Roger, who thinks that he's gotten trapped in the game and desperately wants to get out) as well as some actual Sierra employees, who start talking with each other if you stop playing the game for a while. One of the characters is a kid who keeps talking about his love of sports, and at one point Roger tells him, "I get most of my exercise running away from Sludge Vohaul's troopers and my fan club." :D

 

 

*This ficlet was loosely inspired by J. F. Bone's short sci-fi story, "The Issahar Artifacts".

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With all of the flavour material floating around the Multiverse, it's safe to assume that Roger had a relatively small following at some point. I'd say he'd probably be hovering somewhere between D- or E-list celebrity, at least until the events of Space Quest 6. As was noted earlier, it's likely that the Star Con tribunal we see in the introduction ruined any reputation that Roger might have had prior to the game. We'll never know for certain what happens between Roger and Beatrice, but I think it'd be a fair assumption that a marriage between the two would thrust Roger back into the limelight, if only briefly. One doesn't simply marry the ambassador to the G6 Quadrant and remain anonymous.

 

Lovely ideas there Akril, especially the shed skin. That is exactly the sort of bizarre, obsessed behavior that a crazed fan might perform, and it's doubly entertaining because Roger has absolutely no idea what it means. It also raises a good point: pretty much all of this discussion has focused on how humans view Roger, which is a rather narrow view of the universe he inhabits. Who can forget such jokes as "which might get you killed...or married." ? Your quote is in exactly the same vein, to the point that I read it in Gary Owens deadpan voice. I'm sure there's some being, of some species, somewhere in the SQ universe who's heard of Roger and thinks he's absolutely amazing; odds are pretty high any fan of his isn't human, and any fanboying (fanbeing?) they do would likely entail rituals specific to their culture/species. Something like how the insectoid aliens in Men In Black worship Agents J and K.

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that Monkey Island guy was one of the reasons I vowed not to play the rest of the Tales

Your loss, man. Frankly, Morgan was one of the biggest reasons I loved Tales even *more* than some of the original MI games.

 

WARNING: Tales of Monkey Island spoilers ahead!

 

Like Jess said, her role was written beautifully:

 

-We start out with a hilarious combination of 'squeeing fangirl' and 'worthy opponent'. The initial meeting between the two is pure gold - she's gushing over meeting (and fighting) her idol even as she battles him to a standstill because she knows everything about him and his tricks. At least, she thinks she does...

 

-Later on, she actually sees Guybrush in action, and realizes that her view of him is a sham. He's a hero, yes, but he's not a *pirate* - he wins through cleverness, dumb luck, and *avoiding* direct conflict, all traits that no respectable pirate would ever rely on. Her hero, in short, is a wuss.

 

-Even more laterer, however, her opinion of his makes another U-turn. Although she still feels that he's no pirate, watching him succeed where 'real' pirates would fail makes her realize that, legend or not, he still gets the job done - and he's a sweetheart to boot. Disillusionment gives way to genuine respect - and a Stellar-like crush. ;)

 

From rabid, unhealthy fan, to disillusioned fan, to genuinely respectful friend-instead-of-fan. The writers took the in-universe fan angle and wrote a genuinely good, believable story arc with it. All I'll say is that Morgan is easily one of my favorite adventure game characters of all time. :)

 

Plus, there's the fact that they actually *do* the "love triangle clash" bit that SQ never got around to doing. SQ6 strongly implies that Stellar doesn't like Bea, and that Bea would be inclined to hurt people if she ever met Stellar - but it's all implied, since they never actually appear in the same game. In Tales, Morgans's Stellar and Elaine's Beatrice *do* end up colliding with each other - spectacularly so. :lol:

 

 

Side note: This board needs some "spoiler" tags for blacking out text.

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I almost wished that Guybrush would have ended up with Morgan, seeing as Ron never ever saw he and Elaine as having anything more than a platonic brother/sister-like relationship. Them getting married was brought into the canon with Curse of Monkey Island, which Ron was not involved in. Quite a far cry from my stance on the Stellar/Bea thing where I wished Stellar would just go away.

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Yes, I've figured that out now. But there's no button for it on the reply form (unlike, say, the 'quote' button), so I'd assumed the function just wasn't there.

 

Silly me. :D

 

I almost wished that Guybrush would have ended up with Morgan

Eh. It may not have been 'intended', but it's still canon. Besides, unlike SQ (which had Bea not appearing after her initial arc), EMI and Tales did a good job of showing that the two of them *work* as a couple - they may have their differences, but they really do care about each other to the point of being downright diabetes-inspiring at times. ;) I think this is the reason why so many people here seem to dislike Bea - the comedic comments in SQ6 about her possessive/jealous nature have apparantly led people to believe that she's a bitch, without us having any real, proper spotlight on her character to counter or confirm this idea one way or the other. It doesn't help that Incinerations seems to use this exact portrayal

until you near the end of the game, where it becomes clear that Bea's negative portrayal is less about fan hate and more a perfectly viable emotional reaction to a failed relationship that's meant to highlight Roger's unhealthy fixation/codependance on her. Her behavior softens noticably in the game's final stretch, making it clear that the writers aren't just bashing her for kicks and giggles. Thanks for taking the high road, fellas. :D

 

 

Besides, *I* want Morgan. She's a butt-kicking Action Girl who also has a sweet, softer side...just my type. Also she's hot.

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