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April in Dreamfall - what do we make of her?


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Poll: April in Dreamfall - what do we make of her? (144 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you percieve April's character in Dreamfall?

  1. I love her as she is (66 votes [45.83%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 45.83%

  2. I'm torn - she's not very nice, but her direction is logical based on TLJ (69 votes [47.92%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 47.92%

  3. I don't like her at all (9 votes [6.25%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 6.25%

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#1 AstralTraveller

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 07:51

OK, this has been mentioned countless times - some opinions were more vocal, some less. Let's see what everyone thinks of this topic!

 


Too many hands on my time, too many feelings
Too many things on my mind
When I leave I don't know what I'm hoping to find
When I leave I don't know what I'm leaving behind

 


#2 Dmm

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 14:25

I think you should have used the word like instead of love in the first choice given. One can love someone without having to like them. While April in Dreamfall has become unlikeable she certainly can be loved just as she is.  Please clarify, did you mean love in the sense of like or in the sense of to love someone even if unlikeable. I am asking this because it will actually determine how I will vote.



#3 AstralTraveller

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 17:08

I meant "love", for exactly the reason you've written. yes, it's hard to relate to her in DF, but you can choose to love her because she's April (1). you can keep your distance, but understand her (2), and you can also feel she should go to hell, no matter what TLJ (3).

makes sense?


Too many hands on my time, too many feelings
Too many things on my mind
When I leave I don't know what I'm hoping to find
When I leave I don't know what I'm leaving behind

 


#4 Crow's fan

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 11:47

My vote isn't entirely accurate. I'm not torn, I do like April, and I think the character developement portrayed was realistic and understandable.



#5 trentjaspar

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 17:30

I was wondering if I'd be the only one to say "I don't like her at all."  [So far I am.]  I'm really only a casual fan of the series (played each game once, both in 2013), but it struck me that the DF characterization of April was a bit...overdone, or possibly unrealistic.  I could understand how a rebellion leader version of April might not be able to help Zoe in her quest, etc., (she is trying to lead a rebellion, after all) but the coldness and complete lack of empathy and kindness to somebody who clearly had some relevance to the "big picture" seemed too out of character to me.  In some ways, Zoe should have / could have (did?) remind her of herself.

 

Anyway, it was just how it struck me at the time.  I loved how April was depicted with Kian, just not Zoe so much.


"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Current game:  "Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle" and "The Cat Lady."  Previous game: "A Bird Story"


#6 Miral

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 21:11

I think Zoe did remind April of her younger self -- which would just make her reject her that much harder.  She's clearly been disillusioned and regards her younger self as a fool.



#7 trentjaspar

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 22:44

I think Zoe did remind April of her younger self -- which would just make her reject her that much harder.  She's clearly been disillusioned and regards her younger self as a fool.

 

Then that makes me like her less, if her response is to shun and ignore her foolish, younger self instead of trying to help or at least clue her in a little.


"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Current game:  "Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle" and "The Cat Lady."  Previous game: "A Bird Story"


#8 Miral

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 09:15

Then that makes me like her less, if her response is to shun and ignore her foolish, younger self instead of trying to help or at least clue her in a little.

 

While I don't disagree with you, many people are like that.



#9 AstralTraveller

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 09:24

I think Zoe did remind April of her younger self -- which would just make her reject her that much harder.  She's clearly been disillusioned and regards her younger self as a fool.

 

Hmmm, I think different - in April's position, Zoe would have reminded me of how much harder a time I had just to live at the same age as her.


Too many hands on my time, too many feelings
Too many things on my mind
When I leave I don't know what I'm hoping to find
When I leave I don't know what I'm leaving behind

 


#10 Miral

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 12:42

Hmmm, I think different - in April's position, Zoe would have reminded me of how much harder a time I had just to live at the same age as her.

 

Well, that's also true.  They have completely different backgrounds and upbringings.  But still, Zoe is doing the "I'm on a mission from a higher power" thing that had April going in TLJ -- and she didn't like how that turned out for her, so she's reluctant to help Zoe along the same path.



#11 Dmm

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 19:06

My option is not included: "She's actually the same as she's always been". 

 

April in Dreamfall got to the point where she just gave up on life entirely, she had no fighting spirit left when cornered on the pier. Basically at this point she is saying, "Enough of this shit, just kill me I want out", where as in TLJ she would have fought back if she found herself in a similar situation. Yet, I will agree with you that she is the same as she has always been.



#12 Dmm

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 00:34

But that doesn't really change anything about her character. Her situation and experience during TLJ and by the end of DF are very different, it would be really unrealistic if she had reacted to those the same way, just like I wouldn't react the same way to an unexpected math test and a birthday cake.

 

You mean her giving up completely is what you would expect of April because of all she went through in her life up to that point, that it came as no real suprise that she chose death over life?

To me that is a profound change in her character.

 

Also, when talking about her character, I mean throughout the whole game, rather than in the end. Seeing how people here brought up her encounter with Zoe, I think we're all talking about the same thing. And that's exactly where I see a great misunderstanding. Here comes my lecture:..

 

A lot of people didn't like April's behavior towards Zoe, including Crow. Crow didn't see her as the April he hung around with in TLJ, he noticed a change in her attitude and he became very disappointed in her when she refused to help Zoe.

 

She didn't have to abandoned the rebellion to help out Zoe, she could have simply taken a leave of absent. She wasn't the only rebel, someone else could have taken over for her while she was gone.

A rebellion that is totally dependent on one person for its success is already doomed. The ironic thing is that by going to the swamp city to fulfill what she thought was her duty nearly wiped out the rebellion and cost April her life, but if she had helped Zoe this wouldn't have happened.



#13 AstralTraveller

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 08:48

 

So I conclude. There are two options missing from the poll:

1. She's the same she's always been and I like her.

2. She's the same she's always been and I don't like her.

 

OK, that's definitely a tall statement. You've pinpointed one aspect of her, and proved that she didn't change there - it was quite interesting, btw. However, she did change in several other ways, and those are serious changes - I don't see how you can say that she's the same.


Too many hands on my time, too many feelings
Too many things on my mind
When I leave I don't know what I'm hoping to find
When I leave I don't know what I'm leaving behind

 


#14 Dmm

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 18:52

 

1. I think I've already written answer to the first part, don't know if you've skipped that part. 

2. What? the fact that she's in a lot worse mood? That's a change in character? Then I was a whole different character before breakfast.

 

That she sought death is not a mood change but a character change and that change started long before the pier.

 


3. A lot of people wanted Jesus crucified. What's your point? As for Crow, are we talking about the bird who thought hitting April's head with a frying pan would improve her state of mind? Also, for years it never occurred to him what could possibly be the reason for losing Shifting powers, until Zoe pointed it out. So when it comes to analyzing inner workings of someone's brain, he's not the most competent person in the world. And I would very much like to point out, again, that I've written the reason why April's attitude towards Zoe is the way it is.

 

My point is that others don't see April in the same light you do and their view is just as valid as your. You feel that April's attitude towards Zoe is staying true to her character as portrayed in TLJ and you stated your reasons why, but many others do not feel that way. You feel April is simply being her old skeptical self in her attitude towards Zoe's claims, while I see it as just trying to not get involved by having a list of ready made excuses: It's no longer my world, I'm done with that world, it's your problem not mine, I can't shift, the Guardian said... and of course she feels she is indispensable in fighting the war, best excuse of all.

 

Dialogue fro April and Zoe last encounter:

 

Zoë: What do you mean, you're not getting involved? You are involved, April, whether you like it or not!

 

April: I understand that you're upset, but this is not my fight. I know that now.

 

Zoë: Oh, because this Guardian person told you. Does he know everything?

 

April: Maybe not, but he told me that my role in this thing is over, that I'm free.

 

Zoë: So, what, you're just going to walk away? You're not going to help me? What am I supposed to do?

 

April: You'll find out, I'm sure. I know I did--

 

Zoë: Fine, yeah, God forbid you put yourself on the line again. Did you ever think that maybe the reason you saved the world the first time around was because others helped you?

 

April: Others helped me, yes, and they suffered for it. There's no justice in this universe. No matter how much you give, there's no guarantee you'll ever get anything back.

 

Zoë: That's no reason to give up. It's called having faith, April. You might want to try it out.

 

To most people this is a very big change in April's character, not just a mood swing.

 

4. Leave of absent? What is she? An office clerk? Besides, as far as I know, leave of absence requires a solid reason. I'd like to hear her presenting her reasons to the rebellion (or to herself, for that matter). In fact, that calls for another comics. And we've all seen what brilliant plans the rebels come up with when April's not around.

 

First of all April doesn't have to give the rebels a good solid reason to take a leave of absence she is not under their command. Naturally it would be better to explain why she would be gone for awhile, but whether they could accept her reasons for leaving or not are beside the point. Her main reason for focusing all her energy on the rebellion is so she would have a ready excuse not to have to get involved with saving the world if it ever arose that she might be needed again in that capacity. Zoe and her discovery of the Dream Chamber screwed that up and so the excuses began.

 

Well I don't remember there being any brillant plans from either April or the rebels, but it has been awhile since I played the game.

 

5. For one, that's what humanity's like: A good for nothing mass and a handful of individuals dragging them all towards their goals. April may not have been the only person who could do the job, but given the rebels' attitude towards her, her role is crucial. Even if it's not just her, she's very important and with the enemy pressing further and further, her becoming paranoid over carelessness of the rest of them and sensing their time's running out and they can be attacked any day now, and they need to hurry up and attack first, "leave of absence" should be out of the question for any responsible leader.

 

Well, we have a very fundamentally different way of looking at humanity. Seeing humanity as a good for nothing mass to me is very sad view of life.

 

Funny, I see April as an irresponsible leader because of her reluctance to make a full investigation of Zoe's claim.

 

See it is just a matter of how people look at things, we are not going to agree and that is all there is to it, no big deal. :tear: :lol:


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#15 AstralTraveller

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 19:55

 

Then maybe you could write down all the changed aspects so that it's easier for everyone to understand what each of us is talking about and I could reconsider my opinion of her? For now, from the posts above it all comes down to "why did she refuse Zoe in such a way?" and "why is she not as adventurous anymore?". That's what I wrote all that stuff about.

 

I don't see how it comes down to "why did she refuse..." etc. This thread is not about how April reacted to Zoe (and as a pointer, I would have done the same in her position, only a bit more colourfully), it's about all April is (and isn't) in DF.

 

Maybe I could have written examples, if I saw the need. Well then. Off the top of my head, there are two gaping big changes:

- Lust for life and being scared shitless of being locked into the tower for 1000 years (TLJ) VS almost consciously seeking death (DF)

- Connecting to people and fighting for causes for their sake (TLJ) VS getting hung up on a cause with almost total disregard of the people attached (DF)

 

Probably there are several more subtle differences, but I don't think they're that important.


Too many hands on my time, too many feelings
Too many things on my mind
When I leave I don't know what I'm hoping to find
When I leave I don't know what I'm leaving behind

 


#16 MisterMetropolis

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 23:11

Yeah April's changed. I think she's got major depression. But I don't hate her. I love her all the same and want her to be healed.

 

If anything, I think Zoë reminding her of herself and how lost she was when she discovered Arcadia would be more of a reason to resent her, because Zoë was young and still wanted to save the world and April had already been there. She knew there wasn't any reward for it but an endless fight, and she didn't want to try anymore.

 

However, I don't understand what she could have done differently to help Zoë had she had a better attitude. I think she did everything she could.


"But even if we don't reach that lofty goal this time around, we hope to some day still be able to tell this story. April's story, all of it. All that remains of it. Because it needs to be told. And you all deserve to hear it. And we would love to share it with you." - RTG, March 1, 2013

 

"Even if we don't get to $2 million, we will still look into ways of making The Longest Journey Home a reality...some day. It's a story we all want to tell, and we won't let it die.- RTG, March 9, 2013


#17 RezaTemiz

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 18:23

I loved April in Dreamfall. She was older and wiser, even if that meant being more cynical.



#18 Vainamoinen

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 12:12

I haven't yet voted, and my opinion is certainly not fully formed, but here's my two cents.

 

First, judging April from her encounter with Zoë and Kian is all good and well, but there are disturbing actions of her in Dreamfall which strongly ruined the character for me. Her exposition shows her as the leading part of an ambush. They're killing Asadi soldiers. They're not directly defending themselves, they're the attackers. From peaceful problem solver, April has turned into a cold blooded killer. The scene comes at the very beginning of Dreamfall when we're still expecting a very sound explanation for this change of heart, but we must still conclude that the nice girl from The Longest Journey is now, for better or for worse, a terrorist.

 

Now, as for the justification, granted: the Azadi are the sleazy kind of oppressor. But the story certainly shows us two sides of the coin. While the 'magicals' feel the oppression most, some of the human Marcurian population feel far better governed than before. The Azadi soldiers invade the city thinking that they will help and civilize the indigenous population (see, most of all: Kian) when in fact the plans of some of their superiors are morally depraved; and the facts of their actions to achieve 'civilisation' are less than kind.

 

The adventure game, by a rule, favors heroes who would rather like to expose conspiracies, to investigate, to convince by word and deed. That's certainly a part of April's personality in TLJ which I loved, yet that's not the April at the beginning of Dreamfall. She's given up that approach and therewith: what she formerly was. In my opinion, she shouldn't have taken up arms, ever. Had she been forced to violent solution, she could have attacked Azadi officials instead of the lowest end of the chain. She has lost the innocence she even still had when she saved both worlds. When she gets stabbed, it's almost poetic justice.

 

Yes of course April, in Dreamfall, is a totally different person than in TLJ.

 

 

When Zoë comes along asking her for help, it isn't just that April doesn't care about Stark any more. Zoë asks her to be old April again. Zoë asks her to solve problems the old fashioned peaceful adventure game way, and Mrs. Master Assassin doesn't see a connection to herself any more – a conflict that certainly also embodies Dreamfall's utter struggle with player agency.

 

As for April's depression, I'd rather interpret it as shell shock, plain and effing simple. I could be totally at odds with Ragnar's plan here, of course. The worst that could happen to the narrative, from my point of view, is for April to have been depressed because she lost her destiny and for her to eventually get one back. April has become a traveller between the worlds, she had obtained freedom from destiny at the end of TLJ. Considering that Cortez, Tobias et al. thought her destiny to be Guardian of the Balance and locked in a tower for 1000 years, I say good riddance to April's destiny. Her kind heart saved those worlds, not because it was her destiny.

 

My question to Chapters' story is this: Can April find her heart again, or is it even too late, is this character factually unredeemable? Dreamfall tells us that April is already saved. I believe she has only taken very, very small and half hearted steps towards anything that could be called redemption.


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#19 maskedgeekgirl

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 05:59

I seem to disagree with parts of the fandom not just about April as she is in Dreamfall, but April as she was in TLJ. The impression I’m getting is that some people are ascribing an innocence to April in TLJ that I don’t think was there to begin with.

 

Remember the Spirit Dig scene? If not let me refresh your memory:

 

Spoiler

 

And remember what the Banda Elder said about Bak-Baars: ”A Bak-Baar is a vision of yourself that speaks the truth in two ways. One is the dark truth. This is how you see yourself when you are not sure of yourself, or angry with yourself. The other truth is the very opposite of the first. This is how you must see yourself to be happy. But the spirits remind us that both are important, that you cannot love yourself without first seeing your flaws.”

 

In other words, shutting people out, running away from her fears and self-hatred has been part of April’s character way before Dreamfall was even written. April wasn’t a happy person who turn bitter, but rather a messed up girl, who turned into a broken woman. This is why I don’t think it’s desirable (or even possible) for April to go back to the person she was in TLJ.

 

Which isn’t to say I think she is doomed to remain broken. Hopefully April will find balance within herself, like TLJ hinted she could.(Maybe that’s what TLJ Home will be devoted to.)

 

Anything else I would have to say about April’s change between TLJ and DF has already been summed up beautifully by Kartikeya on the original forum.


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April: I've got noose for you, my friend.

Kian: I've been staring at that thing for so long, maybe the two of us should get a... broom.

Zoë: Also, no groceries to cook with. I'm cook-blocked.

 

Dorkfall: The silliest puns


#20 Vainamoinen

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 09:55

The prevalence of self doubt and the questioning of one's ulterior motives do not, in my opinion, scratch that 'innocent' image. Had April been absolutely convinced of what she does, I guess we even wouldn't be getting an innocence image this strongly.

 

The Longest Journey could not refrain from a hefty dose of the coming-of-age story. Here, the journey of maturation was very much about accepting and overcoming the scratches on her soul. April was a messed up girl indeed - but one who took matters into her own hands already when she left home and eventually managed to forgive those who treated her badly. That's a satisfying solution to the character arc, concluded with the act of handing over an item from her very childhood that embodies the few positive remembrances.* Wherever April has gone in TLJ, her childhood followed her like a nightmare. That ceased, which gave her peace of mind, i.e. freedom, together with her freedom from destiny. And I do believe that is a pretty universal interpretation of the proceedings at the end of TLJ.

 

What has happened to bring her down to be this person in Dreamfall? I don't believe this question has yet been answered. For this question, we're still owed a satisfying answer. Unfortunately, I rather think that exactly this is the stuff RTG wants to put in TLJH instead of Chapters.

 

 

 

* Bit off topic here, but I've recently started a little investigation about the narrative meaning of "inventory items", outside of the usual combination mechanics. I'm at five categories right now. One of the hardest, least tangible concepts that only very very few adventure games even dare to approach is the inventory item with symbolic meaning for the character. The Longest Journey excels at that every step of the way. The highly symbolic act of handing over her golden ring, the symbolism of a plush toy falling apart and still helping her out one last time against the cruel world out there.


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