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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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#21 wandrew

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 10:08

* 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.

 

 VERY cool! :) I also love the sentimental uselessness of the photo of her with Charlie and Emma she carries around for no reason (I know there was originally meant to be a puzzle to go with it, but it worked out nicely!).


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#22 Vainamoinen

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 11:02

 VERY cool! :) I also love the sentimental uselessness of the photo of her with Charlie and Emma she carries around for no reason (I know there was originally meant to be a puzzle to go with it, but it worked out nicely!).

 

Wanted to name that too, but couldn't find out if it's one of the items she even looses during her adventure and doesn't seem to miss afterwards. Which would be the total icing on the symbolic cake. Gotta love TLJ. ;)

 

These items have the tendency to linger in and clutter the inventory though, so there's hardly a chance that Chapters might rise to the very high TLJ bar in this respect. Could be a total loss here. The "picture" is of course one of the easiest ways to implement this kind of symbolism. Fate of Atlantis did it, very openly. From moment one until the very end, Indiana Jones carries a magazine around with a HUGE photograph of Sophia Hapgood. If you look at that item a lot, he even says "Why do I keep looking at it?" (at least he does that in the German version). Well, Indy, I have an answer for you. :P


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#23 wandrew

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 11:55

That was the most tantalising part of DF: that there are all these slots in your inventory, but you only ever fill a few at a time. Ugh! :D


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#24 Shift

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 20:08

April was different in Dreamfall. The changes weren't all positive but nor where they surprising. At the end of TLJ April may have been free, but her life in Stark was collapsing, and Arcadia was in chaos. Her friends had either been hurt or killed because of her, and the collapse would have stripped her of most, if not all of the rest of the life she was trying to create there, so she retreats into Arcadia. 

 

Then the Azadi come along, and start persecuting shifters, possibly including her, and the races she has befriended. As well as this, she now has no direction. She doesn't know what to do with herself and has problems finding a place anywhere. In the end, the only thing she can find worth doing is fighting the Azadi, and she throws herself into it. However, the fight isn't enough to keep her going forever and she tires of life, welcoming death when it's offered. She's become bitter at having saved the world and losing everything in return, and isn't about to get drawn in to another such journey unless she has to.

 

Inevitably, she is a much darker character in Dreamfall than TLJ.



#25 Rowan37

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 00:31

At first I was many things, mainly confused. It took me until the last half of the Dreamfall to really realize and accept what April had been through over the previous 10 years, and how it had changed her. How she refused to shift. How she had sacrificed and fought for those she loved only for them to die anyway. She had been forced to become a murderer which was totally not her, as well as a position of leadership with many many people depending on her.,. And after 10 brutal years she had finally lost all her energy. I felt the same way when we met Charlie again, and he was more 'realistic'. He used to be a dreamer too, Just like April. Heart-breaking as it was, I realized the emotional response I had to this was HUGE, And made me sympathize and relate to them on so many more levels than even before -Ragnar you are a genius,. A cruel genius! It just hit me so much deeper, so much deeper than if they had all just 'lived happily ever after'.

So yes, what I make of April in Dreamfall;? It's the same girl we learned to love, she's been through the wringer and forced to lose her innocence. I feel horrible for her, and now she is mortally wounded. I feel like it is all a part of her greater purpose in the playing out of all things. She is after all "The Mother of a Future that may yet be" If I recall correctly.

 

I love her as she is.


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-Rowan "To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where." -Cortez TLJ

#26 CosmicD

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 10:49

I kinda felt shocked because of the discrepancy between how she is in tlj, young, full of faith, and reciprocating Charlie if he wants to become a dancer etc. Even when she's deep into her adventures with the mearum and trhe alatians she upholds a certain vigorous attitude.

In firefall, at times I experienced her having lost all that as "too much". I mean is she so "butthurt" 10 years later still that she wasn't the guardian ? I can't really believe that. Or is it the fact that she can't shift anymore ? Surely the war has much to do with it as well.

I feel that in TLJ home we will get to know more of how she becomes scorpion and maybe that she had to do lots of emotional blood letting to become some sort of resistance leader.



#27 Lee-m

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 13:10

In firefall, at times I experienced her having lost all that as "too much". I mean is she so "butthurt" 10 years later still that she wasn't the guardian ? I can't really believe that. Or is it the fact that she can't shift anymore ? Surely the war has much to do with it as well.

And seeing half her friends in stark shot, hurt and/or killed. Then the remaining ones blame her for whats happened, and her whole life taken off her. That wouldn't affect you for 10 years? i'm not sure its the kinda thing you just get over.

I'm not sure its a case of, she didn't get to become guardian so shes gonna cry about it for 10 years. At the end of TLJ she can't go back to stark(her home) even if she wanted to.
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#28 Crowboy

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 19:04

The game pretty much depicts that she lost her direction, her sense of duty, and Ragnar also commented on that, I think during dreamfall playthrough saying the dark person didn't recognize April because she wasn't a wave anymore.

I think that's mostly what caused her to become bitter and dark in DF. I really wish that wasn't the case. It pains me to see her treat Crow and the rest of her friends like that...


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#29 Earendiel

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 18:22

When I first started reading this thread, I thought I wasn't sure about April. Now, after reading all these posts, I've decided I don't like her anymore. She's fallen into a hole.  In TLJ, She seemed like a wide eyed innocent discovering a fantastic new world where she could learn something that would enrich her life and make a difference for others.   In Stark, she had artistic talent.  Had she been able to shift back, she could help bring the beauty and fantasy of Arcadia back into the dark ugly world of Stark through her creative gift.  Now, she's seems ordinary. Someone making desperate political gestures.  I don't understand how she could be seen as a rebel leader. It's as if her better days are behind her.  I'd like to see her find a way back to Stark where she can begin again.


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#30 yodagreen3

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 16:31

The torn option best summarizes my feelings. It's the direction some may question, but she's not through yet, we'll see what the third game does with the character. I felt the second game handled her character very well, I just don't necessarily like the change she went though even though it were logical.  I loved April from the first game, from the second I pitied her and empathized with her new struggles but couldn't help but notice she was no longer whole or the same woman from the first game but had grown up to be something else and that she had lost part of herself along the way that made her such a lovable character from the first game.

The first game ends in tragedy and the whole world is out of balance. So I thought it was a fitting ending to a character who had lost such a large part of herself and such hope. I thought the ending was  very fitting and perfect for the game. There was still some hope at the end of the game when I finished it. I wanted to believe April was alive at the same time, not knowing there would be a third game I accepted her death and the terrifying ending as a work of art. I actually liked the ending it was a bold ending.



#31 Happy one

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 00:37

Voted for 2 - but I'm somewhere between 1 and 2.  :) 



#32 kamikaze

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 14:52

That moment when you sneak up to the guard from behind and cut his throat … best moment in the game. I couldn't imagine a more intense way of getting across how much she was forced to change.

 

And it's an amazing storytelling dynamic. Charlie and Emma in Stark still remembering her as she was, with Charlie having bitterly given up on her and Emma still holding on.

 

On the other hand April in Arcadia, to whom her youth in Stark must seem like a child's dream. Forced to fight a guerilla war against impossible odds.

 

BTW, honourable combat is for people who don't have anyone depending on them. In other words, for nobody.


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#33 Cassidie Jhones

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 19:19

I didn't like April in Dreamfall as much as I did in TLJ. I understand she had a tough time after everything she'd gone through and her best friend having gotten shot and that it was her fault up to some degree which was hard to process and so on. But it was overdone in my opinion. Even adding up that she's leading a rebellion and that must be a big burden, she was totally...cold. Detached. Rude even. I don't say I didn't like her at all, but I prefer TLJ April.


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#34 trentjaspar

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 23:07

I agree entirely, Cassidie Jhones.  Back in March (post #5) I said something very similar.  Overdone.  Cold.  Complete lack of empathy toward somebody who should remind her of herself.  Borderline unrealistic.  Most others seem to think it all makes sense, though, given what she's been though, etc.


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#35 Mime Paradox

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 02:28

I first "met" April in her Dreamfall incarnation, so to me, it was never a matter of her changing.  Sure, characters would mention that she'd been a different person, but without first-hand experience, I had no choice but to take her as she was.  And what she was--confused, tired, frustrated, combative--I loved, just as I came to love her younger self.  Would I feel the same if things had been reversed?  I dunno--probably not.  But I do feel they're very much the same character--just one that's had ten years on her.  Still, I played Dreamfall lately, and aim to--I'll have to pay attention to how she comes off.


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#36 Happy Tree

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 08:52

I agree entirely, Cassidie Jhones.  Back in March (post #5) I said something very similar.  Overdone.  Cold.  Complete lack of empathy toward somebody who should remind her of herself.  Borderline unrealistic.  Most others seem to think it all makes sense, though, given what she's been though, etc.

Well, in life people all react differently to trauma. So I would say that those who see April's reaction as not too much have gone through similar experiences themselves, hence why they understand that it is possible to react like that. For example, one can lose faith in the underlying point of why one bothers to fight in the first place, so that creates a perspective from which it doesn't really matter. I suppose it's a kind of PTSD.


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#37 khh

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 17:01

Well, in life people all react differently to trauma. So I would say that those who see April's reaction as not too much have gone through similar experiences themselves, hence why they understand that it is possible to react like that. For example, one can lose faith in the underlying point of why one bothers to fight in the first place, so that creates a perspective from which it doesn't really matter. I suppose it's a kind of PTSD.

Looks more like depression than PTSD to me.


April Ryan is my friend,
Every sorrow she can mend.
When I visit her dark realm,
Does it simply overwhelm.


#38 Dmm

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 17:11

Looks more like depression than PTSD to me.

 

Actually, since she has engaged in combat, PTSD is very likely along with depression. Not a good combination.



#39 agirlnamedbob

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 17:28

Mental health issues run in packs (hell yeah, comorbitity!), so while I would definitely say I see depression in her, PTSD may be likely depending what all happened in the time between TLJ and Dreamfall.

Again, I think how believable April's transformation is to you depends on your own experiences. I can see a lot of myself there...and a lot of myself in that transformation. Other people may have gone through rough things and never experienced that.

I was watching a vlog recently from Becca Canote about Body Image and she talks about how during/after puberty when she was really uncomfortable with who she was and going through all these transformation and self image woes and really questioning everything...she basically became a very mean person. She'd always been witty and sarcastic, but once she started to feel out of place in the world and have some of those self worth issues, etc, she took that part of her personality and turned it from witty and bubbly to meanness. At the time she didn't see it that way, but retrospectively she can. And she sort of turned that into a cocoon to shield herself from everyone and her problems.

When she was describing that, it reminded me a lot of April. And of myself at that age, if we're being honest.

And this is why I want (need?) to see the end of April's journey. She needs to come full circle. Dreamfall was her dark night of the soul, so to speak.
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#40 khh

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 17:46

Actually, since she has engaged in combat, PTSD is very likely along with depression. Not a good combination.

Not everyone who is in combat experiences PTSD (Though I don't know what the percentage is either. Not even ballpark).
 
The diagnostic criteria for PTSD are (according to DSM-IV):

A: Exposure to a traumatic event. This must have involved both (a) loss of "physical integrity", or risk of serious injury or death, to self or others, and (b ) a response to the event that involved intense fear, horror, or helplessness (or in children, the response must involve disorganized or agitated behavior). (The DSM-IV-TR criterion differs substantially from the previous DSM-III-R stressor criterion, which specified the traumatic event should be of a type that would cause "significant symptoms of distress in almost anyone," and that the event was "outside the range of usual human experience."
B: Persistent re-experiencing. One or more of these must be present in the victim: flashback memories, recurring distressing dreams, subjective re-experiencing of the traumatic event(s), or intense negative psychological or physiological response to any objective or subjective reminder of the traumatic event(s).
C: Persistent avoidance and emotional numbing. This involves a sufficient level of:

  • avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, such as certain thoughts or feelings, or talking about the event(s)
  • avoidance of behaviors, places, or people that might lead to distressing memories as well as the disturbing memories, dreams, flashbacks, and intense psychological or physiological distress
  • inability to recall major parts of the trauma(s), or decreased involvement in significant life activities
  • decreased capacity (down to complete inability) to feel certain feelings
  • an expectation that one's future will be somehow constrained in ways not normal to other people.
D: Persistent symptoms of increased arousal not present before. These are all physiological response issues, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, or problems with anger, concentration, or hypervigilance. Additional symptoms include irritability, angry outbursts, increased startle response, and concentration or sleep problems.
E: Duration of symptoms for more than 1 month. If all other criteria are present, but 30 days have not elapsed, the individual is diagnosed with Acute stress disorder.
F: Significant impairment. The symptoms reported must lead to "clinically significant distress or impairment" of major domains of life activity, such as social relations, occupational activities, or other "important areas of functioning".


We never see April reacting to a traumatic event with intense fear, horror or helplessness, and I didn't notice April experiencing any symptoms from category B or D. Even category C isn't obvious. That's not to say it's imposible she's experiencing PTSD, I just don't think we have any real indication of it. Emotional numbness is on it's own much more indicative of depression, as it losing the ability to care about things that were once important to you.

April Ryan is my friend,
Every sorrow she can mend.
When I visit her dark realm,
Does it simply overwhelm.





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