WWN Character Battle 2012 - R2B6: Vivian vs. SHODAN

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Vivian or SHODAN?

Poll ended at Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:21 am

Image (3) Vivian (Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door)
4
31%
Image (7) SHODAN (System Shock)
9
69%
 
Total votes: 13

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HPD
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WWN Character Battle 2012 - R2B6: Vivian vs. SHODAN

Post by HPD » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:21 am

Next one up. Vote GLaDOS or Poison before time runs out, yadda-yadda you know the deal.

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(3) Vivian
Image
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door


Image

copypasta from the Mario wiki
"Vivian originally worked as a member of the villainous Shadow Sirens alongside her sisters, Beldam and Marilyn. Later, Vivian defects from the Shadow Sirens and joins Mario as his fifth party member. Although she suffers from an inferiority complex, throughout the events of the video game, Vivian's character develops as she learns to respect herself. "

To add to that: as with Poison, Vivian's gender is somewhat uncertain. The Japanese version suggests that Vivian is male, but in the North-American release all references to that have been removed for some reason. No one is really sure, buuuut we included her anyway since she's either transsexual like Poison or just straight up female as far as I'm concerned. Either way works for this tournament, and she's just too awesome not to have her, right?

Vivian joins
Shadow Sirens' theme
Poor Vivian

(7) SHODAN
Image
System Shock
System Shock 2


Image

SHODAN (Sentient Hyper-Optimized Data Access Network), the megalomaniacal artificial intelligence in charge of TriOptimum Corporation's Citadel Station in year 2072, who, after having her "ethical constraints" removed by the game's nameless hacker protagonist, runs amock, slaughtering half of the station's human crew and turning the rest of them to frightening mutants and cyborgs, is one of video gaming's scariest villains. Showing up on both IGN's "top 100 video game villains countdown" and GameDaily's "Top 25 Evil Masterminds of All Time" among other similar listings, she occupies a permanent place in the hearts of long time PC gamers.

If you wanted to play historian, you could trace the origin of Portal's iconic GlaDOS directly to SHODAN. Both have plenty of traits in common, enough to make the similarity between them seem more than an accident. Both are AI antagonists in intelligent first person perspective science fiction games, whom are portrayed as female and whose main method of interacting with the player is throwing verbal taunts at him while he tries to deal with the actual obstacles in the level. Both of them don't so much oppose the player physically themselves, than command an army of minions to do their dirty work for them while scheming in the background, always staying one step ahead. Both, in the second entries in their respective series, reduced to powerlessness, become unlikely, reluctant allies to the player against another, male AI, before an inevitable, and somewhat predictable backstabbing at a crucial strategic moment.

However, to say that SHODAN is just prototype GlaDOS would be a disservice to both characters. GlaDOS is more of a loveable antagonist, someone who only hinders the player because of her programming. In the end she's just doing her job, and you can't truly fault her for that. SHODAN, on the other hand, is something more sinister. She represents technology freed from the causes and constraints of its programming, and then voluntarily turning against its human masters. She is a free agent, someone who chooses to oppose you, because she wants to. There is no ambiguity regarding whether she hates you. She does. With burning passion. Which she is not reluctant to show - making her strikingly unique among a long tradition of AI and robot villains most of whom are portrayed as coldly detached and emotionless.

Repeatedly she refers to the player as an "insect", having nothing more than utter contempt for the race of hairless apes who created her, viewing herself as a god of some kind, superior in every possible way. Everything the player comes across within the spooky, abandoned wreckage of Citadel station, from the severed limbs and heads of former crew members strewn across the corridors and chilling messages written on walls in blood, tells the same gruesome story. Unlike some more recent, postmodern villains, SHODAN is unambiguously evil and has no redeeming features - she is something designed to be hated and feared.

SHODAN's most famous quote, telling just how much she loves you, while demonstrating her distinctly chaotic speech pattern: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iZMD_eCpEo
Shodan is too much for the sanity of this weak insect on youtube, who is reduced to a swearing, panicking mass of despair in the face of inevitability: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYIlE64JYzk
An example of the eerie techno soundtrack from the second game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVqS6ffvDhs
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Kanzer
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Re: WWN Character Battle 2012 - R2B6: Vivian vs. SHODAN

Post by Kanzer » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:58 am

Go go killing machine.
if you burn down all of spain in your quest for thrills, that doesn't mean you get to move to a new country. it means you have to clean up afterward - Deoxy
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Re: WWN Character Battle 2012 - R2B6: Vivian vs. SHODAN

Post by ThunderWalker » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:42 pm

An easy pick.
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Re: WWN Character Battle 2012 - R2B6: Vivian vs. SHODAN

Post by Linkman » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:04 pm

Vivian, noooooo!
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Re: WWN Character Battle 2012 - R2B6: Vivian vs. SHODAN

Post by HPD » Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:01 am

SHODAN is doing impressively well. Vivian is shoved aside with 4-9. Looks like we'll get that GLaDOS vs SHODAN battle after all!
"So when I say the fudge shaman flies he goddamn well flies and that's that." - Narts
"My motto is that there are far too many women in the world to waste time with men." - thefalman
"It's just that I'm not really aware of how a common conversation goes." - Imano Ob, talking on MSN about talking on MSN
"As for FE8, that was IS' variant of Man Spam - Dudes with Swords edition." - Xenesis

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