WWN Character Battle 2012 - R1B12: Ms. Pac-Man vs. SHODAN

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Ms. Pac-Man or SHODAN?

Poll ended at Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:55 am

Image (2) Ms. Pac-Man (Ms. Pac-Man)
3
21%
Image (7) SHODAN (System Shock)
11
79%
 
Total votes: 14

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HPD
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WWN Character Battle 2012 - R1B12: Ms. Pac-Man vs. SHODAN

Post by HPD » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:55 am

First off, get your votes in for Vivian vs. Peach as they still count. Also, be nice to leave some comments as zero replies is kind of, you know, poor.

For the rest I won't bother you too much with small talk but leave you to consider your vote for either Ms. Pac-Man or SHODAN. SHODAN's part is kindly written by Narts. He put a good deal of effort in it so be nice and read it.

Speaking of which, there are still four battles after this one, so eight more characters for which any of you can also write a nice piece about. Do your favourite characters a favour and give them the spiffy biography you think they deserve. If I do it it's admittedly quite half-assed half the time especially if I need to compile info on two characters every two days.

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(2) Ms. Pac-Man
Image
Ms. Pac-Man
Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness


Image

Ms. Pac-Man is celebrating her 30th birthday this year. It was in 1982 that the arcade game Ms. Pac-Man was released in North-America as an unauthorized sequel to the original Pac-Man. The game was an instant hit, mostly because it trumped the original in every way. The protagonist was different, though. Now it was Ms. Pac-Man who ran the show! The game's huge success and the amount of influence it had on the video game industry made Ms. Pac-Man into the iconic legend that she is today.

You know, just play the game
Ms. Pac-Man travels to New York (kind of a must-watch)
haha 80s commercials
Yes, there is (or rather, was) a Pac-Man tv show

(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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Narts
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Re: WWN Character Battle 2012 - R1B12: Ms. Pac-Man vs. SHODA

Post by Narts » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:13 am

Look at you, hacker. A pathetic creature of meat and bone, panting and sweating as you run through my corridors. How can you challenge a perfect, immortal machine?
...and never has this line been more appropriate

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Pkdragon
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Re: WWN Character Battle 2012 - R1B12: Ms. Pac-Man vs. SHODA

Post by Pkdragon » Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:19 pm

shodan sounds awesome i am easily swayed to vote for her
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Xenesis
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Re: WWN Character Battle 2012 - R1B12: Ms. Pac-Man vs. SHODA

Post by Xenesis » Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:20 pm

Shodan was the malevolent AI before it was cool.
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McTool
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Re: WWN Character Battle 2012 - R1B12: Ms. Pac-Man vs. SHODA

Post by McTool » Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:00 pm

Shodan all the way to finals
Make good choices

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Re: WWN Character Battle 2012 - R1B12: Ms. Pac-Man vs. SHODA

Post by ThunderWalker » Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:35 pm

I just can't bring myself to vote at Ms. Pac-Man.
Thought about an abstain, but just voted for SHODAN instead because she sounds like a good villain to me.
My sig is a void.

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Narts
Rank: jätkä on blade runner

Re: WWN Character Battle 2012 - R1B12: Ms. Pac-Man vs. SHODA

Post by Narts » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:33 pm

As much as I love the only entry in this contest who's as old as myself, it's kind of hard to look past the fact she's just pac-man in drag

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Atticus
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Re: WWN Character Battle 2012 - R1B12: Ms. Pac-Man vs. SHODA

Post by Atticus » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:23 pm

Yeah, I've never played either System Shock, but I know I should, and there's nothing interesting about Ms. Pac herself, just the game she's from.
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Narts
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Re: WWN Character Battle 2012 - R1B12: Ms. Pac-Man vs. SHODA

Post by Narts » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:33 pm

It's driving me crazy how everyone knows Bioshock but not the superior games it was based on and those games aren't available anywhere legally. It's criminal considering how instrumental they were in shaping the FPS genre, especially the FPS/RPG offshoot that is so popular now.

Apparently there are some deep difficulties with the IP, which is why you won't find them on GOG or similar sites.

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Kanzer
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Re: WWN Character Battle 2012 - R1B12: Ms. Pac-Man vs. SHODA

Post by Kanzer » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:04 am

I saw some friends play the entire System Shock and played SS2 myself. Goddammit, I gotta go back to it.
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
I won the Pointless Adventure of Nopor Puss - winning command: FALCOWN PAUNCH the Pac-Man.

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Re: WWN Character Battle 2012 - R1B12: Ms. Pac-Man vs. SHODA

Post by Gentleman of Dread » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:42 am

My hatred of evil computers this year means let's go Ms. Pac-Man.
Image

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Kanzer
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Re: WWN Character Battle 2012 - R1B12: Ms. Pac-Man vs. SHODA

Post by Kanzer » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:33 am

Damn, SHODAN is destroying her. Well, Nart's first post said it all.
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
I won the Pointless Adventure of Nopor Puss - winning command: FALCOWN PAUNCH the Pac-Man.

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HPD
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Re: WWN Character Battle 2012 - R1B12: Ms. Pac-Man vs. SHODA

Post by HPD » Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:05 pm

I totally forgot about this battle, but SHODAN crushed pacman with 11-3! Finally we have a lower seed win. That was about time.
"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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