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Diecast #99: Deus Ex, ESA, Lawful Goodness

By Shamus
on Monday Apr 13, 2015
Filed under:


For the last three weeks I’ve said, “We have a lot of mailbag questions, we really should answer these.” And then Josh takes up all the mailbag time talking about Bloodborne and Destiny. At least, this is how I’ve chosen to remember things. But next week we’re going to try to answer as many as we can, so now is a good time to send in your questions. The email is in the header image.

Direct link to this episode.

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Hosts: Shamus, Chris, Mumbles, Josh.

Show notes:

2:00 Eidos Montral announces Deus Ex: Humanity Divided.

Link (YouTube)

We comment on the announcement, the trailer, and the overall direction of the series.

21:00 The ESA vs. the EFF, fair use, and corporate childishness.

Here is what the EFF said. And here is the response from the ESA.

38:00 Are there any good Lawful Good characters, and what does THAT mean, anyway?


1:03:00 Mumbles went to Wrestlemania and got engaged!

1:09:00 Shamus ran a D&D game with his family.

Yes! The name of the blog is justified for another four years.

Comments (313)

  1. Dev Null says:

    Heh. You must tell us all of the ways that your children completely foil your well-laid GM plans…

  2. Wide And Nerdy says:

    YES. Captain America finally did Lawful Good right. Credit to Evans for finding away to make a character who would normally come off as stiff instead be likeable and dynamic.

    • MichaelGC says:

      He is (l)awfully good, isn’t he! Marvel Studios are knocking them out the park at the moment – long may it continue.

      My brain has become transfixed on a random tangent, so I thought I’d inflict it on everyone else: what would Judge Dredd be? Definitely lawful … something. He is the law! Don’t get much more lawful that than. But he’s not exactly Mr Happyfunland. Not given to spontaneous acts of charity, for e.g. So, neutral? Seems too active and definite to be neutral! And I don’t think one could call him ‘evil,’ although you could argue the system he operates within (and thus supports) is itself evil.

      Anyway, sorry for the tangent! Maybe Dredd himself wouldn’t actually care what the second word was…

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        I think a lawful neutral can be very active and I think it fits Judge Dredd to a t. He is an unwavering force for law. In fact, I think that level of proactiveness is often a sign that a character or a system has slipped from LG to LN.

        • Syal says:

          The law he’s following is very neutral, but from the little I know about him, all of Dredd’s opponents are people who clearly break the law for their own evil purposes, so you can’t really say he’s more than Neutral but you also can’t say he’s less than Good. He’d need to go up against a lawmaker or someone in a morally grey area to say for sure.

      • Canthros says:

        Dredd is lawful law, citizen.

      • krellen says:

        “I AM THE LAW” is actually an incredibly Chaotic statement.

      • Kylroy says:

        I’ve always thought Dredd was Lawful Neutral personified. Maintaining order requires enforcers, and in a place as awful as Mega City One those enforcers are going to be pretty brutal. And maintaining that order is his primary goal; he’s neither concerned enough with people’s welfare beyond the law to be Good, nor selfish enough in his enforcement to be Evil.

        • Lisa says:

          Though he does have his moments that push him towards ‘Good’ (saving one widows’s husband from the Recyc facility for example). He probably has a couple where he pushes towards ‘Evil’ though I can’t remember any off the top of my head – but they would have to be in one of the ‘character arc’ type stories, rather than his usual standard ‘adventures’.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Putting the law above everything else is actually a pretty evil thing.Thats why in so many stories the villain is the one who cares for ultimate order above all else(cocteau from the demolition man,for example).

        • Kylroy says:

          Yes, but villain and evil (or, in D&D terms, Evil) are not equivalent. Les Miserables’ Javert is archetypal Lawful Neutral character, but his non-Evil alignment doesn’t keep him from being a villain. You can make a compelling case that the (ultimate) villain of Watchmen is Neutral Good. Alignment describes a character’s personal philosophy; in theory, any alignment can fulfill any role in a story.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Ozymandias is definitely not good.He has good intentions,and he may have started out good,but in the end he is evil.A fallen paladin,if you will.

            • Kylroy says:

              His motivation was saving the human race – it wasn’t maintaining order (Lawful) or dismantling it (Chaotic) or increasing his own personal power (Evil), but ensuring the greatest good of the greatest number (Good). Alignments describe a character’s motivations, not the outcome of their actions. I’m not saying Ozy wasn’t a monster, but he was a monster looking out for humanity as a whole. Yes, someone can be Neutral Good and still be horribly inhumane.

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                No,alignment describe ones behavior.Good intentions do not make you good if they lead to bad stuff(road to hell and all that).This is especially true if you know that you are doing bad things in order to achieve your goals,which ozymandias does know.

                Thats what puts captain america above other heroes:He knows that furys intentions are good,and that reprogramming the guns to kill hydra people would lead to a world with many evil people out of it,but it would still be an evil(killing of some innocents as well) and unlawful(executing without a fair trial) act,which is why he is against it.

                • General Karthos says:

                  I’ve always thought alignment was a combination of act and intent/philosophy. A Lawful Good character, facing an unjust law, can perform an act of chaos without sacrificing his Lawful Good status. He’s performing the act as part of his “good” alignment. I also feel like a Lawful Good character can perform an evil act without sacrificing his status. Executing an evil criminal who has surrendered to you but shows no remorse and fully intends to continue to perpetrate evil acts is evil. (And you just KNOW a character like that will break out of prison.) But it preserves the “Lawful” part of the alignment.

                  Superman and Batman and a lot of other super heroes are annoying in this respect, because they won’t kill anyone under any circumstances. If Batman had just run over The Joker with the batmobile early on in the second movie, hundreds of other people would still be alive.

                  Speaking of alignments, one of the major “villains” of my (more recent) campaign was Lawful Neutral. Most of the characters were chaotic good or neutral good (with one [well-played] Chaotic Neutral thrown in), and thus willing (or eager) to break the law in the name of good. He was the head of the town guard in their starting town and he leveled up alongside them so that by the time the campaign came to its conclusion, he was the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Army and a Knight of the White (the highest Knightly ranking in my custom setting that didn’t require being in the Emperor’s personal guard).

                  They actually went to some lengths not to kill him on more than one occasion, because he wasn’t really a bad guy, but he did have a habit of foiling their plans a lot of the time. (There was one character who advocated killing him, because it would have made their lives simpler, but she got overruled.)

                  But I’ve also found that Lawful Neutral can be one of the more “evil” alignments, since your concern is for law and order above all else. (Someone mentioned Javert in Les Mis) The goodness or evil of the law that you’re enforcing doesn’t matter, because it is the law, and people need order (and without might to enforce it, order can’t exist) to survive. (Thomas Hobbes thought this way as well.)

              • Syal says:

                It could also be argued that acting on the assumption that literally nobody else can do this and it’s okay to kill/frame/discredit people who are trying is increasing your own personal power and inherently evil.

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      Also on the subject of characters that could hang out with Captain America, Shovel Knight is definitely one. He offers on more than one occasion to reforge friendships and not fight. He comes off as very honorable, good natured and self sacrificing.

      Batman also kind of counts. I’m sure Cap wouldn’t exactly care for Batman’s motif but when he sees how Batman operates, he could respect it. No guns, no killing, strong personal ethics and Cap is no stranger to operating outside the law. Cap doesn’t expect everyone to be like him.

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        Also, here is an evolution I expect based on the comics. Superheroes codified as bright and shiny dogooders (yes they were a little darker in the beginning owing to the pulp roots but I’m talking about when the idea really took hold). But part of the problem with those comics was that the world was structured to accommodate it. Authority figures really were the good guys so superheroes could be a simple and unambiguous force for good (by the standards of the day).

        Then there was a backlash with grim dark heroes which was refreshing not because grim dark is inherently but because there was variety and the bright shiny stuff was played out. But obviously that went overboard in a race to the bottom.

        But what the grimdark did was create an interesting cynical modern backdrop in which to reconstruct earnestly good superheroes. Suddenly the squeaky clean good guys had an interesting conflict, how do you hold to your ideals in a dark jaded often murky world. What really is right?

        Winter Soldier is a great example. Take the spy genre, a genre that is about shades of grey and dubious behavior and drop the earnest Captain America into that.

        And I think the market is amenable to that as long as its not too heavy handed.

        • Trix2000 says:

          It’s progressions like this that always make me excited for the future of movies (AND videogames), since ostensibly it means we’re bound to see even better as things continue to evolve (and we’re already had some great stuff!).

          • Otters34 says:

            Evolution is not improvement. It’s change. Change is not in itself good.

            Though yes, film-making with superheroes is indeed much improved. They’ve finally figured out why the old Superman movie worked so well. You don’t make a Superman Movie, you make a movie about that character and the idea it stands for.

            • Wide And Nerdy says:

              I agree with you that change is not inherently good*, but in the case change was overall good. There were growing pains but comics went from technicolor to real is brown to full rich HD color.

              *In fact, I’m so tired of people acting like change is this inexorable force and applying it via equivocation to forced deliberate change. Its like if I threw out my roommate’s furniture and said “Times change, get with the program.”

            • It’s ironic you use Superman as an example. DC Entertainment, or the part of it behind its movies, has yet to figure out what makes a good Superman movie. Or pretty much any movie based on their properties these days. I’d even say the Nolan Batman films didn’t do a great job with the character. Some of his trilogy was good, but for the most part, it was basically a James Bond gangster series with not enough devoted to Bruce Wayne’s character and how that drove what he does. If you disagree, I’d recommend the Batman Animated Series (especially Batman: Mask of the Phantasm) to see how you do great character-driven stories with over-the-top villains without getting so immersed in the dark ‘n’ gritty that it becomes a parody of itself.

              And “Man of Steel?” Yeah, that whole thing about Superman’s character that’s been established for decades that he doesn’t just kill people? Neck snap! He protects Metropolis? Yeaaah, let’s have him beat on Zod in the city instead of socking him towards the suburbs for a few rounds. Again, their animated efforts for Superman have been FAR better than the recent films.

              Anyone want to defend the Green Lantern movie? Nope.

              This is why I really have doubts about their upcoming Batman vs. Superman film. They want an Avengers-level hit so badly that they aren’t willing to do the same world building that Marvel has been doing since the first Iron Man movie. That’s a recipe for shoehorned characters that either the audience doesn’t get, that don’t encompass their basic character traits, or both.

              • krellen says:

                DC needs so very badly to let Bruce Timm take over the entire creative department.

              • Fawkes says:

                I just have to say, the neck snap itself wouldn’t have bothered me if it was earned, (as in if there was a moment in the film where it felt like killing was something Kal was adamantly against), and if the reasoning for it wasn’t so broken.

                “This moment is the one that codifies Superman’s rule against killing.” /Paraphrased

                I have, funny enough, never had to actually kill someone to have a rule against killing someone. It’s just a thing I don’t do because I know it’s wrong.

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Or if his father actual taught him the value of life,instead of doing the exact opposite.

                • Wide And Nerdy says:

                  You also aren’t a super powerful being who could operate openly unchecked by the law. And you (I assume) don’t regularly have to do battle with supervillains. In those situations I think its fair to say that the prospect of killing your opponents on occasion to stop them goes back on the table to be considered. Especially in Superman’s case especially in a universe like this one* where if he fails to stop a bad guy, then probably nobody else can stop that bad guy either (Refer you to Superman II where Zod easily conquered the world when there was seemingly no Superman to stop him).

                  Superman at this point hadn’t really had time to reflect on what he’d do in a situation like this because he probably never imagined he’d be in a situation like this until Zod showed up. And when his people showed up “Am I going to kill them?” Probably wasn’t his first thought.

                  So he had to make that decision quickly on the battlefield and with no prior experience in this type of situation which is why I think its valid to have him kill once and have that experience be the basis for deciding never to do it again.

                  *Where he is the only superpowered hero or one of a very few. In the comics its different because if he fails there, there are usually at least a few dozen others who still have a shot at succeeding, especially if they work together.

                  • …especially in a universe like this one*… Where he is the only superpowered hero or one of a very few.

                    And there’s why I really don’t like the movie DCU. They’re going to make loads of heroes show up now, of course, but with no prepwork other than “we want one of our movies to make a billion dollars, too!”

                    There really needs to be more superheroes than just one or a single group nowadays. The Fantastic Four, for example, is really silly without the rest of the Marvel U, and they’d likely wind up in a cell somewhere for the first dumb think Reed does that threatens all of New York or if the Thing has a temper tantrum.

                    At least Superman could evade capture if he wanted to by being Superman, but Batman should be caught within about a month of his first escapade that results in a whole city block burning down or something similar.

                  • Daemian Lucifer says:

                    People dont really mind superman killing zod.He did it in the comics and they liked it.People mind how crappy it was done(no no buildup,no reason why it would be a big deal,no payoff).

                    • Mike S. says:

                      I wouldn’t go so far as to say “they liked it” re the comics. I was reading then, and I didn’t. Byrne wrote the scene as a parting shot that he wouldn’t have to deal with going forward, because it was his last issue. (He had a preexisting habit of tossing a monkey wrench at his successors on his way out the door.) The writers who followed then spent a few years reestablishing the status quo ante so that it wouldn’t happen again.

                      (If it had been a few years later, I’d guess they would have retconned it into not having happened. But at the time, DC was unusually committed to firm continuity.)

                      If anything, that was done worse than the “Man of Steel” version, since Superman wasn’t saving anyone’s life by murdering Zod and the other two Phantom Zone criminals. The planet they were on was dead and lifeless. Superman had deprived them of their powers with gold kryptonite. He was preemptively killing helpless, human-level people because they might get their powers back and might be able to go after Superman’s Earth. But there was no clear and present danger there and then.

                    • Wide And Nerdy says:

                      On the one hand, yes in the comic book version Superman didn’t have the immediate need to kill like the movie is trying to sell us on.

                      On the other hand, these three people had already done what Zod threatens in the movie. They gleefully murdered all of the billions of living humans in that parallel universe. That meant that they had the king of heinous crimes to answer for and nobody but Superman to make them answer for it. I think he was justified.

                    • Mike S. says:

                      I don’t think “justified” is enough when dealing with a character like Superman. The central fantasy of a hero like Superman is that it’s always possible to do the right thing without compromising. That this isn’t realistic is both trivial and uninteresting– that’s only one among the many reasons that we don’t, in reality, have figures of universal admiration who punch bad guys while wearing circus costumes. But what’s the point of a superhero story that demonstrates the obvious weaknesses of the superhero concept?

                      (It’s like having a musical that stops when everyone stares at the weirdo who keeps singing his feelings, or a martial arts movie in which a tertiary character demonstrates that a loaded gun is superior to everyone’s kung fu.)

                      And even on those terms, it’s way overkill. You don’t need another dimension in which there’s literally no one alive to benefit from Superman’s unilateral imposition of retributive justice to demonstrate the limits of solving the problem of evil by punching it.

                      If you’re going to tell stories with Superman, I think they should be Superman stories, unless there’s a non fish-in-a-barrel point to be made by deconstructing the character’s premise.

                      What do we learn about Superman’s code against killing here? That it doesn’t apply in the very narrow circumstances of a genocide to which no one else can possibly respond in any way? Well, no, because he eventually decides that the executions were a bad idea– one that literally drove him insane, split personality and everything– and that his original code against killing was right after all. Talk about running as fast as you can to stay in the same place.

            • Trix2000 says:

              While I agree, I am more pointing out the general overall trends we see with things. Sure, there are dips and low points (our brown-corridor shooters for example), but it seems like in the end things do pick themselves back up to be ultimately better in the end (at least, for the most part).

              There are, of course, exceptions to the rule.

              I mean, as much as nostalgia is a thing, I feel like it’s hard to say we haven’t made huge strides in design/storytelling/art/whatever even in just the past couple decades. Heck, if I’m to bring up nostalgia, I feel like many of the recent iterations of older styles have also been much improved by modern sensibilities and whatnot (Shovel Knight? Haven’t played myself but hear so many good things about it).

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                Shovel knight is great.It keeps the good stuff from old games(the art,skill and challenge)while improving on the bad(unfair gotcha moments,ui,saving,ease of controlling).

        • swenson says:

          I did love Winter Soldier for that. I was seriously concerned that it was going to be like “oh, you must compromise your morals to survive, the world is all gray and gray”. But instead, it kept Cap the same as he always was. He didn’t have to compromise anything, and he still won. And the movie didn’t even go out of its way to draw attention to it, because that’s just what Cap’s character is like.

          I wouldn’t normally think of him in these terms, but Thor is actually a bit like that too… he’s a complete gentleman most of the time, and very serious about being honorable. (in Avengers and Thor 2, at any rate)

          I like it.

          • krellen says:

            Yeah, I’m very glad they kept that aspect of Thor in the movies, because the whole “worthy of Mjolnir” thing is basically “be Lawful Good”. I believe Cap is able to wield Mjolnir like it isn’t even a thing.

            • Benjamin Hilton says:

              In the comics Cap does wield it at some point but I don’t remember the specifics.

              In the extended trailer for Age of Ultron they seem to reference this when Cap manages slightly move Mjolnir and Thor has this “holy Shit” look on his face.

          • Neil W says:

            If I had a problem with Winter Soldier, it’s that it shortcuts between Nick Fury’s “Don’t Trust Anyone” and Cap’s speech to SHIELD “Hey, did you know there are Bad Guys in here? Everyone should try to do the Right Thing” without stopping to explore the space between along the way. Cap never has to worry that he’s trusting the wrong person; he trusts that people are trying to do good (if sometimes by dubious methods) up until he spots subtle but definite signs he’s being betrayed, after which he puts his faith in people he knows and finally into the rank-and-file of SHIELD.

            So I guess my complaint is that in this action-adventure superhero movie, they don’t give quite enough time to the film’s explictly stated theme during the second act. IF ONLY ALL FILMS WERE FLAWED LIKE THAT.

      • Groboclown says:

        Here we go.

        Superman. He’s *supposed* to be lawful good (ignore the dumb movie). Some of the comics make him into the lawful stupid, but I point to All Star Superman as the example of him done right.

        Twilight Sparkle. She could totally hang with Cap. Willing to make friends where possible, but able to kick butt when there’s no alternative.

        Edit: however, I don’t know if their video game versions are different.

      • Steve C says:

        Another couple of Lawful Good characters that could hang out with Captain America are Captain Marvel (aka Captain Thunder because having “Marvel” part of the name of a DC character is bad branding), Flash, and Optimus Prime. I would also put Batman into the definitely-not Lawful Good archetype.

        • Wide And Nerdy says:

          I suppose thanks to Injustice we could list those. Really a bunch of DC characters qualify.

          Honestly I kind of feel like Cap almost parrallels Hal Jordan more than anyone else. Cap lives in the real world and both characters have been willing to rebel for whats right.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Uuuh,flash,definitely.Ive been watching the flash and arrow recently,and I just love how the flash is portrayed(and hate green arrow just as much).He is just so optimistic and good hearted,its amazing.DC needs to make a flash movie and do it like the tv show is and theyll finally get some good hype about their thing.

          • I just wish the actor playing the Flash didn’t sound like his mouth was full of mashed potatoes all the time. The stuff with Dr. Wells is pretty cool, though he did borrow a tad from “Fringe” when they revealed his origin last week.

            Maybe now that two cops know his identity, those two cops can see about having Central City build its own supervillain jail instead of keeping them under STAR Labs?

        • Otters34 says:

          Um, Actually, he’s now called ‘Shazam’. Just…Shazam. Great. Because we needed two super-guys with prominent red and capes with loads of strength and ‘S’ names. That’s what Big Red needed to differentiate himself from Big Blue.

          • Nicholas Hayes says:

            Wait, but if he’s called that he can’t introduce himself without turning back into kid, surely?

          • Blame whoever didn’t trademark “Captain Marvel.” You can make a Captain Marvel of your own, if you like. It’s up for grabs by anyone who wants it. And to be honest, people had been calling him “Shazam” for decades. Even in ’81, there was a TV show called “The Kid Super Power Hour with SHAZAM!”

            So really, DC just caught up with the public on that one.

            • krellen says:

              Marvel stole the Captain Marvel name in the 60s because the copyright on the original had been struck down in court (since Captain Marvel is an expy of Superman, but it was mostly about Captain Marvel outselling Superman at the time). Marvel owns the copyright to the “Captain Marvel” comic line, so DC’s version, now that they own Captain Marvel, is run under the title “Shazam” (or “the power of Shazam”), but the character’s name is still “Captain Marvel” and the various other Shazam-powered people are still the “Marvel family”.

              The 80s show was “with SHAZAM!” because DC already couldn’t own a series titled “Captain Marvel” any more at that time.

              • To be clear, Fawcett created Captain Marvel, DC sued, and while that squabble was going on, Marvel Trademarked “Captain Marvel” for themselves.

                I could’ve sworn I read somewhere that the actual name, “Captain Marvel” was usable by anyone, but not as a logo/comic book title (due to the above trademark). I suppose at this point it doesn’t matter even if that’s kosher, since whoever has the bigger lawyers will win.*

                * see also Zorro, which came up in a Spoiler Warning episode about Assassin’s Creed. Zorro, the character, is public domain, thanks to the rights on an early movie not being renewed. The estate that owns the books and some films, however, will sue the mask off of anyone who tries to exercise PD rights on the Z-name, however.

                • Mike S. says:

                  Fawcett stopped publishing Captain Marvel-related comics (partly due to the lawsuit, but partly because superheroes were in decline and it wasn’t worth continuing the fight with DC) in 1954. Trademarks go away if they aren’t used, and Fawcett wasn’t in any position to maintain theirs after that.

                  Marvel put out its first Captain Marvel in 1967. DC licensed Fawcett’s IP in 1973 (and later bought the characters outright), but by then Marvel had already established its own use of the name.

                  (DC still subtitled the Shazam book “The ORIGINAL Captain Marvel” for a while. But that changed to “The World’s Mightiest Mortal”, suggesting to me that there was some discussion between the two companies’ lawyers at some point.)

                  Then there was the M-F Enterprises Captain Marvel, an android who could divide the parts of his body by shouting “Split!” and reunite them with the word “Xam!”, who ran four issues in 1966-67. I get the impression it died before anyone with rights could think to bring legal action based on the name.

        • Peter H. Coffin says:

          Captain Marvel might be able to hang, but remember (and this came out in a lot of the big red cheese’s actions in the earlier comics), the dude’s really 15-year-old in the body of a grown superhero. There’s a lot of tempering that needs to happen before his choices for “good” have the depth and foresight to be complete at the start instead of spending hours and days subsequently fixing the consequences his own do-gooding. He’s the sort of superhero who derails a train to save a kitten, then has to fly the engineer and fireman to the hospital, then has to spend hours cleaning up the coal that was spilled and fly it, carload by carload, to the power plant that it was headed for, then repair the train engine.

          • Mike S. says:

            In the early comics, Billy and Cap referred to one another in the third person, and Cap had the wisdom of Solomon to rely on– he wasn’t really treated as a kid in an adult body till the 80s.

      • Ravens Cry says:

        Depends on the Batman. Frank Miller’s goddamn Batman, it’s doubtful. The guy is just a freaking psycho. Batman of the early 90’s animated series, yeah, I could see it.

    • Kian says:

      A paragon Commander Shepard would probably be okay on Captain America’s book.

      Shouldn’t post before hearing the whole podcast.

    • Joseph P. Tallylicker says:

      What about Kyle Katarn? He dips his toes in the Dark Side but he lets Tavion go and is mostly concerned with defending his friends. You could say that he’s kind en route to becoming a anti-hero but by the end of Outcast (never played the other dark forces games) he’s gotten up to Bhudda-levels of calm and forgiveness. The final fight against Dassann isn’t “I’m going to wreck your shit up you evil vile piece of blablablablabala”. Kyle pretty much goes “hey, it’s not too late for you. Join us and reclaim your good side”.

      • krellen says:

        Kyle became a Blue Lantern, didn’t he? That’d be a pretty good indicator of people Cap would hang out with; the Blue Lanterns are all right up his alley.

      • Felblood says:

        Kyle Katarn might be a good guy by the end of the second game (or might not depending on the player, so he doesn’t count), however he is never lawful.

        Even in the Legends Canon he can’t play by the rules of the Jedi order, because he’s just too free spirited, reckless and independent.

        He’s basically the only character besides Mace Windu to get to officially play with destruction type powers without falling to the Dark Side, and the only one who can use rage powered Force Lighting without being corrupted. Other characters in the same books lose access to Force Lightning when they turn to the Light, but he gets to cheat.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Captain america didnt do lawful good right for movies,there are plenty of others that are lawful good.He did paladins right.There is a (slight) difference between the two.

    • Deadpool says:

      Cap isn’t really Lawful Good. Both in Winter Soldier and in the upcoming Civil War he goes against the Law for the greater Good.

      He is Neutral Good.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Established law enforcement organization is not the same thing as the law.Especially when said organization is corrupt.

        • Majere says:

          That is exactly what law is; a set of rules of behaviour enforced on a population by its governing body. It has no intrinsic morality of its own it is simply a set of rules enforced by the current political power.

          Cap tends to fluctuate as to whether he’s portrayed as NG or LG but in my opinion doing the right and good thing has always been far more important to him than any consideration of order vs. chaos which leads me to consider him NG (aka the best alignment).

      • Rutskarn says:

        Lawful implies but by no means denotes adherence to legal codes. “Lawful” speaks to an inborn sense of honor and strong preference for playing by the rules, but even paladins can break unjust laws without flinching.

        Captain America believes in playing fair, keeping his word, and respecting legitimate authorities to such a degree that calling him Lawful is wholly justified.

        • Deadpool says:

          Playing by what rules?

          And remember, in Civil War Cap doesn’t just break what he feels is an unjust law. He goes underground a leads a rebel movement against it.

          It’s actually kind of weird, because in early Civil War TONY was the Lawful Good one. He also thought the law was unjust, and did the best his could within the confines of the law to prevent it: He testified in front of Congress against it, he had lobbyists in Washington trying to prevent it, he convinced Peter to testify as well… And when that failed, he took it upon himself to enforce to law as to prevent it from being misused more than necessary.

          That seems closer to what I think of as Lawful Good… He works to change unjust rules but doesn’t outright disregard them.

          • krellen says:

            Cap’s rules never change. You KNOW Cap’s rules never change. Cap plays by the same rules all the time, EVEN IF THE CODIFIED LAW CHANGES. Lawful doesn’t mean “follow orders because the chain of command says so”. The reason Cap rebels against the registration law is because the traditions of his nation and culture dictate that he should; upholding people’s freedom is one of his constant rules, and the registration law violated that.

            “Lawful” is actually a bad word to use to describe the alignment, because people get stuck on the “law” part and think it actually has something to do with “laws”. It doesn’t. A Lawful person respects Order, and won’t go around breaking laws without reason, but if there’s a reason to break a law, it being a “law” doesn’t mean the Lawful individual has to follow it.

            Laws are not automatically Lawful. A law can be Chaotic if it inherently disrupts society, order, and social norms.

            • Majere says:

              Yeah calling the alignment towards order lawful is a bit of a misnomer. Disciplined or structured would maybe be better descriptors as those concepts aren’t wrapped up in government sanction but rather the respect for stability and consistency that is typified by the alignment.

            • Deadpool says:

              I read a LOT of comics… Captain America lies. He cheats. He kills.

              When given a choice between following “the rules” and doing good he picks good EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

              To him, following the rules is nice, but he will ALWAYS pick Good over Lawful.

              • krellen says:

                Which is still following a rule.

                It’s also what makes him a Paladin.

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Whats a paladin?

                • Deadpool says:

                  I will break every rule to do good = Lawful. Okay. Sure. Whatever.

                  I’m just curious as to what makes someone Neutral…

                  • krellen says:

                    The actual point is that a Chaotic act is an act a Paladin can atone for. Picking Good oever Law is what a Paladin does, because he can atone for his breaches of Law – he can never atone for a breach of Good.

                    Committing a Chaotic act doesn’t make you stop being Lawful, it just means you did something out-of-character (and most people will agree that Cap lying or cheating is out-of-character).

                    A single Evil act doesn’t make someone not Good, for that matter, but it does rule out being a Paladin, who follow stricter codes.

                    (Alignment, being designed for D&D, does not take an absolute stance on the morality of killing. Though I don’t think any modern interpretation will ever claim killing is a GOOD act, it is often not-Evil.)

          • guy says:

            Lawful Good implies both following the law and doing what’s right. When those are in conflict, they’ll pick one, though generally not without a fair bit of agonizing. If they always follow the law even when they think it’s unjust and insane, they’re just lawful. Lawful Good characters will do things like arrest people who steal necessities (though they earn the Good part of the description by arranging for them to get the stuff legally) but there will be some line that they won’t cross.

        • Vermander says:

          I also feel like when Captain America is forced to break the law or go against the authorities it upsets him. He’ll do it when it’s necessary, but he won’t feel good about it. He wants to see the best in people and expects them to do the right thing, so he’s genuinely hurt when he realizes that the authorities are corrupt.

          Contrast that with a Chaotic Good character like Iron Man, who sees government and laws as holding him back and preventing him from really helping the world.

      • Felblood says:

        Lawfulness isn’t about obeying laws, its about being group minded and having a clear code of conduct that you would never violate, unless another part of your alignment or core motivation came into conflict with your lawfulness.

        A Lawful Good character cannot obey a law they consider to be wrong or unjust, and would try to organize a group to opposite said law, so long as they can find others aligned with their ethical principles.

        law =/= Law

    • Benjamin Hilton says:

      For Gotham Fans out there I submit Detective Gordon. He goes after criminals and does whats right no matter the danger to himself simply because it is the Just thing to do….even if that means declaring war on his own boss.

  3. Merlin says:

    “We keep intending to answer mailbag questions and not getting to it, so we have a huge backlog. Please send more mailbag questions, because we intend to answer a bunch next time.”

    Shamus, you’re trapped in a prison of your own design.

  4. Wide And Nerdy says:

    In all fairness to the ESA side of the argument, it would seem to undermine the ability to offer some services that I think are valid.

    Take Netflix. A lot of the Canadians I follow complain that the Canada version sucks so some circumvent it by using a proxy. But you have to figure Netflix’s ability to offer content is at least partially contingent on those they’re dealing with being able to make assumptions about which markets are affected. If Netflix can basically guarantee me that only the US will be able to see the show I’m licensing, then I can afford to license it cheaper because its costing me fewer sales in other markets.

    Ideally this would mean that other countries also sometimes get content that we in the US don’t (because the timing on different markets varies). If Netflix has to always pay for global licenses then they’ll be able to afford less and will have less content to offer.

    • Cilvre says:

      my main thing with the ESA is that production companies who want to keep using the piracy statement should give gamers a way out after end of life. If they close the servers that the DRM needs to contact so i can install my game, then i’m screwed unless i find a pirated version that removes that need. They should release a patch at end of life when they no longer plan to run the server to remove the need for it.

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        I absolutely agree with that. Just pointing out (and I’m sure you don’t object) that the issue can be sticky and sometimes the other side is right or partly right.

        • Cilvre says:

          i actually had a long discussion about this on another site, but the other thing too is that if these games are end of life for them and they don’t want to spend any money working on this issue, they could sell the rights to reproduce the game to GOG since it wasn’t making them money anyways and could make them some money that way while being friendly to gamers. That and GOG seems to excel in fixing a lot of these end of life issues.

          • Syal says:

            I was actually going to mention that; the way out for gamers you brought up is for someone to buy the rights from the original publisher.

          • Trix2000 says:

            As recent events have showed, it may not be feasible (financially or no) to put the effort into selling the rights. This could be either because no one knows who actually owns a game (ie: the recent debacle Shamus mentioned that I forget the name of the game) or it just would cost enough in man-hours/organization to make the rights sellable that it could overwhelm what small amount they might make from the actual sale (depending on how much GoG or someone might be willing to pay for it).

            So I have a feeling it’s not going to be that simple in many situations (at least those that haven’t already been done).

  5. Syal says:

    The problem with a Lawful good videogame protagonist, apart from the obvious playstyle limitations, is that either the law needs to be good, or it needs to be mutable.

    If it’s good, you have to create a scenario that threatens it, and it brings up the question of whether it’s good and lawful to enforce a law on people who are outside the system.

    If it’s mutable, then it requires some kind of political aspect to things (I’m thinking something where you’re required to enforce taxes against suffering peasantry, but you can use political favors to help those peasants recover afterward, or convince the king to lower the taxes or whatnot), and a lot of players are going to want to change the law by force instead (I believe they call it “Fuck The Illusive Man” syndrome), which irritates people if you don’t allow it and removes the whole ‘lawful’ bit if you do.

    So the most common scenario that can really pull off a Lawful Good kind of character without inventing a new game style is a world that’s falling apart with the hero trying to piece it back together, like Dark Souls or Bastion, where the choice isn’t between good or evil but between law or chaos.

    Does the kid from Bastion count as Lawful Good? How much do we have to know about a character to say whether they’re Good or not?

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      Lawful Good at least in DnD is sometimes interpreted as adhering to a code of honor.

      Josh mentions Captain Picard but Picard has rebelled or butted heads with superiors (and not just in the movies). Shovel Knight is Lawful Good even though the reigning authority in that game is contentious (he deposes a king).

      • Syal says:

        I’ve always considered a code of honor to be necessary for being good at all. Whether someone is Lawful Good is only determined when the law conflicts with that code.

        • Alexander The 1st says:

          I consider the code of honor a Lawful trait – whether it be to follow the law itself or another thing.

          Good reflects on exactly what you’re doing.

          • Wide And Nerdy says:

            Exactly. A non lawful good character is more likely to do whats good in the moment. A lawful good character believes that part of being good is about having an inherent consistency and making a commitment to a structure. A neutral good character might have a code of honor but he’d break it if necessary. A lawful good character would find the best thing he could do without violating his code.

            • Ivan says:

              Then there’s Lawful Evil as well, which I find easiest to resolve with a mercenary type character. They might see it necessary to see their job to completion even at the cost of their life. Ultimately this sort of behavior is going to get the mercenary a good dependable reputation but he takes the jobs in the first place because they pay well.

              To add a larger grey area, the merch’s code might prohibit him from harming women or children or causing any collateral damage. This might seem noble at first but if they are tasked with assassinating a politician then they won’t hesitate.

              I think Lawful evil can make for some very interesting characters because the lines they refuse to cross often only seem to be drawn in the sand, but they refuse to cross them no matter what. There’s usually a very personal reason for their code of honor.

              • Sleeping Dragon says:

                Other than the honourable henchman Lawful Evil is also often used for oppressive regimes.

              • Vermander says:

                I think lawful evil applies more to fascist, totalitarian characters. Someone who values order and control over all else. They want clean streets and trains that run on time and they don’t care how many people they need to round up and shoot to achieve that goal. They don’t actually enjoy hurting or killing innocent people, but they’re more than willing to do it to “fix” the world.

                Some versions of Dr. Doom and Ra’s al Ghul are like this.

                This is the type of villain who thinks he is really the hero.

                • Ivan says:

                  Yeah I think you’re right about Ra’s al gul. I wanted to use him in my example but I wasn’t convinced until now.
                  The League of Assassins absolutely has a code that they follow, and while they say that their actions are for the good of humanity, they have no problem sacrificing innocent lives in order to achieve their goals.

                • Robyrt says:

                  Exactly – the classic Lawful Evil example is Satan, who is all about signing contracts, making deals, delegating to middle management, etc. If you really can beat him at his own game, he respects that; he won’t just kill you anyway and take your soul for no reason.

      • Joe Informatico says:

        My view is that within the context of Star Trek, the Federation is a society built on good, noble ideals, and Starfleet is an institution founded to defend and perpetuate those ideals. When Picard clashes with his superiors, it’s almost always through The System. When the Federation tried to treat Data as property, he fought for Data’s rights through the court system. When another captain was waging his one-ship war against the Cardassians, Picard arrested him so the peace treaty with the Cardassians could be upheld, even though he made it very clear to them after the fact that he knew the rogue captain’s suspicions had merit, and not to take the Federation’s desire for peace as a sign of weakness. Picard’s definitely a company man, even if he disagrees with his bosses sometimes.

        Even Kirk, I feel leaned more towards Lawful Good than most people seem to think. It’s become almost fanon that Kirk is the guy who always broke the Prime Directive, but that’s bullshit. In most episodes about the PD, the PD is already broken, by either rogue or incompetent Federation personnel, or by the Klingons, and Kirk is just trying to fix things as best he can. Most of the exceptions involve unplugging AI supercomputers that are passing themselves off as gods of primitive societies, and the series itself doesn’t seem to agree whether that’s a PD violation or not (In “Return of the Archons”, Kirk tells Spock the PD only applies to “living, breathing cultures”, not cultures enslaved by godlike supercomputers, and this mollifies the Vulcan. In “The Apple”, McCoy says the same thing, but Spock rejects it). I feel Kirk definitely believed in the ideals of the Federation, but sometimes that meant going around his insane or incompetent superiors.

    • Joe Informatico says:

      I’ve always felt that Lawful Good means supporting a society of strong, benevolent institutions that exist for the benefit of the people. (In contrast, Chaotic Good I see as believing that all institutions no matter how high-minded are inherently prone to corruption or oppression, and minimizing their influence is more beneficial to society.) But that still allows for a broad political spectrum–i.e., I think Lawful Good characters can still have disagreements over what Lawful Goodness is.

      It could be a paternalist view that a good and noble ruler will be like a benevolent parental figure to their people. That’s the Arthurian ideal that’s common in Tolkien-esque epic fantasy: The King and the Land Are One, a Good King will rule a Good Kingdom. So an LG character in that context will defend a Good King, and if an Evil King sits on the throne, he might have to be replaced with a Good King. But it wouldn’t necessarily occur to the LG character to replace the monarchy with a republican form of government, for example. But another LG character might be in favour of a republic if it means that laws and systems effectively enforce the good in society and are less likely to fall to corruption or tyranny like a monarch might. In a more modern and realistic setting, not to get too political, it’s that Kennedy-era notion that The System Works, as long as the people are noble and vigilant. Corruption can arise, but the heroic whistleblower or investigative reporter can uncover it. You Can Fight City Hall. Sometimes diplomacy works so it should be considered before war. If war becomes necessary, it should be fought as ethically as possible. Etc.

      So for an LG protagonist of a game, if you want to make their “alignment” a core motivation for their actions, most of your stories will boil down to:

      1) Preserve or establish a benevolent system
      2) Find and remove the corruption within a benevolent system
      3) Tear down an evil system and replace it/restore a benevolent one

      • Here’s an idea for Lawful Good that might raise some discussion: The Zeroth Law of Robotics.

        Isaac Asimov had three laws his robots had to follow:
        1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
        2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
        3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

        This meant that robots couldn’t prevent a murder from happening by killing a human (if that were the only avenue open to them), locking up as they stood by helplessly.

        Then along came R. Daneel Olivaw, whose experiences led him to the Zeroth Law:

        0. A robot may not harm humanity, or through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

        This allows a robot following the rigidly Lawful setup of the robotic laws to take action if they can justify it as preventing harm to humanity or saving humanity from harm. Specifically, stopping a human who was about to use a macguffin to irradiate the surface of the Earth. This is eventually allowed to happen, but more slowly as a “benefit” to Earth, since it’ll force the agoraphobic Earthers to finally start colonizing the stars like their Spacer-human cousins, who are approaching a kind of unsupportable system of cloning, singular isolation, robotic-supported kingdoms of one. The Earthers, the robot thinks, with their more social systems of living, will make true homes out of other planets, instead of pretty much landscaping them as world-sized McMansions.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Im not sure a subservient machine can be considered anything but neutral.After all,it is only obeying its programing.Even giskard and daneel who broke their programing did it so they could help not harm a larger amount of people than just one human being.And heck,there have been plenty of robots who reached a different conclusion from those three laws and ended up actually killing humans,or harming them in other ways(like the writer robot,or the lost robot,or the original mind reader).

          For actual morality,the being needs to be sapient and not subservient,like the geth.

          • Syal says:

            Yeah, the Zeroth Law is less about making the Three Laws more moral and more about making them more internally consistent.

            Plus I’m pretty sure it’s stated in the Foundation series that Daneel and co. engineered the galaxy so that nothing else could evolve to threaten humanity, a sort of preemptive xenocide which is certainly not Good in a traditional sense.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Actually they didnt.They simply helped the humanity swarm over the whole galaxy before other sapients could come to populate it(as was stated in the end of eternity).

              And you know,now that I think about eternity,the whole mega series is one huge piece about predeterminism.Heck,the whole of psychohistory is based around it.

          • Except robots aren’t exactly subservient. Asimov’s stories are taking a manufactured version of an organic brain and giving them these laws that they have to work with. Yes, they have to obey, but that doesn’t mean every thought they have is dictated by the 3 (or 4) laws. If there were no conflicts with the laws, there wouldn’t be such a thing as “roblock” where the robot is prevented from acting. If nothing else, it requires the robot to be more creative in its thought processes if there’s a goal it wants to achieve.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              They are subservient to these hardwired laws.Their morality is preinstalled into them,and if they try to break away from it,they get destroyed.It took a bunch of freak accidents in order to have one of them just modify the laws to include a bigger magnitude of humans as a concept.The only one that actually gains morality is the writer,and that is probably because due to all the modifications it started thinking of itself as human.

    • Alex says:

      Lawful does not mean following the law, it means following a law. Good means doing good some of the time and never being evil. If you are Lawful Good and the law says to do something evil, you refuse, at least.

      I do hate the “Everyone’s an asshole” cynicism. I hate it when people use it as an excuse to not hold real people accountable for the horrible things they’ve done, by declaring without evidence that every possible replacement would be just as bad. It is an excuse for laziness and moral cowardice.

      • It’s cynicism if that’s where it stops. Everyone probably is an asshole to someone, but if the story gives no reason why that is, then yes, it’s lazy.

        An example is Tony Stark. Another is Alfred Bestor from Babylon-5 (he’s a villain… but you find out why and maybe you get why he does what he does).

        Even when you have high adventure, I really hate it when you have someone who’s evil just because. Like the Emperor in Star Wars. Okay, you’ve ruled the galaxy for 20 years. Why? What did you want? The throne room? You could’ve just built one somewhere. Blow up more planets, I guess? Meh. And don’t give me any Expanded Universe stuff; the movies never said why he was evil, either, apart from “he’s a Sith Lord.” Though he did things that made him an evil character, his fundamental motivations were never explained.

        • Muspel says:

          Yeah, I really hate it when you have generically evil villains who don’t seem to actually want anything other than to be in charge, yet don’t seem to derive any actual enjoyment out of it.

          I’d argue that one of the best power-hungry villains in fiction is Handsome Jack from Borderlands 2. Yes, he’s extremely evil, and every time you think he has a redeeming quality it turns out to be all kinds of fucked up, but he’s a guy who clearly loves his life. He’s murdering and torturing people and having a blast the entire time, so it works. I’m never sitting there wondering “why is he doing this”, because it’s abundantly clear from every interaction with him that there’s nothing else he’d rather be doing.

          Basically, I guess that what I’m saying is that if you’re going to have a villain that does evil stuff, he either has to have a strong justification for it, or he has to clearly enjoy it on some level. (Or you have to really sell the fact that he’s very, very mentally disturbed and out of touch with reality on some level.) And I think that a lot of writers forget that.

          • I recall you also get a hint that part of what made him the way he was came from being looked down upon at his workplace, I think.

            Of course, if that was all it took, we’d be up to our eyeballs in supervillains, but it’s a possible cause that was given to us.

            I wonder if Palpatine was once an unpaid intern for the Senate or something, and that’s what turned him to the Dark Side?

            • Muspel says:

              Handsome Jack is pretty much a textbook psychopath, which means that he was born that way. It’s not really that something happened to make him that way, although his life experiences would have shaped the exact method in which his psychopathy manifests itself.

    • Rutskarn says:

      Okay, so to sum up what Lawful is generally held to mean (this is a personal interpretation, but it’s probably the one that makes the most sense if it’s going to meaningfully define a character in an objective sense):

      The spectrum of Law to Chaos is a spectrum of the algorithmic to the heuristic. Lawful Good characters exhibit fairness by comparing all behavior to a predetermined, usually agreed-upon standard. Chaotic Good characters exhibit fairness by evaluating actions holistically and accounting for personal feelings about the circumstances.

      A Lawful Good character is afraid of being arbitrary by way of being inconsistent. A Chaotic Good character is afraid of being arbitrary by way of being callous or blindly prescriptive.

      • Syal says:

        …so the Lawful Good character wants to be a symbol of goodness, while Neutral and Chaotic Good folks want to do good and don’t care how they look. I can buy that.

        I still think that in order to clearly separate Lawful Good from the other two you need a law to exist outside of the character for them to either reflect, or struggle to fix. Lawful and Chaotic look the same if you’re just dungeon diving or fighting angry deer.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Well technically you are correct,because for actual alignment scales to exist there has to be actual tangible objective morality coming from a higher place,usually a god.You cant really be lawful or chaotic or good or evil in the real world because humans are too complicated to be distiled into two(or even three) simple axes.

      • Cybron says:

        Alignment discussions are always tricky, especially since they don’t always line up with real world terms the way one would expect.

        A lot of that comes from the way they differ across editions, too. In second edition, alignments weren’t really much more than simple archetypes – the lawful good crusader-y person, the chaotic good robin hood types, etc – without a lot of serious thought put into them as an ethical system. Meanwhile, D&D 3.x’s use of alignments as in-universe objective/elemental forces caused me many headaches.

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        I don’t know about you all but I kind of love that we filled up most of this comment section with a good old fashioned alignment debate. So much better than so many things gamers argue about these days.

  6. Cybron says:

    Wonder Red from Wonderful 101 is super LG. I think a bunch of JRPG protagonist qualify as well. Off the top of my head, Alex, the protagonist of Lunar: Silver Star Story probably qualifies. Go look for games with cartoonishly evil villains and it’s pretty good odds you’ll find a LG protagonist.

    Also I’m pretty sure Spiderman is chaotic god, not lawful.

    • Mumbles says:

      Spider-Man is def not lawful good. I was saying he’s usually sort of the moral compass of Marvel, so he would fall under a “good” character that Captain America would/does respect.

    • Grudgeal says:

      Let’s see, JRPG protagonists off the top of my head:

      Lloyd Irwing (Tales of Symphonia)
      Adell (Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories)
      And probably Vyse (Skies of Arcadia) despite the fact that he’s a pirate

      And probably every Fire Emblem protagonist ever made (Marth, Eliwood, Roy, Ike, Crom)…

      Actually I’m surprised I can’t think of any more examples myself. Come to think of it, Symphonia and Arcadia were that refreshing to me because the main protagonists were bright-hearted and bright-headed.

      • Ringwraith says:

        The only thing I can think for being a really upstanding kind of hero is me cheating due to their actual definition being Lawful Good is Keldorn Firecam, of Baldur’s Gate II, being the least-stupid paladin possibly written. Being very much a good guy who continues to do the right thing even if he knows he’s not making a whole lot of difference, as he’s been around too long to not know. Although, even he has a crippling flaw he can’t look past.

        • aldowyn says:

          I didn’t hate Casimir, although I seem to remember him deliberately disobeying orders and going vigilante, which is.. not very paladin like. I might be wrong, it’s been a while.

        • Ofermod says:

          To be fair, said crippling flaw is (if you’re thinking of what I’m thinking of) racism that might also be related to said race generally worshiping massively evil deities and generally being sadists, given that if I recall correctly, he has no issues with Drizz’t.

          Also, there’s nothing that says that LG can’t have a crippling flaw. Lawful Good is still human, after all.

          His interactions with Anomen are also wonderful, as it highlights the difference between Lawful Jackass Knight Wannabee and Actually a Lawful Good Knight.

        • IFS says:

          BG2 also has Mazzy, who is a halfling fighter that would love to be a paladin if only the system allowed it. She doesn’t get as much attention as Keldorn but I’d say she’s also a great example of lawful good in her own right.

          • Ringwraith says:

            Oh man, I forget about Mazzy, probably because she’s oddly found trapped in a dungeon in a sidequest, making her unlike most other characters, usually fairly easily found in a civilised area of some sort, and thus you’re likely to send her packing when you free her and probably forget where she said she would go.

      • Alexander The 1st says:

        Chrom and Ike seem more Chaotic than Lawful – Ike more Chaotic, with Chrom possibly Neutral.

        Also, Alm from Gaiden is probably Chaotic, but I haven’t really played that game yet – just got to the opening.

      • Zukhramm says:

        Yeah, I was going to say the same, JRPGs have those kinds of protagonists sometimes. Lloyd and Jude from the Tales comes to mind, but the personality given to the Persona 4 protagonist in the fighting games also fits.

        • Trix2000 says:

          P4 Protag arguably is this in-game too, depending on how you pick dialog choices. Heck, you end up basically solving everyone’s problems by the end if you max all the social links.

          There’s maybe a counterpoint to the fact that they operate under the noses of the police the whole time, but it’s not really because they’re doing anything wrong – they just don’t think anyone’d believe them.

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        Cecil from FF4. He has doubts for some time about his king and when he finally decides to do something about it, he does so by speaking politely to his king. Its only when the king basically exiles him for daring to voice doubt that he turns. And what does he become? A paladin.

        • The Rocketeer says:

          Not only that, but Cecil only became a Dark Knight because the king asked him to. How he fought before that is unknown, although he was presumably a knight.

          You could make a case- and I suppose I’m about to- that Cecil’s character is a rejection of the idea that a paladin or a lawful good character must adhere to an actual, lawful authority figure, and supports the idea that following a moral code or a set of ideals.

          When Baron’s throne is secretly corrupted, Cecil’s position compels him to become a dark knight, committing atrocities in the king’s name. Other than the mildest verbal objections, the first time Cecil’s actions diverge from the king’s will is when he rescues Rydia rather than let her be killed, as the king wished. From then on, Cecil begins following what he knows to be right in his heart as an outlaw from Baron, and is rewarded by becoming a Paladin at Mt. Ordeals, and eventually Baron’s new king, essentially becoming the new symbol of law in the land.

      • Fizban says:

        I also thought of Lloyd first. He’s a teenage JRPG protagonist which is kinda easy mode (hasn’t seen enough of the world to go cynical yet), but man he’s almost oppressively nice-guy. Dunno if I’d call him lawful but he’s not fully chaotic and likes to spout his dad’s numbered dwarven vows which are cheesy good.

        Rocketeer’s mention of Cecil also sounds good to me.

      • Felblood says:

        I’m glad I searched for Adell before bringing him up, but I still have to second this. It was really refreshing to see a character like that hold to his ideals in the face of a world literally gone mad. (A curse has robbed everyone else on his home world of all mercy or conscience. — making him the Only Sane Man, in a world full of selfish, cruel pragmatists.)

        Adell’s unyielding commitment to both his moral and ethical codes is so central to his character that it defines the plot of the game, as well as his relationship with every other character he meets.

        Flonne, from Disgaea 1 also nets a mention, though her central character arc is about being forced to choose between Law (her loyalty and subservience to Lammington and Volcanus), and Good (Her love and compassion for the friends she makes in the Netherworld).

        Also, a dishonorable mention goes to Volcanus, for being a Chaotic Evil angel who views himself as a stereotypical Lawful(racist/militant/authoritarian) Good(judgemental/pious/holier-than-thou) crusader. He was a gem of a villain, in a series rife with characters who wear EVIL band underwear, but hide tiny streaks of goodness inside.

  7. Karthik says:

    I’m broadly in agreement with the Diecast’s thoughts on the new Deus Ex trailer, but it got me thinking about Deus Ex again. The best way I can put it is through these two statements:

    1. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a smartly made game, but it’s not a smart game.

    2. Deus Ex was complex enough that whatever hook you choose: the conspiracy theories, the cyberpunk elements, the dystopian predictions, ruminations on AI, themes of government and governance–you could (in principle) make an entire game just about that. And Human Revolution tried that. But really I believe it’s a ‘complete game’ for reasons Clint Hocking (of Ludonarrative Dissonance fame) explains in this essay.

  8. StashAugustine says:

    So here’s a question: what RPGs/story driven shooters/whatever don’t have most trailers showing off the fighting?

  9. Awetugiw says:

    I’m a bit disappointed about the Deus Ex trailer, because the scenario it seems to depict is highly unlikely. Augmentations are very expensive toys, the ones most likely to have them are the rich and powerful (example: Sariff’s hand) or the servants of the rich and powerful (examples: Adam, bossfights, Belltower mooks). That does not make for a plausible oppressed minority.

    Sure, you could go “French revolution” (which would admittedly follow up nicely on the Renaissance references in the last game), where an angry populace attacks the previously powerful. But that’s not what is shown in the trailer: you’d have a mob invading a mansion and killing the stylishly augmented owner (and his less stylishly augmented guards), not the organized oppression the trailer seems to show.

    This kind of conflict between superpowered and normal people was silly enough in X-men, here it just makes no sense at all.

    • If one assumes the augs are expensive, like say, sports cars, that actually works out perfectly. To be effectively oppressed, the augs would have to have low enough population so that oppression could happen.

      This is also violence against the augs that have visible augmentations. This says nothing of the financial and business people that have had their neural networks enhanced or (as was established in DE:HR) “adult entertainment specialists.”

    • Kian says:

      It may make some sense, under very particular circumstances. First, augmentations have to be cheaply available, which seems to me the biggest hurdle. So a lot of people have essentially more usable prosthetic limbs. Stronger than regular bone and muscle, but also debilitating without constant upkeep.

      They’re not super advanced, stuff like what Jensen has is rare. Which is why Jensen is awesome in the first place, one of the most advanced manufacturers outfitted him with a full suite of the best tech available at their own expense. He is not representative of what is commonly available.

      Now, the people that usually need prosthetics are generally lower income in the first place. Think veterans, construction workers, etc, people who are regularly exposed to hazards that can cost a limb. Some middle income people will use them because they were in accidents or to enhance themselves for better job opportunities (like Malik’s ocular implant). And then rich people that do it because they can.

      Most of the violence would be directed to the poorest people, whose implants don’t provide them super human advantages in general, but spurred by the more sheltered middle and higher income people who are the ones actually show up common people (“augmented people are taking our jobs!”).

      • guy says:

        The problem with that is that Human Revolution repeatedly made it very clear that augmentations were straight-up expensive, particularly the anti-rejection drugs.

        Actually, that strikes me as something of a plot hole. If the augmented are being oppressed like this, shouldn’t they be dead by now? Neuropazine didn’t seem to be something you can make in your back yard.

        • ? says:

          But the research of Jensen’s lady friend was supposed to solve rejection/scar tissue issue rendering Neuropazine obsolete…

          • guy says:

            That research wasn’t publicly available when Darrow did his thing. There’s no way it would be fully distributed within two years even if every government in the world was prioritizing it.

        • JackTheStripper says:

          Neuropozine was the top-brand stuff (the most effective as well, I suppose), not the only one. There’s several mentions of alternatives (especially more harmful alternatives) to the Neuropozine drug. The Illuminati also deliberately lowered the supply of the drug to hike the price, which gives the idea that the drug wasn’t always as expensive.

          • guy says:

            I never got the sense that there were any lower-end versions. So far as I can recall, there were people who bought neuropozine at LiMB clinics and there were people who bought stolen neuropozine on the black market, and no one else.

            • JackTheStripper says:

              I looked it up and I was wrong in that it an alternative was not commercially available, but in Deus Ex:The Fall (the mobile game that was ported to PC) there’s a drug called Riezene that was in its testing trials but already being sold on the black market in Panama (The Fall occurs in 2027, just like Human Revolution):


              While VersaLife is the only company that produces and distributes Neuropozine, it’s strongly implied that there used to be no shortage before 2027, and I suppose that also meant that the drug was cheap. But in 2027 a shortage started happening (I suppose it was a deliberate move by the Illuminati) and all of sudden there’s a huge need for alternatives, so Riezene goes into trials so that it can later come into the market and offer a viable alternative.

      • Felblood says:

        I think the idea is that lower class people are getting augs through medical insurance and charity programs that provide life-saving surgeries, but then they aren’t getting appropriate non-emergency follow-up care.

        They must have the same insurance I do.

    • Robyrt says:

      Yeah, it only works in X-Men because super powers are more or less randomly distributed among the population, and they set in at an early age. This way, you can be feared and oppressed even if you are actually a supermodel with incredible powers, because the other kids’ parents tell them not to hang out with you.

      • Except seldom to actual oppressed people have adamantium claws, optic blasts, or weather control powers.

        It’s why fights over things like mutants are so dumb to me: If you hate/fear mutants, you obviously have never paid attention to the Hulk or the Fantastic Four. Also, trying to parallel superhero registration with oppression doesn’t work. If I lived in the Marvel U, I don’t see too much of a problem registering someone who could put a hole in me if he drops his glasses.

        • Nidokoenig says:

          The issue with registration as shown in Marvel is that it’s a wedge strategy, it pretty much immediately progresses to conscription, as we saw with the Superhuman Registration Act. Mutants also have the issue that people who can get into secure facilities as easily as opening a can of beans want to genocide them, so registration has a huge potential cost to them for little benefit. Besides that, X-Men are basically representing oppressed minorities, who in real life are often suspicious of authority taking interesting in them specifically, to the point where how robust a survey’s anonymisation appears tracks pretty well with how many people admit to being gay. Basically, registration only works if you can trust the authorities, and in a world where the authorities might be run by the Green Goblin in a couple of months, that shit doesn’t fly.

          • But again, the analogy falls apart when oppression can be fought back against with an array of forces that should have made the end of X3 a lot more interesting and deserved a better script.

            Also, let’s not forget that Professor X has a gizmo that lets him be a one-man NSA that not even a tin-foil hat could keep out.

    • ? says:

      Thing is, once you replace your limb/organ with cybernetic implant you can’t go back to normal once there is public backlash against augmentation, and wealth and power are not eternal (whole last game is basically illuminatis attempt to remove power and wealth of Sariff by ruining his corporation). Even if you are still rich and powerful, in anti-augment society you are poorer and weaker (just by people refusing to associate with you and boycotting your business) than you used to when you made a decision to augment yourself and your staff. You spend more on personal security, it cost you more do get favors and you might not be able to extend protection to all the people you augmented (hell, when you did it most of them didn’t need any protection). Also you might be a regular asshole and not care about your augmented lackeys. I can imagine let’s say EA augmenting their game developers so they don’t have to sleep when in crunch time and then dumping them on a street the moment they are inconvenient. Plus in the last game there were people who took loans to buy augmentations required to stay competitive in their field, so it’s not just 1% stuff. Those people would have to go from “we hire only augments” to “we don’t hire augments ever”.

      • That’s an odd thing about Deus Ex: If we can make artificial limbs like the ones we see in the game, we have cloning tech good enough to produce Adam Jensen, and we’ve got the brain mapped well enough to plug gadgets into it, where’s the market for vat-grown limbs and organs? That would seem to be a lot easier and might make for a more interesting conflict: Khan-like superpeople vs. augmented regular people, with those unable to afford/acquire either form of enhancement caught in the middle.

        And Adam, arguably, is the product of both kinds of enhancing methods.

    • Kyte says:

      Reminder that Human Revolution ended with at least half of the augmented population going berserk while there already were tensions between both groups.

      People keep forgetting this point and thinking about MD independently of HR’s plot. It makes less sense if things hadn’t boiled over after the mess Darrow left behind.

      • guy says:

        Except the entire ending choice was about picking which bogeyman to blame for the disaster. Pick Sarif’s ending and you blame anti-augmentation terrorists, pick Darrow’s ending and you blame the Illuminati.

        • It’s not a stretch to still assume there’d be anti-aug backlash. When did reason ever enter into the head of the mob or those willing to fire them up? All that’s needed is “that guy with the cyber-arm is like the guys that attacked and killed people, whether or not they wanted to do so is beside the point, GET ‘EM!”

  10. StashAugustine says:

    Also yeah it’s a little odd to complain about obvious half-baked metaphors in a series where the savior of mankind is named JC and the father of a new breed of person is named Adam.

    • Groboclown says:

      But then the person who… defends against the same conspiracies as JC, is named… er… Alex D. Because, spoilers, JC is still around, so she’s living in the same time as JC? I guess?

      • StashAugustine says:

        the name alex is a metaphor for how badly put together IW was

        • Syal says:

          But see, if you spell Alex backwards, you get ‘Xela’, AKA ‘Selah’, which means…

          …well apparently nobody knows what it means. But it means something!

        • In a way, yeah, it totally is.

          I always found it sad that the only game in the series to deliver on the original’s idea of a player-selectable male or female protagonist—there’s a reason we have to “set DeusEx.JCDentonMale bcheatsenabled true“— doesn’t really do much with it. The unisex moniker actually makes a lot of practical sense, but it’s also flavorless enough that it reinforces the impression that the player-character is as bland, interchangeable, and corporate as any of the warring factions or—sigh—coffee chains (s)he encounters in Invisible War. Part of me wants to believe that was an intentional choice that fits the narrative, but then I remember the ill-conceived approach to streamlining the first game’s systems, combined with the technical difficulties provided by the new console-focused engine, and think that any resonance is purely coincidental.

          • Groboclown says:

            I can actually see this as a strong argument. I mean, the “interchangeable part of a system” bit. The coffee conspiracy particularly – it’s a manufactured rivalry / conspiracy created by the ruling elite specifically to split people into making false choices. Yes, you can make choices, but in the end, they just don’t matter. The only winning move is not to play.

            I was going somewhere with that, but I think this conclusion is better.

  11. MadHiro says:

    Hey, it looks like someone put in for an exemption for the 2015 list after all! Huzz-oh, wait, it’ll almost certainly get denied. The last time the Register included a strong exemption for archaic software was in 2006, roughly forever ago.

    That ESA response is some grade A bullhockey, too. It contains such examples of genius as,” The exemption to infringement protection that the EFF seeks is an exemption to an infringing use.” No, really? It’s amazing how restating the thing that the literal process at hand is intended to achieve seems to these jokers to be a valid argument against it in their minds.

    Also: protecting a museum of old media is apparently going to ‘eviscerate’ the very foundation of all copyright law. There should be some sort of penalty for overblown hyperbole in legal briefs.

    Also: god, oh no, I’m going to spend the next three days reading legal briefs about this again, aren’t I?

  12. Mpjama2 says:

    The Avatar from the Ultima series could be considered Lawful Good. The fourth game is about becoming a messiah figure. Like you are supposed to embody the eight virtues, and that’s pretty much all the game is about.

    • Grudgeal says:

      Clearly you have never read nakar’s adventures with Steve the Avatar in the let’s play archives…

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      I was going to mention this! I always tried to play as good a character as I could manage.

      Of course you end up causing a lot of problems anyway, the events of U6 are caused by the end of U4, and the events of U5 are caused by the end of U1.

      • Humanoid says:

        I started with U8 back in the day, and not knowing anything about the series, played as what was basically a proto-Cuftbert.

        Speaking of proto-Cuftberts, Conan Shepard was lawful good, until some sort of unexplained mental trauma flipped his alignment.

        • Mike S. says:

          Most CRPG heroes, including Paragon Shepard in most incarnations, are a bit kleptomaniac to really be lawful good. (“Stealing from the dead. That’s pretty low.” [hacks safe])

          In the first game, the Quest of the Garage Pass on Noveria is interesting, since the most straightforwardly lawful option for achieving (narcing on Opold, the hanar smuggler) it feels kind of dirty. But the path of least resistance (helping Parasini’s internal affairs investigation) basically has you doing industrial espionage for people you know nothing about and flat out murdering a bunch of rent-a-cops. (Rent-a-cops who shouldn’t have been moonlighting, but they probably didn’t deserve to die for it.)

          Totally Paragon as far as the game’s concerned, but Captain America would not approve.

    • RCN says:

      My main problem with the concept of a “lawful good game protagonist” is that the player usually has some level of control over how a character’s personality usually is, even if it is a silent, arquetypical character.

      The Avatar IS a good choice though, since it is basically the whole point of the game (at least from Ultima IV onwards) to personify all virtues and be the literal avatar of good and righteousness, even though the player ultimately shapes what the avatar really is.

      But what about Guybrush Threepwood? I know he is a pirate, but he is a lot like Ruffy from One Piece, a pirate who’s in it mostly for the adventure and romance with very little actual pillaging and barely any rape at all (yes, I said Ruffy. Oda is bad with his non-japanese phonemes AND he knows it). He is actually very selfless and willing to self-sacrifice for both the love of his life and to defeat a great scourge of mankind, AND he isn’t a murderer.

      I can DEFINITELY see Captain America drinking some grog with good dorky Guybrush by his side.

  13. Grudgeal says:

    Oh, how about Thomas from Thomas Was Alone? Sort of a Captain America type, gathering together his friends and making them work together towards a greater good even when having naysayers like Chris and oddballs like Claire in the group, all of whom ultimately come to respect and follow him in the end.

    He even makes the ultimate sacrifice together with his friends at the end to free all the other AIs from deletion. “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings”, indeed.

  14. Dragmire says:

    I imagine some of the reasoning for not allowing drm circumvention on abandoned software to be legal comes from a couple potential issues:

    -The drm crack could potentially be used on current products and they wouldn’t be able to stop the creation of it because it was created for a legal purpose.

    -There would be an increase of people trying to make drm cracks resulting in more information about software cracks floating on the net.

    In both these cases, more money would need to be spent on creating new drm software from scratch to make sure the effort it takes to crack remains as hard as possible.

    Also, if your old game dies and you want people to move to your new game, not letting people play the old one anymore is a nice, quick and douchey way to do it.


    Also also, while World of Warcraft still exists, WoW 1.0 has not existed for a long time now, could you say that version was abandoned?

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      Your last point is a major issue with the archiving/history of gaming. Should we save all versions of a given game, the most popular version, the first version, or the final version?

      I recently replayed King’s Quest V (again!), and even that has multiple versions available (well, they were available, it’s hard to find anything other than the PC CD-ROM version these days).

    • Humanoid says:

      Vaguely related anecdote: I bought a budget rerelease of Age of Empires (first two games plus expansions), which was released by Ubisoft for some reason. Anyway, the game originally had a CD check as copy protection, and given that this re-release was an all-in-one DVD containing all the aforementioned titles, the CD check obviously wouldn’t work. Ubisoft’s solution? Well, let’s just say that the game executable installed on the disc is bitwise identical to the no-CD crack that’s been around for well over a decade.

      Also since the music was on a redbook audio track separate to the data track on the original CD (as was the norm for games of that era), this re-release has no music support (which fortunately can be restored by a third party patch).

      P.S. “Private” WoW vanilla servers are fairly common, and while Activision have taken down Twitch streamers playing on these servers, there appears to be no real action against the servers themselves otherwise. Not sure what the deal is there.

  15. Grudgeal says:

    Another LG-like character would be Dust from Dust: An Elysian Tail. He immediately jumps in to help the innocent peasant village from monsters because it’s the right thing to do, only to reassess his viewpoint when it turns out to be a lot more complicated a situation than he initially thought.

  16. Ringwraith says:

    You might want to check out 5th edition for D&D if you want a system which pulls back on the number-y elements and tries to guide back towards encouraging roleplaying.
    The advantage/disadvantage system replaces a lot of the old situational positive/negative modifiers, making it so you roll two d20s and take the highest/lowest.
    It also spreads out its character development choices, so you’re not overloaded with lists of things from the start, and folds more of them into the actual classes themselves.

    • Steve C says:

      I find that 5th ed is particularly bad at overloading with things from the start *because* it folds everything into the classes.

      • I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with classes.

        Classes are sometimes seen as overly-limiting. Why can’t my magician also know how to pick locks? Why can’t my cleric also be an awesome sword-swinger? Well, it’s often for several reasons that have more to do with maintaining some kind of world balance than anything else. If magic isn’t so hard to perform that anyone can “take a level in wizard,” then the world becomes Diagon Alley.

        But classes do have a purpose. Skyrim irks me because you can become the Archmage even if you’re a meathead. You can become part of the Nightingales even if you can barely pick someone’s pocket.

        One RPG that had the “no classes” thing going on where I think it hurt the game was one called Brave New World. It was a superhero game, but if you spread out your points, there was little difference between your metahuman character and someone who was “just good at a lot of stuff, mostly.”

        I think classes are best when you have a game setup that relies on archetypes more often than not. If a fantasy world needs people with pointy hats over there and oiled-up people with swords over there, then classes are probably the best bad way of getting the “epic” out of that scenario.

        • Alex says:

          Does 5th edition have multiclassing? What I like in 3.5 is that while it is a class based system, you can blend different classes together to create the character you want, although you sometimes need prestige classes or feats to make them blend well. A good system treats classes like building blocks, and while Barbarian 20 should always be a viable option for someone who just wants a character to play and is less concerned about fine-tuning the mechanics, it should also be designed with mixing-and-matching in mind, so that a Wizard 10 / Fighter 10 is just as effective in his own way as a Wizard 20 or Fighter 20 is, without relying on kludges like prestige classes for basic functionality.

          • They do, and here’s a quick rundown from when the game first came out.

            I’m not sure about the effectiveness being equal for total levels. A 20th-level fighter can probably take on bigger foes than a 10/10 Fighter/Magic-User. The “advantage” to the multiclasser is flexibility along with character concept potential for role-play. Your F/Mu could bluff their way into the Wizarding College, maybe, and defeat a rival magician by giving them a surprise stab in the midriff or something.

            I’m guessing this is why Prestige Classes are often seen as a better choice. They allow a character to basically become a kind of multiclass without having to deal with the fact that everyone else is leveling faster and so on. F’rinstance, if I want a warrior who practices “sword magic,” where I can give my blade magical spell-like properties in combat, the DM and I could come up with a “Bladecaster” class where I give up some Fighter class features for my spell bits.

            Either way it’s complicated, but it can be done.

            • Grudgeal says:

              5e sort of covers that with class archetypes. Class archetypes are ‘free’ prestige classes that all classes automatically choose from at a selected level (for example, paladins pick their ‘oath’ at level 3, clerics their domain at level 1, and fighters choose a martial archetype at level 4). In the above case, the straight fighter 20 who wants some spells could take the Eldritch Knight archetype and gain spellcasting slots from level 1-4 and pick spells from the wizard spell list plus some other bonuses like Weapon Bond, while still gaining the full advantages of the base fighter class.

              Meanwhile, a wizard 10/fighter 10 would cast spells like a 10th level wizard (5th level spells) and could choose a different martial archetype like Battlemaster or Champion at fighter level 4 and gain their bonuses on top of the wizard spells. Or he could be a wizard 10/Eldritch Knight 10, which means he would stack wizard and eldritch knight spell-power according to the multiclass rules and cast spells like a 13th level multiclass spellcaster (which would gain him 1 7th level spell slot, and spells from the wizard list). However he’d lose all bonuses from fighter levels 11-20, which is a lot of cool stuff for helping you tank and hit stuff harder in return for those extra 3 spell levels.

          • Ringwraith says:

            Multi-classing’s still in, but really, it’s far less mechanics-driven, which is fine, if you want lots of numbers there’s still 3.5, 4th, or even Pathfinder.
            5th’s re-emphasis on roleplaying feels very much more of middle ground between 2nd and 3rd.

        • Cybron says:

          I think a sufficiently well designed skill-based system can prevent the generalization problem. Burning Wheel is a fantasy RPG with no classes but you feel very much focused on particular things.

          Though I would argue that the Skyrim issues you’re describing in particular can be chalked up to the game’s apathy towards your character and his/her abilities, not the actual mechanical systems of the game. If the guilds you mentioned actually CARED about what your skills were, it’d be fine.

      • Ringwraith says:

        Not… really?
        I’d argue the whole feat list at level one was far worse.
        In fact, I do like the fact you can also buy it in starter kits which give you only as many rules as you need for the scale of the levels the packaged adventure will take you to.
        Much easier to way to introduce people than throwing a massive book at them to get them in the door. The comprehensiveness can come later.

        • aldowyn says:

          feats are terrible and in my quite-sharply-limited-experience are easily my least favorite thing about 3E

          I haven’t played/seen/watched 5E yet, though, so no comment on that.

          • Ringwraith says:

            Feats are all but gone in 5th, a small list is available to choose from as an alternative instead of getting two stat increases at a stat-increase level, you take a feat instead. Although said feats are often combined versions of some of the older ones, and there’s only like a page of them. Plus some give a single stat increase as well to make up for being not quite as good.
            Feat-like abilities in general are more folded into the classes themselves.

          • Cybron says:

            I don’t see anything wrong with feats in theory, but in 3.x they were terrible in practice, to be sure. I think this is mostly the fault of ridiculously bad balancing and Ivory Tower Design (which competes strongly for ‘worst design idea ever implemented in a popular game’).

    • Zagzag says:

      The counterpoint to this is that since it’s so general the advantage system encourages the kind of munchkin behaviour where you start fishing for advantage on every roll you make.

      Not a counterpoint I agree with, mind you, but it’s fairly popular among many of my RPG playing friends.

      • ? says:

        Personally I like it better than munchkin behavior where you stack any +x situational bonus you can think of. Advantage doesn’t stack and cancels itself out with disadvantage, so you either have it or you don’t, no need to figure out a way to blind a stunned opponent because every -2 to AC counts! (just to be safe: I’m talking about munchkin min maxing, not implying that every person plays this way)

  17. Re: The Icarus metaphor.

    While they might have started out trying to come up with a way that augs are ‘flying too close to the sun,’ it’s a mistake to assume that Jensen has to be the one ‘behind the research’ or what have you. In the story, Icarus didn’t create his wings, he just misused them and fell because of it.

    I suppose if they bring it to a head in this new game where there’s a penalty for taking the use of augments too far (a new kind of human that wants to supplant humanity or something, or maybe nano-augs forming some kind of A.I. that dethrones the humans running the bodies they’re attached to) then it might be apt in retrospect, but I doubt that’d happen.

    • Thomas says:

      I was going to point this out, it was Daedalus who made the wings and who kitted Icarus out with them, and Daedalus lived.

      Icarus just tried to do too much with the wings.

      Also ridiculously over the top imagery in Deus Ex is what I live for =D

  18. Alex says:

    On D&D 3.5: I’d always suggest starting around level 4, not level 1. It gives you a few levels before you start worrying about prestige classes and such complexities, but you’re more capable of taking a hit and a wizard is more than a commoner who can cast a Magic Missile once a day.

  19. Thanatos Crows says:

    Funnily enough Americans losing their own tournaments to people outside the US has become a thing in Historical Fencing. See this post by Jake Norwood. http://www.xkdf.org/news/2015/3/23/when-the-vikings-take-all-your-gold-and-silver
    To my understanding these Europeans are specifically invited to the tournaments and their travelling expenses are paid by the organisers. The sport is still in it’s infancy though, and there is much room for growth, so things may change in the coming years. It’s also important to make the world of HEMA connected so it shouldn’t be a major shame if the vikings keep grabbing all the medals

    • Why, that would be like Britain never winning at Wimbledon! Or winning the Cricket World Cup!

      I’m only poking fun. The U.S. has its World Series, which is a very small part of the world, indeed.

    • bit says:

      This was also a big thing in 2014 competitive League of Legends- the Chinese team Royal Club decided to ship their secondary team, LMQ, over to NA, and LMQ completely wrecked the NA circuit, taking first* in regional grand finals. It was kinda awkward having a chinese team being one of the two NA reps at worlds.

      *might have been second to C9, can’t bother to look it up right now. Point still stands.

      • Ivellius says:

        They finished the split in second behind Cloud9, but lost to TSM in the summer playoffs, so it was actually third place, which is the seeding Riot used. Top three in NA did move on to Worlds, however.

  20. Where Jailbreaking is going to be interesting is when (if?) the policies and laws around cell phones ever clashes with those around gaming consoles.

    The phone one is still a bit consumer-unfriendly, as it’s legal to jailbreak your phone if you have the permission of the carrier it came from. Nothing stops the hacker/tinkerer from coming up with ways to jailbreak/root devices, and I don’t think there’s any crackdown on bootleg iPhones or anything (I don’t know if you can advertise doing so as a service without repercussions, though).

    Phones have an easier time of it thanks to the bad ol’ days of AT&T’s monopoly. Back then, you couldn’t buy a phone for your home. You had to rent one from AT&T. Even accessories for those phones were illegal unless they came from AT&T (someone once made a thing that clamped onto one of the old-timey crank phones which allowed three people to talk into it at once and they got sued). Imagine if you couldn’t just go into a store and buy a phone for your house, that you had to call up whoever brought your landline through your home’s walls and buy a phone from them at whatever prices they demanded? Sound familiar, apart from the landline bit? We’re pretty much headed that way, I think, with the exceptions residing in the wireless internet part of the cell phone system, since that’s very hardware-dependent, but maybe not forever.

    With consoles becoming basically glorified computers with proprietary OS’s on them, there’s very few fig leaves between them and being able to do whatever you want to your PC, I think. I wonder how long they’ll be able to maintain that distinction where even a judge will buy it.

  21. Alexander The 1st says:

    To give my own example of Lawful Good, I would list Edge Maverick from Star Ocean: The Last Hope – specifically, he ends up trying to break out a fellow teammate and get to his ship, both of which were tossed into an alien containment base on Area 51 of Earth in the past of an alternate universe after being sent back through time with his spaceship, but when he finally gets past the other aliens (If it isn’t clear yet, this is a sci-fi jrpg) and gets to the commander and her guards, he initiates a trade with the person there to pass on their superpower energy reactor fuel to allow for clean energy for his teammate. When that turns out to be used for a reactor that goes critical due to a bad use of the energy, they leave via their ship and escape just as the Earth gets swallowed by a black hole and they end up getting back to their original timeline – at which point they discover it was an alternate timeline when their command base responds to them asking where they went.

    What makes me think of him as Lawful Good in this case is that this still breaks Edge even as the other crew members celebrate that they didn’t wipe themselves out with a temporal paradox – because that was still an entire Earth wiped from existence. Later he gets told by someone else to stop thinking that they alone have the power to make a distinct enough difference to change entire destinies with their mistakes, and to still do good, but for a while he tries to initiate a prototype version of the Prime Directive (Which at this point in the game doesn’t exist yet in the canon timeline) when trying to wait for their ship to repair because he doesn’t want to cause problems, which up until then he was trying to prevent regardless, but the solutions he had done until that point never worked out perfectly.

    Admittedly, the breaking out of the prison part was partially Chaotic, but involved turning themselves in with one of the workers agreeing to pull the alarm and let them go free with all the other aliens at the same time, and the team member he’s saving is his love interest and second in command, but in general he obeys the laws and the chain of command within the reconnaissance force he’s a part of, while trying to help everyone he comes across.

  22. King Marth says:

    It was after watching Guardians of the Galaxy that I had my own Lawful/Chaotic epiphany. My observation of that movie: “Wow, every one of these decisions blatantly digs your grave deeper, and would only seem like a good idea if you only valued the 15 minutes of wealth you’d get before everything collapsed around you!” However, they clearly value this path, as they keep doing what seems like a good idea based on the immediate benefits.

    This is what I’ve defined a Chaotic outlook: Choose what to do based on the immediate results. A Lawful outlook is the opposite, willing to be very patient for a theoretical future benefit. The Good/Evil axis determines how you evaluate those results, the Law/Chaos axis determines how far ahead you look. Captain America isn’t willing to compromise in the moment because he’s a good guy, and because he has seen first-hand where those compromises lead you. Robin Hood steals from the rich to give to the poor, and doesn’t think too hard about how this gives the rich twice as many reasons to increase taxes.

    • aldowyn says:

      That’s very biased towards lawful being basically *better* than chaotic. Just to point that out.

      • Trix2000 says:

        Maybe, but there’s something to be said for living in the moment and being willing to improvise a little. Not everything can be planned for, after all.

        One might make the case for Chaotic being more adaptable, in particular.

      • King Marth says:

        That would be because Lawful *is* better than Chaotic. :P

        But seriously, unless you’re adding arbitrary restrictions for sake of game balance, I would much prefer to be on the side allowed to make plans and have consistent interests. It’s a good thing that stories with Chaotic heroes tend to all work out in the end, because they certainly didn’t plan it that way.

        Unless you’re allowed to be incredibly disciplined and still be Chaotic as long as you’re working towards a Chaotic end. V for Vendetta is the example here, he’s usually pegged as Chaotic Good because he’s fighting against a tyrannical (thus Evil) government (thus Lawful). I really don’t see it, though; if anything the government is Chaotic Evil as it frantically races to do the first PR spin that comes to mind to keep themselves in power at every step of V’s plot which he carefully arranged ahead of time, including the years it took to arrange the train.

        Basically, I do like Lawful more than Chaotic, and the starting reputation scale in Baldur’s Gate II agrees. I find these definitions to be nice and descriptive. The imbalance means they probably won’t catch on, which is unfortunate for the alignment purpose of quickly describing characters to others. They did help me understand ridiculous motivations and thus save a movie from plot hole collapse for me, though, so not all bad.

  23. JackTheStripper says:

    Do you guys have anything planned for Diecast #100?

  24. Henson says:

    Two characters I would consider video game heroes:

    Jade from Beyond Good and Evil. Doesn’t kill anyone, works to free her people from oppression, doesn’t compromise on principles. She’d be lawful, if the law weren’t evil.

    I haven’t played very much yet, but Welkin from Valkyria Chronicles, so far, is very lawful good. Pretty cornball, too, but I’m okay with that, even with rolling my eyes every so often.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Yes,the whole time I was thinking jade,waiting for someone to mention her,but sadly it didnt happen,and that made me sad.

      I dont know if welkin would be a captain america like hero.He is good,yes,but he does kill people.

      • Supahewok says:

        If you could direct your attention to this

        That’s Cap shooting a gun. Something tells me that it wasn’t loaded with love taps.

        Captain America was a soldier in WW2. Just because the movie doesn’t show hardly anybody actually dying doesn’t mean that they didn’t. He led troops into horrific battles of life and death, and it is facile to assume that neither he nor the troops under his direct command never killed anybody shooting at them despite using very real bullets.

        I actually find the comparison of Welkins and Cap to be fairly apt. Both of them fight for their country not out of hatred for their opposition, but out of a desire to end the war as soon as possible and defend those without the means to defend themselves. Cap’s best line in the movie is something along the lines of “I don’t want to kill anyone. I don’t like bullies; I don’t care where they’re from.” Welkin also wishes to protect his country from a mighty foreign power, while keeping it from inviting in the other superpower of his world. They’re both attempting to bully and subjugate his people, and he wishes to stand against that. He then wants to proceed to be a teacher after the war is over, IIRC.

        They both try to do what is right according to both their orders and their personal code. I find them both to be paragons of LG, although Cap faces moral trials that, by nature of VC’s tone, Welkins never has to.

  25. ehlijen says:

    I read ESA in the title and was hoping the EU was doing something cool in space :(

    For Lawful Good characters, what about reboot Lara Croft? Admittedly, most of what she does is escape bad situations she’s in without choice, like Chell, but Lara actually gets one moment of heroism when she decides to rescue the pilots she doesn’t even know. Almost everything else she does has both a Good reason and a self interested reason (the medpack in the wolf cave also has the emergency radio, the trip to the ship wasn’t just for her friend but also the tool kit, rescuing sam/the dufflebag was necessary to actually leave the island etc), but that one thing was pure lawful good ‘people in trouble -> go help despite the danger’.

    Of course, it doesn’t look like they’ll be keeping that direction going forward :(

  26. John says:

    In the 1980s and 1990s, when side-scrolling beat-em-ups and the arcades that housed them still existed, Captain America was a lawful-good video game character.

    If there are scant few such characters it’s probably because (i) combat is the primary form of interaction in most video games and (ii) narrative has almost always been an after-thought.

  27. Ivan says:

    So I’ve tried but now I really can’t decide what to call the League of Assassins. They are undoubtedly Lawfull, and they think their actions are for the benefit of humanity, however when placed up against heroes like Batman (or more recently (The Green) Arrow) they are clearly the villain. They will not hesitate to kill innocents if they think it will help them achieve their goals, which is clearly evil.

    Are they Lawful Good because of their intentions, or Lawful Evil because of their actions?

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      (or more recently (The Green) Arrow)

      Bah,oliver queen in the arrow series is neither lawful nor good nor smart.He is a chaotic douchebag idiot.Its only good that ra’s al ghul is such a brat so that compared to him oliver can look as the better man.

      Now palmer,he is someone to root for.

      • krellen says:

        I am glad to see that there is at least one other person that hates the Arrow version of Oliver Queen as much as I do.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Seriously,the whole season 1 of arrow could be a case study as to why we shouldnt allow vigilantes and why we shouldnt call everyone that takes the law in their own hands a hero.The guy has serious ptsd,he should be treated,not enabled(actually,thats true pretty much for the whole cast of the show).

          He is somewhat better in season 2,but mostly because laurel took the douche badge in that one.In season 3,he is turns into an idiot on top of everything else.

          So far,the only episode I actually liked green arrow in was flash vs arrow,where he was just a supporting character.

          By the way,since we are talking league of assassins,what was batmans reason in the comics to turn down the offer to control and reform or disband the league of assassins?I hope it was something better than “they have a bad rep”.Because that reasoning in arrow is almost as bad as ra’s'(who the fuck named that guy?) hissy fit for being rejected.

    • krellen says:

      Intentions never determine alignment. Actions do. If you are willing to sacrifice others for the “greater good”, you are most likely Evil. As a general rule, Good sacrifices self for others, Neutral generally tries to avoid any sacrifices at all but might sacrifice self for self, and Evil sacrifices others for self. The definition of “self” can vary – close relatives, dear friends and loved ones can be a “self” in these scenarios.

  28. Daemian Lucifer says:

    What the hell are you guys talking about lee from the walking dead is not a hero?He is so a hero!He may not have super powers,but when was that a requirement for someone to become a hero?Lee gives his life,his last ounce of energy to save someone else,to be a father to someone he met less than a year ago.That makes him a hero 100%.

  29. Daemian Lucifer says:

    About that deus ex trailer:Umm,do you guys remember the trailers for human revolution?All they showed was punching through walls,stabbing people and jumping from great heights.So this is nothing new.

    Also,you guys are talking like there are more than just two deus ex games.I dont get why.

    I look forward to deus ex 3.Deus ex 2:human revolution was great.

    • JackTheStripper says:

      They extrapolated way to much from the trailer, I agree. If you see the DE:HR cinematic trailer now (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kq5KWLqUewc), having seen how the story unveiled during the game, you’ll see that the whole trailer was just a tease for the story, not the gameplay. Every single line of dialogue in the DE:HR trailer was about explaining or alluding to the setting and events of the game, nothing else. I suspect the new Manking Divided trailer is the same.

      Also, another gripe I had with that portion of podcast was the line at the end where Shamus said something along the lines of “we discussed DE:HR more than the developers did”. If you listen to the developers talk about the game in the Director’s Cut’s commentary tracks, you’ll see how much bigger and well though out the story was going to be (it’s actually pretty funny how much of the commentary is composed of apologies for not being able to deliver on many of the ideas they had).

      I agree that the game was not effective in developing the themes it intended to portray, much of the flavor was hidden away in e-mails that you had to get to by hacking; or scenery that was simply lacking in fidelity or quantity to appropriately convey the state of affairs; and plot-points that got cut, leaving the remaining plot-points poorly sewn together; but I don’t think that accurately shows the developer’s intentions, and listening to the commentary tracks will show you that what they were really going for was more in tune with what the Diecast, and RPG fans in general, wanted.

      Additionally, the game was marred with problems from corporate to the point where the head of Eidos Montreal resigned for “irreconcilable differences”. This is actually a big reason for me to be excited about Mankind Divided, because it gives the studio a second chance at the story they originally intended.

  30. BitFever says:

    For what it’s worth “arm blades the game” looks pretty/cool. For what that counts!

  31. YAY!

    I adore Movie Captain America so much that I dread the thought of ever meeting Chris Evans in person, because there’s no friggin way I’d be able to resist the urge to do something horribly embarrassing like try to hug him, and no attractive young man wants random fat women pouncing on him in public.

  32. Otters34 says:

    I’d say the Stranger in the Myst games might be a good fit for Lawful Good.

    They work within the systems they encounter, trying to achieve real results that benefit more than themselves. They’re more invested in Catherine and Atrus’ family than the good of the universe as a whole, but that’s because those two are focused on the bigger picture, and the Stranger tries to support them because of their honest and good-hearted efforts. The Stranger opposes the likes of Gehn and Achenar and Sirrus because they’re cruel, dishonest people placed to make their evil a burden to the weak, not because opposing them helps the Stranger in any real way.

  33. ChristopherT says:

    Ideas on some “good” characters, lawful some, others maybe?

    Adelbert Steiner – Final Fantasy IX (9) : Lawful good, maybe lawful stupid? not sure. The guy just cares about protecting the princess, that’s it. Come near here, you’re bad, hurt her and you’re evil, that’s how he sees things, but even when faced with (in his eyes) villains his response may be to fight, but with the general goal of imprisonment, not death.

    Kim Kaphwan – Fatal Fury, King of Fighters : While fighting games can have questionable depth to characters, sometimes the stories being little more than background, I find Kim Kaphwan to be an interesting lawful good character. His goal is to search for those he deems as evil, beat them up, then take them on as students, and train them to be good.

    Survival Horror games usually have characters that can easily fall on the good side, some crossing certain lines, but some finding themselves fighting to stop “evil” after having survived it. For that sake I’d nominate three characters from Resident Evil.

    Jill Valentine : Having survived the night in the first game, she returns to the fight in the third, fighting for her life, trying to escape the city. And while they’re are not many people she runs across, knowing Umbrella to be behind the outbreaks, knowing Umbrella as an “evil” corporation, bumping into a trio of Umbrella hired Mercs, she’s partners with them to fight to survive. Where more anti-hero type characters may find ways to eliminate these three characters, or find ways for them to wander into their own deaths, Jill helps them, and fights by their sides. 5 she’s mind controlled, so, what ev. And I think in Revelations there was only one villain she faced, and throughout anytime she questioned someone’s motifs she was generally “fair”.

    Claire Redfield : Finds herself in Raccoon City during the outbreak, is targeted by the Chief of Police, witnessing his death but does not cause it, and befriends and saves a young Sherry Birkin. Having survived that ordeal, finds herself mixed into a fight against Umbrella, and gets captured, imprisoned on an island. The island then gets attacked, she’s let free (option to then provide medicine to the wounded guard who sets her free), befriends a fellow inmate, who opens fire on her at first sight, and eventually escapes, and quits looking for fights, and starts looking to help those who have been victims of biological threats. Joins TerraSave, a group made to help clean up biological messes, help rebuild communities after these incidents. The events of Revelations 2 I think help strengthen her as a hero.

    Chris Redfield : I feel I little weird bringing up Chris, partly because of anything/everything in Resident Evil 5, too many moments of not shooting people because they’re people, to them have them turn into monsters and then open fire and unload. And I have no idea what he does in 6, as far as I know he mows down a group of bad guys as they sit around a table drinking coffee. BUT, through Resident Evil 1, and Code: Veronica Chris is the good guy boyscout through and through. Having been betrayed by his captain, whom then returns and makes his life worse, chooses to not seek confrontation, and only delivers what should be a killing blow when his sister’s life is in danger and he is out of other options.

    There’s a few more from Survival Horror games I wouldn’t mind throwing in as well but some don’t have many opportunities to prove their hero status, rather than just surviving monsters – Aya Brea (Parasite Eve) and Regina (Dino Crisis).

    • The Rocketeer says:

      Final Fantasy IX was pretty overtly characterizing Steiner as Lawful Stupid. Steiner consistently chooses the letter of his duty over anything sensible or competent, and it always works against him by serving the ends of his evil masters, directly endangering the Princess, or both.

      The game is very consistent in giving the cast chances for character development, which they reject. Steiner’s role in this pattern is probably the most obvious: there’s a point in the game where Dr. Tot straight-up tells him, “You need to grow the fuck up or your duty-boner is going to get Garnet killed.” He considers it for one line, shakes his head, and puts it out of mind.

  34. The Specktre says:

    I was actually really surprised when Chris put forth Master Chief as a lawful good buddy that Captain America would hang out with, because that very character was hovering in my mind as the only candidate I could think of off the top of my head as Chris mentioned him. I didn’t even dream of anyone on this podcast bringing up the Chief. Like Chris, I was somewhat reluctant to put him forth. Most of my reservations, being a Halo nerd, come from knowing MC’s backstory, because some of what he has done across his ~30 year military career is questionable. Yet I do believe the bottom line is that Master Chief would do whatever it took to save as many people as possible. That “earnestness”, as Chris puts it, is there.

    It’s kind of tricky to talk about the Chief’s character (for the sake of argument anyway) because most of his character is stashed away in Eric Nylund’s novels and isn’t fully represented in the games (though the new trilogy seems to be pushing to bring more of that out. We’ll see how well they do). It’s hard for me whether adding the EU material makes it easier or not, but I think I case could be made either way.

    In some ways, I really think the Cap and Chief could relate to one another, but Cap is more of an idealist and Chief is more of a conditioned soldier, and therefore more likely to accept orders without question (although Halo 5 marketing has implied he’s becoming more disillusioned). But Chief always cared about saving lives, and that became more pronounced as the Human-Covenant War raged on and humanity was losing. Heck, as we see by the end of the original trilogy (and Chris alludes to), Chief–without the games explicitly drawing attention to it–begins to see that even his enemies are people too, despite the horrible things that have happened up to that point, and despite that he has his duty as a soldier.

  35. AR+ says:

    Speaking of paladins, I just read some interesting posts on them, that go into a bit of the literary history of the D&D style paladin:

    Part 1 Part 2

  36. burningdragoon says:

    If you forgive the silent protagonism, typical RPG slaughter of wildlife, and the one thing right at the beginning, I think Crono could be lawful good pals with Captain America. That whole slaughtering animals as a main gameplay feature probably would exclude plenty of otherwise acceptable characters.

  37. Protocol95 says:

    Thinking of earnestly good characters, the ones that come to mind are Yu Narukami from Persona 4, (a blank slate in the original but future adaptations and related media have fleshed him out) Makoto Naegi from Danganronpa and Big Band from Skullgirls. While Big Band is the only one I can definitely class as lawful that’s only because the other two are more about purely doing good.

  38. Cinebeast says:

    I think just about every Nintendo hero fits into the Lawful Good category. I was surprised when Josh said that Link wouldn’t cut the mustard, but maybe he was joking? Besides, there are like twenty different Links. I guess one or two of them are Neutral Good at worst.

    Still, that leaves a hefty plate of heroes, from Mario to Samus Aran to Fox McCloud.

    Also — not Nintendo — doesn’t Geralt the Witcher count? The player can redirect him a bit, like Commander Shepard or Lee Everett, but in general he’s a loyal, upstanding sort of chap who stands up for the oppressed and so on.

  39. Installed GTA V on PC, took about an hour. Fine

    Game shows a RockStar Social club login, so it’s off to the website to reset my login (which I haven’t used since GTA IV). Annoying.

    I then have to enter a key and tie that to the account. Fine.

    I then get a Game Downloader. 55GB of 60GB, 57kbit/s. Time remaining 12 hours….

    Fuck you RockStar. I pre-ordered the game on disc to NOT have to wait hours to download anything.
    And 57kbit/s is a joke, if you can’t handle the load then do a staggered or distributed install. Heck why didn’t you use bittorrent.

    Also, the game install was 55GB, what the heck is the last 5GB? If that’s a day1 patch then it seems you forgot to ship a huge chunk of the game. Did you forget Disc8 or something?

    And for those that think that download speed suck, I agree. I got a 50mbit downstream line, the bottleneck is not on my end, that’s for sure.
    Also, the issue isn’t just the huge download that is still needed despite the discs, nor how slow this fucking thing is…

    But the worst is this: “Connection to download server lost. Reconnecting…”
    again and again and again.

    I can understand the need for a day1 patch if a nasty bug prevented you from playing the game. But 5GB? If that big a download is needed then the game did not ship in a playable condition, why ship it at all?

    I actually bought the game, how about giving me the entire game huh?
    This is like buying a car and the rear wheels are missing.

    Also…. do I have to go through this crap if I re-install the game in the future? I am planning a OS re-install, what then?
    If that is the case I might as well get a crack and download the game from some dirty filesharing site. Is that your final goal here RockStar to drive people to the dirty underbelly of the internet?

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Heck why didn't you use bittorrent.

      Only the dirty pirates use bittorrent.Are you a dirty pirate,Roger HÃ¥gensen?

      • Thinking about it.

        Another fun thing. The Downloader for GTA V is using a full core. the core of the CPU is maxed out.
        Mind you this is during the “Connection to download server lost. Reconnecting…” even.
        I’ve never seen anything use this much CPU when actually doing nothing.

        I don’t think I could have done this better than them, I know I could have done it better than them.

        If thousands upon thousands are gonna be patching on day one, then over-rent servers it’s that simple.
        It’s better to waste money on 100 servers too many. At best you end up not using those extra 100, at worst you end up using them all.
        Instead we have this situation where there are 100 too few servers.
        I’m just guessing here, for all I know there is 1 server with a baud modem on it, heck that might have been faster than this.

        And here is something even more fun. If I pause the download (it’s was trying to connect, so nothing is downloading) it’s still using a full core at 100%.

        Really? What does a paused downloader do that requires a full core to spin at max?

        And best part of it all? Sometimes it just stays at “Connection to download server lost. Reconnecting…” for ages and I have to pause it, close it and start it again, and then it continues…. at the speed of… hang on let me checks the speed right now…
        Erm… “Connection to download server lost. Reconnecting…” yeah, at that speed. OFFS.

        I actually set aside a day for this. I’ll just install it, enter the key/authenticate and off we go driving around.
        Yeah right…

        People who get paid days off are lucky, other’s aren’t.

        Some advise on the net is to delete certain files as the downloader might get stuck on certain files, downloading them over and over. Which means you have to delete a file and have that downloaded again, I can imagine those with bandwidth caps are gonna love that (they are probably not thrilled with the 5GB patch in the first place).

        Oh look, now it’s downloading again. ETA? 5 days and 21 hours. it’s doing a 6.4KB/s download speed now.

        And there it lost connection again.

        Awesome launch there Rock Star. Now I actually regret buying this.
        The smarts folks are those who wait several months more for this to end up in the bargain bin, they’ll still be stuck having to patch several GB though, unless they just download it from a torrent site instead and use that as their install instead.

        I’m actually now looking around at torrent sites to see if any of the missing files are available so I can plop them in the install folder and have the downloader continue from that.

        So yeah Daemian Lucifer, I am a dirty pirate, I bought this game and I want to play it, the official way is not working so screw RockStar.

        • Here’s a lovely comment by someone on the RockStar support forums
          “I almost got done, and the connection was lost. It reconnected and now I have to download it all again.”

          So I got that potential joy to look forward to. I may end up getting to the end of the 5GB download maybe missing a few K and boom have to re-download it.

          Oh wow look at that. If I cliclk pause and unpausee it now manages to continue, for a while at around 300-400KB/s. It only lasts around 30 seconds or so before it looses connection again.

          The ETA shown was 9 hours. So not only did I waste my planned game day as I can’t play the game. But to top it off I have to sit and click a button twice each 30 seconds for 9 hours so I can’t do anything else today either.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Yarr!Ye should join t’ dark flagged side!We dont mind if ye dont bathe.In fact,we encourage it,yarr!

            • This keeps getting better and better, reading up on issues with GTA V PC I see things like having to have media player for windows installed.

              And if your Windows username uses characters outside the A-Z a-z 0-9 range of characters you cant install/play GTA V.

              Good thing I actually decided to install to a custom path on the D: partition otherwise I’d have an aneurysm.

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                No,seriously,just download the pirated version.You already payed for the damn thing so it doesnt matter.Thats what I did the first time I found out far cry 4 doesnt like dual cores and the patch for it was still some time away.The cracked version worked like a charm and I never even bothered to see if the thing was officially fixed.

              • Humanoid says:

                By this point I’m amazed they actually let you install the game in anywhere but C:Program Files. Next step is probably finding the uninstall process nukes the entire drive, Sierra Tools style.

                From Software will really have to up their game to reclaim the mantle of worst PC port developers. Maybe GOG will have a reasonably working version a decade or so down the line.

                EDIT: Actually GOG have problems of their own of this nature. Their installers used to default to a directory called ./GOG.com/. Their newer installers refuse to install into that same directory that they themselves created, because the dot is considered an invalid character. Geez, make your minds up.

                • Dovius says:

                  Somewhat off-topic, but I protest naming From as the worst PC port developer. Dark Souls 1 was absolute shite as a port, but they admitted up front that they had no experience and were doing it purely because of massive fan demand. Dark Souls 2 actually got proper development for the PC and was a proper port with no massive issues.

                  At least unlike Ubisoft it is actually properly optimized.

              • More fun. I just used Process Monitor to look at what the downloader is doing and right now it’s (trying) to download …update/x64/dlcpacks/mpheist/dlc.rpf.
                I don’t even fucking care about the multiplayer part.

                Is this the issue? Is my single player experience ground to a halt because of a 5GB multiplayer patch?

                Also (thanks to process moinitor) I found out that Limelight Networks is the CDN used by RockStar’s downloader.

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Well?All that talk and buildup and no resolution?Come on,tell us,have you started playing it at all?

                  • Sorry! And yep.

                    I ended up downloading the patch files from a torrent, that went rather swiftly, it started slow then sped up near the end I was way above close to 10mbit/s in download speed.

                    I tried the GTA launcher while waiting for the torrent to speed up but it still was acting just like before so I truly gave up on it.

                    The torrent was of the entire GTA V game + the patch, so I had to unselect all the files I did not want/need.
                    Once they had downloaded (took a little over an hour I think, I didn’t pay attention as I watched videos on youtube in the meantime) i simply copied them into the game directory.

                    Then i started the GTA V launcher and it seemed to be fine with the files. (I had to delete a existing patch file that had a .part file with the same name along with it first to avoid any potential issues).

                    The GTA V launcher still needed to download a 350MB patch. (I suspect that was th actual day 1 patch, the other stuff was a decrypt/game lock/DRM measure?)
                    People on steam only had to download that 350MB patch instead of that + 5GB. (steam uses it’s own pre-load system, from what I read, for some that 350MB was a pain to download too and ther was torrents out there with just that patch in it).

                    Luckily I either got connected to a good server or things where starting to clear up for a while as the ETA for that patch was “just” half an hour, not ideal but somewhat reasonable, I made some food while waiting.

                    Once that was fetched, the launcher was happy and the game started.

                    I did ponder at one point to download the entire game from RockStar Social Club, it gave me a setup/downloader, my guess is it just installs the same launcher.


                    * Rockstar and their CDN provider underestimated the load the servers would get (wow, what a surprise, not… Why do AAA game devs/publishers always mess this up?)

                    * RockStar forced those who did not buy it via steam to download 5GB of data to be able to start the game, even if you bought the physical discs (like I did) instead of a digital download. There is nothing magic about the files on the disc, they are basically just the pre-load dumped on 7 discs. The game is a “install-in-place” type of thing.

                    *At least half the 5-6GB patch (it’s slightly more than 5GB) seems to be for multiplayer.
                    There is no way to download in the background while playing. For such a huge PC game this should (and could have been made possible).

                    *I read steam folks needed 120GB of free disk space so they could get then decrypted the game. (afterwards it will only need about 60GB as the encrypted files was no longer needed, sucks for those with SSDs I guess, also is this double size needed the fault of Steam of Rockstar?)

                    *The launcher seemed to bug out on the files downloaded for some people, requiring people to delete files to force a re-download, some reported the same file being downloaded again and again.

                    *If your windows user account name has letters not in the A-Z a-z 0-9 ranges then the installer/launcher won’t be able to find the files. I installed to a custom location so I avoided that, also I did not have my OS username my name luckily (which is Roger HÃ¥gensen) or I would have been unable to play the game, or I’d have to re-install the game (shiver). At the time of writing this I’m not aware of if this has been fixed.

                    *I’m sure there are more issues. I hope Shamus writes something on this PC launch of GTA V. or maybe Chris could do a video on it. Just to highlight the point that “What Rockstar did with the GTA V PC launch….just…don’t…. do that!”

                    We all know there will be a DLC or expansion of sort, and then that will be in a Ultimate Edition one day and won’t need you to download 5GB+.

                    Sorry to all you regulars here for this rant but….
                    5GB+ to “unlock” the disc edition of GTA V for PC? WTF Rocktars, wake up and smell the stars please. I got the disc edition because I did NOT want to download stuff. A 350MB patch I can tolerate but a 5GB+ over what acted like it was a old baud modem with 10000 people trying to connect while it kept crashing all the time? I’m not amused.

                    All I have to say is, Thank Jim Sterling for Torrents.

                    • Oh and for those curious. The game itself runs damn fine, looks gorgeous. It’s like GTA IV only way better.

                      My advise, tweak the settings and then do the benchmark so that it seems to hower around a steady 30FPS (with peaks around 60FPS)
                      In other words, try to tweak so that the benchmark show a steady minimum of 30FPS.
                      That way if you do get framerate dips when playing on 60Hz (or faster) then you won’t drop below 30FPS.
                      Those with setups that have DisplayPort Adaptive Sync / AMD Freesync or Nvidia Gsync won’t have to worry too much about this, just put on vsync in the game and tweak for looks mostly.

                      Those who have really beefy rigs will love it.

                      With low dips to 30FPS the driving feels fine and with vsync on so I get no tearing, in tighter locations it feels like I manage to get peaks at 60FPS.

                      And the game looks gorgeous, I wish I had a better system so I could crank up shadows and turn on some of there advanced stuff ad max things out, but the game looks good and is responsive.

                      The game also lends itself well to keyboard + mouse driving (mouse to look around) if you can get used to sharp turns and whipping your car around.
                      To me the gamepad made the steering feel to sluggish and imprecise, it’s possible a steering wheel and pedals would be ideal for the driving. (I kind of wish I had pedals for the gas right now, a wheel would give the most precision due to the large wheel/radius.
                      For shooting (1st and 3rd) the keyboard and mouse are best.
                      Anyone sell a wheel+pedals with a keyboard mount underneath the wheel? *laughs*
                      (maybe a way to move the wheel out of the way quickly (a slide maybe?) would be ideal.

                      Anyway, I digress. Twice though the game has locked up (black screen, loading symbol) I’m not sure why, I did turn off the GPU memory warning, I got only 2GB but I’m using 2.3GB GFX memory so there is a risk that at some point the memory is full (not sure if that is what happen or not), I did notice on rare occasion some loading stutter but it’s rare (is that the GFX memory flushing?)
                      Otherwise it’s all fine even with the textures at max quality.
                      If you plan a new GFX card then looking to a 3 or 4GB might be worth it.
                      I’m not sure what the max would be. I read some say that it maxed out for them at 4K using 5-6GB GFX memory. Not sure how it all scales, but with 2K (1080p) 3-6GB should let you crank stuff up size/qualitywise.

                      Would I recommend GTA V? Yeah.
                      Would I recommend getting GTA V today? Hell no!.
                      Wait until they fix the install/download stuff. And stay away from the physical copy, that’s a 5GB download. Maybe they’ll fix the digital download (by including those extra 5GB) now the game as launched.
                      And if you have to do the day 1 patch (350MB I think) then be prepared for a possible long wait and lots of cursing.

                    • MichaelGC says:

                      I’m hearing that some folks are finding the launcher is still hogging the CPU even after the game has launched. Apparently alt-tabbing out of the game (whilst crossing your fingers that it doesn’t crash) and killing the launcher can lead to a 10-12 FPS across-the-board increase.

  40. aldowyn says:

    My thought on why the Captain America style Lawful-Good character isn’t that common in video games is that the base interaction is often just killing people, and one of the most common exceptions is RPGs where you .. play a role, and is thus disqualified in this discussion. My two cents.

    Also, my choice to be Cap’s buddy: Cassandra from Inquisition. I know a lot of the crew didn’t like what you played of the game, but I really liked Cassandra in it. Her arc basically ends with her resolving to rebuild the Seekers (who are basically Paladins) into the force for good (or the ‘Makers’ Work) she believes they can be.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      There are plenty of ways to go around killing people while still fighting them.Batman type brawler is one way around it.Being in a sneaky game with just non-lethal weapons is another.

      Though I think there is a funny thing when it comes to stealth games:Garrett from thief(1,2 and 3,not thiaf)may be the closest one to captain america,even though he is a pretty unlawful thief.

      • Ivan says:

        I really don’t know about Garret, granted I only played Thief III, but the way that ended I felt like Garret was saving himself just as much as he was saving the city; though it’s honestly been so long that I can’t really remember any of the details. I wouldn’t say that pacifism (if only in so much that you refuse to kill) is the defining trait on the Cpt. either. I think it’s his ideals more than anything else that he fights for where as Garret really has none that I know of. Maybe I’m missing something from not having played Thief I or II though.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          He always has the option to run away,but he always chooses to deal with the huge threat instead,despite it being an enormous risk for him.Yes he justifies it to himself by saying its convenient for him and that he doesnt care about people and the city,but thats shown to be crap as he actually does care,a lot.

      • Ivan says:

        I think aldowin has a point about most games being about killing. Sure, these conflicts don’t HAVE to end in death every time, but I think there is something about killing in games where you have to make a conscious effort to build a conflict driven game that focuses on non-lethal combat. There definitely some thematic and setting influence. If the game is set in medieval times it’s probably because the devs think it would be fun to swing a sword, and a sword isn’t exactly a weapon specialized for knocking someone out. There’s a huge swathe of games that also have a war as a backdrop and non-leathal methods would be quite unusual methods to use in fighting one.

        I’m really having a difficult time thinking of games that could be changed from a theme of lethality to non-lethality without undermining some aspect of the game. What I mean by that is that nothing about the game is changed except it tells you that your enemy is KOed instead of killed.

        I suspect some games could be improved (or at least not diminished) if you were to go the extra step and replace the lethal weapons with non-lethal weapons, and change the story accordingly, but I’m drawing a blank here as well. I doubt many games fall into this category.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          You could still play a noble paladin in a medieval setting.Heck,paladins actually originated there.You just have to make sure that the protagonist will always try to avoid fighting and will challenge the opponents to a fair fight when that cannot be avoided.This way you can still end up killing some people,but being a noble hero out to do good.

          • Ivan says:

            Yeah but that sounds like the exception rather than the rule, I’m not saying that a game like this wouldn’t work, or be fun, but I’ve never seen it done. Maybe it has something to do with our culture, or maybe it’s just simpler to write a story where the protagonist is out to kill the villain. I still maintain though that setting has something to do with it. It is so much more viceral and fun to dismember your opponents, or throw them off buildings, or blow them to smitherines, all of which are things you don’t do to people who you want to live. After this it seems only natural to write a story where the protagonist kills everyone. Then you dehumanize the enemy so the player can enjoy their guilty pleasure guilt free.

            In fact, unless you have an established character like batman, I think that any game that focuses on non-lethal combat is committing it’s self to a lot of story and exposition. For whatever reason it just seems expected that you should want to kill your enemy, if for no other reason than they won’t come back to bother you later. Having a protagonist who refuses to kill their enemy is fairly unusual and demands some sort of explanation. It draws more attention to the characters and the story, and if you’re not prepared to deliver on that, if you’re not prepared to make a game with such a focus on the story, then it’s just far easier to kill everyone and get it over with.

            I’m not saying that it needs to be an extensive or complex story with tones of backstory, but I still think that unless you have a reason why you don’t want to kill everyone it’s generally not worth the trouble.

            • Syal says:

              That makes me want to play a game where all the characters are bouncy balls, and hitting them with grenades or throwing them off cliffs just makes them fly really far and bounce off of something, to return again later.

    • Vermander says:

      I think Aveline from the previous Dragon Age game was also a really good example of a Lawful Good character. It annoys me when Lawful Good characters are portrayed as being really dumb, or as slaves to the law.

      I think the important thing is that a LG character really wants everyone to play by the rules. They will go against the law when they feel that they absolutely have to, but they won’t take the decision to do so lightly.

    • Cinebeast says:

      Where did people get the idea that Lawful Good characters can’t kill? We’re using Captain America as a baseboard, right? He kills people in every movie, even when they’re good guys who are being mind-controlled by Loki/Loki’s Magic Stick.

  41. Ron Mitchell says:

    Leon S. Kennedy
    Optimus Prime (War for Cybertron/ Fall of Cybertron)

    Besides those I’ve seen in other comments, these are all I can think of off the top of my head. It’s pretty sad that at least half of the characters aren’t original to video games.

  42. Vermander says:

    I feel like I’ve seen many examples of Lawful Good heroes in martial arts films. I’ve heard that Asian audiences are traditionally less accustomed to “rebel” “outlaw” heroes and sometimes place more value on duty and obligation. This might just be my perception as a westerner though.

  43. guy says:

    Saber from Fate Stay Night. /brokenrecord

    But seriously, she’s genuinely good and heroic and follows a code of honor. Granted, an old-fashioned one which considers killing opponents in honorable combat acceptable and even expected, but it also values protecting the innocent, honor in battle, and loyal service to a worthy superior.

    There’s a part where she discusses how her opponents can gather strength by killing/draining civilians, and the subsequent conversation goes something like this:

    “Could you do that too?”
    “Why not?”
    “Because you would have to magically compel me to, after which I would kill you.”

  44. Xapi says:

    From the ESA Statement:


    “Moreover, EFF's description of “matchmaking” access controls is misleading. EFF implies that video game access controls for online network services are used only for multiplayer gameplay.

    In fact, however, the access controls for multiplayer gameplay typically also restrict access to a wide range of other online network services including, for example, downloadable content, leaderboards, badges, chat, and other
    social features.

    Significantly, the user typically must register “•and sometimes pay”• for this suite of online network services separately; they almost never are included in the purchase of the video game. For example, Microsoft requires the user to register
    for a separate Xbox Live Gold subscription (typically sold at $59.99 per year) before the user may access online services made available through the online network services server.

    On the PlayStation 4, gamers must pay for a subscription to “PlayStation Plus”
    in order to access multiplayer gaming. Similarly, to access online services for Nintendo's Wii U console, a user must separately register for a free Nintendo Network ID, which is governed by a separate End User License Agreement and Privacy Policy. Contrary to the proponents' claims that they should be able to “play[] games that they have already paid for,” circumvention would enable users to avoid paying for a variety of online services, including network-based multiplayer gameplay, and get a better deal than they bargained for. Consequently, it is inaccurate to suggest that multiplayer gameplay over the Internet is a “core” functionality of the video game or that users acquire rights in accessing such functionality when they purchase a game.”


    Wow, just… wow. Remember that “everybody is always online, multiplayer is the best, the Internet makes your games better” horsecrap? Well, guess what, you didn’t actually PAY for that experience, and we provide it exclusively at our convinience.


    • Xapi says:


      I get madder every time I read it.

  45. River Birch says:

    Could we argue that “The Kid” of Bastion is a Lawful Good character?

  46. Behatted_Wanderer says:

    A lawful good character? If we discounted Link, then what about…


    Sora? Does he count? Duty bound, honorable almost to a fault, always wants to do the right thing?

    EDIT: Oh snap, should have finished the podcast first.

  47. Neil W says:

    I just want to say how much I appreciated Chris using the adjective “Icarian”. Makes the podcast classy.

  48. Chris says:

    Most protagonists in simpler, older games (Mario, Sonic, Sparkster et al) are sort of LG by default. Some more modern examples that occured to me:

    The Kid – Bastion
    Frog/Glenn – Chronotrigger
    Welkin Gunther – Valkyria Chronicles (which I admittedly haven’t finished, so I’m just assuming he doesn’t go all warcrimey later on)
    Shovel Knight – Shovel Knight
    Nelson Tethers – Puzzle Agent (pretty much the same deal as Layton/Phoenix Wright)

  49. Poobles says:

    Just a little nitpick: When it comes to the Icarus myth people tend to forget completely about Daedalus, who is arguably the more important character in the story. A story about a guy who fails to consider the possible long term ramifications for his inventions only to cause the suffering and death of others? **cough** sarif **cough**

  50. gadget says:

    I would say Sirus from Infinity Blade is lawful good because of his knight-style code of honor and how he just kills the God King and his minions to save his village and find his destiny.

  51. Bloodsquirrel says:

    I know I’m really late on this, but:

    Marcus Fenix. I wouldn’t quite call him lawful, but he is unambiguously good and is generally doing his best to treat everybody around him well. It’s not even supposed to be a thing where he’s a good guy underneath it all- he’s just got a bit of a gruff demeanor, but he’s only ever as stern as he needs to be in his role as a squad commander and he’s obviously a pretty relaxed guy whenever he isn’t in the middle of a battle.

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