New Comics Every Weekday - Written by T Campbell & Phil Kahn - Illustrated by John & Jason Waltrip
3rd panel: epic rage face! =o
This is far more than just an epic rage face.
This is the Best rage face.
Are you basin that off of Bryon’s rage face?
Well Best’s rage face is pretty crazy, but Byron’s is berserker.
Whichever it is, they will both have to face the music soon.
If they’re not careful, they might get beat, or maybe even rhythm!
Win. +1 internetz for you =)
You can’t beat it.
@Trollnystan Agreed man, i gotta admit i was like “Holy ****” when i saw it first! ^^
alrady at it.
I’m not basin this on any proof, but I think during his reflection on things Best’s emotions spilled over from shocked to outright shattered.
Lets hope he krom’s around.
Best needs an anger management class. For starters.
Best needs a right boot up the arse. For starters.
for starters i think he needs to work on his neck muscles. damn head’s about to pop off.
A right boot ? Only ? Nah, a whole company of paratroopers kicking his ass with both boots, successively.
Why the hell did he has (or is it “did he had” ?) to come back to his usual selfishness ?
“did he have”
Wait for the next level up, he’ll multiclass.
Also a Bard should actually be very similar to an Anger Management; Considering his work experience with the Barbarian.
You know I thought of something.Who here misses Bandit? I think the whole group grooved together much better with Bandit around instead of Best.Minus Byron going red ring of beserker rage..Bandit was a good balance on the group and connected best with Gravedust. Hope she returns and replaces Best
I’ve been hoping for Bandit’s return ever since she first ‘disappeared’! But yeah, I really miss her, I still consider her my favorite characters (but I’ve always been a sucker for rogues).
At the very least though I’m still waiting just for some sort of -explanation-. Seriously, not one word on what happened to her yet?
While I did enjoy Bandit, I’m not so sure about bringing her back. If she DOES come back, doesn’t that remove any emotional weight tied to Byron’s actions?
Yes yes, I know, videogame VR simulation and whatnot – but BYRON thinks his actions had repercussions. His character growth and dealing with his berserker rage (facing it, overcoming it, accepting it, or succumbing to it) hinges on the permanence of his mistake – most of which has been already mitigated with Gravedust’s mysticism. To bring Bandit back as well leaves him with no (immediate) consequences to his actions, and therefor no pressing reason to come to terms with himself.
So I don’t think bringing Bandit back to life really serves the story very well, even if her presence on the team was more appealing than Best’s.
I assume if she comes back she won’t be as she was, and in fact it’ll only serve to rub salt in Byron’s emotional wounds to bare witness to what has happened to her as a result of his actions. However she comes back I can’t imagine it’ll be a magical “Everything is better again” moment. Probably more like an unexpected kick in the nuts when things were starting to go smoothly.
I think that thaving Bandit come back is the ONLY way we can work through the emotional weight of Byron’s actions.
Without Bandit: “Gee, I killed her; but I don’t really remember it and anyway I’ll do better in the future…”
With Bandit, looking him straight in the eyes: “Er…um… I guess ‘sorry’ just isn’t going to be enough, is it?”
Look at it like this: Would YOU rather look your worst mistake straight in the face… or walk away from it?
Bandit was awesome :(
The more I read folks missing Bandit, the more I want her to stay out of the story… Is that wrong? I’m sure she will come back in one form or another (she’s already been talking in Frigg’s head).
I know exactly how you feel. She wasn’t even one of the players who are in the stasis pods.
How on earth do we know that? The only three who seem to be confirmed as players are Best, Byron, and Frigg. Gravedust and Syr’nj seem likely, but those pods could easily enough be interpretted as Bandit.
…What? No, the body-shapes and general personalities of the players interviewed matched Gravedust and Syr’nj to a T. Bandit was the only one without an obvious analog human…or a human at all, really.
Given the nature of this reality, the fact that Bandit is not one of the 5 and that her body was not present at the tombs, I think it is likely she was a player, just rezzed at the nearest graveyard and has been wondering where the heck her guildmates have gone. I imagine we’ll see her soon.
Though you know, I wonder if the five are actually in the live game with the rest of the playerbase at all. Most MMO’s, if they’re testing new features, don’t do so in the live environment.
VR play of this type would definitely benefit from close monitoring that would be harder to do in the probably-cluttered live environment, plus I’d bet there’d have to be some pretty substantial code/graphics upgrades/updates to overcome the basic unreality of the game, if that makes sense.
I personally think Bandit was either a particularly well-crafted NPC or a non-VR employee type detailed to keep an eye on the group. In either case we’d see her again, but she wouldn’t be able to spill the beans to the gang about what’s really going on.
At least we got that cleared up.
Raise your hands if anyone is surprised that Best is still a self centered prat at heart.
I AM! *raises hand derp derp*
Best thinks he’s playing a single player game when in fact he’s playing an mmorpg.
His sole consideration for the fact other people would be playing together was naming his character as “Best” to say that, yes, he is the best of them all.
For the rest, Syr’nj had vaguely creative self naming while Bandit was (if a pc) lazy as hell at making her name. Gravedust and Byron went with the random name generator.
Well I do agree with your statements about Best and Bandit. Byron and Gravedust probably realized just how lucky they were to get to play this game, so they decided to take it seriously…course they might be taking it too seriously.
You need to step back and reread the background story for the players. Byron’s player spent most of his time talking about Lord Byron the poet. Meanwhile, we can even guess that Gravedust’s player had someone close to him die recently when he alludes to “difficult times” he’s experienced to motivate him to escape reality in this fantasy game.
I am stumped about Frigg’s name, though. Unless it’s a reference to “friggin”
There’s always the Norse goddess…
I’m pretty sure frigging is the right frigging word since this game probably has frigging swear filters. If it didn’t, you can be frigging sure Frigg wouldn’t be frigging Frigg.
(But Best would still be frigging Frigg either way)
I think he’s very immature and T. Campbell was genius to write this scene in immediately after he saves the crew from Byron’s near beserking as he is going off the deep end in rage himself. Maybe he should play himself a song. XD
Bard, entertain thyself?
Nah, the party gets annoyed whenever he entertains himself, and we know how little Frigg likes to be boxblocked.
Maybe I’m reading the wrong thing into his face due to the mix of emotions going on there, but he doesn’t look too happy with what he just said.
Yeah, I’m getting that too.
I’m getting distinct: your destiny is to save the world and die in the process vibes here.
Ooo not me. I’m getting, ‘you’re actually not important at all’. I believe Best would find it romantic and fitting to save the world or die trying. But that’s not what he’s getting at all.
I actually wondered if the bit where he was smiling because he’d seen a monument to himself…which then turned out to be a tombstone.
U mad, bro?
He mad, ‘cuz they stylin’ on him.
No, really. I think he saw the others were the important ones.
Okay – i’m relieved. He’s still a huge prat, and i can go on not liking him.
yeah me too.
there was hope…just for second.. a fleeing moment.
And than he proofed again that he is still just a self-centered ass.Way to go.
Yep they will never really work together.
At least maybe now there is hope that bandit will return to the group.
I’m still wondering what he saw. I genuinely think he was trying to make amends. Of course, Best has always had a short fuse from what we’ve seen.
What can be worse for an egomaniac and self proclaimed hero than knowing he is only a… puppet in some RPG?
I don’t think he saw anything. I think that was a false basin, and the “Krooom!” is going to open up to reveal the real basin/body of water that can be called the basin.
Either that or it’s another deathtrap.
at first i thought best was just being best
then i went back and saw that gravedust was cut off at the top there
now im curious
what was he saying?! i must know!
I’d say he was saying “Some bad shit’s about to happen because you broke the basement, bro.”
Yes, that’s how Gravedust talks. If he didn’t keep getting cut off, you’d realise that.
Or possibly basin. Or basin-ment, eh?
Ah! That’s what he saw! The (Parent’s) Basement of Destiny! Where all crappy musicians wind up!
Maybe the Basin showed him that he’s been sucked into a roleplaying game, and he thinks he’s the only PC? /fanwank
He’s totally min-maxed.
What did best see?
1.) That this is not his ‘reality’
2.) That he will become the next villain
3.) That he doesn’t matter as much as he thought.
4.) Or perhaps the opposite. It depends on how genuine you consider his reflection on how he wasn’t always like this to be.
Maybe he learned that the world he’s in isn’t real, except for him, and he didn’t get enough to learn that the others are real too.
Would that cause so much rage, though? It seems like if it happened, it’d cause a lot more of a “WTF” reaction than anything… For some reason, I think it showed him cleaning out stables or something like that. XD
The Total Perspective Vortex is allegedly the most horrible torture device to which a sentient being can be subjected.
When you are put into the Vortex you are given just one momentary glimpse of the entire unimaginable infinity of creation, and somewhere in it a tiny little mark, a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot, which says, “You are here.”
If you shoot the messenger, all you get is less mail.
Good, I hate spam.
So an emotional, gut response (breaking the basin in outrage when facing whatever bad news it gave) outweights a conscient, calm decision (trying to make amends with the rest of the group)?
If we are to judge the quality of Best’s character, maybe we should wait to see what he does when he calms down and, of course, see what the Basin has shown him, right? If the simple fact that he does that much harm to everyone around him when he loses control is enough to doom him, there is no justification to keep Byron around either…
We already saw what the basin showed him: Best as part of the group. He is raging because he believes himself to be the “star” or “destined one.” Given his immaturity up to this point it’s really no surprise that he is acting in this way.
I doubt he saw just what we saw — if it was about him being part of the group, he’d also have seen Gravedust. Also he’d have started to think it wasn’t working, if it just looked like a reflection. Lastly, it seemed that Byron’s expression made it look as if he was also seeing something that surprised him
I disagree. The only reason Gravedust doesn’t show up is because he is too short to see into the basin. Byron knows what is going on, that is why he is having a facepalm moment, hence the “Don’t waste your breath Syr’Nj” line. It takes Syr’Nj only until panel 2 to figure it out as well.
I think they were seeing US.
Like, You or Me.
My argument is that he never was trying to make amends–just look at how he got them to come along on this trip in the first place. If he were trying to make amends, he wouldn’t have insulted them on their revival and sat choosing what words rhymed best with “fail.” He wouldn’t have insulted them, overtly or with backhanded compliments on the trip. He would have been interested in the Harki crisis and asked them to come to the basin on the premise that it would benefit them all. Everything he does serves him and him alone. He has been showing us his character all along.
Best mocked Byron’s emotional gut response and judged the quality of his character on it, BTW.
BTW, I’m not simply someone in the “I hate Best” camp. I actually liked “Classic Best” because he was a love-to-hate sort of character. He was a douche but everyone knew that–he was pretty honest and true to himself.
Since his return, his attempts to assume the mantle of Epic Hero have left him, in my eyes, cheesy, sleazy (or -ier), conniving, (more) manipulative, insincere, and untrustworthy. At least Classic Best was up front about not wanting to be part of any group or not wanting “backup singers.” I will be disappointed if any of the characters are suckered into comforting him at this point. They need to just end the discussion and walk away.
I don’t think he’s a poorly-written character. The fact that he has incredible difficulty being anything but selfish and makes me queasy when he tries or pretends makes him more realistic. But at present I consider him an Epic A-Hole, no, I don’t like him, and do not believe he’s really trying. Or maybe he thinks he is, but just doesn’t “get it,” like he’s trying to act out the trope of Epic Hero without really understanding any of the values or empathy.
For those bringing up that maybe he has a sad and lonely past, all I can say is: Just because you had a hard life you do not have the right to treat others like dirt.
The crazy thing is that if this comic follows standard fantasy tropes, it has clearly tried to partly invert the standard “You must work together to save the world” concept by including an awful but not evil human being in the mix. I guess the standard fix would be to have P. Best become a better human being, but I imagine Phil and T have some tricks up their sleeve in that department.
Agreed. I’m always very curious to see where it’s all going.
“You’d like to work together to save the world but there’s a self-centered a-hole upstaging you, taking the credit, and getting ahead in life” is actually more how life really is. :-D
Great analysis of Best flevine. I agree 100%.
Indeed. Especially about the Freudian Excuse being no excuse. Now, if only the justice system could get its head around that concept…
Thank you (ditto gangler and centuriancode). I was afraid I was ranting too much recently…I’m not as good at the witty pun banter stuff. :-D In real life, I try to give people the benefit of the doubt and understand why someone might come across as grating (and sometimes those people are in fact very good people once you “get” them), but in Best’s case, if he were real, he’d be classified as a “toxic coworker”–I would avoid someone like him at all costs. I have encountered someone sort of like him. Best is such an accurately portrayed douchebag, he makes me rant.
If Best truly wants to be a good person, he will learn from his Shit Elf days how not to treat people and how to see value in everyone, especially in those who are overlooked, and use this to build meaningful relationships with people who will really support him, not just be in awe of his actions. Sometimes unpopular kids grow up to be the nicest adults. And sometimes they’re neurotic. Or both! *shrug* :-D
“For those bringing up that maybe he has a sad and lonely past, all I can say is: Just because you had a hard life you do not have the right to treat others like dirt.”
Personally I tend to take the reverse approach. Hardship doesn’t excuse assholery, success validates it. Harry Osborn in Spectacular Spiderman doesn’t get to be a dick because he’s sad and lonely, but because his self made millions and established genius add weight to his “I’m better than you” attitudes.
Everyone’s got issues. Best has mommy issues. Byron has a tragedy in his past. Syrnj has faced racism at every turn and Gravedust has been rejected by his own people, just to touch on some of the more obvious problems each of his peers have. In point of fact Best isn’t special in his problems, and actually has the most minor history of sadness and lonelyness out of the group. In point of fact his accolades aren’t such that they entirely justify his behavior either. There’s no real excusing his outbursts. Nothing about him really deserves special treatment in this sense.
Sorry, Norman Osborn.
One’s past doesn’t necessarily justify adult behavior but it can still account for it. Like when one is abused as a child and grows up to be a serial killer or some such. You don’t forgive and let go based on that past, they still need to be put down or away, but the past events still provide an explanation and may be seen as a (partially) exonerating in a purely theoretical sense.
Best is obviously obsessed with “significance”, it matters more to him than money, women, anything really. When he way lying in a pile of women wondering about his destiny it wasn’t just a joke about him being a douche, it’s something that truly worries and occupies him above all else. What I’m saying is that it’s a compulsive obsession and not something that is entirely rational….or sane.
Yes Byron had a tough time as a kid too. And yes he told no one about it and then he killed all his friends. The harm he’s done by far outweighs anything Best has done or probably will do by the time the comic’s over. Yet he’s immediately forgiven. Why? Because he’s nice? Because he got lost in the woods as a kid?
In the end we don’t know enough about anyone’s history to say who had it the hardest. Syr is royalty and she like GD chose her path in life. Frigg as well. Her time with the militant nuns was tough but she seems to thrive in such circumstances. And we know almost nothing about Byron/Bandit.
Reduced impact of character mortality.
Seriously, you don’t even need 500gp worth of diamond dust as a regent.
I think the differences are:
1. Byron did warn people (it’s in his name), but few took him seriously or really understood what “Berserker” meant.
2. Based on what we know and have seen, Byron is infected with something that causes some form of uncontrollable temporary insanity, and he seems to work very hard to keep that in check. It doesn’t appear to be anything he wants or is proud of.
3. Byron has a conscience and displays remorse that doesn’t come across as a performance.
Byron has not been completely forgiven–Frigg had to be forced to swear an oath to keep her from braining him. We also might have to see him deal with restless spirits of people he’s killed, like Bandit. And certainly Byron hasn’t forgiven himself.
Yeah, throwing in a word with known misconceptions and intentionally dodging the issue when asked about it doesn’t constitute a warning.
“Hi, I’m a martian.”
“Cool, like the Christopher Lloyd character? Should be fun”
“Oh yeah. Turns out when exposed to the full moon martians get bloodlust and start eating people. Probably should have told you guys that before I ate you I guess?”
LOL! OK, point taken, but I stand by the rest. Byron has indeed done something horrible and the matter needs to be addressed–”The boy ain’t right,” as Hank Hill would say–but the question was why Byron seems to be more or less forgiven but Best wouldn’t be.
For sure. Excusing/Justifying and explaining are two entirely separate practices though. One says “This is why he does that”, the other says “This is why it’s ok that he does that”.
I wouldn’t dismiss the importance of one’s past in determining one’s present self. That would be ridiculousness. To do so would be to dismiss the linear nature of time itself. To dismiss the importance of historical study, archeology, and to make a whole messload of other equally outlandishly ignorant claims implicitly.
No no. Such is not my argument.
See, this is why I love Best. His grace, his charms, his heroism, it’s all just tools for an asshole to get what he wants. Tools in the hands of a figurative child. Panel three is the face beneath the mask. Panel three is the man I love.
This right here. This is the only moment of true honesty we’ve seen from him since day 1. In five minutes he’ll pull himself together, glue together the pieces of his broken mask, and that will quite likely be the last we’ll see of his face.
I can respect that. This is a man who sees what he wants and grabs it. Other fuckers be damned. Ultimate power through ultimate disregard to cover the ultimate weakness that is our very humanity. A man after my heart.
A simple man of simple desires and false pretenses. All he really wants is to be more. To rise above the rabble he was born amongst so his scorn for his fellow man can be validated and his self-hatred can be proven ungenuine. Though he may not know it, his very mortal coil is what he seeks to defeat. A noble, though entirely futile pursuit.
I love this comic, partly for the comic, and partly for the comments after each one. This one page has spawned some of the deepest, most lucid philosophical debate, and some of the most intriguing points of view, that I have yet encountered in any vaguely similar venue. Well done, all of you.
And no flamewars either, just good old debate.
I’m really quite supprised at everyone. We KNOW they are in a fake world, and we KNOW there are ways for those two worlds to be connected. We KNOW the world has more mysteries than even the creators know and we SUSPECT that the key to getting out is within that world. Bandit just found the Oracle of this world. to any Normal person within the game it woulda shown the game as their purpose, basically just a normal telling. But what about someone whos true form wasnt that which stood before the oracle/basin?
When you get mad at something cus it told you that you arent special you dont cry and insist you are, you get insulted and say its a lie.
Remember, these are expert storytellers here, you dont see a speech like Syr’nj’s preceed a statement like Best’s. you usually see it before an angry miffed heart bleeding its feelings, even if angrily. Obviously there is SOMETHING wrong here. I think the basin whether or not it showed him their Real life prediciment did indeed show him he is the only hope they have…..and that he will fail.
That type of news WOULD have that reaction on someone.
I could be very wrong, but i seriously dont think Best is acting like that because someone told him he’s not special, i think he’s reacting like that because he just saw something terribly upsetting to someone who has a smidgen of kindness left. or are we ignoring all the philisophical talk we’ve had with the group and best since then? (and if you pay attention Best already got them in cahoots with him, he didnt need to give em a sob story)
Worst. Equation. EVAR.
A very compelling possibility.
I didn’t think of this.
Did we ever see Best and Bandit together?
Bandit is picking someone’s pocket in a tavern while Best is there on one page: http://guildedage.net/webcomic/chapter-2/chapter-2-page-7/
Oh, sorry, she’s on the following page as well.
Agreed. Whatever Best’s story is, it was always more than just some guy being a jerk. And his quest isn’t for fame/fortune/power/women as he already has those for the most part. The stakes here go higher than that and there are other forces at work.
So I too am a little surprised how many still take things at face value, “Best is being nice so I kinda like him now….oh look, he’s being a douche again, I don’t like him anymore.”
The final judgement on Best is (Pa)yet to come. Hehe.
Quite possibly. However (and isn’t that a wonderful word for completely ignoring whatever previous acknowledgement/agreement you’ve just given? Sometimes, connotations really suck), the interesting thing is how bizarrely the tangents have gone in trying to justify the reactions to surface changes. Gangler’s argument (above) is beautiful in its simplicity – Best is once again acting like a douche because he always was a douche. Everything else was simply pretense and manipulation. Similarly, ThatGuy’s argument works through simplicity – something has happened that does not fit the established theories, therefore the established theories are wrong.
I have no problem with people following simple changes in Best’s character – off screen development is always possible – because it is was again a simple and logical argument that states “from current evidence, Best’s actions appear to suggest that he is (not?) a douche”. So far, anything could be justified.
Where this all gets somewhat bizarre (and where the point of this comment allegedly comes in) is the ways people have attempted to justify their theories at various stages. From the same pages, people have managed to draw the most radically different inferences, then chase those inferences down rabbit-holes that would leave Herodotus and the Waczowski Brothers in awe. And so much emotion is expended in defending these inferences, leaps of faith, and odd intuitions. Phil, T, and John must have a delightful time reading through these comments and seeing how far wide of the mark we all are.
In short, Foucault was right. We know nothing, and amuse irony is the only way to go.
I don’t know what the truth is. I just know that, so far, almost nothing in this comic has been simple or quite as it seems on the surface.
annnnnd building respect for best…failed. back to square one.
One thing I hate* about this comic is that whenever there’s a really cool moment full of tension it makes me believe that I only need to hold out until the next page to see the moment resolved and get my “release”.
But when the next page comes things only get more tense, uncertain and pressure continues to build up and “release” gets delayed to the next page and then the next. So…good job. :P
*I don’t actually hate it.
You kinda forged my feelings into words. Great job!
Is it considered bad form still for a good old fashioned “I told you so”?
Well, if it is then pardon me while I continue to enjoy this entirely foreseen burst of prepubescent naivety of Best’s being the be all end all of his completely self driven existence.
As for the tally I’m pretty sure I can stop skimming the archives and jot this down to his complete and total degradation of character building.
He doth not disappoint.
On a slightly related topic I have been pining away for Bandit’s return. As a character and slight non sequitur I enjoyed her presence thoroughly. If her death is meant to be the lynch pin of Byron’s overcoming and continued guilt of killing his comrades it seems silly or perhaps unnecessary to pin it on one character.
This coming from the fact that he ultimately led to the demise of the entire team and they’ve all been returned from the graves themselves. I don’t think a character has to remain dead for someones emotional baggage to be tied to that particular plot point. For Byron killing his comrades in that manner after having been in control for so long is permanent enough.
The story has been impressive as always though, I have my own speculations as to what has occurred but I’d rather stop postulating now and enjoy this ride until the end.
Art and story have both been impeccable. Sometimes I find myself coming back to reread the chapters to keep everything fresh. And unfortunately continuously refresh the page in the mad hope that perhaps by some sort of freak accident the comic was updated ahead of time for no particular reason whatsoever. Kudos to this comic’s creative team for keeping me as active as a reader and satisfied.
Heh. “I told you so,” was exactly what I thought when I saw today’s update. Just couldn’t help it. ;-)
This page was a schadenfreude wish come true.
Haha, I do believe there’s a song about that. Avenue Q – Schadenfreude.
Where do you think I learned the word? :-D
Avenue Q is awesome…I highly recommend it.
Schadenfreude for me will happen when (if? always possible) its confirmed that Bandit is the old mustache man responsible for it all.
But whose suffering would you be enjoying? How does HR Dedalus being Bandit inflict delicious, glorious, wonderful suffering on others?
I believe he was sincerely attempting to reform, it’s just that the type of revelation he’s experienced would lead anyone to completely Freak Out.
And in the third panel, he’s simply visiting De Nile.
Anyone else think he just saw himself in a “low” position…like cleaning out stables? XD
Hey, “Just” is a bit harsh for that. I’m all fine and dandy making a living off of that, but I’d be offended if it were my destiny. It’s one thing to have McDonalds fry cook be the source of income that allows you to feed yourself, it’s another thing for McDonald’s fry cook to be your calling from on high; The Gods having decreed assembling Big Macs to be your one and true purpose in life.
That’s a moment deserving of a freakout no matter how you slice it or what your background is. Even as a humble stablehand that would still be a shock to the system.
Tough lesson ahead.
Shit Elves seem to be really emotive creatures.
What’s worse that having your hopes dashed? Having them horribly confirmed…
that darned sky elf magic!
Shit (elf) just got real.
Looks like Best was able to “sink” his chances once again.
my guess: he assumes he’s the only “player” character in the “game”, and all other characters are only there to entertain him. He likes them when they help him, but gets angry quickly when he doesn’t get what he wants.
In a way, much like most MMO players.
I think people are putting to much trust on Best’s douchebag-ness… What if the “because I am” actually is the truth and not a result of his conceit?
And being “the only one who really matters” can be as wide as meaning he is the reason everything goes wrong either because he fails or because he is THE villain.
(I always found it weird that on the Chapter nicknamed “the one where the real villain shows up” Dedalus is apparently just trying to save them and Best seems to be much more depicted, in his epic hero phase. Some villains are just fallen heroes, (comic) History is full of examples.)
It doesn’t matter if it’s the truth (which could in fact be an interesting twist). His behavior is still atrocious. Some people know they are important, but at least have some humility and respect others. I have met a number of arguably important people, some who are simply full of themselves and their success and who are entitled jerks; and some who treat you like a colleague, neighbor or friend even though they know they are in certain ways many levels above you.
Of course if Best is the only one who really matters because he’s the lynchpin villain, I don’t expect him to be nice, but the his conversation with the other characters is going to take a pretty weird turn. :-D
Well we all know he is conceited, but I for one believe he was really trying to be more of a team player as of late…
Now, if someone thought they were the most epic hero, saviour or the world… a quasi-messiah (acting and trying to fit into the role), and suddenly see their own fate as that of the villain, hated and alone…
How would that make most people feel? Even the more humble ones. I actually understand his actions on this page, when despair crashes down on you rage is not so farfetched… and obviously without restraint his flaws would show.
I am not defending him per se… it would just make more sense from a plot perspective, imo, if the intent is to have a deep character. It may happen that he is simply the douchebag we have come to know ;)
Sure, I think that would be quite shocking or baffling, and absolutely would make you want to cry “Lies!” if you thought you’d been doing good or being epic or whatever. I believe he has feelings, though they only concern himself.
Yes, perhaps sometimes a douchebag is just a douchebag. :-D
Tying into that… Is what Syr’nj just said. “You’re past compromise. Like Harki was.”
I wonder if syrnj doesn’t UNDERSTAND the pain, the NEED to be someone special that so defines best’s character..or she just doens’t CARE.
Yes, Best just did a very foolish, selfish thing. But the guy is also in a LOT of pain right now.and although he’s risked himself to help the group numerous times, they aren’t exactly going out of thier way to return the favor…they’re still hung up on the whole “he’s a douche, so we must hate him” thing…just like many/most of the viewers are. Maybe the team will come together and acturally ry to HELP the guy…but the Rules of Story lend themselves towards a more tragic outcome.
unless of course the author wants to be a bit more creative than the norm..which thus far he has.
This is interesting, because Syr’nj does in fact seem to be someone “special”–Elven royalty of some sort. Basically, she and Best are coming from opposite ends of the Elven societal spectrum and have entirely different ideas about “importance,” “success,” and “heroism.” But Syr’nj might profoundly understand what “special” means, depending on what is expected of royalty in her society.
I don’t think Best wants their help. Not at the moment.
Panel setup in this is SO confrontational, adding more to the tension…!
Also, Best’s reaction makes me want to bend him over my knee and beat the ever loving snot out of him.
Still, I’m very interested to know just what he – and everyone else – saw. It seemed to me that they all were seeing SOMEthing – were they all seeing the SAME thing?
Considering the devious minds of our lovely writing team….we’ll probably find out in five chapters or so :P
This is an awesome panel. Best’s face is worth a thousand words – most of which have been written before I read the comic today!
And then this happened
And after that, this happened.
Finally, at long last, Best has found his backup singers.
Apparently the basin gave the group about 30 seconds of warning that the world’s true hero, a very angry Conan the Barbarian, is about to come busting through the floor.
On a Battlepug, no less.
what’d I say? A sweet talker who’s all about teamwork until the moment he realizes he’s not getting the loot he wants.
/2 LFguild BIS Gear, 50k DPS, team player, my old guild is a bunch of nubs.
HA! Players who love the /gquit so much should really just PUG it out. At least then they’ll sometimes be justified when they rail about nubs.
Though honestly, of the gang so far the only one even remotely acting like the usual run of obsessive MMO players is Best. The others seem like pretty hardcore RPers. Aaaaand now I’m wondering if the Basin of Foresight was a BoP trinket. (A little big for a trinket…..)
It seems the person who got some foresight was Syr’nj.
Still not liking Best. (Yes, enough booing) But really, don’t we all know some sad sack like him anyway? Rather have him not even in the story, but whatcha gonna do? The writer has a plan, probably a good one involving redemption yadda yadda yadda…
I find people who would prefer Best’s personality (such as it is…) over others appalling. Would you really prefer someone who treats others like garbage such as Best over someone who’s benevolent and treats his comrades with respect?
I’d compare Best with the Persian emperor from 300 – who truly believed himself to be a god, – and the ideal second personality with one such as King Arthur, who build the table for him and his knights as a round table, therefore making him and his brethren equal in all eyes.
King Arther also started his journey young and headstrong with a similar complex about being the only person capable of making a difference. He broke the sword in the stone because of his general recklessness which is why he needed the sword from the Lady in the water. Though he humbled with age and came to be known for the degree to which he listened to his underlings and the citizenry he was still an overall dick who’s negligence of his wife lead to the affair with Lancelot.
His petulant, immature, and flatout enraged reaction to the discovery of his wife’s misdeeds lead to his engaging in a war with one of his greatest and most well loved subordinates, over the course of which he lost everything and brought an end to the utopia he had created largely through the efforts of those who guided and aided him. He alienated everyone around him and died in disgrace.
I’m not so sure King Arther is so dramatically different a figure from Best as you believe him to be. A leader marked by a fate he didn’t expect, characterized initially by great arrogance which he later learned to temper with a strong sense of duty. A man who underwent great pains and made a lot of mistakes before he learned the value of his comrades. Ultimately a man who’s complete need to be the man he was prophesied to be lead to a karmic downfall. There’s a remarkably strong case that Best is in fact a young King Arthur.
Excellent character comparisons/analysis, both re: 300‘s Xerxes and King Arthur.
Brandon, when you say, “I find people who would prefer Best’s personality (such as it is…) over others…” do you mean, over the other (earlier) versions of Best’s own personality, or the personalities of the other characters?
I certainly do not prefer Best over the other characters, but given the choice, if I could not avoid him, I’d rather deal with an honest jerk than someone I can’t trust because his behavior fluctuates between putting my life at risk, saving it, being all sad and sensitive when I find that confusing, demanding I pay him back for everything “nice” he says or does, complimenting me, and insulting me, my friends and my work most of the time.
I’d like to see a crit table for his behavior. Something like:
01: Unprovoked Attack
02-03: Puts Your Life At Risk
04-14: General Douchebaggery and Insults
17: Backhanded Compliment
18: Declares Feelings with a Tear In His Eye (roll again on veracity table)
19: Says Something That Is Quite Possibly Truly Nice
20: Saves Your Life
I actually do have a tendency to choose the assholes as my favorites. I just find that easier to empathize with.
This being said it doesn’t mean I don’t like the rest of the cast. I love them one and all for their own unique reasons. Byron for his mind, Syrnj for her heart, Gravedust for his wisdom and Frigg being such a fucking lady.
I don’t know if I’d actually list Best as my favorite for this strip either, as I know full well that this has changed a lot depending on who’s getting the most moments in the spotlight and lately that’s been Best. Syrnj has been my fave for much of the story and I gotta say Frigg is never low on the ranking. Certainly right now I’m enjoying Best a lot, but in the grand scheme of things I’ve definitely spent the most time admiring Syrnj.
Oddly, I haven’t seen a lot of defenses of Best’s personality. They just say he’s good, and their reasoning is that he’s effective and working for the good guys. The argument is that effective trumps nice.
Which is sort of true, until person who has been gaining levels bein’ all effective for the good guys goes evil – which Best totally can, and may be starting in on now – and all that lovely efficiency is turned to the task of mayhem and/or tyranny.
I personally like all the characters, though I do admit I am developing special affection for Best. I like competent characters (and whatever his personality, he is very competent indeed), I enjoy antagonists in general, and thinking about him in terms of this being his MMO avatar?
Assuming the players got to create their own characters, his is very interesting to think about, to me. First, he chose to be a Shit Elf – probably physically weaker than humans, no magic like other elves, no obvious racial advantages. Second, he chose to be a bard, which I strongly doubt is the class that your standard DPS powergamer in Arkerra goes with (I’m betting that’s Crusader). He then proceeds to own all over the place with it! Now that’s powergaming. Anybody can own the universe as a min/max crusader, it takes skill to do it as a shit elf bard.
“Something is…” – What, Gravedust, what?!? I need you to finish that sentence right now, dammit!
Check where he’s looking.
The floor? Interesting. So many things can come up through the floor.
I believe it has something to do with the KRROOOOMMMM!, i.e. everything is starting to crack, so not sure if something is coming or if instead it is leaving… as in the floor under their feet.
self fulfilling prophesy?
- Best sees he’ll be unimportant
- Best smashes the basin + “because I am”
- the group dumps Best, again
- Best becomes unimportant because the Group dumped him
Maybe he saw that the world is actually made of chocolate.
Everyone else was throwing wild conjecture out there, so I figured I’d do it too.
Not the multi-colored world they’re in now, though. The “sepia” world…that’s not sepia. This means everything’s chocolate except the five and Dedalus’ tie.
aw, i was hoping his narcsism wouldnt completely stop him from being part o the group, oh well, twas fun when it lasted
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