October 19th, 2018

I mentioned committing diabolical crimes within the City a few weeks ago, and I have numerous fond memories of doing so. This was done via City of Villains, which was a complementary game released a few years after the original, City of Heroes MMO. The two took place in the same 'space', and when fighting crime became tiresome, you could log into CoV and literally wreak havoc at your leisure.

The first criminal I built for my misadventures within the Rogue Isles, the setting for CoV, was Smash Apostrophe. This guy was originally a chunk of the regenerating hero, Dash Apostrophe, which somehow grew into a fully formed clone of that hero. A cutting, if you will, which while physically the same, was a bit different in the head. Touched, you see, and bearing an overwhelming disdain for law and order.

Smash was built as a nemesis of sorts for Dash, even though the two could never actually meet - at least, until the Architect system of user-submitted adventures was added to the game. He was a rogue bit of that hero who, despite not having the blade which supercharged his regeneration, carved a small empire for himself out of the Isles. And he did this with the devastating power of twin concussion gloves.

While Dash was a scrapper, a character archetype built to be the flashy solo melee combatant, Smash was a stalker. These guys were essentially assassins, who specialized in ambushes and single-target damage. And Smash was an excellent stalker, because he hit hard even before the damage boost he received when striking from a hidden state. And when hidden beforehand... whoo.

He wasn't quite the mayhem machine you'd get when playing a brute, or capable of generating the sheer bedlam a mastermind can, but stalkers lent themselves to defeating their enemies most satisfyingly. And one could rapidly work their way through the vast, vast majority of missions with a stalker without bothering with most of the fights right before the end, so they could advance through the plot super fast.

While Smash was my first villainous character, he wasn't my favorite. But, the silver lining that came out of his origin is the notion of a nemesis for Dash that was an evil reflection of himself, literally and figuratively. Which, as you can probably guess, is the prime motivator of the plot in that book that I might someday manage to finish. A task that might be easier if I worked on that instead of, say, this site.

Note to self: fix that link to the literature post sometime!

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