Characters of Color – Tavish ‘The Demoman’ Degroot

TF2_Main

Yeah, he’s a toy now. Actually he’s the perfect toy – teach kids everywhere that the best way to solve problems is to drink heavily and blow sheetz up. Buy yours today!

 

Yeah, this one we all saw coming. To be honest I’m actually surprised with myself for not put up sooner everyone’s favorite angry, drunken, one eyed, black, Scottish, explosive expert: the Demoman. This master of bringing the boom was orphaned at a young age to cultivate his TNT talents in the cold cruel world. Which would have been preferable compared to his actual parents, who are bind, crazed, workaholics, who believe having fewer than 26 separate jobs is slacking off. With them finishing up his training he grew up knowing blowing things to kingdom come was the only way and peace can only be found in a bottle. Heck he tried to have a best friend in the blue soldier (please note: that the main characters are usually on the red team, also why would he be friends with the blue soldier when the red soldier is exactly like him? Maybe he likes blue? I don’t know…), but to prevent the merc teams from finding out that they’re working for the same people they instigated a feud between the two with the promise of new weapons and outright lies. So the Demoman, TF merc, exploder of stuff, legendry drunk, tragic Character of Color.

 

 

 

 

 

Characters of Color – Samuel D. ‘Sarge’ Redford

Sarge

 

Once again it’s February people and for those who are experiencing February for the first time, it’s Black History Month. For the Armada that means a whole month of us highlighting the great black characters in games and animation in a segment we call Characters of Color. To start off this year we got an overlooked character in one of my personal favorite games:  Samuel D. ‘Sarge’ Redford. Now this guy is the squad leader of B Company or Bad Company in the game series Battlefield: Bad Company. Why, because this squad is full of soldiers (yeah, all four of them) that aren’t the ‘best of the best’ but the ‘screws ups of the meh’. Sarge himself is a creditable soldier but choose to lead B Company because he can retire early if he does. That’s right Sarge is not only rockin the ‘Retirony’ but the ‘Black Dude Dies First’ tropes. Guess what though, not only is he a component, no non-sense soldier that doesn’t die in the end, but is a wise and true leader taking responsibility for the knuckleheaded crap the team does (I’m looking at you Haggard) to the point of sacrificing his own retirement again and again to keep the brass of their backs. Sarge’s voiced by Bruce Johnson who also lent his talents to Crysis 2, which is also an awesome game. Finally Redford as well as the rest of Bad Company, despite being looked down as bullet fodder, was bad arse enough to steal mercenary gold in the first game and destroy a WWII super weapon in the second.  So Samuel D. Redford and salute you as an awesome character of color as the month is on the way.

 

 

 

 

 

Characters of Color – Dee Jay

 

Once again its February people and for those who aren’t in the throes of passion, its Black History Month. For the Armada that means a whole month of us highlighting the great black characters in games and animation. We start with everyone’s favorite smiling street fighter: Dee Jay. Hailing from the islanded paradise of Jamaica; Dee Jay is an extremely skilled kickboxer who not only defeated Adon and Sagat during his tournament runs, and fended off a Psycho Driven M.Bison, but managed to get a sweet record deal and became a musical pop star. DJ is also great because he was the only American made character for the Street Fighter series. Add to the fact that he has the most versatile fighting style for charge characters in the series what do you got: a pretty awesome character of color who will beat you down and smile while doing it.

 

 

 

 

 

Character Quote (Black History Edition) – Yancy Westridge

 

“Beyond the guns, tech, and sneaking around in the dark, there’s one last part of this job that nobody else here quite gets.”

 

Alpha Protocol, I had it picked out as one of the games to get for last year. However thanks to stodgy controls and Gamecube style graphics (the main character was fine however, don’t buy the dissenting opinion from haters) the game was received poorly – so much so that it won’t have a chance at a sequel to learn from its mistakes (no justice – Lara Croft cranks out substandard, craptastic games every couple of years). So for my next Black History Character Quote I have chosen Yancy Westridge, the enigmatic leader of the clandestine Alpha Protocol organization. Now despite his comical first name, Yancy Westridge is quite the BA normal who fills many roles in the game. He is both teacher and adviser to players early on in the game, he is cunning and sees beyond himself in world of covert opt intelligence as he commands (or rather manipulates) respect from even hardcore white wash agents like Alan Parker, and just when you think you have all the answers – he changes the questions. He’s only loyal to his country and sees people as either tools or obstacles. Calling him a ‘good guy’ would be a stretch, but no one would question he does the wrong things for the right reasons; and because of all these reasons Westridge makes my list here. Black people in fiction, who aren’t the main characters (or sometimes are) are very one dimensional; Yancy is so wonderfully complex he would make Batman cry (A joke people, a joke. Don’t send any hate mail please).

Character Quote (Black History Edition) – Elena

“This is my best dance, performed especially for you!”

 

Alrighty, my next gaming character of color is Elena from the Street Fighter III series. Now black people in fighting games are generally boxers, sports fighters (see ‘I Know Madden Kombat’) or very, very angry. Elena breaks all those stereotypes and still manages to be an effective fighter; she’s the cheery princess of an African tribe and uses the Capoeira fighting style to strike fast and hard with dance-like moves and fancy legwork. I’ve never used her before but I’ve seen her in action, a few quick combos and a strong enough finisher and that’s game. Or as one of the first fighters’ in history to use healing, a smart player can just outlast their opponents by playing defensely. And finally being one of the first black women fighters in a fighting game, Elena proves that sisters can do it for themselves.

Character Quote (Black History Edition) – Barret Wallace

When I’m through, there won’t be s single sucka standing!

Well then people, other than hearts and love and crap, February is also known for Black History Month. Africans Americans have come a long way since the start of our little nation here, however if there’s anything harder than finding a black person surviving past the first act in any movie is finding them as main characters (or at least main cast) in video games. As a black man myself (although my family tree is quite the genetic cocktail) I try to do right by my people so for the whole month I’ll be highlight great black characters in gaming – starting with Barret Wallace. Sure he’s big, large, had a mini-gun for a hand, and was Mr. T like character in general, but the fact he is an interesting (if not humorous) part of the main cast of Final Fantasy 7 makes him more than note worthy. Thanks to his inclusion, more and more people of color are starting to make their way into the gaming genre. Here to you my man, keep giving Shinra hell!