Welcome story lovers, writers and Game Devs.
Today, we look at the Character Arc of Static Protagonists.
There is a debate between writers who call Static Protagonists Flat Arcs and Static Arcs. I prefer the latter description. TV static changes from moment to moment, but it does not change the content on the screen – like the Static Protagonist changes the world around them, but the world does not change them.
The Static Protagonist continues to uphold their truths as they go out into the world, experiencing the world that is in chaos.
Like myself, I will never back down on the idea you can only build your life when you stop listening to others telling you how to live. I do not care if it is some “Influencer” or your parents and other “leaders”. You need to take agency and build your life your way.
Because they do not change, the world starts changing around them. Truthful people inspire oppressed people to take action and anger those who benefit from a world in chaos.
Aloy becomes that focus in Horizon Zero Dawn (HZD). She never stops believing in her compassion and resourcefulness, which inspires others.
The Planning Process
In a Static Character Arc – the character is healthy because their past does not hold them back. They are capable of navigating their future. They inspire others to take action and help make the world a better place.
What is ill is the world around them because the antagonist force oppresses the people.
In a world where the Internet is turning 100s of thousands of people into fanatics who would risk getting fired from a sweet job because “Biden stole Trump’s election!” someone has to tell people, “stop making decisions because people on the Internet tell you what is real!”
In Horizon Zero Dawn (HZD), the world is in chaos because the machines are hostile to people. Nobody knows what is causing the problem because the tribes are too primitive to understand the machine world.
Aloy acts as the healer. She is kind, resourceful, and gifted. She takes her gifts to learn what affected the machines and the machine world, helping her world!
When you create a Static protagonist, the world needs to heal from lies that hold it back, so you need to make the character exactly what the world needs.
Aloy’s quest is a fantastic example of the Hero’s journey.
In the first act, Aloy learns how to hunt machines and food from her adoptive father, Rost. He also shows her how robots are becoming more dangerous than five years ago.
While she grows up, she uses the focus she found to understand the robotic world. Again, she is different from the primitive tribes around her.
And during the tutorial, Aloy can start to show compassion. She can choose not to throw a stone back at a Nora boy who hit her with one. She contrasts her primitive world by turning the other cheek.
Much of the Static MC’s arc will be all on their goal. Aloy wants to know who her parents are.
Once Aloy realizes that joining the Nora tribe means she would have to leave Rost behind, she says she will do anything to prevent it, denying the call of adventure. But Rost gives his life for Aloy, removing the last connection to her old world.
She competes in the Proving and wins, giving her a boon from the Matriarchs. She asks them to find out who her parents are. They take her to the “All Mother” because that is where they found her 18 years ago. Nothing happens other than the door says it can not confirm her identity because there is corruption in the registry. The Matriarchs make her a Seeker to find out what is going on.
Aloy’s goal is thwarted by the corruption of the machine world, pushing her forward. Once Aloy leaves the Sacred Lands, a corruptor attacks the northern settlement. After Aloy defeats the machine, she takes its corruption module and attaches it to her war spear. She can control and interact with the machine world now. She crafts the “Magic Sword”.
She goes to Meridian to find Olin, who may be involved in the assassination attempt during the Proving, and he says she looks like images of a woman in old ruins.
While tracking him down, there were was at least one plot to steal her war spear. Everyone wanted it because it controls the machines – the magic sword had to be theirs, not hers!
Aloy wonders, is this her mother? So she goes to find out all she can. She goes to an old ruin to learn about the woman in Olin talked about, Lizabet Sobeck, who created Project Zero Dawn, preserving humanity and life against the Faro Plague as the machines destroyed all life on Earth and met Silens.
But she needed to know more about this woman who could be her mother. But she will have to go to a city controlled by the Antagonistic force, Hades, an AI that wants to cause the extinction of all life on Earth again. She has to prevent it from capturing her.
She has to head into enemy territory to disable Hades’ network so she can go to Sundown without being noticed. After she narrowly evades death from all the robots under Hades’ control, she heads to Sundown, intending to learn more about Project Zero Dawn and Elizabet Sobeck.
Once she gets in, she finds out even more, including the extinction and what humanity did to preserve life, and she repairs the registry with her Spear.
As she repairs the registry, she gets captured by Helios. She wakes up without her focus, her bow or armour. Furthermore, she must fight robots in an arena. With the help of Silens, Aloy escapes and goes back to the Sacred Lands to save the Nora Tribe from Eclipse and Hades.
Aloy also finds out that she is the clone of Elizabet Sobeck, which is why the network responds to her. Gaia pleads with her to purge Hades and to save the world. Her last comment, all things are possible through Elizabet (aka Aloy), is a reminder that humanity is the key to healing the world, not an AI!
Once she leaves the area, she brings the elixir to help heal the land. She rallies the Nora Tribe to fight Hades, “a machine devil”, and the Matriarchs make all the Nora Braves who go to Meridian seekers so they can leave the sacred lands.
Aloy fights against Helis one last time and kills him, and saves the world by defeating Hades before it could send the signal to start up the full Faro Plague again.
Aloy inspired all of this because she acted as the focus that inspired others to do their best.
Static Character Arcs are heroic stories where the MC inspires other characters.
Aloy inspires Rost with her ingenuity and empathy. Aaron recognizes how amazing Aloy is as she helps people and uses technology in “mystical” ways. People want her war spear, the magic sword, because it controls the machines, something people want to learn. And Hades and Helios want her dead because she is in their way.
When you create an SCA, make sure you focus on what is wrong with the world and why the MC is the perfect person to heal it.
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And have a great day!