In this, the first edition of many articles (I hope), I will endeavour to pay homage to a wide variety of differing gaming characters, and explain my reasoning for their induction as Idols. Today I pay tribute to one of the most emotionally compelling protagonists ever committed to a console, Mr John Marston. Warning; spoilers present.
There are few gaming characters that register on such an emotionally poignant standing the way that John Marston does. Marston is deemed one of the most complex protagonists ever facilitated into gaming. Fusing elements that initially provokes reactions of a man brutally indiscreet with his pleasantries, a penitent for eliciting deeply corrosive hate across the West, but develops into a sympathetic rogue, vulnerable in his way and susceptible to manipulations of kidnappers that are holding his family captive to recoup his services, which obviously entail various continual acts of scrutiny to inhabitants whose crimes and indiscretions are largely anonymous from his perspective. John Marston isn’t a charismatic protagonist–even referring to him as a protagonist is a distorted accentuation of the truth–with his previous grievances associated his past well stipulated. He’s a broken man, with a less than tactful persuasion, but none the less an intimidating presence that commands silence from a boisterous room of vocal joviality whenever he enters a bustling tavern, with respectful recognition and measured, though assured courtesy subtly demonstrated by its patrons. With a cordial tip of a hat or soliciting a dignified nod of admiration, gestured with both respect for his person and anxiety for his notoriety, all reciprocated by Marston with a similar postulating.
There’s a modesty associated with his actions, as though every outlaw killed is less exceptional with every fluid manipulation of the trigger, as well as vulnerability that contradicts–as well as infuses he’s somewhat gross recantation. He’s certainly not a heroic entity that’s praised for his noble deeds, but more akin to a duty that must be stoically fulfilled however reprehensible, and accepting his responsibilities curtly, if reluctantly. Every facet, every brutal retaliation is vindicated by his actions in the context of his family’s safety. He’s a desperate vigilante in ever-increasing circumstances that seldom dictate his moral ambiguity, through the purity of his actions. He’s accustomed to the ways of death, with barely an ounce of trepidation, and though of course its you that’s manipulating his every reprisal, you can’t help but adopt similar urgency for finality that drives his determination. He’s not motivated by greed or money, his purpose transcends such trivialities. Its his devotion to his family and his home, a man on the cusp of desperation, and someone so willing to commit grotesque deeds is certainly not someone to be trifled with.
Of course my observations and digressions are partially tenable, though admittedly composed of my own imaginative supposition. Such conjectures may seem like a vague surmise of a fictitious character that can be interpreted as admissible, when pertaining to his inclusion as a gaming idol. He solicits a an enigmatic regard for his actions, a brazen attitude to often violent proceedings, seemingly driven by melancholy of the circumstances that directly afflict his progress, they’re all deplorable indiscretions that will surely culminate in his simulated, eternal damnation. But despite–or perhaps in spite of his forced tendencies, his solemn dedication, as well as his assured devotion to his family; these are his most honourable qualities. Somehow the eternal penance that sternly emblazoned his soul, that ultimately culminates in saturating the West in a scarlet valeur of desecration, thereby attaining a consummation of truly horrific incidents, John Marston’s retaliations seem justified. He’s an important character that deserves highlighting, that demonstrates that life is not defined by the apparitions of indiscretions past, that there is no finality to life if your remembered, whether by your family or even your enemies reciting your infamy. Marston’s ultimate demise is made all the more poignant because of his sympathetic digressions, that solicits a encumbering desire to delay his inevitability.
Red Dead Redemption resonates with consistent demonstrations of personal, moralistic redemption all significant in their own pertinent way. But Marston’s is deeper, spiritual though not so corny, but certainly emotive. Not because of the events depicted, but because we’ve experienced the journey with him, pulled the trigger when the game necessitates, and it’s because of this that John Marston will not be forgotten and should hereby be catalogued as one of the few “human” characters every simulated.
Were you able to relate to John Marston? And do you believe that he deserves such notoriety as a gaming idol? Let me know your opinions. Cheers.