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Monday
Feb132012

Introducing: Persephone

The myth of the Nox Oracle has many conflicting accounts. The common theme is that a woman in a black dress walks out of the darkness, often accompanied by her two dogs, and makes a memorable night. Some stories depict her as seductive and intoxicating to both men and women. Other stories depict her as cruel and sadistic, while still others portray her as wise and nurturing.

Persephone is her true name.

The most powerful beings of the Realm have several different kinds of power. Quince's power comes from lies, deception, and propaganda. DeGrey's power is his ability to shed light on the truth. Grave's power comes from relentless training and discipline, while Menelker's power is the will to do what others can't or won't do. Persephone's power is tapping into the most base and animal desires and having complete mastery over her own emotions as well as the emotions of others. It's a kind of power that even tough guys like Grave and Menelker aren't prepared to face.

While the stories about Persephone's sadistic nature are not entirely false, they also aren't the whole picture. She does revel in the pain of others, but it's pain mixed with pleasure. Even her unwilling victims become willing during the heightened experiences she creates, and some have said she made them feel "truly alive."

While Persephone enjoys "play," don't forget your place. She is serious and looks after those weaker than her, admiring their inner strength. She understands trends and people as only an outsider can--sometimes we're too close to our own problems to see them. Several times throughout history, Persephone has intervened and changed the course of events to favor those who she believes deserve to be favored.

Generations ago during a day of great turmoil, DeGrey was mortally wounded, impaled by a wooden post. Persephone appeared, and after a bit of "play," offered DeGrey a second chance at life as long as he pursued his mission. DeGrey accepted, and Persephone left a (tormenting) spirit behind to watch over DeGrey. DeGrey owes his unnaturally long life to the Nox Oracle.

Several years ago, when Onimaru claimed the Stormborne Family Sword from Grave's father in battle, Persephone stepped out of the night to retake that sword. Grave was just a young boy, crying as Persephone comforted him and presented him with his father's weapon. It was his now, though she cautioned him never to use it unless it's necessary.

She may have had other adventures, but no one seems to talk about these things.

Persephone's gameplay involves controlling the opponent, and making them take actions that might be painful for them. Here's her Dominance from Flash Duel:

She forces the opponent to move, rather than taking other actions he (or she) might prefer to take. This means Persephone can land on a space that might otherwise be unsafe, then disrupt the opponent's plans to attack by forcing them to move out of position. Even when she doesn't actually play Dominance, it still affects the match because the opponent will often try to stay off the dark spaces on the board to avoid Persephone's charms.

In Yomi, one of Persephone's super moves is Mistress's Command which allows her to control the opponent's turn. She makes them play the worst combat card possible, while she does what she likes to them. One drawback is that characters have only two super moves, and this taking up one of those slots means that she has no high damage super.

In Puzzle Strike, her Mistress's Command is one of the most flashy effects in the game. It's still undergoing development, so the specifics might change.

She can only use her command if the *opponent's* gem pile is the right size, which means it's not easy to set up. If she can play her Command though, she can make the opponent use chips in a backfiring way that they'd normally never do. For example, she can force them to ante a big gem with Risky Move, trash their best chips with No More Lies, or waste their Crash Gem the turn before they need it the most. There's a lot of ways to use Mistress's Command to set up awesome traps, and it will surely be the source of many glorious rage quits.

Persephone is playful, dominating, sadistic, nurturing, and she has your number. Next time we'll cover Gloria, a healer who never gives up hope.

Reader Comments (6)

I love these profile things, and it's great to hear about how you translate the personality of a character into a moveset for a game. Or do you do that in reverse, coming up with a gameplay mechanic and thinking about what kind of character would use that?

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAzure Lazuline

It's more like coming up with a set of personalities that represent different player-interests as well as different ways of thinking. And also, separately, coming up with a set gameplay styles (for example, someone who wants to get close and do big throws, someone who wants to do a bunch of fast weak moves, etc). Then it's time to do some matching, like drawing lines from column A to column B and figure out which thing goes where and making sure every gameplay thing we wanted and every personality we wanted are covered.

In say, Rook's case he came very strongly from the gameplay side. We really need a big throw guy of some sort. In Persephone's case, she came more from the personality angle, to appeal to controlling players who want to mess with people. Argagarg almost came from both sides at once because we needed a keep away character but we also needed someone "weird," because some players just really want to play an unusual looking character, like a fish guy with too many limbs. His personality, weirdness, and gameplay role all kind of came together at once.

February 15, 2012 | Registered CommenterSirlin

My congratulations to the artist. Persephone is the best looking character in the game now (sorry Val).

And this seems like a very annoying character to go against. Im going to love playing with her deck...

February 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThiago

Sirlin, is there any chance for you to make a high def version of Persephone's drawing (not the chibi, the serious one) avaliable? Id like to have it as a wallpaper on my tablet...

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThiago

Hmm, not yet but ok I will keep that in mind for the future when putting some wallpapers together.

March 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterSirlin

Please, do. That's just the prettiest art in all cards, and i surely want her as my Xoom walpaper.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThiago
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