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Monday
Feb062012

Introducing: Menelker

Master Menelker is a mysterious and misunderstood figure, though he's widely known as the most powerful martial artist in the Realm.

Midori and Menelker (The Two Dragons) are sons of the legendary Memnarch. While Midori and Menelker are both skilled martial artists and they can both take the forms of dragons (green and black, respectively), they have diametrically opposed philosophies. Midori believes in nurturing and honor. Menelker believes in winning, and if that happens to involve harsh training or "cheap" tactics, then so be it. A win is a win. Menelker embodies "playing to win."

That said, Menelker has no interest in harming innocents or fighting non-combatants. Instead, he seeks combat from the most skilled opponents he can find, and expects that they will use whatever means they can to win, as will he. Menelker has been known to engage in deathmatches--fights to the death--but only when both parties agree to such serious business.

Eventually, Menelker ran out of worthy opponents. Even the Fantasy Strike tournament would be a just a trifle to him, not even worth his time. Menelker left the Realm in search of greater challenge. During this time, many referred to him as the Exiled Dragon, and hoped he'd never return. Where did he go? We've all heard fairy tales about the Dreadlands to the north, but Menelker dared to see what's truly there.

He discovered the Undead Scourge of the Dreadlands (a playable faction in the upcoming customizable card game) and found dangers greater than any had imagined. There he learned a name that mortals of the Realm do not yet know: Vandy Anadrose, the Queen of Demons. (Or Queen of D's as some say.) The undead Queen has made bargains with beings who don't belong in our world. Even Menelker, a seeker of true power, knows that some things are too dangerous. Bargaining with the Beyond is bound to backfire.

Menelker barely survived this investigation. His very lifeforce was nearly sucked out of him, and half his body is now gray with the pallor of death. He returned to the Realm, saw the worthless clockwork army of Flagstone, and knew that he needed worthy opponents more than ever. This time not to defeat, but to train. Of all the warriors of the Realm, he saw the most potential in Grave Stormborne. Unfortunately, Midori has held back Grave by withholding training in the so-called dark arts. Master Memnarch accepted all maneuvers that lead to victory as valid, and Menelker agrees. Grave needed to go to the next level, and Menelker knew Midori was the real obstacle.

Menelker, The Exiled Dragon returned to challenge Midori to a deathmatch. Midori accepted. Two Dragons fought and then one remained. Deathstrike Dragon, indeed.

Although Grave was consumed with rage, this fueled his training more than ever. While Menelker is a villain in Grave's eyes, he's also ultimately Grave's true mentor. The two went on to have several encounters, and each time Grave would learn one of his own weaknesses, as Menelker demonstrated how to abuse "cheap tactics" that Grave was unprepared for.

Menelker's gameplay often gives him access to mechanics that previously seemed off limits. For example, look at his Into Oblivion ability from Flash Duel:

No other ability can destroy an ability card. While this may be off limits to other characters, Menelker has no issue with it. While his abilities are intentionally unfair feeling, they are balanced to be actually fair.

Menelker can actually do the same trick in Puzzle Strike:

Removing a bank stack from the game is something only Menelker can do. It has a taboo feeling to it, but actually it's quite fair. It's a bit weak in practice, and his Deathstrike Dragon chip makes up for that by being incredibly powerful, and incidentally the only self-trashing character chip in Puzzle Strike (another taboo tactic of Menelker's). I'll let you research for yourself what that does by checking out our guide.

Next time we'll cover Mistress Persephone, a character who is just as powerful as Menelker, but in a very different way.

Reader Comments (13)

What, Midori is dead?

Now I'm confused, how can they both participate in the tournament if one is dead?

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeartes

To Leartes: Have you forgotten that Max Geiger can simply retrieve Midori from the past?

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElkein

Midori is really a puppet of his beard. Menelker killed Midori's body, but the beard survived and continues to animate him.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChoke Artist

Well, while the time travel solution is viable, I'd like to hear about the question from Sirlin himself, I'm just too curious at this point to just speculate on the matter...

Also, maybe so much meddling with time by Geiger would get Quince to do something more than just being upset with Rook and his gang, wouldn't it..?

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCiabs

I don't think Midori does participate in the tournament after that point. I also don't think it matters even the tiniest bit for gameplay. Regarding narrative, his spirit could stick around after death.

February 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterSirlin

These articles provide lots of interesting information. Now I finally know why Master Menelker has a white-grey right side. I always wondered about that.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStar Slayer

So Midori is the scrub of fantasy strike?

February 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPlayer2

Midori is the Charlie/Nash of Fantasy Strike. He's been killed off, but he's still playable.

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterindeed_something

It's hard for me to put into words how much I loved this bio. I've never really been quite sure to what degree the Fantasy Strike character backgrounds are just cliches played straight, or tongue-in-cheek call outs to general Japanese-ish fantasy ideas, or perhaps subtle parodies of the same. Regardless, I laughed several times today after reading, and then just thinking about, this bio. I also couldn't stop telling my friends about it because I thought it was so funny - in a good way!

'And then he killed Midori because he thought he was holding Grave back and wants a true opponent to face' sounds like something right out of Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, or any shonen type stories, (but I also get the sense that this is very deliberate) and also fits awesomely into the 'Fantasy Strike is a videogame we just haven't seen it yet' concept, because it helps set up elaborate relationships for the characters that you would only know about if you bothered to read the manual.

My hat goes off to you once again Sirlin. I really enjoy these character backstories.

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterswordsman3003

Thanks! There are serious themes, yet also plenty of "genre elements" and nods to other stories. Glad you like. ;) You might also notice the similarity to this chapter of my book: http://www.sirlin.net/ptw-book/using-your-power.html

February 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterSirlin

That's kind of sad...I've grown quite attached to Midori.

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRonin

I like Midori, but it makes sense that, story wise, he would die. The "old mentor" archetypal character frequently ends up dying in stories as part of the main character's journey (see Obi-Wan Kenobi for a well-known example), so not having Midori die would be less cliche and therefore not as appropriate for the world of Fantasy Strike, which seems to take considerable glee in using cliches in an entertaining way.

Sirlin, you seem to be very well read, but, if you haven't yet read it, I recommend finding time to read Joseph Campbell's Hero With a Thousand Faces. It's basically THE book on storytelling archetypes and common elements of "hero" stories. It might give you some ideas in how to add to the lore for the Fantasy Strike universe.

March 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMorn

I know Campbell's work well, thanks. ;)

March 14, 2012 | Registered CommenterSirlin
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