Alternate (genocide) route to ch2 just got discovered and what you said about Noelle being a catalyst???? Not off the mark
indeed, it's eerie, no?
out of everything we’ve seen with noelle this chapter, two things stand out to me.
the first is the fact that out of all the available lightners, queen picks noelle to be her “peon”. what qualities is she looking for in a minion? it’s not raw combat ability or drive, or she’d pick susie. it’s not cleverness or tactical thinking, which is more kris’ (or the player’s) forte. berdly she actively tries to get rid of (and who wouldn’t?). but noelle, she singles out for her apparently unique “potential”.
it’s not a random decision. chaotic and inscrutable as queen may be, she absolutely knows what she’s doing here & we have to pay attention. she chose noelle because she knows her to be troubled. noelle’s dad is dying; her mom is distant, and when she isn’t, she’s strict. she misses her sister, dess, who just… isn’t there, and we don’t know why. she’s timid and anxious, terrified of mice and humans under her bed and asking out the girl she likes. it’s no wonder she’s probably googling some pretty upsetting stuff.
the dark world of deltarune is, explicitly, a manifestation of escapism. i don’t remember the exact wording, but ralsei mentions that the darkners’ purpose is to support lightners; darkners are toys, games, computers, music players. things that let people relax, create, live out their fantasies. you can’t live in a fantasy world forever, hence the need for balance – a need for separation between the realms. however, fantasy and imagination does serve an important purpose, which is to let one reflect and expand their horizons.
think about susie.
at the outset, she is a deeply unpleasant character. she’s rude, scary, and threatens to murder you. however, it’s heavily implied that her attitude is a defense mechanism, possibly from a neglectful and/or abusive upbringing or poverty. her time in the dark world gives her a reprieve from her circumstances, lets her re-examine herself and lower her guard – and as it turns out, the real susie, albeit rough around the edges, is a fun, loyal person, protective of her friends. her journey into escapism made her a better individual.
what does noelle do when given the chance to play out her fantasies?
fucking murder a guy.
(which is the second aforementioned thing.)
she does it at your behest, sure, but it’s not like the characters in deltarune have to follow your every whim. you, the player, only really control kris. the others are perfectly capable of refusing to do something they don’t want to do. again, susie stands out as someone with a mind of her own about how things should be done, and demonstrates it frequently. the difference between her and noelle is the latter’s lack of confidence. she realizes that she doesn’t know what the snow grave spell does, but concedes her better judgment under pressure.
that lack of confidence in herself likely carries over fully into the real world. someone like noelle, with the kind of pressures she’s experiencing, is much more likely to withdraw, rather than face the challenges head-on and assert herself. she’s in much more danger of being drawn to fantasy to the point of never wanting to escape. hence, her being picked by the queen as the vessel for a dark takeover of the world.
here’s one more way to look at it: susie and noelle are narrative foils. susie starts out as someone scary and aggressive, and openly identifies as a “bad guy”. i think many of us thought she would be the main antagonist when she was first introduced. noelle, on the other hand, with her nice, quiet attitude and her dark world getup screaming “healer”, is revealed to be into horror, occult pursuits, and is apparently the most capable of actually killing so far. how the turntables.
now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s going to go evil, or that she’s even a bad person. i don’t think there’s such a thing as a truly bad person in a toby fox game. she’s a teenager with anxiety and a lot going on in her life, and her killing berdly is arguably accidental (what with her thinking she’s in a dream). however, when she inevitably reaches her breaking point, she could end up doing something irresponsible, with heavy consequences for all.
“angel’s heaven” comes to mind.
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gif by the wonderful valentina @maygrant
when i made this sideblog back in january, it was because season 4 was about to start and i wanted a place to obsess in peace and find some people to do that with - i didn't think i'd find that many, or that 1k of you would find me!
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