One Shot: Maddi
Game: The Forgotten
Theme Song: The Classics by Owl and Mouse
Keywords: Optimistic, emotional, hopeful
When I was at the cottage, we decided to use the freezing cold bunkie (One little one-room cottage that had a bunk bed in it and that's it) to play the Forgotten, a game about living in a war torn city. It was freezing. It was so cold. We all had blankets. And one light. Did I mention it was cold?
We pulled our characters and our relationships randomly. I was playing an art student who was in love with a lawyer (who was partner at his firm, dude wasn't young) and the daughter of a smuggler. She worked at a local art store to pay her way through art school and was mostly into sculpture. Maddi wanted to work with her hands, and to make beautiful things for the world.
That was, until the war broke out. It had been two years of living with her mom, her cousin, her potential brother in law, and her boyfriend. Two. Years. She had been nineteen when all this started. At twenty-one she thought she knew how tough the world was. But for the most part, she was with family. Her boyfriend's brother was there, and he was pretty resilient. He was a taxi driver, and the family fuck up, or at least, that's what Leo (her boyfriend) had said.
The artist is optimistic and does well when she talks about her feelings. So I made Maddi the one who was always trying to find the bright side of things, and the one who carried the hope torch. I designed her to be the one checking in on people and being young and stupid about stuff. The kind of young and stupid that made most people smile, not get angry and frustrated. It was a great way to keep her smiling. Plus she was super in love with her forty-something boyfriend.
Except, day one, the boyfriend and her mom go out to scavenge, and only her mom comes back. Her mom and her boyfriend didn't get along. Age being one of the reasons and legalities the other that came between the two, Maddi immediately thought her mom had abandoned Leo out in the war torn city. Turns out, Leo was shot and killed and never returned.
This means I immediately had a breakdown as Maddi and she felt like everything had gone wrong from that point on. She quickly bonded with her lover's brother. They mourned him, and took turns constantly searching for him. It broke Maddi's heart that she never found him, and of course, she never would. My intention had been to make Maddi the cheerful one. Once Leo was gone, she became depressed and anxious. She snuck out before the others could, or ran out whenever they told her she couldn't go.
It became a hallmark of her character: The girl always searching. Or the girl who waited if you're a doctor who fan. I really liked playing Maddi because she spent a good amount of time crying with people and being the one who allowed people to be sad, because she was constantly sad. She kept everyone honest about those feelings. Everyone became really protective over her. Especially her cousin who called her "Kid once removed" when they joked about how they were actually related.
He was a really great guy and probably the one Maddi liked the most. He was also killing people every night and just forging ahead without telling anyone about the atrocities he was doing. It was intense to find out afterwards and blew my mind a little. It would have absolutely horrified Maddi to find out that he was a killer, and I'm not sure how she would have dealt with that information. She did find out towards the end that her lover had been married, apparently happily, even though they had been together before the war. She tried not to let it break her heart, but failed.
Overall, Maddi was a good bleed character for letting me cry and mourn. I was only a week out from my aunt and a family dog passing and the death anniversary of my dad. So it was intense. Now all that being said, I was so happy to play it and to play as someone who actually got to go out and make decisions. Last time I never left because I was too valuable as a cook. I love this game. I'm really hoping we can play it again in the future.
Maddi was an okay character. Emotional characters are normal for me, but it felt safe to play given how upside down I have been feeling. Next time I would play her a little more nosey and direct about how people are feeling but for now, it was good enough.