This is, of course, one of the last mainstream SSQ seasons. The one after it was the end of the 'original' SSQ style, and the ones before it were a bit short...
Hey there. I've placed the Plot Summary in its own page over here.
Plot Analysis...What. You're still reading this? Well. I hope you skipped down here. (Editor's note: Until I edited this, you had to read a huge block of text to get to this paragraph.) That summary was one of the longest ones I made (possibly ever made), taking multiple days and more. So let's boil it down even further, so sane people can understand. Sure, I'll lose a lot of details, but, this is just some old season... a decent one, but not the best thing ever.
Metal Man sent the Questers to Genetia to clean stuff up, but made a horrible mistake by not having them be led by anyone, so they killed the wrong people. The bad guys (Ricky's goons) took over Genetia until the Questers had an angst-based BSOD and eventually figured out how to get help and defeat Ricky once and for all. Then they uncovered Genetia's own home-grown villain, Dark Force, whom they also had to kill because he was apparently bent on keeping Genetia a gigantic wasteland forever.
The Season... well, it was good. The plot, that is. It got a little too complex at times, and in others it became a bit too slow, but it worked out in the end. I'd dare say this was one of my few good SSQ 1 seasons, post-Season 6. Now that's not a high bar to hit, but what was really tricky was how this season had CONTINUITY.
Look at Seasons 11-13. They can't hold their *bleep* together for more than a few sessions before becoming completely off-tangent. Meanwhile, Season 10 stays on course, occasionally taking a detour, but never falling apart. For that, and the way it beats the Questers over the head for being stupid psycho-killing maniacs, I have to give it props.
But the Questers in this season sucked. Well, not all of them. But here's a short list of the worst ones. There were others who contributed, but... I'm going to be nice and only list the most annoying ones.
Aetos: Annoying idiot. He should have been banned, or killed, or something. He added nothing but annoying stupidity to the plot. He, as another person said, basically didn't care about what was the smart thing t odo, and instead did the stupid thing in order to annoy/insult everyone else. Horrible. 10/10 on the suckiness scale.
Maester Magellean: Story-derailing jerk. Had no place in this season. His side-world antics were nothing short of godmodding cheapness. Of course, now I know things I didn't back then, but that's no excuse for the player not having cooperated with the story. A very annoying, but thankfully off-to-the-side person. Still, I can never forgive him for the child-killing. Even if it wasn't entirely Magellean's fault ICly, the player should have known better than to put that in SSQ. Not cool. 7/10 on the suckiness scale.
Glyph: Secondary Story-derailing jerk. I inserted him in without vetting his backstory, so he pulled a classic switcheroo and gave me a villain where I wanted a helper. Then he kept derailing the missions in favor of his own. Ironically, despite being second banana next to his Maestery PlotDeraileryness, he managed to cause far more damage by continually messing things up. The fact he would continue doing so into the next season is only more salt on the wound. 9/10 on the suckiness scale.
Bonecrusher: Idiotic murderer masquerading as a Quester. He wasn't a Quester. He didn't follow their rules. He had no IQ. His player came back, years later, just to apologize for how stupidly annoying this character was. This character also claimed to be related to Daisy due to some ungodly backstory that's not worth glorifying in print. The only saving grace is he had no godmoddy life powers and rarely got a chance to derail anything. 4/10 on the suckiness scale.
Alex Hunter: Tertiary Story-derailing jerk. He was inserted in when Aetos was getting too dumb for anyone to tolerate. But since he had the same player as Aetos, he had to insist he was related to Aribar and Alexia, making him the most obnoxious and stupid way to try and force a shipping couple on an RPG I have ever seen. He also had no common sense, just like Aetos. 7/10 on the suckiness scale.
Julian Sawyer: Organized Crime Mob Boss masquerading as a Quester. He wasn't a Quester either. He didn't really seem to get that beating up other Questers was not how Questerly problems were solved. Killing was the only way that worked, short of de-initiating and 'banning' them. Beating them up just made them act MORE annoying. He also spent most of his time making shady deals with other criminals and caring only about himself. When it came to the Stadium or the Seeker, he didn't give a *Bleep*. He just looked out for number one: himself. He wasn't stupid, but his neverending violence and unQuesterly 'screw this planet' behavior places him as an ideal candidate to round out this list. 5/10 on the suckiness scale.
These people, and some others who were less annoying/appeared less, basically existed to annoy whoever was around them. They had their own self-centered plots, and they didn't care much about the ACTUAL plot of the season. I don't ask for much, but, these people were cold-blooded plot derailers, who worked more for themselves and the plots their players made up than anything to do with SSQ. Now, it has been 3ish years, so I don't really hold a grudge against them now, but I have to say--don't play in SSQ or my subsequent RPGs if you want to play plot-ignoring a-holes. It's boring, both in the logs and to have to GM for in-person.
So, anyway, down to the themes of this Season. There were a number of those, but they were simple. First, 'The Questers aren't always right.' Genetia wasn't Nintendus--and the Questers were foolish to think their ideas were always correct anyway. Next, 'Violence doesn't solve everything.' This is SSQ, so it does solve a lot--but thinking with one's fists doesn't fix issues that involve misunderstandings, distrust, or ignorance. Then there's 'Metal Man isn't as good as he says he is.' Basically, Metal Man as a leader was crummy. He made these poorly done plans and sent other people off to die for his mistakes. Too bad nobody caught on to it...
And a few others. 'Petty grudges are stupid.' Duh, hating people over what happened millions of years ago is bad--and so is declaring anyone who disagrees with you worthy of death, and so on. And also, 'Shiny artifacts aren't always good.' A good one, as earlier they had been represented as solving everyone's problems. Not interesting in the least. This was a nice change. There's more, but if you spent all your time reading this, you should understand them by now. They're simple.
It's funny what a little continuity can do for quality. The season after this one started out with the same stuff this one ended with, but you can see me spitting nails at Season 11's wackiness, while Season 10 is just cool with me. Ahhh... if only ALL of SSQ could have been so filled with continuity as Season 10...
Word Map (Made by Wordle)
This is another big'un. Let's see. Julian's big on this map--even though he was 'ill' for large portions of SSQ Season 10. There's a smaller Dragoshi in the corner--he didn't become the session-maniac until later on. I like that corner--it shows the connected threads of Charles, Hop/Leviathan (parts of Glyph), hell, and evil.
Garrick, Mewtwo, and... a hand? pop up as well. They were the only sane men, so naturally they almost never popped up in sessions past the early part. A shame. Ricky's another big one, since he was the main villain most of the time. Ships, power, Metal Man... Darkdata, just, right, warp... planet, Aetos, Hands... basically it's a season about space ships, energy, warping, and a handful of frequently appearing villains/heroes butting heads. Pretty simple, for one of these, really.
Cast (In order of Appearance)
I'm using my magical cast-finding PHP device. I may not get everyone as neatly as before, but... this season is monstrously huge. I'm not THAT obsessed.
Dragoshi - Quester - Angry Kleptomaniac
Digifanatic - Quester - The Quiet Techno Guy
Leo Crayson/Trigger - Quester - Maker of Facepalm-worthy Lines
Dr. Light - Stadium Staff - Phoned in his Performance
Julian Sawyer - Quester - Violent Problem Un-Solver
Serena Gibson - Quester - Scott's Feminine Side
Garrick Fy'aar - Quester - Furious Voice of Reason
Metal Man - Quester Leader - Oblivious Madman
John - Quester - Not Dead, But Not Present!
Mewtwo - Stadium Staff - Vaguely Ineffectual Disciplinarian
Dr. Ivo Robotnik - Stadium... Staff??? - Vaguely Traitorous Megalomaniac
Professor Oak - Stadium Staff - Master of Nonsense Science
Fizban - Quester - That Wizard Guy
Glyph - Traitorous Mole/Stadium Staff - Master of Useless Items
Aetos - Quester - The Idiotic Annoyance
SIMBER - Stadium Staff - Voice of Slapping People
Nova - Garrick's AI - Voice of Ship Schematics
Smash Dex - Quester Tool - Data Gathering Thingy
Alexia - Quester - Master of the Annoying Backstory
Past Wolfman - X-Zone Hallucination - Impatient Worrywort
Past Kuja - X-Zone Hallucination - Time-Traveling Conspiracy God
Past Ganondorf - X-Zone Hallucination - Wolfman Heckler
Sardis Mongul - ??? - Nobody Knows
X-Kuja - X-Zone Hallucination - Hostile Guide
Armon - Smithy Gang Prince - Rootin' Tootin' Robo-Texan
Recording of Charles - Recording - Generic Soundboard Thing
Recording of Smithy - Recording - Ditto
Skullbot 1 - Smithy Gang Guard - Don't Touch The Bridge
Guardbot 1 - Smithy Gang Guard - A Smidgen Above The Rest
Minimech - Dragoshi's Tool - WTF It Talks?!?!
Guardbot 2 - Smithy Gang Guard - Thinks You Are Hopeless
Skullbot 2 - Smithy Gang Guard - Also, Outnumbered
Erzez - Smithy Gang Troglodyte - Disintegrated In Your Life
Bonecrusher - Quester - Incredibly Idiotic Ignorant Imbecile Interactive Orc
??? #1 - Dead Saga Barman - The Only Peaceful Undead
??? #2 - Weird Image - Tridus' Curse
??? #3 - Cursed Atlantean - Another Victim
Shadar - Evil X-Zone Hallucination - Gerald's Little Playthings
Atlantean - Cursed Atlantean - Door Blocker
Scott Gibson - Quester - Tragic Guitar Player
Computer - Eggman Computer - Outdated Thing
??? #4 - Smithy Gang Quarry Keeper - Dunno What Else He Did
Roxy - Scott's Motorized Scooter Thing - Attracted to Organics
Guardian1 - Smithy Gang Guard - Annoying Pit Blocker
Guardian2 - Smithy Gang Guard - Ditto
Traon - Quester - Bloodthirsty Blood-Controller
Dreadlord1 - Smithy Gang Dread Lord - Fights Like a Rock
Dreadlord2 - Smithy Gang Dread Lord - Sight Blocker
Computer - Three Powers Computer - INVALID PASSWORD
The Man - Dark Force/Possessed Saga Master's Corpse/WTF - Always Oppressin' The People
Cyber Solidus - Three Powers President Revenant - The Man's Puppet... Temporarily
Soldier - Genetian Soldier - Last one from Cerrinia
Newspaper - Neo-Earth Newspaper - Post-Teller of Doom
Cornelius Monk XVI - Rich Neo-Earthian - Disrespectful Richy Rich
Kales Brando - X-Zone Hallucination - Failed Quester Controller
Other Soldier - Genetian Soldier - Capital City Soldier
George Robotnik - Genetian President - Not-so Brave, Unoriginal Leader
Mage 1, 2, 3, 4 - Genetia Mage Council Member - Ultimate Emerald Lovers
Scientists 1, 2, 3 - Genetia Science Council Member - Antimatter First!
Ricky Koopa - MM2/TIC Leader - Violent, Exalted Klumsy Wannabe
Darkdata - Quester - Crazy Magic Manipulator
Golbez/Maester Magellean - Zemus' Slave - Genocidal Child-Killing Nutcase
Miles "Tails" Prower - Sonic Hero - Hesitant Helper
Gerald's Journal - Journal - Prelude to Madness
Ultimate Emerald - Originator Gem - Bipolar Power Source
Quantum Robot #1 - The King's Robots - Bonecrusher Crusher
Canti - Stadium/Eggman Staff - Glyph Crusher
Computer #2 - Quester Computer - Mission Viewer
??? #5 - Crazy Test Subject - Shadar Illusion
Wise Men 1-9 - X-Zone Hallucinations - Look At Those Lower Order Beings
X-Indalaceo - Shadar in Disguise - Nasty Jerk
Screen - Quester Screen - Info-Shower
Soldier #2 - MM2 Soldier - Planning Something?
Soldier #3 - MM2 Soldier - Pushed off a Cliff
MM2 Soldiers - MM2 Soldiers - MM2 Soldiers
Alys - Former Quester - I Don't Even Want To Guess
E Li Three - Wandering Maniac - STILL More Sane Than Aetos!
Dr. Wily - Time-Traveling Villain - Running Gag Gone Amuck
Soldier2 - MM2 Soldier - Afraid of Vases
Soldier3 - MM2 Soldier - Afraid of Dyeing
Pilot1 - MM2 Pilot - Annoying Taunter
Pilot2 - MM2 Pilot - Will Smoke You
Trevor - Evil AI - Delusional Supercomputer
Sign - Mysterious Testing Thing - What Goes Up?
Knight - Guardian of Some Element - Defeat Me if You Can
Rathos Lell - Phazonic Solarian - Computer Code Controlling Phazon
Azure - Quester - The Only Sane Man Besides Garrick And Some Others
Harnit Barute - Quester - Aribar Reincarnation Rabira???
Soldier #4 - MM2 Soldier - Idiotic Chip Grabber
??? #6 - Soul Taking Thing - I Dunno
Sonic the Hedgehog - Sonic Hero - Burnt Out Plane Surfer
James - Team Rocket - Prepare for WTF Are They Doing Here?
Jesse - Team Rocket - OOF!
Doopliss - Team Rocket? - Cut-rate Mercenary
Kuja Message - Kuja Message - Some Old Thing
The Armor - The King's Men - The Man's Partner In Crime
Dragoshi's Tarantula - Dragoshi's Tarantula - WTF, It Talks Too?
Robotic Kuja - Gerald-Made Robot - Freakish Abomination
Gerald Robotnik Message - Time Travelling Maniac's Message - I WILL SCREAM AT YOU
The Fake Void - World-Destroying Chaotic Monster - Conflicted Conflicter
Infantrymen - Ultimate Emerald's Puzzle - Annoying Liar/Truth Teller Thing
Shadow the Hedgehog - MM2/TIC/Nobody's Enforcer - Psychopathic Killer
Metal Sonic - Overused SSQ Plot Device - Warped In At Random
Alex Hunter - Quester - Stupid Thing Used To Try And Make Someone's Shipping Real
Sign #2 - The King's Sign - ENTER HERE NO MORYE
Death - Personification of a Natural Force - Wants Maester's Evil Soul
ALAN - The King's Computer - Automated Library Assistance Network
Dark Commander - The King's Commander - Skeletal Patton Wannabe
Soldier1 Through 3 - The King's Men - Evil Skeletal Soldier Guys
Rifle Soldier - The King's Men - Just doin' His Job
Bazooka Soldier - The King's Men - Doesn't Blink
Legion - The King's Demon - Easily Fooled
Contract - The King's Evil Soul-Binding Contract - Nasty Business, That
Music - Eggman's Music - Has The Master Plan
Teller - Wario-Waluigi Bank Teller - Afraid of Crashing
Waluigi - Wario-Waluigi Bank Owner - Not The Tables!
Wario - Wario-Waluigi Bank Owner - Insurance Forger
Computer #3 - Metal Man's Limo Computer - Safety Compliance Machine
Dr. Mario - Stadium Staff - Coin-itis Curer
Charles Magellean? - Old Tyrant - Trevor in Disguise
Fayth? - Old Computer - SIMBER1.0 in disguise
Sumner - Thing-Announcer - METAL MAN NEEDS SLEEP BADLY
Arx Semallion - Quester - Confusing Pokemon Trainer
SIMBER 1.0 - Old Computer - Trevor's Helper
Guard1 - MM2 Guard - Dummy
Guard2 - MM2 Guard - Thinks Everything is a Test
Armorguard1 - MM2 Armored Guard - Kill Them!
Armorguard2 - MM2 Armored Guard - Ditto
Soldier #5 - MM2 Soldier - Taste the Wrath!
Soldier2 #2 - MM2 Soldier - Military Grade Lasers Are Failing!
Bob, Lord of Electric Death - MM2 Vice President - Slippery Mastermind
Controlguy 1 - MM2 Control Guy - Quester Locator
McDermid - MM2 Fall Guy - Weakling
Soldier1 #2 - MM2 Soldier - Quester Cuffer
Sign #3 - Bob's MM2 Sign - ANOTHER one of these?
Zio - Dark Force's Ever-Enduring Mage - Never Gonna Give It Up
Alexia? - Freakish Three Powers Ship Thing - Annoying Half-Enemy
The Void - Chaotic World Corruptor - Aran Hater
Face - X-Zone Hallucination - Nuh-uh-uh!
Green & Red - X-Zone Hallucinations - Everything Sucks
Dan - X-Zone Hallucination - I ete u
Groog - X-Zone Chest Monster - Hydro Eater
Jude - Genetian Advisor - Hey, Whoever This Guy Is
Moody Mandy - Crazy Turion Shopkeer - Originator Advisor
Flier - TIC Flier - Annoying Ego Announcement
Old Report - Genetian News - Announcement of Doom
Sir Donocle/Conrad - Sagaian Knight - Last of His Kind
Computer #4 - Smithy Gang Satellite Controller - ZEEKY BOOOOOM
James Prower - Saga Region Ship Pilot - Goin' As Fast As He Can
GUN Commander - Sagaian Commander - Must Unite The Settlement
Robot - Gerald Robotnik-Controlled Robot - EMP Shielder
IDS - Gerald Robotnik's Security Machine - Quantum Lying Detector
Iggy Koopa - Bowser's Son - Conflicted Helper?
Fighter1 - TIC Fighter - SURRENDERRR
Blade - Quester - Tiger-Morphing Innuendo Dragon WTF
Sparkfire - Arx's Flaming Horse - It Kicks People
Soldier1 #3 - TIC Soldier - Scared Kid
Soldier2 #3 - TIC Soldier - Doesn't Know Why
Drill Sergeant - TIC Sergeant - Oddly Helpful
One-Eyed Larry - TIC Soldier - Made the Mistake of Talking to Shadow
Commander - TIC Commander - Afraid for his life, Too
Comms Officer - TIC Comms Officer - Quester Disbeliever
Quartermaster - TIC Quartermaster - Zzzz...
Screen #2 - Gerald's Screen - Apocalypse Shower
Grodus - X-Naut Leader - Timely Assistant
Fountain - Originator Device - Speaks of Prophecies
??? #7 - Originator Priest Hologram - Also, Speaks of Prophecies
Vector - Sonic Hero/Chaotix - Knows That computer Room
Armadillo - TIC-Hired Mercenary - Mysterious Anti-Quester Force
Phantom1 - The Void's Assistant - Opposite World Servant
Phantom2 - The Void's Assistant - Ditto
Mewtwo? - The Void's Assistant - Gets a Quester-Headache
Puppeter - The Void's Assistant - Strangely Not Insane
Marshmallow - The Void's Assistant - Weirdo With A Sword
Gerald Robotnik? - The Void's Assistant - Loser
Skyhigh? - The Void's Assistant - Opposite The True One
Jimmy Saucer - Fake Quester - Julian's Doppelganger
Doopliss? - Opposite World Being - Not Evil???
Underkill - Opposite World Being - Weakling
Locos Docos AKA Veejast Radshroom - Opposite Wolf Being - Parody of Maester
Smithy? - Opposite World Being - Ironic Hippie
VCR - Opposite World Being - Kinda like VG, but more Recording Involved
Contract - The Man's Contract - Gonna Tie You Down, Make You Weaker
Message - The King's Distress Message - Gibberish
QRobot - The King's Robots - Ancient Servant
UNITO - Ancient Three Powers Mainframe - Self-Deleting
Kairah Mardeneigh - The King of Genetia - Bitter, Insane Thing-Destroying Trimate-Abusing Maniac
Docent - Julian Bank Docent - Victim of Violence
Retz - Julian Bank Acting CEO - Violent Advisor
Dark Force Plavius - Immortal Force of Evil - The Man's True Form!
Aran - Annoying inter-Season Plot Thing - The Fake Void's True Form
Eggrobo - Eggman Robot - Coffee Seller
EggLawyer - Eggman Robot - Contract Flinger
Cream? - Maester's Evil Servant - Stupid Jerk
Flat-Naut - Maester's Evil Servant - Mindless Slave
Final NotesWell, that wasn't too hard. It just took multiple days to summarize this MASSIVE season. I hope you at least partially read/enjoyed this, but even if you didn't, it'll be nifty reference material for me to have.
Also, no offense to those people's players whose characters I slammed. They just sucked in this season, seriously. Everyone has their ups and downs, and this was a horrid season as far as player character quality was concerned. Hopefully nothing like that will happen again, especially not when I'm actually GMing properly.
Anyway, that's it, see you next commentary/log!