ALERT: As always, this blog post contains potential game spoilers.
Continuing along with Lab C’s script, we’d like to introduce one of the few subchapter characters who appears beyond his subchapter’s end: C-Man.
While we’re still investigating possible references embedded in C-Man’s character and design, we’ve drawn up a preliminary character profile for reference when determining his voice. Here’s a summary of his character.
C-Man. He’s about Taro’s age. He has more development experience than Taro, and he’s gained a somewhat jaded demeanor due to exposure to the problems of corporate/development bureaucracy. He has a pure ambition to make games, but the energy underlying his ambition can be misdirected due to his working in a competitive, class-modeled development environment. The force of his ambition to make games can be consumed by oppressive competition. He is, in a word, corruptible. Meeting Taro is somewhat kinetic for him, as Taro’s exuberance recalls (and in some ways revives) C-Man’s own innocent yearning for creative work. C-Man and Taro are tearful heart-bros determined to make games with burning vigor and powerful GET PLEASE THE READY.
All of the Dev Dungeon scenarios have secondary characters who provide pivotal support and whose names follow the “***-Man” format. Lab A has Flagman; Lab B has LAN-Man; and Lab C has C-Man. C-Man’s name comes from his deft C programming skills, and there are moments during the plot when his speech breaks down into fragments of code.
The combination of the “C-” designation with the “-Man” naming template can lead to some incorrect conclusions about his name’s significance. Some have suggested that his name is a pun off the Dreamcast title Seaman, the pet simulation game featuring Leonard Nimoy’s voice work; however, none of C-Man’s behavior or actions suggest that he bears any resemblance to the game beyond an incidental homonym.
To hijack a term from comparative linguistics, “C-Man” and “Seaman” are false friends.
Similarly, the fact that he is the main support character during the Lab C Dev Dungeon can lead to the incorrect conclusion that he is primarily significant as a representative of Lab C. So far, this appears to be incidentally true. We’ll have more info on how his C programming skills relate to his character and the plot in future blog entries.
C-Man serves as a kind of rallying figure for the Moe deprived residents of Lab C. As such, he often appears in conflict with the higher-ups in the class environment. Here we see him in conflict with one of the main antagonists during the Lab C segment, the aristocrat whom we’ve designated “Ringfingers.”
There appears to be some coherence behind the designs of the characters in Lab C. Compare the clothing styles of Ringfingers and the Slumlord.
Their collars and tunics share design elements, while the different colors suggest a visual caste system similar to Huxley’s in Brave New World. The Slumlord, C-Man, and the Slumlord’s doorman all wear variations of olive drab.
This doorman is the backwoods-sounding guy with a thing for Magic: the Gathering. The fact that Taro’s jacket is white like Ringfingers’ get-up might have been the Slumlord’s first cue that Taro has corporate authority.
These costumes appear based off those of the Tolmekian military from the sci-fi manga and anime Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Note the same style of collar and tunic in this comparison image of the Slumlord and Kurotawa.
Likewise, note the similar color schemes in Ringfingers’ regal outfit and Princess Kushana’s armor. These colors persist throughout her different changes of costume.
Segagaga clearly draws references to Miyazaki’s work while also incorporating those design elements into its own universe. The relationship between the Slumlord and Ringfingers echoes that of Kurotawa and Kushana as well. We’ll go more into Lab C’s references next weekend. Stay tuned!