Rate Their Chances MultiVersus Edition: Day 135 - Swamp Thing (DC Comics) and Wilt (Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends) (2024)

Say My Name

Chance: 15%
Granted, any rating at this point has to take into account the uncertainties regarding this game's future, and what type of budget it'll have, what will its priorities be, what will change with its business model, etc. With that in mind...

Walter Hartwell White, also known as Heisenberg, is the iconic main character of seminal TV series Breaking Bad. A 50-year old chemistry teacher living a mediocre suburban life, his whole world is upended when he receives a diagnosis for terminal lung cancer. With two years left to live, Walter comes up with a plan: to use his once-in-a-generation knowledge of chemistry, and the street smarts of former student Jesse Pinkman, to cook methamphetamine in order to save money for his family. Thus the two wade into the criminal underworld of New Mexico, which they will change (and be changed by) forever.

Breaking Bad is commonly considered to be one of, if not the best show of all time (I would agree with this assessment). It ran for 5 seasons and earned 92 wins and 248 nominations for various awards. It went on to spawn a movie (El Camino) and a spin-off (Better Call Saul) both of which were acclaimed and successful in their own right. I don't think I need to explain that Breaking Bad is big. So, moving on.

Walter White has somehow emerged as one of the most wanted characters for MultiVersus, despite having no connection to WB whatsoever (more on that later). There are several seasons for this. Of course, the franchise has a large fanbase, and a big chunk of said fanbase very much likes memes. There is something to be said about the contrast between a gritty, incredibly dark, often humorless story of crime, violence, tragedy, and the nature of good and evil, and... le big funni ****post. Hey, it's not my thing, but people have their own ways of showing enjoyment and appreciation, and for some that's making memes. Regardless, it plays into the fun of MultiVersus really well. The game where Game of Thrones can meet Adventure Time thrives on this contrast (much in the same way Snake was originally so refreshing in Brawl). Like we've discussed on several days, this is very appealing for many characters who would otherwise never be in this type of game. However, for Walter, it works even better, because that contrast is present in his DNA. Chemistry teacher Mr. White, a sympathetic, ineffectual loser, is drug kingpin Heisenberg, a man who earns the fear and respect of titans of the cartels. There is an element of comedy and irony to that in the character, and that is why I believe so many latched onto him for MultiVersus. If Heisenberg is evil born in the most unlikely context, then surely that contrast is simply more pronounced in an even unlikelier context (which in this case would be fighting LeBron James and the Iron Giant in a Rick and Morty stage).

This demand has been noted by the developers, so they would probably want it to be a thing. The main barrier here is licensing. WB does not own Breaking Bad. They're nowhere close to owning it. The rights are squarely in the hands of Sony. Walt would be a third party character. So how is WB's relationship with Sony? Well, they partnered on The Last of Us, an HBO-produced and distributed show based on a PlayStation IP. That's pretty recent. As for videogames, Sony has put its characters in WB's hands (recall Kratos in Mortal Kombat 9). A recent State of Play served mainly as an in-depth showcase for WB's Suicide Squad game. That's a relatively close partnership all things considered. So it's possible, I'd say, and we know they've seriously considered other third party reps. It all boils down to the matter of cost vs budget. If the devs want to make some real noise, there's no better character they could pick, which is why my score is relatively high here.

One last thing I want to tackle is the drug content. Yes, Breaking Bad is a show about drug manufacturing, and crime in general. It's violent, graphically so, and doesn't shy away from showing the effects of heavy drug use and the consequences of a criminal lifestyle. However, I don't think it's something that would bar inclusion or raise the game's age rating. There is nothing inherently adult about the name Breaking Bad or the character Walter White. It's not exactly like he's struggling with moveset potential; a big part of the pleasure of the show is watching him come up with creative solutions for problems using chemistry. Thermite, ricin, fulminated mercury, anyone who's seen the show knows about the uses these are given and how they could make up a moveset with no problem. And then you have things like the acid bathtub and barrels (which fall into the Arya's pies category of being apparently harmless unless you know), roof pizza, the giant magnet, the turret from Felina, you could fill up Walt's moveset with things he actually does in Breaking Bad and never have a reference to meth. Same for any other content, stages, quotes, references, you can pretty much treat Walter like your average villanous type and not really delve into what exactly he does for a living. I dunno, I think it's a non-issue. Again, Solid Snake, from the franchise about nuclear proliferation and the horrors of war got into T-rated Brawl without a peep. Walter has it easier than that.

Want: 100% (mild spoilers ahead)
Breaking Bad is a show about how every single one of us wants to do a little evil. Every character in the show, from the major criminals to the most domestic side characters, needs an outlet to do just a little wrong, just enough to get to what they feel they deserve and to distract themselves from the unideal lives they get to live. Being the main character, this thesis is clearest on Walt. The man is a genius, an unappreciated one, who could've changed the world if things had gone right, but they did not, and he knows it. At the start of the show, he leads a life that's hard to call amazing. His love life lacks any passion, his family mocks him, his job isn't intellectually rewarding, he's forced to work a second job to make ends meet. So when he decides to take control of his life, become a badass who finally gets to apply his talent, who wouldn't root for him? You like Walter, you pity him, and you probably, in some way, relate to him. And so you back him in his schemes, which only escalate in awesomeness, against antagonists in crime (the insane Tuco Salamanca, the Machiavellian Gus Fring) and family (his wife Skyler and DEA Agent brother-in-law Hank, complex characters whose flaws make them, on a first watch through, immediately unlikable, and thus seen only as obstacles to Walt rather than people in their own right).

At some point, which is hard to pinpoint and changes per the viewer, you start to wonder if Walt really is even a good guy. After all, he justifies his actions, and you buy into that. You want him to cook drugs, to escape mundanity, because that's entertaining for you, as a viewer. Turns out, it is for Walt too. And that's a problem, isn't it? But you keep watching, complicit, until the point where it's no longer possible to pretend. Walt's justifications don't hit with truth, but with performatory pretence, the disaffected tone of someone who has gotten used to coming up with a reason why it's okay to do what he does, but has forgotten to believe it. And it happens right before your eyes, and it's so seamless you don't notice it. And you go back and rewatch, and see how other characters saw it way before you did, but, like Walter, you didn't want to listen.

That's the brilliance of Walter as a character. He mixes pathetic and badass. Genius and tragic fool. He can't decide whether he's a victim who keeps getting wronged, who keeps being backed against the wall, or if he is, well, the danger. He's both, in fact. In a way that feels not contradictory but instead inherently human. Everyone wishes they could win at life, that rules didn't apply to them and them alone. Walter just shows us what happens to someone when precisely that happens. What do we call someone who breaks the rules and keeps winning?

Well, we call them evil.

--

I'd like to take this chance to congratulate and thank my good friend DanganZilla5 for the wonderful job they've done running this thread. I have dipped recently (through no fault of this thread or the game itself, just me trying to reduce my social media intake) and am just finding out about the impending hiatus. Having been part of the team for Ultimate's RTC for years, I can't commend enough how well this thread was run, how smoothly it all went, how open it was for feedback and how willing Dangan was to try out new things in order to make it a better running, more enticing, and overall more fun experience for those involved. And sailing the ship solo, at that! It's been a trip. MultiVersus speculation is its own special breed of fun, with the breadth of things that are possible, and I know everyone has learned about things they hadn't before (I promise to check out Maniac Cop!) Hope the game comes out of the hiatus in a better state, and that RTC just keeps on trucking when it does! Cheers y'all. Hope to see you in one year when we rate, like, Saul Goodman.

Also I really like Prattboards just thought I'd say
Rate Their Chances MultiVersus Edition: Day 135 - Swamp Thing (DC Comics) and Wilt (Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends) (2024)

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