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CEOWolf

The Unfortunate Situation of Alter Egos

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So I'm excited to see if my favorite Marvel heroes will be in this game. From Doctor Strange to Storm and would even enjoy Cloak and Dagger their neat to play in Marvel Lego Heroes 2. But unfortunately the Alter Ego rules kind of prevents a lot of my favorite superheroes from being used. Doctor Strange has a civilian name Stephen Strange but that's his real name and he's an actually licensed doctor so Doctor Strange isn't really a superhero name but his own. So not sure what exactly his alter ego would be given he literally HAS none. But I mean the box cover shows Dormamu and you can't have an eldritch abomination god fighting against Spiderman and expect much of a fair fight so you gotta include canonically speaking the only dude who can actually kick his butt. Sure gameplay/story segregation exists but I mean to include Dr Strange's archenemy and not him be poor taste. Also effectively speaking the X-Men are 'public superheroes' as in they have no secret identity and everyone whose met Storm has met Ororo.           

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So is Iron Man, every one knows he's Tony Stark.

Now they might have to make a few unusual choices for characters like Dr. Strange who don't have a different name, so he might be Stephen Strange/The Sorcerer Supreme for alter-ego/hero card sides.

You have a similar problem with Thor and they've already announced him as the next hero after Ms. Marvel. He might be listed as Odinson/Thor for his alter-ego/hero titles.

I can't imagine they'll leave out major characters just because they don't have a secret identity or a separate codename.

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Dr Strange / Stephen Strange

They don’t need to be functionally different - the majority of the characters we have so far have public identities. It’s really more about differentiating between super hero activity and other stuff. I think the system can be adapted for most heroes...

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5 minutes ago, coljrigg said:

So is Iron Man, every one knows he's Tony Stark.

Now they might have to make a few unusual choices for characters like Dr. Strange who don't have a different name, so he might be Stephen Strange/The Sorcerer Supreme for alter-ego/hero card sides.

You have a similar problem with Thor and they've already announced him as the next hero after Ms. Marvel. He might be listed as Odinson/Thor for his alter-ego/hero titles.

I can't imagine they'll leave out major characters just because they don't have a secret identity or a separate codename.

In Stark's defense he does do stuff besides be a superhero such as being a CEO of a company but Stephen Strange? Not so much. Also I suppose The X-Men do stuff other then saving the day and training but Beast for example he really can't hide his powers and Storm I don't think has a job and just does whatever and mostly teaches at Xavier School for The Gifted.

Edited by CEOWolf

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She Hulk doesn't really hide her identity either.  Her alter ego is just her day job.    Carol's alter ego is all about her leading Alpha Flight, which is still her technically being a super hero.  Alter Ego just means the person lives some other life beyond the one where they are a hero who punches villains in the face.

The X-Men are all students for example.  Stephen Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme, but also he could flip to The Guardian of the Sanctum Santorum as another "identity" for him.

Edited by phillos

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Beast is a scientist.  Surely his alter ego is whatever he does when not super heroic-ing.  Storm at one point was a pickpocket, and at another was a literal goddess.  She also could be portrayed as the leader of the X-Men or the leader of the Morlocks.  It all works.  It just takes some imagination.  Thor is Thor the hero but also he has a position in Asgarian culture.  So much like Black Panther he could be defined in his alter ego by his position of leadership within his people.  Though I kinda like the idea of Thor flipping between worthy and unworthy.  We'll see soon considering we know Thor is coming.

Edited by phillos

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Fundamentally, the only difference between hero and alter-ego is being out in the field and being back at base. For Tony that whether he's wearing the armour or being CEO, for Stephen that's whether he's fighting Dormammu or in the Sanctum researching and recovering.

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It doesn't need to be another job or another hobby.  It just needs to be another aspect of their personality.  I like the idea of Strange's alter ego just being him protecting the Sanctum and researching spells.  Then he flips to spell slinging heroics when he's the Sorcerer Supreme.

Edited by phillos

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Hopefully I mean I hardly read any comics (Are there any Ghost Rider comics?? My library only has Space Ghost Rider which is The Punisher as Spirit of Vengeance..) that aren't mangas but I did read The Day Magic Died arc (is there a resolution where Strange revives it..?) and it literally seems that Strange has nothing to do but save Earth from beings from alternate realities evil gods and the occasional mortal plagued by imps.  

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Quickly we have forgotten about Captain America and Steve Rogers. Fixes the issue you bring up. It's doable, and doable well. As for Stephen Strange, who knows what he can do in AE form, maybe heals or something. It's more thematic than anything else.

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The alter-ego/hero mechanic is less about a public persona/super hero persona and more about the different sides of the character. In some cases it's neat and tidy (in part this probably influenced the 5 chosen core heroes). 

But it's also analogous to the non-action/action scenes in a comic/movie. So even for those characters that don't have clear cut 'alter ego' there's plenty of design space for double sided heroes. They'll probably focus on different 'modes' for the characters. 

Rocket Racoon for instance could have an alter-ego side where he's a tinkerer and a hero mode when he's aggressive and attacking. Doctor Strange could be spell slinging on one side and meditating/preparing on the other side. 

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I wonder if they'll play with which abilities exist on which side.  Like, I'd love to see a Bruce Banner / Hulk hero where Banner has Thwart and Hulk doesn't, and have some mechanic that forces transformations when certain conditions are met.  Possibly also a forced reaction when he flips to Banner that gives him a Confused status marker.  I know they aren't going to generally allow Alter Egos to Thwart because it mitigates the disadvantage of being in Alter Ego form, but it could definitely be balanced if there were some restrictions.

I could also see having a hero that only has one side that counts as Hero, and when the enemy would Attack you, you randomly determine if he Schemes instead (like flip the top card of a deck and check the icon, or something like that).

That said, I don't think any of those need to apply to Dr. Strange.  He'll just have Steven Strange / Dr. Strange sides, and the Alter Ego side could either play on his previous experience as a medical doctor or be him as a magical researcher, Sanctum defender, or whatever.  Black Panther's Alter Ego side doesn't have any powers except for setup, so it wouldn't be out of the question for the Alter Ego to be kind of "previously was a doctor" thing.  Also, Captain America doesn't really have an alter ego either - Steve Rogers doesn't "turn into" Captain America, he just is Captain America.  Him in his normal life is just training and preparing for his super hero life.  (Granted, what I know about these characters is mostly from the movies - I'm a big fan of X-Men comics, but not so much on the Avengers side.)

 

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15 hours ago, CEOWolf said:

So I'm excited to see if my favorite Marvel heroes will be in this game. From Doctor Strange to Storm and would even enjoy Cloak and Dagger their neat to play in Marvel Lego Heroes 2. But unfortunately the Alter Ego rules kind of prevents a lot of my favorite superheroes from being used. Doctor Strange has a civilian name Stephen Strange but that's his real name and he's an actually licensed doctor so Doctor Strange isn't really a superhero name but his own. So not sure what exactly his alter ego would be given he literally HAS none. But I mean the box cover shows Dormamu and you can't have an eldritch abomination god fighting against Spiderman and expect much of a fair fight so you gotta include canonically speaking the only dude who can actually kick his butt. Sure gameplay/story segregation exists but I mean to include Dr Strange's archenemy and not him be poor taste. Also effectively speaking the X-Men are 'public superheroes' as in they have no secret identity and everyone whose met Storm has met Ororo.           

I think the game designers can get creative with these.  You could switch forms with Doctor Strange for example.  Normal vs. Ectoplasmic forms.  

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There are a lot of good ways to twist the alter-ego and hero mechanic for unique design down the road. The naming convention of alter-ego and hero doesn't quite fit the mechanical function, though. It's more accurately 'fight mode' and 'prep mode.' For a hero that doesn't have any other identity, their 'alter ego' side will just be their non-combat behavior. How they go about being a super-hero when they aren't ready to throw punches. I don't think any hero is off the table for this game, and there are a LOT of good options to visit here, which is one of the main reasons I'm so excited for the game.

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I have little to add to this really, apart from just agreeing with everyone stating that this isn't really an issue. The alter ego thing, I feel is mainly there to represent in game play, that your hero has temporarily left the fight whether that's to recover, get some new gear, form a plan, or just tend to their life outside of being a hero.

Depending on which character you're looking at, many of them have access to some if not all of their abilities when they're just walking around in street clothes. People like Thor or the X-men, might be able to stop using their powers, but they always have them ready to go. However, that doesn't mean they can't take a break every so often. When that alter ego side is up for Captain Marvel, there's no reason she couldn't still have all the same abilities to attack or defend like she does on her hero side since her power set is all just stuff she can do on her own, but for the idea that she has disengaged from the main action temporarily.

Characters Like Strange will simply go by their most mundane name on the alter ego side, and their full hero title on the opposite side. Thor might say Odinson as his last name on the alter ego, with the hero side having the subtitle God of Thunder or something like that. Don't worry about people like Strange finding their way into the game. I'm sure we'll see him, and maybe even Scarlet Witch announced once their new movie get's closer.

Edited by Hippie Moosen

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Yeah, just to add my voice, the alter-ego is more "back at base" and the hero form is "in the field". So for Doctor Strange, wherever his base is (not too familiar with the character), that's his alter-ego. And then hero form is going out and doing stuff.

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Honestly, the real issue is that they called it 'Alter Ego', which gives the impression of being about a hero/'civilian' identity split. And then made all the characters in the Core fit that impression. 

If they had have called it something else to indicate that it's just a 'non combat' role, it would have been fine. 

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9 minutes ago, Abyss said:

Honestly, the real issue is that they called it 'Alter Ego', which gives the impression of being about a hero/'civilian' identity split. And then made all the characters in the Core fit that impression. 

If they had have called it something else to indicate that it's just a 'non combat' role, it would have been fine. 

Exactly my point some people are defending this choice cuz in one incarnation Thor has a secret identity Stephen Strange a fave hero of mine has none and never DID have an alter ego. He was Doctor Stephen Strange a neurosurgeon and then he gained magical powers and lost his ability to perform surgeries and is now a full time mage who has nothing to do but research help mortals and superheroes in the occult and shop for magic antiques. So lore wise he literally has no alter ego.  

1 hour ago, Supertoe said:

Yeah, just to add my voice, the alter-ego is more "back at base" and the hero form is "in the field". So for Doctor Strange, wherever his base is (not too familiar with the character), that's his alter-ego. And then hero form is going out and doing stuff.

Stephen Strange lives in New York in The New York Sanctum unlike the movie if you seen it the Sanctum is just a building built on sacred land thus it has a lot of magical energy. 

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20 hours ago, CEOWolf said:

In Stark's defense he does do stuff besides be a superhero such as being a CEO of a company but Stephen Strange? Not so much.

I'll admit that I don't know very much about Dr Strange outside of what made it into his movie, but I feel safe in saying that he isn't out fighting villains constantly. Surely there are times where he steps back to form a strategy or gain information on his foes, days where he's too busy reading up on new spells to be out actively fighting crime, or times when he suffers injuries grievous enough to force a tactical retreat.

Alter-Ego may not be the best term for Strange and some others, but the term means a lot more than what outfit they happen to be wearing or what they happen to call themselves when out of the tights. Think of it as them stepping into a different role and you can see how mechanically it would work for Strange and others like him. There could have been a better term used to fit how the out-and-proud hero's operate, but this is a term that is just a very big part of comic books. While not every hero has an Alter-Ego in the strictest sense, they do all have moments in their stories that don't revolve solely around punching the villain. The term isn't a perfect match for everyone, but it does get across the idea that, while on that side of your character card, you are doing something other than directly confronting the baddie in person. 

If there's a better term for this, that is still steeped in comic history, I just can't think of it. Personally I'm cool with the notion of using that term specifically for this portion of the game, just due to the fact that it clearly illustrates what the purpose of that side of the card is thematically. Even though there are plenty of characters who break the mold and have no interest or need to hide who they are in their down time, it's super cool that non-combat stuff managed to get worked into each character. It's something that is a part of any good Super-Hero story IMO. 

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@Hippie Moosen I won't argue people's points more just as far as Alter Ego implies some heroes have none but with everyone's opinions I suppose it can work for the likes of Deadpool (who sure as **** doesn't have one) and Stephen. 

By the way Doctor Strange facts: He has down time obviously but he just doesn't wear the cape which is effectively the only 'true' superhero accessory as it lets him fly. 

In The Day The Magic Died Arc it is stated that Stephen no longer can ingest human food and he begrudgingly has to eat bizarre foods from other dimensions which he states several times taste terrible. 

He is Earth's Sorcerer Supreme yet other dimensions in the multiverse have their own.

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Hulk, Black Widow, Spider Woman, et al. are all already just allies so I'm guessing not everyone gets to be an identity. I mean, there were 60+ characters in the movies and with a release cycle of 1 every other month that would be about 9 or 10 years to release all of them as playable characters. Not to mention they'll release the Hawt New Thing if they can share the spotlight with mass marketing. Prepare for some disappointment with release schedules, though, speaking as an ex-AGoT 2.0 Targ player (waited 4 years for Targ faction box.) 

Still, I'll have a go at Dr. Strange...

 

Alter Ego: Stephen Strange (Maybe a reaction that prevents damage)

Hero: Sorcerer Supreme  (Maybe a reaction that prevents threat)

That'd make him fun on a team but awkward solo (which might be a flavor hit,) but he'd always be actively "fighting" the villian since he's essentially in both forms at all times.

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