Sunday, January 7, 2018

Pride Sans (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood / Undertale)

Happy new year everyone! I've got something a little different for you today. Sadly, no HTTYD related stuff, but I will be giving a sort of info dumb on where I am in life at the moment. Aside from that, I do have an art piece that needs explaining (no, I've not joined some sort of Satanic cult, that art piece is basically the sickest final video game boss you could ever meet XP). So, let me dive in.

First off, I am kinda sorta planning to make some changes to my blog. I want it to be primarily an HTTYD blog, and I am sure as HTTYD3 gets closer and closer, I will get more and more new HTTYD stuff to post about. However, I have very, very limited free time these days. I am going to start working full time in a hospital research lab on January 15, and I will be taking courses at the same time. This means... yeah... less time for fandom stuff. Sorry, I know I already only post every so often. 

Still, I can guarantee that I will still be doing nerdy things... they just may not all be related to HTTYD. I want to show you guys that stuff... since it will give me something to post every once in a while. Now, I know most of you are probably here just for HTTYD, and I totally understand! I hope you won't see this other stuff as clutter... but I really do want to continue to upload content. So, basically what I am getting down to is this: This is still going to be a primarily HTTYD oriented fan-blog, but I will almost certainly be making other posts about other fandoms from time to time.

And that brings us to this painting. It is a crossover between Undertale and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (FMAB). I fell for both of these stories late last year, and I've been dying to post something about them! FMAB in particular quickly climbed up into my list of all time favorite stories, rivaling even Avatar: The Last Airbender. If you haven't played Undertale, I would certainly recommend doing it, or at least watching someone else do it (Youtube is FULL of play throughs). If you want to get your hands on it, it is available for 10$ on Mac and PC, and you can download it super easily just by following the instructions on the Undertale website. If you haven't watched FMAB, then you are in luck! It is out on Netfilx, and it is totally worth your time. I will say that it is a mature and dark show, with a lot of bloody violence, and a fair amount of language (maybe just a little less than your average Marvel Movie), so if you are a younger reader of my blog... you may want to scope FMAB out before jumping in. I personally would recommend watching it in the original Japanese with subtitles, because the English dub takes a LOT away from the portrayal of the characters (imo). So, yeah, both of these stories are pretty accessible, and if your interested, they are some of my newest favorites! After all, they share quite a few themes from HTTYD... from friendship and loyalty, to pacifism and the consequences of choice. Seriously, they are my top recommendations if you are looking for some stories to tackle in 2018.

SPOILER ALERT: Both FMAB and Undertale have beautiful and complex storylines that are best experienced blind. Both have been out for quite some time, but I don't want to spoil either of them for anyone. So, if you haven't played Undertale or watched FMAB, I'd suggest not reading the rest of this post. 

Ok, so seriously, if you haven't played or watched these, I hope you aren't still reading. I'm gonna dive into explaining my thought process behind this art piece.

Both FMAB and Undertale have storylines that revolved pretty heavily around the value of a human soul. The picture above is of the Homunculus Pride. He is the first and most powerful Homunculus, but he usually appears to be nothing but a human child. Thematically, that was a stunning design choice. The Homunculi are the main villains in FMAB, and each have some particular ability related to the vice that they embody. Pride is the last Homunculus to show himself in the series and he is the only one who is basically unbeatable, able to handle entire groups of heroes at once. He has been walking around as a child for the majority of the show, but he reveals himself at long last, and what a terrifying reveal it is. Pride's true form is a huge, monstrous shadow. It spreads out from him, and it is able to cut and stab through almost anything. Anywhere there are shadows near him, he can attack, So long as he is not in total darkness or absolutely blinding light, he has an unstoppable aggressive presence. He is also incredible cool in the face of nature, as he is too proud to become flustered or panicked. He can even crawl into suits of armor with his shadows to manipulate them, which is why I have him sort of... possessing Sans in the above image. So, yeah, appearances can be deceiving. Pride is small and unassuming, much like the actual sin of pride, which can hide under the guise of "self confidence" or "self worth", but deep down it is a monstrous, powerful, and huge thing. It can lead people into the most heinous acts, all because they wish to be greater than everyone around them. (Haha, so basically Pride is one of the coolest villains in the show... and I really appreciate his themes and design).

That brings us to Sans. Undertale has a great battling game mechanic, so as soon as I had the idea to do this art piece, I wanted it to look like it was an actual in-game fight. The final battle with Sans is INCREDIBLY difficult. He's been a jokester throughout the pacifist rout... but under his friendly and lazy surface is an incredibly deadly soul. He understands how the player resets the timeline, and he will judge you based on how many of his friends you have killed. If you kill every single monster you can, Sans will stand between you and your final "victory". This calm, goofy, unassuming skeleton will then quickly reveal just how powerful he is. It is a HARD boss battle. Heck, that doesn't even cut it; It is basically the game's way of punishing you for what you have done. Sans ignores all your stats that you got from leveling up, he mocks your attempt to "grind" until you are powerful. He uses your own sins against you, and he pulls you into game over screen after game over screen. He's probably the best character in the game... because in the end, if you decide to be villainous, he is the final hero who blocks your way. He gives you one heck of a bad time.

So, basically, I chose to mesh these characters because Sans being a skeleton made me think Pride could crawl into him, much like he crawls into Al's armor body. Sans also has a notable blue eye when he engages you in his final battle. When Pride is injured in the end of FMAB, his shadow comes streaming out of the side of his face. Aside from that, both Pride and Sans are characters that the protagonists see multiple times throughout the story, and most of those times, they seem harmless. Pride posses as a happy, diligent child. Sans walks around telling skeleton puns and stacking hotdogs on your head. But, when things get serious, both characters become deadly... deadly to the point of being broken, unfair, and OP. These tiny packages hold terrifying power, so they mesh really well. 

"Appearances rarely show the whole truth."

So, anyway, what do you guys think? Has anyone here played Undertale of watched FMAB? I'd love to hear what your favorite part of the game/show was! And as for those of you who read this even though I warned you not to:

  • you feel your sins crawling on your back 

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