Imoen (buffleheaded) wrote,

Analysis of Abdel Adrian and why someone should app him immediately.

Okay, so basically. As most of the people who have played Baldur's Gate are already aware, BG dialogue tends to have options to choose from. Which is why something occurred to me. Observe.

This is a typical BG1 dialogue between Angelo and Abdel. Now, Bioware goes to great lengths to make it so that the player defines the protagonist, not them. But! The system of dialogue means that because of the options to choose from, Abdel is inevitably definable. Since the protagonist's name and gender is already established because of me filling in that hole with knowledge from the book canon, we could go ahead and fill in the last major definable area with book canon and say that Abdel is a fighter. This fits in with some of the things Imoen says about him in the games anyway; the fact that Abdel slept through lessons back in Candlekeep, for instance, makes it a little difficult picturing him as one of the more intellectual classes.

Interestingly enough, Bioware's "undefined" character features character development. In the very beginning of the game, he is a sheltered boy whose dialogue options after an assassin tries to kill him is this:
Parda: Abdel, you cut yourself above the brow, there. What is wrong, child? Something in your eyes tells me that something is very wrong indeed.
Abdel: 1) Oh Parda! There was a man in there, he smelled like the stables, and he… and he tried to kill me, it was horrible…
2) It’s… It’s nothing Parda. One of the cats didn’t like me petting it. I’m alright, really…
Parda: Mm, yes, well… Get what you need from the Inn, then, for Gorion is desperate for you to be off.
[End Dialogue]

In the year between BG1 and BG2 Abdel spends with bounty hunters trying to kill him and various insane gnomes, rangers, and their hamsters helping him, Abdel actually becomes a competent adventurer and an effective party leader with something of a sarcastic sense of humor:

Or, for Clever Outwitting Action:
Larze: Huurm, I be Larze. You be Abdel. Don't try to deny it. You should not have come to Baldur's Gate. You given many warnings before, but you ignore them. Now you must pay. Sorry, but Larze must kill.
Abdel: Wait one moment you big oaf. Why would you think that I'm Abdel? Do I look like I could be that kind of hero? Abdel is a juggernaut of destruction, with flaming eyes, and a roaring voice. My companions and I, we're just normal folks.
Larze: Huh? But you must be Abdel. Me see picture, and it look like you. It had no fire eyes or big voice, though pictures don't have voices. Hmmmmm. I confused.
Abdel: Larze, my poor confused ogre. There is only one thing for you to do. You have to go back and take a closer look at the picture. I'm sure once you've had a second look, you'll know what a big mistake you've made. Now run along, we'll be waiting right here.
Larze: Yes! Good idea. Larze will find picture and see for sure. You will wait here until Larze gets back.

Abdel is a hero unfazed by enemies even Link, the hero of Hyrule cannot defeat:
Enna Hendrick: Shoo! Them aren't yer chickens! Erlin! Erlin, someone's after the chickens!
Abdel: This is between us and the chickens, Ma'am, and I'm going to ask real nicely that you stay out of it.

The fact that everyone thinks Abdel wants a golden sword:
Nalia: (after Abdel gives a beggar gold) That was a nice thing to do. Although I'm sure you could spare a lot more...what are you saving up for? A golden sword?
Jan: Now, now, Nalia. A golden sword wouldn't be so bad...except maybe for the weight. And the softness. Pretty much only good for one swing, actually. Hmmm...tell me, just why are you planning on buying a golden sword, anyway? Sounds pretty useless to me.
Abdel: I never said I was going to--
Jan: Oh, don't go and tell me you don't want one. I've heard you mumbling in your sleep, you chatty little man. But never mind...I'd like to see you try and fight with one.

And, of course, Abdel keeps a meticulous journal of all the things that go on throughout the games. This wouldn't be noteworthy, since they're long games and it's good to have something to check what you've done with, but look at these entries:

Journal entry for returning Phlydia’s book:
“Poor, absent-minded Phlydia gave me a gem for returning her lost book. Candlekeep, it seems, continues to defy all laws of economics: the more books it holds, the more valuable they become to those who read them. The greater the supply, the greater the demand… Bah, all this thinking is making my head hurt. Time to pawn this gem and get something useful for it.”

Journal entry for rat exterminating:
“Reevor has once again pressed me into service in his storehouse. All reports suggest that our feline forces have turned traitor and that the rats are on the offensive. It appears that I am our last hope in the face of such an awesome display of power. Farewell, dear Journal… Farewell.”

On completion of the ratextermination quest:
“Mental Note: Don’t join the armed forces. They never inform you of the full danger when you enter and they always pay you squat when you leave… Reevor gave me all of five gold pieces for putting my life on the line in there… Isn’t there a Candlekeep People’s Revolutionary Front I can join, somewhere???”

Essentially, Abdel is a clever, sarcastic, dorky hero who is always a step behind everyone else, takes a passive approach to almost everything in life, always reacting instead of initiating...and frankly, he's entirely appable. When I first picked Imoen up, I figured that he wasn't, but now that I've considered all of this, he's much more appable than any game's Silent Hero, like Ness or Link--and we've had a Ness in camp, and we've had plenty of Link apps. (...Ness is a Silent Hero, isn't he?) The other big thought behind leaving Abdel as undefined as possible was that this wouldn't limit what BG characters could be apped, should anyone wish to do so. But thinking about this, I've been playing Abdel and Imoen as having basically spent at least some time with every party member...and that doesn't really affect anything.

Basically, someone app Abdel Adrian immediately, before I do something stupid and try apping him myself. Also don't let worrying about something like icons keep you from apping him--just talk to me, I can hook you up with some possibilities.

Besides, you know you want to be able to use an icon like this:

Or even name his journal main_char. You know you want to.
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