Mercs of DB, (over)analyzed


(Brycko) #1

Disclaimer: Long Post

Another Disclaimer: This is all interpretation, it’s possible that a lot of this totally wrong and/or false, so go easy :slight_smile:

So I kinda notice that in each of the bios/voicelines of the mercs, they each have something that reflects a current day issue/discussion.
A common theme among many of our beloved mercs is their taking of personal moral code before the mission, and it kind of represents Dirty Bomb as a whole. Splash Damage have made a shooter that is stereotypical in many ways, but also breaks a lot of the trends and stereotypes that we see in modern military shooters. They are the ‘insubordinates’ of the FPS genre, which is ultimately why the game is still alive and well today.
MercServ;
MercServ isn’t just a contracting company, it’s a SOCIAL NETWORK that connects Mercs from all around the world. Mercs use pseudonyms to hide their real names (hence the whole Rogue en Vogue hacking into MercServ thing). Anonymity means that mercs can live double lives, living normal lives during the day and becoming Mercenaries at the night. Hence why info is scarce on each Merc, why they can by hired by different factions. This is also why their backstories are typically vague, so given the limited information about them, I’ve deduced basically what their deals are.

Aimee: Anorexia and Fashion

Aimee is surprisingly complicated. I struggle to realize why Aimee was so attached to Max Bashki, and in the comics released in conjunction with ReV, Bashki came off pretty cold towards Aimee.

Full Story: Aimee was once a high-profile fashion model. However, in order to stay at the top of her industry, she either starved herself or was starved in order to create an ideal figure, leading her to develop anorexia. After losing her place in the fashion industry or possible rejecting it herself, she joined the army, where she picked up her sniping and assassin skills.

She later returned to work in High Fashion security, looking for a chance to get back into the game. She would have latched to Max Bashki as a way to get closer to the big leagues. Aimee revealed her plan to get into proper fashion to Bashki, whom she’d come to trust. They agreed to help each other out; Aimee being high end security and Bashki helping her get in to the industry.

Perhaps Bashki didn’t want Aimee to go through that same pain again, and figured that killing Aimee was a sort of salvation for her. It’s also possible that what Bashki told Proxy was true, that Aimee had been snooping through Bashki’s finances and didn’t want her to run off with his money. Regardless, it all stems from the same problem; the brutal battle that is the desire for the perfect human complexion.

Where’s the evidence?
• Aimee’s figure is slouched, similar someone who has experienced malnutrition.
• Aimee has a day job as a chef. This could just be passed off as a French stereotype, or it could be a way for her to tackle her issues of anorexia.
• She’s a picky eater.
• Her nails are painted, well-kept and abnormally long showing she likes to stay fashionable, even when working.

Fragger: Post-military life

Fragger’s issue, like his character, is pretty straight-forward and evident. His bio states that he wasn’t quite sure that his post-military life was ‘less rewarding’, and that he became a motion capture performer for video games. He had a terrible time re-integrating into civilian life, which is why he returned to the ‘killing business’. Unfortunately, this is a very real issue, especially in for US army veterans. Just watch Adam Driver’s TED talk on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCwwVjPNloY

Stoker: Chemical Weapons

I strongly believe that Stoker was a chemistry teacher before he joined the army. He probably enlisted because of some sort of ‘special offer’ for chemistry experts, and it did end up doing him well (he seems to be rather well off). Of course, everything changed with his little accident, which seemed not only to scar him physically, but mentally as well. If it isn’t clear already, Stoker’s real-world issues is chemical weapons, and the horrors they bring.

Bushwhacker: Education

Bushwhacker was a teacher ‘teaching Industrial Arts at one of the United States’ roughest high schools’, and so his mannerisms are like those of a cool, practical teacher, saying things like ‘never take anyone else’s word on whether a weapon is loaded’ and ‘if you’re going to face death every day, you may as well get paid danger money for it’. His turret is like a teaching assistant, keeping his back covered whilst he lays down important info for his students/teammates. At some point he probably realized that he needed to educate people in the field more than those in schools, and get a better salary for it.

Phantom: Identity Crisis

Stealthy characters can usually keep their mouth shut when they need to. Furthermore, their craft usually respects their ability; think Corvo from Dishonored, all of Desmond’s ancestors in Assassin’s Creed, Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid, etc… So Phantom, our supposedly stealthy character, is far from his stereotype. He’s loud and in your face, like Deadpool, and this can totally ruin his attacks. It’s actually a minor gameplay problem; when he decloaks and lunges, he shouts it out and instantly gets noticed. In this respect he has a bit of an identity crisis; He’s the opposite of what he’s supposed to be.

In many ways, I think Phantom stole the armor not because it could make him invisible, but also for the psychological aspect. Phantom wears the armor to hide his insecurities; When he’s invisible he can hide whatever sensitive side he has, and when he’s visible he wears the armor as a psychological protection. The commanders poke fun at Phantom, and he can hide whatever emotions he has behind his loud voice and mask. He might look like a tough, scary guy, but to some people he’s just a nerd in a Halloween costume.

Rhino: Obesity

It may seem like he’s fat, but (as he likes to tell us) it’s actually all muscle. Rhino’s dealt with it quite well. Typically, if you want to lose weight, getting better eating habits helps more than exercising, but something tells me than Rhino doesn’t want to give that luxury up. Anywho, instead of viewing his size as a disadvantage, he’s turned it around, making him a very powerful, tough character. He realized that his size and the strength had a purpose somewhere, that it could be used to make a decent about of money. He maintains his role as a deadly tank. And he’s also very smart.

Nader: Female Empowerment and Social Norms

Sure, Nader is gay, which is great for Dirty Bomb’s diversity. But she’s also more than that. Nader is the only female Assault class in Dirty Bomb, and one of the few female heavy artillery characters in gaming. Most of the time, as seen in the rest of Dirty Bomb, female human characters in games, and especially in FPS’s (though this trend is changing), are lower-health, quicker characters that are either snipers or scout characters. It’s rare to see a female tank in many games. On top of the fact that she’s gay, she makes one of the most badass women in FPS gaming.

Feminism and female empowerment is clear throughout DB, but Nader is probably the one that really pushes against the stereotype the most. She notes that she’s” just a…little Heidi with a grenade launcher, it’s mainly decorative ignore it,” actively looking to counter any female stereotypes. One could also say her “little eggs of death” contrasts with the traditional notion that women are ‘life-givers’, that they shouldn’t be on the battlefield but at home in the kitchen and raising children. The domestic life isn’t what she wants, which may explain why she left her wife. She doesn’t feel at place in society, at a normal job and fitting in with the social norms, whereas on the battlefield, it doesn’t matter what her sexual orientation is or her nationality, anyone that can fire a gun and kill gets the same respect.

As a lawyer she also has a conviction for what is right and what is wrong, and may have been frustrated with what she couldn’t do behind a desk and would rather be making an impact in the field.

Nader’s bio also states that ‘it’s about being all you can be’. She’s accepted herself for who she truly was; an abhorrently dangerous lady with a grenade launcher. Hence, Nader is an inspiring example for people who are having difficulty accepting who they really are in the face of society.

Fletcher: Breadwinning

Fletcher is a ‘swaggering salesman’ from Nigeria. What is he doing in London? He’s there for the market. It’s no secret that Fletcher is the designer/manufacturer of the Crotzni, and lots of the other equipment across DB. The truth is Fletcher is REALLY just trying to make a buck. Maybe it’s his natural swagger. Or maybe he has a family to support. Britain is a cooking pot for these kind of people, whether they are from Poland or from Africa.

Vassili: Immersion

Vassili’s problem is probably the one that hits us home the most: It’s immersion. Vassili sees the world of DB as a video game (which it is). He uses a lot of gaming terms, and he reflects what we all are as players of DB. Unfortunately, he’s gotten to a point that he can’t tell the difference between the game and the real world, which is why he almost shot his sister. Like us, he’s been desensitized to the killing, even though he’s a real softy on the inside.

Proxy: Class Issues

Proxy is a bit of a difficult one to place on, but I theorize that class issues are the real issue here. She has a clear working class accent, and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty to get work done. I figure she’s probably working to support her family after they lost everything in the Dirty Bomb incident, which is why she’s the youngest character in DB. I also have the feeling she comes from a big family of brothers, hence why she might be more masculine character.

Turtle: Painkillers and Opioids

It was recently revealed in his bio in one of the merc rotations that Turtle is addicted to painkillers, which is ironic considering he is the ‘protector’ merc. Turtle takes his profession as a defense engineer very seriously, making sure that nothing gets past him, hence when his arm was blown off (when he tried to pineapple juggle a grenade or something), he also lost his career. ‘Hey, you should have seen the other guy’ could totally refer to a friend who died because of what he considers to be his failure to protect his teammates.

Turtle represents the forefront of the opioid epidemic, abusing his meds not only for his arm, but also for the mental pain he experienced.


(Brycko) #2

Phoenix: Suppression of Knowledge

I think the best way to explain Phoenix’s issue is to compare him with a historical figure, or rather a number of them. Primarily, I’m going to compare him with Galileo.
Phoenix is a revolutionary; he’s completely revolutionized medical science with the advent of his nanobots. Unfortunately, the rest of the science community don’t see it a same way; they see him as some sort of crazy scientist that has found some way to bring back the dead, and its science that they don’t understand. Sound familiar?

Although it may not be so common anymore, the progression of science has been regularly stinted because of people refusing to believe something they don’t understand. It stems from a fear of the unknown, and how people react to the unknown.
Nevertheless, Phoenix continues to test his technology, and persists despite his ridicule. And he makes a lot of money too. He may be an arrogant asshole, but it isn’t totally his fault; he does know better than his peers. He’s ultimately been punished for doing the right thing. May explain why he hides behind the mask; to reinvent himself

Aura: Student Loans

The good ol’ student loans trap. Not much needs to be said here: In an attempt to educate herself, Aura ended up in significant debt. Similar to Phoenix, her technology is too good for her own good, and she gets ripped off by students who may be suffering
similar problems to her.

Thunder: Amnesia

Thunder’s issue is his amnesia. Through whatever accident that happened or however many time’s he’s concussed himself with his concussion grenades, his personality has changed him from whatever we was into an ideal Spetsnaz soldier, so now he’s kind of Don Quixote character. It’s entirely possible that he doesn’t have any idea who he once was. Whatever the case, he’s good at his job.

Sparks : Identity Theft

Sparks, as everyone knows, goes by many names and faces. But why?
A conspiracy theory, but I believe that Sparks is actually the CEO of Pirin Medical, and as the CEO of the company, fame made it difficult for her to do operations or do anything privately. Hence, she uses fake documents as a) a part of her job securing contracts with more malicious factions (i.e Jackal) and b) for testing her gadgets and working as a field medic. Phrases like ‘she’s not my sister’ could refer to a double that covers for her when she’s out and about. Alternatively, someone else may have stolen her identity, and she’s seeking revenge by stealing the identities of others.

Arty : Family

Arty’s just doing what he needs to do to support his family, a bit like Proxy. To him, being a fire support is simply a job, nothing more. He’s a hard worker, and doesn’t tolerate anyone else slacking off. He hates his coworkers, but he loves his job. Of course, he can’t tell his family about his job because that would either compromise his job or ruin his
family, hence why his persona on the battlefield is so different to his private life.

Kira : Kawaii Stereotypes

I think it’s pretty clear that Kira has to wrestle with her Japanese ‘Kawaii’ stereotypes. In many ways, she embraces it, but in many ways she also doesn’t like it. “Why doesn’t the world see me… And for the massively destructive weapons satellite I control?” is kind of half-joking. She’s well aware of the stereotypes as she’s one of the youngest members of the Dirty Bomb cast, and incidentally the one most connected to internet culture, so it makes it appropriate that she’s the one to combat it as well. She’s simultaneously exactly the meme-loving person we all want her to be and the complete opposite of that as a girl. Tread carefully. “No, I don’t want to watch anime with you.” She wants to be taken seriously, and hopefully the massive satellite laser helps with that.

Skyhammer : Drinking/Alcohol

Skyhammer has drinking problems. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. He looks it (with his rosy colored cheeks and drunken smile) and talks about it. He probably drinks in order to cope with his job, after all, he is the guy that calls in devastating carpet bombing runs.

Sawbonez : Authority

Sawbonez doesn’t respect authority until the worth of that authority can be proven to him, so he has low tolerance for desk commanders and prefers servant leadership. He rather prefers for people to prove themselves in combat (or otherwise) before he truly respects them, in a sort of gritty-army way. He’s harsh and demanding, but he won’t do anything anyone under him wouldn’t do; he’s the epitome or servant leadership. He might be rough around the edges, but it’s only because he doesn’t want anyone to do anything stupid or die. He takes good care of his team, and he leads them into battle as
the frontline medic.

Redeye : Retirement/pension

Redeye was cheated out of his pension. So naturally, he’s got nothing to lose by going back into the mercenary business. It’s unlikely that he’s going to end up with a pension before he dies, but maybe he figures he’ll catch a bullet before then. Redeye is far too old to be doing what he’s doing, but he’s got to make a wage somehow, and he might as well do it in a job he’s well versed in.

Redeye is a bit of a legend around DB. I’m sure Aimee looks up to him by using the Grandeur, his trusty yet outdated sniper-rifle. Turtle apparently has a tattoo of Redeye’s eye, perhaps out of a sign of respect.

Don’t have enough info on Hunter, Guardian or Javelin yet to judge their ‘issues’, but I’ll update this when I let you know.


(MuddyGrenade) #3

Fun read. I can definitely see those world problems in the mercs you spoke about. I really like the idea of Redeye being a sort of living legend around the MercServ database. He’s like the @Amerika_KC of MercServ. I think if he and Hunter were to ever meet, there would be some mutual respect as well as competition between the two.
Ideas for Hunter, Guardian, and Javelin.
Javelin: Indentured Servitude/Slavery
While she may just seem like someone who is just doing her job, she is still risking her life in an irradiated wasteland full of pyromaniacs and lesbian demowomen, just because her employers need to field test their hardware. I say it could be either indentured servitude or slavery because she is working under contract (we assume), but slavery is a bit more of a pressing issue nowadays.
Hunter: Isolationism/Introversion
Hunter is old. He’s 51 and is probably the oldest merc in the game. After losing his arm, he cooped himself in Alaska, hunting big game and being a general loner. Who knows how long it took for him to finally get back into the game. He seems like a kind of “get in and get out” kind of person, and will probably cover back up in Alaska after he kills Phantom.
Guardian: OCD
Guardian’s a medic, through and through. Yet, at the same time, she’s a goofball. She’s chatty, she’s joking, and really friggin’ annoying. This is because while on one end she’s fun and goofy, she also has this need to do her job and do it right. She may be a nice person, but when she protects you from incoming and revives when you die, its because she has to.
.
Alright the Guardian one was a bit of a stretch, but eh.


(STARRYSOCK) #4

Am I the only one who doesn’t think rhino is actually fat? I mean, just look at his minigun for one. Google says they usually weigh anywhere from 40 to 20 kg. Then the fact that he has to walk around in a massive suit of bomb disposal armor or whatever you’d call it, which google says weights about 35 kg, AND carry a massive tub of ammo definitely doesn’t suggest he’s out of shape.

Sure he looks fat, but with all that equipment, of course he looks bigger than he really is. He’s probably some massively swole strongman under all that armor.


(MuddyGrenade) #5

@STARRYSOCK said:
Am I the only one who doesn’t think rhino is actually fat? I mean, just look at his minigun for one. Google says they usually weigh anywhere from 40 to 20 kg. Then the fact that he has to walk around in a massive suit of bomb disposal armor or whatever you’d call it, which google says weights about 35 kg, AND carry a massive tub of ammo definitely doesn’t suggest he’s out of shape.

Sure he looks fat, but with all that equipment, of course he looks bigger than he really is. He’s probably some massively swole strongman under all that armor.

I always figured he was a bit of both. Y’know, naturally a bit on the tHiCC side but also secretly friggin’ jacked. Kind of like a lineman in football.


(Mr.Cuddlesworth) #6

@Brycko said:

Another Disclaimer: This is all interpretation, it’s possible that a lot of this totally wrong and/or false, so go easy :slight_smile:

Bushwhacker: Education

Bushwhacker was a teacher ‘teaching Industrial Arts at one of the United States’ roughest high schools’, and so his mannerisms are like those of a cool, practical teacher, saying things like ‘never take anyone else’s word on whether a weapon is loaded’ and ‘if you’re going to face death every day, you may as well get paid danger money for it’. His turret is like a teaching assistant, keeping his back covered whilst he lays down important info for his students/teammates. At some point he probably realized that he needed to educate people in the field more than those in schools, and get a better salary for it.

Actually Bushwhacker is a banana farmer


(STARRYSOCK) #7

@MuddyGrenade said:

@STARRYSOCK said:
Am I the only one who doesn’t think rhino is actually fat? I mean, just look at his minigun for one. Google says they usually weigh anywhere from 40 to 20 kg. Then the fact that he has to walk around in a massive suit of bomb disposal armor or whatever you’d call it, which google says weights about 35 kg, AND carry a massive tub of ammo definitely doesn’t suggest he’s out of shape.

Sure he looks fat, but with all that equipment, of course he looks bigger than he really is. He’s probably some massively swole strongman under all that armor.

I always figured he was a bit of both. Y’know, naturally a bit on the tHiCC side but also secretly friggin’ jacked. Kind of like a lineman in football.

Rhino behind the scenes:

!


(DB Genome editor) #8

@STARRYSOCK said:
Am I the only one who doesn’t think rhino is actually fat? I mean, just look at his minigun for one. Google says they usually weigh anywhere from 40 to 20 kg. Then the fact that he has to walk around in a massive suit of bomb disposal armor or whatever you’d call it, which google says weights about 35 kg, AND carry a massive tub of ammo definitely doesn’t suggest he’s out of shape.

Sure he looks fat, but with all that equipment, of course he looks bigger than he really is. He’s probably some massively swole strongman under all that armor.

Absolutely. You look at the guys in strong man competitions and most of them have a good ol’ belly hiding their 6-pack, but they carry much more muscle than fat. And none of them have the ridiculous “V” shape and tiny waistline of competitive bodybuilders.

I don’t consider Rhino to be “fat” but rather “massive” B)