Welcome to this week’s article of The Good, Bad, and What The?, where we took a good, long look at characters in movies, video games, anime, and books and put them on the judgement table to see if they are worthy to be in their respective stories. I strongly believe that well developed characters are more important than anything else in a good story, so I always judge them hard. At the end of every character’s evaluation I will give them one of four ratings: Good for those characters that are developed and deserve their place in the story, Bad for those characters that have no place being made or interacting with anyone else in the story, What The for the characters I just can’t figure out, and then the characters who are dull as dishwasher will get the rating of Sack of Potatoes. Today on the judgement table; Tripitaka or Trip, one of the main characters of “ENSLAVED: Odyssey to the West.”
“ENSLAVED: Odyssey to the West” follows the story of the two unlikely partners, Trip and Monkey, as they go on a journey to try and destroy the evil being that is called Pyramid. Monkey has a hand band placed on his head that Trip has complete control over, meaning Trip also has complete control over Monkey. The headband also connects the two so that if Trip dies Monkey will die with her. As they journey to find Pyramid, they battle through hordes of evil slaves and travel across many different lands to get to the brain of the enemy.
Trip is a young 19 year old girl who managed to escape the slaver ship she was captured on with her tag along companion Monkey. Somehow, without any explanation from the game, Trip got this controlling headband on Monkey and commands him to help her get home. Having this control over this big muscular, powerful guy and telling him he has to help you sets it up so that it looks like Trip is going to be the one in power between the two of them. This is a swap role of something you would usually see where the huge muscle man is in power having the girl help him or forcing her to help, whatever the situation is. When starting this game I thought, “Okay, so this is different from the norm. It might have a chance to do some interesting plots points with this complete control over the powerful male lead” but instead the game does no such thing. As you progress through the game, there are several puzzles where you have to work with Trip to move on, as the entire game is a big escort mission. So Trip pulls the lever and you as Monkey do some parkour and pull the other lever that is in the more inconvenient location, naturally. When you get to segments like these, Trip will often yell at you to do whatever needs to be done. Rather than deliver her lines in such a way that Trip is commanding Monkey as a superior or giving him orders in a confident way, Trip just sort of whines. She loves to yell at you and sound super bossy in a really negative way. She sounds like an angry mother nagging at you to clean your room. She just ends up coming across as a bossy pain in the side. “Monkey do this, Monkey get that, Monkey pull that lever!” you feel like you’re running errands for said grumpy mother. I constantly found myself saying “Please shut up, I beg you…you are super annoying.” I was trying to beg this video game character to stop being so aggravating. Of course, though, because you want it to it never stops…ever. It gets even worse though because not only is she naggy and annoying she is also totally helpless and a glorified door opener. Whenever mechs starts attacking her she screams every single time “Monkey save me! Monkey help me!” and you sit there going “Yeah great sure I’ll help you, although I really don’t want to…” She basically becomes the definition of damsel in distress and then after saving her, she goes and hacks a computer or open a door. That is literally all she ever does throughout the entire game. Trip the lock pick. Okay maybe she has other redeeming qualities right? Nope.
If being useless and annoying wasn’t bad enough, her overall story and personality are about as dimensional as a square on your geometry homework. When not nagging you or screaming for help, her voice is super boring with very little interesting delivery or emotion. You are supposed to feel bad because she was separated from her village out in the middle of nowhere. All you “feel” though is the urge to just leave her there and let her deal with things herself, but you can’t because of the headband.
Once you finally get to her village to find her family and whatnot, you find everyone is dead. Big shocker, I know. She then has a little scene of her crying over her father as you, the player, sit there waiting for her to be done because there is no real emotion there at all. The delivery of the situation is crap and because you knew none of these dead people prior you have no connection and Trip says nothing about any of them before this point, so there is even less connection. I actually forgot that her dad died later in the game until she brought it up again. That is how little that scene affected me. The real good part is after crying and being all sad, she decides it is a great idea to just randomly run away for no reason like a complete idiot! There are murderous mechs walking around looking for her so naturally running away from the one guy protecting you so you can whine in a corner is a great idea right? Even Monkey himself is freaking out going “Trip, what are you doing!” The dumb girl is risking her own life as well as Monkey’s life for absolutely no reason. Now you care that she is sad because she is putting you in danger by being an idiot. On of the most irritating parts though is that much like the situation in “DmC: Devil May Cry” between Kat and Dante, the implied love stuff between Trip and Monkey goes nowhere to speak of.
I can’t really blame this all on Trip or Monkey, but the whole thing is just plain idiotic. There is a point where another character ask if Monkey and Trip are a thing and after Monkey says no, there is scene immediately after where a little heart forms behind them. While the scene was pretty funny considering what was going on it, was pretty dumb and pointless in the long run as it leads into nothing. Trip is simply covered in tropey nonsense that makes you continue to hate her more and more as time goes on. As an added bonus, they released a DLC that added a costume in the game for Trip called “Sexy Robot Trip” and it is about as dumb as it sounds. It’s just an extra ingredient to Trip being a super generic trope covered female character.
Unsurprisingly Trip gets the rating of Sack of Potatoes. She is a generic annoying female character who you only hate more and more as you play the game. There was no point where I was happy that she was around at all. She is a damsel that opens doors and yells at the main character; it’s about as stupid as it gets. Considering this game is made by the company Ninja Theory the same company that brought you “DmC: Devil May Cry” I would say they are simply not very good at writing female characters, as I hated Kat just as much. As for a recommendation, the game doesn’t blow anything out of the water, but I found the story and world to be interesting so if you want a bit of casual spectacle fighter with an interesting world then go for it.