Real Name: Max Kanté
Root Cause of Transformation: Marinette Dupain-Cheng
Item of Transformation: Glasses
Primary Goal: To Prove He’s the Best Gamer
The Gamer is yet another of many examples of akumatized victims that prove that not only does Papillon have no real control over how his victims are transformed or what powers they attain but also showcases that his means of akumatizing them can range from justifiable anger/disappointment to… well, childish pettiness. Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand where Max is coming in a certain standpoint.
He was, after all, set to be the “player one” in an official inter-school tournament of video games before Marinette beat his high score and does ousted him from his position. Of course, this was shortly after Adrien became his partner in said tournament by also beating his high score but really Marinette was the straw that broke the camel’s back in this regard.
… Still, an inter-school video game competition and not even one of those educational type games like Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Heck, it’s not even a true-blue “partnership” type game of cooperation like League of Legends or Overwatch. Oh no, it is a fighting game tournament and one that is akin to the likes of Street Fighter in its set-up.
No… okay some offense intended to the schools here but seriously? What on earth would this type of competition prove to anyone? Again, if it was utilizing games like Overwatch that require cooperation, or Portal 2 where intuitiveness and ingenuity are a must, I can understand such a thing but a game that is, quite literally, a button-masher of attack combinations? What the heck?
This is why I can somewhat understand Max’s motivations. It’s not just that he wants to be the best at gaming, though that is a large part of his motivation, it’s that he wants to be cheered for by his peers in something that not only is he excellent in but something that they themselves find interesting. Let’s be honest, what would you rather watch, a chess tournament or a video game tournament?
Anyway, one akuma to the glasses later and we get the Gamer, a name that I feel is highly inappropriate and one whose powers are broken by the standards of gaming mechanics. Basically, as the Gamer, Max creates a proxy of his in-game character, one of a large number of mecha-styled champions whose powers and stats grow with enough experience and thus “level up” into a new form. The broken part comes in by way of said robotic avatar, a black pyramid like structure, destroying… NPCs, as it were.
Otherwise known as killing innocent people.
Okay, I admit, that’s probably a stretch of what Max was doing as we don’t technically see anyone dying outright. No, they’re just turned into little balls of experience points that are then absorbed into Max’s robotic avatar in order for it to level up. He does this by way of shooting some manner of laser beam that causes this instantaneous transformation into EXP and with no apparent limitations as to what he can target.
Admittedly, if this follows regular gaming mechanics, it is possible that people, or objects, of a… higher level… would require a more direct means then just a single blast and may need to be worn down in order to be turned into EXP. Of course, the other downside to this is that such high level characters/objects would bestow a much larger reward of EXP meaning the Gamer’s mecha avatar could level up faster than before.
Another, really rather odd, drawback to the Gamer’s mecha avatar is that, should it be defeated it bestows all of its accumulated EXP to whomever destroyed it. Of course, the Gamer is capable of “saving” and “loading” his mecha avatar whenever he wants with no apparent drawbacks other than it being the most recent save.
Meanwhile, the little ball of EXP, rather than being turned back to the people/objects that the Gamer had destroyed will be instantaneously transformed into a mecha avatar of equal strength and size to the Gamer’s destroyed one but whose form, functions, and powers are based loosely on those who destroyed it.
… I’m going to be honest here, I have absolutely no idea where to rank the Gamer. Mentally speaking, he is on par with the likes of Timebreaker with next to no qualms about killing innocent people in order to gain more power for himself.
Likewise his powers are both incredibly strong and undeniably weak at the same time, and are, in short, nothing but a series of broken game mechanics that can be exploited against him whilst like be used with extreme efficiency against those who would stand in his way. Once again, I have to question the true potential and supposed limitations that Papillon’s akumas have in their prey…