Many moons ago (About ten moons, I think? Give or take?) I was an active member of a small but active dressing room RP. Like all DRs, we had scads and scads of AU and crossover type characters, as well as the usual players who just couldn't stop making crossovers. I was someone who couldn't stop making AUs, so really, I always figured I was in no place to judge. After all, a lot of the crossed over characters were basically AUs from pre-constructed worlds, not just re-skinned versions of the other canon's characters.
On the subject of AUs, there was one small AU cast that always sort of puzzled me just because their background didn't seem nearly as fleshed out or cohesive as the others floating around. I mean, granted, the ability to construct worlds and storylines differs between people, but this cast's AU just continually blew my mind with its silliness. Even more annoyingly, the characters themselves didn't even seem to gel that well with their canon selves, even with the AU thing taken into consideration. I mean, I know that different circumstances can change people. I know that being born into different sets of circumstances can greatly affect your development. Still, most AU casts had their AU backgrounds at least roughly parallel the events of the series, creating something that was different and yet familiar enough that people sort of knew what to expect in terms of the characters' relationships and personalities. I'm using aliases here, so bear with me.
This shit was just off the wall. Alicia is the daughter of a prominent knight in King Arthur's court (her father is dead, by the way) and she wants to be a knight, just like him. This would be an unrealistic if admirable aspiration if she weren't so incompetent and cowardly that watching her interact with evil characters or any kind of adversity didn't just make me cringe. Oh, and she's looking for Excalibur, which was stolen (why and how, I totally forget if they ever mentioned) and dropped into a forest full of sentient, evil plants.
Whole forest of this.
This would all be fine and dandy if Alicia actually were an annoying, incompetent yet inexplicably plucky damsel in distress, but she is NOTHING LIKE THAT. Alicia and this character share NO PERSONALITY TRAITS AT ALL.
Enter John, who for the purposes of the AU is a blind martial artist (I THINK????) living in the forest/swamp. Well, okay. I wouldn't have even known John was blind if the player didn't mention it every. Other. Post. Why? Because John used his staff to beat the everliving shit out of every goddamn thing that came anywhere near Alicia's chronically kidnapped ass with greater skill and accuracy than even the goddamned Force could provide.
Your eyes can deceive you, don't trust them. Poke them out instead.
John is a hermit who lives all alone (he stresses this often) in the swamp... forest... carnivorous plant... place, with his pet hawk. He's the only person who can lead Alicia to the sword, since he... talks to the plants. Or something. Oh, and his BLIND JEDI SKILLS. To be fair, John got out of this AU makeover a lot more recognizable and palatable than Alicia did, but that's mostly because the "I DO EVERYTHING ALONE" was his defining character trait (along with being a blind Jedi), a trait which he shares with his canon counterpart to a certain degree. On the other hand, he's also an enormous pushover who can't seem to make up his fucking mind as to whether he can never be in normal human society, or if he just wants to let Alicia do whatever she wants. All in all, John wound up flatter, blinder, and... weirder, than he is in the series.
But I figure, Hell, it's an AU. I mean, maybe this is just how the players interpreted how these characters' lives would play out if they were from this world. And the world they describe as being their own is some acid-laced trip through Arthurian legend and Disney cliche, but it's a pretty good effort for two or three teenagers doing it in their spare time. It's not like people were paid to create this concept.
Ye of too much faith.
Oh, how FUCKING wrong I was. For more than ten years, I forgot this horrible, shameful film existed, and for nearly a year I totally forgot about that 'AU' cast. No, wait, let me rephrase that: I REPRESSED memories of this film.
What brought it all flooding back? The god damned Nostalgia Critic and his review of the film, which I watched with a friend, all the while trying not to express the growing horror in the pit of my soul as I slowly came to realize that not only was that awful AU not an AU, but that the players had basically picked a terrible, terrible animated film, re-skinned the romantic leads with two characters from the series, and just run with it with no regard for the characters' actual fucking personalities.
Get a room, you fucking finger puppets.
People CONSTANTLY FUCKING DO THIS, and it is actually starting to drive me insane. If they're doing a crossover, the characters they want to get together automatically have to be the romantic leads of the crossed over canon, regardless of how well they fit into that character's role. This, of course, totally ignores the related annoying tendency of people to simply place characters in the roles of characters in the other canon rather than using the world itself as the basis of the crossover.
After adding up this equation of dumbfuckery, I'm not sure what pisses me off more: That the players were crass and lame enough to play this way, or that what I thought was the product of a teenager's imagination was actually a multi-million dollar project by a major animation studio.
Christ on a crouton.