The Spectral Brigade

Hi hi! Time for another weekly post (I'm doing my best).

Something I've tried to do on the Toumayhem twitter account is release some character profiles each time a new character sprite was completed. What I forgot to do, however... was to also do it here. So I'm doing it now! In batches, and with some fresh tidbits of information as a little treat for those who know these kids already.

Let's start with the main gang, shall we?

He's just a little boy.
I really like timid protagonists who slowly grow into brave, compassionate people. I hope Yuki's growth will be fulfilling for you. At the start, he always tries his best to avoid inconveniences... his hate for conflicts is what made him a Ghost, after all. His relationship with his mother is also aaaall about avoiding conflict. As for his likes, I thought it would've been nice to give him a niche hobby so he's very into sci-fi.

Take a good look at his room in the demo! What's on his nightstand...?

If you said "the Japanese edition of Second Foundation, by Isaac Asimov" you're right!

It's also a big favourite of mine. He also shares his birthday with Kotaro Uchikoshi, one of my favorite video game writers, well-known for the Zero Escape series. Just a little easter egg.

The very first thing I thought about his design is that he needed to have a low ponytail so his head shape kind of looks like a little ghost! Can you see it? No? I was so proud of coming up with it...

The boy! The guy! Reichou is very popular among players, and I can see why. I think his hairpin is his main charm point, but his scarf is cute too! My very first design only had the scarf, the hairpin was an addition by Nephenee and boy, was it a good one.
To counterbalance meek, shy Yuki I needed a leader with a strong personality. He means well, but he can be a bit too pushy. I really like the focus I could put on his weak points especially in the late game.
As for likes and dislikes, I think they're very pretty telling on their own. Akito withers if left alone. Please, be nice to him.

Oh, Hongkui is a dick. He's the manifestation of all irritating know-it-all high-schoolers.
While Yuki is a loner because he's stressed about mingling with others, but he would like to, Hongkui is a loner because he thinks he's better than anyone else. Unfortunately, no option in the game lets you punch him. You can witness his death, though! I won't tell you if it's optional or not :)
His growth is a subtle one, but I really like those moments in which you can see what's going on with him. He's sort of funny and he's fun to write.
Also, he's tone-deaf. Of course.

Claire is that one character who really grew on me as I wrote draft after draft! She used to be more of an introvert and an airhead, while now she is... a bit lazy, laser-focused and quite cunning. She used to accidentally become a Ghost much like Yuki did, while in the final game she purposefully avoids any interaction by feigning ignorance because she doesn't care. I think this Claire is much more interesting than the one I had in mind many years ago.
Additionally, as I was writing the last draft for the prologue, there was just terrible news after terrible news about the state of trans rights. I've said it many times, but Toumayhem's development began way before I was comfortable about even attempting to have LGBTQ+ content in my writing! Just two girls in a relationship, and even them just kind of happened because everything I touch turns into lesbians (except one is bisexual). A lot has changed since then, and at some point I thought "I'm always so happy to see myself in games I like, it would be nice to do the same for someone else". Especially if said character is fine and happy. And this is how Claire, the most well-adjusted girl in the Brigade and the one with the most supporting family since day 1, became a trans girl. I'm afraid it's not very explicit in the game, but there are a few hints both about her and Kouhei (best guy tbh I don't make the rules just the game). This also made me think a bit more about her character and her past, and since I believe she was a bit flat in previous drafts I'm very glad I did!

Oh, Mitsuki. She used to be my favorite, then became my most hated character to write, then I toned down her "here's a quote from a famous media! Because I'm an otaku, right!!" and she became bearable again.
After writing her route, she became one of my favorites again. Hers is the true route for a good reason! Hope it will be as fulfilling to read for you as it was for me to finally finish writing.
Other than that, she's always been the kind of weird hot-blooded gal who won't hesitate to hit you in the face since day 1. Her obsession with spicy food is something that just kind of happened while writing and I rolled with it.
If I had the money for a weird physical limited edition of Toumayhem I'd bundle it with a special bottle of sriracha with her face on it.

And that's it for our main gang! Is there anyone who you'd die for after getting to know them in the demo? Do you know they will probably all die at some point? Who do you think will be the first? Or the one who gets murdered the most? Please look forward to it!

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