When Jay33721 approached me with an idea for a droid powered by a black soul gem, I had my doubts. Not in the validity of the idea, the authenticity of the voice or any other of the eleven flavors of awesome he provided, but it needed a writer to make it an even dozen. I didn’t know jack shit about computers. When a voice actor’s computer got stricken with a virus, I told her to stick a Tylenol in the USB slot and check its temperature in the morning.
Fortunately, about a week later Roarian was getting involved in doing some scripting for the mod. As a programmer with enough fanfiction to build a bridge to Mars, it seemed like a good match, and it was. When I got the script, I realized just how much my pathetic modding skills were limiting my NPCs. At the time, I didn’t even know how to condition for race, and Roarian was accounting for race, sex, class, and what color tunic the player liked to wear on Loredas mornings.
Not to mention as a programmer, Roarian could involve the player in ways my monkey brain could only dream of. With Relic, Roarian was able to devise a quest that centered around three separate personalities – good, evil, and damaged. Taking this idea further, Jay used his editing skills to make three separate voice types, with the damaged one stuttering to emphasize its brokenness. Moreover, the player’s ability to use Dwarven smithing would factor into the result, as well as the player’s moral alignment. Yet the most brilliant aspect Roarian included was adding the Briarheart script to Relic’s soul gem, which meant stealing it would strip it of its very life force. When I tested it and the droid crumbled to the floor, I had to pinch myself to keep from squealing like a little girl.
As an editor, most of the script was beyond my knowledge, and that’s a good thing. Subroutines? I don’t even know what a subroutine is. I diversified some of the player questions, but for the most part left everything as is. The one thing I did feel needed to be changed, however, was a single word.
Roarian included it as an homage to the great HK-47. Although I had some concern that people would consider Relic an imitation, given our droid had 3 distinct personalities, any argument that the two were identical would be specious. My larger concern was with the term “meatbag” itself. After all, when HK-47 used the term repeatedly, he didn’t sound like a droid, at least not to me. He sounded like a human being pretending to be a droid. That distinction is important.
Human beings are very visual people. Outwardly, all we see is the flesh and flab. That’s why we think a robot would mock our inherent softness, our distinct lack of metal. Except there’s one problem with that. The actual composition of human beings is roughly about 60-70% water. Not flesh, not fat, but water. A robot would not look at the math and call us bags of meat. A real robot would not make such a terrible miscalculation.
Hence, Relic wouldn’t either. Roarian made the slight alteration, and with that, our metal maybe-monster was born.