What made Maniac such an asshole in WC3?

boringnickname

Rear Admiral
The first Wing game that I have played was Wing Commander 3, and I assumed that the reason for the hostilities between Maniac and Blar were explained in the previous games.

I have recently played WC1 + WC2 and all the addons and I am baffled - there is no reason for Maniac's behaviour!

Although it was evident that Blair thought that Maniac's style is crazy (especially in SO2), there was no hate and/or rivarly between the two.

So, what happened between SO2 and WC3 regarding their relationship?
 

Mjr. Whoopass

<FONT color=lightblue><B>I was going to say someth
Here are my theories: We don't see all of their interactions in the games. In addition, they may have developed a rivalry in between the time of the games. An additional possibility could be that Maniac became jealous with Christopher Blair's promotion to Colonel. Jealousy over Blair's rank is a re-occuring theme seen throughout WC3 and WC4.
 

G Man

Rear Admiral
Because the writers just decided to flesh out the character a bit more and take him in a different direction?
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
I think it depends how Maniac got out of bed in the morning as to whether or not he's an asshole.

WC1: Asshole to fly with - tolerable to talk to aboard ship.
WC2: Still won't obey orders, but generally nice guy.
WC3: Asshole.
WC4: Seems a nicer guy now, still occasionally mocking.
Proph: Asshole. With midlife crisis.
 

Szegedin

Spaceman
Because the writers just decided to flesh out the character a bit more and take him in a different direction?

Hm, I've only scratched the surface of WC2, and always figured Maniac developed into WC3 form somewhere in its characterization.

Sounds like it's absolutely a case of the writers making some decisions for the character given the new format of WC3 and mixing an actor's performance into the equation ... The casting of Tom Wilson is indicative of where they were going. In WC1 Maniac is naive, cocky and built up as being nuts and not a team player.

In WC3 and 4 he's still naive, blustery, and not a team player but now he's more of a buffoonish bully that's played for comic relief ... I remember him seeming dangerous in WC1, mostly because of that story Shotglass tells about him, how he'd rather fly solo than with Maniac on his wing.

In WC3 and 4 he seems like a harmless blowhard. Wilson and the writers put an undercurrent of insecurity into Maniac that I don't remember being reflected in WC1 ...

Except maybe through the one quality he's maintained over the years, the tendency to flee in a tough battle ...
 

G Man

Rear Admiral
I think with many stories that run into a long "series" the writers don't seem to have planned the whole thing out from the very beginning, they make a lot of it up as they go along. Sometimes this creates inconsistencies in the characters. Look at Tolwyn, in WC2 he's a fairly basic stiff-upper-lipped, old-fashioned British military commander, but then Malcolm McDowell comes along and reinvents the character making him much more scheming, enigmatic and sinister (I find actually found him more creepy in WC3, in WC4 he was more of a cocky panto-villain)
 

boringnickname

Rear Admiral
I think with many stories that run into a long "series" the writers don't seem to have planned the whole thing out from the very beginning, they make a lot of it up as they go along. Sometimes this creates inconsistencies in the characters. Look at Tolwyn, in WC2 he's a fairly basic stiff-upper-lipped, old-fashioned British military commander, but then Malcolm McDowell comes along and reinvents the character making him much more scheming, enigmatic and sinister.



The problem is that their relationship in WC3 is presented as if they have a long known history of hatred and rivalry.

It comes out of nowhere.

"inconsistencies in the characters" is one thing, but this is something completely different. It's as if a buddy cop film ends with the two cops being friends but in the second one they are suddenly enemies. Without explaination how that came to be.
 

G Man

Rear Admiral
Well I suppose it's better than their reunion in WC2 where they just go "Hey, how ya doin!"

WC3 was the first one I played anyway, I wonder if it was the one a lot of other WC fans first played. Besides I never really thought Maniac was an asshole, he was lovable comic relief (even if he was unhelpful as a wingman during the actual missions). Flash was the one I didn't like, he was a smug little turd.
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
Maniac went from being a big-name test pilot sitting on the newest and hottest hardware to being another pilot on the Victory.

Blair went from being a nobody traitor to another pilot on the Concordia to being a spec-ops pilot to being the Wing Commander of the Victory.

So, it's possible Maniac was working out some resentment that Blair was passing him up for at least the second time in his life. This resentment subsides by WC4.
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
I think the undercurrent of insecurity and self-doubt we see in WC3 is a direct result of him losing the Wild Eagles in SO2. And also seeing Earth get trashed at the end of the armistice couldn't have helped.

Think about it...in SO2, Maniac implies that he is pretty important to the development of the Morningstar. Some of this may be boastful exaggeration, but he certainly was a player in the program, and he had assembled an elite squadron of test pilots. And then one of his own betrays him and destroys the squadron. While we don't know if he personally selected Minx, he at least would have had to approve her membership in the Wild Eagles, so he was in part, if not entirely responsible. And the result--one of his squadron turned traitor, another dead, and a third crippled for life, and his fancy top secret prototype being in danger of being turned over to the Kilrathi. Even though Blair and Paladin saved that from happening, Maniac still ended up drifting in space because of deficiencies in his new fighter, and then the Terran colonies got hammered, the Kilrathi almost destroyed Earth after the fasle armastice, Maniac gets passed over for promotion, and then get's assigned to what, by all appearances, is a aged light carrier carrying out backwater operations.

That's got to do a number on one's ego and introduce insecurity, and Maniac's coping mechanism may well have been to become the arrogant bastard we see in WC3.
 

CT25

Captain
Everyone knows about the Maniac....everyone.

HOW MANY PEOPLE HERE KNOW ABOUT THE MANIAC??!!


Oh what nobody?
 

kadonbeir

1st Lieutenant
Maybe people kept doing this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwY5o2fsG7Y

Nah I noticed that too. I figured his style in flight was annoying but its all I usually did anyways with all my wingmen cutting them loose, saved me time really.

But I would surmise a jealousy thing over rank and career as well if you think about all the insane exploits he's done. But like the Drayman in WC1 he accidentally shot down, I'm sure with every amazing feat he's managed to once in awhile damage some Confed equipment. A definite career buster for sure.
 

Mincemeat

Doomsday's Neighbour
I think the Heart of the Tiger novel goes into a bit more depth over Blair and Maniac's relationship.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I think the Heart of the Tiger novel goes into a bit more depth over Blair and Maniac's relationship.

Yes, it does. The big problem at the start of Wing Commander III is that Blair's arrival on the Victory displaces Maniac both in the ship's command structure and as her biggest war hero. Maniac had been the wing's Executive Officer and had been serving as acting Wing Commander since the previous officer's death. He had the seniority for a promotion to Lieutenant Colonel and likely expected that the job would be made permanent.... not only did Blair dash that hope, but his ordering Hobbes' back to flight status meant that Maniac wasn't even XO anymore (Blair also replaces Maniac as the squadron commander for the Thunderbolts).

More generally, though, I think the more more biting quality to their relationship has to do with the gloomy state of the war and also the fact that it must be becoming more and more apparent to Maniac that he's not going to be the big hero he always expected. Blair and Maniac had a friendly rivalry fifteen years earlier when they were invincible hot shot kids with the universe in front of them and they were given the single most desired carrier assignment in the galaxy... but in 2669 he must be thinking about the fact that he's getting towards the end of his flying years stuck in a dead end job on a third rate carrier (and is *still* being outshone by his flight school rival--essentially unbeatably so at this point).

Although it was evident that Blair thought that Maniac's style is crazy (especially in SO2), there was no hate and/or rivarly between the two.

That's interesting. The idea that there's a rivalry between Blair and Maniac was actually an idea developed between Wing Commander I and II... but it was largely introduced in the reference material. I suppose I can imagine playing Special Operations 2 without necessarily getting a hint of it. (The Wing Commander I & II Ultimate Strategy Guide was written like a novel and it focuses on Blair and Maniac's more friendly competition of the years, from the Academy through WC2. I suppose from the perspective of anyone who read that book, SO2 is a natural continuation of that story... but if not it's just Maniac being a crazy person and everyone else just feeling awkward.)

I think with many stories that run into a long "series" the writers don't seem to have planned the whole thing out from the very beginning, they make a lot of it up as they go along. Sometimes this creates inconsistencies in the characters. Look at Tolwyn, in WC2 he's a fairly basic stiff-upper-lipped, old-fashioned British military commander, but then Malcolm McDowell comes along and reinvents the character making him much more scheming, enigmatic and sinister (I find actually found him more creepy in WC3, in WC4 he was more of a cocky panto-villain)

One thing we don't like to think about is that Wing Commander III is, creatively speaking, something of a "reboot" to the franchise. The idea was to develop a game that would appeal to a (necessary, because of the cost) bigger group of people than the first two... so a *lot* of continuity is dropped in terms of story/character and things like the look (and behind the screen things like, for instance, who those 'writers' were--Chris Roberts brought in Hollywood script writers for WC3). It's a conscious choice to make Tolwyn a very-easy-to-understand bad guy instead of someone who once grudgingly won Blair's respect in previous stories, not a case of everyone forgetting what happened in WC2 when they went to make 3.

(As for how much was planned in terms of story, I know they started talking about doing a trilogy about fighting the Kilrathi after Wing Commander I was such a success... I very much doubt anything more than that.)
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
I believe that the WC1/2 strategy guide delves into this a little too. Blair shows up and talks to maniac after he's injured and Maniac throws a fit... I don't remember the exact quote, but I believe jealousy was involved at that point and that was really the begining of their antagonistic relationship.

... I say antagonistic because I really don't think they hate each other. Blair at the very least tolerates Maniac, but he does say "His heart is generally in the right place." in Prophecy. If anyone genuinely doesn't like him, it's Paladin and Angel.
 
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