This is the last-ever High School Dreams post. Ever. EVER.
Stereotype: Emo kid
I decided early on in this playthrough that Seth was going to be my favorite.
The heart of my 12-year-old self (circa 2005) beat wildly at Seth’s wardrobe, demeanor, and poetic ambitions. I never got the Gerard Way obsession; I get the Seth Stoddard one.
Chuck’s story was “typical” in that it mirrored “High School Musical” (and “Cinderella Story,” come to think of it): jock has to find the courage to be himself with the help of a plucky girl.
Seth’s story is more like “Beauty and the Beast,” where love overcomes prejudice and difference. What resulted was sooooooo cheesy and I loved every minute of it.
First off, Seth is a near-perfect creation. He is every whiny, tortured, alternative, Hot Topic-loving scene kid that you knew in high school.
Every word out of his mouth is either heartstopping sarcasm or incredibly smooth for someone with such low self-esteem.
Seth’s cheese gets overpowering at times–I’ll spare you the barf-worthy dialogue from prom–though other characters call this “romantic.” You can be romantic and still be gross.
Seth makes up for these occasional forays into grossness with surprise and sincerity. On his FIRST DATE with the player character, Seth admits something surprising.
This admission is never explored, but it serves as an excuse to bring Chelsea back into the game.
Seth has no real problems of his own. Where Petey was flaky, Chuck was conflicted, and Eugene was insecure, Seth functions fairly well as a human being. Other people are the problem.
After the player character starts seeing Seth, her classmates express their disgust.
There seems to be a general dislike of Seth around school. Students can’t quantify their reasons, though they mention Seth’s clothes, “weirdness,” and unpopularity. Finally, Emily gives the player character an ultimatum: either stop dating Seth or lose Emily as a friend. As if that was a difficult choice.
Seeing how the player character is affected, Seth dumps her in order to save her popularity. Writing that now makes me feel stupid; at the time, the prospect broke my heart.
In some dating sims, this would be the end. The player character would be sadder but wiser and the love interest would resist misery, knowing he did the right thing.
This is not that kind of game.
Of course Seth changes his mind. Of course he and the player character go to prom together. Of course he and the player character get their closet emo friend to come out.
I struggled briefly with whether I preferred Chuck or Seth, but I think I like Seth better. I have a thing for tortured bad boys and Seth’s pants are tight enough that he qualifies. Any low self-esteem feels like a front and at times he expresses genuine loneliness that hurts the heart. “Emotional” guys can get tiring, but vulnerability is appealing.
Okay. I’ll share one bit of vomitousness from the prom.
Aside from Seth’s propensity for crappy poetry and overly-intense flirtation, he’s entertaining and has a great story. After playing through hours and hours of “High School Dreams,” I can say that Seth Stoddard is my undisputed favorite.