I mean, you are pretty critical of the Aftons as a whole in terms of characterization, so I thought that maybe I could tell you about how I've characterized them in my fanfic to see if what's good and what needs improvement. Anyhoo, here's a list. If it's too long, I could condense it into a summary for all of them, but I hope you're okay with the wall of text. Sorry if this sounds repetitive of stuff I might have already told you. Please be as unbiased and honest as possible about your opinion of these:
William: I don't think his character has really changed that much from what's presented in the games, but for what it's worth, I try to depict him as a psychopathic manchild. Specifically, while he does still kill children for the scientific pursuit of immortality, he also does it because it's... fun. Just fun. While he genuinely is obsessed with immortality, he also uses it an excuse to kill kids because he enjoys seeing them in pain while the life drains from their eyes, and he enjoys tearing apart families with grief. In a way, he does "love" his wife and children... but William's version of love is basically emotional manipulations to wrap them around his thumb, because in his mind, love = control. Before his wife died, William was controlling and possessive towards her, and basically micromanaged every aspect of her life. While you could sympathize with him due to his mental state, there is no grand tragic story about why William is the way he is; he just happened to be one of those kids born with a slightly different brain structure. He was a brilliant genius as a youth, but was also mentally ill even as a child. He had decent parents that cared about him, but were also ignorant of William's psychopathy (which wasn't helped by him getting better at pretending to be normal as got older), so he never received any mental help because they thought he was just going through a weird phase and that he would grow out of it. In a sense, while William employed reverse psychology on Elizabeth, he rationalized it by believing he was granting her immortality in exchange for her loyalty to him (hence the AI corruption). He also knew and was friends with Henry since they were both kids, and they both came up with remnant, but Henry chose to stop its development due to not being willing to sacrifice anyone to test it out. William didn't give a shit, and retaliated by killing Charlotte just to punish Henry, like a child throwing a temper tantrum because he didn't get what he wanted. William sees everyone around him as toys to play with and discard when he's bored and doesn't understand love as a normal human being would. Does this make him a generic doomsday villain or is he more frightening?
Lucas (the Crying Child): So, you're probably aware that Lucas serves as the overall primary antagonist of the story. Well, as a child, he was generally shy and socially awkward, and also kind of a geek. He's got a bunch of Star Wars posters, a GameBoy, lots of Pokemon cards, and many of his journal pages have drawings of various Nintendo characters. Prior to his mother's death, Lucas was close to both of his siblings and often liked to look on the bright side of things. After both Mrs. Afton and Elizabeth both died, Michael started lashing out at Lucas because he blamed him for their mother's death. After the Bite of '83, Lucas became much quieter and reserved than he already was, and was initially bitter and hateful towards Michael, accusing him of deliberately trying to murder him. After a considerable amount of time though, Lucas was able to mellow down and be able to speak to Michael calmly without blowing up, but he still internally held a grudge towards him. However despite holding in resentment, Lucas still did care about Michael even after the Bite. After all, they were still brothers, and while Lucas isn't quite ready to forgive him, he's willing to be kind to Michael when the time presents itself. And when Michael moved out of the house, William saw an easy and vulnerable target in Lucas and decided to drug him and test on him in the observation rooms, torturing him into submission. Like Michael did before, William also blamed him for his mother's death: Beverly died in a car crash while searching for Lucas, who had sleepwalked out of the house in the middle of the night. And Beverly's death was the leverage William had used against Lucas, telling him that he needed to atone for causing his mother's demise... which entailed following in his father's footsteps as a mad scientist. Over time, the abuse got so bad that William had succeeded in brainwashing Lucas into genuinely believing that his father's murders were "gifting" people with immortality and that they were necessary sacrifices to discover more about eternal life. In contrast to William being a complete sadistic monster, Lucas is meant to be a tragic anti-villain of the well-intentioned extremist variety. He also really hates Charlotte Emily, and calls her a hypocrite.
Elizabeth: Again, not much that changed from the games, SL in particular. Still a daddy's girl, though DoTM is supposed to establish her as being close with both Michael and Lucas. Throughout Lucas's own story arc, Elizabeth serves as a spirit advisor for him, and they both confide in each other. While Elizabeth may seem like an innocent girl, she can be observant occasionally due to maturing throughout the years. She also is well-aware that her father is evil, but the thing is... she doesn't care. She knows that her father is a serial killer and a mad scientist, but she still loves him all the same and wants to make him proud. At one point when Baby's AI is starting to get to her, she blatantly says that if her dad wants her to kill children, she'll kill every single child in the world if that's what makes him happy. She also deep down knows that William intended for her to die and possess Baby, but she's in denial and lies to herself that it really was an accident, and whenever that doesn't work for her, she justifies it by saying that he just wanted her to live forever and that's why he did it. Her split personality crisis between her own personality and Baby's influence is also supposed to be an integral part of her character as well, as she struggles between trying to be the sweet girl she was before and the murderous instinct of Baby's AI that eventually drive her to insanity, which is seen in some of her interactions with Lucas. She also becomes Nurse Baby from TFC at some point in the story and actively helps Lucas in his experiments.
Michael: Admittedly, he doesn't have as much of an important role as William, Lucas, or Elizabeth, but I think I can say that his character is a bit more fleshed out. Following the interpretation that he's Foxy bro, Michael was originally a caring brother to Lucas, and he becomes this again after the Bite. He knows that he royally screwed up with Lucas, so he's trying his best to be as understanding as he can be to him. Since William is generally neglectful to both of them, Michael actually steps up as a parent to his little brother and while Lucas doesn't completely forgive him, he slowly gains back his trust. William and Michael also get into arguments about Lucas seeing a psychiatrist at times because of his deteriorating sanity, with Michael saying that he needs help while William claims that he's just fine. Like Elizabeth, Lucas does eventually trust Michael enough to confide in him, and Michael's primary role is to provide emotional support for Lucas, though he isn't aware of the torture William inflicted on Lucas. I can't guarantee that I'll be able to make enough room for more of Michael's personality to shine through, but he does have a penchant for sarcastic humor and does playfully tease his brother sometimes once their relationship is more stable.
To be honest, I don't really see myself as a good critic, but thanks.
I really like what I'm reading here so far. One of the main problems with the later games is that they have good ideas and concepts, but they either don't go anywhere (BV, Zombie Mike (or Michael in general), CBE&R connected to other places and Baby's struggle with her identity), aren't properly implemented or executed well (FFPS and the Afton Family), are just put in for no real reason (SAVEHIM retcon, Scraptrap) or are never really given an explanation or at least some type of clue that helps people figure it out (pretty much most of SL and FFPS), and sometimes it's a mix of two or three of these problems. I'm not exactly the best person when it comes to giving advice or improvements, so all I can say is make sure things don't go too out of left field. You don't have to give an explanation for every single thing, but at least don't make everything so convoluted that your fans (assuming that you plan to post your work on a website like Fanfiction.net or something) either interpret things the wrong way (that's how we got Miketrap, after all) or can't find a mutual agreement on something (Gender debates, identity debates, Mike and UCN theories, you already get it.)
To be completely honest, I’m not sure if William’s torturing of Lucas falls under plot-induced stupidity or not. William basically took a risk and wanted to corrupt Lucas in case Elizabeth wasn’t a suitable heir by herself. But would this have been a reasonable risk for William to take, since there could’ve been a chance that Lucas would’ve resisted the brainwashing and reported his dad once he got out? Sure, William would’ve never let him out until he was sure that Lucas was completely broken, but Lucas could’ve faked it to escape which would screw William’s plans completely.
Well, Lucas may have created four out of the Twisteds, but William created the wolf and the ape long before Lucas was bitten by Fredbear. After releasing him from the observation rooms, William warned Lucas; he programmed the wolf and ape to always burrow underground beneath Lucas, and William hears everything they hear, so he could order them to pop up at any time and kill Lucas if he steps out of line. Later on though, Lucas is granted control of them by William to a certain degree. The wolf and the ape’s programming is a little different from the other Twisteds in that while they do take orders from Lucas and Elizabeth as the secondary administrators, William is listed as the primary administrator and they will disregard Lucas and Elizabeth’s orders if they conflict with William’s.
Not that Lucas ever betrays William, due to Stockholm syndrome, but William did take precautionary measures.
Well his skull got crushed by the Bite of '83, though I'm not sure exactly what the extent of his brain damage would be, but it would be pretty severe. He did get surgery on it, at least. Though the way I've characterized him, he's basically a mad scientist like William who created four out of six of the Twisteds (using the wolf and ape created by his father as examples) but also more outwardly crazy than his dad.
After Michael moved out, William basically tortured Lucas (that's my name for him) into submission, brainwashing him to the point where he genuinely believes that killing innocent children and experimenting with their souls is “gifting“ them with immortality.
He also blames himself for the death of his mother, whch William uses to manipulate him.
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