Building Character: Cyrus Addington

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

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This week on Building Character, I’m going to talk about someone most of you probably haven’t heard of from a game most of you probably haven’t heard of. His name is Cyrus Addington, and he’s from Dysfunctional Systems Episode 1: Learning to Manage Chaos. Dysfunctional Systems is a beautiful sci-fi visual novel by Dischan. If you haven’t played it you’re missing out.

Dysfunctional Systems is set in a utopian society with advanced technology allowing them to visit other worlds. They use this technology to transport people known as mediators to other worlds to do everything they can to control chaos and improve those worlds. They do things like eliminate or lower pollution and prevent wars. Learning to Manage Chaos follows 14-year-old Winter Harrison, a mediator-in-training, as she shadows seasoned mediator Cyrus Addington on a planet called Sule.

Dysfunctional Systems Episode 1 | Winter and Cyrus

Cyrus has his own way of doing things. I have to admire his dedication to the people living on the planets he visits. He genuinely wants to help the people he visits and improve their lives. He’s more than willing to break the rules—or the law—to solve the issues of the worlds he mediates. It seems like Cyrus is the first person like this Winter has ever met. He…“encourages” her to leave her comfort zone and try new things. In fact, he teaches her a lot about mediating that she never would have learned in her normal lessons.

Dysfunctional Systems Episode 1 | Winter and Cyrus

Cyrus acts like a very caring person, someone who is perfect to be a mediator, but he’s also very contradictory. In Learning to Manage Chaos, when things start to look bleak and Winter begins to panic, realizing she’s in way over her head, he calms her down and assuages her fears. He’s able to comfort her and promises everything will be okay. Then, not two seconds later, he tells her his plan. It’s something completely incomprehensible to Winter (and actually took me by surprise, as well), but he talks about it like it’s the most natural thing in the world. To Cyrus, it’s the obvious conclusion, the typical next step any mediator would take in this atypical situation. It’s startling to see this seeming change of character, but it does make an odd sort of sense.

Dysfunctional Systems Episode 1 | Winter and Cyrus

With Cyrus’ surprising plan comes new revelations about his character. Winter lets on that he’s something of an odd duck, according to the other mediators. There are many rumors about him, and he’s known for unorthodox and unwelcome methods of mediation. Honestly, up until this point in the game, I never would have pegged Cyrus as how Winter describes him. He was a bit quiet, but when he had something to say, he said it. He didn’t seem particularly cold or mean, maybe just a tad annoyed to have a student shadowing him, but that’s a far cry from the emotionless killer the rumors make him out to be.

This is only the first episode in the series, and already Cyrus is shaping up to be one of my favorite characters. There’s a lot of set-up here for further development. Cyrus Addington is a contradictory character cloaked in rumors, mystery and murder. I’m dying to see where this series will take him and can’t wait to hear more about his history. If you haven’t played Dysfunctional Systems yet, then I highly recommend you do. You can get both the game and the soundtrack together for only $5 (USD) from Dischan’s store. The game supports Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. If you want to read more about it, you can check out my impressions on the game here.

Dysfunctional Systems Episode 1 | Winter and Cyrus