Go back to Midwinter

Written by: Rik

Date posted: March 10, 2013

The information you get on each character in Midwinter is fairly limited: it’s basically a picture, a list of stats and a few sentences about his or her background. Yet somehow this proves sufficient for the player to build personalities around each one and form an overall impression of community life on Midwinter Isle – all without reading the wordy setup in the manual, too, although that does flesh out the back-story a little.

From a practical point of view, taking note of character backgrounds is vital if you want to recruit them to the resistance, and you’ll spend much of the game flicking between the map screen and the manual trying to figure out who to send where in order to persuade someone else to join up. Soon enough, you’ll be remembering pertinent information about who-broke-whose-nose in a bar fight, or character X blaming character Y for the breakup of his marriage, whether you like it or not. 

1: Not every character is difficult to recruit, and many will agree to help without it being necessary to have a close friend approach them. Sergeant Ambler here will happily join up unless one particular character asks him to do so.


2: Sometimes, two characters’ feelings regarding each other aren’t mutual. Dr Revel here seems to have difficulty keeping his hands to himself…


3: …and, as such, is disliked by anyone who has been a target of his unwanted affections. Nurse Maddocks would therefore not join the resistance if approached by Revel.


4: However, given Revel’s eye for the ladies, if the situation is reversed, he has no problems joining up.


5: Some characters are worth targeting because they have attributes that make them particularly useful. Franco Grazzini is the best at hang-gliding, but unfortunately he’s also a rather awkward bugger who needs one of a handful of people to approach him before he’ll join.


6: Fortunately, we recruited Grazzini’s drinking buddy, Jeremiah Gunn, earlier. Huzzah!


7: In some areas, particularly those related to travelling, you really can tell the difference when controlling characters of different abilities, so Grazzini’s skills will come in handy. Other characters are difficult to recruit but doing so brings no tangible reward: Luke Jackson here is such a big meanie he turns away a 12 year-old kid’s request for help, but to be honest, we don’t need his ‘below-par’ sniping or ‘poor’ skiing anyway*.


8: You might put Sergeant Grice in the same category – his stats certainly aren’t anything great – but the great thing about Midwinter is you can write your own stories with these characters.


9: So, whatever his wife might think about him, as far as I’m concerned, Sergeant Grice is the hero who kept the enemy at bay while defending a heat mine at Fools’ Valley. Take that, General Masters!


*Footnote: thanks to Midwinter for teaching me words such as ‘abysmal’ and ‘below-par’ at a relatively young age – I remember using them in a piece of work at school and my teacher was suitably impressed. Who said games couldn’t be educational?