In most forms of the genre, F wins hands down in this category. H is famous for having shallow or non-existent plots, no back stories and no future, as most if not all of the characters are dead by the end. There might be some attempt at a story, “Hey, me and timmy and sally and daisy are going up to the old Trueman house at midnight, wanna come?” “The Trueman house? Where all those bad things happened? Sure!” This is literally the plot to hundreds of H stories. When it comes to RPGs, H does have much more depth, decent stories and real immersion.
With F, this stuff is pretty much all built in. You just know there’s been a war between the elves and the dwarves, that happened four thousand years ago, and the two main antagonists, Serendipity Pooskandi and Oakhead Ironballs are still arguing about it. The full histories of all their relatives will be revealed over the next fifteen volumes, complete with tragic love stories, triumph over adversity, and something about a ring.
The late showing of quality RPGs for H isn’t enough against F’s overwhelming might. The point is awarded to F.
When it comes to amusing events, humorous interludes and outright jokes, H wins every time. Sometimes the humour is dark, or silly, or weird, but it’s there. Maybe H needs funny moments to contrast with the terrible things happening to the semi-naked characters, but almost every H has some. Ok, the quality of the jokes often matches the quality of the script, but it’s better than nothing.
F, not so much. I’m not sure why it is, but F very rarely has any humour. Maybe the creators spend so much time writing the full life-story of the hero, and how he got every scar, sword and companion, they don’t want to belittle their work with humour. Take LoTR for example, apart from the drunken Gimli and the whole half-pint/pint skit, there’s nothing funny going on there. The two characters added for comic relief, Merry and Pippin, soon get deadly serious like everyone else.
When it comes to laughs, (intentional or not) H takes the point hands down.
When it comes to intimate relationships between people who aren’t wearing many clothes, H takes the crown. There’s something about H that almost demands shower scenes, horizontal antics and double entendre. This could be that people are at their most vulnerable when undressed and otherwise distracted, or just because H fans like boobies, or both.
With F, much like the humour, there seems to be an aversion to it. Of course, there are plenty of half-elves and half-dwarves and children who turn out be heirs to the throne but were born out of wedlock, so something’s going on in darkened chambers. But it’s always implied, particularly among the more noble races like elves, who only do it once a century and very politely. (My dearest heart, I am arriving.)
Despite a late showing from the boob-fest of Game of Thrones, H takes the point.
This one is more subjective, more personal, but I think H films can generally only be watched once, maybe twice with a long interval in between. This is, of course, because once you know where the real scares are, and not just the false cat/wind/cast members having a quickie scares, that’s half the film gone. The terror in any situation might also be dulled by familiarity, so once you know what’s happening, it becomes less horrific.
F on the other hand, due to the many intricacies of the storyline can be re-watched many times, and something new will probably pop up. The underlying details of some modern F films is phenomenal, you only have to watch the LoTR and Hobbit making-of documentaries to see the effort they put in, much of which was never seen, except by the crew.
This point is awarded to F.
When it comes to giving us something new, neither side comes out well. H has vampires, werewolves and zombies, and variations/combinations of them, with very little new stuff. The same things get recycled and repackaged for a new generation by unimaginative studios and around we go again. (Yeah, but like, this vampire has a laptop!) And the settings aren’t much better, how many old houses/abandoned meat factories/suspiciously empty villages will we be subjected to?
F isn’t much better, to be honest. Ok, who doesn’t love dragons? (Really? Weirdo!) and elves and dwarves and little things like hobbits that are called something else but are hobbit clones? But sometimes, I crave something new. And why, with the modern CGI stuff, I’m looking at both of you now, F and H, why are the characters, particularly the good guys, always humanoid? If Peter Jackson and his team can have a walking, talking, acting, 300 foot dragon, why can some people only manage an actor with false ears and lines drawn on their forehead with a marker pen?
Neither side deserve a point here, and thus none shall be awarded.
Four Dimensional Characters
H doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to well-rounded and deep individuals, particularly females. Most of the cast of a film or book are put there for something to variously rip apart/drink their blood/nail them to a ceiling. In such cases, I suppose, it’s pointless knowing a great deal about them if their only contribution to the plot is several pints of blood and a kidney or two. But even the main characters of some H have only the barest of details, not even a surname in some cases.
F characters, on the other hand, probably because of the generally deep history of the setting, are truly four dimensional, with a long past and plenty of quirks, foibles and peccadilloes. They might have mental and physical scars, which they’ll either not want to talk about or go on about ad nauseum. Even the characters with the smallest parts (H fans are giggling now) can have very deep personalities, even if they get killed at the end of the scene/chapter/scenario.
No doubts here, a well deserved point for F.
For those H fans, (sorry, I’ll stop now!) who don’t know what this is, internal logic refers to the facts about an invented world that make sense within the world, but not necessarily out of it. This is something writers/directors/game devs often get wrong, forgetting a certain fact or removing a certain ability because it would otherwise ruin the script. For instance, in Serenity, (yeah, pick on those guys for a change!) The crew fly through the middle of a Reaver fleet to get to the planet beyond, the writers forgetting space is quite big and they could have just gone around.
While both F and H are guilty of this, H is famous, or infamous, for not really caring about such things and just getting on with the sex and killing. How many times have you seen a character go off on their own when there’s a monster/psychotic murderer/possessed rabbit on the loose? Even when you shout at the screen/novel/game pad, they still go. And that leads me to another of my favourite bugbears. Going back to the possessed rabbit, why do these creatures always manage to knock people over, or become suddenly as hard as steel? If a two pound rabbit/rat/meerkat attacked me, possessed or not, I would grab it, rips its legs off and throw it into my neighbours garden, job done.
On balance, I’m giving this point to F.
In conclusion, F is far superior to H in almost every way except sex and humour. F is great, H is merely average.
If you want to demand a recount, think you might have detected small amounts of bias in this article, or just want to tell me how brilliant I am, get in touch. If you want to point out the whole ‘skeleton” farce on Serenity, I already know.