Sunday, January 4, 2015

NPC Spotlight: Captain Crocodile

This will be the first of what will hopefully become an ongoing feature: NPC Spotlights to highlight nifty Disney or Square-Enix characters, or potential allies from other fictional worlds, and describe possible roles they might play in the expansion of the Empire. Once I settle on a game system, I might start to include prospective stat blocks for the characters, but that could be a while. For the most part I'll stick to lesser-known figures, but I may include some more famous ones if I can think of something clever to do with them.

So, Captain Crocodile, designed (and I think animated) by Milt Kahl, and voiced by Candy Candido. A minor villain from one of Disney's less-classic features, this character is nonetheless one of the guys I'm most looking forward to including in the campaign. And not just because he looks and sounds awesome.

Captain Crocodile (henceforth CC) is, as his name suggests, primarily a commander. In Robin Hood, he leads the rhino guards, who I imagine would be on the front lines for any invasion or occupation of a medieval anthropomorphic-animal world (like, say, the Valley of Peace). Presumably he also has authority over the weasel/wolf(1) soldiers.

But he's not just some martinet leading from the rear. CC is clearly a formidable combatant, overpowering and nearly killing Robin Hood in one-on-one combat before being distracted by the incompetent Trigger and then trampled by a mob.

Later he wields an ax trying to stop the prison break, and manages not to embarrass himself even though he is ultimately unable to kill any prisoners or prevent their escape. And make no mistake, the former is clearly his priority.

But best of all, for my purposes: Captain Crocodile is not shown as a prisoner at the end of the movie. Prince John, Sir Hiss, and the Sheriff of Nottingham have all been arrested for their parts in the tyranny, but the two vultures are explicitly shown to be free and still in royal employ. CC and his soldiers are presumably in the same situation; King Richard can't very well disband the entire state apparatus on his return. And even if he could, he probably wouldn't want to. The Prince was guilty of treason against the crown, with Hiss as an accomplice, but all the other guards and soldiers and officials were just performing their feudal duties(2) to a member of the royal family whom they had no particular reason to suspect of foul play.

This is crucial for me, because Imperialist Hearts is not about the ambition of Disney villains. It is about the machinations and campaigns of King Mickey himself, and his allies and underlings, who are all typically the "good guys" of the worlds they inhabit and the stories we've seen. And there is definitely a place for a ruthless veteran officer like Captain Crocodile in King Mickey's grand design, even if he's a bit less cuddly than most...


(1) I'd always assumed they were weasels, but Andreas Deja (who knows more about drawing and animating animals than I ever will) calls them wolves.

(2) I almost wrote "just following orders", but it's a little too early to Godwin this blog just yet...

all images in the post (c) Disney, obviously

No comments:

Post a Comment