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My Beef With/Watching The Woods: ImProxybru! - On Slender: The Arrival and Proxy Confusion...

Posted on April 1, 2013 at 10:40 AM

So guys, let's talk about Slender: The Arrival.

Love it or hate it, the game is pretty. Damn. Cool. The design is just gorgeous, in fact i'd argue it's probably one of the most beautiful Slenderman games out there. Slenderman can move in subtle ways like breathing (um, WTF, one, that's not an activity normally associated with Slenderman, and two, that's fucking creepy, yo), hunching over, and tilting his head (and yes, tentacles too; never forget the tentacles), plus his design is creepy as balls. The story is as interesting and full of piecing-together as any Marble Hornets entry, and unlike some I actually didn't have trouble following it - maybe because I'm more aware of how Mythos authors tend to think. Sure, there's some issues I have with the game being JUST item-fetching, but I think the story does a good job of stringing everything all together so it never feels forced. And there is a freaking. Proxy. In the game, and she is terrifying-looking.

Now, let's talk about that Proxy. I won't go into spoilers for those of you that haven't played or seen an LP of the game yet, but here's some footage of her. She. Is fucking. Creepy. The first time she ran at me, I jumped out of my skin, reliving oh so many terrible flashbacks from Entry #18. Look at her mask. Get a good damn look at her mask, that thing looks like the face of something that crawled out of the blackest forests of Hell, desiring nothing more than to steal your delicious, chewy mortal soul and deliver it to the Operator on a silver platter. Don't ask me how you'd manage to get a soul to even stay on the platter, but there you have it. She also only appears in the one level, which means that the story is focusing on what it should - the tall, besuited faceless one himself. I appreciate that.

What I DO NOT appreciate, and this might turn into a fangirl rant, is people saying this Proxy is my dear, beloved Masky. This confusion is so great I've taken to calling her Femmasky, and I completely blame other LPers for accidentally spreading confusion about this Proxy. Granted, it's not Markiplier's fault he didn't know this character was not Masky, they do look sort of similar. But his accidental misidentification has lead to more confusion in that barrier region just outside the Slenderverse fandom proper, the region full of people that think the Slenderman's name is "Slender" and that he drew the damn pages (and yet again, Mr. Krailie gets zero credit for his hard work, but that's a rant for another time).

I will say this once. This Proxy. Is not. Masky.

Okay, she wears a white mask with black markings. That doesn't make her Masky. For one, her mask looks NOTHING like Masky's, his has a much clearer design on it. This Proxy's mask looks more eyeless and mouthless, possibly to emulate her boss' lack of any discernable facial features (aww, she thinks she's a Der Ritter! ^w^). For another, Masky does not wear a hooded sweatshirt, that's Hoody's thing, and it's been made pretty clear in Marble Hornets as of late that Hoody is probably not a Proxy anyway. I do believe, considering who helped write the story and the fact that a Hornet (an MH fan) made the game, that this Proxy may be an amalgamation of Masky and Hoody, but with a different mask and given a gender swap. Supporting this is the fact that her hoodie appearied to be white in the trailers, but now looks to be more yellow in the final game, and the fact that this isn't the only nod to MH that was thrown in (you can find a letter saying that someone named Jessica once worked at the park in the game - some Hornets believe this is the Jessica from MH, meaning this game takes place in the same universe. Also, Slendy's tie is red in this one, and the Operator's tie is also red in MH, but I digress). Just because a character looks like one from another, related but different series does not make it so.

Okay, so this Proxy runs at people just like Masky does all of the time. Um, maybe that's because Proxies tend to attack people on Slendy's behalf anyway? This behavior is significant because... why, again? 'Cause Masky does it, too? Um, yeah, no, that's just behavior typical of someone that is mentally warped in the same way as a Proxy might be. It doesn't mean the character is Masky, simply because they do similar things.

Okay, so this story was written by Troy, Joseph, and Tim, the Marble Hornets dream crew. That does not make this Proxy Masky. If anything, it has nothing to do with the fact there's even a Proxy in the game, because newsflash, guys - they did not code this game. Agent Parsec, a confirmed Hornet, did, and he probably put the Proxy in there in further homage to Marble Hornets. That's why this proxy looks so similar. However, the story of this game is not the same story as the tale of Jay, Tim, and Alex. This story takes place in a different setting with different locations and different people. I'd even hazard a guess that it's in a different location in the United States judging by the scenery. Seriously - look at the trees and landscape in Marble Hornets. It's Alabama forest. Now look at the scenery in the game - pine trees, mountains, and cliffs. That to me screams a location more like that near the northern Rocky Mountains states, the northern Appalacian Mountains states, or possibly even states like North Dakota, Washington, the foresty areas of New York, or Michigan's Upper peninsula if you wanted to go just by the trees (I'd argue it's in Michigan or maybe Wisconsin somewhere since there's a mineshaft level in the game, and both states have a mining past, but again, I digress). This game does not take place anywhere near Rosswood Park or even near the vicinity of the state of Alabama. This game is in a totally different location, with different, female characters. In fact, the storyline of this game is that you're this girl named Lauren, looking for your best friend Kate, who recently lost her mother, and then bam Slenderman all up in yo' grill. Jay, Alex, and Tim never enter into that equation and are never even so much as alluded to. In fact, the only character from MH, as mentioned above, that is even so much as tenuously alluded to in the game is Jessica, and it's pretty much believed that she's dead somewhere on a tree branch in the middle of the Alabama back woods. How can Masky even be in a game that doesn't even take place in the same area of the country as Marble Hornets? Why would Masky even pester characters that have nothing to do with Jay and Alex? He can't and wouldn't have any reason to; the Proxy in this game isn't and cannot be him.

Perhaps the final nail in the coffin of all this tomdickery is that this Proxy, as I've been alluding to with the gender pronouns throughout this whole rant, is a female. Masky is Tim, and Tim, last I checked, was a guy. I am assuming that for the rest of MH's storyline, Tim will continue to be a guy, and therefore Masky, whom probably isn't coming back since MH is planning on ending soon, will continue to always will be a guy. Masky is a guy. This is established canon fact and is not disputable. The Proxy in this game is female, as not only implied heavily by the storyline, but as shown by her character model - she has long hair, moves like a female (watch her hips when she runs), and the noises she makes sound female, not male. And before you even freaking say that sometimes guys have long hair, no. Tim has short hair. It's longer for a guy I suppose, sure, but it's not long enough to hang out of a hood or over a mask like this Proxy's hair does. This Proxy is a chick, end of story, and Tim is Masky is a guy, end of story. It could not be any more freaking blatant unless you went to the Slenderverse, caught both of these characters, and pulled down their damn pants. They aren't the same character. They aren't even the same gender. This Proxy is not Masky. Build a bridge, get over it, and burn it the fuck down behind you.

And if you really did or still do think that Proxy was Masky, hopefully this experience will teach you to do the damn research next time before assuming. Markiplier and PewDiePie are people first and LPers second, and people are fallable. They made mistakes because they're not involved in the Slenderfan community. They deal in games, not tall faceless abominations with tentacles. Heroes can and do make mistakes all of the time, and it's feasible that someone only passingly familiar with Marble Hornets could assume that Masky and the Proxy in this game are one in the same. But that doesn't make them correct, and instead of just trusting what someone else says, you yourself need to do the research. The same damn thing happened with Slender: The Eight Pages, and it's the reason many, many people that are unaware of Mythos lore continue to call Our Faceless Friend "Slender" rather than one of the many more interesting and accurate names out there. I sincerely hope that at some point in time, Agent Parsec gives this unnamed Proxy a pseudonym in a future version, because I think that would clear up a LOT of game-fandom confusion concerning characters they know little to nothing about (unless they themselves are Hornets or, more broadly, Slenderfans). Come on, Hadley, please, this Slenderfan and Timasky-lover begs of you, name this unnamed Proxy. Give her a canon name on the page for this awesome game, and clear up the stupidity and confusion swirling around the game fandom right now. You know the truth, you're one of us, we Slenderfans count on you to clear this up. So do it. None of us want a repeat of the "Slender" incident. Oh, and if you could fix some of the glitches in the next update, glitches like falling through the elevator shaft and into the void in the world or getting stuck at the end of the Flashback level and never jumping out the window, that would be great, too. :)

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