The guidelines listed here are in no way official nor must they be followed. If you submit a fan character biography to Negaverse.net it will NOT be rejected based on these guidelines. This is merely a how-to guide for anyone who is interested in creating a fan character that is realistic to the Darkwing Duck cartoon.
So you want to create a Darkwing Duck fan character. Now what?
If this is your first time creating a character, it can be hard deciding where to start. There are many, many directions you can take. Because the Darkwing universe is based on superhero mythos, your character can have super powers, magical abilities, and much more!
The first question you probably want to ask is: Is my character good or evil? Darkwing Duck is a cartoon based on the battle between good and evil. Every episode involves the Protagonist (that’s DW, obviously) fighting some type of villain. The bad guys come in all shapes and sizes, some are more evil, while others may reform and become good.
Figuring out your character’s alignment is important, as it will help you decide the type of back story they will have. It also helps to have a species in mind. Is your character going to be a duck or some other type of animal?
Villains usually have a dramatic ‘how I became evil’ story. Because the Darkwing universe is more humorous and based on superhero cliches, you have the freedom to create an extremely outlandish background for your character. They can be a mutant, or have a super-powered ability. They can have a costume or unusual physical features such as strangely coloured hair/skin/eyes. Magic and other supernatural abilities are also commonplace.
Study the villains in the cartoon to see if you can create a template. Characters like Megavolt, Bushroot, The Liquidator, and Camille Chameleon are mutants with super-powered abilities. What type of backstory do they have? Does each villain have a theme, such as an element or animal they identify with? When creating a villain, look at the cartoon and ask yourself: “What hasn’t been done?”
Your villain should also have a modus operandi. That is, a specific goal or intent they are trying to accomplish. Their MO could be something as simple as money or world domination. Perhaps it is something more unusual and humorous.
Megavolt, for example, wants to free all of the light bulbs in the world because he believes they are enslaved. Quackerjack wants to crush the video game company that put him out of business.
Unless you are eventually planning for your villain to reform into a Good Guy, there is no reason for them to be allies with the Protagonists. It would be rather contradictory for your character to be a villain while also coexisting as a friend to Darkwing, Gosalyn, or any other Good Guys. The only exception I can think of is if your villain has a secret identity, and might befriend the main cast under their regular-citizen guise. But even then, there should be a logical reason and purpose behind this relationship.
The Good Guys
Creating a Protagonist is far more difficult, in my opinion. This is because the main cast already makes up the bulk of good guys, and Darkwing Duck is already identified as the main hero. There are typically no other heroes unless they are making a cameo appearance (e.g., Gizmoduck).
Creating a fan character who is a hero then threatens the status quo, because Darkwing himself should not be replaced, nor would he want to share the spotlight. There can be an unlimited amount of supervillains created because they give Darkwing someone to fight. The same cannot be said for heroes.
Aside from heroes, there are also good guys who help out Darkwing. He has his faithful sidekick Launchpad, his adopted daughter Gosalyn, the science egghead Honker, and allies who make occasional appearances such as S.H.U.S.H and The Justice Ducks.
It’s best to ask yourself: Where would a Good Guy fit in with Darkwing and co?
Perhaps they are a distant ally who Darkwing calls on for assistance during certain cases. Maybe they’re a spy, police officer, or a superhero from another city. They could also be an ordinary citizen with no direct affiliation to crime fighting who gets dragged into the chaos.
Your character doesn’t even need to be involved with Darkwing or other official characters. Perhaps they have a story of their own that simply takes place in the city of St. Canard. The possibilities are endless!
Anti-heroes are somewhat of a grey area. They may not be outright evil or do anything illegal, but they could still have questionable values. Typically, anti-heroes are not commonplace in the black-and-white morality of the Darkwing universe, but they are still a feasible option.
Neptunia is an example of a possible anti-hero. She is not evil, and she only wants to protect the ocean. However she will go to great lengths to punish litterbugs, such as flooding St. Canard to show careless polluters what it’s like to lose their home.
Connecting With Official Characters
It is not unusual for a fan character to have an important connection to an official character. Perhaps your character is Darkwing’s cousin, or even one of his parents. Maybe you decided that Morgana and Darkwing eventually got married and you are creating their children.
Romantic relationships are also common. Your character could be dating or married to an official character. You may even decide to give them offspring.
If you want your fan character to be as realistic to the cartoon as possible, you should carefully consider whether the relationship makes sense. Would it be realistic for Darkwing to suddenly have a biological daughter the same age as Gosalyn?
Collaborating with Other Fans
Collaborated fan characters are created by two or more individuals who brainstorm ideas together. Perhaps your fan character will get into a relationship with theirs, and together you are designing their offspring. Or it could be a whole new character with ideas adapted from both of you. Character collaboration is a fun way to make friends and expand on your own ideas.
Tips for Creating a Realistic Darkwing Fan Character
- Your character should never attempt to replace an official character. Those characters already exist for a reason, and the cartoon never makes any changes to the main cast.
- Limit the super-powered abilities your character has. Try to give them only one main power. The more powers your character has, the more unrealistic they become.
- Watch the cartoon closely and spot the character themes. Try to picture in your mind an episode of the cartoon with your character in it.
- Your character should always have a weakness! Especially if they are a villain. The Liquidator is weakened by cement. Bushroot is weakened by fire and pesticides. Megavolt is weakened by water. Always, always make sure your character has a major weakness.
- Consider personal versus public usage. Whether you choose to use your character publicly may determine how well they “fit in”. If you are writing a personal fanfic it is easier to fit in your own characters because you can shape the world around them. But if you are using that character in a public roleplay, it may be more difficult when your character must adhere to the RPG’s expectations, as well as the other players.
- Be original. Try to come up with a character that isn’t essentially a carbon-copy of a pre-existing canon character with slight modifications.
Obviously not all fan characters have to follow the guidelines listed above. If you want to create a character that does not fit in realistically with the cartoon, that’s okay! You can even create your own universe based loosely on the cartoon with different elements.
Consider what you want to do with your characters and what goals you hope to accomplish by creating them. If you are someone who wants to create a fan character that will be widely recognized and accepted by the Darkwing fandom, then you will probably want to keep your character as realistic to the cartoon as possible.
Likewise, if you are just looking to create characters for personal pleasure, or to interact among a small group of friends, you can move outside the cartoon and experiment with different themes.
And remember: The most important part of creating a fan character is that you have fun with it!