Name: Dante Cooper
Hobbies and Interests: Baseball team, Mixed Martial Arts, videogames, Pro-Wrestling, other forms of Wrestling (most grappling arts amaze him, with how simply even the slightest jerk can be used to cripple a man), history, parties, drinking contests, hitting on as many hot girls as he can, and parlour tricks (especially that one where you take a knife, someone's hand, and stab it between their fingers really fast, trying to avoid hitting the fingers themselves) are his most prominent.
Appearance: Tall and invariably thin as he tips the scales at 6'3 and 162 pounds, Dante sports a wiry, but tensely muscled look, somewhat along the lines of an extra-tall Bruce Lee. His muscles are tight and well-defined, like corded rope, throughout his body, and his stomach sports a six-pack of tight abs. Generally speaking, his body is particularly fit, though this is hardly out of the ordinary for most of the more athletic students, especially fighters, and his build tends to remind people of some of Southridge's more skilled fighters. His hair is dark blonde, almost brown, and always styled in a messily spiked pattern, pinapple-like in appearance. There's never any rhyme or reason to the spikes other than that it makes him look cool, he just puts some gel or spray in and manipulates it until it's spiked up in a way he likes the look of. At first glance his facial features are youthful, but otherwise not very distinctive, but that's until you notice the energetic spark that always seems to be in his dark blue eyes and the wild grin practically glued to his face. He has a rich tan on top of it all, completing the appearance of a young man who is constantly full of life and youthful energy. His facial hair consists of a moustache, a soul patch, and the beginnings of a beard or goatee on the bottom of his chin; oddly enough, these instances of facial hair are black in colour.
For his clothing, Dante is a casual but wildly varied dresser. His clothes tend to be very colourful, but almost never the same twice unless he's in his baseball uniform. The type of outfit he picks most often, however, is a white hoodie with a dragon design on it, a yellow tanktop under that, a pair of light grey sweatpants with a black stripe down the sides, socks, and his lucky blue/black Air Jordan shoes. He wore this on the trip.
Biography: The beginning of Dante Cooper's life was not very interesting. He was born to Alex and Brianna Cooper, who sat somewhere on the line between "upper middle class" and "very wealthy/elite of society", he found himself in a situation where he lived in luxury/comfort, but not where he never had to work for anything. Still, his parents raised him well, even if they spoiled him a bit too much. Dante was always a well behaved kid, if surprisingly energetic even when he was supposedly tired. For a while he seemed to be the typical All-American kid; a Little League baseball team, a good family, pleasant demeanour, and excellent grades. The years went by uneventfully, though not unhappily, and aside from his position as second baseman on his baseball teams and growing reputation of "that crazily acrobatic kid who never gets tired" he continued to fly under the radar up in to middle school, gaining in popularity and reputation, but not necessarily reknown.
It was at the end of middle school that he would truly find one of his niches. The UFC had started to make Mixed Martial Arts a new phenomenon in the country, so when he and a bunch of his friends passed by a rough-looking building with the words "William Fletcher's School of Mixed Martial Arts" written on the sign, Dante walked in on a dare. The eponymous Will Fletcher who greeted him at the door was not only a massive man, but a genius both in the martial arts and in intellect. Sizing him up after Dante informed him that he intended to join the gym and become an MMA fighter, William laughed at the wad of cash in Dante's hand and waved over a boy around Dante's size. "First session's free," he informed Dante before telling him to get into the octagon with the strange boy, who he referred to as Aaron Durza. After being given a mouthpiece and a pair of gloves, he found Durza explaining what was happening to him; it was a sparring match, to see what Dante could do, something Will did with all the newbies who came to the gym.
At Will's words, and the ringing of the bell, the match was on. At this time Dante had been in a few brawls, but despite his valiant effort this still made him no match for the much more experienced opponent he was in with. Aaron was too fast, too strong, and too skilled for Dante, even though no matter what he did it seemed he just couldn't knock Dante out or take him down for a submission. He was being beaten red and raw, but Dante simply refused to give up, trying his hardest to return every blow Aaron sent. Somehow making it through the first round, Dante relished the one minute rest period after the brutal five minutes previous. He spent the second round trying to be defensive, but found it being thwarted at almost every turn. Aaron would feint, or slip away, or goad him into attacking, or simply kick him in the legs and attack his head when his hands dropped. Three minutes in, Dante found himself dropping to his knees, but as Aaron moved in to finish him he found a surge of anger take over, and got up with a right uppercut that caught Aaron on the jaw, sending him reeling. It was the break Dante needed, and he pressed the attack, raining punches and kicks and elbows down on Aaron in an attempt to keep him from regaining any momentum. It almost looked like Dante would turn the fight around, especially when he somehow caught a roundhouse Aaron seemingly threw out of desperation.
That's when Aaron turned the attack back against him, though. As soon as he caught the leg, he felt a haymaker crash into the side of his head, taking away his strength as the leg was pulled out of his grasp and he was forced into a Thai clinch. A knee too fast for him to see coming shot into his face, knocking his head up just in time for the last thing he saw to be the left hook that signalled his defeat. He spent several minutes sprawled out on the octagon floor before he could be revived, the first thing he saw when he regained consciousness being Will and Aaron hovering over him.
"Oh, good, he's waking up," Aaron had said with a sigh, which caused Dante to notice that he apparently had a bloody nose "I was worried for a second."
"Yeah, you were out for a while, kid," Will had a grin that contrasted Aaron's worried look, though, as he helped Dante up, "You lost, but that was impressive, especially for someone who just showed up. It's been a while since I've seen someone turn a match with Aaron around like that.Your brawling won't do any good in an octagon, but I might just make a fighter out of you."
Will went on to explain that he had already devised a style to start training Dante in, and that he honestly hadn't expected him to beat Durza. Aaron Durza was an amateur MMA fighter who had already had twenty fights, all of them victories, and some of the victories being from having won a local tournament a year or two back. Dante's training would begin the next day, but for the moment Will sent him home, due to the fact that he had taken such a beating in the spar. It was made final after he talked with his parents that night, as they took it well after a moment. It was Summer, so he would have plenty of time to devote to training.
The next day was a turning point for Dante Cooper. The beating the day prior had been very painful and even more humiliating, but he soldiered through the exhausting nature of his training with all his resolve, refusing to let the loss make him give up. He knew MMA was something he wanted to do, and thought to prove himself, to become just as good as Will said Durza was. The easiest way to fulfill his desire to be worth something in life, to amount to anything, was to become a great fighter, and he threw everything he had into every session. Day after day he worked as hard as he could, and then trained more when he had time at home. The days and weeks passed, and he started to improve drastically in both fitness and fighting skill. When the baseball season rolled by he made an effort to fit both sports into his schedule, and eventually balanced it out so that neither his baseball nor MMA skills suffered. His first fight was 10 June, in his Freshman year, and he completely annihilated his opponent, leaving him sprawled out and bloody on the octagon floor.
The thrill of victory proved addicting to the boy, and he went into the break training even harder. His next fight came in the middle of August, and while it was slightly tougher he came out on top again. The next school year started and his popularity boomed, though so did friendly and not-so-friendly challenges to fights. These people rarely lasted long, though he twice found himself on the losing end. One of the people involved in those defeats was Darnell Butler, who'd eventually take the title of "best in Southridge", having defeated him by turning Dante's wrestling attempts on him and putting him in a hold he didn't know how to break out of, forcing him to tap or lose his arm. Studying, training, making friends, and hanging out/partying took up his time, and he started to make a name for himself academically and as a member of the baseball team along with his MMA. Fights started coming more regularly through the year, so as by the time his Junior year had started he'd already had his eleventh fight (though to be fair his eleventh fight was the day before the school year started up). By that point, people were starting to find it odd that Dante was still as cheerful as he had always been, but he paid it no mind. Life was going great for him, just about perfectly, why shouldn't he be happy? It was true that part of it was a ruse, but it was also his genuine disposition. Way he saw it, if someone didn't trust or like him because he seemed "too cheerful", they could go fuck themselves. It was with this attitude that he went into Junior and Senior years, blowing through grades, social affairs, and fighting, up to and including sneaking a large bottle of vodka onto his bus for the school trip to share with his buddies on the baseball team. Over the next few days he would realize just how much he needed that drink...
Advantages: Quick, skilled, and decepitvely strong, Dante is a dangerous opponent in hand to hand, especially when you take his MMA training into account. He is very acrobatic, and when he fights he doesn't hesitate to use this to his advantage, catching opponents off guard and landing devastating hits from unexpected angles (he sometimes boasts that he once KOed an opponent by backflipping over his head and kicking him in the back of the neck, and since this is almost his signature move people have little reason not to believe him). He's well known enough that the entire class has at least heard of him, and popular enough that most of the class likes him, so allies will come easily. The people at TV Tropes would call him a prime example of Obfuscating Stupidity; he would like everyone to believe he's nothing more than a kind hearted, fun loving goofball who's happy as long as you give him a pretty girl, a baseball game, or an MMA fight, but he can be a sharply intelligent, calculating, and even downright devious person when he needs to be. This means he can either lure people in with his charming personality, and then snap the trap closed and kill his way off the island, or rally a group together to take Danya and his sick game down. Much like season one's David Jackson and Aaron Redfield, he is a good shot and has very sharp reflexes, very useful even if he doesn't get a powerful gun like Jackson did. He still has the vodka bottle from the bus hidden, so unless the terrorists confiscated that too he can take it and smash it into an opponent's skull if he gets really desperate. Dante is very easily annoyed, and has always had the quirk of having never learned to see anything wrong with simply getting rid of anyone who annoys him too much, whether it be storing drugs in a player's locker, or putting a gun to someone's head and firing. He likes a lot of his classmates, but it's just that he's too selfish for the idea of willingly dying instead of fighting to survive to really click with him. He's the only person in the school who could say "I'm an MMA fighter" and be telling the truth, so his fame has the edge of intimidation to it. Nobody wants to pick a fight with someone who's been in the octagon and emerged victorious.
Disadvantages: He isn't as strong as he is fast, so a more power-based fighter could overwhelm him. On that note, his thin frame means that if he gets hit hard, he's going to feel it more than a more muscular person would. Too much of a ladies' man for his own good, if an attractive girl tries to use her looks against him he'll fall for it much more easily than most guys. As tough as he is, he underestimates his classmates and overestimates himself, meaning that if a classmate does something unexpected they might find themselves defeating him more easily than they expected. Even though he's a naturally talented marksman, he's never actually fired a gun before, and has no medical training. He has as many friends as enemies, and though he tends to keep even his closest friends at arms reach, these people may go after him, especially girlfriends he's ditched as soon as he was done having sex with them.
Designated Number: Male Student No. 63
The above biography is as written by Slayer. No edits or alterations to the author's original work have been made.
Designated Weapon: Rondel
Conclusion: The MMA fighter hasn't been a type that we've dealt with before in SOTF. Hopefully B63 won't let us down and go all happy-go-lucky on us, and might actually be able to slice through the competition. A definite contender.
Collected Weapons: Rondel (issued)
Allies: Marnie Yaguchi
Mid-Game Evaluation: Dante spent the first few days of the game using his stash of vodka to get drunk and formulating his strategy. He would avoid people as much as possible to keep his name off the announcements, conserve energy, loot weaponry from dead bodies, and simply wait until the very end of the game to kill the last person left. His first human interaction occurred at the lagoon, where he had gone to replenish his diminishing food and water supplies. There, Dante saw that Ivan Roeghmills, Jake Henkie, and Marnie Yaguchi had beaten him to the punch and were already helping themselves the dead students' supplies. Staying back, he waited until Marnie left separate from Jake and Ivan, and followed her to the trail.
At the trail, the announcements started, and Dante took advantage of the distraction by tackling the tiny girl to the ground, then held his knife to her throat and demanded some of the food and water she'd pinched from the lagoon. When Marnie immediately agreed, Dante helped himself to her supplies while trying to rationalize his actions. Marnie decided to make the most of things by asking Dante if he'd like to team up, and although Dante guessed she was just looking for a shield he was beguiled by her pretty face and agreed to go along for some company.
The two of them would make their way to the caves. Marnie entered easily, but Dante found Ryan Gilbert guarding the entrance and proceeded to make a tasteless joke about killing his girlfriend, Becky Holt. Being with Marnie though, the group grudgingly allowed him entrance. Inside, Dante rested from the storm with Marnie, Ryan, Becky, and Kathy Holden, but found himself less than enthused by the group he was with (the feeling being mutual) and eventually nodded off. He awoke when Marnie left, deciding against going with her. Tired and annoyed, Dante proceeded to shove an already injured Becky to the ground and shout a parting insult to Marnie before taking off again.
Dante returned to his original gameplan and stayed off the radar for the next couple days, until he arrived at the field of flowers just as Adam Reeves was unloading his gun on Kathy and Becky. Feeling somewhat guilty for what he'd done to Becky in the caves, Dante caught Adam's attention and got a few bullets fired his way, though he was able to take cover. The distraction gave Becky and Kathy time to escape, after which Dante did the same. Keeping low to the ground, he next showed up at the sea cliffs, witnessing the deaths of Warren Pace and Mark Tavarian. Afterwards, he heard Jordan Redfield calling out to where he was, but simply stayed concealed in the bushes until Jordan and Dorian Sanders left the area. Dante would stay at the cliffs that night, finishing his vodka and realizing the flaw in his strategy: that although he'd managed to survive a long time by lying low, he had no weapons except his rondel and nothing to go up against other students who would now be heavily armed with guns.
For another day and a half, Dante would search through the island, but to his growing dismay no body he found held a suitable weapon, and he concluded that he'd have to get a gun from somebody else by force. He would get his chance at the small cottage, where Ryan Atwell, Eris Marquis, Steve Digaetano, Lulu Altaire, and Dacey Ashcroft had all gathered. Seeing the impressive weapons available, Dante stayed low to the ground and waited to make his move. Unfortunately, Dacey had turned to leave the area, and in doing so she tripped right over Dante, blowing his cover. When Steve arrived to help her up, Dante saw his chance and grabbed for her gun, hoping to use her as a shield to escape. He managed to get the gun away from Dacey, but before Dante could do anything with it he was shot first by Eris, then by Steve, and finally through the head by Dacey's other gun, killing him instantly.
Post-Game Evaluation: Man, this guy was the wussiest cage fighter I've ever seen! Well, maybe he'll serve to show the next batch of kids exactly what happens when you try that strategy. It might sound like a smart idea, but look how well it ended for Mr. Cooper!
Memorable Quotes: "Was desperately in need of supplies, and couldn't find any. You had some, and I'd rather a bit of highway robbery on my record than death by starvation or dehydration or heat stroke. I hear those are very unpleasant ways to go." - Dante explains the necessity of delivering MMA tackles to 86-pound girls and then stealing their food.
"Anyway, I was gonna tell you that I killed your girlfriend, just to fuck with your head and see how you react, then show that she was alive and well, but she's kind of made that impossible now. Ah well, that would've been hilarious." - Dante makes friends with Ryan and the group at the caves.
"Eh, fuck you guys. The lot of ya are 'bout as interesting as watching paint dry. Actually, I've done that, and I can say it was a bit more interesting." - Given Dante's social skills, it's probably for the best that he spent most of the game staying away from people.
Dante was the student in v3's prologue that smuggled vodka onto the bus.
Below is a list of threads that contain Dante, in chronological order.
- Silent Waters
- The Long Walk
- Ratio Decidendi
- Freiheit unerreichbar
- Guns For Show, Knives For a Pro
- Wild International
Whether you were a fellow handler in SOTF or just an avid reader of the site, we'd like to know what you thought about Dante Cooper. What did you like, or dislike, about the character? Let us know here!