Name: Maria "Animal" Graham
School: Bayview Secondary School
Hobbies and Interests: Drumming, TV, video games, socializing
Appearance: One look at Maria and most people would probably brand her with a 'punk' label. She stands at a relatively normal height for girls her age, and is fairly slender, though she has a rather toned build that suggests that she works out on a semi-regular basis. Though she's a natural blonde, her short, mussy hair is dyed black with bits of blue in it. Her eyes are a vibrant, lively blue, and she's taken to using eyeliner and other makeup to accentuate them. If one were to look close enough, they'd notice a variety of faded scars from the many scrapes and bruises she suffered during childhood, going from one across her left cheek just below her eye and one along her forehead, to a few along her arms, including a more noticable one covering her right elbow. Her clothes utilize a lot of black; she sports a t-shirt with the sleeves torn off, and a skull print in the center. A fishnet shirt lies underneath it, and a loose studded collar around her neck. She wears a pair of black jeans held up by a large studded belt, with the obligatory rips in the knees, and a pair of black sneakers.
Biography: Maria is a girl of boundless energy, and those who try to befriend her often have a hard time keeping up with her. Maria was born in the state of Iowa to Mark and Diana Graham, the two of them employed and frequently away from the house, leaving Maria by herself when she outgrew the need for a babysitter. To pass the time, she mostly hung around her childhood friend Duncan McMahon, who she met in grade school when she stood up for him against some bullies. The two of them were inseperable throughout grade and middle school. That is, until the unthinkable happened. While driving home from work one day, Maria's father was killed in a horrific car accident. While Maria was still trying to cope with the loss, her mother decided that she just couldn't stand to live in the same house that she and her husband had lived in for so many years, and promptly moved her and her daughter to St. Paul, Minnesota, separating Maria and Duncan.
Though they weren't very close before, Maria and Diana began to grow further apart after the move as Diana threw herself into her career. As she entered high school, Maria found herself alone and uneasy. Still, her energetic, happy-go-lucky personality managed to net her a few new friends fairly quickly.
One day, while wandering the school during lunch, she stumbled onto a drum set sitting out in one of the school's band rooms. With nothing better to do, she began to mess around with it, and after a while fell in love with it. She'd return frequently, making noise on the drums some more, and eventually finding someone to teach her proper technique, finding out that she had a natural talent for it. Though she also enjoyed watching TV and playing video games as much as the average teenager, drumming became her true passion.
In her sophmore year, she was approached by one of the students, who was forming a band and wondered if she'd be interested in filling the drummer position. Jumping at the chance, she joined the band Magnetic. Her image drastically changed from that point, as she started dressing up in the typical punk attire to fit the theme of the band, and began wearing it regularily when she found that she liked how she looked in it. Magnetic lasted until the middle of her Junior year, when a dispute between the lead singer and the lead guitarist ended in the band's breakup. Maria continued to practice the drums all through Junior year, and at the start of her Senior year, Magnetic's former guitarist, Zachary found her out and asked if she wanted to join the new band he was forming. And thus Maria became a member of the band Blank Nation, picking up the affectionate nickname "Animal", both as a Muppets reference and for her energetic performances. After a few months, Maria and Zachary began dating. Unfortunately, recent circumstances have ended in the two of them splitting up and Maria leaving the band.
Maria generally cruises through school, not really caring how well she does, at least to a point (she at least makes sure to maintain Bs with only the occasional C to avoid getting in trouble over her grades.) She doesn't really have a favorite subject, through she seems to do better in history and social studies-type classes.
Besides her energetic nature, Maria has also been known for her cheerfulness and loud personality. Since her start at high school, Maria has always been quick to make friends and slow to make enemies. Her cheerful nature is sometimes a front though. She isn't as capable of shrugging off stress as people think she is, though she doesn't let anyone know about it.
Advantages: Maria is very energetic, and pretty fit. She is a very social creature, and thus would have an easier time finding allies.
Disadvantages: She has no fighting experience, and her insistence on bottling up her stress and putting on a happy face could lead to her breaking quicker than usual.
Designated Number: Female Student no. 17
Designated Weapon: Flare Gun (x6 Flares)
Conclusion: Well, with her unique look and assigned weapon, G017 will certainly have no trouble attracting attention. Too bad that's the exact opposite of what she's going to want, ahahaha!
The above biography is as written by Super Llama. No edits or alterations to the author's original work have been made.
Handled by: Super Llama
Kills: Francine Moreau
Killed By: Infection
Collected Weapons: Flare Gun (w/ 6 flares) (fired 2x), Sharpened Stick (from Duncan McMahon)
Mid-game Evaluation: Maria started her game off at the Logging Road, where she first ran into Daniel Kensrue, Paige Strand, Dustin Royal, and finally her friend Cassidy Wakemore. After a quick falling out between the group Daniel and Paige left on their own, while Maria and Cassidy went off with Dustin, Maria hoping to find the rest of her friends that had made it onto the island: Duncan McMahon, Maxwell Crowe and Warren Brown.
Eventually, the group arrived at the Town Center, where they encountered a group consisting of Nik Kronwall, Fiona Sparki, Jessica Pentangeli and Alex Jackson. Unfortunately, she also quickly discovered Warren's body, discovering that he'd been shot by Omar Burton. Both distraught over Warren's death and her inability to save him, and conflicted over what she wanted to do with this information, she and Cassidy proceeded to dig Warren a shallow grave as the other group took their leave. Not wanting the others to see her grieve (and also because she needed to use the bathroom,) Maria excused herself to the nearby South-Eastern Forest.
After letting it all out (in more ways than one,) Maria realized that she had gotten lost. Starting to panic, she eventually ran into Phillip Ward and Marybeth Witherspoon. Unfortunately, Maria happened to catch Phil in a bad mood, and after a spectacularily failed attempt at easing the situation, Phil went berserk and knocked her to the ground, beating her almost to death. It took a lull in the punches and a sudden attack by Christopher Carlson to save her, and as Maria got away she panicked, pulling her flare gun at Phil and firing. The flare bounced off of Phil, and landed right on Francine Moreau, who had stumbled on the situation and was literally pushed into the fray by Marybeth, hoping to add more drama to the fight. Francine lit up and her collar exploded, killing her while the fire burnt down the immediate forest while the survivors fled for their lives.
Horrified over what she'd done, she finally made it back to the Town Center, where she found that Zach Jamis, Samya Franklin, Simon Fletcher and Ash Morrison had joined the group there. After walking up the group (after discovering that her name hadn't been called on the announcements,) she promptly passed out, and was carried off with the group by Dustin.
She eventually regained conciousness in the Residential Area next to Dustin, who had gotten separated from the group and eventually decided to just hole up in a random building for the night. Dustin rather bluntly asked Maria if she wanted to have sex, and Maria, not exactly in her right mind and willing to do anything to take her mind off of what she'd done, agreed. However, it ultimately never amounted to anything, as Dustin failed to get it up, and Maria came to her senses, deciding she wanted to tell Cassidy what she'd done before Danya could. The two made their way through the Residential District, eventually finding the rec center the group was supposed to meet at, and Maria discovered that Christ had followed them from the Town Center shortly after Maria passed out, and soon the group was joined by George Leidman. Seeing Cassidy asleep, Maria didn't want to wake her, but soon the announcements arrived and Maria missed her chance. With the revelation that Maria was a killer (despite Chris' attempts to explain what really happened,) as well as many other revelations brought to light in the wake of the announcements, the members of the group went their separate ways, leaving just a distraught Maria and Cassidy. Fortunately, the next person to arrive on the scene was Duncan, and after a tearful reunion the three decided to try to find somebody with an escape plan.
This search eventually took them to the docks, where Maria discovered that Omar had been killed. Still unsure how she was supposed to feel about the news, she tried to proclaim her love for Duncan when she was suddenly interuppted by some kind of commotion nearby. Running to the scene, she got there just in time to see Phil get beaten to death by Jimmy Brennan. Surprisingly, she felt more anger against Jimmy for killing him, bragging all the while. After watching an ensuing altercation between Jimmy and a trio of Jennifer Perez, Alexander Seymour and Marco Stonecastle, the four went their separate ways as well, leaving Maria's trio with Phil's dead body. Negative thoughts about Phil deserving what he got started to rise in her mind, and a shaken Maria quickly left the scene, followed closely by Duncan and Cassidy.
Soon, they arrived back at the Residential District, where the three decided to spent the night in a grocery store, making idle conversation until they fell asleep. After a dream where the negative thoughts from before tried to convince her to start killing to protect her friends, Maria freaked out and stormed out of the store as the morning announcements were playing, eventually running into George again. As Cassidy and Duncan chased after her, Duncan was suddenly gunned down in a hit-and-run attack by Maxwell Lombardi, falling on top of Maria and trying to shield her in his dying moments. Unable to take the conflicting murderous rage that she felt against Lombardi and the guilt over the fact that she led Duncan to his death finally caused her to snap, denying that Duncan was really dead. Dragging his body to a nearby house, she laid him down in the bedroom, convinced that he just needed rest, finally confessing that she was in love with him before, after a brief encounter with Michael Raynor and Gloria Benson, Maria and Cassidy left, George leaving on his own.Maria and Cassidy eventually made her way to the Sawmill, with Cassidy suffering a breakdown of her own. After doing her best to calm her friend down, Maria and Cass spend the night at the Sawmill, only for Maria's delusions about Duncan's death came crashing down with the morning announcements, just in time for Lombardi to reappear, pointing a gun at the two and offering them "a head start" if they can tell him where Tabi Gweneth is. However, before Maria can give any kind of answer, Cassidy tells her to run before tackling Lombardi, and though she's reluctant to do so, Maria at least makes it outside the sawmill. She can't bring herself to leave her best friend behind, though, and ends up sticking around just long enough to hear Cassidy get shot and then impaled on her own javelin, killing her. Panicked and distraught, Maria tries to make her getaway, but is caught by Lombardi and ends up getting thrown into one of the nearby bunkhouses. However, when Lombardi tries to finish her off, he realizes that he's out of ammo and Maria, becoming enraged over the death of her friends, shoots him in the shoulder with the flare gun before going berserk and attacking him. The two beat each other severely, with Maria getting stabbed in the leg and shoulder with a piece of a broken lamp, before they realize that the bunkhouse is burning down around them. Lombardi manages to get out after tipping over a burning bunk, trapping Maria inside the building while Lombardi raids her daypack and makes his getaway, believing her to be dead. Maria, however, manages to escape the bunkhouse by smashing a window and climbing out.
After passing out for a while, Maria returns to the sawmill to find Cassidy's body and all her food and water stolen. She drags Cassidy to another bunkhouse, setting her up in one of the beds before smashing a bunkhouse window and trying to kill herself with one of the broken glass shards. However, she's stopped by the arrival of Maxwell Crowe (travelling with Josie Vernon, Sierra Manning and David Meramac) who manages to wrestle the shard of glass away from her and convince her not to commit suicide, Maria leaving with the group, sticking close by her last surviving friend.
- "Boop." - Maria attempting to pacify Phillip Ward. It doesn't go down so well.
- "Thanks, Duncan...If it wasn't for you and Cass, I would've lost my mind by now." - Maria giving a rather appropriate thanks to Duncan.
- "Shut up shut up shut up SHUT UP I'M NOT GONNA PLAY YOUR STUPID GAME!" - Maria during one of her freakouts.
- "I mean, I know I've always acted all weird and hyper and stuff, but you were always there to try and rein me in. You were always there. Even when I moved away, you were still always there, as well as you could be. I...I can't imagine my life without you." - Maria's confession of love to (a dead) Duncan.
- "Cass...n-no, please, don't make me run..." - Maria doesn't want to leave Cass to die.
- "Please...I can't take this anymore. All I've done since I got here was get beat up, shot at and watch everybody I care about die one by one." - Maria pleading with Maxwell Crowe to let her kill herself.
- Maria's middle name is apparently Moxie
- The characters Robo-Bear 5000 and Nicolas Cage In The Wicker Man make frequent appearances in Maria's dreams.
- Maria has been going without a shirt since Woods of Paranoia, having thrown it off after believing it was on fire, leaving her in just her fishnet undershirt and a bra topwise. She acquires a baggy jacket at the end of The Moon Is Laughing At You, though she eventually loses it in Fatal Fury..
Below is a list of threads that contain Maria, in chronological order.
- Running Tackle
- Watch the Sky
- Rock n' Roll Star
- Crazy Sunshine
- Master Exploder
- Let the Dance Begin!
- The Dance Must Go On!
- Let's Positive Thinking
- Wood and Wire
- Ten Shades of Grey
- Woods of Paranoia
- Ten Shades of Grey (Second visit to thread)
- The Moon is Laughing at You
- Final Third Foul
- No Crying Allowed
- Fatal Fury
- Down The Road, Not Across The Street
- White Sparrows
- Maria Graham's Series of Unfortunate Events
Your Thoughts Edit
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 Maria Graham. What did you like, or dislike, about the character? Let us know here!
- No use beating around the bush on this: Maria Graham is my favorite character of V4 thus far. Bar none. - Stark
- Maria ;~; - Inky
- Maria had some good points and a lot of potential, I think, but way too much of that was buried under all the random and wacky stuff that she did/said. Basically, Maria was a character who had some interesting drama and conflict, but there was so much silly stuff that it was often hard to take the bad things seriously, especially because she often felt like a punching bag for fate even if it didn't exactly make much sense in the context of the narrative. Maria had a ton of fourth-wall breaking formatposts, which were really distracting. The post with the picture shoved in is especially like that.
I think a lot of the issue came about because Maria absolutely dominated any scene or narrative she entered. She was always being center stage, and her posts feel like they're deperately trying to grab attention. I've mentioned before how Duncan suffered when in threads with her, becoming a secondary character to the point that his death isn't even seen from his point of view. Maria also overpowered other characters, bringing sometimes very jarring and tonally dissonant silliness with her. I feel like a lot of this is due to the warm reception it got in pregame, but the problem is V4 Maria was actually way wackier and crazier than pregame Maria, in a setting where that didn't fit nearly as well. She had some genuinely good moments, but most of them came when she was not being crazy, suffering unduly, or being in denial. These scenes were pretty rare. Her death wasn't bad, but it was slightly problematic in that it followed the same basic progression/conceit as Llama's V3 flagship, which was a well-known enough scene to make the parallel a bit unnerving.
In short, Maria had some good moments. She had good ties to other characters in a way a lot of V4 kids didn't, and when she got serious there was some really good stuff. Too often, though, the solid character core fell by the wayside for gimmicks or really grabby attempts at sympathy, and that was too bad because those actually made her scenes less effective. She wasn't bad, but she was one of the most obvious flagship characters in V4, and I really do wish that Duncan and Sebastian had gotten more credit and positive attention, because I think both had a lot of potential to go places and Maria got most of that focus instead. - MurderWeasel