This Mortal Coyle
The Lyktgubbe from Bramble: The Mountain King, holding a glowing lantern, stoops to talk to a small figure in a dense forest awash with flowers.

The Lyktgubbe from Bramble: The Mountain King

My adult brain feels desperate to chase after lights in the forest, lights I haven’t seen in some time. As a child, I knew better.

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Fia, a character from Elden Ring, sits on a bed in a dramatic black hooded robe.

Goth Femmes of Elden Ring

Ranking Elden Ring’s goth femmes from “least” to “most” goth.

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A close-up of Andreja from Starfield, looking suitably goth with black hair, downturned eyes and a soft, elegant expression. She poses behind a spiky metal structure that gives the impression of dead tree branches.

I Married My Goth GF in Starfield but I Feel Nothing

Starfield is Bethesda’s biggest game to date. More to explore, more dialogue options, more NPCs. So why don’t I feel attached to any of the characters?

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Hammer Horror Nightgown Ranking

It’s easy to get lost in the aesthetic pleasures of Hammer’s smooching Draculas and bangin’ 1970s haircuts on 19th century characters; you might gloss over the more ethereal wardrobe choices.

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KJ from Life After Magic, a cool-looking person with a punky bleach-blond haircut (replete with purple streak) a great 'fit, and excellent tattoos. They intimidate me.

KJ from Life After Magic

“There’s a bunch of different subcultures under the punk and goth umbrellas. Doesn’t always have to be about wearing black and being angry.”

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Elora the faun from Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage. She has her head turned upside down as if she's addressing someone lying on the ground; she wears a dress made of leafy foliage and bears a striking resemblance to a red fox.

Elora the Faun from Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage

“I’m a faun, you dork!”

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A screencap from Skyrim shows Serana and the player character having a nighttime walk along a snowy path.

Skyrim and Existential Angst Redux

Why can’t I marry Serana? I would like to take this up with Todd Howard personally.

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Get Her What She Really Wants for Valentine’s Day and Avoid the Wrath of the Ancient Ones

A holiday gift guide that just might save your skin.

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On Organizing My Skyrim Library and Living in a Human Body

Organizing books makes me not care that I’m a decaying meat-coated skeleton living by the light of a dying star. I love skeletons! I love stars! Who cares, just let me read!

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The protagonist Bailey Ward from the videogame Switchcraft. She is a young woman with long auburn hair shaved on one side and an olive skin tone. She is casually dressed and smiling in what looks like the interior of a cafe.

Ruby Blue from Switchcraft

Ms. Blue’s aesthetics speak volumes: she wears librarian clichés – cardigans and tortoiseshell glasses – with bodycon animal prints, statement jewelry and long, blue nails.

A black and white engraving of a large ship on stormy seas.

The Mary Celeste

I watched the 1935 thriller The Mystery of the Mary Celeste (released in the U.S. as Phantom Ship). I took notes while watching, which include helpful annotations like “what is even happening” and “yikes this is racist.”

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Along an autumn path, a figure in a fur-collared cape and horned helmet leans over to retrieve a small log.

The Witch from Wytchwood

The main question I have while considering Wytchwood is, why isn’t this my life? Should I acquire a goat companion? Would the goat get along with my cat?

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Maureen Corley from Full Throttle

Were Ben Throttle and Maureen Corley secretly boning after all?

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A burning, post-apocalyptic landscape.

The Ultimate Apocalypse Team

Hunters/Gatherers/MacGyver-ers Assemble!

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Two young woman stand ready to either dance or fight in a town square at dusk.

Ginger from My Time at Portia

Romance and courtship in the post-dystopia.

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Three Neopets in a field with a rainbow.

Model_Interference the Aisha from Neopets

Deirdre goes to a magical land of friends and Flash.

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Arthur Morgan drinks with Lenny at a bar.

Drinking With Arthur Morgan

One more couldn’t hurt, right?

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Joy Johnson-Johjima from Monster Camp

If I overheard someone talking about a bookish goth who listens to Rumours on repeat too much, I’d assume they were talking about me.

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The Forest Spirit

“I would be grateful to see the forest come to life.”

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Roach from The Witcher

Roach is always there for me.

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Deirdre played these Beauty and the Beast-inspired games so that you, dear reader, don’t have to.

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Gerry from Graveyard Keeper

I mean, really now, who hasn’t wanted to be friends with a talking, alcoholic skull?

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Iris From the Drawn Trilogy

The concept of turning artwork into reality—into an escape—has never been more tempting.

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Rowan from Seers Isle

This spectral figure makes an impression as a great storyteller long before she’s ever introduced.

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The Ad Salesman from Animal Restaurant

Animal Restaurant is a mobile game that does the impossible: It makes promoting in-game ads adorable.

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Jesse Faden from Control

Deirdre desperately wants to be friends with Jesse Faden, someone similarly comfortable with the surreal and unexplainable.

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Asra from The Arcana

Who doesn’t love obsessively pondering over fictional characters’ tarot readings?

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Goth Stereotypes as Videogame Characters

If you’ve never dabbled in goth subculture, you may not realize how many gothic sub-subcultures exist.

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Alice from American McGee’s Alice

American McGee’s series seemed like a natural extension of Deirdre’s lifelong Alice in Wonderland obsession.

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The Exile from Grim Soul

Deirdre survived a lonely summer by escaping to an equally lonely game.

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Hoshi from How to Date a Magical Girl

Why bother trying to date in a dating sim when you can play with one very good dog!

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Catboy the Cat, and Other Familiars

Deirdre lists some of the best cat (or cat-looking, at least) familiars in pop culture.

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The Abominable Snow Monster from SkiFree

An adorable cryptid from Microsoft’s 1991 Entertainment Pack for Windows makes it onto Deidre’s friend’s list.

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For someone who constantly jokes about dying, the chance to date a ghost carries its own morbid comfort.

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Just let players bang the robot, Todd Howard.

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If the outbreak happened outside my window, I’d be digging through drawers for my most metal band shirts and cursing my lack of foresight in not purchasing a black Violator babydoll.

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Just like Willow from Don’t Starve, Deirdre can’t control what goes on in the world. But she can keep her sanity meter up in the meantime.

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The Encarta MindMaze Witch

Hidden in Microsoft Encarta ’95 lies one of the foundational goths of Deirdre’s childhood.

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Donut County‘s Mira is The Best because of a) her punk aesthetic and b) her refusal to take any shit even as her world literally falls around her.

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Top Ten Characters I Hate

I enjoyed the change of pace writing about characters I hate instead of characters I love. And being mean to characters whose feelings you can't hurt is fun now and then. - Deirdre Coyle

September 2018 is the first anniversary of This Mortal Coyle and, to celebrate, Deirdre Coyle lists ten characters that make her blood boil.