Curate of Curiosities

Nicole vs. Social Obligations

Previously on Class of '09, everyone at Nicole's school was roped into a white supremacist group led by the photo teacher. In response, she tipped off the Nation of Islam, who immediately set out to burn the place down.

With that, we've covered all of this game's major male characters. But what happens should you decide to avoid any opportunity to bring ruin upon your would-be suitors?

The answer is quite suprising, yet at the same time, not suprising at all.

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My thoughts on this route (click to view)

This route may serve as the culmination of all of this game's themes.

First, after Nicole finds herself having to hang out with all three of her male classmates, she complains that she's become too nice to just say no to any of them. She's also worried that Jeffrey, in particular, will try to have his way with her, even if she dies.

When she actually does hang out with them, things don't get any better. Crispin is extremely awkward, Kylar is loud and overcompensating, and Jeffrey, as you've come to expect, rambles on about anime for the entire date. It's gotten to the point where her friend suggests she kill herself to get out of having to spend any more time with them. While Nicole has considered suicide or self-harm in other routes, and is no stranger to emotional manipulation, this may be the only time that she uses the threat of suicide as emotional leverage against other people.

There, you're given the choice whether to have her go through with it. I chose not to, because I wanted to see how far she would go in being an accommodating doormat.

She goes to the concert with Crispin, and who should she meet but the gym coach? Naturally, he immediately tries to hit on her in an increasingly aggressive fashion. Despite the fact that he was fired from his position and now works as a bouncer, he vows to use the influence he still has over the students to make Nicole pay for rebuffing him. Even though they never met in this route, it's pretty obvious why and how he ended up losing his job.

The next day, she's faced with a choice--either skip class with her "actual" friend, or continue to be a doormat for three attention-starved boys. Not that she has to think it over for very long, because mere moments afterwards, she's set upon by the boys and accused of having slept with the entire football team.

Now, who could have possibly done this? Perhaps someone who knows the football team, and would stay in touch with them even after losing his job? Someone who would be perverted, petty, and spiteful enough to retaliate against someone for refusing his advances?

You have the option of talking to the counselor or running home. Even though it doesn't make any difference in the end, I don't trust the counselor at all, so I decide to go home.

Unfortunately, Nicole's mom isn't any more helpful than the counselor would have been, and threatens to kick her out if she keeps skipping school. With what appears to be the whole world against her, there's only one thing left for Nicole to do.

End it all.

The monologue she gives during this ending is the perfect encapsulation of her character and how she views her situation and those around her. As I had suspected earlier, the reason that Nicole manipulates people is as a self-defense mechanism; since most of the males she encounters in high school just want to get in her pants, it's best to disregard the pro-social lessons she was given in childhood and instead figure out what makes them tick so as to manipulate them more effectively. Trying to accomodate them will only lead to a tragic fate.