This is a continuation of the series on my take of each of the eligible bachelors/bachelorettes in Stardew Valley. As usual, I’m not a professional counselor… it’s just my opinion, and they’re open to discussion and debate. 🙂
Sebastian is a homicidal rage machine that wants to die. Do I have your attention?
Sebastian is a rebellious loner who is big into games, comics, and science fiction, works as a programmer, dresses like a goth rocker, and lives in his parents’ basement. Take a minute and absorb that little stereotype for a moment. Yeah, he’s that guy. Ever wondered why some guys (and gals) end up like him? Let’s take a look at Sebastian.
For those of you who read Maru’s write-up, you know that she is a genius that is going to make a huge splash in this world. Imagine that you’re her not-genius brother. In Maru’s write-up, I mentioned that Maru was stable due to Robin’s and Demetrius’ good parenting, and that’s true. That same good parenting, however, requires a LOT of attention needing to be paid to Maru, and while I doubt they ignored Sebastian, it would definitely stand to reason that Maru would get more attention than Sebastian simply because… well, genius.
Combine that with Sebastian’s natural jealousy every sibling shares for their fellow siblings over their parents’ attention, the fact that he has a genius sibling that is wildly smarter than him and quite attractive (if she were ugly, at least he’d have that over her), and the rebellious attitude we all get as teenagers (and mostly grow out of, eventually), and it creates quite a rough self esteem issue.
And that’s really the heart of Sebastian’s character… severe lack of self-esteem. I warned of the dangers of being in Maru’s shadow, and Sebastian is living proof of what happens. Sebastian is bitter and angry and jealous. He knows full well that he can’t compare against Maru in just about every aspect, so he pushes hard in the areas that Maru doesn’t pursue just so he can be recognized for something that isn’t associated with her…. but something close to it.
Think about their relationship. Maru likes science, Sebastian likes science fiction. Maru was a model child, Sebastian was a rebel child. Maru is into the heavenly stars, Sebastian wants to be a musical star. Maru builds robots, Sebastian is a programmer. There are parallels here, but Sebastian is definitely working to create space between him and his sister while trying his best to show the world that he is her equal, despite the fact that he isn’t. And this is actually pretty normal for a sibling that feels they are unappreciated. The problem is that Sebastian is taking the separation too far. Dangerously too far.
Sebastian is in severe emotional pain. Not the brooding emo nonsense where you complain about every little discomfort and distress, blaming your parents and the government for every little problem… Sebastian has turned his familial issues into a self-destructive state, and until you came along, Sebastian was heading for suicide.
His bitterness has progressed away from just towards his family, and is leaking into the rest of the world, and it’s been taken to a dangerous level. Sebastian is hiding from the world, shutting himself away from everyone in an attempt to block out anything that might hurt him. We can see his bitterness and low self-esteem coming out in just about every heart event he has.
Look at the 2 heart event, for example. He snaps at his mother, despite her pleasant attitude. He gets frustrated towards his friends, even though they’re just trying to spend some time with him. When you come into the room, he shunts you aside, hoping you’ll leave… we see that with the option you’re given to leave him alone because he’s busy.
When you ask about his work, he gives a short, terse answer. He doesn’t want you there. He doesn’t want anyone there, ever… we can see that in his 8 heart event when he’s describing the bad weather, saying that “it makes people disappear.”
And yet… subconsciously, he does want someone there. Even though he originally hoped you’d leave, when you don’t he starts nitpicking at his friends and his mother over what are essentially very minor issues. And what’s the reasoning behind his nitpicking? “No one ever bothers Maru when she’s working”. This is, of course, not true… Maru has interruptions just like everyone else… but Sebastian has allowed his anger and jealousy to blind him to reality. That blind rage is turned entirely inward, because he doesn’t really have an outlet. His parents are good parents so it’s not their fault; he loves his sister despite the jealousy towards her and it’s not really her fault either; and he knows that at the heart of his rage… it’s just out of control jealousy towards his sister, and it’s all being caused by his own actions.
That eats him up alive. He denies himself things that would improve his situation, like college and a good job, because it feeds that jealous rage and righteous indignation. It’s childish, and he knows it, but he denies it to everyone… including himself. That just makes his rage all the worse, and it’s spiraled badly out of control.
So he takes the opportunity to vent a little of that to you, hoping you’ll be an ally against the “unfairness” of his situation. This is also common with people who turn rage inwards. In their hearts, they know it’s self-destructive, they know it’s feeding a negative mindset, and they don’t care… they want to feel pain.
It justifies their anger to feel pain, even though that pain was caused by themselves. But they also want that pain and anger to end. Sebastian is reaching out to someone… ANYONE… who will let him vent this pent-up anger and rage so it won’t be ripping him apart anymore.
When you don’t initially take his attempt to drive you off like he does with most people, he treats you like a fellow “outcast”. His network of friends are also “outcasts”, like Sam and Abigail, so when you are willing to hang around, he immediately puts you into the “outcast” group and proceeds to vent his frustrations to you. And even then… he pretty much just dismisses you and goes back to work.
This is extremely self-destructive behavior… when the helpful olive branch being held out to him by his parents, his friends, and even a friendly stranger that has no investment in him is just swatted away, it’s a sign that Sebastian is dangerously close to killing himself.
Now, looking at the 4 heart event, you may think “Wait, Sebastian has plans! He’s going to save money and head out on the open road, make a new life for himself! He’s not planning suicide! What’s up with that, Lion?” That’s a valid point. Sebastian is definitely trying to escape from his troubles, and this declaration to you is his way of expressing that desire to be done with the pain and anger he feels.
But if you notice… when he tells you about those plans, the screen goes into shadow. That’s not a graphics glitch, that’s intentional. Sebastian doesn’t believe what’s he’s saying. This is him fleeing the situation he’s in, thinking that all he needs to do is get away from his family and he’ll be fine.
The problem with that thinking is that it won’t work, and again… subconsciously, he knows it. The problem isn’t THEM, it’s HIM, and he can’t flee from himself. He’s clinging to the hope that hopping on a motorcycle and moving to another town will release that jealous rage he’s built up within himself. When it doesn’t work, he’ll try to find another way to try and run from his problems, and each attempt will continue to fail. When he realizes he can’t escape, all that jealous rage within him will explode, and one of two things will happen:
That rage will explode outward, where he’ll viciously attack someone or something that he has identified as his pain, and it will be so out of control that he will likely kill; or…
That rage will explode inward, and he’ll commit suicide in a particularly splashy way that gains a lot of attention in a last attempt to have someone… ANYONE… pay attention to him.
Still think Sebastian is a heart-throb?
Well, don’t write him off just yet. Sebastian CAN be saved, and you come along just in the nick of time to make it happen. In the 6 heart event, specifically the “A” result of the scene, we see Sam, Sebastian, and you sitting down to play a role-playing game. Role-playing is probably one of the only outlets Sebastian has, as it allows him to put his feelings into a tangible form through another character.
If you notice, Sebastian prefers the Wizard… a character that is flashy and powerful and ends up saving the day (something he badly craves in himself). And if you’ll notice, the role he prefers YOU in is as healer. He is seeing something in you that could save his life, literally. You’re giving him the attention he so badly needs, the validation he’s desperate to have, and the fact that you’re allowing him all the glory while you take the backseat (assuming you take the best outcome, which is you choosing to be a healer) is exactly what he needs to let go of that rage for awhile.
But the real indication that you’re saving his life is in the 10 heart event, in a multitude of ways. If you mention he should stop smoking, he actually says he should stop… this is an indication that he wants to live longer, which in itself is an admission that he wants to live at all. If you talk about the city, he admits that he doesn’t feel the need to leave anymore, and this is huge. Zuzu City was his last ditch hope to escape his pain, and the fact that he doesn’t want to go anymore means that he’s started to come to grips with that pain. He’s found you, and you have become his new hope for life. Sebastian has reached a turning point in his quest for death. He has chosen life.
Although the game doesn’t go too much into the life of Sebastian after marriage, that turning point was his rock bottom, and he has a very long climb to get out of the hole he’s in. That kind of rage doesn’t just go away… he needs extremely intensive counseling in order to come to terms with his sister and his jealousy, and that can only be accomplished with professional help, and months, perhaps years, of therapy. Sebastian and you are both in for a long and difficult journey.
So who would do well with Sebastian in real life? This is not an easy question to answer. Sebastian in real life would be an enormous asshole. He would do everything in his power to drive you off, and unless you can relate to his troubles in some way, he’s going to insult you, dismiss you, and perhaps even attack you for reasons that don’t make a lot of sense to you.
Loving him would be extremely difficult, and to be quite honest, most people who would fall in love with Sebastian are, themselves, pretty badly damaged. He would complain a lot, almost constantly, about pretty much anything… even things he liked and wanted… and find things to nitpick and criticize.
If you truly love a Sebastian, you’re likely going to try and fix his problems yourself, and you will fail… and he will drag you down into his personal hell to suffer with him. Not necessarily out of maliciousness, but because he is blinded by his own unrequited rage. That rage will not be obvious, either… it will show itself in a multitude of forms, and unless he gets professional help, he will never find peace. Neither will you.
And you thought he was just a harmless goth kid, didn’t you?
Original Link – Continuation of discussion