Looks like it’s time to introduce the primary protagonist of High Roller, Adam Vegas. He was incredibly fun to design although doing so was rather challenging due to the lack of certainty with his species. Rather than just rant about it, I’ll just type a specific outline that each HR character will follow in terms of their design and bio.
Full Name: Adam Vegas
Card Designation: 0 of Diamonds (not an initial combatant)
Weapon Name: ‘Trump Card’ Slot machine revolver & Smokescreen dice staff.
Adam Vegas is a jackrabbit (themed off the Magician Rabbit themes in Casino culture) that resides in district 13, Backgammon Harbor. The region is the poorest of the Goldenlight City metropolis and resides on the northwest coastal location of the city itself, marking the center for import and export. Most of Backgammon deals with fishing culture and nautical practices, including fisheries, cargo companies, and freight. He helps operate a small mom-and-pop shipping company with his grandparents, Old Maid (his grandmother) and Go Fish (his grandfather). His birth parents are never addressed in the story and are purposefully left ambiguous as they hold no particular thematic significance to the High Roller plot. From a young age, Vegas became fascinated with everything dealing with the High Roller game and combat and at the age of 6, fashioned himself a Magic Hat with a diamond poker chip embedded in the front for the sole purpose of pretending to be a High Roller through childhood. As he aged, Vegas physically trained in his spare time with prospects of one day becoming a High Roller himself, although the circuit grew stagnant with the clampdown through Fargus’ corrupted Plutocracy. He also uses the learned agility and strength skills to assist his grandparents in physical labor they could not accomplish themselves.
Vegas’ family is also very very longstanding friends of the District Leader, Johannes Vaylor, an ex-whaling captain turned High Roller after many years of becoming a master in the art of harpooning. Vaylor, being childhood friends of Go Fish, often visits the family of Vegas, whether it be for simple dinners or even assisting with shipping tasks. Vaylor has been long aware of Vegas’ obsession with High Roller, yet does not actively encourage the pursuit of the dream due to the incredible life-threatening risks of the circuit. However, Vegas often ask questions and advice from Vaylor, seeing him almost as a secondary father figure. Vegas has grown a deep hatred for Fargus based on the stories told to him through Vaylor, as Vaylor has seen firsthand the direct actions of Fargus, both economically and through combat of other competitors on the circuit. Vaylor knows better than going against Fargus, even if doing so could save his district from poverty, as doing so is almost a guaranteed deathwish and would cause him to lose everyone for which he cared so deeply.
On a particularly rainy night, after a long conversation with Vaylor, Vegas took to his punching bag on the rear deck of his home, when an otherworldly flash of violet light shot over the sea, causing a power outage over the harbor. Vegas, curious over the nature of the light, leapt over the back railing of the porch to the dock that extends from the rear of the shipping warehouse. Lightning flashes illuminated a boat approaching, not much larger than a rowboat, which appeared to show two figures standing on the bow, but later revealed that no one was on the boat at all. The boat bobbed up to the shore with no one at the helm, and Vegas assumed the passengers had… vanished. On this boat rested a single, rusted and ancient-looking chest with a handprint lock embossed into the lid. Curious about the contents of the crate and with no one to stop him, Vegas placed his hand at the center of the lock, causing a tremendous green flash of light to trace his hand from the cover. The box opened to reveal a flawless red velvet interior, revealing the Trump Card to Vegas, who was completely awestruck at the find. Due to the lack of owner, Vegas Dragged the boat ashore, closed the crate, and brought inside for hiding. He immediately placed the weapon in his coat and set to meet with Vaylor, although the late hour, at Vaylor’s Oil Tanker.
Locked inside his office, Vaylor and Vegas examined the weapon and determined it to be not only a High Roller armament, but one of the first ever designed, long lost centuries prior. Vaylor, understanding Vegas had very real potential as a fighter and possibly held the method for defeating Fargus in his hands, began to assist in training Vegas in High Roller fighting style and weapon usage. After several weeks of grueling practice, much of which proceeded to push Vegas to the breaking point mentally and physically, Vaylor and Vegas agreed to partake in a true evaluation of skill by facing off in an official High Roller match on the deck of the Oil Tanker. If Vegas could best Vaylor in an fair fight, Vaylor would not only allow Vegas to continue on the circuit, but assist in him doing so. Vaylor winning would force Vegas to go home, and never agree to pursue the dream of becoming a High Roller again.
Being the first ‘true’ High Roller match in years, Fargus spied on the match via broadcast, analyzing every move Vegas made, and to everyone’s astonishment (especially Vaylor’s) Vegas was able to execute a spectacular victory without causing any true physical harm to Vaylor. By acquiring a magnetic bulletshot (causing the fired round to home in on the opponent), Vegas was able to completely ensnare Vaylor to the ground by using Vaylor’s own harpoon cables against him and constricting him to the floor of the arena. Vegas immediately gained reputation is the ‘Lucky Hare’ for pulling off one of the most fantastic wins in over a decade, and his notoriety began to spread like wildfire.
After the match, Vegas agreed to tour the circuit with Vaylor ensuring he was ok (for the sake of Old Maid and Go Fish). Through the escalation through the Districts, Vaylor would serve as the older, wiser advice-giving parental figure, watching every match Vegas fought.
Because he was given the “Lucky Hare” title, Vegas and Vaylor dreampt up an iconic getup for Vegas, a green and red Magician suit based off the hat he had kept since he was a kid, creating an appearance that signified the potency and importance of fulfilling childhood dreams.
Vegas would go to meet many allies on the circuit, eventually forming a team with Acacia Spade, Vince Voodoo, and Chip Wilkins. These 5 would go to challenge Fargus by sweeping the entire city by storm in an attempt to revive the once prosperous culture that had since been lost to the machinations of Fargus.
Vegas wields the Trump Card, a legendary Slot Machine revolver from the inception days of the High Roller governance systems. The weapon does not operate under the standard physics. The gun does not consume ammunition and does not require conventional reloading, as do nearly all of the High Roller weapons. The gun operates on pulling a hammer back on the rear of the weapon, causing the Slot Machine reels to spin and depending on the symbols that align, a different weapon can be granted with a particular ammunition count before the need to pull the hammer again. However, the hammer cannot be pulled again until either 30 seconds have elapsed or the ammunition for the particular weapon is consumed. The Following are the weapons that can be granted:
• (no match) Standard bullet (6 per ammunition reel)
• (1 bar match) Shotgun (3 per ammunition reel)
• (2 bar match) fully automatic Machine Gun (30 round drum magazine)
• (3 bar match) railgun (1 round) (requires 3 second charge)
• (cherries match) Grenade launcher (6 shells)
• (Bomb match) Proximity Mine (1 shell)
• (3 flame match) Flamethrower (1 canister = 5 seconds of continuous spray)
• (3 skulls) dud, gun jam and potential backfire (cannot reload for 30 seconds)
• (777 jackpot ) Ion Energy Cannon (1 shot, usually fatality)
Each weapon selection corresponds to the top of the gun spine, as it serves as a heads up display while adding weight to the weapon to assist in melee combat. When a new weapon is active, a slider on the spine will lock to one of the different positions and lighting it green with the weapon name illuminated for quick reference for both Vegas and broadcast purposes.
The inscription on the weapon is Latin, which states ‘Felicionem Fortis, Fortuna Aeternam’, which directly translates to ‘Luck strong, fortune eternal.’
Trump card is designed to be a high-mobility weapon, where weapon physical impact is relatively light, however it is counterbalanced due to the weapon potency and luck modifiers. The weapons estimated value is incalculable.
Vegas also holds a staff weapon with a defensive twist. The Dice on the top of this staff is a smokescreen grenade that can detach at will, and the roll of the dice signifies the potency of the smokescreen. The Dice reconstructs once per 30 seconds.
• 1 is nothing more than a whisp
• 6 creates an immense fog in the entire arena that has a maximum visibility of 10 feet. (Dispels after 2 minutes)
Vegas is rather determined and naïve in a lot of situations, very quick to trust and not weigh risk as fully as other combatants. He is confident he can win the High Roller circuit without killing a single person, which although it is a virtuous position, it very often interferes with his fighting ability due to sympathy for the other fighter. However, this trait is seen as incredibly admirable by his fans, supporters, and most of the spectators of the circuit, as it is a refreshing ideal not often seen in the circuit itself, serving as a nearly direct contrast from Fargus. Vegas cares for his friends with a near family bond, and is even caring to his opponents. His lack of ruthlessness is made up for entirely by his ingenuity and cleverness in a match, often pulling wins out of his metaphorical ‘hat’ that baffle and astound both spectators and his opponents alike. However, this often results in matches that are incredibly close, often bringing Vegas within inches of death on several occasions. Vegas also develops a relationship with Acacia Spade and as the circuit progresses, their love becomes very apparent, and this attribute is often manipulated by other contenders, the worst being Keno, which demoralizes Vegas to the point of near-suicide. Despite this, Vegas proves to be one of the most effective fighters (and leaders) in Goldenlight City, learning from mistakes, growing stronger both in terms of combat and virtue.
• Vegas’ Design is heavily based on Magician’s rabbits yet is a jackrabbit instead of the typical white rabbit to signify social class. A jackrabbit is scruffier and portrays him as originating from a poor background.
• Vegas is very influenced by Jazz Jackrabbit, a game developed by Epic Megagames in the mid 1990’s.
• Vegas’ symbol is the diamond, and because of this (like many other High Rollers), the diamond is heavily incorporated into Vegas’ physical appearance, ranging from his clothes to his face.
Art © *DanSyron
Adam Vegas © *DanSyron
High Roller © *DanSyron & Friends