Melanie Tenebris is the daughter of the bonus boss of indeterminable identity, Shadoo.
Melanie is, summed up in a few words, almost impossible to get along with. First of all, her social skills aren't the best. You can't blame her, considering that she lived in a pit with no outside contact for most of her centuries long existence, but it doesn't make her tactless, abrasive and stubborn personality any more tolerable.
Woe betide anybody who gets her angry (which is surprisingly easy to do, what with her inability to take criticism/advice well), as you do not want to receive the full force of her temper. Seriously, this girl is really scary when she's ticked off.
Don't even get me started on her rebellious streak. Melanie is against being told what to do under any circumstance. It doesn't even have to be bossing her around, even suggesting or implying that she could be doing something wrong is enough to set her off. She purposely goes out of her way to be contrary to others, proving that she 'can't be held down by stupid rules.'
Her dungeon is considered to be the most challenging in the entire game. Because of this, Melanie has become something of a daredevil so she can live up to this notoriety (well, notorious only to the people who know what The Pit of 100 Trials is, but that's another issue entirely). She needs to prove that she can dish it out and take it, not just expect the protagonist to take all the challenges. She'll never back down if bragging rights are involved and is always willing to do dangerous things to prove her worth.
As a bonus boss's offspring (read: an optional enemy that people are most likely not to face), she has a strange sort of inferiority complex, like she's worried no one will remember her in the future. To mask this crippling feeling of worthlessness, she goes in the exact opposite of Darcy Rattmann: instead of constantly reminding people how important she is, she makes herself out to be some great puzzle that only the elite can solve. She's obscure, yeah, and since you've never heard of her, you aren't worth her time. If you have, by some stretch, she might act a bit more chummy with you, treat you with a bit more respect, which is more than she gives to most people.
On that note, Melanie likes secret things. Little in-game Easter eggs interest her, as do unsolved mysteries. And, considering her parentage, she likes to believe she fits under that last category. Nobody knows much about her and she loves that they're confused and intrigued by her.
Some of Melanie's other odd interests, besides hidden things, include collecting antiques and Pixls. The antiques thing, as girly as it may sound, is actually due to her age. Items that are ancient by the standards of most teenagers are considered cool by the shadow girl, but her tastes are kind of... outdated. As for Pixls... that's lead to a lot of speculation, specifically regarding some stories told by a guy in the Flopside tavern. Melanie won't say anything about these theories, she just claims that she likes Pixls a lot and is fascinated by their powers. That's all.
You'd think that Melanie would be one of those girls you always see in the high school dramedies: that one gothic, pale skinned girl with a bunch of piercings, dyed streaks in her hair and dark clothing bought at Hot Topic. And you'd be right, if it weren't for the fact that her appearance doesn't leave a lot of room for colours, contours or much detail at all.
Melanie is just a shadow, roughly the size of a teenaged girl, specifically a Flipside or Flopside native, as her silhouette has somewhat sharp/geometric looking edges. She's completely black in colour and appears to be somewhat 2-D so she can slink along walls and flat surfaces unnoticed. Her form at rest is the shape of a slim girl with unruly ponytail with spiky looking ends. She can adapt anybody else's shape if she has enough time to process them, though.
Her voice has a strange tinny quality to it, like she's speaking through an auto tuner. It's a bit weird, yes, but you get used to it after a while.
Shadoo was one of the only people that Melanie interacted with growing up, though that's mostly do to their close proximity. Not many more people to socialize with down in the pit. Anyhow, they do get along well. Their relationship has a few issues, considering that neither of them know how to listen to orders, but they're okay otherwise.
Melanie insists that she and Duplicity are the best of friends. They don't actually hang out much and aren't even from the same game, but Melanie doesn't care about that. They're both shapeshifting villains that may or may not be queens or something, they're clearly two of a kind. She isn't super in-your-face friendly with her, but acts like they've known each other all their lives and expects Duplicity to just go with it. She does, most of the time, being such a conformist doormat and all.
Who else... well, she likes a girl from her home series, that girl being Marie Toadstool. Even if she is the daughter of two major protagonists, she's still pretty cool.
Her roommate, Hank, is on decent terms with her. Sure, his social skills are lacking and he has the tastes of someone three times his age, but hey, the same thing can be said for Mel! She's not really sure why he's so jittery all the time, though. He's constantly talking to himself at night and disrupting the shadow's beauty sleep. She's learned to accept this quirk of his, but that doesn't make it any less annoying...
Other than that, friends aren't usually Melanie's thing. She can, in fact, count more people that she dislikes than she likes. Among those people is Merilyn, though this dislike isn't meant personally. She's just related to some sages, far back in her family tree, that created her parent and she has a grudge against those people and anyone related to them because of that.
And before you ask about other Super Paper Mario offspring, she's well aware of the existence of the Castle Bleck kids down at that other school. Dinah, Coco, Nigel... Should you ask her about them, she'll probably give you an earful. She apparently has a bone to pick with those guys, though we're not really sure what it's about.
She's also not terribly fond of Carillon Bleck, both because of her connection to Count Bleck and because of her overly serious personality. She tries to avoid her whenever she can - especially since the count's daughter has a tendency to call Melanie out on her rule-breaking - but if she can't, she'll spend her time making Carillon uncomfortable, either by pestering her about Pixls or insulting her trivial knowledge.
Hex is Melanie's pet Cursya. Yeah, he's kind of an unorthodox pet, but that's the reason she likes him. We're not sure what kind of Cursya he is, but no one's ever actually worked up the guts to touch the little guy and find out.
And though the slimey guy is all well and good, Melanie really wanted a Pixl. She has a fascination with these creatures. They've got all sorts of funky designs and cool powers... Who knows what those powers could do if given to someone like her. She'd love to find out. After all, that's what daddy wanted from the Heroes of Light. But alas, it doesn't look like she'll get the answers any time soon.
Eh, whatever. She doesn't care as far as we can see. And if she does, it's not like any boys would notice her anyway. What's her opener? Hey, come date me, I'm the anti-social daughter of a bonus boss no one cares about? Oh, and I probably won't listen to you or will end up stabbing you in the back? Ha ha, no. She's not touching romance with a ten foot pole.
- Her name was originally going to be a single word, but since synonyms for 'Shadow' that could be easily corrupted (turned into a nonsense word like 'Shadoo') were hard to come by, so Missy went for a full name with some meaning behind it. 'Melanie' means 'black', and 'Tenebris' means 'dark' in Latin.
- The main basis for Melanie's rebellious spirit is the fact that, while Shadoo was created by the Ancients, he did betray them in the end so he could do what he wanted. If that isn't the ultimate act of rebellion, I have no idea what is.
- Because of how unclear the world is on Shadoo's true identity, the theory has been proposed that he (or she, as the case may be) is actually the legendary Pixl Queen mentioned by the story-telling bartenders. Therefore, this page is riddled with Pixl Queen references and allusions. Mel wouldn't confirm or deny anything here, seeming to delight in the fact that there is no canon answer.
- Melanie's odd voice was thought of because of the shape of Shadoo's textboxes. He has the same squared off speech balloons that robots like Fracktail and Wracktail do, so I wanted to play it up.
- On the topic of Melanie's voice, because Missy has recently watched Big Hero 6 and is suddenly seeing the similarities between Mel and GoGo (tomboyish, daredevil, stubborn and hot-headed), Jamie Chung is her headcanon voice actress for now.