Equius is my favorite character in Homestuck, but writing him in Battlestuck was a major challenge. A lot of the aspects of the character are difficult to translate to a human being, because Equius is by far the most alien and inhuman of the twelve trolls. His flaws and interests and even his motivations don’t exactly translate. Thus, Battlestuck!Equius is a very different beast from his original incarnation.
I first put Equius, unaltered, into a human setting and thought about how people would react to him. His severe anger issues would be responded to with, of course, a strict regimen of medication. Equius’ meds take his soul away, in many regards, leaving a person with very powerful emotions nearly emotionless. Anything that makes him feel anything, like Aradia or Nepeta, became a fixation for him.
A quick word on Equius and Aradia’s relationship, since a few people asked: there isn’t one. Equius, like Dave, has a tendency to idealize people, and that person for him was Aradia. He saw her as a distant and unobtainable ideal, and his crush eventually became entirely unrequited love. They never spoke more than a few words to one another- Equius never believed she would want a thing to do with himself.
Equius’ primary purpose in this story was to serve as a foil for Dave: tall, athletic young men in sunglasses, motivated by their desire to protect a close female friend. Under a strong exterior is a scared, unsure little boy who is increasingly aware that he’ll have to sacrifice his humanity if he wants to keep her safe. Both are afraid of the way they feel, and both try to suppress their emotions instead of mastering them and using them as a weapon. The point of divergence between the two is that while Equius decides to utterly forego his emotions, Dave manages to tap into his will to live at the end of the fight.
This, in the end, is why Dave beat him. Dave, like Equius, feels quite a bit. He has a great deal of emotion behind him, while Equius’ conviction is chemically suppressed. Equius was fighting solely for Nepeta, whereas Dave was fighting for Jade as well as himself. In short, Equius was suicidal. His will to live was manufactured.
Had ad Equius won their fight, he might have gone quite far in the game. It would have come at a price, though- the medication would run its course and the sensitive boy who only wanted to protect his best friend would have been replaced with an id-driven monster, little better than Gamzee. With his impressive size, athleticism, and intelligence, Equius would have savagely steamrolled anyone who got in his way.
Very few would be able to stop this. PM, Simone, and Gamzee are the only ones with the raw combat ability necessary to go toe-to-toe with him, while Slick and his gang could take him down through sheer numbers. In the right circumstances, Jade could have avenged her fallen friend. Of these, only the Midnight Crew would be in a favorable position to take him on, and that’s only because the fight is four on two.
Dave did everyone on the island a big favor by killing Equius when he did.