^ I really hope there's a source for that. Like, peeing on Mel? Is that juvenile writing or a fairly plausible thing for a rascal kid to do?
Kyle never had much of a development character-wise in the story in seemingly any of it's iterations which is really unfortunate.
My own disclaimer: as an English teacher and scholar, I spend a lot of time paying attention to characters who are own fleshed out in bits and pieces and arguing how they're more nuanced than a lot of readers notice.
In short, I think Kyle gets a fair amount of development. A lot of this is going from memories of my previous playthrough of SSSC. I am usually struck by several things:
1. Kyle is described in a few ways before the party meets him. He may be mentioned in Meribia. Going all across the Nanza Fort searching for drunk-Kyle involves a lot of dialogue about how Kyle is as a leader and his relationship to Jessica. My general impression from that dialogue is that Kyle is a fair and respected leader who sometimes drinks too much and needs to figure out how to treat Jessica better.
2. Kyle's crossdressing scene makes him out to be inventive and charismatic, with a flair for spectacle. This is how
he leads. Mentally I juxtapose that scene (imitating a woman who is treated poorly) with what women going through the Nanza Pass say about Kyle: he keeps them safe.
3. Once Kyle is recruited, the next town further develops Kyle as a kind of benevolent pirate or thief: he helps the party navigate Reza. Without him, going through the Thieves' Guild wouldn't have been easy. (Every other character is relatively more sheltered than Kyle.) It is clear he has a large network of friends and contacts and a certain amount of history, which he can use to figure out how to get the Dragon Wings back.
4. Plaster Mel has already been mentioned in-thread as somewhat contrived or hammy. That said, it does further establish how his immediate instinct is to protect Jessica. It also suggested to me that at least some of his more playful comments are a kind of spectacle or shell, a protective layer (this is going to be cheesy: like the plaster or stone
) because it's hard to be vulnerable emotionally:
5. To extend that reading just a bit, Kyle's treasure for Damon is a crow bar that can get into any vault. That's inventive in a material way: access to closed-off spaces is better than depicting any individual treasure. Of course that ends up being insufficient, but it shows that Kyle thinks like a thief: access through security is more important than merely imagining wealth or treasure. That also seems to align with how he conducts himself: controlling access to his more vulnerable side is necessary to be the strong man, the well-regarded thief, or (at least so he has thought) someone Jessica wants. That's how Kyle has to learn and grow - going beyond pranks and breaking into things to learn how to be (a) a leader and (b) a good person to his friends.
6. This is what he's working through when he sings: he has to give an excuse for why he's a good singer. It can't just be that he's bad. It has to be something macho, active, and hard:
Admittedly, Jessica doesn't take it well either.
Social and emotional walls aren't broken down in an instant, after all:
7. I could go on, but that's what I see Kyle going between throughout the story, and scenes often touch on that dynamic (being the thief/leader/warrior who brushes off trouble; being open to himself and the people around him). Lots of scenes suggest that performativity, like when he seems to be getting drunk with an official in Meryod and suddenly switches gears, showing that all of that was a performance to get what he wants:
And that face change!
I'd go as far as to say that Kyle seems like he has less development because he's so often putting on a show, and his interesting side (as a character) comes in the moments when that breaks.