951: Tales of Vesperia 2: The Blastia Age Restored – Chapter Five, Part OnePosted: January 31, 2015
Hello, and welcome back to Tales of Vesperia 2: The Blastia Age Restored by MrAwesomeMatty! I’m your host, SC, and according to Specs’ notes from last chapter, we’ve finally reached Zaphias, and of course Tai hates it. There also seems to be undertones of the author trying to make Tai seem deep and mysterious, with predictable results of failure, as Specs says it only served to confuse him worse rather than intrigue him.
Well, good to know that Specs kept things real while I was out.
Because of the fiasco with Kale’s idiot plan, Specs had to step out of the rest of my riff lineup for until the next cycle, so he won’t be showing up for this week, or the Assassin’s Creed one that I had hoped to drag him in for. At least, not until next time, if the fic has updated by then. But that’s okay, I can fill in for him easily. Like with my guest for this week – number three on the list of the eight Immortals that I was told to expect: Ashenan, the assassin!
*sigh* Look, Ashenan is a bit different from your run-of-the-mill, cowl-wearing, shady acrobat with a million knives and poisons. After several thousand lifetimes, he’s stopped caring about whether the job gets traced back to him or not, so long as his target dies, and therefore, he likes to work with weaponry that typical assassins don’t like to use – i.e., gigantic hammers and battle axes that leave huge messes. He’s also stopped caring if people recognize him or not, so aside from his mask(s), he doesn’t really make it a point to try and disguise himself.
Now, does this list of bad habits make him a bad assassin? Maybe. Has he failed a job once, yet? Nope, because even when defeated, due to his immortality, he’ll still hunt his target down until he finally gets that one opening to finish them off. Take that how you will, I call it a different kind of success story.
Ashenan: If the job is successful in the end, I don’t see why anybody should complain about my methods.
Tell that to the Assassin’s Creed guys.
Ashenan: No, I don’t think I will.
Well, anyhow, that’s Ashenan. With that settled, let’s take a look-see at chapter five, entitled, “A gentle visit.” Fairly certain this is a lie, but hey, I’m honestly more interested in this author’s note:
Reviews: DeMerio: Ooh, another nice chapter! Tai is starting to sound more and more badass every chapter. At least in my opinion. I like how mysterious he is too, I wonder what secrets he hides… I can’t wait for the next chapter and YURI AND REPEDE! Whoo!
Pff-HAHAHAHAHA! Have you been reading the same fic I have?! Rainbow Tai, the Dumbass of Halure, a badass?! Oh, PLEASE! That was a funny joke, but next time, maybe don’t say it like you’re serious, huh?
So, this is DeMerio. For those of you who may have forgotten, or are new to this riff, DeMerio is the guy who Matty got inspiration for this mess of a story from. And judging by DeMerio’s comment on the fic so far, the apple CLEARLY hasn’t fallen far from this particular tree.
And now, Matty’s response:
I’ll try to keep him that way, and any suggestions can help me. ^^ And here you go, Yuri and Repede now in the story resides. ^^ BTW, Thank you, DeMerio. It’s because of you that I’ve gotten this started. ^^ Now enjoy.
“I’ll try to keep him that way?” It’s not nice to make threats, Matty. But, in all seriousness, no. Don’t keep Tai the way he is. You want to keep a badass frame of mind for him? Fine, go for it. But good static characters can still evolve within the boundaries of that frame of mind, so saying that you’ll keep him the way it is, to me, indicates that you have no desire to make Tai a good character. Which, I guess I can’t blame you – the way you’ve written him thus far, that’d be one hell of an upward battle.
And cut back on the emotes. They’re really not necessary, or endearing. They make you look like a teeny-bopper who just learned how to make smiley faces out of a colon and a closed parenthetical. Trust me, I get it, two carets, maybe two carets and an underscore, is how you make smiley eyes. I’ve been doing it for years. It’s just like how an upper-case X and D make a laughing face, which is at present the only emote I still use, because if you’re good enough at writing your thoughts, you don’t need emotes to begin with unless you’re just being silly.
Furthermore, “And here you go, Yuri and Repede now in the story resides?” Gesù Cristo, the purple prose. For one thing, this sentence is incorrect – the number Yuri and Repede make is two; there are, therefore, two subjects around which the sentence is structured. When speaking of two or more subjects in a sentence, the “s” is dropped from the past tense verb. It’s, “Yuri and Repede now in the story RESIDE.”
To add to that, this sentence is just plain awkward. I wouldn’t bother with the faux-prophetic speech, I’d just write it, “And here you go, now Yuri and Repede are in the story.” This is an author’s note, not the body of the fic. You don’t need to put on your narrative voice for a damn note.
Eesh, this riff is going to be fun, I’m not even off the fucking author’s note yet…
Ashenan: And I would assume this is a bad omen of things to come?
Why don’t you just see for yourself, hmm?
“Ahh… just a boring old day. I wonder how Flynn’s doing…”
Ashenan: He’s certainly not in any immediate danger of overhanging spike traps.
Yeah, he’s got that going for him.
sat near his window and just stared out into the city life of the lower quarter. It had been boring since Brave Vesperia had taken a break from guild work and parted ways for a little bit.
Author, I don’t believe you understand how Guilds work in the Vesperia world – THEY DON’T TAKE BREAKS FROM BEING GUILDS. They’re literally just another kind of full-time occupation. Once they’re legally licensed to be a Guild by Dahngrest’s Guild Union, they’re on the clock day in and day out. Sure, they might have downtime, but they don’t ever just randomly dissolve their organization for periods of time to take a break from Guild work.
That goes double for the Guilds who have a healthy standing relationship with the Empire as legitimate businesses, like Fortune’s Market (the merchant Guild) and the Soul Smiths (the blacksmith Guild).
Actually, that goes double for EVERY Guild, now that the Empire’s gone through its reform and put their disagreements with Dahngrest and Nordopolica to rest.
He slowly sighed, being bored after all of busy noises of Zaphias. Just being around there made him feel a bit lonely and longing again.
Dude, it’s your downtime, Karol will probably kick your door in with new work soon enough anyhow. Quit your whining.
Actually, wait, how DOES Karol keep in contact with the rest of the Guild if they’re all in different towns?
Ashenan: By missive, I would assume.
See, that’s another little thing about the Tales series that confuses me – you mean to tell me that you have naval strike ships, firearms, engines and spider tanks that can wipe out entire cities and massively alter the weather patterns of an area from one shot of the main cannons, and yet you couldn’t be bothered to put any of this technological advance towards your mail systems, so you still rely on carrier pigeons to deliver messages for you?
Ashenan: Even for military movements? That seems absurd…
You would think, yeah. Maybe if the mailing systems were as bleeding edge as their military hardware, Alexei might have actually succeeded in killing everybody like he planned to?
(Oh who am I kidding, he’d have still had a mental breakdown from realizing that Zaude was a shield against an Eldritch horror and not a weapon like he thought.)
Repede slept silently in the corner near his bed as the wind breathed into the room.
Ah, THERE’S who I didn’t introduce when Yuri was a guest in the riff!
Repede marks one of the few main protagonists in the Tales series who is an animal – there’s like three total, with Eugene Gallardo from Rebirth and Mieu from Abyss being the other two. And I’m not talking “Main Protagonist” like Mieu, who is purely a utility device for solving puzzles in dungeons, I mean you can actually PLAY as Repede, and he has his own Artes and weapons and armor and everything. (Which is… kind of awkward, and he moves way too fast for my likes, so I don’t really like to play as him all that much.)
Repede’s backstory is actually kind of heartbreaking; he’s not Yuri’s dog, or Flynn’s dog. The two took up the joint responsibility of raising him after his owner – Captan Niren, Yuri and Flynn’s old brigade commander – and Lambert, Repede’s father and Niren’s personal battle hound, were killed in action while he was still a puppy. In fact, the pipe he carries in his mouth and the chain around his neck are the sole mementos of Niren that he still has.
Repede seems to have this air of a proud warrior around him. According to Yuri, he takes offense to being referred to as simply a dog, and according to a sidequest, there seems to be some sort of deep-rooted rivalry for honor between him and an old hound that is woofed of among other dogs. I swear I’m not joking wait come back.
He seems to prefer following Yuri to Flynn, even though both men were responsible for raising him after Niren and Lambert’s deaths, and why that is isn’t ever really explained, but I prefer to chalk it up to Repede having bad memories of his owner and father’s deaths in the Knights and so would rather be at the side of his joint-owner who no longer runs with their group. That, or there’s some sort of noble quality about Yuri that Flynn lacks or hasn’t allowed himself to grow into that Repede finds to be a good reason to follow. (And really, if you ever listen to Yuri and Flynn argue in-game, that’s probably not too far off the mark.)
Also, for whatever reason, Repede HATES Estelle. I swear to God, half the interactions between Estelle and Repede involve Estelle trying to be friendly to Repede, and Repede giving her the canine rendition of, “Fuck off, bitch!” It’s made even more hilarious because he seems to be in love with Rita, who is TERRIFIED of dogs, in direct contrast to Estelle. (Although, she does sort of get over it later on.)
Repede takes up the Fragile Speedster Thief role in the party, given that he’s ungoldy fast, has some honestly pretty shit HP as compared to Yuri or Karol, and he has the only skill in the game that allows him to yoink items off of enemies in combat. Actually, he’s also an item master, because he has a skill which ups the odds of good item drops in combat if he’s present in the party. And because he stands at half the height of most of the cast, there’s a lot of instances in combat where he’s rendered more or less immune to some attacks because they just sail right over his head, which I think is hysterical.
“But, SC! Does he have a Mystic Arte?”
Pfft. Just take a look.
Repede’s primary Mystic Arte, “Slash!!”:
Repede’s PS3-exclusive secondary Mystic Arte, “Lightning Moment”:
(Yes, you did just see Repede beating up a giant gentleman matchstick. I swear, this is an actual in-game enemy that you have to fight in order to get outfits for Rita, Estelle, Karol and Judith. Why Karol? Well, the outfits in question play a role in a pretty funny main quest objective that involves seducing guards, and Karol for some reason is an option, so they cross-dress him to look like a little girl. It’s hilarious, and I should feel sorry for him being abused so, but I don’t.)
(And yes, that was a little Estelle doll riding on Repede’s back. There are little unlockable dolls for Repede of the entire party, and they’re all adorable.)
So, yeah, that’s about all you need to know about Repede, right there. He’s one of the easier character backstories to explain for Vesperia, if I’m honest.
Ashenan: And here, I believed dogs to be little more than guard beasts.
Shows what you know.
“Huh. The world is so quiet since we put an end to the blastia,” he said to himself, “but there’s such a overwhelming boredom here. I guess it can’t be helped since what I’ve done outside the capital.”
Yeah, funny that. Once you save the world, everything kind of becomes same-old, same-old.
Ashenan: If you are Immortal as well, then even saving the world becomes, “same-old, same-old.”
Oh, I can imagine.
It was then he heard footsteps coming upstairs loudly and approach the door. Repede’s ears twitched annoyingly as he opened his eye.
GOD, Repede, your ears are so FUCKING ANNOYING!
Ashenan: How rude.
Well, Matty said it first.
Yuri sighed, rolling his eyes then turning his gaze to the window.
“Ted, if you’re gonna barge into my room, the least you can do is knock first,” he said loudly, anticipating the boy coming in.
This is a thing. In the very, VERY beginning of the game, when the fountain in the Lower Quarter explodes, a little kid named Ted comes busting into Yuri’s room demanding that he come help everybody else.
And that’s the last we ever see of him past that point.
Ashenan: Such actions would end poorly for him if the boy tried them with me. One of the perks and downsides of being an assassin is heightened senses, particularly those that serve precognitive purposes.
So, you become some kind of psychic when you’re an assassin?
Ashenan: Most people would call it “instinct.” But nonetheless, with heightened instinct comes sharper reactions, so poor Ted would quite literally be a smear on my wall if he ever barged in on me unannounced.
However to their surprise, it was Hanks walking through the door with a smile. He folded his arms and caught Yuri off guard by his unexpected appearance.
Oh my God, HANKS FOLDED HIS ARMS WE’RE ALL FUCKED!!!
So, Hanks is the guy in charge of the Lower Quarter, basically. Everybody sees him as some kind of village elder, except they don’t live in a village. He was responsible for taking Yuri and Flynn in when they were both kids – Yuri having been left in Hanks’ care by his unknown mercenary father, and Flynn orphaned when his own father was killed in action – and he helped raise the two of them into the little shits they both are now. Yes, I did just call Flynn a little shit, he is in his own ways, don’t you try and tell me otherwise.
Beyond that, though, Hanks isn’t really a super important character to the plot. He’s really just there for bits of exposition if the player so chooses to seek them out, and he gives Yuri a pretty sweet sword his dad apparently used to own if you choose to follow that sidequest.
“Seems you’re slipping, Yuri, though I do appreciate the compliment of me being thought of as younger,” he said.
Unfortunately, Hanks, you are indeed as old as you look, so that compliment is pretty back-handed.
“Oh, sorry,” Yuri said, smiling a bit as he stood up, “It’s rare for you to come up to my room, Hanks. What’s up?”
Ashenan: Your room, obviously.
“Well, I came to tell you that it appears that Princess Estelle is back in the capital,” he said.
Repede’s ears perking up, Yuri blinking in surprise and replied, “Wait, she’s here? I thought she lived in Halure.”
Yes, Yuri, but there’s nothing stopping her from visiting her old hometown.
Also, why are you wearing Repede’s annoying ears?
Ashenan: Perhaps that explains why they’re annoying?
Hey now, Yuri’s cool, be nice.
“Well, then, explain why she’s down right now in the lower quarter with two friends of hers looking for you, surprisingly,” he retorted with a smirk.
What’s surprising about that? Who the hell else would she visit other than Ioder and Flynn? Geez, Hanks, I know you like to haze Yuri, but that was a bit mean-spirited.
Also, ONE friend. Tai is not part of this group. I refuse.
Yuri chuckled, shaking his head at the teasing remark, “Well, I guess I can’t keep the princess waiting. How about you, Repede?”
Repede barked, despite his dislike for her constantly trying to be friends with him, he did miss time traveling with her and the others.
Aww, Repede’s a big ol’ softie.
Thank God he’s not here to hear that, else I’d be missing a leg right about now.
“All right, we’ll be down in a second, Hanks,” he nodded to the old man.
“Yeah, better not keep her waiting. Seems she’s really anxious. Tell her I said hello too, would ya? I have a lot of meetings today, so I can’t afford a visit. Good luck,” Hanks chuckled as he walked out of the door.
She’s in the fucking Lower Quarter, right now. You’ll be passing by her. The fuck do you mean you can’t spare a visit? You don’t even need to stop and chat, all you need to do is throw a friendly wave and keep going.
Yuri walked over to his sword, sheathed and hanging from the wall, grabbed it and began to walk out the door. Repede slowly followed behind him as the two began to make their way to meet Estelle.
So, he put a sheathe on the sword, hung it from the wall, and THEN took it with him? God, but he’s picky about his habits.
Ashenan: Why was the sword not already sheathed?
Beats me, Yuri’s actually pretty good about making sure his gear is kept tidy.
Skit – Estelle is back
For fuck’s SAKE, enough with the skits already! They don’t happen anywhere NEAR as frequently in-game as they do in this fic! YOU DON’T NEED A SKIT EVERY OTHER DAMN PARAGRAPH!
Yuri: (neutral face) Well, Repede, looks like Estelle’s paying us a visit. I hope she’s been doing good in Halure.
Repede: (barking upward, neutral face) Woof woof!
So, anytime Repede has anything to say in a skit, his face turns up towards the sky. It’s like his only speaking expression. Saying that he’s “barking upwards” is going to get redundant, really fast.
To that end:
Ashenan, the door is going to be assaulted by DRD agents. Would you care to set yourself up in advance?
Ashenan: Very well.
Yuri: To be honest, I wonder why she’s traveling back here to Zaphias. She was going on and on about living in Halure. (closes eyes) It makes me wonder if she’s here for more than just a visit.
Well, she does have business to attend to, but you don’t know that yet.
Repede: (barking upward, neutral face) Woof woof WOOF!
Huh, so Ashenan isn’t amazingly powerful enough to prevent the alarms from going off. Well, good that I stationed him at the door as a precaution.
*SC looks over his shoulder and sees Ashenan crushing skulls with his hammer*
Well, he seems to be getting right along.
Yuri: I know, I know. (opens eyes) I’m happy to be able to see her again too.
Repede: (barking upward) WOOF!
*Alarms Blare Twice*
Ashenan: It’s almost depressing how easily these agents are disposed of. And they represent a great enough threat to warrant alarms?
Well, they somehow keep managing to break in, is the thing.
Walking up the stairs that led down to the inn,
Ack! A spiketrap and a piece of architecture from R’lyeh?!
Yuri and Repede came up at the same time Estelle, Raven, and Tai came down from the public quarter.
WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING TO ZAPHIAS?!
Immediately, the man was able to spot the three. Seeing the princess, she looked around curiously and even stood on her tiptoes to look for him.
*Alarms Blare Thrice*
Ashenan: No, it’s quite alright, I had no desire to sit down anyhow.
He blinked at the old man being there. He didn’t expect Raven by her side, especially since he was in Dhangrest when they left him. But it made perfect sense that he would help her get to the capital.
…It’s shocking that he’s in Zaphias, because you last saw him in Dahngrest (Oh, by the way Matty, it’s spelled D-A-H-N-G-R-E-S-T), but it makes perfect sense that he’d escort Estelle to Zaphias?
Yuri, are you drunk?
“Heh. Seems the old man has the same sketchy and slimy look as ever. And the princess looks completely innocent-appearing also,” Yuri said, smirking.
…This was a thing you needed to remark on? They look exactly the same as they always have.
He was rewarded with an agreeing bark from Repede. But his smirk faded as he laid eyes on the third person. The teenager hidden in a green hoodie slumped as if he was in agony. He had never seen him before at all; and he looked like a sore thumb with Estelle and Raven.
Oh, he’s a lot worse than just a sore thumb, Yuri.
“It seems they picked up somebody new with them; I wonder who he is…” Yuri said, obviously interested after seeing his weapon and glove-covered arm.
*Yuri* Wait wait wait, what the hell is up with that bat? He doesn’t actually fight with that stupid-looking thing, does he?
Over on the other side, the trio were searching for the dark-haired man and his partner. However, since black is a common color to wear and you’re not like the three wearing unique and bright colored clothing that make you stick out, it’s easy for people with dark colors to blend in.
Yuri is literally the only person in the Lower Quarter who wears all black, who the fuck do you think you’re trying to fool, Matty?
Worried about a certain someone getting uneasy more than he was, Estelle turned to them.
“Hey, Tai, I have an idea,” she said smiling.
The boy looked up, his eyes screaming of her to make it quick, as she continued, “Why not wait down there near the ramp there for us? It’s an exit right outside of the city, so if you feel uncomfortable, you can just head out there. Raven and I will come out that way so you won’t be left behind, okay?”
Estelle’s brilliant idea is to ditch Tai’s ass?
Estelle, that’s the most intelligent thing you’ve done so far.
“Don’t worry, kid,” Raven winked and saluted to him, “We won’t be leavin’ ya behind. But just stay close, just in case of the unexplained-unpredictable stuff happenin’ on us, ‘kay?”
Raven, are YOU drunk?!
“Okay,” Tai said, nodding as he turned and immediately headed down the ramp.
Tai left the party.
HA! HE FELL INTO TWO SPIKE TRAPS AND DIED! YES!
Oh, don’t I wish…
I think this is as good a place as any to call it for now. The chapter’s actually more than half-done, so I should be able to finish it up in one or two parts.
Thanks for reading, folks, and stay tuned for next time! I have no clue what happens next, but for right now, it’s not my problem! In the meantime, I’m SC, and on behalf of Ashenan the assassin (who is still killing DRD agents at the door, for some reason), I’ll see you next time!
…You… you can stop now, you know. They’ve stopped attacking.
Ashenan: Gods, but that was more stressful than it needed to be. Not because it was difficult, but because there were so many of them!
Yeah, they tend to clump up once the alarm starts going rapid-fire.