982: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter Two

Title: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit
Author: PhoenixofShadows
Media: Video Game
Topic: Legend of Dragoon
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure
URL: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit
Critiqued by TacoMagic

Hello, patrons!  Very short chapter today, but I’ve been embroiled in a pretty big video editing project over the last week, so I’m taking the opportunity this short chapter provides and getting a little extra time to work on that project.

Last time we got to see the origin story of one Stryfe [Error: Surname Missing].  It was basically the same as Dart’s but with the added angst-fodder of having an abusive father rather than an awesome one.  Otherwise, not much of note happened.  Yup, 2,700 words of chapter, and all I could pull from it is: “Stryfe jacked Dart’s backstory, so check his out.”

So, without further ado, let’s head into chapter 2!

Chapter II: Making a Promise

Meanwhile, twelve years later:

Around the time Stryfe turned sixteen, he began to notice that Dart was planning something in secret, but he had no idea what it was.

*Rubs forehead*

Author, can you show me at least ONE thing!?  For instance: HOW!?  How does Shift know this?  How does he figure out that Dart is planning something and yet be totally clueless on the details?  Is Dart acting all strange or something?  Show it to me!

However, he would learn what Dart was planning unintentionally when the mayor of Seles told him the truth of what was the cause of Neet’s destruction.

Will he?  Is this going to happen any time soon?

*Checks phone*

Because I have a thing.  So, you know, if Stripper could hurry up his learning of what Dart was planning unintentionally, that would be awesome.

What caused the destruction of Neet was a creature known from myth as the Black Monster.

That actually is canonically what it’s called.  The names can’t all be winners, I guess.

Upon learning about the Black Monster, Stryfe became curious to learn more.

Author?  Why are you telling me everything?

Looking for any information about the Black Monster in the Seles Library, Stryfe found Dart looking through a book that had information on the Black Monster, answering his curiosity of what he was planning.

Author?

It turns out, Dart was planning to hunt down the Black Monster, to avenge his parents, and Stryfe’s mother.

STAHP!

Stryfe, although he learned what caused the death of his mother during the Neet Incident, strangely didn’t feel the need for revenge as Dart did.

Pretty sure Stimpy already knew, since he was there to watch the building collapse on her.

He tried to get Dart to abandon his plan to take revenge on the Black Monster for a year, but to no avail.

STAHP!

 During that time, Dart trained under the traveling swordmaster known as Tasman, preparing for the eventual journey that he would take to search for the Black Monster.

This is not entirely canonical, but it’s one of those things people just kind of assume because the game says it happens, even though it’s unlikely and doesn’t make a lot of sense.  Tasman is in the village at the start of the game and he’s basically just a tutorial bot who shows you how to do the battles as well as answering basic questions.  He flat-out says he taught Dart how to use the sword, but at the same time he barely seems to recognize Dart when you talk to him, suggesting that the interaction may have been, at best, just a cursory introduction to the sword.  There really is no evidence that he was the one who taught Dart how to actually fight, and, in fact, Tasman briefly mentions he’s a traveling swordsman, so it’s actually unlikely that Dart learned very much from him at all.  More likely, most of his proficiency with the sword and actual fighting was learned on his journey, at least in part through tutelage from Haschel.

It’s nice that the author is at least trying to flesh out this interaction, but I have a feeling that it won’t bear out once we get to the aftermath of the attack on Seles.

Although he couldn’t convince him, Stryfe decided to train with Dart under Tasman, if for nothing else than to show Dart some support.

Also because it would be crazy talk to try to write an ‘original’ character who wasn’t almost entirely like Dart.  Gods forbid that Stinky never learn to fight and have to either learn to handle things non-violently, or learn during a time of crisis.  I suppose that kind of thing would be way too interesting for a fic of this sort.

When Stryfe turned seventeen, he decided to tell Shana about what Dart was planning to do.

Seriously, dude, nobody likes a tattle-tale.  Also, Shana is pretty damn sharp, if YOU figured out something is up, Shana probably already knows what is going down.

When he did, though, he left out the part about the Black Monster, saying that it was something that Dart needed to do.

OOOoooookay then.  So he told Shana… what, exactly?  Author, you literally just typed what is essentially, “Scaley decided to tell Shana that Dart was going to hunt the Black Monster, but he decided not to tell her the part where Dart was going to hunt the Black Monster.”

Logically, I know what you were trying to say, but it’s not what you actually typed out.

The night before Dart departed on his journey, Shana called Stryfe over to the mayor’s home to ask him for a favor.

Awww, crap.  More dialogue.  You know what, you can go ahead and go back to summarizing your story for me.  It’s less painful than reading your dialogue.

Stryfe: Shana, why did you call me here?

AIIIIIEEEE!  The formatting!  It burns!

Shana: Dart leaves tomorrow, doesn’t he?

Stryfe only looked away, nodding his head soon after in response.

Shana: Stryfe, I have to ask you something.

Stryfe: What is it?

Shana: Could you…go with him? Keep an eye on him?

Actually, this is fair enough.  As I said, Shana is canonically pretty bright, so she’d have noticed Dart’s sudden change accompanied by all the sword training.  If she hasn’t worked out that Dart is going on a revenge quest, then she at least would suspect he’s going to be putting himself in danger.

I question her judgement of picking Squiggle to go with Dart, but I suppose the author plans to do whatever it takes to make sure Squimmy is just like Dart in every way possible.

Which reminds me:

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 1

I have a feeling we’re going to be seeing that counter quite a bit.  Let’s not forget the backstory, the friendship with Shana, and having his mother give him a dragon stone.

*SLAMSLAMSLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 4

Stryfe: Wha?

Gotta use smaller words, Shana.

Skippy!  You go Dart!  He do dumb thing!

Shana: Please…I…I couldn’t bare it if something happened to him, and if nobody was there to bail him out of trouble.

Again, reasonable.  Shana and Dart were childhood sweethearts, so it’s only natural that she be concerned for his safety when he’s about to do something as mind-bendingly stupid as hunt down the Black Monster.  Even if she hasn’t worked that out, she would know, based on how Dart is, that he’s about to do something rash, dangerous, and probably stupid.

While Shana is canonically pretty bright, Dart is canonically… not so much.  At least starting out.  He does grow and mellow during the course of the game.

It was at that moment that Stryfe realized why Shana wanted him to go with Dart.

Capt_Obvious
Was it the part where she asked you to go with Dart that tipped you off?  You’re a regular Poirot, aincha?

 Over the years since they moved to Seles, Stryfe, Dart and Shana developed a very close friendship with each other, having a sort of brother-sister relationship.

Can you feel the closeness?  Much bond.  So family.

Like Dart, Stryfe saw Shana as the little sister he never had.

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 5

A moment passed before Stryfe turned his head towards Shana and simply gave her a smile in response.

You wanna actually answer the question, Sparky?

As he headed back to his home, Stryfe put on his specially crafted indigo armor, tying an indigo colored headband on his head as well.

Which is totally not a purple version of Dart.

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 6

Taking his zwiehander that he received from Tasman, Stryfe waited until dawn, when Dart began to leave the village.

Author, I know you’re really proud that you know the word “zwiehander,” but you should go ahead and use a more common sword name so you don’t seem pretentious.  You should also have picked a sword that would actually be useful in the kind of combat two people wandering the world are likely to encounter.  If nothing else, don’t use the word until you can spell it correctly.

I’m tempted to give you a Stu point for that sword, but I’ll hold off until the point where I see you using it incorrectly.  Which will probably be the first time you use it.

Just as Dart was at the edge of the village, Stryfe came out of the shadows.

Nice try, plot, but you can’t lose Sink that easily.

Stryfe: You leaving?

This guy is the master at stating the obvious.

Dart: Don’t stop me, Stryfe. I’m going to do this.

Stryfe: I’m not going to stop you, Dart. I’m going to go with you.

Not going to try to talk him out of it?  Not even going to voice you disapproval at attempting something so monumentally idiotic as taking on the Black Monster?  Not even a rebuke for making Shana worry about him?

What a great friend.

Dart: You’re what?

Stryfe: You heard me. Besides, someone has to bail you out of trouble should you get into any.

And I’m sure a dude wielding an inappropriately large sword will be great for that.

Although he could see that Dart wasn’t so sure about having him along, Stryfe was relieved when Dart gave him his answer.

I’m with Dart on this one.  Nobody wants to drag a big ol’ load along with them on their adventures.

Dart: Alright, then. Just don’t slow me down, okay?

If you didn’t want him slowing you down, you should have said no.  His loading effect is pretty much guaranteed.  The dude is wielding the sword version of a poleaxe for crap’s sake!

Stryfe: Would never think of it, Dart. Let’s hit the road, shall we?

Mostly because thinking isn’t something he bothers with anyway.

Leaving the village of Seles behind, Stryfe only looked back once on his second home before continuing to walk forward. He was nervous, but he had to prepare himself for the challenges that awaited him and Dart.

No, you really, really haven’t.  Dart hadn’t either, which is something he learned after he finally figured out what the Black Monster really was.

For five long years, the two of them searched the three regions of Endiness, looking for any clues that regarded the Black Monster’s location, until finally they decided to make a return trip to Seles…

*Facepalm* *Headdesk* *Bodyfloor*

You know what would have been really, really fucking interesting, author?  Getting to see this journey!  The game literally starts just as this very journey is coming to an end.  Some references are made in the game as to what Dart all did and saw during his travels, but they’re just passing references that don’t paint a very clear picture at all.  You know what that means?  It’s a whole area of the canon that is absolutely ripe for exploring and expanding upon!  And what do you do? You gloss over it in a single sentence, rendering the whole build up to the journey absolutely pointless, all in the name of maintaining as much canon as possible.

Literally, you fic would have been better if you had never written this chapter.  It’s pointless in the extreme and only really serves to show how awful you are at pacing, scene building, and… well, writing in general.

Luckily that’s the end of this very short, entirely pointless chapter.  Join me next week when I’ll be tackling a much bigger, but no more substantive, chapter!  Oh, and it’s just packed absolutely full of dialogue.  Don’t you feel lucky?

Until then, patrons!

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32 Comments on “982: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter Two”

  1. GhostCat says:

    Let’s just push through all this exposition as fast as possible so we can get to a dialogue exchange!

  2. GhostCat says:

    Shana: Dart leaves tomorrow, doesn’t he?

    Stryfe only looked away, nodding his head soon after in response.

    Character interactions; you are doing them wrongest.

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      It’s the mixed formatting that does it for me. There’s a reason I once told an author you couldn’t have it both ways.

  3. GhostCat says:

    Gotta use smaller words, Shana.

    Skippy! You go Dart! He do dumb thing!

    Shana should just tie a pork chop around Dart’s neck so Sparky will follow him.

  4. GhostCat says:

    Like Dart, Stryfe saw Shana as the little sister he never had.

    They were childhood sweethearts and see her as a little sister?

    Ewww.

    • TacoMagic says:

      It’s kind of a strange situation in the canon as well.

      Shanon’s family acts as sort of foster parents for Dart until he gets big enough to fend for himself. So, a certain degree of siblingship does exist. However, this gets sidelined pretty quickly in favor of their romantic relationship, which has apparently always kinda been there.

      I always chocked it up to Japanese culture putting more emphasis on actual blood relationships when determining who you’re related to. But then, that’s a bit of an area of culture I’m not terribly familiar with. In this case, it’s possible that foster sister and girlfriend are not mutually exclusive positions.

      • AdmiralSakai says:

        This seems to happen in fiction a lot, and while I always thought of it as incredibly strange, apparently a lot of other people don’t.

        At least they usually don’t do that weird thing Orson Scott Card seems to like, where the childhood sweethearts discover that they are actually related somehow.

      • GhostCat says:

        It’s also really common in Japanese to call people you are close with but unrelated to by familial terms, if she was accustomed to calling him “Niisan” (older brother) she would probably keep calling him that even after they became involved.

      • TacoMagic says:

        Not to mention there’s also the added level of obfuscation due to translation. It’s possible that the familial term was taken at face value by the translation team rather than as a term of endearment. That might be why their relationship sends some mixed signals in the game.

    • AdmiralSakai says:

      To be fair, TacoMagic said one thing and the author said the other.

      Although if it was an either/or thing, I know which one of them I’d believe…

  5. GhostCat says:

    Taking his zwiehander that he received from Tasman, Stryfe waited until dawn, when Dart began to leave the village.

    Wait a second … He went home, put on his armor, picked up his sword, and just stood there holding it until dawn? Why?

  6. GhostCat says:

    Oh, and it’s just packed absolutely full of dialogue. Don’t you feel lucky?

    :eye-twitch:

    I’m feeling something, alright.

  7. AdmiralSakai says:

    THIS WHOLE ENTIRE CHAPTER

    meh.

  8. Herr Wozzeck says:

    However, he would learn what Dart was planning unintentionally when the mayor of Seles told him the truth of what was the cause of Neet’s destruction.

    Jeez, it’s like The Princess Bride. Well, that is, if you made that movie nothing but the old dude narrating to the Wonder Years kid.

    It’s no wonder he never finished even this rewrite. Holy Jesus…

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      He tried to get Dart to abandon his plan to take revenge on the Black Monster for a year, but to no avail.

      Holy God, the amount of narration in this thing is just astounding!

      Jeez. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but at least something happened in Twin Humanities! We had to slog through tons of narrative, but at least the characters there actually fought shit on occasion! This is just…

      Gah!

      *headdesk*

  9. Herr Wozzeck says:

    You know what, you can go ahead and go back to summarizing your story for me. It’s less painful than reading your dialogue.

    Hey, it’d be less boring than what we’re doing right now! I mean, it can’t be that bad, righ?

    Stryfe: Shana, why did you call me here?

    OH FUCK I FORGOT THE SCRIPT FORMAT!

    *jumps out a window*

    Save me, Crunchy!

  10. Herr Wozzeck says:

    While Shana is canonically pretty bright, Dart is canonically… not so much. At least starting out. He does grow and mellow during the course of the game.

    He’d be a pretty crap JRPG protagonist if he didn’t.

  11. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Author, I know you’re really proud that you know the word “zwiehander,” but you should go ahead and use a more common sword name so you don’t seem pretentious.

    The way he’s writing it, I’m pretty sure that this guy’s only experience with weapons is from Soul Calibur or something. I think they refer to Siegfried’s weapon as a zweihander in that. Don’t quote me on that ’cause I could be wrong, but I think that’s what’s going down here.

  12. Herr Wozzeck says:

    I’m tempted to give you a Stu point for that sword, but I’ll hold off until the point where I see you using it incorrectly. Which will probably be the first time you use it.

    Oh snap!

    *grabs Skype*

    Colonel DeFraug on standby, can we have a Colonel DeFraug on standby, please?

  13. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Not going to try to talk him out of it? Not even going to voice you disapproval at attempting something so monumentally idiotic as taking on the Black Monster? Not even a rebuke for making Shana worry about him?

    Especially after you told us in the middle of all that narration that your character didn’t agree with Dart on the whole revenge thing–you know, the one thing that has been part of this character that isn’t somehow copy-pasted from Dart?

    You forgot you wrote that, didn’t you?


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