995: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter ThreePosted: March 18, 2015
Title: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit
Media: Video Game
Topic: Legend of Dragoon
URL: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit
Critiqued by TacoMagic
Hello, patrons! Now that the illness has passed, I’m feeling well and chipper enough to tackle chapter three of this crapfest.
Well, I was feeling well and chipper, anyway.
Last time we had a short chapter that really was only there to inform everyone that this fic’s author insertion, Style, was joining Dart on his revengination world tour. Yes, that’s a word. Other than that, it was mostly just plot regurgitation.
But, after two pretty short and regurgitive chapters, this week we finally get to sink our teeth into the meat of this fic. In chapter three, we get a chapter that will set the mood for the rest of the fic to come. This chapter is:
Chapter III: A Besieged Seles
I’m just a quiver with anticipation! So, we’re thrown in media res into the life and death struggle of the people of Seles as their village is burned around them and their fellow townsfolk murdered by Freugel’s forces-
Deciding to take a little break in a nearby forest before returning to Seles, Stryfe leaned near a tree on with his back while Dart sat down on a log nearby.
Ooooor, it’s break time. That works too, I guess.
*Sits back into his chair*
Very relaxing. Don’t have to worry about any of that tension stuff at all right now.
Looking up at the sunlight shining through the cracks of the branches, Stryfe stared off into the distant sky, reflecting on the journey that he and Dart took.
So very, very relaxing.
Dart was reading a local newspaper from a town they previously visited on the way to Seles, and the contents that Dart read out were a cause for concern.
Dart: Hmm, “Chance of war more likely”.
There might be a few minor skirmishes coming down from the North early in the morning, but a large reinforcement battalion should burn those off by lunchtime.
Stryfe: Is that what it says?
As Dart put the newspaper away in his pocket, Stryfe watched as a bird flew off into the forest.
Dart: I hope it’s just a rumor.
Stryfe: I doubt it. If you ask me, Serido will most likely be at civil war before too long from the way things are looking right now.
Dart: Do you always have to be so negative, Stryfe?
Stryfe: I’m just being blunt and to the point. You know that the truce was in danger of being broken for a while now.
Dart: Yeah. But still…
Thank you, captain exposition! You just saved the author from having to write some very difficult political stuff.
It’s important not to question how or why Stryfe knows all that.
Wait a second-
I’m just being blunt and to the point.
Eliza! Unleash the marshmallow foam cannons and get Gumdrop his bib!
-[One extremely messy scene involving weaponized marshmallow fluff later]-
We are never getting that out of the carpet.
Just before Dart could speak, the sound of horses galloping in the distance caught their attention. Heading out towards the road, Stryfe and Dart saw a squad of soldiers racing towards the northwest on horseback.
Just so we’re all on the same page. Right now Dart and Stubble are in a forest that looks kinda voidish. Northeast of them is Seles, which is a more village-like place in the void.
As they saw the last one race by, two stragglers approached them in a threatening matter.
So, what, like uranium or something? I find that pretty threatening matter.
Knight #1: Who are you!?
Did… did I just read that? I can’t have read that, not even this author would be so stupid. Obviously I went temporarily insane and-
Stryfe and Dart didn’t respond. The second knight came closer on his horse.
Knight #2: Are you two mercenaries of Basil?
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!?
Honestly, this is a joke fic, right? You can’t possibly have been delusional enough to think this was good writing, so it’s gotta be a bet or a dare or something, right?
Again, they didn’t respond. Fed up with their silence, the first knight raised his spear at them.
I’d say this is overreacting, but these soldiers are here to kidnap Shauna, kill everyone else, and burn the village down. It’s actually strange that the whole squad didn’t just turn on Dart and Stumpy and kill them immediately as soon as they came out of the forest. However, this is all canon, so we’ll just play it as read.
Knight #1: Answer!
Stryfe: Two words – Fuck…you.
Hey, twat, shut up and let the adults talk.
Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 6
So totally badass, standing up to random knight number 1.
Upon giving the knight his answer, Stryfe and Dart drew their blades, ready to defend themselves if necessary.
To be fair, this is kinda along the lines of the way Dart deals with things early on in the game. As I said, he starts out the game as a hotheaded meat-brain and gets more thoughtful and patient as things progress.
Knight #1: What are you doing!? Are you two drawing swords against us!?
Nope, there’s a bear behind you! Run!
You really cannot find good generic unnamed knights these days. But at least there are lots of them and they work cheap.
Dart: What do you think, you idiot?
Maybe, instead of taunting them, you should just attack or something. Tends to work better than the brow beating.
Before a battle could begin, a large tremor shook the entire area.
That’d be Feyrbrand, right on queue.
So, once again, Stimpy’s presence in the scene has not changed it one little bit. The only difference was that this time there was a jerk-wad mouthing off.
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 7
Stryfe: Wh, What was!?
Just then, two giant mantis-like legs stomped their way in front of Stryfe and Dart, causing the two knights to flee in terror. A giant creature with a look similar to a mantis, but with scales similar to that of a lizard towered over them.
Dart: Wh, what the hell is that!?
The creature then swung at Stryfe and Dart with it’s long arms, which had edges as sharp as polished blades.
We know that the edges are sharp because… uhm…. BLUE!
Avoiding the first few strikes, Stryfe and Dart were both hit by the creatures arms, causing gashes to appear on their chest plates.
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 8
Author, why even bother with all this? Honestly, your OC adds absolutely nothing to the story, and your regurgitation of the plot is just so, so much worse than just watching an LP of the game.
Stryfe: We gotta do something, Dart! Or we’re gonna be dinner for this thing!
Can’t be going too badly, since you’ve got enough time to enunciate all that, after all.
Anyway, at this point Feyrbrand chases them for a while. It’s pretty much exactly like in the game, except in this case it’s all told and not shown. The only bit worth noting is this:
As they dodged the creatures attacks, a lone swipe from the creature’s arm pierced the skin of Stryfe and Dart’s left legs.
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 9
Are you even fucking trying, author? No, don’t answer that. We can all clearly see that you are not.
Then, as per canon, Rose shows up to save their ass. They only get one collective ass because there is really only one character between Dart and Styk.
Just as the creature was about to strike at them again, a woman in azure armor came down from the mountainside and swooped the two of them behind a nearby rock.
She’s one of the core cast and has one of the more interesting (and colored) backstories of the lot. I won’t ruin it for you in case you ever play the game, but if that’s unlikely, you can find out about her on the wiki. She’s also the only member who starts off already being a Dragoon.
Also, he armor isn’t even close to azure in color, that’s dark purple or midnight blue at the lightest.
As Stryfe put pressure on his wound while trying to process what just happened, his blue eyes met the dark grey eyes of the woman.
Stryfe: Who are-
The woman put her hand on Stryfe’s mouth, stopping him from completing his sentence.
YES! Thank you, Rose! Finally somebody shut that little prig up!
Woman: “Shhh. Be quiet if you want to live.”
I’m torn between wishing she wouldn’t have qualified the command and wanting him to be loud and get eaten.
Actually, both would be great.
At this point Feyrbrand GTFOs and we have the scene where Rose tells them that Feyrbrand is a dragon. It’s almost exactly like in the game, only with a few of Dart’s lines given to Simplex, and a few extra lines that don’t add anything.
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 10
The Cliffnotes version: The boys go, “OMG DRAGON!?” while Rose puzzles over why a dragon was sent to destroy the village, which is small enough for the soldiers to have done it on their own.
Stryfe and Dart could only think of one village that was nearby when the Dragon was in the vicinity, Seles.
Stryfe: Are you talking about Seles!?
Dart: Then those soldiers were!?
Stryfe: Come on, Dart!
Thank you for using the comma there, author. I’m sure Dart thanks you, too.
As Stryfe and Dart raced towards the pathway to Seles, the woman stepped in front of them.
Woman: There won’t be anything left by now.
Dart: Seles is our village!
Stryfe: We can’t just sit here and do nothing!
Well, you aren’t sitting, so that’s true.
Upon hearing their responses, the woman quietly stood aside, letting Stryfe and Dart proceed to Seles. As she watched them disappear above the hill, a small dark blue light began glowing on her chest armor plate.
Azure and dark blue are two very different colors, author. It took you less than a page to contradict your colors.
Woman: What!? Those men must be…? No. There is no way. Unless…
Unless the plot says so. It was a smidgen less contrived when it was only Dart. And, in a way, there still is only Dart.
When they reached the top of the hillside, Stryfe and Dart saw the burning remains of Seles down below them.
When Feyrbrand torches a village, he makes sure it’s well done.
As Stryfe saw the burning buildings down in Seles, he felt his heart race as flashbacks of Neet flowed into his mind. Just before he was about to fade out, Dart snapped him back into reality.
That’s actually a fair reaction to seeing your hometown burn to cinders, especially given the prior circumstances. Almost worth a redemption cookie. However, it’s completely told and Dart steps in before any actual character building can happen, so I’ll give the attempt a D+ at best.
Dart: We need to get down there, now!
Stryfe: Yeah! Let’s go!
As they raced down the hill, the ground became too steep to run across, so they began to slide across the road instead.
The hell? What kind of ROAD is too steep to run on?
Steadily balancing himself, Stryfe rode through the dirt road along with Dart until the road once again became steep again to run across.
Ahh yes, all in the name of badassery.
Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 7
Also, you may want to look up the word “steep.” I don’t think it means what you think it means, author.
Jumping over a fence, they saw two knights that remained behind after the attack torturing one of the surviving villagers, who they dragged from the wreckage of his home.
How would Sticky know all that!? You’re writing in limited third person, author, so you need to limit the third person!
Villager: You…didn’t get enough killing!?
Sandoran Soldier #1: *laughs* It may be enough if I kill you.
It’s not enough that you have numerically assigned generic badguys, but now you have them emoting as well!? Honestly, author, what the fuck is wrong with you?
The soldiers then proceeded to beat the old man while he was still on the ground, bleeding. No longer able to take the inhumane acts, Stryfe and Dart emerged from their hiding place behind a burnt wall, their swords drawn and primed for battle.
Stryfe & Dart: STOP!
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 11
Sandoran Soldier #1: Oh, mercenaries? Isn’t it a little late for you to show up?
Stryfe: Shut up! Why the hell are you here!?
Sandoran Soldier #2: Can’t you see? We’re gonna occupy this area, and these worms were in our way.
Dart: Occupy!? Were you sent by the Imperial Army!?
Stryfe: Didn’t you bastards have a truce with the Kingdom of Basil!?
Sandoran Soldier #1: Even if we were, and even if we did, it’s none of your business. You’re gonna die soon, anyways!
That’s largely as it goes down in canon, so nothing new here. Anyway, so they fight.
The soldiers charged at Dart and Stryfe, immediately forcing them to defend themselves.
See, they’re defending and everything!
As Stryfe clashed blades with one of the soldiers, he noticed that the man was overconfident and sloppy, his moves easily deflected and his defenses sloppy.
Dammit! Swenia! Open the gourmet chocolate sauce valve!
-[One extremely rich scene later]-
And make sure you use the big seltzer tabs. He’s going to need a few gallons of the stuff to wash all those agents down.
We may need to get a second T-rex in here if he’s going to gorge like that every time we sugar-coat a DRD assault.
It didn’t take long for Stryfe to break through the soldiers’ defenses, breaking his sword in half.
YOU FOOL! Don’t break your own sword!
Moving in before the soldier had time to draw a back up knife, Stryfe unleashed a powerful vertical slash that cut through the soldiers’ armor and upper body.
Gruesome, but you do kill a lot of evil mooks throughout the course of the game. Still, odd that the killing blow would get more verbiage dedicated to describing it than the rest of the fight scene.
In a matter of seconds, the soldier was cut into two, his upper body severed from his lower body.
What the fuck? In a matter of seconds!? Did Strype here just hold the guy down and saw on him for a bit before the cut actually cleaved through? Dude, just stab the guy or something! No need to make him suffer being slowly sawn in half!
Plus, you’ve got the rest of the village to sweep still, so maybe speed it up a bit, Sparky.
Also, how do you bisect a body across the middle with a vertical slash? I think you’re using words you don’t understand again, author.
As the blood gushed from the corpse, Stryfe put away his trusty zwiehander as Dart defeated the soldier he took on, who fled out of sheer terror at their skills with the blade.
Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 8
Also, a second one for the predicted misuse of his supar spesial sword.
Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 9
If you’re going to do something as mind-blowingly stupid as give your AI a zweihander, you need to do two things:
1. Spell it correctly.
2. Make sure he’s using it correctly.
You failed on both counts. A zweihander sword is a power weapon. You don’t fart-ass around with all the “finding chinks in defense” bull. You hit somebody with it, and you hit them hard. In fact, historical records indicate that two-handed swords were more likely to be used like a pole weapon in combat, and not a sword, so fencing with it wouldn’t really be in the design. The other common use was more defensive. By utilizing a specialized set of moulinets, you could keep several foes at bay, hopefully long enough for reinforcements to arrive. This made them useful for breach filling, but wouldn’t really win you a duel.
After sheathing their weapons, Stryfe and Dart hurried to the injured villager’s side.
You don’t sheathe a zweihander, numbnuts! They were too big! You carried them across the shoulder like a polearm and when you’re done with it, you put it down.
Barely conscious, the villager looked up at them, his face half dead.
Either the villager just suffered a stroke, or the guards killed half his face. Not sure I’m on-board with either of those possibilities.
Villager: Are…are you two…really…Stryfe and Dart?
Stryfe: Yes! It’s us! We’re back!
Yippie, skippie. Everyone’s still dead.
Dart: Why is Seles under attack!?
Villager: War…Imperial Sandora…attacked us…
Stryfe: That can’t be!
YOU JUST SAID WAR WAS INEVITABLE, MORON! I can still hear the words echoing in the air! And I quote:
You know that the truce was in danger of being broken for a while now.
If you’re going for the all-knowing jackass angle, you can’t be surprised when your predictions are right!
Dart: What about the truce!?
*Silently points at the quote*
Villager: Yeah. Suddenly…I didn’t imagine…they could come to…such an outlying area.
That, at least, is reasonable. Which makes sense, because that quote was ripped from the game. Attacking Seles didn’t make any sense at all. Until later, when you figure out their angle.
Stryfe and Dart shook their heads in regret. As Stryfe clenched his fist in frustration, it began to shake a bit as his grip tightened.
Dart: If only…we had come back sooner!
Focus! There could still be people in trouble. Canon Dart moved on pretty quick to sweep the town after talking to this guy.
And lest I forget:
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 12
Stryfe: If only…I guess we’re gonna have to settle this late than never!
The fuck does that even mean?
No, really. I’m trying to come up with what that sentence was supposed to be, and I’ve got nothing.
The Villager began coughing up blood. Although Stryfe and Dart tried to help him, he was bleeding profusely from his wounds. Before he gave in to death, the villager told them something that shocked them.
Bully for them. But since the audience didn’t get to see it, we don’t care.
Also, in the game, the guy dies before he can spill the beans, so I guess this is a small change. Who thinks it’s going to matter? Anyone?
Villager: There is something you two have to do…Shana. Rescue Shana, only…you…two…c…a…n…
Oh, we do get to see it! So… why is this shocking?
Dart: What was that about Shana!? Hey! Wait!
Save. Her. C’mon guys, get with the program here.
The old man lumped over and did not move. Stryfe saw that the irises in his eyes had turned gray, and a large pool of blood was underneath him.
Eyes don’t do that when you die, moron.
As Dart slowly let go of the corpse, Stryfe and Dart silently mourned the man before heading deeper into the village to look for any more survivors.
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 13
I’m about ready to call this clown Dart Beta 1. I’d call him Dart 2.0, but he represents a huge step DOWN from Dart, so he was probably a rejected beta version.
Eventually, they came across the mayor of Seles, Plos.
Swing and a miss. Plos was not, nor was he ever, the mayor. The mayor is Shana’s father. He doesn’t have a name other than either Mayor or Shana’s father.
Plos was just a random towns-person who is basically just there to give you a shove toward the plot, otherwise he’s completely unimportant.
He was unconscious, laying outside of his destroyed home, with wounds all over his body, though not as severe as the previous survivor that Stryfe and Dart came across.
The word is “wound.” Plos only receives a single wound to the head, which knocks him cold.
Stryfe & Dart: Plos!
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 14
Should have built this counter out of molybdenum. It’ll never last at this rate.
Anyway, they rouse Plos and drag him into some wreckage so he’s out of site. Then…
Plos: I guess I was lucky. But look at the village…If only you two came back earlier…
They could have died with everyone else in the dragon attack?
Actually, that does seem like a better outcome.
Stryfe and Dart didn’t say a thing. All they did was shake their heads in regret as they tended to Plos.
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 15
Seriously, author, what did this poor counter ever do to you?
At this point we dive back into plot regurgitation. The end result of which is that Plos tells them that Sandora’s attack was aimed at capturing Shana, which they have done. That should be the cue for the Sandoran command-
Just then, the soldier that Dart spared returned with the commanding officer of the Sandoran troops in the village.
As they searched for Stryfe and Dart, the two decided to “force” the office to give up Shana’s location.
Woof. That sentence is an absolute mess. Basically it just said that the the two (in this case the commander and namless soldier #1), decided to rough up the office so that it would give them Shana’s location.
I don’t know what the office ever did to them to deserve such treatment, but I guess they are evil and stuff.
Dart: Let’s make him talk, Stryfe!
Let’s have wooden dialogue, Crunchy!
Jumping out of the ruined home while Plos stayed hidden, Stryfe and Dart drew their weapons and faced the commander, who was accompanied by two normal soldiers, one of them the one that Dart bested and spared earlier.
Woo, much showdown. Tension of lots.
Sandoran Commander: Besting a private is no reason to be confident.
Pretty true, especially this early in the game. Hell, if this were in the SMT world, you’d be one critical hit away from game over until about level 15.
Dart: Where did you take Shana!?
Sandoran Commander: Shana…Oh, don’t worry about her. She must be recieving the courtesies of Hellena Prison by now.
While this is canon, it still makes him an awful commander. Rule 1 of not sucking at your evil job: Don’t tell the protagonist the very information that they need.
Sandoran Commander: Surprised, huh? We specifically invited only that woman.
Dart: Are you kidding me!? You attacked the village only to kidnap Shana!?
Well, they also wanted to test out the dragon, but… yeah, mostly just Shana.
Stryfe: There was no other point other than to cause chaos like animals!?
Whoa there, Stinky, you’re wandering dangerously close to something that resembles author tract. Take a deep breath and go sit in the corner for a bit.
Sandoran Commander: Exactly, but don’t worry, I’ll let you follow them. Although not to Hellena! To “Hell”!
Shamed as I am to admit it, this is canon too. And I mean exactly canon. The author, for most of the dialogue, has straight-up copied the script of the game.
If you want to check that out yourself, you can cross-check the dialogue against the game script if you want.
As the Commander and the two normal soldiers attacked them, Stryfe and Dart immediately went on the defensive.
Author, are you trying to action again? You know how that ends, so maybe you should go back to plagiarizing the game’s dialogue.
It was a three on two fight, so they had to cut down the numbers before they could get to their main opponent.
While the two soldiers kept Stryfe and Dart on the defensive, the Commander tried to attack them from behind, forcing them to watch their flanks as well as keep up a tight frontal defense.
Luring the soldier he was facing out of the Commander’s view, Stryfe went on the offensive as soon as the soldier let down his guard.
For the love of the gods, author, SCHTAHP!
Using slashes focused on the openings in the soldier’s armor, time seemed to slow to a crawl as Stryfe unleashed each cut, as the blood from the soldiers wounds gushed out of the skin.
Out of “the” skin? Is that like the guard’s skin, or is there just a pile of skin sitting nearby that’s bleeding? Actually, don’t answer that.
Unleashing a quick vertical slash, Stryfe beheaded the soldier, his head with his helmet still on it rolling towards the road.
Author, get a fucking dictionary and look up some of these words you’re trying to use. Rule of thumb for you: if it’s more than two syllables, look it up before using it.
Leaving the cover immediately afterward, Dart, the Commander and the soldier noticed the blood on his armor.
The hell were the three of them under cover for? Hiding from the stu or something? Actually, if that’s the case, I’ll allow it.
And which one of those three has blood on their armor, again? You used three subjects, but a singular pronoun.
As Stryfe tightened his grip on his sword’s pommel, the soldier once again fled the battle in sheer terror, leaving the Commander to fight Stryfe and Dart two on one.
Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 10
I’m sorry, but while these mooks might not be the cream of the crop, they’d have more spine than that.
The commander was able to hold the two of them off for a bit, but it wasn’t long before Stryfe began noticing a weakness in his defenses.
It’s like we’re really there watching this fight! See, my favorite part was when the commander held them off for a bit and then started to fatigue. There were weaknesses in his defense to exploit when that happened!
Every time the commander attacked them, his cape would sometimes get in the way of his view due to the wind.
As soon as he attacked again, a gust of wind blew from the distance, giving him the chance to strike.
Yus! Go commander! Spear that little shit!
While Dart held blocked the initial strike, Stryfe took the opportunity to get behind the commander, unleashing a barrage of strikes that caught the commander off guard, allowing Dart to attack him from the front.
You know, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think this author has managed to write action scenes that are actually worse than the ones in the InsaneDoctor fics. Sure the ID action scenes were daybook to a fault, but they did actually show stuff happening to a certain degree. These scenes are just vague as hell. It’s like listening to a 12-year old talk about a Pokemon battle.
Striking the exposed parts of his chain mail, Stryfe and Dart delivered the final strike by knocking the commander to the ground and stabbing him before he had a chance to get back on his feet.
Stipple and Dart delivered a single strike between them, huh?
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 16
And with that, the “action” scene mercifully comes to an end. Please save your celebration until the fic comes to a complete stop.
Pulling his zwiehander out from the corpse, Stryfe swung the blade to shake off the blood before sheathing it.
That is NOT how you clean a sword off! Not even close! You use a fucking rag, you moronic jackass!
Also, once again, author, you completely fail at sword.
As he let out a sigh of relief, Plos came out from behind the ruined building where he was hiding.
All right, it’s Plos. Lay some sweet expository dialogue on us, buddy.
Plos: Dart, Stryfe, you two are going to go rescue Shana, aren’t you?
Probably. Would be really hard to get the plot rolling along otherwise.
Try not to sound too enthusiastic about rescuing your childhood friend. Jerk.
Plos: I won’t stop you, but be careful. Your journey isn’t over yet, is it?
Dart: No, it’s not…
Plos: You can count on me and the remaining villagers to take care of Seles. There should be enough people who can still move.
Stryfe: I understand.
Dart: Thank you.
There is so much personality here, isn’t there?
Now, it is possible to make a laconic character with personality, but it requires you to show the audience the character through his/her actions. Something our author is not even remotely capable of doing.
As they turned to leave Seles, Stryfe noticed that Dart turned around to face Plos one more time.
Dart: When we settle everything, we’ll be back.
Stryfe: And Shana will be with us. Count on that.
Thanks for spelling that out, Stanky. We could never have worked that meaning out form Dart’s dialogue alone.
Watching the people gather the pieces of their homes, caused Stryfe to once more have flashbacks of the Neet Incident, recalling the ruined homes that were once teeming with life.
Sweet crap that’s an awkward sentence. Mostly because of that extra comma.
*Taco snags the spare comma*
Don’t worry, buddy, we’ll find you a home.
Shaking his head to keep the traumatic memories at bay, Stryfe and Dart left Seles and proceeded north from the village towards the eastern coastline of Endiness, where Hellena awaited them…
Ending your chapter with an ellipsis does not heighten the drama or deepen the tension! Rather, it points out just how weak your writing is. So, don’t do it. Ever.
And that’s the end of chapter three! Whew, what a stinker, and so much plot regurgitation. However, the next chapter is almost all original material!
Unfortunately, that’s not even remotely a good thing. Until then, patrons!