1009: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter Five, Part OnePosted: April 1, 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 and Swenia
Howdly-ho, patrons! No joke post today, sadly, but I do have more Legend of Dragoon: The Eight Spirit.
So I guess the joke is on us all, isn’t it? It’s so bad I don’t even know what to classify it as.
“Plot regurgitation mixed with a massive self-insert Stu whose only defining trait to differentiate him from the canon protagonist is being a massive tool.”
Swenia, don’t you have a larva to care for or something?
“Jiwe is napping. I figured this would be as good a place as any to get some knitting done.”
*Taco looks at the horrifying snarl of yarn attached to Swenia’s needles*
But you can’t knit.
“Apparently not. I was sort of hoping that it came natural with motherhood. Lucky for me, I know somebody who just happens to know how to knit.”
Fine, fine, I’ll teach you after the riff. Wait, what are you trying to knit anyway? Jiwe is kinda covered in fur, so sweaters are rather redundant.
“I was thinking either a baby blanket or a sling for an HK417.”
Let’s try the blanket. You gonna warm up the co-pilot chair while you’re in here?
“I think you’ve forgotten how damn comfortable the chair by the door is.”
Touché. Anyway, last time Dart and Dart Beta 1 wandered through “forest.” While in forest, they met up with their old instructor, who had been hiding there while the village was curb-stomped into a charred and blackened mess. After 10 seconds of training battle, the sword “master” declares that Dart and DB1 are totes ready to take on Hellena prison. Probably because he didn’t really want to do something anywhere as dangerous as that himself. From there, Dart and DB1 have an unimportant flashback and then head off to the prison to break Shauna out. And that leads us to now.
Chapter V: Rescue in Hellena Prison
Shouldn’t you boys be rescuing her FROM the prison?
“Maybe it’s nice in there. They could break her out of the cell and then set up a nice living area in the common room.”
And how nice was the prison you stayed at?
Dart: How are we going to sneak in?
Stryfe: Honestly, I don’t-
“Taco, what the hell is that?”
That’s the dialogue.
“So, this is in script format?”
Before Stryfe could finish, a merchant carriage came around the corner towards the hill, right towards where Stryfe and Dart were standing. Hiding behind a dead tree near the side of the road, Stryfe and Dart watched as the carriage passed by them. Immediately, Stryfe realized that it was their ticket inside.
“You know, I think I hear Jiwe waking form his nap. I really should go and check on-”
Keep your butt in that comfy chair. You’re committed to being here now.
Stryfe: That’s it! Come on, Dart!
“Thank the old kings that this author uses the address comma.”
Really saves on the dry cleaning bill.
Racing after the carriage, Stryfe and Dart caught up with the carriage just as it was being inspected by a gate guard. Hiding behind a lookout post, Stryfe and Dart listened in on the conversation between the guard and the merchant, waiting for the right time to sneak in.
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 17
Once again, for all authors out there: If you can remove your OC from the story and it doesn’t change anything, then your OC has no business being in the story in the first place.
Gatekeeper of Hellena: I see. Good meat and fish. Sir Fruegel will be pleased.
Merchant: You brought a lot recently. Is there something going on?
Just Fruegel pounding food into his slobbering maw. Actually, his name is an intentional irony because of how wasteful he is as a warden.
The gatekeeper arrogantly raised his weapon at the merchant’s neck.
“How does one arrogantly raise a weapon?”
Regardless, that’s what I’m going to imagine.
Although Stryfe tried to jump out to help, he was quickly stopped by Dart, reminding him to not do anything reckless.
Once again, Dart remains the voice of reason.
“Strange that the author would choose to insert a character whose only actions are to nearly screw up bigtime in a way that would change the entire plot, but then get stopped from doing it at the last second.”
Strange, but not surprising.
Taking a deep breath, Stryfe released his grip on his zwiehander and remained behind the lookout post.
“That isn’t spelled right.”
“And, aren’t those swords actually called Bidenhänders? Not entirely sure, I only own a couple of them; much bigger fan of the English Longsword. Hard to argue with the practicality of those.”
Hey, if the author could just spell the incorrect, dark-souls-inspired name correctly, I’d call it close enough at this point.
Gatekeeper of Hellena: It’s not the business of a merchant such as you!
Merchant: O-okay, okay. Sorry.
Wow, what a jerk. The merchant was just trying to make polite small-talk. Might as well have been saying, “So, enjoying staring off into space while standing still? Seems like you have good job security.”
“You don’t pull dungeon guard duty by being the most personable of soldier.”
Racing behind the side of the carriage while the guard inspected the load, Stryfe and Dart quietly waited until the guard determined that everything was okay.
Gatekeeper of Hellena: Nothing suspicious. Lower the bridge!
“They’re really lucky the smart guard was on break.”
“What are we supposed to be doing?”
I’m not sure, the plan thus far is: ‘ Stryfe: That’s it! Come on, Dart!’
“Reminds me of the planning style of another leader I knew.”
To be fair, this clown is actually doing something. Something that Dart was supposed to come up with and execute by himself, but at least he’s taking action.
Jumping into the back of the carriage before anyone saw them, Stryfe and Dart hid behind the many piles of meat and fish as the carriage headed inside Hellena.
“Masters of stealth.”
Yeah, it wasn’t a very good plan in canon either. It hinges almost entirely on the guards being incompetent. Which they really, really are.
“Well, you don’t pull dungeon duty by being the brightest horse on parade.”
How many strange metaphors are you going to use to describe the incompetence of dungeon guards?
“Honey, I can go all day long.”
Although the smell of the fish was nauseating, Stryfe held his breath, mustering all his strength to remain as still as possible to remain hidden until the carriage came to a complete stop.
Hold on there, so Sticky held is breath in spite of the smell? That doesn’t make a lot of sense, author.
“I think his wordsmithery got away from him there. The need to use over-elaborate language trumped his need to actually write something comprehensible.”
Great… this thing better not get purple.
Also, you’re in a rickety, noisy cart filled with fish and meat. Once you’re out of sight, it doesn’t really require any strength or concentration to remain hidden. You don’t even need to be particularly silent.
Shoving off the pile of fish he was hiding in, Stryfe jumped out of the back of the carriage with Dart close behind him.
Dart: We made it.
Stryfe: It’s only gonna get tougher from here on out.
“And since sneaking in was extremely easy to pull off, that isn’t really saying much.”
Especially in light of the fact that they were recently attacked by a dragon.
As they quietly snuck around the room, looking for a way into the deeper corridors of the prison, a nudge on the wall caused a few pebbles to roll down the wall just behind the merchant, who immediately turned around upon hearing the noise.
“Masters of stealth. Actually, this is kinda like watching you play Metal Gear Solid.”
Merchant: Who, who are you two!?
Stryfe: Oh shit…
Dart: Not good!
Calling two guards over, the Merchant ran for cover while Stryfe and Dart drew their swords to defend themselves.
Aw crap. Not another fight scene.
“I like fight scenes!”
Well, you’re in for a treat then.
Distracting one of the wardens while Dart dealt with the other, Stryfe noticed that the warden’s weapon was very heavy, taking both his hands to even lift the weapon to attack with it.
“Taco, what the fuck is this?”
A fight scene.
“You’re lucky this chair is comfortable, otherwise I’d stab you with one of these knitting needles.”
Also, the dude wielding the ten pound, six-foot long sword has no room to talk about how heavy his opponent’s weapon is.
Deciding to use a “wait them out” strategy, Stryfe continuously stayed on the defensive, blocking the wardens attacks and waiting for the chance to strike back.
“Hey, numbnuts, what the hell are you using to block those attacks!? All you have is a sword that takes two hands to wield!”
Not to mention that a situation where reinforcements might be able to hear the skirmish and come running in is NOT the time to take such a lethargic strategy.
Eventually, the warden’s attacks became sloppy, signalling to Stryfe that it was almost time to counterattack.
Meanwhile Dart has already killed his guard and is eating a sandwich while he waits.
As the warden lifted his weapon to strike again, Stryfe saw an opening and took it.
“Seriously, Taco, what the fuck is this?”
“I hate you.”
In a matter of seconds, Stryfe unleashed a powerful vertical slash that cut clean through the warden’s chain armor. In seconds, the warden’s wound immediately began spewing out blood, and the man fell to the ground before quickly bleeding to death.
Immediately and “in seconds” are two very, very, VERY different things, author. Before using words, you need to understand the meaning behind them. You need to go back to basics and study some vocabulary.
I’d start a “I do not think this means what you think it means” counter, but I’m afraid it would explode by the end of the chapter.
As Stryfe sheathed his zwiehander, he saw Dart cutting down the other Hellena Warden, his broadsword cutting through the warden’s chain mail as if it was nothing but simple cloth.
“What took you so long, Dart? Stryfe was fart-assing around with his guard, so what’s your excuse?”
Maybe he was waiting patiently for Striffy to get on with it?
“Seems like the guard waited around, too.”
As you say, not the most polished boots in the formation.
“Eh, I give the metaphore a C-. Speaking of polishing, clean your fucking sword, moron! That shit’s gonna rust up!”
Then, Stryfe heard the merchant cowering in the corner, shaking in misguided fear.
How do you hear a dude cowering?
“And why is the fear misguided? The merchant just watched them of them brutally slaughter two guards. Seems a pretty valid time to be scared out of his mind.”
Merchant: Pl, please don’t hurt me! I’m just a delivery man.
If you’re from UPS, I have a few words for you about sneaking up to my door and putting those damn sticky notes on it instead of knocking.
My delivery idiot left a $250 computer part on my front doorstep in the middle of the day. Frozen Poodle was even home at the time, so he didn’t even bother knocking. She didn’t know there’d been a delivery until I picked it up when I got home and brought it inside. Then, when I tried to ship back a defective part, the guy would knock on the door frame very softly, quickly put up the sticky note saying nobody was home, and then bolt to his van before she could disentangle herself from the children and answer the door. Even after complaining about it when he did it the second time, he came right back, did it the third time, and canceled the return shipment. Fifteen seconds is just too long to wait for delivery idiot.
“Wow, the ninjas would be so proud. Did you think about trying Fed Ex?”
Don’t get me started on those assholes.
Stryfe: Be quiet. We’re not gonna kill you.
Dart: We’re here to save someone, just be silent and there won’t be any trouble.
Merchant: O, okay. I won’t make a noise. I’ll just be unloading until you two finish your business here.
Stryfe: Say, do you sell any items by any chance?
Dart: Something on your mind, Stryfe?
As stupid as this is, it is canon. Again, one of those things that works in the game because the player doesn’t have access to cities (and the shops therein) until a few hours into the game. So there are a coupld of illogically placed merchants, like this one, to keep you supplied. In general it probably would have made more sense to have the enemies drop healing items, but whatever, it’s a game mechanic and works within the context of the game.
“Not so much here.”
No, here it makes more sense to hogtie and gag the dude while you look for Shauna. People under duress will tell you what you want to hear, but it’s extremely likely this guy will run blubbering to the guards as soon as you let him go. Especially since that was his first reaction when you startled him.
Stryfe simply lifted up their supply pack for their travels. It was light, and it sounded like there was barely anything in it.
“And unless this jailbreak is going to take much longer than it should, a low stock of supplies isn’t going to be an issue at all.”
Dart: Oh, I see…
Stryfe: We did leave Seles in a hurry.
Dart: Good point.
No, it fucking isn’t. Seles was burned to the ground! What goods do you think you could get from there? And, frankly, what goods they have they’re going to need a lot more than you guys will.
Deciding to restock on their supplies before continuing their infiltration, Stryfe and Dart made some deals with the merchant while making sure that the area was clear.
“Why are we being told this?”
Because showing is hard.
After finishing, they proceeded deeper into the prison, entering an area with a horse pen. Stryfe realized that the horses could be useful for a quick escape once they rescued Shana, an idea that Dart agreed to.
An idea that was Dart’s in the game.
“This is the second time that Stripper has stolen Dart’s canonical thunder.”
Screw it, count them both.
Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 12
Sneaking past the wardens in the area, they proceeded from one area to the next until they came across an area with a manual rope elevator.
“How long does that sequence take in the game?”
About twenty minutes.
“Condensed into one line of extremely terse and non-descriptive exposition…”
Calming thoughts, Swenia, calming thoughts.
Using the elevator to proceed to the upper levels, Stryfe and Dart entered a prison area, where the sounds of the prisoners crying and warden’s whips snapping filled Stryfe and Dart’s ears. Just then, a commotion further from where they entered caught their attention.
“This section of the formless void is rather noisy. They should float to a more serene part of the void.”
It’s pretty bad that the sounds get more description than any of the actual setting.
Hellena Warden #1: Move quicker!
“Is he talking about the pacing?”
Even if he isn’t, it’s very topical advice.
Knight of Basil #1: Argh!
Hellena Warden #2: You have such bad luck! You will regret not being killed on the battlefield!
Knight of Basil #2: What do you mean!?
Seems a pretty straight forward sentiment to me.
“That warden is being rather coy about the whole being tortured to death thing.”
Gotta get his mustache twirling practice in where he can.
Hellena Warden #2: You really believe you can live comfortably in the jail? The head warden, Fruegel will feed you to the monster!
*Taco looks pointedly at Swenia*
“Isn’t me. I gave up moonlighting as a rancor after I had that stupid gate dropped on me.”
As one of them tried to get passed one of the wardens, he was pushed back by the warden’s club.
“I’d like to point out that a club really isn’t a shoving weapon.”
Hellena Warden #2: Going somewhere?
Was sorta hoping to catch the prisoner’s buffet before the violent beating?
“Oh, well, in that case…”
Knight of Basil #2: Feed us to the monster!? I won’t let you humiliate us anymore!
“Honestly! I gave up that line of work! The heartburn you get after eating twilek is just terrible.”
Hellena Warden #2: Oh, feisty are we? The worst kind of POW, but the best kind of feed.
Knight of Basil #2: If you want to kill me, kill me now!
It seems like we’re all agreed. We feed the knight to Swenia.
“I’m retired, dammit!”
Before Stryfe and Dart could move in to help, someone else was one step ahead of them.
“I won’t let them!”
Are you kidding me!?
“So we finally get a normally presented line of dialogue… and it’s entirely unattributed.”
Things that I cannot: even.
Another warden nearby was struck down by the spear of another knight, who had just escaped from his cell. The look of the other two told Stryfe and Dart that this knight was no ordinary soldier.
Hey Lavitz, welcome to the failure pile. Pull up a chunk of the void and make yourself comfortable.
Ahh, yes. This is Lavitz Slambert, an head of the knights of Basil.
He’ll eventually become one of the dragoons. I won’t spoil the entirety of his story arc for you, but if you want to know his deal, you can find it here.
Knight of Basil #1: Sir Lavitz!
“It’s like you’re psychic or something.”
Or that I played the game that this fic is heavily plagiarizing.
Hellena Warden #2: You, you bastard! You broke out of your cell!?
Hellena Warden #1: You fool! You think you can escape from here alone!?
Probably. You know, he wouldn’t be here attacking you if he didn’t feel he at least had a chance.
Also, better than being fed to a monster.
As the two wardens began attacking the knight, he kept them at bay by locking his spear with their clubs.
You can’t do a weapon lock using only a spear. With a spear you can block, you can parry, you can dodge, but you cannot lock weapons! Specifically, you can’t lock a fuggin’ club, let alone two clubs coming from different directions!
He then turned his head towards the two knights.
Lavitz: I’ll take care of this! Survive and go back to Indels Castle alive! Tell King Albert!
“It’ll be kinda awkward when Lavitz ends up not sacrificing himself in this fight.”
It actually gets awkward for another reason.
Although the knights tried to flee, they were knocked off the bridge leading to the other side of the cell area by another warden.
Lavitz is good in combat, but his rescues need a little work.
As Stryfe and Dart raced to help the knight, the knights screams echoed all the way down until there was nothing left but two loud splats.
Author! Prose better!
Dart: Is this civil war!?
Stryfe: It must be!
Yes, a prison brawl between a prisoner, two heroes on training, and an equal number of guards is definitely civil war.
Hellena Warden #4: You two! Who are you!?
Hellena Warden #3: You two dogs of Basil too!?
Now, battle scene!
Cutting down the two wardens that confronted them, Stryfe and Dart noticed the knight coming at them in a threatening fashion.
“ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!?”
“NO! I want some Goddamn action!”
As he raised his spear to strike, Stryfe and Dart raised their blades to block the attack.
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 18
Author, it’s totally permissible to give these two different reactions to stimuli. So kindly do it!
Lavitz: Who are you two!?
Stryfe: I’m Stryfe! We’re not your enemy!
Dart: My name is Dart! We’re trying to help you!
Lavitz: I am Lavitz Slambert! I am the head of the First Knighthood of the Kingdom of Basil!
We all believe very strongly in the need to shout!
“I really do love shouting don’t you!?”
Yes! Shouting is great!
Just then, three more wardens arrived and surrounded Stryfe, Dart and Lavitz. Standing back to back, they stood their ground and braced for battle.
There should probably be three backs in that sentence.
“There probably would be were it not for the horrible-”
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 19
Lavitz: It seems we don’t have time for introductions!
Dart: Indeed we do not!
Stryfe: Cut the chatter! Let’s kill these freaks!
“That’s not very nice. They’re just mook soldiers doing the crappy job they were assigned. Nothing freakish about that.”
Jumping at the wardens, Stryfe, Dart and Lavitz began fighting the guards in a three on three fight.
Oh for the love of-
*Swenia sighs as she gets up*
They’re going to regret making me get out of that chair.
*Swenia strolls out of the room*
Oh God, she’s got knitting needles for knitting!
-[Scene redacted due to extremely crafty violence]-
“Do you have any spare needles?”
A few. We’ll, ah, get them after the riff.
Stryfe played the same strategy as he did before, only he instead counterattacked whenever he saw an opening, allowing him to inflict wounds upon the wardens that caused them to slow down.
So, Stinky has improved his strategy from ‘stand there blocking’ to ‘stand there blocking and occasionally attack back.’
“Truly a master of the martial arts.”
Finally, Stryfe, Dart and Lavitz knocked the three wardens to the ground, finishing them off by stabbing them directly in the face, killing them instantly.
Fuck it! Swenia, give them two for that!
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 21
Seriously, give you characters individual actions! It’s lazy as shit that you keep lumping everything they do into single actions! Hell, your guards just got stabbed in their collective face by your fucking character blob!
“Taco, the guy’s story is 70% copied dialogue, 25% summary of the existing story, and 5% his OC being a dickswizzle. Lazy is pretty much his thing.”
Hmmm, true enough.
Even though they were victorious, Stryfe saw a bitter-sweet look in Lavitz’s eyes.
Yeah, that whole complete failure in saving his knights thing.
Walking to the edge of the corridor, he looked down to where his fellow knights fell to their death, barely being able to see their bodies below.
I’d complain that this scene in the game takes place on a bridge, not a corridor, but really, there’s been so little description that I have no idea where they’re supposed to be anyway.
“Maybe they’re in the library. Y’all have some crazy-ass architecture going on here.”
As Stryfe looked for himself, he felt sick to his stomach upon seeing the bodies.
So, he can chop people in half with his giant meat-cleaver, then sheathe it while it’s still covered in blood, but a few people who’ve died of a nasty fall is too much? Author, your character needs some work.
“What do you suggest?”
Deleting him from the story, then deleting the story. Then finding a different hobby.
Dude has unabashedly plagiarized the source material, nearly wholesale. I’m not going to pull punches after that.
Lavitz: I will carry out your wish.
Some dialogue that was skipped. Apparently anything that doesn’t directly relate to Spittle isn’t important enough to include.
Stryfe: I’m sorry…If only we got here quicker…
“Or if you hadn’t stood there watching for so long.”
Yeah, Slippy, you guys arrived with plenty of time. You just forgot to factor in the time you’d stand there your thumb up your ass.
Lavitz: Your names are Dart and Stryfe, right? I cannot imagine there are some who intentionally come to Hellena. What are you two up to?
“That’s true. Even the guards are likely stationed there as punishment for being otherwise useless or unwanted in the military.”
Dart: We’re here to rescue someone important to us.
Stryfe: She’s a childhood friend who is very close to us.
“Lemme borrow that crochet hook you have on your desk.”
*Alarm stops abruptly*
Dart: Do you know anything about her!? Her name is Shana!
To Stryfe and Dart’s disappointment, Lavitz only shook his head in response.
This is a pretty reasonable exchange. Despite how unlikely it is for Lavitz to know anything, you’d still ask him just in case. The fact that he doesn’t know anything about other prisoners is just common sense writing. Common sense writing by the original writers of this scene.
“Yeah, can’t give the author credit for that one, can we.”
Pretty much can’t give him credit for any of it. Even the stuff Stipple does that’s reasonable is typically things that Dart did in canon.
Dart: Then we’ll look elsewhere.
Stryfe: Wha? Hey, Dart!
As Stryfe ran to catch up with Dart, Lavitz caught up with them.
Lavitz: Wait, I’ll go with you two.
Stryfe: What? But don’t you have to return to your castle as soon as possible?
What!? Teaming up in hostile territory to increase your chances of success!?
Lavitz: This girl you two are looking for, she is important?
“Got that from those ‘She’s important to us’ comments, didja?”
Lavitz is a sharp one.
Dart: It’s our problem. And it’s my fault.
Stryfe: Dart, don’t beat yourself up like that.
Holy crap, Symptom actually said something reasonable!
“I feel faint.”
The whole thing wasn’t even close to Dart’s fault. Even if he’d been in the village to try to stop the kidnapping, he’d have just been killed by Leon or the dragon. Or simply overwhelmed by the full contingent of soldiers who attacked the village, instead of the handful of mooks that were still hanging around in the aftermath.
I feel dirty.
Lavitz: I don’t know what brought you here but Hellena is not that easy to go through for just two warriors. That goes for me too.
It was Shauna.
“Yeah, buddy, they just told you that. Can you get with the program, here?”
Stryfe: Let me guess. The three of us together can break out of here, right?
Technically Dart and Lavitz can break out of here, but you’re welcome to tag along and load them down a bit.
“Seems only fair given how incompetent all the guards are. With Streak as an anchor to the group, it’ll give the guards a fighting chance.”
Lavitz: Yes, that is correct. And with the girl too, of course.
“That’d be the girl you forgot about just now, right?”
You’ll have to forgive Lavitz, he missed his coffee this morning due to the incarceration.
Dart: How come you trust us? We just met you.
Probably something to do with helping him kill those prison guards.
“That does tend to suggest that, at worst, they aren’t there to recapture him”
Lavitz: The raid you two made was quite impressive. I trusted you two to guard my back.
“Raid, what raid?”
We don’t talk about the raid. Sticky and Dart got a little drunk and then things got a little crazy. Before anyone knew what was happening, they were sailing into the harbor of a merchant city with the long-nines ready to fire. By that time they were committed anyway, so they just went ahead and plundered the village.
“Wow, and I thought I had good drunk stories!”
Stryfe: Come to think of it Dart, he does have a point. We could use all the help we can get, especially a Knight Commander.
Thank you private obvious!
“I didn’t think the non-coms got permission to use obviousness.”
Sometimes we let them use the blank stuff for training purposes.
Dart: Alright then, let’s go.
With a newfound ally in Lavitz, Stryfe and Dart proceeded further into the prison grounds, looking for any sign of Shana.
And that’s where we’re going to stop this week! Thanks to Swenia for dropping by, I’m sure she was thrilled to be a part of this.
“You better be a good teacher, or I’m going to get grumpy at having to go through this for the tutoring.”
I’m sure it’ll be fine. How bad a teacher could I be?
Until next time, patrons!