1021: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter SixPosted: April 15, 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
*Taco looks at his phone*
Late again, she must be-
*Swenia saunters through the door, dressed in sailor fuku*
So, how did the hunt go?
“Well, I was a lot more comfortable today, but I think their taste tends toward the more formal, so it was a bit of a draw. Even so, I was gifted about ten pounds of double-A grade sweet, unsalted ammunition. Now I just have to see if there’s a crumpet clan hiding somewhere in the sub-levels.”
Maybe you should go more for black formal finishing school attire and less like Sailor Moon next time. By the way, where did you get the pigtails?
“Got them from Crunchy. He insisted that it was part of the whole ensemble when I borrowed the dress from him.”
And I’m right back to not wanting to know.
So, last time on The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit Dart, notDart, and the other guy finally save Shana.
“Not without a bunch of really boring and pointless battle scenes, of course.”
Of course. Most of those managed to be less interesting then a ten-year-old reciting a random encounter in Final Fantasy VII. The rescue was assisted mightily by a random key they find in a barrel while hiding from the guards, because that’s where you keep the cell keys. Once there, they let themselves into the cell only to find more guards already in there. A pointless battle later and they head out. Well, they should have, but instead they spent about a quarter of the chapter reminiscing and saying each others names. For no discernible reason. Eventually Lavitz tells everyone to hurry the hell up, and they run for the stables they’d passed by earlier. They’re intercepted just as they get there by Fruegel, who has had enough of their dallying. They pound on him a bit and then, after having soundly thrashed him without any real difficulty, decide to flee before finishing him off. Yeah, no idea why.
We left them just as they’d reached the plains of blank, located in that one spot of the formless void.
Chapter VI: Reminder of the Past
For crap’s sake, author, it’s only been one chapter since the last flashback! Spread them out a bit!
Moving down the hill as fast as his legs could carry him, Stryfe continued to move across the prairie, with Dart, Shana and Lavitz close behind him.
“Stare hard enough and you might start to see a few subtle differences.”
Maybe he meant ran down the hill toward the prairie?
“Shame that that isn’t what he wrote now, isn’t it?”
Evading the pursuing Hellena Wardens sent after them, they continued to move down the hill until Lavitz stopped temporarily to catch his breath, as the four of them have been running nonstop since they abandoned the horses they used to escape Hellena.
“Why the hell would you abandon the horses!?”
I can think of several valid reasons, actually.
“Are we going to get any of those?”
HAH! Such naiveté.
Stryfe: Lavitz, can you keep going!?
“He could if you’d have kept the fucking horses!”
Must move faster, horses too-
“Finish that and I’ll claw your spleen.”
As the hill leveled out as they reached the bottom of the trail, an arrow suddenly struck Lavitz in the knee while he was running.
Why does this fic hate knees so much!?
“Never mind that, where the hell did that road come from? First it was a hill, then a prairie, then a hill, now there’s a road!”
Shame that we’ve got all of that, and still no setting.
Dart: Hide, quickly!
Behind what!? Your on a road going through a prarie!
“Maybe they’ll hide behind the hill.”
Yeah, nobody would ever think of checking there for them.
While Stryfe and Shana hid behind a wall of giant rocks, Dart helped Lavitz get out of view.
“The fuck!? Now where did that wall come from!?”
It was across the road.
As Lavitz kept a tight grip on his wound to keep the bleeding from progressing, concern began to arise from Stryfe, Dart and Shana.
A single concern for all three! Imagine that.
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 27
Dart: You gonna be alright?
“His adventuring days might be over.”
Lavitz: It’s just a scratch.
That one is all yours, Ghostie.
Stryfe: Scratch? The arrow pierced your leg. If it was just an inch further, it would’ve incapacitated you.
“How the hell does an arrow pierce through your knee WITHOUT incapacitating you!?”
It has to pass through the air-filled portion of the knee.
Shana: He’s right. You gotta get help for it before it becomes infected.
I think the blood-loss would be a more immediate concern.
“Dude, infected knee-arrows can be brutal.”
Lavitz: It can be treated later. We gotta run first.
Dart: I’ll carry Lavitz. Stryfe, go with Shana.
Stryfe: Not a chance, Dart! We’re sticking together!
Good, because he never said anything about splitting up, just that he was going to carry Lavitz and that you should keep track of Shana. Not that she actually needs it.
“Yeah, she gets pretty wicked with that bow over the course of the game.”
Lavitz: I can walk by myself.
Shana: Here they come!
The pie is quite tasty.
“I’m not a fan of bees.”
Heading further into the prairie to escape pursuit, Stryfe, Dart, Shana and Lavitz entered a field with at least a mile long stretch of tall grass. Knowing they had little choice, they raced inside the grass and dropped down to the ground to stay out of sight.
Which is pretty effective if there aren’t nice vantage points around.
“Like the hills.”
Like the hills.
As the Hellena Wardens entered the area and began searching for them, Stryfe began to feel sweat from his forehead drop down to his eyes and mouth, his heart beat climbing at a fast pace with each second.
He’s gonna blow!
Just then, a lone squierlbit from a nearby tree came by Stryfe as he was hiding. Trying not to move, he quietly told the animal to shoo, only for it to instead ruffle the grass, causing a noise that got the attention of the Hellena Wardens.
Nice going numbnuts. If you had just ignored the squirrel those wardens… uh…
“Would still have found them.”
Hellena Warden #1: There they are!
Hellena Warden #2: Send the girl out first! Then we may spare you Basil dogs as well!
*Twitch Twitch* I love the token character numbering. Way better than actually describing characters or developing interesting narrative.
Before Stryfe could reach for his zwiehander, the squierlbit then came out of the brush, casually chirping and looking around.
Still not spelled right.
“Why do I think that these guards would actually be stupid enough to think that squirrel made the ‘shoo’ noise that drew them over here?”
“Yeah, that sounds about right.”
Fortunately for Stryfe, Dart, Shana and Lavitz, the tyke was the distraction they needed to escape pursuit completely.
Wait, they’re letting a BABY squirrel take the heat for them?
You don’t sound convinced.
“Squirrels are pretty tasty and there isn’t exactly a dearth of them.”
Are you suggesting that the wardens are about to eat the baby squirrel.
“Kinda seems like a waste if they don’t, honestly.”
Hellena Warden #2: Uh, is this the fugitive?
These wardens are stupider than we gave them credit for.
“You don’t pull prison duty for being a great soldier.”
Even this is stretching the premise a bit thin.
Hellena Warden #1: Stop being an idiot! Go look over there!
Well, to be fair to the moron, you don’t just stop being an idiot because you’re ordered to.
As the wardens headed to the north eastern path, Stryfe, Dart, Shana and Lavitz came out of the grass and back onto the pathway, letting out a huge sigh of relief.
Guys, you may want to get a little further away from the wardens before heaving a loud sigh of relief like that.
“A single sigh of relief shared among four people, by the way.”
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 28
Wiping the sweat from his forehead, Stryfe grasped his chest as he caught his breath and his pulse began to go back to normal.
“Dude is not going to do well if almost getting spotted by two mook wardens sends him into heart palpitations.”
Yeah, why were they so worried, anyway? And shouldn’t the guys who were shooting the bows ealier be peppering them with arrows now that they’ve come back into the open?
Stryfe: That…was close.
Still is, they’re right over there. *Points*
Having lost the wardens from Hellena, the four headed north west in order to scout the area, only to find the path covered by a raging river originating from a waterfall above.
And just like that, crisis averted.
“If these fics suddenly started having tension, you’d need to find something else to do with your free time.”
That’s a reality I could live with.
Turning around, they headed south west instead to see if there was an alternative route out of the prairie.
“That makes it sound like that prairie is surrounded by a wall or something.”
Legend of Dragoon is really serious about you not escaping from their prairies.
What they found instead was an abandoned shack, which was once a part of a small farm at one point in time, evidenced by abandoned pens for animals in the area as well.
“It’s so hard seeing the love shack in such a sorry state.”
Never been the same since it got a bad case of the B-52s in the 80s.
As they tried to continue onward, Stryfe, Dart and Shana noticed that Lavitz was once again falling behind due to the wound he received earlier.
Maybe you jerks could slow down a bit? I know it’s a life or death situation, but it doesn’t seem as though anyone is really hot on your tail at this point.
Lavitz: Ugh, such a trifle wound.
Seems more of a Bouchon wound if anything.
“Really, a dessert pun?”
Shana: Does it still hurt?
“Lady, an arrow just pierced its way through his knee a few minutes ago. How do you think he feels!?”
Lavitz: A little bit.
“Tis but a scratch!”
Seriously, we’re supposed to be leaving these for Ghostie.
Stryfe: Your entire leg is red, Lavitz. You need to get that looked at now.
The hell? Does Lavitz have an arrow allergy or something?
Shana: I learned first aid, because I thought it could be useful. Particularly in times like this.
“Damn, girl, you predicted that you’d need first aid in case you were on the run from the law and one of your party had taken an arrow?”
Well, actually, given who Shana is, that’s not actually outside of her abilities.
“I’m assuming we’ll be getting to that later?”
Assuming the fic doesn’t trail-off beforehand.
Stryfe: That so?
Now is neither the time for sarcasm nor feigned interest, Stinky.
Dart: Shana? Learning? That’s something new!
All right, I gotta check this line, because it seems needlessly douchy even for early-game Dart.
*A few minutes of script checking later*
Well, I’ll be damned, he did say it. I’m hoping that in context it was meant to be playful, but here it makes Dart look like a total ass.
Shana: Well, Mr. So-and-so might come back injured at any moment in these times.
Very true. Dart is initially very impulsive, so being ready to treat his badly mangled body is just practical planning.
Stryfe: Good point. Let’s use that shack back there.
Dart: Good idea. We can rest in there while were at it too.
“Yes, let’s hide in the only building on the prairie! Nobody will ever think to look for us there!”
To be fair, these guards have proven themselves to actually be that stupid.
“Sadly, this is true.”
Also, way to steal Dart’s idea from the game, dickweed. Sure, it wasn’t a good idea, but it wasn’t even yours!
Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 14
Taking Lavitz into the shack so Shana can help him, Stryfe and Dart scouted ahead for a bit in order to make sure that they lost the wardens from Hellena.
Author, you keep doing this. You just described somebody simultaneously doing two completely different actions. They can either help take lavitz to the shack, or scout for wardens. Or you can do one then the other, but you can’t do both at the same time as described!
Also, don’t think I didn’t notice what you did there, author.
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 29
Along the way, they found a fallen tree that they could use to bridge the path they couldn’t cross earlier. Taking the log back to the shack, they arrived just as Shana finished wraping up Lavitz’s wound.
*Facepalm* “You can’t bandage a leg wound while walking somewhere, moron!”
Shana: There you go.
Lavitz: Thanks. It feels much better now.
Shame she made you walk on it while doing that.
“Maybe that’s why he’s lying about it feeling better.”
As valid a theory as any.
Stryfe: We’re back.
Lavitz: Any luck?
“Oooh, so the actions were supposed to happen at different times!”
A shame that’s not what is written, eh?
“Yeah, a damn shame.”
Stryfe: Yeah. We don’t need to worry any longer.
That’s pretty optimistic for somebody who just broke their friend out of prison.
“I’d say that’s pretty optimistic for somebody with an injured compatriot who may or may not be dying from arrow anaphylaxis.”
One might almost say foolishly optimistic. Even stupidly optimistic.
Dart: We’ve completely lost those fools from Hellena.
“Those guards never expected the cunning use of:”
Upon hearing those words, Stryfe could see that Shana and Lavitz had a relieved look on their faces.
“Woof, that’s awkward.”
Did you just woof?
“You are a bad influence on me.”
Just then, he saw Shana’s expression turn into a curious one, as if something that was on her mind for a while came to the center of her attention.
This author could write the textbook on awkward ways a writer can avoid showing things.
Shana: Stryfe? Dart? Tell me, about these last five years.
“Because this is the perfect time to reminisce.”
At least this time they aren’t in a prison cell with guards on their way.
“Dart Beta one…”
Shana: It’s okay if you don’t want to tell me. Besides, we probably don’t have time for it now anyways.
“No shit, you think? Was it the actively being pursued by guards that gave that one away?”
Dart: No…it’s okay.
Stryfe: Time to come clean, Dart.
No, it fucking isn’t. The time to come clean is when you aren’t in immediate danger. Sure, the coast is clear right now, but that can change in an instant! All that has to happen is a group of guards suddenly decide to sweep back in this direction. You should be getting the hell out of here, even if Dart and Shrinky have to take turns carrying Lavitz.
Dart sighed, silently shaking his head before he raised his head to look at Shana.
Dart: It was a journey of revenge. A journey to find the guy who deprived me and Stryfe of something precious, and kill him.
Which should surprise nobody who actually knows Dart.
Shana: Stryfe…you didn’t tell me it was about revenge.
“True, but it’s a pretty easy guess.”
In fact, she kinda already suspected. See, this is her actual reaction in-game to being told Dart was out for revenge:
Shana: "The Black Monster? I only know the name. Nobody would tell me more about it because they said I was still too young."
See, she doesn’t really seem all that surprised. She even knows who Dart was hunting. Shana was pretty bright, so working that out wouldn’t have been all that hard for her. Her whole reaction in the canon version of this scene is pretty much, ‘Yeah, I kinda suspected, I was just waiting for you to tell me the truth.’
Stryfe: I only told you it was something Dart needed to do. That was enough.
“No, it fucking wasn’t, you little turd.”
Dart: Wait, you told her about what I was planning, Stryfe?
Were you not paying attention to the conversation? Stimpy just told everyone exactly what he’d told Shana. That you had to go and do stuff, which was exactly the same thing you told her you were off doing.
Stryfe: Not everything, Dart. Just enough to let her that you were going to leave that day.
Stryfe saw Dart look away from him and Shana in regret.
*Taco and Swenia saw the author once again tell them about something they could more convincingly be shown.*
Stryfe knew that Dart had good intentions for not telling Shana, because he didn’t want her to worry about him.
“Honey, I’m not so sure those intentions are really that pure. He wanted to keep everyone in the dark on the whole ‘revenge quest’ thing, so he doesn’t get Galahad points for keeping it a secret, sweetie.”
But then again, the situation was no better for him either, as Stryfe himself could’ve died as well out there during those five long years.
Or he could have told Shana the truth about something that even he thought was a bad idea.
“Dude, what is wrong with you?”
Dart: I’m sorry…I couldn’t tell you, Shana. That’s why I left without telling you.
No shit, is that how that works?
Shana: It was about the Black Monster, wasn’t it?
Stryfe and Dart both shot up their heads at Shana upon hearing her mention the Black Monster.
“Not as stupid as you thought she was, eh boys?”
Stryfe: Shana, how did you?
Shana: I only know the name. Nobody would tell me more about it because they said I was still too young.
Aaand we’ve wandered back into the canon dialogue. Unfortunately that entire segue only served to make Shana look less intelligent. I’m not willing to call the sexism card on this just yet, because I think it was done out of the author’s need to make this whole thing about Stripper instead of Dart.
“So, stupid, but in a less infuriating way?”
Lavitz: What is this Black Monster you three speak of? What exactly are you talking about?
No, Lavitz! Don’t tempt the exposition!
Dart: Me and Stryfe had two homes. One is Seles, where we spent time with Shana. And the other…where we spent time with our parents. Our first home, Neet.
It’s amazing how one little tense change and omitting a very critical sentence changed that passage from being an understandable bit of explanation in game, to the almost incomprehensible line we have here.
It’s something alright.
Stryfe: It was taken from us eighteen years ago…by the Black Monster…
Ellipses… are… dramatic…
While Stryfe and Dart explained the whole story to Shana and Lavitz about the Neet Incident, memories of that tragic day flashed throughout Stryfe’s mind.
“Thudding around hollowly in the vast empty cavern of his head.”
It was as if he was having a nightmare while he was awake, seeing all the images of the death and suffering that occurred on that day. Upon finishing explaining, Stryfe and Dart took out the mementos that their parents had left behind, the indigo and red stones.
On the one hand, it’s good that the author didn’t do a flash-back to a scene he wrote only five chapters ago. On the other hand, absolutely nothing new is estabalished here, and everything is told, not shown.
Stryfe: What we found after that day were only these. Mementos carried by my mother and Dart’s father.
“The fuck does that mean? Those were given to you as your legacy, moron, you didn’t find them at all!”
Dart: They used to carry these around with them all the time, and they were never seen without them.
Here’s my afghan crochet hook, go crazy.
*Taco lobs a size N crochet hook to Swenia as she heads out into the hallway*
-[One extremely graphic scene of crochet-based violence later]-
“Want a new intestine beanie?”
Dude, that’s wrong on so many levels.
Looking at his mother’s stone as it glowed faintly in his hand, Stryfe felt a lone tear travel down his right cheek.
Much feelings. So sadness.
“It’s amazing how seeing this entirely flat and uninteresting copy of Dart get emotionally broken totally turns around the character and makes him sympathetic!”
Oscar Wilde once said that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.
“I’m sure you’ve checked your sources on that one, right, Taco? You’d never do something so foolish as toss quotes around without full attribution.”
*Squints* Fine, I’ll be right back.
*Ten minutes of research later*
Son of a bitch, you’re right, he never actually said or wrote it; it’s just attributed to him as an appeal to authority and exists almost entirely as a last-ditch defense against sarcasm. It’s actually a mimic of the quote about punning that, itself, is attributed without source to John Dennis, but in reality is a stylization of the definition of pun put forth by Webster’s Dictionary in 1828. It’s attributed to John Dennis because of his legendary hatred of the pun.
“See, I’m not just another pretty muzzle in a kinky outfit.”
Shana: Stryfe, Dart, it’s okay. I understand.
Dart: Shana, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you myself.
Stryfe: Yet you wanted to avenge everyone that died that day by yourself, Dart. It’s technically just as much my burden to bare as it is yours.
“No, it’s not. Not even close. Being the victim of something neither entitles you to, nor burdens you with the responsibility of, vengeance. Vengeance is an emotional response and therefore not a just course of action. Pursuit of vengeance leads to harmful mistakes and vigilantism that can easily spiral out of control. Dart did the wrong thing by devoting his life to revenge. And you were wrong for going along with it without trying to stop him.”
That’s actually one of the central tenants of the game and is a HUGE plot point later on.
Wait, so does that mean you wouldn’t kill Buster if you had the chance.
“I’d end him in a heartbeat and without any remorse for being hypocritical. I’m also sure I’d rationalize killing him as being for the greater good, which might even be true. See, I may know revenge is wrong, but I’m only human.”
Well a reasonable facsimile of one, anyway.
Shana: It’s okay, you two. I knew I would learn the entire story someday. Just don’t say anymore.
Especially you, Stimpy, your dialogue is horrible.
Lavitz: So, you two just came back from a journey to bring closure to the past.
Dart: We’re still not there yet.
Lavitz: You said Neet, right? It doesn’t sound like a village in this country.
Stryfe: No. It’s located farther north from here, in the region of Mille Seseau.
Dart: Yet it’s been so long. I don’t think anybody even remembers it’s name anymore.
Author, how is it that you can copy the game script pretty much word for word, yet still screw up the grammar!? The grammar was correct in the original and you copied it!”
Suddenly, something came to Stryfe’s mind that would change the topic of their discussion.
“If it’s that the wardens are looking for you guys and you should get moving, well, you wouldn’t be wrong.”
Stryfe: Lavitz, tell us. What exactly is going on in this country right now?
“Oh. More exposition. Great.”
Lavitz: Currently, our Kingdom of Basil is at war with the Imperial Sandora. The war has spread all across Serido.
Dart: Why was the truce broken?
Lavitz: Because of the Dragon. The legendary monster added weight to the Sandoran military might and broke the balance of power. Then Emperor Doel started to be more aggressive and hostile towards us.
Stryfe: The Dragon!?
Dart: No way! That thing can be used in war?
Yes, Dart, it’s a freaking dragon. Of COURSE it can be used in war.
“You know, I just realized that ya’ll don’t have a dragon around here.”
Gumdrop suffices for most of our dragon needs. He’s even got a costume.
“But he doesn’t fly, now does he?”
True, the closest he gets is his love of hang-gliding.
Lavitz: Do you two know something about it!?
Stryfe: We were swooped down by a Dragon before we entered Seles. We were overwhelmed and we couldn’t escape it.
Dart: Thankfully, we were saved by a woman in azure armor. Thanks to her, we’re still alive.
Stryfe: I wonder if she’s okay…
“Probably doing better than you guys are right now.”
As Stryfe began to wonder about the woman in azure armor who saved him and Dart, Stryfe noticed Lavitz crossing his arms, baring a concerned look on his face.
You’re doing it again.
“I can’t help it, the awkward is just so intense.”
Lavitz: The Dragon is advancing faster than I thought. We must do something or it’ll be too late.
I’m thinking a bazooka or a flight of jets would do the trick.
“Dude, early Renaissance at best.”
A ballista and a lot of luck it is, then.
Dart: You mean more casualties!?
Yes, Dart, that does tend to happen when you are attacked by a dragon.
Stryfe: I think that’s exactly what he means, Dart!
Dammit, fic! You just made me agree with Stripper. Stop that!
Lavitz: Indeed. It is a war, after all. I must get back to Indels Castle in Bale. There are so many things I have to report to King Albert. Stryfe, Dart,
why don’t you two come with me? Minister Noish might know something about the Black Monster.
Stryfe: I see! They’re a royalty with a long history! We might be able to find out something new, Dart!
Stipple, there is no need to repeat everything that Lavitz says.
*Swenia and Taco look pointedly at the DRD alarm, which remains silent*
“They might be a little gunshy after the beanie incident.”
Dart: A new lead on the Black Monster…after five years…
This is canon, but also pretty sad that he didn’t fish up any leads in the last five years.
Lavitz: It’s a done deal, then?
Stryfe: I guess so.
Thanks for adding so much to this conversation, Stiletto.
Stryfe also had another idea in mind. Hopefully, Minister Noish would not only help Dart get a lead on the Black Monster, but also help him with his own agenda in searching for the ones known as “The Winged Ones”, an agenda that he himself kept from even Dart and Shana.
“Because it is of course desperately important that the OC has information about the plot that the canon characters wouldn’t have yet, and that he keep it secret from them due to reasons. That keeps hims special!”
Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 15
Shana: Lavitz, don’t take chances. You’re not completely well.
Lavitz only smiled at Shana.
Lavitz: You’ll make a good wife someday, Shana.
Stryfe saw Shana turn bright red in response.
“That better be anger.”
“Don’t thank him!”
The author, of course, couldn’t bring himself to filter out the Japanese cultural casual sexism.
“So that makes him a douchebag by complicit association in my book.”
Works for me.
Dart: Let’s go, you guys.
Leaving the shack, the four proceeded back towards the north west path, carrying the log they found earlier with them to use as a bridge.
Lavitz may be a bit of a sexist ass, but maybe you should not have him help with carrying the log with that injured knee, kay?
Upon placing it in the flowing river
It floated away.
“Smooth move, idiots.”
Upon placing it in the flowing river, two rocks underneath the stream held the log steady so it wouldn’t flow down the stream, allowing Stryfe, Dart, Shana and Lavitz to get to the other side of the pathway.
PCC brand rocks! Keeping you from losing your log when you need it most!
As they traveled across the road, they noticed the sound of the ocean nearby, which eased their tensions a bit.
Although Stryfe, Dart, Shana, and Lavitz enjoyed the view from the road, they knew they had to continue onward.
You should really get that checked.
“I’ll be fine once the fic ends.”
Gonna be a few months.
“I should get that checked.”
As they came across the mountainside, they approached the landmark that travelers needed to take in order to reach Bale, the Limestone Cave…
“Why the hell do travelers need to steal a landmark in order to make it to Bale?”
And when did Bale become a Limestone cave!? Bale is a freaking city not a-
Oh, I see what the author was trying to say. A shame that he typed that instead.
And on that note, the chapter comes to a close.
“The note being an ellipsis. Again.”
Yeah, author, you really, really need to-
*Quickly checks the fic*
FUCKING HELL! HE DOES IT EVERY GODSDAMNED CHAPTER! AUTHOR! YOU ARE A LOATHSOME HACK! YOU DON- MMMF!
*Swenia deftly fastens Taco to the ceiling with Bolt-tape* “Flirting with ninja wasn’t all I was doing today. They actually have a whole lecture series on this stuff; very informative and with free samples.”
“Until next time, patrons.”