1034: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter EightPosted: April 29, 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
*Swenia glides into the snarking chamber wearing glasses, scholar’s robes, and holding a giant tome*
Uh, what are…?
“Hunting the ninja proved to be fruitless. As a change of pace, this week I’m hunting Book Specs.”
Really? You’d think he’d have about as much innate huntability as Crunchy.
“I like a challenge.”
Uh-huh. So, how’d it go?
“Not great. Ended up spending the morning moving piles of scrolls around, which created similar piles but in new locations. After that, I had to help him taste-test his massive collection of unlabeled potions of polymorph. Apparently he lost the one for unicorns and Eliza has been on his case to borrow it. We finished up the morning studying something called ‘The Prudlum Nothix’, whatever that was supposed to be.”
Sounds like a wild morning. I guess we should get started.
Last time the team flailed their way through the Limestone cave. This involved flinging themselves down a waterfall slide, flinging themselves through some water, and then flinging themselves at the Orobulous, which was a snake reborn as a centipede. That’s pretty much all that happened. There was ‘character development’ which consisted of us being told to feel things, but otherwise it was pretty bare-bones so far as actual events.
“Which this week is not looking to be much different.”
Indeed not. This week we’ve got a dialogue-heavy chapter that is essentially just plot regurgitation of stuff that happens in Bale. Which brings us to Bale.
Chapter VIII: The Capital of Bale
Author, Bale is the city, it’s not the capital of Bale!
Although it was still in the middle of the morning as they walked into the main plaza of the city, many of the townspeople were up and walking around Bale, leaving a lot of crowds for Stryfe, Dart, Shana and Lavitz to push their way through all while trying to not to lose sight of each other.
Dude! Break up your sentences! My brain almost suffocated while I was reading that!
“Wait, it’s midmorning, yet we’re supposed to be surprised that the city is bustling? Author, have you even seen what a goddamn main street of a big city looks like around 9am?
Even in smaller places, you’d see people wandering around. Heck, look at this, (especially around 4:10):
It’s just starting in the morning, and the streets of that tiny little town quickly become packed. Imagine what a big capital city would look like with a few hours to really get going!
Pushing his way through the crowds, Stryfe found Lavitz near the entrance to an art gallery after he lost sight of Dart and Shana.
So, so close. Now you just need to stop the whole tense change thing.
Venturing inside to look for them, Stryfe and Lavitz only found the young owner of the gallery painting a portrait.
This would be nameless portrait painter. She’s a character of no real importance that’s just in the game as flavor. Thought she does kinda show the player that Lavitz is important/well loved in Bale. Still, there are much better ways to show the audience this information in a fic.
Before they could turn around to leave, the girl noticed their presence and began to become very excited when she saw Lavitz.
Fangirl attack in 3. 2. 1…
Portraitist Girl: Oh my god! It’s Sir Lavitz!
Lavitz: Well, hello again.
Stryfe: You know her?
Lavitz: She took my portrait in the past. She’s quite the skilled painter.
“She’s really excited because he actually remembered to pay her.”
Yeah; ‘you’re the noble that didn’t totally suck!’ is pretty high praise, really.
Portraitist Girl: Oh, Sir Lavitz! Please, let me draw your portrait again!
“Mmm, I’m with her on this one. I’d hunt Lavitz any day of the week.”
Lavitz: Well, I guess it couldn’t hurt. You don’t mind, do you, Stryfe?
Stryfe: *sigh* I guess not.
“Yeah, because we aren’t in a fucking hurry or anything, what with the war breaking out and the impending dragon attack.”
All the time in the world for a quick 10-hour portrait session!
Portraitist Girl: Okay! Don’t move!
We’ve got you surrounded!
As Stryfe kneeled on the wall and waited patiently, minutes felt like hours as time flew by.
“What!? If minutes are feeling like hours, then time isn’t fucking flying by! The word you wanted was ‘dragged.'”
Also, this is going to take more than a few minutes. Maybe you should, I don’t know, go look for your friends so that you can let them know Lavitz is going to be indisposed for the rest of the day.
Finally, the girl finished the portrait just before Stryfe lost his patience.
Hey, dickwad; if you were in hurry, you should have said NO! You have no room to be pissy that it takes a while after saying it was okay.
Portraitist Girl: It’s done! Here!
“Sweet crap that was fast!”
Maybe she just did a caricature of him. Those are relatively fast to do because you only need to capture the most prominent features of the subject rather than make a fully accurate portrayal. Either that or it’s a very, very rough sketch.
Lavitz: Thank you.
Stryfe: It’s about time. Hmm…It’s that a little TOO handsome?
“It’s that a little few grammar?”
Portraitist Girl: I don’t think so!
Lavitz: I’ll be sure to treasure this.
Portraitist Girl: Okay!
Flat, drab passion oozes its way through the fic.
Stryfe: Come on, Lavitz. We gotta find Dart and Shana.
Which you should have been doing this entire time!
“Poor kids must be so thrilled that they lost Stinky. Shame that it isn’t going to last.”
Exiting the art gallery, Stryfe and Lavitz noticed that the crowds weren’t as bad as earlier, allowing them to traverse through them more easily.
“Probably scared away or eaten by the dragon.”
Man, I wish I could get some of that dragon action for my morning commute.
Finally, they found Dart and Shana waiting near the main plaza’s center fountain.
Whew! And here I was worried.
“Yeah, the buildup was totally worth this payoff!”
Stryfe: Dart! Shana!
Stinky! Other guy!
Dart: There you two are!
Shana: Where were you?
You know, had to stop for a quick portrait session.
“It only took a few hours, not sure why the two of you are complaining.”
Stryfe: Getting Lavitz a portrait done…unintentionally.
Sticky, try using smaller words, you don’t understand how to use those big ones.
Lavitz: Hey, at least you were patient in waiting.
Oh. Well, at least he owned the fact that he’s an impatient jerk. Almost worth a redemption cookie.
Dart: Well, in any case. Lavitz, where is Indels Castle?
“Well, I could be wrong, but it might be that giant castle-looking thing on the outskirts of town.”
Now that’s just crazy talk.
Lavitz: It’s to the west of here. Follow me.
Following Lavitz into the western part of the city, Stryfe, Dart and Shana were eventually greeted with the sight of a large castle standing on a platform across a lakeside, with many small fishing boats floating around it.
‘Across a lakeside’? Author, be honest, you don’t really understand how English works, do you?
Stryfe was in awe as the sun’s light reflected off the castle walls beautifully as he climbed up the steps to the main entrance with Dart, Shana and Lavitz.
“Yes, I love the way the Sun reflects off those brown stone walls.”
As they entered the main lobby of the castle, Stryfe was again awed as he had never been inside a castle before.
Odd that he’d have traveled for five years without once entering a castle or seeing something more impressive than Bale’s small affair, but I guess I’ll allow it.
“Maybe he’s just easily impressed.”
Kinda getting that feeling, yeah.
Continuing to follow Lavitz, they entered the throne room, where Lavitz suddenly kneeled down in respect to someone.
*Facepalm* To someone? You see the knight captain take a knee, and you have to wonder who the hell it is he’s bowing to? How stupid are you people?
Dart and Shana were quick to follow, but Stryfe took a bit to realize why they were kneeling down.
“If the author is trying to paint his insert as extremely dull-witted and uncouth… well, have to say, doing a masterful job of it.”
Noticing a young man around his and Dart’s age on the throne pedestal above him, Stryfe immediately kneeled down in order to not show any disrespect.
A bit late, guy.
“Off with his head!”
Also, this is King Albert:
Lavitz: Your Majesty King Albert, Lavitz Slambert of the First Knighthood reporting back from the field.
Lavitz does indeed stand heavily on the side of being overly formal.
King Albert: Lavitz! I was feeling uneasy because I heard you were missing! Please, all of you, rise and make yourselves at home!
Don’t say that to Sinkhole!
“Great, now he’s going to strip down to his boxers and eat cold Mac ‘n Cheese while watching golf.”
Lavitz: Your Majesty, it’s more than I deserve.
Very true, but you shouldn’t talk back to your king.
An older man walked up to King Albert’s side. He seemed to be the one who knew knowledge that many have forgotten over the years.
The hell do we know that by just looking at him!?
“Looking at him? All we can see is that he’s old!”
Minister Noish: It’s true! His Majesty was so dismayed that he couldn’t see to his affairs of state.
Which makes him kind of a crappy king, really.
“Wait, so dismayed at Lavitz being missing that he can’t function? Is there something going on there?”
Yeah, bit of a glass closet there. Though, in the game, it never really develops beyond a bromance. Actually, I’m surprised there aren’t more slashfics with these two.
King Albert: Well, Lavitz is a childhood friend of mine as well as a master of martial arts. Anyways, where have you been?
“What the fuck do those two thing have to do with each other!?”
Lavitz: After my First Knighthood was wiped out, I was captured by Sandora and held against my will in Hellena Prison…
“Lavitz doesn’t have a knighthood anymore? That’s disappointing. I really hope the little king is still on Albert’s throne.”
King Albert: In…Hellena!?
No, the other Hellena Prison.
Lavitz: However, thanks to the acts of these two young men and young woman, I managed to break out. Allow me to introduce you to Stryfe, Dart and Shana. They are from Seles.
King Albert: I thank you for saving Lavitz. In gratitude for this, tell me if you need anything.
He won’t necessarily give it to you, but he’s willing to let you tell him if you need something.
Upon hearing that, Stryfe saw Dart look at Shana with concern. This caused him to become curious.
Did you ever get that looked at?
“The doctor said I needed to apply leeches to fix an imbalance in my metaphysical humour array.”
“I’ll say, he took out a restraining order on me after I told him what I thought of his diagnosis. That’s going to make my gynecology visit next week rather complicated.”
Dart: I have a favor to ask. Is it possible to leave Shana in the care of this castle?
Stryfe: Dart, what the hell are you doing!?
“Being a chauvinist, bro. You know, the standard Japanese Monday.”
Dart: Imperial Sandora attacked Seles to take Shana away. So, they could go after her again. When I think of that…
Shana: Is that the reason you brought me here!?
Well, that, and it’s the closest place to Hellena that ISN’T a pit of smoldering wreckage.
Stryfe: Stop being so conceited, Dart! She’s already come a long way since we busted her out of Hellena! After all that, you’re just gonna leave her again!?
It would be a lot easier to agree with Stimpy here if he knew what conceited means.
Shana: He’s right. I can walk beside you, Dart! I will continue to do so until the end of days!
Maybe you should try the leeches.
“Maybe you should try wearing your colon as a hat.”
King Albert: Unfortunately, you cannot leave her here. Imperial Sandora obtained the force of a legendary Dragon, and are now on the offensive, as I’m sure you already know.
You’re right, we do. So why are you bringing it up, again?
We’re holding the battle line in Hoax, but if the Dragon breaks through, we cannot defend against it even with the high ramparts.
Actually, that’s more logical than most of the reasons we get for things around here.
Stryfe: So there is…no place safe in Serido now?
Welcome to JRPGs. Even when you think you’re safe, there’s a random encounter.
King Albert: That is unfortunately correct. Besides, Dart, you know how she feels about you? Don’t you?
Don’t spoil the romantic tension!
Stryfe clearly saw Dart and Shana blush upon hearing that question from King Albert. Stryfe knew them well enough to tell if they were hiding something, and they were clearly trying to hide how they truly felt about one another.
Thank you, corporal obvious.
Trying to stay focused, Dart turned to Shana.
“It’s more than a little late to stay focused. Unless we’re staying focused on your relationship with Shana.”
Dart: Shana, it may be even more dangerous from now on.
Seems like that IS what we’re focusing on.
Shana: I don’t mind as long as I can be with you, Dart. You as well, Stryfe.
No need to pay any attention to the third wheel, Shana.
Stryfe: Heh, thanks Shana.
Dart: Well, I take back that request.
Stryfe: Actually…I have a request, Your Majesty.
King Albert: What is it, Stryfe?
Stryfe: I would like to ask a question to the man next to you. Minister Noish, I presume?
So, Stryfe didn’t recognize KING Albert, but he’s able to pin down the Minister without any introduction? Seems legit.
Minister Noish: Yes. My head is filled with all the legends and history of the Continent of Endiness.
The author is subtly foreshadowing that Stryfe is about to drop the Winglies bomb. You know, rather than allow the plot to slowly unfold to that plot twist.
Stryfe: Me and Dart were on a journey to pursue the one known as the Black Monster.
Oh, so not the Winglies.
“He’s probably waiting for the moment where the plot would normally reveal the involvement of the Winglies.”
Ahh yes, withholding information in the name of plot regurgitation. Where have we seen that before?
Minister Noish: The Black…Monster…You two know of it?
Uhh, a lot of people know of it. It’s destroyed several villages in the last few decades. It’s not exactly a secret.
Dart: Yes…the monster attacked our home village of Neet eighteen years ago. The only thing I know is that he deprived us of our parents and home.
Minister Noish: Hmm! You were a victim of the devil!
Tone down the melodrama, Noish, or we’ll put you back in your cage.
Stryfe: It was more of a twist of fate. Minister, if you have anything to tell us, please do so!
“Speaking of somebody who needs to be put back in his cage.”
At this point we jump into the infodump that Dart gets, only this time Stimpy is the one who starts the conversation.
Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 18
Long story short, the Black Monster’s been around for 11 thousand years, which dates back to the dragon wars. But other than the monster causes such destruction to anything that meets it, not much else is known.
While Minister Noish told them of the Dragon Campaign, he told them of winged humanoid beings known as Winglies, who were once the rulers of all other life in Endiness until Emperor Diaz began an uprising that resulted in the Dragon Campaign.
There it is.
“And Stripe knew about them the whole time. Because he’s so fucking special.”
We already counted that one a few chapters ago, so he doesn’t actually get another hit of the buzzer.
Listening to his description of the Winglies, Stryfe began to piece together the similarities of the Winglies from the story and the ones known as “The Winged Ones” that killed his grandparents and changed his father.
It takes a while for his brain to warm up enough to process obvious facts and clear parallels. Best stand back and ignore the smoke; it’s normal.
After putting the pieces together in his head, Stryfe realized that the Winglies and “The Winged Ones” were the same thing.
See, he got there eventually.
“Maybe you should sit down, Strike, after that much thinking you’ll probably need a rest.”
Stryfe: *snaps fingers* That’s it!
Dart: What’s “it”, Stryfe?
Stryfe: Dart, remember when my father constantly mentioned “The Winged Ones” after my grandparents were murdered?
Dart: I wish I could forget. Your father became…a very horrifying person after that happened.
You’ll have to take his word on that, because the fic will never show it.
Stryfe: The Winglies from Noish’s story…They have the exact same characteristics as “The Winged Ones”! They must be the same thing!
*Swenia tosses off her robes and grabs the tome*
“I’ll be right back.”
-[A scene of oddly quiet violence later]-
What was that about?
“I reminded them that this was a library before beating them insensate with the book.”
Minister Noish: Who are these “Winged Ones” You describe, Stryfe?
As Stryfe explained the incident that took his grandparents lives to Minister Noish and what a single witness saw that day, Minister Noish seemed to have the same conclusion that Stryfe had.
Minister Noish: Your description…The Winglies had the exact same characteristics. But it’s improbable.
“Do we really need to belabor this extremely contrived plot-point? It’s about as subtle and complex as a drunken frat boy looking for sex. The audience understood the whole ‘the winged ones are winglies’ thing the moment you mentioned it the first time. We aren’t as stupid as you are, author, so give us some credit and consider that maybe, just maybe, this isn’t surprising anyone at all.”
“I just told you that we aren’t stupid! That’s why!”
I think he means why are the winglies an improbable possibility.
“Likely it has to do with the beat-down they got during the war.”
Yeah, that whole genocide thing didn’t really end well for them.
Minister Noish: After the Dragon Campaign ended, the Winglies all but disappeared. No one has seen them in almost ten thousand years.
If by ‘disappeared’ he means ‘hunted down and killed nearly to extinction’, then he’s right.
Stryfe: It was no fluke. My father spent the last years of his life hunting them down. If they’re out there, I have to find them.
Really? When did that happen? Was that before or after becoming a drunk and beating his family? See, this is the problem with showing us absolutely nothing. You have no credibility if you want to pull something like this right out of your own ass.
“And how does his father hunting these things refute that the similarity between the two groups is likely coincidence? Author, you suck at logic.”
Dart: What are you going to do if you do, Stryfe?
Stryfe: I’m going…to ask them why. Why they murdered my grandparents. I have to know why they killed them.
Woof, pronoun hell.
“Do you need some leeches for your humour array?”
Stay away from me with those.
“And I’m sure it’s just simple as that. Just walk up and ask the winglies why they slaughtered some humans. What could go wrong?”
Just then, a praetorian entered the room to speak to King Albert.
Praetorian of Basil: Excuse me, sir! It’s time for the war meeting!
King Albert: I see. Tell them I will be there soon.
As the praetorian left the throne room, King Albert turned to Stryfe, Dart and Shana.
Oh thank you, faceless soldier, for saving us from more of that scene!
King Albert: Stryfe, Dart, Shana…This war will be a particularly harsh one for those who no longer have a home to return to. I think now is the best time to think about your future.
“Well, he’s not wrong. With shit about to get real, they should have a plan.”
Shana: But, this is our first time in a castle.
The hell does that have to do with anything?
King Albert: Well, there is a place with a great view next to this room. Go enjoy yourselves.
Because dealing with the crisis at hand is for losers, amirite!?
Shana: Oh! I see! Please excuse me!
Dart: Yeah. Please excuse me, too.
“Taco, what the hell is wrong with you?”
I had a weird childhood.
After Dart and Shana kneeled in respect, they left to see the view from the balcony outside the throne room. As Stryfe watched them leave, he felt someone’s hand on his shoulder. It was Lavitz.
“Finally! I’ve been waiting more than a month for some slash!”
I think you’re getting your hopes up over nothing.
Lavitz: Why don’t you join them?
Stryfe: What about you?
Lavitz: I’ll catch up. Just go.
Wow, that was pointless.
*Swenia shakes the fic*
“I WANT SOME SLASH, DAMMIT!”
Opening the door to the balcony, Stryfe saw that King Albert wasn’t joking when he said that the view of the city was incredible. Dart and Shana were already captivated by the awe of the sight by the time Stryfe joined up with them.
Thank you for telling me about that awesome sight. I can only hope that the characters, at least, got to see it.
Dart: From here, we can see all of Basil. Do you think we will even be able to see Seles?
“Sure can! It’s the blackened, smoking area to the west.”
Shana: Seles is over the mountains. Besides, we cannot see it anyways because were too far away…
Probably true. Still, you can see the smoke plume.
“It’s almost pretty in the light of this time of day.”
What time is it again?
“Half after quarter ’til.”
Stryfe: I hope everyone is alright…
“Yes, they are.”
Aside from those who died in the dragon attack.
“Well yes, obviously not them.”
Or the ones who will be freezing without a home or starving without food.
“Look, asshole, ‘alright’ is pretty relative after a dragon rips through town!”
Stryfe, Dart and Shana turned around to see Lavitz standing behind them with a smile on his face.
“GAH! Don’t do that, you creeper!”
Lavitz: According to the brief from my aide, most of the people in the village are safe.
Again, excluding the ones who are dead.
“Meh, most is pretty good.”
Stryfe: That’s good to hear.
Dart: I’m relieved to hear that.
Lavitz: However, it will take some time to rebuild the village.
Shana: Still, that’s good. I can see everybody again.
Lavitz: But, we have bad news too.
Stryfe: What is it?
“If this in regards to the lack of slash, we’re way ahead of you, Lavitz.”
Lavitz: Sandora is now readying itself to attack us. They are planning to use the Dragon for the offensive on Hoax.
Welp, they’re dragon chow.
Stryfe: WHAT!? That’s insane!
“Yeah, who would think that a military force which used a dragon to level a town would go on to later use a dragon to level a town. Madness!”
Dart: If they release that monster into the battle, it will be total genocide!
Well… maybe. I guess. That’d kinda end poorly for the Sandoran’s too. You know, being that they’re also human.
Lavitz: Our role as the Knighthood, is to stop it. I’m heading to Hoax soon. Maintaining the battle line will determine the fate of Basil.
Stryfe and Dart shook their heads. After giving some thought, they both turned to Lavitz.
“Boys, you can have your own thoughts, no need to share that one.”
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 35
Dart: I have lived only for myself for the last five years. I believed it was something I had to complete by myself even if I had to leave Shana and the people I cared about behind.
Okay. And? That’s like part of a thought, dude.
“I think the author gave Strype the other half.”
Stryfe: During these last five years, I too have had my sight set on one thing. I had hoped that, by traveling with Dart, I could finally find the answer to my grandparents deaths. But…
“Guess not. Still not even a complete thought.”
In fact, he basically just rephrased what Dart just said and added some grandparents to it.
Dart: When we came back…it was like this. I…We almost lost our hometown again!
Boys, if you wander anywhere near a point, could you get to it, please?
Stryfe looked at Dart, giving him a slight smile. As they both nodded to each other, they knew what they had to do.
Stryfe: Lavitz, we’re going with you! Neither Dart nor myself want to see anymore bloodshed!
“And to accomplish that, we’re going to war!”
Lavitz: But what about the Black Monster and “The Winged Ones”?
Stryfe: They can wait!
Dart: Yes, we have to end this war first!
Shana: *giggles* Once Stryfe and Dart make up their minds, they never change them. Of course, I’m going too! I can’t stand the war either, and I can fight too!
You are all very not good a pacifism.
Now, little exercise for everyone. Go to the above sentences and remove anything that Stryfe says or does. Now, read the fic.
Notice anything interesting?
“Nothing he does seems to have any impact?”
NOTHING HE DOES HAS ANY FUCKING IMPACT!
This is just on-rails plot regurgitation with another impotent author insertion who may as well not even be there!
Lavitz was amazed by Stryfe, Dart and Shana’s determination. He never even asked for their help, yet they were offering to aid him.
Lavitz: You guys…
Stryfe: I guess everything is determined now.
Dart: All we have left to do now is prepare.
And get some kind of permission to join the lines. I’m sure they’d be happy to have more warm bodies to throw at a dragon, but they kinda need permission.
“Dude, Lavitz is the head of the guard. I think they’re golden here.”
Dammit, you’re right. It makes sense that Lavitz would be able to make this call. Granted, it’s game plot, so credit doesn’t go to the author.
Lavitz: Th, then, let’s go back to the city! There are item shops, weapon shops and my home! Please, meet my mother!
“That went from zero to weird in one sentence.”
Yeah, I feel really awkward for them right now.
Stryfe: Are you that big of a momma’s boy, Lavitz?
Are you that big of a dickbag there, Sticky?
“Seriously, what a tool.”
We’re not supposed to like this guy, right?
Lavitz: N, no! It’s just that my mother hasn’t had a guest in such a long time! It’ll make her happy!
What a weaking, thinking of his mother like that.
Dart: Well, if that’s an invitation, then how can we refuse?
Pretty bad when early-game Dart gets to be the nicer one of the two.
Stryfe: It would be nice to sleep on a bed for a change. Alright, let’s go!
That’s pretty presumptuous. He said he wanted you to meet his mother, not spend the night.
“It’s getting weird again.”
Leaving the castle behind, Stryfe, Dart, Shana and Lavitz traveled back into the city to stock up on items and supplies for the eventual battle they were about to take part in. After they finished gathering supplies, Lavitz led them to the northern part of Bale, where the residential sector awaited them…
AGAIN!? OH YOU SON OF A-
“Don’t worry, guys, I was prepared for him this week! Anyway, he’ll need to be reset, so I better get dragging.”
“Until next week, patrons!”
*Swenia drags Taco’s unconscious body out of the riffing chamber*