1100: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter Eighteen

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

Well, we’re finally here, the halfway point.

“You mean this is only the halfway point!? What have you gotten me into?”

Yeah, sorry about that, this is a relatively big project for me, the largest since Raptor an I. I’d expect to see a one-shot break coming up soon as I think we’re both getting a bit burnt out here.

“No kidding. Even with the few breaks I’ve taken, this fic is starting to weigh down my brain like a chunk of lead.”

Yup, that’s badfic burnout. Two or three weeks of one-shots will clear that right up for you. That happens in pretty much any fic that lasts more than a few months… and we’re on month five with this one.

So, recap. Pretty much nothing happened last chapter. Our character blob handed Shana the white dragoon spirit and it immediately granted her dragoon powers. And there was much surprise. After that, the doctor told everyone about the Hero Competition, which should provide ample opportunity for our Stu to showboat. Joy.

That brings us to chapter eighteen.

Chapter XVIII: The Hero Competition

“This is going to involve a lot of really bad action, isn’t it?”

I’m trying to think of a way that it won’t, and I’ve got nothing.

Heading towards the side of the Arena upon asking for directions, Stryfe, Dart, Rose, Shana and Lavitz found a stand with a manager for the tournament by the name of Ginger. As soon as they went up to the stand to talk to her, Ginger could tell that the five of them were battle-hardened warriors.

“Woof.”

Not to mention they’re already blobbing in the very first sentence this week.

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 64

Ginger: Hey, if any of you people out there are the live fast die young types, and want to test your courage, step up and fill out the application!
My advice to those of you who are feeble cowards, or have cold feet, don’t register. I will guarantee you will die.

“If she sensed that they were battle-hardened warriors, why the generic pitch? Shouldn’t she have crafted that to specifically target them?”

That would have required deviation from the game’s script.

“Ahh, we can’t have that, can we?”

Stryfe: I’d like to register.

Thanks for stealing another of Dart’s lines, jerk.

Ginger: I thought you would. Sign right here.

Dart: I’ll register as well.

“So, Dart, how’s it feel to be the afterthought protagonist?”

Probably wishes the author would just not have bothered to include him.

“I can relate.”

At this point they jump into a huge glut of canon text. It’s not really remarkable and the general gist is that Dart (and Stinky) are the only party members who will be participating for various reasons. Lavitz doesn’t because he’s a knight, Shana doesn’t because she’s a healer, and Rose doesn’t because she’s too powerful and doesn’t want to faceroll the tournament. We can safely skip that because it’s 100% ripped from the game.

Stryfe and Dart both looked at each other and grinned. Stryfe was eager to test himself against Dart.

“Which doesn’t make any fucking sense. They’re both swordsmen who have been traveling together for years. They should have had hundreds of sparring sessions by this point in their lives. They should both already know who is the better swordsman.”

Little hint for those following along at home, it isn’t the douche with the idiotically large sword.

It would be like the old days when they lived back in Neet, when they had friendly competitions between one another to see who was better at something.

So, five years traveling together and no practice sessions? No wonder you start the game at level one.

Stryfe: Just like old times, Dart.

“If you didn’t suck so much at sword, it would be like current times.”

Dart: Yeah. I won’t go easy on you, Stryfe.

Stryfe: Neither will I.

Spittle isn’t going to go easy on himself?

“He might as well not pull his punches with himself. We sure won’t.”

Shana: Good luck, you two!

Lavitz: We’ll be watching from the bleachers.

Stryfe: Just don’t embarrass yourself in front of Shana, Dart.

Dart: What does that mean!?

Is it really that hard of a concept to grasp, Dart?

“He does hang out with Skittles, so he might have become totally immune to the idea of embarrassment.”

Stryfe could only chuckle in response. However, just before they entered the resting area of the Arena, Dart pulled Stryfe aside.

“Woof.”

Author! The use of ‘however’ requires some level of juxtaposition! Prose. Better!

Stryfe: What is it?

Dart: Let’s refrain ourselves from turning into Dragoons. It might cause a big mess.

A fair assessment. Magically turning into a legendary warrior of supreme power mid-fight might just be considered against the rules of fair competition.

Stryfe: Good idea. We’re here to have fun, not cause mayhem.

“Actually, why are you here? Isn’t there a war going on or something?”

NO! TOURNAMENT!

“But-”

TOURNAMENT!!!

Ginger: Are you two ready to go?

Stryfe and Dart both nodded.

Stryfe: Yeah.

Ginger: In that case, proceed to the resting area! The competition will begin shortly!

Walking into the resting area, which also led straight to the Arena Entrance, Stryfe noticed that there were many warriors who had come far and wide from all over Endiness to enter the competition.

“Why aren’t they helping out in the war?

TOURNAMENT!!!!!!!!

He knew the competition weren’t gonna be pushovers, but he wasn’t going to lose at least before facing Dart. Then, he and Dart both spotted a familiar face among the competitors, who was in an argument with an arrogant former Hellena Warden.

That’ll be Haschel, right on schedule.

“He’s that mentor guy that traveled with Dart a while, right?”

Yup, he’s a drunken martial arts master who is searching for his daughter.

Wandering Warden: What!? Old Geezer! Say that to my face again!

?: Martial abilities mature along with the spirit. You have a such an immature spirit, so you are no match for me.

“I mean look at yourself. You don’t even have a name! Even Mid-Boss had a real name!”

Have you been using my PS2 while I’m at work?

“Maaaaaaaaaayyyyyyybeeeeee.”

Wandering Warden: I can’t stand your cockiness! Let’s settle things right now!

“I’ll hold the tip, you work the ruler.”

As the Warden attempted to raise his club, the warrior in question unleashed a powerful punch at lightning speed. Knocking the Warden out instantly, Stryfe and Dart both instantly recognized the warriors technique and remembered who he was.

“Woof.”

Ye gods, this prose physically hurts to read.

?: I told you so. Learn respect for the elderly, fool.

Stryfe: I’ll be damned…

Dart: Haschel, is that you!?

Nope, it’s the other grumpy old drunken martial arts master that you know.

The elder warrior turned to Stryfe and Dart, immediately recognizing them upon seeing them.

“I’ll give the old guy credit, his ability to recognize others is way, way better than the Dart twins’.”

Haschel: Well I’ll be! Stryfe! Dart!

Stryfe: How you doing, old man?

Dart: I see you never change.

Haschel: Well, I taught him some courtesy. That’s all.

“I call the right fist ‘lernin’ and the left fist ‘knowlig.'”

Haschel began observing Stryfe and Dart. Being a long time master of martial arts, he could tell when a persons fighting prowess became stronger.

Apparently he can’t talk and look at people at the same time.

“I’m told it’s one of the first things to go as you age.”

Haschel: Hmm…You two have become stronger and tougher since the last time I saw you.

We got experience and leveled up and stuff!

“Way better than doing it the real way.”

Stryfe nodded.

Stryfe: A lot has happened since we parted ways.

Dart: You look even stronger as well, Haschel.

Even stronger than what?

“You know, the thing.”

Ahh yes, that.

Haschel: *laughs* Even if you flatter me, I won’t go easy on you!

Stryfe: Neither will I!

Dart: Same here!

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but can we move on to the daybook action scenes yet? I think I’ve had my fill of the stilted dialogue for the time being.

Stryfe: You know, I missed conversing with you like this.

You know, in this flat, uninteresting way.

“Dart: Yeah. It reminds me of our journey together.”

“Ooof. That must have been a really, really awkward journey.”

Probably why Haschel decided to strike off on his own.

Back when Stryfe and Dart were on their five year journey, they came across Haschel, who was searching for his long lost daughter, who ran away from their home after a certain incident.

EXPOSITION INCOMING!

Offering him to travel with them in hopes of finding his daughter, Haschel accompanied Stryfe and Dart for some time before they had to part ways as they had different destinations.

Translation: ‘Guys, I have to go to a place that you aren’t going. It’s a very specific place, and it’s definitely one where you aren’t going. So I’m just gonna go there. Also, stop following me.’

Haschel then turned to Stryfe and Dart again, recalling what they were searching for.

How the hell did he do that!? He never turned away!

Haschel: That reminds me…What happened to…that black whachamacallit?

Dammit, Haschel, now I really need a Watchamacallit.

Before either of them could answer, Ginger came into the waiting room to announce the beginning of the tournament.

Gigner: Ladies and Gentlemen! The time has come to decide the strongest in Endiness! Enter the arena when you are ready!

I’m pretty sure this tournament was supposed to be a ladder style, not a free-for-all. I guess that’s a change, then.

Eager to get into the ring, Stryfe felt his heart race with excitement.

“Bloodthirsty little prig, isn’t he?”

Haschel: Don’t lose before our match!

Dart: We won’t!

Stryfe: Let’s get this started!

So, there are matches, but everyone heads in at the same time, and they all start at the same time. What the hell is going on here!?

“There’s a lot of room in the void, so they probably just spread out the matches so they could run a whole bunch of them at the same time.”

Racing into the arena, Stryfe came up against a sketchy fighter named Gorgaga in his match. Immediately after drawing his sword, Stryfe was struck by a dart from Gorgaga’s blowpipe. Stryfe suddenly felt sick to his stomach as he pulled the dart out, realizing what just happened.

Stryfe: Is this poison!? You foul playing coward!

Gorgaga: Hehehe! Winning is winning!

“The tiny harmless-seeming little dart shot by the dude in the tournament wasn’t actually harmless, but was actually poisoned! PLOT TWIST!”

Oh look, Dart’s first match against Gorgaga has been given to Slippy. Much surprise that Dart has once again been elbowed out of the way for the Stu.

*SLAM*

Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 28

Author, if you can’t come up with unique stuff for your insertion to do, don’t include one.

“In fact, just don’t include one.”

Though Gorgaga though poisoning Stryfe would give him an edge, Stryfe almost immediately proved him wrong when they clashed blades. Fighting off the poison, Stryfe quickly overwhelmed Gorgaga in skill, defeating him by exposing his defenses, then striking at his chest with a well placed slash.

Because that’s how poison works. You just need to have enough willpower and you can fight it off with no ill effects.

“If only Socrates had known that.”

Naw, Socrates would have died out of the principal of the thing even if he had known.

Gorgaga: AAGGHH!

Stryfe: Cheaters never win, idiot!

Actually, they do.

“All the time, in fact.”

One of those harsh life lessons for the author. Cheaters sometimes win.

With Gorgaga knocked out by a severe wound to the chest, Stryfe was declared the winner.

“The only way you knock somebody out with a slash to the chest is if you’ve caused them so much blood loss that their brain has started to shut down. Way to go, jerk, you just murdered a guy in tournament play.”

Dart and Haschel both also came through in their matches.

Are you fucking kidding me? Now ONLY does your assy insertion steal Dart’s fight, but you also relegate his win to a footnote? Oh you better believe that’s getting counted.

*SLAM*

Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 29

As Stryfe returned to the waiting area, he was treated by the medics for his poison infliction in the match.

“New from the PCC: Situationally Dependent Poison! Need to invent tension for your otherwise uninteresting protagonist? Try Situationally Dependent Poison, it has no effect until the plot needs it to. It provides the illusion of danger without actually putting your character in any!”

Medic: There you go, sir. Just drink this.

“I bet it’s pee.”

Stryfe quickly chugged down the antidote drink. Though he hated the taste, he drank the whole thing.

Yeah, probably pee.

Fortunately, there was a bucket nearby, as he felt like throwing up soon after swallowing the whole thing.

“Yup, definitely pee.”

Feeling better, Stryfe sat down just as Dart and Haschel returned from the arena.

And that was the thrilling “Sparky Vomits” scene.

Stryfe: You guys made it.

Dart: Yeah. But I’m still tense…

Yeah, I mean, look at the fight:

Dart and Haschel both also came through in their matches.

“That shit was TENSE!”

Stryfe: Me too.

Haschel: Be prepared, you two. This is only the beginning.

“That is the most depressing thing I’ve ever read.”

I think you should pour us a couple of drinks before this gets any worse.

“I think you’re right.” *Swenia pulls a whiskey bottle out of her blouse*

Oh c’mon! First guns and now booze; what else do you have in there?

“Breasts.”

Sorry I asked.

The next match pitted Stryfe against a knight named Serfius.

Oh for the love of fuck! This is also supposed to be Dart’s battle. Dude, if you’re gonna do shit like this, you may as well just drop Dart from the fic entirely!

Serfius was an impressive warrior, well versed in the art of the sword.

“We know this because blue.”

Although Stryfe initially struggled at first, he managed to figure out Serfius’s strategy, and countered by defending and waiting out until his attacks got sloppy.

IT’S THE SAME FUCKING TACTIC HE ALWAYS USES! GAAAAAAH!

“So, sit there and wait for the plot to win the fight for him.”

As soon as Serfius exposed an opening, Stryfe attacked him through an opening in his armor, cleaving through his exposed skin.

*ALARM EXPLODES*

I guess that means the Haiku battle is done.

“Yeah, Crunchy table-flipped it after they wouldn’t allow him to use a three syllable version of Orchid.”

*Swenia reaches into her blouse and pulls out a UNC-100 Accelerator.*

The hell is that?

“Eliza let me borrow her unicorn projection cannon. Be right back.”

-[One very colorful scene of violence later]-

That was very festive.

*Swenia stands the gun up in the corner and brushes some glitter off of herself* “I’m not sure the craft herpes fallout is worth it.”

Serfius: Well, you’re more powerful and more tactical than I expected.

Don’t lie to the kid, it’s not nice.

Stryfe: Thanks, you’re not so bad yourself.

“Says the idiot using the impractically large sword and has only five years worth of practice using it.”

And given that he apparently doesn’t spar with Dart, it wouldn’t even be five years of very good practice.

Serfius: I think it’s time I get serious.

Stryfe: Same here.

Oh for crap’s sake, not this trope. Author, you need to try to have an original thought of your own. Just one. And put it in the fic, please.

Stryfe and Serfius both began clashing their blades, even using punches and kicks against one another. Although Stryfe was tempted to use his Dragoon Spirit a few times in the fight, he refrained from doing so upon seeing Shana, Lavitz and Rose in the crowds.

So, basically, if nobody was watching him, he’d totally cheat to win.

“So much for that moral high ground against cheating.”

He then noticed that whenever Serfius attacks, he leaves a huge opening in his defenses, as if he’s trying solely to focus all his energy on offense.

“So, he noticed the same vague and generic thing about Serfius that he observed earlier?”

*The ruins of the alarm spark and sputter*

*Swenia heaves a sigh and picks up the UNC-100* “It can’t be worth the glitter.”

-[One scene of glitzy violence later]-

“I’m going to be washing this crap out of my fur for weeks.”

Waiting for the right moment, Stryfe countered every blow with his own until finally, he saw Serfius give an opening. Blocking Serfius’s attack, Stryfe knocked him down with a low knee sweep, followed by a knockout blow to the head.

“Oh, a stunning blow, right to the helmet.”

I’m betting the author forgot that Serfius was wearing one.

Stryfe: You weren’t too bad. But it looks like I win.

Dude, the guy’s unconscious, stop being a dick to his insensate body.

Heading back into the waiting room, Stryfe rejoined Dart and Haschel, who also came through the second round.

Once again, why even have other characters if this is all the development you’re gonna give them?

*SLAM*

Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 30

Part of being a good writer is to give face-time to all the characters. Another part of being a good writer is not having an overpowered douchecanoe based on yourself as the protagonist.

Looking at the tournament ladder, Stryfe noticed who Haschel and Dart’s opponents were.

But it’s none of our business, I guess?

Stryfe: You guys are going up against each other?

“Ooooh, the author was just looking for a more awkward way to tell us that information.”

Dart: It looks that way…

Haschel: I won’t hold back, Dart!

Dart: Neither will I, Haschel!

Stryfe: Go kick ass, Dart.

Yeah, kill the old man.

“I’m not sure that’s-”

FEAST ON HIS HEART, YOU WUSS!

This fight is actually something that doesn’t happen in the game. I’m assuming it’s put in here to give Dart and Haschel something superficial to do while Stryfe steals all Dart’s battles. A shame it robs a future scene of importance to have them fight each other.

As Dart and Haschel moved to their part of the arena to face each other, Stryfe went out to his area in the arena to face his opponent, the Gladiator Danton.

Speaking of which, that’s another one stolen from Dart.

*SLAM*

Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 31

Stryfe noticed immediately after the battle began that fighting Danton was going to be tough, as the Gladiator was almost completely armored from head to toe.

So it took until the battle began before he noticed that Danton was heavily armored?

Danton

Yeah, that’s reeeeeeeeeal hard to pick up on.

He also towered over Stryfe by at least a foot, and he was packing some serious power with his giant hammer.

“I’m gonna call it now. Stripper comes up with a tactic that involves defending until an opening appears.”

Avoiding the hammer strikes, Stryfe suddenly noticed that Danton’s legs were only protected by chaim mail. He knew immediately that attacking that area was his only chance to win. Upon luring Danton into attacking with his hammer, Stryfe avoided the strike and unleashed a couple of precise low slashes at Danton’s legs.

“Called it.”

Dude, I think most paramecium saw that one coming.

Now with his opponent barely able to stand, Stryfe struck key areas of Danton’s armor with his Zwiehander, causing the armor to fall off the giant as if it was made of paper.

“Uh, author, you do know that armor doesn’t have special hit areas that causes it to fall off, right? Right? You know that only happens in video games. Right?”

I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.

“Also, author, you’re still spelling it wrong.”

With his opponent disarmed, Stryfe watched as Danton immediately forfeited.

Seriously, stop using words that you don’t understand. ‘Immediately’ being one of the key offenders here.

Danton: This cannot be.

Stryfe: Size isn’t everything.

“Maybe not, but it can make the sex more fun.  It’s like sports, sometimes the equipment matters more than others, and when it does, having great equipment can-

Stahp.

“Especially when you’re fencing!  It helps to have a rapier that can stab all the way-”

STAHP.

“Fine.  Well, maybe now we can get a scene of Dart and Haschel and their epic fight! A scene where the student has become the mas-”

Heading back to the waiting area, Stryfe found out that Dart had defeated Haschel.

“Oh right, I was thinking of a well-written fic.”

We all make that mistake from time to time.

Looking at the standings, Stryfe became thrilled when he found out that Dart was his opponent.

I’m so deeply involved that I’m nearly, nearly beside myself with apathy. But I’m not, because tense.

“You would be if I didn’t whack Crunchy away from the respawn control room this morning.”

As Stryfe and Dart looked at each other with excitement filled in both of their eyes, Stryfe couldn’t help but give his best friend a confident grin, which Dart met with his own.

“You two may as well whip them out and let me have a look so we can settle this.”

Stryfe: It’s gonna be just like old times…

Dart: Yeah. I won’t hold back, Stryfe.

Stryfe: Neither will I. Let’s not keep the crowd waiting.

I’ve always wondered if apathy could congeal into a physical entity and then gain sentience of its own. We may discover the answer to that before the end of this scene.

Heading out to the arena, Stryfe and Dart heard the cheers of Lavitz, Rose and Shana. Drawing their swords, Stryfe and Dart charged at each other, immediately clashing blades with each passing second. The entire audience was on edge as the two best friends fought tooth and nail against one another in order to obtain an advantage over the other.

“It’s of course important not to actually show us the fight, but just trust that we understand how intense it is.”

Soon, Stryfe not only began clashing blades with Dart, but he even began exchanging punches and kicks with him.

Then the hair pulling and name calling started.

As they continued to fight, Stryfe and Dart both noticed Shana watching them from below, with a look of worry in her eyes.

“Eyes on the battlefield, morons!”

Luckily they both did that at the same exact time, otherwise one of them would have had an opening to exploit.

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 65

Stryfe and Dart could only smile at her while shaking their heads, showing her that this was usually how they compete against one another in a setting such as this.

“So wait, this is like old times before their journey back when they were with Shana all the time, but they’ve encountered settings like this and have competed in exactly this way before that Shana doesn’t know about?”

what-the-fuck-am-i-reading

“Can you fucking read what you’re writing? Even if only at the very moment when you write it!”

As the fight continued on, Stryfe and Dart were both worn out to the point where they could barely stand.

Quick, somebody pelt them with beer cans until they pass out; you can take their spot!

Seeing his best friend stare him down, Stryfe began to remember the times when they used to battle with sticks they found in the fields outside of Neet when they were kids, and how devoted they were to proving that which one of them was the better of the two.

“We get it, it’s like old times! Can we move on and finish this boring ass-chapter!?”

Weren’t you pouring us some drinks?

“Oh right!” *Pours two brimming glasses of whiskey and hands one over to Taco*

I’m gonna save it for the inevitable.

“The what?”

Just wait for it.

Stryfe then remembered that it was Dart that usually won those fights.

So it took you this long to remember that? Fuck you, Spammy, and your obvious-ass, last-ditch play for false tension.

Determined to make sure this time was different, Stryfe instantly felt an unknown strength surge through him.

Oh fuck. Glasses ready, Swenia.

*Both raise their glasses*

Jumping into the air, Stryfe met Dart midair and clashed blades one last time, causing a flash that temporarily blinded all in the arena.

*SLAM*

Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 32

Waaaaaait for it..

When the light faded, Stryfe and Dart were both standing back to back. When Stryfe looked back at his best friend, Dart looked back and gave him a grin.

Dart: Looks like…you win.

As Dart fell to the ground, Stryfe withdrew his zwiehander as the crowd cheered.

And drink.

*Taco and Swenia slam back their whiskey, which is followed by Taco descending into a coughing fit*

“Author, fuck off, and after you’ve done that, fuck on back here and then fuck off again. Not ONLY did you give all of Dart’s fights to your stupid insertion, which you get another one of these for:”

*SLAM*

Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 33

“Not ONLY that, but you then have that insertion knock Dart out of the competition in the absolute worst fight scene I’ve ever read.”

*SLAM*

Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 34

*Taco clears his throat as his coughing fit subsides*

And the absolute worst part is that the final battle of this competition is supposed to go a very specific way which introduces another important character, Lloyd, and establishes the rivalry between him and Dart. Now that’s going to pass to Spunky here, essentially transferring the entirety of the protagonist spot to him. So why even fucking include Dart if you’re just going to castrate his role in the fic and hand all the important bits to you little splort of personified masturbation!?

*SLAM*

Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 35

Your little ass-leakage of a character can go die in a fire, author.

“And you STILL can’t spell the name of the sword correctly. The most basic German word: Zwei, the number two, and you can’t spell it right.”

Helping Dart back up, he couldn’t help but feel amazing as he finally won against Dart.

“And it totes wasn’t at an informed pivotal moment set up and resolved in a contrived way at all!”

This moment is really the turning point of the fic. It was basically a bad rip of the game before now, but this moment has sent it on an out of control spiral toward a level of crap rivaling that of the Raptor and I fics. That the author was deluded enough to think that this was a good idea is staggering.

Heading back into the waiting area, they found Haschel waiting for them, clapping in response to seeing Stryfe and Dart’s match.

I think everyone is picturing him clapping like this:

sarcastic-clap-o

Haschel: That was amazing, Stryfe! Dart!

No, it wasn’t. It was a travesty against the source material and writing in general.

Stryfe: Thanks, old man.

Dart: That’s the last time I underestimate you, Stryfe.

Stryfe: Heh, we’ll see.

“And the author just keeps heaping it on.”

*SLAM*

Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 36

Sharing a laugh with Dart and Haschel, Stryfe suddenly noticed a man with platinum hair observing them from the corner.

“AND FROM BEHIND!”

So close.

His eyes were as red as blood, yet he didn’t seem to be albino due to his unnatural silver hair. Stryfe became curious as to who he was.

Prose, you’re doing it wrongest.

Stryfe: Who is that?

Haschel: He’s a tremendous sword master. I think his name is…Lloyd or something.

O Hai Lloyd. This is the character I was talking about earlier. He’s one of the primary antagonists for a large portion of the game and a throughly magnificent bastard. This is where Dart is supposed to meet him for the first time. In the canon source, after another 3 rounds in the colosseum Dart and Lloyd square off, and Lloyd throughly beats Dart down. This establishes how dangerous Lloyd is and gives weight to the threat he poses to Basil (and the world as a whole).

Here… well, I shudder just thinking about it.

Noticing that they were talking about him, Lloyd immediately got up and walked towards them. Something felt off as Stryfe saw him approach, but he kept calm, as he didn’t want any trouble before the final match.

Huh, well, the good news is that the author finally seemed to realize that copying and pasting the same battle scene six times for all the rounds of the tournament wouldn’t be a good idea, so he’s skipped from round four to the final round. The bad news is that he didn’t realize how tedious his fight scenes were before he wrote the first one.

Stryfe: Are you…Lloyd?

“It would have been really awkward if Haschel had remembered the name wrong.”

Lloyd: Yes…

Stryfe: My name is Stryfe. It looks like we’re opponents in the final match.

Lloyd: Indeed…

Thanks for helping the pacing there, Lloyd. It wasn’t halting and awkward enough without the extra ellipses, so thanks for filling that void.

Stryfe: Let’s give it our all. Alright?

As Stryfe laid out his hand, Lloyd silently took it and shook it.

Lloyd: Very well…I’ll dedicate this match to what fate has in store for us.

“Whatever, so long as Lloyd stomps this little shit, I’m good.”

I’m too dispirited by that last fight to even hope that Lloyd is going to win. And even if he does, the damage has been done. There is no redeeming this fic. There never was given the level of plagiarism, but now it’s just flushed away anything that could even be positive about this fic.

Stryfe: Huh?

“Use smaller words, Lloyd, Splorch’s brain can’t take all the fancy language.”

Dart: What do you mean by that?

Before Lloyd could answer, Ginger came in to tell them that the match was about to begin.

Ginger: Here is the gong to determine the strongest! No time for holding back anymore! The crowd is on the edge of their seats!

You know, if they sat back they’d be a lot more comfortable.

“With all the tedium, you’d think at least some of them would have taken the opportunity to settle back and have a nap.”

Maybe the seats are just poorly designed and you just have to sit on the edge the whole time.

Lloyd silently let go of Stryfe’s handshake and proceeded to the ring. Stryfe couldn’t help but feel that something wasn’t normal about Lloyd, only to be knocked off his train of thought by feeling Dart’s hand on his shoulder pad.

That’s like the most basic concept you could attempt, and you screwed it up. How? How do you screw up such a simple concept as a derailed train of thought!?

Dart: You ready?

Stryfe: Yeah.

Haschel: True strength comes from the heart. Remember that.

Stryfe: Alright.

“Actually, in this case his strength comes directly from the author’s need to wank himself all over the page. But I guess the penis is kinda like the heart. They’re connected by blood vessels and stuff, right!? And to continue the metaphor, Strumpy is like a symbolic butt-plug! Because I want the author to shove the character up his own ass.”

That’s not a metaphor!

“Meh, whatever.”

Heading out into the ring to greet Lloyd, Stryfe saw him drew a long, thin-bladed longsword as he drew his own zwiehander.

“Still spelled wrong.”

As Lloyd lifted his hand up, he moved his index finger back and forth, prompting Stryfe to make the first move.

*Facepalm*

Really? I mean- really? I shouldn’t have to explain to anyone why that sentence is stupid.

Charging in, Stryfe unleashed a powerful slash, only to realize he cut nothing but the air.

“Can you just beat him down, Lloyd? I don’t have enough whiskey to make it through another of the author’s fight scenes.”

Quickly recovering, Stryfe constantly tried to land a blow on Lloyd, who dodged every single one of his strikes with such ease.

Stryfe: How can he be this fast!? I can’t read his moves at all!

As Stryfe unleashed a vertical slash, Lloyd quickly swung his blade at him with such speed that Stryfe couldn’t see it. A second later, Stryfe felt a painful sting in his right arm. Looking towards where the pain was coming from, Stryfe saw a cut that wasn’t there a second ago, and it was bleeding.

“I just can’t. I’m gonna loose it here if this keeps going; make this shit stop! You have the power, Lloyd!”

Stryfe: What kind of skill is this!? It’s humanly impossible!

Lloyd: I’m a little disappointed.

Welcome to the fic, Lloyd. We should pour him a whiskey and have the wraiths send it in there.

“Hell with that. If he wins this fight, I’m sending him my panties.”

Sorry, he’s already got a lover.

“Shame. Whiskey it is.”

Lloyd then proceeded to attack Stryfe with multiple attacks that Stryfe could barely defend himself against due to his inhuman speed. Although Stryfe was losing strength due to his wounds, he refused to give up.

Lloyd: You have impressive willpower. But it’s time to end this.

Please do, this whole thing has gone on for like… eighteen chapters too long.

As the two charged at each other, Stryfe felt an immense pain shoot across his body as Lloyd quickly disappeared and immediately reappeared behind him. Clenching his wound, Stryfe dropped his zwiehander and tried to prevent anymore blood from coming out.

“Bleed out, bleed out, bleed out, bleed out!”

After being taken back to the waiting room to be treated for his wounds, Stryfe headed back out into the arena in order to hear the declaring of the top three fighters of the tournament.

“Booo!” *Throws popcorn at the fic*

Ginger: Here are the results of the annual Endiness Hero Competition! The victor, is the Platinum-haired swordsman, Lloyd! The toughest and strongest man in all of Endiness! Second place is Stryfe, the “Indigo Avenger! And in Third, Dart, the “Red Flame”!

*Snerk* BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Man, and I thought space-bound dragon was pure idiocy in naming, and then the author manages to top it with ‘Indigo Avenger.’

Although he didn’t win the tournament, Stryfe felt happy that he at least made it as far as he did.

We aren’t. Given the level of competency he has actually displayed in the fic, he should have accidentally impaled himself in the first match.

*Swenia suddenly, and from behind, drags Taco over the back of his chair, pins him to the ground, and starts liberally applying bolt tape*

That’d be the end coming up, then?

“Yup. Here, one last gulp of whiskey before I gag you.”

Not only did he manage to make it to the finals, but he also finally won a friendly match against Dart. After the crowds cheers died down, Stryfe went back to the waiting area to recuperate for a bit…

“God that was a horrible chapter. I’m thinking of bolt taping myself to something to tamp down the rage. But, I’ve got the unhealthy support of the bottle, so I’ll be okay.”

MMMMMMMF!

“So will he. Until next week, patrons!”

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54 Comments on “1100: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter Eighteen”

  1. AdmiralSakai says:

    Stryfe suddenly noticed that Danton’s legs were only protected by chaim mail.

    Why are a gladiator’s legs being protected by our neighborhood’s Jewish postman?

  2. AdmiralSakai says:

    And I’ve just now figured out the true significance of the ‘fic’s title: “The Eighth Spirit” is what you have to drink to get through the fight sequences.

    • TacoMagic says:

      My hat is off to anyone who can make it through this fic with only 8 spirits. I think I’m up to 11 or 12 by now, and things look like they’re going to go downhill fast past this point.

      Hmm…

      CRUNCHY! I need you to make a liquor run!

  3. Tie Dye Mage says:

    I swear, I think I’m going to make a counter for all of the innuendos you’ve managed to pull out of this fic.

  4. GhostCat says:

    Haschel began observing Stryfe and Dart. Being a long time master of martial arts, he could tell when a persons fighting prowess became stronger.

    Like much of this fic, this statement whiffs of bullshit. Where’s Lyle when you need her? We need some info-dumping.

  5. GhostCat says:

    Racing into the arena, Stryfe came up against a sketchy fighter named Gorgaga in his match. Immediately after drawing his sword, Stryfe was struck by a dart from Gorgaga’s blowpipe

    A guy with a comically over-sized sword versus a sketchy dude with a blowgun? Who the hell set up the brackets for these fights?

    Also – a “blowpipe” is the long hollow tube used in glassblowing, no darts involved.

  6. GhostCat says:

    Fortunately, there was a bucket nearby, as he felt like throwing up soon after swallowing the whole thing.

    Because immediately vomiting up the antidote is a good way to treat a poisoned wound.

  7. GhostCat says:

    Jumping into the air, Stryfe met Dart midair and clashed blades one last time, causing a flash that temporarily blinded all in the arena.

    What?

    When the light faded, Stryfe and Dart were both standing back to back. When Stryfe looked back at his best friend, Dart looked back and gave him a grin.

    Dart: Looks like…you win.

    As Dart fell to the ground, Stryfe withdrew his zwiehander as the crowd cheered.

    :blinks: That … It … WHAT?!?!?

    • TacoMagic says:

      Too much anime, too little brain.

      • GhostCat says:

        Does anything remotely like that happen in the game?

        • TacoMagic says:

          Some of the special attacks get kinda crazy, but nothing precisely like that.

        • GhostCat says:

          It’s really odd; they are full-on attacking each other and then the Big Flash happens and they are back-to-back like they just finished a big dance number.

        • TacoMagic says:

          Yeah, I think he was trying to write one of those anime style aerial clashes where they land past each other and then one of them collapses, but it’s a very visual trope that does not translate to writing.

        • GhostCat says:

          This author is definitely one of the “mental movie” types; everything probably looks awesome in his head but the audience is left scratching theirs.

          I’m going to picture all the battles ending with jazz-hands from now on.

      • AdmiralSakai says:

        To be fair, I’m one of those “mental movie” types too, but of course I make sure to actually describe the important elements of whatever I happen to be visualizing and rework places where it just doesn’t translate to prose.

  8. AdmiralSakai says:

    Medic: There you go, sir. Just drink this. Stryfe quickly chugged down the antidote drink. Though he hated the taste, he drank the whole thing. Fortunately, there was a bucket nearby, as he felt like throwing up soon after swallowing the whole thing.

    Medic: “No, wait, do-. … Stryper, you were onlysupposed to swallow one mouthful! You just ingested eight times the maximum safe dosage of that!”

  9. neji7hyuga says:

    Been reading the comments and saw some things I felt I needed to put my opinions on about-

    TacoMagic- Yeah, I think he was trying to write one of those anime style aerial clashes where they land past each other and then one of them collapses, but it’s a very visual trope that does not translate to writing.

    I agree on that. It just does not translate well, I’d describe what happened during the clash and suchlike, so that people won’t be left going “What happened?”

    GhostCat- This author is definitely one of the “mental movie” types; everything probably looks awesome in his head but the audience is left scratching theirs.

    I’m going to picture all the battles ending with jazz-hands from now on.

    AdmiralSakai- To be fair, I’m one of those “mental movie” types too, but of course I make sure to actually describe the important elements of whatever I happen to be visualizing and rework places where it just doesn’t translate to proses.

    I am with AdmiralSakai on this.

    I feel that a mental movie really helps with my action scenes, and like AdmiralSakai, I make sure, or at least try to, describe the important elements of whatever I happen to be visualizing and rework places where it just doesn't translate to prose.

    I think what may have happened was the writer wrote, and did not double check the action scene. I have found a few times that when I first write an action scene, it just does not seem right so I rework it and tidy it up. Basically proofreading it, and again once I look the whole story or chapter over.

    • neji7hyuga says:

      Messed up the blockquotes…

    • GhostCat says:

      The “mental movie” does help, but the problem lies in taking that movie out of your brain and showing it to the audience. That’s why many of the fics in the Library take place in the Formless Void; the author knows what’s going on and where, so they mentally fill in the blank spots without realizing it.

      • neji7hyuga says:

        True, it does help. In fact, it’s why I find action scenes easier for me than dialogue. Though easier does not mean easy, it can be a bit difficult.

        That’s what it sounds like. I think one just has to be careful. Like how one has to be careful with dealing with the pull of Wish Fulfillment…

        And that also goes to show why one should proofread and make sure they didn’t leave any critical details out.

    • TacoMagic says:

      The problem with “mental movie” isn’t necessarily in the usage of picturing stuff in your head, indeed lots of people who write do that. The issues is with several of the ideas that come along with picturing things as if they were a cinematic movie. There are lots of things that work very well cinematically that don’t translate at all into the written work. Generally it comes down to a misunderstanding that a literary work (barring a screen play) is not a movie, and should not be written as if we are watching a screen.

      The most prominent failure here is the idea of a camera. Generally if you see a variant of the phrase “can be seen” in the narrative, this fault has just occurred. Another is with the idea of movie-style scene changes and transitions, which leads to the beloved scene and point of view tags that break up the flow of the narrative and ruin immersion. Other more heinous things also come from this, such as the inclusion of musical scores or literary montages.

      So it’s basically a different variant of not being able to separate game mechanics from the fiction, but in this case it’s movie/TV mechanics.

      • GhostCat says:

        It’s the difference between a passive and an active experience; in a “mental movie” situation the audience is sitting in their seats watching flat images that have no depth or life. In a well-written work it is more like visiting a historical reenactment; the audience can actually feel and react to what’s going on around them.

      • neji7hyuga says:

        I see, thanks for clearing it up.

        Though, there’s one part I am unsure on about-

        Generally if you see a variant of the phrase “can be seen” in the narrative, this fault has just occurred.

        Is that a case of telling with a camera instead of showing what actually happened? Like in that fight scene with that flash in this chapter of the story?

        And also thanks for the rest of the info on stuff, can use it to be even more sure I haven’t messed up an action scene and other parts of the story.

        Sounds like it. Some things just don’t transition well from games or movies into written works.

        • TacoMagic says:

          Is that a case of telling with a camera instead of showing what actually happened? Like in that fight scene with that flash in this chapter of the story?

          Yes, that is exactly it. Using “can/could be seen” is telling the audience what they’re seeing (or should be seeing) rather than actually showing it to them.

        • neji7hyuga says:

          Oh, I see. Thanks for clearing it up. I understand now.

        • GhostCat says:

          The battle-flash was a failed attempt to render a visual into a written description. If you look at the first chapter of my Jelsa fic it has a good example of “telling with a camera”. Carolina is speaking with Jack in the hallway;

          “Hans, Kristoff, and I are heading to the Queen’s ball, and you have the entire house to clean.” She sneered, revealing she was in a long pink poofy dress.

          Jack is physically facing Carolina and can see what she’s wearing the entire time, but the scene is written as if for a movie or TV show; a close-up of them speaking followed by a wide shot showing what she is wearing. This information should have been revealed when Jack first saw Carolina, since this fic is done from his perspective.

        • neji7hyuga says:

          Oh, I see. Thanks for clearing it up and thanks for the info and example. :)

          I’ll be wary of that mistake, same as with the others. After all, that’s what proofreading is for, catching mistakes and fixing them.

      • Herr Wozzeck says:

        My next riff coming up actually talks about the whole cinema/literature divide, ’cause the author really doesn’t seem to understand just how different the two media are. Well, didn’t. I think. I hope.

        On the plus side, I get to go on a long speech about it, and even better is that I got to do some minor film analysis to prove my point!

  10. Herr Wozzeck says:

    I’d expect to see a one-shot break coming up soon as I think we’re both getting a bit burnt out here.

    Yay! Man, not that I don’t love seeing this snarking, but it’s been a long while! You deserve a break for trudging through this!

  11. Herr Wozzeck says:

    “I call the right fist ‘lernin’ and the left fist ‘knowlig.’”

    At least he doesn’t call his hips “twirly” and “whirly”.

  12. Herr Wozzeck says:

    What happened to…that black whachamacallit?

    Probably with Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney.

  13. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Stryfe came up against a sketchy fighter named Gorgaga in his match.

    Sketchy fighter? So you could say he’s in a… bad romance?

    *bowled over by Eliza*

    Ow.

    • Tie Dye Mage says:

      I’m left speechless at that bad pun. I hope my poker face is enough to hide my disdain.

      Eh, eh nothing else I can say.

  14. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Stryfe: Cheaters never win, idiot!

    Tell that to Wall Street.

  15. Herr Wozzeck says:

    “I bet it’s pee.”

    Hey! Don’t knock Pirelli’s Miracle Elixir! It’ll do the trick, sir!

  16. Herr Wozzeck says:

    “Yeah, Crunchy table-flipped it after they wouldn’t allow him to use a three syllable version of Orchid.”

    So… anybody want to tell Crunchy that most people who write haiku in English don’t bother to adhere to the 5-7-5 syllable structure?

  17. Herr Wozzeck says:

    “I’m going to be washing this crap out of my fur for weeks.”

    You could always get the dubstep gun, you know:

  18. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Now with his opponent barely able to stand, Stryfe struck key areas of Danton’s armor with his Zwiehander, causing the armor to fall off the giant as if it was made of paper.

    Dude, no! I can sense Fraug’s aneurism all the way from here!

  19. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Then the hair pulling and name calling started.

    *frown*

    *checks cast list*

    Huh. According to this, the role of Stiletto is to be played by Regina George. Who knew?

  20. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Really? I mean- really? I shouldn’t have to explain to anyone why that sentence is stupid.

    What, apart from the fact that you can turn Whip My Hair into a patter song by replacing “hair” with “finger”?


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