1146: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter TwentyPosted: August 19, 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
Greetings, patrons! It’s Wednesday, so you know what that means!
“Another day with awkward prose, regurgitated plot, and horrible action sequences?”
You forgot the casual sexism.
“Oh yes, how could I forget the best part.”
Last time we… didn’t get much.
“To my memory it was them basking in the post-fight glow of a second and third place finish followed up with a trip to the Slums amusement park. After some really stilted dialogue, a dude peppered with arrows shows up just in time to warn them about the kidnapping of King Albert. Then dude-full-of-arrows kicks the bucket because nobody thought to ask Shana to heal him with her new Dragoon powers. The group spends a few hours gearing up, and then they head back toward Hellena prison, which they had literally just finished escaping from a few chapters earlier.”
Yup! Speaking of Hellena:
Chapter XX: Return to Hellena
You’re spending too much time around Crunchy.
“Hey, it’s hard finding a good bridge partner.”
By the time the group had Hellena in their view, the sun was setting in the distance.
Whoa, man, slow down. That’s just too much setting for one sentence!
“There’s Hellena emerging from the misty whitness, as the sun sets in the distance. Much descriptive setting.”
This would work to their advantage, as a night raid was much easier to pull off than a rescue effort for King Albert.
Whoa there, did… did that just say-?
“The first thing you learn in the academy is that sometimes it’s better to just bust in and steal things than it is to rescue the target. It’s easier, you get hot loot, and the target probably isn’t all that important anyway.”
That doesn’t sound like a good-
After Stryfe and Rose quickly overwhelmed and killed the entrance guard that Stryfe and Dart snuck by the last time, Lavitz jumped onto the drawbridge, which was raising due to the merchant that Stryfe and Dart encountered already delivering his shipment to Hellena.
*Swenia rubs her neck*
How’s the lump?
“Barky. And it’s starting to throb a bit.”
Well, our medical plan does cover Ishi-
“Don’t finish that sentence.”
Lavitz: I GOT THIS!
“The what now?”
After fighting and striking down the guard in charge of the drawbridge, Lavitz lowered the drawbridge for Stryfe, Dart, Shana, Rose and Haschel.
Stryfe: You heard him! Come on!
Ohh, ahh, much thrilling action.
Racing into the prison entrance, the group were quick to cut down any Hellena Wardens that got in their way.
Given the quality of the combat scenes, I think I speak for everyone when I say that it’s better that we get it paraphrased like that.
“If nothing else, it gets me back to the rest of my Wednesday faster.”
Fighting their way through the floors, this time doing no effort to remain hidden, Stryfe couldn’t help but feel sick to his stomach when he saw the state of some of the prisoners in the cells. They were malnourished and barely alive, as if they were living skeletons, and seeing them in such a state was heart wrenching.
But not so concerned that he’s going to do anything about it.
“Let’s not go crazy here. He’d actually have to do something!”
Continuing to fight their way through the prison floors, the group eventually reached the area where Stryfe, Dart and Lavitz found the key to the cell Shana was being held in last time they were there.
Somehow, referencing poorly described scenes in order to describe the current scene seems purposefully unhelpful.
However, the room was eerily quiet contrasting to last time they were there.
Really? Was it actually boistrous there last time?
“Honestly, I can’t remember it was so vague and unimportant at the time. We’d have to go back and look.”
And we’re not about to do that.
“No, we definitely aren’t.”
As soon as they went into the center of the room, however, they were ambushed by wardens who were waiting in the shadows.
“Because that’s what wardens do when they’re in a prison. They hang out in ambush just waiting for anyone trying to do a jail break.”
Well… I mean, it seems to be working in this case, right?
Hellena Warden #1: Thank you for coming all this way to die!
That’s very polite of him. Normally when you ambush somebody you just kill them outright, but he’s taking the time to actually thank his victims.
“It’s all about maintaining those high standards of evil.”
Stryfe: An ambush!?
“Yes, stinky, an ambush. Glad you’re able to figure that one out, Private Obvious.”
Lavitz: Take us to King Albert! Or it will be your last breath!
So… are they just going to take turns threatening each other?
“This is as bad as a pokemon battle where both opponents are using taunt for four rounds.”
Have you been borrowing my DS behind my back?
“You need to get a new battery for it, it only lasts like two hours on a charge.”
Hellena Warden #1: Hmm. Brave, brave. You still don’t know who you are and where you are.
“That’s the little-known Confucianism gambit. It’s not the most effective counter-attack in melee combat, but it’s going to serve him better than a Nihilism feint.”
Dart: Why don’t you just shut up and get out of our way!?
I’m actually with Dart on this one. Everyone just shut up so the narrative can paraphrase another fight.
Hellena Warden #1: We know how strong you are. But it doesn’t make any difference because you are still just feed!
“And this time will totally be different than the last time when you trounced everyone in the prison!”
The warden pulled a lever that was next to the platform he was on, causing the floor underneath Stryfe, Dart, Rose, Shana and Lavitz.
“The fiends! They used a level to cause the floor!”
I didn’t even know you could use a lever to do that! I’ve always had to pay a contractor if I wanted a floor. Never even occurred to me to just use a lever.
Although it was just a minute of falling, Stryfe felt as if he was falling for almost a day as the screams of his friends rang through his ears, only to be interrupted by the group landing hard on the ground below. As Stryfe regained consciousness, he barely managed to lift himself off the ground as his head was still spinning.
“You okay there, Sport?”
Gonna be just fine. Nothing wrong with them surviving a fall that lasted a full minute. Nothing at all. Nope. Juuuuuust fine with it.
“You look like you could use a coffee. Here, have this one.”
*Swenia passes over a PCC brand Latte.*
“Now, do your best not to think about why they didn’t change into dragoons during that fall and fly back up.”
Stryfe: That was some fall…
Yes. *Twitch* It certainly was. *Twitch*
“Drink your coffee.”
Dart: Everyone alright!?
Stryfe: Yeah…I’m alright.
Shana: I’m fine.
Lavitz: I’m not even hurt.
“Let me just go ahead and add a little extra something to that coffee.”
*Swenia snags the coffee and pours something into it from her PCC provided flask*
Stryfe: Rose? You okay?
Rose: Yeah. I’ve been through worse…
This fic, for instance.
*Taco and Swenia high-five*
Haschel: Don’t worry about me. I’m not that old yet!
Yeah! Only the elderly are hurt by sudden stops at terminal velocity!
Stryfe: Those bastards…Using such a cowardly tactic like that!
“Cowardly or not, it worked pretty damn well.”
Rose: Well, it’s one way to fight. It’s our own fault for being trapped.
“Damn straight, Rose!”
A shame it’s a line pulled from the game, so not worth a redemption cookie.
Haschel: You’re harsh, you know that?
“Doesn’t make it not true, gramps.”
“Stryfe: No…she’s right. We were just as foolish to get caught in that trap.”
I don’t really know what to do with myself when Spunky actually agrees with a valid point.
“It doesn’t happen that often, so just ignore it until it goes away.”
Dart: Well, all that matters now is that we have to find a way out of here.
WHY IS EVERYONE SUDDENLY MAKING SENSE!?
“Just drink your coffee, it can’t last.”
As everyone looked around to try and find a way out of the room, Stryfe noticed that Shana was looking at some boulders that were near the wall.
Stryfe: Shana? What are you doing?
“I’m guessing that she’s looking at boulders that are near the wall.”
“Funny, I was thinking that about the prose.”
Shana: There’s a draft coming from the gap between the boulders.
Damn drafty dungeons. They’re almost never built up to proper insulation code.
Stryfe: There’s what!?
“There he is! That’s the guy we’re used to.”
It’s almost refreshing to see him once again confused by such a basic concept.
Stryfe moved closer to the boulders, observing a small crack in between them that was big enough for him to feel a small draft blow in his face. Stryfe then knew that the crack was their key to escaping.
“So the fact that they can all fly..?”
Game mechanics say that they have to use a hidden passage.
Stryfe: She’s right!
“Try not to act so surprised that a woman was right.”
Dart: If we can make an opening, we can get out through there!
Lavitz: But how are we gonna pry the rocks apart!?
Hey! We could turn into dragoons!
“Naw, then we’d be able to fly.”
“AND FROM BEHIND!”
the group heard a strange sound coming from the shadows nearby.
What’d it sound like?
Stryfe felt the hairs on his neck stand on end as the sound continued to get louder and louder with each passing second.
“See, it sounds like, you know, a sound.”
Slowly reaching for his zwiehander, he grabbed the pommel and kept a firm grip on it as the sound got closer.
“Still spelled wrong.”
And he still shouldn’t be able to draw it without assistance.
Haschel: It seems we have to welcome an unwanted guest before we escape.
Rose: Well, we’re supposed to be feed. We have everything we need.
Stryfe: I’m not gonna be some monster’s feed!
“Ahh, good ol’ rancor. Just in time.”
Sorry, wrong mythology.
“Star Wars is not mythology.”
Right, forgot that you’re a native to that universe.
Emerging from the shadows, Stryfe, Dart, Shana, Rose, Lavitz and Haschel came face to face with a rare type of monster known as a Jiango.
There it is!
Nope, character blob moment!
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 66
“So what’s this Jiango thing all about?”
Well, maybe it’ll get described.
Right, let me just put up a picture of it.
“You sure that isn’t a rancor?”
Might be a cousin species, I guess.
These monsters were usually kept in prisons throughout the world at one point before they were nearly hunted to extinction.
“The hell does that even mean?”
I guess prisons are their natural habitat. Maybe this planet just has prisons as a natural formation or something? Yeah… I got nothin’.
Although the Jiango was huge and slow, it was no pushover when it came to power strikes.
“What!? What does any of this mean?”
I… I don’t know. At this point the author seems like he’s just face-rolling his autocomplete and hoping it makes a story.
Using powerful blows with it’s claw arm and causing the ceiling to cave in by jumping up and down on the ground furiously.
Ooookay? Author, I think you.
“Taco, you didn’t finish your-”
Using their speed to gain the upper hand against it, Stryfe, Dart and Rose flanked the Jiango from the left while Lavitz and Haschel flanked it from the right.
“Well hey, look at that. Stank-bait is finally doing something other than going on the defensive until the plot hands him a win.”
Stank-bait!? That’s it, we’re gonna stick with that!
“How about we settle with Stanky?”
Shana hid behind a small patch of rocks and provided cover with her arrows, but since most of the Jiango’s body was armored, she had do wait until it exposed it’s head, arms or legs to strike it.
Wait, so if the only thing that’s armored is the main body, why is she waiting? Pretty sure it can’t cover all its extremities at once. Not to mention it’s got that one huge arm. Kinda hard to hide that thing.
Leading the Jiango in a circle to disorient it while striking at it’s legs whenever they had the chance, Stryfe, Dart, Rose, Lavitz and Haschel attacked the beast with everything they had once the monster lost it’s footing, severely wounding it.
“Woof!” *Rubs her throat* “I dunno, maybe I should see if Crunchy can zap this thing away.”
“Gotta be better than leaches.”
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 67
However, the Jiango wouldn’t give into death without giving a struggle for it’s life, something that was irritating for the group.
“WOOF! Woof woof!” *Rubs her throat* Of course, I’ve got a modest collection of boot knives, I could just try to remove it myself…
That sounds like it could end really poorly.
“Yeah, I wasn’t thrilled with the plan as I heard it coming out of my mouth.”
Finally, Stryfe, Dart and Rose all stabbed the Jiango in the head at once, followed by an arrow shot from Shana as soon as they jumped clear of her line of fire.
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 68
Blobbing worse than usual today.
With the immense amount of wounds that were inflicted on it and the intense amount of blood it lost, the Jiango took one last step before falling to the ground, finally giving way to death’s door.
“The hell did that door come from!?”
I think it was a metaphor.
“If it was, it wasn’t a very good one.”
As Stryfe let out a sigh of relief, he noticed that the boulders that Shana discovered earlier were cleared as a result of the battle.
Huh, the PCC delivers opponents, too?
“They delivery everything!”
Past the newly created opening were a patch of stairs that led back into the main levels of Hellena.
“That’s impressively convenient.”
Eh, game mechanics bleeding into the fic again.
Fighting their way past many shocked wardens due to no one ever escaping the Jiango’s lair before, the group quickly made their way back to the level with the trap door, shocking all the Wardens there.
Shocked wardens give way to… MORE SHOCKED WARDENS!
*Taco looks expectantly at the alarm, which stays silent.*
“They know I’ve been having a rough week.”
Hellena Warden #1: I-Impossible!
Obviously not, or you know, they wouldn’t have done it.
Stryfe: Looks like your luck has ran out.
Hellena Warden #2: It cannot be! How are they still alive!?
Dart: Your monster was no match for us!
Hellena Warden #1: They beat the Jiango!?
Yes, we get it, they beat the monster and the wardens are surprised, can we move on to the poorly written fight scene, now?
Stryfe: Last warning. Get out of our way, or face death!
Hellena Warden #2: N-NO! We won’t let you go any further!
Dart: Guess that settles that.
Stryfe: So be it.
“With all this build up, the author must be planning a big fight!”
The Wardens charged at the group, only to be quickly cut down by them in seconds.
Welp, fight over.
“I can’t really claim to be surprised. At best, I’m whelmed.”
Time seemed to stop as Stryfe thrusted his zwiehander through the chest of the Warden who activated the trap door on them.
“Still spelled wrong.”
And he’s still using it wrong.
As he slowly pulled out his bloody zwiehander from the Warden’s body, the group turned to the last Warden.
Who they left alive because reasons.
“So, does he ever actually spell it right?”
I did a quick search of the fulltext of the fic, he spells it correctly twice. Both are in chapter 28.
Fleeing in fear of being killed by them, the group let him go and proceeded further upward towards the tallest tower of Hellena Prison, where the lair of Fruegel lay waiting.
“Did the group just flee in fear of themselves?”
Well, that’s what the sentence says. So yeah, they did.
As Stryfe looked towards the ocean, he noticed that the sun was rising in the distance over the sea.
What, it’s already morning? They’ve been there 20 maybe 30 seconds, tops.
“Ahh yes, pacing. It’s one of those things that other authors do.”
Knowing that there wasn’t much time left before King Albert could be executed by Fruegel, the group picked up the pace and headed towards the Head Warden’s lair.
“Wait, there was a deadline?”
Of course there was! The author just never bothered to establish it.
As they went inside, they saw Fruegel about to execute King Albert.
“Wow. Good timing for not knowing their own deadline.”
Lavitz: King Albert!
Stryfe: Fruegel! I knew I should’ve killed you when I had the chance!
Stanky says this to a lot of people.
“Probably on account of the blood lust. It’s one of those heroic qualities that really makes his character.”
Dart: This time, your blood will be the last thing you see!
“Wait. ‘This time?’ You mean they killed him before?”
He just re-spawned at the last save point.
“I’m not convinced fiction works like that.”
Fruegel: So, the rats came on time. Still, it doesn’t matter! I’ll kill all of you before I kill Albert!
Because the handlebar mustache demands it!
Calling forth his two pets, a Spiderhawk named Rodriguez and a Caninebull named Guftas to his side, Fruegel charged at the group, hell bent on seeing them dead.
“The description is so good it’s like I can actually see what a Spiderhawk and a Caninebull are!”
And what do they look like?
Seeing how loyal his pets were to him, Stryfe, Dart, Shana, Rose, Lavitz and Haschel knew that they had to get rid of the pets first before they attack the one pulling the strings.
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 69
Second, what kind of targeting criteria is that!? You attack the pets first because they’re extremely loyal? What the hell, author!?
Splitting into two groups of three, Stryfe, Lavitz and Rose fought Rodriguez while Dart, Shana and Haschel fought Guftas, all while making sure to keep their guard up against any sudden attacks from Fruegel.
“Ugh, this action is just so soulless and daybook. It’s like reading an instruction manual for a photocopier.”
I think that’s doing a great disservice to some of the more interesting photocopier manuals.
Catching the Spiderhawk off guard by using their magic attacks, Stryfe and Rose clipped the creature’s wings while Lavitz moved in for the kill, stabbing the bird through the chest with his spear.
“Oh crap, there’s still more fight.”
Maybe you should break out some more of that-
*Swenia hands Taco a steaming coffee*
While Haschel lured Guftas away from Fruegel’s side, Dart came out from behind and stabbed the beast more than enough times to injure it after repeating the strategy a few times.
Sweet crap, make it end! This is the least interesting battle that’s ever been written! Even including the rest of this fic!
As Guftas made one last desperate leap at Dart, Shana knocked the beast down with a well placed arrow to the stomach, and then finished by a stab to the head by Dart’s broadsword.
“Wait, does this mean the battle is technically only half over?”
With the pets out of the way, the group shifted their focus of Fruegel himself, who was now in a raging frenzy due to the loss of his two pets.
If he was so invested in his pets, he probably should have, you know…
Due to his state of rage, Fruegel was faster and stronger than when they fought him before, but his strategy was the same.
“What, ‘Hulk smash?'”
Waiting until he attacked with his thorn covered mace, the group attacked him as soon as he tried to pull it out of the ground.
Oh good, the return of the ‘wait until the plot wins the fight for you’ strategy.
“Not to mention:”
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 70
Backed into a corner, Fruegel resorted to charge attacks that could’ve seriously injured any of the group had he hit anyone.
“Wow, that was almost tense for about five words there.”
Fortunately, his rage turned to a point where his attacks had become sloppy.
Dude, have you SEEN Fruegel? Sloppy is pretty much his entire state of being.
“Even when having sex he prefer-”
Dodging his final charge at them, Stryfe and Dart both attacked Fruegel head on, managing to cut off his arms and legs with four well placed strikes.
Whoa!? What the fuck!? Seriously, that’s all kinds of seriously messed up. These are supposed to be the heroes of the story!
“Protip for writers out there: if your hero is going to dismember an opponent, it needs to be an appropriate response to a dire situation. Or it needs to be an anti-hero like the Punisher.”
Here, it’s just fucking gratuitous! Hell, the game was rated T for crap’s sake. This kind of spontaneous, over the-top violence does NOT belong here. This is not Mortal Fucking Kombat!
Though limbless now, Fruegel still clinged to life like a roach that wouldn’t die.
Just kill the poor man! Jeeze, I didn’t expect to so suddenly be rooting for the Winglies!
“Don’t they want to end the world?”
Yeah, but at least they aren’t going to torture everyone to death like these assholes are doing.
Lavitz jumped onto the Head Warden, anger filling his eyes as he stabbed his spear into Fruegel’s heart.
Thank you for putting an end to that, Lavitz. You may be a sexist prick, but at least you know when to end someone’s suffering.
After coughing up blood, Fruegel’s eyes turned gray and his body became numb, his head falling to the floor motionless. Before anyone could let out a sigh of relief, however, a cry of pain from King Albert got everyone’s attention.
Oh I hope it isn’t more action.
The group saw a hooded man reaching into King Albert’s back, pulling out what appeared to be an orb of some kind.
“You think that’ll ever be explained?”
Probably. The author has been pretty consistent in stealing all the mainline dialogue, and they do talk about this.
Hooded Man: I knew it was here. The Moon Gem.
Dart: Moon Gem!?
“What the heck is a tomb stem?”
“Aaaaarrrrrf.” *Rubs her throat* “Dammit all.”
Tranforming into his Dragoon Form, Lavitz made a charge at the Hooded Man, extending his transformed spear out for a full strike.
“Way to broadcast your move, jerk.”
Wait for it.
“Wait for what?”
The man held out his hand as Lavitz drew near, summoning a blade as if it appeared out of thin air. The blade pierced through Lavitz’s Dragoon Armor, sticking out of his back as the rest of the group watched in horror.
“Oh. Well then.”
As Lavitz’s body fell to the floor, a gust of wind blew the mysterious man’s hood off, revealing the face of someone Stryfe and Dart both knew.
Giving them an evil grin, Lloyd ran for the edge of the tower and jumped off. As Stryfe gave pursuit, he looked down the edge only to see nothing but the cliffsides of the small island Hellena was built on below.
“Ugh, not the disappearing rail jump trope.”
Well, it is a JRPG, those kinds of things do happen.
Sheathing his zwiehander and clenching his fist in anger, Stryfe ran back to help Lavitz.
“Still not spelled right.”
Only eight more weeks until it is!
Dart: Lavitz! Lavitz, Hang in there!
Stryfe: Just hold on!
Lavitz: Stryfe…Dart…Is His…Majesty alright?
Stryfe: Yeah…Yeah, he’s fine.
“Stanky knows the king is fine because of the fremlmrglfrlmn.”
Lavitz: I see…I can entrust…you two with everything…
‘Everything’ being his mother and possibly unrequited love of the King.
“Longing for the king is a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do him.”
Uh don’t you mean do it?
“No, pretty sure I didn’t.”
Dart: Don’t say that! You’re gonna make it!
Well, if Shana could get her magical butt over here, yeah he could.
“That girl doesn’t have such a great track record, does she?”
Lavitz: Dart…Stryfe…Survive…and end…this…war…
Lavitz’s eyes turned gray, and his head lay limp on the ground where Stryfe and Dart knelt.
“I suppose I’d feel more invested in this moment if Lavitz’s character in the fic hadn’t revolved around him being a sexist douchebag.”
A bright green light enveloped his body, and the Dragoon Spirit of the Jade Dragon left his now lifeless corpse, floating slowly into the air.
Author, I’m not sure you really get how to maintain a voice that gives emotional impact to a key character dying. But maybe I’m only saying that because I’m somewhat relieved that Lavitz is finally dead and out of the fic.
It then slowly descended into the hands of Albert, who held the green orb tightly in his hands, trying to hold back the overwhelming tide of sadness due to the loss of his closest friend and most loyal knight.
“WOOF!” *Swenia rubs her neck* “I think it’s swelling up. Does it look swollen?”
HOLY SWEET G- No, it looks fine. Juuuuuust fine.
Albert: Lavitz…Thank you…My friend…
Not that Albert would know this, but Lavitz has nothing to do with the Dragoon spirit choosing him.
“I forgot what Albert looks like, can you post the picture again?”
You just want to look at the man candy.
“Less talk, more Albert.”
As Stryfe felt his eyes fill with tears, he punched the ground beneath him in frustration.
FEEL, DAMMIT! Are you all feeling yet!? If not I can have the characters react with one-word lines of dialogue some more.
*Swenia pounces on Taco and starts taping him to the wall*
Awww, the sweet restraints that signal the end of th-mmmmfff
“Hope you like the new gag. It’s real leather for a more cushy bite.”
The echoes of Stryfe and Dart’s cries were quickly heard as the waves crashed near the jagged rocks below Hellena Prison.
“‘Quickly heard?’ What the fuck is that supposed to mean? Their cry was brief?”
As the night stars disappeared from the sky, the morning sun, in the guise of a blood red color, rose over the sea…
“Stop trying to go incognito, sun. We see you there behind that guise.”
“And with that, we’re done with another chapter! We’ll be bark next woof with another! Until then, Patrons!”