1164: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter Twenty-Two, Part OnePosted: September 2, 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 Darth Lord Crunchy
Welcome back to The Eighth Spirit, patrons! With me as always is S- … Crunchy?
“She would be with Eliza helping set up the party to honor the anniversary of Gravel’s escape from the womb.”
Crap, has it been a year already!? When is it, do I have to bring a gift?
“It would be tomorrow starting just prior to luncheon. Providing a gift is up to you, but I presume most will bring one.”
Oh, hi there, Jiwe. Guess that means I’ll need to be watching the potty mouth.
*Taco plops Jiwe on his lap*
So the girls saddled you with watching the larva while they get everything set up?
“Indeed. Gumdrop is busy with the baking, Shades locked herself in the closet of weeping when babysitting was hinted at, and Chadze is… still Chadze. So naturally the task fell to me.”
Surprised they didn’t ask Cerbs.
“He had a prior engagement. Backgammon with Koori or some such.”
I see. Glasses?
“She was in a ‘squee fest’ over her kittens. Whatever that means.”
“She is ‘procuring’ party decorations.”
I see. Guess that leaves us.
“So it does.”
All right, so last time stuff happened. Well, at least it should have, but it really didn’t. All they did was hide somewhere and talk about what they should do next, which turned out to be ‘Go punch emperor Doel in the face.’ With their plan sorted, they head for the Sandoran capital.
Chapter XXII: Raiding Kazas:
Oh good, I forsee much action.
“Is that not a good thing?”
No, it really, really isn’t.
There was barely any activity from the citizens of Serido as the group walked into the entrance of town. Trying to avoid as much combat as possible until they got inside the Black Castle, the group looked in the local market area for any clues of a secret entrance into the castle. Entering a local weapon shop, the group began asking around when Stryfe heard a local boasting about something that sounded familiar.
“So, where might one find your king?”
You know, in the big castle looking thing.
“That clever genius. We would never have thought of looking there.”
Mysterious Adventurer: And then as Feyrbrand started to approach-
*Facepalm* Is ‘mysterious adventurer’ really what we’re going with?
Stryfe: Hmm!? Excuse me, what did you just say?
Mysterious Adventurer: Well, my good man, you look like a fellow adventurer yourself.
“The dialogue sounds so natural.”
Yes, Crunchy, it does not sound wooden, or robotic, at all.
Stryfe: And what if I am?
Mysterious Adventurer: Well, I can tell from just how you look.
Stryfe: Enough small talk. I heard you mention a name.
I’m not convinced Stryfe knows what small-talk is.
Mysterious Adventurer: Very well. I was mentioning a great story that happened to me. Just between us fellow adventurers, I defeated the Dragon, Feyrbrand.
Stryfe simply crossed his arms and remained silent. He couldn’t believe that someone was trying to take the credit for what he and his friends did, because he remembered Rose stating that a normal Human couldn’t defeat a Dragon, only a Dragoon could do such an act.
*Sighs* Great, we’re going to go here, aren’t we? Okay, people, place your bets whether or not Stanky’s ego is going to allow him to maintain his cover or if he’s going to blow it having a hissy fit about somebody else trying to hog his glory.
“Rather hypocritical of him given how much of Dart’s thunder he has stolen.”
Mysterious Adventurer: Oh, you don’t trust me? Then have a look at this.
The man pulled out a scaled feather that brought back some chilling memories for Stryfe. Still he remained steady, only raising an eyebrow. The man must’ve traveled to Feyrbrand’s nest after they left for Lohan when Shana was infected by the Dragon’s poison and looted it’s body.
Or, you know, he picked one up somewhere. If the dude is trying to steal credit for a dragon kill, it’s highly unlikely he would have put himself through the dangerous journey to the actual nesting site.
“Logic is not Stanky’s strong point.”
Mysterious Adventurer: Just don’t touch it. You’ll be poisoned by it. This is your chance, my friend, to own a great product made by yours truly. The Dragon Beater! A powerful drug that even beats Dragons! For a limited time offer, I’ll give you this Dragon’s feather for free!
*Snerk* Dragon beater? Are you trying to kill dragons or jer- *looks at Jiwe* uh, do naughty things to them.
As Stryfe facepalmed himself, a Sandoran Knight entered the store.
“Stop doing that, you insufferable ignoramus! It is bad enough that you are the author’s avatar within this travesty of writing, but that you must also take every opportunity to express you disdain, and thus superiority, is nauseating in the extreme.”
Knight of Sandora: Is there a guy who defeated Feyrbrand in here!?
When the knight approached Stryfe, the man tried to sneak out, only to be spotted.
Knight of Sandora: It must be you! Come with us!
Mysterious Adventurer: Wait, Wait! I’m just a “businessman”! I was lying about the Dragon!
When the man was taken away, he dropped the feather during the struggle. As Stryfe picked it up and silently stared at it, Rose approached him, noticing the commotion that was going on.
This is all canon minus Stanky’s input and picking up the feather at the end. Which, given how this whole situation resolves itself without Stanky having any impact, it really highlights how pointless it was to have him in the scene. Really, the only reason he even showed up in the scene was for the author to stroke his ego. JIWE!
Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 39
Rose: What was that all about?
“The author needed to inform the audience that his insertion was best. Nothing new or interesting.”
Stryfe: I don’t know. But it’s not the conventional means to get a souvenir from the past.
What the fu- uh, fumble does that even mean!?
“I assume he is asserting that the ‘mysterious adventurer’ is not a very proficient archaeologist.”
Makes as much sense as anything, I guess.
Rose: How did he get his hands on Feyrbrand’s feather?
The dragon attacked several towns as well as a standing army. What, you think that it didn’t drop a feather in all that?
Stryfe: He must’ve looted it’s corpse after we left it’s nest.
“Which, if that con-man was not a real adventurer, makes vanishingly little sense given how dangerous that area is.”
Stanky is very not good at think-meating.
Yes, you’re very cute.
Giving the feather to Rose, Stryfe learned from Dart that he met someone that was a part of a rebel group opposing Doel’s rule called the New Serido Party.
Uh, let’s not tell your mother about this, okay?
The man gave Dart directions to a secret location in Kazas where they could find the group. Heading down a secret passage way near the castle entrance, the group found themselves in an underground cavern village where numerous members of the New Serido Party lived.
I’ll admit that even in the game it’s way, WAY too easy to find the underground rebel faction and gain their trust. Glad that the author decided to change it so it made more sense.
“Sarcasm does not become you, Taco.”
Are you serious?
“I was being sarcastic.”
I’m not sure that’s how sarcasm works.
Asking for directions to where they could meet with the leader of the group, the group was guided to the largest building in the cavern.
Author. STOP. IT. When you make sentences like this, you’re describing two actions happening simultaneously, but you’re writing about them as if they’re sequential. And you do this CONSTANTLY! Stop trying to write above your skill level and keep things simple until you understand how to structure sentences! Trying to make yourself look smart by employing complex sentence structures that you don’t actually understand is ultimately making you look stupid. I’m not saying you are, but you’re doing a really good job of making yourself look like it.
There, they saw a kid about the age of ten guarding the door to the headquarters.
Kid: Welcome travelers, to the ruins of the underground fortress.
“Not a terribly inventive name for their underground fortress, but rather apropos.”
You guys look like new faces. You want to join the New Serido Party? I want to let you in,
but I need to ask three questions. I have to check all of you out.
Stryfe: Questions, eh? Alright, Kid. Shoot.
Why are you letting Stanky be your spokesman? You have a party full of people who are far more qualified and able to represent the party, and you keep letting him talk to people? Why?
Ah yes. How could I forget?
Kid: First question. Which country do you want to win, Basil or Sandora?
As everyone consolidated with each other, they eventually came to a mutual answer.
A mutual answer? Author, don’t make me bring up that rule about using words with more than one syllable.
Stryfe: We can’t say which. The important thing is to end the war as soon as possible. Not winning or losing.
Mmm, fair enough I guess. I would have said “neither” rather than being wishy-washy on not caring which side wins. If it really came down to ending the war at all costs, then Albert could have had Basil completely surrender. That would end the war instantly. You obviously don’t want Sandora to win the war, so even if you don’t desire Basil’s victory, your answer was dishonest.
“You are going to get some of that if you let the sentient ego answer the questions for the group. He has long established himself as having very situational morals, so lying to this child would not be beneath his code of ethics.”
Kid: I think so too. Hate or spite always remains after a war, regardless of whether you win or not.
Which is not remedied if neither side wins. So what’s your point, kid?
“Leave him be. As a child he is probably just regurgitating the high ideals and platitudes that his elders have fed to him without considering whether they actually make sense.”
Alright, second question. During the war, what should powerless kids like us do?
“Apprentice yourself to a charismatic and powerful Sith Lord who will help you maximize your potential.”
That’s your answer for everything.
“Only because it is works for any situation.”
Thinking hard on the question, the group came up with an answer.
I didn’t count it last time, but it definitely earns it this time. Jiwe.
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 73
You’re too gentle with it. Gotta hit that button with some umph.
Dart: We can’t send kids into battle, but somebody has to take care of the ones who stay behind and the wounded. That way, the ones who are fighting have a place and someone to come home to.
I’m not convinced roping kids into hospital duty is really the best thing for them. I know things get rough in war, but having the kids exposed to that much suffering and death doesn’t seem like the greatest way to let them help out.
Kid: I agree. There are some things that we can do too. Now, the last question. Why do people fight?
“There is a loaded question if ever there was one. To tack it down to a singular reason would be a great simplification of a multitude of factors, not limited to scarcity of resources, divergent belief systems, historical bias, the desire for-”
Although the group knew there were multiple reasons why someone could fight, they knew that there was one strong reason why they fight.
But that wasn’t the question. He asked why people fight, not why you fight.
Stryfe: If “War” is to obtain or destroy something, then I’d throw my sword into the deepest pit of Endiness.
“But showboating to pad out your own ego? Perfectly fine.”
Dart: We only fight to protect something or someone that is precious to us.
Which, once again, WASN’T THE QUESTION HE ASKED!
Kid: I think so as well!
Kid. Just so you’re aware, THAT WASN’T WHAT YOU ASKED THEM!
People should only fight to protect something! I learned that from my grandpa.
THAT STILL WASN’T THE QUESTION YOU ASKED! You didn’t ask why people should fight, you asked why they DO fight. If you didn’t want them to answer that question, you shouldn’t have asked it!
Stryfe: Your grandpa must’ve been wise.
“Maybe, but his grandson is not terribly bright.”
By the way, who are you, kid?
Does it matter? If his name was Slartibartfast, would it change anything.
“Slaribar- Slarbi- Slabar-“
Don’t hurt yourself, kiddo.
Kid: I’m Papo. I’m a representative of the New Serido Party.
“Which means the movement is in real trouble.”
I’m campaigning to help the people who are having hard times because of the war.
And you’re doing it at the entrance of your secret underground lair?
“We did mention that the kid might not be very bright.”
I was hoping to give him the benefit of the doubt, but it’s getting a lot harder the more he talks. Then again, he is ten. I remember being pretty dumb at that age.
“And that has changed… how?”
Albert: It’s amazing. I heard about the party, but I didn’t think the representative would be this young.
Amazing is not the word I’d use.
Yeah, that’s much closer.
Papo: Oh…Have we met before?
Albert: We’ve never met, but you might know my face. I am Albert, the King of Basil.
Yeah, kid’s a 10-year old in a foreign country. Why on Earth would you think he’d be able to recognize you?
Papo immediately jumped with excitement when he heard Albert mention his name.
Papo: You are! You ARE King Albert!
“To be fair to the kid, he likely would believe this kind of claim without question.”
Papo quickly opened the door to the headquarters and let the group in after learning that Albert was among them.
“It strikes me that this organization is just begging to be infiltrated and destroyed from the inside out by even the most inept of Sandoran espionage agents.”
The group has a 10-year-old guarding the entrance to their fort. How worried about this group could Doel be?
Leading them to a meeting room and sitting them down, Papo began to do backflips in excitement on the table before finally sitting down himself.
Whoever is giving that kid the 12-shot espressos in the morning: STAHP!
Papo: I’ve been waiting for this day! The day King Albert liberates Kazas and sets us free!
“That is an oddly specific and unrealistic expectation. Most rebel groups are more proactive and try to create their own change rather than waiting around for outside forces to do the job for them. Granted these rebel factions are necessarily squashed on the moral authority of the local empire, but they do put some effort forward.”
Remember, this group picked a 10-year-old whacked out on caffeine as their representative. I’m guessing they rate fairly low on the continuum of rebel factions.
Stryfe: That’s why we’re here. This war ends today.
“I thought no one cared who won the war.”
They don’t, so long as it’s Basil.
Papo: But…I was honestly expecting an army to come breaking down the Sandorans door.
But remember, it doesn’t matter who wins the war.
“As long as it is Basil.”
Albert: Don’t worry. We can do it ourselves. We just can’t tell you how though.
“You are leading a small team of warriors who have secreted themselves into Kazas and have been asking around about the location of Doel. I can see how that would make your plans very hard to surmise.”
Dart: They say that a certain power was the card that liberated the Humans from the Winglies.
Why would you even bring that up, Dart? Unless the kid was a student of history, that would be meaningless to him, in which case it’s pointless to bring up. And if he was a student of history, he would know instantly that you were talking about the Dragoons, in which case brining it up outs your team. Either way, stupid.
Stryfe: Now, that very power is the ace that will open up our own fate.
For not wanting to tell this kid what you’re going to do, you sure are telling this kid a lot of what you’re going to do.
Papo: This is like a dream come true! Now I can go look for my father and mother when the war ends!
Which, again, unimportant who wins. As long as it’s Basil.
Rose: Enough small talk. Do you know a way for us to get into the castle?
Papo: As a matter of fact, I do!
Stryfe: Can you show us!?
Papo: Yes! This place used to be an underground fortress that connected to the castle in the past, so there’s a secret passageway that should help you out!
Dart: Now we’re closer to Doel!
“We need a secret way into the castle so we can get to Doel.”
I can’t possibly work out what you guys are planning.
Papo: Follow me!
Following Papo down a corridor that led to a series of tunnels, he led them to an abandoned mineshaft. Lowering them down via a harness attached to a hand operated elevator that can hold at least ten people, Stryfe watched as Papo and the room’s light vanished as he, Stryfe, Shana, Rose, Albert and Haschel slowly descended further and further into the darkness below them.
“You are rancor food, surprise!”
Sorry, bud, already had the rancor moment.
As they descended to the ground, the group traveled through a group of interconnected caves until finally, they came across what appeared to be the sewer line of the Black Castle.
That’s one hell of an elevator.
“I do believe that they are riding a Wonkavator.”
Following it, they arrived at the basement floor of the Black Castle, where they were spotted by some patrols guarding the area.
So much for that whole element of surprise thing.
“Quite overrated in my book.”
Fighting their way past them, they made their way to the main plaza of the Black Castle.
Which ‘they’ are we talking about again?
“Given the subject order, the guards.”
Oh, guess that means Doel wins and the guards are going back to their barracks to make a report. Fic over, then. Well, thanks for reading folks, but this is the en-
Da- uh… dagnabbit!
Avoiding as many of the patrols in the castle as they could, the group found their way into a strange area that looked as if it was a place to conduct strange experiments.
“Is that supposed to be setting?”
What passes for it here. Mostly it’s just a different shades of void in a big ol’ blob of more generic void.
In the middle of the room, what appeared to be a violet light was being sucked into a machine of some sort.
*Rubs forehead* The prose is getting even more wishy washy. I need another-
*Crunchy hands Taco a cup of roughage*
How much evil is in this?
Meh. *Taco takes a deep swig*
As Stryfe, Dart and Albert inspected the machine more closely, the noticed that the machine appeared to be a power generator of some sort.
Hit it, Jiwe!
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 74
“Author, if you use either of the phrases ‘appeared to be’ and ‘of some sort’ again, I will melt your brain with the force.”
Can you actually do that?
Stryfe: What is this thing?
That’d be a genuine, 100% authentic thingamajig.
“And you all are…?”
It really weirds me out when we get quoted dialogue rather than the half-assed script-format dialogue.
Reaching for their weapons, Stryfe and the others turned around to see an old man approaching them. Although he didn’t seem to intend to harm them, Stryfe kept one arm firmly gripped on his zwiehander just to be safe.
You grip with your hand, numbn- hrrm… numbhead, not with your arm.
“Zweihänder is spelled incorrectly.”
Green Flame Researcher: Are you all here to see my research?
“Is that anything like a green lantern?”
Still missing Marcus?
“Hardly. He was a terrible apprentice, so is free to pursue his little Stu Lantern corpse thing.”
Looking to where the other voice came from, the group saw another man who looked similar to the first walking towards them as well. They almost looked like they were twins, yet their voices were different and they had some different characteristics in their clothing.
“I suppose we are just to trust the author that these differences exist without getting to see them, yes?”
Pretty much. It’s as close to description as we’re likely to get.
White Flame Researcher: To visit me?
I kinda feel sorry for these researchers. All they want is for somebody to show up and be interested in their research.
Stryfe felt a chill roll down his spine. Although he doubted they could do no harm to him or his friends, he felt creeped out by them.
“Even I, with my heart of darkness, am starting to feel bad for these researchers. All they want is somebody to be interested, and instead they are judged by the likes of Stanky.”
This has to be the low-point of their lives.
Green Flame Researcher: Either Way, we are pleased. We like it when mercenaries like you all have an interest in our research.
Okay, well that’s creepy.
White Flame Researcher: Indeed. Recently, barbaric suicidal attacks have become common, but if our research is successful, it will reduce the casualties of war exponentially. For example, that White Flame over there…
The researcher pointed to where he came from, where a small torch was burning. However, the flame the torch was giving off was white instead of orange.
White Flame Researcher: It has a healing power.
Oh, well that’s nice. You’d think they would be more pleased to have members of the aristocracy or even the medical field show interest in your inventions, rather than just random mercenaries. But they sound lonely, so maybe they’re just being polite.
Green Flame Researcher: And the Green Flame…
The other researcher pointed to where he came from. Like his fellow researcher, he had a flame that was different in color to that of a normal flame.
Green Flame Researcher: It isn’t extinguished by water. When we put it to practical use, it will provide an advantage in the war.
“This advantage, of course, being that you can now lead assaults against underwater targets.”
Albert: But…I’ve never seen such technologies. It’s like…
Albert: Yes. It’s like magic.
Which, given that you are all (minus Haschel) soaked in magic right now, shouldn’t be really astounding. Especially since you also know that Lloyd is working for Doel and Lloyd used a magical weapon to kill Lavitz.
White Flame Researcher: You don’t need to know about that. There are already enough of us involved in this accursed research.
But… but… you were just saying how great your research was!
“Little wonder that they never get any visitors.”
Green Flame Researcher: Yes. Your job is to fight. There are too many things we don’t know about this power. If you get involved too much, you might end up like Mr. Magi.
“I think these researchers are starting to give me plot whiplash. They cannot seem to hold any one position or topic for longer than a sentence!”
Stryfe: Who is Mr. Magi?
I hate it when Stanky asks sensible questions. More so when they were obviously set up so he could ask them. Even more so when Dart is supposed to be the one asking the question.
White Flame Researcher: It’s too late, for that guy. We have to complete this research before it is too late for Sandora.
Being vague is spooooooooooooooky!
He’s been doing that a lot lately.
“It really throws me when he sits in on my evil laugh practice and tries to copy it. So much unwarranted joy in his laugh. Quite off-putting.”
Albert: I see…We’ll end this war. But first, can we ask you a little more?
Sure, but their answer may change randomly as the scene progresses, so you may want to just skip it and end the scene.
Dart: Like, what does this violet light here serve?
“I hope it serves bacon.”
Best torch ever!
White Flame Researcher: This flame is the power source of the castle. The Purple Flame drives the elevators and lifts. It helps people’s lives. That’s the proper way of it’s usage.
“Purple is the new blue.”
Stryfe: But war decides it’s usage now…Right?
Stanky, pay attention, he just said this one was being used correctly. To power stuff. Like elevators. It was literally only four sentences!
Green Flame Researcher: Yes. Even if this technology could be used for the purpose of bringing happiness to the people, once it is used wrongly, the exact opposite happens.
So let me get this straight. Technology that makes people’s lives better could make their lives worse if you use it specifically to make their lives worse?
I think we are now all very aware why these researchers don’t get many visitors.
What we are making may bring people harm and suffering, to both Basil and Sandora.
“Why are they continuing to pad this scene with yet more vagueness? What next? ‘We are doing things that may cause things to happen! These things might be bad things that might also be good if not used for bad!'”
Don’t give the author any ideas.
Stryfe lowered his hand from his zwiehander’s pommel. These researchers were just victims drawn into the war against their will.
How do you figure that? No, really. You’ve given us nothing to go on here, author. From all that meandering dialogue all we know is that the scientists aren’t happy about the way the research is being used, not that they’re being forced to do this research. For all we know they all willingly did the research without taking time to consider what it was going to be used for. That may make them naive and exploitable, but that’s a far step from them being slaves to Doel. Given what I know of Doel, I’m sure these guys are slaves here who are being coerced into doing this research, but you’ve done essentially nothing to establish who Doel is or what he’s capable of.
White Flame Researcher: I agree. This research is after all based on the calamity caused by the Dragon. War creates catastrophe.
“Water also strikes me as being rather wet in nature.”
Green Flame Researcher: It’s a sad thing for both the people and the Dragon.
And we’ve got a little violin here that’s all geared up to play just for them.
Dart: How exactly is the Dragon involved in this research?
White Flame Researcher: Oh, I slipped my tongue. Forget what I said.
Green Flame Researcher: Now, back to the research. Here, let me give you all some Magic Oil. This is the fuel for the Purple Flame.
Yessir, we need to get back to this research that we totally hate. Can’t not do the research, right? Oh, and have magic thing. It’ll help and stuff. This is why game mechanics really don’t belong in your fic unless you’re writing a lampoon.
“I feel so unfulfilled when Stanky has an appropriate response to a situation.”
It generally goes away the next time he opens his mouth. That generally fills that unfulfilled void with disgust or hatred.
“Two of my favorite emotions!”
Albert: Thank you for your time. It was very…useful.
“I do hope that is sarcasm.”
It’s gotta be. That conversation was about as useful as a fork in a broth café.
The researchers pointed the group to a nearby lift where they could use some of the Magic Oil. Pouring some of it onto the ashtray, a purple flame lit up from underneath, causing the lift to activate right before their eyes.
Seems like there’s gotta be a better way.
“Blood of the innocent is much more potent so you need a lot less of if when using the elevator.”
Magic oil it is.
Entering the lift, the group found themselves in the basement of the power room, where the skeleton of an unknown Dragon was being harnessed to power the Purple Flame above.
“Well then. That certainly clears that little bit of vague up.”
Yes, it really does. And, also, this seems a reasonably high note to end the first half of this chapter on. I’ve got a gift I have to go buy in a panic, so let’s break here. Until next week, patrons!
So what, you’re not going to copy that?