1169: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter Twenty-Two, Part TwoPosted: September 9, 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
“You doing okay there, guy?”
It’s been a week and I think I’m STILL hung-over from that after-party party.
“That was pretty wild, wasn’t it!? My memory gets a bit hazy after those Darkside Jello-shots Crunchy brought out. I remember dancing with Syl, darts with Shinobi… and then… wait, did I try to make out with Marcus!?”
Yeah. I think Eliza put you up to it. He shut you down though, either because he’s a gentleman, or because you weren’t a longneck dinosaur.
“Close call either way. Markus is a nice kid and all, but he’s also a raging Stu, and I have standards.”
“Yes I do. Provided it isn’t the middle of the Spring heat. Catch me then, and I’ll bonk just about anything.”
Riiiight. Speaking of which, how’s Jiwe.
“He’s doing okay. Has a load of new high-tech and potentially dangerous toys thanks to some serious gift-giving competition that apparently went down when I wasn’t around to keep things sane. Of course, he spent all weekend playing with that Goddamn box you gave him. I mean for fuck’s sake, Taco, I have Bifocals whip up a heat-seeking, fully-automatic, unlimited-clip Nerf gun for the kid, and you trump me with thirty cents worth of cardboard!”
New parents always think that the joke of kids playing with the box more than the toy it comes in is an exaggeration. After two larvae of my own, I can attest to the absolute truth behind the joke. Give a child between the ages of 1 and 5 anything that comes in a box big enough that they can fit into, and they’ll spend the next week playing with the box while the toy is largely ignored.
“I have been schooled. Recap?”
Sure. Last week our character blob made their way to Kazas, where Stanky had some pointless interraction with a dude trying to scalp a fake dragon-cure. Or something. After that they found their way to the local resistance cell, which happened to have one of the weakest initiation requirements ever. After a rousing game of “answer me these questions three,” the grade-school gatekeeper lead them to one of those standard PCC provided secret passages. The blob wanders around for a bit before stumbling on the inept and indecisive research division of the castle. After and extended bout of ultimately pointless exposition, the team gets some magic goo to dump on elevator torches. And that’s pretty much where we left off.
“I honestly have no idea if I missed anything.”
I’m not sure there’s anything in this fic to miss.
Heading to the next lift, the group found themselves on the second floor.
Those lifts are so good, they take you to the next floor before you even get on them!
Navigating through the dark areas while avoiding the patrols, they managed to make their way into what appeared to be a personal quarters where numerous experiments have occurred.
“Remind me never to live in Kazas castle. The whole time-share thing they have with the personal quarters and laboratory space just isn’t for me.”
I don’t know, seems like you’d be up for some after-hours experimental probing.
“I’m astounded that you were the one to make the scene dirty and not me.”
Yeah, I’m pretty surprised too.
In the middle of the room, they found who the two researchers told them had gone insane, Mr. Magi, who was slumped up in the corner of the room, but jumped when Haschel caused one of the floor boards to creek.
“WOOF!” *Swenia rubs her throat* “Damn thing is acting up again.”
Mr. Magi: You…who are you!? Wait, I know! You’re are all theives who’ve come to steal my magic!
‘You’re are’? Oh no-
Are you sure we should be teaching Jiwe to fight the DRD?
“He’s got a unique style of combat going for him. I put him in a small pirate outfit this morning.”
*A collective “Awww” echoes out of the hallway*
“Derd! Pway pie-ats!”
“That should keep them busy for a while.”
That’s just diabolical.
Dart: Wait! We’re not…
Stryfe: I…don’t think he’s going to listen, Dart!
Hey now, who’s the one who cut Dart off before he could say anything, jackass! I don’t think it’s Mr. Crazy who’s having problems listening.
Mr. Magi: No excuses!
Stryfe: Careful! We don’t know what he’s capable of!
“Stanky, you’re a group consisting of five legendary magical warriors and the master of his own school of martial arts. I think you trump a single insane researcher, even if he’s got a little magic at his disposal.”
Rose: Let him. This should be interesting.
Let him what? Rave?
“The fuck is that!?”
A little peek at my college studying playlist.
“I think I just ran out of evens. Now I can’t even at all.”
Stryfe: Rose! What the hell!?
You got me. Without any descriptive context, it’s like we have no idea what’s going on or why Rose said ‘let him.’
Mr. Magi: Take This! The steal shearing vacuum blade!
As Mr. Magi threw out his arm at the group, they stood ready. However, nothing happened.
This is a moment that’s actually pretty funny in the game. There’s a lot of visual and topical context to this moment that all mix into a great little scene. Which is precisely why it falls so absolutely flat here. A shame, really. The Mr. Magi sequence is probably one of the best moments on the first disc.
Mr. Magi: Why!? Why doesn’t the magic word!? Why won’t it shear them!?
Rose: It’s worse than I thought.
Stryfe: And that thought…was?
Mr. Magi: That…that was still under research! I’ll show you this! Take the rock crushing thunder arrow!
Again, nothing happened. The group began to realize what Rose meant by what she said.
Dart: Nothing again…
Haschel: I see…You’re the researcher who is “too late”, aren’t you?
“I hate it when researchers don’t make it to the bathroom.”
That’s why our R&D department staff wear adult diapers in the lab.
Shana: I didn’t think they meant it would be this bad…
Well, they were extremely vague about Mr. Magi’s state of mind and what caused his dementia, so I can see why any conclusion you might have jumped to would be incorrect.
Mr. Magi: Humph! Those dumb researchers of shit said something to you!?
“Is scatology really a thing?”
Actually, it is. Though coprology is the more correct term form a standpoint of Latin.
Rose: Leave while you can. You’re no match for us.
But, you’re the ones who burst into his room.
“Kinda rude just busting in and telling him to leave. Is there even anything you want in this room, or are you all just terrorizing this guy for kicks?”
Albert: We’re not here to criticize your research.
“No, you’re here to kick him out of his room. Not sure that’s really that much better.”
Mr. Magi: Shut up! I have already made the discovery! The secret of a magic that those losers could NEVER hope to know! The magic of transformation can only be known by someone like myself! I completely understand the magical power of the Dragons! I’ll show it to you now! Cerberus! Emerge!
False alarm, buddy. We’ll let you know if anything needs gonging.
Hey, it’s not my fault. And how was the fic supposed to know you were in the shower?
Dart: It seems real this time!
Mr. Magi glowed brightly, temporarily blinding the group. Stryfe was expecting to hear the roar of a beast, but instead, he heard the bark of a dog. Opening his eyes, he saw that Mr. Magi turned into nothing more than a harmless beagle dog.
Again, pretty funny with all the visual and situational context of the game. Here… not so much.
Shana: Is this dog… !?
Stryfe: He couldn’t control what he knew…and it consumed him.
Albert: I guess it requires more research to be controlled by Humans.
Rose: At least he amused us in the end.
Stryfe: That’s harsh, Rose.
Dart: Let’s keep going, guys.
Aaand meeting over. With all the build up and delivery, I can safely say that including that exchange in this fic was:
Let’s move on, shall we?
Leaving the transformed Mr. Magi to live the rest of his life as a dog, the group left the room and looked for another elevator that would take them deeper into the castle.
“We know that the transformation is permanent because Expermint!”
Sneaking into the Knight’s Barracks, the group fought their way through the three levels of the castle until they came across a certian knight within an office area of the Barracks.
*Rubs his forehead* Author, if you’re having a pitched battle to advance through the castle, then you AREN’T. FUCKING. SNEAKING!!
Supreme Commander of Sandora: You…you’re the girl from Seles…
Oh hai Great Commander.
He’s the guy who lead the assault on Seles, as well as having his hands in several other distasteful engagements. He becomes increasingly dissatisfied with Doel’s reign and suspects that Lloyd has something to do with it. He’s essentially a guy who has followed too many orders that he now realizes he shouldn’t have. He ends up as the mayor of Kazas where he has devoted his life to preserving peace and repairing the damage of Doel’s reign.
“I’m sure our author here will handle his character well.”
Actually, the whole scene all remains largely intact with the original script though with most of Dart’s lines given to Stanky, so we’ll just skip over it. Basic gist is that a lot of the massacre was Fruegel’s doing (which you would know by now if the author could be assed to write in the supporting lore), and not directly GC’s fault. GC is still at fault for not doing more to reign things in, though. He admits his culpability in the attacks and says that he accepts his death at the character blob’s hands for his crimes so long as they try to snap Doel out of his current war-lust and return Serdio to peace.
The party sees that GC really wants peace and spares his life. He then gives them the key to, wait…
The Supreme Commander handed Stryfe a red, a blue and a yellow stone. They seemed to have an importance around them.
*Facepalm* Aaand this is what we call pointless backpedaling. See, the group was supposed to have gotten each of those stones from separate sources (one from a garbage dump, one from Mr. Magi, and the last from GC) in order to unlock the room to emperor Doel. It’s very much a game mechanic that doesn’t make much logical sense, but is there to give the player some incentive to explore. Obviously the author here realized that he forgot to mention the other two stones, so instead of changing it to a single key, which makes sense, he just crammed all three onto GC here. Lergic!
Dart: What are these?
Supreme Commander of Sandora: These are the “keys” to the chamber of Emperor Doel.
“Why are there three if you have all of them anyway?”
Stryfe: Thanks. We’ll end this! That’s a promise!
“That’s… not precisely what GC asked you to do.”
We’ll stab Doel in the face for you, no problemo, boss!
“That’s even less what GC asked for.”
But more honest to how Stanky is going to approach the situation.
With the help of the Commander, the group made their way back into the corridors and guided them in the right direction to Doel’s chamber. Upon entering, they saw a giant statue of a woman who looked as if she was a previous queen of Sandora. Near the edge of the statue’s foot, was a priest who seemed to be praying.
He wasn’t of course.
“Them dirty old priests love to hide those porno mags in their holy scriptures.”
Father Faza: Oh…It’s unusual to have guests at this time. But that’s fine.
“You know, in the middle of the whenever this is, in the depths of a castle which is on total lockdown.”
Father Faza has a bit of a gift for understatement.
Stryfe: What are you doing?
“Flagellating the little Bishop.”
Father Faza: The long war decays people’s hearts. It must have happened to all of you too.
That’s nice. Doesn’t answer the question but at least you’ve mastered the art of making proclamations that are both vague and seemingly deep.
Dart: What makes you think that?
Father Faza: Your armors, rusted by the battlefields tell all. However, His Majesty Doel is also experiencing the fatigue of war.
“Wait, is iron oxide really a sign of heart decay?”
You heard the man. If your armor is rusty, your heart is already dying.
“My armor is made out of a mix of high-tensile Kevlar and energy projection modules.”
I guess that means your heart is safe from rust.
“Whew, close thing.”
Stryfe: This statue…Why were you praying in front of it?
“Oh yes, praying. That is certainly what I was doing. Just give me a moment to remember why it has to be here.”
Father Faza: This statue is of a goddess who was created in memory of the late wife of Emperor Doel, Empress Karina. It shows the frailty and fondness of Emperor Doel. He, however, continues the war for his own ambitions, with the increasing scenes of carnage. It shows his strength and cruelty.
It strikes me that Doel really doesn’t do much about any of the dissenters that seem to have him completely surrounded. Is there anyone in this castle who actually agrees with him at all?
“Well, there’s Fruegel.”
Whom Doel stationed at the prison.
“Doel is very not good at emperor.”
Stryfe: Strength and Frailty, Fondness and Cruelness…
Dart: We all must have them inside us.
“We’re talking about penises, aren’t we?”
Stryfe: Because…it’s only human.
“Yup, penis talk.”
Father Faza: Face up to yourselves. Then you all will become as strong as Emperor Doel.
Isn’t he also super-evil?
Heading up the stairs that encircled the statue, the group found a pedestal where three holes in a triangle formation were. Curious, Stryfe put the three stones that the Commander gave him into the holes. They fit as if they were the last pieces of a puzzle.
The hell kind of simile is that!? It doesn’t make any sense no matter how you look at it! What does being the last three pieces have to do with how well they fit? And if that simile is trying to imply finality, this isn’t a situation that calls for finality! They’ve got at least one more boss battle (two more, really) so nothing is final yet! They don’t even know if they’ll be able to talk Doel down or if they’ll have to fight him. And from the point of view of somebody reading the fic, there are thirteen more chapters to go! You can’t pretend there’s any finality in the situation if you’ve got that much fic left!
And this was one of SEVERAL rewrites! What the hell was the original simile? ‘They fit as if they were the last three eggs in the pan.’?
“I’d go with ‘They fit like they were the last three dresses on the bride’s maids.'”
That’s an even weirder and somewhat suspicious simile. Something I need to know?
“Crunchy and I are getting married.”
“It started with the board games, and then the bridge, and well, we just started spending more time together. We tried to deny it, but the love was there and it’s only grown stronger. We were going to wait until Halloween to announce it, but I suppose now is as good a time as any to let you know.”
“I knew you would react this way. You’re so conservative at times. Trying to keep unconventional love down in favor of your preconceptions. I’m sorry I cannot conform to what you expect of the world. I don’t roll that way.”
But he’s not… and you… but… WHAT!?
“Oh man, you’re so fun to mess with. I wish I’d gotten that on camera!”
Oh thank the gods, I thought I maybe got sucked into a bad slash-fic or something. Or maybe we were all a lot drunker than we thought last week.
“There honestly isn’t enough alcohol in the universe to make Crunchy seem like a good idea as a mate.”
The orb that the statue has holding began to shine brightly, then the group heard a door open on it’s lower side, leading to a lift. Taking the lift up to the fifth and final floor of the castle, the group climbed up a stairway leading to the throne when Stryfe and Dart suddenly noticed something ahead of them.
“That strikes me as a rather odd choice for a door.”
Yeah, canon, but highly motivated by game mechanics.
Stryfe: What the!?
Dart: What’s that!?
What is this!?
“What are those!?”
Rose: I smell blood in the air.
“I never pegged Rose as a romantic.”
It’s a bit different for humans, I think.
“You’re a strange lot.”
Haschel: It’s not Human…
So, we’ve narrowed it down to everything that isn’t human. Thanks, Haschel, you’re a big help.
Kongol, in a large suit of armor protecting all but his head, slowly and heavily approached the group.
“Plodding along, just like the plot.”
Now there’s a simile to be proud of.
Kongol: Gigantos don’t lose twice! Gigantos pay you back for Hoax! For His Majesty Doel!
To be more exact, Gigantos don’t lose twice because they usually fight to the death.
As Kongol attacked, the group scattered across the stairway in order to prevent him from throwing anyone off the ledges.
“Wait, there are ledges?”
Yeah, all over the place! See, like right there, and over there.
Kongol’s armor made it nearly impossible to harm him by normal means, so Stryfe, Dart, Rose, Shana and Albert transformed into their Dragoon forms and used their magic instead to slowly weaken his armor.
Thrill as the character blob magics!
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 74
Finally, Haschel evaded Kongol with his speed and broke through the armor with a well aimed blow with one punch.
Yes, one punch. Not counting all the magic or the other blows they would have had to have landed in order to know that they needed to use magic.
With the loss of his armor, Kongol drew his axe and went on a rampage.
“He wasn’t using his weapon!?”
Maybe his armor was so bulky he couldn’t actually move. Just kinda waddles into battle and hopes for the best.
“This is why you need at least one DPSer when you’ve got your uber-tank in the fight.”
Due to his anger, his attacks became sloppy and easy to dodge.
As opposed to how hard it was to dodge his attacks when he was just standing there letting you cast magic at him.
As Kongol tried to strike at Stryfe, Stryfe blocked the axe with his zwiehander and found an opening to attack, tripping the Giganto using a low sweep kick.
*Headdesk* “Moron, your idiotic insert is fighting KONGOL. Let’s refresh what Kongol looks like:”
“You aren’t blocking that axe with your clinky little 2-handed sword, and you aren’t tripping that mountain of man-meat with your cute little sweep kick.”
Struggling to get up, Kongol continued to attack relentlessly at any of the group who attacked him, whether it was Shana from long range or Stryfe, Dart, Rose, Albert and Haschel at close range.
Much tense. So action.
Finally, Stryfe and Kongol charged at each other, with Stryfe unleashing a powerful slash that made a huge gash across Kongol’s abdomen. As Kongol drops his axe and kneels, gripping the wound to prevent it from bleeding further, Rose held her rapier to his throat.
Wouldn’t be a boss-fight if Skanky didn’t get the last hit, would it?
Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 40
Kongol: Gigantos, with strongest armor…lost. Me, brother of hero…has pride. Cannot live in such shame…Kill me.
See, this is why Gigantos don’t lose twice. Because they usually find a way to end themselves after the first loss.
Rose: As you wish.
“I like Rose, very practical.”
Yeah, she has her moments for sure.
Stryfe rose his zwiehander in front of Rose’s path. As she looked at him, he shook his head, telling her not to kill the helpless Kongol.
“Still not spelled right.”
Rose, why are you letting this little splort of a Dragoon tell you what to do? I mean, yeah, I really like Kongol, but you at least had reason to respect Dart when he told you not to kill Kongol. What has Stank-bait done?
Stryfe: We’ve already done enough.
No you haven’t! Doel is still waiting for you. Do you really want to risk Kongol coming in and attacking you in the back if you have to fight Doel? This is a matter of-
Rose: Don’t be insane, Stryfe. This is a matter of life or death.
“Listen to the woman!”
Stryfe: There’s no honor in killing helpless opponents, Rose.
“And having no honor is… bad?”
Apparently. Never stopped Rose before.
Yeah, we’ll get to that eventually. Probably.
Stryfe saw Rose look away as he said those words, he could see the look in her eyes was one of a struggle. He then noticed Shana walking past them, kneeling down and compassionately looking at the injured Kongol.
This is actually an important moment. Shame it was totally stolen from Dart.
Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 41
Shana: It’s over. He can’t fight anymore.
Rose: I hope…your sweetness doesn’t kill you.
Stryfe: Sometimes it’s better to show compassion rather than ruthlessness…
“If anyone out there is questioning Stanky’s credibility here, there’s a reason. He’s been shown to not hesitate in shedding blood and typically picks the more violent of any action when given a choice.”
Which, if the author was trying to paint Stanky as a hypocritical wind-bag, would be mission accomplished.
Walking past Kongol, who was still kneeling and grasping his wound, Stryfe couldn’t help but shake his head and let out a silent sigh before turning away to follow the rest of the group.
Oh get over yourself you sentient pool of rectal disch-
*Swenia drags taco out of his chair, gags him, and stuffs him in a cardboard box, which she proceeds to cover in several layers of bolt tape*
“It turns out that I really like cardboard boxes too!”
Taking an elevator at the top of the stairwell, the group found themselves in the throne room of Emperor Doel…
“And with that we’ve put another horrible, poorly-paced chapter behind us. Until next week, patrons!”