1176: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter Twenty-Three

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

Welcome back, patrons!  It’s another Wednesday spent with this turdy little gem of plagiarism; I’m sure you’re all excited.

“I’m beside myself with apathy.”

*Taco looks around expectantly*  Wait… where’s the clone?

“What clone?  What the hell are you talking about?”

Uhh, never mind.  Just realized that I’ve been spending too much time around Crunchy.

“Recap!  Last time the blob visited Mr. Magi for an entirely pointless scene; which doesn’t really make the scene stand out on its own from any other scene in the fic.  After that, they met with the commander of the Sandora’s forces.  They talk a bit, and he agrees to help them get to Doel so long as they ‘take care of’ the situation.  After that we were treated to a poorly paced and highly illogical fight with Kongol that really just served to provide Stanky with yet another opportunity to showboat.  This week we pick up in Doel’s well appointed two-bedroom loft apartment.”

Chapter XXIII: Confrontation with Doel

That makes it sound more like an intervention than an assassination.

Entering the throne room, the group was greeted with the sight of what appeared to be green torches surrounding a two story throne.

“Well then, somebody is compensating.”

Stryfe could see the tension in Albert’s face as they walked closer and closer to the throne. Just then, the group heard a deep voice echo across the room that sounded like it was coming from above them on the throne.

Why are you trying to sneak up on Doel being on the throne, author?  They know he’s in this room, we know he’s in this room, and there’s a giant throne in the room.  There is no mystery here!

“I wonder how you could come all the way here. Pitiful daredevils.”

Not as pithy as ‘I, Garland, will knock you all down!’ but it’s got the same feel.

As they looked towards where the voice came from, the group saw who they were looking for.

“Why are you still sneaking up on this!?  We all know Doel is in this room!  Painfully slow pacing will not make the obvious surprising!”

Lowering himself down to their floor level via his elevated throne, Doel got up from his seat and stood to confront Stryfe, Dart, Shana, Rose, Albert and Haschel.

Finally!  Gah, this thing has pacing slower than a book written by the Bronte sisters.

“Take that, 19th-century British fiction.”

Stryfe: So…You’re Emperor Doel!

Capt_Obvious

Albert: Uncle…Do you remember me!? I am the son of your late brother…Albert

Dart: What!?

“Did he stutter?”

Dart’s kinda sheltered.  I suppose it just never occurred to him that the diplomatic intermarrying of monarchies would lead to a lot of familial ties among the aristocracy.

Stryfe saw Doel blankly observe Albert for a bit. Then, he saw Doel’s eyes widen from remembering Albert, as if he was recalling the face of a dead friend.

Kids, don’t do drugs.  Especially don’t do drugs before ruling a nation.

“I think human history would have gone a lot better if more monarchs had followed that rule.”

Yeah, it really would have.

Doel: You remind me of…Carlo. Twenty years ago…A bloodstained corpse in front of me…

“Well now things are just getting awkward.”

Somebody, quick change the subject to something better!

“I always did love your mother, Carlo didn’t deserve her!”

That’s not better!

Stryfe: What did you say!?

I’m beginning to think that the issue here isn’t that the characters can’t understand the concepts here, but that they can’t actually hear Doel from all the way up on that two-story throne.

“Classic rookie villain mistake:  Monologuing in a room with poor acoustics.”

Albert: Why did you kill him!? Why did you divide Serido by killing my father!?

Doel: To save Serido from an incapable leader like Carlo. And now my hands will give birth to the new Serido!

“Ew, metaphor fail.”

I’m getting a definite cuttlefish vibe from him, now.

Dart: Birth!? What you’re doing is only destructive!

Stryfe: What you’ve given birth to was nothing but sorrow, pain, agony, anger and fury!

Shana: Why did you have me taken away from Seles!?

Shana is desperately trying to change the subject away from Doel’s hands giving birth.

“I don’t blame her.  I’m… well you know how I am, but Doel’s metaphorical hand-pregnancy is giving even me the jeebies.”

Doel silently crossed his arms.

Character blob, the mad king is very disappointed in you.

Doel: You must be talking about Lloyd’s conspiracy. “Find the girl by the time the Moon That Never Sets waxes…” All is ordered by the reborn Emperor Diaz.
Lloyd is just a mere pawn in a larger plan. Along with the Dragoons…

“Uh, who?”

I’ll drop some spoilers on this one: Emperor Diaz is the real mastermind behind all the events in the game.  He’s originally the leader of the humans from the Dragon Campaign that happened 11,000 years ago.  In reality, his identity was taken over by an ancient wingly, Melbu Frahma, who is trying to wipe out all human life on the planet in order to start a new age of winglies.  He started this war to both weaken the humans by making them fight each other, and get a hold of the moon artifacts and the moon child, which are essential to his genocide plans.

Rose: Emperor Diaz died in the Dragon Campaign, you idiot! As a human…as a hero!

This is true.

Doel: I don’t care whether you believe it or not. It won’t make a difference to reality! You thought you could defeat me with greater numbers,
right!? Come! I’ll send you to your father’s place, ALBERT!

As Emperor Doel drew two identical swords and charged at the group, Stryfe drew his zwiehander and joined Dart and Albert in leading the charge.

“Still spelled wrong. And, I’m counting it.”

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 75

Stryfe: BASTARD!

Dart: DOEL!

Albert: UNCLE!

CHIEF!?

“MCCLOUD!?”

As their swords clashed with Emperor Doel, Stryfe could hear his ears ringing as he, Dart, Albert and Rose exchanged blows with Doel.

And another!

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 76

While they focused mainly on frontal assaults against Doel, Haschel stayed back and protected Shana, who supported the group from a distance.

“Woof.”  *Swenia rubs her throat*  “That high-powered cough medicine only takes the edge off.  And makes for a fun evening that you’ll never remember.”

Don’t want to know.

Though he was outnumbered six to one, Doel fought back as if he was a raging animal fighting off multiple predators at once.

“WOOF!  Dammit all!”  *Swenia uncaps her PCC Suddenly Flask™ and takes a deep swig.*

Wait, is that cough medicine?

“It doesn’t taste so bad once you get past the syrupy ethylene taste.”

ETHYLENE!?  Give me that!  *Taco snatches the flask, dips his finger in, and tastes it* This tastes like HVAC coolant!

“It’s got a nice kick, but a little too sweet for me.”

You’re not getting this back, and I’m going to have a talk with our medical staff when we’re done here.  Mostly involving a three-headed sheep and a studded gong.

Locking blades with Doel, Stryfe did his best to keep Doel from overpowering the lock by slowly pushing him back by moving forward.

WOOF!”  *Swenia pulls out her PCC Suddenly Flask™, which is snatched away by Taco.*

No.

“So Stanky’s tactic here was to prevent Doel from overpowering him by instead overpowering Doel?  Master of strategy!”

It’s borderline, but because it’s Stanky being the center of attention once again, we should include this on the counter:

*SLAM*

Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 42

Dart and Albert then came from behind

“Ehehehehehehehehehe!”

Oh grow up.

and struck Doel in an opening in his armor on the sides. Rose then jumped in to help Stryfe, cutting Doel in the back.

This is why attempting a one-vs-six battle in an open area is stupid.  You’ll just get swarmed from all directions.

Just as Doel flinched, letting his guard down, Stryfe broke the lock and slashed upward, scaring him in the eye then knocking him back with a powerful elbow to the face.

“Okay, author, so now even simple words, like scar, are beyond your understanding.  How about this: all words longer than three letters, just go ahead and look up before you try to use them.”

Refusing to give up, Doel defiantly got up and stood his ground.

How do you defiantly stand?

“Not sure, but I think it involves a dance routine and telling somebody that they got served.”

Doel: You all want to play tough!? I CAN PLAY THAT WAY TOO!

“They didn’t play tough, they played dirty.  Big difference, in that the second one is way, way more effective in combat.”

To be fair, Doel certainly can play dirty with the best of them.

“If that were true, he’d have the entire castle full of guards in here fighting this battle for him while crossbowmen pincushioned the character blob.  Or he could have pretended to have had a change of heart, let them leave, and then just kept being a conquering despot.  Really, it took very little for the Commander to convince them he was a reformed man, regardless of the fact that he actually does reform.”

Hmm, fair enough.  Yeah, Doel sucks at playing dirty.

A bright violet light engulfed Doel, temporarily blinding the group. When Stryfe and the others regained their sight, they saw that Doel was now bearing Dragoon Armor, in a violet attire.

“Wait, so his dragoon armor is wearing a violet suit?”

Armor likes to get dressed up sometimes too.

“Yeah, but violet?”

Just because it likes to dress up doesn’t mean it has great fashion sense.

His swords now seemed to be giving off sparks of electrical energy, making them even more dangerous weapons.

Stryfe: Him too!?

Betcha never saw that comin’ did ya, Skippy?

Dart: We can take him!

Stryfe: Right!

No shit.  He’s one dragoon.  You have five dragoons and a martial arts master.  No matter how you look at this situation, Doel doesn’t really have a chance here.

“Game mechanics again?”

Yeah, it makes sense in terms of a game needing a boss battle, but logically they have him out-gunned AND outnumbered.  Really Doel has next to no chance of coming out of this.  Which is why he won’t.

Grasping his Dragoon Spirit, Stryfe transformed into his Dragoon form, with Dart, Rose, Shana and Albert following stead.

Count it.

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 77

As they rose into the air to meet Doel in the ensuing clash, Haschel watched from the ground, waiting for his chance to help.

That’s so exciting and adds so much to the scene, I’m glad it was included.  The pacing just wouldn’t be right without the quick break to tell us that Haschel isn’t doing anything.

The room was soon engulfed with scattered magic of the Gravity, Fire, Dark, Wind and Lightning elements, and loose energy began to destroy parts of the room each time one of the four Dragoons clashed blades with Doel.

“Seems like under the battle isn’t the greatest place for Haschel to be waiting.”

He’ll probably be fine.  In fact, the author probably won’t remember he’s there until after the battle when he gets Doel’s dragoon spirit.

“Dude, spoilers!  You totally ruined the surprise.  Now all the tension that the author has built up is completely spoiled!”

Blocking a lighting beam from Doel, Stryfe countered with a Gravity spell while Dart and Rose attacked from close range.

“It’s like I can really see the battle!”

What’s it look like?

“Kind of a vapory cloud of mist that’s been agitated a bit.”

Wow!  That’s what I’m seeing too!

Then Doel pushed them back by expelling Lightning energy from his body, Albert protected them using Wind Magic to form shields around himself, Stryfe, Dart and Rose. Throwing his swords into the air, Doel summoned a magical vortex filled with Lightning energy and pulled out his swords from it, which were now super charged.

Knowing that it could be lethal if they hit any of them, Stryfe, Dart, Rose, Shana and Albert kept their distance and struck Doel with their magic attacks,
only clashing blades if they needed to.

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 78

“Why are the action scenes in this fic so fucking boring!?  I can’t take it!  Can something interesting happen, please!?”

As Doel continued to be beaten back, he entered a frenzy as he surrounded himself in Lightning energy, seemingly losing himself to the overflowing power that was running through him.

Authors, being vague, passive, and wishy-washy is NOT being lyrical.  All it does is pad your word-count and completely destroy any impact your sentence might have had.  All this ‘seemingly’, ‘slightly’, and ‘could be seen/heard/smelled/felt/groped’ bullshit needs to stop!

As Doel charged at Stryfe, rapidly trying to break through his defenses by bashing his Dragoon Zwiehander blade until it began to crack, Stryfe knew he had to do something quickly or he would be knocked out of the fight.

“WOOF!”

*Taco snags another flask from Swenia*  Nope.

“Dude, I’m dying over here.”

Just as Doel was about to strike again, Stryfe punched Doel with an uppercut to the jaw, followed by a quick slash to the abdomen, which cut clean through Doel’s chain mail, causing him to begin to bleed.

“So, where are all the others during this riveting daybook struggle between Doel and Stanky?”

They know not to butt in when there’s badassery to be had.

*SLAM*

Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 43

Seeing their opportunity to strike as well, Dart, Rose, Shana and Albert began to individually attack Doel as well.

*Alarm blares*

“JIWE!  Secret weapon!”

*Jiwe toddles into the hall wearing a little camouflage suit and holding an augmented Nerf cannon*

“Nerfy!”

*A rain of soft Nerf projectiles rain down on the DRD, which is followed by the sound of squeeing DRD agents as they squee.*

Those guys sure are suckers for a barrage of cute.

“I blame Jeff.”

Speaking of Jeff:

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 79

“The hell does that have to do with Jeff?”

I was desperate for a transition.

Slowly, Doel began to lose stamina and was weakening from blood loss with each passing second. When Shana distracted Doel with her enhanced Dragoon Arrows, Haschel jumped into the air and punched the middle of Doel’s Dragoon Armor, though it was not enough to destroy it, it was enough to cause it to crack.

Hey look, the author remembered that there are other characters!  And that they do things individually rather than as one generic group of biomass!

“A shame that the action is still so entirely awful.”

Yeah, shame.

Before Stryfe could move in, Albert charged ahead of him, Dart and Rose and stabbed through the crack made by Haschel, causing the sharp tip of his Dragoon Lance to come out of the other side of Doel’s back, covered in his blood. As the Lighting energy faded from Doel’s weapons, he began to spit out blood, signifying to the group that they had won the battle.

Thanks for spelling that out, author.  We would never have figured out that they won after that massively one-sided battle.  That spear sticking through Doel was just not enough of a hint for me to grasp that.

“Hey, guess what.”

What is it?

“Stanky didn’t get the killing blow this time.”

Holy crap, you’re right!  Still, most of the action featured him, so I can’t offer a redemption cookie, but at least we’re spared another hit of the insertion Stu counter.

Doel: You have…become strong.

Or at least you’ve become good at winning when the odds are in your favor.

“Hey, having lots of allies is a kind of strength.  More of a strength of diplomacy or the strength of a good leader than the more obvious kind, but I’d say it counts.”

Mmm, fair enough.  As a group they certainly are stronger than just Albert by himself.

Albert: Uncle…What you should know is not the past, but the future.

“Wha?”

No idea.  It’s a line from the game, but I think the translation wasn’t quite what the original line was trying to say.

Doel looked up at Albert, his eyes filled with regret as his wounds began to bleed profusely.

“Wait, ‘began to’?  But the prose described him as already weakening and getting woozy from blood loss.”

Well, he’s bleeding more profusely now.

“Surprised he has any left.”

Doel: Pursue…Lloyd.

“I am!”

No, Doel means chase him down and stop him.

“I certainly would!”

Never mind.

Stryfe: But we don’t know where he’s gone.

Doel: He is…in the Western country…of Tiberoa…

Stryfe: Tiberoa!?

Dart: Why has he gone there?

Doel: He…He knows everything. Go…And Find out…About the world, about…everything…

“When I die, I want to be just as vague.”

Not as pithy as, ‘I left the gold in the-…’

Doel, still kneeling while holding one of his swords to stay standing, limped over, his body lifeless as it stood. Albert, realizing that his uncle was no longer the ruthless man they fought in his last moments, gave him a knights salute.

I love being told this stuff.  It really helps keep me from being invested in any of these characters.

As Stryfe slowly sheathed his zwiehander, Doel’s body was engulfed in a violet light, his Dragoon Spirit leaving his body and slowly floating up towards the ceiling.

“Where the hell is he sheathing that thing?  It’s going to be between six and seven feet long.  You aren’t wearing that on a hip, and I’d love to see him try to get it on his back without somebody else helping.”

Even though the war had now ended with Doel’s death, Stryfe couldn’t help but feel like it was a bittersweet victory.

You plan on unpacking that for us, big guy?

Helping Dart and Albert carry Doel’s body to his throne, Stryfe couldn’t help but feel a little sad as he helped his friends lay the leader of Sandora to rest on his throne.

Ooookay?  Why are we sad again?  Can we get anything on why Stanky here is acting all morose all of a sudden?  His sudden empathy with his opponent is kinda coming out of nowhere, here.

Albert: My uncles, errr, Emperor Doel’s ambitions are now over. It places an end to this ceaseless long war that has divided Serido into two. This is the end of our journey, everyone…

“You said disc 1, right?”

That I did.

“How many discs?”

Four.

“So not over, I’m taking it?”

Stryfe shook his head.

Stryfe: No…Not yet…

Having a direct link to the author makes you very genre savvy.

Dart: Yeah…This isn’t over…This journey began when Shana was taken!

Stryfe: Then Lavitz was killed, and his killer is now heading for Tiberoa…Leaving the mystery of what he is seeking and why he took Shana behind!

WOOOOOOOOF! Dammit, now even the dialogue is super awkward.”

That’s what happens when the author tries to write his own in.

Dart: I’m going after him!

Stryfe: Not alone, you’re not, Dart!

Dart: We’ll make him explain everything!

You can actually tell when the author adds lines to canon scenes.  It’s whenever Stanky says something, but nobody else reacts.  Whenever they do react, it’s a line that was stolen from Dart.

“Holy crap, you’re right!”

Shana: I’m going with you two…I still don’t know anything about the Virage or what was said by Emperor Diaz. My journey cannot end here…Stryfe, Dart,
I need to know why and how I am connected to them!

Dart: Shana…

Stryfe: Alright. Besides, there’s no reason for me or Dart to say no.

Here it comes!

“The wha?”

Albert: My journey cannot “end” either…Whatever conspiracy that man is forming, the Moon Gem is one of the keys. Hollowed objects concealing the magic power of the Ancient Winglies. We have to stop it before it ignites a catastrophe in Tiberoa. I’ll go with you, I’ll give up my status as king for a while, and live as a Dragoon instead. Lavitz would’ve completely agreed.

“Ahh, that whole choosing to be a dragoon over being a king thing, right?”

Yup.  Amazing how this author managed to not only ruin this moment by surrounding it with such drab and uninteresting prose, but also make it seem like there was no build up to it by cutting out a lot of the little pieces of information that alluded to Albert needing to eventually make this choice.

“Doubly amazing because he did it while simultaneously ripping all his dialogue from the game.”

It’s like a kind of talent!

“Not sure I’d use that word.”

Stryfe: Rose?

Rose looked at Stryfe with a determined look in her eyes.

Rose: I told you. I’m interested in you guys. Besides, you feel naked without me, don’t you?

*Swenia looks down at herself*

“Apparently not.”

Yeah, the clothes really prevent that whole nude feeling.

Stryfe: Heh…Haschel?

Haschel: Well, if Rose is going…Then my role has ended…

Dart: Where are you going?

Stryfe: Hey, what’s that!?

A THING!

“Woohoo!”

Stryfe pointed towards the ceiling, pointing everyone’s attention to Doel’s Dragoon Spirit as it slowly began to descend from the ceiling. As it slowly floated towards Haschel, he held out his hand as the mythical violet orb floated into his hands.

*Alarm Blares*

“Second wave, kiddo!”

-[A scene of Kooshball-based adorableness later]-

“I feel lucky to be immune to his powers of cute.”

It’s an important defense that you develop as a parent.

Rose: When Dragoons meet, blood will flow, and as they leave, time does slow.

“That doesn’t mean anything, does it?”

Actually, it does.  More Rose foreshadowing.

Stryfe: Is it our choice to leave our fates behind?

Apparently the whole ‘fated to be dragoons’ part of the job kinda slid by him.

“He probably wasn’t paying attention.  Too busy thinking about how awesome he is.”

Haschel: The question is already answered, Stryfe.

Dart: The Dragoon Spirits are leading us, Stryfe!

See, everyone else was paying attention to the whole ‘having a destiny’ thing.

Stryfe: Yeah…you’re right! Maybe…they’ll lead me to the Winged Ones, the Winglies, finally…

It’s important to occasionally tell your audience that your character has a point.  Especially when it’s a tacked on reason that doesn’t really shine out as being novel or interesting compared to the original source.

“Yeah, if the author didn’t keep reminding us that Stanky totally has a personal stake in this, we might almost think the story doesn’t need him or something.”

Heading outside the Black Castle, Stryfe, Dart, Shana, Rose, Albert and Haschel took out their Dragoon Spirits and held them up into the sky.

That’s borderline, but I’ll let it slide this time.  That’s something that they do from time to time.

“Kinda feels Power Rangery to me.”

It is, rather.

The orbs began to glow intensively in a bright indigo, red, silver, dark blue, green and violet light that could be seen all the way from the city outside the castle. The lights were a signal to the Sandorans and any Basil troops within the area of the city, that the war was finally over.

Yes, because the troops would totally be able to determine the end of the war by colored lights.

*Swenia pounces on Taco and begins bolt-taping him to Crunchy*

The heck are you doing here?

“Swenia texted me and said it was important.  I feel that I may have been had.”

“There!  Now run along.  I told the ninja to give you a two-minute head start.”

“Two minutes before what, precisely?”

“Time’s a wastin’.”

“I see.”  *Crunchy plods heavily out of the room with Taco strapped to him*

But Stryfe knew, like his friends did, that the true war had only just begun…

“Of course, because being surprised about how deep and dire their situation actually is would rob them of their Stu powers.  Anyway, that’s it for this week, until next Wednesday, patrons!”

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12 Comments on “1176: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter Twenty-Three”

  1. AdmiralSakai says:

    Stryfe: So…You’re Emperor Doel!

    “Nope, sorry, just throne-sitting for him until he gets back from the convention.

    Would you like the number for his hotel?”

  2. AdmiralSakai says:

    As their swords clashed with Emperor Doel, Stryfe could hear his ears ringing as he, Dart, Albert and Rose exchanged blows with Doel.

    *ALARM BLARES*

    Oh dear…

  3. GhostCat says:

    Stryfe: What you’ve given birth to was nothing but sorrow, pain, agony, anger and fury!

    I’ve never given birth, and this really isn’t making a compelling argument for it.

  4. Ishi says:

    You’re not getting this back, and I’m going to have a talk with our medical staff when we’re done here. Mostly involving a three-headed sheep and a studded gong.

    … One has suddenly remembered urgent business that requires one’s presence elsewhere.

  5. agigabyte says:

    Dakota: Lord, please, make this person stop trying to use game mechanics as a substitute for good writing! …On second thought, make them stop writing altogether.

  6. "Lyle" says:

    That’s borderline, but I’ll let it slide this time. That’s something that they do from time to time.

    “Kinda feels Power Rangery to me.”

    It is, rather.

    To me it feels more Planeteer-y.


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