1179: Fantasy Life – OneshotPosted: September 19, 2015
Hello, and welcome back to the Library of the Damned! I’m your host, SC, and I’m taking a short break from Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors because it’s becoming a bit of a grind to get through, and that’s no good for my riffing mood.
So instead, I’m gonna do a couple oneshots!
This week’s entry is from a game that I got very recently, which I love the hell out of playing.
Fantasy Life, as the name implies, is a fantasy RPG/life simulation game developed and by Level-5, 1-UP Studios, Brownie Brown, h.a.n.d., and of course, the big name of the bunch: Nintendo. It was released on December 27, 2012 in Japan, September 26 and 27, 2014 in Europe and Australia, and October 24, 2014 for the America. When I got it for my birthday, an announcement was made in the same month that there is a sequel in works.
The story of Fantasy Life follows you, the player, as you… well… do stuff. You obtain a license for a Life, which is the Reverian vocational system, you go visit the king, get your first uniform, go to your Life Master and learn the tricks of the trade. However, before you do all of that, you meet Butterfly, who – despite how hard you may try to reject her advances – quite literally grabs you by the throat (she pretends to be your bowtie) and refuses to let go until you let her tag along. It comes out, over the course of many a zany adventure, that the world is coming to an end, and Butterfly is actually Yuelia, one of two daughters of the Life Goddess Celestia-
-come to Reveria to try and stave off the endtimes. Her sister, Noellia, is also helping out, but her methods are a bit questionable.
Problem: The only way to save Reveria is through the power of wishes. Bigger problem: nobody has a wish anymore, or don’t realize that they do. So, Yuelia and Noellia’s mission really boils down to making the people of Reveria realize their deepest wishes, collecting the magic generated by those wishes, and using it to give a boost to the magical barrier protecting Reveria so that the world won’t end.
Where do you come in?
Why, you’re the heroic shmuck they drag into this to act as the pack mule! Because going around being all, “Hey, we’re the daughters of the Life Goddess, world’s ending, give us yo wishes!” isn’t really a sound strategy, you see, so having you take them around disguised as butterflies and doing all the heavy lifting and gaining the people’s trust yourself is really the only way they can get anywhere with their mission at all. And, you know, they’re not wrong for choosing you – I mean, you can become a Legend in every single Life in the game, that’s saying a lot about your skills.
In the end, you do succeed, but only just, as there still wasn’t enough wish magic to save the world until Yuelia decided to wish to live in Reveria forever, at the expense of never being able to go back to her home again. (Which actually still works out, because soon after you save the world, Yuelia and Noellia’s dad decides, “hey, you’re pretty cool, I’ma let you come up here whenever!”)
The big thing about Fantasy Life for me, though, is not its story. It’s that for once, there exists a fantasy RPG that isn’t bogged down by the super dramatic plotlines, and which you can forge your own adventures in, on your own time. There’s no villain trying to ruin things for the innocent people of Reveria that you must defeat, there’s no conspiracy to uncover and derail, hell, there’s not even a curse to undo. It’s just, “hey, the world’s ending because people don’t wish enough, go help them discover their deepest wishes before it’s too late – but no rush, there’s plenty of time before it happens.” Even Legend of Zelda games are darker and grittier than that, and pretty railroaded, even with the open world aspects. Granted, Fantasy Life will railroad you a bit as well, but only when you try and tell the game that you don’t want to learn important gameplay mechanics or advance the plot. If you don’t advance the plot, you can’t unlock the rest of the world, dummy! Beyond that, Reveria is your oyster.
As an added bonus, the game refuses to take itself seriously. (Although, I’d imagine that the art style could have told you that on its own. The characters are almost designed like Miis, for crying out loud.)
A once-prestigious aircraft mechanic driven to drinking his sorrows away and neglecting his family because his friend died in a test flight? Actually, his friend is fine, but his airship crashed on a floating island, so he’s just a bit stuck, is all. A potential war between your kingdom and a neighboring one? Nah, that was just a prank war between their two kings that got a touch out of hand. Pirates harassing a noblewoman? As if. She’s twice the pirate their cowardly, bumbling asses will ever be, her former pirate dad was just honoring his late wife’s last wishes by not letting his daughter become a pirate for real without being absolutely certain it was her dream in life, so he hired some tough guys to intimidate her out of it. (By the way, piracy in Reveria is really just a bunch of drunk thugs sailing around, having sea adventures and not bothering anybody.) Supposedly evil scientist looking for Doomstones? Nope, he’s just a bit egotistical due to his fame, is all. It happens.
Don’t get me wrong, I love dark and intense RPGs just as much as the next guy – but sometimes, it’s nice to just kick back with a game that plays it cool and fun, you know?
…So what the hell could possibly convince someone that it makes sense to write a dark and edgy fic about THIS game?
Yes, after all that praise, we finally get to the fic I’m riffing. It’s a little thousand-something word ditty (right now, at least) simply named after the game it’s based around, written by a guy named Calem Phoenix, and it’s listed as an Adventure/Humor fic. You will quickly come to see that it is neither. And I mean, like, IMMEDIATELY.
Here, let’s jump in and I’ll show you.
Naturally, we open with the cliche name-drop of the world, followed by a brief overview of shit that goes on there. I mean, I’m okay with it, but I would really just prefer that the world be introduced over time rather than have it all shoved in my face like a spreadsheet.
A world where mythical creatures exist, legends are formed, and the world of the Life.
Wow, that’s awkward to read.
And since it got brought back up again: as I explained, Lives as the vocational system of Reveria. Everybody who starts working in the world gets a Life license for their chosen occupation, which are distributed by a Life Guild working alongside the governments of Reveria to keep things moving smoothly. There are twelve Lives available in Fantasy Life: Paladin, Mercenary, Hunter, Wizard, Alchemist, Woodcutter, Carpenter, Blacksmith, Miner, Tailor, Angler, and Cook. In each life, there are a series of ranks that you obtain by completing Life missions – in order, those ranks are Novice, Fledgling, Apprentice, Adept, Expert, Master, Hero, and Legend. In the game’s Origin Island DLC, one more rank is added: Creator/God. Yes, if you have the DLC, you can literally become the God of Fishing. Think about that for a second.
It has one moon, Lunares, and has three major continents- Castele of the forests, Port Puerto sea, and Al Majiik, the desert.
More awkwardness, I see. This author is somehow worse than MrAwesomeMatty at coherent descriptions.
Let me clear things up a bit, here. As the author said, there are three major activity hubs in Fantasy Life – but he’s wrong. There’s actually FIVE. This tells me he’s not all the way through the game yet, because the two he forgot are pretty close to the endgame.
In all, the five major hubs are:
Castele – you start the game here, and the majority of the plot is centered here. By default, Castele is your home base, and every road to other places you unlock in the game connect directly to Castele. It’s a kingdom ruled by King Erik Stone, eleventh monarch of his family line; and Queen Ophelia, Erik’s wife and perhaps the most powerful Paladin in the world. Between the two of them, they have one daughter – Princess Laura Stone. Erik’s father, the retired former King of Castele Gladstone “Glad” Stone, lives in Reverian legend as the crowned champion of every single life, though he remembers his days as a Paladin most fondly. Castele’s economy is supported by all the Lives working in harmony with each other, and as such, the kingdom thrives. It’s surrounded by forests, but is also home to two large plains, which you can bet your ass you’ll be going through many times in order to beat the game, because they’re connected to all the roads to the other major hubs. They’re quite aptly named the East and West Grassy Plains.
Port Puerto – a tropical port haven of pirates and nobles, somehow living peacefully in accord with each other, surrounded by the ocean on all but one side, which is instead bordered by the Tortuga Archipelago. Port Puerto was originally founded by a feared pirate and his strict disciplinarian noblewoman wife, and is presently governed by their two children: Olivia Pescado, elder of the two, but more a pirate than a government official; and her kid brother, Andy Pescado, more a government official than a pirate, who REALLY GOD DAMN WANTS TO THROW A BANQUET. (Apparently Port Puerto has feasts that go as long as a year, depending on the occasion. How even does their economy survive?!)
Al-Maajik – a Totally Not Arabian Nights city located in the desert, with caves and ruins everywhere and a ferry service out to an island inhabited by sentient cactus monsters. Al-Maajik is the arcane capital of Reveria, and their economy is styled around the mysteries of magic. Al-Maajik is ruled by an imposing figure known as the Dark Sultan, and as it would happen, he and King Erik have been in a bit of a prank war with each other for the last few years, which is why Erik looks like a little boy, and the Dark Sultan is trapped in a statue. Actually, that almost caused a war. They probably should have let people in on the prank game…
Levitania – also known as Terra Nimbus, this floating island was once the home of the Life Goddess Celestia. But it’s a bit more than just that – see, the world ending isn’t just something that almost happens in the plot, it was also something that almost happened in the LORE. Terra Nimbus used to be a gigantic Doomstone that threatened to crush Reveria when it fell from the sky, but thanks to the timely intervention of the Life Goddess, it instead hangs suspended in the air as an island inhabited by peaceful creatures known as Plushlings, which the game would LOVE for you to see as the adorable little Cheagles of Fantasy Life, but they’re sadly just strange trolls with clown noses in fur suits. They also have a village, which looks like it was shat out of Care Bears. It’s… it’s really creepy, I don’t like going to Terra Nimbus.
Elderwood Village – via the Elderwood, which is in the East Grassy Plains just outside of Castele, you can access the Deep Elderwood and find the secret path, blocked by a Harry Potter-esque illusion, to the Elderwood Village. This is the second-to-last place you visit in the game. It’s inhabited by forest dwellers who have a bit of a grudge with humans due to general shyness more than anything else, and it’s ruled over by a gigantic, foliage-covered bear-looking forest spirit named Danuta, who Queen Ophelia is actually very good friends with (what, you think Laura gets her wild side from her FATHER? pfft!), and who the Life Goddess Celestia grew up with long ago. There’s also a random forest goddess hanging out in the village named Elmie, who you meet during your introductory mission as a Woodcutter. She’s a cool gal who just kind of hangs out. Doesn’t really do much. She can join your party, though, so that’s cool.
So there you go. It took a lot more words, but I’ve described the major landmarks of the game far better than the author tried to.
And in Castele, a family of three lives in their cozy little cottage.
Okay, so he’s writing this fic in the present tense. Fair enough, that’s not immediately terrible. Nor is the family in a cozy cottage.
Outside, a man was watching them.
He wore a dark cloak that blended in with the dark, and his eyes were the deepest shades of purple.
And now we’ve entered Terrible Land.
Oh look, and a redundancy to deal with! Boy, I chose a great week to riff by myself!
It’s fine. I dumped a shitload of caltrops on the floor before I started.
*Muffled yelping and grumbling outside the door*
They completely lose the will to try once they’ve stuck their feet with spikes!
Ironically, he was a pale man with the marks of one who meddled with the forbidden arts.
The more I read the description of this guy, the more he sounds like Damien, the son of the Dark Sultan.
And if you’re wondering why I’m not putting character pictures in this riff… well, there’s a FUCKTON of important characters in Fantasy Life. It would make this riff way longer than necessary if I did a biographical breakdown for all of them. Even just the named rulers of the important places in the game would extend this riff out further than it needs to go.
And today, he was here to kill.
Nevermind, this isn’t Damien. Damien is severely sheltered from the outside world and barely even knows how to interact with others, let alone comprehend killing people.
Also, opening a fic about a lighthearted fantasy RPG with a murder. Yeah, that makes sense.
Without a word, he magically sets up a blockade that wouldn’t let anyone inside leave, or let anyone outside see or hear anything inside.
Oh look, a Villainous Stu right out of the gate! Because there exists exactly zero magic in this game that would be able to conveniently cut off escape, while also creating an illusion of peace around the battlefield to dissuade any efforts to intervene.
It’s also pretty stupid, as far as magic is concerned. What if your opponent is stronger than you? If nobody can escape or get in, that means you’ve sealed yourself inside as well, and you can’t call for help because nobody can see or hear you outside. Have fun getting ripped the hell to shreds.
Then, he summons his pet as metal griffin, Metalclaw.
There are no griffins in Fantasy Life.
There are also no metallic birds of any fashion in Fantasy Life.
Ergo, as Metalclaw has no reason to exist…
*SC pulls out a Device, courtesy of Bifocals*
This thing is basically like the proton ray from Ghostbusters, except it pulls the molecules of fic characters out of the fic and reconstructs them with no memory of who or what they were in a past life in a big container connected to the extractor gun. There’s a 63% chance it’ll result in a horrible bloody mess, as is standard with Bifocals tech. I should’ve asked Goldie, but he was busy with that superhero thing he and his cousins started up, so I got stuck with standard fare. I intend to use Goldie’s version of this thing when I yoink Isaac from LAFS when I get back to it, because we’re thinking he’d make a handy addition to the Library.
*SC pulls the trigger and braces for an explosion; instead, a noise that sounds like someone trying to inhale with a stuffy nose happens, followed by a ding*
…Wow, that noise was disgusting. Well, let’s see what we’ve got…
*SC opens the container; inside is an entirely metallic griffin, looking a bit dazed*
Heeey, it worked! What’s up, buddy?
*The griffin blinks at SC*
It’s cool, I’m just a Librarian. Go ahead and just hang out, we’ll get you settled in later.
Note to self: Bifocals didn’t fuck me over this time. Don’t expect it to happen again.
After showing a model statue of a place to Metalclaw, he utters a single word.
Metalclaw nods, and flies off into the night.
A few moments later, shouting and screaming can be heard from the now burning Castele Castle.
Wait, you just happened to have a model of Castele Castle in your pocket? Bullshit. And why do you need to point it out to Metalclaw? The Castle can be seen from the plains! Also, why did you block off this random cottage before you attacked the castle? What significance are they to your plot?
FUCKIN’ EXPLAIN YOURSELF, FIC!
A man named Garen rushes out of the cottage, and towards the stables.
He runs straight into the blockade, and screams as he gets electrified, burned, and launched backwards.
Nice one, Garen.
*The griffin rolls its eyes, as if unamused by Garen’s display of lackluster arcane understanding*
To be fair, maybe Garen isn’t a mage, bud.
*The griffin makes a gesture like a shrug*
“You can’t leave.” Shadow spoke.
God damn it, Shadow, stop Chaos Controlling everybody! (I’m pretty sure that’s not how Chaos Control works, but whatever.)
He then takes out Shadowblade, a sword made with the power to control the darkness.
That has to be the least unique sword I’ve ever seen. How many swords have their been that control darkness and have “shadow” in their names?
By the way, that’s another redundancy.
Hey, you wanna meet the DRD?
*The griffin’s tail swishes with a series of clicks as the metallic joints that control its flexibility collide with each other*
Just go outside, and when you see angry guys with guns running at you, go fuck them up. Sound like a plan?
*The griffin spreads its wings, whirring and clicking noises resounding in a mechanical harmony, and flies out into the hall, small vertical propulsion jets emerging from its back and engaging to keep it airborne*
Waaaiiit for it…
*A shriek like nails on a chalkboard echoes through the hall, and the air in the riffing chamber suddenly becomes charged with intense arcane energy from the shockwave of the griffin’s magically-charged explosion*
Griffin magic. Gotta love it. Making my hair stand up on end, though.
Shadow then takes Garen’s soul, when he stabs him in the chest.
Hearing the racket, his wife, Hazel runs out to find her husband’s dying body on the ground.
Oh, God damn it.
Hazel is one of the important characters you meet for the Wizard Life. She has two brothers, Colin and Nox, and all three of them can join your party.
So I guess I take that back, Garen WAS bad at detecting magic.
Garen gasps and chokes out his last words before he crumples over and dies: “Hazel, take Calem and run!”
Oh goody, my first (second?) Self-Insert fic. I don’t knew if LAFS counts, since I can’t tell if Alex and Stone-Man85 are the same or not.
She sees Shadow, nods, and runs as her eyes flood with tears.
As she dodges spells cast by Shadow, she runs into the cottage and picks up her 3-year-old son, Calem, who was playing with his pet horse Nightfur.
Why does Nightfur sound like an MLP pony?
Calem, with his aqua-blue eyes stares into his mother’s as he asks, “Mommy?”.
*Hazel* “Plot’s going down for real, little tyke, we gotta get you out of here before you’re forced to realize your true ugliness as a Stu avatar of the author writing this!”
His mother continues to cry as she whispers, “It’s going to be alright Calem…”
No it’s not, Hazel, quit lying.
Hazel rushes to the hidden underground escape room with Calem, takes out her wand, barricades the door with a spell, and prays to the gods that they’ll escape.
I should mention here that the gods of Fantasy Life are really just space wizards who act as planetary custodians and aren’t actually deities. Hell, Celestia used to be just some human chick in a past life. Hazel’s praying to a janitor right now.
Meanwhile, Shadow is walking through the cottage, looking for Hazel.
Wait, don’t tell me – next comes villainous posturing, right?
As he slowly walks, listening for sound, he says, “Do you really think you can hide from me? If I were you I would just surrender already.”
Hazel hugs Calem close as she begins to worry for Calem’s and her life.
Your Life is fine, he can’t stop you from being a Wizard. Your SOUL, on the other hand…
Shadow comes to a halt in front of a loose floor board as he hears Calem breathing.
Shadow grins and slowly walks towards the door leading to the hidden room.
Noice job giving yourselves away, Calem. I know you’re only three, but come on, you’re a Stu in the makings, I expected bullshittier from you.
With his magic, he forces open the door, making all the dust fly up in the air.
*The griffin sneezes; the screen is splattered with oil*
Dust allergies, huh? I get you, bro.
*SC proffers a Kleenex to the griffin, who accepts with an appreciative metallic screech*
Hazel screams and frantically pushes Calem behind her.
‘Kay, but now I’m imagining this:
Shadow slowly walked forward.
“Hand over the boy if you’d like to see the sun again.”
And since I’m alone this week, nobody can jump on my ass for using that lame pun except the comments.
Hazel repeatedly shakes her head as she holds her wand out in front of herself and points it at Shadow.
Yeah, Fantasy Life (the game, I mean) calls the Wizard equipment wands, but they’re very clearly staves.
“Are you serious? You think I’d cower to your rusty witchcraft?
Excuse you, bitch, her “rusty witchcraft” is practiced by the strongest Wizards in all of Reveria and has the strength to kill dragons, you fucking take that back right God damn now.
You think you can defeat me? Hahaha! What a pity for you!”
Pretty sure you didn’t use pity right just then, but whatever.
Shadow then takes out Shadowblade and holds it pointed at Hazel.
In order to protect Calem, Hazel puts a wall of fire between the battle, and the child.
Now THAT, that is magic that actually makes some semblance of sense in Fantasy Life. Still not very smart, since you’re in what appears to be an enclosed room and you’ve just walled off your son in a small corner of it with unquenchable arcane flames that will roast him alive from the heat alone, but it’s still less bullshit than the See No Evil Hear No Evil Flee From No Evil barricade Shadow used earlier.
Shadow simply smiles as he yields the sword at Hazel.
Hazel was already going through the roundabout when his sword pulled up, so he was obligated by law to let her pass before entering.
Hazel aims her wand and the two begin to fight.
Wait, I need music for this…
While Shadow and Hazel continue to fight, Calem attempts to get across to his mother, but in result burns his hand.
It’s fire, dummy, the heat didn’t tip you off that it might not be smart to try and go through it? Even by three-year-old standards, that’s stupid.
Calem looks down at his hand and cries as his hand begins to sting.
Yep, burns suck, kid. I would know, so does the internet!
Hazel quickly turns her back to Shadow as she gets distracted when she hears Calem cry.
Hazel! Worry about your scorched baby later, you’re in the middle of a-
Shadow takes this opportunity to kill Hazel, as he brings down his sword, just as Hazel begins to turn around.
Shadow hits Hazel square in the stomach making her scream in agony.
She then drops to the floor.
God damn it, how am I supposed to train my Wizard skills now?! Hazel gives out like half the quests! Thanks, Shadow, now I’ll only be a Legend in eleven Lives, you cunt!
“Mommy!” Calem screams.
She doesn’t answer.
We’ve gone Lion King grimdark, people.
Shadow laughs at his victory as he looks at Hazel’s cold lifeless body.
*Shadow* “Oh, if I only had a moustache to twirl!”
“Mommy! Wake up!” Calem yells, as he runs to his mother and begins to shake her.
Three years old and you’re already that coherent? Damn, kid, you’re a fast learner.
“Your mother’s dead, boy.” Shadow speaks.
“You’ll join her soon.”
~TRIGGER WARNING: BADLY WRITTEN CHILD ABUSE AHEAD~
Calem turns around, and then he feels something hit him in the face.
Calem groans in pain as he falls on the ground.
Then, Shadow grabs him by his neck, and squeezes.
Calem chokes as he can’t breathe.
And then Calem became Jack-Jack.
Suddenly, the man shouts in pain and drops him on the floor.
Calem’s eyes begin to glow.
Shadow glares at the child, and tries to hit him with the sword.
It doesn’t work.
As soon as it touched him, it bounced off.
…Well, not as much Jack-Jack as Jack-Jack was, but it still counts.
He glares at the three-year-old and puts up his hand.
Calem then feels a wave of energy slamming onto him.
He tries to scream, but no sound comes out.
Did you just Kamehameha Calem?
Shadow disappears, making the house explode as he goes.
And he didn’t even look at it. What a pro.
Shadow teleports outside of the house and retreats on Metalclaw.
For some reason, I thought Metalclaw was like a shoulder parrot. Even though I know better, and griffins are bigger than full-grown men. Awkward.
~Meanwhile at the palace of the Gods~
Also known as the Starlit Garden, which is the last place you visit in the game.
“Father, did you see that?”
“Yes, I did.”
“He just attacked him! He murdered his parents and muted the boy forever! Help him, father!”
“Kid, I’d love to, but I’ve got to go to a Bingo tournament…”
Boy, it’s a good thing I know that only three people could possibly be talking right now, otherwise I’d have NO idea who’s saying this.
“DIVINIUS LUNARES REVERIA, YOU GO DOWN THERE AND HEAL THE BOY, RIGHT NOW!”
Divinus. His name is Divinus. He’s your freaking father and you can’t even get his name right.
“Okay! Okay! Jeez. She’s just like her mother. Always yelling at me…”
Well, Divinus, if you weren’t such a lazy dick, maybe you’d catch a break every now and again.
That’s his gig in the game, too. “Yeah, we just need a lot of wishes to save Reveria, but fuck it, nobody wishes for shit so why bother trying?”
“What was that?
“N-nothing! Alright, he’s got a great destiny ahead of him. He’s pretty smart, reckless, headstrong, and has a good heart.
He’s THREE, how the fuck could you possibly know this?
But he’s pretty much useless without his speech.
Oh, please. The main protagonist of my NaNo novel for this year is going to be (circumstantially) mute, and he’ll be able to handle himself just fine. You don’t NEED to be able to talk in order to communicate or get shit done.
I mean, just look at Book Specs! He only ever “speaks” in editor tags and glasses adjustments, and we all understand him perfectly!
So… to make up for that,I’ll give him the ability to understand animals, telepathy, and the ability to tame any animal. Satisfied?”
Oh fuck you, Divinus, that doesn’t fix anything, it just makes it worse.
YUELIA STOP ENCOURAGING HIM.
“Good, cause now I gotta wipe your memories…”
“…Gah, my head! Sorry, father, what were we talking about again?”
Oh, my bad, it was Noelia. Suddenly it makes more sense that she’s encouraging bad habits.
Why did Divinus have to mind-wipe her, though? That makes no sense.
Now, if you excuse me, I’ve got a Bingo Tournament to go to.”
…So, was that supposed to be the funny part? Because I didn’t get it.
Prologue is over! I plan on updating when I get reviews!
Great, another fic author holding his story hostage until people kiss his ass enough. Hopefully this means that he’ll never continue this thing, but who knows.
So that was Fantasy Life by Calem Phoenix. An Adventure/Humor fic. Let’s recap:
Did an adventure happen? No.
Was it funny? Also no.
Did it inject needless grimdark in a world that abides none of it? Inexplicably, yes.
Is it likely to be updated? I sure the fuck hope not, but the Fantasy Life section of fanfiction is extremely small (counting myself, there’s like eleven authors who write for the fandom), so who can say?
Well, that’ll wrap up this week. Thanks for reading, folks, and stay tuned for next time! I think I’ll do another oneshot for my next riff, then get back to LAFS. Also, we need to get a think tank together for naming our new griffinbro, here. In the meantime, I’m SC, and on behalf of our new griffinbro, I’ll see you next time!
…So hey, do you run off magic AND oil, or is it just oil?
*The griffin squawks*
Definitely both? Okay, so I’ll let Booky know, then.