1199: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter Twenty-Six

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

So, this week we have a bit of a treat in the fic!  Actually, I’m lying, it’s more nothing.

“You tease, you.”

So, last time the character blob splorched their way into Fletz, got kidnapped by a pushy barmaid looking to make quota, eventually escaped to the safety of an observatory where they looked at a moon for a while, then made their way to Nello’s house to learn about undessertification.

“Undessertification?  That’s what, eating a meal without icecream afterwards?”

Yeah, we’ll go with that.  This week, in lieu of a chapter we have an allegory for reading this fic:

Chapter XXVI: Through the Barrens

Okay, so maybe it’s actually a chapter and not an allegory, but the chapter title seems very symbolic.

After spending the night at Nello’s house, Nello told the group of the city of Donau, which was a little to the north of Feltz.

“Is it such a strange occurrence that Nello would spend the night in Nello’s house that it needs to be explicitly stated like that?”

Well, you know those aged botanists, always a port in every woman.  Or something like that.

Nello also mentioned that Donau was the city being attacked most by the thieves recently, so the group decided they would go there and investigate what was going on.

Beh, the narrative is so dry and lifeless, it’s like reading a documentary on wood ash.

In order to reach Donau, though, they would have to pass through an area known as the Barrens.

“Which looks surprisingly similar to all the other locations.  Misty, white, and empty.”

Before leaving the city of Feltz behind, the group gathered in the center of the outer residential sector.

Why?  No, I’m really curious.  They were already in a group, so why did they they need to gather?

Dart: So there are no signs of Lloyd here.

“Yup, the barmaid, astronomer, and botanist haven’t seen him.  He’s obviously not here.”

Shana: I cannot imagine that Emperor Doel told us a lie.

Albert: In his last moments, my uncle was himself again. I think we can trust the information that Lloyd is headed here for Tiberoa.

Because evil despots under the grip of magical shenanigans are an unimpeachable source of information.

Stryfe: So in that case, we’ll cross paths with him again soon enough.

And if not, just think, it won’t matter to anyone that you couldn’t find him once Lloyd helps end the world.

Rose: In any case, it seems the king is getting along with a motley crew like us.

“He even shares the odd line of clunky, unnatural dialogue.”

Haschel: I was concerned at first. I even imagined that we were going to be pushed around by the king’s ego.

Granted, we’d have gone drinking with the ID, so it’s all good.

Stryfe facepalmed himself when he heard Haschel say that.

Here, let me help with that.

*GONG*

Now, next time remember that facepalming is a comical internet meme and not something your characters should ever do.

Albert: Please, stop teasing me, you two! What I would like you to do is just treat me as equal. As a friend traveling with you!

“He has gotten that whole wooden dialogue thing DOWN!”

Granted, he is a royal, so he would typically speak in a more formal manner.  But, this is pushing things to Star Trek levels of dialogue.

Shana: Well, Stryfe and Dart aren’t good at speaking with courtesy. They get cramps in their tongues when they try for a long time.

apply-cold-water-to-the-burned-area

Stryfe: Shana, you can save the flattery for later. I think Dart needs it more than me.

“Flattery? That boy is denser than I gave him credit for.”

You can save your flattery for later.

Dart: Oh, thanks a lot, Strife! Anyways, I appreciate your solicitude, Albert.

Whoa, wait a second.  Darkwraiths, back that up and enlarge!

Strife

The author can’t even spell his own insertion’s name correctly.  Maybe Stanky should start directing some of those facepalms out of the page.

Albert: Of course. Now, our priority right now should be to pursue Lloyd.

Dammit, Albert!

*ALARM BLARES*

“All right, I get to try out my new toy!”

*Swenia pulls a Hi-NRG Plasma Lance out of her blouse and runs into the hall*

-[One melty bit of violence later]-

“Nothing like the smell of flesh liquefied by plasma in the morning.”

It’s like six in the evening.

“Hmm, then I guess there is at least one other thing like it.”

Stryfe: Well, let’s head on over to Donau. Maybe we can find out what’s going on in this country more over there.

This time we’ll ask a florist, an astrologer, and a waiter.  It can’t fail!

Leaving the city behind, the group proceeded north east along the trails until they came across the canyon passage of the Barrens.

“Aha!  Setting!  Now we know that the Barrens are in a canyon.”

It’s like we’re really there!  So vivid.

After traveling through the canyon pathways for some time, the group finally came across a fork in the road that led to two pathways.

It’s a plot twist!  Lots of pathways lead the party to… MORE PATHWAYS!

As they were about to make the turn towards the road leading to Donau, an eerie laugh rang across Stryfe’s eardrums.

“Taco.  Stanky’s ears are laughing.”

Well, the prose did say it was… earie.

“I hate you.”

Stryfe: The hell was that!?

“It was creepy as hell.  Get your ears under control, bub.”

When the group looked behind them, they saw three suspicious individuals standing on a cliffside watching them.

If they’re up on the cliff side, how would you know they’re suspicious.  You’d barely be able to see them.

Mappi: Hee Hee Hee! You dating those girls in a place like this!?

“I wouldn’t discount the possibility.  Their last double-date was in the slums.”

Stryfe: D-Dating!?

Dating.  It’s a bit of an anachronistic term for courting.  I didn’t think you were that dense, Stanky.

Dart: Who are you!?

Mappi: Hee Hee Hee! Did you hear that, boys? They are asking us “who we are”!

Gehrich Gang Member A: I guess they think we’re a bunch of doctors!

Gehrich Gang Member B: Should be a quack! Ha ha ha!

“Um, what?”

Yeah, that retort didn’t make sense in the game either.  Probably another thing that makes more sense in Japan.

Mappi: Surprise, surprise! We are the one and only Gehrich Gang! We’re so bad we scare ghosts back to Hell!

Super bad, but not really all that great at the jokes.

Stryfe: Are you kidding me?

Dart: They have no class.

Stryfe: I’ve heard better speeches from a three year old.

And he would know, being that he’s still in preschool.

“Is that what we’re at now?  Cheap shots?”

Dude doesn’t deserve our regard.

Gehrich Gang Member A: What did you just say!? Yo Mappi! How should I cook these dumbheads!?

*Swenia rubs her forehead* “Is there no one around here who can drop a good burn?”

Shana seems like she’s pretty good at it.

“I think she’s my last hope, here.”

Mappi: Well, hmmm. I know what! Let’s get our reward of money and the bimbos!

We can still hope that Rose stabs them in the face, too.

Albert: We have nothing to give you.

Stryfe: But if you insist, we can give you a “miserable ending”.

“Make sure you don’t ask for one of those when getting a massage.”

Don’t want to know.

Mappi: Stop yapping! Just leave your valuables! It’s that simple!

This must be what, their first day being bandits?  Maybe their second?

“I’d say fifteen, twenty minutes.  Tops.”

Stryfe quickly reached for his zwiehander, and in a display of impressive speed and strength, quickly slashed Mappi’s arm before he could even see what was going on.

Writing protip: the more explicitly you state how impressive something is, the less impressive it actually is to the reader.

“Also, it helps to spell the name of your super-special weapon correctly.”

I considered a counter for it.

“Be easier to count the number of times he spells it right.”

As the thief screamed in pain as his arm barely hung on by a ligament, the rest of the group drew their weapons.

What a hero.  Severing the arm off a dude who hasn’t done any more than impotently postured about being in a super-scary gang.

“If nothing else, it shows that Stanky isn’t very good with his weapon.  If you take a dude completely by surprise like that, he shouldn’t survive the attack.  Well, if you know what you’re doing, anyway.”

Stryfe: And that was just a warning.

“If cutting a guy’s arm off is a warning, what the hell do you consider an assault, you fucknob!?”

Dart: Unless if you want to end up as shishkabob, I suggest you get out of our way!

You’ve essentially already killed one of them without any kind of quarter.  You may as well just slaughter them and skip the bargaining.  We all know where this is going, anyway: Stanky slaughtering them and taking joy in the carnage like only a Stu can.

Rose: Otherwise, you may need more than a real doctor to save your life.

“Not only is it painfully obvious when Stanky’s lines are inserted, but also his actions.  It’s like he’s not even there for all he actually changes around him.”

Yeah.  There’s already one of them with a wound likely to be fatal.  At this point threatening them with deadly violence is kinda being late to the party.

Mappi: You…YOU’LL PAY FOR THAT! SMASH THEIR HEADS, WILL YA!?

“Surprisingly articulate for a dude bleeding to death.”

In the source material he still has his arm at this point.

As the thieves charged at the group, Stryfe, Dart and Rose fought off Mappi while Albert, Haschel and Shana fought off the two thieves accompanying him.

Triple-team the disabled enemy.  You tacticalize gud.

Although Mappi was injured from Stryfe’s attack, he was quite nimble on his feet and his attacks were very fast, so there was barely enough time to block them each time he got close to either of them.

“Because when you’re bleeding to death from your brachial artery, it’s easy to be all nimble and hold off three people.”

He’s probably using the rest of his arm like a nunchaku.

“There’s an image for you.”

Stryfe, Dart and Rose counterattacked each time by using a low sweep kick to knock Mappi off balance, then quickly attack with their swords, getting in as many blows as possible before Mappi gained enough distance from them.

There we go.  One of those collective three-person sweep-kicks.

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 80

After Albert, Haschel and Shana finished off Mappi’s allies, he used a trick to temporarily vanish from view.

‘He’?  Is that Albert or Haschel that ninja-vanished?  The prose is unclear which.

“Maybe it’s just the prose acknowledging the character blob.”

At first, he was able to use this technique to get in a few cheap shots on the group, but they eventually figured out Mappi’s strategy by watching for the light of the sun being reflected off of his claw weapon.

“Is that the claw weapon on his good arm, or the severed one?”

Could be either if you consider the nunchaku-arm strategy.

Just as he was about to attack Stryfe, Stryfe saw his weapon’s blade being reflected by the sunlight, jabbing his zwiehander backwards and stabbing Mappi clean in the chest.

*SLAM*

Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 44

I hope nobody needs an explanation why that gets counted.

As Stryfe swung his sword to fling the blood off of the blade, Dart slowly walked towards the wounded thief.

“Wounded my ass!  That guy is missing an arm and has a seven-foot sword through his chest. He’s dead.  Technically he was dead as soon as his arm was lopped off, but taking a sword to the chest just seals the deal.”

Mappi: Wh, wait a minute! Please! I won’t do it again! Please forgive me!

It’s almost like nothing Stanky does has any effect what-so-ever on the plot.

“At this point it’s so painfully obvious that I’m just embarrassed for the author.  How did you think any of this was a good idea?  I’m going to be charitable and just say it was the idiocy of youth.”

He was in his twenties when he typed this.

“Dude’s just a moron, then.”

It’s so liberating to work on a piece that’s 90% plagiarized.  Means we get to call the author whatever we want and feel vindicated.  For instance: I think this author is a thieving pool of oily rectal discharge.

Unfortunately, Dart let his guard down just enough for Mappi to get another cheap shot in.

“Which would probably have hit about as hard as a field-mouse given all the blood loss.”

The attack struck Dart’s pocket, knocking his Dragoon Spirit out of the damaged pouch. Although Stryfe and Rose tried to get it back, Mappi managed to escape into the deeper parts of the canyon.

And this, right here, illustrates exactly how entirely folded in and useless Stanky really is.  He has struck two blows to Mappi, both of which would be fatal, the second of which instantly so, and yet Mappi is still 100% on-rails with the canon plot of being relatively uninjured.  It is as if Stanky hadn’t done anything at all.  This, right here, author, is why your character is utterly and completely worthless.  The only time he can do anything that affects the story is when he steals an action or line of dialogue from another character.  Otherwise, he’s just a shadow of uselessness that hangs around to annoy the reader with his grandiose posing and sarcastic commentary on the plot going on without him.

Albert: He’s gone.

Stryfe: What the hell, Dart!?

“Don’t ‘what the hell’ at Dart on this one, moron.  Your attacks should have actually done something to prevent this.”

Really, the group should be questioning why they have you here since you can’t seem to do shit.

Dart: Damn…What was I thinking!?

We’ve been asking you that ever since you said it was okay for Stanky to tag along.

Rose: A Dragoon Spirit being stolen is the LAST thing I wanted to happen.

I can think of a few others lower on the list.  Though, I suppose at this point most of them already have happened.  Such as the Moon Child being born into the world.

Stryfe: *sigh* Let’s just keep moving for now. Hopefully we’ll find out more about this “Gehrich Gang” when we get to Donau.

Yeah, they seem super-threatening.  What with the way you got rid of three of them without any problems at all.  Gods forbid you just try to follow them.

*Swenia pounces on Taco and starts bolt-taping him to the ceiling.*

You’ve got some good upper-body strength.  Being able to hold me up here with one arm while bolt-taping with the other is pretty impressive.

“There are certain perks to being a genetically engineered super-soldier.  Now pipe down while I get the gag in.”

Although Stryfe knew how important recovering Dart’s Dragoon Spirit was, he knew it would be reckless to travel into the unknown parts of the Barrens without a plan.

“And we all know how good Stanky is at developing and following a plan, right?”

Continuing further through the pathway, the group eventually found themselves back on the roadside. Continuing North East, the city of Donau came into their view…

“Once again, we reach the end of a chapter!  Only eight more to go, so it’s feeling a bit like we’re in the home stretch.  If the home stretch were long enough to take two-months to traverse.”

“…”

“Damn, I think I just depressed myself.  Anyway, until next week, patrons!”

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27 Comments on “1199: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter Twenty-Six”

  1. GhostCat says:

    Beh, the narrative is so dry and lifeless, it’s like reading a documentary on wood ash.

    Given the choice, I’d take the documentary.

  2. GhostCat says:

    This time we’ll ask a florist, an astrologer, and a waiter this time. It can’t fail!

    :sirens blare:

    Oh, dear.

  3. GhostCat says:

    “Taco. Stanky’s ears are laughing.”

    Well, the prose did say it was… earie.

    “I hate you.”

    :puts Taco in the corner:

    You sit there and think about what you’ve done, young man.

  4. GhostCat says:

    “Um, what?”

    Yeah, that retort didn’t make sense in the game either. Probably another thing that makes more sense in Japan.

    Doctor is “isha” and a quack would be “niseisha” if they mean a fake doctor or “kuwwakku” if they mean the onomatopoeia, so …

    :flips through dictionary:

    I got nuthin’.

  5. AdmiralSakai says:

    Shana, you can save the flattery for later. I think Dart needs it more than me.

    “Flattery?

    I don’t know what the big fuss is about, his character seems perfectly flat already.

  6. AdmiralSakai says:

    Mappi: Hee Hee Hee! Did you hear that, boys? They are asking us “who we are”!

    Gehrich Gang Member A: I guess they think we’re a bunch of doctors!

    Gehrich Gang Member B: Should be a quack! Ha ha ha!

    Fools, don’t they know that only one of us even has a name?

  7. AdmiralSakai says:

    We’re so bad we scare ghosts back to Hell!

    Sort of like this fanfic.

  8. Stryfe: But if you insist, we can give you a “miserable ending”.

    “Make sure you don’t ask for one of those when getting a massage.”

    Don’t want to know.

    Hey now, that’s a threat I’m inclined to take that threat seriously. After all, Stryper has given us a miserable ending for each of the last twenty-five chapters…

    • Tie Dye Mage says:

      At this point, I’d settle for a UFO ending. Aliens would abduct them, nuke the town and we could all go home.

  9. AdmiralSakai says:

    Stryfe quickly reached for his zwiehander, and in a display of impressive speed and strength, quickly slashed Mappi’s arm before he could even see what was going on.

    Weren’t they just on top of a cliff relative to the playergroup? That is one impressively long sword…

  10. AdmiralSakai says:

    You’ve got some good upper-body strength. Being able to hold me up here with one arm while bolt-taping with the other is pretty impressive.

    “There are certain perks to being a genetically engineered super-soldier.

    Swenia, you really shouldn’t have mentioned that.

    Now eight million terrible authors are going to try and ship you with the Master Chief.

  11. Tie Dye Mage says:

    Stryfe: And that was just a warning.

    “If cutting a guy’s arm off is a warning, what the hell do you consider an assault, you fucknob!?”

    Getting your arm cut off is just a flesh would. ‘Tis but a scatch.

  12. Tie Dye Mage says:

    In the source material he still has his arm at this point.

    This was probably the author’s attempt to make him more…

    …’armless.


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