1206: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter Twenty-Seven

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

How’s the throat?

“Seems to be doing a bit better, and I got this cool new scar, see!”

Wait, you’re a super-soldier, shouldn’t you have like advanced healing and stuff?  Why do you have scars?

“I do have extremely fast healing, but just because you heal fast, doesn’t mean it looks good when it’s done.  Don’t need to look nice on the battlefield, dude.  Well, most battlefields, anyway.”

Hmm, you know, I never thought of it that way.  So, once again, not much to recap.  Basically the plot was on rails for the trip through the barrens, except this time Stanky brutalizes Mappi with a plethora of wounds, all of which should have been fatal.  But, because plot, Mappi survives just fine and runs off with Dart’s dragoon spirit, exactly as it happened in the game.

This week we are on location in Donau, where a thing will be encountered!

Chapter XXVII: Encounter in Donau

“I can’t wait until a thing is encountered!”

Upon entering the city of Donau, the group was welcomed by a young girl who seemed to be nervous.

“That was quick.  Chapter over!”

BZZZT

“Mmmm, it’s all tingly.”

Stop trying to freak Carlos out.  I’m not even sure he can be freaked out.

“I like a challenge.”

Due to the recent raids by the thieves of the Gehrich Gang, most of the people in the city were living in fear of when they would be attacked next.

Our party knows this because of the sign out front:  ‘Scared for our lives because of the raiding.  Blame the Gehrich Gang.  No soliciting.’

Girl: We, Welcome to Donau, the Flower City.

“Flower city?”

Yeah, they do call it that.

Donau_1

“Ahh, I see now.”

The girl handed Shana a flower. Shana smiled and happily took it.

Shana: Thank you.

Stryfe: That was sweet, kid.

Being condescending to the girl, however, was not.

“Somebody needs to put a muzzle on him when they’re around others.”

Girl: Oh, thank you! You don’t look like bandits!

Dart: No, we’re not. Why would you think that?

Girl: Your clothes are so filthy that at first I thought you all might be!

“Why the heck are they filthy?  Did we miss something?”

Well, this is an early Renaissance analogue, so hygiene wouldn’t have made it’s resurgence in the western world yet.

“Great, now I’m going to worry that Albert is a stinky king.  YOU’VE RUINED THIS FOR ME!

Albert: We really are covered in dust. It’s natural for her to be mistaken.

Stryfe: I guess it couldn’t be helped. With us moving around so much.

Let’s just assume this would all make more sense if the author had bothered showing anything in the last chapter.

Stryfe saw Dart staring at Shana. Although both of them were covered pretty well in dust, Stryfe could tell that it wasn’t the dust Dart was looking at.

“Dart’s probably thinking about how fun a little co-ed bathing would be.  Sometimes that’s all the incentive you need to roll around in the mud a bit.”

Not entirely convinced that now is the right time for Dart to be ogling up Shana, but they’re still young so maybe his hormones are getting the best of him.  I used to think about sex at the weirdest times when I was Dart’s age.

“Used to?  I still do!”

Is there actually time when you aren’t thinking about it?

“Nope!”

Shana: What? Don’t stare at me like that.

Dart: Sorry. It’s just not that bad.

“Dart, you had one job and two ways to make it happen.  First, you call her beautiful even with a little dirt, or second, you say that she does look dirty so maybe the two of you should go find a place to bathe.  And then offer to scrub her back.  How did you fuck that up!?”

Still hoping for some lemon, I see.

“If I can’t get some Albert slash, at least give me a steamy bathing scene!”

Rose: We don’t have time for fooling around like this.

Haschel: Are you jealous?

Rose: I’m just concerned about the Dragoon Spirit.

This is why I like Rose.  Pragmatic and keeps everyone on task.  Which is why I find it upsetting that I think the author is going to make her his groin warmer.

Stryfe: Rose…

“What, upset that she’s got a point?”

While the group was looking through the residential area of Donau, Stryfe heard a woman crying in a nearby house. Hearing her cries made him remember the nights that his mother tried to cry silently after his father beat her, and the pain he felt of how helpless he was to try and stop the beatings each time.

Wow, where the fuck did that just come from!?  Author, this is NOT how you develop a character.  Not even close.  You just made the domestic abuse his mother went through all about how helpless it made Stanky feel.  To be be absolutely clear here: you made what she went through all about him rather than about her.  Way to trivialize domestic abuse for the sake of padding out your insertion’s Trajikness.  You better believe you’re getting one of these:

*SLAM*

Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 45

Actually, fuck it, you’re getting two just because of how bad this is.

*SLAM*

Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 46

Concerned, Stryfe slowly opened the door and walked in, finding the woman in question crying on her bedside.

*GONG*

“Hey, asshole, when you hear somebody having a cry, it does not give you free reign to just bust into their house.  You ever hear of knocking!?”

Where did you get Horatio?

“Cerbs has him shared out in the SDQF.  Finds it easier than lugging him around everywhere.  You just reach in whenever you need to gong something.”

Woman: Oh why did you go, Lynn? We are having a wedding soon. It’s impossible to have a talk with the Gehrichs.

Uhh, no it isn’t.  Seemed that the Gehrichs were all about talking.  Loved to hear themselves talk, really.

“She probably meant conversation.”

Shame that’s not what was written in the fic.

Stryfe: Uh, Miss?

Woman: Hmm!? Who…who are you!?

“Huh, surprised that there’s an intruder in her house.  That’s a halfway reasonable response.  The other half involves screaming for him to get out while pelting him with stuff.”

Stryfe: It’s okay. I’m not a bandit. I heard you crying outside.

“But she was inside when she was crying.”

No, I think he meant that he heard her while he was outside, crying.

“But he wasn’t the one crying!”

GAH!

Woman: Really?

Stryfe: Yes. My name is Stryfe. What’s troubling you?

“Well, for one, there’s an unwashed intruder in my house.”

Woman: My name is Kate. My fiance has gone to the Gehrich Gang’s hideout to try and negotiate with them to stop the attacks on Donau.

Which seems like it’d be more likely to lead to Seven Samurai territory than anything else.

“Well, there are seven dragoons.”

Eight if we count Stanky.

“Which I’m choosing not to.”

Stryfe: What?

“Her name is Kate.  Her fiancé has gone to the Gehrich Gang’s hideout to try to negatiate with them to stop the attacks on Donau.”

Huh?

“She’s Kate, likely her fiancé got nabbed by Mappi’s gang during a negotiation attempt.”

I’m not following.

“She Kate.  Kate-man stole by pointy-man’s clan.”

Still nothing.

Dart: Stryfe! Hey, where are you!?

Stryfe: In here, guys!

Somebody else needs to get in here and talk to her.  She’s speaking in big words and I can’t understand!

*Swenia holds a telescope up her her eye*  “Exposition ho!”

When the rest of the group entered the house, Kate told Stryfe, Dart, Shana, Rose, Albert and Haschel that earlier that morning, her fiance Lynn had left their home, leaving Kate a note saying that he couldn’t stand the ruthlessness of the Gehrich Gang any longer and he has left Donau to persuade them to stop the raids. As Kate finished her story, Stryfe and the others considered what they could do to help her.

There it is.

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 81

On the one hand, we’re getting way more telling and not showing than normal.  On the other, we just skipped over what would have been about twenty lines of plagiarized dialogue.  Not sure how I should feel about this.

“Settle for not being happy?”

You know me well.

Dart: So he just…left a letter?

Kate: Yes…

“You sure you want to marry this guy?  That’s the Renaissance equivalent of sending you a text.”

Hey!  Goin’ 2 talk 2 gang.  CU l8tr.  Maybe have sexytimes when bak lolz?

“I hate you.”

Stryfe: Does he have any relatives that live here? Parents, siblings, cousins?

The fuck good is that information?  She knows where he went and why he went there!  If anything you should be asking her if she knows where the gang’s base is!  They have your stuff and her fiancé, so two birds and all that!

Kate: As a matter of fact, his father is the mayor of Donau!

Oh right, I forgot, Stanky only does stuff if there’s something in it for him.  A mayor’s son is probably important enough that Stanky will assume there’s a reward.

“At least that explains why Lynn took this matter into his own hands.  Still a dick move to leave a note, though.”

Stryfe: In that case, we’ll show it to the mayor!

“Uhhh, show what to the mayor?”

It

If this is across-over, I'm out.

“Holy shit! Warn a girl before you toss up something with a clown in it!”

Dart: Kate, you wait here for Lynn. We’ll handle the rest!

Kate: Oh, thank you!

“Well, you guys are a big fucking help.  Gonna show ‘it’ to the mayor instead of taking our little Dragoon-powered butts over to the gang’s hideout.”

Upon receiving the letter from Kate, she gave the group directions to the mayor’s office, which was further in the city.

“Ooooh, ‘it’ is the letter!  And they’re taking it to the mayor.  That’s still totally pointless!”

There weren’t many people out on the streets, as most of them were hiding in their homes due to the fact that the Gehrich Gang usually roams through the streets as if they own the city.

So, if the gang members normally wander through town all the time, why did Lynn go to the hideout again?  Yeah, I know this happens in game, but it’s where game mechanics and actual logic go in different directions.

Keeping a low profile for the time being, the group arrives at the three story building that serves as the home and office for the mayor of Donau.

Why?  Why do they need to keep their profile low?  What, are they going to attract the attention of the gang members?  The very people they’re looking for and who they could interrogate for the location of the gang’s hideout? Great plan, guys.  You definitely don’t want to do anything that would prevent plot regurgitation.

Entering the mayor’s office on the third floor, the group was stopped by the mayor’s butler.

“So wait, they got up to the third floor of the Mayor’s house before the butler stopped them?  Worst butler ever.”

Butler: I’m sorry, but the mayor is busy right now. Please come back another time.

Stryfe: We can’t. He needs to see this letter.

Butler: May I see it, please?

Stryfe handed the butler the note. After reading it for a few minutes, Stryfe saw the butler’s eyes widen.

Butler: Th, this is…P, Please come in!

This is certainly adding a lot.

“A lot of words anyway.”

Yeah, this does feel like an author who bases the quality of their work entirely upon how many words are on a chapter.

The butler quickly let the group inside the mayor’s office. The mayor was pacing around, worried about something.

Butler: Mayor! A horrible thing has happened! It’s about !

“I think the butler .”

Mayor of Donau: What!? What is it!?

The mayor quickly received the letter from the butler. His reaction upon reading the letter word for word was the same.

Um, the same as what?  The reaction he had when receiving the letter from the butler?  That’s a rather strange and specific reaction.

Mayor: I can’t believe it. What kind of man would venture to face the Gehrich Gang by himself?

“Probably one who cares deeply for his home city… and is probably not too bright.”

Butler: I didn’t know was that consumed with…

Something is wrong with the butler.  He keeps words.

The mayor punched the wall in anger.

Mayor of Donau: It’s my fault for not realizing it!

Butler: I’ll bet Miss Kate is very stressed.

Mayor of Donau: All of you need to go. As the mayor, I don’t want you to be involved in this.

Stryfe: We can’t do that.

Can’t be involved?  Great!

Dart: We’re already involved. The gang stole something very important to me.

Stryfe: Do you know where they’re coming from?

Mayor of Donau: They are coming from the Valley of Corrupted Gravity, but we don’t know anything about them other than that.

“Despite them roaming the streets in huge numbers.  We aren’t very observant as a rule.”

Butler: That place is very dangerous. They say nobody can come back once they enter the valley.

Mayor of Donau: Butler! Don’t say that! Lynn…Lynn went there!

Butler: We must gather the people of Donau and form a rescue team!

“Yes, let’s gather the entire town and head into the place that nobody comes back from.  A plan without flaw!”

One wonders how the gang members live there if nobody ever comes out.

Mayor of Donau: And then what!? The gang might take over the city!

Uh, they kinda already have, dude.  Sorry that you’re the last to know.

Stryfe: Let us do it then.

“Take over the city?”

Sure, what could go wrong?

Shana: You weren’t planning on going anyway, weren’t you, mayor?

Chill with the double negatives, Shana!  They’re super confusing.

Mayor of Donau: You mean it?

Okay, I think somebody skipped a line of dialogue or something because this is more confusing than normal.

Dart: Yes. We’ll stop the gang and rescue your son.

Mayor of Donau: Oh…it’s so encouraging to hear that warriors like you are helping us!

Stryfe: Next time they show their faces here, show those punks that you’re not afraid of them!

And when you get shanked, bleed assertively to scare them off!

While the mayor began forming a plan to drive the Gehrich Gang out of Donau, the group left the mayor’s residence to tell Kate of their plan.

“That plan better involve capturing a few of those gang members and interrogating the exact way into their hideout.”

Unfortunately, that would be effective.

Just as they were about to head down the stairs back to the ground level, Stryfe saw a peculiar scene with a strange girl around his age and three Gehrich Gang members.

“‘Peculiar scene?’  This author could hold a master course in vague.”

Girl: Hey, alky! How dare you smack my butt!

Stryfe: Wh…what the…?

Gang Member A: Well, you were asking for it with what you were wearing, beautiful!

“Words won’t do it, sweetheart.  Instead, break the arm at the elbow.  Takes a long time to heal and will definitely teach the lesson.  If you can’t do it by hand, use a hammer and strike from the side.”

I’m adding your butt to my list of things never to smack.

“Wise choice.”

Girl: What did you say!? I could forgive you if you’d admit that I am too sexy to ignore and apologize!

“Sweetie, no, don’t encourage them.”

Gang Member B: I’ve got a better idea. Why don’t you come with us to our fortress so we can have “fun” with you?

Girl: Oh, that does it!

The girl quickly knocked down two of the gang members and hit the third in the head with her hammer, knocking him unconscious.

“See, there you go!  I would have preferred you went for the elbow, but lethal blunt-force trauma to the head is good too!”

Stryfe felt strange as he saw her take down those Gehrich Gang members with little to no effort. He began clenching his heart, as he felt it beating faster and faster each second.

Well, shit.

“What.”

I wasn’t going to say anything until the reveal, but this is the scene where you meet Meru.

1635917-meru01

“Me-ow!  She’s not wearing a lot of clothing, is she?”

Yeah, she’s the token perky/sexy member.  Given Stank-bait’s reaction, I think I misfired on assuming Rose was going to be his penis hat.

“Kind of a sad choice given how obvious it is that she’s supposed to be the adolescents’ wet-dream character; I’d actually have more respect for the guy if he went after Rose.  But given the apparent emotional maturity of the author, this choice not particularly surprising.”

There’s a worse possibility.

“Oh?”

He could be planning to have sex with both of them.

“… How did you manage to find a worse!?”

Talent?

Gang Member B: Ouch! Hey! Don’t you know who we are!?

The girl smirked.

BAAAAAA!?

Naw, I think we can allow this one.  She is pretty smug in this scene that she’s so easily able to beat these guys down.

Girl: Yes, I know.

Gang Member A: You think you’ll get away with this!?

Girl: Hmm…Let me think…Yep, I think so!

See?  She’s just brimming with smug confidence here.

“I kinda like her.”

Yeah, when you get past the fact that she’s outwardly wank fodder, she’s actually a decent character.

Intimidated, the gang members took their unconscious member and fled. As the girl put her hammer away, her eyes and Stryfe’s eyes made contact with each other. Stryfe immediately noticed that she had red eyes similar to Lloyd’s, but her hair was a silverish blue instead of platinum. Stryfe began to feel strange again as he observed her almost naked body, covered only by an armored bikini and a dancers attire.

“Stanky, if you need to excuse yourself to the restroom for some quick private time, we’ll understand.”

So long as the author doesn’t write about it.

“Right.”

Girl: What?

Stryfe: Uh…I…Umm…

“Have a gigantic erection right now.”

Honesty is not always the best policy.

“Yeah, using a declaration of erection is not a great pickup line.  It almost never works.”

Girl: Are you one of the Gehrich Gang too!? Do you want me to smash you too!?

Stryfe: What!? Uh, No!

“Well, okay, maybe a little.”

Dart: We’re not part of the Gehrich Gang!

The girl removed her hand from her hammer’s handle. She seemed to be able to tell that they were telling the truth.

Girl: Well, are you maybe some of my groupies?

Stryfe: Uh…I…I guess…

Girl: You don’t seem like it though.

She has oddly specific groupies.

“14-year-old boys?”

Okay, well maybe not oddly specific, but certainly easy to recognize.

The girl began observing the group one at a time. By the time she got to Stryfe, Stryfe felt hot as his cheeks turned bright red.

He’s gotta be thinking, “Please don’t notice my boner, please don’t notice my boner.”

“Males get a very specific look on their face when they’re thinking that. It’s almost adorable.”

Wait, you can tell?

“Well, it’s not subtle, I’ll tell you that.”

Stryfe: Ummm…Uh…

Girl: What’s your name?

Stryfe: Uh…M-Me?

Girl: Yeah, you!

Stryfe: I-I’m…S-Stryfe.

The girl twirled in a circle, then put her arm on Stryfe’s shoulder:

Girl: My name’s Meru! I’m the best dancer in Donau!

“That girl is an epic tease.  I like her.”

I thought you would.

Stryfe: D-Dancer!? You looked more like a warrior the way you handled those gang members.

Rose: We don’t have time to be playing around.

I really want to reach into the fic and give Rose a high-five.

Albert: I agree. We can’t waste any time if we are going to rescue Lynn.

Meru: Did you say Lynn!? Then you guys must be the ones going to rescue him!

How the crap would she know that there’s a party going to rescue Lynn?

“Must be a small town filled with lots of retirees.  Often they know the news and have spread it around before it even happens.”

Stryfe: Wh-Wha!? How did you know that!?

Oh, hey, Stanky finally asked the right question!  I feel faint.

Meru: Cuz I heard it from Kate! But the people in this city are all chickens, right? So I was gonna start a raid on their hideout!

“Oh she IS confident, isn’t she?”

Yeah, to the point of being reck-

Stryfe: Err…Isn’t that a little bit…reckless?

Welp, time to inject bleach into my eyes for being on the same wavelength as Stanky.

Meru: Maybe! And then those bastards gave me a hard time! I guess they didn’t take me seriously cuz I’m alone.

“Alone and nearly nekkid.  Nudity a great way to gain the element of surprise, especially in big numbers.”

Really don’t want to know.

Stryfe: Well, not to mention that outfit you’re wearing…

Meru: What about it!?

Stryfe: I-I mean, it makes you look sexy! Th-that’s all! *chuckles nervously*

Smoooooooooth.

“Oh the ladies must be dripping off of you, kiddo.  Especially with those emotes in your dialogue.”

Meru: You know what? I think I’m starting to like you, Stryfe.

“Ew, really?  I mean, it takes all kinds, sure, just can’t see how anyone could be attracted to this walking ipecac.”

I’m really hoping she’s just messing with him.

Stryfe: Eh!?

Meru: I’m gonna go with you guys!

Stryfe: Wh-Wha!? Wh-wait a minute!

Rose: Just leave her. Let’s go.

Stryfe: N-No! We can’t just…

 

You can’t just leave her?  Why not?  You’re a group of magically enhanced soldiers.  She’s a dancer with a big hammer who, while competant, doesn’t stack up to your group.  Leaving her would make sense.

Meru: Hold on! Do you guys even know where the hideout is?

“They would if they could do some basic intel gathering.”

Dart: Somewhere in the Valley of Corrupted Gravity, isn’t it?

Meru: Wow, how naive! You make it sound easy, but you cannot go through such a hell of a place without a person like me whose totally knowledgeable and totally pretty! Besides, you need the permission from the King of Tiberoa to enter the valley! Didn’t you know that!?

She’s got a point as all this is true.  Also, the place is really annoying to navigate once you get in there.

Stryfe didn’t know what to say. In all his life up until this point, he’s always had a blunt comeback for everyone he encountered.

“Because he’s an asshole.”

Yeah, why are you trying to play up this horrible character trait, author?  He’s not even witty, so his comebacks aren’t even funny, they’re just whiny and douchebaggy.

Even Dart was given a blunt remark when they first met as kids back in Neet.

See!?  He can’t even be nice to his friend.

“Speaking of why, why would Dart have even hung around this guy?”

Well, I did mention that Dart isn’t very bright.

Yet this time, Stryfe had nothing to say at all. That never happened to him before.

“And believe us, we’re thankful that, for once, he’s shut the fuck up for a few seconds.”

Shana: Dart, what are we gonna do? This girl is serious.

Stryfe: I think…w-we should let her come with us.

Rose: Are you serious?

Dart: I think I’m with Stryfe on this one. Her intentions to rescue Lynn definitely feel genuine. Besides, we don’t know the valley as well as she does.

You can almost feel Dart desperately trying to get the plot back on the rails again.

“Since the alternative is to wallow in more of this inept romance setup, I’m with Dart on this one.”

Stryfe: Y-Yeah. We will need a guide to find the gangs hideout.

Meru: That’s right! I knew you were cool, Stryfe!

Stryfe: Cool…? Me…?

Ugh, I’m going to have to make sure to distribute literary sickness bags before the next installment.  This is painful to read.

Dart: Well, let’s get going, you guys!

“Yes, please do.  The less we focus on the forced romance, the better for everyone.”

For some reason, Stryfe couldn’t help but feel happier than usual now that Meru had joined up with them. Now that the group had a new addition to the party, they left Donau behind and headed back to Feltz in order to get permission from the King of Tiberoa to enter the Valley of Corrupted Gravity…

Hey, you forgot to tape me before the… ELLIPSIS!   YOU SON OF A-

“Elbow.”

I’ll be good.

“Until next week, patrons!”

 

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37 Comments on “1206: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter Twenty-Seven”

  1. GhostCat says:

    Albert: We really are covered in dust. It’s natural for her to be mistaken.

    So the only difference between bandits and regular travelers is the amount of dust on them? Wouldn’t regular travelers be dustier since they are presumably walking on dusty roads and not hunkered in a forest or behind a rock somewhere waiting for someone to wander past?

  2. GhostCat says:

    Mayor of Donau: They are coming from the Valley of Corrupted Gravity, but we don’t know anything about them other than that.

    Why can’t the villain ever have a lair in the Valley of Helpless Kittens?

  3. Tie Dye Mage says:

    “If I can’t get some Albert slash, at least give me a steamy bathing scene!”

    Well, this game was originally made in Japan. That must mean that nearly every manga/anime/game they put out will have the obligatory Hot Springs Episode.

    • TacoMagic says:

      Legend of Dragoon has Fueno, which is a city based around their Roman-style hot spring bath.

      However, the party, instead of visiting the baths, end up going after a sea dragon.

      Takes all kinds, I guess.

  4. AdmiralSakai says:

    Just as they were about to head down the stairs back to the ground level, Stryfe saw a peculiar scene with a strange girl around his age and three Gehrich Gang members.

    “‘Peculiar scene?’ This author could hold a master course in vague.”

    Every scene in this is peculiar.

  5. Tie Dye Mage says:

    Wow, where the fuck did that just come from!? Author, this is NOT how you develop a character. Not even close. You just made the domestic abuse his mother went through all about how helpless it made Stanky feel. To be be absolutely clear here: you made what she went through all about him rather than about her. Way to trivialize domestic abuse for the sake of padding out your insertion’s Trajikness.

    Would this count as a Women in Refrigerators moment?

  6. AdmiralSakai says:

    Gang Member B: I’ve got a better idea. Why don’t you come with us to our fortress so we can have “fun” with you?

    *sigh*….

    Why does literally everything we read here devolve to rape? It’s nice to see a target actually fighting off the random thugs for once, but really, this is becoming just plain tiresome.

    • TacoMagic says:

      This is a weird one in that regard. This is a canon scene, so I think it has more to do with the casual sexism of Japanese culture than it does with the fic itself.

      Again, it comes down to the author not able to actually filter his plagiarism.

      I’ve also noticed a weird Japanese trope that keeps showing up where a dude who suggests he wants to rape a woman has the shit beaten out of him. I have no idea how to feel about that one.

      • Tie Dye Mage says:

        About that last point: Why? What are your thoughts on it?

      • AdmiralSakai says:

        I’d call it a definite improvement over the typical American version. And I suppose in this case the game really isn’t at fault here- within the context of the game this is a single, isolated event that is resolved in a fairly non-sexist manner, and since just going off of the graphics Legend of Dragoon was released back when fantasy as a genre was still in the end stages of pulling itself out of Conan the Barbarian’s ass I think the game should actually be commended for deconstructing the trope somewhat.

        Now, I don’t know how recently this ‘fic was released, but if it was recently there is still an argument for keeping true to canon with this scene even when the thing that is supposed to be deconstructed is now itself kind of a dead horse. This author obviously erred on the side of laziness, but if I were writing a LoD ‘fic I don’t know if I would change this particular scene due to its quick and effective characterization and avoidance of the sort of learned-helplessness behavior that large swathes of society still seem to hang onto…

        Just in general, though, it seems like relatively recently the badficverse has just been flooded with really ineptly handled incidences of rape. Hell, even stuff I’ve been editing for friends includes well-meaning but not especially well-thought-out attempts to address the subject! I for one blame Tumblr, but I’d need more data to say definitively…

      • TacoMagic says:

        On the one hand, it’s nice to see the shit get beaten out of misogynistic assholes, but on the other hand, it’s using rape as a cheap device for audience pandering.

        It’s a weird one for me because at some level it is acknowledging that people who think rape is okay are horrible people and that they should be held to task for it, but it still feels like it could be handled with a bit more care.

      • AdmiralSakai says:

        I certainly think that in the intervening decade(s?) since the game was released it’s acquired a sort of zeerust to it. It’s sort of like reading an old Civil Rights pamphlet about how to fend off Klansmen- it took a thoughtful and contentious stand in its day, but from a 21st century context it not only seems kind of redundant in condemning an obviously horrible thing, but also a little racist/sexist itself in implying that this sort of thing is a threat that the target group (blacks in the analogy, women in the actual game) just has to live with.

      • TacoMagic says:

        That does ring pretty true, actually.

        And maybe it isn’t inaccurate for the time, too. It is something that people were living with then, so treating it like that may be more of a sign of the time it was written then anything else.

      • AdmiralSakai says:

        It’s a bit of a tangent from my original question of why everyone is suddenly talking about rape now, but now that I think about it this sort of myopia seems to be very common in a lot of the works that try to address it and fail. They assume that a fantastical or speculative world must think of rape in roughly 2010s terms, when there is really no reason that it should and probably a number of reasons that it shouldn’t.

        This came up when I tried to address the issue myself in Palaven’s Dogs. Obviously addressing rape would mean addressing the 2010s cultural concepts that the audience will have to deal with- learned helplessness, hypersexualization, etc. But Palaven’s Dogs is set in the 2250s, where humans have long since moved on from these issues and are now interacting with eight or ten different alien species that had completely different issues, and so anybody who isn’t a specialist historian isn’t going to even think about rape in our terms.

      • agigabyte says:

        One of my online friends is thinking about implying rape, but it won’t be explicit except on “some obscure corner of the internet that no one ever visits”. He’s also trying to rectify some of the flaws in his writing.

  7. Tie Dye Mage says:

    Woman: My name is Kate. My fiance has gone to the Gehrich Gang’s hideout to try and negotiate with them to stop the attacks on Donau.

    Which seems like it’d be more likely to lead to Seven Samurai territory than anything else.

    You know you’ve reached a new low when the movie/book you’ve made reminds the audience of better things they could be watching/reading.

  8. Tie Dye Mage says:

    Welp, time to inject bleach into my eyes for being on the same wavelength as Stanky.

    Wrong place. Do your brain instead


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