1221: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter Twenty-Eight, Part TwoPosted: October 28, 2015
Title: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit
Media: Video Game
Topic: Legend of Dragoon
URL: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit
Critiqued by TacoMagic and Swenia
Six-and-a-half chapters. Just six-point-five and we’re done. We can do this. Probably.
“And then I get my Wednesday back, right?”
Oh definitely. For a while anyway.
“Ominous. So last time the character blob lurched its way back to Feltz to meet with the king. After a protracted exchange with a gate gaurd, and then a quick run to grab the local governor to the princess, the group gets in for an audience with King Zior. The king’s a bit muddled, which sets off Stanky’s jackass trigger sending him into full douchewarehouse mode. Luckily, before Stanky can ruin the whole thing by being himself, he’s distracted by Meru long enough for Dart to secure the pass that will allow them into the Valley of Corrupt Gravity. Then, despite how abominably he’s been treated by Stanky, the King still graciously invites them to stay the night in the palace, proving that he’s far more good intentioned than anyone in the blob. And that’s where we left off.”
Let’s dig into the rest of this thing!
Heading back into the main hall, the group began to look around the castle while Fester went to Princess Lisa’s room to help her with her studies.
“Now that we know Princess Lisa is eight, I’m becoming more and more sorry that all these scenes now read with unintended sexual subtext.”
Stryfe noticed many statues of past kings of Tibeora on display around the hall, and even some past queens as well.
I guess that’s sorta like having setting. We know that they’re in a hall, and that there are blobular statues of kings and queens. At this point I’ll take it because it’s more setting than we’ve seen in the last five chapters.
Just as the group got back together after looking around, a woman approached them.
I thought they were going to bed, why are they wandering around the hall?
But, that doesn’t-
Lady’s Maid Libria: Excuse me, your Majesty Albert?
“So much for not letting anyone know he’s king.”
To be fair, it’s not his fault that he was recognized by a random lady’s maid.
“How did she recognize him, anyway?”
Lady’s Maid Libria: I am Libria, the Lady’s maid for Princess Lisa. She had me call you and your company.
Albert: Princess Lisa knew of our visit?
Lady’s Maid Libria: She speaks with the stars and knows the future. Astrology shows her the way. This way, please.
“Sweet crap, you were right! Lisa’s got a direct line to the plot.”
Meru: Hey, wait a minute! How does she know he’s a king?
You’ll have to forgive Meru, sometimes her mind wanders when people are talking.
Stryfe sighed and shook his head.
“Do I dare hope that Meru has better sense than to get mixed up with somebody who obviously has no respect for her as a person?”
I wouldn’t. The author has all but spelled out his intention to turn her into his penis decoration.
Dart: Albert was talking about that a moment ago. Princess Lisa found out about it through astrology.
Haschel: Hold there! What the hell is astrology?
He needs to coot that up a bit more.
“The ‘el is this new fangled astro loogie stuff!? In my day, we foretold future events using termite-infested bark! And we were thankful!”
There you go.
Stryfe gave off a glare at Haschel.
If we weren’t so far into this thing, I’d be tempted to start a counter for the many instances of expressive radiation.
Stryfe: Are you serious…?
We’re not supposed to like this character, right? He even treats his friends like crap, not just royalty, the elderly, people he fiends boring, and people of general unimportant to him.
“I say we vote him off the fic.”
I’m pretty sure literature doesn’t work like that.
Shana: It’s the telling of a person’s fortune from the location of the stars.
Princess Lisa began to giggle.
Princess Lisa: You have such amusing friends, Albert.
Stryfe: Is that a compliment?
Princess Lisa: The best I can give.
Dart: Flattery aside, please continue.
Continue? You haven’t even let the poor girl start.
Princess Lisa began telling the group that six months ago, she and Emille were on a horseback ride together when something spooked Emille’s horse.
It’s exposition, what a show, it’s exposition, it’s gonna blow…
Emille lost consciousness trying to regain control of her horse and disappeared into a nearby forest. Although she was later found alive and uninjured later on, it was as if she had turned into a completely different person as a result of that incident.
Later found later on…
“Sweet! I’ve been itching for a good row!” *Pulls a G75-VLB out of her blouse and runs out into the hall*
-[One scene of satisfying violence later]-
*Swenia swaggers in and stands her smoking rifle up in the corner* “Been a while since I was able to unleash. This fic isn’t nearly as redundant as it could be.”
I suppose that’s the closest thing to praise we can give it, really. Well, that and not being overtly offensive.
Who was once the most kind and gentle person in Tiberoa was turned into a careless and cold individual who could care less about anyone but herself. What was even more discouraging was that only Lisa noticed the change, as King Zior was just happy to see Emille become so active after that. After explaining, Lisa asked the group for a favor.
I’m assuming this all got paraphrased as exposition because it didn’t provide an opportunity for Stanky to toss in with his usual snide asides.
“Come to think of it, that happens pretty much any time Stanky can’t be forced into the scene.”
Yeah, this thing just gets lazier and more masturbatory every time we look at it.
Princess Lisa: I heard that you all were going to The Valley of Corrupted Gravity, correct?
“Not only a direct line to the plot, but a direct neural uplink!”
Stryfe: Yes, that is correct. Why?
Princess Lisa: I have I favor to ask of you. I would like you to find out about the relationship between my sister and the Gehrich Gang.
Stryfe: You think there’s a connection between these events and the gang?
She wouldn’t have asked if she didn’t think there was a connection, moron.
Princess Lisa: Tiberoa appears to be at peace. However, we are in actuality having a serious problem. It is infested with bandits.
“Dammit, Taco. Ever since you mentioned it, it’s been so conspicuous that Stanky’s lines have been forced into place without altering anything else around them.”
Meru: Donau is totally awful now!
Princess Lisa: I know. However, it used to be different. Yes, until half a year ago.
See, author, this is how you make your dialogue fit. You actually have characters react to the things being said. I know, that would require you to actually write the dialogue rather than steal it, but I challenge you to write like you give a shit about what you’re doing.
Stryfe: Let me guess. It was around the same time Emille changed?
Princess Lisa: Yes. Astrology also says there’s some kind of relationship between the Gehrichs and my sister. And one more thing…
Dart: What is it?
Princess Lisa: The stars told me to “Never hand over the Moon”.
“Uh, yeah, about that. Some stuff happened and… well… Lloyd has a chunk of it. Our bad.”
Rose: Wait…Does your country have a Moon Object?
Princess Lisa: My sister will be celebrating her twentieth birthday soon. At the ceremony, the Tiberoan national treasure, the Moon Dagger, will be passed down to her. I assume that the “Moon” refers to that.
Stryfe: So whatever is going on, their goal is definitely to snatch the Moon Dagger.
Albert: The second divine moon object.
Dart: It’s linked with Lloyd as well.
One of these lines wasn’t in the original fic. One of these lines is unnecessary and nobody reacts to it despite it jumping to a pretty huge conclusion. Can you spot this line?
Princess Lisa: I have to find out the truth before the ceremony. Would you please look into it for me?
Stryfe: We will.
Dart: Yes. We don’t have a reason not to because our original intention was to pursue the Gehrich Gang.
Princess Lisa: Thank you. I truly appreciate it.
“It’s like he’s not even there. Just a sideline voice of the author providing his snarky opinion of the material.”
“That seems vaguely familiar somehow.”
Probably just your imagination.
Just then, Libria came in to the room.
“Wait, when did she leave?”
It was around the time the SDQF teleported them from the hallway to… wherever it is they are now; ostensibly some kind of room if I don’t miss my guess. Must have forgotten to bring Libria, so she had to walk.
Libria: Dinner will be ready soon, your highness.
“So wait, they’re invited to spend the night because it’s late, yet they haven’t served dinner yet!? What time is it, exactly?”
Princess Lisa: Is it already that late? Oh, I forgot about Fester! I left him in my room!
Poor guy is rotting away in there.
Libria: King Zior said to invite everyone. Are all of you ready?
“He may be a little addle-brained, but his hosting ethic is beyond reproach.”
“AND FROM BEHIND!”
heard his stomach grumbling.
Protip to authors out there: using “suddenly” as sentence garnish for events that are otherwise mundane makes it look like you have no idea what the hell you’re doing as a writer. And rightly so, too. Because if you do that, you don’t know what the hell you’re doing as a writer.
After rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment, everyone nodded.
“Well that one is just flagrant.”
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 83
Pronouns are hard.
Following Libria to the Dining Room, each of them sat down to a feast that would not only feed their eyes, but their stomachs as well.
I thought you got that fixed?
“I think there’s a different malady for barking due to pretension.”
However, everyone could barely touch their food, as Emille kept on taking some of their own food from their plates and adding it to her own, eating it immediately afterwards like an animal.
Woof! *Taco rubs his throat* Dammit.
“See, the awkward bark comes with a lump and discomfort.”
King Zior: Please, make yourselves at home.
He’s courteous, thoughtful, and generous to random people who showed up asking him for a favor. That’s it, I’m declaring King Zior as best character in this fic.
Stryfe: Err…sir? Your daughter is…
“Eating with gusto. She’d make a good lion, actually.”
This is why I don’t invite you to dinner anymore.
“Hey, I apologized for getting that steak sauce on the ceiling.”
It was the ceiling of the living room, and it was behind a closed door!
King Zior: Haa Haa Haa! Isn’t she a great eater! It seems when girls become twenty, they develop quite the appetite!
“See, the king gets it!”
Meru: Those eating habits of hers…
Stryfe: What’s up, Meru?
What’s so cryptic about her comment? The princess is eating like a lion, which is unusual for a monkey.
I’ve been hanging around Crunchy too much.
Meru: It’s nothing…
King Zior: Fester? Would you introduce our guests to Emille?
Fester: Yes, your Majesty.
Emille: Oh? I didn’t know you were still here, Fester. Are you still wasting time on useless things? Those things with moons and stars?
Fester: L,let me introduce my friends, your Highness! This…
“So wait, is Fester actually scared of this little twerp? It’s just a spoiled princess, they aren’t that scary.”
The problem is likely that she can order him killed.
“Hmm. I suppose there are certain benefits to being queen. Beheading immunity is certainly one of them.”
Tell that to Catherine Howard.
Emille suddenly pointed her fork at Stryfe, Dart and Albert, speaking with her mouth still full of food.
Emille: You, you and you! What’s your names?
Dart: I’m Dart.
Albert: I am Albert. It is a pleasure to meet you.
I suppose expecting the pacing to suddenly lurch to something beyond a torpid crawl is being a bit too optimistic.
Emille: You three are cute guys. I like you.
“Well, she’s two-thirds right. But, I suppose if she likes that formless look, she might like the cut of Stanky’s cloth.”
Stryfe felt uneasy hearing that. He wasn’t sure if he should be flattered or creeped out due to how volatile the situation was.
“Wait, what’s volatile about this situation? You’ve got one princess tucking into the lion’s share of the food and the King being a good host. What is so unstable about that?”
I’m going to go with that either the author doesn’t know what the word volatile actually means, or that the scene was actually tense in his head.
Fester: I am glad to hear that. And these are…
Emille: I didn’t ask you about the others.
Stryfe silently clenched his fist.
“I think he’s having a spasm or something.”
Stryfe: (Why you little…)
Yeah! It’s Stanky’s job to be insufferable! Stop working his side of the street.
Although Stryfe wanted to punch Emille across the room for her rudeness, Dart frantically shook his head, not wanting to cause trouble.
“It has to be that we’re supposed to hate this character. That’s the only way to explain why we keep getting shown his capacity for constantly overreacting into unwarranted violence.”
I feel really, really bad for Meru.
Swallowing his pride, Stryfe took a deep breath and slowly exhaled the air from his lungs.
That’s quite a bit to swallow.
“I’m sad he didn’t choke on it.”
King Zior: Please, don’t be insulted. Emille is a bit shy.
Emille: I’m not shy! I just don’t like them! That’s all! Hey! Bring some more food will ya!
“You know, I kinda like her. While she’s a bit spoiled and arrogant, she’s also got some spunk. Easily more likable than Stanky.”
Stryfe: Yeah, I know…
Get out while you can, Meru! You don’t want to spend the rest of your life trying to reign in the manchild!
Lisa: Please enjoy your meal. I assume you all are leaving early tomorrow morning?
Dart: That is correct.
Emille: Where are you going?
King Zior: Well, they are saying that they are going to the Valley of Corrupted Gravity. They understand the risks, so I gave them permission.
“I assume that Emille knowing this information is a bad thing.”
Yeah, it doesn’t end great, that’s for sure.
Emille suddenly dropped her fork when she heard King Zior mention the Valley of Corrupted Gravity. She quickly picked it back up and continued eating like nothing happened.
Emille: Hmph! Stupid guys!
Stryfe facepalmed himself hard.
“You can go a little harder. Here, like this.”
He had to do something to prevent himself from doing anything drastic for the time being.
I kinda feel like maybe, maybe this is the author desperately trying to give this character some flaws. Which isn’t a bad thing, necessarily. However, it has to be balanced out with actual good traits. The problem here is that Stanky doesn’t have any good traits. Sure he’s an over-the-top Stu, but that exists in a vacuum of badassery that doesn’t actually provide him with merits of character. Instead you’re left with this mess of ego, violence, overreaction, and barely fettered anger that also happens to have magical powers and wields a stupid weapon. If that sounds more like a villain than a protagonist, then you’re on the same page as we are. You can’t like this character because his deep flaws aren’t tempering any good qualities to provide balance. Even the slim good quality of loyalty is pretty superficial because he treats his friends so poorly.
It’s all well and good to try to introduce flaws to balance out a too-good character. But there actually has to be something laudable about your character when you do that. The drawbacks also have to be something that the audience can relate to. Something that makes the character human and real. Stanky’s bad traits, however, paint him more as a monster or at least one waiting to happen. He’s really very close to being the carbon copy of his abusive father. Which, if I thought that was what the author was going for, would be decent writing. This could be used to make Stanky have to face who he truly is and what he needs to do to avoid the trap of repeating the cycle of violence. But I know better. This is the author projecting his disdain of certain characters and plot moments through his self-important avatar.
Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 50
Your writing is shit, author, as is your character.
Meru: Is it really worth making your face like that?
“Like what? Stupid looking? That’s sort of his natural look.”
Stryfe: It’s better than letting my anger get the better of me.
Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 51
“Hate to tell you this, Tiger, but hitting yourself IS letting your anger get the better of you. It’s a self-destructive act of harm; it is self-abuse. By continuing to strike yourself, you are demonstrating that you lack the emotional tools to constructively deal with your anger and instead must express it with acts of violence. You have serious issues, bucko, and the fact that you so quickly jumped to physical restraint of one of your companions speaks volumes of how easy it would be for you to spiral into abusing not just yourself, but those around you. You are not in control of your anger, quite the opposite. If you were a soldier under me, you would already have been sent packing due to your instability. That is, if I hadn’t already shot you for endangering the unit, which seems the more likely scenario.”
King Zior: Come on! Enjoy yourselves! Let yourselves go tonight!
“LET IT G-”
I’ll show Jiwe how to pull up children’s songs on Youtube if you burst into song.
Unfortunately, the group barely got to eat at all due to Emille stealing most of their food.
Girl can really eat.
“I’m quite envious. If I ate like that, well…”
Heading back to the Starlight Room, the group began to think that Lisa’s theory about the Emille they know presently may be an imposter after all.
WOOF! *Rubs his throat* So is there a cream or anything I can put on it.
“Alfredo seemed to work reasonably well.”
Alfredo is your answer to everything.
Albert: Can people change that much from only the shock of falling from a horse?
Haschel: I can produce the same impact with my fists.
Shana: It won’t work!
Meru: Then with my hammer!
See!? Engineering at work! If it don’t work, hit it.
Stryfe: Although I’d love to see you do that, Meru, I doubt that would work either.
Princess Lisa came in as the group finished speaking to each other.
Lisa: Everyone, it’s getting late. Please, stay in the castle tonight.
Uhh, yeah, that kinda was the plan. Your father invited them and everything.
“Maybe she got the busy signal from the plot on that one.”
Albert: Thank you for your concern.
Lisa: It’s fine. It is me asking you the favor. Good night.
As Princess Lisa left, Libria came in and led the group to the guest bedroom.
Hey look, the author finally did one of those correctly!
There were more than enough beds for everyone to sleep on.
I hope so, it’s a freaking castle after all.
Shana: *sighs* You don’t like such a formal feast, do you Dart? Aren’t you tired?
Dart: I’d rather practice with my sword.
“Sometimes you just get those manly urges and you have to hit something. And cook outdoors.”
Stryfe: The same as Dart. Though I do wish I got to eat more.
Meru: I didn’t have enough to eat, either! Princess Emille stole my portion!
Haschel: I was looking forward to it as well.
Wait, what? By the rules of pronoun…ing, “it” here refers to Emille stealing food.
“Maybe Haschel likes a bit of a struggle when he’s eating. I can relate.”
Albert: I understand Princess Lisa’s hardship. But, Princess Emille might lead us to Lloyd. The Moon Dagger is our guide.
“And Albert keeps on being the voice of reason. That’s why I like him.”
I’ve locked down the literary transporter, by the way.
“Yeah, I noticed.”
Dart: Everything leads to the Gehrich.
Shana: It all started with the Dragoon Spirit.
Stryfe: I just hope we get it back before it’s too late.
Speaking of which, I wonder how Lynn is doing.
“Meh, he’s probably fine. No more than a forty-percent chance that they’ve already killed him.”
Rose: Dart shouldn’t have let it be taken to begin with.
“Yes, really. It’s the source of his mystical powers and is a one-of-a-kind relic passed down through the ages. He should have had it secured better than to let a two-bit thief nab it from him in one swipe.”
Haschel: There are other ways of saying that besides being harsh. Why don’t you show a smile at least?
Why should she need to? If she isn’t harsh with him here, it might happen again. And that’s IF they can get it back.
Rose: I don’t…remember how to smile.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you introduce a flaw. And when the rest of her backstory is out there, it’s one that makes complete sense.
Stryfe: You don’t…remember how to smile?
“When Stanky isn’t making glib comments or saying things that nobody notices, he’s echoing things the others say. What a great character. Lots of depth there.”
As Rose silently went to sleep without answering Stryfe, Shana feel asleep as well along with Albert, leaving himself, Meru, Dart, and Haschel awake.
The hell? So is Albert asleep or awake here?
Sure, let’s go with that. Also, notice how Dart is supposed to be awake for this scene. It’s important later.
Stryfe: Haschel. You thinking about something?
“Stanky. Me think of full belly. Much yum in fire-cooking place.”
Haschel: Being with you young people reminds me of Claire.
She must have been poorly described and angsty.
“That sounds… great.”
Meru: what’s she like?
Haschel: She had a strong will. She suffered by herself and decided things by herself.
Meru: Same here!
Stryfe: Heh, though you might be more perky than Claire, Meru.
“And that’s just her breasts!”
Meru: Thank you!
Haschel: Call me a fond parent, but she looked just like her beautiful mother. She was a strong fighter, but her heart was too sweet.
“You called that one, Claire looked like her mother, and Dart looks like Claire. That’s why he doesn’t look anything like Haschel.”
To be fair, it was an easy argument to make. Especially since I know for a fact that later on Dart is established as being Haschel’s grandson despite the lack of resemblance.
Stryfe: Meru…you have more of a balance.
“So stronger fighter but less sweet? I’m not sure that’s a compliment.”
If this assclown starts negging Meru, I’m sending the Darkwraiths in there.
Haschel: I only taught her how to use her fists, but I wish I could’ve seen her in a wedding dress.
“Meh, those are overrated for combat.”
Is that the voice of experience talking?
Meru: You can see me in a wedding dress!
She just so happens to carry one with her wherever she goes.
“A girl has to be prepared.”
Meru: I’ll be totally beautiful in that! Don’t you think?
Stryfe turned red. Trying to keep calm, he smiled and looked at Meru.
Stryfe: I…definitely think you would, Meru.
Meru: *giggles* Right!?
Stryfe: Y-Yeah. Eheheh…
Ugh, where the hell are the literary sickness bags?
“Jiwe and Glasses were making puppets.”
Meru: Well, happy sleeping time! *yawns*
Stryfe: Good night, Meru.
“I’m totally going to use ‘happy sleeping time’ from now on.”
Just as Meru fell asleep, Stryfe decided to sleep on the bed that was next to hers.
And we immediately cross over into stalker territory. Who’s surprised. Anyone? Anyone at all?
Letting out a stretch, he put his Zwiehander close to the edge of the bed should he need it.
“Sleeping with a six-foot sword in the bed sounds like a good recipe to wake up without your nob. Which is why I’m fine with Stanky doing it.”
Laying his head on the soft pillow and covering himself up in the sheets, Stryfe slowly closed his eyes and fell asleep…
Every single chapter! EVERY CHAPTER ENDS WITH THAT FU-
“Speaking of missing nobs.”
Someday I’m not going to be intimidated by your empty threats. Not today, but someday!
“Wait, wasn’t Dart supposed to be in that scene?”
Yup. In fact, he had a bunch of lines. All of which were either removed from the scene or given to Stanky.
Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 52
“That seems like a solid place to end.”
Sure, let’s go with it.