1228: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter Twenty-Nine

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 what are we in for this week?”

The character blob is visiting one of the most irritating areas in the game: The Valley of Corrupt Gravity.  Don’t get my wrong, the area was interesting from a design standpoint, it just took forever to navigate because of how long the gravity shenanigans took.

“You make it sound so good.”

Let’s see here, last time our blob spent the evening with the aristocracy.  This included plotting with the youngest princess, who apparently has the plot phone in via constellations; dinner with the royal family which consisted of watching the elder princess Hoover the entire contents of the table; and getting to witness Stanky drool all over Meru’s body.  Fun times were had by all.

“Except us.”

Yeah, never us.

Chapter XXIX: The Valley of Corrupted Gravity

Strap in, people, gravity is about to get all stupid.

The next morning after getting a good night sleep, the group left Feltz and headed back towards the Barrens.  Instead of heading North East this time, they headed North West, where the Valley of Corrupted Gravity awaited them.

“So, they head to the Barrens, which are located in… a direction from Feltz.  But, instead of heading North East, which is where they headed last time to get to the Barrens even though they came from somewhere else, they head North West, where the Barrens also are, but instead of the Barrens, it’s the Valley of Corrupted Gravity.”

As they neared the valley, they came across a large door that the Tiberoans put up to prevent any who were ill-prepared for the journey from traveling into the dangerous area.

“There’s a random door?”

closed_door_png_by_glammgramma-d4wy1cv

Presumably the bandits are able to use this area as their base because they just went around the door.

Tiberoan Guard: I’m sorry. But you cannot pass this barricade under order of King Zior!

GAH!  Where the hell did you come from!?

Unless if you all have a pass, I cannot let you through.

“Either this guy is really, really bad at his job for letting the bandits go around the door.  Or the king gave the bandits a pass.”

Or Princess Emille got them a pass.

“… Well played.”

Stryfe: Actually, we have passes.

Tiberoan Guard: Oh! So you do! Open the Gate!

“Well that’s a horse of a different color!”

It’s weird that the Oz references keep fitting so well.

At the top of the guard post above them, a guard began spinning a crank switch, causing the large gates to open up slowly in front of them.

“Weren’t those gates a door a moment ago?”

The door is next to the gates.

Stryfe couldn’t believe what he was seeing as the valley came into his view.

Is it white mistiness or misty whiteness this time?

The pathways through the valley were surrounded by a seemingly endless abyss below them, where one wrong step could send him or anyone with him to death, and what was even more strange is that the gravity was completely warped throughout the valley.

“Whoa there, Sparky, when did you get the power to see gravity?”

It’s probably one of those situational powers of his gravity dragoon spirit that’s mentioned this once and never again.

Stryfe: What…the hell?

So there’s a path through the misty blankness that has an abyss below it.  What’s so strange?

Meru: Aww! It’s not as bad as I was hoping! I was expecting to have some fun!

“I like her, she’s fun.”

Stryfe suddenly saw a rock bouncing slowly like a ball heading towards Meru.

Fuck you, author.  Contriving a damsel-in-distress moment so that Stanky can save Meru and ignite a romance is cliché, lazy as fuck, and really does Meru a huge disservice.  Saving her one time would not blind her to the fact that Stanky is a snide, egocentric douchewaffle.  Even if Stanky did save her, she’d have more taste than to give him the time of day.  She might be somewhat rash and exuberant, but she’s actually pretty sharp.  A lot sharper than she lets on, certainly.

See, originally in this scene the rock almost hits Meru, which is a good illustration of her rashness almost getting her hurt as well as a way to show that the place is unstable.  Here, I’m sure it’s just going to be used as a way to cement the fact that she’s going to end up on Stanky’s penis.

Thinking fast, he jumped in front of her and slashed the rock in two, though the two pieces continued to float onward, heading in opposite directions.

Yeah, no.  Stanky has a mundane two-handed sword.  It might be big, it might be sharp, but if you hit a rock with it, the best you’re going to do is deflect the rock and ruin your sword.

*SLAM*

Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 53

Letting out a sigh of relief, Stryfe helped Meru back on her feet.

“When did she leave her feet?”

Stanky probably shoved her over because drama.

“What a pot of dicks.”

Meru: Thank you. That was close.

Stryfe: Uh…s-sure. No problem.

Rose: It still has the backwash from the Dragon Campaign. The collision of the magic power of the Dragoons and Winglies can distort nature itself.

I like how Rose completely ignores the rock attack.  Sorta like it never happened.

“Pretty much like any other scene that features Stanky.”

Stryfe: We have powers that are THAT strong!?

Yeah, so maybe you should cut it the fuck out with all the showboating before you ruin the planet.

“Think he already did that when he was born.”

Burn.

Rose: Yes. I don’t think there’s gonna be much “fun” from here on out.

Meru: I’m not just following you guys for that!

Stryfe: You wanna find the Gehrichs just as badly as we do…right?

Meru: Yeah.

Stryfe: Then…let’s get moving. Before anymore rocks try to ruin our day.

Oh don’t worry, our day was already ruined.

“Yup, about 10 minutes ago when we started this chapter.”

Carefully treading across the pathways, the group crossed the path and traveled up the disconnected landscapes floating above the abyss below them.

Such great scene crafting!  It’s like we’re actually there traveling through the featureless void with them!

The land formed a sort of natural, messy stairway to the other side of the valley.

“Oh good, this part of the void is natural looking!”

And staircase-y.

Using some of the floating rocks to travel across the scattered terrain, the group made their way across numerous gaps while avoiding any possible trips and falls.

“This is powerfully boring prose even by the standards of this fic.  At this point I would even settle for an action scene to break things up a bit.”

At least the action scene would be a different kind of boring.

Along their way, they encountered Rock Fireflies that helped them regain the strength they lost on the way.

Author, stop dry-humping the game mechanics.

As they nearly reached the top, an ominous presence lay before the group’S sight in the form of a dormant Virage.

“Woof!”

At least the pretentious barking has a bassier, more masculine sound to it.

“I’m not entirely sure I’d consider that a good thing.”

Stryfe: Err, Rose? Is that what I think it is!?

That there is a genuine, 100% authentic thing!

Rose: Yes. What a welcome we got.

Shana: It can’t be…

Dart: A Virage!

“It’s amazing how putting that same information in the prose completely neutered this reveal.”

Meru: Huh? What the hell is that?

Stryfe: Something very, VERY dangerous, Meru!

Shut your patronizing noise-hole, Stanky.  Somebody get Albert up here to give her a real explanation!

Rose: What’s worse is it has the complete form…

Stryfe: Wait, what!?

Dart: Could it be the cause of the distortion of the Valley?

Meru: Wow…That’s scary…

Stryfe: You have no idea…

It’s warping time so that dialogue is happening in random pockets!

“Cereal is quite good when you use fresh ox blood in it.”

Shana suddenly grasped her head, as if she was in immensive pain.

*Facepalm*

Forgiving the fact that this is yet another ‘as if’ moment, ‘immensive’ ISN’T A FUCKING WORD!  If you’re going to try to abuse the thesaurus, at least copy the word out of it correctly!

Shana: Ahh!

Dart: Shana!?

Shana: Here it comes again…I hear…the voice…again.

Stryfe: Voice?

Shana: Please…don’t go! It’s too dangerous to go!

“Poor girl has cracked under the strain of prolonged exposure to a blackhole Stu.”

Meru: We have to go! We’re not gonna make it to the Gehrichs without going over this thimgamagig!

A little callous, but she isn’t wrong.

Stryfe: Meru…this is no ordinary thingamagig. This thing is dangerous to those who aren’t Dragoons.

“Luckily you have both dragoons and a raging Stu, so this thing won’t be a problem at all.  In fact, all it’s going to provide here is word padding.”

And we all know how much the author loves his word padding.

Meru: I don’t care. We have to save Lynn and teach those thieves a lesson they’ll never forget.

Why start hurrying now?

“In fact, it’s probably close to lunchtime.  Maybe you should all spread out a picnic on top of the Virage.”

Stryfe: Meru…

Chief…

“McCloud…”

Despite the danger in front of them, Stryfe couldn’t help but begin to admire Meru’s bravery. For some reason, it reminded him of his own courage despite the power threat the Virages he faced before posed to him and his friends.

*SLAM*

Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 54

“Wow, how the fuck did he just make his sexual attraction to Meru about himself?  That’s pretty narcissistic even for a Stu.”

Well, we do keep saying that he should go fuck himself…

“Beginning to regret giving him the idea.”

Being lost in the moment, Meru’s voice snapped him back into reality.

“I hate it when I get caught ogling somebody.”

Do you really?

“Naw, not really.”

Meru: Err…Stryfe?

Stryfe: Uh!? Huh!? What!?

Meru: Hee Hee. Why are you looking at me like that?

Stryfe: Umm…I…Well…Uh…

“Because he wants to stick his penis in you.”

Protip: If the honest translation of your scene seems vulgar, than your scene is probably garbage.  You absolutely can do romance in literature and have it be deep, meaningful, and emotional. A shame that’s not what we’re looking at here.  Instead we’re looking at the literary equivalent of a sixteen-year-old boy watching the girls’ volleyball team from behind the bleachers.

“And imagining himself while he touches his bits.”

Thank you, I needed that image.

Dart: I hate to interrupt you two, but we’ve got a situation here. Is there no way but to advance?

It’s pretty sad when Dart is the voice of reason.  Well, at this point in the game, anyway.  As I mentioned, he gets a lot better in that regard as the game progresses.

As Stryfe looked up at the face of the still sleeping Virage in front of them, he jumped onto a floating rock. The rock slowly floated him towards a piece of landscape where the Virage was standing on. Despite feeling the chills as he went closer, he continued forward with the rest of the group closely behind him.

Uhh, how, exactly, are the others right behind him?  He jumped on a floating rock and went flying away.

“Turns out that the PCC’s magic division now handles rock-based transportation.  There’s always enough rocks to go around.  Provided that there needs to be enough rocks to go around.”

Just then, Shana raced in front of them and stood in front of them.

*ALARM BLARES*

*Swenia Pulls a VL-18 out of her blouse*

Never figured you were one for Old Republic weapons.

“If it works it works.”  *Swenia runs out in to the hall*

-[One scene of antiquated plasma gunplay later]-

“It doesn’t count as antiquated if you can’t make one of these with current technology, jerks!”

Shana: I can’t let you all go any further! If we advance we will have to fight again!

Which are all the wrong words to use if you want Stanky to turn back.

Stryfe: Shana, now’s not the time to play the stubborn card!

“We may as well add ‘stubborn’ to the list of words he doesn’t know how to use correctly.”

I’ve stopped trying to keep track and just assume that the list pretty much covers the bulk of what can be found in the Oxford Dictionary.

Meru: Yeah, besides, nothing we can do without meeting the Gehrichs, right? What about Lynn, Dart’s memento, and this Lloyd that you are looking for?

‘Nothing we can do without meeting the Gehrichs’?  What the hell is that even supposed to mean?

Dart: They’re right, Shana. Worrying won’t help. Besides, it might not start to move this time.

“Cue Virage attack in three, two…”

Suddenly the ground around the group began to shake. As Stryfe and the others looked up, the Virage slowly began to move.

“If anyone found this surprising, please report to the Butter Clan for your complimentary spanking.”

Shana: EVERYONE RUN!

Uhh, to where?  You used floating rocks to get up here.  Wherever here is.

Before they could do so, the Virage came to life and attacked. Transforming into their Dragoon forms, Stryfe, Dart, Rose, Albert, and Haschel leaped into the air and avoided the giant colossus’ attack.

“Looks like our character blob is ready for slow, ponderous action!”

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 84

As Shana struggled to catch up with the group, Stryfe helped Meru by flying her on his back so that she could aid the group in the fight against the ancient Wingly weapon.

Because if there’s one thing that’s really helpful in combat, it’s carrying a person on your back.

“…  I’ll be in my bunk.”

Oh no you don’t.  Lyle put in new locks.  The doors are hermetically sealed until we finish the chapter.

“Umm, then how do we breathe?”

We riff quickly so the door opens.

The Virage was different from the previous ones the group fought as this time, it had legs, so it move much more easily.   As the area erupted into a chaotic mess of Gravity, Fire, Light, Dark, Wind, Tunder and Wingly based magic attacks, the group knew they had to form a plan of attack to stop the Virage before it got a chance to escape the Valley of Corrupted Gravity and cause more chaos.

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 85

If they knew they needed a tactic, why did they spray magic everywhere?

“Also, using gravity magic in a realm where gravity is all fucked up strikes me as an extremely stupid thing to do.”

Well, it is Stanky who has the gravity powers.

While Stryfe, Dart, and Rose attacked the Virages legs to immobilize it, Albert and Haschel focused on the gem in it’s lower body to prevent it from using any more magic attacks.

“And they know to do that because…”

Game mechanics.

Finally after a few attempts, Stryfe, Dart and Rose managed to take out the Virage’s legs, causing it to crash onto a nearby dismembered landscape.

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 86

Interestingly, dismembered is actually used correctly here.  However, it’s still a case of thesaurus abuse since it’s an unnecessary use of a bigger word where a smaller one would have been more appropriate.  Trying to sound smart by using big words is not particularly subtle, author, even when you do use them correctly.

As it landed, the gem on it’s chest began to crack from both the impact from the fall and the damage it took from Albert and Haschel’s assault.

Woof!  *Rubs his throat*  Those pronouns, man!

Heading as close as he could to the Virage, Stryfe flew Meru towards the Virage, using his body as a launch pad for her to jump from.

Gah! Not only over-the-top badassery, but redund-

*ALARM BLARES*

“No rest for the wonderful I guess.” *Swenia runs back out into the hall*

-[One scene of not antiquated plasma gunplay later]-

“Hey, I thought that door was supposed to be locked.”

I’m thinking it must release in the case of DRD assault. It probably locks behi-

*click*

“Oh Goddammit.”

Once he got close enough, Meru jumped off of his back and struck the Virage’s gem with a might blow from her hammer, causing it to shatter.

“The pronoun confusion leading to a gender-bent Meru is giving me the happy shivers.”

Down, girl.  Wait, did Meru just shatter her hammer on the Virage?

“The modifiers are dangling quite low today.”

As Meru began to fall from the pull of gravity, Stryfe managed to catch her and fly her to a safe distance as Dart charged in and unleashed the final blow with his sword.

I’d be happier that Dart finally got to do something if it didn’t involve Stanky furthering his sexual machinations.

“We’re going to need to do some therapeutic drinking after this thing is over, aren’t we?”

As the Virage screeched in pain from the blow, it stuttered close to the edge of the land it was on.

*GONG*

Author!  Dictionary: Use it!

Refusing to give up, it reached out to Shana with the last of his strength, causing Shana to unleash the same strange light that she unleashed back in the Limestone Cave. Blown away by the sheer power from the light, the Virage fell into the seemingly endless abyss below the valley.

As the group landed and reverted back to their normal states, Stryfe could see that Shana was completely freaked out by the unknown power hidden within her.

Okay, author, I’m getting the feeling that you really don’t understand how limited third-person works.  Little tip here, you can have other characters do things without having to relate those actions directly back toward the viewpoint of the primary scene character.  Having everything explicitly seen, heard, or otherwise perceived by Stanky really drives home how lethargic and uninteresting the prose is.

Stryfe: That…was…

“Ellipsis… abuse…”

*Taco twitches*

Rose: Shana. What on earth are you to the Virage?

Shana: I don’t know…I don’t know anything!

Dart came up to Shana and embraced her tightly. Although Stryfe wanted to lend his comfort to Shana, he stayed back as he wanted Dart to have this moment.

The fuck he does!  Stanky has stolen so much of Dart’s thunder that it’s a wonder he’s even in this fucking fic!

Dart: There is no more Virage, Shana!

Shana: D-Dart…

Shana shook her head and smiled as Dart released her from his embrace.

Shana: I’m okay now…okay?

Stryfe: Shana…Are you sure?

Shana: Yes…

Though he could tell that she was still scarred about what just happened by the look in her eyes, Stryfe simply smiled back to her in response.

See!?  Dart barely got anything there.  I wouldn’t even call that a moment!  It was three lines before it went back to being about Stanky.

“I suppose we should just be happy that this thing isn’t a harem fic.”

Now there’s a terrifying thought.

With the Virage now removed from their path, the group took a quick rest near the exit of the Valley of Corrupted Gravity before leaving the area. As Stryfe was leaning on a nearby rock wall, he noticed Meru was sitting on a rock near him by herself.

“Well shit.  Here comes more pubescent ‘romance’ development.”

Stryfe: Meru?

Meru: Yeah?

Stryfe: You…okay?

“Why the fuck wouldn’t she be?  No really, I want an answer from Stanky as to why she wouldn’t be okay; preferably one that isn’t completely misogynistic.”

Meru: Yeah! I’m totally fine! That battle was thrilling, wasn’t it!?

“SEE!  Why would you ask that question, Stanky?  Is it because of the innate fragility that a lack of a penis causes!?”

Stryfe: Heh. Yeah, I guess. You were awesome, even though you had to ride on my back the whole time.

Hey, fucknob, you can take your negging and cram it sideways up your own ass.  If you make a compliment conditional like that, it isn’t a compliment.  Rather, it’s you being a complete prick.

Meru: Don’t forget when I blew that thing’s gem to smithereens!

Meru is trying so hard to make her accomplishments about her rather than Stanky.  Poor girl needs out of that fic.

By the way, I don’t know if you knew this already…but…

Stryfe: Yes?

Meru: I wanted to say thanks…for catching me afterward.

“If him catching you afterwards was ever a question or something that requires thanking him when he does it, then you should never have been stupid enough to crawl onto his back in the first place.  It’s called teamwork.  It’s not something that requires you thank him, because if he’d let you fall, that was him failing as his part of the job.”

Stryfe: N-No problem. Eheheheh.

As Stryfe and Meru both giggled at each other, Dart came up to the both of them after conversing with Shana, Haschel, Albert and Rose.

The hell are they giggling about?

“Maybe Stanky just snapped under the weight of his own ego.”

I think that’s too much to hope for.

Dart: You two alright?

Pretty valid question when walking up to two people acting like they’re unhinged.

Stryfe: Yeah. We’re okay.

Meru: Totally! Now we can go straight to the Gehrich Gang! We can go rescue Lynn!

Stryfe: One step at a time, Meru. Okay?

Meru: Alright, alright.

“Can you reign in the patronization?  Treating her like a child every other time you talk to her makes it all the more creepy that you’re setting her up as your fuck-puppet.”

Dart smiled and nodded to them both silently. He then stood in front of the group where everyone could see him.

Dart: Let’s go, everybody! The Gehrichs will be just ahead!

“And he knows this because?”

There’s a sign:  Gehrichs next exit.

Following the rest of the group as they exited the valley, Stryfe noticed that Meru was walking closely beside him.

I think we need to borrow one of Ert’s “THEY’RE GONNA FUCK!” signs to hang on this fic.  It’s a little more subtle than what’s going on here.

As she gave him an enthusiastic and carefree smile, Stryfe couldn’t help but smile back as the group arrived at the hideout for the Gehrich Gang, the Home of the Gigantos…

You know, given how quickly this fic is descending into casual misogyny, I can’t even get riled up about all the ellipsis abuse.  Honestly, the fact that the writer of this fic is supposed to be in his early twenties is pretty alarming given the view of romance we see here.  If nothing else, it tells a pretty pitiful story of a twenty-something man-child who hasn’t had any real romance in his life; probably a situation that’s his own fault in no small way.  This fic is flat-out treating Meru like a sexual object that Stanky is trying to win with feats of strength and heroism rather than having Stanky actually be somebody that a woman might find interesting or desirable as a person.  In fact, everything we’ve been shown about Stanky paints him as somebody women would want to stay far, far away from.  He’s egocentric, patronizing, and, worst of all, prone to acts of unnecessary violence.  His character just screams of a future of domestic abuse.

“The dark underbelly of this astoundingly boring fic is getting danker and less pleasant with every chapter, isn’t it?”

Yeah, it’s a bit of a relief that there aren’t many chapters left.  We can only hope that the on-rails plot pads out the whole ordeal long enough that the fic never gets to where this sub-plot is obviously going.

“And on that depressing note: Until next week, patrons!”

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24 Comments on “1228: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter Twenty-Nine”

  1. GhostCat says:

    Stryfe: Actually, we have passes.

    Tiberoan Guard: Oh! So you do! Open the Gate!

    “I’ll just take your word for it and not require you to actually produce these passes at any point! Have a great day!”

  2. AdmiralSakai says:

    As they neared the valley, they came across a large door that the Tiberoans put up to prevent any who were ill-prepared for the journey from traveling into the dangerous area.

    “There’s a random door?”

    Presumably the bandits are able to use this area as their base because they just went around the door.

    Idiots, they could have stopped the bandits too if they’d just used a toll booth instead!

  3. AdmiralSakai says:

    Thinking fast, he jumped in front of her and slashed the rock in two, though the two pieces continued to float onward, heading in opposite directions.

    Yeah, no. Stanky has a mundane two-handed sword. It might be big, it might be sharp, but if you hit a rock with it, the best you’re going to do is deflect the rock and ruin your sword.

    Maybe he took lessons from Dave’s Bro.

  4. AdmiralSakai says:

    We riff quickly so the door opens.

    Then you picked the wrong fucking ‘fic.

  5. AdmiralSakai says:

    Is it because of the innate fragility that a lack of a penis causes!?

    The way this sentence is structured at first made me think the subject was still Stryper.

    And I’m actually entirely OK with that.

  6. SC says:

    The Valley of Corrupt Gravity

    That sounds aggravating, especially since I just got done watching an LP of Majora’s Mask and had to endure the player suffering through the Stone Temple’s mechanic of flipping the entire dungeon upside-down.

    And also because VVVVVV exists.

  7. Tie Dye Mage says:

    The character blob is visiting one of the most irritating areas in the game: The Valley of Corrupt Gravity. Don’t get my wrong, the area was interesting from a design standpoint, it just took forever to navigate because of how long the gravity shenanigans took.

    So, it’s like the Water Temple from LoZ?

    • TacoMagic says:

      I think I’m the only person in history who both likes the water temple and am able to do it quickly.

      I would liken the Valley of Corrupt Gravity more to the curse mechanic from Simon’s Quest. You would move a little bit, hit a travel rock, and then have to wait while it slowly crawled to the next part of the screen.

  8. Tie Dye Mage says:

    “Turns out that the PCC’s magic division now handles rock-based transportation. There’s always enough rocks to go around. Provided that there needs to be enough rocks to go around.”

    That or they outsourced a bunch of Earthbenders.

    • TacoMagic says:

      This is the PCC we’re talking about. They would never settle for anything less than Everythingbenders.

      • Goddess: Of course, thanks to Pantheon Incorporated’s new Bender Research Division, we can easily beat that. We have Metabenders, who bend Metaphysical Concepts, making them become a reality and tearing apart the area around them from the sheer insanity of it. We have Benderbenders, who can Bend Bending itself. We even have Suebenders, who can control the level of Mary Sue someone has. Sadly, the last only works in this universe.

      • TacoMagic says:

        Pretty sure all those things also fall under the category of ‘Everything’, so you may want to fire your R&D department; they might be blowing wind up your skirt/pants/whatever you wear as visual leg blocking.

        Now if you had a Nothingbender, a thing that bends the very lack of the fabric of nothingness, you could control the formless void itself. And that would be something. Or nothing… I think?

      • Goddess: Actually, everythingbenders are over advertised. They can’t bend anything that doesn’t fall under the realm of the physical. Damn PCC are a bunch of cheapskates.

      • Tie Dye Mage says:

        Isn’t that what Realitybenders are for?

      • Cain: I nerfed Realitybenders with the Retcannon.

  9. Tie Dye Mage says:

    Stryfe: That…was…

    “Ellipsis… abuse…”

    Oh…no! The…ellipsis…is…spreading!


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