1262: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter Thirty-ThreePosted: December 9, 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
Three left. We’re getting this sucker done by the end of the year!
Unfortunately that does mean we still have three more weeks of this schlop. And it’ll probably feel even longer than the eight months leading up to now.
“Sorta like that last fifteen minutes at work on a Friday.”
Last time we had a very brief chapter where they were on a boat. That was pretty much it. They also saw the ghost ship, which I presume this chapter is going to revolve around.
Chapter XXXIII: The Ghost Ship
“You must be so happy.”
Yeah, not really.
As the mysterious ship slowly got closer and closer to the Queen’s Fury, an eerie chill went down Stryfe’s spine.
“Hey look! He did it correctly again. Not the greatest prose, but at least the grammar is mostly okay.”
When the ships got close enough to each other, the strange ship rammed itself into the bow of the Queen’s Fury, which also opened up a bridge for the group to board the vessel.
That has to be absolutely the least interesting description of a mid-sea collision I’ve ever read. Where’s the soul? Lawn care manuals are more interesting than this!
“Hell, Moby Dick is more interesting than this!”
I’m not sure I’d go that far.
As Stryfe got a better look at the ship, he noticed that the sails were torn and the entire structure of the ship looked as if it was from more than two decades earlier.
Ugh, you just did it right author, and then you have to go and type something like this?
“So, given this excellent description, we’re looking at a blobular ship with torn sails and a ‘structure’ that appears as though it were made somewhere between the dawn of time and twenty years ago. Nope, this author certainly does NOT have a problem with being vague.”
As many of the sailors ran out from their stations to see what was going on, the group decided to check out what was going on as well.
Author, stop it. That structure only works in very specific situations, not as three out of every four of your fucking sentences! And if you can’t use it right in the first place, how about you just don’t use it at all, ‘kay?
Now, as a treat for everyone, I want to show you all exactly what reading this fic looks like. Brace yourselves:
Sailor A: What is going on!?
Sailor B: I can’t believe this.
Puler: What are you all doing!? Get back to your stations and report the damages immediately!
Stryfe: Just…what is this?
Albert: I don’t believe it. It’s a heraldry. It looks like a royal ship of Mille Seseau.
Meru: Is this like, a phantom ship!?
Stryfe: It definitely looks like it.
Kayla: Fath-er, Commodore! Bad news!
Kayla ran up to her father in a panic.
Puler: What is it, Kayla!?
Kayla: The impact got the engine room!
Puler: Kayla, tell them to hurry up and fix it!
Kayla: Aye aye, sir!
Dart: We can’t pursue Lenus like this!
Puler: Sometimes the oceans show it’s capriciously, but I’ve never seen such a thing before.
Stryfe: We can’t just wait around and do nothing!
Rose: (Th…this ship is…)
Suddenly, Haschel ran up to the group with a panicked look on his face.
Haschel: Dart! Stryfe! I can’t find Shana anywhere!
Stryfe & Dart: What!?
Just then, the group heard a scream coming from the ship. It only took a second for everyone to realize that it was Shana who made the scream.
Stryfe: Dart, wait up!
“For anyone whose eyes started bleeding, please report to Ichi. I’m told the leaches are rather hungry today so they should be able to help with that.”
If we take a moment and ignore the plagairism, horrible pseudo-script formatting, and lifeless delivery we can focus on a bigger problem with this particular “style” of writing. That problem being: WE HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE WHAT IS GOING ON! And I’m not just talking about the fact that we aren’t being shown anything, I mean from a deeper plot perspective. Why are they being attacked by a ghost ship? Why is this here beyond it just being something in the game? Where was the buildup and why is this important?
See, in the game there actually is build up. Some of the poeple you talk to mention it as being a problem in the area and there are some books you can read in one of the libraries that mention the ship. Unfortunately, all that doesn’t really line up with the fic’s goal of deep-throating Stanky, so it was all cut. Because of that, this whole ghost ship encounter comes right the fuck out of nowhere! It’s essentially turning a plot point in the game into an ass-pull from hell.
So, what does this all mean, author? It means that by being a lazy moron, you have managed to not only make the story of Legend of Dragoon boring as all hell, but also rendered it in a way that makes it illogical and full of seemingly random plot events. Essentially, you have taken the game that you loved enough to ‘write’ a fanfiction about and made it totally suck. Congratulations.
And this, authors, is why you should care enough to do a good job when writing. If you don’t, you’re going to make the thing your fandom is based on look pretty bad.
“Not to mention yourself. Being too lazy to put in effort to write passably well about something you love does not paint a very flattering picture.”
So far as that whole chunk is concerned though, it’s largely ripped from the game, so we’re just going to move on.
As Stryfe and the group went after Dart onto the mysterious ship, they quickly found Shana surrounded by what appeared to be two ghosts in what looked like royal knight armor.
“Stop being so Goddamn wishy-washy! Things can just be! They don’t have to look like, appear to be, or seem like things, they can just fucking BE those things!”
Just as Stryfe drew his zweihander, he saw the ghosts turn to Shana and bow to her before they vanished into thin air.
“HE FUCKING SPELLED IT RIGHT!”
Thirty-three chapters, author. It took you thirty-three chapters to correctly spell the stupid-ass weapon you gave your egotistical author-insert. I can think of no better summary of this story. Really, if I was writing a one-sentence review, it would be this:
The author cares so little for his writing that it takes until the third-to-last chapter before he spells the iconic weapon of his protagonist correctly.
“I might have mentioned that shitty writing does not paint a very flattering picture of the author. Well there you go.”
Stryfe: What…was that!?
Probably a thing that seems like another thing.
“Nuh-uh. It’s a thing that seems like another thing that looks as though it’s dressed like a completely different thing.”
Dart: Why did you leave the ship!?
Shana: I don’t know…When I woke up, I was here.
Damn you, SDQF!
Those ghost knights…they protected me…
Stryfe: Why would they do that?
Shana: I don’t know…
Albert: At least you’re safe and sound.
“So, she appears on the ship, there are ghosts, but they leave her alone.”
Meru: Well, since we’re here, we might as well take a look around!
Stryfe: *sigh* Meru…
Stop being condescending, you turdnugget. It’s actually a pretty logical thing to do! You’ve been hit by a mysterious ship which has disabled your ship in transit and you just saw some ghosts which responded positively to a member of your party. You explore that shit to find out why!
Shana: I…think I agree with her.
“See, the brains of the operation agrees.”
Dart: What!? No way!
Don’t start. We’ve been over this.
Shana: Dart, I don’t know what it is, but I feel like there’s something on this ship I should know about. Please.
“Kinda sad that these two are so dense that they need it spelled out like this for them.”
Stryfe: Shana, you too?
“Stanky hates it when women make sense. He feels threatened by it.”
I’m told women are super-attracted to insecure men. That lack of respect is a great basis for Stanky’s relationship with Meru.
Albert: Well, if we go with them, it wouldn’t be a problem.
“A smidge sexist there, bucko, but the ‘if we stay together, we’ve got this’ meaning is pretty sound judgment.”
Especially if they’re over-leveled.
Dart: Okay. But if anything happens, we’re heading back to the Queen’s Fury.
Guys, stop, Stanky can’t handle it when people make sense.
As they started to explore the exterior of the ship, the group eventually made their way through the abandoned quarters of the ship and the rest of the interior, encountering numerous restless spirits of the deceased sailors during the ship’s last voyage.
“Huh, it’s Schroedinger’s boat. At any moment in time the group is simultaneously outside the boat, inside the boat, and back in time until observed by the reader.”
And since nobody in their right mind would read this pile of garbage, they’re always all three!
When they searched what appeared to be the quarters for special guests, the group encountered many spirits saying something about a monster destroying their ship and how they didn’t want to perish, bringing Stryfe and the others to begin questioning what exactly happened on this ship prior to it’s ghostly transformation.
WOOF! *rubs throat* Dammit-all, author! Double dose of awkward AND wishy-washy!
“I think this also deserves a smack of the character blob counter.”
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 97
“Gotta get three more in the next two-and-a-half chapters.”
We’ve got fight scenes coming up, so I don’t think that’ll be a problem.
Investigating the ship’s interior areas further, the group came across a demon ghost known as a Magician’s Body, who reanimated the skeletons of the dead soldiers to attack them.
“How do they know what it’s called?”
It has a label in the game.
“Ahhh, game mechanics.”
After fighting off the skeletons, the group quickly struck down the ghost, who released the soul of the captian of the ship once it was slain.
See, and you were worried.
“I shall never doubt again.”
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 98
As Stryfe sheathed his zwiehander slowly, the soul floated towards him.
“And back to spelling it wrong again.”
Maybe my summary should focus more on the positive. Like how many times he actually managed to spell it correctly.
Ghost Captain: I thank you for defeating the one that imprisoned me.
Stryfe: Err…you’re welcome?
“Being polite is very foreign to him, that’s why Stanky is struggling here.”
Ghost Captain: I have a favor to ask of you all. Please come to the Captain’s Cabin.
Not sure what to expect, the group followed the soul as it led them to the Captain’s Cabin. As they entered the quarters of the deceased captain, they noticed there was a faded portrait of a beautiful queen from a distant land.
“And they know that the queen is from somewhere else because?”
As Stryfe took a closer inspection, he couldn’t help but see an uncanny resemblance to Shana in her facial features.
Stryfe: She…looks like Shana.
Meru: Wow! She does look like Shana. I wonder where she was from?
It’s an important plot point, so of course the observation is taken from Dart and given to Stanky.
Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 60
Suddenly, the group heard a loud creeking sound. They then noticed the door was shut tightly.
“Wait, what door?”
You know, the door. What other door would it be?
Stryfe: What the!?
Dart: The door’s locked!
We know this implicitly without even needing to check it!
“They are extremely good at door.”
“And from be-”
Stryfe heard a mysterious sound coming from behind him and the group.
*Taco pats Swenia on the shoulder* You tried.
As they turned around, they saw the phantom of what appeared to be the captain’s chair.
“Wait, they’re attacked by a ghost chair?”
Bet you never saw it coming.
When the chair turned towards them, the group saw the soul of the captain form an exact replica of his body while he was alive, a look of loss and despair was spread across his face.
“So, the captain didn’t look like the captain before, but does now?”
Yeah, he likes to appear as the first mate before bringing people to his cabin. It makes the reveal that he actually looks like the captain all the more surprising.
Ghost Captain: Please, help me!
Ghost Captain: He…killed the crew…the Nanny…the knights…me…and the newborn princess…
I think the story is becoming even more vague.
Ghost Captain: Him…it was…him…
“The vagueness levels are definitely increasing!”
Is it too much to hope for that the fic suddenly dissolves into a mist of letters?
Stryfe: Who? Who did this to you!?
Dart: Who is “Him”!? Tell us!
Ghost Captain: The…Black…Monster…
Dart: This is the doing of the Black Monster as well!?
“Captain vague is really all about dragging out the reveals, isn’t he?”
Yeah, I remember finding this scene irritating when I played the game, too. There’s no reason he couldn’t have just come out and told them all this right after he was rescued.
Ghost Captain: We couldn’t protect…the princess. So we…couldn’t finish dying.
“I dunno, you seem to have done a pretty thorough job dying. You are a ghost and all.”
Please…destroy the fear. Put the souls of the knights..to rest.
“Son-of-a-bitch, that’s one hell of a vague request. Destroy fear. Yeah, way to make it easy, jerk.”
As the captain began to fade away, Stryfe saw the look of regret and sorrow on his face until he disappeared completely from his sight.
He regrets that he actually gave them a bit of specific information.
He mentioned that they were all killed by the Black Monster.
More so than he’d like to have been.
Stryfe: Is it…possible to not fully die at all?
“Uh, at the moment, or in the long run? Because you’re technically not dead right now. But long term it’s good to plan on it happening at some point.”
Dart: That bastard…He kills for no reason at all!
Stryfe: Hm? Hey, look! On the ground!
Aha! A thing!
“That doesn’t look like a thing to me. More like an object.”
Dude, it’s totally a thing.
Stryfe pointed to an object that reflected brightly off the little light that was in the room.
“It’s even shiny!”
It was an old key that could allow them access to a certain room on the ship.
“But how would they know that?”
In their inventory it’s called the ship room key.
“But that’s not- I mean- GAH!”
Looking around the ship for the door the key went to, they made their way back to the main deck, where they encountered more ghost knights.
“More ghost knights?”
Yeah, you know, to go with all the other ones they encountered off screen.
“Why does this thing suck so much!?”
Ghost Knight A: We won’t let you have Princess Louvia!
“Rose is the princess!?”
Don’t look at me. If that’s what the author is going with, we’re finally venturing into new territory.
The knight attempted to attack Rose, but was immediately knocked back and faded away, though Rose didn’t even move a muscle.
Crack suicide squad, attack!
Ghost Knight B: We will protect her even if it costs us our lives!
As the second ghost knight faded away, the group could only imagine what went on during these knights final moments.
Is it honestly so hard to figure out that they were killed by the black monster while trying to defend the princess?
“For this group, probably, yeah.”
Albert: “After counting 108 years, when the Moon That Never Sets glows blood red, a moon child descends upon the earth, to fill the world with holy bliss.”
Stryfe: Where did that come from, Albert?
Albert: I-I don’t know. It’s a legend that was foretold throughout Endiness. However, what was actually brought was the child of destruction,
the Black Monster.
“Wanna unpack that, Taco?”
Well, we’re far enough in that I can drop some spoilers, especially since the author is never going to get there. If you don’t want to spoil the plot twist for yourself, skip past the red section below:
So, basically the legend is that every 108 years the moon will glow red and herald the birth of the moon child which will turn the world to paradise. However, that’s not what the Moon Child really is. The moon child is actually the reincarnated soul of the Virage that resides in the moon. The child has the ability to dominate people and make them believe that they’re living in the paradise world all while they serve the Virage’s end of obtaining its freedom and wiping out all life on the planet.
Meanwhile the Black Monster has actually spent the least 10,000 years since the war hunting down these incarnations of the moon child and killing it and all who have been enthralled by it in an effort to prevent the end of the world. The thing that the Black Monster doesn’t know is that the ability to enthrall others doesn’t develop until the moon child actually awakens and realizes what it is, which doesn’t happen until it matures into an adult and is exposed to the moon artifacts.
The Black Monster also happens to be Rose. She’s one of the original Dragoons who fought in the final battle against the Winglies and knew that the dragoons didn’t successfully destroy the Virage in the Moon. So, for ten-thousand years she’s been systematically exterminating any moon child that’s been born as well as all the “followers” who she thought were enthralled by it. When she learns the truth about the moon child’s ability to control others, she does not take it very well.
So, her attack on Dart’s village was her trying to exterminate the latest incarnation of the moon child. She doesn’t realize it, but she fails. See, the moon child is actually Shana. Once that discovery is made, Shana is eventually taken by the Winglies and they begin the preparations to awaken her and unleash the Virage. The rest of the game is focused around trying to prevent that.
“Oh, so that’s what you’ve been going on about.”
Dart: So…you’re saying that…
Albert: We are witnessing a tragedy from the past.
Shana: It’s awful. Why would it do this?
Dart: Does he need a reason!? He just kills until he’s satisfied!
Rose: Stop it!
Everyone was surprised by Rose’s sudden outburst.
Rose: Sorry. I don’t know what I was thinking.
“I’m assuming direct regurgitation here.”
“At least now this all makes sense.”
Stryfe: Let’s keep moving. The sooner we find out what happened here, the sooner we can leave.
It didn’t take long for the group to find out where the key they found goes. Upon unlocking the door to a lone cabin area on the main deck, the group encountered yet more ghosts as they approached the entrance to what appeared to be a nursery that Stryfe saw through the cracks in the wall.
“So behind the door they found an area that is slightly less nondescript than the rest of the ship?”
Very slightly, yes.
Head of Ghost Knights: You, Black Monster…
It really lacks the punch of ‘You, invaders!’
Ghost Knight C: How dare you come here, pursuing Princess Louvia.
Dart: What is this!?
“Uh, pretty sure it’s ghost knights. There have apparently been a lot of them, so that shouldn’t really come as a surprise.”
Faced with no other choice but to defend themselves, the group drew their weapons and braced themselves as the knights charged at them.
“Whereupon they vanish just like every other group of ghosts that have tried to attack them.”
Although they were on the defensive at first, the group slowly gained ground as they struck down the knights one by one.
Well shit, a fight scene.
“Or at least what passes as one here.”
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 99
“Yes only one mo-”
However, the head knight was able to bring them, forcing the group to focus on taking him out first.
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 100
“Yes! We made it to one-hundred! What do we win?”
The knowledge that we’ve riffed the fic with the biggest character blob we’ve ever featured.
“… Now I’m sad again.”
After a ferocious clash, Stryfe unleashed a powerful cross slash that cleaved the ghost knight head in two, leaving the rest of the ghost knights to be easily picked off by the rest of the group.
Wow, a two-fer.
Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 61
Carbon Copy Syndrome: 101
As Stryfe sheathed his zweihander, trying to catch his breath, the head ghost knight appeared again. As he began charging at the group, Shana flung herself in front of the group and blocked the ghost’s path.
“He spelled it right again!”
Maybe, but the grammar in the rest of those sentences is flat-out painful to read.
Stryfe: What are you doing!?
Shana: It’s over! There is nor more Black Monster. Please…Please don’t suffer anymore.
Head of Ghost Knights: You…you are…
“Look at all those ellipses! I think the fic is finally starting to dissolve under the weight of its own vagueness!”
Head of Ghost Knights: Thank god. You made it. Princess Louvia…
The head ghost knight, bowing as he faded away, left the group confused.
Confused as to why the ghost didn’t notice her earlier, I’d imagine.
“B’cuz boss fight.”
Stryfe: I guess there’s only one way to find out.
Knowing Stanky, that way probably involves telling the knight he completely failed his duty then torturing the ghost to extract the information.
“Sounds about right.”
As the group looked at Stryfe, he pointed to the door leading to the nursery. Heading inside, the group found a still rocking crib in the room.
“The crib is still rocking? Okay, that’s pretty fucked up. If we’re about to deal with ghost babies, I’m gonna check out here before it gets real.”
When Stryfe attempted to get a closer look at the crib, the ghost of the royal nanny appeared in front of him.
“Fine, ghost nannies are freaky, but as long as we don’t get a ghost baby, I can deal.”
What’s so bad about ghost babies?
“Those things are scary as shit. Worse than clowns.”
Ghost Nanny: Princess Louvia, she was still so young. If she wasn’t a princess of Mille Seseau, this wouldn’t have happened.
Not technically true, but sorta. It’s her heritage that was the problem, not necessarily that she was a princess.
Meru: Princess of Mille Seseau?
Shana: What does…that have to do with me?
Ghost Nanny: Oh my, you are…? Alive…Oh lord. It was not in vain.
Meru: What was not in vain?
“What the hell is going on? Are we in one of those weird pockets of anti-plot where we get sentences at random?”
Naw. Shana is the Princess Louvia’s twin sister. That’s the other part that I missed earlier. The Black Monster killed the wrong child when it attacked this ship.
Ghost Nanny: I have been wadering for 18 years, longing to find you.
Wadering? She must really be into fishing if she’s willing to spend that long in a river.
“Or the boat is leaky. Doesn’t sound like it’s in the best shape.”
I guess even ghosts hate wet socks.
Ghost Nanny: I can now end everything. I can go to the place where everyone is.
Well, most everyone; there are lots of dead people. Actually, the afterlife is pretty crowded.
“Good thing they’re planning another subdivision.”
Shana: Wait! What kind of relationship do I have with this person!?
“I’d guess a wooden one.”
Just then, the group noticed the crib come to a still stop, followed by a huge shock that rocked the ship.
Almost out of ghost baby territory.
Stryfe: What the!? What now!?
Dude, you’re laying the souls that kept the ship afloat to rest. What the fuck do you think is happening?
Dart: The ship is sinking!?
Stryfe: We need to get out of here! Now!
See? Dart gets it. Sorta.
Racing back outside to the main deck, the group raced back onto the Queen’s Fury as the ship slowly began to sink into the dark waters of the ocean.
“The hell are you guys racing onto a sinking ship for? If the Queen’s Fury is going down, you should be staying put on the ghost ship!”
As Stryfe, Meru, Rose and Dart were the only ones left to jump back onto the Queen’s Fury, Dart lost his footing and fell off the ghost ship, barely being caught by Rose, who nearly fell into the ocean herself until Meru caught her legs.
Looking back and seeing them in danger, time seemed to come to a stand still as his eyes made contact with Meru’s. Just before either of them could say the others name, the ship capsized and sank into the ocean, taking Meru, Dart and Rose with it.
“See, told them they shouldn’t have run onto a sinking ship.”
Feeling his heart rate skyrocket, Stryfe felt his legs begin to move by themselves as he jumped off the Queen’s Fury.
“Wait, what? Didn’t the Queen’s Fury just sink!?”
The fic’s grammar says the Queen’s Fury sank, the game canon says it was the ghost ship.
“This is why I have trust issues!”
Shana: STRYFE, NO!
Don’t stop him! He might actually get himself killed!
Anyway, I’m just gonna toss this whole sequence up because it’s powerfully stupid.
Jumping into the air, Stryfe braced himself as he made contact with the water, his vision barely extending beyond his arm reach as he opened his eyes under the black waters of the ocean. He saw Meru struggling to stay conscious next to an unconscious Dart and Rose. As she extended her arm out to him, Stryfe reached out to her, but couldn’t touch her hand.
Not willing to give up, Stryfe felt an unknown strength from within push him forward, allowing him to grab Meru’s hand. Just as he did, a powerful current swept him, Meru, Dart and Rose away, carrying them to wherever the destination the current was heading…
You get two for that.
Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 63
You know, author, you can have Stanky follow the plot without adding moments of shallow, melodramatic heroics. Maybe next time just have him get stuck on the ship with the others.
“The worst part is, this appears to be a setup to get the two of them alone together. I feel nauseous.”
Break out the scotch. We can drink until the setup doesn’t bother us.
*Hands Taco a filled glass* “Way ahead of you.”