Silent Hero, Chapter 6 (2/2)

So, where were we?  Oh, yes, I remember.  Let me just back up a paragraph or two.  This is something we’ll need a running start for.

So evidently the (not exactly) first Link, the Hero of Time, spent the rest of his days living in Termina. Only there were evidently two Links created…the past Link and the future Link. Um, not quite. Future Zelda removed Future Link from the timeline by sending him back to the past. And they certainly didn’t live simultaneously or anything. So what you’re essentially saying, author, is that you believe that the split timeline is canon, but don’t care enough to figure out which game falls under which timeline? I mean, there are some arguments, but there are also some cases where it’s pretty impossible and by having the child and adult timelines exist in the same universe you oh dear I’ve gone cross-eyed and I think I’ve written this paragraph before causing me to go even further cross-eyed.

Aaaaand, what the fuck? This is the most messed up thing I’ve ever heard. Evidently, in Majora’s Mask, when Link was wearing Mikau’s soul (That’s still totally canon and totally freaky, btw), he started falling in love with Lulu. You know, the woman who is at least twice, maybe three times, his age. And, you know, a fish. What.

“Link is not a Freaky Fish Guy!” ~Mako Tsunami, expert on Freaky Fish Guys

So he never fucking revealed to Lulu that he was actually Link. What the fucking hell? Link, you fucking asshole. I don’t know if you’ve realized this, author, but Link essentially committed identity fraud and lied to a woman who loved him for her entire fucking life. He probably slept with her too, since that’s what people who love each other do. Yes, Link committed fraud and lied to a woman to get it on with a fish.

And then, after she passes, he reveals his identity and tells a few people his story. I personally would have loved to see their reactions. I mean, he’s showing people that he, the great Hero of Time, has masqueraded as a Zora and taken said Zora’s place in society, fooling his community and his lover. I can’t imagine that he was met with a very pleasant reception.

Oh, wait, no, they “honor the Hero of Time for his love and devotion to one of [their] own.” My bad. Just as an aside, I think I’d like to die now.

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I know, Mikau.  I feel the same way.

That Link, meanwhile, is evidently a ghost now, wandering around Termina. You know, they say that people become ghosts when they feel an inner turmoil that doesn’t allow them to move on to the afterlife. Gee, I wonder what inner turmoil Link must feel. Maybe it has something to do with stealing a fish’s identity to bang his lover until she died. But let’s get past all that. His ghost evidently visits the forest frequently. Midna states that they were near the forest, and may have been close to him. And then she says that Tingle maybe scared him off. Ava and Asher agree that he’s unpleasant. Because continually bashing a character that everyone already hates is good writing, evidently. Just fucking let it die. You don’t have to bring your vendetta against Tingle up every chance you get.

Asher decides to get some shut-eye, Midna decides that she’d like to admire the night for a while, Ava decides to keep Midna company, and Link decides to go explore a bit. I was excited for this, as it sounds like the Zorita live in a place that’s visually stunning. However, we’re just told that Link explores rolling hills, waterfalls, and caves. Gee, those sound really interesting. Can you tell us what they’re like? No? Okay, never mind. I guess they weren’t all that stunning after all.

Link walks until his feet are tired, and heads back. He lays down on a hill not far from Ava and Midna, sitting on the “velvety folds” of the grass on the hill. Erm…well, I’m not really sure that either grass or hills have folds, but eh, whatever. What I am sure of, though, is that grass isn’t velvety. Have you ever laid down on grass for a while? Sure, it’s nice and soft, but it’s itchy. Sleeping on the grass would drive me insane. I’d be up all night scratching. But hey, maybe it’s magic grass. That would explain why they creamed themselves when they were walking on it.

Link tries to block out Midna and Ava’s conversation, but it’s admittedly pretty hard not to eavesdrop when you hear your name. They’re talking about him. Let me take a moment to bring up the Bechdel Test. In order for a work to pass the Bechdel Test, there are three requirements, each one dependent on the last. There have to be (1) two female characters who (2) talk to each other about (3) something other than a man. We’ve had Midna talk with the Goddess of Time (who, being an unnamed deity, is disqualified) and now Ava (who counts). So that’s test one and two passed. Does it pass test three? Oh, sorry! The only private interaction Midna’s had with another woman, and we don’t get to hear any of it but the bit about Link. In fact, were they even talking before he came back? I dunno, as what he hears sounds like the beginning of a conversation, not the middle of one.

Anyway, Link comes back at the most convenient time ever. They couldn’t talk about him while he’s away. No, they have to wait until he comes back. And it’s not about him as a hero or anything. It’s automatically “what do you think of him?” This question almost always translates to “are you in love with him or not?”

Link hears their conversation and holds his breath until he becomes lightheaded. Evidently, the night is deadly quiet and he’s only five feet away from him, because he has to exhale slowly so that he isn’t heard. If he’s that close, why didn’t they notice him when he came back? I dunno, there’s really no reason for him to be so quiet. I’m pretty sure they can’t hear him. Also, it’s amusing how the guy who’s apparently so mute that he can’t even grunt has to work at being quiet.

Midna’s eventual reply is “He shares the soul of one I once loved. Or at least, I think he does or else want him to. But it could not be then either. Darkness and Light only create shadow, don’t they?” Um…what? Proofread, author, proofread! I think that what she’s trying to say is that she wants him to share the soul of the old Link, with whom her old relationship never would have worked.

Link is saddened by this and goes a bit emo again, using the phrase “defective forest rogue” to describe himself. Okay, I can’t help but laugh at that. What the hell is that even supposed to mean? On the plus side, I’ve got the perfect name for my new band now.

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen!  We are The Defective Forest Rogues and we are here to rock your world!

Ava’s reply is “Perhaps, as Dawn [not sure why it’s capitalized] proves every morning, Darkness can only be overcome by Light.” Um…okay, so…is “Darkness” supposed to be Midna? Because that’s the interpretation I got from Midna’s statement. If so, there are some pretty unfortunate implications going on there.

Link’s “Kokiri-trained ears” are evidently more steadfast than his “Hylian eyes which long to wander.” Is it just me, or is the author making a lot less sense in this chapter? Anyway, he wants to look at Midna to see how she really feels. Aww, look! The people who have known each other for all of maybe three days and are centuries apart in age really do love each other!

So two stars streak past, winding around each other (ZOMG SYMBOLISM!) in a dance that is described as magical but is really completely stupid, and then the birds sing, and two moths circle around him, one landing on his finger. This paragraph serves no purpose other than painting a scene in a way that completely derails the flow of the story.

I think I’ll just post the next thing Ava says for you.

We Zorita…we believe that Nature, as the foundation for the world the goddesses created for us, contains some of the deepest wisdoms.

“Take all these signs, especially the song of the moon blossom birds. Mates for eternity; the only creatures known to consummate their love within a nest made of moon blossom petals which they consume afterwards. In doing so, they are granted the eternal life of the moon blossoms, and for so long lasts their love…

“I do not know what these things may mean for you. But do not close your heart. Better to love and find out that he is not the one than to never search and find that one. And if the love is true, even if it turns out it is not what the goddesses deem best, there will be sorrow but no regrets of the time you spend together.”

Okay, first of all, what is it with random Capitalization of Words that seem vaguely Important? Does “Nature” really need capitalization? And if “Nature,” why not “goddesses?”

Second, everything about the moon blossom birds. They mate for eternity. Really? Eternity? Do they just not ever die? I get that they’ve got eternal life (which is reason enough to wtf on its own), but are they also invincible? Or if they do die, do they meet up in the afterlife again? Or reincarnate and find their partners again? And if either of those are the case, how the hell does everyone else know it? They do not mate for eternity. Not to your knowledge. Also, they build nests made out of moon blossom petals. Are these nests made on the ground? Because the nest wouldn’t hold together if it was made of flower petals, so it’d have to have the ground to support it. They gain immortality by eating the flower petals, so why doesn’t everyone eat the flower petals? And finally, for their mating ritual, they make the nest out of petals, boink each other in it, and then eat it. What.

Third, Ava’s essentially just restating that old adage “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Let me ask you something. Have you ever been in love? Or even had a crush? Okay, has that ever ended badly? Anyone who has loved and lost can tell you that the idiom is pure bullshit. Maybe that’s just me, though.

So Link turns to look at her, unnoticed (his changing of positions evidently being quieter than his breathing), and watches the other moth land on her hand (ZOMG MOAR SYBOLISM). The beauty (read: stupidity) of this causes him to more or less jizz in his pants.  Or maybe it was the velvety grass he was sitting on.

So Midna and Ava eventually depart, and Link waits a while before departing himself. As he heads to the room he’s evidently supposed to sleep in (as opposed to the itchy grass), he hears footsteps, and sees Ava, who is floating down the hall. Floating. Um…in the air? I assumed that they sort of flew instead of hovered. And if that’s the case, how did he hear her footsteps? Well, the Zorita swim, too. Maybe there’s an unmentioned body of water or something she’s floating down. But if that’s the case, how the hell did he hear her footsteps?

She looks at him, and there’s something in her eyes (something that’s never explained) in them that gives him hope. He sees some sort of promise there. In her eyes. The promise of the Zorita’s eyes. Like the chapter title. Did you see that? It makes more sense now, doesn’t it? It’s still stupid, though.

So as he drifts to sleep, Link decides that, yes, he’s probably in love with this woman he’s known for three days who’s centuries older than him and is crushing on his past life.

Okay, I just finished reading Lolita not too long ago. I’m gonna have to say that the relationships in there are less screwed up than the ones in here. Lolita, by the way, is about a pedophile. But at least in Lolita we get to see the psychology behind the relationship and are showed why exactly it’s messed up and what sort of damage it does. In fact, at the end, the protagonist admits that he almost certainly ruined the girl he loved. Here, the relationships are treated as if they’re perfectly normal, and no one seems to bat an eye at the general wrongness of them.  Good job, author.  You’ve gotten me to declare your book more messed up that fucking Lolita.

Link wakes up in the morning, and Midna gives him a smile. It was like the conversation last night had never occurred, according to the book. And at the same time, it was like the opposite all at once, again according to the book.

So then they leave to find the Many-Link or whatever the hell that thing’s stupid fucking name is. They just leave.

…Okay, what? Really? Fucking really? They don’t even learn a song here or anything? No major plot? Are you fucking kidding me? You made me read a whole fucking chapter that I wrote five fucking pages on just to give your fucking Zora/Rito hybrid race a fucking cameo? You are fucking kidding me you fucking fuck fucker fuckity fuck fuck I’LL FUCKING KILL YOU YOU BASTARD I’LL FUCKNG KILL YOU ALL THAT WAS THE MOST POINTLESS SHIT I’VE EVER READ YOU SON OF A BITCH I HOPE THAT MAJORA FUCKING RAPES YOU IN THE ASS FOR THIS YOU FUCKING TIME-WASTING BITCH!

*Sigh* Well, let’s see what we’ve got for next time.  Okay, it looks like exposition, exposition, and more exposition.  Whee!  I’m actually excited for that!  You know why?  Because it’s a relatively short chapter, and there’s no possible way that it can get any worse than The Hero of Time boinking a fish-woman.  *shudder*

Andy

FangQuest, Chapter 2

 

As we start the second chapter, entitled “Another Stone,” Blackfang shows the others the surprisingly lengthy note—only after which do they react with anger, which makes little sense since the note itself isn’t that infuriating.

Blast decides that this would be the perfect opportunity for some weapon porn. Honestly, it rivals any given clothing porn segment of My Immortal. I would have skipped the two pages completely, had two details (other than a squirrel easily carrying a battle-ax) caught my eye, both regarding Mibs. First of all, why does he talk in a mangled version of Brian Jacques’ “Sparra speak?” It’s even less intelligible, spelling-wise. Secondly, his anatomy confuses me. I’ve already established that I have no idea how big he is, and am just assuming he’s big enough to stand at least waist-high to the wolves instead of small enough to fit in their mouths. However, how does he wear a breastplate? And how does he hold a dagger? Okay, let’s say he holds the dagger in his talons (though that still doesn’t explain the breastplate). How does he draw it, then? Hell, does he just have hands instead of wings?

Better yet, Mark and Ken have become fully conscious again and have joined them. We now have eight characters traveling together. None of them have any form of personality—unless you count occupation, species, or funetik aksent (that’s “phonetic accent,” for those of you who are trying to figure out what the hell I just typed) as personality types. Even worse, a lot of the names are similar. I’m having problems right now telling any of the wolves apart, other than “younger wolves with ridiculous names” and “older wolves with surprisingly out-of-place names.”

They leave the forge and go to the den, placing the green stone in a hole that fits it perfectly. Somehow, they never noticed this hole before. Also, they evidently never noticed that there was somehow six feet of missing space in their house. Or that the six missing feet were because of a stairway that led to a vast series of catacombs. I don’t know what the floors are made of, but wouldn’t it be apparent somehow that there was some sort of hollow space beneath your house? Wouldn’t it let in drafts?

Inside the catacombs, they find lit torches. Because they, you know, stay lit for so long. And if someone came by to relight them, there’s no way they would have ever heard their claws clacking on that stone staircase.

Beyond that, they find a garden that has the magical properties of not needing sunlight to grow and being able to survive intense heat at close proximity. See, there’s magma that’s somehow in fountains. There also happens to be warm springs that flow into them. I’m not entirely sure what this weird, messed up garden looks like. I’m sure the heroes don’t either, since there’s a thick fog all around the garden, which is naturally obscuring their view. Wait, my mistake, they can see it perfectly.

Well, perhaps I spoke too soon about the torches. They stay lit because they’re evidently “magic” and change colors when people walk by. Color coded for your convenience, folks! This is, along with the whole “changing eye color” thing, never explained, and probably only happens because our author thought that reading a book is like watching a movie. Which it isn’t.

Then a wildcat in a cape named Ryrock the Clichéd Title comes and says something along the lines of “Hello, nice to meet you. I knew Blackfang (none of the others are worth mentioning by name) when he was young, so I’ll start this reunion by challenging two of you to violent combat!”

Marina and Barkfur (oh, look both the females in the group. Somehow significant?) do the sensible thing and ponder what the hell is going on. But only long enough for them to ponder. They jump into the fray in this awkwardly worded one-sentence paragraph:

“The huge cat fled to the garden with Barkfur and Marinia hard on his heels, the two of them were drawn to the challenge as if by an unseen force, though the big cat and the previous events of that night confused them and made them almost reconsider leaping into a foggy pit in a place they had no idea existed until just a few minutes before.”

At this point, yet another proportion/scale mystery comes into play. Evidently, a mountain lion, probably about six feet tall standing in this universe, is able to wield a sword that’s seven feet long. Seven. Really. I am not making this up. His sword is bigger than he is, and he wields it effortlessly.

While this battle rages, those on the sidelines have a little discussion with Blackfang that goes something like this.

“Hey, Blackfang, your eyes are green!”

“Nuh-uh!”

“Yeah-huh!”

“Nuh-uh!”

“Accent that looks like a bunch of typos.”

“Well, shit. They are green. Whaddya know. Probably my necklace.”

And they never do come to the conclusion why.

We switch back to the fight, which we find out isn’t a friendly little fight at all. That’s right: they’ve been trying to fucking kill each other. If you don’t believe me, it explicitly states “Marina and Barkfur went in for the kill” at one point.

Naturally, Marina and Barkfur win with absolutely no prior training. Also, Ryrock can evidently teleport. After he disappears in a swirl of fog, he leaves behind another note and two parts of a stone. Unlike Dirtsnow, Ryrock at least was probably able to write his note beforehand. Also unlike Dirtsnow, he must have some form of psychic powers, as he somehow knew beforehand Blackfang would have the green stone.

The “Slayers’ Blade” (I am not making this up) is vaguely alluded to, and the stones are given the incredibly cool-sounding (by which I mean lame-sounding) title “Powerstones” (capital P). The women both get part of the Red Powerstone, which gives the wearer strength. I’m sensing some sort of feminism subtext to this, though I can’t tell if that’s intentional or not. Also, Blackfang’s Green Powerstone apparently lets him change into any creature. I would personally choose human, so that I wouldn’t have to worry how I’m holding a sword without opposable thumbs.

Puzzlingly, the stones can evidently be split into multiple parts and still retain all their power. Why they don’t just split all the stones so that they all have all the powers is beyond me. It would make more sense, honestly.

While Mibs decides that his accent now wants to change completely so it sounds like baby-talk, Barkfur and Blackfang marvel at how the Powerstones give their eyes the power to change color. After all, Barkfur asserts, “Ryrock said they were Powerstones.” Emphasis on the word “Powerstones.” Because things that work just like colored contacts are so powerful.

Blackfang establishes himself as leader, despite the fact that we have no indication that he’s qualified, other than he was the first to get his stones. Er, Stone. Yes, the singular is what I meant.

Barkfur tells Marina that Ryrock wanted her to have one of the half-stones, even though Marina was, you know, there when they found the note, so both she and the reader already know this. Blackfang watches the exchange, ending the chapter with the very “profound” statement, “another stone, another mystery.”

Next chapter: Mibs’ accent changes yet again, an ancestry that none of Blackfang’s siblings seems to share, and a stag who can somehow hold things in his hoofs.

Published in: on February 23, 2011 at 10:43 am  Comments (3)  
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Silent Hero, Chapter 6 (1/2)

 

[AN: the following paragraph was written before I read this chapter.  After reading chapter 6, I have no clue how chapter 5 could have possibly caused me any despair.  Yes, chapter 6 is that much worse.  Be afraid.]

After that last chapter, I took some time off to reconsider my view of life. I would have used Silent Hero as proof that there is no God, had I not needed someone to pray to for strength to get through this. I came to the conclusion that if He exists, he probably just isn’t a big fan of Zelda. This new dogma is a bit difficult for me to accept, but it’s the only thing that makes any sort of sense. But maybe he’s just a fanboy who’s upset because no new games have lived up to his expectations after Ocarina of Time. Yeah, this is just Nintendo’s punishment for that. That would explain BMB Finishes’ “Hero of Time” fan film, too.

If you’ve never heard of this movie, you should be glad.

Okay, now that the existential crisis is over, let’s launch into Chapter 6, entitled “The Promise of the Zorita’s Eyes.” Wow. I…I’m stunned. That chapter title was horrible. I’ve heard math majors come up with better-sounding and more creative chapter titles than that (apologies to you math majors out there that do not fit the left-brained stereotype).

I think I’m going to learn from last time and check the chapter length. And…oh, dear. Um…this one’s probably going to be another two-parter. I’m starting to think that there’s more wrong with this book than what’s even in the book. I think I must hate myself.

So, the winged lady “lights before them.” What. I do not think that word means what you think it means. Did she lightly land before them? Did she illuminate before them? I’m gonna guess that this was a typo. But anyway, the other Zorita follow her, and Link stares at them with awe and curiosity, like Sarita when she was “studying some new corner of the wood.”

…Yeah, I don’t think I’m going there.

Instead of trying to describe these abominations of nature for you, I think I’ll let the author do it herself.

Wings folded, it looked as though long, shallow turtle shells rested upon their backs. Moonlit water droplets glistened like thousands of miniature aquamarines upon their blue-green skin. Their faces, noses, and ears were long, angular, bearing an elven sort of elegance, as did their arms, legs, and the graceful fins arching from both wrists and ankles. Silver hair spilled down the backs of the ladies, while the silver locks of the men was cut in short, tight ringlets. Their eyes gleamed like sapphires, just as inquisitively as Link felt his must look.

This description is not only hard to figure out, but seems to differ from both the Rito and the Zora. I really don’t get this. It’s…okay, how can something like that look beautiful? I’m thinking either of a blue-green elf with fins and a turtle shell, or a cross between a bird-person and fish-person. Whichever one I think of, it I have a mental image of an abomination of nature.  You know what?  Let’s see if we can try to figure out what they look like.

This is a Zora

This is a Rito

This is a Zorita, as interpreted by the lovely Broeckchen.  It looks like nothing out of this world.  Or our of Hyrule, either.

Link gets praised by the fish-bird-woman and blushes. Umkay. I hope it’s the praise, but then again, he did describe the Zorita as “lovely.”

A sentence of description/prose ends with a quotation mark. Okay, that’s a small mistake that I’ve made in the past. Of course, if you’re going to publish this for people to read, you may want to do a bit of proofreading first.

So the Zorita is named Ava, and she’s the princess of the Zorita. Because if you can’t just take an old character’s name and change it a bit, you could always just take the base of avian/aviation/aviate/whatever-word-that-has-to-deal-with-flying-this-is. Still, I’d take that over Joller. Anyway, Ava and her people have been patiently yet anxiously yet paradoxically waiting for him to arrive. You cannot be both patient and anxious for something. The two are opposites. I think I see what you’re saying. You just didn’t say it right.

So the author evidently read my complaints last chapter about how the Zorita being able to swim and fly is physically impossible. She provides an explanation! I’m shocked! Here’s how it works: when they fold their wings, the feathers fold inside. They are protected from water by a lightweight, waterproof leather, which is evidently airtight and keeps the feathers from getting wet. They can fold or unfurl them in an instant for quick transitions from water to air to water. It’s actually a very nice explanation. I can only find one minor flaw, which is that wings do not fucking work that way! Wings like this are either leathery (like a bat’s), or feathery (like a bird’s). The two function in completely different ways. If the wings are feathery, having leather on them would ruin the aerodynamics. If they’re leathery wings, then having feathers on them would weigh them down too much. There is a reason that animals that fly aren’t particularly aquatic, and vice versa.

wings

Clearly, the two types of wings don’t really function the same way.

Ava walks up to a wall, checks it, and then walks through it. It’s evidently a hidden entrance of some sort. Now, the first question I have is why didn’t Ava explain this instead of just walking through and expecting Midna and Link to follow? They sit there a few seconds completely confused. A quick “By the way, this wall is a hidden entrance, so don’t be surprised that we can just walk through it” would help. The second question I have is how does this work? I mean, it’s not exactly explained. It’s just…a wall that they can walk through. It’s obvious that the wall isn’t really there, but it’s never explained how it works. Is it magic? Is it an optical illusion? A hologram? I demand an explanation. But I won’t get one.

So they reach the Zorita village. Admittedly, the geography does make some sense. They live on cliffs (like the Rito), but there are places where it drops off into the ocean, where they presumably swim.

Also, there’s grass there that greets their feet “like old friends embracing them in a tight, comforting hug.” Um…okay? I dunno, I’ve never really been hugged by grass before. But hey, it’s your analogy. I mean, it’s a bad one, but hey, your choice. Also, it’s been what, two days since they’ve been in Kokiri forest? Was there no grass there? I mean, I get that you say that there were brambles and whatnot, but still. And are they not wearing shoes? Why not? I mean, they were just walking around in the rocky canyons. Most importantly, is two days enough time away from any sort of grass that it suddenly becomes orgasmic to be around again? Because here in the Midwest, we have this thing called “winter.” When “winter” comes around, there’s this white, powdery, cold stuff called “snow” that covers all the grass for about a quarter of every year. We somehow manage to be fine. I mean, we get pretty excited every spring, but come on. It’s grass. We get over it. Two days without grass is not enough for anyone to miss it.

I get off to this every night.

The person that they are quite obviously going to learn this part of the song from is a Zorita named Asher, a wise, laid-back dude. I’ve gotta admit, I kinda like him, if just because he’s the only original character who actually seems to have any personality.

He explains that the Zorita were once the Zora, and then evolved into the Rito, and then evolved into the Zorita, a cross between the two. There’s one problem I have with this: evolution does not fucking work like that! Why go from fish to birds and then to fish-birds? Wouldn’t it be easier to cut out the middle step and go straight to the hybrid, if it’s evolutionarily superior? That’s like if humans were to suddenly become half-monkey again. Sure, it’d be great to have opposable thumbs on our feet and to climb really well, but we’ve evolved past monkeys for a reason. If it were more beneficial for our survival to be a hybrid between what we were and what we are now, we never would have evolved past it in the first place. Congratulations. You just drove a biologist to suicide. I hope you’re fucking happy.

Clearly the superior species.

Also, the paragraph that describe the process proved that the author have no idea how to using tense.

So evidently the (not exactly) first Link, the Hero of Time, spent the rest of his days living in Termina. Only there were evidently two Links created…the past Link and the future Link. Um, not quite. Future Zelda removed Future Link from the timeline by sending him back to the past. And they certainly didn’t live simultaneously or anything. So what you’re essentially saying, author, is that you believe that the split timeline is canon, but don’t care enough to figure out which game falls under which timeline? I mean, there are some arguments, but there are also some cases where it’s pretty impossible and by having the child and adult timelines exist in the same universe you oh dear I’ve gone cross-eyed.

Well.  That was bad.  But it’s about to get worse.  A lot worse.

Seriously.  A lot worse.  This is your last chance to turn back.  But if you hate yourself as much I clearly hate myself, come back next week, when you will lose any faith you may have had in this story.

Andy

Published in: on February 19, 2011 at 3:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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FangQuest, Chapter 1

So the first thing that happens is we’re introduced to this wolf named “Blackfang.” Not too impressive of a name, if you ask me, and one that makes little sense. Does he have a black fang or something? Because now would be a good time to describe that. So, anyway, he gets dressed. I suppose we’re supposed to assume he’s anthropomorphic, and not a literal wolf that walks on four legs.

We are then introduced to Blackfang’s older brother, whose name (Runtskull) makes Blackfang’s look good by comparison. Despite being smaller, he is older. However, it’s implied that they come from the same litter, so it makes little sense.

Anyway, Runtskull’s name. It’s explained that he appears to be a runt, but there was a smaller one, born at the same time, who is a smaller runt. So why is he named “runt,” when he wasn’t? Or does Runtskull mean he has a small head? And if so, does that indicate that he’s stupid? I don’t know, because he doesn’t seem to have any sort of personality. But anyway, are all the names just Adjective-body part? Because the next time I see a character with that stupid naming theme, I’m going to cut myself.

Runtskull says that their mother is back with food. The mother’s name, surprisingly, does not follow the pattern. However, that’s not necessarily a good thing, as the name “Dirtsnow” sounds like a euphemism for shitting outside in the winter.

After it is explained (with no purpose) that Blackfang likes snitching food and that watermelons have flesh (which I’m going to assume is, contrary to the common use of flesh to describe the outer layer of something, the fruit and not the rind), we are introduced to the father, Alpha. Alpha, as a name, actually makes sense, seeing as they’re a pack. This name was a welcome sight. Too bad I’ve seen it so many other places before. Alpha is evidently a champion knife fighter.

Barkfur (now where’d I leave that tree branch again?), another sibling of Blackfang, enters. I suppose that her name makes more sense, as she at least has bark-colored fur. She’s followed by Blast, yet another sibling, with a name that doesn’t follow a pattern and seems to be a reference to his occupation. He works in a forge, which they apparently own. Is it their business? I don’t know. It’s never explained why they have a forge. Blackfang goes off with his brother, but not before insisting that he be fetched before they ate…which I assume they would have done anyway.

Blast and Blackfang work in the forge, where we learn that Blast hammers with “taps of accuracy and potency that seemed gentle enough to caress a newborn.” I’m not entirely sure our author knows the meaning of potency, as that’s generally not the word I think of when I’m thinking about handling newborns. Of course, I don’t think of the word accuracy either, but that’s because it’s completely unrelated.

So the two impressively manage to create a dagger in an hour—sorry, nearly an hour—and then eat. The wolflets decide that they will be going to Silver Lake to meet friends for dinner. I’ll assume for the sake of the story that the friends they’re meeting (an otter, a cardinal, and a squirrel), are friends they’re going to eat with, and not just eat.

Yeah, the copyright and source are already there.  I don’t think I need to tell you who credit goes to.

Also, there happens to be a full moon. So they’re probably wolves just for today. Or probably not, actually. Werewolves still come to mind, though.

So they take off that evening, when the full moon is rising and yet somehow there’s still a sunset. Curious. Then, the colors seem to chase off clouds. Also curious, seeing as the sky was cloudless just a paragraph or two earlier. And again, there are shooting stars. Which streak into the sun. So they can see the stars while the sun is still out. Am I the only one completely confused by this description?

Anyway, this is a night they plan to remember for the rest of their lives. Because it also happens to be the night that their family is ambushed, their father killed, and their mother taken hostage. So, yeah. I can see it now. “Hey, Blackfang, remember that one night with the sunset that defied all logic?” “Yeah. For some reason, I think something else happened on that night too, but I can’t quite remember.” “Meh, must not have been that important or life-changing.” “You’re probably right. But man, that sunset!

So while some of them chat, some play with wooden cards, and the bird stares into the fire, half debating what it would be like to be a flame, half staring at his hands and wondering why they’re doing such strange things. We have no idea how big they are in relationship to one another. Are they proportional to what their real-life counterparts would be? Are they the same size? I don’t know, and it still plagues me how a squirrel and a wolf can comfortably use the same deck of cards.

One thing about this universe: they eat fish. Now, why just fish, I don’t know. Probably because the concept completely rips off of Brian Jacques (though the squirrel evidently has the decency to admit it via his name), and in the Redwall books, they eat fish. How big are these fish, relatively? Again, we don’t know.

After the meal, we are informed that they tell stories and then have a race. We don’t get to hear the stories, and we don’t see the race. I suppose they maybe count as character development, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what part of their characters they’re developing.

We then shift to a scene where we that the wolves’ surname is “Timburwolfe.” Because changing one letter of “timberwolf” and then adding an “e” at the end is so original and not retarded in any way. But I digress. Evidently, the…um…“Timburwolfes” (shudder) have two more kids, Kebolt and Markrew, who prefer to be known by the less ridiculous but more out-of-place nicknames Ken and Mark. Instead of greeting her sons, Dirtsnow shoves drinks at them while the two just stand and look at each other. Because when I’ve been gone at sea for a while and come back to see my mother, I prefer just staring at her to a warm, loving embrace. Boy, family reunions must be awkward for them.

They explain that their ship needed repairs (which was, conveniently, very nearby), immediately after which, Alpha gets shot. So that explains why the welcome was so cold—they were trying to kill their parents! Oh, wait, they weren’t. That was just an extremely misleading passage. Which, for our author’s sake, I’ll assume was done on purpose.

So the wolflets hear the scream and run back, which takes a few minutes. Evidently, even though they’re wolves and should have heightened senses, they can’t see things that are only about a mile away like we can, because they only notice that there’s been a struggle after they’ve arrived. Maybe it was just really, really hilly.

Anyway, Alpha (AKA the only character with a relatively sane name) is dead. He has evidently been “sliced, stabbed, and severely whipped with arrows protruding from his body.” Am I a horrible person for questioning whether he was sliced, stabbed, and whipped with the arrows themselves?

Dirtsnow is gone, although she has somehow managed to run inside, grab parchment, and write a good deal while they’re under attack. Mark and Ken are semi-conscious, so they’re either plot important (which, since they appear about five times combined in the first half of the book, they’re not), or because they weren’t worth killing.

Blackfang reads the note, which, coincidently happens to be for him and not for any of his older siblings. Evidently he is his mother’s only hope (okay, the line cuts off, but we know that’s what she was going to say anyway). Why him and not any of his siblings? Because he’s the protagonist. And quite possibly just like the author. Only in furry form. But I digress again.

Along with the note that quite a bit more verbose than I would have attempted while people fired arrows at me, his mother has also left him a necklace that turns his eyes green. Which is important. Somehow. Okay, I lied, it’s actually sort of pointless. But it’s cool, at least. Or it would be, if it were a movie. Which it’s not. So it’s not cool at all.

Thus concludes Chapter 1: The Green Stone. What will happen in Chapter 2? Does Blackfang do the sensible thing and chase after his mother immediately since they’re only a few minutes behind? Does the prose start making sense? Do we gain insight on any of the characters? Find out next time!

Or now. The answer to all three is no.

Published in: on February 17, 2011 at 12:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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FangQuest, Introduction

 

In honor of Brian Jacques’ recent passing, I’m going to be reviewing FangQuest, a Redwall “homage” by Daniel Jones.  Now, Daniel is actually a good friend of mine (or as good of a friend as you can be over the internet, that is), and he’s given his permission for me to do this.

Now, I’ve started FangQuest in the past, and I’ve done a bit of sporking of it, so this isn’t a fully blind readthrough like Silent Hero is (although I do make a few small edits to Silent Hero before I upload).  But I haven’t finished it, and I don’t really remember much of it (it’s not all that memorable).

So what is FangQuest?  Well, FangQuest is a self-published work of original fiction about a wolf named Blackfang and his siblings and friends and this secret society and stones of some sort.  It’s not bad on the level of Silent Hero, but it’s pretty much a Redwall ripoff that’s even blander than the Redwall novels tended to be. 

Unfortunately, I can’t provide a link to a PDF file.  I personally got it free when I joined the forums and downloaded the file to check it out, back when I thought that Daniel was still a complete tool/egomaniac (which he might have been.  I dunno).  Unfortunately, the forums are defunct and it’s no longer available for free download, so you can’t read along.  If Daniel gives his permission, perhaps there’ll be a place for you to download it.  For now, however, you’ll just have to hear my rundown of the story and assume I’m telling the truth.

The first four chapters I wrote out a while ago, so the style might be a bit different.  Also, there’s not as much wrong in general than there is with Silent Hero, so I’ll probably be a bit less angry in this one.  Just to give you fair warning and everything.

Well, chapter one will be uploaded later today.  Look forward to it!

Andy

Published in: on February 16, 2011 at 10:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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Silent Hero, Chapter 5 (2/2)

 

Okay.  Let’s see.  Where were we?

Oh, yes.  Link and Midna were in a temple at the top of Ikana Canyon.  There, they met the Goddess of Time, who may or may not have been Nayru.  Said goddess is about to teach them a song.

Okay, so, she pulls out a harp (just like Nayru played in Oracle of Ages) and Midna, somehow knowing what to do, pulls a silver flute from her cloak. Okay, so she’s got a bow, a rapier, a flute, and who knows what else just on her person. How is none of this visible until she needs it? Does she have an inventory or something where she stores everything? I don’t know, because it’s never fucking explained.

So Midna and the Goddess of Time Who May or May Not be Nayru play a song together. Also, there’s a chorus of voices coming from somewhere. Don’t ask, because I don’t know either. Don’t ask why Link doesn’t bother to learn the song either.

So the song turns out to be called “Midna’s Requiem.” Remember when I stated way back in the second or third chapter that I was totally calling Midna’s death? It’s more or less explicitly stated here for everyone who didn’t know the exact definition of the word “requiem” (like me, admittedly. Shut up. I know now because I look stuff up).

So the Goddess of Time says “I bet you’re wondering why there are two pieces of song in Termina and one in Twilight.” Not really, as I’m sure it’s some arbitrary reason, but I’m also sure we’re going to hear it anyway! And it’s because the holder of the second currently resides in Termina also! No shit! Get outta here! I never would have guessed! But anyway, the holder of the second can evidently travel between realms. The holder of the second is the…um…the…Many-Link?

What? Wait, what? What is what that what I what ever what to what that what of the what in what? What? What? WHAT? The Many-Link? What? What is this I don’t even. This makes about as much sense as the last two episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Congratulations!  You’ve managed to confuse the hell out of everyone!

So the Goddess of Time evidently has a piece of the Triforce (wut?), and gives it Midna, who she refers to as the Princess of the Hero of Time. Um, no. No, no, no! For one thing, Midna was never Link’s princess. She was a princess, yes, but she was the Twilight Princess. You know, like the game that was named after her. And even if you could make the argument that the fact that she and Link may or may not have had something makes her his princess, you’re ignoring the fact that the Link she knew was not the Hero of Time! The Hero of Time was only in Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. Possibly one or two other games, depending on your timeline interpretation. But the Link in Twilight Princess is definitely a different Link. I mean, they don’t even have the same hair color! Midna is not the fucking Princess of the Hero of Time.

Anyway, fanboy rant aside, the Goddess of Time gives Midna the second piece of the Triforce of Wisdom, again hinting that this deity who in no way resembles Nayru is, in fact, Nayru. Again, why a deity would be holding a piece of the Triforce is beyond me. But fuck it, your Earth logic will not help you here. And Midna now has two pieces of the Triforce of Canon Defilement. I mean Wisdom. Do you mind if I ask what the fuck happened to Zelda? Was she not important enough to include in the story? Is she going to be limited to a cameo? That’s kind of rude to the woman who kind of, you know, the series is named for.

Anyway, Zelda probably holds the last piece of the Triforce of Wisdom. Which Midna will almost certainly take from her, because the author has some sort of weird lesbian crush on her on something. The Triforce(s) of Power are obviously held by Ganondorf, Majora, and SaruZant. What I’d like to know is who holds the other two thirds of the Triforce of Courage.

So they look at a warp crystal of some sort (which they recognize immediately—they must be everywhere in all three dimensions or something), which transports them out of the temple. Also, the voice calls again. It evidently doesn’t belong to the Goddess of Time (meaning that the fanfic isn’t entirely predictable). So now I’m gonna take a wild guess (read: the current most obvious guess) and say Zelda.

Well, this is a long chapter, compared to the others. And there’s so much wrong with it.  I mean, I’ve had to split the chapter already.  We’ve reached a text break, which is the perfect place to stop. Now, I want you to do me a favor.  I want you to close your eyes for a few moments and just think about The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (if you think that game is overrated (like me), just choose your favorite game in the series).  Find a happy place for those brief few seconds of time.  Calm again?  Okay.  There’s not much left in this chapter.  Let’s just get this over with.

They end up in Termina Field after teleporting. They arrive at dawn. Link and Midna wonder (and it really doesn’t matter) whether time was reset or whether it’s just the next day. As they set off to find the Zorita (yeah, I still don’t know), they look up at the “sunset shades” in the sky. A sunset. At dawn. What.

They reach the great bay by nightfall. And what do they do? They play the Serenade of Water together. What a stupid, pointless scene. Well, okay, there is some purpose. It launches into some blatant Link/Midna shipping. Also, Midna’s eyes are evidently like two rubies. Really. Those haven’t existed in the Zelda Universe since the CD-i games. And we all know how those are regarded.

It’s sad that I’d rather play this game than read this fanfiction.

So evidently, Link carried a stick around with him. It’s a memento from when he beat Sarita in stick-fencing or something. Yes, he’s the heir of the Hero of Time, and he’s proud of beating a girl at a duel. Of course, we all know the real reason that he carries it around all the time—it’s what he uses to cut himself when he’s not around a forest.

So he uses it to draw Midna a picture in the sand. Midna is upset that he includes Sarita in the drawing. He assures Midna that she’s just a friend. It evidently depresses Midna that he might have something with another girl, so Link offers to spar with her. His rapier (that she gave him) against her, um…stick that he found on the ground. Really, Link? You douche.

Anyway, he starts telling her all these stories (through drawing them, naturally). This would maybe be some great character development if we actually saw it, but we’re just told that he’s sketching out stories of his life and she’s “listening” to them. How she listens to someone who can’t speak is left to the reader’s imagination. I’m assuming that the reader’s imagination would just assume that the author meant “watch” instead of “listen.”

Quoth the blind girl.

Link finishes up with his stories, and Midna decides that she had better reciprocate. But before she can, something leaps out of the water. And then it unfurls wings and stays in the air. Also, Link knows it’s a she because she has long hair. Yes, that makes such logical sense! Especially considering the anime-inspired style of the game! You know, anime, where Dude Looks Like A Lady is so very, very prevalent! It’s not a good indicator in real life, either. Hell, my roommate’s hair is longer than any of my sisters’.

But anyway, these are evidently the Zorita. I’m guessing that they’re a cross between the Zoras and the Rito. This might be a stupid question, but how the hell do they fly and swim at the same time? I’m pretty sure that feathered wings don’t work too well when they’re wet. Are they like flying fish? Because the record for longest flight by a flying fish is less than a minute. Maybe they’re not feathered wings at all. Maybe they’re made of some sort of a leathery substance. That would mean, however, that the Zorita are reptilian. And that just raises further questions.

This chapter was stupid, and way too long. Let me just say that I’m glad it’s over. In fact, the only good thing good about this chapter was that we’re now twenty-five pages into this story. Since the story is ninety-two pages long, simple fractional comparisons tell me that I’m over one fourth done with this story. Thank Farore.

This is the part where I usually tell you what’s on the block for next time.  However, this time, I find myself unable to do so.  The next chapter is so awful, so horribly, terribly bad, that I can’t even give you a hint of what’s to come.  The notes on what’s wrong with this chapter are literally longer than the chapter itself.  I’m not making a joke.  My sporking is longer than the chapter itself.  Brace yourselves for next week, as we take on Chapter 6: The Promise of the Zorita’s Eyes.

Andy

Published in: on February 12, 2011 at 12:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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Coming Soon: FangQuest

 

I’m afraid, folks, that I have very sad news.  Brian Jacques, one of my favorite childhood authors, passed away earlier this week (on February 5, 2011, to be exact).

Brian Jacques is most notable for the series of books set in the Redwall universe.  Admittedly, the books did tend to get a bit repetitive, particularly near the end of its life, but that’s to be expected once it contains twenty-three books.  But to me, these book got me into the fantasy genre.  There’s something about anthromorphic woodland creatures fighting each other that fuels dreams.  My personal favorites were Redwall, Mossflower, Mattimeo, Martin the Warrior, and Lord Brocktree.  Rest in peace, Brian Jacques.  Your books may not always have been the best, but they were always entertaining to read.

And in honor of this wonderful man and his whimsical series, I’m going to be adding a new story to the blog, this one a Redwall “homage” called FangQuest.  It’s a book written by Daniel Jones, a good friend of mine.  Unfortunately, it also sucks (he wrote it and self-published it at fifteen), a fact that he is more than aware of.  But I’ve asked him, and he’s given me permission to spork it.

Again, thank you, Brian Jacques, for being such a big part of my childhood.  Sure, you may have had too much of a thing for riddles and food, and there might have been some unfortunate racial implications, and I admit that there were some plot holes, and it may be true that you technically only had about five books that you just kept rewriting, and that the cash cow was probably dry by the time of your death, but damn if I didn’t love every word of your books.  Thank you so much.

FangQuest will update on Wednesdays.  Silent Hero will continue to update on Saturdays.

Andy

Published in: on February 10, 2011 at 7:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Silent Hero, Chapter 5 (1/2)

 

And now, for chapter five: Goddess of Time. Gee, I wonder if we’re going to meet Nayru in this chapter. Actually, I don’t. What I do wonder is how many other characters are going to pop up for a pointless one-paragraph cameo.

The journey to Ikana begins with a long, monotonous stretch of field, followed by a long, monotonous continuation of bland description that really adds nothing to the mood of the story and serves only to say “look, we’re here now.”

They start climbing through the canyon, and eventually hit a dead end. There is, however, a wooden post with a target painted on it. And Link knows to use the hookshot, not because of common sense but because—get this—it’s mentioned in the legends. Yes. Evidently there’s a part of the legend that goes “And then, at a massive expanse of nothingness, Link came across this wooden post with a target painted on it! Many men had attempted to figure out this obstacle and failed. However, Link used the power of mental thinking to deduce that he had to use the hookshot on this obstacle that was evidently set up for that sole purpose!” You couldn’t have him use it on a tree or anything natural, could you? It had to be a nod to the games worked into the story in a completely unnatural way, didn’t it?

So he fires the hookshot off at the target, and it sticks fast. He then grabs Midna and Star Warses across the gap. Midna is not amused. She calls him an Imp (don’t ask why Imp is capitalized; probably because it’s unsubtle Irony with a capital I) and takes another unnecessary shot at Tingle. Also, if the hookshot’s thingamers stick into the wood like that, how does he get it to release? That’s never really explained, and we’re just supposed to assume that it gets unstuck somehow.

They try to figure out what to do from there, and notice a tile on the spire that’s colored differently and is slightly raised. Evidently stone spires are covered in tiles now. He stands on the tile, and another target post pops out from somewhere. See, this is why video game puzzles shouldn’t be used in books or movies: they sound fucking stupid if they’re not in a video game.

Anyway, they have to figure this puzzle out. They need a block to put on the tile to keep it down, but they don’t have anything. So what does Link do? He pulls out his ocarina and plays a song. Saria’s Song, to be exact. Evidently Sarita is named after Saria, by the way. Doesn’t excuse the lazy naming.

Naturally, a statue of Link appears. Because, as we all know, that’s totally what Saria’s Song does. And not the Elegy of Emptiness. Come on, author. If you’re going to use such canon porn, make sure you get the fucking canon right.

BEN

Fucking up my canon?  You shouldn’t have done that….

They move on, and things start getting confusing. There’s five more spires, and Link keeps playing the song, after which Midna gets frustrated/exhausted and says “nice try.” So…did the song not do anything? I don’t know. He tries a different song, but when he’s about to blow into the ocarina, he hears a voice calling his name. He instinctively reaches down to his belt for a sword. Now, he practices with wooden swords, but I don’t really think he tends to carry one on him. So why would he automatically reach for one? Either way, Midna decides that since the plot forgot to give him a weapon, she’ll hand him a spare rapier she just managed to have on her. Or maybe she pulled it out of her ass, just like with the mirror.

Anyway, the disembodied voice that really isn’t explained says that they’re on the right path, and offers this riddle as an aid: what is done within must be repeated without. Hey, disembodied voice that is pretty obviously Nayru! It’d be a lot more helpful if you just fucking told him what to fucking do!

Evidently, what the riddle meant is that he has to stand on the tile, then step off, and then play the song. Really? Come on. Old Man gives better hints than that. I mean, “there are secrets where fairies don’t live” actually makes sense once you know what to do. This is just a logic-less riddle.

Still makes more sense than “what is done within must be repeated without.”

So they continue the puzzle that would have been tedious even in a game, and reach the temple of the Goddess of Time. Evidently, someone tore down Stone Tower Temple and then built the temple on top of it to essentially piss on the old architectural wonder. I’m not theorizing, by the way…that’s what’s heavily implied to have happened in the story.

It’s at this point that I scroll down the PDF file I’ve been reading it on to check just how long this chapter is. And it’s at this point that I become scared. Very scared. It’s about twice as long as any other chapter so far.

Let’s get back to this train wreck, though. There are several paragraphs of more description that attempt to sound breathtaking, but aren’t. Anyway, they enter the temple and find the Goddess of Time sitting there. She’s dressed in the swooshy billowy type of robes, has apricot eyes (okay, wtf? That’s unusual) and…night-ebony curls?

Okay, where to start? First of all, I think I’m going to include a page dedicated to drinking games. Thank you, the word ebony, for reminding me just how frequently you pop up in bad fiction. Secondly, night-ebony is redundant. Ebony hair would be black. Night-ebony hair would also be black. Plus, night-ebony just sounds stupid. And third, I was under the assumption that the Goddess of Time was Nayru. I mean, that’s who most of the fandom assumes is the Goddess of Time, due largely to Oracle of Ages and the fact that all the time-related magic is blue, Nayru’s color. If this is Nayru, her hair is supposed to be fucking blue, not black. That’s at least three problems contracted all into one small bundle of “night-ebony curls.”

Untitled

This is all I can think of when I hear the word “ebony.”

So evidently, the first Link (again, referring to the Ocarina of Time Link who, again, was not the first one) freed her and allowed her to return to her rightful place in…Termina, I guess. Even though they don’t seem to worship the goddesses in Termina and the only place I’ve heard the Goddesss of Time mentioned is in Hyrule.

Excuse me for a moment while I find some tree branches to go cut myself with.

Well, the next part of this chapter contains blatant foreshadowing, Link being an asshole, and the fucking dumbest name for anything ever.  You’ve been warned in advance, but I’d prefer you still come back so that my self-torture isn’t all pointless.

Andy

Published in: on February 5, 2011 at 12:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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