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.

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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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Silent Hero, Chapter 4

 

Chapter four, then: A True Fairy. Lemme guess—Tingle’s in this chapter, right? Oh fucking boy.

So, Link’s holding tightly to Midna’s hand as they fall, though not out of fear. Because the fear has dissipated and given way to excitement and…wait, wait, wait, back up a second. Are we not allowed to know why he’s holding Midna’s hand so tightly? Is it the adrenaline boost? Because that’s kinda stupid. Is it that he likes her? I don’t know; it’s never fucking explained.

Admittedly, I’d like to give the author props for the entrance into Termina. It’s actually very well done. Essentially what happens is that they jump off a cliff into nothingness, and pieces of the world appear and start falling with them, as if the world is solidifying. The lines of reality start blurring, and they don’t every land in Termina—they just notice that they stopped falling at some point. It’s pretty cool, and while it’s a concept never used in a Zelda game, it seems like it’d fit in it very well. I can imagine that that’s what teleportation is like.

And then she ruins all the magic by making Tingle the very first thing they encounter in Termina.

Wheeeee….

It’s quite clear that Tingle’s only purpose in this story is for the author to vent about how much she hates him. She channels Midna and slanders him in every way possible. Yes, we get it. Tingle is annoying. You don’t have to rub it in our faces. It’s painful to read. It’s not important to the plot. If you hate him, you could have just, oh, I don’t know, left him out of the story. Wait, no, on second thought, that would be giving him too much honor. I mean, if I were a Zelda character, I’d absolutely love to be left out of this.

But Tingle can’t just be annoying. Oh, no, he has to be waaaaaay more creepy. Evidently, he has “connections” and “favor” with the Great Fairies. Those quotation marks aren’t mine, by the way. The author added them in. Yeah. And Tingle evidently is hitting on Midna. Sweet Nayru, does this author ever need to get over her hatred of Tingle.

So they head to see the Great Fairy. I sort of forgot to mention that Midna has a bow, mostly because I didn’t pay it much mind. But Link did. He laments that he didn’t bring weapons on this “epic—and epic-ly dangerous—quest.” Listen, do you even know what the word epic means? Because the quest you’re writing isn’t exactly epic. And as for “epic-ly” dangerous—okay, so what’s happened so far? You jumped down a hole and talked to a strange man that the author hates. Really, the only thing that’s posed either of them any danger are Link’s cutting branches.

So there’s some scenery porn, and some guy is evidently selling a creature called a “rogue tomato.” Yeah. Midna acts snarky, and, like he’s done about five times already, Link grins. Because that seems to be the only thing he’s capable of doing in this story.

They reach Termina’s famous clock tower and go inside, evidently forgetting that that’s not where the Great Fairy is. Inside is the Happy Mask Salesman, who spews bullshit about why he’s here and that he’s some sort of guardian spirit and blah, blah, blah. I know there’s a lot of theories on what exactly the Happy Mask Salesman is, but I never really thought “guardian spirit.” I mean, he got a mask of incredible power stolen from him by a little imp. Really, I found him to be much more sinister. Maybe he’s the reincarnation of Majora, atoning for misdeeds of the past. Maybe he’s a future villain setting the whole thing up to test Link’s capabilities. Maybe I’m just rattling off theories now to avoid going back to reading that bullshit.

Clearly the face of a trustworthy man.  Clearly.

So, the Happy Mask Salesman goes on about how Link’s the Hero and whatnot and tells him that his quest will mirror the old Hero’s in “unexpected ways.” If it’s mirroring his quest, then nothing’s really going to be unexpected, is it? In the author’s defense, though, pretty much everything that happens in this story is unexpected, just because I don’t care enough to expect anything.

And then the Mask Dude bows and vanishes. Erm, question, author. What the hell was the point of all that? If you’re going to force a cameo, at least make it somewhat relevant. To accommodate this cameo, the author had to assume that the Happy Mask Salesman is somehow immortal (come to think of it, that’s what she implied with Tingle as well) and force Midna and Link to abandon their quest for no reason other than sightseeing. I suppose you could argue that the Happy Mask Salesman healed his soul or something and made him less emo. In that case, thank Farore, but then the angst riddled cutting branches scene was even more pointless than it already was.

Okay, right. So. Link goes to gather that one spare fairy at the laundry pool, somehow knowing that that’s what he’ll need to do despite the fact that Termina seems to be mostly fine and that without the Skull Kid causing mischief, there is no fucking reason for the Great Fairies to have been broken apart. And then Midna does this hilarious thing where she breaks the fourth wall. Here, just read it:

Really?” Midna scoffed. “So, in this ‘version’ of the story, the Hero just uses his Triforce symbol to lure the fairies. I mean, that’s a lot easier than the original Link running around wearing that retarded Great Fairy’s mask. Because, no offense, but she was a little freaky looking—especially on Link’s head…”

Either the author is inadvertently pointing out her own story’s flaws, or she’s just given up. I hope it’s the latter, but I suspect, largely due to the fact that there are still about 80 pages left, that it’s the former. Also, Midna, that’s the wrong Link. You know, the Link you didn’t seem to know about when you were in Twilight Princess and never would have had the opportunity to meet. Man, reading this story is like getting raped in the ass by Ganondorf’s sword.

So after a purple-haired girl in a yellow mask almost knocks them over (okay, please tell me that’s not supposed to be a reference to the blue-haired male Kafei), they go to North Clock town and briefly see Tingle again. Joy. At least he’s more normal this time and not an “I’ll get you, my pretty!” stalker.

So they meet the Great Fairy, blah, blah, their “time must be short” because the author has to force more cameos, blah, more plot exposition about how they have to get the three songs. They’ve gotta go visit Nayru at Ikana, and then go visit the…Zorita? The…the Zorita? Um…okay?

Anyway, she finishes up with her exposition and…dissolves in a…golden rain? Okay, seriously. What the fuck? Does the author not realize just what the fuck she just said?

Picture somewhat related.

Anyway, before she dissolves into fucking piss, she gives Link a hookshot. He checks it out. It’s the same one that Dampe gave Link. It’s in pretty good condition, considering that it’s most likely several centuries old by this point.

And that brings us to the end of the first four chapters. Four chapters in, and I can barely take any more of this. Sweet Nayru.

We’ve actually got a special treat—Chapter 5 is so long and so bad that we’re going to have to split it into two separate posts.  In the first part, we’ll see oddly ambiguous characters, oddly specific legends, and proof that video game mechanics don’t work so well when they’re written.

Andy

Published in: on January 30, 2011 at 1:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Silent Hero, Chapters 2 and 3

 

Chapter 2 is entitled “Timeless Maiden.” It opens with an overly-long description of Midna, returning in her non-imp form. And of course, because original dialogue is so hard to write, she simply references a line from Twilight Princess, asking if she’s so beautiful that he still has nothing to say. And then she’s proceeds to be a complete asshole to him by saying “Oh, you’re not my Link” and then expressing gladness at the fact that he’s mute. Wow. Okay, so that’s not how it was supposed to come across, and Midna always was kinda rude in the games, but…wow. What a bitch.

So Midna ropes Link into a quest, because hey, why not? The call to adventure has to come somehow. Link, self-loathing person he is, agrees to accompany her. Because hey, it’ll be even better than using branches to cut himself. Midna, evidently, has some connection to Termina. Hey, remember that reference that places this in the Wind Waker timeline? We should maybe ignore that, because evidently, Majora’s Mask happened in this timeline. So what we’ve got here are pretty much the only two games that canonically could not have happened in the same timeline happening in the same timeline. What.

So something’s bugging me just a little. Evidently, this Link is completely mute. Not, you know, normal mute. He literally does not seem to have vocal chords. If this is supposed to be true to the games, keep in mind that Link is very famous for his “Hyyyah!” yells that he always does. He’s not a full mute. So, yeah. That’s gonna be a bit annoying, and is going to make characterization quite a bit difficult. Can our author pull off a believable, identifiable Link? My money’s on no.

Anyway, as they’re going, Midna decides to give him some exposition. And we launch into chapter three.

Chapter three is titled…oh…oh, sweet Farore. “Neverending Story.” Oh, merciful Nayru, I hope not. Oh, Din, please let that be a metaphor for something in-story.

No good stories were harmed in the making of this fanfic.  Except for The Legend of Zelda.

Midna begins her story with a huge paradox. Evidently, Good and Evil (naturally, there are never any shades of gray) are locked in some eternal struggle, kind of like they always are. Evidently, as long as Good outweighs Evil, the world will continue, but once Evil outweighs good, everything gets destroyed, Evil is vanquished, and those who are Good ascend or something. Okay, question: why the hell does anyone choose Evil? It sounds like a pretty raw deal to me. I mean, even if you win, you lose.

Oh, and also, Minda’s like a sage too or something. Just like Saria. Er…Sarita. Calling this now, by the way: Midna’s totally gonna die.

So Midna provides probably some of the most boring exposition ever, and then says (surprise, surprise) that Link is the Heir to the original Link. Which I guess is the Ocarina of Time one, although it’s so totally not. And…oh, no. No. No. The Triforce just appears on his hand. It wasn’t there before. But now that Midna thinks he’s a hero or something, it just appears out of fucking nowhere. Majora’s balls, no. Just no. No. That is the worst no that I ever no no no no no. No.

So. Anyway. Midna tells him some bullshit about three songs he has to collect, because…well, because, and then shows her piece of Triforce. Yeah. Really. Evidently, the Triforce symbol has broken down into smaller triforce pieces. It’s like Sierpinski’s Triforce or something, only it hopefully doesn’t keep breaking down infinitely.

Like this.  Only yellow.

So Midna starts going on about this Twilit guy called Saru—er, Zaruman, who evidently deceived her or something and tried to marry her but decided to take things by force instead or something. I don’t really care. What I do care about is that Midna somehow managed to reassemble the Mirror of Twilight. She thought it was impossible, but she learned. Personally, I think that it’s a different mirror altogether, and she came across it when the author pulled it out of her ass. By the way, I’ve been wondering…why exactly did the Mirror of Twilight appear in Kokiri Forest? Isn’t that sort of not where it’s supposed to be?

So they reach the stump that marks the entrance to Termina, and Midna finally offers up the answer everyone wants to know: why the hell do they need to go to Termina? Naturally, it’s because two parts of that song are in Termina. Of course, the real reason is because the author liked Majora’s Mask and wants to put in as many references as possible.

As they find the entrance, they jump down the rabbit hole, just to see how far it goes. Okay, it sounds like I’m being harsh, there, but that’s how it happens in Majora’s Mask, too. And now the chapter’s ended!

I’m so glad that I’m already a whole…ninth of the way through this book.  Well.  Shit.  This is…this is gonna feel loooooong. I mean, it’s only 92 pages, but it really does feel like an endless story already.  *sigh*.  Well, join me next time as we take on Chapter 4, along with pointless cameos, unintentional innuendos, and…ugh.  And…*shudders*…Tingle.

Tingle.  Fucking Tingle.  Bring a helmet, folks.  You’ll need it for when you’re continuously banging your head on the desk.

Published in: on January 22, 2011 at 11:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Silent Hero, Prologue and Chapter 1

Okay, now we dive into the prologue, entitled “Creation.” It’s essentially just a retelling of the Hyrule creation myth laid out in Ocarina of Time. The writing still doesn’t feel like anything special.  Just a prologue.

And now we’re on to “Part 1.” Oh. Great. There’s parts. Anyway, Part 1, Chapter 1: The Lost Hero.

The LOST hero.

So now we’re getting exposition about Kokiri Forest. You know, for a story that evidently doesn’t feature Link, it’s feeling a lot like an Ocarina of Time novelization so far. Also, evidently the Ocarina of Time Link is known as the “Great Hero of All Times,” instead of the more canonical and much less wordy “Hero of Time.”

So evidently this exposition (which I largely expect to be pointless in the long run) is a legend being told by the Kokiri named Joller. Kind of a dumb name, but maybe that’s just me. There’s apparently some sort of festival going on in Kokiri Forest. At least, it had better be in Kokiri Forest, as the Kokiri kind of can’t leave.

And Link’s evidently there. Great. So they’re telling legends about a guy who’s right there.

Aaaaaaaand what the fuck? It sounds like an Ocarina of Time reference, but no, this evidently takes place in the future in the Wind Waker timeline. Really. And evidently the Kokiri are green-skinned now. Okay, seriously, I’m a bit lost now. When does this story take place? Is it in New Hyrule (the one in Spirit Tracks), because I don’t think the remains of Kokiri Forest are there. Unless the land sprung back and everyone decided “hey, let’s completely abandon this nation and go back to Old Hyrule!”

And it seems like this story’s protagonist is, in fact, Link. But a different Link. Okay, this is my fault. I should have seen that this is what the author meant by Link’s heir, since there are about seven different confirmed Links at this point in Nintendo canon. And he’s mute, like some people believe Link is. And he’s angsting over how he feels so left out because he can’t sing, meaning that he’s evidently a complete outcast. Couldn’t he just, oh, I dunno, play an instrument? I don’t think the Kokiri would have a problem with that. I mean, they’ve been shown to play ocarinas and violins in the past at the very least.

And sweet Nayru, this is the angstiest Link I’ve ever seen. No, seriously, read this:

Quietly, he stole up the hill, slipping into the thick of the woods like an insignificant shadow. Long ago he’d mastered the art of complete silence. Why not? With no voice, at least that was one talent he could manage to master. Rushing past the trees, he was careless as their branches scraped his skin, burning with small scratches and tears. He didn’t care; the pain felt good. It allowed the pain of his heart to ease just a little, to be replaced, if but temporarily. The burning of those small scars helped him to blink back fiery tears of scars buried much deeper within himself…

Really? You’re going to turn Link into an angry person with emotional pain who loves hurting himself because it makes him somehow feel better? Sweet Nayru, how long until he starts writing poetry about the dark miasma of his soul?

“This knife doesn’t hurt enough.  Now if only I had some branches….” (Image credit to tinzuka95)

Thankfully, he’s yanked out of this emo-fest by his friend…oh, no. Oh, Din, no. Sarita? Really? No! That’s lazy, even by fanfiction standards. Is he going to meet a redheaded farm girl named Marlon or the princess’s attendant Inpa?* No! Good Lord, this “fan novel” is starting to make me as emo as its protagonist.

So…Sarita…decides to snap him out of it by telling him that he’s good at other things that don’t involve talking, and says that everyone thinks he looks so much like the ancient Hero. Yes, someone who they almost certainly have never met, since he was long dead by the time they evolved into barklings and back. I must have missed the part in the games where the Kokiri erected a giant statue of him that has somehow managed not to be lost underwater when Hyrule flooded.

Link decides that he feels better and only wants a few more minutes of whining (as opposed to hours), so Sarita (who has been compared to a sage twice already…you know, a sage, like Saria was in Ocarina of Time!  Did you catch that, guys?  Did you catch it?  It’s so subtle, I barely caught it myself!) lets him go off into the woods. Link decides to spend that time thinking about trees. Then a star crashes into the earth or something, and he goes to check it out, seeing a queen of some sort step out of a mirror.

And that’s where the chapter ends!  Stay tuned for asspulls, the logical fallacies of choosing the side of evil, and the worst handling of the Triforce ever as we review chapters 2 and 3!

Andy

*Note: For those not familiar with the Legend of Zelda series, these names are a reference to Malon and Impa, two characters who share roles with their theoretical counterparts I came up with on the spot.

Published in: on January 14, 2011 at 3:09 pm  Comments (2)  
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Welcome to BARF!

Hey, everyone.  If you’re reading this, then you’re obviously going through this blog in chronological order.  Or you’ve just somehow managed to stumble across the site before I get anything up.  Anyway, I’m Andy, and I’ll be reviewing crappy fiction.  I’m not talking about published stuff here.  No, if it’s published, there are always some redeemable qualities to it.  I’m talking more along the lines of fanfiction and self-published novels.  Almost everything I review is available for free viewing/download somewhere or another, so you can read along if you like.  But then again, why would you want to?

I’m sure that some of you have heard of Sturgeon’s Law, which states that 90% of everything is crap.  Often times, it’s added that the remaining 10% is worth dying for.  You will not find that 10% here.  What you will find here is the worst of the worst.  The unimaginative, the poorly handled, the unfunny, and worst of all, the boring.  These stories are not going to be fun to read.  They will be a trial.  But what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger, right?  So let’s dive into the worst of the worst to learn from their mistakes.

Andy

Published in: on January 8, 2011 at 10:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Silent Hero, Introduction and Blurb

So, recently, I came across a little book called “Silent Hero: a Fan Novel Based on Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda.” It’s a fan novel written by Christine E. Schulze available for free download on the Nook and a few other places. I’m a huge Legend of Zelda fan, so naturally, I wanted to at least check this out.

So my first thought, naturally, is “what makes this a fan novel and not just a fanfiction?” I came to the conclusion that it’s because it’s been actually published in a non-print format and is available for free distribution.

Oh, wait.

Okay, so maybe I’m getting too judgmental. I mean, less than a hundred pages is hardly a “novel,” but it could still be a perfectly good story. But I doubt it. That’s why I’m dedicating myself to reading it, and doing a very in-depth snarky review as I go. Shall we begin?

Let’s start with the blurb/intro. The Triforce has evidently been broken into nine pieces this time, instead of three. Let’s see…alongside the Triforce of Wisdom, Courage, and Power, I’m guessing we’ll have the Triforces of Filler, Angst, Unnecessary Awesome, More Filler, Poor Writing, and A Love Interest For Link Who’s Totally Not An Insert Of The Female Author. But hey, that’s just a guess. I could be wrong.

Anyway, this evidently mashes up the plots of Ocarina of Time (because if you’re writing a novelization, it’s always Ocarina of Time), Majora’s Mask, and Twilight Princess. Fun.

So we’ve got Link and Zelda described in vague, “poetic” terms, and then we get to our villains:

These two Heroes against three great enemies: Ganondorf, Majora, and the young, ambitious Zaruman, who connects both guardians and enemies of the three realms in ways which the heir of Link could never imagine…

Well, it’s still early…I could maybe overlook an awkward sentence fragment just once. Also, you kinda misspelled “Saruman.” Seriously, was Zant not a good enough villain for you? Apart from that, there’s…wait. Wait, wait, waitwaitwait.

…the heir of Link? Really? You’re dropping Link out of the story and replacing him with his son? Really? This just screams “bad fanfiction.”

Buuuuuuut, moving on, let’s finish this intro/blurb thing:

In a race against time and in a mission which breaks the boundaries of time, Hero and Princess must combine courage and wisdom to collect the notes of a powerful requiem and use their knowledge of the ancient legends to press forward and resurrect a mighty weapon from Hyrule’s past. Aided by a strange voice, Great Fairies, and their own intuition, will they succeed like the Hero who came before them? Can darkness and light converge without creating shadow?

Wow. This is the most vague, awkwardly worded blurb I’ve ever read. This is supposed to be something that your reader sees once and thinks “awesome,” not something your reader has to look over five times before thinking “screw it.”

Well, that brings the intro/burb thing to an end. After that there’s the legal stuff and whatnot, in which this is clearly stated to be fanfiction. Also, if you’re reading this story without purchasing it, you’re evidently supposed to return it and buy a copy. But it’s free. What.

Well, that’s over. Let’s hold our breaths and plunge in.  Next time, we’ll see canon rape, angst, and the most unnecessary name change ever as we look over the prologue and the first chapter.

Andy

Published in: on January 8, 2011 at 9:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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