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Your review on the last game-based fan fiction you read.


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I don't know whether this thread should be here or in the Creative, Written Word, or Entertainment sections. (Mods, please move this to the appropriate forum if necessary.)
Anyway, here is a thread to start reviews of any good (or so-bad-it's-good) game-based fan fiction members here have read. Perhaps this could be examples of good fan fics, or it could be recommendations of good ones to read. As my example below shows, the fan fic does not have to be from Fire Emblem, and I think we'll have to restrict it to those not published in this forum (as there is already a forum section for that).
Since last year, I have been playing catch up on the Zelda games, starting with Ocarina of Time 3DS. Getting through the 1/3DS games first, I decided to play Hyrule Warriors next, which I bought the game in January this year. I finished the main story sometime in April, although there is still a lot to go with the Adventure map. Partly to start reading examples of fanfic to eventually start writing one myself, but also seeing recommendations at TV Tropes and getting curious, I decided to read And So We Fight, a novelization of Hyrule Warriors, written by The Fighting Irishman. This is an interim review as I came to the first interlude chapter. (Chapter 11 out of 46)

Overall, I am enjoying the novelization so far as an elaborate take on the story in the game. There is already some good world building, both through the main story and through the "Hylian Codex" which lists and explains the different terminology at the end of each chapter. While we only see glimpses of the Hyrule setting, and characters in the game, here, we already have an entire royal court dealing with politics and diplomacy, as well as Hyrule's culture and lore tying into the past era (drawing from the past Zelda games). At the same time, there is obviously a good sense of respect for the main story from the game, which adds to the charm of the chapters I have read.

The characters, likewise, are better drawn out here. For example, both Zelda and Impa have their childish or unflattering moments in Chapter 2 (Prologue 2) which adds to their human-side of their character, with Zelda being less than proficient in waking up in the morning without a cranky mood, and Impa not quite above playfully insulting Zelda. Then there is the Hyrulian Court which so far shows two major noblemen dealing with court politics, and one of them, Lord Grantham, takes an active part in the story, further adding realism. We also have a number of original characters, including the aforementioned Lord Grantham, and the brave and reckless Ishaka with his merry men and women. They have their unique characters, but they also leave enough writing space and prominence for the canon characters, and each character seem significant in their own right.
The pacing seems to be more or less in line with the actual game so far, with 1-2 extra chapter added to better connect the story's chapters (or the main game's stages). Quite aptly, this is where the political decisions have been made.
On a less positive note, I've struggled to read some of the fighting scenes written. For example, at the moment, I am reading Chapter 12, which featured Impa and King Darunia duking it out against each other, and there were a couple of times which I had to re-read a couple of passages to make sense of what Impa was doing against King Darunia. Another instance was how Ishaka battled against Manhandla in Chapter 10. Perhaps this could be showing the inherent chaos that comes with the battles in the games, and it also could be me just not being a careful reader - as I tend to read faster than the average person. I do wonder, however, if illustrations would allow better justice to some of the passages.
The other issue, of course, is that this story (according to TV Tropes) assumes that the reader has already played Hyrule Warriors. This, of course, would inherently set a higher bar than those that don't require reading, and is something to keep in mind for those who are curious. However, that is something not unique to this fan fiction, but also applies to official derivative works. Otherwise, one might as well criticize, for example, the Zelda mangas produced by Akira Himekawa, or the Pokémon Anime/Movies or the Special Manga, or my favourite Pokémon GSC manga, Golden Boys.
Although some aspects of the story would inevitably be forgone, it would nevertheless be interesting in how the story pans out, how the politics plays out, and how the lore plays together. And so I read.



Edited by henrymidfields
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Last year I got really interested in the larger star control and UQM community when there was the first big buzz about Stardock (now Star Control:Origins). I think I found this fanfic by looking through the suggestions in a best-of thread. I should warn that I can't really talk about it with touching on a lot of the in-game stuff. The fan-fic was abandonded before the conclusion, but since it has two flash-forward "interludes" between the regular chapters, it is relatively complete.  It's short at 17 Posts of about 250-500 words each. 

Dead World by Lukipela 

General: This is a noir fic- the main character is a detective and we see lots of once-friendly aliens as basically Mos Eisley gangsters/rogues. This is done alright, although it gets heavy handed in a few places. It is somewhat out of tone with SC2, which is fairly upbeat/adventurous despite some throwaway dark humor and bits of backstory. The immediate thing that stuck out to me was the posturing of the Ilwrath. In-game the Ilwrath are an enemy-only race during the campaign, who are eager to fight in part because they're under orders too, but mostly because of the death gods they worship. In a required story sequence, you trick them into fighting the Thraddash (another mostly enemy race), and if the conflict plays out, then they are mutually destroyed.   This is a great start to the comic, as by showing us this exciting "descent into hell" that will happen in the end, we can be really curious about the events leading up to it. 

P Mostly characterization of the Ilwrath, but also some "out of placedness" to give us the sense of human-alien relations and the main charather..

C1 Earth under the slave-shield is basically depicted as a worst-case scenario in line with the following line of game dialgoue (

C2 Main charather continues the noir underdog tradition of not letting "the rich" walk over them even though they know that their only protection is the rich's sense of "it's not worth my time". The job is handled very classically, with an obvious this isn't about just finding the guy.

C3 Resources versus incentives for living appears in many classical sci-fi works, and it provides a neat justification for being able to have a non-utopian setting despiite the fic's position after the war. The background on the money laundering scheme shows the chmrr as naively assuming that the humans and other humans would be as viruous as they are. 

C4 Begins with humor, then gets back down to the dirt-based reality of a detective story.

C5 The introduction of the shofixti is fairly interesting. Not sure if Alientown has the kind of ring that Chinatown does. As for the physical abilities of the shofixti here (and in C2) they're mostly left to imagination. These kind of stories tend to tae the pulp approach, think of the "heavies" in the Indiana Jones films. The shofixti in-game.

I1 The interludes (as with the preface) establish themselves as a kind of flash-forward. It isn't explicit who they are tracking, but someone just finishing chapter 1-5 could safely assume that it was Robert Thompson, his female companion, or some other party. Knowing that whoever it is has commited a murder (which we haven't seen yet) is a great  draw and calls to mind Alfred Hitchcock's famous mantra about suspense stories "If you show a bomb being lit in Act 1, it'd better go off in Act 2"  


We return to the story and still don't get answers, but we do get an edge-of-your seat kind of combat writing, and then a hannibal lecter esque murder victim. 


If you look at the prolouge the mention of humans/aliens taking to the ilwrath gods, and now the mention of a cloaking device (used by ilwrath in-game) then you can see ahead in the story a bit. The best part of the chapter is the story swapping between the two charathers at the end.

C8 We have our typical polite gangster threat. We also seemingly have the main charathers dead wife, but anyone familiar with the genre should be prepared for it turn into a twist, into a red herring, into another twist.

C9 The "angel" dialouge is makig fun of the end cutscene of SC2 where the player character wakes up after being knocked out in a hospital bed. The chapter doesn't properly introduce the new charather, but is a good example of the sardonic comedey you can have in a hard-nosed detectivev story..


Much like the last chapter with the comedey, although the main charather's faults start to really shine through, c9 he mentions killing the person who taught him his bogus eastern-flavor "calm the mind" mantra, and now he outright hires brainless thugs to do his dirty work.


Confirms expectations set by the first interlude and the last dead body. Also keeps us thinking about ghostly voice and the vision of his wife from earlier.


In this part of the interlude the flashforward takes on a dark turn (somewhat hinted at in the first interlude) as it becomes clear that the landing on the Ilwrath planet is a suicide mission, that the main charather doesn't do it to solve the mystery case of Thompson, that he feels he deserves punishment, and that he keeps his companions in the dark about it all.


Mrs. Thompson is a bit too cartoonishly evil for my tastes. Till this point the comic did a nice job with its moral grey "everyone is corrupt" setting, but I think skinning her bodyguard from c2 for "failing her for the last time" is just silly and overly stacks whose side the audience is on. 


Nice kind of backstory that you get to fill in for yourself.


Kind of a lighthearted chapter considering the state of the story at this point.


The fanfic returns to form here, we have the mysterey, now made really personal, an action scene that's brisk but has time for sardonic humor at how stereotypical the goons are and how powerless they are before greater forces (in this case his killer friend). 

So what is my take away from Dead World? Well Lukipela would make a damn good writer of hard boiled detective, mystery, gangster fiction. I like how they use various themes from sci-fi, as SC2 itself is a loving hodgepodge of sci-fi tropes. Note how the explanation for the Syreen's hypnosis is more in line with the Bene Gesserit of Dune than the way they are depicted in SC2, and other things I might have pointed out in the chapter by chapter notes. However, despite these strengths, the fanfic isn't very good at doing Star Control. It's too far to the fringe of the setting, and its attitude even seems to make a jump from noir into something like grrimdark in the second intermission. The Ilwrath are much more of a real threat here than in SC2, and the shofixti were never shown as this physically cabable (although they were always quick to anger, etc). Shoroyaba might as well be a Klingon. The fanfic is noticible in having a much more shady hero than the "lovable rogues" that are mainstream for the genre. The two interludes and the repeat mention of his wife and the woman in the Blue dress kind of point to the future of a comic involving him sinking into a depression and then a self-serving repentence for his wife at the expense of the lives of everybody else. As for the Ilwrath (Ilwrath worshippers?), frankly, I was never sold on them. I always saw them as being over the top and comedic in-game. There is evidence both ways (Commander Hayes mention of them, when the Pfunk talk of dozens of burnt out worlds, the planned mass sacrifice on earth, the Ilwrath birthing ritural) (The conversation string on Alpha Tauri about "if evil is the norm then you do good by doing evil", their ridiculous phraseology and use of insults,the way that even the Spathi recognize them as primitive, the Umgah being the source of their Gods, etc) However, for my part, the silly parts of the Ilwrath always win out over the serious parts although they ceirtainly aren't as comedic as say, the Thraddash. But even at their worst I just can't see them as the primeval force of evil that this fanfic makes them out to be. The narrative use of "hell images" to accompany the main charathers descent into guilt is something I can understand, but the Ilwrath as a serious threat (and not say, the Mycon, Orz, or the brielfy mentioned "guerrilla Kohr-Ah" ) never sat right by me. It also seems like part of a weird backpedaling from the author - away from sci-fi and more into a kind of mysticism, these Ilwrath and certainly the dead wife, would be at home in an occult setting, but not space.

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