myaru: (Tales of Symphonia - taste the rainbow)
Oh look, I'm still having feels over Tales of Symphonia and writing dumb stories for it. By "dumb" I suppose I mean fangirly, since this canon divergence is an indulgence for me, but it's so gen it hurts, so. Not that kind of fangirly.

I uh, actually have not indulged myself much with fiction lately. The story I'm working up to sending out is kind of an indulgence, but only in the sense that it's about a favorite subject. As far as doing work on it goes, the process is difficult and involves fighting myself every step of the way.

Maybe I should get back to work now. It's only 3 AM. That's way too early to go to bed.
myaru: (Tales of Symphonia - taste the rainbow)
Yuan! Yuaaaaaan. Yuan, you weren't nearly as much of an asshole this episode. Color me disappointed. But I suppose it's only natural since the majority of your screen time took place in flashbacks to the Kharlan War. Which means you smiled.

Smiled. And like, meant it. What is this.

(Well. I guess he means that smile in my icon, too, and it's just that it's a smug asshole smile, not a sappy one. <3)

As suspected, the anime didn't do the Genis-Mithos friendship justice. They don't have time. In the game Mithos's feelings were infuriatingly ambiguous, though I think there's an argument for his being genuinely fond of Genis, but here it's summed up as reconnaissance re: whether or not the siblings will listen to him and join his cause. (And that's what it was in the game too, at least in part, but. :/) Not only that, but the time Mithos spent with Lloyd and company - during the game - inspired him to doubt his purpose, and that was a big part of what made him sympathetic. It's essential that he realize somewhere deep down that he might be wrong, at least for me, because part of the tragedy is that he sticks to his ideals in spite of that. It's part of what makes Mithos and Lloyd so similar, also, and yet so different.

OH WELL. I didn't expect them to cover all of that.

One thing I'm sad they decided not to speculate on, though, was why Martel was attacked. The game doesn't bother to tell us, and I think just expects players to assume it was because of "prejudice" and not worry about it, but it seems to me the circumstances should've had a lot to do with how Kratos and Yuan reacted. Mithos I can see flying off the handle no matter what, but the other two? Kratos, at least, would probably try to insert some logic into a bad situation. He certainly tried to during the anime flashback.

The flashbacks were still pretty cool, though. I wish we'd seen a few in the game, but this is why I'm watching the anime - I'm hoping they'll throw me a bone now and then! And they do. And like I said last time, it's nice to see everyone looking like adults.

The "why was Martel stabbed?" question will remain a mystery, then, just like the "who was Raine's boyfriend?" question. Though, given Raine's circumstances, who said it had to be anything as idyllic as a significant other?

I'll still look forward to the next three (?) episodes, but without hope they'll treat my favorite parts of the game as well as I'd like. Sigh.
myaru: (Tales of Symphonia - taste the rainbow)
After writing a few Symphonia fics, I've realized I have a thing with writing Sheena and Genis as bros. It's not a pairing creeping up on me, because that's just not right, but uh, where is this coming from? Not from the game. :/ Sheena/Raine seems to be at least moderately accepted by fandom - that is, it exists. Maybe the two are related.

Anyway, for some reason, I was thinking about half-elves in Symphonia, and where the hell they come from, besides the obvious. The Desians apparently move back and forth between worlds as needed, and Tethe'alla has the (ancient?) elven village, but this still leaves me with questions:

1. People seem to believe full elves should exist in Sylvarant; the people in Iselia believe Raine's claim that she and Genis are full-blooded elves. But Heimdall appears to be the only place where they gather, which leads me to:

2. Where do the random town-based half-elves come from - like that kid in Asgard who tries to blow up the ruin? Were his parents Desian deserters? Was HE a deserter? (Doesn't seem like it, as his lab had pretty primitive technology and experimental devices, but that could just be a matter of access.) From his attitude it seems he grew up in the town, though.

3. The Desians appear to be primarily a military organization because the ranches are all the game shows us. Do they have civilian centers too? Or is their breeding controlled by Cruxis (which isn't totally out of the question)? There must have been four generations at minimum (realistically more), so they have to be coming from somewhere.

On #2, I suppose the occasional half-elf in Asgard or Triet might be the result of other half-elves who lived there on the fringes, as I'm assuming half + half = half just to simplify things. But that still leaves #1 a question, since the only stories in Tethe'alla that result in half-elves are elf/human relationships - and obviously there's room for other scenarios, but the game didn't give us any - so either Sylvarant's random half-elves are the result of a line of generations of non-Desian half-elves breeding amongst themselves, or there are Desian deserters, or both.

Or there's a big hole in the script and Sylvarant does have an enclave of elves we don't know about. I'm... doubtful on this one. It sounds more like a legend that Raine was able to cash in on.

But there's another question: do all Desians move to the newly declining world after the Regeneration is completed? I'm guessing that's what they mean by the Chosen "sealing" them. When Sylvarant is the dominant world, do the humans follow Tethe'alla's pattern and enslave half-elves as they were enslaved? That might be possible in Tethe'alla because they have a central government to enforce it, but I wonder if it might be a little more complicated without a Sylvarant dynasty. Honestly, they didn't think that element through very well. If Sylvarant has been without a leader for eight hundred years - around Spiritua's time, I think? - then what would its dominant culture look like? There have been other regenerations since then. Seems like the game was written with the assumption that they've always been in decline.

I don't know why this matters to me. It just popped into mind the other day. This game has an interesting history, but they kind of ignored the middle; the Kharlan War makes sense, the recent history of the worlds makes sense, but everything in-between is a gaping pit of nothing.

Kind of ignoring Exire, here, but my main concern is with Sylvarant.

Am I forgetting things? It's very possible I am.
myaru: (Tales of Symphonia - Raine)
I'm going to rewind a couple of months and talk about Tales of Symphonia, specifically Genis and Mithos, because there's this thing that's been bothering me a while.

From the game it's pretty clear that Genis is torn. You never think he'll actually break away and join Mithos, but his sympathies are clearly with both sides, and I personally got the feeling that if Mithos didn't have this thing with "lifeless beings," his desire for a world that accepted half-elves would've had more appeal-- to Genis. (Seriously, there are better ways to describe them - especially when you're trying to convert the heroes. Come on.) Unfortunately, however smart he is, Genis is also still a child and probably lacks a certain measure of critical foresight. If Mithos had not revealed himself at Altessa's the way he did, and if he went easy on the whole Cruxis crystal thing, he might be closer to having a convert.

Also, by now we all know how alike they seem to be. I'm willing to bet Genis feels some sympathy for the effort to revive Martel because he sees himself and Raine in that position. I don't think he's behind the ideas on how to revive her, but sympathy is key here.

From the moment I realized who Mithos was (some time before the Mana Canon, during a skit conversation), I thought an AU in which Genis ends up on the other side, willingly or not, would be really interesting. Not just how he gets there, but why he might stay. It also seemed so obvious that I was sure I'd find a million of them in the fic archive. HOW WRONG I WAS. So I kept on picking at the scenario and eventually found a fic that basically touched on all the points I'd thought of, but in a concise fashion that only took about two thousand words. It was satisfying, and yet... not. It didn't really explore motivations of any kind - just showed a bit of the aftermath.

But once this has been done, it's kind of done. :/ I might flesh the concept out more with multiple chapters, but there are only so many ways for Genis's conversion to work, and it's hard to break out of the structure of the game and take the storyline on a different path. I found a way I liked. But then: to what purpose would I do this? The story would have no end, because all I'm interested in is the point up above: why Genis might stay. That's worth a lot of story. But then, there's kinda sorta no resolution. I can imagine a different way to unite the worlds, and even a way to force the parties to become allies, but this is the kind of story setting up for a tragedy. And also, there's the problem of Martel's resurrection. Mithos doesn't appear capable of letting go of that. So a parallel to "why would Genis choose to stay with Mithos?" might be "what would make Mithos give up on Martel?" Since a significant part of his character and resolution depends on how he clings to his original ideals while Lloyd is willing to change, I'm not sure if this would add or subtract from him. :/

There's also the pairing aspect, which I'm ignoring here since I think Genis switching sides is an interesting (and difficult) enough idea all on its own.
myaru: (Fire Emblem - Caeda)
Of course, most of what I'm writing is not of interest to the F-list. Have a meme: post snippets of all of your in-progress work.

I'm not offering original snippets because I'm paranoid like that. Anyway, there are too many of those. And this-- I had to dig around to find fanfic projects, because I'm just not doing as much of that lately.

Six works in progress. )

That's all I've got. What a change.
myaru: (Tales of Symphonia - Alice and Decus)
Why, ToS. Why? My hands are dying after one stupid dungeon because the assholes guarding the halls have overlimit skills. DIAF.

Actually, now that I think about it-- do I get to burn Altamira down? If I do, then all is forgiven. Hell, even if the Vangaurd does it, I'll be okay with that. It occurs to me I might be a bit under-leveled to be killing things with fire.

Sigh, I already know the answer. But, like, spoilers to the beginning of chapter eight. )

Altamira is on my shit-list, along with Volt's Temple and... hm, that's it. And really, it's just Lezareno company buildings. (Which = 100% of Altamira, WHAT A COINCIDENCE.)

Notes to self:
- kill Auto Item on everyone as soon as possible
- figure out how to use Marta's mystic arte
- find somebody who sells lower-tier items
- pray recruiting monsters doesn't actually mean anything for the end of the game
- still ignoring this game completely for the Yuan/Raine story
- WTF is it with Mizuho not having an inn or a save point?
myaru: (Tales of Symphonia - Alice and Decus)
One thing drives me crazy about getting characters from the first Symphonia in my party: their skills and armor are lacking. They're not bad exactly, only... for a game that loads my clear data, I'm disappointed they aren't at least outfitted in something that will help them not die. Rrgh. So anyway, other than that, it's nice to see familiar faces. :D Having monsters in the party can be neat, but I kind of miss hearing my guys yelling imprecations at the enemy.

I've been lax about recruiting monsters, too. I hope it doesn't really affect anything, because I think I have... maybe ten? Maybe. Tenebrae commented on it. But of those ten, I only ever use one or two, so the four I'm allowed to drag along with me are the only ones who have evolved. I kept the little wolf because he's cute (was, rather - now he's a big-ass fenrir class... type... thing), a selkie because she can heal, and I had a cute lizard that evolved into something less-cute, but hell, at least he's strong. The game doesn't give me much opportunity to grab others, and aside from their location, I've no idea how to tell what element they are. Meh. I'd rather have Raine and Genis, though if we're going to be honest, here, Regal is way more useful than either of them because he can hit hard and doesn't have to worry about casting time.

I guess these are spoilers. )

Speaking of, where the hell is Yuan?

I need a Tenebrae icon. He deserves it now that he's lost so many arguments. XD

Oh my god, Tenebrae really does get more awesome. XD Damn. XDDDDDDDDDD
myaru: (Tales of Symphonia - Raine)
Now you get a break for a few days while I wait for the sequel to show up. (Fourth of July? What? I slept through the fireworks.)

Vinheim looked so intimidating that I honestly expected it to be much harder and came out kind of disappointed. (That big dragon, for one. I was anticipating a sub-boss of some kind, and it turned out to be a faster win than most of the random encounters.) Ah well. Mithos was easy too, but that's fine by me - he was a pain in the ass earlier in the game. I do like that he's unrepentant in the end, too; one of the things that bothers me about characters like this in other games (*coughLehrancough*) is the sudden turnaround after he'd spent like, thirty years hating everyone and hoping the world would die in a fire. I'm glad to see Mithos stick to his ideals, even if he's in the wrong.

Speaking of his ideals, I wonder what "lifeless beings" was in the original Japanese script, because when you put it like that, of course it doesn't sound like a good idea. I mean that even if the original term is exactly the same; there has to be a better way to say you want to save the world, even if it's literally true. :P

Yuan, you were ABSOLUTELY NO HELP AT ALL WTF. At least you're alive so I can write dumb Yuan/Raine fic. I have something particular in mind, and after that, ehhh, inspiration is running low.

Now I really wish I'd been able to play Tales of Phantasia back in the day. I REALLY WANTED TO and never got the chance, but now that I've heard it's supposed to be connected to Symphonia, the desire is back, somewhat. I don't remember there being a translation (fan or official) when I originally wanted to play it, and while I can trip through a Japanese game now if I really want to put the effort in, I sure as hell couldn't have done it back then. Maybe I can find a rom and do something about that.

Sooooo. It seems I'm in full-on gaming mode. May as well continue my Tales marathon and start Legendia once I'm done with Dawn of the New World. Maybe the series will float me all the way to FE12's release in the states. :D That would be nice! Of course, I don't know when that will be... maybe they'll be slow enough I'll be able to play Odin Sphere and Okami and Persona 3 and First Departure--
myaru: (Tales of Symphonia - Mithos)
OH MY GOD there was so much SLASH HAPPY GOODNESS between Mithos and Genis. DO NOT WANT. I mean. I knew where it was going. They're too young anyway - that's just not my thing. But seriously. As if Mithos wasn't already suspicious enough, he just had to pull out the "would you choose me over Lloyd if we got in a fight? *wibble*" line, and it was a done deal. Poor Genis, man. Mithos, I love you you are a little bitch.

The game can't make up its mind. On one hand it implies he does care about Genis, and on the other hand it... doesn't? Depends on whether he dropped that item on purpose in the tower, I suppose. One can only hope they'll revisit this later for the angst potential. I get the feeling there isn't much time left.

Colette's issues don't really interest me anymore, but the game's portrayal of angels is actually closer to so-called "reality" than games and anime usually go. Yggdrasill's plan has some major problems if he's going to build the foundation on the guys I met in Walgaia, though. :P Finally, some ambiguity! ...kind of. You can look at it that way, although the game makes it pretty clear that Lloyd is in the right and Yggdrasil is cracked. I guess Yuan is technically on Martel's side? And Kratos can't make up his damned mind, but-- that's okay, since I'm keeping Zelos. I left a special save to view the Kratos scene, but Zelos is more fun. Also - I'm not sure I'd be able to take many more dad talks. That scene where Yuan revealed the big secret (hahaha, secret) had me cracking up, because-- yes, Lloyd, go ahead and make a long speech about your ideals while you've got five swords pointed at your throat and your father is twitching on the ground at your feet, just go ahead. If I were Yuan, I'd have kicked your ass across the yard before the second sentence left your mouth.

I'm not getting any hate or enmity vibes in the Yuan-Kratos-Yggdrasil triangle. I don't know what to think.


Sorry, [ profile] measuringlife. Every time you talk to me now, I'm going to flip out about how few Yuan icons there are in the world, and why can't anybody make them to my specifications, never mind that I can do it myself if I stop being lazy! That'd be work. Worse, everybody uses fan art to make their icons. I hate you sometimes, fandom.

Yggdrasil has kicked my ass a few times now. I'm not quite confident in my ability to throw that back in his face.


Eventually I'll talk about something else, don't worry. I had something to say about FE11, but it didn't get past my 'asdasdfgjhassholeprettyboy' filter tonight, so it'll have to wait.
myaru: (Tales of Symphonia - Raine)
I know, I know, this is really out of character; I never like heroes, especially when they're dumb, but... Lloyd is the adorable puppy kind of dumb. I can't help myself. It must be the skit conversations. Whenever he comes up with a ridiculous theory for why something-or-other is happening, it actually lightens the mood and provides amusement in the form of his friends facepalming! He's so upbeat it's disgusting. Also, despite being stupidly trusting (though not as bad as Colette by a long shot), it... seems for some reason like he's living his ideals more than other heroes. Maybe it's because he doesn't angst as much as, say, Luke, who also put his money where his mouth was, so to speak, but only while angsting and doing his best to die. Overcoming that was also part of his growth, however, and that's not the kind of story arc Lloyd is presenting. He doesn't compare to Luke in terms of depth, so far.

For reference, I'm on the second disc, and just left the village of crabby elves in Tethe'alla. This is after Yuan screwed up with the mana seed thing, and I have to say-- it's time to reform my opinion. Clearly it's Kratos and Yuan that need to have a little fun - not because I think they're hot for each other, but because that's just so typical. I bet the fangirls ship these two. (If Yuan has any fangirls at all, dammit.) But what the hell, guys - you just stand there and calmly discuss how to take care of a rampaging conifer when you're technically supposed to be trying to kill each other? One of you is even more two-faced than I thought. (I could swear there's a Japanese saying more along the lines of eight faces - or maybe it was eight tongues, which is disturbing in itself.)

Luna and Aska weren't as hard as I thought, but I get the feeling there are more summons out there to hunt down. This... is actually typical for a Tales game, I think. Abyss was really weird for not making me run around making pacts. It made up for it by making me run around playing with Sephiroth trees, but.

The themes in this game apparently all revolve around dualities - the two worlds opposing each other, the two races (technically three, except the elves don't do a damned thing), but it still doesn't appear to explore them as deeply as it could. Like, there isn't much moral ambiguity going on. For example, Regal is clearly in the right when he commits his crime, and when he and Presea kill Varley, they're not just doing it for revenge - it's "right" because of the immediate plot point the guy is involved in. Even the situations with Marble and Clara, who were turned into monsters by their exspheres, are black and white. The only thing really in a gray area are the exspheres themselves, since they're introduced as these horrible things that kill people, and become this weird reflection and preservation of the soul, which is most clearly reflected in Presea's story.

I can deal. Like I said before, it just feels a bit like I've gone back in time.

... why. Why am I still up?
myaru: (Tales of Vesperia - Estellise)
Today I got to start Tales of Vesperia at a friend's house, and I hope I'll be able to continue and eventually finish it - at a rate of one playing session per week, basically, or maybe every two weeks, depending on how often we have our D&D games. (I did roll twenties. :D Not straight twenties, but three isn't bad.) We don't have an Xbox at home, nor will we ever, I'm guessing, as it doesn't have anything but Vesperia that interests us. It's cool that they make a Tales game for every system, but... but. It sucks when they're exclusive to systems I don't have, dammit.

Yes, the world does revolve around me.

Yuri is pretty atypical for a Tales hero. He starts out cynical and disillusioned - already unusual - and seems to have this chip on his shoulder regarding Flynn, who sounds like the normal hero type from Yuri's description. How accurate that is remains to be seen. I liked him right away, though. That's also unusual. XD And actually, while Estelle might come off as a bit of an idiot, she's no worse than Colette-- no, she's better than Colette by far, somehow, though she could've helped me out sooner.

I keep hitting the wrong buttons. Also, I'm so used to having characters with basic skills like, say, being able to flip and land on their feet when they're knocked over, I kept trying to use skills the PC didn't have yet and delaying my reactions. This is the first time I've died during an opening sequence in a loooooong time. MY PRIDE. WHYYY.

So anyway, I have no business making judgments when I've only just gotten out of the city - that translates to about an hour of gameplay, I guess? Maybe not even that much. I would've played more, but most of my day was spent catching up on sleep. It seems like that's all I do lately.

Since I wasn't home most of the day, I didn't get any farther in Tales of Symphonia; I'm back in Sylvarant, and apparently I'm supposed to blow up infiltrate a base in the ocean, or on an island-- I don't really remember or care, as long as it involves explosions and, maybe, some Yuan. There's apparently one more summon spirit I'm supposed to pick up, though I'm never sure how many these games are going to throw at me - ToE requires you to get... hmmm, at least six, and possibly Shadow and Rem as well, but they didn't figure into Abyss at all except as philosophical concepts, and Eternia had the spirit of... was it time? Something like that. It's been ages. I never did finish that replay, now that I think about it; I lost motivation after the deadline for that fic passed and I ended up with a subpar product. Sigh.

That's the thing: it feels like every time I write fic, it comes out subpar. That's unmotivating.
myaru: (Tales of Symphonia - siiiigh)
Totally not cutting for spoilers. Let me know if I should.

1. Tales of Symphonia: about ten hours in / Asgard Ranch
Hahahahaha, every time Kratos says something deep about fighting, and Lloyd is like, "Damn, he's right, I suck~~~" I feel like I'm watching the beginning of a slashtastic melodrama. But that relationship wouldn't work because Lloyd is too dorky. Kratos would snap. It might distract him from his angst, though.

Raine is adorable. I love her and her research/archeological geekery. She's my favorite of the party members, although Sheena is also really cute - and not a bad fighter, which is quite surprising considering the size of those breasts, wow. But anyway, Raine says all the stuff I would say, besides being really cute and nerdy. She's smart! She's ruthless! She pwns other researchers! What's not to love? I'd say she and Kratos are burning for a love affair, only I just pegged him as gay for Lloyd, and since I'm pretty sure Colette would croak if this weren't an RPG, someone has to be left for Lloyd.

Then again, for all I know, Zelos is perfect for that role.

So, you were all right - ToS is like a warped amalgamation of a ton of games I've played before. Not just FFX, but Xenogears. That moment in the Ranch where you find out about the nature of Exspheres? Let's just say I've seen that before. :P

Colette is... uh. I don't like her very much. I don't hate her, but her "I'm not telling you about my angst because I don't want to worry anyone!" thing is a little annoying. How old are she and Lloyd supposed to be? Fifteen or something? They're both so dumb. It's hard to stay optimistic, even when Lloyd shows progress in his involuntary journey toward being less-dumb. Colette's transformation is really interesting, though, and I'm looking forward to learning more about that and the nature of angels in this world, because-- sorry, Remiel is still creeping me out big time. It's a complex I have from reading the Book of Enoch in my young, tender college years.

I'm so-so on Genis so far. He's okay. I'm more interested in this thing about he and Raine being full elves, vs. half, and what that really means.

2. Writing: all right, fine.
Winternight doesn't require the drastic changes I thought it would. There are probably issues that could be solved by a really thorough editing process, and maybe rewriting, but I'm not willing to do that, and I will admit that it isn't bad enough to merit that much attention. My energy would be better spent on the Minerva fic, which is next in line-- and up for some rewriting. A lot of you liked the story, and it's not as terrible as I thought. The problem is, I finished it right when I sank into that hole of depression in February, and I might always hate Winternight because of that association. No matter how much time passes, I just can't evaluate it fairly.

But you know, maybe I should've just posted it as-is and left it alone, because working on it put me in a bad mood. I'm not sure if it's the fic that pissed me off, or if the dam has finally broken and all of my hate for FF.Net is flooding out.

I'm considering ideas for FE Contest #6, and writing my late entry for #5 slowly but surely. Once I get started I remember why I liked writing FE fic, but it takes a lot of effort to get started, even for my favorite characters.

As for projects I'm behind on:

27628 / 37000 words. 75% done!

I think the novel has another ten thousand words to its name, but only just.

3. Randomly, pickles.
Does anybody know what type of pickles they serve with curry in Japanese resturants? I thought it was ginger, but the ones I've got are spicier than I'm used to. This isn't bad, exactly - it's just that I think I got the wrong thing. Or hey, maybe it doesn't matter. :D They serve curry with daikon pickles too.

So yeah, I made curry. Excellent comfort food. It feels a bit lighter than other types of rice bowls. Like... katsudon.

Mmmmm, katsudon.


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