[10] Undertale Reviews, Part 12 (Anonymous fic, Best Nightmares Forever)

I decided to check out the selection of anonymous Undertale fic — there’s very little of it, so it was very manageable. I found a particularly good one at the end.


Lord of Leaves

From that very spot, when they squinted and tilted their head to the left, the cracks on the ceiling where three of them met looked like the silhouette of a tiny bird.

What does “them” refer to in this sentence? The cracks?

It was easier when they lied down

“laid”

They could longer remember when it had begun […] It was all they could to keep themselves from shaking. […] I thought things might interesting at least

You seem to have dropped some words here.

“Sorry, I have to get this,” then, placing the phone on their ear, “Hi, Mom.”

This doesn’t look quite right – “then, placing the phone on their ear” is a separate action from the dialogue, so it needs to be its own sentence, or it needs a speech verb for linkage. [“Sorry, I have to get this,” they said. Then, placing the phone on their ear, “Hi, Mom.”] might work.

the wiser Froggits

“Froggits” is used as a common noun here, so it shouldn’t be capitalized, just like how you wouldn’t capitalize “frogs”.

“You know,” he glared at Frisk.

You’re formatting dialogue incorrectly. Dialogue is written as [“Hello,” she said] or [“Hello!” she said], never [“Hello.” She said] or [“Hello”, she said] or [“Hello” she said]. This is because dialogue and speech tags are considered to be part of the same sentence, so they have to flow together. The only exception to this is if the next sentence doesn’t contain a speech verb. In that case, the second part is considered a separate sentence, so it’s written as [“Hello.” She grinned], never [“Hello,” she grinned]. Note that something isn’t a speech verb just because it’s a sound you make with your mouth, so generally stuff like “laughed” or “giggled” is in the second category. Furthermore, if you’re breaking up two complete sentences it’s [“Hi,” she said. “This is it.”] not [“Hi,” she said, “this is it.”] or [“Hi,” she said “this is it.”] And if you’re breaking up a sentence in the middle, it’s [“Hi. This,” she said, “is it.”] The same punctuation and capitalization rules apply to thoughts, except you don’t use quotation marks (or single quotes) with thoughts. This is because quotation marks for thoughts make it look like your characters are talking to themselves, which is confusing to the reader.

half a palm length’s

“half a palm’s length”?

Frisk had mastered the puzzles to the point where they could do them all blindfolded. Or at least they probably could, as Toriel had come across them before they had reached the last two hurdles and removed the ribbon they had tied around their eyes.

This is great, and totally sounds like the kind of thing Frisk would do.

Frisk had never met anyone who could sneer quite like Flowey. Something about that curl of his lips, that supreme confidence, that utter contempt created a look that was beyond mere mockery, a kind of distilled form of absolute scorn.

I like this description.

Of all the humans that might have fallen here, I got one that will never get in my way of my plans.

Ah, that’s clever. Flowey’s good at manipulation.

This is really sweet and sad. I’m always disappointed there wasn’t an option to stay with Toriel in the game!

The Last Laugh

Is this a continuation of Lord of Leaves?

only a feet from

“foot”

I hope yo have

Typo.

I appreciate that you’re writing Papyrus’ and Sans’ dialogue normally.

Even if your eyes are a lot smaller than Undyne thought humans have, and you don’t carry a ten-feet sword!

Wonderful.

This is really, really sad. I’m normally not crazy about Papyrus but you write him excellently here. His indomitable kindness and optimism is extremely painful next to Frisk’s guilt. But I’m glad there’s a happy ending!

[Deleted]

Sans cannot remember resets in canon. If he has perfect recall, this is an AU and should be labeled as such.

“I remember when you taught me about the Gaster Blasters.” Frisk muttered.

You’re formatting dialogue incorrectly. Dialogue is written as [“Hello,” she said] or [“Hello!” she said], never [“Hello.” She said] or [“Hello”, she said] or [“Hello” she said]. This is because dialogue and speech tags are considered to be part of the same sentence, so they have to flow together. The only exception to this is if the next sentence doesn’t contain a speech verb. In that case, the second part is considered a separate sentence, so it’s written as [“Hello.” She grinned], never [“Hello,” she grinned]. Note that something isn’t a speech verb just because it’s a sound you make with your mouth, so generally stuff like “laughed” or “giggled” is in the second category. Furthermore, if you’re breaking up two complete sentences it’s [“Hi,” she said. “This is it.”] not [“Hi,” she said, “this is it.”] or [“Hi,” she said “this is it.”] And if you’re breaking up a sentence in the middle, it’s [“Hi. This,” she said, “is it.”] The same punctuation and capitalization rules apply to thoughts, except you don’t use quotation marks (or single quotes) with thoughts. This is because quotation marks for thoughts make it look like your characters are talking to themselves, which is confusing to the reader.

or they’d end up choosing the neutral route

This is really weird phrasing. It doesn’t make sense for characters to use video game terminology. From Sans’ perspective there should be an infinite variety of timelines, not “the” definitive “route” for something.

This is pretty insubstantial, and ends very abruptly. I feel like I’m missing some context.

Best Nightmares Forever

You probably want to read this one first, but do heed the warnings in the tags. The violence in this is very graphic.

You aren’t quite so certain that it’s not a coincidence, because that was hardly the most original thing you’ve ever said, kill or be killed. That first part, though. In this world… When you said it, you’re fairly sure you meant the surface. The first time the flower said it, you thought he meant the Underground — which confused you, because that was obviously nonsense. But what if he was quoting out of context? Wouldn’t that answer some questions?

This is clever. I hadn’t thought of that possibility.

This is really interesting, and your narration is beautifully vivid. I love how pathetic Asriel becomes the moment he sees Chara, and how creepy Chara is.

Chapter 2

You think they would make themself stop breathing entirely if they could, and if that would protect them from slipping through Asriel’s grasp.

This sounds awkward; the second part feels like it’s missing something. “You wonder if…” would provide the correct parallel structure, I think.

A dozen thorns, each as thick as a railroad spike, plunge deep into Frisk’s flesh.

Ooooh, that made me wince. You’re really not holding back.

If you were in the driver’s seat right now, you would literally die of laughter. You would splash out the last of Frisk’s blood through shaking with it.

This is clever.

Wow, this is really twisted. It’s disturbing how good Chara is at this, and it’s interesting to see that they genuinely like Asriel in this incarnation.

Chapter 3

How could you..? Why would you..?

Your ellipses only have two dots here.

This is so sad ;_; I really hope that Frisk can still remain in some capacity; if Chara could survive without a soul, they probably could too.

Chapter 4

Most people don’t come back when they’re killed, or at least they don’t remember if they do, so you have to put in some effort if you don’t want the game to end too soon.

“Most”? So there are some people who can? Or is he just referring to Chara and Frisk?

I can give you the king’s soul

Huh? I thought he shattered Asgore’s soul.

Asriel’s whole body sags — which, given how much of him there is, makes for the most exaggerated and all-encompassing slumping motion you have ever seen.

Nice detail.

“Well, it isn’t” you say sternly.

Typo.

It’s really chilling how harmless and innocent Chara makes Flowey look in comparison.

Chapter 6

“So that’s how it is, huh? I couldn’t even protect someone immortal from being murdered?” Your smile is all the answer he needs. “Ha. What a joke.” The hand reaching for you collapses into dust, followed by everything attached.

;_;

Hm, I’m surprised how quickly everyone died after the lead-up took so long. I wonder what the rest of the story will be like now.

He coughs. From his speaker. There is definitely no biological reason he would ever need to do that.

Oh my goodness Asriel is the dorkiest little edgelord.

Chapter 7

Hmm. I want to hope that Asriel will get his conscience back now that he’s fully restored and do… something, but this could just as easily go full Bad End. I’m excited to find out!

Chapter 8

Ah, Asriel’s PTSD is a nice touch. I hadn’t thought of that, but it makes perfect sense.

Can air this questionable give you cancer? Probably.

Can Asriel’s new godlike healing powers cure cancer? Probably!

oh my god XD

His pace is longer than yours, so you can hear his footsteps striking out of rhythm with your own as he follows you.

I really like this detail for some reason. Is it symbolic?

silly little fangs that always poked out to betray him when he was trying not to smile at a joke you’d made, because it wasn’t the kind of joke that good kids find funny.
[…]
But you can’t quite figure out how to do that, and you’re afraid that if you try, you’ll just give away how hopelessly un-adult you really are.
[…]
This isn’t really helping you feel cooler, figuratively or literally. You feel like you’re burning alive and also panicking.

Aaaa this is so messed up but so very Chara and Asriel. I really like how you give Chara shortcomings and humanizing details in-between showing how evil they are. It really gives them a lot more depth than your typical slasher villain routine. Of course they’re not really as cool as they think they are, they’re just a kid.

Out here, there are some recognizably human remains, and even a few mostly intact bodies. You jump on them like rain puddles or leaf piles.

oh my god o_o

I still couldn’t go back to how things were, not even if I wanted to. No one else would ever forgive me. No one else would understand. It has to be you. It can only ever be you.

Oh goatbaby no ;_; It’s sad how easy it is for him to convince himself evil is the only option, even after he gets his conscience back.

Oh man wow. This was a really powerful and visceral fic. Your description was amazing (and horrifying) and I love your depiction of Chara. I feel so sad for everyone, and I’m not sure Asriel will be happy in the end.

9 Comments

  1. alice says:
    I enjoyed Best Nightmares Forever a lot and completely second your rec, but prospective readers should probably know going in that it contains quite a bit of very graphic violence, including torture. If that’s something you can deal with (or if you’re a weirdo like me who actively seeks it out) and you’re at all interested in Chara, Asriel, or their relationship, definitely go ahead. If you’re not a fan of violence… well, this is mostly violence, so it’s probably not for you.
    1. Mini-Farla says:
      Good point, I’ve added a warning. Personally, after seeing how limp and overapplied the “graphic depictions of violence” tag had been in other fics, it was pretty shocking to see a fic that truly deserved the tag.
  2. illhousen says:
    Hm, the first chapter of Best Nightmares looks interesting. Is it pure horror/drama where everything would keep getting worse or something more hopeful? I don’t mind the former (Spiral is our god and Junji Ito its prophet), but I like to be mentally prepared.
    1. alice says:
      It is tagged with “Bad Guys Win.” Having read it, this is accurate.
      1. illhousen says:
        Ah, missed the tag (AOOOOOOOO is great if you’re a writer, but from a reader’s perspective the tag system is a mess).

        Thanks for pointing out.

  3. Anon nerd says:
    Oh wow, I came here looking for Pokemon Go posts, and instead got to re-read constructive reviews of a couple of my fics. Thanks for the pick-me-up, I’ve been feeling incredibly down about my writing lately.
    1. Mini-Farla says:
      Thank you for reminding me why I still read fanfic, and for making the slog worth it! Are you the Lord of Leaves author?
      1. Anon nerd says:
        Aww. :3 Yeah, that’s right. Thanks again!

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