Site-Wide Activity

  • The author of a previously failed SYOC gets affronted because I pointed this out. Other people are very chill.

    You have received a message from:

    The Renegade Kingslayer

    Reply link: […]

  • Act wrote a new post, Patreon 1 week, 3 days ago

    Hello my loves! We have, perhaps surprisingly late, decided to set up a Patreon. It would mean so much if you’d help support us. I’ve included the pitch below the jump. You can find us […]

    • We have, perhaps surprisingly late

      I’ll say. I could have been paying y’all for years.

  • Standing on the corpse of its mother was a young Cyndaquil who was crying for all to hear, which would only give its location away to those Pokémon who would see it as prey. From his location, Bastion could tell […]

    • This is illegal. Pokemon is someone else’s intellectual property and it is theft for you to make money off of it.


      Hybrid actually insisted I was lying about this. Well, that’ll be a fun surprise for the author.


      Feels like this person should be directed towards FurAffinity and SoFurry as well as DeviantArt where stuff like this is common place (kinda) except with original content.  The “quality” of these stories don’t seem to be high either.

      As for if there will be any legal consequences, hard to tell. Patreon and fanfic are somewhat accepted these days.

      FFN isn’t the place for them though.

    • Broke: Oh my Arceus

      Woke: By the mane of the Alpha!

      Bespoke: Arceus’ fucking taint, dude

  • “I type how I type, and how I type is how I type. You’re the only one to have brought it up so far. If it was something that was irking everyone, then I would have corrected it. But, people can understand what is […]

  • Some varying quality today. Most of the porn authors blocked me this time, interestingly.

    Anime: 14

    I don’t watch the anime, so I’m not going to be able to review this story on content. Please tag your sto […]

    • You’re correct, but people have enough trouble following my reviews without getting into all the IFs and EXCEPTs in every single one of English’s byzantine rules.

      • Maybe refer them to a third party source like Or change it to “Your title is incorrectly capitalized, it should be ‘insert title.'”




        • Can’t add links to reviews on FFN, and the entire point of the copypasta is so I don’t have to write a unique version every time.

          If they care, they can follow up for elaboration or do their own research.

    • But honestly, titles are generally rather short anyways, so would it really be that much additional work for you to tell them exactly how they should look like?

      Yes, because it requires making a unique modification to a template call, which defeats the entire purpose of a template call.

      “Your title is incorrectly capitalized” without further explanation is the exact kind of useless vaguery that people get most frustrated by. “Your title needs to be fully capitalized” does not mean every word has to be capitalized, it means not all the words that should be capitalized are.

      You are really splitting hairs here. I cannot recall a single case in literal years of doing this where too many words of a title were capitalized. It is always either native speakers who know exactly what I’m talking about but who are too lazy to do it, or, very rarely, it is nonnative speakers who can and do ask for clarification if they’ve heard conflicting information. This is not an issue.

    • “Your title needs to be fully capitalized”


      Is an improvement over the one you used.

      In English, all words of a title are capitalized (is clearly false.)

  • Some extremely low-effort revenge reviews, and otherwise not much.

    Jun 12Shooting Star Dragon 3000
    A response to your review at

    Dude, don’t be a dick. […]

  • Some variety today, including a story with talking pokemon that does nothing to examine the implications, and a bunch of gross porn.

    Anime: 8

    Hi! I’m doing a round of reviews around the site, hoping to help g […]

  • A nice response to a detailed review, and otherwise nothing.

    re: Your review to Quagsires Quest
    6 JunLeoTheDumb
    A response to your review at

    ok I just have this […]

  • A competent but otherwise unremarkable novelization, two instances of weird untagged porn (including totally-not-incest between adopted siblings), and what looks to be an actually good grimdark Rocket takeover […]

  • Act wrote a new post, E3 2019 Reaction 1 month ago

    A few years ago I did a recap of stuff at e3 I thought was cool, and I thought, why not do it again? This time I started taking notes and then realized I was just doing a liveblog, so that’s more or less what this […]

    • thank you for the facts and the cool information about the books you write.

    • Star Wars, whatever.


      The early aughts were the golden era of SW video games. Battlefront, KOTOR1/2, the Jedi Knight series. SW was really well-represented across several genres. I would like to see a return of that, if possible.

      Hey, a Hollow Knight shoutout. Guess it got an XBox port.

      Yeah, it was ported to the consoles September of last year. Play it, everyone! Re: Ori 2, it’s somewhat a Hollow Knight follower, but its first iteration, at least, was much more focused on the puzzle-platforming than combat, so I don’t think I’d call it one. I can confidently say Ori 1 is its own thing; it’s not nearly as polished as HK but it has the same ‘labor of love’ feel. Good game, would rec.

      The Tales Game stuff

      God, I might just play it for the costuming alone. At least someone put a (still fairly long) leash on the costume designer so he couldn’t go “scraps of a jacket with whole tummy out and underboob”.

      FFVII Remake

      I saw a Reddit thread steeped in murderous anger over the size of Tifa’s boobs, which the gamerbros say are smaller than they should be based on the blocky polygon original. What they mean is that her boobs are smaller than 20 years of hentai doujins have led them to expect. Also, the gameplay is Kingdom Hearts style. I believe most FF games are still doing a pseudo-turn-based thing.

      Elden Ring

      GRRM is whatever these days and he has nobody to blame but himself. Miyazaki on the other hand is the Dark Souls/Sekiro guy and can do no wrong in my eyes. I am looking forward to it, though with some trepidation due to GRRM’s close proximity to something that seems inspired by LOTR.

      Beyond that, idk. I didn’t watch E3 and try not to pay too much attention to stuff beyond what friends directly tell me about. They are my treasured buffers between me and all that shit.

      • Act replied 1 month ago

        I saw a Reddit thread steeped in murderous anger over the size of Tifa’s boobs

        This is the least surprising thing I’ve ever read.

        Tales of Arise

        The character design is less wtfy than Berseria, but still par for the course for the series imo, in that the male and female protag look like they’re from completely different universes. That’s like my least favorite part of costume dimorphism, they can’t even keep the same art style. The game itself though looked absolutely beautiful.


        • Yeah, that’s fair. Berseria definitely got hit with costume sexual dimorphism ludicrously hard, which was all the more noticeable because, like, the party was actually balanced, gender-wise. Heck, it was the first in almost 20 Tales games to actually have a female protagonist not overshadowed by a man! And her Count of Monte Cristo-style character arc of being betrayed and imprisoned -> psycho vengeance -> eventual resolution and return to being a kindhearted protector was very refreshing. Too bad that game didn’t stick the landing.

          I’d be interested in your opinion on the costuming for Valkyria Chronicles 4, which came out late last year. That whole series is about war ‘n’ stuff, so basically everyone is wearing a soldier’s uniform of some kind, with special embellishments for the protags. It’s kind of like that one Atelier game you reviewed, where basically all the fanservice was packed into a (DLC) beach episode.


          • My only exposure to Valkyria is whatever is going on here so

            • … JFC. I want to say it’s unfair to judge the games by that figure, but it’s not like the games are totally innocent of having pretty women around and sexualizing them in (what seems like the depressingly standard) JRPG fashion.

              No longer trusting myself to be objective, I read an article detailing some of the sexualization/harassment in VC4, the recent one, with its comment thread set ablaze by GGers howling at the criticism. So never mind.

              • To be fair, in the games themselves, you’d almost never know that the character designer was the guy who did the art for Minamoto no Raikou in FGO. Even the concept art itself is surprisingly… anatomically accurate… for Raita Honjou.

                That’s not to say it is anatomically accurate, just… you know, by the standards of Honjou’s art.

              • Well, over and above the character design, which is indeed admirably restrained for a hentai artist, the game itself could at best be said to be treading water in terms of sexism. There were lots of active women with varying personalities and prominence, which is good, but there’s still a prominent Brock-type character, which is bad. It’s not as bad as the very low bar for games, but that in itself is saying something.

            • That’s a mistake. Your exposure to Valkyria Chronicles should be this.

    • Is this… Battletoads? No. Yes…? Why…

      Nostalgia, most probably. Plus, it always was an IP with lots of wasted potential: the NES game had terrible co-op gameplay (a cardinal sin for a beat ’em up), the arcade game wasn’t very popular (which is a shame, because it was really, really good), and the sequels are more miss than hit, to put it mildly.

      That said, the art style in this one is so not my thing.

      • Act replied 1 month ago

        There was a lot of couch coop stuff this year, so maybe they wanted to do CC and that was one of the IPs they had laying around. I’m glad the Switch seems to have brought local multiplayer back. ty nintendo

        • Oh, yeah, Act, since you liked Rayman, I highly recommend “Rayman Origins”. I’m not a fan of the series – I don’t dislike it, either, it was just never my thing growing up -, but Origins is SO good!

    • It’s a completely trivial thing, but you know what baffles me the most about the Cyberpunk game? That it’s based on the Cyberpunk 2020 tabletop RPG, instead of just being generically cyberpunk-themed. I mean, was that game ever so popular that it merited getting its own licensed game?

      • Cyberpunk 2020 was pretty huge back in 90s, spoken of as an alternative to Shadowrun for those who wanted pure cyberpunk rather than D&Dpunk, and while it lost a lot of goodwill over the third edition, it still has a modest fanbase.

        I’d think the license was cheap enough that it was worth it to grab for some nostalgia bucks.

        • I guess there’s something to be said for picking up an old IP to cut out most of the legwork in terms of lore and name recognition (looks at Bethesda and Fallout).

        • Interesting! It was never a big thing here in Brazil. I mean, it got attention, sure, but GURPS Cyberpunk, for instance, was much more popular.

          And yeah, I suppose that makes sense, nostalgia + cheap license.

      • Act replied 1 month ago

        Yeah, I found this out after I wrote the post, which transfers my jab at the name being silly to someone else.

        As far as I’m aware CD has no unique IPs, so I’d guess the logic was, “What can we crib worldbuilding from that a) we can afford and b) doesn’t have a big enough following that we’d end up with angry fanboys?”

    • Jesus Christ they’re ALSO doing a subscription service?? This is why I play Nintendo and indie games. You will be paying forever and never own anything indeed.

      *Karl Marx’s Voice*: “That’s not what I meant when I said abolish private property“.

      • Act replied 1 month ago

        Abolishing property: apparently totally fine when the wealth goes to Bill Gates instead of poor people.

    • Act replied 1 month ago

      Haha, not at all, made perfect sense!

    • Act replied 1 month ago

      I’m not sure if you’ve seen any of the stuff about Cyberpunk and especially regarding that one ad 

      Oh god do I want to know


      I actually strongly prefer turn-based and quite enjoy the classic FF style! Seeing it went for an action thing actually turned me off the remake. I had my eye on FFXIII but if it’s largely that kind of real-time I’ll probably skip it.

      Bloodlines 2

      I’ve seen some of the promo stuff. I’m cautiously optimistic about it. What I loved about the original was the world and character depth, which there’s no way to know about from the trailer, and that it was willing to put female characters in major plot roles without criticizing them for it, and my big fear is that a 2019 (or whenever) iteration will turn into fully-clothed dudes and some weird-ass Freudian shit about women with power and their giant tits.

      • Bloodlines 2 feels weirdly relevant to our day and age, given that Bloodlines 1 was also released during a terrible Republican administration and, not coincidentally, dealt with themes challenging entrenched power structures and the corruption they cause.

      • FFXIII is… kind of the worst of both worlds. It’s ostensibly turn-based, but it doesn’t pause while you’re inputting commands. It generously provides you a way around this by automatically selecting recommended commands via an AI with a single button press, which in practice is all you’ll ever do. You can watch a gameplay video if you’re confused.

        FFXIII is… not good, in my opinion.

        • Isn’t that basically like, uh Dragon Age? Or even Bioware RPGs in general. Though I guess those do allow you to pause.

        • I actually think FF13’s battle system if the best in my eyes. It’s very fast-paced and frantic and actually pretty difficult. Just using the auto-attack isn’t really a good idea and there’s a lot of strategy and tactics in how you set up your party to do damage, because magic and physical damage are both needed to win most fights.


          It’s also not anything like Dragon Age Origins. The auto-attack button is pretty much for spamming basic attacks since instead of magic points or what-not you’re limited by Action Points which regenerate swiftly and so saving them up for a properly times combo is always a good idea.


          I could probably talk forever about how much I like the battle system.

    • Ah yes, that new lead writer they’re introducing is a riot. I remember seeing an interview where she led with a joke about expanding the sewer levels when asked how she’d improve the game. That’s how you know she’s the real thing.

    • I guess DA is more similar to an MMO, then. Bioware better not get any ideas.

    • Yeah, the original Bloodlines even made at least one direct dig at the GOP, considering voting for them an unpardonable sin. The game was not trying to be subtle about who the real bloodsuckers were, you know. That said, I do see how a gamerbro could get through it thinking that it’s not ‘political’ just because, like, it’s full of scantily clad women calling each other whores and sluts. If that’s where your thought process begins and ends, you’ll think it’s just an edgy, juvenile game about vampire drama.

      Fallout: New Vegas had this same problem, where the whole Obviously Evil Roman Legion guys tricked half the player base into assuming the ‘Murica Reborn NCR were shining patriots, ignoring all the signs that ‘recivilizing’ the wasteland was just a rehash of Manifest Destiny and all that glorious imperialism crap. Plus House’s whole deal. You can kind of just assume there’s a filter on when gamerbros have to read words and make connections to understand a game’s point.

    • I mean, really, White Wolf stuff as a whole was always deeply, unsubtly political.

      It was also always cringe as fuck because while authors’ hearts were generally in the right place, they often had no idea what they were talking about.

      And, OK, it’s easier to overlook in Vampire than in, say, Mage or Werewolf because Vampire books don’t literally bash your skull open with a club with “Discourse” written on it, but it’s still a game where a faction named Anarchs is presented as the most sympathetic, just as an example of surface reading.

      • The even more obvious parallel is the entire Ventrue clan, which explicitly draw a line between old-school nobility and modern corporate executives etc. Get it? A Ventrue capitalist! Yes, remarkably subtle. Ol’ Lacroix even did a colonizer stint in Africa, where he found the Sheriff. Just a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it thing, not political at all.

      • Man, the Sheriff was such wasted potential.

    • I would guess there’s a significant cause-effect relationship between the fact that Gamerbros tend to be conservative and in the US conservatives tend to be on the lower end of the education spectrum — things like thematic analysis are generally saved for higher education and honors or AP high school courses, or, idk, states that aren’t 50th in education. If no one ever taught you how to identify themes and motifs, you’d probably just take things as face value.

      • It’s also true, though, that higher education tends to be liberal in nature, and that contributes to those statistics; in the same way that a few centuries ago, it’d be true to say the same about the connection between higher education and a church career.

        The over-emphasis on the “importance” of higher education is the main cause of America’s current skills gap. We have millions of unfilled positions in good careers, and millions of unemployed college graduates who aren’t qualified to do those jobs because they were told by state education it was more wise to rack up tens of thousands of dollars of debt to be taught that those jobs were beneath them. There are probably millions of homeless people and millions of good, honest, well-paying jobs in construction that go unfilled, but between overly strict government regulations on putting up new housing (looking at you, San Francisco) and a lack of the required skillset, these two problems can’t solve each other.

    • Woooooow.

      Though I think the thing where they apparently coopted a trans visibility hastag to post an ad is far worse.

      Way to live down to my worst assumptions, CD.

    • That ad (the in-game one, that is) actually seems to have just been a message that was misfired.

      • Act replied 2 weeks ago

        Yes, that seems to have been their selection from Low-Effort Damage Control for Dummies. Rote recreation continues to not be a form of critique.

        I would say the odds of this game containing a meaningful examination of trans fetishization are roughly zero, but who knows,  maybe someone on the team looked at the whole “women who don’t carry pregnancies to term will be murdered by fetuses” thing and felt remorse.

        • I don’t think there’s enough context in one screenshot to tell if it’s part of the game’s commentary on the commodification of humanity or just rote recreation.

          • I think it can be intentionally commentary but commentary that’s built off an unintentional transphobic base at the same time. What I think happened is they started with their own bias in viewing trans people as hypersexualized then tried to make a evil corporation version by amping it up further.

            If the point is just hypersexualization/being reduced to body parts due to corporations, there should be cis dicks getting featured too. Or if it’s specifically focusing on trans fetishism as corporate evil, that would suggest there should also be burly trans men in cameltoe outfits. If nothing else, it fails as a future prediction because lol chick with a dick has been the state of shitty trans stuff so long it’s old hat and would probably not still be cutting edge by then.

            • Either way, or even if it’s a third or fourth way, I still don’t think there is even close to enough information, or context of the information presented in that trailer, to make such a call yet.

              It’s not as if that poster was seen hanging on the wall while the trailer walked through the Hall of Objectification next to all the other kinds of objectification that’d be going on. You need more than one nail to close a coffin, and I’m still willing to give Pondsmith the benefit of the doubt because he’s one of the few guys who has been doing cyberpunk since the eighties who is still doing it, and who doesn’t think cyberpunk isn’t real cyberpunk if it doesn’t fetishize anarcho-communism.

              I just wish he’d hand the reigns over to someone else when it comes to the mechanics of the complementary pen and paper RPG. Jesus Christ, it’ll use  Interlock. In the modern day. I’d almost take the anarcho-communist fetishism for a modern system. Almost.

              • No one is saying, “We absolutely know for sure what the context is and it’s terrible,” we’re saying, “Given the CD’s track record with trans issues specifically and social issues in general, as well as the problematic way this was presented, we’re incredibly concerned about the message the game is going to send.” I personally think it’s stupidly unlikely there’s any secret meaning here. I would love to be wrong about that — it would be a great thing if I am — but I’m also perfectly comfortable being cynical about CD.

                Also, expressing these concerns during development is probably the best time to do so. It gives the team a chance to respond and make changes. Waiting until everything is finalized to say, ‘Hey, maybe no?’ seems silly.

  • ERROR: Human Not Found is a murder mystery visual novel about a murdered AI. You play as one of the researchers involved in the AI’s development, and team up with another AI to investigate the mystery. It’s free […]

    • Act replied 1 month ago

      You should check out Catherynne Valente’s novella Silently and Very Fast. It sounds like exactly what you wanted from this game. P sure it’s up on for free.

      • That was very good! I particularly liked The Parable of the Good Robot.

        Forward (which I linked in the review) is also looking pretty good on this, though it’s focused more on the human side.

  • A lot of weirdness but nothing particularly noteworthy.

    re: Your review to The Deathman’s Dragons
    2 JunThe Deathman’s Overlord
    A response to your review at

    Thank […]

  • A decent story about an autistic kid, a Mary Sue/Mewtwo romance, and a story where Lusamine spends all her time sobbing over her losses instead of doing anything about it because she’s so pathetic and […]

  • Very chill today.

    re: Your review to In Beta
    30 MayNamohysip
    A response to your review at

    Heya, thanks for the review! I’ll reply to this bit by bit.

    -I didn’t […]

    • The species name is their legal name, in the same way we have last names. Grammatically, “He’s a Charmander” is the same context of “He’s a Smith” and so on, similar to referring to someone by their clan name. A happy compromise!

      That’s actually pretty clever if the story’s confined to one region or location.

    • I clearly state that I repost PMs on my profile. I have never made any attempt to keep this a secret or entrap anyone.

      I do not see how this is in any way a breach of trust. Your message was in response to a public comment and contained no sensitive information (if either of those things are different, I do not repost). I genuinely do not understand the issue.

      • Eh, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask that a disclaimer about PM reposting be included in the review boilerplate, especially if people are now taking things posted in private messages and using them to attack authors who don’t immediately condemn everything you say in your reviews. I would find it really unsettling if someone got up in my face with words that I thought only one other person had seen, and I don’t usually look at author profiles before I reply to reviews.

        • The boilerplate would be great and free up profile space (it’s usually not even relevant to people actually showing up to PM me through my profile) if people hadn’t made it clear that the “I’m doing this thing” warning gets taken even worse than seeing us doing the thing. Indeed, this has just illustrated that people are completely nuts on the subject and left to their own devices decide a pressing issue is that hypothetically we could put different text in people’s mouths.

          • Well, I figure the people who’ll get weird about it will get weird about something no matter what you do, and the people who don’t get weird about things might appreciate it. But I totally understand not wanting to invite more drama. :(

    • Think about how badly that’d actually be taken. It’s easy to jump to the idea that any other way of doing it must be better simply because one’s already happened and the other hasn’t.

      PMs on a site that has no other way of talking to people are not getting sent as the result of an intentional decision that they wanted something kept private. They’re getting sent because someone clicks the only links available to them. The main difference between what’s happening here and the standard behavior across the internet is that we attempt to do so consistently and honestly instead of picking a couple people we want to crucify and showing off precisely enough to best mock them.

    • Your over-the-top catastrophizing is not useful, nor is your seeming assumption that this was started last week as some plot to humiliate you. Take a deep breath, look around the blogs and Farla’s forum to get a sense of why this has been the review procedure for like 15 years, and then come back and have a calm discussion.

      If you don’t want your conversation here, tell us and it will go away. No one will think less of you for this.

      Or, idk, keep raving incoherently about how there’s some timeline where posting PMs causes nuclear war.

    • Speaking of honesty, you know what’s also funny about doing these private conversations publicly? Editing source html on a page. It’s stupid easy to hit F12 on a page and literally edit the text of what’s said in a private message before taking a screenshot, copy/paste, whatever. And because a lot of people don’t actually know this is done, they’ll have no way to defend themselves if their message had been edited.

      So because a bad thing we’re not doing is physically possible in the world and such misrepresentation of what was actually said is horrible, it’d be better to not have the actual text. Because people being able to defend themselves against mistruth is important, we shouldn’t let anyone know what was actually said and it should just be however we choose to describe it instead.

      People are not actually hurt by their words here. They consistently don’t ask us to take the PMs down even when they’re here just to say how very upset they are about it. Instead, like you, people mostly start hypothetical arguments about how this could be a terrible thing if only we intentionally did something to make it terrible – misrepresenting people, using it as a hitlist, publishing actual sensitive information, refusing to take it down when the person asks. And those tend to be the reasons why people react badly to being told we’re doing this – not because they don’t want their words known, but because when they think of the very idea, they assume there’s some convoluted malicious plan behind it.

    • Wait, so you’re aware we’ve been undergoing a targeted alt- right hate campaign that including among other things *someone contracting the lawyer of our web host to try to get the site taken down for hate speech* and you’re unable to understand why we’re in favor of clear, comprehensive documentation? In fact, in this situation, we’re in the wrong for promoting total transparency.


    • I thought I’d pop in to give my two cents. Sorry for the long post, everyone. I actually do agree with you on an emotional level, Namo, specifically about how the disclaimers pertaining to the posting of PMs aren’t posted in the most relevant place, as most people don’t actually visit the profile of the person reviewing. Ideally, such information wouldn’t be posted at all. The overall situation at hand, however, is far from an ideal one, where people react fairly and rationally. As Act has pointed out, and as you yourself are apparently aware of on some level, the people here have been treated unfairly, and as a result, have had to respond accordingly. It’s not that they’re doing this as part of some harassment campaign, it’s kinda the opposite.


      I haven’t been around long enough to see all of it, but from my understanding, Farla has been reviewing fairly, giving constructive criticism for 15 years. “Fairly,” in this case, means reviewing a story without going for the praise sandwich, and illuminating all the various flaws she sees for the author to be able to address so that they may improve their story or as a writer. Unfortunately, most people don’t want a fair review, they want idle praise, even if that means a reviewer lying through their teeth or not saying anything at all. And in this society of “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” a great deal of people have arisen with the notion that for some reason that a review– an actual review, not just “omg I luv it pls continue”– is out-of-bounds, and should be treated as an act of war.

      Hence, Hybrid.

      The people here are actually really good, honorable people, though. I haven’t agreed with every method they do, and my involvement in the scene first came with my being a petulant naysayer, even, after Saint told me my extremely less-than-perfect story was less than perfect. But it didn’t take me long to realize that they’re not actually the spawn of Satan, and that they do have a reason for the way they do things.

      In the past, I had even requested that the people here take down PM chains regarding my reviews, and they did. If this is about your reviews being made public, and if you genuinely have a problem with that, if you ask them to remove them, they will do so. I can understand your issue with private messages being made public. I don’t really like it, either. The issue at hand is that they’ve been attacked for fifteen or so years (I have no idea the exact amount for when this started happening, just that it’s been going on for some time) by people who can commit all manners of libel. They can say Farla or Saint or Act or anyone who reviews, really, made a death threat against them, made hate speech, any provocative thing that will get the already-aggravated masses even more riled up against the people who dare to give more than the customary praise sandwich.

      That, of course, is where the PMs come in. I’m sure you’re aware that some reviewing websites post the PMs of authors who behave in a childish manner, so that they may mock them as a deterrent for future childish behavior, such as in the case of this:

      The problem here is that Farla has a stronger code of ethics than scifiandscary, and while that website is probably justified in their policy of posting private conversations for people who harass them, it has the possibility of damaging their reputation or writing career, as was mentioned by the author that link concerns. People don’t notice a PM chain if it’s one in a thousand, but if someone posts one in a rare occasion, or if people know it’s tied to drama, it’s like an endorsement to gather the internet ’round to gawk at the person, “see that’s the one, look how stupid he was for saying those things, what a loser…”

      Furthermore, having access to everything that’s been said provides Dragon Quill a defense against people who would and have committed libel. No, it’s not perfect, photoshop exists, but something is better than nothing, right? If DQ didn’t have to deal with such an overwhelming amount of trolls, I would argue for a compromise, something similar to what I did when I thought my reviews might be made public, and give the author options in a corresponding review, such as:

      -PMs remain totally private-A summary of what you have said will be given-PMs are posted with name omitted-PMs will be posted without modification

      But if such a system exists, DQ’s name can be slandered with impunity, as they have the first option of making everything private. The fact that they’re willing to take down PM chains at all is proof of their applying a code of honor to this system. The second option still allows room for people to cry wolf. The third one is totally useless, as it doesn’t tie the conversation to a specific user at all, and thus cannot be used as a defense against an untrue accusation. The fourth option, the one currently in place, is the only one capable of doing that, at least to some degree.

      TLDR; the system in place exists for a reason, if you care to look hard enough. They’re not doing this to harass anyone, but so that they won’t be harassed further.

      Edit: cleaned up some of the beginning paragraph so my intended message was made clearer.

  • A weird story about what appears to be a self-insert replacing Lillie’s role in the plot of SuMo, a decent story about the creation of Porygon, an amusing story about an incompetent spoiled brat trainer, and a lot […]

    • Blocked; this is the guy who’s writing pokephilia romance for every single pokemon.

      … Gotta fuck ’em all?

      I’m sorry.

  • A while back I reviewed the story Salvation. The author has since rewritten the story, and asked me to review the new version.

    Part of the chapter review exchange.

    I should warn you that I’m not familiar with […]

    • You seem a bit confused; this post is just the review. If you want to give your opinion on the story itself, it would be best to do so by writing your own review on the site (as you have already done), as I’m not aware if the author follows this blog.

      I don’t think there should be an paragraph break, in my opinion.


      Actually, I will have to respectfully disagree. It’s true that there is this advantage, by giving more details about the power, but sometimes it is just better to let readers figure this out by themselves, which will lead to element of surprise.

      But there’s not really anything to figure out in that passage. We’re just told that Lance experienced nightmares, and then the story moves on. It’s not that the details are left vague, it’s that there are no details. This should logically be emotionally harrowing for Lance, but he doesn’t seem affected by it at all — the very next sentence is that he shrugged it off. This makes it hard to get emotionally connected to Lance, as he just looks like an invincible superhero with no feelings. We see what his nightmares look like when Agatha attacks him later, so it would have been consistent to show more details here as well.

      The repetition part is a little ambigitous, since it depends on if the author wants to replace the word.

      Not really? It depends on if the author agrees it sounds awkward. Is that what you meant?

      It is true there’s not much emotional investment, but it’s just one chapter, so there’s not much to be expected.

      Emotional investment absolutely should be expected in the first chapter, especially one as long as this; the entire point of a first chapter is to get readers invested. You can have the best second chapter in the world, but readers aren’t going to see it if the first chapter doesn’t grab them. This goes double in serial media where readers do not have access to the second chapter from the beginning, and it goes triple in environments flooded with competition, such as fanfiction. Telling authors otherwise is going to hurt them.

      it’s there for a reason

      And you know this… how? The author seems competent so I trust that you are right, but that is the crux of it: Details should exist for a reason, and it’s possible to disagree if that reason is valid. I’m not yet clear on why they included this element or what it will add to the story, so it is reasonable for me to question it. And, yes, there is personal preference there too — I personally don’t like stories about human trainers with superpowers, because that’s a trope I can get anywhere. I’m here for the pokemon.

      Now, the next time you have a bee in your bonnet about us, I’d appreciate it if you keep it here or on the forums instead of using someone’s story as a soapbox to talk about me, because that’s incredibly rude to the author and, as you said you well know, exactly what they did not want in their review section. If you’re reviewing an author, do it for them, not for me.

    • If you think it is rude, like this, then I think it is your problem.

      No, I know it’s rude, because authors have literally told me it is. Multiple authors, multiple times, sometimes even saying they had to take down their story because they don’t want the drama. Choosing to ignore someone’s express wishes is rude. Say whatever you want about me, but say it to me. Do not drag other people into this.

      I am just trying to educate the author of the story about the correct way to fix things

      …So you are saying your opinion is “the correct way” and mine is not? Your review was entirely your own opinion.

    • I was trying to help them

      Starting a fight in the reviews helps no one.

      You are correct, reviews should be to help authors. So make it about them. Tell them what they did right, not just what I did wrong. If they actively request your comment on a specific thing I said, then by all means, do so. But picking over a specific review after a long spiel about what a terrible person I am just makes it abundantly clear to the author that you reviewed because of me, not because the story actually interested you, and you are just using them to get at me. You think that’s not demoralizing?

      Here is an example of an author actually reviewing to show us how it’s done, if you need to see what that looks like.

    • “People said, explicitly and repeatedly, they do not appreciate “counter-reviews” and it’s transparently an ego thing for the people giving them.”


      I mean, we literally cannot stop you from being a dick to other people. If your only goal here was to announce your intention to be a dick in defiance of what anyone else wants, well, you sure did that. It’s not going to be great for anyone, but quite possibly it’s better than whatever garbage your actual reviews would be.

      • Their behavior isn’t your fault or responsibility, both in general and in that if they’re spamming Hybrid’s copypasta in people’s review sections, they were already firmly on this bandwagon and it’s just chance they threw this tantrum using your fic and not another one.

      • To add to what Farla said, don’t let shitstirrers get in the way of your goal of self-improvement.

        Sorry I can’t comment on the fic itself, I’m not really a “Pokémon” fan, but keep at your writing.! :-)

  • On the other hand I start radiation next week so here are some pans. You may notice there are twice as many of these; I did not have a good run of Steam sales last year, apparently.
    Inside: Pan-Pan, Copoka, […]

    • Dang, htol#NiQ looked pretty cute. Salt reminds me of that level in the Super Mario 64 DS remake, where it was just a couple of islands, knee-deep water, and a Koopa shell to cruise on. I find that level absurdly comforting and memorable.

      I am so fucking sick of ~true endings~ why have games just stopped telling stories like normal goddamn people I have completely lost my patience for this YOUR PRINCESS IS IN ANOTHER PLAYTHROUGH nonsense in modern games just commit to a fucking narrative!

      *coughs, looks awkwardly at Hollow Knight and Sekiro, two of my favorite games ever* Incidentally, Radiant Historia (WHICH I HAVE NOT FINISHED NO SPOILERS) is the best JRPG I have ever played, bar none.

      • I loved Hollow Knight SO MUCH but my one issue was that I thought some of the major plot stuff was too hidden. 

        Also yes Radiant Historia is easily the best jrpg I’ve ever played, it’s just perfect from top to bottom

        • I will say this to defend Hollow Knight: it at least doesn’t force you to NG+ for the alternate endings and extra plot. You can do it at your leisure. It also adds a boss rush mode, which is missing from 99% of games with good bosses (looking at you, Dark Souls/Bloodbourne/Sekiro).

          Radiant Historia is… I don’t even know how to put it in words. Even outside of JRPGs, it’s one of the most beautifully constructed games I’ve ever played. RH took a lot of things I hate about RPGs, like backtracking, and made me love them. It’s bizarre.

          • A boss rush REALLY REALLY REALLY wouldn’t work in Sekiro, considering how it works. You absolutely don’t have the resources to do so and it’d be the most tedious Git Gud thing ever.


            Anyways, the one thing I doesn’t agree with is Yomawari. Maybe my tastes are different, but I enjoyed it all the way to the end.

            Also I don’t think Poro’s death was meant to be edgy, since his death and the protagonist’s refusal to accept it is kind of the basis of the entire plot.

            I don’t disagree that there shoulda been more to its story since it’s a bit too short, though.


              A boss rush REALLY REALLY REALLY wouldn’t work in Sekiro, considering how it works. You absolutely don’t have the resources to do so and it’d be the most tedious Git Gud thing ever.

              Yeah, I guess my fault for misspeaking, but I don’t mean a traditional consecutive boss rush, I suppose. I mean more along the lines of what Hollow Knight had, which is a mode that has both a boss rush and an area where you can fight any of the bosses at your leisure. I hesitate to call it a practice mode since it has a “1-HP” difficulty. And, I mean, as far as tedious Git Gud things go… I did a lot of that in Hollow Knight and I suspect I’d be willing to do so in Sekiro, given I’m on like NG+5 (seriously, Sekiro is the apex of 3D action).

              Really, I’d have been satisfied if Sekiro had a traditional save system, instead of the constant autosaving it inherited from Dark Souls. There’s almost no practical reason for it to do so. Then I could manually save the game before every awesome boss.

              • The term for this is ‘boss refights’. Which could probably be done just with the Idol system. Have a ‘Boss Zone’ ‘location’ in the Idol menu that sends you to closed off versions of the boss areas akin to the spoiler bonus boss one.

    • The remake is built upon the original, gameplay and story-wise. You can even choose to have the extra content put at the end and play the original story as intended. There are tons of bells and whistles like voice-acting and updated art (YMMV on the new art). User interface is also improved quite a bit, plus some other quality-of-life stuff. Everything I’ve seen so far looks like it was very carefully made to preserve as much of the original experience as possible, which I appreciate.

      I can’t speak to the quality of the 3rd timeline, since I only recently bought it, but I’m happy with the purchase.

    • … Also I agree that Sekiro is super good. I’m terrible at Dark Souls/Bloodborne but I managed to beat Sekiro. The final boss took me like six hours though.

      • Dark Souls and Sekiro actually demand totally different things from the player, so it’s understandable that some people find Sekiro easier. I think Dark Souls is probably the more widely appealing/accessible series in:re difficulty; you can make Dark Souls as easy or hard as you like just with like, stat and gear choices. Sekiro’s focus on fast-paced mechanical execution and downplaying of the RPG aspect means it’s catering to a much narrower audience.

        Man the last boss in Sekiro was just <3 <3 <3 maybe my all-time favorite boss fight.

    • I think it’s more that Sekiro is very aggressively focused and rewards it, whereas Dark Souls isn’t. I went from playing Katana Zero to Sekiro as well and that basically influenced how I fought entirely.

      Katana Zero also rules by the way.

      And ughhh the final boss. Yeah it’s a great boss fight! But I lost more than once with literally one hit left because of his stupid special attack not being countered despite me doing the counter because of a thing that only comes up in that fight!

      • Yeah, Sekiro rewards a specific playstyle, which hurts its replayability compared to Dark Souls (not enough to stop me from putting 100 hours into it) and also makes it harder for people who played Dark Souls in specific ways.

        I’ve been hearing good things about Katana Zero. I’ll check it out.

        I wish the boss’s final phase didn’t have that attack. It’s cool and all, but it makes him ludicrously easy (and yeah, the counter seems to not work every so often).

    • The first several times I did it I wiped to him purely because of the lightning blasts even when I should have won, because unlike every other attack of that sort in the game, his stuns you briefly. Which means if you’re not blocking when it hits you, then it becomes a game of chance whether Sekiro recovers fast enough to do the counter.



  • “It’s… a traditional roguelike,” was Roarke’s summation of this game. “It’s pretty fun. I’m not sure I’d rec it, though.”

    ‘Mildly fun grindfest with no requirement for emotional investment’ was actually what […]

    • I haven’t played Tangledeep in a bit, but if I remember right, you do essentially free everyone else at the end of the game. You kill the mindslaving computer she fuses with, after all. So it’s less you sabotaging Shara (whom I love) and more standing on her corpse and claiming credit.

      I didn’t realize there was a dearth of male characters. Sure, women were very prominent, but like, there’s Turtle Priest, Bull Trainer, Bird Boss, Frog Farmer, and various other guys serving important RPG/roguelike functions, like quest-giving and shop-keeping.

      score one for human communication

      I found this entire post hilariously surreal.


    • I think this is the first time I’ve seen a critic say straight up that a game was ok at best while also admitting that they liked it. (Maybe you’ve done this before, I don’t know, I’ve only read like 1.5% of the articles here.) It sounds like your experience with Tangledeep is pretty similar to mine with Valhalla Knights: Eldar Saga. It’s a grindfest with a super simplistic and cliche story, complete with dialogue choices that literally don’t matter, and a weird sound setup that make your footsteps the loudest noise in the game, but fuck if I haven’t sunk 50 hours into it.

      Maybe I’m just a sucker for brainless roguelikes, because I was actually pretty intrigued by the game – until you explained the situation with Shara. Having an antagonist who’s actions are largely heroic can be a really interesting setup, and seeing that go to waste sounds excruciating.

      Here’s hoping for your fast and smooth recovery!

      • Shara was, I believe, being set up for the quintessential ‘ends justify the means’ villain arc. It’s just that, in a story that’s so bare bones, the reasons that the ‘means’ were bad were never properly established. We’re left with a powerful character with a tragic past and heroic goal butchered, in her moment of triumph, by a nobody self-insert.

    • I have a fondness for this game.


      As a note, you can bring this stuff up on their Discord. They absolutely listen to feedback, and have been doing a lot to make the game better.

      • Fondness is a good way to put it. I’m also fond of the game. It’s got a lot of personality and flavor for a roguelike. The item descriptions still crack me up.

        • Agreed! It’s a diamond in the rough in my eyes. It’s these guys’ first game and it shows, and their willingness to change things to make it better has been very admirable.

  • I’d really recommend this. I found it really enjoyable, though not without its flaws.

    The choreography and animation in general is amazing. It manages a reasonably nuanced take on religion, which is rare in […]

    • I agree with everything stated here. Also, the brief “It endures in the name of your mother” exchange between Alucard and Dracula was so awesome. Dracula’s voice actor was one of the best parts of the series.


      I think it’s funny that the fridging worked because, indeed, it was an actual character death that serves as the bedrock of other characters’ motivations. The bar has fallen so pathetically low that it’s easy to forget how it feels to see it pulled off.

      I really loved the trio’s dynamic, and Sypha was goddamn carrying that crew. She’s like Katara and Azula put together, and not just in terms of her powers.

      I also liked the emerging villains of the next season, though nobody’s going to replace Dracula in my heart.

      • though nobody’s going to replace Dracula in my heart.

        I’m betting Issac agrees with you and will be doing something to fix it.

        (We know Dracula’s gotta keep showing up somehow.)

        • I’m betting Issac agrees with you and will be doing something to fix it.

          Hehehehe. You may be right about that, and Dracula possibly returning. I mean, Castlevania the series is sort of built on the premise that you can’t keep that jerk down. Still, I do think that his death scene was fulfilling enough that his return would feel somewhat unsatisfying.

          I thought Dracula’s dynamic with Isaac was really interesting since, on the one hand, Dracula wanted to kill everyone and then himself, but on the other, clearly valued Isaac’s life and wanted him to live on. I do find it sad and sweet that one of Dracula’s last expressions of fatalism is to decide that he’s not going to let a friend die for him. Then he puts the angry mask back on for the showdown.

          • Still, I do think that his death scene was fulfilling enough that his return would feel somewhat unsatisfying.

            Yeah, I was pondering that. It’s Castlevania canon that sometimes Dracula shows up again to be like “ugh, you think this way my idea? I’m just as upset as you.” and the story’s been….nontraditional….enough that I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that after a lot of hype about oh no his loyal servants or some other random idiots arae bringing back the ultimate vampire!!! Dracula shows up just to remind everyone he was trying to die last time and this is just depressing him even further, he’s going to just sulk on his chair for the next few hundred years.

            For Dracula to actually do anything ever again, maybe some sort of botched resurrection where they get back Younger Dracula who doesn’t remember the last couple decades.

            I do find it sad and sweet that one of Dracula’s last expressions of fatalism is to decide that he’s not going to let a friend die for him.

            I know! And right after his friend is all, “Boy I sure appreciate using my free will to die for your sake, have I mentioned recently how my life revolves around you and you are the only good thing in the entire world and also minor but I really love being here and not in the desert because that’s just the worst place ever.” It was so kind and so horribly cruel.

            (…well, the desert thing in particular seemed rather wtf, like trying to return a caught spider to where you originally found it in the hopes that’s its preferred habitat. But maybe he figured that if his final act was dumping him in a bunch of sand, Issac would be mad at him instead of continuing the suicide cycle.)

            • The ultimate… nontraditional… Dracula resurrection would be him coming back, learning Alucard (somehow) has a child, and becoming a doting grandfather. I’m 237% certain this has already happened in fanfic.

              Dracula dumping Isaac’s loyal ass back in the desert was a fantastic dick move. That’s the absolute intersection between cruelty and laziness. Isaac’s not even like, at the edge of a desert town. He’s in Bumfuck McNowhere. Maybe, like you said, his intention was to make Isaac mad at him so he wouldn’t want to come back. I think, judging by Isaac’s last scene, he also wanted to spare Isaac from human interaction.


              • That’s what I don’t get. If he just wanted to send him to some human-free place, he could’ve dumped him off at Hector’s farm since that’s somehow far enough from people nobody managed a lynching. The only chance Isaac had to survive the desert was to find people – even lucking into an oasis, there’s no food, he had to rely on idiots walking up to him. (Mildly peeved he ate one of the horses, incidentally. He already had perfectly good meat without needing to kill any of the animals. That’s just wasteful, Isaac!)

                Maybe Dracula didn’t grasp just how much Isaac didn’t want to interact with his own kind given he hoped Isaac would be friends with Hector? And also didn’t get Isaac’s outfit is not desert appropriate and he was probably just going to broil on the sand.

              • Yeah, it makes less sense when you put it like that.

                That’s just wasteful, Isaac!

                Indeed, especially since the horses proved themselves just as capable of ferrying undead idiots as living ones. Strictly superior to humans as living collaborators go!

    • Just commenting to add that I LOVE SYPHA’S FIGHT SCENES SO MUCH. Not only is she a hands-only wizard (the best kind), her casting is so kinetic and visceral, making her just as exciting to watch as the fighters even aside from the magic lightshows. It’s so rare to see a caster get so brutal and up in peoples’ business like that.

      • That’s what made Avatar TLA so great, to be honest. I still haven’t seen that kind of combat mage replicated in any kind of animated series save Castlevania.

      • Yeah, those were great. At the same time, though, they didn’t feel very fitting for the character as presented. I mean, show!Sypha is a Speaker, not a battlemage or something similar.

        • As someone who doesn’t know the lore, the impression I got was that she was a ethnically a Speaker and vocationally a battle mage, with the only connection that Speakers have wider access to stuff like that due to the rest of society being kept ignorant.

          • Dracula calls her a ‘Speaker magician’, which he wouldn’t need to do if they were one and the same, so I’m with you on that one. It seems in-character for Sypha to go for the most powerful knowledge available to her, given the opportunity. Given that she was already really accomplished at reading multilingual/ancient tomes, she may not have learned it from her people.

          • Oh, the Speakers were created for the series, so there’s no lore issue here. Ironically enough, game!Sypha was a sorceress working for the Church.

            It’s possible she was a battlemage or similar by vocation, but I never got the impression the Speakers even had such roles, and the implication seems to be that she’s lived with her people her whole life.

            It’s honestly a minor thing, really, because her moves were really cool – in fact, the fight scenes in general were very good -, but it did strike me as odd when first watching.

    • Eh. Personally, I felt it had too many flaws. It was enjoyable, yes, but I mostly lament all the wasted potential. The writing was very shoddy at times,* there were both too many and not enough changes from the source material, Trevor felt very lacklustre as a protagonist – or heck, even as a character – in season 2,  and overall, it felt very trope-ish (I might even say clichéd).

      * “Humans! You have one year to leave Wallachia, or I’m going to kill you all.” Three seconds later: “Damn it, I can’t believe it will take me a year to raise an army to kill all humans! …Maybe I shouldn’t have given them a warning in advance.”

      I also have to disagree with the series being nuanced – I mean, even leaving aside everything in season 1, we have the undead bishop performing a bonafide sacrament, it’s not easy to be less respectful of religious belief than that.

      Basically, I think this could have been a great show if someone other than Warren Ellis had written it.

      One change from the games I did like is that the heroes are less “people who are born special” and more “people armed with proper knowledge”. Trevor, for instance, is quite the fighter, but he’s not superhuman, and the reason he’s so good at fighting monsters is because he has his family’s cumulative knowledge and consecrated weapons, not because the Belmont bloodline is just special.

      • There’s definitely…many, many issues with S2, though I’m inclined to be forgiving given it apparently was only supposed to be half as long.

        “Humans! You have one year to leave Wallachia, or I’m going to kill you all.” Three seconds later: “Damn it, I can’t believe it will take me a year to raise an army to kill all humans! …Maybe I shouldn’t have given them a warning in advance.”

        That, though, was hilarious! Which, yeah, I see the issue, but, Dracula doing his whole dramatic screaming head about how I GIVE YOU WARNING and then going home and saying, “Yeah I actually had no choice but to wait a year but like hell I’m going to admit that, if anyone asks it’s totally just because I wanted to dramatically attack on the anniversary.”

        we have the undead bishop performing a bonafide sacrament, it’s not easy to be less respectful of religious belief than that.

        Christianity has a long history of saying dead bodies have magic powers!

        That was definitely wonky given S1 not only established you have to be decent enough for God to empower you but that the specific dude was on God’s shitlist so hard it undid the consecration of the entire church he was in. On the other hand, if there was anything left of him in that corpse – and we know you can bring back puppies as puppies – it could be that he repented and burning himself up blessing a river was something of an atonement. (It could also be that Hector is not on God’s shitlist and that’s why it went through. I could see that in order to do a blessing you need someone who’s been physically ordained to be able to do it and someone who’s not a total asshole directing it for God to answer and zombies allow for an edge case where those aren’t the same person. If so, we know that God has some pretty low standards if Hector passes.)

        • Christianity has a long history of saying dead bodies have magic powers!

          Sure, but there’s a huge conceptual difference between “this person was so holy in life that their corpse continues to perform miracles” to “this complete waste of a human being was reanimated by dark forces and successfully invokes the power of God”.

          I’ve seen the theory floating around that since the holy water only harmed the forces of darkness – both Dracula’s army and Carmilla’s -, that ultimately it was God’s will all along, but that doesn’t really explain why Carmilla was so sure that would even work.

          […] If so, we know that God has some pretty low standards if Hector passes.)

          Poor Hector. I’m not a fan of either Curse of Darkness generally or Hector specifically – both feel too derivative, both in terms of story and gameplay -, but he definitely got the shaft in this adaptation. Isaac was great, though.

          • Sure, but there’s a huge conceptual difference between “this person was so holy in life that their corpse continues to perform miracles” to “this complete waste of a human being was reanimated by dark forces and successfully invokes the power of God”.

            But it applies to more than just saints.

            Ordaining someone, across multiple branches of Christianity, has a very physical component where the idea is that the person must have hands laid upon them from a person who had hands laid upon them from a person who…all the way back to the apostles who got it from Jesus.

            And we also know there’s also the early Christian belief that the profane could be made holy but the holy could not be made profane, which means an ordained priest’s corpse should stay ordained, it just can’t do anything with those powers because it’s dead and all. And I believe the whole thing where the Catholic church auto-excommunicates women for getting ordained while simultaneously arguing they never were ordained in the first place can be argued as solid evidence that people aren’t un-ordain-able, you can kick them out but you can’t take it back. And this would certainly be in keeping with the fact that you can ninja baptize people and it totally counts because all that matters is physically getting the magically powered water on their head.

            Therefore! God might refuse to send through the blessing if he’s mad at someone who was ordained, BUT the connection itself formed by the laying-on-hands chain is a no-takebacks one, just as no matter how virtuous and loved by God a person might be, they can’t do ordained-stuff without someone else laying on hands and passing on the connection. Either the bodies are always capable of counting as holy objects and successfully performing the required rituals in absence of a mind to hold sin that would make God refuse, or Hector counts as the body’s mind because he’s giving the orders – and he is less of a dick than the original guy, so that’s consistent enough. This also allows for other shenanigans  – run out of bishops? Dig up some old ones and bap people with their fingerbones to keep the line unbroken.

            I’ve seen the theory floating around that since the holy water only harmed the forces of darkness – both Dracula’s army and Carmilla’s -, that ultimately it was God’s will all along, but that doesn’t really explain why Carmilla was so sure that would even work.

            I’d also say there’s no way Carmilla knew they had a dud priest and may not even be religious enough to know dud priests are possible. She may class it just as magic the church happens to know.

            But yeah, the fact the corpse was being used for ‘good’ and also self-immolating in the process may have counted in favor of the blessing going through. My personal guess would be zombie atonement given they’ve got it collared and we’ve seen the undead have some will of their own but it’s very muted, I’m just willing to argue for the elaborate rules lawyer interpretation too.

            • But it applies to more than just saints.

              Yeah, medieval thinking is that body and soul were so closely linked that one reflected the other. I’ll be honest, though, your line of thought is very compelling, but also feels very rules-lawyer-y, like you admit yourself. :-P

      • Hearing that it’s stupid-clever and written by Warren Ellis actually makes me want to watch it, that tone is something he’s really good at. Then again, I have no attachment to the IP so the idea of a tongue in cheek take doesn’t bother me.

    • I honestly think that it really just comes down to the fact that tropes are value-neutral. This particular trope is so overwhelmingly handled in a terrible way, though, that it’s become an Inherently Bad Trope (TM) to a lot of people. I think what Castlevania shows is that no, when you actually treat the woman like a human, it actually can be quite effective, it’s just most people don’t do that.



      I actually really loved the framing of Lisa’s death, narratively, because ‘witchcraft’ and similar women’s culture really were early forms of medicine, and ‘burning witches’ was a way of punishing women for knowing too much and being too independent. I thought having it explicitly be ‘the church is killing this woman for being a scientist’ was a really good commentary on what actually happened as well as a more subtle allusion to how women are still chased out of the sciences and their knowledge is still constructed as inferior. It made her death have value in and of itself, and that it (apparently) goes on to actually matter when usually it actually doesn’t just seems to further demonstrate that the trope can be used for, if not good, at least not-evil. I also can’t emphasize how much I appreciated that the camera did not linger lovingly on her agony while she made sex noises like video games so enjoy.

      Also, this is a TOTAL digression, but I live near Salem, MA, and can never decide if women in Salem selling ‘witchcraft’ is a really creepy monetizing of a tragedy or kind of a fuck-you to the patriarchy inasmuch as women benefit from the tourists almost exclusively. Or both.

    • Sypha’s a generic wise and down-to-earth woman saddled with a generic depressed asocial slob and a generic sarcastic teenager with an Oedipus complex.

      It’s a great show. I think you’ll enjoy it.

    • <3333

      I too have not been here in a while. My hands are basically nonfunctional because of chemo side effects and typing is painful so I can’t really go on the computer :( But! My last chemo appt is Tuesday, so hopefully soon things will be normalish.

      I hope you’re well! Or at least better than me, lol

    • That’s the spirit. <3

    • I really want an adaptation of the Soma arc or the DS games in general. Because Soma is cool, Shanoa is super cool, and it’d be neat to see Jonathan and Charlotte fighting together.

      Also at least in Lisa’s death even in Castlevania itself it wasn’t really protrayed as a fridging either, and is kinda nicely handled in the final battle between Alucard and Dracula where Lisa becomes his motivation to become the Dark Lord, but also the motivation to stop.


      Which is why pretty much all the games after portrays Dracula as being forcefully revived by others who use his power.

      • The Sorrow games would be really cool to see, but it’ll likely be a long time before we get there, if at all.

        I’d actually like to see an adaptation of Harmony of Dissonance, even if it’d delay Symphony of the Night and the Sorrow games. It’s often regarded as a forgettable entry, but I actually thought it had one of the better storylines. They could get a lot out of the mystery and the Silent Hill-esque reality shifting.

        • “Harmony of Dissonance” one of the better storylines, really?

          Personally, I (futilely) hope they never even consider adapting Symphony of the Night. Great gameplay, worse-than-terrible story.

          That said, it seems like they’ll go for something mostly new. Isaac avenging Dracula is reminiscent of Curse of Darkness, but then we also have Carmilla appearing much earlier than she should in the chronology, and both of them are basically completely different characters anyway (particularly Carmilla).

          • “Harmony of Dissonance” one of the better storylines, really?

            It’s a low bar, but yeah. There’s an actual mystery going on with Maxim, they purposefully mess with you to make the two-castle thing less obvious at first, and I found the areas nicely atmospheric. I found it to overall have the most pathos of the Castlevanias I’ve played, and Juste is a cool character and a genuinely nice guy (even if he’s pretty obvious the designers were just copying Alucard).

            And yeah, Symphony of the Night is pretty much just going to be rehashing the storyline we already got for Alucard in season 2, but there’s no way they aren’t adapting it given its popularity. Some are theorizing they’ll weight the story heavily towards Rondo of Blood and those characters, with the Symphony storyline as a short coda, which could work.

            • Hm. I see what you’re saying, but I felt the plot was more than a bit derivative of both Richter’s and Hugh’s plotlines from Symphony and Circle of the Moon.

              Some are theorizing they’ll weight the story heavily towards Rondo of Blood […]

              That would be awesome! Hopefully, they’ll do Richter justice, in that case; I’ve always felt he was shortchanged by the Igavanias.

              • How was he shortchanged by the Igavanias? I mean, Iga hasn’t made any games anywhere near Richter in the timeline and his story already played out by the time Iga was in charge.

      • I return after having played the DS games to say: agreed 100%, Portrait of Ruin was awesome and I’d love to see Jonathan and Charlotte’s tag-teaming in anime.

        Order of Ecclesia felt a little melodramatic to me, but I thought it actually had a nice subversion of “I must save the woman from herself” and related tropes, and the plot is different enough that they could probably get a good adaptation out of it.

        Of course, this is all presuming they’ll continue beyond season 3. We’ll have to see how that shakes out.

    • Symphony of the Night, though, where in order to justify having Alucard as the main character, Shaft is somehow brought back (even though he was killed twice in Rondo, one of those as an evil spirit) and somehow takes control of Richter. Kind of an inglorious end for a Belmont, no?

      ETA: What the hell, why did the reply go here?!

      • Eh, it was just to tie in Rondo of Blood to Symphony. They really could have just not even have Richter. I think he was just there ‘cuz they wanted Maria as the new Belmont, so having Richter there was a good way to do it. Of course, that wasn’t even the first time a Belmont had been taken over by Dracula. It happened in a couple of prior games too. Ones who didn’t even get the benefit of being a protagonist ever!

    • Yeah, but a Soleil was a child when that happened, not a grown man who had already taken Dracula down.

  • “This story isn’t good and that’s why I posted it here. Where it belongs.”

    re: Your review to The Carmine Lasky Saga
    14 AprilGoodGuyFanFiction
    A response to your review at […]

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