Nasuverse Discussion Post

New translation? New game? New horrible costumes? New Saberclone? New interview? TELL THE WORLD HERE.

147 Comments

  1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

    Obligatory:

    Also, just amusing for those who know Fate/Zero:

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    1. Anonymous says:
      Do you know what episode that Kotomine gif comes from? All attempts to find it myself have resulted in failure.

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      1. Anonymous says:
        Ah, I finally found it. It’s from ufotable’s OPs for Realta Nua. Mystery solved!

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  2. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

    Eh, it’s so out of the way, though? I legitimately didn’t know where to find it at first.

    Anyway, I’m tired of Fate/ discussion. Where’s the Tsukihime/KnK at?

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    1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

      I’m actually rereading KnK currently. Between it and DDD, I think Nasu generally writes better novels than visual novels.

      Also, shameless self-promotion for all the three people who know both KnK and Worm: http://archiveofourown.org/works/2495372/chapters/10558161

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      1. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

        I’ll try and take a look at that after work.

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      2. Profile gravatar of Heatth Heatth says:

        I’m actually rereading KnK currently. Between it and DDD, I think Nasu generally writes better novels than visual novels.

         

        Maybe because he knows novels can’t waste time on pointless padding? I fell it is harder to sell a huge book than a big VN (maybe because you can see the former). F/SN is not that huge of a story, but by word count it is bigger than nay single book. It is bigger than most trilogies (apparently it is equivalent to the Harry Potter series as a whole). That hurts the pacing a lot.

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        1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

          Hm, well, it’s a factor (same reason why certain fanfics run forever until they die: digital text is cheap as dirt, paper isn’t), but I don’t think it’s the only one. I feel that Nasu simply doesn’t have as good of a hold on the format.

          In FSN he spreads his writing too thin: he attempts to approach the core themes of heroism and ideals from different angles in each route, which is an interesting idea, but the end result is that they can’t quite stand on their own. Fate doesn’t challenge Shirou enough, UBW does challenge him but ends with him reaffirming his ideals in spite of evidence of that being a bad idea, and in HF he does abandon them, but way too soon, leaving him with nowhere to go, character-wise.

          Tsukihime has the opposite problem: the route are complete, but some of them stick way too closely to each other, so you get a good story and then you get mostly the same story with only some details changed, which makes for a frustrating read.

          By contrast, KnK and DDD are thematically coherent and always move forward since they can’t really repeat the same stuff.

          Maybe it’s also the focus. Both FSN and Tsukihime lean towards epic plots (well, half of Tsukihime, anyway), while KnK and DDD focus on individual mysteries and a few people caught in them, which allows Nasu to examine their minds in detail. And, well, portrayal of broken people was always his greatest forte, so maybe it just shines more brightly in his novels.

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          1. Profile gravatar of Heatth Heatth says:

            In FSN he spreads his writing too thin: he attempts to approach the core themes of heroism and ideals from different angles in each route, which is an interesting idea, but the end result is that they can’t quite stand on their own.

            I don’t think this is a bad thing, necessarely. Them not standing on their own, I mean. Unlike other VNs, you were never supposed to only read on arc. They are even in order here, they were meant to be read as a single thing, one after the other. I don’t think it actually make sense to judge them in separate.

            I can agree with your last point, tough. Even in F/SN the epic battles weren’t always the best parts. In fact, for a “battle royale between mages using ancient heroes”, F/SN is less “epic” than you would expect.

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            1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

              Unlike other VNs, you were never supposed to only read on arc.

              That was the idea, yes, and it was an interesting idea, but their structure doesn’t support it, causing a lot of pacing problems and contributing to padding.

              The routes are still structured as full story, but since each of them contains only a part of the whole, it leaves a lot of empty spaces that are filled by food porn, repeats of days before and other such things.

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              1. Profile gravatar of Heatth Heatth says:

                I agree with that. But the problem is not that each story don’t feel complete.
                That could have worked if Nasu wrote them better.

                I think you were right when you said Nasu didn’t get the format right. He made a linear story that must be read on a specific order, but wrote it as if it was a regular multi path VN, which made him fall back into the regular tropes of the.

                Now I think about it Ryuukishi made the a similar narrative decision in When They Cry, but instead of presenting it as a regular mutiple choice VN (of which you had to take certain decisions on specific order to proceed) it made it explicitly linear.

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              2. Profile gravatar of Act Act says:

                I think the biggest difference between Higurashi and Fate isn’t the lack of choices in Higurashi, but pacing. At the end of each route, you’re left emotionally on a cliffhanger — the routes are ‘complete’ in that the story plays out and all the characters meet their ends, and it’s satisfying in that you have more answers than you did when you started, but you never feel like you have the whole picture, so you can’t possibly take each route on its own — they have no clear deliniation.

                FSN’s routes, on the other hand, do wrap up. They have complete character arcs, don’t leave much — if anything — hanging, and have “ten years later”-style epilogues that show us the happy future of the characters’ lives. With the exception of Archer’s identity, the ‘mysteries’ the routes solve individually don’t impact the other routes (and sometimes completely invalidate them), and you can easily have an emotionally satisfying experience just going through one of them.

                And unlike Higurashi, the format of Fate isn’t part of the story — the structure of it says, “Here is one story told three separate ways,” not “Here are three parts of one story.”

                I get the sense that FSN was a concerted effort by Nasu to turn his passion into a career. He’s a better prose writer than VN writer, but despite how good stories like KnK are he probably (rightly) figured he wasn’t going to make it big like that, and saw VNs as a place where someone with good ideas and an eye toward pandering could make it big. Tsukihime was a test, and its success gave him the chance to tell this story he’d been working on since he was a kid to a wide audience — and he knew it would be a success if he played his cards right. And it was. And now, with Witch on the Holy Night, he’s canned Takeuchi, left eroge behind, and come back to the story that started the whole Nasuverse — and, I suspect. the one he’s wanted to tell from the beginning.

                I would absolutely love to see the original MnY novel. I bet if he cleaned it up it would be amazing.

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              3. Nasu got a few things right; the extremely skilled HF startup and Archer twist and Shirou+Rin personality explorations and Ilya’s arc over the routes are definitely great uses of the medium, but yes, he failed more than he succeeded. The silly rpg stats, Saber romance chucklefuckery, general porngame crap, complete superfluousness and fridgidation of characters in different routes, needless repeats of boring ordinary events, unearned drama in HF, eleventh hour bullshit villains, contradictory themes and messages. In general, this FSN really would’ve been better off as a linear trilogy working on the heroism thing as one long arc of Shirou.

                It’s like R07’s Crying Animals novels. VN format kinda crashes and burns on longform cohesive stories, seeing how it’s evolved at “pick the girl” romance sim thingies where the point is (assuming not porn) exploring a bunch of different characters’ interactions under a specific set of conditions. R07 is much better than Nasu at differentiating his routes and themes, with less bloat. But Crying Animals are no VNs either. They don’t even call themselves vn.

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          2. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

            There’s another problem that crops up in the digital medium: Nasu isn’t writing just visual novels; he’s writing eroge. It opens up a whole other can of worms (pun intended).

            Suddenly, there’s a truckload of sexual violence. The capacity and desire to rape is explicit on the part of the villains and protagonists (previously it was just the gangsters in KnK). The women-as-objects viewpoint gets picked up and never fully dropped, and it really just detracts from the whole experience. There’s only so much you can blame on Takeuchi for it. Even though Nasu does write some stuff very well, like Kohaku’s situation, I’d say it’s like 75% or more garbage.

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            1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

              Hm, yes, that is certainly true. I mean, even Nasu agrees that he basically butchered (pun intended) Saber because that’s the only way he could see the relationship with her and Shirou developing.

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              1. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

                Yeah. I’m interested in seeing what he’ll say about Sakura/HF when the movies come out. He has to know that he fucked that up.

                Fun fact: there’s a HF manga getting serialized right now, and it’s actually doing some work to fix HF’s biggest issues. Sakura is prominent from the start. Her backstory is not hidden. We see what her home life is like. It’s just generally better all-around.

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  3. Let’s see if pictures are postable.

     

     

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    1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

      The last pic really makes me want to see a cross between FSN and Utena. Gil would fit in perfectly as an antagonist.

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      1. While I hated what I’ve seen of Utena, there’s

        so I can’t be too unhappy it exists.

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    2. Profile gravatar of Act Act says:

      I demand more Python quotes laid over UBW screencaps. There must be a tumblr for that somewhere.

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    1. Daily silly fanfiction

      Guess who this is supposed to be. Just guess.

      (tip: you’ll fail unless you already heard)

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      1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

        Oh, hey, I know who it is! It’s Saber!

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      2. SpoonyViking says:
        I don’t mind that they genderbent Attila, since that’s at least somewhat conceivable, what with of our written sources on him being from a much later period, but Altera’s design is really bad.

        The name, too, come to think of it.

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      3. SpoonyViking says:
        Huh, can’t edit my earlier post.

        Also, no fanfic; the “Extella” game is written by Nasu as well. :-) (Although I think he has a co-writer, too?)

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  4. Doortothe says:
    I’ll be sure to tell everyone here about Fate/Extella when it comes out. I don’t think anyone will mind if I call dibs on that, right?

    I also have an essay I’ve been meaning to write about the difference between Shirou’s desire to save people in UBW and Shirou’s saving of Sakura in HF. Unfortunately I have some energy issues atm. I’m mentioning it here so that the responses I get can remind me to write that essay when I do have the time and energy.

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    1. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

      Could have been worse. He could have died – oh wait.

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  5. Profile gravatar of Act Act says:

    Today I was walking through my office and saw a book titled “Neuroscience” on the wall and thought it said “Nasuverse” and god damn.

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    1. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

      Good old mental saturation. That’s how you know you’re in deep.

      Honestly, I’m not even sure about the Nasuverse right now. The three main pillars (KnK, Tsukihime, F/SN) are all getting on in years*, so all that’s going on right now is the untranslated Aozaki VN and a million increasingly shallow spin-offs.

      I just want to wipe my brain and read the big three again. 

      *UBW anime (and incoming HF movies) did actually revitalize interest in F/SN quite a bit, recent LN’s, manga, and anime are referencing it often again.

       

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      1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

        Hey, there is also DDD (which, granted, may or may not be a part of Nasuverse proper, but, meh, the tone and themes are close enough). You should read it if you didn’t already. Last time I checked, the first volume was fully translated, and it’s a standalone thing. The second volume is better, but I don’t know about its English translation.

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        1. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

          I’ll poke at DDD and see what’s up, but when I say pillar I’m basically just referring to popularity and breadth. I suspect DDD doesn’t really have that compared to the others. Maybe it will be a pillar eventually? Is it ongoing?

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          1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

            No. There are two volumes plus a short story. I didn’t hear about any plans to continue it or adapt it into an anime and such.

            It is much less popular than other works of Nasu, which is honestly a shame.

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            1. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

              Yeah, things like demonic possession seem so far up Nasu’s alley that it’s honestly surprising for DDD to be so small and unknown.

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      2. Profile gravatar of Act Act says:

        The Nasuverse as a whole is, indeed, a clusterfuck, but I’m happy waiting around for Aozakinovel. I also have DDD and Notes to read.

        Clusterfuckitude is always a risk when a franchise gets big. I’m happy to pretend the rest of it doesn’t exist.

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        1. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

          It’s easier to pretend the spin-offs don’t exist when I’m already pretending large chunks of F/SN itself don’t exist.

          Surprisingly, I can’t think of anything glaringly bad in Tsukihime that I wish didn’t exist, even the Akiha romance. Tone down the incest overtones, but that’s basically it. Tsukihime was just good, honestly. In many ways I prefer it to F/SN.

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          1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

            Surprisingly, I can’t think of anything glaringly bad in Tsukihime that I wish didn’t exist

            The rape option. I mean, it’s an option, you can skip it easily, but it still exists.

            That said, yeah, Tsukihime is probably better than FSN, even if I generally prefer stories about magi rather than vampires.

            Overall, my favorite Nasu work is KnK, even if it’s opaque as fuck sometimes. Magic noir done right.

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            1. Profile gravatar of Act Act says:

              KnK really is the best. Which goes back to Nasu’s real strength being traditional prose.

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              1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

                Interestingly, both KnK and DDD are structured as series of relatively short self-contained stories that share the main cast and have overarching character development.

                 

                Probably a part of the reason why he thought dividing Shirou’s arc in three parts in FSN was a good idea: he normally is pretty good at writing self-contained stories featuring characters in various states of their development.

                Though, of course, it didn’t work that great in FSN.

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            2. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

              Ugh, you’re right. And it’s rape options, plural.

              I’d say it goes KnK > Tsukihime > Fate overall, but the best/memorable moments for me belong to Fate, then Tsukihime, then KnK.

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              1. Profile gravatar of Act Act says:

                I actually have to kind-of defend Nasu on this one.

                I do think one of his major ~problematic~ things is his tendency toward “all violence against women is sexual violence.” That said, it’s a vampire story, and thematically, vampire violence is supposed to be sexual violence, no matter who’s at the receiving end — that’s just the nature of the symbol. It makes sense for Nanaya Shiki’s symbolic loss of self in a vampire story to culminate in his attempted assault of Kohaku (Hisui? don’t remember).

                That vampire-sexual-violence tends to manifest in male-on-female violence is a genre problem that Nasu, I guess, could have subverted. But I do think it has to be taken in context of the story as a whole. I actually think the rape scene in KnK is more gratuitous because it’s there just to hammer in how shitty Fujiko’s life is as opposed to having any thematic ties to the story (it didn’t have to be a rape that repaired her nervous system, it could have been a mugging or robbery or hell, a sports injury, just as easily). 

                I’ll also say that in general, despite his overuse of AVAISV, Nasu is really good about a) having rapists be obvious bad guys b) having sexual assault be about the women and not the men and c) not using it as a default form of character growth for female characters. These are admittedly low standard, but most stories out there don’t meet them.

                tl;dr Nasu uses this plotline too much but generally does is well and I think KnK is less defensible than Tsukihime.

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              2. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

                There is also Arcueid’s route, though, in which you can rape her if you don’t resist hard enough when she accidentally hypnotizes you.

                Taken as a metaphor for sexual violence… it’s not very good.

                I think I agree on KnK, though. I do understand why Nasu picked rape as a trigger point – it sets up a question of when revenge is justified and should not be stopped, which is a point that’s easier to make with rapists as bad guys – but I do agree that it could have been changed to something else.

                Not a random injury, but, for example, a medical trauma. Fujiko is the way she is because her parents tried to “fix” her via some shady treatment. If the treatment was faulty or required regular visits to a doctor, it would be plausible for some drug or something to backfire and restore her ability.

                The plot would have to be changed in such a scenario, but I think that would have a potential to explore some interesting themes as well.

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              3. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

                AVAISV

                Missing a W, but otherwise thanks for introducing AVAWISV, which I’m sure will see more use.

                 it didn’t have to be a rape that repaired her nervous system

                It wasn’t the rape. Once the thug leader got bored with how unresponsive she was to the rape, he hit her in the spine with a baseball bat. That repaired her (and then she unrepaired him).

                It makes sense for Nanaya Shiki’s symbolic loss of self in a vampire story to culminate in his attempted assault of Kohaku (Hisui? don’t remember).

                Well, first he tried to rape Arcueid under the suggestion of her Mystic Eyes. Regardless of the hypnotism, I still think that’s pretty fairly on him, because murdering her was still on the table.

                The rape was against Kohaku, yes. At no point in the game is Hisui sexually assaulted. In fact, she’s the only heroine who isn’t. Not sure what thoughts you have on that, but I guess when half of Kohaku’s backstory is taking all the abuse so that Hisui doesn’t have to face any, it kind of makes sense.

                Nasu, I think, toes the line a little too dangerously on point a) rapists being obvious bad guys in Tsukihime. Nanaya Shiki can be kind of out there, and it’s hard sometimes to separate him from Roa or whoever else’s influence. It’s also hard to make rape solely about women in a first-person male narration, especially when Nanaya!Roa!Shiki drops wonderful lines like “it’s the first time I’ve met a woman I would regret killing” as he’s raping her.

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            3. I like those rapes. They’re there to show that Nanaya is a bad thing in need of stopping. Nanaya’s compulsive murdererhood wouldn’t cut it when his targets are vampires/monsters/supernaturals. Could he have kicked some puppies instead? Yeah but contriving some baby seals for him to club would be hard to do well.

              It is kinda like demonic possession come to think of it. So is Akiha’s inversion. So is Arcueid’s rage. It’s no wonder Nasu went on to write some later on, he clearly digs it.

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        2. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

          Btw, wanted to warn you about DDD. The first story (Junk the Eater) includes a portrayal of bulimia that… is not handled particularly well. Mildly speaking.

           The second story is massively better and you may want to start with it (you may miss some context, but nothing crucial to understanding it. I actually missed the first story on accident and only read it later, which I don’t regret) to get a feel for the work.

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          1. Profile gravatar of Act Act says:

            Good to know, thanks.

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    2. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

      Well, Nasuverse does like pretending to be scientific.

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      1. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

        Not really sure about that, actually. Like, sure, Nasu goes way into magibabble, but I’ve felt like he consciously avoids going into anything remotely scientific.

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        1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

          I actually was talking about the magicbubble. Nasuverse portrays a world where magecraft abides by a set of complex and strict laws that can be figured out and exploited by concerned parties. Of course, then the rules are inevitably broken or contradicted by later stuff, hence why it pretends to be scientific.

          I feel that it’s a major contributing factor to the fandom being the way it is: Nasuverse rules feel like something you should be able to learn and follow if you put enough effort into it, but they aren’t because character stuff always trumps them, which drives some people crazy.

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          1. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

            I get what you’re saying I guess. The effort just feels so token to me that I tend to ignore it. It’s the fans’ fault if they want to meet a minimal effort halfway. No surprise when they fall on their face.

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  6. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

    Isn’t Nanaya basically Chara? Isn’t Roa? How many of Nasu’s characters have a Chara?

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    1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

      Not really. I mean, all fictional psychopaths are somewhat similar, but beyond that I don’t actually see many similarities.

      Chara’s thing is being a metaphor for typical PC behavior, which is something I don’t really see in Nasu’s works.

      You can make a case for Kotomine being similar to Chara, though, since he did everything for the pure joy of it and, in addition, was an empty man.

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      1. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

        Nah, man, Kotomine is pure Flowey. He can’t feel positive emotions no matter how hard he tries, and gives in to cruelty even though he still understands good and evil.

        Chara is the 100% completion type, but one of the big parts of that is that you stop treating people as people and start treating them as a collection of numbers you need to reduce to 0. This is pretty much the influence Nanaya has on Shiki when Shiki encounters non-humans.

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  7. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

    Speaking of Undertale (which shall devour all discussions eventually as it cannot be contained in its own thread alone), since we have a Nasuverse thread that’s kinda-sorta easy to find, I figure I should repost this charasheet here (with some corrections):

     Chara

    Class: Rider

    Attributes

    Strength: E

    Endurance: E

    Agility: E

    Mana: E

    Luck: E

    Skills

    Magic Resistance: D (EX to resist Command Seals)

    Independent Action: A+

    Mental Pollution: A (Gamer Mentality)

    Battle Continuation: C

    Noble Phantasms

    A Demon That Appears When You Call Their Name (B, supportive) Allows Chara to possess a willing host. During the possession, the control over the body is shared between the two. The act of possession also awakens host’s Origin with the usual effects.

    It should be noted here that Chara can’t maintain a material form, unlike other Servants. Without a host, they’re stuck as a spirit.

    Heart-Shaped Locket (EX, supplemental) Allows Chara to store souls of people they killed. Aside from the usual benefits of eating one’s spirit (mana gain), each X souls also provide an increase of one rank to an attribute of Chara’s choosing. Servants’ souls provide an immediate increase of one rank and allow Chara to use their Noble Phantasms at twice the normal price.

    The Real Knife (E-EX, Anti-person; Anti-world) Starts as a low-level Noble Phantasm capable of harming Servants but not much else. However, each N increases in attributes increase its rank by one, rising its effectivity. At A rank, one strike is all that’s needed to kill most Servants without incredible Endurance or Luck. At EX rank, the Real Knife is capable of erasing the world in one strike, though such an act requires an enormous amount of mana comparable to manifestation of the Greater Grail.

    Something like that. Obviously, X and N numbers are left undefined because I’m lazy and because they’re not that important in a narrative.

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    1. Profile gravatar of Mini-Farla Mini-Farla says:

      It occurs to me that we should probably post the Ayn Rand character sheet here, plus whatever other fun ones there were.

      Edit: Also, shouldn’t Chara have some sort of resurrection/time travel power? Perhaps that would make them overpowered, but it makes more sense than just moderate Battle Persistence — which when you think about it, actually doesn’t make sense for an RPG character, who instantly dies when their health is exhausted.

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      1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

        Well, first we’ll need to find the Ayn Rand sheet. I may look into it later.

        As for resurrection/time travel, that’s what the first NP is for. Specifically, activating the Origin. In this version, Chara by themselves has no power, but can activate power hidden in a human soul. Frisk’s Origin was Determination, hence the time travel, with other hosts it would be different.

        Don’t remember how it aligns with canon (I kinda forgot the finer points of metaphysics involved), but I thought it was an interesting idea to implement. You can give them Frisk if you want time travel, but you aren’t obligated to go for it.

        As for Battle Continuation, on low ranks it just allows you to ignore injuries in a fight until someone strikes a fatal blow. That is to say, Chara is not burdened by pain and can fight at full capacity until the last HP.

        Maybe I should lower the rank, I think B actually does allow you to fight after death.

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    2. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

      Speaking of Undertale (which shall devour all discussions eventually as it cannot be contained in its own thread alone)

      I have this bizarre urge to post Undertale topics in the Nasuverse thread, and vice-versa. Anyway, nitpicks: 

      I don’t think Chara really requires a ‘willing’ host. It’s not like Frisk made a contract willingly; Frisk fell into a bed of flowers. I would think that Chara would either possess the Master upon summoning or move into the nearest compatible host. Incidentally, I don’t get Independent Action for a Servant that is basically a spiritual parasite. 

      I don’t think the Heart-Shaped Locket should be the name or symbol of Chara’s relationship with EXP and LOVE. The locket is, in fact, one of the only things Chara is legitimately sentimental about, while EXP and LOVE are all about distancing oneself from empathy during murder. Also, the X number of kills should be 7, obviously. Seven human souls.

      If you want to integrate the SAVE function, like Mini-Farla seems to suggest, you could turn the Command Seals into saves, since Chara resists them anyway and I don’t like the idea of them being useless. Immediately upon summoning, Chara uses a Command Seal to SAVE. Then, at given killcounts, Chara consumes another Command Spell to SAVE (much like the Genocide Run).

      That would work to counter the fact that Chara is really frickin’ weak in the early stages. We could say that Chara typically SAVES again once they can fight on an even footing with Servants, and one last time before the final battle. 

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      1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

        I don’t think Chara really requires a ‘willing’ host. It’s not like Frisk made a contract willingly; Frisk fell into a bed of flowers.

        Yes, but they remained passive until you called them. Though, yes, you can make the case that they were still present inside Frisk. Possessing unwilling hosts works too.

        Incidentally, I don’t get Independent Action for a Servant that is basically a spiritual parasite. 

        Mana source, mostly. That way, they can kill/abandon their Master and still function for a long period of time. I guess gathering souls could be enough of a substitute for it, though. Plus, you know, “since when were you the one in control” practically begs for it.

        I don’t think the Heart-Shaped Locket should be the name or symbol of Chara’s relationship with EXP and LOVE. The locket is, in fact, one of the only things Chara is legitimately sentimental about, while EXP and LOVE are all about distancing oneself from empathy during murder.

        Hm, point, but I wanted to use both signature items for NPs. The whole grinding thing could be folded into the Real Knife, but then the Locket won’t see any use as Chara is loaded with NP-powers enough already. I guess it could serve as a relic instead, similar to Rin’s jewelry.

        Also, the X number of kills should be 7, obviously. Seven human souls.

        That actually depends on how fast you want them to advance through the ranks. Seven souls seem a low number compared to stuff Zero!Caster and HF!Sakura pulled off, which should be Chara’s endgame.

        If you want to integrate the SAVE function

        It is implemented through Origins. You can give them Frisk as a host if you want time-travel, or you can go in another direction. One of my goals here was to make Chara actually beatable, and unlimited reload prevents that barring special anti-Chara haxx.

        That would work to counter the fact that Chara is really frickin’ weak in the early stages.

        That’s actually the point. They would die pretty soon after starting a rampage. Or, rather, their host would die while they escape in a spirit form. Then they would switch hosts and start again, more careful and more dangerous.

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        1. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

          That’s actually the point. They would die pretty soon after starting a rampage. Or, rather, their host would die while they escape in a spirit form. Then they would switch hosts and start again, more careful and more dangerous.

          I’m not sure the concept of a body-hopping Chara makes any kind of sense, though. That feels far too disconnected from the source material, whereas both Fate and Undertale have used similar mechanics for time loops (F/HA and Tsukihime fan disc were both groundhog day loops for different reasons). I think it’s easier to make them a surmountable opponent despite time loops than it is to shoehorn them in as a completely different type of spiritual entity. It introduces a ton of new complications, like “when does Chara stop possessing people”. It doesn’t sound like they’d even need a Master once summoned.

          Further, if you’re going on the idea that they share control at first, then they really should only have the Master as their host, because the Master will be the only one that is seriously on board with a rampage. Even if the Master is not okay with rampaging at first, Chara will eventually convince them to by forcing them to die against Servants and reloading. I think it’s much more in-theme with the idea that going along with Chara’s wishes slowly corrupts the Master until the point where they effectively become Chara.

          Mana source, mostly. That way, they can kill/abandon their Master and still function for a long period of time. I guess gathering souls could be enough of a substitute for it, though. Plus, you know, “since when were you the one in control” practically begs for it.

          I think they should take total control only near the end of the War, then. Maybe start Independent Action at E and have it eventually increase to EX as the spirit takes more and more control. Before then, they should just be a shoulder devil.

          I guess it could serve as a relic instead, similar to Rin’s jewelry.

          I think Chara being summoned by a heart-shaped locket inscribed with the words “Best Friends Forever” is a goddamn fantastic idea. Here’s what I think it should do if it is an NP: it should turn the host into a spiritual entity similar to a Servant, so they can’t be harmed by the mundies while they’re grinding experience. It’s useless against Servants and really underpowered, but still useful to the team.

          One of my goals here was to make Chara actually beatable, and unlimited reload prevents that barring special anti-Chara haxx.

          I think it’s better to find a special anti-Chara haxx or create a time jump-based weakness than turning Chara into a different entity. For instance, you could weaken the time jumps so that Servants and Masters get more and more deja vu the more they more or less understand what is happening. 

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          1. Profile gravatar of Mini-Farla Mini-Farla says:

            Well… something Farla and I have been discussing for the SYOC shadow war is that maybe Chara should be adapted for different mediums. If Chara is the spirit of totally callous reward-based behavior in RPGs, then transplanting them to a novel should alter them to whatever the novel equivalent would be. For my submissions, I’ve removed their time travel but given them genre savviness: they can intuit that major characters are important, and can predict the outcome of cliche situations. If you’re going to adapt Chara to F/SN, that might be an aesthetic to keep in mind — focus on what metagaming the Grail War (or visual novels in general) would look like, instead of feeling obligated to keep Chara’s RPG powers perfectly consistent.

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            1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

              To be fair, metagaming VNs actually is based on save scamming. And, in FSN case specifically, on building relationships with your assigned love interest.

              Metagaming the HGW is kind of a mess because it mostly revolves around different types of haxx interacting. Like, haxx A beats haxx B, which beats haxx C, which beats haxx A. So if you have haxx A, you should wait for the Servant with haxx B to off the Servant with haxx C and then kill them.

              Guess I can just give Chara Mind Eye (True), which would allow them to intuit stuff about other Servants and how they compare.

              Using innocents to power up your Servant is also a popular tactic, but that’s covered already under grind mechanics.

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              1. Profile gravatar of Mini-Farla Mini-Farla says:

                To be fair, metagaming VNs actually is based on save scamming.

                True, though I also like your idea of saying Chara is powerless on their own and piggybacks off the host’s specialties. It does occur to me that in Undertale, LOVE and independent action are emphasized more than saving for Chara’s powerset. Your proposed solution of a high mana cost could work — after all, presumably determination can eventually run out in Undertale’s ‘verse, it just doesn’t for us because Frisk is The Most Determined. Maybe it drains the mana of the host, potentially jeopardizing it? We could also say that Chara’s ability to jump hosts fills a similar role — you can kill one body, but they’ll just pop up again, ready to counter whatever strategy you used the first time. This could even be metaphorical for games with save limitations.

                And, in FSN case specifically, on building relationships with your assigned love interest.

                Y’know, if Asriel is anything to go by, Chara’s actually pretty good at this. This could simply manifest in them being good at (nonmagically) persuading their host to help them.

                Guess I can just give Chara Mind Eye (True), which would allow them to intuit stuff about other Servants and how they compare.

                It seems more in-theme to have Chara learn this stuff through resets.

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              2. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

                True, though I also like your idea of saying Chara is powerless on their own and piggybacks off the host’s specialties.

                Yeah. The way it works now, they’re very weak at the beginning and have to rely on Origin powers (whatever they may be. Technically, Origin stuff can be comparable in power to Servants, but in practice it’s typically far less dramatic and sometimes outright harmful to you) of the host, magecraft (if the host is a proper magus) and Command Seals.

                As they grind, they become more and more powerful, and killing Servants gives them special abilities.

                I think it reflects the temptation of LOVE well enough.

                Maybe it drains the mana of the host, potentially jeopardizing it?

                That’s the idea. It’s not necessary if the Origin powers are weak, but if Frisk is Chara’s Master and has Determination as Origin (giving them the time travel powers), draining them of mana and potentially killing them if they reload far too many times without grinding afterwards is a way to limit it and make them beatable.

                Another approach is the Counter-Force. Something like time loops would be frowned upon by both Gaia and Alaya on account of fucking with the fundamentals of the world, which is likely to result in corrective actions. People guided to the right place and the right time to counter Chara, people being offered a deal with the World to become stronger, disasters striking the area. Fun stuff.

                We could also say that Chara’s ability to jump hosts fills a similar role — you can kill one body, but they’ll just pop up again, ready to counter whatever strategy you used the first time.

                Thinking about it, tactics built around body-jumping don’t work that well if Chara needs a willing host. They would need to secure cooperation of the host time and time again.

                Outright possession would work, but that loses the demonic aspect of following Chara’s will being your choice.

                Y’know, if Asriel is anything to go by, Chara’s actually pretty good at this.

                I don’t know. I think it speaks more about Asriel than Chara, to be honest. They don’t appear particularly charismatic when they talk.

                It seems more in-theme to have Chara learn this stuff through resets.

                Mind Eye (False), then. That skill allows you to quickly gather info on opponents by observing them. Unlike the true version, false one is about experience and perception rather than intuition. Basically, Check action.

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              3. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

                To be fair, metagaming VNs actually is based on save scamming. And, in FSN case specifically, on building relationships with your assigned love interest.

                So, from the perspective of a character in the VN, metagaming boils down to “waiting for your route”. Chara would basically be like Rider: weak and easily eliminated when it’s not their route.

                I do see the merit in adapting Chara to the medium rather than sticking to RPG metagaming, but VN’s are seriously limited in that aspect. Half the purpose of Chara in Undertale was to provide a driving force towards the type of decision-making that works for a normal RPG but spits on Undertale’s story and themes. How does that carry over into a VN?

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              4. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

                Thinking in terms of VNs is probably a dead end since then, yeah, you’re stuck with Chara route, which is silly.

                Building on the Holy Grail War in-universe would work better, I think. Sacrifice of innocents that works wonders, murdergame nature of the war pushing even an innocent master into accepting Chara’s brutal methods. Stats that matter above legends.

                Basically, Chara is someone for whom heroism just doesn’t work, who is not great the way Heroic Spirits are supposed to be but who suprasses them by virtue of spilling enough blood of weak people.

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              5. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

                Stats that matter above legends.

                Chara’s true power is to make Nasuverse stats relevant.

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              6. Profile gravatar of Mini-Farla Mini-Farla says:

                Chara isn’t an NPC, though, they’re the player. The player doesn’t have to wait for their route, the player just has to know the right choices to get the outcome they like the best. Or to get 100% completion/collect all the trophy wives/get the True End/whatever. VN!Chara would therefore have a good understanding of choices and possibilities, the genre savviness to avoid unfavorable endings, and the determination to reach the True End.

                …Which, now that I think about it, implies the only way to beat Chara is to make them play Remember11, the game with no ending. Infinity loop!

                But I think we’re getting off-topic. The kind of HGW stories this stat sheet would be used for would probably be straight prose rather than visual novels.

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              7. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

                @Roarke, this is indeed perfect. Have your souls destroyed as a reward.

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            2. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

              Yeah, I dig what you’re saying here. In that case, I’d say that Chara really only wins on the Chara Route, which can only be accessed after seeing the entire rest of the game.

              If you ever wipe your saves and try to start over, surprise! Chara Route.

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              1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

                And now I have a mental image of Chara trying to behave like various love interest archetypes (of any gender) and failing badly.

                Tsundere!Chara: I-it’s not that I l-like you or anything! B-baka!

                *Chara stabs the protag with a knife, the protag dies*

                Chara: …Well. Shit.

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              2. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

                Instead of affection point bad ends, you get LOVE bad ends.

                “Senpai, I need more LOVE!” *stab*

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              3. Profile gravatar of Mini-Farla Mini-Farla says:

                Yeah, VN!Chara being the mentality of rushing towards the True End to the expense of everything else makes a lot of sense. That was one of the few interesting ideas expressed in the Zero Escape series.

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          2. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

            I like the idea of tying time travel/other abilities to the Origin of the host, though. That way, they come from the human soul rather than Chara.

            Chara not being able to jump hosts very often due to the shared control is a valid point, though. Sticking with their Master may be the way to go. I’m not entirely convinced that time travel is absolutely necessary for it, though.

            Here’s what I think it should do if it is an NP: it should turn the host into a spiritual entity similar to a Servant, so they can’t be harmed by the mundies while they’re grinding experience.

            That’s actually kinda covered under the first NP: Chara’s stats apply to the host, otherwise most of them would be useless. As we see with Rin, Agent Smith and Shirou, mundanes still can hurt Servants, they just normally suck at it.

            I think it’s better to find a special anti-Chara haxx or create a time jump-based weakness than turning Chara into a different entity.

            Well, one possible weakness is simply for time travel to require mana that isn’t restored by the act of time travel. That way, Chara would still be more or less unstoppable at early stages (as long as they don’t kill themselves via time travel, they can always grind to restore their supplies), but you can win the battle of attrition when they save before the final fight as there is no opportunity to grind anymore, presumably.

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      2. Profile gravatar of Mini-Farla Mini-Farla says:

        Chara shouldn’t be able to parasitize Command Seals until they hit max LV, I don’t think. Their biggest weakness is that they are dependent on the player’s cooperation: they can’t force you to kill until the very end, and nope away if you choose to abandon Omnicide. Command Seals are still useful because they give a power boost when the Servant agrees with the command, and that fits thematically with the idea of the player empowering Chara by giving them the command to FIGHT.

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        1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

          Hm, so maybe some kind of NP (the Locker, I guess, with the grind stuff rolled into the Real Knife) that makes it so when Master uses a Command Seal, they give up a part of control over their body to Chara that can’t be taken back even if they wish?

          That actually would tie in with the Grail metagame. Command Seals are a leash that keeps Servants on the side of their Masters, as well as a powerful weapon allowing Servants to perform feats beyond their nominal abilities. Most Masters regard their Servants as nothing more than tools and guard their Seals carefully, but still have to use them to ensure victory.

          Chara, being very weak at first, would probably force their Master to use the Seals just to survive, becoming more and more in control as a consequence.

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          1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

            Actually, let me stat up an NP quickly.

            Heart-Shaped Locker: Best Friends Forever (D, supportive)

            The first time the host goes along with Chara’s will reflecting their Mental Pollution, the host gets Mental Pollution (Gamer Mentality) skill themselves at rank E.

            Each time afterwards they do the same, the skill increases slowly. Grinding is a particularly easy way of doing so, and normally the increase of the skill would correspond to the increase of the Real Knife rank. Using Command Seals to support Chara, with their agreement, automatically increases Mental Pollution by one rank.

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            1. Profile gravatar of Mini-Farla Mini-Farla says:

              So when Gamer Mentality reaches A, Chara takes over their body completely, like in the omnicide end?

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              1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

                Either that or the host’s thought process becomes so similar to Chara’s, they may as well be one. Not sure what would be more interesting.

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              2. Profile gravatar of Mini-Farla Mini-Farla says:

                Well, I got the impression the omnicide ending was intended to make you horrified at your own actions, so turning the host into a silently screaming vessel with no control would be more accurate to the source. The idea was also that Chara didn’t corrupt you, Chara was always inside you and reflective of behavior you already had.

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              3. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

                Hm, Mental Pollution is probably a wrong way to go about it then as it does actually change how you think.

                Outright control would fit better. Little by little, your ability to physically resist Chara’s will slips until they’re the one controlling your body completely.

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              4. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

                The idea was also that Chara didn’t corrupt you, Chara was always inside you and reflective of behavior you already had. 

                Yeah, the game gives you every opportunity to turn back right up until the end. I have a hard time reconciling the idea of the hosts’ identities and wishes being at all important if they’re just random people Chara can bodyswap to, though. That’s another reason I wasn’t so hot on the idea of Chara bodyjumping: they are supposed to reflect the slow and willing corruption of one individual.

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              5. Profile gravatar of Mini-Farla Mini-Farla says:

                @Roarke: Hm, really? I don’t think the specificity is necessary — Chara is a universal construct shared by many people. They can retain their levels but reset the corruption counter with each new host, that works.

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              6. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

                @Mini-Farla

                Chara is a universal construct shared by many people. They can retain their levels but reset the corruption counter with each new host, that works.

                I do agree with the universal construct idea, and I admit that’d be a point in favor of bodyswapping: showing just how many normal people fall into Chara’s trap makes them a scarier and more effective villain. It still raises some hard questions about character conservation and all that.

                However, I emphatically disagree with retaining stats. For one, that makes the corruption harder every time, as the hosts are getting driven into a corner less and less. Second, I really think Chara’s trap loses the meaning unless each person makes the choice to kill for power from Step 1.

                I think the bodyswapping does introduce an interesting possibility/complication: Origins. Chara is exactly the kind of metagamer that would seek out hosts with Origins favorable for fighting the Servant that just defeated them.

                If you reduce the number of killing that needs doing until Chara is back to fighting strength, it could work.

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  8. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

    Alright, looked into the Ayn rand sheet. There isn’t a full variant, unfortunately, so I’m just going to collect what’s here. Everyone here is encouraged to refine and complete it.

    First, links. The comments about Servant Heroic Spirit Ayn Rand are located under the following posts:

    http://www.dragon-quill.net/fate-stay-night-ubw-february-9/

    http://www.dragon-quill.net/fate-stay-night-ubw-february-14/

    Now, to the meat:

    Ayn Rand

    Alignment: Chaotic neutral.

    Class: There are no classes, only individuals, classes are an invention of dirty collectivists.

    Skills

    Mind’s Eye (True) – Can perceive anything as something which supports her own conclusions about the nature of reality.

    Independent Action: EX. Because only the weak need the support of the oppressive system. (Is immune to Command Spells. Free will cannot be coerced in any way.)

    Mind Pollution (Objectivism): B – Ayn Rand cannot empathize with selfless people, nor can she collaborate with others except under the principle of mutual benefit.

    Noble Phantasms (couldn’t decide on exactly what it should be, so just pick one or two you like the most)

    Reality Marble (Galt’s Gulch) (EX, no classification)

    TL;DR (A, Anti-world)

    Wild Capitalism: Kill The Poor. (unranked so far, no classification)

    A city-wide boundary field which creates a mental pressure on everyone within an area causing people to behave perfectly selfishly. Can be resisted with mana circulation or Magic Resistance skill.

    In addition, everyone with mana level below that of a magus (including magi who have spent their mana) can be drained by Rand at will.

    Unnamed idea for an NP 1:

    I think rather than a Reality Marble of some kind, she should have access to sorcery. How about overturning the law of equivalent exchange? There’s no reason for Ayn Rand to bow down to that if she’s a Servant.

    Unnamed idea for an NP 2:

    The real power of Ayn Rand was that she didn’t hesitate when that sort of thing happened, but took it as her due and just kept trucking along calling everyone else a parasite, explaining that cats had objective value because she paid for a magazine of their pictures, and that objectively a hot guy needed to sleep with her.

    Maybe her NP should be something along the lines of being able to define her immediate self-interest as 110% rational behavior for everyone in the vicinity, so that the other characters have to struggle to oppose what she wants? Could be fun if it’s basically worthless against the servants but she can spam it on the masters, so they order their servants back.

    Noble Phantasm: Katniss Compulsion (B +/-, no classification)

    Ayn Rand forces those who can see and hear her to treat her as they would a Sue. This effect is lessened against targets who were treated like royalty in life, but heightened against those who served royalty.

     

    I think that would be all.

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    1. Profile gravatar of Mini-Farla Mini-Farla says:

      Another idea Farla had was that Katniss Compulsion could be used at will, but became weaker the closer the target was to Rand. This would fit with the fact that in real life, her writings were hugely successful but she was unpleasant and unconvincing in person. This would also be a clever way of making her an Archer (which I believe you said made the most sense for her, as that’s the class with the highest Independent Action).

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  9. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

    Alright, the discussion went for way too long, so it’s time for…

    Charasheet, revised edition.

    Name: Chara

    Alightment: Chaotic Greedy

    Class: Rider/Saber

    Stats:

    Strength: E

    Endurance: E

    Agility: E

    Mana: E

    Luck: E

    Skills:

    Magic Resistance: D (EX to resist Command Seals)

    Independent Action: A+

    Even though this skill is virtually useless to Chara under normal conditions as they can’t truly act without their host, the high rank allows them to persist in spirit form between the Wars.

    Mental Pollution (Gamer Mentality): A

    Battle Continuation: C

    Eye of the Mind (True*): B

    Capable of calm analysis of battle conditions even when in danger and deduce an appropriate course of action after considering all possibilities to escape from a predicament. So long there is even a 1% chance of a comeback, this ability greatly improves the chances of winning.

    *Mixed up True and False versions. True is the one based on experience.

    Noble Phantasms:

    The Real Knife (E-EX, Anti-person — Anti-world, Supportive)

    A knife that eats souls. Aside from the usual benefits of eating one’s spirit (mana gain), each seven souls also provide an increase of one rank to an attribute of Chara’s choosing. Servants’ souls provide an immediate increase of one rank and allow Chara to use their Noble Phantasms at twice the normal price.

    As a weapon, it starts as a weak E-ranked Phantasm barely capable of hurting Servants. However, each four increases in attributes increase its rank by one, rising its effectivity. At A rank, one strike is all that’s needed to kill most Servants without incredible Endurance or Luck. At EX rank, the Real Knife is capable of erasing the world in one strike, though such an act requires an enormous amount of mana comparable to manifestation of the Greater Grail.

    Morover, the Real Knife imposes the concept of stats on the opponents as long as it benefits Chara. Enemy Servants cannot win in contests based on their attributes and skills agains Chara if Chara’s corresponding stats are higher. For example, enemy Servants wouldn’t be able to dodge Chara if Chara’s Agility is higher than theirs. Likewise, their Noble Phantasms would fail to counter the Real Knife if they’re ranked lower even if normally they should be able to perform such a fit.

    This applies only to direct contests, so the use of clever tactics and traps is still possible.

    Heart-Shaped Locked: Best Demons Forever (B, supportive)

    Allows Chara to possess a willing host. During the possession, the control over the body is shared between the two. The act of possession also awakens host’s Origin with the usual effects. (For concerned parties, that’s where you get time travel if you want to use it.)

    Acceptable hosts are limited to people bearing Command Seals.

    It should be noted here that Chara can’t maintain a material form, unlike other Servants. Without a host, they’re stuck as a spirit.

    In addition, each time the host allows Chara to act in accordance with their Mental Pollution, they irreversibly give up a measure of control to them permanently. The more they grind, for example, the less they’re capable of stopping Chara from grinding more.

    Assuming grinding is all the host did that would count towards this process, they would lose control over their body completely once the Real Knife reaches EX rank. However, the use of Command Seals to support Chara greatly accelerates the process. Using all three Command Seals with Chara’s agreement and for their benefit would result in a complete loss of control regardless of other actions.

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    1. Profile gravatar of Mini-Farla Mini-Farla says:

      N can be 4. With that formula, Real Knife will only reach EX once Chara has A in every stat (assuming it goes straight from A to EX; I don’t actually know this rank system). Also, 4 is death.

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      1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

        Good enough for me.

        EX is indeed the next rank after A.It actually means “beyond measure” in that you can’t really quantify EX ranks. They’re absolutes.

        But it’s Chara, so now they’re normal stats.

        Technically, you also have partial ranks, like A+ or B–, though normally they indicate conditional fluctuations. For example, that Greek guy whatshisname whose powers only worked when he stood on solid ground would have his Strength be something like A–, as it can decrease if you were to lift him.

        Fate/Extra did use A+ and A++ as ranks you reach before EX, and, as it’s the most natural form of HGW for Chara to inhabit, such a mechanic may actually be appropriate. But, eh, I’m sticking to general Nasuverse for now.

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  10. soilofgenisis says:
    Hmmh。。

    Anyway,I wonder if Act has played FHA yet.

    Sure, it’s a fan disk, but it was kinda nasu’s way of patching up some of the things he did imperfectly in FSN.

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    1. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

      Sure, it’s a fan disk, but it was kinda nasu’s way of patching up some of the things he did imperfectly in FSN.

      This honestly kind of pisses me off the same way it does that F/SN itself got rereleased with some of its more offensive parts (Fate!Shirou’s sexism, the sex scenes) simmered down or edited out. I don’t think I can even articulate why. It feels like a cop-out, sure, but there’s more to it, I think.

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      1. soilofgenisis says:
        Isn’t that really a good thing? That authors kinda get what went wrong and tries to fix it.

        I think that it’s kind of a fandom thing. The desire for others to have exactly the same kind of experience as yourself. But that explaination only explains the feelings towards the altered main game, as really fha doesn’t really alter the experience when you are playing the main game, only patching things in hindsight to make everything overall better.

        Anyway, logically,things like that can only do good, right?

        Fha as a fan disk still has a ton of comedy, but it does fill in the gaps characters like lancer and caster and mr.teacher left in the main game. It also tried to make sakura..better? But I’m not sure it really succeeded in that regard.

        But really, I really like Bazett.

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        1. It is a good thing. The less objective terrible FSN contains, the better. If Nasu ever goes back and writes some extra new scenes full of flashy new servants, we can accuse him of Lucasing.

          FHA doesn’t really fix anything, it mostly elaborates on stuff that didn’t come up in main game and adds something completely different. This results in Lancer and Caster retroactively losing all narrative gravitas they ever had, but the hijinks can always be disregarded as fanfiction to preserve those (most daytime hijinks are ghostwrit fanfic anyway).

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          1. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

            It is a good thing. The less objective terrible FSN contains, the better.

            Yeah, I know it’s a good thing. It’s good for everyone who picks F/SN up from now on. It’ll be a cleaner experience and fewer people will be triggered/offended. For me personally, though, that stain will always be there, so I’m not going to give the clean version a pass. I know it’s got skeletons swept under the rug, to use an awful mixed metaphor.

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            1. Profile gravatar of Act Act says:

              Honestly, that kind of stuff post-pub canonical fixfic always bothers me. Like, you knowingly sold me a piece of crap and now want me to buy more to make the first one suck less?

              With Nasu I just opt to ignore it because I like FSN enough on its own and like the rest of his works a ton better, but generally I object to the general principle.

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              1. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

                Yeah, that’s basically how I feel about it in general. It feels like a very cheap way to retract your statements without actually apologizing for them, and I have little to no interest in seeing Nasu backpedal on whatever he thought needed fixing in F/SN.

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    1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

      How do you pictures now? Just link or a tag?

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  11. Profile gravatar of Gust Gust says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8qNgfs3q0I

    Has anyone figured out how to embed a video yet?

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  12. Celebratory posting of image postability

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  13. Profile gravatar of Act Act says:

    real talk: who would pay money for a takeuchi artbook…?

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    1. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

      The same people who keep eating up his Saberfaces, i.e. the majority of the Type-Moon fandom apparently.

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      1. Profile gravatar of Act Act says:

        I posted that kind of facetiously because the obvi answer is saberfen but: i’ve since found out there’s a higurashi artbook — like, original higurashi — and am incredibly entertained.

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        1. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

          Wasn’t the original art… the bad?

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          1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

            There is a reason Higurashi and Umineko are called Sound Novels, and that’s because the devs apparently managed to secure every talented composer in the industry while hiring some random dude who liked to doodle on textbook margins as their artist.

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            1. Profile gravatar of Heatth Heatth says:

              Actually, the devs (i.e. Ryukishi07, his brother and a friend) never hired anyone for the art. It is all Ryukishi himself.

              07th Expansion is a really small indie developer. Back in Higurashi (the question arcs) they didn’t even hire anyone at all. The soundtrack was entirely from free stuff they found on the internet. It was only in Kai that they started bringing people, and even then it was all fans of their work.

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            2. Profile gravatar of Heatth Heatth says:

              The reason it is called a “sound novel” is not  because they could hire talented composers (though they eventually could), but because they put more effort on atmospheric music and sound design than on visual art. The name change is just to emphisize their focus.

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          2. Profile gravatar of Heatth Heatth says:

            The artbook is for the anime, I think, which makes more sense. It is still terrible, frankly, but in a “professional looking shitty anime” way, instead of the amateur art of Ryukishi07.

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            1. Profile gravatar of Act Act says:

              There’s one for both the anime and the game. I kind of want to buy it, out of morbid curiosity.

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            2. Profile gravatar of Heatth Heatth says:

              Well, now I am curious as well. I wonder if it is even possible to find. But the game book is probably better, actually. Sure, more amateurish art, but I would bet there is less half naked kids as well. Studio DEEN can be quite gross when they want (and they usually do want).

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  14.  

    I don’t seem to do much except post images lately.

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      1. Profile gravatar of Socordya Socordya says:

        Only if you’re looking with your eyes.

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      1. Profile gravatar of SpoonyViking SpoonyViking says:

        At least the picture was worth the wait. :-)

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  15. Profile gravatar of Socordya Socordya says:

    Has anyone read/is reading Mahou Tsukai no Yoru so I can talk to them about it?

     

     

     

    Did you know that the only thing more hot than gratuitous girl on girl action is gratuitous girl on girl action in which one of them is currently disemboweled?

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    1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

      The translated five chapters, yes (though I’m yet to read that 1.5 or whatever chapter that was apparently hidden in the archieve).

      Creepy dolls never get old.

      Also, I like to imagine that after the first meeting between Touko and the protagonist, Touko just kinda stood there watching him run away and was all, “Eh? What was that about?”

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      1. Profile gravatar of Socordya Socordya says:

        The translated five chapters, yes (though I’m yet to read that 1.5 or whatever chapter that was apparently hidden in the archieve).

        So I can’t talk in details about disemboweled makeout. Too bad. I think there’s a sixth chapter in english now?

        Also, I like to imagine that after the first meeting between Touko and the protagonist, Touko just kinda stood there watching him run away and was all, “Eh? What was that about?”

        Of course, truly scary people don’t even try to be scary.

        Do you know a lot about fairy tales? Because I got the distinct impression that everything about Alice’s supposedly fairy tale-based magic was complely made up, but I’m not an expert.

         

         

         

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        1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

          I know some. What specifically do you have in mind about Alice’s magic? Flat Snark at least is actually pretty creatively interpretted the Hunting of the Snark, I can’t complain about it.

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          1. Profile gravatar of Socordya Socordya says:

            I was thinking about the snark, actually-I haven’t read that book. I think the other instances of Alice magic are in one scene of the 1.5 chapter, except for the egg thing.

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            1. Profile gravatar of illhousen illhousen says:

              Yeah, the thing about the snark is that it represents the unknown. It never actually appears in the book and we don’t get a good description of it, so ascribing to it various metaphysical properties is actually fine. The only description there is is as follows:
              “Come, listen, my men, while I tell you again
                 The five unmistakable marks
              By which you may know, wheresoever you go,
                 The warranted genuine Snarks.
               
              “Let us take them in order. The first is the taste,
                 Which is meagre and hollow, but crisp:
              Like a coat that is rather too tight in the waist,
                 With a flavour of Will-o’-the-wisp.
               
              “Its habit of getting up late you’ll agree
                 That it carries too far, when I say
              That it frequently breakfasts at five-o’clock tea,
                 And dines on the following day.
               
              “The third is its slowness in taking a jest.
                 Should you happen to venture on one,
              It will sigh like a thing that is deeply distressed:
                 And it always looks grave at a pun.
               
              “The fourth is its fondness for bathing-machines,
                 Which it constantly carries about,
              And believes that they add to the beauty of scenes—
                 A sentiment open to doubt.
               
              “The fifth is ambition. It next will be right
                 To describe each particular batch:
              Distinguishing those that have feathers, and bite,
                 From those that have whiskers, and scratch.
               
              “For, although common Snarks do no manner of harm,
                 Yet, I feel it my duty to say,
              Some are Boojums—” The Bellman broke off in alarm,
                 For the Baker had fainted away.

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  16. Doortothe says:
    Act spent a lot of her playthrough in Fate/Stay Night — even the sexist, shitty Fate route — praising Nasu’s simile/metaphor porn. However, let us not forget that it isn’t only Nasu worthy of that praise. For it is not by Nasu’s hand that we were able to read this wonderful story outside of its native language. It was brought to us by a dedicated group of fan translators, and by dedicated I mean really dedicated.

    Nasu’s style is notoriously hard to translate. Which is why we get such wonderful lines like, “People die when they are killed.” in the 2003 anime and more recently, “Just because you’re correct doesn’t mean you’re right.” in 2014/15’s UBW anime.

    I bring this up because Xseed has posted their first localization blog about their work on Fate/Extella, the Dynasty Warriors sequel to Fate/Extra and CCC. Just because the genre has changed, doesn’t mean the length and quality of the writing hasn’t. Extella has enough text to fill a JRPG, all written by notoriously hard to translate Kinosu Natsu. Here is just an excerpt from the blog.

    ‘We encountered lines that made the whole office scratch their heads. One of Tamamo’s lines, for example, has her say (with the context of having just been lightly wounded), “この程度の痛み、馬耳東風に糠に釘、焼け石に念仏ですよーだ。” — which literally translates to, “For this level of pain, it’s quite useless to turn a deaf ear and I’ll just pray to Buddha on a hot stone.” Several native Japanese speakers came together to ponder that one, eventually puzzling out that the line was a deliberately mangled mishmash of three different Japanese idioms, all referring to doing something foolish and futile. In our rough draft of the English script, bits and pieces of which appeared in the E3 demo, we edited this line to, “Is that the best you can do? You haven’t got a prayer!” That conveyed the same message, and included some of the same imagery, but departed from the style of the original line. To get the same point across without losing that style, we eventually came up with, “You might as well try to push a boulder through the eye of a needle, uphill both ways!” Similar lines appear throughout the script, including entire dialogue trees revolving around Japanese puns. In each case, we’ve done our best to convey the intended meaning while staying as closely as possible to the original line’s tone and tempo — while also making each line sound “in character.”’

    Here’s the link in case you want to read the rest: http://xseedgames.tumblr.com/post/154787104005/fateextella-the-umbral-star-localization-blog

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    1. Profile gravatar of Daniel Daniel says:

      These localizers/translators must be very well read based on their work in Fate/Stay Night. It might be worthwhile to look them up and see what they’ve done since. Hopefully they’ve been hired by Xseed.

      Fridge thought: oh man, the translators really did their job if Act can easily tell the sex scenes weren’t written by Nasu. That or even they couldn’t be bothered to make the sex scenes good lol

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    2. Doortothe says:
      A quote from someone explaining why Persona 5’s localization is a hot mess, “Translation can be a murky concept, so first I’ll define a standard to measure against: imagine if translation weren’t necessary at all.

      In other words, imagine that the original writer is perfectly fluent in both languages and writes both versions personally. That creation—a perfect reflection of creator intent—is the standard to which translators must strive.

      Translators must be skilled writers, ideally even more skilled than the creators of the works they translate.” 

      When I think about the zero budget translation of Fate/Stay Night, those volunteers sound only more incredible to me. They did an amazing job. 

      Thank you anonymous heroes from the bottom of my heart

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  17. Doortothe says:
    Hey everybody! Some insane people decided to localize the Fate/Grand Order mobile game! Last year Bloomburg talked about this game making more money than Pokemon Go on national television. I’m curious to see how these guys tackle Nasu’s prose.

    Also, not that anyone is surprised, but the female character designs are still awful. Just a heads up.

    https://www.destructoid.com/remake-history-this-summer-with-the-next-fate-game-431445.phtml

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    1. Surprised it took this long. Nerds really love losing money to gambling for some reason.

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      1. Doortothe says:
        I think it has something to do with our favorite writer whose pen name translates as “Mushroom Eggplant” aka Kinoko Nasu. As I mentioned earlier, his writing style really pushes the limit of the Japanese written language to the point where even native speakers may find some lines incomprehensible.

        And then there’s the total amount of text to translate. Fate/Extella was a Musou game, which aren’t known for long cutscenes, and still managed to have a script comparable to a standard JRPG. The Bloomburg article I mentioned in the original comment mentions that one of the selling points of the app is the writing. So I’m willing to bet that Grand Order has more text than Extella. Localizing Grand Order means committing a lot of time and effort into the script.

        A part of me is disappointed that Xseed didn’t get to publish Grand Order, but I am curious to see how Aniplex handles the localization.

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      2. Gust says:
        But who wouldn’t want to pay money for gems like this????

        This is Artemis. I imagine the artist was turned into a deer shortly after. 

        *screaming forever*

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        1. Profile gravatar of Mini-Farla Mini-Farla says:

          Have these artists never seen actual women before?

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          1. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

            Honestly, overblown T&A still has nothing on things like loli!Jack the Ripper.

            Like Undyne’s stove, the fanservice dial only turns to the right in the Fateverse.

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            1. Profile gravatar of SpoonyViking SpoonyViking says:

              The idea behind “Jackie” ‘s look was interesting, but the execution was terrible.

              I do much prefer the Jack the Ripper from “Strange / Fake”, though.

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          2. Profile gravatar of Act Act says:

            I often think that’s it’s bizarre that a subgroup of people so obsessed with breasts (ie, straight men) don’t seem to actually have any idea what they are or what they look like.

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            1. The otaku mind isn’t interested in anything as pedestrian as breasts. Their desires lie with the much higher concept of the breast, the platonic ideal of them, unshackled by unnecessary impurities like biology or physics.

              At least that’s what I get from the internets. The stereotypical depiction of Japanese nerds might be blown out of proportion a bit, but there seems to be plenty of visual proof.

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            2. Profile gravatar of Roarke Roarke says:

              I mean we can rag on the Japanese for this, but Western comics aren’t *much* better.

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        2. Profile gravatar of Act Act says:

          Middle one looks like a weird ripoff of that infamous figure: https://myfigurecollection.net/item/286485

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          1. soilofgenisis says:
            They are both by Raita……

            That’s the style of the artist apparently.

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        3. Doortothe says:
          There is plenty of that, yes. Though not every female character is… THAT bad,  because these are created by multiple artists. There is still some wonderfully bizarre stuff to enjoy.

          Like Thomas Edison empowered by every President of the United States.

          No, I’m not joking.

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        4. That Artemis picture is incredible. Just look at dat* ass. Having recognized the impossibility of depicting her behind due to the pose optimized for maximum boob, the artist opted to add a random woodland beast to cover this grave deficiency. This is the sort of initiative we like to see in anime sexy girl drawing industry.

           

           

          *bear

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