|Reviews for Undiscovered Territory|
| hazard2self chapter 22 . 10/12/2008
Thank you so much! I've been searching for something like this for years. It's wonderful to see the Nameks getting a little credit. Heck, just because your planet was annihilated doesn't mean your race is incompetent right? Seeing Dende develope into someone more worthy of Guardian status also gave me an incredible sense of satisfaction.
Your baddies were fantastic! Everyone had motives and thoughts suited to their particular brand of evil. None felt like flimsy bad guys whipped up out of pure necessity. Thank you also for including the wonderfully demented doctor (making her female got you a big bonus too.) I was wondering if you could tell me how to pronounce her name though. I want to get it right when I'm rambling to all my friends about how amazing this story is. -
There is not a word in my vocabulary that accurately conveys how much I adore your triad. Whelk, Limpet, and Chiton were a scream! Stellar characterization and interactions there.
You added so many wonderful little things to Namekian society and rituals. Things like the triads, the Elder's connection with the dragon, and the history of dragons themselves-I feel fangirly just thinking about it.
The most wonderful imagery was from Basalt's outward ki burst to Dende looking into the eyes of Porunga. Perfectly visual and very awe inspiring. I literally sat open-mouthed just thinking "He hit Porunga...Porunga!"
Wonderful resolution and Scree's ending is most fitting. The decision to delete the directions to new Namek allows your story to fit very nicely into the DBZ timeline without making me wonder when the Kold empire was going to come back and wipe out my favorite little green men.
I enjoyed your story more than I can even possibly begin to describe! This is the DBZ movie that should have been. I can definately live with a story that doesn't end with Goku saving the day for the millionth time. (Also, sorry this is so long but I don't have time to review after each chapter and decided to just wait until the end.)
| Obelisk of Light chapter 22 . 1/29/2008
This story is - to put it in one word - excellent. It's got almost everything I like: Nameks, well-developed OCs, an engaging (and original) plot, good grammar and believable canon characterisation.
I like the incorporation of mild humour in an otherwise serious situation; that's something I've never been able to do. Well done!
| Kokiri chapter 22 . 6/29/2006
Wow. I was looking for a really great (or even decent) fic involving Dende and man, this was it.
Awesome. Really awesome, from start to finish. The lack of spelling errors was a blessing, and your style of writing was wonderful, flowed well, and was truly enjoyable to read. Also, the story, its conflicts and resolutions, were totally believable and acceptable. It kept me on the edge of my seat almost the entire time. Nice job with the cliffhangers, too...in all the right spaces.
Characters. Characters and their characterization are big things when it comes to stories, especially fanfiction, and this is very true when involving OCs. I'm sure we've all heard Mary Sue horror stories, and I was very happy to find that this was not the case. All the characters, original or canon, were believable and true. I especially liked the three original Nameks, Limpet, Whelk, and Chiton, and how you made them so different, yet in the end, there was understanding. Very well done.
The characterization of the canon characters-Dende, Scargo, and Muuri-was also extremely well done. It was fun getting in their heads and seeing what was going on from all points of view. And as far as Dende's characterization goes...
"But despite his lack of confidence, he was not one prone to giving up. With his quiet and respectful demeanour, it was easy for him to be perceived as weak-willed, effortlessly persuaded against any action. It really was quite the perfect cover for a person that was ultimately fairly stubborn. Whether he could be effective or not was beside the point; he had the chance, and that was all that anything mattered."
I think a lot of people, including myself for a while, seriously underestimate Dende because, in an anime largely about fighting, he does not fight. He is a healer, and thus does not see a whole lot of action. Nevertheless, Dende is an extremely valuable character, with a strong personality, and it was great to see that expressed here. Plain and simple, I love how you painted his character. I think you did him some real justice _
All in all, a very enjoyable read, and an extremely well done story. I loved it. Thank you so much.
| hippiechic chapter 9 . 9/12/2005
Ah ha! That's why no one could find the children! The ship is cloaked! Whelk saw it! That makes sense.
I don't know, maybe it's wrong of me, but I find myself really liking Chiton. He's...unique. I guess that's the nicest way to phrase it. I don't know what my draw to him is, but I he may well be my favorite character thus far.
Until I read more, Peace and Out!
| mar chapter 8 . 9/12/2005
Since I messed up and gave you the wrong review on this chapter, I wanted to make sure you knew what I thought of this chapter now that I'm reading it. _
Nice transition from the unconscious state to a conscious one. Nicely done.
I like the way you approached the role of Great Elder. I think far too often people see leadership roles through rose tinted glasses, never realizing the difficulties the go with the power.
I like Basalt's plan. Then again, how many people have set out in search of dragonballs? *chuckle* And how many have actually collected them?
Great chapter, as always. Hopefully I'll read more some. Until then, Peace and Out.
| hippiechic chapter 8 . 8/16/2005
I'm liking the sound of this character known thus far as "Akuma". He sounds like an interesting person. Well, off to find more about him. Peace and Out.
| hippiechic chapter 7 . 2/7/2005
It's a good thing Dende isn't on Earth right now. He'd think the doctors on Earth were just as horrible! Heck, the vampires won't stop taking my blood!
Great fight scene! I liked all the details! Wonderfully done! Too bad Chiton wasn't successful. You know, you'll have to work on that if you plan for the Nameks to survive.
Yea! Limpet and Welk saved Chiton! That's much better. Now you're writing as though you want the planet to survive without Goku's intervention.
It almost seems Chiton is the only one of the Nameks with half a brain. Good thing he always does his own thing and doesn't follow the lead of lesser beings.
So far, great job. It's been a while, but your story is rememberable. I didn't even have to scan what I read before. I was able to pick right up where I left off. Great job indeed. It is rare I find a story I remember so well. Until the next time, Peace and Out.
| cameoappearance chapter 3 . 7/22/2004
Let me start off by saying I love the titles you chose for the chapters (especially the first chapter) and for the entire story - really grabs attention.
Your writing style has a way of making the reader think of nothing else but the story, so I definitely wasn't distracted. I haven't touched DBZ fandom in a while, either, so I'm no longer straight on what's a canon fact or simply something made up in a particular story, but that didn't hamper the reading at all. I'm sure anyone who hasn't even seen DBZ could read this with little problem.
You write Dende very believably - it made me feel bad for him that he couldn't be happy with his current lifestyle. You write the entire Namek species with fluidity, come to think of it. It captures what their entire race and way of life could be like. I loved how you incorporated Poker and golf into their lifestyle, or little things they'd found odd about their time on Earth - like night.
The changes in Dende don't seem forced or overly-dramatic, either, just little things that are taking place. I particularly liked this line in chapter 2: "After all, he couldn't just play hide and seek for the rest of his life, could he?" Oh, foreshadowing. *Twilight Zone Theme* At least, it sounds like foreshadowing, but I haven't read the entire story yet.
Scargo is also a believable character. (he wasn't in the actual show, was he? I can't remember). Dr. Gneiss, or what I've read of her, is very interesting and believable, too.
All in all, I enjoyed reading this. I can't really find anything in particular that's "wrong" - seeing as you're a much more experienced writer than I am and much of the world in the fanfic is one I'm not familiar with, there aren't any flaws to point out. *thumbs up* I think I'll come back to read the rest of this once I'm done with the other Review Club fics. :D
| DoraMouse chapter 17 . 7/21/2004
Too easy. *shakes head* And the fact is that not even Dende has realized this yet. You have such a flair for making the situation seem impossible even when the solution is sitting out in the open. I'm sure that you'll be taking more than a fraction of your readers by surprise.
There is Dende. And there are the Dragonballs. And the aliens, presumably, can't speak Namekian. So guess who gets to summon the dragon? Yes. The odds favor Dende. Granted, other Nameks are around but most of them are currently preoccupied with battle and besides, we have no evidence that Scargo or any of the Namekian warriors actually know the incantation for summoning Porunga.
Dende wouldn't necessarily have to make a wish, though. Anyone capable of speaking Namekian could do that. And since Porunga can grant more than one wish... I look forward to seeing what the precise outcome is. I'm half expecting a plot twist before things are done with. But in the overall scheme of things... This story is winding down and I suspect that the alien scouts are doomed. *smiles* Ah well, they were interesting characters while they lasted.
You used them well - these original characters of yours - and they served good causes, even in death. Which is far more than we can ever truthfully say of the official series.
More than anything else... I sincerely hope that people reading this learn from your good example Demi. That they recognize the professional treatment of the characters and the setting. The ability to describe only as much of the setting as is needed to give a feel for the place. The fine balance of character flaw and virtue with logic and motive. The practice of making a character both an 'outcast' and an active member of a community at the same time. Chiton - and Scree and Shale, among others - were necessary and likeable contradictions.
You've shown us many different degrees of certain personalities so that we, the audience, can see what the characters themselves may have overlooked: the common ground. Whelk and Commander Basalt... If they had met under different circumstances, perhaps they could have even been friends. Both are warriors who seem to hold fast to training and feel, to different extents, underestimated. Many other comparisions have been made in this story. Persona-wise, the Nameks are fairly well reflected in their enemies. It's a poignant relization. What the Nameks would destroy, they could so easily become.
If this story remains, as most of your writing does, in compliance with the known facts of the official DBZ universe then the Namekian Dragonballs will not be destroyed. But the idea can not be ignored. The Nameks may even want to destroy the artifacts, in an attempt to prevent any future raids from aliens. So I await the conclusion of this story, hoping to discover - among other things - how and why the dragonballs were left intact.
Take care Demi!
| DoraMouse chapter 8 . 7/21/2004
What, you thought I would only read the first 3 chapters? Please. The mere concept here is far too unique. It deserves more than a mere passing glance at the opening chapters.
One of the things that you've snuck in here is the term 'brother'. I noticed this earlier but I'll mention it now. I've enjoyed the selective use of the term. Technically... All the Nameks, with the exception of Kami and Piccolo on Earth and with the obvious exception of Guru, were Gurus children. Which would mean that all the Nameks on New Nameksei are brothers. Yet Dende doesn't actually regard anyone other than Scargo as a 'brother'. I like that. It emphasizes the bond between the characters. True, Dende and Scargo share - to a certain extent - the memory of Freezia destroying their village on Old Nameksei. But... You've implied that they have other shared memories as well. You've given much overdue depth and balance to the sibling relationship. While Dende may be related to every other Namekian on his world... He trusts Scargo. He confides in Scargo. He feels especially responsible for Scargo.
The limits in the self-healing department... On the one hand, there is room for argument because if a warrior like Piccolo can regenerate limbs in battle then a healer like Dende should be able to recover from a ki blast without risking much more than fatigue. On the other hand... The flaw is plausible under the circumstances. Not just because of the self-to-self energy loop but because Dende isn't all that experienced with the craft and plus he had already used some of his energy to heal Scargo.
Dende, and most of your readers who have likely become sympathetic to Dende, will resent the limitation. Yet without it, this story could have been very short indeed. I suppose this 'flaw' - along with the hopefully temporary absence of telepathy between the Nameks - is a necessary evil, applied well enough to add to the character depth and further the plot.
I mention this because I know that it can be difficult, sometimes, to write the characters that you admire into such corners. Authors who are not so attached to or knowledgable of the characters they work with... I don't think they can relate to the sense of betrayal we veterans may feel when it comes time to cause pain to the characters. You have met the dare, Demi. You don't defame the Nameks and nor do you shield them from the unpleasantries of their reality. This is indeed a rare story - balanced and impartial without being detached. A truly marvelous accomplishment in writing.
Although the agenda of Dr. Gneiss is cruel, I see the spark of your own curiousity reflected there. Having an evil scientist character is, perhaps, the perfect excuse to explore so many of the theories that you must have developed about the Namekian species. Theories of the Namekian inherited talents as well as their extensive and not-so-isolated history.
The inclusion of the Kold Empire at large is a similar and brilliant excuse. The scouts, Commander Basalt, Dr. Gneiss... Not a single warrior. Very nice. Because after all, the official series showed us virtually nothing but the warriors and most of those warriors were elite before their deaths. So now it's time to explore all the other jobs and functions and ranks that must exist in order to manage the ever-expanding intergalactic empire. A thoughtful glance at what makes the lives of the surviving elites possible. And a great way to leave things open...
The mere mention of the Kold empire has left this story vulnerable. You could include a visit from Cyborg Freezia, King Kold or Koola and get away with it. Easily.
You could also... Not quite as easily... Sneak in a passing reference to King Kai(he might notice the 'new' planet in his quadrant of the universe), Goku(if he's still in space, learning Teleport...) and/or Vegeta(during the tail end of his short visit to space, since apparently he invested rather a lot of time into killing members of the Kold Empire). Of course... The main focus in this story is Dende and certainly that should not change. But it will be interesting to read on and see if any of these other references are made. Without stealing the spotlight... The mention of a known Saiyan or immortal could also prove useful, in it's own way. Without even being AWARE of New Nameksei... If Vegeta or Goku happened to obliterate a military base or otherwise become a distraction to the soldiers of the Kold Empire... In the grand scheme of things, that could perhaps end up being an advantage for Dende and the rest. *shrugs* But I suppose I'm thinking on a rather more epic scale than this story intends to capture.
More than anything else though... Since a search for the Namekian Dragonballs seems inevitable now... I must admit that I do rather look forward to seeing if a much-neglected dragon gets pulled into this story. Porunga is quite a character. And he would have some memory of Freezias last invasion so this new invasion... I do wonder how Porunga will react to the news, if he is summoned. Shenlong once stated that he was incapable of violence but I don't recall Porunga ever making the same claim. Granted, the Nameks might not learn much about self-defense if Porunga was allowed to deal with such situations... But I'm biased in the dragons favor here so I'll leave off.
Oh and by the way - Basalt, Pumice, Feldspar. *grins* A mineral naming theme for all the alien scouts then? The adult Nameks though... Chiton, Whelk, Limpet... I have the feeling that as soon as I stop looking for a pattern there, it'll jump out at me. Meanwhile 'Scree' is vaguely familiar, I think it was the name of a scientists pet in something I've seen before. And that leaves me rather suspicious of the name 'Gneiss'. In truth, I suspect a word pun that has all sorts of lovely rebelious implications. Am I right, Demi? And if so... Was that word pun anywhere near as deliberate as it sounds?
Thank you, also, for being tactful about the experiments. I suspect that you've preserved a measure of Dendes dignity and have also made the more squeamish readers here feel safe with this story.
Enough for now. I'll read more when I can. Take care, Demi!
| DoraMouse chapter 3 . 7/21/2004
First of all, I applaud the setting. Because lets face it, we don't really know - and even among the hordes of self-proclaimed 'Namek fans' few people stop to consider - about what daily life on Nameksei might have been like before Freezia came along. And once Freezia was on Planet Namek, most of the Nameks were dead so 'daily life' essentially became a life-and-death firework display between the remaining warriors. The official series deliberately didn't give us much to work with because... Well. It just didn't benefit the official approach to pay any heed to what they must have considered 'minor' characters in the story. *shrugs*
So what you've done here... The effort and thought... The undercurrent of sincere and considerate determination. I do appreciate it. In particular, I like the timing of this story. The influences of Earth on the Namekian culture serves so many useful purposes here. Humor and education, all in one. The reader can begin to get a feel for what life on Nameksei used to be like by contrasting the lifestyles of the past with the present. Sure, the Nameks have gained poker and golf - but what have they lost? There's a deep-rooted identity crisis here and a degree of lingering but perfectly valid culture shock.
What it must be like... To try to go back to 'life as normal' after living on Earth - a place that the Nameks hadn't even known existed before. To try and return to the way things were, as if nothing had happened... Knowing all along that everyone had died and your native planet had blown up. And that the main warrior who had been fighting to save you was an alien that you never actually met. Even with everything - except Guru The Elder, Nails and the 20-or-so Nameks that Vegeta killed - restored... Yea. You'd feel a smidge artifical, I should think. Surreal, even. Not to mention depressed. And then to be invaded again... *shakes head*
You're quite adept at transplanting emotion. You describe the situation so well that readers don't always need to be told what the characters are feeling and thinking. The readers know, because they're thinking and feeling it themselves.
You also have remarkable skill for casually developing characters. Yes, Muuri and Scargo are both from the series but... They appear in what, two episodes? Maybe three? Maybe five, if you count flashbacks by Dende? And if you take all those appearances and add them together then that's probably still a grand total of under four minutes airtime. So... You've got an awful lot of freedom here. Because really, Dende is the only semi-developed cannon character in this story. Yet you manage to pass off Muuri and Scargo and all your original characters so naturally that if your disclaimers were absent, it would not be hard to convince some readers that all these characters were from the official universe. A movie or tv special, perhaps. In truth... It wouldn't be hard to imagine this as the script for such a work. The style of writing invokes the images well enough that I almost feel as if I should say that I 'watched' this story rather than I 'read' it.
Before I depart here, I will ask you to work on breaking a certain habit. The brackets. Demi, they can be rather annoying. Especially when the contents of the brackets are in fact a continuation of a characters thoughts or observations. Why put such things in brackets? In the future... If it's not an authors note or an aside... If it is in fact relevant to the story... Could you try to leave it out? Stuff the comment between a pair of comma of hyphens if you must but... Avoid the brackets, anyway. They disrupt the flow.
And.. Being, as I am, a collector of strange trivia... Dende had wondered where Poker came from. In case you have wondered too, Demi, Poker comes from a French word: Poque. And the French word came from a 6th century German word: Pochen. And the German word could have been a mangled or modified version of a truly ancient Persian word that none of my references seem to have on file. Anyway. All of these words do refer to card games. The rules, of course, have changed over time and through the various cultures but the basic concept of betting and bluffing has remained more or less intact.
Take care, Demi.
| Engar chapter 16 . 7/16/2004
I've been trying to figure out what makes this Fic different from most DBZ Fan-Fics I've read and I can come to only one conclusion. It is one of the most professional stories I've ever found.
Every character has a motive; every person, a personality. You have rivalries and friendships on both 'bad' and 'good' sides which makes the entire work seem less like idle fiction and more like a real, thought out, intelligent story.
It was always taken as read that all Nameks liked each other, but who says they did? Or that the Elder was undisputed leader, but wouldn't there be some tension? You have taken a group of cardboard cut-outs and made them real, and I applaud you for that.
Thanks for another great chapter; I cant wait for the next installment.
(P.S: I think I should try your 'Write out completely, then rewrite, then post' take on Fan-Fic writing. I tend to start stories then get swamped early. :) )
| JDX chapter 14 . 7/4/2004
This is a very good, and very original story. A lot of DBZ storys are just your average good guy against very big and universally powerful bad guy. This one is smaller in scale, and not nearly as much power is being thrown around as even in the Freeza Saga, but it more than makes up for it Good, original story. Keep it up! in plot and characterization.
| Alc Fluteo chapter 12 . 6/24/2004
I can imagine just how Dende feels having to leave Scargo alone to fend for himself. I'm still anxiously awaiting to see how much more this story develops because right now it's definately got my attention! - This story is so well written and so wonderful...and I hope that you write more to it soon.
| Kieri chapter 1 . 6/21/2004
Oh, Bravo! I've had to read through a lot of ::ahem:: dross to find this gem.
Its nice to see the Nameks get the treatment they deserve in a consistent, well-thought out and entertaining manner. Dende (the cute lil' squirt he is) is one of my favorites. I'll always tune in to read about Nameks.