Reviews for Zone of the Enders: Countdown
Aegis Khaos chapter 1 . 10/1/2011
You know, some people take issue with my fics being long. Then I see this one and go 'o rly?' Only one writer I know personally who writes a tonne, that being WZA, and the length I've seen from him looks insane. o.o Luckily, that's not a bad thing when the writing is good, and I can say the same with what I see so far. I know less about ZOE, though I've gotten my hands on ZOE2 at one point, and watched the animes, and all I can say so far is I like what I'm seeing. Since it's finished, I'll be taking my time to read through the chapters, so... good stuff. :)
crosswire chapter 1 . 2/7/2011
I haven't read this yet, but I'm going to dive into it head first! 27 chapters is nice and I expect a good read ;)
Wing Zero Alpha chapter 27 . 3/14/2010
So it's finally done huh? I'm glad that you were able to finish such an awesome fanfic in spite of the lackluster lately Nilke. Rest assured, I've kept track of your story all this time and checked on it off and on to the finish.

For your final ending, it definitely left a bittersweet feeling in regards to Hazel and Ares, sort of like Silvace's end for his original ZOE: Triad. You're right, as much as it would be nice for Ares and Hazel to hook up, it's highly doubtful with how things turned out (though one can still keep hope, as anything is possible). That said, I think you gave them an excellent send off in spite of everything and the final scene between Mebius, Warren and Lia definitely left a feeling of hope for the future, with Lia chasing after the butterfly. Kind of like the original ZOE Fist of Mars ending...

Anyway, while the future of ZOE is still up in the air at this point, with Hideo Kojima and Konami apparently more interested in making more Metal Gear Solid stuff, I like to think that through your Countdown you kept it alive in your own way. That said, I also think you did far more with your story and took it to boundaries beyond (no pun intended) the original franchise, making it stand out as its own. Be proud of that, as in my experience very few authors who involve themselves in franchise work are able to pull that off.

Overall, congradualations on a stunning conclusion and may your future works be just as grand if not more.

-WZA
The demoman chapter 2 . 11/30/2009
Genius, it follows the exact personalities of the characters and everything! PERFECT 5/5!
Wing Zero Alpha chapter 20 . 3/24/2009
Wow, it's been a long time since I saw this up Nilke. Nice to see that despite the long timespan, you haven't lost your touch at good writing. I know the ZOE section of is rather desolate right now, but I guarantee people are still reading your story and I hope you continue it regardless.

I still have to go back over your previous chapters to get re-acquainted with everything, but your latest chapter was very good all the same. I like the way you accurately write out the canon ZOE: Fist of Mars cast while your original characters can fit right in without any problems. As well, the drama around Hazel and Ares is still quite interesting to say the least, especially given recent events; while it can be drawn out at times, it's much better developed than your average Mary Sue romance you tend to see everywhere, and I find it to be a great driving force in my interest to your story. All in all I approve. Keep up the good work.
vantwitch chapter 19 . 12/17/2007
I haven't read the whole story yet, but so far I think its awesome. I reviewed here in Chapter 19 since I thought that this was an author's note.. Well enough about that, I'm still at Chapter 3. So far, what I've been reading is very good. I like the plot but I kinda think the flow of the conversations between the characters' kinda cheesy. Its really nice to find a fic about Fist of Mars, since I really love that game and to think that you started this at '04 and until now you still update and there's only 16 reviews shows you have dedication! :D I just hope you update at least once a month so as not to keep your readers waiting. I also hope you won't give up on this fic! )
AnotherOdjn chapter 13 . 11/1/2005
Wow, lots of angst. Lots. Hazel scared me too, actually, and I'm still left with a chill. If the reason stopping her from suicide is lack of guts, then it doesn't leave me very settled. Suicide isn't an answer because it doesn't solve anything, not because you need the gall to do it; there's nothing noble about it at all and only proves how weak someone is ultimately. Though, still, it seems she was honestly joking and I'm glad for that. I also see that you're alluding to her "past", which I'm interested to see.

Just a gut feeling I have here, but I hope love doesn't form out of Hazel and Ares' interaction here. From experience, something forged out of sympathy/pity/angst/etc. doesn't tend to last because after they get over it, the entire reason for being together is gone. Trust me, I went through something almost exactly similar (though, minus the OFs, kidnapped sisters, and such...unfortuneately -_- would have loved to have the OFs). I have hope for the two now that they seem to see eye to eye more, or at least that Hazel is mellowing out some, I just hope they don't rush things. Hopefully Hazel will move into a more reasonable attitude, though still retaining a little of her rough edge; she really needs it, if you ask me, to keep Cynth' in line and to be an effective Runner. In fact, I think it'd betray her character if she turned into a total softy; I've never seen anyone make that radical of a change of personality, ever.

But, well, that's just me. I'll appreciate whatever you choose to do with your characters since so far you've proven you can handle ACCs (Author-Created Characters) pretty well. This isn't a criticism, just know that I have faith. _

Otherwise, I see we get to see the BAHRAM folks a bit more in a non-combat-oriented situation. A good move, if you ask me, it really made them more interesting. I have to admit, I like Mikenne, personally. I was expecting a hard-nosed, bitchy, bossy-type that dresses immodestly because we all know those types are cock-teases but really sweet people under the rough shell. Heh heh, instead, she seems...well, like she came in with her own share of problems like everyone else here. Like I said, lots of angst. Lots. I don't mind at all, but I have to applaud you for pulling off even more of the stuff than me at certain points in my own writing. It only stood to add to the characters somewhat.

All in all, pretty darn good chapter here. My only remarks are the odd word choices and slightly...disjunct sentences at times. I also might add that Marrek's plan doesn't really add up to me so far. He could have pulled off something even more nefarious like holding Cynthia hostage in exchange for Tempus (and given Hazel's reaction, it would have been cake since she seemed desperate enough to give it away for her), but then again he doesn't seem that smart anyway. He's a bad guy I love to hate, which is the best kind in my opinion.
AnotherOdjn chapter 12 . 10/31/2005
Argh.

It's been way too long. Sorry I haven't been as faithful a reader as I'm sure you and I would like, but, heck, I've been through some real rough times. I'd like to get into all that, but I'll spare the spinning of the thread.

Meanwhile, the reason I review this one is because...well, I like to be thorough and review each and every chapter. Considering I left off...I swear, I must have left off somewhere in the middle of this chapter since I clearly remembered half of it...I picked up here and now you get this review! I'll make my way up to the latest as best I can (I'm also working on Wing Zero Alpha's stuff).

On the actual story front, it's getting pretty good if you ask me. The twist here of Cynthia being kidnapped was...for lack of a better word, unexpected _ . I'm a little shakey on Ares, though, who seems to just be there as a punching bag/crying shoulder for Hazel. I think I once compared it to "a square peg being forced into a round hole" or something of the sort...but, well, I think it can work. After all, apparently the best relationships are the kind where the people aren't all that compatible. One makes up for the others' weaknesses and such. Then again, I shouldn't be blathering about relationships, but that's part of the thread I refuse to spin...

Anyway, I noted a couple of odd word choices like before. Nothing too detrimental, but then again, my brain has a habit of reading past errors by replacing them with the "correct" word that it thinks of (which is why I often have many errors myself, I just don't notice them). Otherwise, I'm really enjoying this one overall immensely. Not to mention I've picked up on all your references so far (Valkyrie Profile is an awesome game, btw).

Anyway, keep it up. ZoE might be "dead", but at least there's still a few fans who enjoy it this much.
AnotherOdjn chapter 11 . 1/2/2005
Aw, a WAFF chapter, eh? _ Nice.

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Hmm, compared to last chapter, the grammar actually got a little better this time around. There weren't so many "like"'s and "sort of"'s, which is fantastic, but only every once in a while were one character's entire action/speech in the same paragraph. There's still a few odd word choices ("Can I...seat at your side?", for example), but overall it's looking much better. The battle scene was also a little better and not so rushed, though it was only short-lived and just left me wondering what the point of it was.

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Also, I notice that things are tending to follow the same formula as an anime series. People comment that I follow that storytelling format myself, so I'd only hope I recognize it when I see it. Though, try not to fall into the trap set by most animes of some characterization, a battle with the same villians over and over again, and absolutely no forwarding of the plot because no one will admit anything. It's kinda Power Rangers-ish, just as a good example, so unless there's a big plot twist coming up in the next two chapters (that I'm going to read after I review), I'd recommend you drop one, two...even four if you feel adventurous...in eventually. I only say that because while the writing is smoothing out, the pace is slowing down; it's nice to read about the characters, but don't neglect the plot or else you'll find yourself spending 60 chapters just to tell a story that could have been done in 30.

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But once again, it's still a great story. Definately one of my favorite ZOE ones, no doubt. I'm glad to see more "outside references" being mixed in - I want the theme to "Back To The Future" on my cell phone too, truth be told. :P And never neglect to include more anime!

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I also forgot to mention the mythology references were a fantastic idea too. ZOE relies on Egyptian mythology for the most part, which is really creative if you ask me, but there's plenty of room for Greek too. I, myself, am a fan of Norse for the most part, but I do enjoy all kinds of mythology, so seeing the Greeks take a stand here is a great change of pace.

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Well, anyway, I'm going to see if I can finish 12 now. My only recommendation is to go back over the chapters before this when you have some time and edit them to the level of quality you have here (unless 12 and 13 are even better then this one, then go to that level instead!). Otherwise, just keep up the good work. _
AnotherOdjn chapter 10 . 1/1/2005
Well, like I said, I'd get back to reading eventually, and I have! :P

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Hmm, first of all, I'll be blunt; there's still a lot of missing words or word choice flubs. For one, you can do without all the "sort of"'s and "for some reason"'s. In prose, either something happens or it doesn't, basically, so don't be afraid to just plop down what it is you're trying to say straightforward. The "seemed like"'s and the like make the storytelling ambiguous; it kind of takes all the flavor out of the details when the reader has to imagine for themselves what it "sort of" is like.

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I have to admit, though, otherwise everything looks just "okay" grammar and mechanics-wise. Not a whole lot going on, but at least that means it gets straight to the point. It helps keep the pace going smoothly, though sometimes I'd help to know when and/or how someone did something from time to time (especially critical moments like when the OFs and LEVs are deployed, for example). I notice you glazed over the battle just a tad, but I honestly don't blame you; battle scenes are sometimes a nerve-racking thing to do, but I'm afraid to say it felt a bit rushed. That's someone everyone loves about ZOE is the mecha, so don't be afraid to take your time.

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Otherwise, you also need to put together all the dialogue and actions spoken by one person into one paragraph. I noticed cases where someone would say something, do something, then the next line would be what they'd say next. Unless someone else disrupts the first action/dialogue with something of their own, don't start a new line on the already acting person. It'll help compact the story a bit and keep us aware of who's doing what.

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If you have any questions or editing requests (to show what I mean), go ahead and email me. I'd be happy to help; after all, I'd say that with cleaning up the grammar, this story would be ten times better.

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But, hey, that doesn't mean it isn't already great! Like I may have already said, the strong suit here is the plot and characters, which in my opinion matter the most above all else. Your command over the FoM canon characters is going very well along with the new OCs. I'm getting more and more suspicious of Hazel with each chapter and I'm starting to think she's some kind of test subject for BAHRAM by this point (since "Freedom To Mars!" was their trademark phrase). Perhaps she's just afraid of being used by them again? Or perhaps she wants to throw away that life entirely with them? I dunno...all I can do is guess since I'm half asleep and still behind on the plot. I'm not even sure it's Hazel I'm talking about, but I'm sure I'll remember when I get some sleep...

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And nice job on the anime references. You're learning the fun and magic of mixing outside references in. _

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Well, that's about it for now. Just gotta fix up the grammar and you'll be set! But regardless, damn good job as usual! I'll get back to this tommorrow.
AnotherOdjn chapter 9 . 9/21/2004
I love chapters like that. Though, at the moment it feels like Hazel is a square peg being jammed into a circle hole when it comes to Ares. It's very interesting to see them together, but they simply don't have the kind of trust or mutual feeling...yet. It's evident they can be friends, so I'm optimistic about their prospects as a pairing. It's certainly going smoother than most fanfic romances... *cringes at all Trigun fanfiction*

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Eh, there's still a few spots of rough grammar and word choice. I'm not sure "ironical" is a word and there's a few spots where the words seem out of order, are missing something that'd make it a bit clearer, or could be replaced with something a little more accurate. I'm afraid I can't come up with with any examples off-hand, but it's luckily not that frequent.

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Otherwise, everything else is going fantastic! I like how you added the bit in with Mebius; she's definately a good source of drama that FoM didn't milk much (save the whole scene on the roof of HBC that Bolozof caused). I'm also enjoying all the Cage/Myona and Razma/Semyl; I'm happy to see the other BIS members in their natural environment amongst one another and being themselves - it's the basics of characterization! Also, I'm with Twede on Hazel; as nice as she is, it's so easy to punch holes in her story. Just who/what is she anyway?

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Speaking of Hazel, I'm curious about her seeming bipolar nature. She's proven to be both a rather cold wench, but also a fun-loving young woman; I'm just curious as to why she puts up the antisocial fascade. Is it a defense mechanism? Perhaps she doesn't like others getting close to her? Or maybe she's just distrusting at first? I dunno...I'll let things go along as they are and see if it develops. You've done a fine job with the OCs so far, I have faith. _

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I hope you don't mind, but that monument might pop up later in Triad. Seems like a good place for my own cast to have a few thoughts and perhaps reference this spot in the story. ;)
AnotherOdjn chapter 8 . 9/21/2004
I don't know why the system just told me I reviewed this chapter when I clearly haven't...stupid website, too busy screwing around with C2's to fix my seperator problem or make "Fido" quit bugging me.

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That was a pretty cool chapter. Though, I noticed a few awkward pieces of dialogue and a wrong pronoun once in a while ("his" used instead of "her", for example) - but, hey, I screw up a lot in my publishes as do plenty of other people. I've always believed that seeing as this is just (illegal) fanfiction and it will probably never be in print, there isn't much need to nitpick. However, it's no excuse for having an unreadable story, so I simply can't forgive the slobs who throw up whatever they want riddled with problems. You're in the clear, though, I could understand what you were trying to say just fine and that's all that matters. _

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Not much happened plot-wise, but it's a great change of pace to focus on the people instead. You finally let us meet the villians and they kind of remind me of a new spin on Ares and Myona (the whole brother/sister duo deal) with Folken from Escaflowne to answer to (just joking; it's the hair, the hair!).

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As always, I recommend more Yukito "on-screen" time. He's the man. :P But otherwise, great job so far.

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I know I've been off the radar for a while; I've been on a roll with the latest chapters of Triad and on my (too) many sideprojects. Not to mention college sucks up a lot of my time - however, I am definately going to hurry and catch up on this just as you should be doing with Triad. :P
Kyosnekozukigirl chapter 11 . 8/27/2004
PLease update soon! I still love Sem/Raz
Kyosnekozukigirl chapter 10 . 6/30/2004
- Update soon! And I know you are tired of it but more Semyl and Razma moments! I would love it if you resloved their love-hate relationship to a real bf/gf thing though! _
AnotherOdjn chapter 6 . 6/28/2004
Well, I've been playing catch-up lately, as you can see. _ And I have to admit that it just keeps getting better and better.

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I've noticed a great improvement on the style; adjectives used for speech, all dialogue grammatically seperated by speaker, a little more description here and there...either you've been learning from others (like moi? Hmm? :P) or something finally "clicked". There's a big difference between the first few chapters (which you might want to edit if you get the time; but don't loose sleep over it, I've never personally edited beyond a chapter or two of my current one _() ) and this one - it's a welcome change. You're probably the first author I've seen in a long time to improve as they go along, so good job!

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The plot has finally taken form and I'm quite interested in it. It has succeeded in following one of my favorite recipes for writing: just the right mix of the old and new. There's plenty going on for the characters we all know and love, plus new faces and new things going on to expand the story. It's an incredibly simple concept when you think about it, yet strangely, I don't see many follow it...

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Well, lemme try and break it down now. The good is that things are going quite smoothly, readably, and I can't seem to stop reading. The bad is that there's a big hole in the villian's side of the story. Ruth isn't very intimidating and her appearance is all-too-brief in itself. There's plenty going on for the good guys, which is fantastic, but at least Ned, Bolozof, Zephyrs, and Jimmer got their own brief scenes. Just think back to the game; remember how the villians would meet and exchange vague mentions of their plans? Bolozof and Nadia's "relationship"? Jimmer's evil cackles? _() You can have just as much fun writing about the bad guys too! Just be careful with what you give away in their discussions; treat them like normal characters, but try to keep the "juicy" stuff for really dramatic moments.

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I also like the outside anime and game influence. You can tell I like that because if you read Triad, you could probably document a several page-long list of all the references I have. _ I actually tried one time and gave up around...chapter 5. I think I've actually forgotten most of mine... O_o Well, anyway, it's pretty cool in and of itself. Just wish I knew more about Wedding Peach...

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But just for the sake of argument, Wing-o is right about Myona. She was pretty good with an OF, but don't think it a necessity to stick her with one. Coming up with original OFs is both fun and a real pain (and I'm sure you know that, having brought in Carpe and Tempus); and finding ones that already exist can be tough without a reasonable excuse for it falling into their hands. The "mecha boy" approach for Cynthia and Hazel was fine - in fact, it stuck to the "spirit" of ZOE since that's how Leo came across Jehuty in the first game - but somehow Myona just doesn't seem like her old self anymore. There just doesn't seem to be much reason for her to hop in an OF anymore...but that's just me. Calibur seems fine for the time being. _()

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Well, I hope I've been helpful; I saved the story from the fate of the Recyling Bin, after all, and I wanna keep it from going there as long as possible. You don't have to apologize for mistakes, though, just fix 'em! We won't know the difference. :P There's no need for excuses in writing, which is a common newb mistake, so just keep going. 'Run without thinking anything'! _()

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In any case, back to catching up. Oh, and make sure to catch up on Triad if you haven't. As of 31, Yukito, Razma, and Semyl are now main characters! .
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