|Reviews for Heart of Gold|
| Northlane chapter 10 . 8/12/2013
Fucking NICE. I loved every minute of it. Good work with the characterization. Spot on.
| Misty's pysduck chapter 10 . 3/10/2013
very sweet ending. I loved the entire thing.
| Misty's pysduck chapter 9 . 3/10/2013
Agriamza and Beast plains. probably the best things I've heard all day. This chapter was hilarious!
| Tovath chapter 10 . 3/1/2013
This is a good story.
| MalaZh chapter 7 . 10/10/2012
I'm still halfway reading and I just can't stop! I'm going to continue after this, but I'd just like to let you know that it's a great story. Expect another review when I get done :)
| wedgegeck chapter 10 . 2/19/2012
This was a marvelous story, and a real pleasure to read. Thank you so much for writing it.
| KungFuTruffle chapter 10 . 8/19/2011
Thank you, that was wonderful. Great characterization, great battle scenes, and a very believable romance. If anything, I'm disappointed there isn't more.
| Sudentor chapter 10 . 7/3/2011
As a more plot-centric writer, it would have been so easy to dismiss Heart of Gold as "another shipfic amongst tired legions of them". The story itself is worked down to an overused formula: Kuudere/Tsundere archetype initially suspects male lead through a crisis-laden background plot, the distrust eventually develops into a comradely friendship as he proves himself time and time again, the female lead continuously denies and/or suppresses her growing feelings and affections for him, and it is not until the timely arrival of a serious rival love interest (and I must note that I felt Meliadoul was portrayed in a somewhat out-of-character fashion, although I suppose not a lot of information had been provided on her character to begin with) conveniently wedged in there that the female lead suddenly realizes that she DOES love him.
However, I DID say "would have been"; indeed, Heart of Gold "would have been" so easy to dismiss if it weren't rather well-written. And despite what may have seemed like harsh paragraphs in my first paragraph, I'm a sucker for shipfics. Overall (so I can get this out of the way first and put you out of your anxiety), Heart of Gold has been a very enjoyable and well-written read, even though it is somewhat dated and the oldest amongst your fics.
Let's try to get the easy elements of my review out of the way first. How you transitioned elements of FFT's system - crystals, Death Sentence, etc. - was interesting enough; it was cute, it was witty, and it was entertaining to read. I think one of my favorite parts was after the battle in Lionel, when Ramza just suddenly dies out of the blue, and his comrades realized he had been inflicted with Death Sentence. And while that does incur a laugh or two, I do sometimes wonder if you're trying a bit too hard. I've never taken "crystallization" too seriously aside from a gameplay gimmick; there are many instances where corpses remain corpses for along time during cutscenes of FFT, and don't crystallize. I do believe that TV Tropes has a name for it, "Gameplay and Story Segregation". While it's certainly not something to get worked up over - as I've said, it proved entertaining at times - I do think one can keep that bit with a bit of salt.
Another fairly amusing issue was how, in the early chapters, you were faithful to in-game battle dialogue during the missions, and yet as the story progressed, getting through one ordeal after another on FFT's Ivalice map became less important than highlighting the relationships between Ramza and Agrias, and some conversations were filed away in Agrias' head as "Ramza's continuously ineffectual conversations with the enemy", which I found rather funny, actually. I really can't say here whether or not it's handled well or poorly - I COULD say that you were trying too hard ala game mechanics as mentioned in the paragraph above, or I COULD say that the transition was on purpose - but, really, all I can say is that it was a bit jarring, especially when one reads all ten chapters in a single go. I'd imagine this would've been less of a problem for a reader who followed your updates one chapter at a time, so I can hardly fault you - an author keeping that same schedule - too much for this.
In fact, the first half seems slow to start. Again, I understand the thematic necessity, the need for Ramza and Agrias to slowly build up trust against the backdrop that is the Lion War. It takes five chapters for you to go through the events of FFT's Chapter Two, and another five for FFT's Chapters Three and Four (although, to be fair, your latter chapters were quite lengthy). This made later battles slightly jarring, given your faithful detail in the early battles of the story, and made certain aspects of the second half feel rushed. In fact, this makes your rather fast-paced ending feel rather rushed and minimalist and underwhelming, but, again, I understand the necessities, so I won't take away too many points here; still, it's something you should keep an eye out for. Besides, after writing a fic for so long, I can understand that you just wanted to hurry up to that finish line and declare it an accomplishment; I know the feeling all too well.
Now that I'm done being rather overcritical, let's try to focus on the good points, especially those that I really liked.
There are several short segments of your story I really liked. I think one of the key points that changed my view of Heart of Gold from "it's a pretty good fic, but not too special, although I may as well finish it since I've already gotten this far" to "okay, this is actually quite good, I want to finish it and leave the author a review" was all the way over in Chapter Seven, "Faith and Nails", after Ramza finished reading the Germonik Scriptures. The moment where Agrias temporarily loses it, where she starts laughing at the absurdity of it all, was actually rather riveting and unsettling, and that's a great thing. The fact that there was little foreshadowing towards it, little in the way of describing Agrias' changes in emotions and mood while Ramza read from the scriptures, added to what was very much a surprising turn of events, something that just kind of shook me as a reader awake and sent me into a state of anxiety. Because Agrias suddenly has absolutely no idea how to confront what has become a lifetime of lies, no idea how to deal with a foundation that had completely been pulled out from under her, and while she doesn't quite snap, she can't adequately process all those emotions, and so she laughs hysterically to cope without even realizing it, "casually" splitting a tree into splinters as she did so before commenting in an almost whimsical manner that "it's good to know I didn't lose my powers along with my faith" before giggling some more. It was a strong, riveting, terrifying moment, and I very much loved it.
A small scene where the party reveals the stock RPG party kleptomaniac tendencies in Chapter Eight, "One Boot", was very much entertaining. Even the incorruptible Ramza can't get away from the idea of Elmdor's great shiny Japanese-esque gauntlets, it seems.
Yet another favorite scene of mine was Agrias' sudden realization (finally, I might add) that he loves Ramza. There was something very appealing and convincing about how Agrias - after what has amounted to months of traveling with Ramza, after what has effectively remained a platonic camaraderie - just suddenly realizes that she loves him, and unbearably so. He didn't even DO anything just then, only looking for his bracer, which was what made it all the better; it's not that Ramza didn't need to do anything dramatic to sweep Agrias off her feet that I find appealing, but that this realization kicked in many months after all that had happened. It was not a great gesture of affection or love that did it, or some romantic action. Time, day-by-day of traveling, fighting, dealing with each other had slowly unlocked Agrias' heart, and that you had chosen to open the door at such a trivial happenstance was very much heartwarming, and easy to sympathize with. It's rather endearing, in fact.
And there were other endearing moments as Agrias becomes hopelessly in love: The systematic sharing of Ramza between herself and Meliadoul (and Rafa's resigned irritation at that idea), the awkward conversations that could've totally been interpreted as something else had the context been different or obscured, and all those inn/tavern/bathing scenes with idyllic conversations amongst the party in between. And there was a particularly heart-wrenching mini-paragraph, I think, following Dycedarg's death, where Agrias reflects: "My eyes start to blur so I lower them. If I ever cause him that kind of pain, I will die." That was rather well-done.
Although it felt to me as if a sense of fatigue and weariness had settled in by the time you starting writing the second half of the story, I still feel that Heart of Gold is a fairly strong story in its right, deserving of the recommendation that it was given on TV Tropes. As a fellow writer, I was pleased to see your gradual improvements in writing as the chapters progressed, and I'm looking forward to seeing where you've gotten when I start reading Slippery Slope soon, and I'll see if I can leave a review for that one too.
Thank you for this entertaining read. I hope my review - however late it is - may mean something to you in some way.
| TannerBananer chapter 10 . 6/4/2011
daaaaamn YOUR AMAZING .. i absolutely adored how every word was mentioned from the game, exactly precise! I ALSO LOVED HOW STRANGE AGRIAS FELT TOWARD PHYSICAL AFFECTION! , This is most definitely going to be fav'd : )
| Power Taco chapter 10 . 5/25/2011
The only thing that could have made this story better would have been an epilogue chapter after this one. Still my fav FFT story though.
| arazlam.durai chapter 1 . 2/11/2011
I know it's been years since Final Fantasy Tactics first appeared on PsOne. And just recently, in the PSP. But ever since I played this game back in the PsOne days, I had been so attached to the story of the game, as well as the characters. I think the whole story is brilliant, and you're writing and perspective of how things happened through the eyes of Agrias made it even more amazing. I really love what you did, and I hope you can develop the story more. I'll send you a message about some things that I want to privately talk to you about, mostly in improving the whole story, but I'm certainly not saying that your story is any less complete and great on it's own. Just my thoughts. :) And since it won't be proper to address it here in the review, I'll just send you a message. Anyway, you did a good job of making the story come to life, and I'm your number one fan, no exaggerations! :) Congratulations!
| Clockwork time chapter 10 . 11/24/2010
Well hello there friend, I really enjoyed reading your story. Read all of it at once and I have to say it was worth the time.
The way you showed Agrias fit very well with the game and with my own ideas of how she should behave. I loved her consistent comments on the story as it developed.
It was quite lengthy but in the end it seems you cut it short, a short after story really would have been a nice touch.
Thank you very much for your hard work and I look forward to reading your other material.
| Guest chapter 10 . 11/15/2010
Well, where to begin?
To start off, I wasn't exactly sure whether the first person narrative would work out well (I've never been a big fan of FPV) but you pulled it off reasonably well. The Agrias we see here is much like the Agrias in the game, or at least as close to the little personality she has there.
I actually don't have too much to comment on until the final two chapters. I have to take issue with your portrayal of Meliadoul; her sudden and ridiculously fast interest in Ramza (even pointed out in the story by Agrias) pretty much screamed that her role was to be nothing more than the obligatory romantic rival, which seriously hurt her character. I could see a much more plausible way to make Agrias insecure in her relationship with Ramza by simply having Meliadoul pouring her heart out to Ramza, especially since they had similar experiences (something bad happened to their younger sibling... family killing family... etc) and such.
However, what was done very well was Agrias's very simple, very unshocking moment of "oh yeah, BTW, I love him." I instantly gravitated to that approach as soon as I read it. Later, I found myself wondering if I should have liked it, but dammit, I did, and that ain't changing.
That being said, I cannot get over the sheer cheese of "can you feel the love in my hands." Seriously? Seriously? LOL...
Finally, the ending. Oh man, was that a depressing ending. But I have to take it as a good sign that the end could affect me that much.
And I'm not even that big a Ramza/Agrias fan but I still stuck with the story all the way through. So that's something there.
I'll be sure to check out your other FFT fanfics as soon as I'm able.
| Rannison chapter 2 . 11/12/2010
I can't even begin to describe how amazing your work is! I only hope this will continue to develop, though I see it's marked as complete. I'm a huge fan, and I'd just like to say good job, and keep it up!
| HopelessRomanticist chapter 10 . 10/9/2010
Finished it in one sitting, and I have to say it is probably my 2nd favourite FF:T fanfic (after Reluctant Hero). Both this fic and Reluctant have managed to convince me to actually buy this game instead of Crisis Core, so kudos to you for writing well enough to make a sales pitch in how awesome the game is/can be made with good fan writing.
HR needs sleeeeeeeep... one-sitting readthroughs are bad ideas at 2am...