|Reviews for Starfox: Sunrise Over Lylat|
| Xengo chapter 34 . 2/26
Don't worry about that earlier review man. Keep doing your thing. You've got a good story going on here.
| Guest chapter 34 . 2/26
Just keeps getting better! Keep up the good work. One of the best pieces I've ever read.
| Fr33zy chapter 1 . 2/24
TL:DR of GAMEMASTER's review
"Wahh, not enough token diversity!" (In a universe where there are talking animals)
and "Wahh! One character had a sexually violent situation!"
I genuinely don't get your concerns with the Primals or the Cornerian Defense Force either.
1. The Primals are not 100% evil. From the point of view from a modern and liberal society they are, but quite frankly if you had half a literary brain you would see that a great deal of their culture comes from ancient human culture. Using women for breeding cattle...basically ancient Rome, to a T. Women were for growing children, and even then they didn't have any say over their own kids. No voting, no rights, nothing.
2. Who is to say Corneria is as politically correct as Earth in the 21st century in a universe with no talking animals? Certainly species-ism would be alive and well. We had, and have, racial riots in the United States today over the color of our damn skin. How long do you think it took the people of Lylat to convince foxes not to eat rabbits?
3. Diversity for diversity's sake is incredibly stupid. I do not see how changing a few "he's" to "she's" makes a story and better or worse. What I do find is that the spread of genders in this universe is pretty damn consistent with that of the US military today. Women make up 14% of the active US military despite being allowed to serve for decades. There are something like 5 women who are being trained for combat roles in the military currently, and the vast majority don't want to serve in a combat role. So maybe the author is just going for realism in not having that many female tank drivers, infantrymen, and pilots, just saying.
Gamemasta, if you think you can do better, I ask you to try. Author, please don't take armchair writers like this seriously and please continue. We all want to see your conclusion.
| G4M3M45T3R chapter 33 . 2/21
[[Continued from previous review]]
Heh, now I'm having some serious fun imagining the reaction of Cornerian!Kratman and the society that produced him if they were to ever encounter humans. (As an aside, I'm guessing there might be some deeper meaning to the Elite Primals being described as vaguely resembling pale-skinned humans, but I can't be bothered to figure it out. Basically, I've come to imagine the Primals as looking like the female apes from Tim Burton's 2001 Planet of the Apes remake, which, while still being hairy and apelike, have a considerably more humanlike facial structure and skin tone than the male apes in the movie, all in the name of making them "sexier" so that one of them can rather disturbingly be a love interest to the human male lead. And the Elite Primals being the same thing minus the facial and body hair) Bonus points if the incarnation of humanity they encounter is far more vast and advanced than the Lylat System, like say, the Galactic Federation from Metroid to use another Nintendo franchise (which is not to say that it also doesn't suffer from the same kind of problems I outlined in the first part of this review. Quite the contrary…See Exhibit A: Other M), all in the name of shoving the smug, superior attitude that this story positively drips with down their throats. And then, once they get over the initial shock and realize this advanced alien race of hairless apes is neither malevolent nor repulsive-looking like the SOL novels portray them as, some Cornerians start fetishizing humans the same way certain real life people fetishize furries. Hot damn, this really is fun!
But enough of that, I digress. You know, funny thing about Kratman, arch-conservative cretin that he is, he still has enough common sense to include female military personnel in his futuristic settings, even if their portrayal is usually distorted through the lens of his rather twisted far-right worldview. You know what they say about a broken clock being right twice a day, after all. This fic, on the other hand, I've come to realize is the exact opposite of that adage: It's like a beautifully crafted, perfectly functional antique grandfather clock whose noon/midnight is engraved with a 13 instead of a 12; a relatively minor flaw on an otherwise perfect creation that in theory shouldn't matter much in the grand scheme of things, but in practice is so blatantly and fundamentally WRONG that it completely eclipses all of said creation's countless positive qualities, at least on a first impression, and is so ingrained in the very fiber of the work that any hope of correcting it is completely out of the question.
For the record, despite everything I've said thus far I don't really think you're some kind of cretin or sexist or bad writer or anything of the sort. On the contrary, I think you're an excellent writer who has nothing but good intentions and is simply clueless about certain things. The fact that you used that extremely offensive and amateurish 'female protagonist gets raped' cliché in chapter 26 for the sole purpose of advancing another character's subplot (i.e., providing the catalyst for Telemos' feud with Geasbreaker Rolfe), and in such a haphazard manner to boot, only further confirmed that to me. But enough people have adequately summed up exactly what's wrong with that in the reviews for that chapter that I won't elaborate on it further. Frankly, I wouldn't bat an eye at this kind of cluelessness in a bad author or even a mediocre one, but to see it displayed by a clearly professional-level author such as yourself and in an otherwise novel-worthy story like Sunrise Over Lylat is extremely jarring and impossible for me to overlook. Which is why, if you or anyone else who sees this review has a problem with its tone or content, my only response is a quote from videogame critic Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw in his review of Mindjack: "Do you want to hear something totally unbelievable? Some people say they have difficulty telling whether I recommend a game or not. I know, what morons! Yes, I exaggerate every slightish negative feature regardless of overall quality, but how else would developers learn? It's like Chinese parenting, but less nightmarish."
Also, why in the world would the idea of a white-furred fox be treated like some kind of freakish anomaly? Aren't you aware of the existence of arctic foxes? I mean, there's only like 50 billion fursonas of them out there.
| G4M3M45T3R chapter 32 . 2/21
Surprise! You didn't really think someone would put all that time and effort into such a large critique only to brush off its deletion like it was nothing, did you? Well, it's now been exactly 90 days, and, as I originally planned ever since I found out you excised it, after going back and rereading some choice parts of this otherwise excellent story I've determined that I find them no less odious than before. Therefore, up the review goes again, only slightly edited and formatted so that it's a bit less wall-of-texty. You might call that petty. I call it dedication.
And that's not all! Frankly, playing Undertale has taught me that consequences don't count for much if they can be easily erased and forgotten about, so this time I'm reviewing from an account rather than as a guest. In retrospect I should have done that the first time around, but better late than never. Have fun convincing the site staff to take it down, thereby proving you're just as petty/dedicated as me!~
[[Note: This review is split into two parts to get around the site's character count limit]]
Okay, a couple of things here.
First off, time after time we're shown how the Primals regard women as inferior and have few privileges in their culture and no responsibilities beyond mate and mother, even seeing the very concept of a female warrior like Terrany as an affront to their entire belief system. So supposedly that's another area where the Cornerians are clearly meant to have the moral high ground. But that message kind of falls flat when you take a closer look at the Cornerians themselves and realize that they're not as superior to the Primals in that regard as they're clearly written as. Yes, they have (or rather, had) both Terrany and Dana on their side, but…that's pretty much it. Terrany is a former Airforce Academy cadet, and Dana is an Arspace test pilot, so it would follow that both the SDF and Arspace Dynamics, and Corneria as a whole have no problems with gender equality. This makes perfect sense since Sunrise Over Lylat takes place in a futuristic setting where such things should no longer be an issue. So tell me then, where are all the female SDF military personnel, named or nameless? Where are the female admirals and generals, ship captains, naval officers and enlisted crew, army commanders and troopers, tank crews, and of course, fighter pilots, Arwing or otherwise? Where are the female Arspace engineers? Where are the female politicians? How come pretty much every single time a named soldier, officer or Arwing pilot is introduced they're male? How come the Star Fox team is always accurately referred to as "boys and girls" or "men and women" yet pretty much every similar reference to the people of any other Cornerian organization, whether civilian or military, is just "boys" or "men?" How is it that you put a lot of effort into making the SDF incredibly diverse in terms of species, a far cry from the all-dog Cornerian military seen in canon, yet when it comes to the inclusion of women you fall back on the same kind of lazy writing that the game makers themselves use?
Of course, that's not entirely accurate. Going through the story, on the crew of the Wild Fox there's at least Sasha, a communications officer, and Lynette Ermsdale, a nurse. Just like Lieutenant Uhura and Nurse Chapel of Star Trek the Original Series. How very 60's of you! There's also Zhen, the military doctor from Chapter 16. Just like Doctor Crusher from Star Trek The Next Generation, so throw in a bit of the 80's there too. And on the civilian side, there's Marcia Cubbington, a senatorial aide from Chapter 22, and in chapter 29 Pugs' mother is mentioned to be the second officer of a Macbeth space colony, the latter of which I wouldn't find noteworthy in another story but it completely stands out against everything else I've seen here so far. And of course, there's Julia McCloud, a mother, and Evelyn Cloudrunner, a secretary…yeah, NOW that's pretty much it.
You know, for all this story's relentless, baseball-bat-over-the-head posturing about how the Primals are oh-so evil for not allowing women to be warriors and the like, I think YOU need to think long and hard about how you yourself view women. Just because the Star Fox team started out with a 50-50 split between male and female members doesn't give you a free pass on everything else, FYI. Having a couple of token smurfettes being the main characters still doesn't change the fact that they're smufettes, and only makes the dearth of female characters in the rest of the story all the more jarring. Maybe if you could've been bothered to include plenty of female main characters and background characters on the Cornerian side of the war, the story could have at least drawn up interesting parallels to Fallout New Vegas' central conflict between the highly misogynistic Caesar's Legion and the highly egalitarian NCR, but as things stand right now it's impossible to root for the Cornerians in that regard given that they appear to be nowhere near as progressive as simple common sense dictates they should be.
Though from what I recall of Guiding Rainbow's Light, the other story of yours I've read in full so far, it was at least somewhat better with female representation than SOL is despite taking place on a near-future earth. Perhaps this subconscious bias of yours largely only extends to furry women for some reason?
The thing is, I might be able to give that a pass given the extremely high quality of most of the rest of the story. After all, it's not like that particular brand of laziness isn't common as dirt even in this day and age. One aspect of the story I absolutely cannot tolerate no matter what, however, is the Primals themselves. Specifically, how much one-dimensionally villainous they are. I'm going to borrow a quote I read from a forum that succinctly describes exactly what's wrong with S.M. Sterling's Draka, and I've come to realize it applies just as well to the Primals: "[They] are BAD. That's literally all there is to them. And they're kind of slimy and disgusting about that too. They're fractally evil. No matter how far you zoom in onto their racial worldview, you find the details are just as evil as the whole. There are no redeeming features. At all." Seriously, it's as if you created them by going to TV Tropes and gathering a laundry list of both the evilest-looking tropes imaginable along with several standard sci-fi alien clichés, "Scary Dogmatic Aliens," "The Fundamentalist," "Religion of Evil," "God of Evil," "Proud Warrior Race Guy," "No Woman's Land," "Sex Slave," "Fantastic Racism," "Planet of Hats," "Evil Cannot Comprehend Good," "Aliens are Bastards," the list goes on, all in the name of creating a genocidal religious fanatic alien race for Star Fox in an obvious attempt to mirror what the New Jedi Order series did for the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Which is still not an apt comparison, because even those stupid Yuuzhan Vong were eventually shown to have more nuance and depth than these Primals. They seem more like a simplistic caricature of an alien society rather than an actual believable functioning civilization, one that not even the most hackish Star Trek writer at the lowest point in the franchise could have ever come up with. It is absolutely impossible for me to take them seriously. "Breeding and entertainment," Jesus Christ…
Frankly, the only way I can possibly salvage that aspect of the story for myself is if I imagine Sunrise Over Lylat to be an in-universe novel series in the Lylat System written in the aftermath of the Lylat Wars by the Cornerian equivalent of Tom Kratman. Just like how, in the wake of 9/11 and the War on Terror, Tom Kratman writes self-masturbatory novels (the most obvious example being "Caliphate") about heroic Westerners triumphing over the eeeeeevil religious fanatic misogynistic Muslim hordes whose holy book the Koran and malevolent religion calls for them to wage war against the Western world, force their own women to cover up and not be educated and to be second-class citizens, rape and force Western women into prostitution, and in general want to destroy and enslave the West, oh, and the US becomes an oppressive regime because of reasons; in the wake of the Lylat Wars and Andross' army of primates terrorizing the system, Cornerian!Kratman writes self-masturbatory novels about heroic Cornerians triumphing over the eeeeeevil religious fanatic pyromaniac misogynistic alien ape hordes whose holy book The Charred Testament (*facepalm*) and their malevolent god The Lord of Flames (*more facepalm*) calls for them to wage war against the system, force their own women to wear golden collars when they're claimed as mates and not speak first and be second-class citizens, rape and force enemy women to become scantily-clad concubines (which fits quite nicely with Kratman's rather creepy sex slave fetish), and in general want to destroy and enslave all of furrykind, oh, and Corneria becomes an oppressive regime because of reasons. And the character Dr. Bushtail can be easily explained as a token minority to dispel accusations of racism: "Look, I swear I'm not prejudiced against apes! One of them is a main character!"
[[Continued in next review]]
| Matthew chapter 17 . 1/30
This book is really GOOD I like it!
| AlphaLykan chapter 33 . 1/14
This might be one of the finest pieces of Starfox fanfiction I have ever read, and in fact one of the best-put-together fanfictions period. I find myself as connected to each of these characters and their struggles as I do to the canon characters. The subtle references are well-placed, and I always enjoy when those are done well. Keep up that good work!
| NothingExtra chapter 1 . 1/13
Damn. First time I saw this fic, it was way back in '09. Glad to see you're still kicking. Started reading it a long time ago, when I didn't have an account. Now that I've got one, I think I owe you some reviews.
Slow start, but I remember it picking up speed later. Kinda like Foxmerc's stuff.
Look forward to the rest.
| Freezy chapter 1 . 1/3
I...is this dead? I'd be completely saddened if it were.
| G4M3M45T3R chapter 1 . 11/23/2015
Heh, I was wondering if you'd delete my review before the day was over. And you know what? I really don't care! So long as you saw it and I gave you something to think about, my work here is done.
| A. Nony Mous chapter 12 . 10/31/2015
"Wyatt laughed, puffing out his throat pouch. General Grey rolled his eyes. Amphibians" "Watch it, you flat-tails!" "We're blind as bats right now" Damn, General Grey sure is racist, ain't he? P
| xavier343 chapter 6 . 10/5/2015
Just got into reading this! Love this story so far. Keep it up!
| Freezy chapter 1 . 9/13/2015
I think I know exactly where you're going with Terrany's fate, I love it but I hate it at the same time. Once again incredible writing as usual.
| Foxhound47 chapter 33 . 8/25/2015
Keep up the good work! I'm excited to see where this goes!
| dolphinigle chapter 33 . 8/22/2015
The wolf spoke up again, "All right, I'll bite."
Quality writing here as usual :')