Reviews for An Ocean of Mirrors
sara chapter 28 . 4/1
Amazing story! please update soon!
Aarowlyn chapter 28 . 3/31
Nice chapter. It was a mellow offset to the tournament and felt necessary, especially after the fight Claude and Rena left the chapter off in. Now I'm curious to see where you take this Bowman/Celine path that you've introduced. I must admit that I never got the PA between them, and forgot that they were even supposed to be "engaged," but, from your author's note, you say that it didn't happen that way. Either way, I like where you're going now. I can definitely picture the tension between them if you decide to bring Bowman along (and it sounds like you're going to). Now we'll have two drama couples, but that's not really a bad thing.

Keep it up and looking forward to more from you.
Hawke chapter 28 . 3/30
Oh...my...God...

Thanks to you, I think I've found my new OTP. I have to admit, I've never thought of Bowman and Celine like that before now. Sure, I remember hearing that the two of them were supposed to be engaged, but, like I said, I never got the PA. But you said that you did, so what happens? I've never been able to figure that out. I did hear about him leaving her at the altar too, but maybe that was from a site back in the late 90's/early 2000's.

Anyway, I like this new shift in characters. It takes the heat off of Claude and Rena for the moment, especially after their big fight. Now he's avoiding her. Wonder how long that will last.

I'm really looking forward to the next chapter though and finding out if Bowman has FINALLY recognized Celine. Thank you for updating quickly and hope to see the next chapter just as quickly, although that's the selfish side talking for me.

Congrats on getting published and getting to go to Japan! I'm not going to pretend I'm not jealous, ahaha!

RyanEX - ah, that makes a LOT more sense now. And calling Claude an older Ernest isn't too far from the truth either from looks. I've read fanfics in the past of Claude and Opera together but never had it happen in the real game. She seems like a good match for him too.
Moosashi chapter 28 . 3/29
Precis and Bowman are everything I hoped they would be, with the former being clingy and adorable with a bubbly brattish flair, and the latter being laidback and sneakily pompous. I am absolutely ready for the extra zest they will bring to this already zesty cumulation of characters.

Let’s start with Precis. Dang, she’s fallen hard for Claude. Pun absolutely intended, because she did fall on top of him when they met! I can already picture how she will steal the heart of Claude, leaving Rena sad and heartbroken and vulnerable to the charismatic elegance of Ashton, who will sweep her off her feet and mend her shattered heart; because, little does Celine know, the other one Rena loves is not Dias, but Ashton! Oh, the plot-twist! Oh, the drama! What a magnificent tale their love shall weave! Yes, I can already picture all of this!

Ahem—so probably not. Anyways, back to Precis. Her aptitude of fitting conceitedness into her comments is great. And these expressions she makes, the ways you describe them bring about the most hilarious images in my head: “Her eyes widened and looked as though someone had nailed a hammer into the side of her head,” and “The girl looked up at him as if he had stabbed her with a dull knife.” When I read these, those absurd anime-style facial expressions of super-deformed eyes and agape mouth come to mind and I can’t help but laugh. Incredibly fantastic job!

Bowman needs to pull that thinking cap of his down harder. What sort of man forgets his once-upon-a-time bride? Sure, she may look completely different, having ditched the architect-like clothing, grown her hair out, flipped her demeanor on its head…all right, I’ll give him a pardon for this one. Opera spilled the beans anyways. I predict a flustered Bowman and seething Nineh in the chapters to come.

The beginning of this chapter is superb. It definitely is a good lead-in to the more mellow nature of the chapter from the previous chapter’s full-throttle action. Ashton’s makeshift parenting is quite humorous, yet also endearing. Celine thinks he looks like a “regular dad.” Well, Celine, most “regular dads” DO have dragons protruding from their scapulae. Right? Haha!

I see you went with Second Evolution’s dialogue for Precis’s introduction, or at least something similar. Being the avid Ashton/Rena fan that I am, I prefer Second Story’s, since the tone and actions of Rena hint at her being jealous at Ashton’s comment of Precis. If I recall correctly, she says, “So that’s your type, huh?” while looking downcast, to which Ashton replies nervously, “Don’t read too much into what I say!” Of course, I could be misinterpreting things. But I digress!

Claude is incredibly humanized in this chapter in terms of his emotions. You delivered a spot-on portrayal of how someone would act after being rejected, with him wanting to avoid Rena, even in the simplest things such as eye contact. This is especially true during the scene where he recruits Precis. Bittersweet revenge, eh, Claude?

Man oh man, you’re getting published?! Congratulations, you deserve the honor! And here I thought I was living the dream with writing my story over on Fictionpess. That’s quite the achievement, and the dream that nearly all writers wish to achieve one day. Jealousy is surging through me, but with diligence and perseverance, I too will (hopefully) make it to that milestone. You’ll have to let me know the name of this book so that I can be one of the first people to purchase it!

I appreciate the offer of help with the whole Ren’Py thing. I may have to take you up on that, but only if these other folks I’m working with actually do their part. I signed on to their project as a programmer only, so without them forking over digital assets, there’s not much for me to do. Heck, I can’t even start until they fork those things over. I’m so eager to start on it, too. Ah well, hopefully in due time.

D’aww, look at you going out of your way to put references in for me! I’m a bit embarrassed. Thanks a bunch, haha! I’m so happy! There’s two references for you in this paragraph, and though they might be vague, I’m sure you’ll know what they are since you know how much I adore a certain character.

As always, keep up the great work and take care! I hope you have a great time in Japan, and I hope one day I’ll get to visit that country which exudes one heck of an awesome entertainment culture.
RyanEX chapter 28 . 3/29
I remember there being a PA about Bowman and Celine being engaged. I think it occured on the 2nd CD when we went back in the memories to get access to the hidden dungeon. I can't remember if it was character specific though.

Hawke - Yes...he was THAT goddawful. Though it did allow me to see just why it was Opera and Claude were so easily workable as a couple. Ernest looks like an older Claude (with a third eye).

Moosashi - It's one of the things gamers have to deal with whenever the developers insist on making MCs use archaic weapons like swords when there is no real way they should be using/have any experience with them. Under realistic circumstances we'd see Claude pull a Harrison Forde and just pull out his gun and shoot either Dias or Ashton at the start of the fight :D.
That said I liked Claude BECAUSE he was the underdog and it pissed me off how he got no development over the course of the story.

And Precis, as always, is comedy gold. The flow of your story have the scenes in Linga make a lot more sense especially Rena's jealousy. I used to do Linga before the Tournament just for the extra xp.
Kyphrin chapter 1 . 3/29
Excellent chapter :) Precis was always one of my favorite characters from the game and you portrayed her excellently.
Ziem64 chapter 27 . 2/27
Woah, I really love this story.. The plot, the twist, extra character.. everything.. I can imagine all those that you write in this fic.. Excellent work.. :)
I like this chapter the part where Claude confess his feeling to Rena, I was smiling.. then came the "are we still friend?

seriously, I can feel what Claude feel at that time.. :(

Hope you update soon.. I wanna see how their relationship will go..
Moosashi chapter 27 . 2/23
“Winner? The Ensign bit down on his lip. Don’t make me laugh.” – DARN RIGHT. At least Claude realizes he would have lost! Haha! Though I am disappointed to not see a real fight between the two, I suppose this was necessary to knock Claude out of that godforsaken slump he was in. Claude will get what's coming to him from Ashton if you decide to do that Fun City tournament, I'm sure.

Dias pretty much slaughtered Claude, and rightfully he should have. At this point in the story, I’m starting to question Claude’s usefulness to the party in terms of combat strength. First and foremost, there is Ashton who, all my personal like for his character aside, is without a doubt the strongest fighter currently in the group. His dragons make up a large portion of that strength. Next there is Celine, whose magic is also a quite formidable force. Then comes Alen, and while he isn’t necessarily a force to be reckoned with on his own, once Celine enchants his Orius, he becomes far more formidable. Opera has futuristic guns, and I’m pretty certain that speaks for itself! Rena can heal people. And Claude…

…Claude has no special ability or unique attribute (that being said, it has been a year and I may be forgetting something that happened in a previous chapter). And you know what? I like him as he is in that regard. His normalcy makes him unique and defined amongst the other characters. Perhaps I’m reading between the lines too much, but he seems to struggle with his normalcy and that makes him all the more interesting. When he was knocked into the cell during the battle with Gaizel, one of his thoughts read, “I’m pretty sure I broke a rib or two. But I can’t sit here like this.” Please, keep doing what you are doing with Claude’s development, both as a fighter and as a character within the story.

I never really liked Claude’s character in the game or anime, but your story—this chapter in particular—is melting this icy heart I have towards him, haha. He definitely has a lot on his plate to deal with, and I respect him for keeping hold of his sanity, even if he is going slightly crazy over Rena.

All things considered, this wasn’t a bad chapter. While it definitely whittled down the intensity of the tournament, I still can’t help but enjoy it. I especially enjoyed the battle with Gaizel because it brought all of the characters together. I understand that writing huge group battle scenes like that can be difficult, as defining the various characters’ actions can make the writing stiff and stale. However, that is not the case here! You executed that scene magnificently.

I am stoked for the next chapter. Precis will finally be getting introduced! I cannot wait to see what kind of debacle she creates between Claude, Rena, and Ashton. Of course, that’s assuming she even does so. More so than anything, I am excited to see your interpretation and presentation of her character. I have a feeling her and Claude will get along well, especially after the devastation Rena delivered to him at the end of this chapter.

That under-appreciated PA you mentioned, I have a pretty darn good hunch at which one you are referring to. I believe a past conversation between us brought it up at one point.

Oh and yes, I believe I caught your reference: “Death is a Great Leveler” is the title of one of Blue Sphere’s music tracks. Loving these references every time they pop up!

Ren’Py, huh? I’m having one of those moments where you find out about something and then all of a sudden it’s mentioned all over the place. Three days ago I agreed to help people program a Visual Novel through it, and now I come read this and you mention it. How interesting! Anyways, I’ll end my review here before I get too off-topic.

It’s great to see you back! A year’s wait is fine and all, because the quality of this story is amazing. I only wish I would have checked for an update a week ago. Great work, keep it up, and take care!
amy chapter 27 . 2/22
I'm really impressed with your work, it's well written and detailed. The character development is going very smooth in my opinion and the tension between them all is palpable and it's enjoyable to read. The problems they have with themselves, each other and what they face makes them react in different ways and that's what separates their personalities, no person is the same and it makes it very real and interesting, an example would be the love-square between claude,alen,rena and dias. The way you write pulls the reader into the story and I like that.

I believe that you can deliver character development, twists in the story and your own ideas to make this better than the games original plot, and you have so don't get disheartened because your doing a wonderful job, you have tons of support from readers and reviewers, they may have different opinions, we all do, but believe in yourself and go with what you think is right or will make the story consistent or better.

I actually liked the way the chapter ended, it was emotional and heartbreaking for claude and rena, I feel like rena is maturing because she is putting the world and the lives of others over claude's feelings, that's responsible and more important.

Overall I really do see this as a brilliant and well thought out story and I'm enjoying reading it immensely.
mike chapter 27 . 2/18
cool story.
Hawke chapter 27 . 2/17
RyanEX

That's right, I forgot about Opera. Truth is, I've never recruited her into my party because, as you said, I heard that Ernest was god awful and felt that the benefits wouldn't be as good to have both of them. Plus, I've always liked Ashton more, and even if I had recruited Opera and not Ernest, I don't think I would've found her character as fun. She seems to play the typical older woman, and Ashton seems livelier. This, of course, is just my opinion.

I meant Precis more in the sense of ML's story. It seems that Opera has her heart set on Ernest, and, if ML is writing according to the game (or EX), Ernest will be coming along shortly, which rules Opera out as a rival in the story. Precis, on the other hand, has no one else except Claude, and I guess Ashton if ML wants to make it canon. But yeah. There's my two cents.
faith marie chapter 27 . 2/16
waaaaaaaaaahhhhh! thats so sad! poor claude n rena. please make them friends again soon!
Aarowlyn chapter 27 . 2/15
I'm glad to see you've updated finally! And thank you for explaining things in the author's note. It clears up a lot of what's going on. I like that new motto. I feel like it's applicable to most of the characters actually, especially Celine. Truth be told, and I know other people have problems with it, but I *like* these character flaws in the story. Like, even if Claude is being a bit of a crybaby, it feels like a natural reaction to the situation. It makes him more human and relatable. Even at Rena's rejection of him, he wouldn't be like in the game and shrug it off and say "Oh, well, that didn't work out. Time to move on." He would react, just as anyone else would, just as he did: Crushed and angry. I look forward to the next few chapters to see how things play out between Claude and Rena, as well as the surrounding characters who have to put up with them.

As a side note to Guest, I believe some of the points you made were the same ones ML made in the Author's Note at the top of this chapter. I'm not sure if you were reiterating these points or critiquing them (besides the one specifically about Claude being a crybaby, of course). As for the answer as to whether or not Welch is going to make an appearance, I believe ML said in one of the Author's Notes (although I can't remember which chapter it was stated) that Welch wasn't going to be added in.

Anyway, looking forward to your next chapter and good luck on those senior projects.
Guest chapter 27 . 2/14
I'll be the first to admit that I have a Claude bias so I feel the need to add a few things. Claude's resentment towards Dias was first fueled by the fact that Dias dismissed him out of hand in Mars village when they first met. This is very reminscent of how he was treated by colleagues on the ship who dismissed him as only having the post due his father being a hero and the captain.

This coupled with Rena's obvious infatuation and abandonment (in his eyes) during the Mars questline only compounded the fact.

Also you do seem to be writing Claude as a bit of crybaby which is kind of OOC since he tended to go the other way when he became flustered. The guy I bought my original copy pointed this out to me and remarked bout how wondered if the same guys who did Xenogears also coded SA since later in the game he seemed to become more savage during the times he got angry. As if there was an angry part of him tired of being judged by others.

On another note, will you be adding in that 'extra' character that was added for the PsP re-release?
RyanEX chapter 27 . 2/14
Hawke

Ironically after Rena, it's a toss up between OPERA (of all people) and Precis for Claude's affection. If you don't recruit Ernest, and really there's no reason to unless you're trying to unlock all the sound files (he's that awful) Opera is actually very easy to get paired with Claude.

Guess he subconsciously like older women. :D
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