Reviews for Tales of The Cosmic Wars Vol Three, Light of Hope
Piccolo Sky chapter 94 . 3/30/2014
And now...the TRUE review of the last chapter and story as a whole.

So, did all of Zannacross' minions get annihilated? They merged with Zannacross, but it's pretty clear it's only him in the invisible box forever...and Hell is empty...so...

What kind of badge would you get for this?

ATEM: And so, for outstanding valor and courage in the face of insurmountable odds, I hereby bestow upon you two the Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious Badge of Ultimateness...our nation's highest honor, reserved only for those who...um...well...destroy all evil in the universe. I know...it sounds kind of silly to me too... (Pins it on)

...Did they REALLY sign a treaty with Heaven?

...(Snicker)...

LACUS: Alright! (Charges out, then pauses) Wait...how are you punishing Ben?

MYERS: ...Pardon?

LACUS: What punishment does Ben get?

GABRIEL: I...don't understand...

LACUS: ...I like...what...killed a few thousand people with collateral damage at most? Ben blew up a whole planet and killed six billion people. So...does he have to spend a year in Hell or something? I mean, if I have to spend the rest of eternity helping the universe rebuild, what does he have to do?

(The three stare blankly and stammer.)

ATEM: Uh...er...

MYERS: Yeah...I forgot about that...

GABRIEL: Um...uh...

ATEM: ...He'll pay a fine! Yeah, that's it! A fine! Er...10,000 gil sound right to everyone?

(Lacus gives them a deadpan look.)

MYERS: ...Come on, Lacus. He saved all of the universe.

LACUS: ...Technically I had more to do with that than him. What about Bowser and Robotnik?! You're just slapping me with this punishment to make me do this "eternal goodwill" tour, aren't you?!

GABRIEL: Well, I'm doing it because you were such a weak-willed moron for so lo-

ATEM: SHH!

(Back to talking about sex)

BEN: She wouldn't lie about it, right?

(Lacus walks in, while on a cell phone.)

LACUS: ...I mean, he saves the universe but he's always too early. I don't know how much longer I can...keep...faking...it... (Freezes) ...Hello, Ben.

...and just what was that cake like? We may never know.

There, uh...seems to be a lot of nudity with Lacus toward the end... Even more than what I normally do...

And so...the big question.

When you finished the story...were you sad...or relieved?

And now...at long last...as promised...the final review.

I hope you never forgot what I wrote way back at the end of Volume One, Darth.

(Standing ovation)

Well...what can I say that I haven't said many times before? To better elaborate what I said first, I congratulate you on sticking with a project of this size for so long. It's bigger than my "Servant" series and couldn't have been easy to write, let alone rewrite. True, some problems that were recurring and persistent lasted all the way to the end...but compared to where you were when you started, you've improved dramatically.

Congratulations, Darth...you're now at the point in your writing career with this story where I was when I wrote "Final Fantasy: New Odyssey", which would eventually become "The Aleron Saga". That means you're "one step" away from getting a "final" style to your prose...and for all I know you've hit it in Zilos Chronicles. I'll admit, for all the hell I gave you back in "Trespassers"...it would have made a nice story of its own and was better done than "Tales". If you're not already to the point where you can go to being published, you're close. Just remember the final three things I said:

1. Cut back on the banter.

2. Keep with the present tense.

3. Less is more.

If you only want to pick one of those, pick number three.

The story...

What can I say about something that was clearly geared to be the ultimate crossover? You definitely lived out that vision. Now it's time to see you live out your own vision. I look forward to Zilos Chronicles with a deal of hope.

I've always been honest, Darth...and I won't stop now: I didn't like the plot at a lot of points, as you well know. I thought the final battle was the ultimate superlative and Lacus was far too repulsive for far too long. Right down to the end of the story...she's a fragile flower that needs to be sheltered and protected. She DID contribute probably more than Ben to the end, but only from the perspective of a "vessel", a means to an end. The final volume dragged and dragged, especially the final arc which just seemed to be "bring on the next fight", and after that they all just kept talking and talking and talking...which was a curse that took me a long time to break as well.

However, you did something very, very important and effective that I couldn't see just by going over the synopses. You made me, in spite of my criticism, mostly "believe" it. And that, Darth, is the ultimate secret behind any fanfiction. You can get away with anything in a story so long as you can make the audience believe it, no matter how grandiose. A few minor changes here and there, or perhaps a different set of life experiences, and I would have "completely" believed it. You're close, so don't stop here.

And you did something else, too. For all of Ben's recited, continual heroic speeches... For all of Brad's big-mouthed obnoxiousness and vileness... For all of Lacus' total lack of strength, confidence, and likeability... I honestly, truly wanted to know what was going to happen to them. And THAT is why I "skimmed ahead"...because I wanted to see if I was reading it all for nothing. So congratulations, Darth...for all my BS and complaints and nay-saying and how many times I said she needed to die...I wanted Lacus to have a happy ending. The same with Ben.

The characters...

Oh boy...I've said many things before, so I'll only say what's new. Lacus "partially" redeemed herself. Not completely. I don't think that's possible now. There will always be a part of me that will hate her. But...I can stomach her now. Doug...whoa man...he went from being some guy I considered a side-character to really emerging in this last volume. James was good...even if he was the only one who ever tried to outwit the enemy through something besides muscles...

Ben...

...I'm not sure how much of yourself ended up going into Ben, Darth, or how much was merely a synthesis of all anime/manga/JRPG heroes, but I'll tell you this much. I'm glad he grew. You know...there's something to be said about what all of the villains were telling him. Take me for example. I'm never going to be an Olympic runner even if I do nothing but dream about it the rest of my life. Neither will I be a filmmaker or teacher. Because some paths in life are closed to you no matter how much you dream about them. In a sense...following one's dreams is something only encouraged in a subset of human culture as a whole. For a great deal of human culture, the philosophy is more like "know your place". After all, even though Ben was the rare hero who had no painful circumstances or legacy to prop him up, all that ended up proving was that, in many ways, he was always just "lucky".

That said...

Ben's victory doesn't belong to him alone, and for all of the people who were killed instantly in Zannacross' initial attack, they were never for nothing even before they united in the end. Because they had the same dream of defeating all evil as Ben had. And while they may have never had the same chance or ability to carry that out, it doesn't mean that it wasn't important...that it didn't make a difference. It was only by keeping their eye on that goal, no matter how impossible, that they did reach their own full potential and were able to do what they needed to do when they needed to do it. Even if it only spared Ben's death for an instant at one point in time, that meant that action was the most important event in the universe. And truly...fate is not pure luck, but a series of times when opportunity meets preparation. Many of them by many different people. As H.G. Wells famously observed: "...for no one is born, or dies, in vain." Some of us may never reach our dreams...but too many of us don't even try for them. It's better to look back at your life over a hundred attempts that failed than to look back over your life and ask yourself: "Why didn't I even try?" The future is never set by those who only saw things as they were. They had to look beyond.

Corny (and scientifically inaccurate) but true: "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land amongst the stars."

This is coming three years too late, Darth...but in case you had any lingering regret about the end of this tale, one thing come to mind from own experience.

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

After all, as Ben (and Neo) observed, this isn't the story about how things end...it's the story of how things begin...just like the end of every other story.

One last note...keep an eye on your PMs and mailbox. That "special tribute" is coming.

See you around.
Piccolo Sky chapter 90 . 3/30/2014
Gah! If this "divine surgery" is anything like Trauma Center, this will royally suck. That game HATES you.

Well, it took until the next to last chapter...but THAT was a satisfying villain defeat. No more time for boasting...or, better yet, boast all you want. The only person who will ever hear it is you. Enjoy ruling over something the size of a cake box for eternity, Zannacross.

...The heroes get nude a LOT in this story.

...Oh, so you've already seen that link, obviously. Bah...Mister Rogers WOULD reign supreme at the end of something like this.

BEN: Mr. Supreme Being, my wish is to bring Lacus Raystar back to life!

(Lacus reappears.)

LACUS: Thank you, Ben! But...uh...what about all those people Zannacross killed?

BEN: ...Er...can I change my wish to be all of those too?

(Supreme Being sighs.)

SUPREME BEING: Alright, done.

LACUS: ...Ben, didn't the minions kill one out of every ten people in the universe before Zannacross got released? As well as Max?

BEN: ...Supreme Being, last time I swear...

SUPREME BEING: I'M NOT THE DAMN NAMEKIAN DRAGONBALLS. FORGET IT!

(Cosmos and the Supreme Being take off.)

COSMOS: ...So, although Ben didn't wish for this directly, you DID bring back all the planets and stars that those people were on before you brought them back to life, didn't you?

(Silence)

SUPREME BEING: ...Medamnit.

Oh Ben...don't worry about being tired. THAT part of your anatomy doesn't need muscles to work. ...Sh't, I'm getting crude again...

Yes, I hope that the last chapter has something good because manga/anime endings SUCK. I haven't seen a satisfying RPG ending since FFIV...AND THAT ONE GOT A SEQUEL. :(
Piccolo Sky chapter 89 . 3/30/2014
If Zannacross threw a galaxy at you, the best thing to do would be to stand there. Zannacross clearly has no idea how much empty space is in a galaxy. They odds of being able to hit Ben and company are astronomical.

Good thing he had a cosmic reset attached to him or this would have been an empty victory, eh?
Piccolo Sky chapter 88 . 3/30/2014
So...it came down to Zannacross being overconfident again.

At any rate, the only way that Ben and the others could see Zannacross in his entirety if he was the size of a galaxy would be if Zannacross was standing several hundreds of thousands of light years away.
Piccolo Sky chapter 87 . 3/30/2014
I'm sure several trillion planets worth of people are rolling their eyes that Ben and company are determined to save just ONE in particular...

Nice Simpsons reference. I guess this has the potential to be the "wacky" chapter if you really do bring every hero and villain ever, like Freakazoid vs. Montana Max, or Twilight Sparkle vs. Cobra Commander, or Captain Planet vs. Skeletor. Come on, Godzilla! Take out Cthulhu!

MR. FREEZE: (Looks around at the chaos) Uh...everyone? Who's side am I on?

Well...there's only one thing for a time like this...if it will post: watch?vXV4dtB5E134

Don't like Bleach, eh?

Seriously, with the stuff Chad was putting out, I'm surprised the Angry Video Game Nerd didn't show...

Sheesh, I was wrong about Vile. Now...Xiza and Xehamaru have become Team Rocket.

Still, they're going to need another plot device to help them pretty soon if all of these guys together were only good enough to beat Damonus.
Piccolo Sky chapter 86 . 3/30/2014
Technically, all the events in FFIX, good or evil, happened because KUJA was the first to "defy his fate". I think ultimately he was the easiest to kill other than Exdeath, though.

The last of the peanut gallery is gone...only two foes to go.
Piccolo Sky chapter 85 . 3/30/2014
Damonus should watch what he says. He almost got himself killed once already.

Zannacross needs to work on his illusions. He kind of did the "opposite" of what he should have done with Ben. He should have made it look like he had already won and was a universe-acclaimed hero who had all of his dreams fulfilled. But apparently, for bad guys in this story, getting them to say "follow your dreams" is like trying to get a demon to say "Jesus is Lord". Well...he just set himself up for failure with that one.

This would have been a good fantasy world for Kirby...

(Shot of Kirby stuffing his face with all the food he can eat...and pausing.)

KIRBY: Wait a minute...I do this all the time already!

Uh...why is Lacus boasting about breaking free? She wouldn't have if Ben hadn't "triggered" it.

FYI, look up an drawing of Ultimecia's final form. In reality, she hasn't changed...she's just "hanging upside down" from the glowing entity, kind of like Anima in FFX. It's really hard to make out in the game.

Well...time for a smugness litmus test. Technically even if there was only one minion left, he should still be smug for no other reason than he feels that Zannacross will just revive him instantly after he dies (maybe not though...as he seemed to think Xiza wasn't worthy of being revived). Still, seeing as there's only five bad guys left (I think...) and all of them have been failing so far, perhaps they should get a bit antsy.
Piccolo Sky chapter 84 . 3/30/2014
Well, the fights were alright...but too long compared to the first two. Most of it was banter but some of it was...repetitive.

So much for Ezan dying...for now. Had a bit of a Disney moment yourself there, eh?
Piccolo Sky chapter 83 . 3/30/2014
Well, now we've got the side characters having their "last hurrah". Still need to get rid of the FF peanut gallery after all this though.
Piccolo Sky chapter 82 . 3/30/2014
...Zannacross, if you knew Exdeath was going to fail, why did you send him out first? How about sending out the guys you DON'T forsee failing? And if you see them all failing, then why are you wasting your time trying to merge reality instead of dealing with them first?

Well, this chapter was pretty much filler. There was barely any fighting once they broke up, just banter.
Piccolo Sky chapter 81 . 3/30/2014
You need a Klingon and a Jem-Hadar in that war room...

"Today IS a good day to die." "Victory...is life."

(At the meeting, one guy raises his hand.)

GUY: Uh, Myers? So our plan is to, more or less, hit them with everything we have and hope to win?

MYERS: ...Yes.

GUY: What was stopping us from doing that immediately? More importantly, if we HAD done it immediately, wouldn't Zannacross have been weaker?

MYERS: ...MAY THE FORCE OF LIGHT BE WITH US ALL.

(Guy facepalms)

Well, Lacus...maybe if you had spent a little less time exploring your body with Ben and a little more time trying to grasp your power, it WOULD come easier for you now.

BEN: Mom, don't worry! After all, if I get killed, you'll die within less than half a day yourself so you won't have anything to worry about!

Sheesh, they so much trouble with Exdeath that they had to use everything they had at the get-go? Already not looking good.
Piccolo Sky chapter 80 . 3/30/2014
I have a better idea, Zannacross... Why don't you kill everyone now BEFORE you try merging with reality? Technically, you can already kill everyone except Ben and Lacus instantly, but you seem to want to reduce yourself to the point where even guys who are nothing to you can get rid of your little minions. And I'm assuming that once you're busy trying to merge with reality you won't be able to give them "infinite continues" either.

Pft...while you're at it, how about creating a giant, cosmic guillotine and sticking your head in it, you infinitely huge dope?

ROBOTNIK: "We have two to three days before the entire universe is consumed by the space anomaly."

MYERS: "Great! So we have two to three days to plan!"

(Everyone looks blankly at him.)

JAMES: "Uh...if we wait until the last minute, won't 99.9995% of the universe be gone at that point? And won't that be waiting until Zannacross is nearly unstoppable?"

BEN: "...Since he can instantly kill everyone except me and Lacus, does it matter?"

JAMES: "...I guess not."

CLOUD: "Let's just be glad he decided to save all the planets that actually are going to oppose him until the last second, or else we'd REALLY be in trouble."

MYERS: "Anyway, everyone enjoy yourself for the next 24 hours and, if you plan on having fun, don't let the fact that trillions are dying every second to give you the luxury of having fun 'bring you down'."

LACUS: "Yeah Ben! Loosen up and have fun and don't think about the billions upon billions of souls screaming in terror before they come back as demonic creatures every instant that we don't go to confront Zannacross!"

(Elsewhere)

DOUG: "Yeah! Every member of Squad 7 is vital to keep things going!"

JAMES: "...Then how come we all got killed instantly but Ben and Lacus were still able to succeed in spite of us all literally going against them?"

DOUG: "Uh...er...shut up!"

(Later at the Raystar Household...)

LACUS' FATHER: My daughter's having a very special person over for dinner tonight. I want you to make it extra special. What did you have in mind?

(The Chef stares blankly for a moment.)

CHEF: ...Oh, just a little something called 'Get-A-Pop-Tart' and 'Make-Dinner-Yourself'. The universe is about to end, you dumbass. I quit.

LACUS' FATHER: ...This is why I told my wife we need to switch to an all-robot staff years ago. But NOOOOOO...

(Elsewhere...)

DOUG: Hmm...seems the bowling alley is closed on account of... (Reads the sign) "We're All Going To Die And You Think I'm Going To Come Into Work?!". Sigh...maybe we can stop some of the people who are committing suicide in advance or are raping and murdering people out of despair and apathy instead...

(Elsewhere)

AERITH: "It's just that they've accepted they've done the best they could and now they're relaxing."

EZAN: "...So...does that mean we should all 'stay out of it'? Because last I checked, 'the best we could' got us all killed instantly."

AERITH: "...Good point. But we know we have a chance to win!"

EZAN: "...If I buy a lottery ticket, I have a 'chance to win'. Does that mean I probably will?"

AERITH: "...Er..." (Sighs in disgust) "SHUT UP AND GET OVER HERE SO I CAN MAKE A MAN OUT OF YOU." (Seizes Ezan and starts stripping him...)

(Much later)

LACUS: "You see? People don't want to destroy to survive! They want to pursue pleasure!"

BEN: (Face faults) "...Wait, doesn't that mean we're all hedonists? Isn't that kind of what all of the bad guys have been saying since the start...that we all just lust after pleasure and eschew pain?"

LACUS: (Pauses) "...Um, yeah, actually."

(Stares blankly.)

BEN: "...This is awkward. Anyway, once the war is over let's both try and be the people we want to be!"

LACUS: "...Didn't I never have any plans and you always wanted to be a hero?"

BEN: "..." (Long pause) "...Damnit, am I going to end up running dad's business after all?!"

And since this was an explicit chapter...time for some explicit comments...

Uh...I think Lacus would have noticed something was "stiff" that entire time, especially once Ben's clothes were off, and I don't think it'd be Ben's spine. I also noticed a rather dirty typo: "Your hands feel so genital"... (Snicker...snort...)

Remember what Lacus said, every woman alive. When a man is drooling over you like a dog in heat, it's a sign of RESPECT, not them just being sleazy. :P

Saint Ben the Baptizer - Still not recognized by any Christian denomination. :P

Typical...give a teenager god-like powers, and she uses them for cosmic birth control. (Shakes head)

Going to get crude for a moment... Lacus, Ben's a virgin and he promised he'd make the first time "great for you"? Sigh... Well, you ARE someone used to believing lies, so I guess what's one more... Besides, since you're a virgin...how would you tell if it was good or not?

Well, let's just hope the story ends on a better note than:

LACUS: (Looking up from under the covers with a bored look) Huh...I expected more.
Piccolo Sky chapter 79 . 3/29/2014
Actually, Laguna, Zannacross DOES control your will. He's omnipotent. He controls everything about you.

Seeing as Zannacross knows exactly what Ben and Lacus are currently doing and are about to do, he should immediately have killed them the second they looked like they would have escaped. In fact, Zannacross IS right there with them since he exists in all places in the universe at once, so they ARE fighting Zannacross right there.

Yes, Zannacross DID realize they had this power all along because he already exists in the past and the future, so he knew they were going to get this power and he knows any power they were ever going to get, so he should have annihilated them right then...which he COULD have done because he's omnipotent. None of your story makes sense anymore, Darth.

"It is not hopeless". It IS hopeless. Zannacross can instantly declare he doesn't want Ben and Lacus to exist anymore or say "I wish to be invincible". This doesn't make any sense. None of what Cosmos is doing makes the slightest difference to anything. Zannacross has won. Anything else is basically you just "making up an ending that has no basis in fact".

What does she mean showing Zannacross what ultimate power is? ZANNACROSS ALREADY HAS CONTROL OF THAT PLUS ALL OTHER POWER IN THE UNIVERSE. THEY. CAN'T. EVER. WIN.

Zannacross IS invincible! The only reason he wouldn't be invincible is if he decided he didn't want to be! THAT'S WHAT IT MEANS TO CONTROL REALITY. Who cares about the essence of life? ZANNACROSS CONTROLS ALL LIFE AND DEATH!

Darth...did you even think to look back at what you had Damonus say before you wrote that meaningless speech of Cosmos? THEY DON'T HAVE ANY POWER THAT ZANNACROSS DOESN'T TRANSCEND. WHY ISN'T ZANNACROSS KILLING THEM ALL RIGHT NOW SINCE HE CAN SEE THIS ALL HAPPENING?!

Zannacross: Oh no...you just broke my control over everyone...whatever shall I do? Oh wait, I know.

(Zannacross rewinds time and instantly kills Ben in Hell.)

(Zannacross erases Ben's parents from existence.)

(Zannacross reverses the second law of Thermodynamics and watches Ben instantly implode.)

(Zannacross changes Ben into a bug instantly and steps on him.)

(Zannacross simply declares "Whatever Ben does next in the universe will make him die" and he dies.)

(Zannacross changes Ben's entire past so that he dies as a baby.)

(Zannacross changes Ben's entire past so he becomes evil.)

(Zannacross immediately makes a million of himself to destroy Cosmos utterly back in time.)

(Zannacross instantly absorbs all the power since he controls all energy in the universe and renders their weapon useless.)

(Zannacross snaps his fingers and instantly undoes everything Ben did.)

(Zannacross has Ben's own counter-attack turn around and destroy him.)

Do I need to go on? DUDE...BEN CAN'T FIGHT HIM. HE'S LOST. HE CAN'T DO ANYTHING AGAINST ZANNACROSS.

There's only one option...Damonus was exaggerating.
Piccolo Sky chapter 78 . 3/29/2014
Well, if you learn success from failure, you guys must all be geniuses. :P

"Have they truly failed, Metron?"

METRON: Um...yes.

Hey, wait a second...why is Lacus still talking to the Blue Eyes White Dragon? I thought Zannacross stole that last chapter.

I think you got carried away when you had Zannacross yell DIE to Cosmos...since she can't die.
Piccolo Sky chapter 77 . 3/29/2014
Ben, don't you know that Level Two of Hell is where they lecture you for the first 1,000,000,000 years? :P

You know, in Dante's Inferno, one part of Hell is actually where the "inmates" torture each other by refusing to compromise. It's one of their ironic punishments for never doing so in life. Ironically, they're one of the few sufferers in Hell who could ease their suffering if they could repent of their sin. The whole arguing reminded me of that. I'm surprised Kid Buu wasn't in there...as he was pure evil.

Did Vayne-Chains-Himself-To-One-Of-The-God-Murals really give a speech about not wanting to be ruled by a god? Meh...I hated Vayne. I figured they'd have run into Gabranth if anything. Oops...spoke too soon.

Well, Weil and Larxene got fairly ironic punishments. I wonder what Brad's punishment WOULD have been? Hmm...well...er...nevermind, can't say it here. Maybe I'll mention it in PMs...

Once again, there were plenty of ways the bad guys could have ended this story this chapter but didn't... Now they're firmly in the part of the story where plot devices are the only way to save them, so...I guess that's your cue to get to work, Darth. :P
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