Reviews for The Final Curtain
Demonic Weasel chapter 3 . 7/4/2010
Wow. This is quite impressive. I did read the first chapter a while back, before you updated these second two into this, but it's taken me quite a while to get around to reviewing this.

First thing I want to say, is just that it's really great to have another Dark Savior expert around here. I guess I'll do this chapter by chapter.

The first chapter, the original story here, is, as Martin already said, really excellent. This is the only depiction of Carbon Garian I've seen that I can recall, and it's very good. You capture his dissolution, his desperation. And what makes it really convincing is that the only actual difference between this Garian and all the others is just that he knows. He's aware that he's cycling, so he doesn't simply reset and not realize. Of course, that raises the question of how Carbon Garian knows, and doesn't lose his memories. Jack certainly wouldn't tell him. Desite this uncertainty, this is a really excellent portrait of what Carbon Garian is and hat he'd do. He's not so much less moral than his other counterparts, he just doesn't think that what he does matters.

Chapter 2 is really great too, although I think it's closest to be a different take on what my story did, trying to figure out how the scenario would reset after P5, when everyone else seems to be dead. This is admittedly different from my theory, though it's a compelling thought. We know what happens to Bilan in every other timeline, but not in Carbon Garian's. I have my theory, of course, about the way that Carbon Garian and Bilan interact, but this is nonetheless very respectable (and ultimately just as likely as my theory. I mean, neither of us actually have found P6). The thing that seems furthest off is Kaiser's... helpfulness. The dialogue bears his stamp, but I wouldn't expect him to be that helpful at all. Other than that, though, another great look at the more ambiguous events.

And finally Chapter 3. This is a little different from the first two in that it doesn't explore how the loop resets so much as it just delves into the psychology of the Marathon of Death. J.J. is great though, I've seriously never fallen out of love with his in-game line "I'm J.J.. I'm a ghost." A ghost of the mind... My favorite thing here is your description of the 10 challengers, and the follow-up of Garian's theory. But after all, what else can he believe?

Anyway, I really love all of this and I think it's quite impressive. For your question about pairing the chapters together; although the chapters are all dealing with seperate events and don't have a regular kind of continuity, they are all dealing with the same idea: theories of what the loop is, how it works and resets. Given that, I think these work well as vignettes all in one story. You might want to revise the description to reflect this, but even that's not such a big deal. Kudos my friend.
Martin III chapter 3 . 6/28/2010
I don't think these three stories work as part of the same fic; the tones are too different. However, I quite understand how many writers, especially those with a lot of fics under their belts, find it simpler to group their shorter stories together.

Anyway, chapter 2 is immensely enjoyable. One of the most obvious paradoxes of Parallel 4 is that few of the characters have doubles, despite there being at least four Garians, and it's good to finally have a fic that takes a look at that issue. The plot is a little tricky to follow - I'm not sure if there's more going on here than Bilan 4 killing Kay 4 and using that form to escape while the rest of Parallel 3 flows pretty much as normal - but it's all enjoyable nonetheless.

The dialogue between Jack and Kaiser is delightful, with a definite humorous slant. Their mannerisms are captured to a T, and I love Kaiser's technical blather. Tracy gets some much-deserved exploration, too. The game made her one of the most intriguing characters in the cast, but didn't explore the depths or her background and personality. You deliver some compelling characterizations of Dark Savior's precog.

One typo of particular note: "its the not one of the dreams"

I can't comment much on chapter 3, since I haven't completely played through Parallel 5 yet. The prose is excellent, though, and I like your portrayal of the parts of Parallel 5 that I have seen.

Seems like we're still maintaining a run of outstanding Dark Savior fics. Thanks for giving us these couple of shorts.
Martin III chapter 1 . 1/1/2010
So finally I get to reviewing this. This really is a superlative piece, several notches better even than Demonic Weasel's "Moments in Time". The main thing, of course, is that this is a very illuminating and well-conceived take on Parallel 4. Garian's reason for killing the child in this story makes more sense than the way the game has it; it always bothered me a little bit that there's no explanation for the flower barrage in Parallels 1-3 or why it doesn't appear in Parallel 4. The twist of Garian 4 winning is well-handled, too. And the whole thing explains Garian 4's deranged and evil actions in a way that nothing in the game does, and which adds further poignancy to the theme of the repeated cycling through parallels. Great stuff.

The characterizations are amazingly solid, particularly the way you capture Jack's odd dialogue. More importantly, you make Garian's madness solid, well-defined, and believable, rather than just random nutiness. And while the murders he commits are wrong, of course, one can see it from Garian's perspective: one, he is desperate to get out of the cycle, and two, the endless experiencing of parallel possibilities has slowly built in him a sense that the killings don't matter.

Adding to the excellence is the terrific quality of the prose, which is full of unique and gripping descriptions, while keeping the dark tone of Garian 4's perspective. The passage beginning "It hadn't been the JalapeƱo Juice..." is just about perfect.

So, we're two for two now on solid Dark Savior fics which add new perspectives on the parallel system. Hope this keeps up.
Greyfore chapter 1 . 11/9/2009
Awesome fic. I really wish they let you have this parallel.