|Reviews for The Golden Age: Reclamation War|
| RidingForAFall chapter 83 . 3/1/2015
Great battle! The BLORS are terrifying. I will be looking forward to see how they do against the Executors. Keep up the great work and I can't wait to see more.
| Amion the O chapter 83 . 3/1/2015
Great chapter, definitely better paced than the last one by many miles. Good work! Now, onto characterization:
I’d like to say that after reading Brainless’ review, I believe also that the Blades should each have their own “Herald of_” title. Of course, do as you think best.
A question that’s really bothering me: why is Arthron not an Edenite? So far no one has been seen converting of their own will, like becoming one is some kind of moral sin in such a general fashion that there's not even a discussion. It doesn’t make sense to me, as someone like Arthron by the sound of it shouldn’t be overly upset about the gain in abilities. Since he isn’t, I’d argue for you having him struggle with the idea of becoming one in the future, make it an actual plot point. Don’t devote long monologues to it, but short moments of conflict from him about it until he makes his final decision, whatever it be, would be greatly appreciated.
As for Arthron’s intro, he’s both the best and the worst introduction so far. The good outshines the bad for sure, so I’ll focus on the bad first. Namely, you still have pacing issues, and they all stem from repetitious information. We are told multiple times in his internal thoughts about the “greater threat that’s coming”. Again. And again. And again. You only need to talk of this once. Even so, the actual choreography of the scene was amazing. And so ends the complaints. The good, juicy stuff:
The whole of Dirge 1, I was like “Where is Arthron?” And then I read about him gazing out at the battle from atop the comm. tower like some pirate on a mast! I laughed at how awesome that was. Yet his dialogues with his subordinates and his sensibilities contrasted perfectly to give him a distinct character image. He’s surely not Frost. He’s just so practical that you’ve got to admire him. You wonder why the heck he’s even with Frost and not… then he leaps off the tower and shoulder rolls up in a badass motion, wiping off the dirt (Because he’s so sharp! This guy literally Oozes professionalism and competency) like he just stepped out of a car! These images you always present to me really make your writing gripping. (And why I refuse to stop criticizing you, also. Not until you are sharpened into the master who gives such images as these in almost every paragraph, as you doubtless have the talent to achieve one day. *Puts on Frost costume and gestures with scythe* Accept this winnowing of your repetitious problem as your prime flaw for now, Maderfole. Don’t go chopping content in-story yet, though. You must of course think about what to save and what to destroy, and what to recreate in the space produced. The best thing is to reread your work and look where you can combine or rephrase something just a tad here and there to make stuff more concise. It gives an edge and clarity to the story. Think “poetry in motion”. And most importantly, don’t despair. For this is a problem all creative minds face *Waves vaguely at the middle distance*, and it won’t be honed to its keenness easily or quickly.)
Ahem, Arthron’s in-battle display shows us that he’s fearless and daring, but far, far from a reckless Mori fool as others. He ignores pain and displays Frosty cool in battle, a proxy of Frost’s ferocity yet tempered by Lilian pragmatism. I admit I sort-off nod my head along sarcastically with the idea a booster system’s even necessary when we have Pulsar jumps already. Or is the Testament not FPR equipped? Then again, I admit that there’s a difference between moving at basic mecha speed and what amounts to warping with the Pulsar jumps. So I guess the WDs are a middle ground between the two. Either way, you did his battle brilliantly. In fact, I’m glad you didn’t give the Testament the Ruinblade or Dragoons or beam whips. I want to see it have those later on, like at the China base, but giving it its main thruster system alone showed just how awesome the Wings are. Arthron’s not just introduced here, no. He’s Debuted. Rating: 9/10, spectacular. *Fist pump*
Chris: Chris’ backstory felt like a One Piece move, (That’s a serious compliment). You hurl out something about the Kindred I suspected since last chapter, and it’s so expected and cliché, but, but then why do I feel like crying?! (It was like Oda came in and did it*wipes tear*). But. But, oh he’s so well developed yet so little actual time is spent on him! This is how minor characters should be done. 10/10 As good as it gets.
The fighting for Chris is a great example of Urbanite fighting. I have some beef about them using such outdated stuff without at least trying to soup them up a bit with backpacks and such. But it’s a lost cause now. As were their expectations of fielding those walking targets at all. Chris demonstrates how they should’ve been fighting from the start. And that holding the city was hopleless. They should've taken a Q from Nazi Germany on how to build their factories.3;D
Roland. Roland is sort of the middle child. He’s certainly no villain, unlike the dubious Arthron. But his story, while endearing, can’t impact my heartstrings like poor, spurned Chris. The writing is likewise mixed. It doesn’t last as long as Arthron’s POV, but at the same time repeats far more often that he’s wealthy stock. The wordsmithing though was nice, particularly the “he could stand on the rooftop of his family’s mansion and everything as far as the eye could see was completely theirs”. Amazing imagery. This and only one other reference would be needed to express the measure of his wealth, since his backstory essentially displays this continuously.
And his battle. Oh now that was enjoyable. I have to laugh at the cheese you put in where they both destroy each other’s guns. It really felt like a SEED moment, since SEED had characters strafing and firing beam shots almost comically and narrowly missing each other’s weapons. It’s forgiven here though, as your story is often so much more realistic in the combat that a moment of “convenience” feels like a realistic coincidence. Reality stranger than fiction and all that jazz. The explosive melee had some particularly “ringing” moments, notably when they lock blades.(Pun intended) I would’ve liked some more background, mind, as their battle doesn’t appear to affect their surroundings. No big issue, but since Arthron was slaughtering mobile suits until the arrival of the Edelweiss, I’d loved it if you put in a word about them battling amidst the twisted wreckage of USN Vindicators. The Testament of Woe is truly terrifying and seeing Roland achieve victory is a serious reinforcement of the hype. Roland is a badass. He fought a badass and lived. Granted, let’s face it: Arthron would ultimately win the duel itself with his superior machine plus limbs. Yet what makes it worth while is knowing that Roland couldn’t lose, because his goal was to stop the Testament, and with only one wing and a hole in its torso that Testament isn’t bringing woe to anyone else after that bout. My request: upgrade the Edelweiss. It would be truly epic if Roland receives more goodies to counter the ever empowering advancements from Charon's labs.
Truly, out of all your OCs these two literally fly from the page and stick. You realize Gundam is a big-cast show by nature, so having more characters to develop is no bad thing, believe me. And we need some strong personalities for the Solar Knights and Mori. These two are now firmly fixed as favored characters I want to see more of.
On the actual issues with their development, here’s some suggestions for using what you have (which is always more helpful than me complaining about future changes): If Arthron is so worried about the Enemies to Come, perhaps have it a point to show he’s stressing out over it a tad, or maybe have someone confront him about the growing obsession. He certainly feels like a Yggdrasil-type man who’s seeing the future and focusing on it too much. If he proverbially trips because of this, it’s a great milestone in development and gives room for growth.
Have Roland actually confronted by a character and get insulted about his wealth, only to come around later on and apologize/accept Roland. Better if there’s even an instance along the way where said antagonistic character is actually helped by a well-meaning Roland’s wealth.
2. Have Roland develop a serious hate for the Mori, which you’ve already set up, and I wanna see more of that righteous fury. Double request for him to see some Mori behavior in other areas on his own side and react in anger and confront it. That’d be a double win for his development, to show he’s angry about the evil, not the people committing it. After all, that’s the difference between bigots and idealists. One dislikes the people and therefore dislikes their actions, the other dislikes certain acts and thus dislikes the people committing them. Eh, in this particular Roland/Mori dynamic, at least.
You’ll have me gasping in disbelief if you actually have Roland see Arthron or a Mori do something truly noble. Having his view of them irrecoverably faced with a contradiction he can’t avoid the good consequences of would be a dynamic twist. Do this so it’s Marie who’s being saved/benefited and the affect would be earth shattering.
3. Actually develop Roland and Marie, because right now I have nothing but between-the-lines nudges and winks. that not good enough for Maderfole, who's given me Lacus and Kira in CC, Noah and Meyrin in ED and the crown Arcadian Jewel of Frost and Lilia. It doesn't have to be those levels of development, but you've got too much experience under your belt developing romances not to succeed in a short-story side romance. It should be easy for you and my bar is firmly set and awaiting...whatever it is bars of expectation have done to them.
The BALORs: Poetry for each of their internal thoughts. Pure succinct poetry. *Shakes head and inhales the
| Brainless1 chapter 83 . 3/1/2015
Now for the second half of Dirge. It may still be a little too fresh in my mind, I generally like to leave a day or two before I reread and review but I’m on a roll so...
Damn, this chapter was good. Amazing would be a more accurate adjective if I’m being honest. Chris’ introduction and explanation was really well handled. I had been planning to recommend really explaining it last chapter but you out wrote me and pre-empted my complaint/recommendation. I don’t think Fire had been planning on Chris’ name also phonetically being a weapon but the fact that you got to play around with the name that way to show the separation with the Tribe was a nice touch. I didn’t mention it last chapter but I quite enjoyed the sniping he and the other Kindred did to each other. That was also a good explanation for why we didn’t see him last time Urbanis was in trouble too. The fact that he gave such a good fight while in such an inferior mobile suit just goes to show Rameriez’s point from way back in the Borealis raid chapter. Respect the indigs, you never know when they will pop out of a rabbit hole and do bad things to ya.
Next is Arthon. Probably my most liked character after my own. It’s nice to see some leadership and organization forming for the Mori. You’ve talked about Lilia setting it up behind the scenes but having the Herald of Woe show up and force the blood thirsty group into some semblance of order is nice. Also the long game that he is playing, trying to preserve strength because of his knowledge of the Ghosts bearing down on humanity and the sparing of enemy units that impress him. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it before but I really like Arthon’s Mori title. It’s kind of a nice head nod to the Edenite roots with the personal legends forming around commanders. I think it’d be a neat theme that each of the blades be given their own “Herald of _” title and make them personal like the war names for the Praetorians. Speaking of roots, his back story was not nearly as convoluted as I thought it would be. It was actually rather nicely handled and I liked how you managed to name drop some of the pirating groups/shadowy organizations that are going to antagonists in the future. The fact that Arthon had been part of those groups helps to explain his future position, or at least the position being talked about.
That said, Arthon really is all about the overwhelm attack and what an attack it was. The Testament was as overwhelming as always and the visual painted by the wings of darkness dripping was a nice touch. Fighting the mooks was impressive enough but the real shining section of this chapter was definitely once the POV switches over to Roland. This was a much, much, much better introduction to the character then the name drop way back when. Asmus will be able to give you a more detailed view on Roland’s character but to me it was spot on. The fighting style too just felt right for the character and once the fighting switches over to the duel I was glued to my screen. I thought the fight with Dante had been enjoyable, this one blew that out of the water. Shooting each others guns at the start was a little cheesey but I’m willing to forgive that because what followed was probably the best beatdown between melee suits since Yzak fought Shinn back in ED. I can not give enough compliments on this fight and I was sad to see it get interrupted by the BALORs.
The BALOR section was interesting. I still dislike the BALORs on principle but I’m not above admitting it was interesting seeing the psychology of the Meisters and BALORs while joined. They did bring the battle to a decisive end though so you can’t really question their effectiveness. The ending bit was the banter between Chris and Daveron as well as Chris’ freezing were nice touches both as a nod to Chris’ character and as a nod to EM3.
I think by sheer volume of my review it’s evident that I liked these last two chapter. It is so much appreciated that you are getting back into the drivers seat of this story and I look forward to the next chapter to see the aftermath of this beatdown.
| Brainless1 chapter 82 . 3/1/2015
Well, that was a fun ride. It was nice to see some mid tier action, not grunts but not the elites, and the world building you managed to slip in and around the fighting. Mind you the ball is about to shift back to the main characters with the BALOR drop happening at the end of the next chapter but I’ll get to that in the next review.
The Fontaine center scene was a nice little bit where you got to expand on the civilian side to some of the new Preatorians and the Edenites in general. I also want to take a moment to enjoy Clover appearing and not being killed before the end of the chapter… moment over, Hector may play a major role in the story but I’ve done my duty for the dog lovers in your fanbase. Joking aside, I liked the set up for the battle and the slow realization that Yggdrasil is either not all powerful or just doesn’t care about the Edenites the way many had come to believe. It’s a numbers game to the tree, a numbers game designed to stop a threat they don’t even know exists, using a method none of them know about triggered by a tragedy all of them are trying to stop.
Speaking of the tragedy they are trying to stop, Waltfeld never was good at pulling punches when presented with a problem. Bringing the full military-industrial giant that is the USN in a way that makes numbers matter, not Rey’s solution of throwing numbers at one target, really is the beginning of the death knell of the Edenites. I’ve always said the cities were the weak points of the Edenites, a place they have to defend and a place where the USN can force an engagement that favors their style of combat over the Edenites guerilla warfare. A necessary weak point because the people have to live somewhere and industry has to be centered somewhere but still a weakness that the USN would be a fool not to aim for. In the future, once they have a chance to grow their technology, their experience, their population and their infrastructure it will be better but for now they just don’t have the ability to truly fight the USN in any way other than asymmetrically. The fact that Garden City was the only one preparing for the eventuality didn’t help either, though I imagine the fact that the other two cities could produce consumables did help Garden City focus on producing war materials, something that they won’t be able to focus exclusively on any more.
Next comes the introduction of the forum characters and since I’m biased here I’m not sure how much my input will help. Ideally you need to find a fan who hasn’t even looked at the forum and shake a nice long review out of them but I’ll try to remove the bias blinders for a bit.
Marie I think was the weakest inclusion. She got the least amount of screen time and characterization both. Her segment mostly consisted of her getting out of a drop pod, showing off the new rapid fire FRALAs the USN cooked up and talking about Roland. You can see a hint of her relationship with Roland for those in the know or good at reading between the lines and you can see glimpses of her stoic professionalism but not much else. For all intensive purposes she came off as a blank slate for a POV character. Like her section was used to introduce other things and not herself.
Dante was friggin awesome. Like I said in the forum, you captured that fast paced intensity that really characterises him and every moment of his fighting was enjoyable. That being said, the inclusion of Retributors fighting for the Edenites at Urbanis is a major question mark that needs to be addressed. Yes, you mentioned the schism in the Retributors but I think a chapter focusing on Ronin City in the near future wouldn’t be uncalled for to explain what is going on with the group, or at the very least a section in a chapter. Thinking back as far as I can without rereading, last we heard they were just finding out about Ashino’s capture and ships were coming for Noah. Finding out what is going on would be helpful, especially since you plan to make Ronin City the starting hub of one of your future factions come next trilogy.
And then Law, the little Extended that could...and did much to the chagrin of the Edenites. We got a glimpse into his mind first and while it was nice the true selling point is in his assault on the defensive lines. You did a nice job here showing off how destructive the Panzerdragoons are. Yeah, Law’s was a bit souped up compared to the regular suits but they aren’t just fodder to show off how cool protagonists are by destroying them. They are a legitimate threat. The fight with Sarah was fairly cool and Law blowing his own arm off to try and get his opponent was so in character it made that section of the chapter.
Speaking of whom, Sarah was a surprise coming out of left field. The fact that you took our joke about whips and turned it into a legitimate threat for the USN like that was impressive. Seeing a regular Praetorian, who is not an Arboreal, get to fight and show off how badass they are without dieing to show off a threat as credible was nice. In fact I can’t think of any other non-Arboreal mobile suit fight other than the death of Crashing Wave to show off the first gen BALORs. I’d love to see more of that and not just because Aedan is a good contender for it. You’ve made a nice organization with the Praetorians, it’d be good to see more of them then just the elites interacting with the Executioners/Kunai.
As you said in chapter. To be continued in the next review.
| God of Death and Disease chapter 83 . 3/1/2015
Good to see you back in your game.
Keep up the good work.
| Tristraim chapter 83 . 3/1/2015
Finally have time to review all the new chapters, and wow... I might have to keep my review of each chapter small, but wow. Seriously, wow. From Waltz, to March, then up to finally Dirge, which was long awaited by the entire forum, for a lot of reasons, you haven't lost your touch, even after what amounts to a year and half of hiatus. I might be going out on a limb and maybe say you've outdid yourself with these chapters, especially Dirge 1 and 2.
Soo... without further ado, on to the review. Hope it isn't lackluster, kinda pressed for time though...
1. Waltz: The first part was indeed fitting its name. Frost charging down from up above like an angry god of war (reminds me a lot of GoW 2's intro mission, where Kratos fell from the sky), complete with monologue of "I am the weapon" was a great start for the chapter. And it didn't let up, with some real lethal infantry combat. Best part IMO was Heine throwing himself into the air as the "Human Cannonball", or Shooting Star to be right on canon, can't keep the hilarious yet deadly effective scene out of my head.
I'm surprised to see Kunai, Kira, and Frost act so fluidly together, barring the fact that they were in each other's throats before. Frost as the distraction, doing his own thing, Kunai being the man-launcher with his TK, and Kira well, being Kira, as usual, using the shield as a, well, shield, and as a walking LEMIM for Kunai's man-launcher antics. Seeing Espadon fight as well was a real treat, using the bodies as a trap.
Minor nitpick for this chapter was throwing the two forumite RP characters in like we're supposed to know them without any intro. It felt forced, I guess, even for a forumite like me.
2. March: The Cinder Hawks were horribly effective, as well as that darned Warhowl, being able to push Frost away from Lilia was unexpected. Frost using a honest to god pistol and actually being A CRACK SHOT was something I didn't expect, however. Guess when you're fighting for the one you love..
The new characters were really fleshed out wonderfully this time around, even if some of them ended up being smears in the wall. Poor Alicia.
The last bit was... I dunno. Not Deus Ex Machina-like as some things in fiction, but kinda getting there. Why didn't Frost just use Kira as a Latent beacon and teleport over to Lilia while in the cell, then TP away in the same manner? Then again, insanity card, so maybe not. Glad that Kira had the foresigh-wait. Scratch that. Kira always has the foresight, so programming a failsafe to TP everybody out back into Garden City wasn't out of the question, but we don't have our "Gorefin extraction" scene. Shame, but still good.
3. Dirge Part 1: Mecha combat again! Good lord, I've missed this. It was wonderful yet tedious reading back to the days of Chaotic Cosmos, Eden Disaster, and the early Reclamation War for my mecha combat fix (standouts were Cray vs Kira in Carpentaria, the first Brotherhood deployment, the fight against the Brotherhood in Cape York, the First Battle of Urbanis, Orb) for a mecha fighting fix, and by god, it's wonderful to see this again!
First bit in the Fontaine Center was the same as we've seen in the forums, it's still a wonderful bit of work. Having the new characters fleshed out a bit, especially Aedan and the recently-deceased Alicia, and new characters Latoya and Sinclair (haven't seen these in the forums, correct me if I'm wrong tho) was nice, and in here they were done a lot better than in Waltz.
In here, you did the introductions for Law, Marie, Dante, Roland, and Sarah justice. Arthon and Chris, though mentioned here, get flushed out wonderfully in the next chapter. Unfortunately, I don't see much of Mechael, though, which is sad, but I think he'll get his chance to shine soon enough, hopefully. Mecha battles were great, and showing two-three battles happening simultaneously isn't easy, having Marie vs the grunts, to Law vs a bunker and Sarah, to Roland fighting Dante and several mecha-mooks, but it's all wound up perfectly, with no dead points and all fluid transitions.
I can't wait for the next chapters (and Jacen *wink wink*).
4. Dirge Part 2: I had to literally scrape my jaw off the floor for this review, because this was EPIC. From how you introduced both Chris and Arthon, to the first engagements, to the Sadeb Abired (loving the prototype machine already, it already kicks as much ass as the Kratos, and it has twin QC swords!), to Arthon vs Roland (I'm having a sinking feeling they'll be rivals when the day is over), and finally to the BALOR drop, it was pure EPIC. Words can't really describe how awesome this chapter was... but..
GREGORY NOOO. Awful way to go, but that just shows shit just got real...
In general, writing's solid, some typos, but that's nitpicking, and reading this was wonderful. Didn't find it too wordy, the words made the entire scene play out entirely in my head like a real movie did, so that's a plus? All in all, it's glad to have you back, alive and kicking.
As always, looking forward to the next chapter! :D
| Asmus chapter 82 . 2/26/2015
A new chapter and plenty of things to talk about.
First of all, I love it how USN finally uses their superior numbers advantage and attacks Eddies on multiple fronts at the same time. As I have been saying so very often, superior numbers doesn't mean merely drowning the enemy in massive waves of your soldiers.
This advantage means that Eddies have to make a painful choice. On one hand they can let one city be conquered and reinforce the other. On the other hand if they try to save both, they will merely spread their forces too thin for the help to be noticeable. Sucks to be them.
Another thing I loved to see was progress. Not just from the USN, but from Eddies as well. Sure, the old designs were nice, but Gundam has always been a mecha show. New designs are expected. Especially now that the war has been going on for a while and both sides have been able to learn and figure out what works and what doesn't. Therefore, I'd say it's about time we saw something new.
As for the characters, it's kind of a mixed bag. Apart from some minor plot holes in regards to some characters, I liked the influx of fresh blood. I also liked the battle scenes, ones with Dante and Law in particular. Then again, I think the reason why those two scenes stood out was because only these two pilots showed actual character. Don't get me wrong, I love all of the new pilots, however, the sheer amount of them introduced in this chapter, obviously prevented you from focusing on all of them. And those that did not get to be in the center of the spotlight, felt rather dry.
I assume that in the future, their characters will grow and develop as the story progresses. Can't wait to see the next part.
| Amion the O chapter 82 . 2/25/2015
Good points first: The specs for the new machines is nice, and Arthron's specs appear to be left for later. Great build-up of his character makes it feel like he's a real threat.
Kindred moments are great and Deveron having one as an assistant was pretty surprising and his interactions with his kindred Kindred was a great touch.
Law's got some good character development so far, and a great way to describe his physical appearance with him plugging into the Bifrost. (So glad you kept that name! Awesome one, if I do say so, a win for Shaman on that point)
Most of the Edenite-aligned forces get a great introduction for the most part, as well as the first scene at Garden City, which I'd already read once but enjoyed again.
I really don't want to go on a negative trail of retrodden complaints, but I wouldn't be honest otherwise:
A bit of disappointment this chapter, as at this point in the story I'm better off browsing through the paragraphs, as only every other one is giving information that's not tired and old. Sorry Maderfole, but at over a two million words (counting Eden Disaster) there's nothing new here. The pacing wades slowly through a morass of small details and rehashed points that now it feels like a slow crawl rather than a truly grand assault.
Too many little details that harmless alone become a big hindrance to pacing. Perhaps because EVERY chapter we see has done this throughout RW, it's exhausted me, and I'm an avid reader. I love details and my writing is writhe with them, and I've been told myself that certain info is not needed when I really, really, really think it does. (And get furious when I'm told I'm wrong and go on rants for hours to friends)
Epic length is great, I think you shouldn't feel a need to cut off the story because of length, but now we're really reaching the point where the quantity of words you use to progress plot is increasing to very un-epic proportions. This chapter is the second battle of Urbanis, and so far less has happened in it than Plains of Blood, which not only featured two lengthy arguments but also two full-length Gundam battles. This writing flaw's steadily increased over time, and I feel that it couldn't possibly not affect your writing time. You've written more than most authors of popular fiction novels ever write, and they do that as their day job or part-time job. The fact you've done what you have is commendable simply because of the novelty of words you type in a given time-frame. But you're using it less and less to actually do stuff in-story. Please consider this problem carefully, once you've smashed several walls in indignation.
Character development: This is where your plot pacing truly hurts. Mecha battles HAVE to take a while, and yet they must also allow room for development and small character moments. They almost always do and there's no shame in it. But you're not doing the new characters as well as they could be. I for one don't know much about the characters at all. They're names I'm familiar with only, and in no other way. I personally don't like the idea of you adding other people's characters. It's something I learned from personal experience to be a BAD thing. Unless you've made it clear that those characters WILL behave as YOU see fit, you're heading for a bumpy road on a slippery slope.
I could go through each character individually, but suffice to say that takes too long. In a nutshell I'm not reading much from the characters. They feel like named grunts. Roland is noble because you say he is. We get not a scrap of example. "Show, don't Tell" applies here, and I HATE that saying like the Devil.
Marie's worse. She's a blank slate if ever I saw one. No emotion, no Wordsmith work that gives her POV a real flavor and style. I read her and I ask "why couldn't this be any other character, I want to feel a person's emotions, and she's devoid of even the small satisfaction of her sharpshooting." And I KNOW you can do Wordsmithing like a master. You do it with Frost, Lillia, Kunai brilliantly and in that order.
No, I don't know these characters and I'm not one of their creators. Their mere appearance in someone else's fanfiction isn't going to have me cheering for the novelty alone. I want to read about them as people with actual emotions and reactions. What worries me is that their creators manage to fulfill this in their RP posts. Because they made the characters and know how they tick. The copy-and-pasted ones in Dirge of the Damned haven't and, with 12,000-18,000 words wasted, you can't afford them not to.
Mecha battles: as spectacular as they've been before, you know I'm an oddball. I like the fighting from CC far, far, far more than I do from ED or RW. So what I consider "awesome" usually depends on how much like the Second Endymion and Fury at Orb fights it gets. Even so, no one I've ever read does as good fight scenes as you do in mecha battles (save one, and he's obstinately not published anything for me to reference). Keep the mecha porn coming. Nothing beats your battles, even at their worst they're still better than other writers' best. I mean, come on! Those Ragnaroks were awe inspiring!
| Quiet0ne chapter 82 . 2/25/2015
Even better than expected. :)
| Shaman Tonberry chapter 82 . 2/25/2015
Great chapter, if I may say. We're finally moving to the next stage of war, with USN taking the initiative. New characters, new tech - both long awaited - have made their appearances. I really liked the introductions. They gave us some context to the characters, their background and appearance. Some of them also got to taste some action, with the rest to follow. I really liked how you handled the new arrivals, although some of them were also surprises. I'm not complaining, though, since they gave the characters an interesting twist.
There may not have been many mecha battles in a while, but you show no signs of being rusty. Well, almost. There were a few spots where I had to stop and read the sentence again to make sure what exactly happened, but those were minor things and as far as I'm concerned, you haven't lost your touch;]
Not much to add here that wouldn't feel like nitpicking. Plus, I am biased, for obvious reasons;D Waiting for more;]
| Asmus chapter 81 . 2/12/2015
You know, I was pleasantly surprised when I read this chapter. Half of me expected another dose of Kira-wank where he walks in and utterly dominates the battle without a shred of effort. Yet when I saw the problems he experienced, especially when it came to killing people when not in a giant mech, I saw something I haven't seen in a very long time. A glimpse of a character to which I can relate. Someone realistic. Someone with weaknesses.
Anyway, moving on. Loved the new weapons Stormhounds got. Especially the Warhowl. If that thing can keep Frost at bay, I am interested to see what it can do to a normal person. I also liked the way the whole escorting battle was fought. An excellent balance of action, suspense, and even a little bit of survival horror.
The most surprising part was the sheer amount of humanity Frost displayed. For someone who claims to be above/beyond mere humans, Frost is slowly turning into one. I wonder what would happen if someone mutilated Lilia and put Frost out of commission for a while, while pausing only to tell Frost he has gone soft. That would be an interesting thing to see after everything he did to the Royalists back then. Put the shoe on the other foot, so to speak. Humiliating Frost aside, it could be an experience for him to find out what his victims felt when he was hurting their loved ones.
When I saw that battle scene with Kunai, I was seriously preparing to bitch and moan about how impractical and limited his TK is against bullets, but I was surprised. While there still was the whole "stop bullets with your mind" crap going on, you did not emphasize on it. Furthermore, with the boost from the Twig and the way he stopped them, the scene was more plausible than other times. So kudos for that.
However, what I really want to congratulate, is the part with Aedan's introduction. I take my hat off to you. You managed to introduce a WOGB character perfectly. Way better than the time you mentioned Roland. It didn't feel out of place, or anything like that, especially for readers who don't play the game. You did an excellent job there.
| Talonis Wolf chapter 81 . 2/8/2015
...I wonder how the Butterfly Effect applies within the mind? It will be an awful shock having all those memories 'numbed' a bit.
Orb and the United Solar Nation are going to have a fit, but if they do an counter strike right now while the Praetorians are still recovering they could do extreme amounts of damage.
Eveb if they don't attack, Durandels reaction should be priceless!
| Brainless1 chapter 81 . 2/6/2015
Now that was an enjoyable chapter. I’m glad to see you getting back into the swing of things. It has been greatly missed.
The chapter starts out in what I affectionately call tech time. Showing off the new experimental Orb infantry weapons. I thought it kind of odd how Cinder Hawks could get such better mileage when it came to power packs then the other groups fielding beam weapons but then I remembered the fact that Orb does kind of have the lead when it comes to magnetic fields and plasma manipulation research. They also have more military experience to draw knowledge from and being able to throw up a wall of shots without aiming could be the difference between life and death so they would focus on a way to do that even with plasma weapons. Speaking of using fire power to avail life and death situations.
Frost, gotta love him in this chapter. The comment where Ramierez talks about Frost forgetting his own rules was probably the funniest part of this chapter. I know he was probably speaking grimly because he had Frost on his tail but I can’t help but envision him saying that with a dumbfounded expression. I’m especially happy how his game of cat and mouse went with the Stormhounds. Limits! Happy wonderful limits! A battle in infantry were Frost doesn't win because he is Frost but one where he eventually wins because of character growth and out thinking his opponents and coming at a problem in a way that no one thought he could. His interaction with Kira this chapter was pretty engaging. The fact that he was willing to make himself so vulnerable, something that is the very antithesis to him after his childhood in JIHAD, to Kira for the sake of saving Lillia really says more than anything truly spoken. That right there is character growth and I enjoyed it.
Kahla and Kira also had some interesting action this chapter. Not the best showing against the marines but then again it was someone who was practically green and someone who was limiting themselves immensely. And even then they held out pretty good against what were obviously experienced marines. I didn't much care for the POV marine convincing himself that Kira was Frost, it was kind of funny at first but the joke got repeated too many times and hadn't circled back around to being funny. Frost lamenting the destroyed guns before realizing that the Boytoy may still be in there was amusing though.
Finally the Praetorian/Kunai sections were handled much better. Taking that moment to introduce the named character before using them felt much more natural. You introduced Aedan’s war name twice but not really that big of a deal, just directs a spotlight on the future importance of character. It’s also nice to know more of the Pretorians so you can play with them and give more breadth to the organization based around legend and personality as much as military experience. That said, Kunai’s attack and Aedan’s psychic lock picking were interesting shows of Newtype power that I enjoyed. Although, as much I enjoyed the insurance policy that teleported everyone out of Orb I kind of wanted to see Aedan get the truck started followed by a pursuit that ended with driving off a pier and getting caught by a shark and then carried off into the sunset...the image is comic gold really.
Anyway the chapter was a good one and I enjoyed the entire ride.
| RidingForAFall chapter 81 . 2/3/2015
The rescue was just as great as I thought it would be. I liked that Frost needed to ask for help. It was probably best that Kira didn't erase any of his memories. Kunai is right to be afraid of what Kira will do when he finds out about Lacus and his children. I can't wait to see how that turns out.
Amazing work yet again and hope to see more soon!
| OrangeP47 chapter 81 . 2/3/2015
I think the style used last chapter really hits its stride here. I won't comment in great detail on it, as I've already said a lot about it last time, just that it's a lot more succinct here, which is good, and the additional characters are finally introduced properly. I think moving forward that's good.
For specific comments, every scene with Frost was great. The surprise that he was using firearms was spot on, and transferred to the reader, I think. I actually suspected some of the squad to die here, though not all, but they came off way better than expected. That's a good thing, bringing Frost back down to a somewhat vulnerable level, even if he's still so resilient. The final method he uses to get Lilia back wasn't a surprise, but it wasn't expected either, which was great. Builds anticipation. It was a similar thing with Kunai's part of the battle. It was my own fault, but after the answer to my previous concern, I thought that part might be bland, but was actually quite happy with it. Simply using TK is easy enough, but the sequence of battle there was quite creative. I also like how Aedan was picking the code out using latent abilities. I had theorized about that before but not really mentioned it yet, but glad to see it as a thing legitimately used, heh. Last but not least, very nice to see Khala performing so well, and getting recognition. Oh, and one more last thing too that I just remembered. I feel as if we almost demanded Alicia's death, heh, but I can't say I was too disappointed at that either ;)