Reviews for Intrepid Explorations
Gin-Ex-Machina chapter 8 . 2/22/2017
It's a sad thing that this will likely fall to deaf ears since the story hasn't enjoyed an update for over 5 years now. I'm going to say this anyway since I hope you'll be lurking around somewhere, BakaGrappler.

You'd likely be happy to hear that I read the entire 7-chapter arc in one sitting. I have not yet had the blessing to find a Etrian Odyssey story that was so incredibly grounded in it's own lore as your story does. You've truly described and explained the country of Armoroad as if it were a realistic place, heck you even startled me with the sheer attention to detail on the scene where Aequitas guild had to maneuver themselves to the lighthouse, while you do lack in creating varied and organic battle scenes especially during Meregho Seano battle, where you seem to lose track of certain combatants.

However that is clearly made up by the unique way you give shape to the characters, while the core tropes of the characters are rather overused, you presented them in ways where they are fresh once more. I especially love the little bout between Xander and Victoria, which enriched both their characters while being funny at once. At the end of the arc I really grew to like Victoria's short development cycle.

I don't know if you'll ever see my review, but if you do I want to appeal the writer in you.

Please, don't let this story die.
Thepingman chapter 8 . 8/27/2012
I'm not quite keen on English so I'll leave it to someone who's good at grammar.

However, the story is good, at least it's not as bad as some fictions I saw on this site. The plot so far is good, well, keep it up.

But I wonder, if Zodiac's power are from military satellites like you portrayed, how can you explain Meteor? I don't think that we'll have unlimited satellites to drop from atmosphere do you? Unlike Soviet Orbital Drop top secret protocol in Red Alert 3.

But if you did go Orbital Drop route, it still needed to explain why they don't run out of satellites yet. (Maybe adding Magnetic Satellite top secret protocol from the same game, but point into space instead of to the ground will do the trick, hint hint.)
Y-ko chapter 8 . 5/8/2012
At first I was all excited, like "holy shit, he actually updated." Then I saw that you were just review-whoring.

I don't know why I bother.
Y-ko chapter 7 . 6/28/2011
I think you have a lot of potential. This story is really, really good in certain parts. You describe the game world from a realistic and exciting perspective, your characters are decently fleshed out, and you can write a passable fight scene. But in other ways, it's really bad. You have a lot of bad habits. You make too many typos. You've slipped into first-person several times. Your style is awkward and could use some cutting down. The use of the term "sugar daddy" almost turned me off the story completely, because random Earth cultural references are devastating to the immersion, and I wouldn't be reviewing the story at all if you hadn't done a total 180 in this chapter and used an Earth reference for something good.

You need a beta. If you have one already, they aren't any good. If you get one, I'll probably come back for the next chapter, because this story could be amazing if you put in some more work and get some outside assistance, but I don't just want to watch it shrivel and die of mediocrity.
Vegeta the 3rd chapter 7 . 5/17/2011
I was surprised to see another chapter come up relatively quickly, but glad regardless. The boss fight DID seem to come up too quickly brought up in the attempt to clear out monsters for control. I actually liked how you portrayed the politics of the Senatus making this urgent and forcing Aequitas into the 'journey', and will probably put Xander to the test of where his royalties really lie (Armoroad or the Drowned City). I'm sorta bummed the pirates blabbed about Xander's father and the rumors will most likely ruin a good chance for him to earn his recognition (or perhaps make it easier as they'll be people that will scoff and deny such a claim. Kujura seems likely to challenge him on that).

The Victoria fight scene on the ship was creative (and a bit funny, like the spank Xander did). Xander was keen to notice that Victoria never really used her sword or faced injury before, and giving her a dose of humiliation and frustration was a great motivator to learn how to fight surprisingly fast.

As a whole, this seems to show that someone that plays cheerleader can't do much if coddled by her shield and sword hired men. Royalty classes aren't as strong as Gladiators or Arbalists to deal damage, and are more about balance. Which is funny because I noticed how each of the other members are special in a specific stat. Sonia has Attack, Sarah has Vitality, Yuriko has Agility, and Lin has Tech, which is short of a Zodiac and their attack specialty.

Speaking of Zodiac, I like how you explained the complicated physics of their hover device and spell blasts, right to the aligning of US stars and the message "BURN BABY BURN!" If that was 2%, I would hate to see what 100%, or even 120% would do (most likely done by Etheric Charging). Then there was Sonia's bolt weaponry (a suitable explanation of their quick burning of TP) and Kirikaze's bushin technique, done as a special way for Ninja to take in dark matter. I think Zodiacs have the same ability, because of their Dark Ether to nullify other team member's TP casting.

I like Kirikaze's story of the princess tragedy (which is sad for Yuriko's part) but I was sort of bummed that Kirikaze was only mentioned for doing a cloning and pretty much absent throughout the rest of the battle. You managed to give a good description of the other two parts of the fight (back row and front row) but the other ninja didn't do much of the whole 'wing-clipping' thing, unless I read wrong. Yuriko I can understand because you wrote her being knocked out while Xander and Sarah were dangling for their lives, but what about Kirikaze?

The battle seemed to shift a bit when Xander and Sarah fell off the lighthouse. They just relaxed while everyone else was killing themselves against Meregho Saeno and even had another tender moment like the camp night (which was about the same issue of self sacrifice). The sudden wanting to live might give the Hoplite some needed development and be a more suitable love interest-to-be for Xander. As of now, I see three people that could be after Xander's heart; Sarah, Yuriko, and now Victoria (Lin and Sonia seem to have their own sweethearts already... or Sonia is more interested in booze. I can see Lin and Reif together though).

The story is going pretty well so far. I assume the Narmer is close for the next confrontation, unless the Senetus want Aequitas to sail to new land. The sea quest bosses happen more often than Sanctum bosses. Its cool reading the actual tension and and challenge of facing monsters like the giant bird. Makes me wonder how fights against the Hammerhead and Ghost Ship will go. Here's to another chapter.

-Vegeta the 3rd
Kyman201 chapter 7 . 5/16/2011
Nice job utilizing that Clarke quote at the start of the chapter. A very intense scene, and one that made me really believe this post apocalyptic world that had managed to scavenge lost technology.

Also, the Zodiacs using massive kill-sats is perhaps THE best theory ever.
Undead Mammal chapter 6 . 4/26/2011
Cool. I was wondering if you were ever gonna update this again. Glad to see you're still around.
Vegeta the 3rd chapter 6 . 4/25/2011
Once again, you do not disappoint in telling a story. Your telling of how the sea-faring business works was well thought out, something I can even see happening. The secrecy of maps, the ship exchanging system when guilds die or quit, the working system for better food (biscuits at the bottom), something that you took a LOT of creative liberties on and I know at least 'wow'ed me. Like how the whole Pirate template works as a family and crew running the ship too. No one's a better sea explorer than a ship full of pirates!

You give a deeper meaning in the Arbalist Sonia and reveal how Xander, Sarah, and Yuriko are the next generation of guild explorers. Xander has an admirable goal to do this on his own, not letting everyone know he's some sort or celebrity and expect greatness out of him too when his father started out a nobody.

I find it ironic that Lin is doing this quest to be a better healer, and that monks aren't considered good healers when there's always medicine. And that fist fighting is better. Really, gameplay wise, it's the other way around. A healer monk is pretty much MANDATORY to survive because of how great of healers they are, and while fist fighting is cool, its not as practical as healing injuries or the other massively powerful weapons that come around that over shadow fisticuffs.

Yuriko and Tanpopo prove to be a likable and insightful pair. How that bird seems to have a brain (hehe, bird-brain) baffles many people, but that is the appeal! Also like how Yuriko questions Sonia while standing on the ceiling. Makes me sorta regret my main party doesn't have a ninja chick... with a baby chick.

And the sea adventures were a lot more exciting than I thought. You even give the drive to have the group go and sail through the currents to the lighthouse. Can't wait for the battle against Maego Saahn.

Your story is a unique novelization and my favorite. Pureauthor has done his own, but its more... brief. Like, short entries from different POVs of the guild members (which is like two dozen people!) about what happens and what is going on in their head at the time. As nice as a story that is, he doesn't go into such creative depth as you do, that makes you feel for a characters that stand out so much more as a family through tough times and such... it's hard to explain but while Pure is pretty far in his story (70 small snippits of journal entries galore) I feel reading this is an entirely different story together. So, I believe this will go far, despite being rather slow on updates and I'm rooting for ya. (and will inspire myself to see if I can write more myself)

Also, glad you got through your problem. Writing these stories should be a hobby, and what I've seen in the more popular (yet exaggerated) fanbases with fanfiction is that people drop REALLY short reviews stating the simple "review!1!" or something that hardly makes you feel accomplished. Writing should be a privilege and a hobby, not a bore or chore. I would be sad if you decided to drop this in the case the earlier situation WASN'T resolved, but I wouldn't hold that against you for it. We all need to read and write for pleasure, you know?

That said, just be sure to pace yourself and I'm sure you'll do fine. The way I see it now, this story is still amazing and will hold out to see its hopeful ending. Again, I'm rooting for you, Baka!

-Vegeta the 3rd

P.S. I can see that Sonia has feelings for Nate the gladiator (makes sense now)

P.P.S. Your party is so awe-inspiring I decided working a new one similar to yours... only instead of a ninja, I got an extra arbalist. Now I have one that works for single target damage and one that works as crowd control (that doubles as a secret SingularityElement armsEtheric Charge weapon on some of the more pesky FOEs. Golden Idols don't stand a chance. _ )
Undead Mammal chapter 5 . 2/23/2011
This story is real good, please update soon.
Vegeta the 3rd chapter 5 . 11/28/2010
Your story and characters are really enjoyable. I'm growing to like them all, especially Yuriko. Oh, and her new friend Tanpopo. What is it, a baby Largebill?

And I see signs of the harem side plot going on, with the girls asking for gifts after Sarah got her own battle dress (really cute of Xander to do so). It seems Xander has a lot of one-on moments with the ladies. I found it amusing how he answered their 'bust conversation' with saying he would look for a woman he would like, and would admit the truth saying "I like all woman".

Other than that, the battles here with the Gigapedes and the vine plants were interesting, even if "they can't have nice things". Poor Lin's hat.

I predict the Narmer coming up soon... RIGHT after some really amusing ship travels. I wonder if you have the Aequitas Guild do some swimming during the long hot travel days. Just one of the many 'discoveries' one can make out in the open sea.

-Vegeta the 3rd
Gatewalker chapter 3 . 10/31/2010
I have to admit, the first two chapters didn't really grab me and I almost didn't read this one. I'm glad I did though, since you really picked it up here. It's little stuff, like the harvesting 'drops' scene(where it's a grizzly and ugly affair, not pretty or clean at all), the doubts Lin had near the end, and how you had them do something stupid(stay up drinking) that actually came back to bite them in the ass. I definately got into this one, and I hope you keep it up.

Just one note on an error though. You seem to go back and forth on whether you spell her name Sonia or Sonya. It's a little mistake, but one that sticks in the mind, so I figured I'd give you a heads up on it if you hadn't caught it yet.
Vegeta the 3rd chapter 3 . 10/12/2010
Great story so far, especially 2nd chapter. Great Lynxs are really annoying to fight; killed my pirate a few times, even with a Hoplite guarding.

Also like the other quirks you explained, like the hat Lin bought and the loot extracting process Yuriko showed the others.

So far it was more floor one exploration, and I should know how annoying that is to do. Finally got the game, got to Lv5 or 6 and still not best equipped with skills to use.

It's also cool to see more shout-outs from the previous games, like Alchemy used against the Lynx. Makes me wonder if Xander (or if your game characters ever did) see a Zodiac or something on that stuff.

Can't wait to read more.

-Vegeta the 3rd