|Reviews for Breath Of Fire II: War Of The Demons|
| zRISC chapter 46 . 7/18
Well... this is definitely the best BoFII novelization I've read.
I haven't finished mine; most likely I won't... your ideas put into this story, respecting the spirit of the game, are the best.. I had an outline, but was developing as it passed; It would feel like I'm adding too much.
In fact, when writing it I was way different than now, or simply put, less mature, and a lot more angrier ans had too much angst for my own good.
Thank you for making me re-live childhood with all this masterpiece.
| dark.muktadir chapter 11 . 6/16
You know what this story is missing? Uncle specs, also there is a severe lack of martin despite the contract.
| Guest chapter 44 . 11/29/2015
Oh shit! When I saw that Barubary had a crush on Ryu's mom I started thinking about shipping them! Good lord...my mind is full of damn imagination...
| TheGiantRock chapter 46 . 10/30/2014
Phenomenal. The difference between this and your earlier works (like the BoF1 novelization) is night and day. The BoF1 story was amateur fanfiction, honestly, what with the occasionally jarring time-skips. This could pass for a legitimate novel.
I'm biased because I like BoF, and I'm already familiar with the characters. I can't detach myself enough to objectively say I'd have enjoyed reading this if I was coming in with a blank perspective and no prior knowledge. So instead I'll say that you captured and expanded upon the essence of each character very, VERY well. Each member of the Dragonkin (nice name, by the way. Those small touches went a huge way) felt unique enough to have their own perspectives on problems. You succeeded in adding 9 characters on the central team, all of whom were consistently in the spotlight closer to the end, without making the story feel crowded.
What's more, all of these characters were likeable. They had so many small quirks and touches that they felt like real people. Bow's clever quips to cover up his insecurity and role confusion on the team. Nina's borderline frosty personality and trust issues, and how she warmed up with time. Katt's violent streak as a solution to problems. Rand as a voice of stability, even when he's having his own crisis. Jean (who I canonically found annoying) actually doing very well in lifting the team spirit, and so on. I feel like if all of your characters were faced with the same issue, I could actually guess how each one would go about perceiving and resolving it. That's damn good writing.
I give you major credit for making the BoF world consistent and adding decent explanations for things that weren't touched upon by the game. For example, Barubary doesn't try to influence or use child!Ryu even when he knows he's the destined child, because BoF1 Ryu is watching. That was a good use of creative license. Incidentally, I had an irrational dislike of the name Martin for Ryu. It was a strong "Bob and Aerith" moment and somewhat jarring, which isn't a great way to start a novel, but I grew accustomed to it eventually. Speaking of which, I loved the contrast between Martin and Ryu. It's very easy to write angtsy, angry heroes, but you didn't take the obvious road. Ryu's decision of, "well, I think you did the best you could. You're a God, Ladon, but I get you can't be perfect," was pretty wise of him. Granted, he didn't get screwed nearly as much by Ladon as Martin did, but still, it was interesting to notice the stark contrast between the former protagonist and the current one.
I don't know if you've ever read Wheel of Time, but I'm reminded of a scene in which Rand Al'thor, a future incarnation of an old Hero, is going to attempt something that his past incarnation failed to do. And when his lover asks him why he's going to try again when he failed in a past life, he reflects, "This time I was raised better. I had you, and all of my other friends, and that'll make the difference," or something to that effect. I feel like Ryu could have been another Martin. But he had a different perspective. His primary goal was living normally with his misfit friends, and he was only fighting because the other side was going to keep hounding them otherwise. Martin's primary goal was revenge. And the fact that you captured that with their respective Agni Anfini powers was really beautiful.
I love how you really paid homage to EVERYTHING unique about the game. The crappy early-game armor, shaman sisters, the custom Town, the isle of giants, Ryu's fishing with gold for a Maniro, the black & white spell system, and so on. There's so much you did right. And pretty much every deviation from canon you added was interesting, from the old team surviving and interacting with the new team to the curbstomp ending. I especially commend you on your interpretation of Ray and the whole Evrai scene, wherein you repeatedly tugged at so many heartstrings you may have predisposed me to future arrthymias.
Mina's sacrifice, while still heartbreaking, caused me to raise an eyebrow. I'm a bit surprised no one said, "Wait a second Mina, it's a trap! Manson is a demon working for the other side! He lied to you!" Admittedly there wasn't much time between when Mina revealed her "deal" with Manson and sunrise, so it's fair to say everyone was desperate and not thinking too clearly, but I feel like Spar should've pointed that out. I also think it says something for the quality of your work in that for a 600 000 word story, there's only 1 thing that I didn't like, and that's something in which you were heavily constrained by canon, anyway.
Another reviewer pointed out that it was strange how everyone was snarky. This is true. Although it wasn't at all an issue for me. I think as former loners join a larger team, they'd adopt the personality and style of the group as a collective. And seeing as the team started with Ryu and Bow (captains of snark), and then Katt (who's vibrant enough to get along with Ryu and Bow's personalities) and Rand (who's stable and withdrawn enough that he wouldn't nudge the group personality in any other direction), the fate of the rest of group was kind of decided. And Sten wouldn't help matters. To be fair, it is a bit unusual that so many characters outside of the Dragonkin shared their sense of sarcasm.
Seriously, man. I'm blown away by how well you wrote this story! It makes me a bit sad that your story hasn't gotten as much exposure as it deserves, but I guess that's the case for a lot of well-written pieces. I just wanted to say thanks for writing this, and for making such a beautiful tribute to one of my favourite childhood games.
| Aizuchi chapter 1 . 10/21/2014
10/10 its okay
| darrelodin chapter 46 . 6/15/2014
It's hard to get down my thoughts on this one, really. First off, wow. I am seriously wishing I'd played these games before, because man what you did with them is incredible. I really felt like I was reading a novel series, and the setup for each "book" wasn't too obtrusive.
Something I've noticed with all your stories, and you noted it in your...notes, is the snark. Everyone is a wiseass, in some way. I personally don't mind (Harry Dresden books do that to you), but I personally think it'd be interesting to change it up. Not hugely, since every story needs some comedy, but toning it down a little. Note, if the mega man stories aren't like that, oops.
There was one other thing I wanted to note, and that was the theme of destiny. I mean, what with "Martin's" opinion on Landon and everything, the stage was already set for that. But I found it interesting how you didn't just make this games Ryu the same way. He knew Landon's mistakes, what he had set in place, and yet, he still had faith in him. Guess what I'm trying to say is, even in a game with evil religion, you didn't just say "to hell with it all" and throw Landon under the bus.
Overall, this is one of the most well written stories I have ever seen. In fact, you wrote this better then some fantasy authors I've read recently. And that's the truth.
| Twad chapter 35 . 6/12/2014
Worren law. Or "how to law your species to death".
If the Worren council and law-makers isn't full of (wildly sucessfull) demons, i'd be surprised. I don't recall the game going back on this topic.
Lovin' that story.
| Magus523 chapter 46 . 12/7/2013
For god's sake, jackass. I KNOW it's you. You're easier to spot than an Elvis impersonator at a wedding. I can keep this up for the next decade, if I have to, and I've already explained why, not that you bothered reading. Which is really just additional reasoning; even if your delusional idiocy WAS constructive in any way, which it's not, why should I bother reading a word you have to say considering you refuse to extend me the same courtesy? It's been more than a year. The 'fic is OVER. I'm DONE with it. Get over it, and get a life. Look, I'll tell you what. If you're really THAT determined to get one more anonymous review through, I'll let ONE slide, on one condition. Prove that you at least have a sense of humor, and put, "Christ, Not This Dickhead Again" as your name, and I'll leave it up. Take it or leave it.
Just to be on the safe side, though, on the off chance that this actually is somebody else who's gotten mistaken for Captain Assjacker, you have my apologies, and I can only hope you can understand that yes, this issue really has gotten THIS bad. That still wasn't particularly constructive, but under normal circumstances, I do just shrug that off. A quick trip back through the other reviews should explain why I'm coming down hard on this case.
| LostWolf chapter 46 . 4/12/2013
I've read the story from beginning to end in only a few day. After reading the whole thing I have to say good job. While I found a few points where I personally had a slightly different interpretation of the events found in the game I still found this story as one of the more enjoyable, and well written, stories here on . Regardless of my personal tastes, You have done a great job placing the game (which is part of my favorite series) in a well rounded and grounded reality. While giving it your own personal flair, you gave it life in a down to earth believability factor that I find few authors take the time or effort into creating (especially here in the world of fanfiction). All in all, if you ever do become a properly published author simply state the name of the book and you will have atleast me as a customer.
| Aiedail chapter 46 . 11/22/2012
TIL reviews have a character limit. Joy. Here's the rest (FINAL BATTLE SPOILERS):
If anything in the whole story screams "epic win," it's this: "if it takes the shape and form of my power, of the source of my strength...They are my strength...If Agni Anfini is the power...to alter reality like you said...bring them back to me." Also, the whole battle after that was one giant "**** you" to physics. This is gods: **** everything you thought you knew. It was so over-the-top that I didn't even care. It was a blast.
You've improved immensely even compared to your second-most-recent piece. You say you've got a bit more Mega Man, one more, and that might be it for fanfiction? Make 'em count; keep forcing me to readjust my rating scale, and if you do ever get published, tell your old fans about it, eh? Personally, I'll buy anything you write, just as a token of my appreciation for the countless hours of entertainment you've already given me. Keep on keeping on, with your head up and your mind open. I'll see you next time.
| Aiedail chapter 46 . 11/22/2012
Wow. WOW. That was...magnificent. Breathtaking. Glorious. Everything about this speaks of unimaginable care, absolute dedication to getting every last detail precisely right. The world. The characters. The enemy descriptions. The plot. The boss battles. The emotional scenes. Everything. You did outstandingly. I'm biased in favour of whatever I've read most recently, but even knowing that, this is unquestionably one of the best novel-style fanfictions I've ever read.
I've been putting this review together in my head ever since less than halfway through book 1, but I didn't notice until I actually started writing it that it's the depth of characterization that puts this head and shoulders above pretty much everything else I've ever seen. Character essays on each member of the team? I'm not surprised in the least. Keep doing that in the future, man. Always. I /cared/ about these people. A lot. Probably too much, actually. I'm enormously disappointed that my time with them is over. I felt their fear, their excitement, their exultation, their sorrow. The "what was your first kill" discussion? Chills up and down my spine. Deis lamenting her deathlessness? Depressing as hell. The conclusion of book 2? Eyes like dinner plates, heart pounding in my ears. The second half of "The Goodbye"? Ditto on the eyes, with one hand literally covering my mouth in horror (in particular, when I read the words "three MORE berries," my heart nearly stopped). Every single big boss fight? My whole body rigid with nervousness, eyes inches from the screen.
Speaking of those, I think it's worth dedicating a paragraph to explaining why they were the second-best aspect. How you had the whole team going at once, and described in detail every little move. Especially in conjunction with how strategically the fights played out. They weren't "wail on it, healing/swapping out when necessary, until it falls over," like they probably were in the game (again, I've never played these games); they were all something like "person A starts preparing an attack while B and C are distractions, getting healed by D. By this time, E has snuck up behind. While it deals with E, its body moves to a position where B and C can grab on and hold it still while A and D do a combo attack on its now-exposed weakpoint." AND THAT'S AWESOME. And the Habaruku fight might be the most intense battle I've ever read, coming from an amateur or pro author.
I also loved how you put real science into this: stuff like time zones, water pressure in the Sky Tower, and residual bone damage do a fantastic job of breaking the mold of typical fantasy and making the story feel more real. Unfortunately, what the game gives you to work with is quite unscientific. I'm not even talking about magic or gods; they could be explained by Minovsky Physics and Sufficiently Advanced Aliens respectively without me caring. I'm talking about the different Clans. I don't think it's possible to describe how impossibly unlikely it is for even just two separate evolutionary lines to come close enough to converging that interbreeding becomes viable. I suspect it is unquantifiably more unlikely than every person who has ever lived in the real world getting struck by lightning every day for their entire life. And that's just two, each at any point in history. In BoF, there are dozens. At the same time. And several have near-identical morphologies. No. ****ing. Way. Not your fault, but I'd like to point it out all the same.
Something else that makes no sense from one perspective but is unfortunately quite realistic is the government system. The very idea of Clan Law is fundamentally immoral (there may be exceptions, but if so then they are the kind that prove the rule). If it's physically possible for two people to successfully have kids (which are themselves fertile, etc.), then they sure as hell aren't different enough for different laws to apply to each. The same goes for the global law against inter-clan breeding. I'm guessing that this planet has never had a civil rights movement of any kind, though, so as its societies mature mentally, the intelligent individuals among each will eventually realize this, and after maybe another generation or two, the idea will have spread enough to get that global law struck down. A few dozen generations later, different Clans won't even exist anymore. Yep, there won't be any Breaths left by then. Not gonna stop it. (Of course, now that I've said that, a later BoF game will already exist that does exactly that. *groan*)
You expressed concern about the protagonists being cynical antiheroes. Don't ****ing stop. It's awesome. The banter is great, too, but you actually did it TOO well: I can't believe that anyone would be so prone to verbal sparring at the slightest provocation, or that their tongues would all be so absurdly sharp.
Unfortunately, there's still quite a few typos. The recurring mistake this time around was "mon amis." When Jean is talking to multiple people, replace "mon" with "mes." Also, you used the sentence "X said something anatomically improbable" enough for it to get annoying.
SPOILER ALERT for the rest of the review.
My biggest complaint is that, in regards to the love triangle, Nina doesn't seem to get anywhere near as much "screen time" as Katt. Aside from her personal chapter at the end of book 2, she's pretty much the least active character in everything that happens unless it's a love triangle scene, and those obviously don't help in this case. Katt gets a head start, and unless my memory has suddenly started sucking, Ryu does a heck of a lot more one-on-one stuff with her than with Nina. Furthermore, Katt's personal chapter comes significantly later than Nina's, encouraging it to be remembered better, AND Katt's has way more emotional impact. I mean, losing Mina was tragic and all, but Katt was ON THE TEAM. I didn't realize at the time that the "destiny bullshit" would drag her back, or maybe I did but thought it wouldn't be until MUCH later than it ended up being. On the upside, I also thought at the time that Katt's departure would tip the balance irrevocably in Nina's favour, which seemed (and still does) like a ridiculously cheap way to resolve it, so I'm glad that didn't happen.
And yet, despite Katt's more active role, I believe Nina would be the better choice, based on what Niro(?) said: which one needs Ryu more? Katt needs a shoulder to lean on, sure, but so does everybody else, and she's strong in both body and mind. Nina, on the other hand, is psychologically shattered, probably ever since her wings were cut off. It's no coincidence that she's the first of the destined Ninas to use black magic instead of white. She desperately needs someone to be her rock in order to have any chance of putting herself back together. That's my take on it, anyways.
I WAS pissed that you didn't resolve the love triangle, until you mentioned that the game doesn't either, which is a good point. However, there's the broader issue that the epilogue simply stopped too early, leaving many more things unresolved. Like what the World Council's reaction was, and Niro's past, and other things that I can't remember right now (blegh). Enough that it would have been perfectly reasonable to do more than the game did, in order to present a richer story. Because that's what this whole thing is about, right? Something to think about.
With regards to Yua...first, a neutral-value comment: Elforan* and even Ganer weren't huge deals, but my discovery of "Patty"'s true identity was mind-blowing. I had absolutely no idea who she was until, when the priest mentioned her name during the Valerie-bombing scene, it hit me like a freight train. Now, the negative: I REALLY wanted her to soften up a bit, afterward. Seeing the most carefree and innocent of children, who would nap peacefully in the woods under the watchful gaze of her dragon mother, turned into the most hard-ass cynic of them all, was heartbreaking. She broke down during the Habaruku fight, but to my extreme disappointment, the mask came right back on afterward. You couldn't have given her some humanity back once she'd been reunited with her long-lost brother? Come on.
*Do I even want to know what she was doing in Tunlan disguised as a guard, or why no alarms were raised back in Highfort (presumably, since we didn't hear about it) when she left?
Moving on, I have no problems in principle with bringing back the Tiamat Unit like you did, except that the trials themselves were wimpy. Too short, too easy, and lacking any purpose in the larger story. If that's what you meant by calling it self-indulgence or whatever, then I agree with you, but I still count it as a point against you. Also, Alan. WAT.
When you mentioned Chaos, my inner fanboy screeched, "ORIGINAL CROSSOVER SEQUEL OF CRAZY AWESOMESAUCE!" Then the rest of my mind caught up. THEN I read that you weren't going to do a sequel even based on another game, so yeah. BTW, coming right out and dropping the name "chaos knight" cheapens it immensely. I don't think people like Katt are in your target audience here. You had me at "god of pure chaos from another plane of existence," and anyone who's read your Power of Light will figure it out after hearing that he terrorizes multiple planets.
When Ryu dreams about their futures, is Yua robbing her own place? Oh wait, I've got it: she robbed someone else, and then broke back into her own place to stash it! More importantly, though, how is there any possible correct answer for what Katt's doing?! As absurd as it is, I would have said that she's gained the power to enter other video game universes at will, but she's shit at magic! What the hell?
When Ryu considered sacrificing himself to seal the Gate at the end, I would've been right in there beating the shit out of him with the rest of them. That was monumentally stupid.
I guess I'll finish by saying how just plain fun the final battle was to read. If anything i
| Lumenatrum chapter 46 . 11/20/2012
The thought of crying comes to mind right now. This, in my humble opinion, was a great ride. Albeit a long ride. I had always liked Breath of Fire II, even though I came to it after it style and awful translation were something that wasn't accepted. To elaborate, after getting into RPG's late, and played ones that had the more contemporary style of recent RPG's, Breath of Fire II is still one of my absolute favorites. And you captured it in a way that makes me want to flood my eyes with manly tears of happiness, even though I am nowhere near that melodramatic.
Let me give you a little more insight on this, on its affect on me. It inspired me, in a way that other stories on this site just can't do anymore. Each word formed and typed, got me to think and formulate myself. That is what I feel is the best thing you can give to a reader. And for me you have certainly done it.
Just know that I will come back to this story again and again, and enjoy it each time.
The only problem, even though romance is only a single part of any story in my opinion, it might be best to give romantic subplots a definitive end rather than open, especially when is spans a good deal of the story. You had all the character travel together, had them all transform in the fight with deatheavan, gave larger speaking roles, and a good amount of world building that the game didn't. I suppose you could have made him choose.
Other than that, thank you.
| Velen Ziga chapter 30 . 10/16/2012
Wow...What a terrific and emotional climax...You have done very well sir. It sincerely makes me wish that you could sell this in print, because, by god. It is that good.
| WhiteFangofWar chapter 46 . 10/15/2012
Darn, so much for me being the Simon Cowell. Oh well, others have offered sufficient criticism that I don't feel like you're getting nothing but gushing praise. That would be bad.
2 years ago I was rather cynical about the prospects of you writing a Breath of Fire 2 novelization, but sometime around the 2nd book you laid the last of my reservations to rest and then some. Evans eulogizing your party is the scene in the game everyone remembers it for, but you made the rest of it nicely interesting too, minimizing the dull slog of the actual mid-game that I thought this story would be. Seeing the projected length of it combined with your commentary made me fear this was your final bow, I'm glad to see that's not quite the case even after Ghosts of the Machine.
Response to your responses: Wow, three call outs in one story! Thanks! I always want to make any feedback I give more detailed than 'this is good/bad, next chapter soon', and if any author here deserves that it's you. Apologies for being long-winded at times, but I always want to comment on something, whether good or bad.
For the 'wiseass' comment, I realized after that it's highly common for characters in action games to be introduced in that way so that they start out seeming self-aware, strong and/or streetwise, and not someone to be trifled with easily. Your 'patterns of wisecracks' were certainly distinctive, and like several other characters Rand and Katt got more in-character after their initial introduction. This being a low-fantasy as described by you, it's only natural that many characters would use humour to cover up the fears and anxieties that come with living in such a starkly brutal world. With Mina, you clearly didn't want her to be a typical 'helpless crying waif princess' type even if her sister, the actual princess, clearly wasn't. Like I said, Allston is one of my favourites, strongly recommended, but he does have his little quirks- even his politician characters are that like that.
The Pokemon lords... eh. The verbal tic didn't make them any less or more scary once they started kicking butt. It could just be something they do unconsciously when agitated (like Habaruku), and an indicator of how much the transformation warps one's mind (certainly they weren't born with those Lovecraftian names). The depths of Infinity certainly fit that theme looking more like a Xenomorph lair than anything else.
The rest of the game doesn't really capture it, but the final scenes and the good ending seem to indicate a greater emphasis on your comrades than most other games of the time (excepting Final Fantasy 6, which almost didn't have a 'main character' to focus on to the exclusion of the others). That's just of the several things Breath of Fire 2 did before it was cool, including the 'God is Evil' storyline as you mentioned. Amazing how much of that they got away with really, being made at the height of the Video Game Censorship Crusade (one year after Mortal Kombat I believe). Maybe the incomprehensible translation helped? We will never know.
Speaking of Evans, given his name and how he's presented I thought you'd make him closer to 'death-god' Nyx from Persona 3, presenting the nihilist argument (again before it was cool) as each party member reaches what he decrees to be the end of their lives and the end of the world's life, and Afini ('Life') being the answer to that. Instead we get all the fusions people have been asking to see, well done.
After some deliberation I'd say Spar was my favourite character, much more interesting than your typical 'Spock' type. For a while I thought he'd become Yggdrasil, but it's fine to leave the third game (my favourite one) open for the imagination. On a similar note we get news that Myria is back but no indication of how much she's changed since her 'death'. Become more mature I'd say, but still evil in a different way so that her 'family' are willing to give her the benefit of the doubt until it's too late. Just my take on it, anyone who has a different idea is welcome to write 'War of the Brood' or whatever you want to call it.
While length doesn't equal quality, it's certainly an example of your growth as a writer that you'd take the time to go into enough detail for characters and world-building that this story would be more than twice the length of War of the Dragons, which aside from the Tiamat unit chapters now looks rushed by comparison. Sure I was annoyed at first with how long it took to really build up a full head of steam, but that's a good sign that you can hardly wait for the next chapter to be posted Good things come to those who wait. That being said, I agree with 'Anon Review' who pointed out the game's plots are starting to become a confinement for you, even if it remains a useful skeleton to build off of.
That's part of the reason why I can't think of any more valid general criticism than that for you- you have captured absolutely everything about Breath of Fire 2 that made it hold a special place in the hearts of so many, and a fair bit more besides. No one could expect anything more from a video game novelization.
Thank you, Magus523.
| Velen Ziga chapter 15 . 10/14/2012
The first 14...Finally done. There were a few spelling mistakes in some chapters, but extremely negligible, as well as the omission of Nina noticing the similarities between Patty and Ryu both of them being of the Light Dragons. Overall, however. Book 1 was immaculate. Well done good sir.