|Reviews for Old Soul|
| R chapter 11 . 3/23
Three Rejects put everything wrong with this story before I could, so I won't bother with repetition.
I got what you were going with, the traditional, craptastical world of Dark Souls personified with this ending.
Of course, Nemeta should've used that pyromancy immediately after Quelana died. If she really cared she would've used it; if not to link the fire, then to at least go back to the beginning, making a stable time loop of sorts.
It annoys me incredibly when this sort of stuff is made but the characters never bother to use it.
A good effort, but it does require some incredibly thick Suspension of Disbelief, which was completely broken in this last chapter, I'm sorry to say.
| Guest chapter 11 . 3/21
For anyone who still has the will to live after reading that at least know that the canon ending of dark souls 2, and the series as a whole, is that the undead hero gets treatment for the curse, prevents hollowing and has infinite time to work out an actual cure to the undead curse and the rise and fall of the ages of fire and dark. That said... Damn. Just wow. Bang up job.
| tylermech66 chapter 11 . 3/1
and no happy ending, so, very, Dark Souls...
| tylermech66 chapter 7 . 2/28
and ordinary human can see her true self, because he's lost everything, but isn't quite hollow yet.
| tylermech66 chapter 6 . 2/28
you've made logan, awesome, grandfatherly logan, into sort of dick... I hate you :(
| Maganoi chapter 11 . 2/4
Just finished reading.
This ending... magnificent. Captures the essence of Dark Souls perfectly.
| Jerkasaurousrex chapter 2 . 1/25
Oh goodness gracious, this is the best! I love the story and the way you portray them and I'm one hundred percent in love with this thank you so much. 3
| Opinion Giver chapter 11 . 12/2/2014
I feel that this perfectly fits in with the tone of the various character's stories in how it gradually becomes brimming with the feeling of hopelessness. The technical aspects of creative writing are also expertly displayed. This is one of the best pieces of fan fiction I have ever read.
| Guest chapter 11 . 10/29/2014
One of the best sad but great keepit up
| BlazingPhoenix17 chapter 11 . 10/16/2014
I think I knew what ending I'm choosing from now on. Fuck them Primordial Serpents I'm linking the flame.
| Krekian chapter 11 . 7/27/2014
Well that was bloody amazing.
| Kaioo chapter 11 . 7/22/2014
You are evil.
| Three Rejects chapter 11 . 7/22/2014
I'll give this story props, because it did do a lot right. Prose, grammar, word choice, construction; I think this fic was definitely above average in the technical aspects. I think the choice of scene breaks was a little weird and distracting, but that's just a nitpick. If we want to talk about the real problems of the story, we have to talk in terms of plot.
On the one hand, I do like a lot of what you did. The adventures in Lordran and interactions with the characters were all compelling (for the most part), and when you deviated from the game's story, it was usually in ways that made sense or felt like natural extensions of the lore. Seath possessing Logan was a good example of this, I thought. Nito's nightmares were a nice touch. I liked the undead moving into the archives. Frampt was always good. The changed dialogue rarely felt out of place. A lot of the story's stronger moments came from places like these.
Where I felt it was weaker is harder to pin down, because the answer is basically everything else, in small amounts, at least. There were just a lot of little things. Lots of niggling bits that I couldn't ignore.
For example, we've got the romance. Pocru I think said it best when he described it as unsatisfying. It's listed as the fic's genre, but it's barely present at all. Qualana's internalisations at the start and her romantic longing were interesting, but this was ultimately abandoned until the final chapter when they're suddenly in a relationship due to developments in their years together that we never saw. Two characters end up in a relationship by the end, but this is not a romance, because nothing is made of their relationship. Either the fic should have dropped the romance element altogether, or the growing feelings and conflict of Quelana and how it ultimately develops into a relationship should have been a constant element throughout the story. Preferably, it should have been the latter, as Quelana's romantic obsession with her student is ultimately the impetus of the decision to abandon Lordran and what lead's to the fic's tragic ending.
Then there's the tragic element itself, which I felt was massively diminished by the contrivance of Nemeta not bothering to use her time travel power to link the flames and make the goddamn sacrifice already, even when she clearly has nothing left to live for and has been suffering guilt for years due to her decision. And there's also the fact that the actions of both Nemeta and Quelana in the end caused them to lose my sympathy, which is something you generally want to avoid with your characters, especially when I'm meant to feel bad for them. The tragic element comes from caring about a character, which by the end, I did not.
Nemeta and Qualana are good characters. I think you wrote them well, and that's vitally important when one of them in the source material is meant to be a blank cypher. Now, I find the both of them profoundly selfish for abandoning the world to its fate just because some people in it are bad, especially when Nemeta knows that there are good people in it too, but that in itself I didn't have much of a problem with. The both of them had their own wants and desires that were contrary to making that sacrifice, and their decision was all a result of logical character progression. That's not a bad thing. I didn't like that they did it, but I'm not the kind of guy to dislike characters for having flaws, because good characters ARE flawed.
Where they both lost me was their continued decisions even after they see the world falling to shit because of what they did. Quelana holds no guilt over letting the whole world die, and does not even want to see Nemeta use her power to undo this travesty. Then when she gets too weak to go on, she abandons Nemeta to live in this misery just so that she can keep her dignity. I don't hate Quelana for being selfish and wanting to run away with her love, but I DO hate her for remaining selfish to the very end.
Same goes for Nemeta. Abandoning her quest and dooming the world, okay, she's a flawed character. But she clearly must have seen her final fate coming. She worked out the connection between pyromancy and time, and knew for a fact that both would die along with the First Flame. She would be suffering for eternity no matter what happened, so after she lost Quelana, not going back and linking the First Flame and instead letting the whole world die screaming in a completely preventable way is inexcusable.
Another minor point that bothered me a lot was a character who was not so good, and that's Big Hat Logan. I don't know what his deal is in this fic. I know the guy was antisocial, but I don't remember him ever being the massive prick that he is consistently portrayed as here. When he's being possessed by Seath, fine, but what's this about him probably dissecting Reah if he was the one to find her instead of Solaire and Ingward? And then there's all the other characters passively disliking him. Even Griggs is internally thinking how the other sorcerers of Vinheim won't have to put up with Logan anymore at one point. Whaaaaaaat? Where is all this coming from? Maybe I was just empathising too much with a character that I saw a lot of myself in, but I really don't remember Logan in the game being this unlikeable.
But the big issue with the fic is its continuity. Continuity is one thing that's been mentioned a lot, and it was very loose all throughout the story. I don't mind you pleading slight AU, since all fanfiction is AU by default, but there are stipulations I have before I'll accept that.
An AU's changes need to first be necessary to tell an interesting story, and they need to also make sense. The second is optional if it all serves the story. I don't expect an AU where all the characters are pirates or in high school or some shit like that to link to canon in any meaningful way, and hey, if authors genuinely think they can make good stories out of those AU premises, then they can go knock themselves out. But this isn't that kind of AU. This is a "close-to-canon" AU, where you're following canon except for whatever events kick off the story. In cases like this, divergeances from canon need to make sense. There's got to be a reason for it.
Now, in a sense, you did that. Nemeta being the Chosen Undead of this world is the divergeance, and it's presumably a result of her character being what it is that Quelana acts differently towards her than how she reacts to the player in-game. That makes sense, and I'll accept that. I'll even accept Nemeta's influence as being behind the move to the Archives and all the other wildly different plot threads.
What I will not accept is AU being used to justify lazy storytelling when you throw in something that just plain doesn't make sense. Sieglinde's already killed her father, but that only happens if the player doesn't let him die to the demons in Lost Izalith, and Nemeta still has not fought the Bed of Chaos by the end of the game. Patches is first encountered in either the Catacombs or the Tomb of the Giants, and it's only by meeting him in the Tomb that one is able to save Reah, yet Reah is safely back in the Parish and then dead in Seath's archives before Nemeta and Patches even meet, and Patches left the Catacombs/Tomb without any clear reason. To go back to Sieglinde again, the player meets her for the first time when they free her from the crystal golem in Seath's archives, which Nemeta does not go to until so long after meeting Sieglinde that she's already slain her father and gone through her entire character arc from the game.
No explanations are given, and there is no logical chain of events that leads to these circumstances being so wildly different from what happened in the game. AU is being used here as an excuse for poor writing because it seems like you couldn't come up with a way to have all these characters where you wanted them and doing what you needed them to do that also made sense, so it's just being swept under the rug. And that's something that I can't abide by.
But despite the thrashing I've just given, I'll refer back to my first two paragraphs and restate that there was still a lot to like about this story. It did have a lot of good points. Just not enough to save it for me. But don't let my grumpiness be too discouraging, because I do hold my fanfiction to higher standards than most (sometimes unreasonably so), and I AM clearly a minority if the rest of the reviews are anything to go by. I just think that the fic has a mite too many flaws for me that some really minor rewrites could quite easily fix. But even as-is, it's not exactly terrible. I'd give it a solid 3/5. Or I would if I believed in numeric ratings.
Good effort, Extreme Piercing.
| Guest chapter 11 . 7/21/2014
Though I enjoy your story, the ending was utterly ridiculous. Why would any sane person fail to change history so that the future wasn't reverted to the Age of Ancients?
If she had the power, why did she not use it before it was too late, I simply can't understand.
| Section Z chapter 11 . 7/12/2014
I just got around to reading this story finally. The gradual descent into everything falling apart was very well put together, so it did not feel like it was arbitrarily veering off into grimdark because DARKSOULS...
That time travel spell, made me groan out loud. Because from the moment it was mentioned I could hear Shyamalan playing the twilight zone music on a kazoo for the rest of the story. Just that last step too far into contrived tragedy purely for it's own sake.
Aside from my overreaction to that one thing though? Great stuff the whole way through.