Reviews for Loop Until checkParadox False
Advocaat chapter 1 . 4/11
Wow. That's all I can say. This was spectacular. A real treat. Thank you so much for writing it.
Guest chapter 1 . 3/16
This was ... haunting. Yes, that's the best way I could find to describe this story.
I remember reading this story back before I played FFXIII-2, and found it fantastic and engaging, despite me not knowing anything at all really about the game, beyond that it's somewhat of a thematic break from the original game, stars Serah, a new character and is about fixing timeline because XIII's happy end had been retconned pretty thoroughly (those spoilsports; all my shiny headcanon worldbuilding for naught!). I wasn't particularly confused or felt left out by the story, so in retrospect another kudos to you from back then, because for something so steeped in gamelore as this is in order to tell its story to not lock out the uninitiated is the making of a well written story that anybody should read.
That said, I just found it again, and clicked it for the nostalgia value - I remembered 'Yeah, you read this before, didn't you? It was a good story.' And because I've been on a very lucky chain of excellent XIII/XIII-2/LR fanfiction today, I took my time to digest it all properly a second time.
And wow. Now that I know about what happens in the game, I'm blown away. Almost -every- sentence or scene alludes to the game, as told by/to(?) Hope - and in such a way that it isn't obvious at all. I missed it the first time around, after all.
The one that stood out to me the most was this: The scene where Hope realises that having the power to change the timeline means having no consequences for your actions as long as you're patient ... the first time, ignorant me thought 'yeah, this is daunting and very good food for thought'. Now? I thought 'Caius.' It's interesting; in that the villain of the story is only alluded to, and only if you know it's him being alluded to, and otherwise he doesn't exactly appear - without knowledge of the game, this is a character story where the only adversary is time itself and the problems it's characters strive to overcome. With knowledge of the game it is this, and at the same time more - or maybe I'm just impressed with myself and my sudden relevations. Who knows.
It's also interesting in that, strictly speaking, Caius is only a villain for Serah and Noel, and Hope only in the general sense of being (as far as he knows only probably) the catalyst for Cocoon falling.(Hope makes no mention of an impressively tall purple warrior with a ridiculous sword in any of the prophecies, so I don't know how much he knows about him at all) The rest of the world continues on, unaware and uncaring that he's plotting outside timeline to -end- the timeline. Playing the game and getting your ass kicked by him (repeatedly) it's hard to remember how removed from the world the characters actually are from everything they do. I adore that this not only slipped in, but is constant through the story if only in the background - from the way Hope is constantly wondering, constantly fact-checking ('Do I exist here in this timeline? If so, then I have failed in fixing the paradoxes.' and the question what -is- the correct timeline anyway) to the way you handled Serah.
And that's one of my favourite things about this. Again, comparision pre-playing and now: Serah came off, the first time, as someone ... not quite there. Like she's a mirage or something, or removed from reality in a way that made me suspect some mental trauma, presumably experienced on her journey Hope doesn't get to see. It's stil a viable interpretation, I think; but maybe I'm biased. The second time I know why she's like this. It's so obvious - but for me the clue didn't drop while playing, it dropped while reading this. And again I realize that the game makes things easier for it's player to have fun and play a story, and the deeper implications are only there if we want them to explore. As disjointed as XIII-2 sometimes feels in telling it's story - trying to put it into a proper chain of events would be impossible. The way Serah feels that nothing is new anymore, that she's done all this before, that's you alluding to the closing/reopening of the timeperiods, isn't it? Yet again something so subtle you can enjoy it without game knowledge, but with it, it suddenly transforms into this beautifully thoughtful observation.
All in all, I've got many such things to gush about, some already said by other people, too. Parts of this are my new headcanon, namely most of the things about the nature of timetravel and those left behind. XIII-2 is a game that makes me, if I think about it, and the way gameplay and story might integrate, inherently sad. Setting aside Academia 400AF (the cie'th one), I'll never forget the first time I revisited Yaschas and realized: Even if I saved the future (or part of it at least...), prevented the fal'cie from ever being build and turning those people into cie'th - that time's Hope will always wait eagerly for me to come back here, even though I never will. And even in the Yaschas with no eclipse, that Hope will never have met me before that point, waiting pretty much alone with no clue why. No matter how many timelines are fixed - there are always some that are entirely abandoned, together with it's people.
It's a kind of bittersweet sadness, though. And this fanfiction has helped me realize and remember why. Mostly I'm glad about the fact that I found someone other who cared about the game and it's story and all its -implications- (some of them disturbing, but all of them kind-of mind-screwy as it should be with timetravel) enough to write something so beautifully detailed and insightful. I swear, most of the things that I dismissed the first or second time you've explored with such depth I'm in awe at you. It helped me realize that with even a little thought put into it, the game that ends so soon (if you're counting story-progression hours at least) is actually so much bigger under the surface than previously thought.
Timetravel is not easy to write, in all its forms. I guess even the game took too tall an order with its chosen theme, and it's hard to understand it's story sometimes. But timetravel fascinates me and is one of my favourite genres and you managed to write this masterpiece and shared it with us. It was a joy to read - again, and the first time too.
Thank you.
Berry chapter 1 . 9/14/2013
i love your story and I'd like to translate it into Chinese to post on our fan community,would you please?
Iseki chapter 1 . 1/17/2013
This is without a doubt the most inspired piece of time travel fiction I’ve ever read, fan or otherwise. This is the type of reading that I scour the internet for, the type of feeling that cannot be replaced but needs replicated in some shape or form because it is so inspiring. That sounds over the top maybe, but I hope you can appreciate what you’ve achieved here.

The entire time travel element in FFXIII-2 while digestible was left somewhat open-ended. We accept that Noel and Serah travel, adapt, repair, and meet on a multitude of occasions and timelines. We accept paradox as a mini-game. The possibility for character input is boundless and completely free to interpretation- for who can say what happened in the loops of time we were not witness to? Who’s to say what was written and unwritten between the gaps of game-play? With any story confronting the huge idea that is time travel you must accept that anything is possible, simply because we are removing that one solid impossibility. And so with that in mind you’ve expertly travelled the gaps, the foreseeable futures and pasts, the corrections, and made them so delightfully tangible through Hope.

Through Hope we can appreciate all the earlier adventure of the l’cie, see how it has moulded and moved him. He alone brings the two storylines together as a whole, and this is so very important. In this piece we can see how he both moved forward through time and does not move at all. His unique perspective allows for objectivity to observe all the logic and lack thereof in the timelines. We can sympathize both because he is such a loving, feeling, sympathetic character and also because he is removed from everything else, and I absolutely love how you stressed this. He showed just the right amounts of apprehension and fear about the ramifications of time unwinding as he did courage and determination to see his quest to the end. This has completely embodied his character in every way and word. When he was enjoying the sweet futuristic candy-stick I found myself absorbing the information with a sort of awed curiosity- Ohso Hope likes sweets. There was never any sort of reservation as I sometimes experience with fanfiction, as though this was merely YOUR version of Hope. Instead I felt entirely willing to absorb any new information as canon and that’s testament to how true to felt to his nature as well as the nature of the game.

But perhaps my favourite thing about this is how you’ve managed to shed so much insight on Serah and Noel’s journey from such a removed perspective. While playing it’s so easy to imagine that the events happen within the span of a few short hours, maybe days, but examining the heart of such a process proves it is impossible to measure. To write this so nonchalantly into Serah’s speech is simple brilliance- it doesn’t matter. Chocobo racing while the entire span of history and humanity is on the line? Well, that’s allowed isn’t it? But you weren’t the slightest bit flippant with this information, you still featured the weight of their activities and the result of their psyche. A little Chocobo racing might be what held them together that week.

Hope’s initial impression of Noel is wording I think everyone should know: “...like a wild animal made inexplicably gentle by force of yearning...” Lightning too, how little is known and revealed about her rings so true to her epic battle on another plane.

Oh I could gush for hours about how fantastic every particle of this composition is right and good but I think that might actually put you off a little at this point, so I shall finish on exactly that- it is absolutely fantastic. I adore your writing style. I’m already storming your archives both here and via the links provided and I’m certain I will find much much more to delight over!

I hope you continue to provide us with such gems!
Sincerely a fan,
Iseki
barefootbean chapter 1 . 1/12/2013
Wow. This was fantastic. I'm not even quite sure what to say. This is quite a story. I really like the way you ended it, just like a loop. Clever.
Guest chapter 1 . 12/29/2012
mind blowing, I'm speechless
Shinku no shi chapter 1 . 9/3/2012
This story is in need of more credit.
It shows great detail and opens up new ways of thinking that in my opinion are interesting. You managed to work very well with the timeline which I personally think is quite the feat since it can get confusing at times. While I myself have not played FFXIII-2 yet I have gained a great insight on some things and thus ultimately made things clearer and make more sense. I hope you will continue to gift us with your stories even though I have to say that you have a HUGE collection of works. 192 is quite the feat and I admire you for having and most of all spending so much time and effort into your work.

Maybe we will meet again, who knows... until our paths cross again

Shinku no Shi (Crimson Void)
The Wanderer in Darkness
fately chapter 1 . 7/29/2012
Shiz. This has got to be the best Final Fantasy XIII-2 story I've read so far.
H-thar chapter 1 . 6/3/2012
Now THAT was an incredible snapshot of Hope's journey through the sequel! Why couldn't the game have given him half a minute of thought here and there to air all of the doubts and concerns he had to have felt (that you addressed)? There isn't a single idea in this story that wouldn't have made sense. And the structure of a logical loop is so appropriate it's frightening.

As it stands, I guess Squeenix didn't care so much about leaving their 'savior of humanity' with a destructive end and practically ZERO conclusion in the game. It was insulting. Thank you for taking the time to write a story that can play out Hope's role with the attention to detail it deserves - and without an ending that manages to kill all hope for the future.

- Hthar
Desis chapter 1 . 5/9/2012
Your writing is near flawless. Not many people can pull of the second-person-perspective, but you do it amazingly. The pacing and formatting of your story is amazing, clear, and concise. It wasn't too confusing to read, but complex enough to explain deeper concepts. Your story is original enough not to copy from the game directly, and the characterization in on the spot. This story is great, and I hope you keep writing.
drinktea chapter 1 . 4/28/2012
The sheer amount of thought and detail you've put into this story has me extremely impressed, satisfied and admittedly jealous. The way you've constructed Hope's journey and his own thoughts and feelings towards this journey is just so... deliberate? You've just paid attention to absolutely everything, hit every little nuance. You've just got a lot of STORY here, with your perspective choice, your plot, your character development. This story is positively beefy, and I love it. I really mean this: I loved everything you did with this story. Thank you for sharing it!
Mylaervain chapter 1 . 4/26/2012
Now that is a hell of a read.
caledon chapter 1 . 4/22/2012
Absolutely brilliant! I love how you've written Hope to be so methodical in his pursuit of the future where he could meet his friends again, how driven and full of hopes and doubts about whether he's going in the right direction and taking the correct course of action. The language and the POV really grounded this, allowing the reader(s) to really become immersed in Hope's experiences as he traveled through time.

Thank you so much for an amazingly written story :)
turtlesinspace chapter 1 . 4/21/2012
This story is amazing - Hope is spot-on here. I love how analytical he is,and how the writing structure captures the weirdness and the timeline confusion from the perspective of someone who had to live through them. Also, the part with Lightning was absolutely heartbreaking.
Poisonberries chapter 1 . 4/21/2012
I really must say that this is amazing. You're a gentle, articulate writer, and you use the second person here to great effect - the alienating nature of the language I think services the detachment in Hope's character that you're trying to highlight here. The ending is remarkable, but what I think I enjoyed the most was the careful uncertainty - is this the right time, is this right timeline, what are Hope's real motivations - you play with throughout the piece. It's extremely well constructed and keeps the reader's attention on your themes.

At any rate, I very much appreciated this work. The XIII-2 fandom suffers a terrible dearth of non pairing stories, and I applaud you for this. It's quite remarkable and you should be very proud of it.

Brava,

Poison
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