A Farewall to Interactive Stories

*lights flash on*

*KholdstareV steps up to podium*

*clears throat*

Gentlemen and, umm, any ladies that may be present. First off, I begin with an apology. I am sorry for creating a topic that doesn't relate to Metroid Prime 3, but it's something I simply must do. Forgive?

Now then, onto my final words as an IAS author. I hope they can reach out to you all who have continued the trend and make GameFAQs a more literary, artistic, and flat-out fun place.

I started out as nothing. In fact, one could argue that I still am. I'm still only 17 years old, after all. But back when I began this project, I was only 15, still adjusting to the fun new place that is the GameFAQs Message Boards. Like anyone my age, I was discontent with just being 'another user', and I hoped to leave a lasting impression. I realize now that making a name for myself on a video game website isn't a very fulfilling goal, but it was still something I wanted. After a few failed attempts at creating innovative new ideas, I had no clue that my next one would change that all.

My first Interactive Story for the Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, written in December of 2004, was created solely as an impulsive afterthought. I'd seen CYOAs before and thought they were very cool, so I thought I'd create my own just for the heck of it. CYOAs were never really deep, thought-provoking affairs, so I figured, why bother messing with tradition? Make it random! Make it stupid! Make sure people just have some idiotic fun! And that's more or less how it began. That is, until about a week or two into it, I began to formulate some very interesting ideas. Ones that I thought might actually make this Wind Waker story... into an actual story. I began to think, a CYOA, following an actual plot? A CYOA where the fun isn't only in the voting, but rather in the story itself? Brilliant! It was a bit of a gamble, for most GameFAQs users aren't exactly the most literarily-inclined of folks. Thankfully, though, the formula worked beautifully, and the story became a huge hit. What wasn't to love about Link discovering that he has an evil twin that hopes to get all his admirers, namely Tetra, Medli, the Queen Fairy, and Tingle, to try and fight over him? Upon hitting the 500th Post (my first 500 topic ever! ^_^), it was met with a standing ovation. It was then and there that I knew my calling on GameFAQs - I was going to write more of these IASs. My second stop, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.

From then on, it was all uphill. Following Majora's Mask, which was also met with critical acclaim, I also went on to write IASs for the original Legend of Zelda, and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures. The latter of those two, to this day, remains my personal favorite. Link pulls the Four Sword for a second time only to find that the Sword has been upgraded, and his clones are now embodiments of different sides of his personality. Red is his badass side, Blue is his apathetic side, and Purple is his feminine side. Classic! Luigi's Mansion would come next, which signified the first time I would break away from Zelda and into the realm of Mario, one of my favorite characters ever. This was followed by my indesputible break-out hit, the one that put me on the map(?), the Paper Mario 2 IAS. On a board that loved stories, but was in fear of having them deleted by roughish moderators, ignorant old me steps in and starts what, to this day, is still my longest and most thoroughly popular IAS to date. It is also quite possibly the longest one ever written (300 pages! :O). Double Dash came rolling along next, and is undoubtedly my deepest, darkest, most controversial work yet. The part where Baby Mario and Baby Luigi decide to play 'mommy and daddy's game' is still fondly remembered, and I mean that in the most sarcastic way possible (my good friend Lolo_Guru actually refused to read anymore after that XD). And now, here is August 20th, 2007, marking the final speech in commemoration of my final IAS to be written on GameFAQs, the Metroid Prime IAS.

While not quite as ponderous or hard-hitting as some of my past works, this Metroid Prime IAS still represents a major step forward for me. I understand it's plotline may be rather off-putting to hardcore Metroid fans. You see, it was really born of out several of my own personal desires. In relation to Metroid, I always wondered what Samus, a lone-warrior, would do if she were forced to work with a team. I've also wondered, in real life actually, if religion is prominent throughout the universe, and not just here on Earth. Metroid, with its outer-space theme, seemed like a worthy candidate to bring this idea to life. On a more personal level, I had never written a story before with the majority of the characters being original creations. I was a bit skeptical about doing so, but was relieved, and pleasantly surprised, to find how much I loved spelling out the personalities and actions of Dusty, Victoria, Malik, Mr Vapor, and others. I've found that original characters are far more fun to write about because, when you're using a character that everyone knows, such as Samus, the readers have pre-concieved notions and expectations about how they should act. If you decide to make them act another way, the audience may be turned off. But with original creations, you have a blank slate, and the limits of their personalities are as boundless as your own imagination. I hope, in future stories, to be able to concieve my own personas from scratch. It truly allows for the optimal amount of creativity.

Now, as some of you may have noticed, there are several motifs or ideas that are repeated throughout my works. One of the most prominent is that of religion, mainly figures representing Good and Evil, and the everlasting struggle between the two. I'm not an especially religious guy. I am Christian, but really only in name. I personally believe there is a higher power, but I am wary of following any religion. Therefore, I substitute all with the belief that I will hopefully know the truth when I die XD. However, the concept of Light vs Dark has always intrigued me, and I believe it stretches far beyond human comprehension. I first started exploring this in the Luigi's Mansion IAS, but became a central part of the plot in the Double Dash one. Mr V, my most popular original character ever, according to recent surveys, lol, represented the ultimate justice figure that could quite possibly exist in some way, shape, or form. Disagree with my stance? Feel free. As I've said, the concept of religion and Good vs Evil has always baffled me. I include these ideas in my stories to simply get people to think about the issue, hopefully setting us down a path towards the truth.

Alcohol has always been another recurring theme in my stories. From Mario and co getting drunk in their hotel room to the Double Dash team moonshining drinks after Lights Out, all people in the world need a drink to settle down once in a while. I'm a fairly moderate drinker myself, and it's quite true what Homer Simpson says - "Alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, most of life's problems!" You said it, Homer.

Well, I've recapped my entire three-year run of story-telling into a measely 4 paragraphs. Not bad, huh? Well, I've covered the past, so for those who care enough, I will briefly go over my very hopeful ambitions for the future. Straight to the point - I want my future to be with Nintendo. It is the only company I have ever really respected, and I have so for my entire life. While writing storylines and dialogue for games may seem like the obvious choice for me, writing actually takes a backseat (a very close and dignified backseat!) to my true passion in life - music. Composing songs fit for video game soundtracks has always been the highlight of my free time, and I've known since even before I began writing IASs that it was what I wanted my future to be based upon. The thing I lack in this department, however, is an audience. Hopefully, just as I've done with my writing skills, I hope to make my first true audience those of my friends on GameFAQs. If I could only discover a way of doing this, I would do so in a heartbeat. It's something I'm working on, so keep a look out for me down the road. The day I'm known on the site as both an author AND a musician may not be too far off!

I suppose now is not my time anymore. This speech, as lovely as it feels to write, represents only what is happening now. Right now, I am only thinking of the future. I should be acting to make it happen. And with the confidence I now have in my creative output, thanks primarily to all you readers, I feel I certainly have what it takes to fulfill my ambitions. To my readers, my friends, I give my heartfelt thanks. As my thanks, I leave this picture. Aside from the obvious Zelda boss reference, it is the source of the username (minus the 'V', which stands for my first name), and alter-ego, which I have carried with me for 3 years. Try not to get too scared. o_0

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That is all. Good-bye everyone. Hope to see you all again.

Vincent Tabares, aka KholdstareV, signing off.

*bows*

*steps down from podium for the final time*

*lights go dark*