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10th-Dec-2016 10:32 am - Stairs Go On And On.
hope is all we have
I haven't loved a game this fiercely in a very long time. It's not perfect; traversing long distances can be a bit of a pain (until you unlock the ability to zoom around on a hot pink chocobo), and I'm having trouble following the plot (not that I expected a comprehensible plot from a Final Fantasy game), and I spent a full fifteen minutes hunting for the last yellow frog and cursing the game designers. But it seems ridiculous to complain when Final Fantasy XV gives me so much wholehearted joy.

There's an almost unprecedented lack of cutscenes in this Final Fantasy game. There's plenty of dialogue, but most of it takes place during gameplay; the actual cutscenes tend to be very short. It's an interesting approach, and for the most part it works.

Here are some notes on the game! Spoilers up to the end of chapter 7, but only for which characters join your party as a guest. I notice that all of these notes are about Prompto.

Final Fantasy XV, up to the end of chapter 7.Collapse )

I'm sorry to say that I named my chocobo 'Chocobro'.
THE BOOKENING TITLE #10: A Storm of Swords, George RR Martin. (I know I said A Song of Ice and Fire wasn't part of THE BOOKENING, but I suppose it makes sense to keep all of my book reaction posts under one tag.)

As much as I'm enjoying this series (I am enjoying it enormously): George RR Martin, you don't have to keep coming up with character names. You can just tell us there were a lot of men trying to hold the fort. We don't have to know that Two-Leg Jerrit was there, and Rykk Crowbeak, and Devyd the Unkind, who kept ducks in his youth and had always found humans disappointing in comparison. You'll never mention these characters again. You don't have to name them. It's okay.

A Song of Ice and Fire is constantly throwing characters together in different ways and then dragging them apart. And in some respects that's great! We'd never have seen Arya and the Hound grumpily travelling together otherwise. And in others it's terrible, because it keeps creating character combinations that I love, or that I find fascinating, and then going 'AND NOW THEY'RE DIVIDED AND MAY NEVER SEE EACH OTHER AGAIN.'

My favourite character combinations so far:

- Arya and Gendry
- Sansa and the Hound
- Jaime and Brienne
- Sansa and Tyrion
- Arya and the Hound

Do you know how many of these combinations are still within speaking distance by the end of A Storm of Swords? Exactly none of them. I'm so annoyed.

But A Storm of Swords introduced three of them, so overall this book gets a thumbs-up from me. (Well, it introduced two, but Sansa and Tyrion's relationship abruptly became a lot more interesting to me in A Storm of Swords.)

I like Jaime a lot more than I was expecting to! When I first saw a chapter from his perspective, I rolled my eyes and thought, Oh, good, another character whose chapters I'm not going to care about. I was so wrong. How much I will care about his chapters when he's not in the company of Brienne, though, remains to be seen.

(I was so, so happy when he went back to rescue her.)

Finally: Lord Frey, that is not at all a proportionate response to someone snubbing your daughter.
hope is all we have
First impressions of Final Fantasy XV! I've played for six hours but have barely made any progress on account of being constantly distracted by all the optional things to do (I've only just completed the first chapter), so there are no plot details in here; you can read this without being spoiled.

First impressions of Final Fantasy XV.Collapse )

Finally: there's an NPC called Dave! That's not very Final Fantasy!
hope is all we have
We're on the verge of a new main-series Final Fantasy release! It's been a while.

One of the things that fascinates me about the Final Fantasy series is the way it reinvents itself with every new game. Every entry in the series tries new things; every entry has its own set of strengths and weaknesses.

Here, for no particular reason, is my list of pros and cons of the main-series games I've played extensively (I haven't played the online entries, and VI is the only 2D release I've played for a substantial amount of time). Direct sequels and spin-offs aren't included. I've tried to avoid very subjective judgements, which is why 'the characters are the beeeeest' doesn't appear under VIII and XIII. Please imagine that 'music' appears on the 'pros' list for all of these games except XII (sorry, XII).

Final Fantasy VI:
Pros: Still looks good twenty years later. Characters all have distinct battle abilities. You can suplex a train.
Cons: Feels a bit unfocused on account of having too many characters and a non-linear second half.

Final Fantasy VII:
Pros: Materia system allows for interesting setups. Midgar is a great setting. Fascinating storyline.
Cons: Graphics have aged badly. Awkward translation. These two things, combined with oddly out-of-the-way backstory cutscenes, make the fascinating storyline very difficult to grasp. It's sometimes hard to tell how you're supposed to progress. (The upcoming remake may well resolve some or all of these issues.)

Final Fantasy VIII:
Pros: Actively rewards not getting experience, so it's great if you prefer exploring and progressing the storyline to fighting random encounters. Triple Triad!
Cons: Confusing stat system, making it easy to screw up your playthrough if you don't know what you're doing. Revolves very, very strongly around Squall, which is great news if you like Squall but may make things tricky if you don't. Story falls apart at disc 3.

Final Fantasy IX:
Pros: Fun and cute! Doesn't take itself too seriously, on the whole, despite dealing with some bleak themes. Contains Chocobo Hot & Cold, the greatest minigame ever made.
Cons: Slow battle system. You will eventually finish the Chocobo Hot & Cold sidequest and be sad that there are no more Chocographs to find.

Final Fantasy X:
Pros: Nicely strategic battle system. Excellent levelling system; the Sphere Grid defines initial roles for the party members but allows for customisation. Strong, reasonably coherent storyline (this is very rare in a Final Fantasy game), although things get weird as you approach the end (this, by contrast, is very common). Probably the most accessible game in the series for newcomers.
Cons: Very linear. Awkward voice acting. A bit too cutscene-heavy. The European release likes to drop murderous superbosses in your face when you're innocently trying to revisit previous locations.

Final Fantasy XII:
Pros: Great translation; a lot of thought has gone into the way different characters would speak. Intricate world. No random encounters.
Cons: Poorly paced; long segments without any story advancement make it hard to follow the plot. Although the voice acting is good, the sound quality (on the PS2 version, at least) is poor. Boss battles tend to be a bit of a slog.

Final Fantasy XIII:
Pros: Good pacing, great battle system, gorgeous. Extensively explores the relationships between the party members. Rarely demands grinding.
Cons: Very linear; no sense of exploration. Writing occasionally lacks subtlety. No gameplay variety; there are battles and there are cutscenes, but that's your lot.

I've no doubt that Final Fantasy XV will also get some things right and some things very wrong, and I'm looking forward to seeing what those things are. Going by this lovely piano-and-violin piece from the Episode Duscae demo (and the fact that the composer is Yoko Shimomura), 'music' seems likely to be one of its successes.

If you'd offer different upsides or downsides for any of these games, I'd be interested to hear about them!
hope is all we have
Look, yes, I know I told you to stop me if I wrote Final Fantasy XV fanfiction before the game was released. This doesn't count. It's fanfiction for the prequel film. Completely different.

I just really, really wanted to see these characters meet.

Title: Another Level
Fandom: Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV
Rating: PG
Pairing: possibly a hint of Crowe/Lunafreya
Wordcount: 1,100
Summary: Crowe arrives to escort the princess to her wedding, and finds herself unprepared.

Another LevelCollapse )
24th-Nov-2016 10:14 am - She Deserved Better.
hope is all we have
Everything I hear about Final Fantasy XV just makes it seem weirder. Did you know that Prompto gains the ability to take selfies if you level him up enough? That Jamie Oliver's restaurant is offering an official Final Fantasy XV set menu? That Nomura had to be talked out of making the game into a musical after seeing Les Misérables?

Peru started selling the game two weeks early, and it's making things very difficult because now I'm terrified of running into spoilers. How on Earth did I cope during the PS2 era, when games routinely came out in Europe six months after their North American release?

I suppose fandom was mainly Livejournal-based during the PS2 era, though, and spoiler cuts aren't diligently used on the fandom platforms of the present day.

I saw Kingsglaive, the prequel film to Final Fantasy XV, a couple of nights ago! Verdict: it was better than I expected. Although, to be honest, what I expected was 'pretty and incomprehensible', so it managed to exceed expectations just by being pretty and mostly comprehensible. It wasn't the best film ever made, but it held my interest all the way through and definitely deserves more than the 13% score it currently holds on Rotten Tomatoes. (And it really was so pretty.)

Spoilery notes on Kingsglaive.Collapse )

I'm looking forward to seeing more of Luna in the full game!

I really want to see Princess Lunafreya meet Sansa Stark, actually. Sansa would be so awed. (I originally just wrote 'Princess Luna' and then realised it sounded like I was talking about My Little Pony. Sansa would probably also be impressed by that Princess Luna, if confused.)
the end
I saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them yesterday!

Thoughts on 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'Collapse )

In conclusion, there were some things that worked better than others for me, but this was good fun! I enjoyed it, and I'm happy to accept it as Harry Potter canon, whereas I had reservations about accepting Cursed Child.

(Although there was no mention of Phineas Nigellus, and I am deeply disappointed by this.)
hope is all we have
This is not at all the fic I meant to write. Honestly, I was planning to write about Hinata and Kuzuryuu making out. But then the making out caused canon to diverge, and Komaeda somehow seized the focus, and I ended up having to cut out the Hinata/Kuzuryuu entirely because it just felt like an awkward plot device in a fic that had become more about the relationship between Hinata and Komaeda.

Which is a shame, because Hinata/Kuzuryuu is a great pairing. (I've been replaying Super Dangan Ronpa 2, and their relationship has really struck me this time around.) Maybe I'll manage a real Hinata/Kuzuryuu piece eventually.

Title: (Mis)fortune
Fandom: Super Dangan Ronpa 2
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 3,700
Summary: In which Komaeda's best-laid plans are thwarted by his own luck.

(Mis)fortuneCollapse )
hope is all we have
I haven't officially participated in National Novel Writing Month since 2004, but I've tried to write at least a little every day of every November since 2009. It's an interesting exercise, and it sometimes means I write things I might never have considered otherwise. For example, here's an unexpected second part to Worth Something, which was really supposed to be a one-shot. The first part was Hinata and Koizumi; this part is Hinata and Kuzuryuu. I'm half-tempted to write about Hinata meeting the entire class, but I think I'll probably resist the urge.

Title: Worth Something, Part Two
Fandom: Danganronpa 3 (Despair Arc)
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 1,300 (this part; 2,700 cumulative)
Summary: Against all advice, Hinata approaches Natsumi Kuzuryuu's brother.

Part One

Worth Something, Part TwoCollapse )
hope is all we have
I wrote this entire fic today. I'm not doing National Novel Writing Month, but if I were I'd be on track on wordcount!

My Until Dawn fanfiction consistently gets low hit counts on AO3; all five of my Until Dawn fics are in the bottom seven when you sort my works by hits. I think there's some strange, stubborn part of me going 'I'M NOT GOING TO STOP WRITING FOR THIS FANDOM UNTIL I COME UP WITH SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE WILL ACTUALLY READ.'

Title: Wrong Road Home
Fandom: Until Dawn
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 2,300
Summary: Mike thinks the others just don't want to talk about that night. Maybe the truth is stranger than that.

Wrong Road HomeCollapse )
22nd-Oct-2016 07:22 pm - Jesus Hot Sauce Christmas Cake.
hope is all we have
Still thinking about Until Dawn. Still really, really invested in Mike/Sam. I haven't fallen this hard for a pairing in a while.

I was surprised to find it's a relatively unpopular pairing in the fandom - not nonexistent and not actively disliked, but nowhere near as big as I'd expected it to be. I suppose the problem is that each half is in a more popular het pairing: Sam/Josh is the second-most-written pairing in the fandom, and Mike/Jess is fourth. Mike and Sam don't really start interacting until halfway through the game, by which point people might already be invested in Mike/Jess or Sam/Josh, and it's going to be difficult to shift those preferences.

In my desperate quest for fanart, I came across one artist who said they didn't usually 'ship het but had fallen for Mike/Sam anyway. It's just occurred to me that this fits with my theory of its unpopularity. If you're not a het fan, you probably won't be 'shipping Mike or Sam with anyone by the time they team up, and therefore you'll be better able to appreciate that, objectively speaking, Mike/Sam is the best pairing ever and anyone who disagrees is a poo.

At the ending, if they both survive, he grabs her arm and just doesn't let go, just stays holding on to her as if it's the only way he can be sure they're still alive, and I can't get over it.

The thing that fascinates me about Mike/Sam is that I get the impression they would only end up with each other after the events of the game. Prior to that night, Sam would never have considered it. But they've been through hell and lost friends and almost died together, and something in their relationship has changed irreversibly. They've seen new sides of each other. They're closer now. Maybe too close, in a highly dependent 'you're the only person who knows what I've been through and I'm not sure I'd be able to function without you' way, depending on how many of their friends were killed. Maybe they're helping each other process things. Maybe they're stifling each other, unable to move on from that night as long as they're together and reminding each other of it. It's a pairing I love either way.

Unfortunately, my 'they'd only get together after their horrible experiences' view restricts what I can read or write for this pairing. I can understand why people would want to write about them getting together in a lovely AU where nobody dies or is permanently traumatised, but I just can't care about scenarios where they aren't miserable PTSD-ridden wrecks.

This is why I'm unlikely to write an Until Dawn/Pokémon crossover.
hope is all we have
Apparently I did end up writing the fic where Mike and Sam have miserable sex before their probable deaths. I wasn't expecting this.

Title: Still Breathing
Fandom: Until Dawn
Rating: R
Pairing: Mike/Sam
Wordcount: 1,600
Summary: Mike and Sam are alone in the basement. The others are missing or dead. All Sam wants is a distraction.

Still BreathingCollapse )
the end
THE BOOKENING TITLE #9: The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater.

Standing next to him in his very alive state, she couldn't imagine that he would be dead in less than a year. He was wearing a teal polo shirt, and it seemed impossible that someone in a teal polo shirt could perish of anything other than heart disease at age eighty-six, possibly at a polo match.

Dear mystery person who gifted this to me back in June: I'm sorry it took me so long to finish it! (It was sent to me under the name 'Noah?', which was perplexing at the time and is frankly unsettling now that I've actually read the book.)

I really enjoyed Stiefvater's style; the narrative had a lot of great turns of phrase and quiet humour. ('Blue tried not to look at Gansey's boat shoes; she felt better about him as a person if she pretended he wasn't wearing them' is one of my favourite lines.) I liked Gansey and Adam and Blue, and the relationships between them. I didn't especially care for the plot - I've always found it difficult to get excited about ley lines - but the style and the characters carried me through very comfortably.

My favourite aspect of the book is the friendship between Adam and Gansey; it's so important to both of them, but Adam resents that importance because he feels it gives Gansey a hold over him. And on some level his fear might be justified; there is a part of Gansey that wants to own him. It's such an interesting dynamic. (I really love that Gansey's feelings about Blue are essentially 'yes, she feels right, this is one of the people I need.' If I get fannishly invested in these books, I suspect I'm going to end up 'shipping Gansey/everyone.)

Other parts I enjoyed: Gansey making a horrible first impression on Blue. The general sense of unreality in the scene where Gansey is threatened with a gun, as if he can't quite grasp that this is a real thing that's really happening to him. The long description of a car journey that takes ages to get to the point, the point being that the passenger is tied up in the back seat.

This novel feels very warm, somehow. It's about friendship, and how it's not always comfortable but always important. And it's also about ley lines, but let's ignore that. I liked it a great deal.
17th-Oct-2016 11:35 am - My Parents Have A Wikipedia Page?
hope is all we have
THE BOOKENING TITLE #8: The Last Beginning, Lauren James.

Sequel to The Next Together! A more traditional time-travel story; a less traditional romance. What I'm saying is that this is a YA novel about time-travelling lesbians. (There are spoilers in this entry, so you might want to skip it if you're planning to pick the series up.)

Like its predecessor, this was great fun and I tore through it in two days. It addressed one of my issues with the preceding book (we got to see how the break-out happened at last!), but, again, there are things I wish it had done. I thought for a moment we were going to get to see two versions of Matthew from different times meet! Don't dangle that possibility in front of me and then snatch it away!

The romance in these books is cute, but there's always a slightly unsettling aspect to it, which fascinates me. In The Last Beginning, there's the constant sense that some sort of outside force is trying to get Katherine and Matthew together in every time. In The Next Together, Ella shows up to announce, 'Hi, I'm from the future and I already know I'm the love of your life, because that's established historical fact in my time!' That must be so strange on both sides.

Speaking of strange aspects to the romance, my favourite part of this book was 1745 Matthew and 2040 Kate being romantic while 2040 Matthew was still stuck in prison. It's possible that my disappointment in 1745 and 2040 Matthew never meeting stems largely from my curiosity about whether they were going to manage some sort of two-person threesome. My second-favourite part was probably Tom in the alternate timeline, trying to protect and help the daughter he doesn't remember.

I mentioned in my entry on The Next Together that I was convinced the author had written fanfiction. I have since uncovered two pieces of evidence to corroborate this. Firstly, an extract from an instant messaging conversation in The Last Beginning:

LuckyClover: please don't say it
Nuts_Meg: i'm sorry, clove. I have to. There is fanfiction about your dad.
LuckyClover: this isn't happening. i wish i was dead.
Nuts_Meg: I haven't even sent you any links yet. Wait until you hear about the werewolf soulbonding erotica I found about him and Kate.
LuckyClover: urghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Nuts_Meg: This is the best thing that has ever happened to me ever.
LuckyClover: i'm going to vomit all over you

Secondly, I, er, found some fanfiction by the author. Fairly solid, as evidence of fanfiction-writing goes. She wrote a crossover between her own novel and Harry Potter. I can respect that. If I ever published a novel, it'd be solely for the sake of writing Pokémon crossovers afterwards.
16th-Oct-2016 10:50 am - Hey, Foreman, What's Up?
hope is all we have
My memories from the last time I watched House are hazy, but I had definitely not forgotten the episode 'Autopsy'. A terminally ill nine-year-old girl asks Chase for a kiss because she's afraid she isn't going to get one before she dies, and he actually does it (just a peck, I should probably clarify) because he is Robert Chase and he makes the absolute worst decisions.

The kiss itself has always made for uncomfortable viewing, but it's much worse now that I'm closer to Chase's age than to Andie's. CHASE. CHASE, THIS IS SUCH A BAD IDEA. I realise you're trying to be kind, but seriously.

(Characters who make catastrophically terrible decisions tend to be amongst my favourites to this day. I wonder whether that started with Chase.)

In the second-series House episode 'Spin', Wilson and Cameron have a guilty talk about their respective sexual/emotional affairs in their marriages.

'They would have such regrettable sex,' Rei observed.

They really would, and I'm now extremely sad that Wilson and Cameron never canonically had miserable, guilty sex (or at least they didn't when I was watching). It would have been amazing.

I was never especially into Cameron/Chase as a pairing (because it wasn't Cameron/Foreman, grumble grumble), but on this rewatch I'm finding that their scenes together tend to be pretty great. My favourite scene in the entire first series was Cameron giving Chase a lengthy monologue on sex while Chase stares at her and quietly dies inside. And, although the circumstances are a bit uncomfortable, I love Chase's '???????????????' expression when he goes to her apartment in 'Hunting' and she immediately pushes him up against the wall. (The only good-quality video I could find was this one, which has a slightly odd aspect ratio. Warning for impaired consent; one party is high. Chase really isn't coming off well in this entry.)

My problem with House is that the characters I'm most interested in are House's underlings. I want to focus on Chase and Cameron and Foreman, but House very much wants me to focus on House himself. House's barbs are amusing, and I don't think the show would work without him, but he's probably the character who interests me the least. Each of his underlings is a terrible mess of complicated issues, and they interact with each other in ways that bring out even more issues, whereas I feel House takes less digging; he's grumpy, sarcastic and ruthless, just as he appears on the surface. Wilson definitely falls into the 'fascinating mess of a person' category, but he gets very little screentime. I wish he interacted with House's underlings more often.
hope is all we have
THE CAT STEPPED ON MY KEYBOARD AND LOST MY ENTRY DRAFT. That draft had been accumulating bits and pieces of potential entries for a very long time. It looks like I'm blogging with a blank slate now. I hope I didn't lose anything interesting.

I do remember that I'd recorded Housemate C shouting 'I'm not a fucking frog salesman! Why don't you fuck off?' at Rei in there, but I cannot for the life of me remember the context.

THE BOOKENING TITLE #7: The Next Together, Lauren James.

"Kate, what on earth happened?" Flo exclaimed. "We let you into the loft and the next we know you're a fugitive from the law, hiding in Scotland, and your boyfriend has been arrested for terrorist offenses!"

Kate scratched her head, embarrassed. "Yeah. It's been a hectic few days."

"Your parents are furious. They didn't even know you had a boyfriend."

This is a book about a couple who are endlessly reincarnated in different situations throughout time. It holds the distinction of being the only book I've ever read that contains both Comic Sans and the (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻┻ flipping-a-table emoticon.

This was great fun. I settled comfortably into it almost immediately, because I recognised the writing impulse that had led to the concept: it's the same reason people write fanfiction. You find some characters, you like their dynamic, and then you start to wonder what that dynamic would be like if the circumstances were different. What if they were a lady and a servant having a scandalous relationship in the eighteenth century? What if he's a nineteenth-century war journalist and she crossdresses to become his manservant? What if they're twenty-first-century scientists uncovering a government conspiracy? All scenarios this book explores!

If the author hasn't written fanfiction at some point, I will eat an entire sock.

There are a few things I wish this book had done. Firstly: if you set up multiple scandalous relationships, it's a tragic waste if nobody finds out and is scandalised by them. I kept waiting for someone to go, 'Hold on, Matthew: why are you kissing your apparently male assistant here in the nineteenth century?' and it never happened! Secondly, I'm fairly certain it's illegal to go 'well, I suppose we're going to have to break someone out of prison' and then not let your readers see how the prison break was carried out, although perhaps that'll be addressed in the sequel. And I always want love to blossom before the crossdressing is exposed in crossdressing romance stories, so I'm sad that Blackadder's 'Bells' is still the only crossdressing romance story that hasn't let me down on that front.

But, missed opportunities aside, I enjoyed this a lot. The humour and the sense of mystery carried things along very quickly, and I liked the way we uncovered one of the timelines solely through notes and documents. I got the sense that the author was having an absolute blast writing this, which made me smile.

There's also my favourite moment in the entire book. Matt and Kate are university students and have only met relatively recently. They don't know about their reincarnations. They're just starting to wake up, having fallen asleep during research. Matt, still half-asleep and affected by vague memories of his past lives, absently kisses Kate's neck. She has no idea how to react. They're not in a relationship, they've never kissed on the mouth, and he kisses her neck as if they've been together for years. It's exactly the sort of weirdness that delights me.
13th-Oct-2016 02:43 pm - For Pete's Sake, Go Away.
I don't know why I've ended up writing such a huge entry on a game none of you have played, but, er, here you go. (The last few paragraphs of the entry still concern Until Dawn but may be of more general interest to people who play videogames.)

I ended up spoiling myself for just about everything in Until Dawn, because I was far too freaked out to keep watching when I didn't know what was going on, and it's amazing how much of a difference it made. Every QTE was terrifying when I was unspoiled; every decision felt like a matter of life or death. Once I'd looked things up, I was absolutely fine; I could just watch and enjoy this story about a group of flawed teenagers in a horrible situation without being constantly on the verge of dissolving into petrified sobs.

In a way, I do regret robbing myself of the opportunity to play the game blind, making my own bad decisions and seeing who survives to the end. On the other hand, even if a first playthrough is probably a powerful experience, I feel it wouldn't be an experience I'd enjoy.

It's really interesting to see the way the game's situation brings out certain qualities in its characters. Mike and Sam are at their absolute best when they and their friends are in mortal peril (even if Mike screws up sometimes). Emily very much looks out for herself, but she's able to stay focused and keep going. Ashley doesn't do well under pressure at all, although, to be fair, she's put in really horrifying situations. You might die! You might not! It's completely up to the person who's weighing your life against something else, and all you can do is wait helplessly!

I think an Animorphs AU for Until Dawn could work really well: it's a similar 'hey, teenagers, here's an awful situation you've suddenly been thrown into, you're going to have to think strategically to not die, good luck!' concept, and I'd love to see how the Until Dawn characters would handle it. Given that there are eight characters involved, though, it'd probably be too ambitious a project for me to attempt.

(Would Mike be the leader? Sam? Maybe Mike's the leader in name and Sam's actually the one who keeps things together.)

I don't think I'll be writing any more Until Dawn fanfiction, although admittedly I thought that after my first Until Dawn fic, and indeed after my second. But I've written 'Mike and Sam are miserable and make out', 'Mike and Sam are miserable and don't make out' and 'Mike wants to make out with everyone (and is miserable)'. Where else can I go? I can't just write endlessly about Mike being miserable, but it's the only thing my heart is interested in.

(I got a review on my Mike/everyone fic that said 'THIS WAS SADDER THAN I THOUGHT IT WAS GONNA BE. ;A;', which I'm pleased with because it is exactly according to my evil plan. The summary is 'Mike Munroe has a lot of attractive friends, and he'd make out with all of them if he could.' Hey, this'll be silly and fun! NO. NO FUN. MISERY. IT'S UNTIL DAWN.)

If I could write sex, I'd probably write a fic where Mike and Sam are the only ones left alive, they're still trapped on the mountain, and they end up banging unhappily because they're probably going to die anyway and it's the only thing they can think of to do. Alas, it's not in my skillset.

I've been skipping around and watching bits of a lot of different Until Dawn Let's Plays, and not just because I could watch Mike cut his own fingers off all day. I really like watching people slowly warm to Mike. He makes such a bad first impression (the first two things he does are 'participate in a cruel prank' and 'jumpscare you'), and I love the way a lot of players gradually progress from 'who's this arsehole?' to 'actually, I'm really invested in this arsehole's survival.'

Something I found interesting: at one point, when ChristopherOdd was playing as Mike, Jessica called to Mike for help. ChristopherOdd commented on 'the sheer terror in her voice, calling out our name'. When you play as Mike, does Mike's name become your name as well? Referring to playable characters in the first person is common enough; if Nathan Drake falls off a cliff when I'm controlling him, I'll usually say that I fell, rather than that Nate fell. Referring to yourself and the playable character together as 'us' isn't unheard of; you might say, 'Come on, Mike, let's see what's over here' (I'd never say 'we fell off a cliff' in the Uncharted example, though). But thinking of the name of the character you're playing as 'your' name strikes me as unusual.

Then again, if you saw me playing Silent Hill 2 and asked what was happening in it, I feel I might say that I'm looking for my wife. I don't know why names are specifically the point at which I feel a barrier falls between me and the playable character.

Are there any studies on when people refer to playable characters in the first person? Does it happen more with customisable protagonists, with silent protagonists, with protagonists that share the player's gender? Does having more than one playable character in the game affect it? (I feel I don't generally use 'I' in Final Fantasy games, for example, where you can usually control the actions of multiple characters.) Does whether the player likes the protagonist affect it? It's a difficult subject to Google, unfortunately. I don't want to know about first-person videogames; I want to know about people talking about videogames in the first person!
hope is all we have
I think this is my fourth 'pairing one particular character up with everyone' fic. Previous characters who's received this treatment: Patrick Jane, Jeff Winger, Nagito Komaeda. Now it's Mike Munroe's turn, apparently. (There's a definite 'overconfident arsehole' pattern emerging, although one of those characters is in fact an underconfident arsehole.) I'm not sure how I got into this particular ficcing habit, but, hey, I'm enjoying myself.

This turned out a little more serious than I was expecting.

Title: Satisfied
Fandom: Until Dawn
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Mike/everyone
Wordcount: 1,400
Summary: Mike Munroe has a lot of attractive friends, and he'd make out with all of them if he could.

SatisfiedCollapse )
hope is all we have
I really thought I was going to write one Until Dawn fic and then never touch the fandom again, but apparently not. It's just got so much scope for psychologically tormenting characters. I can't resist that. Here's fic number two.

Title: Alone Together
Fandom: Until Dawn
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 2,000
Summary: Sam is the sole survivor. In another world, Mike is the only one who made it out. Somehow, they meet.

Alone TogetherCollapse )
7th-Oct-2016 10:36 pm - If There's Something Strange...
hope is all we have
Somehow, in an idle moment, I found myself running a brief 'text adventure' in a Whatsapp group for the benefit of some friends. The result was a deeply silly mess of references and bad poetry, but I thought I'd reproduce it here in case it entertains someone. My narration is in italics.

You're walking in the woods. There's no one around and your phone is dead.Collapse )

I can't believe they didn't check the inventory once. There wouldn't have been anything particularly interesting in the inventory, but come on. It's like you guys have never played a text adventure before.
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