Tumpik
#it has the exact quality of those dreams that are so awful they make you feel sick
see-arcane · a month ago
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God. Picture that night in the moment.
Your best friend, the girl you love most in the world, joined at your hip since childhood, beautiful and sweet and so, so scared of things she will not name—she’s gone. Sleepwalked right out the door in only her nightdress. You give chase in barely more.
The town is empty. Good.
The town is empty. Has a town ever been so empty, even at night, in anything but a nightmare? Are you dreaming?
Lucy? Lucy?
She is sitting in your seat in the graveyard. She is not alone.
Hindsight and the poetry you will have liberty to muffle the vision with will repaint the dark figure as a beast, but what do you think, really think, in that instant? What is the only thing you can think of when your best friend is so beautiful, so lost, so senseless in mobile sleep and slumped half-dressed under the moonlight, open to whatever company might invite himself?
Why can you go no faster? What is wrong with your legs?
Lucy!
The shadow turns up his pale face. Eyes all red. Seeing you—yes, yes, you are a witness! Get away! Get away from her!
(Please, God, let him be the sort to run. Let him not have any killing thing in his hand.)
He is gone. But why does she breathe like that? Home. You must get her home. Unseen. In nightdresses, in the moon-scratched dark, through town.
Nobody sees you, not even the wandering man who stumbles by your alcove. A miracle.
(Why do you still feel watched?)
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jaeheewillalwaysbemyfav · a year ago
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Can u make mc is the actual owner of Cerberus when he was a pup but villagers killed him because they thought that he was a monster and what how would the brothers and the undateable react to that when mc started to cry when she saw Cerberus headcanons
Oh Beans! I totally spaced when reading this and only have the brothers.
I'll post what I have here right now, but this will also be on AO3, so if you keep checking/subscribe there, you'll get a notification when I've added the undateables! It might not be for a while though, since I'm about to start school again ^-^;;
Who's a Good Boy?
The Guard Dog of the House of Hades. A vicious, three-headed hellhound that only the fallen Morningstar himself could command. Unfathomably massive. Devourer of demons, angels, and humans alike. Notoriously difficult to groom.
That is Cerberus, Lucifer’s extremely volatile pet named after a figure from Greek mythology for reasons no one truly understands. The creature has struck fear into the hearts of its housemates, and the Devildom at large, for what feels like ages.
So when MC cries upon seeing the wolf-dog for the first time, none of the brothers are especially surprised. How could a human cross such a monster’s path and live, after all?
Except those who weep in fear usually don’t then barrel full-tilt into one of the monster’s furry legs, babbling incoherently about how they thought they’d never see him again.
One of Cerberus’ heads leans down to the human, and the brothers panic, fearing the worst. It opens its mouth, revealing razor sharp fangs—
And licks MC’s entire body in a saliva-filled canine kiss. Now covered in tears and drool, MC laughs as they shake themself off, teasing the hellhound by saying that they already showered today, thank you very much.
“So, did you miss me as much as I missed you?” they ask, giving Cerberus’ central head some under the chin scritches (the only part of its head they can currently reach).
Cerberus boofs loudly, enormous tail waving back and forth at an increasingly hazardous pace.
Lucifer
What.
Lucifer is dealing with a Lot right now. He almost lost the exchange student to his own dog, except apparently Cerberus used to belong to MC?! How?!
He orders Cerberus to back away from the human, part of him still convinced that this is somehow a combination of MC being mistaken and Cerberus playing with its food, but the hellhound actually growls at him and picks MC up by the back of their shirt, tossing them onto its back.
MC, in response, finds new places to scritch.
He stares at the scene for a few minutes, unable to process what his life has become.
Later, once Cerberus finally agrees to let MC leave, they explain to him that Cerberus used to be a puppy in the human world.
Obviously, he was immediately noted as strange due to his three heads, and the people of MC’s village believed him to be an omen of death. MC themself didn’t care, and just saw “lil’ Cerb” as a puppy like any other, albeit an exceptionally drooly one.
He used to be more or less normal dog-sized, but it quickly became obvious that Cerberus was growing fast, and would be much larger than even a wolf by the time he was done. He also became harder and harder to hide.
Unfortunately, one night they awoke to poor Cerberus being chased out into the night by a mob, never to return.
They assumed the worst, mourned, and got on with their life as best as they could. But seeing Cerberus— they knew it was the same dog as soon as they saw him — brought all those emotions right back to the surface.
It’s not hard to adapt to these strange circumstances. Lucifer is actually quite relieved to have someone who is both willing and able to safely help him in caring for Cerberus, and both MC and the hellhound delight in each other’s company.
Lucifer also won’t deny the pride he feels upon seeing MC, the one he loves, getting along so well with his son dog.
Mammon
HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
The P A N I C of seeing MC within bite-chomp-murder-kill distance of Cerberus nearly killed Mammon.
What the hell is he supposed to do against that furball?! MC’s dead meat, a chew toy, he can’t save them again—
WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY D O I N G ? !
Torn between passing out from fear and yelling about how brave and cool HIS human is!
So he kinda just… stands there, slack-jawed, as MC finds a spot on the creature that makes it thump its leg so hard the ground shakes.
Already he’s cooking up ways to use MC’s Cerberus-taming powers to get into all kinds of Shenanigans
Except he quickly learns that while Cerb is much more gentle with MC, it won’t let them distract it from its duties.
Has this resulted in MC semi-unwillingly riding Cerberus as it chases a terrified Mammon throughout the Devildom? Possibly~
Though when MC explains to Mammon how Cerberus used to be their dog, and what had happened to him… He can’t help but feel a touch more sympathetic to the hellhound.
Only a little bit though. It still does try and tear him apart whenever he gets too close, after all.
Leviathan
Levi’s fear metamorphoses into awe much faster than the others’. MC LOOKS SO COOL!! Riding the mighty Cerberus like a steed!
He desperately wishes he had the art skills to capture this iconic moment forever. But alas, a camera will have to do.
It’s a pretty good picture, the comparatively small human sitting on Cerberus’ back like something straight out of a fantasy novel. Levi even has a shot of them accidentally scritching a spot that makes Cerberus breathe fire (like a furry dragon!)
100% gets super emotional when MC tells him how they originally had— and lost— Cerberus as a puppy. It reminds him of his precious Henry 1.0 in some ways…
Begs MC to let him post the photos he took, along with their story as the caption. It’s just too good! It’s exactly like that arc in My Adventurer Boyfriend Keeps Adopting the Monsters He Beats in Combat and Now We’re Running Out of Space to Keep Them!
Like Mammon, Levi also quickly learns that just because he unlocked Cerberus’ tragic backstory, doesn’t mean that the hellhound will treat him any differently.
But sometimes, after a long “walk” with MC, the massive creature will be mostly asleep. And then, his hand shaking, MC will guide Levi to pet Cerberus’ flank. Its tail swishes softly, Levi’s own swaying in response.
Satan
He shakes his head and laughs, torn between relief, awe, shock, and lingering horror for MC’s safety. Of course they can tame even the ferocious Cerberus…
Guess all sorts of angry monsters like MC, huh?
He definitely wants to hear the story of MC owning Cerberus in the past, but first he’s going to drink in the absolutely dumbfounded expression on Lucifer’s face.
Toooootally doesn’t cry upon hearing MC’s story with Cerberus. No way, he’s still a cat person, he swears!
...No one is allowed to comment on Satan’s various burn injuries that occur over the next few weeks.
Not if they don’t want to be left with worse.
Asmodeus
OH SHIT!! Also, ewwwww
Once the fear for MC’s safety subsides, Asmo can appreciate the cuteness and hilarity that is MC with Cerberus. Truly no one is immune to their charms it seems, and their affections know no bounds.
...Is it that same quality that allows MC to continue to care for him and his brothers despite their past actions?
Asmo claims that the smoke from Cerberus’ fire breath is getting into his eyes, prompting him to leave. He has a good long stare-at-a-wall crisis for a bit.
Learning MC and Cerberus’ story only makes him mushier. Their tragedy got a happy ending after all!
As much as he loves MC’s charms, he still insists that they de-drool themself before touching him or any of his things. It stinks like brimstone!
Now if they need any help getting clean… That he can oblige~
Beelzebub
HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH part 2
As one of the physically stronger brothers, when Lucifer’s not available it’s Beel’s job to groom Cerberus. He knows how dangerous that mutt is.
But apparently not for MC “Knows No Fear” over there!
As Cerberus continues to remain docile in MC’s presence, Beel starts to appreciate the cuteness of a human and their giant hellhound.
Unabashedly mushy upon hearing MC’s story about Cerberus. The themes of losing a loved one, only to find them much later in a new form… it kinda hits a little close to home for him.
(It’s not a perfect analogy: Beel knows MC isn’t Lilith, but having them as part of her legacy is undeniably cathartic. It’s why he doesn’t share these exact feelings with them, since he knows they’re uncomfortable with being compared to her excessively. Still, he can’t help but note the comparison.)
Naturally, he’s also very happy to have a very useful partner for grooming Cerberus. That living nightmare turns into an overgrown puppy whenever MC’s around. It’s much easier, and much safer, to work with this way.
Plus, it means he gets some quality time with MC! And there’s nothing quite like the fond smiles they share with him during these moments.
Belphegor
He has got to be dreaming. No way is this actually happening— nope, Mammon just stepped on his foot, and that hurt, he’s awake.
WHAT THE FUCK?!
Does MC not fear death? Is that it? Did that part of their brain just completely shut down when he killed them?!
Unlike the others, he can’t really shut down his panic. Sure, right now Cerberus is acting all cuddly, but that could change on a dime. That dog only listens to Lucifer, and right now all Lucifer is doing is staring gormlessly at it!!!
He nearly loses his hand trying to pull MC away from the creature (which it naturally did Not appreciate).
“Belphie, wait! It’s okay,” MC reassures him even as smoke blows out of Cerberus’ nostrils.
They explain their history with the hellhound, how they rescued it as a puppy and then lost it to the angry and frightened people of their village.
Belphegor can’t help but recall their expression when he told them about his imprisonment, the outrage there mingling with a much older emotion. Is that why they were so quick to help him?
He’s still wary of Cerberus. He refuses to be fooled by any facades the creature may be putting up.
But one day, MC invites him to one of their “playdates”. Cerberus watches him like a hawk, growling when he first approaches, but MC just shushes and soothes the monster until it allows him closer.
And maybe, after a few tense minutes, the pair begin to relax around each other.
And maybe, Lucifer has a picture of MC and Belphegor curled up in Cerberus’ fur as the three take a mid-afternoon nap.
And maybe, Belphegor lets him keep it.
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lunabonita · a year ago
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My Webtoon Recommendations
These are webtoons that are all 10/10 for me. Of course it doesn’t have to be a 10/10 for you, so just a reminder, do not attack me for liking a webtoon that you do not. These are my opinions and we are not going to have the exact same taste. Please be respectful.
Your Throne
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Genre: Fantasy
Chapters: 75
Status: Ongoing
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“Tensions are brewing under the seemingly calm surface of the Vasilios Empire, a kingdom ruled by the Imperial Family and the Temple. Lady Medea Solon has lost her place next to Crown Prince Eros, but resolves to win back whats rightfully hers. Will she reclaim her throne?”
You know whats amazing about this webtoon? The summary leads you to think that what shes winning back is the prince. Wrong. Shes trying to win back the throne. I love how this webtoon doesn’t try to make it a girl focusing her goals on a man, but on power. Medea is such a strong and well written character that you can’t help but love her.
The second protagonist Pschye, who of which is the person who took Medeas place as Crown Princess, is the complete opposite of Medea. At the beginning you hate her, but as the webtoon goes on and Medea and her get a better understanding of eachother due to them switching bodies as a wish from God, you begin to root for them as they team up to take over the throne from the Crown Prince.
The art is so beautiful and I constantly found myself at awe from the amount of detail put into it.
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The Makeup Remover
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Genre: Romace
Chapters: 78
Status: Ongoing
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“After years of being told to focus on studying, Yeseul feels lost when she starts college and is suddenly expected to pay attention to makeup. When a chance encounter with brilliant makeup artist Yuseong leads to her taking part in a televised makeup competition, Yeseul begins to question the role that makeup and appearance play in society.”
This was created by one of my favorite webtoon creators Lee Yone. Their art is just so amazing and their stories always include such good topics.
For instance, The Makeup Remover’s theme is loving yourself for who you are. It shows how people treat you based on your looks and as someone whos struggled with that kind of thing for a while, this webtoon really touched me. The main character Yeseul is such a relatable character, even when trying to reject beauty standards, she still came subject to the pressures of living up to the people around her. She struggles with trying to love her own appearance and I really like that this webtoon didn’t try to be like, ‘fuck the beauty standard im better than that screw pretty people!!!’ it actually showed realistically how people struggle with self-image. I also love the main love interest because oh my god, we need more men like him please. He doesn’t care about Yeseul’s appearance and genuinely loves her for her personality.
Also, art is amazing. The author is so talented and you should support them by reading and liking the chapters.
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Surviving Romance
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Genre: Horror
Chapters: 14
Status: Ongoing
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“When Chaerin Eun becomes the protagonist of the romance novel she is reading, she expects a fairytale ending with the novel’s love interest, Jeha. But when a bizarre twist makes her realize the story is not playing out as it does in the book, she’ll need the help of an unlikely character from her class to defy the new storyline and find her happy ending - if only she can figure out who this ‘Unknown Extra’ is first!”
Hands down one of my favorite webtoons by a long shot. You ever see a webtoon and think, ‘oh yeah, thats going to be a good webtoon’? Thats how this webtoon was for me. It was so good that I spent hours searching for other chapters that hadn’t been uploaded to webtoon yet on other manhua websites. I discovered it because it was also by the author of ‘The Makeup Remover’.
If there is one thing you need to know about me, its that I am a huge horror fan. So when I saw that my favorite author on webtoon had a horror themed webtoon out? You bet your behind that I binged it. Let me tell you, best choice ever.
Think of it as if ‘Ino’s Law’ and ‘Quarantine’ were combined with amazing art and a badass MC.
The Remarried Empress
I love how it is set up to the point where she cannot ‘quit’ until she completes the novel. Creating scenarios where she must survive while meeting the standards in the book. It is such an amazingly written webtoon and I cannot wait for more chapters to be released.
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Genre: Fantasy
Chapters: 82
Status: Ongoing
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“Navier Ellie Trovi was an empress perfect in every way - intelligent, courageous, and socially adept. She was kind to her subjects and devoted to her husband. Navier was perfectly content to live the rest of her days as the wise empress of the Eastern Empire. That is, until her husband brought hone a mistress and demanded a divorce. ‘I accept this divorce… And i request an approval of my remarriage.’ In a shoking twist Navier remaarries another emperor and retains her title and childhood dream as empress. But just how did everything unfold? “
Am I in love with Navier? Yes.
I absolutely adore how this story was set up. The first chapter begins with the big divorce scene, followed by Navier saying that she was going to be remarrying someone else since he wants to divorce her. This sets up a picture that gets completely shattered as you read the chapters. How everything falls into place with the reason behind the divorce and the remarriage is just so well written. The art is so good and and everything is just so insanely well done.
I absolutely love Naviers character, from her regalness and devoted loyalty to her role as empress, all the way to her petty moments and times of sadness. She is truly a character that you want the best for, and I cannot image anyone not liking her. Also the story is just so capable of making you feel emotions. I’ve laughed, cried, and got angry during the course of reading this webtoon. I love how betrayed I felt when the emperor brought home his mistress. It felt like I was in Navier’s shoes!
This is such a well done webtoon and I'm so excited for Navier to get all of the good things she deserves in her new Kingdom and with her new husband.
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Witch Creek Road
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Genre: Horror
Chapters: 74
Status: Ongoing
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“A survival horror about love, acceptance, death, and revenge. And sexy flesh-eating demons. Yeah, it has those, too.”
This series seriously mind fucked me. The way that this story is set up, you don’t see the full picture until the later chapters. Season two literally blew my mind. It is also very gorey so keep that in mind if you don’t like that kind of stuff, but for me that makes it all the better. It is just so wild and crass that you can feel your heart pumping in anticipation.
They even have their own website that goes further into the lore because it’s just so wild. Also the art style is just so amazing, because it complements the story and horror theme so much. You hate most of the characters because they suck, and it is so satisfying when they are killed. Also it has it’s sad moments but I think it is a nice break from the horror so it isn’t so overwhelmingly scary.
I binged this series and I recommend reading only a few chapters a day so you don’t overload your brain.
Other then that, an amazing webtoon. Seriously, go read it, support the author, so much work goes into the story and art that it’s insane.
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Dating With A Tail
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Genre: Romance
Chapters: 36
Status: Ongoing
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“On the dawn of her 29th birthday, unlucky-in-love Yunha discovers a shocking family secret: she’s started growing a fox tail, the mark of an ancestral curse. She must find her fated love before her 30th birthday or she is destined to become a fox forever! Even with her new-found enchanting power to attract men using her scent, will one year be enough to break the curse before it’s too late?”
Oh my gosh this is just such a good webtoon. It has amazing art, story telling, and characters. The true love interest was there the whole time, the villain isn’t who you’d expect it to be, and the spirit who cursed her is just! Im not going to spoil it but go read this webtoon!! It is so good and deserves more love.
Also Yunha is just so relatable?? Like she put off finding the woodcutter (her fated love) for 29 years and waited last minute to find him. Homegirl is me trying to do a project for school. Also to get rid of the scent that makes men attracted to her, she just starts eating a ton of garlic and that is just so funny to me.
Also I would go to church for the priest anytime if you know what i mean ;)
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Omniscient Reader
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Genre: Action
Chapters: 53
Status: Ongoing
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“Dokja was an average office worker whose sole interest was reading his favorite web novel ‘Three Ways to Survive the Apocalypse.’ But when the novel suddenly becomes reality, he is the only person who knows how the world will end. Armed with this realization, Dokja uses his understanding to change the course of the story, and the world, as he knows it.”
I cannot get over how high quality this story is. The world building is phenomenal, the art is fantastic, and the characters are very fleshed out. This deserved all the hype it has gotten so far and more.
I love the ‘mc thrown into a different reality’ trope so much. Just like with surviving romance, Dokja’s world became the story he was reading. Also a very cool aspect of the story is the level up and the fact that its like a game. Earth has turned into this show for god like creatures to watch and it follows Dokja trying to survive. I also really like that TWSA has a protagonist, but Omniscient Reader’s protagonist is not the protagonist that was in TWSA. There is just so much lore and I’ll say it again, the world building is just phenomenal.
The Ddokkaebi’s and Dokja’s interactions are also just some of my favorite moments from the story so far. And oh my goodness I would die for Lee Gilyoung. Thats it, thats the tweet. That little boy could probably kill me with his giant praying mantis and I would let him if it would make him happy.
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Not So Shoujo Love Story
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Genre: Comedy
Chapters: 45
Status: Ongoing
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“Romance super-fan Rei Chan is ready for her first boyfriend and she knows just who it’ll be: the most handsome boy in school, Hansum Ochinchin. But her plans for the perfect story are derailed when the most popular girl in class declares herself a rival… for Rei’s heart?! This is the year her not so shoujo love story begins!”
This is just such a cute webtoon. The style is very appealing and while the humor can be childish and weird sometimes, it still has made me laugh a lot. I know the humors not for everyone but just keep in mind that it does get better as the story progresses and gets more serious.
Also its a gl! I’m really unable to find good gls these days that don’t fetishize wlw relationships. Rei being painted as a mean trouble maker whos just misunderstood and Hana being the ‘perfect girl’ who only wants Rei’s attention is such a cute dynamic. They balance each other out and better each other. Also stan Rei for constantly sticking up for Hana even if she doesn’t necessarily like her in the beginning, she has very good morals and sticks to them.
Also the defying stereotypes in this webtoon? Just god-tier. Really makes you think twice when you judge someone just on first impressions alone.
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Odd Girl Out
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Genre: Drama
Chapters: 264
Status: Ongoing
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“After a successful winter break makeover, Nari is finally ready for her high school debut. But somehow, she ends up friends with the three prettiest girls in school! Follow Nari as she tries to navigate her brand new high school life surrounded by beauties.”
This story has made me cry multiple times. A lot, even. It is just such a beautiful tale of friendship and finding support in people who are unlike those around theme. It also tells a great story about how anybody can be the ‘odd girl out’. Be it the fat girl, the beautiful girl, the rich girl, or the laid back girl.
It goes so deep into its characters that you even feel bad for the minor antagonists. It really makes you feel for the characters and the reasons behind their actions. Also I know its long, believe me I binged all 260 chapters in the span of three days, but oh my god it is worth it. Also I know the art is kind of off-putting, in fact that’s kind of why I put off reading the story, but I’ve honestly grown to love it and the writing is so good that the art could be literal stick figures and it wouldn’t matter.
The story is amazing and also I just love Nari. She’s just the best.
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Gremoryland
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Genre: Horror
Chapters: 67
Status: Completed
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“Six old school friends are invited to be the first visitors of GremoryLand, a new horror theme park that promises an experience as unique as it is spooky. But once this experience starts there is no turning back, and they find themselves tested beyond what they imagines, facing their most desperate fears in order to survive.”
This is definitely one of those stories were you kind of need to turn of your brain and choose to ignore ‘plot holes’ while reading the early chapters because this story definitely gets crazy if you don’t know the ending. Believe me if you stick with it it will all make sense and the satisfaction you get from finding the ending is just so worth it.
The story is so good, and who Gremory is you would literally never suspect. When it was revealed who Gremory was and how he was able to create Gremoryland is so fucking mind boggling that you would never guess. I had to do a double take. It wasn’t like one of those random characters with a vendetta type of twists, but like one you can pick out from clues throughout the story.
Its so good and twisted and just so worth at least giving it a chance.
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These were some of my favorite webtoons on the app! Of course it’s not all of them because unfortunately there is a 10 image limit. I also made this because I’ve run out of new webtoons to read and would love if you guys commented some of your own recs. I can also do a part two with other ones I liked if y’all want more recommendations. You guys can even request specific categories like Drama or Sci-Fi and I can tell you my favorite ones from that genre.
Also a reminder - if you disagree with any of my praise of these webtoons be respectful about it. At the end of the day it’s my opinion and you don’t need to be rude when disagreeing with that opinion.
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princesspiratecat · a year ago
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The Rise and Fall of the Shepard Family Part 22: Spring, 1083
(This is a long one, but hopefully worth the read!)
Part 1& Part 2
Part 3 & Part 4
Part 5 & Part 6 & Part 7
Part 8 & Part 9 & Part 10
Part 11 & Part 12 & Part 13
Part 14 & Part 15 & Part 16
Part 17 & Part 18 & Part 19
Part 20 & Part 21
Never before had Gwendolyn felt so happy as she did when her sister had arrived to visit her at her little hovel. She hadn’t been able to stop the tears from flowing, and soon both of them were wiping them away. 
After the servant had left, Gwyn had demanded to know everything, but Gwendolyn didn’t know where to begin. There was so much to tell, and all of it pained her to speak of. 
“Is this really where you are now residing? This little hovel?” Gwyn turned a discerning eye towards the house as they walked nearer to it, and Gwendolyn felt herself blush with shame. She had tried to keep it neat and tidy, but there wasn’t much she could do without a proper set of tools. The hovel was just too poorly constructed for even the most basic of shelters. It felt like a blessing when the weather had finally turned and she no longer had to worry about rain falling on her bed. She could only hope it would not snow or rain again.
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“I’m afraid so. The day of my birthday Marcelle hastily had my bags packed and drove me here in a covered wagon. He told me this would be my new home after we arrived. I should have suspected something that morning based on his behavior.....but I fear, I blindly trusted him.”
“Do not blame yourself. How could you have known what he was going to do? This has taken us all by surprise. When I found out you had been sent away, I could hardly believe it. It is Marcelle that must take the blame, not you.” As they reached the front room, Gwendolyn stoked the fire and began to prepare a meal, as the sun would be setting soon and she imagined her sister must be hungry. She immediately noticed how much food there was in the basket, and it was of better quality than what she normally was given.
 “What do you mean, us? How did you come to find out that I was here in the first place?” They sat down to a nice hot bowl of soup Gwendolyn had made from a fat hare she had caught yesterday. 
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“I didn’t. Francine wrote about a month ago, and the letter had been given to me by Oswin.”
“Oswin? You mean, Oswald’s younger brother?”
“The very same, yes. I had thought it strange that she hadn’t invited me to visit her for such a long time, but in the letter she explained that she had suddenly been forbidden to see me by Marcelle, yet didn’t say why. In her next letter, she told me that the engagement had been broken off, and you had been sent away, but that she didn’t know where you had gone. When I confronted Aélfgiva about seeing you, she said she would talk to Marcelle. Not long afterwards, he wrote to say that a servant would fetch me in the morning to take me to you, and here I am.”
The humiliation that Gwendolyn had endured upon being sent off was awful in and of itself, but the idea that her entire family was now somehow tainted, and not good enough to associate with any of the Allards, hurt her even more. “ I had not thought that my exile had been extended to my entire family. This is worse than I had imagined.” 
“What exactly did he say to you? How did he justify his actions!? How could he bring you to this shithole, in the middle of a forest?!”
Slowly, Gwendolyn revealed all that her sister did not yet know. She tried not to dwell on the parts of the story that were especially painful, and rushed through his unkind words when he had dragged their family down to the mud, implying that they were nothing. She found it was nearly impossible for her to say the exact words he had said about their father, because the loss of him was still fresh pain for both of them. But somehow she got through it all, and then shared how she now viewed everything. 
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“This hovel....this dung heap of a house, is his feeling about me, about us- made manifest and clear. But it’s worse than our house was. It’s worse than anything I’ve ever had to endure. And I was left alone to fend for myself when the snow storm came. I had to find food for myself, otherwise I would have starved.”
There was such anger on her sister’s face at hearing those words. “What about your dowry?! We had so many excellent animals. Surely it was worth more than this!”
“Oh Gwyn.....don’t you see? This is my dowry. This hovel is now all that I have....” Putting her troubles into words made them all the more real and soon Gwendolyn could not stop the sobs from violently shaking her body again. She got up and leaned her head against the counter, as the tears just kept on coming. 
Gwyn said nothing, but silently cried as well. 
“I’ve been clinging to the idea of Frances for months now. And I cannot understand why he hasn’t come to see me, even if it’s just to say goodbye. Am I really so terrible that I do not deserve such simple consideration? How can I be his future bride one day, and the next not even fit to say a single word to him? I cannot make sense of it......” she was sobbing so hard now that she could not continue. 
“Oh, please don’t upset yourself further. I do not believe Frances has any idea where you are”, said Gwyn. That got her attention and her head snapped up.
“What!?”
“I do not believe any of them know. Marcelle must have kept it a secret from all of them, because if one of them knew, they would all find out. Frédérique would never keep a secret like that from her brother, nor would Francine. The letter that she sent made it clear. He could not write to you, so she wrote to me. And that is why Marcelle forbade any of them from speaking to any of us.”
“I had not considered that. But....you must be right.”
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“Perhaps that is also why Marcelle sent me a map and allowed me to see you. He still thinks that his children will blindly obey him. Indeed, he must feel very comfortable with that idea, which is why he didn’t think it necessary to keep you and I apart any longer. If his children don’t speak to us, he has no reason to continue punishing you.”
“Yes. He may also not want to be seen as the type of man who punishes two young girls who have done nothing wrong. I noticed how he sent a lot more food, of higher quality this time around. He even sent linens. He has never done that before. He wants to appear the good benefactor still- at least to you and Aélfgiva.”
After a long silence Gwendolyn gained some composure of herself and sat down by the fire again, staring into the orange flickering flames. It gave her some relief to know that Frances didn’t know where she was, and perhaps hadn’t given into his father so easily. Everything her sister had said made perfect sense. 
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“I like to think that Marcelle has some heart left. I like to think that he still cares about us. Only his pride got in the way", said Gywn. Her sentiments may have been true, but Gwendolyn no longer wished to think about him. It was now time to turn their minds to the task of getting her out, and how they would accomplish that.  
“I must speak with Frances. I must. I have had so long to ponder the situation, if I don’t get any answers, I fear I will lose my mind and go mad.”
"Of course you shall. And I will assist you in any way that I can.”
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The next morning they poured over the map and calculated that Gwendolyn had been taken over twenty miles from the Allard estate to the hovel, which was in the middle of two very small villages that neither had heard of. Having no money and few resources, the main obstacle in her leaving would be where she would go. She could not stay at the orphanage, and of course going back to the estate was impossible. 
“If only you had parted on better terms with Oswald, then perhaps we could ask his family”, Gwyn said. 
“What better way could there have been? Oswald did not want to break off the engagement for any reason. I tried to spare his feelings as best as I could, but given that I hadn’t seen him for so long....it was difficult. I realized that day that he had changed beyond recognition to me, and I no longer knew him.”
“You have been engaged most of your life to someone, and yet still remain unmarried. Do you not ever wish you had married Oswald instead? At least you would not be alone now.” 
Gwendolyn’s features clouded into sadness, as she had realized the same thing her sister spoke of from the very beginning of her troubles. Her life seemed to consist of always waiting, always hoping, always dreaming of having a family of her own and finding that she belonged somewhere, and she resented it. 
“Maybe, but would I have been happy? What Frances and I had was real, and what Oswald and I had was a youthful fancy. I know that now that I am older. I can never go back.” 
When they tallied up their resources, it was decided that Gwyn would return home when the servant came to fetch her, as was planned. She would then combine the meager allowance she and Edith were given at the orphanage, and income from the pelts of the animals Gwendolyn had caught, and try to procure a horse. Then she would ride back and come and fetch her sister, then they would ride to Grimsby. She would speak with Frances at any cost and Gwyn agreed that it was imperative that she do so- even if it meant further punishment from Marcelle.
The next morning was a cold one, and snow began again to fall upon the ground, but only lightly. Despite the foul weather she knew she would have to shelter herself from, she felt better than she had in months. 
“You have Mama’s strength, and you will get through this. I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
She tenderly embraced her sister goodbye, and watched the wagon grow smaller and smaller as it slowly disappeared down the road, which was beginning to freeze. She sat down upon a log and got lost in her thoughts, contemplating how happy the visit had made her. It had brought her comfort, relief from her loneliness, and hope all at once. She was lucky that she still had some family left, even if they were orphans now. I’m not alone. I have the love of my sisters. 
She turned to head into the house, but then heard a horse in the distance and stopped to listen. It was the sound of a single horse, and she wondered if something had gone wrong with the wagon. Was her sister in trouble? The sound grew closer and closer, and she headed back down the path to the road, shivering slightly in the cold. But it was not the servant or her sister on this horse. It was Frances.
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burningtravelercrusade · a year ago
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Mega Man RS Discussion 4 - Wasted Potentials and Characters
Special Weapons of Megaman. Whether they would be considered phenomenally good, mediocre, or just disappointingly a joke, there’s no clear answer when we are subject on what is more superior, inferior, or vice versa in our own perspectives.
But Ruby-Spears Mega Man just seemed to hit and miss of the potentials for whatever had been used in only once would’ve been real handy in a certain and risky situation for future slots. Especially for the majority of world-building that they’ve just seemed to take it for granted and just discard it for life by breaking several of the rules to what or what is not applied.
What I’m illustrating is that when viewing the entire show of Mega Man, we can spot some interesting abilities from the Robot Masters that once employed in one episode, and that show runners just somehow never brought ‘em back again whenever it would be strategically useful for a certain character in desperate times calling for desperate measures within these reliable gimmicks to be less liable. Or that some of the intern writers that were in the writing room by having no knowledge about Mega Man would end up contriving.
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As season two was brought into air in 1995 and that both Bandai and Capcom governing the toy promotions; that lead to the upgraded suits for Mega Man that was never exclusively seen before in the video game series along with that hefty artillery tank, the Land Blazer. But again, “promotional” usages.
While it is all dandy for what quality second season contains. But going back between first and second seasons on where those abilities were completely ignored and were never been brought back again in future episodes as a preferable choice to get out of mischief or for a wild advantage.
So, what is something that Ruby-Spears wasted a good potential that would never be good to use anymore?
Well, let’s first go over with the Bomber Brothers for their similitude symmetric designs that we can all opening minded to be in a consensus here with their weapon changing converters.
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In the Cold Steel episode, Mega Man has this rare ability to copy both Spark Shock and Gyro Man’s gyro propellers(though he copied Gyro Man’s wings as a transportation item and not the actual Gyro Attack, but some fans will argue with that aspect because clearly Gyro Man does uses it as his own wings as a basic attack, the Gyro Attack) at the same time. It was an extraordinaire and rarest ability to be exclusively not shown in the games.
But my favorite in Ice Age was where Mega Man can switch from one weapon to the next between Air Shooter and Ice Slasher! Directly straight out from the games to switch different Special Weapons manually by the player! Another main reason why Ice Age is my most favorited episode.
But what about Proto Man? He’s a Bomber Robot as well! We can witness that he too can copy Special Weapons symmetrically! And that was the very first episode with Guts Man’s Super Arm! How come he never done that again ever since? And why doesn’t Mega Man never thought of copying Super Arm within all of Guts Man’s appearances for a good opportunity to easily strike back?
You see, copying weapons from the Robot Masters to be used for methodical advantages can be very quite obvious to the writers when placing both Mega Man and Proto Man into battle onscreen. This concept would’ve put into more play if the writers needed to take time by actually paying attention to these abilities on what had been putted in from the previous episodes, and to make it much more improving.
But of course, if we’re hypothetically assuming if anyone in Ruby Spears Enterprises ever known about Mega Man in the first place, then it wouldn’t be too complicated for them to actually stick to the rules of world building and what capabilities that the characters are good at at their side.
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And speaking about Mega Man and Proto Man. In Electric Nightmare when Bright Man tried to stun Mega Man with Flash Stopper, and Mega Man activates the Proto Man visor clones for prevention. Whatever happened to that when it would’ve been utilized again in Robo-Spider other than the regular sunglasses for comedic purposes? Or are we supposed to guess that Mega Man never actually had those visors inside his helmet. After all, that scene was a fake jarred “puppet” scene that I used in loosed quotations.
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But the wasted concepts do not just apply to both Mega and Proto Man. How about Rush? He has some neat abilities, and that he can morph into any transportation modules in fewer episodes. The Rush Jet was always mainly used throughout the time. But the Aerial Mode used in Future Shock would have come in handy at times.
But then there were other transforming modules that would never been too good to use. Like the stealth glider mode with the bat wings that has been shown in the first two episodes that never seemed to be too good out into the air at times for Rush’s own stealth mode. The PWC or an aquatic transformation devices could’ve come in handy for the Brain Bot episode during the water chase scene(but of course, they would get outnumbered by Guts Man propelling water mines unless Mega counters that with his plasma). Or even escaping towards the sea in Mega Dreams instead of dumping themselves into the sewage boat. Seriously. I can only imagine on what they were thinking with that specific scene.
But my favorite ability from Ruby-Spears Rush is that he can use his X-Ray infrared vision in Mega Dreams. That could’ve been a lot more useful to see through the fabrications of the villains going stealth! By actually gaining info on what’s going during the enemy’s hideout, and estimating how many robo foes that are waiting inside. That gizmo could’ve been more cleverly useful in specific terms. Especially for season three if it would’ve happened!
With all these enhanced and fascinating fascinating gimmicks, there’s a lot of tools to apply with at times. I’m not saying that Ruby-Spears could apply a whole lot in one episode by making all these crime investigations super easy to hurt the pacing. Though, it might of occurred to them that having such neat crafty devices could obviously been a lot easier enough to end the entire Wily-Scheme-of-the-week. Meaning that they would make these Wily schemes less simple without having those wonderful gizmos too good to use(if it would be by all means making Mega Man and the others lame to not think real clearly, which is no surprise knowing that on how weak and absurd several writings in the show go to some extent). But even then with the season two upgrade suits would been too great to use, they’ve chosen to only use those for a glorious moment in particular episodes as an important role to serve capacities with.
And, hey. I’m not saying that the cartoon should stay 100% faithful to the game’s source materials. Being different is not inherently a bad thing on what separates the video game version and the show itself.
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But then with the Robot Masters not actually utilizing on what can be seen to the naked eye definitely misused to certain levels. Like Gemini Man’s hologram exposed to his back, but never gets to really used it in his only one episode appearance. Or Magnet Man not using his external gauntlet on his left arm for Magnet Missiles.
They even had Quick Man to not used his external gauntlet for the Quick Boomerang in The Day the Moon Fell, but rather relying on his crest to function like his regular weapon! Admittedly, not too shabby, but really odd right there. But not as bad as Metal Man using his own metal crest to function as both the Metal Blade and Rolling Cutter to fly back to the user! Now that is pathetic. What’s next? Are they gonna use both Magnet and Crystal Man to do the same exact ability with their adorned crests on their helmets?
You see. When you have that much noticeable devices that any Robot Master has on. It is really important to pay attention to certain details whenever danger or battle scenes were to unroll here. And, yeah. With many Robot Masters on the line and are very difficult to select for each episode’s lineup is really hard to keep up since an episode’s plot is far important to show ‘n tell. Because for someone as Cut Man as a main character, it is all too easy to know about his abilities. But compare to someone like Gemini Man, who is just a minor character in one episode, to be not contributing and not knowing his true ability. That’s sort of an issue on how they really failed to pay attention to the basics when it is the writing that really gets sloppy in certain episodes like Cold Steel.
But we all should get this notion of an obvious answer of what people wanted in Mega Man. They just don’t want the main duo of Guts or Cut Man, Pharaoh Man’s awesomeness, or anything to be releasing a heavier plot development on the spotlight. They wanna see Mega Man, and to be expecting on how he could deal with many obstacles between Dr.Wily’s traps, or the Robot Masters in general. Just seeing on how he would win and to counter the attacks from the Robot Masters. Without pulling off any cheap slapstick cartoon effects, that is.
(And to that mentality, I wanna verbally say that to my expectations when viewing this show in a vacuum: I don’t give a lion’s ass about the Lion Men, or a magical one-eyed Genie! I wanna watch Mega Man and not be awful at that times! But I only got one half of it...)
And, yeah. This is all tied down to a growing concern that: Should kids would really cared much about any particular portions within the show’s merits, and would not care enough to ask and give a damn. Because the key basic term: “Target Audiences.”
(And please keep in mind that I never gotten into the show until the early 2000s on Fox Family Channel while I was getting into the Mega Man games. I’ve watched only two or three episodes during the mid 90s on Fox Kids)
But I guess Ruby-Spears just failed to give this show what it really deserves to be. Sure that they really care on having fun with this project, that I can approve to understand. But mainly it’s Bandai really urged to have toy promotions getting in the quality’s way while leaning towards boys 6 to 12(as if they would really think that no kid ever plays any of the Mega Man games to know what Mega Man is all about. Again. Hypothesis) for the show. But then again, it was done for the promotions for the video game series as a business model. Other than that, the show has gotten itself tied within its knots for several causes.
But that is the main idea about rushing things without having an overall result on what would really happened in the end. Quality over quantity. That’s our lesson here, folks.
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Oh, and to those that would be wanting me to conclude of another wasted potential on a certain character that does not contribute a whole lot. Don’t worry. I will be covering her in the future discussion blog.
I claim no ownership of Mega Man. It is owned by Capcom and Ruby-Spears Enterprises for the show. All rights reserved
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sunset-telepath · a year ago
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Why I hate Ro
So, I was asked to explain why I hate Ro. And I’ve been compilating several arguments that I’ve heard and written myself. And I’d like to put a disclaimer here - it’s not because she’s this “sokeefe idol.” It’ just... her character and what she does in support of sokeefe.
Disclaimer: I’m condensing several conversations that I, JaxTheShade, and [Redacted due to them not wanting to be credited] had on the wiki about a month ago. Around 40% of these ideas are mine, 40% are Jax’s, and 20% are [Redacted]’s.
Right off the bat, she’s a misandrist. She quite literally calls boys as stupid as amoeba in Legacy. You can say that that was a joke, but it’s not funny. It��s not okay to blatantly call anyone or generalize any group stupid. It’s not ok. It’s the exact same thing as saying that women belong in the kitchen or that blacks are criminals. It’s not ok. It’s disgusting, despicable, and repugnant behavior.
In the Flashback Short Story, she objectifies Sophie as a prize for Fitz and Keefe to fight over. What the actual f***. That is not acceptable behavior under any circumstances. It’s repugnant, disgusting, detestable, and f****** evil. Treating any person as a prize to fight over is textbook objectification and it is blatantly evil. It is not ok. And it’s disgusting that this narrative has leaked into some of the fanfics that I’ve read. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. IT IS NOT EXCUSABLE. IT IS EVIL.
She flat out bullies Fitz. She alludes to him being a nasty microbe in Legacy. She ridicules his desire to perfect himself. There is nothing wrong with being or trying to be perfect. Don’t push yourself too hard trying to be perfect, but if you should always strive to be better (and if you’re naturally talented like Fitz is, achieve your dreams. Fulfill your potential. Ignore the haters). She mocks and bullies him, calling him names and ridiculing his desire to be perfect. Newsflash: There’s nothing wrong with trying to be perfect. Who the hell is Ro to decide how perfect someone can be? Who the hell does Ro think she is? As a perfectionist myself, I despise Ro and her adversity to perfection. It’s not her place to decide how perfect a person can be. I admire Fitz simply shrugging her off and not letting her flat-out abuse get to him. It’s the proper way to deal with people like her.
Her entire character can be summed up as a chronic-complainer who ships Sokeefe. Shannon basically turned the Instagram Fandom into a character and made it Keefe’s Bodyguard. She never confesses to making mistakes and she’s never humbled or knocked down a peg. 30% of her dialogue can be attributed to complaining about sparkles or “elf-land,” 20% of it can be attributed to her flat-out bulling Fitz, and 50% of it can be attributed to her pushing Sophie and Keefe together. None of the characters like her. The other bodyguards detest her, Bo wants to kill her, Fitz thinks that she’s awful, Sophie is embarrassed by her, and Keefe wants her to shut her mouth.
She’s blunt, she’s rude, and she’s just awful. She interferes with a relationship that is none of her business. She has no regard for the emotional abuse that she inflicts. Ro and Keefe are very similar, and clash often. Ro always wins, however, either because she’s stronger than him or because she can emotionally manipulate him. (These sound like big claims now, but they’re backed up later)
Ro dismisses Sophie by saying that “blondie doesn’t know what she feels.” And it’s disgusting. She’s objectified by “blondie” - a term focused on Sophie’s appearance rather than by her personality. She’s Sophie Elizabeth Foster, not “blondie.” She dismisses Sophie as naïve and disregards her feelings by saying that Sophie’s doesn’t know what Sophie feels.
~The Following Section was directly quoted from JaxTheShade because he summarized it so well~
Well...no, Ro. She does have an idea of what she feels. In fact, she was ecstatic and perfectly fine with dating and eventually sorting out her issues with Fitz until you started "hinting" about Keefe. Sophie does understand her feelings - and those feelings led her to Fitz. And even if she does have some underlying issue about who she likes (which has admittedly been hinted at), it's up to her to figure it out. Not a brash ogre bodyguard who scoffs at the notion of the Elvin culture and thinks she has a right to intrude in a teenage relationship she isn't apart of.
And Fitz...well, I'm sure Ro doesn't hate him. But she's pretty close to--that's not hard to deduce. Because Ro has ever bothered to pay attention to and sympathize with Keefe ( and yet she still finds a way to neglect his feelings ), she hasn't the slightest inclination of who Fitz is. So, like most people, she decides to consider him "the opposing candidate" in the love triangle and never look past the surface of Fitz, just calling him "Captain Perfect" and thinking that he could never be right for Sophie because he's competing against Keefe. 
Sometimes I wish someone, anyone, would call Ro out for amount of sheer insults she layers on Fitz, whether he's there or not. Although most of the time it's done behind his back--what a surprise. 
I mean, look at this:
She slyly calls him a 'nasty microbe'. And while some have argued that she wasn't calling Fitz this, she was very clearly expressing her disdain for Sophie's favourite colour being teal--and, by proxy, calls teal things 'nasty'. 
“[...] But I thought it was only right to save your imp from being sparkle-fied—and I was going to be nice and turn him your favorite color. But apparently your favorite color is teal—and yeah, yeah, we all know why. But, um, do you realize how many of the nastiest little microbes are that color?” She shuddered. “I couldn’t do that to you—or the little dude. [...]”
Ro also calls him "Captain Perfectpants" and openly admits that Fitz would have problems with all the time Sophie is spending with Keefe. Essentially admitted but disregarding how upset Fitz would be--because who cares about Fitz's feelings when Keefe is having emotional turmoil? And as a little bonus, she also pulls her classic, "I can't take this anymore! I simply have to intervene in this situation of which I'm not apart of!
"Ro snorted. “Of course he would! He’d be super, super jealous!”
“Don’t,” Keefe told her.
“No—I can’t take it anymore!” Ro stalked toward Sophie and tapped her on the nose with a calloused fingertip. “I repeat: Yes, your Captain Perfectpants would be jealous! He scraped together the courage to get all share-y about his feelings, and now you’re ignoring him, and being all mysterious about why, and telling everyone who asks that you’re not dating him. And I’m not saying that’s a bad call. Trust your instincts! Hopefully they’ll lead you out of the oblivion. But in the meantime, count on your teal-eyed Wonderboy feeling a little insecure, particularly if he finds out you’re spending lots of quality time with other dudes. And you know what? That’s good for him. We all know that boy could use a little help in the humility department. So make him sweat a little. And you”—she spun back toward Keefe—“need to stop being so afraid.”
And those are just two instances, of which I can search for plenty more. 
Ro is not a good person. She's a rebellious princess who ultimately works for her own gain. She thinks she's got it all figured out with Keefe, and decides that, since he shared his story of liking Sophie, she'll take it upon herself to get them together no matter what. 
And I mean 'no matter what'. She has put down Sophie for liking Fitz, interrupted conversations so she can drop hints about Keefe's feelings against his will, and made fun of Sophie for being oblivious--even going to the extent of getting fed up with and blaming Sophie for her oblivion "becoming less and less cute".
She's also tried to actively break up Sophitz and push together Sophie and Keefe. She's insulted Fitz and holds a very hostile disposition towards him simply because he's "perfect boy" who's against the Saint Also Known As Keefe. Ro tries to subtly force Sophie's feelings for Fitz out of her while dropping in some "isn't Hunkyhair so great?". I wouldn't for a second put it past her to succeed in shutting down as many Sophitz moments as possible all so she can continue to ignore the pleas to stop and the embarrassed faces surrounding her. 
And her excuse?
"It's the only fun she gets to have here in Elf Land".
She isn't apart of this relationship. She isn't affected by this relationship. She's only seen one side of this relationship, and uses that to base her opinions of the other two. Which is a terrible idea considering that leads to opinions like "Okay, well that other boy is awful because he's the competitor, and that girl must like the boy because the boy likes her, and sometimes she acts shy around him, and that's totally how relationships work".
Ro has absolutely no excuse for the amount of hurt she's inflicted on all three of these teenagers.
And yet she's regarded as a saint amongst all, while people like...say, Alden ( who made mistakes, but ultimately went about it in a calmer, gentler, and more well meaning way--as well as having much more justification and reasoning behind his actions ) are seen as evil and deserving of death. So what's the difference? Is it just because Ro is all for Sokeefe and Alden is really pushing for Sophitz? Have we really sunk low enough to the point where we can adore one character and hate another--despite performing the same actions--simply because of shipping preferences?
Everyone has decided to hate Alden because he showed up to speak with Keefe, ended up getting sidetracked and talking about relationships ( because of Ro, go figure ), sympathized with Keefe and shared meaningful advice from personal identical experiences, and then making sure Keefe knew that he considered him apart of the family.
That was what Alden did. And we have absolutely no reason to believe that Alden was anything but genuine when he stated that he "long considered him part of the family".
And yet Ro is the one who starts ranting about how "he didn't mean it" ( and saying something like that to a teenage boy who never felt loved by his father means a lot--but Ro has to ruin it and say that Alden's words were "a stinking load of garbage" ). Ro is the one whose objectification of the triangle by saying that Keefe being there for his friends is "sabotage" is what sparks Keefe to tell her that Sophie's feelings do matter. Ro is the one who interrupts every conversation by either stating her obnoxious opinion that nobody asked for, or calling a time out so she can bash on Fitz again. Ro is the one who has spent every waking moment since she arrived in the series either making Keefe's desire to be happy for his friends feel invalid, insulting Sophie because she's her own person with her own feelings for someone else, and coming up with every insult under the sun to throw at Fitz. Ro is the one who has no justification for her actions, seeing as she a) is not apart of this triangle, and b) has minimal relationship experience considering both her boyfriends hate her, and one was an arranged marriage.
But...Ro is also the loved and appreciated one.” - JaxTheShade (I’ve been paraphrasing some of the things that he’s said all ready, but I’m directly quoting him for this. His statement is direct and gets to the point)
~End of direct Quote~
I'd like to make one thing clear though - the point of selfishness. There's a stigma to the word that I'd like to clear up, because there are two types of selfishness, rational self-interest, and sacrificing others for yourself.
Fitz is the first type - he has a rational self-interest, he's looking out for himself and his own long-term happiness first. There is nothing wrong with that, if you won't look out for yourself, who will? It's why I completely supported Fitz yelling and breaking up with Sophie - if a relationship is making you unhappy long-term, it is in your best interest to break up with them. It's why Fitz was so adamant about finding Sophie's biological parents, he wanted to avoid future stigma, gossiping, and heckling. Fitz knows how horrible these things are to experience, and so sought to avoid them in the future. This is why Fitz is my favorite character - the others are reactive, Fitz seems to be the only proactive one. (One of the few characters in any literature to be proactive, in fact). While Sophie and the others look at the now and the immediate future, Fitz is concerned with the long-term future, a trait I share with him and one that I rarely see in literature whatsoever, to my vast disappointment.
Ro isn't selfish at all. She's much, much worse - she doesn't meddle in other's affairs for her own happiness, she just does because she can. She has no respect for other's privacy, and throws out insults towards Fitz and Sophie because she just does. She has no motive, impetus, or drive, she just does, and it sickens me.
The second type of selfishness is similar to a bully bullying others because they're miserable and it makes them feel good about themselves. It's horrible and malicious, and I'm not condoning it in any way, but its far more innocent (if bullying can be called innocent) then what Ro does.
Ro is malevolent, she doesn't do it because it makes her feel good, she just does it, with no regard with the relationships and lives she destroys in the process. She's a toxic radioactive waste dump of a person. A toxic waste dump doesn't make people sick and die for their own gain - it just does. That's how Ro is as a person.
Another reason is that she has no regard for what she says or does. She constantly tears Fitz down just because she can (I want Alden to be there next time she tries that. I want Alden to step in and tell her that what she is doing is not okay, because no other character has recognized this so far). I want Alden to be there next time she calls his son a nasty little microbe. I'd like to finally see Ro get some comeuppance for her terrible behavior.
Let's be honest with ourselves - Ro hates Fitz. She hates and complains and whines about how perfect he is. Since when has perfection been a crime? Since when is it up to her to decide the maximum amount of talent a person can have? As a perfectionist myself, I strive for perfection just as Fitz does. There is nothing wrong with striving to perfect yourself - there is if you are actively hurting yourself, but if you're naturally gifted like Fitz is, and you want to be the best you can possibly be, go ahead! Make the most of your innate talent and use it to seek your happiest future. Build & write your own happy ending.
She isn't a part of this relationship. She isn't affected by this relationship. She's actively impeding their ability to seek their own happiness, and not even for her own happiness (which is still horrid), she just does because she's "bored". Her repugnant behavior sickens me.
Ro is a textbook abuser. Let's go over a list of things an abuser does, and see to which characters she applies them to:
Name-Calling: The abuser will blatantly call the abused derogatory adjectives, like stupid or oblivious
We know she does this to Sophie, calling her oblivious. She also twists being perfect into a derogatory adjective, throwing it at Fitz. She also called Fitz a horrible little microbe, along with calling him & Keefe as stupid as amoeba.
Character Assassination: The abuser will use the word "always". You're always oblivious, stupid, late, wrong, etc.
She does this to Sophie, and also somewhat Fitz.
Patronizing: The abuser will be patronizing towards the abused
She does this to Sophie, Fitz, and Keefe.
Belittling: The abuser will belittle the abused
I'm pretty sure she does this to Sophie, Fitz, and Keefe.
Pushing Buttons: Once the abuser finds out what annoys the abused, they will do it nonstop.
Oh boy, does she do this to Keefe and Sophie. (Fitz just gets out of his way to ignore her and avoid her. It's why she's irritated by him, he hasn't opened himself to her and doesn't show flaws allowing her to find ways to sink her nasty manipulating fingers into him)
These are only a few signs of someone being an abuser, and yet Ro manages to hit pretty much all of them.
She gaslights Keefe into believing that Alden is only looking out for himself and his children - something we know to be completely wrong. She's driving a wedge between Keefe and Alden, one of the few other people Keefe respects and thinks looks out for him. The only other parental individual in Keefe's life, in fact, giving Ro total access to Keefe's psyche and making herself the only "true" source of information Keefe can trust. She is a horrible, horrible abuser.
Ro doesn't have benign intentions at heart. She doesn't even have selfish intentions at heart. She just meddles just because she can.
Ro isn’t selfish. She’s just a bad person - for a lack of a better term that would describe her repulsive behavior.
She constantly complains about the elves. Yes, elven culture is a little weird, but you don’t have to complain about it constantly and in-front of the elves.
Ro is also clearly not afraid to gaslight. She forces Keefe to believe that her opinions are the only valid ones. How does she do this? She says that "Blondie doesn't know what she feels," making Keefe think that any emotions he picks up from her are wrong. She says that Fitz is just "Captain Perfect" who doesn't really care about Sophie - that Keefe "deserves" her. She says that Alden's advice is just made up, and that he doesn't really care about him. She’s established herself as the only source of information that Keefe can trust. She’s removed Alden (the one other parental figure Keefe had) and established herself as the only person Keefe can trust. And that is very dangerous and highly abusive.
She even invalidates Keefe's emotions. Every time Keefe stands up to her and says something like "I'm just being a good friend," Ro responds (like any of this is her business) with something snarky. Or, she tells him to "stop being so afraid." And that forces Keefe to believe that his desire to help his friends isn't valid enough. That he isn't valid enough. So he comes crawling back to Ro.
She’s a terrible bodyguard. She threatens to not protect Keefe in Legacy if Sophie doesn’t share her secret with her. THAT IS NOT OK UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. SOPHIE DID NOT TRUST KEEFE WITH HER SECRET OF BEING UNMATCHABLE. RO EXTORTED IT OUT OF HER, USING KEEFE AS A LIE DETECTOR. THAT IS NOT OK; IT IS EVIL.
If you re-read the portion in Legacy where she does this, it reveals some truly horrible behavior.
Here’s another direct quote from JaxTheShade explaining why this part is so disgusting:
“Essentially, Ro is blackmailing Sophie.
Sophie just found out that if Keefe goes anywhere near the Neverseen, he will probably die. ( Because at this point, they just thought the legacy thing would kill him ). So she's desperately trying to get Keefe to make a promise and stay away from Gisela. Keefe, in typical fashion, adamantly states that he's not going to be locked up.
This is where Ro steps in.
She says that she will be the one to protect him and make sure he doesn't run off. ( Since she is his bodyguard ). But instead of just...doing her job...she decides that she can exploit the situation. She can get something out of this.
She figured out that Sophie is hiding something. And from the way she hasn't told anyone yet, Ro can assume that she's trying to keep it a secret. But she also knows that Keefe's safety is important to all of them.
So she threatens Keefe's life--yes, threatens--unless Sophie spills her secret. The situation becomes, "I have all the power here, so unless you tell me a confidential secret, I'll let my charge run off into danger, which you can't have. So I know that I've put you into a corner. I know that I've won here."
If this doesn't scream "manipulative abuser", then I don't know what does.
It's disgusting, really. Ro's behaviour is despicable.
And while her blatant blackmail is clearly the worst offense, she also sprinkled in several other "I'm a bad person" actions.
1) She said that the reason Keefe gets away with things is because she "doesn't care enough to fight him" on them. Well, if you don't care, then why don't you just go back to Ravagog? Because Keefe is the second most threatened person their group, and he needs an actual bodyguard, not a manipulative princess who makes him feel even worse about himself. If Keefe gets hurt when he runs off, did he get hurt because you "didn't care enough to bother"?
2) Ro says that she doesn't care that much about him. Well, thanks, Ro. I'm sure that really makes Keefe sleep soundly at night, knowing that you don't really care about him.
3) And why does she not really care about him? Because she only bothers with Keefe as long as he doesn't make her "look bad". She says that the reason she's stopping him this time is because it'll damage her reputation if he dies. You know, instead of being worried about his life.
4) She says "I enjoy meddling". And that's her excuse for blackmailing Sophie into spilling a confidential secret. And yet she has the audacity to accuse Alden of "meddling" while here she sits, admitting it to everyone and acting like it's not a big deal.
5) Her very last line in the quote just further proves that she's just doing this to get Sokeefe to happen. Instead of feeling remorse for Sophie, who is trying not to look at them and clearly uncomfortable, she just brushes off the secret that she just forced out of her by saying that "it should do the trick". The trick being 'getting Fitz to break up with her'.
This is probably Ro's most egregious act yet.
And yet nobody ever seems to call her out for it or even think that...it's a little weird that she would do this.
But I guess it really isn't weird at all, seeing as we've have evidence in the past that proves she would stoop to this level.” - JaxTheShade
That part in Unlocked where Shannon said that (deeeeeeeeeeeep down) Ro cares about Keefe? Well, it’s ooc. Look what Ro says in Legacy:  "I may not care that much about what happens to you, but if you get yourself killed on my watch, it makes me look bad—especially if I had advance notice. So, I can’t have that."
Re-read that portion in Legacy. Alarm bells should be going off in your head.
She reminds me of the villain Ellsworth Monkton Toohey from The Fountainhead. Do you know what he did? He turned people into slaves by establishing psychological power over them and making them miserable. By killing their wants, needs, desires, and happiness, he turned people into miserable slaves who would obey his every order. And the scary part? Ro uses the exact. same. tactics. that he does (not going to list them here, that would take far too long) on Fitz, Sophie, and Keefe. And Keefe almost perfectly resembles the characters who fall for his manipulations and tactics, while Sophie and Fitz resemble the characters who ignored him and went about their business. It’s really unnerving.
Everyone is entitled to seek their own happiness - as long as their actions don't impede others from seeking their own happiness.
Ro actively impedes Sophie, Fitz, and Keefe's pursuit of their own happiness, doing it for no other reason than the fact that she's bored. It sickens me.
And the fact that Fitz is basically demonized and hated by the fandom while praising Ro is what sickens me the most.
Ro manipulates, gaslights, and abuses Sophie, Keefe, and Fitz for her own fun. She doesn't have any long term goal, just destroying their psyche and impeding their ability to find their own happiness for short term amusement. She mocks Fitz for being trying to be perfect (since when has that been a crime?), she gaslights and Objectifies Sophie, mocks Keefe and openly abuses him, and interferes with their relationships because she finds it funny. She's also a misandrist. She calls Fitz a nasty little microbe (I want Alden and Della there next time she does that). She objectifies Sophie as a trophy for Fitz and Sophie to fight over. She constantly tears down Fitz and Sophie, and uses a number of tactics abusers use in real life on Fitz, Sophie, and Keefe. She is a radioactive toxic waste-dump of a person, ruining their lives and psyches not even for her own gain, but just for her own amusement. Her further abuse of Keefe is repugnant, her objectification of Sophie is disgusting, and her mocking and bullying of Fitz makes me want to puke. She's a terrible, terrible person.
And that is why I hate Ro.
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knight-of-the-thorn · a year ago
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12 “please don’t do this”
So I ended up taking like. Four months. But if you'd like to pinpoint the exact moment Commander Arceidai developed abandonment issues, have I got a snippet for you!
Arceidai and Theitia's confrontation circa level twenty personal story, regarding the nature of the dream and nightmare.
_______________
Arceidai’s neck was throbbing as they came to. They sat up, not an easy task with the sharp  pricks that met their wrists whenever they moved. Or the tired ache gripping their head. Or with their mouth being so dry it almost burned. They were in some kind of … thicket? No. Not a thicket. A cell. They were in a cell, a Nightmare Court cell. That’s right. They were looking for Theitia. She was here. They found her, turned away just for a second. Then there was something sharp, and then they woke up. They woke up here. 
Theitia. They were looking for Theitia. The thought hit them like a brick once it fully registered. They found her, she was here she was-
She looked up nonchalantly as they stirred. She looked good. Better than Arceidai had expected considering how long the court had her for. If they didn’t know any better, (Why was her skin so much duller. Wasn’t the purple more vibrant before? It must be the lighting) with the way she was leaning against the cell wall (She had a knife. Arceidai’s bow was gone. How did she get that off the guards?) and the dress they didn’t recognise (She felt wrong. Why did the dream around her feel wrong? It had to be this place, it absolutely reeked of nightmare. They needed to get out of here) they would say she almost looked relaxed.
“Oh good, you’re awake. I was starting to worry you’d still be asleep when Caithe got here. I could have made it work, naturally, but I don’t think you’d ever live down the humiliation of sleeping through her daring rescue. It’d be another week before Trahearne even let you LOOK outside the Grove.”
“Okay, right.” They shook their head, trying to clear the last clouds of sleep from their mind. They started pulling against the restraints, a cluster of violet brambles wrapped tightly around their wrists, now that they looked properly, but the tighter they pulled the deeper the thorns dug into their wrists. “I need you to untie me, then we can get out of here. How- How many guards are out there, do you think?”
Theitia didn’t make a move to help, just continued to watch them fight against the brambles curiously. “I wouldn’t bother if I were you. You’re outnumbered and unarmed. It would be impressive if you even lasted five minutes against them. Besides, you’re not going to be able to get out of those without fucking up your wrists something awful. Especially if you keep thrashing like that.”
 A slow, sinking feeling of dread began to creep up their spine. “Theitia. I need you to untie me.”
She clicked her tongue. “Now that’s a shame, since I need you exactly where you are. If I didn’t show up again, well, it would take a while for Caithe to come looking, she expects this from me. Especially after that little spat we had. But you Sunshine? Special little perfect sprout Arceidai? If you don’t come home she’ll know something’s wrong. You always were a suck up.”
A small drop of golden sap began to drip from their thrashing, burning wrists and down their coat sleeves, warm, wet, and uncomfortable. They tried not to let the fear into their voice as they kept pulling at their wrists. “Tia, What are you doing?” 
Theitia paused and looked away from them, her self satisfied smirk giving way to guilt. It only lasted for a brief moment before her resolve steeled and she turned back.
 "Have you ever thought about ants?" She asked.
"Ants?" Their struggling briefly stopped as they looked up at her, perplexed. 
"Yes, Arceidai. Ants." She turned on her heel to face them. "The insects. Black, six legs, little antennae?"
"I know what an ant is" They rolled their eyes. "What is your point?"
"You like animals, don’t you? That’s your whole thing? They're a remarkable species. The way they trod, along the same paths, in their straight lines, towards their goal, day after day, somehow knowing what needs to be done, and where they need to be. Each of them is exactly the same, indistinguishable, just a small part of a larger whole. They think the same things, they move the same way, compelled by some unseen force to do the bidding of the hive. Till one day, they die, and another ant fills the gap they leave in their never ending march. They aren’t mourned. There’s nothing to be mourned. They’re just parts in a machine. Each action and decision can be attributed to nothing more than pheromones. And isn’t that interesting? Everything they are begins and ends with their hive. They commit their entire existence to it, never question it, never stray from their little lines, do everything they’re told, and for their trouble all they get is stepped on. The hive doesn’t care about it’s parts, as long as the whole survives.
We’re individuals, we’re people. Yet we're created just to be sent out and die for a world we have never even seen, we’re given a purpose we have not chosen nor understood. How is that fair? How can you claim that’s right? ”
"Tia, this isn't you, please can you just- just stop, let me out so we can talk properly about this, there's still a way to fix this. You haven't gone too far, whatever they've done to you-"
She smirked and shook her head "It's cute how deeply in denial you are about all of this, really it is. It's one of your most endearing qualities. I'm actively using you as a hostage, I could very well be seconds away from killing you, and yet, you just can't quite put it together, can you? You're simply refusing to accept it."
"You're my friend, you wouldn't hurt me on purpose. I know you, please, just listen to me. Whatever they said they were lyi-."
"How far are you willing to see me go before you give up, I wonder.” she cut off their protests ”How long does it take that brilliant little brain of yours to realise that I don't need to be saved." 
"Please. Please don't do this." Tears began to burn in the sides of their eyes. 
"Because the thing is you didn't get it Arceidai! You never got it! As much as you refuse to ever shut the hell up, you just don’t listen! The Pale Tree doesn't care about us. She has thousands of children, why would she honestly care about sending two of us to our deaths?"
"We won't die! Stop being melodramatic and come back to the grove already. This isn’t funny, I don't want to be here anymore. We can go home and figure this out together.” They couldn't just leave her here. Not like this, not ever. This wasn't real she wouldn't do this.
Theitia let out a harsh laugh and shook her head. "Why won't we die. What's keeping us alive! Is it our destiny? You think that just because a magic tree told you to do something that it's safe? That your actions matter, that you can make any difference at all? The thing that you don't seem to realise is that it doesn't matter. None of it matters.  Not the elder dragons, not the tree, not the Ventari, none of it. The only thing that does is us. We don't need to be grand heroes, or righteous heroes, the pale trees little pawns. The Nightmare isn't the evil that plagues our kind, the Dream is. Don't fight it. Just trust me."
Arceidai just stared at her, mouth agape. "Right. Excellent. You're insane. You are actually insane Theitia!"
"It's not insane to want a choice." She snarled "If you don't demand one, you're never going to be given one. And I'm not going to sit around and wait to be told who I am. This is MY life. The simple fact is that I choose this entirely of my own volition. You may be happy to live, and die, as a pawn, the dreams perfect little soldier against the elder dragons, but did you actually think I'd follow you to Orr? You thought we were going to defeat Zhaitan together? Hm? Use the power of friendship against a dragon? No, you see, I have the basic self respect to take control of my life. I am not letting an overgrown shrubbery with delusions of grandeur, or some self important firstborn tell me who I'm going to be. That's not fair. If it knows that it can use you, if she knows she can use you, do you think that that will stop if Zhaitan falls? No. Then it's Jormag, or Primordus, or something else, it will never stop! Because that's all we are to the dream. Weapons. Pawns. Nothing. I am a person! Not someone's tool, not part of some grand destiny, I am my own person, and NO ONE CAN TELL ME WHAT TO DO."
It was a long, tense moment as the words settled in the air. Theitia was shaking with barely contained rage. She took deep, shuddering breaths. It felt good. Being allowed to to be angry about it without being chastised for once. It was freeing, almost an exhilarating sensation. In her fervour she hadn’t realised that she had closed the gap between her and Arceidai. They were barely a foot away from each other.
"So what then." Their voice was almost a whisper, even and unwavering. A challenge. "You're just gonna kill me now?"
Theitia leaned in and tilted their head up with her finger, pausing for a long moment to consider them. 
"Now why would I do a silly thing like that?" She decided, leaning back with a grin. "After all, Sunshine, you're my best friend."
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inkdemonapologist · a year ago
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I have been wondering if Sammy x Jack's relationship is in any way similar to Joey x Henry's? I mean, Henry and Jack are both relatively similar; soft spoken, sweet decent people that tried to be there for their friends in the past (Joey and Sammy) but that backfired, with Joey using and taking credit for Henry's work, and Sammy for sacrificing Jack (Joey also trapped Henry in a time loop). Also Joey and Sammy are kind of awful friends that get into satanic ink cults.
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This is an interesting compare and contrast b/c like….. you can absolutely identify surface similarities? Mostly because Jack and Henry both have that Enneagram-Type-9 energy to them, being chill and supportive people who are more likely to go with the flow and avoid conflict and not rock the boat. But they’re still different people, and Joey and Sammy are SO DIFFERENT that “one half of the relationship is a supportive person who got screwed over” is kinda as far as those similarities go?
And like, this is definitely in the headcanon zone because THERES NO CANON EVIDENCE OF JACK X SAMMY AT ALL and we have NO IDEA how they interact, and well, it’s hard to be sure of Henry’s exact feelings towards Joey in the end, but for my own interpretations of these characters, at least…
Joey is obsessed with Henry! He got this idea in his head of Henry as someone special and Good and on his team, someone who believed in and shared his vision, and after Henry is LONG GONE Joey still goes back to him to try to pull him back to fix everything. I tend to see Joey kind of projecting a lot of himself and his hopes and his dreams and his future onto Henry in a way that Henry simply…. couldn’t have guessed or been aware of?? Because they weren’t actually communicating this, Joey just kind of made Henry into this person that would make everything perfect and then dumped it all onto Henry and didn’t notice that Henry was less and less on board??? I feel like a lot of what he does is kinda…. wrapped around that, around this rejection from Henry and wanting to be something bigger than how that perceived rejection made him feel; whether that’s subconsciously to impress Henry or to prove to himself that he doesn’t need him, I think a lot of his obsession with making Bendy PERFECT and REAL comes from that.
Meanwhile Sammy…. barely seems to notice Jack, to be honest? Jack mentions Sammy in every audiolog he has, and Sammy doesn’t mention Jack ONCE -- for all the ridiculous amount of canon dialogue Sammy has, never do his interactions with Jack come up AT ALL. Jack is the one who seems to be attached to Sammy, to me; I do like the idea that Jack is one of the few people Sammy will put up with, and that Sammy does genuinely appreciate his company and count Jack as a friend, but I think if Jack left, Sammy wouldn’t find it any great surprise — he’s not exactly cheery company to be around. He would be frustrated by everyone else’s inability to live up to Jack’s standard but I don’t think he’d have bitterness towards Jack over it, he’d just kind of spiral due to his own mental issues and refusal to reach out to anyone he’s not perfectly comfortable with. Jack shrugs and takes a lot of Sammy’s weirdness in stride, and works with Sammy’s peculiarities, and in general has made himself sort of invaluable to Sammy by accident because Jack’s just… fond of him? Sammy likes Jack, and he knows that that’s rare, and, like Joey, assumes it’s because Jack has some quality that your basic irritating sheep are lacking, but I don’t think he intentionally trusts his soul to Jack the way Joey does with Henry. Joey invites Henry in; Sammy just doesn’t kick Jack out.
And then, Jack and Henry are both very chill with rough circumstances and shrug off their own complaints, but Jack leans more optimistic, while Henry seems more stubborn. Jack is willing to complain, but like, it seems fleeting (Okay, yeah, the sewer IS pretty awful, but you know what? I’m working a LOT faster these days lmao. Gettin pretty sick of Sammy’s music today lmao but hey AT LEAST THERES COFFEE) Whereas Henry is frustrated and just doesn’t necessarily think to challenge the status quo (“Just keep drawing”) until things hit a breaking point. Things Just Keep Happening To Him in game and he doesn’t try to make light of it, he just…. chooses to focus on moving forward, at the expense of processing his own feelings on A N Y T H I N G.
And that’s apparent in these relationships, too; Jack sees things in Sammy he really likes much more strongly than he sees all of Sammy’s many flaws; Henry has a soft spot for Joey, they’re best pals, but when things are bad and he’s sticking around, it’s mostly just stubbornly working through the frustration to keep things moving…. until it’s apparent that they won’t ever change.
So we have one relationship where Joey pours so much of himself onto the very accommodating Henry that Henry suffocates and has to leave, and then we have this other relationship where Sammy is trying so hard to carry everything himself without ever asking for help that the unbothered Jack who walks up beside him and starts taking a couple of things out of his arms is…. appreciated. Never directly acknowledged. But appreciated.
They do complement each other, but in different ways; Sammy is aggressive and cynical to Jack’s shrugging optimism, but both are huge introverts; Joey is talkative and outgoing and social to Henry’s unassuming introversion, but both are fairly hopeful people overall. Joey and Henry were close friends until they tried to work together, whereas Jack and Sammy mostly know each other as coworkers. Joey and Henry are openly friendly with each other but have a quiet, unspoken, fundamental misunderstanding of what their relationship is; Jack and Sammy are openly just coworkers who put up with each other but have a quiet, unspoken, deep understanding of each other and “get” each others’ needs on a fundamental level.
You can see similarities from one angle, but from another angle, they’re practically opposites.
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surveys-at-your-service · a year ago
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Survey #427
“don’t pray for me when you’re the one enslaved”
Your ex taps you on the shoulder and says, “I still love you.” You say? I wouldn't say anything, I'm pretty sure I'd just break down. Do you play video games? Not really anymore. :/ I probably would, though, if I had the appropriate consoles for games I want. You can only replay PS2 games but so many times before you're tired of them. Do you spend a lot of time with family? No, honestly. Is your house more than two stories tall? It only has one floor. Have you ever hit your significant other? Has he/she ever hit you? I'm not in a relationship, but I have most certainly never hit an s/o, and they've never hit me. I wouldn't tolerate that shit. What makes you an attractive person? (Talk about your personality too!) I'm not. What color is your hairbrush/comb? White. What snacks do you have available in your household atm? Hm. Just some fruity grain and oats bars, as well as cashew ones. We try to keep sweets out of the house. Has anyone recently told you that they like you, or find you attractive? No. Are you attracted to the last person you Facebook messaged? Holy fuck yes, she's drop-dead gorgeous. Do you care about anyone that doesn’t care about you? Ha, I'm sure. Was your last Facebook friend requests from a male or female? Some random middle-aged man, like who are you sir. Which one of your relatives is most likely to embarrass you? My dad. He can be so rude to people sometimes. When was the last time you ate a bar of chocolate? Not sure. It's been quite a while. Do you play any games on Facebook? No. What would you like to get a degree in? It'd be nice to get a degree in Arts, but yeah... I'm never going back to school. Do you wake up a lot in the middle of the night? Pretty much every night. Would you prefer to read a book, watch a movie or TV show, or play a video game? Play a video game. Do you usually get popcorn or soda at the movie theater? Almost without fail. You've got to, it's part of the experience. What genre of films do you like the best? Horror. How many bank accounts do you have? None, actually. Have you ever had the flu? No, thankfully. What is your goal for the next few months? To start getting in shape/losing weight. I seriously hope this gym routine works out. Have you ever had some kind of sleep-disorder? How did it affect your life? I have seveeeere sleep apnea. It's shocking, I never would've guessed it, though, so the diagnosis (I had a sleep study, so yes, it's legit) was an extreme surprise. I don't snore at all, nor do I like pass out in the middle of something, but I stop breathing A LOT. For a year or two (no, that is not an exaggeration), it caused consistent, horrible, and violent nightmares/terrors. It made sleep frightening to me, and I was never getting a truly restful sleep. Now, I have an APAP mask (like a less extreme version of a CPAP mask) that helps me greatly. I only very rarely am surprised by a more subtle nightmare now. Have you ever had food poisoning before? Describe the experience. No, thankfully. What are two things that you have no problem paying full price for? Quality tattoos, for one. And maybe uhhh... idk. We're the kind of family that buys off-brand foods and drinks all the time because it's cheaper, so I can't say that. Maybe health care? Like I wouldn't want service from a sketchy dentist or something. Funny, charming, cute, romantic, smart - choose only 2 for the opposite sex. Charming and romantic. Have you ever let somebody use you? Why did you do it? No. You can go back in time & change something in your mom’s past - what is it? That's hard for me to say. She doesn't seem to like talking about her past very much, because I know it's turbulent with her mother. I would say her being disowned, but I don't know how that *actually* affected her. Maybe it was for the better she wasn't under her mom's authority anymore. Do you know anybody who is around the exact same size as you? Who? I guess my mom, but she's actually smaller than me now. She's lost a lot of weight and is still going at it. Ever been to a haunted house? How scared were you? Not a house, but rather hay rides and those places you just walk through and experience different stuff. They don't scare me at all; I love 'em. Been on any websites today you wouldn’t want your parents to see? No. Which is worse: dusting or mopping? Ugh, mopping. I don't mind dusting. Would you marry somebody who was intensely religious? No. Did you pull a senior prank? No. That shit is so dumb. Did you graduate? High school, yes. Have you ever been unfaithful in a serious relationship? No, and I never would. What was the last song you listened to? I'm listening to Lauren Babic and Halocene's cover of "Bleed It Out" by Linkin Park right now. It's great. Are you one of those lucky people with 20/20 vision? Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeell no. Is fashion one of your interests? No. Do you think you’ll eventually find that special someone? Hell if I know. Do you care what people think? Way, way more than I should. Is acting something you enjoy? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I feel so stupid. What was the last thing you broke/sprained? I tore a ligament badly in my foot maybe a year and a half ago. I was SO sure it was broken. My mom had to help me walk everywhere, and even when she did, I'd be whimpering and seething. Have you ever fought with a friend because of their boyfriend/girlfriend? Because of yours? No. Has a stranger ever yelled at you for your language? No. Whose house, other than yours and your families', are you most comfortable at? If we're excluding all family, I suppose Sara's? Has any of your friends’ family ever yelled at you? Probably at some point as a kid. Did you ever play a sport as a little kid? Did you enjoy it? I played a lot. The only two I really didn't like were soccer and cheerleading. Did you ever watch the show Full House? Hell yeah, I loved it as a kid. Is there a celebrity you are just DETERMINED to marry? Ha ha y'all know I joke about it, but no, not legitimately. It's not like I know him personally at all, and I'm not chasing him to California either. Just let me dream still lmao. Have you ever burned someone’s picture? No, but I've actually heard it's truly therapeutic and not just for dramatic effect, so I wouldn't be opposed to doing so if you handed me a picture of him and a lighter. What’s the longest hike you’ve ever been on? I've never hiked before. Would you ever get a lip tattoo? Uh, no. Who is the first person of the opposite sex that pops into your head? Jason. Do your parents smoke cigarettes? My dad smokes like a chimney and is 100% going to end up with cancer because of it. You should hear his cough. Mom smoked for a very, very brief period before I was born. What does one of your T-shirts have written on it? "Equal in our bones" is on my favorite shirt. Name a pet you definitely wouldn’t want. Certain inverts people are wild enough to get, like giant African centipedes in particular. Would you prefer your partner smaller or taller? Can't say I care. do you enjoy going through old pictures? Sometimes. Other times, it's too painful. It also depends on the era of the pictures. Do you believe people when they say they don’t judge people? Ha, no. We all have natural first impressions and things like that that just... happen. What did you love the most about the town you grew up in? Nothing, really... besides just childhood memories that inevitably came. My hometown was dangerous. What’s a movie that you laughed the hardest during? I'm not sure. What’s a movie you cried the hardest during? I want to say Old Yeller, but I'm not sure. What’s your favorite restaurant? Olive Garden and The Cheesecake Factory. Is there a dessert you don’t like? Yeah; I don't like pie, strawberry shortcake, and I know there're others. Favorite album? Ozzy's Black Rain. It was my introduction to metal, so there's nostalgic value there, but I also just LOVE every single song. What’s a book that you read because everyone else was reading it? None. I don't read books for that reason. Underwater or outer space? Both kinda frighten me to a degree, but I find outer space to be way cooler. So many colorrrrrrs. Dogs or cats? Cats. Kittens or puppies? Ugh, both are so cute, but I gotta hand it to kittens. Bird watching or whale watching? Whale watching would blow me away. Whales are such magnificent, awe-inspiring animals. What is your spirit animal? Probably a deer. Skittish, shy, and quiet. What was your best subject in school? English. What was your worst subject in school? Math. What is one thing you wish you knew in high school? You and Jason aren't going to last, hunty. Who is your fashion icon? I don't have one. I wear what I want/what's comfortable. Diamonds or pearls? I think diamonds are a lot prettier. What color dress did you wear to prom? First one was maroon, last one was black. What’s your favorite plot-twist? Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. My jaw actually dropped. Honestly, are you jealous of someone right now? Yes. Honestly, what’s the worst thing you’ve done when you were mad? Said things I shouldn't. Honestly, ever made anyone cry when you were mad? Yes. Honestly, when was the last time you REALLY cried your heart out? Two weeks ago or something like that. Ever pop someone else’s pimple? OH MY GOD NO alskdfa;wekrwer; Do you need to return anyone’s phone call? No. Who are you closest to? My mom. Have you ever had a bad concert experience? No. Are you currently sad about anything? A number of things. Have you had any form of exercise today? No, but tomorrow is day #2 at the gym! Can you handle blood? Yeah, np. Has any place hired you underage for a job? No. Have you ever carried a concealed weapon? No sir=ee. Are you currently searching for a job? Not anymore, at least not actively. I was going to after TMS, but I'm just... still not ready. Right now, I'm focusing on the gym and getting healthy again, but if the seemingly perfect job comes along, I'm not opposed to taking it up. Does eating breakfast make you sick? No, I've got to have breakfast or else THEN I feel awful.
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erictmason · a year ago
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The Road to “Godzilla VS. Kong”, Day Three
GODZILLA (2014)
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Director: Gareth Edwards
Writers: Max Borenstein, David Callaham
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston
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I don’t know if it’s possible to fully capture the exact mixture of excitement and terror I went into this movie with the first time I saw it.
I mean, sure, I can give some context: the last time an American movie studio got its hand on one of my most personally beloved characters back in 1998, they made a right good mess of it in such a way as to break Kid Me’s heart about as profoundly as a young boy’s heart could be broken by a movie about a giant radioactive lizard. That debacle has, of course, been raked over the coals well enough for several life-times by now (though I suspect these days I would be considered somewhat out of step with the consensus opinion, in as much as to me its failure to be any sort of spiritually-true “Godzilla” movie is far less a problem than its fairly noxious qualities as a movie in its own right), but suffice it to say, when the time came for another studio to try its hand at making a major Western Blockbuster out of The Big Guy…well, sure, I was excited, how could I not be?  New “Godzilla” was always going to have my attention (especially since it had been a full decade by that point since the at-the-time last Japanese-made entry in the franchise, 2004’s “Godzilla: Final Wars”). But that was tempered, not only by the haunting memory of The Last Time, but also by wondering what it was going to be like to share Godzilla with a bigger world for the first time in a good long while.  Would I love it while others hated it, and be frustrated by that disconnect?  Would I dislike it while others embraced it, and be frustrated that something I felt so close to was being taken away from me (even as even deeper down I’d know that wasn’t really what was happening, which would honestly just make the feeling worse)?  Would it be possible for a single movie to satisfy the dreams I would inevitably have for it?  Thankfully, almost all those worries proved to be for naught.  Oh, sure, some of them ultimately proved wholly accurate (I think I have a greater affection for this movie than is typical even amongst “Godzilla” fans).
It’s just that the experience of watching the movie, and many of its own merits, proved so strong that none of it mattered.  
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I make that distinction, between the movie as an experience and the movie’s actual quality, for a reason: the first time I saw “Godzilla” in theaters, it wasn’t just A Night At The Movies, it was an event.  It was a late-night screening the day before the movie officially opened, I took my whole family with me, I made a point of seeing it on the biggest, best screen possible, and I wound up getting to the theater hours early to make absolutely sure I got the best possible seats.  But even more significantly, the crowd I wound up seeing it with was every inch as much in love with Godzilla as I was; “Godzilla” t-shirts, plushies, we even had someone in full cosplay as Dr. Daisuke Serizawa, one of the main human characters from the original 1954 “Gojira” (complete with an impressively-well made replica of the character’s iconic invention, the Oxygen Destroyer).  And getting to see the movie with that energy, the way we all laughed and cheered together at exactly the right times, was absolutely incredible, something I will carry in my heart for the rest of my life.
Which, obviously, only tells you so much about the movie itself; how we watch these things can sometimes be even more enjoyable than the thing itself, after all.  But “Godzilla” does manage to genuinely earn that kind of excited, deeply personal reaction.  Not always by the means you might expect, either; indeed, perhaps the most memorable thing about the movie is the fairly unique approach it takes to its central spectacle for most of its run time.  The most common complaint one hears about the film, in fact, is how little Godzilla himself is on-screen.  And in the strictest sense, this is true, but screen-time alone is not necessarily the same as presence, and from its opening titles (a brilliantly conceived montage that mixes the credits into a report the text of which is quickly being redacted, played out over a cryptic series of photographs and ancient mythological imagery), Godzilla’s presence hangs over the film like a looming shadow.  Even when you don’t see him, even before most of the characters we are following knows for certain that he exists, the atmosphere and narrative framing are such that we the audience can feel him.  From the rainy-gray palette that dominates much of the movie to the specter of the Atomic Bomb hanging over so much of the story (one of the very first things we see, in fact, is the meltdown of a nuclear power plant that haunts both of our initial main characters, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Ford Brody and Bryan Cranston as his father Joe), the movie works very carefully to craft an atmosphere that unmistakably plugs us into Godzilla’s existence.  And when at last he does reveal himself, everything about the story comes to revolve around him, whether he is onscreen or not: what does his presence mean? What effects do his actions have? Where will he go, and what will we do about it?  This is true as well of his enemies this time around, a pair of insect-lizard creatures referred to as MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms, a nickname the movie itself acknowledges is a bit ill-fitting since one of them can fly), though to a lesser extent.  It’s an approach that does require a certain patience, to be sure, though not, I think, quite as much as the movie’s reputation might have it: Godzilla himself may not appear until roughly the half-way point, but the MUTOs enter the story significantly sooner.  Still, it does take some time before you actually get to the monsters, and even once you do, the movie doesn’t simply go full Action Mode, either; it has a more slow-burn idea about how to let those scenes really have their impact.  I don’t necessarily blame people who find it frustrating, but speaking for myself, it pays dividends that are more than worth the trade-off.
That having been said, it probably would help if the non-monster time was a bit more fulfilling. It is not, perhaps, a total wash-out, but it does lead with far and away its weakest foot: Ford, our primary viewpoint character, is, as written, just not all that compelling. We aren’t given enough insight into his interior life to really get invested in him (and the extent to which we do boils down to a lot of corner-cutting; he gets exactly one scene with the family who will act as his chief motivation throughout the entire story, and while it’s decently cute it’s also far too riddled with cliches to make it enough to bear the weight that gets put on it).  Taylor-Johnson’s borderline-sleepy performance, meanwhile, gives us no especially good reason to want to.  Worse, the story actively contrives itself, over and over again, to keep Ford at the forefront of the action, and each time it does it feels just a bit more obvious and a bit more grating.  And all of that is compounded by the fact that literally any other of the human characters on offer here would be preferable to Ford as the movie’s audience anchor.  Joe, for example, has the much livelier Cranston portraying him, so even as he too is written in a fairly cliché manner-the haunted man, driven by the memories of a dead loved one to pursue the truth even as everyone else calls him crazy-he makes a far more compelling impression (the obvious highlight is the big speech he gives trying to warn everyone about the impending threat, but I also have a real soft spot for how he handles himself in the opening, his steely calm in the face of impending disaster which shatters completely once the real stakes are made clear to him).  That’s true as well of Elizabeth Olsen as Ford’s wife Elle; at the script level she honestly has next to nothing going for her (indeed, it strikes me as one of the movie’s worst missed opportunities that her position as a hospital nurse doesn’t end up playing any actual role in the story), but Olsen’s believably natural performance manages to invest her with a real sense of the inner life that is so starkly missing from Ford, and those all-too-brief moments where she is the point of view to the larger-than-life events unfolding before us paint a picture of a much more satisfying version of this same basic material. And then there’s Ken Watanbe as Dr. Ichiro Serizawa (named in honor of the aforementioned character from the original “Gojira”), Sally Hawkins as his partner Vivienne Graham, and David Strathairn as Admiral William Stenz, who together make for far and away the most effective human dimension of the movie.  Even in their side-roles, acting primarily to keep the audience appraised of what the monsters are doing and why while alerting us to when and how the stakes are being raised, they prove remarkably engaging, with Serizawa’s almost-mythical belief in Godzilla’s natural purpose proving a really good gateway into the movie’s truest, deepest strength (but we’ll get to that) while Graham effectively conveys both an awe of and an understanding for this unique situation. Meanwhile, Stenz honestly has my favorite character arc of the film, wherein he continuously attempts to find some way of leveraging the full weight of his military might to resolve the problem only to find himself thwarted over and over again, forced to acknowledge that, in truth, this is a situation beyond his control, no matter how much he might wish otherwise.  A version of “Godzilla” focused more squarely around them, I think, would be a significantly better movie.
Because when our focus turns to the monsters, that’s where “Godzilla” really comes to life.  At every level, the way it conceives of, presents, and frames its monsters is, not to put too fine a point on it, exactly the sort of thing I spent my whole life waiting for, a way to honor the fantastical nature of these creatures while making them feel meaningfully real.  Some of this stems from the design level; the MUTOs are perhaps a touch on the generic side (though the way their visor-like eyes sear out against their ashy bodies is a very striking visual), but even still their spindly limbs and sharp beaks do a good job of making them feel unsettling and dangerous, while the new Godzilla is just great.  There’s a clear desire to put a bit more Real Animal into the design a la the 1998 attempt to reinvent him, but where there almost all trace of the character was lost in the process, here, the fundamentals remain far more intact (including, most notably, Godzilla’s fire breath, the reveal of which is honestly the one overt instance of the movie going out of its way to highlight how much more of a “Godzilla” move it really is than the ’98 version, a moment of pure uncut Fan Service that I absolutely adore), and so we have a vision of Godzilla that feels, at once, new and familiar.  And across the board, the animation serves those designs very well: these creatures don’t just move with a believable sense of weight, but a distinct sense of purpose.  The MUTOs are lighter, faster, more pointed, while Godzilla is a hefty, shambling mass of bone and muscle, and watching as those differing styles of physicality collide is genuinely fascinating.  Which itself points to another layer at which the movie succeeds in how it portrays the monsters: they are, at once, so vast and powerful that even just their movements can cause incredible consequences (Godzilla’s first appearance is presaged by a literal tidal wave set off by his arrival), but they are also still animals, with instincts and personalities that inform their interactions. It’s a delicate balance, but it’s one that gives the movie just enough grounding to make its monsters feel that much more Real without sacrificing any of their Majesty or Power; indeed, the way it’s cleverly used to make the monsters themselves something like the real main characters of the story (basically every major thing that happens is a direct consequence of their actions, and in the end, even though humanity’s well-being winds up in the balance, humanity has little actual effect on the conflict) is one of the subtler but no less effective tricks the movie has up its sleeves.  Perhaps most important of all, however, is that at the level of filmmaking, the way the movie frames these creatures is fantastic.  The way our perspective, our sense of scale, is almost constantly played with is the thing that most effectively realizes the monsters.  Godzilla is often so vast the frame can barely contain him; moments like the MUTO secretly emerging from within the shadows of a mountain range are some of the most harrowing Giant Monster scenes I’ve ever seen.  There is a keen awareness of tangible space to the movie’s overall style, in other words, that feels rare and unusual but which is so essential to how the whole thing works.  Again, it comes back to that sense of presence I was talking about before: on screen and off, “Godzilla”’s monsters feel like they somehow, impossibly, exist.
Look, I wholly get why others are relatively cool on this movie.  Its shape is decidedly unusual for a Crowd-Pleasing Blockbuster; it’s often dark and dour in ways that can’t always be justified by how successful it is as a work of Drama.  But it also remains, to date, maybe the only movie that successfully makes me feel what it would be like if these creatures that have captured my imagination since childhood were to actually come stomping into the world.  And for that, above all, it will always hold a special place in my heart.
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jaybug-jimmies · a year ago
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Review: Pokemon Fusion Generation
If you are a fan of pokemon, it’s very likely you’ve visited the Pokemon Fusion Generator. This website became terribly popular because it can automatically ‘fuse’ any two pokemon that you select. The results are not always the most sophisticated fusions, but they are always wildly entertaining and occasionally come up with some truly cool-looking new creatures. There have been many artists inspired by these mash-ups, and people have drawn some truly gorgeous pokemon fusions. There is something almost endlessly entertaining about seeing these surprising variations on familiar faces.
Imagine my intrigue when I stumbled over a fan-made pokemon game titled “Pokemon Fusion Generation.” The screenshots I saw confirmed my suspicions. This was exactly what it said on the tin– a game filled with pokefusions that you could catch, collect, and battle with. I decided I had to download it and try it out.
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But does “Pokemon Fusion Generation” live up to the hype? Was it just a gimmick that quickly grew dull, or was it a satisfying game? Read on to find out!
(Note: spoiler warnings for the plot of this game, but I try to be as spoiler-light as possible.)
This game is titled “Pokemon Fusion Generation” because it was intended as a fan-made sequel, a ‘generation’ that could be slotted in between gens 3 and 4. Made with RPG Game Maker and material from Pokemon’s Gen 3 as its base, the story takes place in the region of Kanto. In a lot of ways, the game feels like you are playing Pokemon Firered/Leafgreen, but there is a significant twist to the usual adventure we’ve all known since childhood.
The story begins with the protagonist, who is the current Champion of the Hoenn region. You have travelled to Kanto with the idea of trying out the gym challenge of that region, since you have already conqoured Hoenn’s challenges. Things begin rather typically, besides the fact you’re Hoenn’s Champion– you begin at Oak’s lab, meet with your rival (Brendan), grab a typical Kanto starter, pick up a new Pokedex and prepare for your new trip.
However, things quickly begin to change when we run into Bill just a little further up the path. There is a crowd and everyone is excited about one of Bill’s new inventions. He unveals it before the crowd, and announces the creation of pokemon fusions. The audience’s reaction varies. Some people are awed; some are incredibly excited and want some fusions of their own. However, one elder comments that the pokemon fusion is horrifying and an affront to nature. This causes Bill to hestitate and reconsider what it is that he’s created. He retreats to his house in Cerulean to think.
Once you pass through Viridian Forest and Pewter City and track Bill down again, it seems he’s had a change of heart. He decides it’s wrong to fuse pokemon, and he’s going to stop making and handing them out to people. Before he dismantles his machines, however, he decides to fuse one last pokemon to give to you. He offers to fuse your Kanto starter with an Eevee.
There’s someone sneaky afoot, however. A woman in disguise lures you and Bill out of Bill’s house, and that’s when their evil plan is hatched!
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Bill’s entire house, fusion machines and all, is yanked from its foundations and carried off by a school of Zubats. It’s revealed that Team Magma and Team Aqua are behind these shenanigans, for reasons we have yet to learn. With the power of pokemon fusion creation in the hands of a nefarious team, we’re not simply going to be taking the Kanto gym challenge; we’ll be trying to track these hooligans down, too, and get to the bottom of things. As you travel throughout Kanto, you find that pokemon fusions have become quite the new craze, and you’re forced to contend with these strange new creatures.
That is the general set-up for this game. But is this a solid fan game worth playing?
The Fusions
Arguably, the heart and core of this game are the pokemon fusions, so it makes sense to judge those while trying to decide if this is a quality fan game.
The world of Kanto is not filled to the brim with fusions. You will not be encountering a new fusion every time you step into the tall grass or battle a trainer. Instead, these rare little prizes are only in the hands of a select few. The rest of Kanto’s population is quite normal. At first, I found this slightly disappointing, as I was expecting an overload of these freaks. However, I came to find that the rate at which you encountered fusion pokes was a nice balance. You didn’t run into them constantly, but you did see them– especially when encountering gym trainers, gym leaders, and team Aqua/Magma foes. It was always a nice surprise to see what new pokemon would pop up, and leaving the fusions to only special moments made the experience feel more exciting. Fusion pokemon were a fashionable trend, and anyone lucky enough to have one of the rare creatures was envied.
Among those lucky enough to own a fusion pokemon were the gym leaders. Each gym leader had added a new poke-fusion to their usual lineup, and one of the rewards for defeating the gym was that the gym leader would give their prized poke-fusion to you. In this way, you ended up slowly building an entire collection of the poke-fusions.
Now, you could not usally find these creatures in the wild. If you wanted to use a pokemon fusion on your team, generally your only choice was to make use of the prizes from your gym victories. Naturally, this leads to a very limited selection of pokemon to choose from. I can understand why some people would find this disappointing. If you happen to dislike the fusions you’re gifted, there’s not much you can do about it. It also severely injures the replayability of this game.
That said, I still enjoyed collecting my team of fusion pokemon. I won’t claim every single one was a fusion that I would have chosen, if I had a choice in the matter. But having that choice removed, I still found ways to appreciate the pokemon that I had. There is a certain satisfaction in figuring out how to use what you’ve been handed, a sort of Nuzlocke quality. Of course, I could have captured and used regular pokemon on my team, if I so desired, but I had decided from the start to use only fusion-pokes, as it was more interesting to me.
Also, I should mention your choices open up a little later into the game. In Fushia City, there are a handful of pokemon fusions who escape from Fushia’s Zoo, and scatter across the land. You can eventually track down and capture these special pokemon in the wild. Thus, you can eventually choose from a slightly wider selection.
What about the fusions themselves, though? Were they any good?
In terms of the sprites and the aesthetics of the pokemon, not all of them were particularly sophisticated merges. Sometimes it was little more than pasting the head and perhaps the tail of one pokemon onto another, with awkward results. If you are familiar with the Pokemon Fusion website, you’re probably rather acustomed to this sort of thing. That said, not all fusions were that way. In fact, the spriting for this game was very well done. Things usually looked clean and well-proportioned, and while some fusions were a little simplistic or awkward, most of them were thoughtfully created and were more complex mixtures. The choices of fusion were extremely off-the-wall, combinations that you would normally never dream of.
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It seemed that the goal of these fusions, for the most part, was to make as wacky and silly a combination as possible. The stranger and wilder, the better. Many of them made me laugh and shake my head and wonder why anyone would choose to make that combination. However, occasionally I would run into a fusion that was a truly awesome-looking combination.
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Take Girafiloom, for instance. This was a particularly lovely combination that I would love to own myself. Again, it’s kind of a shame we could not choose from a wider pool of fusion-pokes for our own use. However, it still was nice to see what everyone else had. The game has a very wide variety of fusions to encounter when entering into pokemon battles, and you keep encountering new ones at a very good clip. You’re never going to get bored meeting new ones, and the game kept me very amused and entertained with these creative combinations.
The pokemon’s movepools and typings were also fused, of course. In fact, a large part of the entertainment value of battling fusion pokemon was trying to decipher what sort of combination you were looking at, and thus what sort of moves and typing you could expect. It wasn’t always immediately apparant, especially when there were multiple ways to potentially fuse types. Sometimes, the choices this game made on typing confounded me. Why was my Suntank, a Sunflora/Miltank fusion, pure Grass instead of Grass/Normal? I’m not sure. But at any rate, these mixes made for an interesting battle, especially when the battle was a more dramatic one, such as the Elite Four.
The Plot
Now, if this game was nothing more than what I’ve described so far, it would already be a game worth playing. It has a very solid gimmick: collect and battle with pokemon fusions. If I just spent the whole time wandering Kanto and playing the same exact plot as FireRed/LeafGreen, but with fusion pokemon, it would have been enough to convince me to keep playing. It’s pretty charming.
However. This game has something else going for it besides the fusion pokemon. It has actual plot. Well written plot, at that. The story and all of the dialogue feel perfectly in-place in the Pokemon universe, which is something I deeply appreciate. The plot unfolds gradually with Team Aqua/Magma, with a pacing that also feels very much in-line with the official Pokemon games. It feeds you information a little bit at a time at just the right speed, keeping you interested in the story. As you travel and conquer gyms, you learn more about the fusion fad that’s sweeping Kanto and about the mysterious plans of your foes.
I don’t want to spoil too much of the story, but it includes teaming up with Janine to investigate some stolen zoo pokemon, a charming sidequest in Lavander Town’s catacombs that’s right up my alley, a mystery in Cinnabar Island that involves strange weather, and a very entertaining adventure on-board the Magnet Train. Perhaps my favorite part  is the story of Ellie, a Team Magma member who becomes involved in the adventure in a unique way.
The truth is that Pokemon Fusion Generation’s plot is beautifully and thoughtfully done, and it changes this from a decent fan game to an excellent one. While this game does not feature a new region or new locations to explore or new music, the combination of the always-entertaining pokemon fusions with a top-notch story makes the game well worth playing.
The final conclusion of the plot with Team Aqua/Magma was a fun surprise, and I enjoyed it, even if it did leave a few lingering questions about Aqua/Magma’s motivations in my mind. Anyone who’s played Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire is sure to enjoy the ending.
The Team
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Herawoodo (Brick Break/Strength/Megahorn/Rock Slide) - Rock/Bug
The first fusion I received, from Brock. While I was very sad to lose STAB on all the fighting moves that this pokemon could learn, adding a Rock typing to Heracross was a rather welcome addition, neutralizing his weaknesses to some common types. Rumble’s Rock Slide really packed a punch and he did a lot of work on this team.
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Chareon (Dragon Claw/Flamethrower/Quick Attack/Earthquake) - Fire/Flying
The creation of this pokemon was unique. I had already been using my Charmander, the starter I received from Oak, for a fair bit of time. It was only when I reached Cerulean City and spoke with Bill that he then offered to fuse my Charmeleon with one of his Eevees. Around mid-game, Charlie was having difficulty pulling his weight on the team, limping by with the weak Ember and not much else. But then sometimes happened– he evolved, something I was not sure was possible until it happened. I was thrilled and gladly welcomed the stats boost. In the late-game, Charlie was an incredibly powerful ally, mowing down fellow fire-types and using Quick Attack to pick off almost-dead pokemon surprisingly often.
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Wurmlord (Bug Bite/Waterfall/Ice Beam/Surf) - Water/Bug
This pokemon was gifted to me from Misty (who noted the pokemon fusion kind of creeped her out, anyway). Blobby was definitely the weakest link of my team; there’s no need to beat around the bush about it. With poor defenses and poor speed, the Wurmlord crumpled to just about anything before she could even get a shot off. Perhaps it’s not so surprising, considering its Wurmple half. Even her healthy HP stat was of little to help save her. That said, even poor Blobby had her moments of glory. When fighting Lance, she survived a Wing Attack and got an Ice Beam off on a dragon, so who knows? Perhaps she was vital to our victory after all.
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Suntank (Body Slam/Petal Dance/Milk Drink/Giga Drain) - Grass
This … abomination was given to me by Erika, who told me I needed to love and cherish it. While its appearance horrifies me, I have to admit the Suntank was extremely hardy, powerful, and useful. In more than one of my important battles, it was Suntank that let me scrape by into a win. The bulky pokemon had redundant health recovery and thus was hard for my foes to kill, and its magnificent Petal Dance was truly a force to be reckoned with. The Thick Fat was especially nice and made Suntank even bulkier, even when faced with super-effective moves.
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Chantabuzz (Ice Beam/Softboiled/Light Screen/Thunderbolt) - Electric
Lt. Surge was able to part with this fusion and gave it to me, although I was a bit skeptical of it at first. An electric Chansey? I gradually adjusted to using Orb, and it filled an important slot on my team in terms of coverage. That said, I think I never quite got the hand of using Orb. I don’t normally use Chansey, so the fact that all of its defenses are in its special was something I continuosly forgot. That’s probably why poor Orb fainted an awful lot, despite its massive HP– I kept tossing it in the way of physical attacks. Despite that issue, Orb did a lot of work on my team.
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Skarbok (Steel Wing/Fly/Poison Jab/Toxic) - Poison/Steel
Skarbok is one of the more absurd-looking pokemon fusions. Koga will hand you this creature when you defeat him in Fuchsia City. Its typing is unique, and no current real pokemon possesses it. The Steel/Poison pokemon is resistant or immune to a wide range of attacks, and its healthy defenses keep it quite safe. As such, Corkscrew was very often a vital defensive wall on my team, shrugging off Outrages, avoiding poison, eating up ice beams, and many others. His Achilles’ Heel was Ground, something he was four times weak to, but if I was careful I could avoid throwing him into the range of an Earthquake. In terms of attack, Corkscrew never had a move with really high BP and STAB, so he couldn’t always hit hard enough. However, his Toxic + stalling with Fly was a handy tactic, and he could often outstall the competition.
Conclusion
This game is a hidden gem. While it may lack replayability, it’s so very worth that first playthrough. I deeply enjoyed the entire playthrough, from start to finish. If you’re willing to re-visit the region of Kanto and are looking for a quirky, highly entertaining jaunt into the world of pokemon fusions, definitely give this a try.
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shoggmommy · a year ago
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Prompt #019: Lucid
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“Julian spoke with the clear, unequivocal lucidity of madmen who have escaped the hypocrisy of having to abide by a reality that makes no sense.” -Carlos Ruiz Zafón Ambience: https://youtu.be/5rEm8ah4erg
Lucidity is a curious thing. That… Brief moment in time in which everything is so perfectly clear. Insomuch that it almost has a heady sort of dream-like quality to it. That moment where a person often would gasp in awe in realization. It was only then when one could truly understand. ...And then, it quickly would cloud again and be forgotten once more. There were very few times in which the miqo’te felt like she could recall those moments and the majority of them were just out of reach. The two in particular she could starkly remember on the other hand were the death of her father and meeting her mentor. One of which was recent… The other some years ago now. Stark reminders of mortality and her place upon this Star. Both of them, actually; when she thought of it. And yet… And yet… She felt as if something beyond even those two moments of clarity that she had completely and utterly forgotten. Something… Just around the edges of memory. It was sort of like something just being out of sight, where you could see the grey stillness of it. Granted one could argue this was the exact opposite of lucidness. And, she supposed it was. But she felt as if she knew the moment in time and had not yet reawoken to it. It was something important, that much she knew. And yet for all the frustration… It was just out of reach. Perhaps someday she would be able to remember. But for now… She would just allow herself to drift. 
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tranderas · a year ago
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My email to Failbetter Games
I rarely see a reason to hide my motivations or actions. I don’t have a lot of regrets in life, because as I got older- I’m 34 now- I came to understand that it’s pointless. Try to learn, grieve things like lost friendships and loved ones as best you can, and be the best person your emotional and physical state allows you to be.
Anyway
To that end, I thought I’d air out my grievances to FBG in a rather long email. It was a long time coming as I wasn’t convinced emails would do anything. Elias on the Failbetter Community discord server suggested I at least try, and I spent a week of proofreading to make sure I was as courteous as I could manage to be despite my feelings. I’m angry, angry because this game was so dear for me for so long and it feels like the current team has taken it in a direction so much in the opposite of what I find fun.
That anger is unhealthy, of course. Art evolves. Bands change their sound because they get bored or they want to make money tapping into a new audience. Painters refine and improve their style. Writers improve the range of their vocabulary and change tone. Everything shifts in this world. The healthiest thing to keep in mind is the fact that the thing you loved was there for that point in time and nothing can take that away from you, from your favorite game as a child to your favorite bands in your teenage years, you’ll always have those moments of joy.
I want to hold onto this moment of joy that I experience with Fallen London as long as possible, so I wrote this email in the hope of convincing them to alter their direction so I can enjoy it a little bit longer. Except for the signature that contained my real name at the end- not that it’s hard to find if you care, as my facebook url is /tranderas- the text is unmodified. Hopefully this shines light on what I want. 
What I don’t want is discussion about my needs. This is my place to explain, to vent, to point people to instead of typing everything out every time someone asks. But enough stalling.
___
Hello, I was encouraged in a Twitter interaction to write in and expand on my thoughts on the game so I figured I would do so now. Since I started writing this email before reading the December balance announcement, I'll address that at the bottom. The sparknotes version of what I'd like is as such: More content in London itself (especially socials), more Zee destinations, a profession uptuning, a fundamental rework of the deck that goes beyond favors, and a non-docks favor buff. From most to least important, the things I'd like to see addressed are:
1. The lack of endgame content within London itself is concerning to me for two reasons:
a. I play FL because it is a social electronic game, and I want to stay in zones in which I can continue to do social interactions. This is the reason I stay in London rather than going to Iron Republic and Port Carnelian, my first and second favorite zones respectively. If I wanted a story rich solo game I'd play Sunless Sea; if I wanted an analogue experience I'd play Blades in the Dark or read one of the books that influenced FL's style.
b. I simply don't like the mechanics of lab or parabola or how they gatekeep content. Because of this I haven't had any free content to pursue since the release of the new heists, and for a much longer length of time before that.
2. I'd love to see the remaining tier 3 professions given something they can do at lodgings. In general I prefer buffs instead of nerfs, especially in story games, and think it would be silly to nerf midnighter/correspondent/crooked-cross downward. Instead, give the others roles, perhaps in special options in the 4/5 card lodgings.
3. With the changes to Paramount Presence and the BDR power creep Notability has been significantly de-emphasized. I'd like that changed. To me the notability grind had the best balance of difficulty to cost-benefit analysis to end reward in the game, and while overcapping removed that, I would like something to use it again to make going above 10 worthwhile more often. Recent BDR items should make going even beyond 15 possible for very lategame players.
4. In addition to more endgame content within London, I'd like more midgame content at Zee. Sunless Sea got me especially interested in Frostfound and Irem, and a roleplay point for my OC is that she'd like to quite literally punch Mt. Nomad to death. Please don't feed us to spiders, though. The ones in London cause enough sorrow.
5. I would enjoy more free spouses that are not seasonal, and more ways to interact with player spouses. Again, it's a social game, and it makes sense to reward a desire to be social with the community. On the other hand, the NPC spouses in the game are limiting in their roleplay potential to the point that I've created a character around the Esoteric Accomplice for one of my OCs to get involved with between one roleplay relationship and another. Now allow me to take a deep breath while I discuss the proposed balance pass. The short version here is that I think it's wrong to release a deck refresh nerf without a fundamental change to what cards appear in the deck, and that the nerf to docks favors and yet another nerf to revs favors is misguided.
Here's the long version: I actually support a removal of the deck refresh mechanic. I got in trouble for calling flash lay resets an exploit on a private Fallen London fan server, and refused to use it until the lab convinced me it was a mechanic intended for use by FBG.
The widespread use of deck resets isn't a problem in its own right; rather, it's a symptom of how fundamentally broken the deck is in its current state. You have cards that are so bad that the narrative acknowledges they're awful and the mechanics give you a way to get rid of them at the cost of objectively worse lodgings. You have story signpost cards that clog up space held by desired cards. It can be nearly impossible to get Portly Sommelier (before deck refreshes i was getting one a month playing 60 actions a day) and dream qualities (my PoSI-ready SMEN alt has DbW3 playing every dream card that comes around). And most lodgings have cards that are objectively bad in a way that no new player can know without reading the wiki or asking someone- the exact problem you claim a desire to address in your announcement.
It's telling that players will do SMEN- a quest chain ostensibly about how much you're willing to sacrifice to some faceless maybe-god- in order to get rid of bad lodgings. I personally only bought back salon (Notability grind), rooftop shack (3 epa wine option), and bazaar premises (5-card potential plus good certifiable scraps/money option) after Trand got St. Beau's Candle, and JanieS only ever got the bazaar premises, her Remote Lodging, and the Orphanage. Even the other 4-card lodgings are only good under specific circumstances, and the rest of the 3s have worse cards with no endgame benefit.
Tranderas and JanieS both use remote lodgings. Trand is stuck with the Advertisements of a New Venture and Devices and Desires cards in his hand. Advertisements is an Abundant-rarity card. Since I have no intention of doing railroad due to disliking its mechanics the card simply sits in my hand. If I discard it, its rarity means it pops back up quickly. I think a way to opt out of story signpost cards such as aunt and railroad would be good progress toward solving the deck problem. There could be a large action or monetary cost involved with both removing it and reactivating it to balance, but without a way to get rid of these story hooks I need to keep refreshing to draw other cards around them.
As for the favors, I consider that part of the change mostly good. However, the docks favors -> Silk expedition doesn't really compete that well with other endgame grinds at the moment. Further, the Revolutionaries favor turn-in was already reduced dramatically this year, and I don't think it needs further tweaking. Rather than tuning docks and revs down, I would prefer to see the other factions tuned upwards, and the cost of earning favors eliminated from their cards (no 10 rostygold donation to the Church, for example). I'd still like to see the faction cards remain in the deck after they're given storylet sources, but made more rare, with the conflict options getting a boost to remain attractive in line with my proposed buff to payouts as they are good for London from a flavor/narrative perspective. In closing, it feels like the current FBG's team has a vision for the game that doesn't mesh well with how I see it and want to play it. Content has consistently moved away from what I want to do, leaving me with only SMEN and cider as goals to pursue (and as mentioned, I've run two characters- Samia R and Tranderas- through the quest chain to its completion). I obviously care about the game enough to want more things I like or else I wouldn't bother writing and proofreading this post or discussing and debating changes on the community discord, so I hope you'll take these opinions and suggestions into consideration moving forward. Regards,
Tranderas
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somniferouseyes · a year ago
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Home Sweet Prison - Thoughts on Silent Hill 4: The Room
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Recently I had the pleasure of finally playing the fourth Silent Hill game after years of planning to get around to it. I just finished it last night after three lengthy play sessions over the past week. It definitely had its flaws but I couldn’t help but love the game and wanted to share some of my thoughts. Obvious spoilers below.
This is going to be a long one, so buckle up. First, a little background. If you really don’t care and just want my thoughts on the game, skip down to below the line of ‘=‘s.
It must have been around 7 years ago I played my first Silent Hill game. I had heard bits and pieces about the series for a long time and finally I managed to get my hands on a Playstation 2 along with a copy of Silent Hill 2. The TV at my mom’s place didn’t make much sense to play games on, as I had to share it with a family that didn’t care much for watching games, and so only allowed me to play for short bursts. Definitely not suitable for playing through a game where atmosphere is one of the key elements to the experience. So instead I absconded with my PS2 and the game to the ancient CRT TV in my bedroom at my dad’s place, where I spent the night at most a few times a week. The solitude and old television at night made for a near-perfect playing environment for a game like SH2. The sound effects of the menus and the vibrant red of the save screen casting a bloody shade over the walls of that room are memories permanently imprinted in the inside of my head.
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I had a great time with the game and eventually picked up Silent Hill 3 as well, excited for another journey to that destitute, foggy town. Unfortunately, after playing through around a third of the game, I discovered my disc was scratched and couldn’t continue, despite my best attempts to clean and buff it out. At that point I didn’t have any sort of disposable income so buying another copy just didn’t seem worth the expense. So unfortunately, my journey with that game ended there.
I was aware that the fourth game, like the first three, was fairly highly regarded, so I kept a tab on it in the back of my mind for opportunities to play. This past fall, I finally got my chance. I jumped with excitement at seeing GOG offering the now-ancient (by video game standards) title and immediately purchased it, fully prepared to experience what I had been missing all this time. I booted it up several days after and played for around an hour. There was the gameplay I remembered in all its clunky glory. As well as the haunting sound design and twisted visuals. It was a great throwback, but for some reason I didn’t come back for more. I planned to play more but it sat on the digital shelf for months before I would finally touch it again, this time with my partner at my side to experience it along with me. At first I worried having another person there would take away from the atmosphere, which is what I always saw as the strongest part of the series. Thankfully this wasn’t really the case. Anyway, now after enough extra shit, my thoughts on the game itself.
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What first struck me was how creative and intriguing I found the setting to be. I’ve known for a long time what it was, but actually playing it now I found it resonated with me in an unexpected way. I recently moved into my first non-college apartment and as I played I found myself sort of day-nightmaring about what it would be like to wake up one day and find myself trapped in my apartment, door chained shut, windows stuck, and no real communication to the outside world but a strange hole which has appeared in my bathroom wall. Letting myself sort of float in that headspace really got me immersed into the world and I really grew to appreciate the apartment as a sort of hub world in the game. A safe space from the horrors that lay on the other side of the hole. At least, temporarily safe as I would eventually discover. Throughout the first half of the game the apartment served as a resting point in between forays into the unforgiving outside world.
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Then one time I came home to discover that the ceiling fan had mysteriously broken and smashed down upon the coffee table. Henry, our lovely protagonist, commented that the air felt heavier as though a weight was bearing down upon him. The in-game ramifications of this event didn’t become clear until a bit later, when I discovered that my health no longer regenerated when in the apartment. My one reliable form of healing had been taken away from me. And the game being a survival horror game, I very quickly felt its effect. Healing supplies were very limited and I found myself struggling to survive through various enemy encounters now where before I had done alright with occasional trips home to heal up. But this was only the beginning.
It couldn’t have been more than an hour or two later that upon entering the apartment I was greeted by a castrophony of crashing and banging coming from the living room. I entered and found the windows there shaking and slamming against their frames, as if by the manipulation of some violent poltergeist. Even so much as nearing them damaged me and despite the frustration at not being able to interact with them anymore without fear of taking lethal damage, it was one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a game for a while. From that point onward every few visits to the apartment, I was met with some new form of haunting in various parts of the few rooms I had. Eventually they crept in the way of the save point, forcing me to put myself at risk in order to even so much as save my game. It was a level of brutality that has become much less common in games. Thankless and cruel. But I loved seeing my safe prison twist and disfigure into a dangerous nightmare. For once in a piece of horror, whether game, book, or movie, I felt as if I was the one being haunted. This was my home and it was being slowly but surely wrenched from my hands. The hub easily became one of my favorite things about the game as a result.
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My feelings about the rest of the game were a little more mixed. As is Silent Hill tradition, the controls were a clunky mess. I’m sure it was by design, as fumbling with them creates a tension in common interactions in the game not unlike the loss of coordination one might experience in a dream. As neat as that is as an artistic touch, from a gameplay standpoint it did sour the experience a bit when it came time to deal with enemies (FUCK the ghost victims).
On a related note, for some reason the devs thought it’d be a good idea to have the entire back half of the game be a goddamn escort mission. One where the quality of your performance affects the ending you get for some reason, no less (???). In general I liked Eileen as a character and appreciated the whole slow possession thing she had going on, but trying to maneuver through the cramped corridors of the game while also trying to move around her and make sure she didn’t get left behind with a bunch of enemies was a nightmare in and of itself. One of the worst things about the game, honestly. There were times I made sure she got left behind in areas just to give myself some room to breathe.
Enemies in general were a massive pain in the ass, at least until late in the game when I figured out how to deal with them efficiently. It didn’t help that their designs for the first third of the game were so bland. One of my favorite things about the series is seeing all the fucked up enemy designs and the speculation from the fanbase about what they might represent from a narrative standpoint, so I was super disappointed to find the first chunk of the game only feature zombie dogs, some ghosts, and pointy bats. Later on I discovered that the ghosts were actually Walter’s past victims who had lost all control and sense of reality after being slain for his ritual, which was a VERY cool detail I missed early on. It lent a whole new dimension to what would otherwise be boring generic ghost enemies. I just wish it had been conveyed better, because obviously I didn’t recognize any of them until Cynthia’s showed up during the second visit to Subway World (Yep. It’s actually called that.) It was a lot of fun seeing how each of the people I had seen murdered had unique abilities as ghosts meant to represent their personalities or behavior in life.
Once I hit the water prison, the game’s enemy design picked up though. I had seen images of the Twin Victims before, but it hadn’t prepared me for their sudden appearance in those cramped circular halls. In the past games and the beginning of this one it seemed like enemies usually had a sort of introductory cutscene showcasing a little of their personality or abilities, but for the Twin Victims? Nope, you get nothing. One second you’re in ignorant bliss of their existence, the next a two-headed shrouded figure is charging at you on its hands.
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The rest of the enemies were all decent I think in my memory, though some better than others. I’m not sure who gave the okay on the decision for the Patient creatures in Hospital World to fucking let loose the most wild burps known to man whenever they take a hit, but it was simultaneously tension-ruining and laugh-inducing to knock one down the stairs by accident only to receive a musical number comprised solely of belches in response. Definitely a highlight of the experience, if an unintended one.
Since I don’t want to spend a ton of time on the areas themselves I’m gonna just throw together a little list here of quick opinions on them.
Subway World - Awful. Boring area, especially since this exact type of thing was done already in a fairly lengthy section in SH3. Fuck the dogs. Second visit wasn’t any better because being chased by Cynthia’s ghost was incredibly annoying, especially since you’re still just figuring out the mechanics of Eileen following you at this point.
Forest World - Refreshing after Subway World but still boring. Just a bunch of trees and annoying bats. Highlight was Jasper, my bro whose character arc consists of being scared of rocks, drinking some choccy milk, then burning to death. Second visit was a little better? I liked the torch mechanic and finding the body parts in the 5 wells was a creepy little sort of puzzle.
Water Prison World - One of my favorite areas. Really interesting design and home to one of the few true puzzles in the game, even if it is kind of explained to you outright. Also home to the debut of one of the creepiest enemies, Twin Victims. Second visit was kind of underwhelming and frustrating because of Eileen getting swarmed by them though.
Building World - Other than winning the Dumb Area Name of the Century award, this place was fine. Some areas were a bit too swarmed with enemies, but otherwise a pretty fun place to explore. Reminded me of past games in the series in terms of design. Second visit was ROUGH. I finished with no healing items and only a sliver of health remaining as I went into the boss fight, so I had to make sure I wasn’t hit once for its duration. Also what the fuck is up with the way Richard’s ghost moves? Thought my game was straight up glitching for a bit.
Apartment World - I think possibly my favorite area of the game. Just your classic Silent Hill apartment complex. Loads of rooms to explore and find keys for, etc. Second visit was exactly what I wanted. Just chaos throughout the building and creepy shit around every corner. Highlight for me was the chains on the superintendent’s door, for some reason. Just thought it was cool setpiece.
Hospital World - A pretty cool place overall, but too short and with no second visit it had me wishing there was more of it. A bit simplistic in design but I had fun checking out all the various rooms and the creepy shit inside them. Creepiest Shit in the Game award goes to the massive bloody head of Eileen that stares you down with eyes that can only be described as vibrating. Normally I’d be annoyed at Henry literally not reacting to it, but it somehow adds to its disturbing factor. Almost as if its some kind of meta-scare that Henry can’t even see.
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As for the characters, I found them overall to be okay. Nothing special really. Henry is boring as hell and doesn’t really seem to react much to any of the crazy things happening around him, which makes me question his mental state a bit. Eileen is probably the best of the group in my eyes. She goes through a LOT during the game. I thought the possession mechanic with her was very cool and loved eventually finding out that her level of possession actually modifies her dialogue at various points in the game. Definitely a very nice touch. Walter is pretty meh. Just your ordinary insane serial killer really. Nothing to write home about. Didn’t really have a personality beyond “I’m bloodthirsty and I want my mommy.” Also, for someone who was trying to kill me, it really didn’t feel like his heart was all in it. He was easy to sidestep and he’d just sort of become disinterested and wander off. I was a bit underwhelmed to find the superintendent didn’t have any role really past the halfway point in the game. Where did he go? In one of the endings he’s confirmed to be dead but otherwise not mentioned at all. He got a lot of the spotlight in the first half so it really makes no sense.
The plot was pretty entertaining. Might be sacrilege to say so, but I think I preferred it to SH2′s despite its flaws, though it’s been a while since I played that so maybe I’ll have to give it another run-through sometime and see. I just had a lot of fun following Joseph’s notes and slowly learning about the Wishing House cult and Walter’s murders. I found myself guessing at what we could expect from Walter and his twisted ritual around every corner and how the tale would eventually unravel.
Upon tearing into it more closely my partner and I found a number of weird little issues and nitpicks with the plot that we couldn’t seem to find any explanation for. Was Walter ever really in prison? The game is deliberately vague about this detail, and I assume we’re meant to come up with our own conclusions, but it felt a bit strange to not give a more solid explanation, as other issues arise from the lack of one. If he did really kill himself in prison, how did he get out of his grave and perform the Ritual of the Holy Assumption? If that wasn’t him in prison, why would anyone bother digging up the grave at all? And either way, why mark the coffin with his number, 11/21? It doesn’t really make sense. Not quite related, but we’re also missing the why of Walter’s split manifestations. What about the ritual caused him to split off a child version of himself? It’s not exactly important to the plot’s progression, but it’d be nice to know if he fucked up some part of the ritual, or was punished for being a little shit by God or whatever.
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Unfortunately my partner and I found the endings to all be pretty lame. I got the ‘21 Sacraments’ ending, which I guess is to be expected because I wasn’t very careful in taking care of Eileen due to the controls being a massive pain in the ass while also not really understanding how to purge the apartment of hauntings with candles. I understood the mechanic but literally couldn’t figure out where to place the candles to achieve the desired affect despite all my attempts to, which was a shame. I’m also still not entirely sure why the ending I got results in Walter possessing Henry’s body when I clearly followed the instructions to put a stop to his ritual, but the other endings aren’t all that much better. In the ‘Mother’ ending, apparently Eileen is somehow still possessed? Why? By who? No explanation is given! Always a good time.
Despite the nitpicks at the plot, the confusing decision to make most of the game an escort mission, and the messy Silent Hill game controls, I still had a fantastic time. I still felt just in love with the atmosphere, sound, and enemy design as I did back when I played SH2. I wish there were more in the series to experience, but it seems like my options aren’t all that great. The first game is kind of a dated mess visually, I’m not sure I have the heart to replay so much of the opening of the third game to allow myself to experience the entire thing, and apparently all the games after kind of suck in various ways.
I find myself leaving Silent Hill 4 with a renewed sense of sadness at the cancellation of PT and the grim hopes for the future of the series, but excited to maybe get back into playing more horror games. It’s a genre I used to be all over but eventually fell out of entirely, save for a few recent titles, such as Resident Evil VII.
I’d definitely recommend Silent Hill 4: The Room in a heartbeat to anyone who can stomach the clunky controls as well as some some dated graphics and game mechanics.
Goodbye for now, Silent Hill.
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pazvizslaplasmathrower · a year ago
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Father of Hopes and Dreams - Chapter 14
Read here or on Ao3
Chapter 14: The Merchant
Summary: Your young master is gone, just at the birth of your bond, he has left you for many years, leaving you to survive the galaxy alone. After sustaining an injury from a drunken storm trooper, someone faces the decision to either leave or help you in your moment of need.
Chapter Summary:Thinking on your past proves to be more difficult than anticipated. On the search for star ship parts, Paz Vizsla encounters someone strange.
Word Count:2093
A/N:Sorry this took forever! I’ve been pretty overwhelmed, but I have more time on my hands so I will be updating with more regularity
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“Finish your greens, A'dika.” Paz requested, coming back from the refresher.
 For a moment you clenched your jaw, looking down at the vegetables in your bowl that you had purposefully pushed to the side and avoided eating. It was not that you were purposefully being difficult, it was that more of such food tasted absolutely horrid, despite what your caretaker said. He insisted he had made it so they would have similar taste to the meat, but as soon as a mere bit entered your mouth, it was like Nexu bile.
 “Buir!” You cried half-heartedly. “I don't want to!”
 “And why not?” He asked, sitting back down in the pilot's seat. “They will help you grow soundly in mind, body and spirit.”
 “I don't want to so I'm not going to.”
 The Mandalorian shrugged, not bothering to look at you. “Fine then, nothing sweet after. Wash up before you go to bed. We will start flying to our next destination.”
 You stood to leave. “But I never remembered anything...Anything useful.”
 “Hm. I know but this ship still needs heavy work and I know a place where I can have it patched up without selling an organ.”
 You tensed.
 After doing away with your leftovers, you retreated to the fresher, making sure to securely lock the door behind you. First, you discarded your handmade bag finding that your wings had grown-
significantly. Reasonably, they should not have been able to fit inside the mere bag, but from your vantage point looking into the mirror, it seemed that the appendages would impossibly fold in on themselves. And to your shock, they had started feathering. Alone, each one was so delicate in design, almost like a thin sliver of obsidian, and when you turned the sheen certainly beautiful. Sighing, you flexed the new muscle before going about your adopted routine, feeling dazed with despair.
 ***___***___***
 Your sharp teeth dug into the freshly grilled meat, singing in and tearing away with ease. Jerba or meat in general was a rare treat, and the mere aroma was enough to make you light headed. Your master had told you that they would seize any opportunity to include it into your diet as it was necessary for your species; they seemed to know more than enough about you.
 “Have you been feeling any different?” Your master had asked casually.
 You shrugged, wistfully gnawing on the leftover bone. “Not really. I really should have worn something warmer when we went to Hoth, but my leg feels normal now.”
 “Hm, I wonder if that will stall the process...”
 The Jedi Master trailed off mumbling to themself as if you were suddenly not present.
 “Master. Master!” You called, from where you laid on the ground.
 “Perhaps a few more weeks, but then...Oh? Sorry, little Y/N. I was just thinking. Here give me your arm.”
 “Aw, c'mon do we have to do this every night? Can't I just miss it for once!”
 Your elder shook their head, gently taking your arm in hand, taking a small device from the folds of their dark robe. They had taken to checking your blood since you had started your adolescence, making sure your health was in pristine condition, on the chance it was anything less, they insisted on plenty of bed rest and mind healing.
 When their little device beeped, you could see their eyes scrutinizing the results, glancing down at your arm you could see the dark spot where the needle was used to entering. Though the little pricks were no longer painful, a few tears still ran down your face.
 “All signs are good. You should be progressing.”
 “Progressing with what?” You asked coldly.
 Your Master shook their head, tying up their pale hair. “And you've forgotten once again. Your wings, Y/N. Your wings. By this age, you should have started showing plumage...”
“Who cares?”
 With the loose sleeve of your tunic, you wiped your face clean, not noticing your Master's concerned stare. It was a dreadful habit, one that put you on edge knowing that those scrutinizing eyes were watching so carefully, seeing past your finite body and directly into the essence of the Force.
 “I do.” They put the device away.“And you should too. You need to know why I'm so worried about your wings!”
 “I'm dying to know, Master.”
 At this point, your sarcasm ricocheted off the Master Jedi.
 Their body stiffened and then relaxed, not even the most patient of Jedi could remain perfectly at ease when raising such a spirited young padawan.
 “Tell me, how many like you have you seen on our journey?”
 “None.”
 They nodded in agreement. “And in all of your studies, how many times have you heard of people like you?”
 “Not...Not once.”
 “Then come here and let me show you something.”
Sitting up you moved and crouched next to the other Jedi, still feeling their quiet, overwhelming desperation.
 “Here.” Those strong hands pulled a small tome from one of the many packs the both of you carried.
 “I haven't seen this book before.”
 “Because I've never found the right time to tell you all this.”
 Such words were not comforting in the least.
“This is a very, very old text, an ancient documentation of species from across the galaxy, compiled by early Jedi.” Your master flipped through a few pages, until one was reached. “Now doesn't that look familiar?”
 It was not an exact interpretation, but all the right features were there: the sharp teeth, facial markings, vertical pupils, longer ears that came to a soft point...it was all there, including the wings you master was far too keen on.
 “These people, your people have been gone for many years, young one”
 Your eyes followed their finger to the block of text  you could not bring yourself to read.
 “The plumage of the Shielae people are prized in nearly every culture known for their medicinal and restorative properties...Though, the aesthetic quality is favored as well.”
 “Stop reading.”
 “Y/N, it is-”
 “STOP!” You cried, crawling away. “I asked nicely, didn't I?”
 “Yes. Yes you did...”
 Nothing more was said that evening. You simply retreated back to your sleeping place in the cramped tent, curling in on yourself, unable to get the image of the mount out of your mind.
 ***___***___***
Even in sleep, the young one had worn their hand made bag to bed, keeping it just pressed against one side of the hammock so it could not be loosened for inspection. While he should not have made such a deal out of it to himself, Paz could not help but wonder what was inside that could warrant such close protection. There was little else to do on the ship until the morning when the merchant would arrive with the parts he needed, he had already spent a good handful of hours exercising, and when the child had fallen asleep Paz had been free to take off his helmet to eat. 
In his own quarters, he wondered if he should even bother putting his helmet back on, when going to peek in on the kid. Surely they would not wake, though on the off chance they did, his commitment to the Way would be shattered. Giving a heavy sigh, he slipped the beskar on his head, doing his best to tread lightly into the storage hangar and just as he suspected, (Y/N) was still curled up under blankets, clearly very much asleep. With a grunt, their body shifted so that their pack was exposed, but there was still the issue of how it was sealed. 
    Kark!
He was a grown man. Why the hell did he care so much about what a young child was keeping in their bag? The young ones from the guild often made trinkets and crafts that were greatly dear to them, though there was nothing to be concerned of. Still, something irked Paz Vizsla on, some sort of instinct telling him to worry and to act on those feelings. In spite of the unknown urgency, he stopped himself, opting to wait until there was a moment when he could earnestly approach the child. After all, he very much needed some rest. 
When morning came, the Mandalorian found his foundling had cleaned up their mess from the day prior and neatly folded each blanket, nestling them at the end of their hammock. And right out of the fresher came (Y/N), looking rather frazzled. 
    “Krif!” They yelped, nearly walking right into him. “Maker’s sake! How the hell do you move so quietly?”
    Under his helmet, Paz smiled. “Practice. Now if you’d grant me patience, I’ll have something ready for you to eat in a short while.”
Their eyes lit up, the bag moving just slightly. Odd, but the questions could wait. (Y/N) waited without complaint, playing some sort of game with old tools. Perhaps getting a hold of something safer was in order, after all Paz could not do with having the child accidentally prying off a finger. He placed the finishing touches on the child’s breakfast, knowing this time, that they would have to eat at least some of their vegetables. 
    “There is a merchant coming over soon with some parts that we need, I should have enough credits, so we won’t have to sell off anything on board.” Truthfully, there was not much to sell. “You are to stay in the ship, alright?”
    (Y/N) quickly grabbed the bowl, completely forgetting the utensil. “Yeah, sure!” They paused “How...How far are you going?”
“Worry not. They are coming to us, but just outside.” Paz Vizsla’s holo communicator buzzed. “And it looks like they’re here. It should only be a few minutes, but be good.”
    Satisfied with their intentions, Paz left the ship, leaving (Y/N) to devour everything he had made for them.
***___***___***
You had eaten far too fast, but it had been an absolutely delicious breakfast, so the blame could not have been entirely yours. Laying on the durasteel floor, you listened for the Mandalorian, strangely having to actually strain your ears to listen. Given your ears were larger than a human’s hearing Paz Vizsla’s bellowing tone should have been easy. But there were two low whispers, hissing almost, that were outside the bay doors. Since no one was yelling, that must have been a good sign. No one was fighting…
Sluggishly, you rose to your feet, flexing your shoulders uncomfortably. Overnight, those cursed wings had grown, surely by tomorrow the plumage would start to show. The pack was not going to be nearly big enough. That matter would have to wait, eavesdropping was of the utmost importance at the moment. Slinking over to the door, you pressed your ear to the cold durasteel. 
    “You are not who I was supposed to meet, I don’t care what your prices are!” The Mandalorian seethed. 
    “I am telling you the truth. I work for the man and he instructed me to come in his stead.” Another voice. Lighter in quality, feminine, and there was an absolutely firm air to it. 
    “The merchant told me no such thing, the deal is off. Now leave.”
Heavy steps traveled up the ramp, only to stop. 
    “Please!” the stranger pleaded. “I...I could truly use the money. 
Paz Vizsla was close, and hurriedly, you retreated to the storage room, climbing back into your hammock. The creak of the door rang in your ears as did the two sets of footsteps. 
“You can just leave the parts here, let me go grab your payment...There is no need to follow-”
“I want to make sure you don’t have any kriffing tricks up your sleeves, Mandalorian.”
You felt the smart decision was to hide under all the blankets and wait until the seller had let them be, but curiosity kept you where you were. Paz Vizsla’s disappointment was evident as his shoulders slumped upon seeing you were in fact visible. From behind his enormous frame came a woman who immediately locked eyes with you, refusing to look away. Those brown eyes took in every part of you in the few stolen seconds, scrutinizing each bit thoroughly. 
“You have a child.”
Wishing the woman would just vanish, you tucked yourself in your hammock. 
Paz Vizsla insisted that they both move along and so he could simply pay here and then she could leave, however, this woman seemed oddly intent on you. 
“Mandalorian, would you mind if I said hello to your young one?”
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surveys-at-your-service · a year ago
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Survey #404
“death doesn’t answer when i cried for help”
The person you had the strongest feelings for dies, do you care? I'd be fucking devastated. It wouldn't feel real. Is there something you’re happy about at the moment? A few things. I'm still on that high of my APAP mask working, like I'm actually getting some fucking quality sleep, and I think I'm noticing the effects of my TMS therapy finally, too. My PTSD has most notably been much more bearable, and my interests are beginning to spread again. Do you want someone dead? No. Do you ever wonder what your ex is up to? I mean yeah, I think that's pretty normal, even for someone without my issues. Have you ever fed or taken care of a stray animal? Oh, many times. What is something you tend to worry about? My health and future. What is something you do that is unhealthy? Sit at the computer for way too long. I'm absolutely certain my vision is as poor as it is partially because of me endlessly staring at screens. What is something you do that is good for you? I'm not afraid to prioritize my mental health. What last caused you to force a smile? I was watching a Mark video for the first time in a while and was just reminded of how much I love and appreciate that moron. What was the last video game you played? Was it fun? Because you said "video" game, I guess I'll exclude computer ones, in which case I'm pretty sure it was Silent Hill 2. Given it's one of my all-time favorite games, of course I think it's fun. It's one hell of an emotional ride. What is something not many people know about you? The fact I was a dancer for many years would probably surprise people once they have a good idea of me and what I like. What word describes your basic style? Lazy, honestly. I dress for comfort, and given that's usually just pj pants and a tank top... yeah, I don't put much effort into my clothing when I'm going most places. Have you ever been told you were going to Hell? She kinda beat around the bush, but yes. Have you ever wanted to kill yourself? On more than one occasion. If yes, what convinced you not to go through with it? Well, I did OD once, but on the other occasions, it was the fear of the unknown that deterred me. Have you ever rejected a guy, only to have him push the issue by asking “why?” and insisting that you just need to get to know him better? Omg no, thank god. I would NOT handle that well. Is there something that you believe everyone should do and you can’t believe that some people don’t do it (e.g., recycle or go to the dentist regularly)? I didn't know 'til a survey question asked it that there are people who don't brush their tongue when brushing their teeth. Like holy shit dude, there are SO many germs on your tongue, clean that shit. Regarding the last good choice (healthy choice, kind choice, selfless choice, etc.) you made, what was your real motivation behind it? Ummmm the nearest that comes to mind is I guess taking my meds? I mean I do that every single day, but it's still a healthy choice for me. The motivation was because I am very serious about doing what I can for my mental wellbeing. What is something that you have had to practice at to get the hang of it? If you can’t think of anything, that’s okay, what’s something you are currently practicing at and trying to master? I really can't think of something for the first half of the question, but I can tell you that right now I'm attempting to force a routine of applying a therapy technique called "opposite action" into my daily life, where you, well, do the exact opposite of what your depression tells you to not do. It is WAY harder than it sounds, but I'm doing it with reading 30 minutes a day! Have you ever gone to the store to buy something, like a video game, when it came out at midnight? Not to my recollection, no. Regarding the last novel you read, was there a romance included? If so, was it central to the plot? The last novel I finished, yes. It wasn't central to the plot. Have you ever done relaxation meditations or listened to relaxation guides or positive-thinking/healing recordings? No, except in therapy when different therapists wanted me to experiment with it during a session. They just don't work for me. Do you have any interests that are also often shared by children? Yeah. Those are the one I'm especially self-conscious about. there something that could be a solitary activity but you really only like to do it with other people (e.g., watching movies, playing video games, etc.)? Watching movies or TV. Are you satisfied with the interior design or decoration in your home? Or do you think it needs a total home makeover? A makeover would be nice... Is there something that you’d like to own but you can’t find it anywhere? If not, can you a remember a time when you wanted something? Did you ever end up finding it or did you eventually stop wanting it? OKAY SO I actually have seen this custom-made once long after deciding I wanted it, but it was RIDICULOUSLY expensive. There's a location in the Silent Hill games called Heaven's Night, and I'd love love LOVE to commission someone to duplicate the neon pink sign of it to hang in my room. Hopefully one day I could still do it. Who makes you smile the most? Probably my cat, honestly. What piercings do you want/have? I've talked about the piercings I have, but I'll talk about those I want. My #1 is absolutely collarbone dermals, but as I've explained a billion times, I want to lose weight so the bones are more prominent for the sake of contrast; you can't really see my collarbones now, so I just think it'd look pretty dumb and random to just have random piercings somewhere around there with no dimension. I also want way more in my ears, dermals in my back dimples also once I've lost weight, my right nostril for the dozenth time (but this time I'll wear a hoop), and while I'd absolutely adore an undereye microdermal as well, it'd be pointless with glasses. :/ What's your favorite website? KM is my pride and joy and really feels like my online home, so despite using sites like YouTube more, that 'ole RP site has to be my fave. Do you own a fish tank with fish? No. I had fish bowls (AWFUL idea) as a kid, but never tanks Do you like the movie 300? Never seen it. Do you pop your knuckles? NOOOOOOOOOOO. I absolutely hate the sound. It makes me cringe and shiver. Do you have Photoshop? Yes. It comes in the Adobe CC photography bundle I have. Do you use tinypic or photobucket? I used Photobucket back in the day. Now I just upload to imgur. What’s your favourite song from the 1980s? You're talking to someone who adores classic rock/metal, haha. How about the 1990s? There are way too many songs to choose from. Have you won anything recently? No. How often do you make Excel tables? What for? Never. What was the last baby animal you saw in the wild? There was a poor fawn as roadkill on the highway recently. :/ Are you always available or online? Preeeetty much. Do you have dietary restrictions? Or do you just eat what you like? I can eat whatever. Do you prefer gold, silver or steel jewelry? Or no jewelry at all? Steel. I'm allergic to silver, and I think steel is more subtle than gold. Have you been binge-watching any shows lately? If so, what? No. If you dye your hair, do you do it yourself or go to a salon? I do it at a salon. If you have any, do you like your in-laws? I don’t have any. Would it bother you, if your partner had cut contact with their parents? If they had a good reason, no. Have you ever wondered whether you were adopted? As a kid I did because I thought Mom was meaner to me than my siblings, lol. What’s the best physical feeling in the entire universe? ........... This question is a setup lmfao. Have you ever grown a berry bush? No. Have you done something new to your hair recently? No. It's been the same for quite a while. I wanna dye it badly. Do you have bad anxiety? If so, do you take any kind of medication for it? I'm diagnosed with generalized and social anxiety, so yeah. I take Klonopin once and day and Ativan as needed for attacks. One thing you’ve experienced that you thought you never would have? HA, the first thing to come to mind was being noticed by Mark by making a viral (in the community, anyway) gif of he and his doggy. I shit you not, I couldn't sleep for three days lmfao. What was the last thing someone said to you that kept repeating over & over in your head? That I gained fucking seven pounds in two months at my last doctor appointment. I wanted to scream. How often do you have late nights out? Never. I'm a homebody. If you could, would you work from home? Do you think that would make you more or less productive? No. It would absolutely make me less productive. If you had the ability to change the weather, what would you change it to right now? Cool with a nice breeze, mostly clear skies, crisp air... That'd be nice right now. Is there something that you really need to do, but can’t seem to get motivated to do it? I say it all the time: finish decorating my room. It's funny, because I KNOW I'll feel more at home and cozy with my bedroom more personalized. Most disturbing movie you have ever seen? Paranormal Entity. The ending was... a lot. Has a life goal or dream ever come true for you yet? If yes, what is it? If no, do you think you’ll achieve it? Not that I can think of. .-. I hope I can achieve some... Have you ever had food poisoning? No, thank God. What are you listening to? "The Man Who Made a Monster" by Dance With the Dead. Do you think there will be a WWIII? I find it inevitable at some point down humanity's future. People are too hateful for it not to eventually. Has anyone ever asked you if you were emo? Yeah. Has someone ever liked you that you never thought would? Maybe? Idk. In all honesty, can a person be too nice? Yes, in some instances. Has one of your friend’s boyfriends ever tried to cheat on them with you? Yes, when I was around 12. And I let it happen. It's one of my biggest regrets. Is mental abuse really as bad as physical abuse? Of course it is. Emotional abuse can cut just as deep as some physical blows, or even deeper. Do you shop at Sephora for make-up? No. Zelda: Twilight Princess or Ocarina of Time? I'm actually not into TLoZ. Do you own a rosary? I did as a kid growing up in a Catholic Sunday school. If you were homeless, how would you cope? If I had no loved ones in my life and no sign of things getting better, I'm honestly preeetty sure I'd end my life.
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