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Star Ocean: The Second Story :: MeRcEnAriEs FuN~ & Never Turning Back
Ficbitches
ficbitches
Star Ocean: The Second Story :: ~MeRcEnAriEs FuN~
and
Star Ocean: The Second Story :: Never turning Back!

Reviewed By: Lunar Love

SCORING:

CHARACTERIZATION: 2/5 (I can, with some mental contortion, believe in her Bowman.)
PLOT: 1/5 (I think there is one, Gentle Reader! Imagine!)
WRITING: 0/5 (Spellcheckers alone could not save this fic. But they would indeed help.)
INCREDIBLY THOROUGH REINFORCEMENT OF A FANFICTION CONVENTION: 5/5

Well! Never let it be said that Lunar Love couldn't take a hint, Gentle Reader! For your viewing pleasure this evening, I would like to present two ongoing stories set in the world of Star Ocean: The Second Story. Before we begin, I would like to warn you that the following review will, in fact, contain many spoilers from the game, and therefore, you might wish to exercise some caution in proceeding.

While the two stories in question appear to be inextricably entwined, to the point where one should rightfully be a chapter of the second, they are not. So I present them both to you, in approximately the order in which I believe they should be read. I may be wrong. Alas, I am hardly perfect. I pray that you will forgive me this.

But! Enough about that!

Gentle Reader, with no further ado, I would like to present the greatest Mary Sue(s) I have ever personally had the dubious pleasure of meeting - Ashley Lanford, age 19. The reason for the plural shall shortly become painfully obvious.

Let's just dive right in, shall we? The very first thing we see when we open the first story is this:

Note* Oh and this is my first fic so don't blame me if it's not all that good.. It has some Drama and Romance so it shouldn't be that bad!

Her very first fic! And her... very second fic! All right, we'll step lightly, and go easy on the poor girl, won't we, Gentle Reader? Of course we will!

First, let's get the boring stuff out of the way quickly. From a purely technical standpoint, the writing is below average: the fic is rife with mispellings and grammatical mistakes. Certain paragraphs are far, far too long, crammed together needlessly. Much of the 'action', such as it is, is incredibly rushed and stilted in the author's headlong rush to get to the 'good parts'. Finally, the Author has a tendency to insert Capital Letters where they aren't technically Necessary. Nothing we're not used to as inveterate readers of fanfic, right, Gentle Reader?

And certainly she suffers from that all-too-familiar tendency to come right out and state things that I would prefer she try to insinuate with dialogue and action, but come on, Gentle Reader, it's her first fic. Let's overlook that. Indeed, with a few years' practice, I'm certain she'll be, if not exceptional, at least readable, and I sincerely hope she keeps trying.

Besides, the writing is not why I chose to review this pair of fics, is it, Gentle Reader? No. I simply want to share with each and every one of you the sheer brilliance that is... Ashley 'Mary Sue' Lanford, age 19.

I'll let the author's words speak for themselves, untouched:

Even one of Rena's relatives, Ashley Lanford, Expel's Gaurdian and Princess, is 19-years-old. She was found in the Salva Drift unconscious with a pair of Demon Dragons on her own back. She was brought back to Salva to recovered. When going to the Lacour Continent.

"WHAT DID YOU SAY!? DID YOU SAY I'M NOT ONLY THE PRINCESS OF EXPEL BUT I'M ALSO THE PRINCESS OF NEDE!? WOAH! THAT'S A BIG JOB!? HAHAHAHAH!" Ashley shouts making everyone looking in Ashley's direction.

Ashton couldn't believe his ears once agian. "Did she say she was the PRINCESS OF TWO WORLDS?!" Ashton shouts. Once agian he shouted only so Bowman can hear him.

They knew Ashley had a story leading up to why she stood by herself... Just like Dias.. She hated bandits for some reason...

Ashley and Ashton were walking threw The Town of Cross when they finally realized that ... they were bored. Ashley sat on the bench and sighed while placing her hands on her lap. Ashton stood in front of her, not knowing what to say, because one reason was because Ashton Anchors had deep feelings for Ashley Lanford. Another funny thing was that Ashton's Dragons who go by the names 'Ururun' and 'Gyoro' had a crush on Ashley's Dragons, 'Urura' and 'Gyora'.

Gyoro looks to Ururun annoyed, "Awrk... Awrk!" *Translation: If you really knew Ashley and weren't sleeping all the time... you'll know that's she's a fairy... not a human... and the right word is 'Expellian'!*

Ashton wasn't paying attention to neither his dragon's or Bowman. He was talking to Claude, "So she has split personalities?"

Claude nods, "Yeah, Gemini's are like... good and evil, cute and ugly, small and fat--"

And finally, from the author's own personal website:

Ashley Lanford
Race: Fairy
Age: 19
Birthday: May 21
Heraldic Fencer/ Magic User (Healing and Heraldry)

Let's sum up, shall we?

Ashley-Lanford-age-19's backstory is a somewhat clumsy mishmash of the backstories of Rena Lanford, Dias Flac, and Ashton Anchors. Rena lost her mother years ago; Ashley lost her mother at some point. Rena wears a moon-shaped hairpin in her blue hair; Ashley wears a star-shaped one in her light blue hair with silver streaks. Dias hates bandits because bandits killed his entire family; Ashley hates bandits for some as-of-yet unspecified reason. (This presumably explains why both Dias and Ashley 'stand alone', although I must admit that I haven't really seen Ashley do any standing alone yet.) Ashton has a pair of demon dragons magically attached to his back, named 'Gyoro' and 'Ururun'; Ashley has a pair of demon dragons magically attached to her back, named 'Gyora' and 'Urura'. Oh, and need I mention that both Ashton and Ashley have barrel fetishes? I didn't think so, Gentle Reader.

Ashley's skills are also a somewhat clumsy and all-inclusive mishmash of Rena Lanford's, Celine Jules', and Ashton Anchors'. Rena is a Healing magic-user; Ashley is also a Healing magic-user. Celine is a Heraldry magic-user; Ashley is also a Heraldry magic-user. Ashton is a Heraldic Fencer; Ashley is also a Heraldic Fencer. In other words: there are three major character 'classes' in Star Ocean: The Second Story (healer, sorcerer, and fighter), and Ashley Lanford is all three. When does she sleep?

Oh, and she's good, Gentle Reader, good enough to win the major one-on-one battles at Fun City. But of course she's skilled. Mary Sue!

Those parts of her background that are 'original' are impressively overblown; one might say 'powergamerish'. The cousin of one of the two main characters of the game, she's lucky enough to be a princess. Not just a princess of one world, but of two entirely separate worlds, and the 'Guardian' of one of those worlds as well. There go the three hours of sleep she had left! Furthermore, despite being Rena's cousin, Ashley is not a Nedian, but a 'Fairy', doubtless one of the Fairies who are responsible for the Healing spells 'Fairy Heal' and 'Fairy Light'. I wonder if this means she'll learn to fly, Gentle Reader? Where will her wings fit, when she already has two demon dragons occupying her back?

She supposedly has 'multiple personalities' because... she's a Gemini. I suppose this could go a long way towards explaining why she has so many skills. And also nicely excuses any little wobbles in personality traits. Masterfully played! I applaud this logic!

In the story itself, Ashton Anchors and his dragons have 'deep feelings' for Ashley Anchors and her dragons. Much of the real action in the fic (such as it is) revolves around the rocky beginnings of their relationship. No real surprise there; I did say 'Mary Sue', didn't I, Gentle Reader? I'm sure the six of them will eventually be deeply in love.

Bowman Jean also has... uh... 'deep feelings' for Ashley. In other words, he's portrayed as a completely despicable lowdown scheming thieving lecherous clown who'd gladly cheat on his wife with Ashley-Lanford-age-19. While the 'lecherous clown' part is indubitably true...

So, Gentle Reader, there in a nutshell you have Ashley-'Mary Sue'-Lanford-age-19 for your viewing pleasure. The author promises us another chapter within the week. I, personally, await this chapter with bated breath.



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I feel tainted...

(Anonymous)
Bad, BAD Mary-Sue! Destroying my FAVOURITE game EVER like this!!! *picks up a sword* I'll take her on, it's common knowledge that Mary Sues can only talk about fighting, but when they actually fight they just get whipped. So that their chosen guy can weep over her. YUCK.

She's not terribly nice to Noel either. *snarls* No pciking on the hot cat-guy, got it! Bad bad bad EVIL copy-cat psycho. HATEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

I hate this fic so much... It sent me into rant mode... god, someone take this girl out back and SHOOT! HER! For the good of mankind, you understand.

Sho who insults Noel...

(Anonymous)
Feels the wrath of my deadly "Dancing Firefly Stlye"!

Noel: *poke* I think you went too far again.

Shh.

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