auronlu: (Lady)
Hallo! My journal is a mess of different kinds of Final Fantasy fandom, including fanfiction, game geeking, recommendations of fanart/fanfic/cosplay, and occasional iconmaking (see tags in sidebar). My labor of love is a novella-length fanfic, for which the rest of this stickypost serves as Table o' Contents:

Love Her and Despair is a dark AU sequel to Final Fantasy X answering the question: "What would have happened if Yuna had chosen the Final Summoning?"

Act I: Menace at Sea Chapter 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Act II: Operation Mi'ihenChapter 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Act III: Al Bhed Homecoming  Chapter 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
Act IV: Assault on Bevelle  Chapter 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33
Act V: Breaking the Cycle  Chapter 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43
Act VI: The Houses of Healing  Chapter 44 45 46 47 48 49

Note: On map below, itinerary of "Isaaru's Pilgrimage" has clickable links to chapters.

Fanvid Teaser )
auronlu: (franservice)
Last time on Let's Play Revenant Wings, we scurried around playing sidequests in the shattered remnants of the Skysea. Now, at last, it's time to catch up with the leading man and his long-suffering copilot!

Foulmouthed Moogle: Kupo-po-po! Kupo KUPO! And your chocobo, too!

That's it. That's the game. But just in case you want to read on...

(READ MOAR

auronlu: (Writer's Block)
I'm sticking stubbornly to my self-imposed rule that my [community profile] getyourwordsout word count only includes creative work, even though I'm writing a ton of stuff which is not creative.

So. For the first part of the month, I was writing a lot of Let's Play, in which I've gotten bogged down now. Later I had a rash of writing reviews.

May Wordcount: 23,412
  • Creative: 1903 for somewhat-stalled novella + outline for short story contest*
  • Reviews: 10,273 words for 16 reviews (new record!)
  • Let's Play: 11,276 words for Let's Play Revenant Wings (which I need to get back to; I seem to be able to juggle two big projects at a time)
My creative wordcount for the year is 30,278. My total word count (creative writing plus audio reviews and Let's Play posts, which in theory are monetized although in practice neither blog earns much) clocks in at 122,180 so far, and that doesn't include informal fandom posts on Tumblr or DW. 

The novella was stalled for the first 3 weeks of May, but now I've been putting the finishing touches on Act One and the all-important breakpoint when status quo established in Act One explodes, heroes are catapulted into the plot whether they like it or not, and nothing will ever be the same. I'm editing as I go, so I wrote considerably more words than that word count reflects.

*Big Finish is holding a classic Who short story contest this month. The prize is getting your story picked up by its Short Trips audio series, performed by the appropriate classic Doctor Who actor (assuming they're available, but most are willing to read/act a half hour story.) Short Trips are $3 half-hour audiobooks, separate from the full cast, full-sound-effects radio plays. My mind immediately went blank when I saw the contest announcement. I am terrible at writing to spec. 

But I want to do something with the Nyssa and Tegan, the only TARDIS team in all of Doctor Who when the companions were two women BFFs.



auronlu: Maria, Guy and Minwu fleeing at end of battle, apparently after looting Firion's corpse. "You obtained 36 gil!" (ffii)
Last time on Let's Play Revenant Wings, we crashed on a paradise island and tripped over a love triangle. Freedom regained, we head straight for the Strahl...

The strahl tucked under a cliff at the edge of an island

...conveniently moored beneath the one sky island we haven't yet visited.

However, along the way, we discover the Skysea wasn't vaporized but scattered like Jenga blocks. These fragments offer a wide array of optional missions for a limited time only, with Espers standing by to take our calls.

(READ MOAR)

Note: I've already posted the next bit if you wanna skip to Actual Plot, but I'll be tweaking that post a bit more to Make It Funnier.
auronlu: (Ceilingcat FFX)
Last time on Let's Play Revenant Wings, Clan Potholder crashed on a beautiful paradise island. Then the game decided to make up for lack of character development by foisting a half-hearted love triangle on us.

Which caused me to run to the hills and waste a lot of time grinding. But it turns out we won't have to suffer this tedious trope for too long (spoiler), so bear with me as I bear with it.

Battlefield Start
(This screencap is apropos of nothing, except I love the flying jumbo shrimp of doom)

(READ MOAR)

auronlu: (Writer's Block)
I continue to be inspired by [community profile] getyourwordsout, even though technically I wrote only one tiny snippet of fic that qualifies for my official creative writing tally.

April Wordcount 521 (35,608 total)
  • Creative: 521 for one flashfic (classic Who, Five/Nyssa fluff)
  • Reviews: 5979 for seven reviews (goal for year: 100 reviews; 37 written so far)
  • Let's Play: A whopping 29,108 for seven entries, not including three nearly-ready drafts.
I'm tempted to start counting my reviews and LP towards GYWO, but I must resist: I signed up to help inspire me towards a creative writing project, so that doesn't count, even though this is a lot of words!

But I feel good about those LP posts, so I'm not gonna beat myself up over it. I just need to finish it and get back to what I was doing!

Oh, and while I'm at it, April fanart. All done in 15-30 minutes.

All Doctor Who, sorry. )
auronlu: Maria, Guy and Minwu fleeing at end of battle, apparently after looting Firion's corpse. "You obtained 36 gil!" (ffii)
In our last Let's Play Revenant Wings, I predicted we'd fail to save another hugely significant crystal from the Judge of Wings. Boy, was I wrong. It was an island approximately the size of Australia that bit the dust. Also, tomboy and all-around go-getter Filo was put in her place with a well-timed Damsel in Distress mission.

Now that that's out of the way, Clan Potholder can get on with the business of trying and failing to save the world. Go us!

Exhibit A:

AAAAAAAAAAAIIIGGGHHH

(
READ MOAR)

auronlu: Sazh with chocobo chick and legend, "FUCK THIS SHIT" (Sazh)
Last time on Let's Play Revenant Wings, we took a break from our vitally important mission to enjoy canoodling canoeing around the Skysea, catching some rays at Port Marilith, and participating in Rikken's scavenger hunt. There's always time for sidequests before saving the world, after all.

Then the party wearied of Penelo's reminders that we had a job to do. So now we're back on the Path of Plot Advancement, chasing after rumors of the Judge of Wings.

Bonus:

Bahamut: “Thought you’d seen the last of me!” 


(READ MOAR)


auronlu: (Reno Sparrow)
Last time on Let’s Play Revenant Wings, we caught up with Ba’Gamnan’s old pals, explored our newly-remodeled airship, crafted custom weapons with ridiculous names, and stopped dastardly sky pirates from exploiting and robbing the aegyl. While engaging in some of the same behavior ourselves. Oopsie.

And now it’s time to visit the Skysea on a new and exciting island!



(READ MOAR)
auronlu: Maria, Guy and Minwu fleeing at end of battle, apparently after looting Firion's corpse. "You obtained 36 gil!" (ffii)
Last time on Let's Play Revenant Wings, Clan Vaanity continued the hallowed Final Fantasy tradition of letting the villain smash the vitally important thing we were supposed to protect. Oh, and Balthier supposedly died next to a Fran-shaped pile of pixels.

Good times.

Unfortunately, after an End of Act One climax, there is often a lull, and boy does this game want to lull us into a false sense of irritability. So I'm afraid this installment only has a brief segment of plot before Tomaj hijacks the story for airship remodeling and sidequests. I'll warn you when we get there, in case you want to skip ahead. (On the other hand, you'll miss out on what happens when I'm given the power to name custom weapons... see example below).

(On with the playthrough!)

auronlu: (Default)
Last time on Let's Play Revenant Wings, Clan Vaanity engaged in a few dubious sidequests that should have earned us the moniker Clan Hypocrisy, and I'm still waiting for an NPC to call us out.

Fane of Tehp Qul on Worldmap

But now it's time to catch up on the Path of Plot Advancement, where major speed bumps await. So let's hurry over to that flag at the Fane of Tehp Qul and get this angst on the road.

(
Read More...
auronlu: (Bad Balthier)
Last time, Clan Vaanity backed up their claims to be "good" sky pirates with an act of selfless heroism, taking oodles of arrows and cactus spines to protect four whole aegyls from evil sky pirates. Even Ba'Gamnan took some for the team, thanks to Tomaj's enslavement gadget whose ethics are la la la I can't hear you I have a continent of hapless natives to save!

Llyud says we need to hurry into the Fane of Something Vaguely Egyptian-Sounding to stop more sky pirates from desecrating the auralith (bigass magical crystal) at the heart of sky island #2. However, Tomaj's notice board has been bleeping at us about sidequests that opened up back on sky island #1.

Tomaj's notice board. Mission one says: Bug Hunt. Bugs. Lots of Bugs. They're crawling all over the Bosco Pampa on the Windward Isles. Antlions, by the look of them. Get down there and squash them, Vaan. It's the only way to be sure.

Should we hurry on to the Path of Plot Advancement? Or indulge in Sidequests Before Saving the World? Well, a little bird told me that Revenant Wings sidequests often evaporate before the next chapter. And the current chapter has the ominous name of "What Goes Up..." Look. I wasn't born yesterday. I recognize an RPG Point of No Return when I see it.

Therefore, I'm going back to Zephyr Island one more time to perform pest control and treasure mop-up duty. I'm sure the evil sky pirates will play cribbage or something until we return.

Read More...
auronlu: (Bad Balthier)
As some but not all of you know, I got my hands on a flawless Mac OSX/ Nintendo DS emulator, DESmuME (why are they all alphabet soup?), and decided to play Revenant Wings on a whim.

And I am loving its retro-gamer, lightweight-and-fluff, pixellated tinyscreen ass, especially since I can scale up the graphics to a size I can actually see. It's just cute.




I'm having fun snarking away and offering commentary and screencaps, so for what it's worth:


XENA SMASH

Mar. 7th, 2016 02:14 pm
auronlu: (Fang)
Mintywolf is a saint.

For four years, she's been posting Guardian comic every week. She's up to 111 pages. 

The story focuses on relationships between female characters. On every page. From Lady Ginnem's mentorship of Lulu to Ginnem's kickass sister Imogen to Yuna's friendship with Valefor to NoPantsCrusader/LadyYocun'sBiggestFan  the nuanced portrayal of Lulu's friendship with Yuna, which evolves and grows over time. 

It's a well-written, convincing love story in which the protagonists are not het and not in a sexual relationship. It shows, not tells that female friendships can be every bit as powerful as the standard "boy meets girl" romance.

Just as with the game of FFX, the bulk of the story is actually flashback, recalled at the end of the journey. The "present" is the scene in which Lulu volunteers to be Yuna's fayth. That scene is reprised at the beginning of each chapter, only now it's ticked forward to show that Lulu IS going to become Yuna's fayth, in this AU.

Yet reader comments often seem oblivious to all of the above.
  • Readers are excited when Tidus shows up, because now, at last, the story can be about Tidus/Yuna. (It hasn't been.) Some post a burst of Tidus/Yuna art right after she posts an emotionally powerful Lulu & Yuna scene.
  • There are comments like "whoa whoa, Lulu, that almost sounds gay" when her headspace-narrative describes her feelings for Yuna. 
  • Commenters jokingly scold Lulu for being sharp-tongued at Wakka, because she shouldn't be talking that way to her future husband. Did they play FFX?

Today someone wants to know if/when Minty's going to get to FFX-2, because this fan can't wait to see Lulu spawning the Wakkababy.

Even though Mintywolf's already showed that Lulu's going to become the Final Aeon, diverging from the X-2 storyline.
Even though Mintywolf's been focusing on female friendship and cuddles.
Even though Mintywolf's been avoiding sexual content all along.

Said fan kept poking, and Mintywolf deflected with tact. As she always does.

It is difficult for me not to snark at readers so desperately trying to find the het in her story, so determined not to see what the story is about, and has been about, for one hundred pages. 

When we were talking about this, Minty pointed out that "where is the straight?" comments on stories about female relationships are hardly unique to Guardian: Sister Claire's had such comments just this week.

I'm not surprised that these comments happen, of course. I'm just very frustrated on her behalf that people can't see, appreciate and engage in what she's trying to do, and has been doing very effectively, for years.

All I can do is support it. 
auronlu: (Bobblehead Night)

Wonder City Stories


Recently several of us were lamenting the fact that one can post a fanart on Tumblr and get 5 notes from close friends, and then you post a silly ostrich video or a photo of Carrie Fisher and Warwick Davis, and it goes viral. I grumbled about the sordid world of marketing, and [personal profile] heavenscalyx  asked me for tips about marketing Wonder City Stories, her superhero-genre book with an ensemble cast of LBGTQ+ characters, PoCs, and other types of people whom the comics genre tends to underrepresent.

And I didn't have a good answer. Other than plugging it on my blogs (as I am doing here), I don't know. My marketing game is not that strong. I understand enough to know why some things go viral, but I don't know how to make other things go viral. So I've been wracking my brains ever since.

Some ideas... )
auronlu: (Blah)
Okay, so. Rina has just finished Final Fantasy X-2 and posted thoughts about it.

And she quoth:

...Granted, this might be because the thing I want most out of this fandom right now is the Crimson Squad and YRP having fabulous adventures on an airship with side helpings of Rikku/Gippal, Paine/Nooj and Yuna/Baralai (also accepting Paine/Rikku), so if that exists in a way that is good, hook a girl up, mmk?

And I know that stuff is out there. I remember it. I've read it in dribs and drabs over the years. Yet when I review my Final Fantasy X/X-2 recs, I'm not seeing much of that.

Still, I have some pointers, and I hope people who know the fandom better will share more recs in comments.


Owlmoose is the Queen of Final Fantasy X-2 and Nooj/Paine in particular, with a little Baralai/Gippal and Yuna/Baralai on the side, and some Rikku/Gippal in there somewhere.  And since this is my own personal blog I don't feel bad about shilling friends. A lot.

The trouble is, I read most of her amazeballs stuff years ago. There's tons. But these stick in my fuzzy memory.
  • Darkness, Dawn, Gen, Paine POV, 1230 words. Paine's first night aboard the Celsius.
  • Where They Left Off, M, Paine/Nooj, 1500words. Much needed gap-filling convo in which Paine and Nooj have a brief confrontation/convo/angersmooch right before B/N/G deliver their speech at the end.
  • The Cat, M, Paine/Nooj. 4300words. I can't remember exactly why this stuck in my memory except that it was a vivid portrayal of their dynamic and...cat?
  • Separated, T, Baralai/Yuna one-sided. The final battle from Baralai's perspective.
  • Under the Moon, T, Paine/Rikku, 1400 words. Paine aboard the Celsius (not) dealing with past memories of Nooj. (Nooj/Paine is canon. NOOJ/PAINE IS CANON. Er. Well, it is for us.) 
  • Boundaries, E, Baralai/Yuna with Shuyin/Lenne coloring things, 1400 words.
And then she's done some recent 500-word prompt thingies with a few years' more experience in writing. 

SO. What else. WHERE IS IT. It's odd but I don't recall many well-written Celsius or Crimson Squad things.

So, for example, this isn't Gullwings, but it's good: 
  • Jebus Creiss' The Seeker Files, Barthello/Dona (estranged), T, 22K words, A surprisingly good story from Barthello's POV?! with a lot of the other X-2 cast, set 6 months after FFX-2. Extremely convincing and chewy worldbuilding. 
And in a similar worldbuilding vein, KJ created an excellent bridge story from X to X-2:
  • Aftermath, Beclem-POV, 42000 words, picking up the pieces at the end of X, explaining how Beclem met Nooj and the Youth League began, meta on spheres and sphere hunters.
Oh here's one I'd assume would be good because of the author, but I haven't read it, just spotted it while hunting?
  • The Lost Village, T, by astrangerenters. "When Gippal leads a Machine Faction team to excavate a previously hidden town near Lake Macalania, the Gullwings come along for a little fun and treasure hunting."

Hrm. I could go on but it's useless for me to rec stuff I haven't read; you can hunt, too. So I'm instead going to ask people to post recs in comments to this post. 

I will append some addendums. I haven't specifically covered the Gullwings, but I've written in the X-2 timeframe (or an AU version), pulling out things I like and ignoring the rest. 
  • Firstly a large pile of Lucil/Elma drabbles because prior to FFXIII they were the closest I could find to a canon lesbian couple. Headcanons occur. Also smut. Also crack.
  • An Auron/Lulu badfic, Til Death Do Us Part, T, 13K words, in which I indulged in all! the! clichés!  Swashbuckling and Twue Wuv occurs. It's not my best writing, but I bring it up because I started by trying to imagine what would follow the Gullwings once Paine went off with Nooj, and I wound up with Yuna in charge, Rikku and Tidus as her seconds, in a way that lets Yuna and Rikku be awesome and Tidus not be an ass. 
  • Love Her and Despair - among many other threads, there's Captain Gippal, smuggler distributor of merchandise, and a Paine/Nooj, Baralai/Paine sideplot. 
auronlu: Icon says, "Does it COUNT as a WRITING SESSION if I only touched the delete key?" (deletekey)
I'm afraid I tagged on the heels of [personal profile] vieralynn and discovered Get Your Words Out at the last possible second.

I normally shun NaNo because I don't have self-discipline (or ideas for longer fics) and do have chronic health issues. I avoid gift-work exchanges, because I'm always afraid that I'll fail and let someone down.

However, this year, I have two long-form fics I want to work on, and I have definite plans for them. So perhaps this will help me with motivation, although LHAD has foundered for so many years I don't know if I can ever revive it. But I wish I could.

Dreamwidth or OpenID: Auronlu (although my first project is on my Who fandom blog.) I'm still a little uneasy about linking up my different fandom handles, so I'm not sure how I'm going to handle that project. I'll worry bout that when I have something to post.
Livejournal: auronlu but largely moribund
Tumblr: Auronlu
Pledge: 75K Light
Statement of writing goals: 1. Write High Hierophant from start to finish, post. (Right now it's in the planning stages with about 3200 words of draft.) 2. Write and post 100 reviews on VHSWhovian. (This is one fandom project that's going along tickety-boo.) 3. Work on LHAD, using the plot structuring/organization tools I'm learning via Story Engineering.
auronlu: Four warriors of light from Final Fantasy I (ffi)

There are rumblings that Yahoo may have to sell its internet businesses, including Tumblr. This may be a bunch of empty hoopla. But it's yet another reminder that fandom sites come and go.

Listen. On a still night, you can hear the ghosts of geocities wailing faintly on the wind.

Meeedeee has a tut on how to backup Tumblr on Wordpress.com from a blog you own to a private Wordpress blog. I'm giving the tool a test run on my own website, because I've got oodles of space.

That means importing 4500 posts. I'll let you know how it goes. (Note: setting entries private by default is a must, to avoid posting other people's content without permiss. I'm just trying to archive my own meta and liveblog posts.)

(X-posted to Tumblr)

auronlu: (Default)
I've been meaning to set this up for a while, but never got around to it. Now and then I was manually copying Dreamwidth posts over to Tumblr and adding cross-links, but that doesn't show a comment count. IFTTT adds that minor but helpful bit of functionality.

So here's what I did.

Read on... )
auronlu: (Default)
Underwear outside of pants: fashion forward, or fashion disaster?
auronlu: (Default)

[click to enlarge]

Yuna’s pilgrimage is a linear journey across a landscape, but the landscape isn’t static. Unknown to Yuna and friends (apart from perhaps Auron), they’re crossing a gameboard, and the boundaries are being redrawn around them.

[[SPOILERS from here on]] Above, I’ve shown the biggest shift in spheres of influence. Before and after Operation Mi’ihen, the Crusaders are nearly annihilated and lose all authority in the regions where they had been the major power.

As we can tell from piecing together various NPC comments, their downfall was engineered by Maester Kinoc. I believe Maester Seymour was not originally a party to Kinoc’s stratagem, but barged in at the last minute and partially usurped it, as I’ll explain below.

Read More )

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