Monday, February 05, 2007

Reactions to Dirge of Cerberus

I've temporarily dropped D.O.C. It is both time-consuming and very draining for me. Remember, one of the symptoms of MS is undue fatigue. Factor in Seasonal Affective Disorder for the full, long, sad story. In fact, my stand-in is having some of the same trouble. (Not with MS or SAD.) He is a young, married man from Advertising Graphics, and agreed to play the game to see if he likes the shooter aspect and enjoys the story. This is a hybrid game, a shoot-em-up that has a real story line to watch, and he is accustomed to both RPGs and shooters.

This first proxy is very catholic in his gaming tastes and doesn't really harbor a preference for any genre. (When he is finished, I will hand D.O.C to my son-in-law for thorough testing by a real shootist.) We hope to have a first-person review begun by him soon.

--Regarding Dragon Lady, the sequel to Lucrecia's Legacy: the first chapter is nearly ready for publication.

This time around was very different from writing Lucrecia's Legacy. There is no game to use as a backdrop, and the information I need may still be forthcoming from Square Enix. For example, I've already made changes that conform to Advent Children, and a few to Dirge of Cerberus. It would be a shame to alienate readers because of jarring inaccuracies. Introducing a non-game character as narrator is tough enough.

--Regarding Dirge of Cerberus: I was very disappointed in the changes made in Vincent's character. He does a lot of grunting and just looking dumb. Vincent was never at a loss for words in FFVII! He speaks very eloquently, almost pedantically. By all rights, he should sound a little quaint for a while, although natural changes occur over time. Same as anyone else learning a dialect. But to make him barely articulate is ridiculous!

The character, Josephine Lindorm, (Fini to some, and Jo to Captain Cid) on the other hand, is loquacious but not especially erudite. She speaks in broad strokes of modern English, with plenty of slang. This would be normal for a woman with teenaged children. (Honestly, though, I can only speak for myself and those around me.)

Dragon Lady's chapters do come more slowly. Playing makes things percolate and mature. I really have to work the language to make the creative juices flow without a game to follow. But there is a whole (FFVII) world to explore, and this woman had previously been tied to a family. She will likely make some minor mistakes, but with consequences that could seem dire to a mature lady.

Remember, Josephine is virtually immortal. Her attitude, too, has been irrevocably changed by Hojo's experimentation. He used some of the same experiments on Lucrecia, so she knows what may lie ahead. Now she can easily avert physical harm, but must learn to protect herself from emotional pain. Lucrecia's tragedy would seem to be that isolation was her greatest danger, yet Fini craves solitude, and will go to great lengths to achieve it.

Family used to be of prime importance to Fini, but Meteorfall has left her with four children that are not really hers to raise or even enjoy. Furthermore, her own body is now unfamiliar to her. It is not the body she knew a few years ago. She is a forty-something lady in a rather young shell, and it may not age at the proper pace of normal humans. Both boon and bane, this gift will take some getting used to.

Josephine may be the perfect companion for Vincent Valentine. He thinks so, anyway. She's oblivious: happily unattached--and unwilling to sustain an attachment. They will need to come to terms that satisfy their conflicting needs for love and independence.

It's a mess, but love is rarely tidy. With age comes wisdom, but with love thrown in, all bets are off.

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