I’ve spent years, almost since I started both playing the game and expanding my military reading material, trying to come up with a more “grounded” take on the game Command and Conquer Generals.
Constantly rolling a boulder up a hill would be more pleasant.
The game is nothing then an early 2000s pop culture view of the military. That’s why F-117s are more stealthy in-game than F-22s (they’re distinctive looking, ok?), the ramshackle terrorist force is made with just enough leeway to avoid a backlash while still meeting the villain of the week quotient, and Iowa battleships fight alongside beam cannons. China is the second faction because Russia was still picking itself up, and you get the idea.
Ok, so the real conflicts in Syria and Libya have featured conventional wars with ramshackle technical contraptions, so in hindsight it’s slightly better. Fair enough. But battles ranging from the pyramids to the Pacific, with the US able to traipse around as it pleases in Iran and even Russia (!), and geography being a dubious afterthought. Yeah, it still has some way to go.
The cancelled Generals sequel, to its credit, did try to turn the GLA into a more diverse and less blatant world populist uprising, but that still leaves everything else.
Sometimes settings just aren’t salvageable, and aren’t even fun to try and salvage. Generals is another setting with no foundation.
As it’s St. Patrick’s Day, I have this Celtic themed fanon fight.
Clover (Payday 2)
Holly Short (Artemis Fowl).
(I’m guessing Holly will win because of her superior technology and magic, but the Payday Gang have done so much crazy stuff that you can’t count Clover out.) They’re thematic contrasts as well, with Clover as a notorious criminal and Holly a policewoman.
To put the FE Battalion on the offense or defense?
I’m leaning towards defense. A basic foot infantry battalion is more capable in defense, especially in closed terrain than it is on offense against a heavier conventional foe. Then again, I’m considering putting them in a mechanized battalion, because a foot one is simply too limited.
I don’t want to put them in some sort of special forces unit, even though bizarrely it’s what arguably fits them the best.
Now for the enemy. In military terms, this is easy-it’s the Circle Trigon/Krasnovia/Donovia. In other words, an enemy made as a bland opposing force in an artificial battle. Good for artificial battles (and it’s not like the canon FE games are the most deep and intricate anyway), not so good for character development or a sense of meaning.
Now for what their parent regiment/brigade will be like-will it be composed of other high fantasy turned-soldier transplants? Regular troops regarding it as a weak link?
Good news is I have a command staff.
Robin as CO.
Cordelia as XO
Mark as Operations Head
Matthew as Intelligence Head
Merlinus as Logistics Head
Oh no, I’ve stacked the staff with people from my favorite game (FE7) and the most popular (Awakening)! :p.
Now to figure out where to put the more problematic ones…
FE characters have some anime physics and a few superhuman strength feats. I call them “Captain America level”, but their lower durability means they can’t be wasted in a line unit. At least if I wanted to be practical.
Now, there’s arguably little that’s truly original. This is why, when I make my superhero fantasies, it’s not difference of powers that I focus on so much as difference of character.
But one bizarre coincidence, notable in almost how exact it is, and how coincidential it is, has stood out. See, there’s a character who can manipulate time, using it as de facto teleportation to outmaneuver enemies.
That describes Overwatch’s hero and mascot Tracer. But it also describes a supervillain in a notorious tie-in comic made twenty-five years before. The comic was NFL Superpro, one frequently trotted out as one of the worst of all time. The villain was, with a name fitting the football style, Instant Replay.
Instant Replay appeared twice, the second time also having an oddly coincidental connection to Tracer, as he had been phasing in and out of time uncontrollably, then semi-controllably. In both cases, he was defeated in a few panels (although the second time, the Superpro needed the help of his non-superpowered niece. Really).
So, either this is a massive coincidence, or someone at Blizzard decided to base a prominent figure in their newest flagship game on a throwaway villain in a decades-old throwaway comic. The latter is unlikely, and Instant Replay’s own style bears similarity to GI Joe’s Snake Eyes.
But it’s still an interesting thing to behold.
Ok, so I’ve done a few bad fanfiction things in days gone by. Thankfully, little of this remains saved.
Until now. Oops!
-In terms of pure weirdness, I made a fic where Helga, the final boss of the ridiculous tie-in game Revolution X, killed the Kool-Aid Man. (All I can remember of the plot is her being brought by a MacGuffin Man, the Kool Aid Man appearing, and her turning his pitcher-body into a colander).
-In terms of technical inaccuracy, I had modern warships powered by burning coal.
-And of course, I’ve done “shipping”. Both rammed-together character ships that have no evidence and are likely contradictory, to bad canon character/OC ships. Although a lot of the crazier pairings aren’t really that serious. One was even designed to be the craziest pairing I could think of.
I have to admit my characters have changed and evolved. I try to write them down because otherwise I’d forget, so looking at a previous draft can seem mind-boggling.
I have a weakness of putting the worldbuilding cart before the story horse, and haven’t let a character flow naturally as much as I’d like. Still, maybe the development is the flowing process.
I even created a “Doombot System” to explain any discrepancies. The lead antagonist of every single one of my stories is both a powerful supernatural person and a variety of humans with the same name (they’re connected, it’s a long story). That way I can have multiple sets of power and personality on the same nominal figure without retconning anything. Maybe I was overthinking it, but I still like the concept.
I still like VGCW, but I’ve gotten a little less insistent on it. I think the novelty of seeing characters flop around in a badly programmed game has worn off.
A long time ago, I remember a semi-serious story draft. I needed two cars for the antagonists to be driving, one old and one newer. Knowing much less about cars than I do now, I basically flipped around at random and got a Honda Fit and Buick Riviera.
Now that I know more about these cars, what I got was a contemporary small car and and old giant landyacht. Together they’d look goofy more than anything else. Well, now I know more.
(As an aside, it says something about the utter failure of the 1986 Riveria redesign that even back then, I saw it as looking far less impressive than its previous model).
Two years too late, I rediscovered the craziness, madness, and improbable victory of Twitch Plays Pokemon.
The viewership understandably dropped after the novelty of the first Red run. And there was something else I found, something sad but not unexpected. Forced lore.
The original run had organically developed memes and lore, from the Pidgeot to the ATV Venomoth, to of course the Helix Fossil. Later, everyone was trying to build up the lore from the start.
In other internet fandoms, however small, this sort of lore pileup happens a lot.
- The Infinite Loops started off as a pure crackfic Groundhog Day for the lols anything-goes story-and then developed into a cosmology.
- The Big One was a forum what-if about a nuclear end to WWII that turned into a massive historical “epic” spanning back to the 300s BCE.
Lore pileups make sense only to the “in-crowd” while turning off outside fans, and seem a lot funnier than they can be. While in some ways unavoidable, they’re a sign that a work is jumping the shark.
I’ve found that I enjoy reading either “thrillers” that are utter trash or big, dry reference books. There really isn’t that much of a middle ground for me-it either has to be enjoyably interesting or enjoyably terrible.
I could think of a thousand reasons why that might be the case, but they seem to pale in comparison to personal likings of the moment. (Shrugs)